New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 10:24 AM

Islamic World News ( 20 Feb 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Obama Cites Good Work by Muslims in India; Admits Image Distorted In US

 

 

The two countries, both with majority Sunni Muslim populations, are bound together by shared Islamic religious ties. PHOTO: REUTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

Barack Obama cites good work by Muslims in India; says image distorted

2 militants killed in Kashmir encounter, search operations underway

PDP and BJP seal deal, Mufti to be J&K CM

Muzaffarnagar riots probe panel gets extension for 6 months

Video to prove Pakistani boat was not attacked released

Pakistan to send 57 boats back to India, says Babu Bokhiria

Pak. denies visa to PDP leader, says Hurriyat represents J&K

Fresh new faces help transform MIM image in India

 

North America

American Muslims expand programmes on counter violent extremism to take down ISIS’ recruiting machine

ISIS jihadi who led execution of Christians could be an American

Islamic leaders of burned center ask prosecutors to drop arson charge

It’s everyone’s duty to imagine a better future for Muslims–and for America

Muslim group wants apology for canceled prayer

FBI vows vigilance on anti-Muslim graffiti

‘Force alone cannot eradicate extremism’

 

Europe

Jews, Muslims face increasing French discrimination, racism – Council of Europe

A French Education Minister Who Knows Immigrants’ Struggles

European jihadis unable to join Islamic State, locked at home

Student dressed as Muslim cleric receives abuse on streets of Milan

There’s a Muslim baby boom in the UK and it’s going to hit the ballot box

Islamic State not just a Western problem, says top Russian spy

Putin tries to deflect Muslim rage toward his foes as jihad threat rises in Russia

Mayor: 'Without Jews Paris would not be city that it is'

 

Pakistan

Terror wave in Pakistan sparks rare criticism of Saudi Arabia

Pakistan’s role in peace talks deserves credit: Ghani

US lauds Pakistan’s efforts for regional peace

Pakistan calls for joint world action against terrorism

Day of Condemnation against terrorism observed: Pakistan Ulema Council

Five militants, soldier killed in NWA fighting

Sindh govt to form counter terrorism force’: Zardari

Army major, eight militants killed in N. Waziristan, Kurram clashes

PPP to always play role for guarding democracy

Pakistan likely to go ahead with Bangladesh tour

'Pakistan’s plutonium plant likely operational'

Afghan Taliban’s Doha office revived: Pakistan officials

 

Mideast

Senior Cleric Warns against Western Plots to Make Yemen Insecure

Turkish troops guarding historic tomb in Syria not trapped by jihadists, FM says

New video technology could help researchers pin-point where Jihadi hostage videos were shot

Different faces of Turkish Islamic nationalism

Adultery in Islam and among the Ottomans

Yemeni president slips Houthi house arrest

Iran to increase home-built drones' flight range: Cmdr.

Israeli forces clash with Open Shuhada Street demonstrators in al-Khalil

Turkey's ruling AKP rejects parliamentary motion to probe ISIL

 

Southeast Asia

PAS ulama declares ‘war’ on pro-Pakatan faction

Step down if you can’t help Hadi, Perak PAS cleric tells critics

Zaid Ibrahim’s new moderate Malay portal to counter racial, religious extremism

Indonesia Recalls Ambassador to Brazil Over Death Penalty Spat

Family vital in preventing youth from joining Isis, say groups, experts

 

South Asia

55 insurgents killed in Operation Zulfiqar in Helmand

Jihad museum and the life of a Muslim convert

Afghan President Salutes Pakistan Peace Efforts

Afghan civilians often bear brunt of terror attacks

Indian nationals attack house in Bangladesh

Afghans arrested Chinese Uighurs to aid Taliban talks bid

Dhaka reaffirms support for fighting terrorism

Bangladesh being compared to Afghanistan, Pakistan

 

Africa

At least 30 dead in Boko Haram raids near Chibok, Nigeria

IS suicide bombers kill 40 in Libya

10 killed in suicide attack targeting Somalia officials

Boko Haram kills villagers after fleeing offensive

192 Egyptians flee Libya through Tunisia amid rising ISIL threat

 

Arab World

Iraqi Army Kills 38 ISIL Terrorists in Salahuddin

Source: Over 31 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Iraq's Tikrit

Syrian Army Kills 24 ISIL Terrorists in Homs Province

25 Takfiri Terrorists Killed in Syria's Hama Province

ISIS winning the digital propaganda war

Grand Mosque imam: Promote values through new media

Children, Caged for Effect, to Mimic Imagery of ISIS

IS revenge blasts for Egypt airstrikes kill 40 in Libya

Riyadh talks seek stronger Iraqi army: western source

Millions of people displaced by ISIL in Iraq: Iraq

Iraq top cleric calls for key town liberation

Rights foundation says ISIL kidnapped more than 400 Turkmens in Iraq

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/obama-cites-good-work-by-muslims-in-india;-admits-image-distorted-in-us/d/101639

 

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India

 

Obama cites good work by Muslims in India; admits image distorted in US

February 20, 2015

Praising the good work by Muslims around the world in countries like India that has the world’s second largest Muslim population, US President Barack Obama admitted that many in the US have a “distorted” impression of the community.

The US President said the image people in the West get of Islam is how they are represented by the media as due to the relatively small population of Muslims in countries like the US, many people do not get a clear idea of how a Muslim personally is.

In his closing remarks at a White House summit to counter violent extremism at the State Department yesterday, Obama chose to speak “very directly to a painful truth that’s part of the challenge that brings us here today”.

“The image they get of Muslims or Islam is in the news”.

“And given the existing news cycle, that can give a very distorted impression. A lot of the bad, like terrorists who claim to speak for Islam, that’s absorbed by the general population.

“Not enough of the good — the more than 1 billion people around the world who do represent Islam, and are doctors and lawyers and teachers, and neighbours and friends,” he said yesterday, the final day of the summit.

Obama, who has touched upon issues of religious intolerance and extremism in a series of remarks recently, made the latest comment while addressing the three-day conference, being attended by leaders from more than 60 countries, including India.

The Indian delegation is represented by R N Ravi, Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

Obama then went on to list the Muslims who have been involved in good work around the world.

“So we have to remember these Muslim men and women — the young Palestinian working to build understanding and trust with Israelis, but also trying to give voice to her people’s aspirations.

“Business leaders in India, with one of the world’s largest Muslim populations,” he continued.

“Entrepreneurs unleashing new innovations in places like Malaysia. Health workers fighting to save lives from polio and from Ebola in West Africa. And volunteers who go to disaster zones after a tsunami or after an earthquake to ease suffering and help families rebuild,” he said.

Obama also gave the example of the recent terror attack on French satirical newspaper, saying: “The world hears a lot about the terrorists who attacked Charlie Hebdo in Paris, but the world has to also remember the Paris police officer, a Muslim, who died trying to stop them.”

http://www.financialexpress.com/article/miscellaneous/barack-obama-cites-good-work-by-muslims-in-india-says-image-distorted/45414/

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2 militants killed in Kashmir encounter, search operations underway

February 21, 2015

Two militants have been killed in an encounter on Saturday after an encounter broke out between security forces and militants in north Kashmir's Baramulla district.

On specific information about the presence of militants in Thak-Gund Village of Sopore area of the district, a joint team of army and police began a search operation this morning, police said.

They said as the security forces were conducting the search operation, the hiding militants opened fire on them triggering an encounter.

Firing was going on till last reports came in, the police said, adding so far no causalities have been reported.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/kashmir-encounter-militants-breaks-baramulla/1/420224.html

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PDP and BJP seal deal, Mufti to be J&K CM

February 21, 2015

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will be the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister after his party reached an agreement for forming a government with the BJP, top party sources said on Saturday.

“Yes, main agreement has been reached on the draft of the CMP (common minimum programme) on contentious issues like Article 370, Armed Forces (special) Powers Act (AFSPA) and the plight of West Pakistan refugees.

“It has been agreed that without any written reference to it, both the parties would respect the wishes of the people of the State in consonance with the Constitution of the country with regard to Article 370,” a top party source said.

As per the agreement, Mr. Sayeed will be the Chief Minister for the full six years.

Sources in the BJP said: “The PDP has agreed to the BJP demand that the CMP should accept that the problems faced by West Pakistan refugees should not be politicised, but treated as a humanitarian issue that needs to be addressed on humanitarian grounds.”

The sources added that Mr. Sayeed would formally call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the PDP and the BJP announce having formalised the draft of the CMP.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pdp-and-bjp-seal-deal-mufti-to-be-jk-cm/article6919607.ece?homepage=true

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Muzaffarnagar riots probe panel gets extension for 6 months

February 21, 2015

The tenure of Sahai Commission, which was constituted on September 9, 2013 to probe the Muzaffarnagar riots has once again been extended for six months. This is the fifth extension given to the probe panel.

The Commission was constituted under retired judge of Allahabad High Court Justice Vishnu Sahai to probe the reasons behind the unprecedented riots which had resulted in death of over 50 people and left over 50,000 homeless. More than 7,000 people are still living in tents in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli.

According to a notification issued by Principal Secretary Debashish Panda, the term of Sahai commission has been extended till August 8, 2015.

However, a large number of these riot-hit victims believe that they have been reduced into mere political pawns.

Full report at:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/muzaffarnagar-riots-sahai-panel-extension-victims/1/420193.html

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Video to prove Pakistani boat was not attacked released

February 20, 2015

The government on Friday released a video to show that the Pakistani boat, which a Coach Guard official claimed to have destroyed earlier, was not blown up by India.

The video footage attempts to douse the controversy after Coast Guard Chief of Staff (North West Region) at Gandhinagar was recorded on camera saying he ordered that the boat be destroyed. Four people were reported to have died in the incident.

"Let me tell you. I hope you remember 31st December night. We blew off that Pakistani boat. We have blown them off. I was there at Gandhinagar and I told that night: blow the boat off. We don't want to serve them biryani," Loshali said in a video released by the Indian Express, which also broke the story.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry said it has found Loshali's apology for his explosive remarks not satisfactory, sources said on Friday. Loshali had denied making the statement and had called the Indian Express report "not factual".

Full report at:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/pakistani-boat-video-not-attacked-video-released/1/420152.html

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Pakistan to send 57 boats back to India, says Babu Bokhiria

February 21, 2015

For the first time since 2004, Indian fishermen are pretty close to getting their trawlers back from Pakistan. The thaw in relations between the neighbours come just days after Pakistan freed 172 Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture and Prime Ministers of both the countries spoke to each other.

“Through a letter on Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs of India conveyed to Gujarat government the decision of Pakistan to release 57 fishing trawlers. We have been asked to claim the boats by March 31. In response to the letter, we shall send a six-member delegation to Pakistan to finalise modalities of bring the boats back,” Gujarat Fisheries Minister Babu Bokhiria told The Indian Express.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/pakistan-to-send-57-boats-back-to-india-says-babu-bokhiria/

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Pak. denies visa to PDP leader, says Hurriyat represents J&K

SUHASINI HAIDAR

February 20, 2015

We believe the Hurriyat is the true representative of the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, an official of the Pakistan High Commission said

Hardening its position, Pakistan has denied visa to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson Naeem Akhtar to attend a Track-II conference in Islamabad next week, saying the “Hurriyat is the true representative of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

Pakistan High Commission sources here told The Hindu that the decision was taken to “reiterate” this stand.

“Our stand on Jammu and Kashmir is very clear. We believe that the Hurriyat is the true representative of the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and we believe that issuing a visa to Mr. Naeem Akhtar would not reflect that position,” an official said.

While visas had been denied to many Indians planning to attend such conferences in the past, the statement linking the decision to the stand on the Hurriyat is significant as it is indicative of the hardened stand after India cancelled Foreign Secretary-level talks last year over High Commissioner Abdul Basit’s discussions with Hurriyat leaders.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pak-denies-visa-to-pdp-leader-says-hurriyat-represents-jk/article6913991.ece

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Fresh new faces help transform MIM image in India

21 February 2015

They are young and dynamic, educated and refined, and have changed the perception of the Hyderabad-based Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) among Indians across the country.

Imtiaz Jaleel, who won the Maharashtra Assembly election from Aurangabad (Central), and Waris Pathan, who won from Byculla (Mumbai), are in Jeddah for a grand reception organized in their honor on Friday by Ahmeduddin Owaisi’s Bazm-e-Ittehad.

Both are in their early 40s and brimming with confidence to serve the community by raising their issues in the Maharashtra Assembly.

“When I decided to contest the elections on an MIM ticket, I faced intense pressure from those who wrongly thought MIM was a communal party,” said Pathan. “There was a problem of perception. We worked hard to convince the people of Mumbai that we are the most secular party.”

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/707131

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North America

 

American Muslims expand programmes on counter violent extremism to take down ISIS’ recruiting machine

By Laurie Goodstein

21 Feb, 2015

Imam Mohamed Magid tries to stay in regular contact with the teenager who came to him a few months ago - at his family's urging - to discuss how he was being wooed by online recruiters working for the Islamic State, the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.

But the imam, a scholar bursting with charm and authority, has struggled to compete. Though he has successfully intervened in the cases of five other young men, persuading them to abandon plans to fight overseas, the Islamic State's recruiting efforts have become even more disturbing, he said, and nonstop. "The recruiters wouldn't leave him alone," Magid said of the young man he met with recently.

"They were on social media with him at all hours, they tweet him at night, first thing in the morning. If I talk to him President Barack Obama on Wednesday described the fight against violent extremism as a "generational challenge" that would require the cooperation of governments, religious leaders, educators and law enforcement. But even before he called on more than 60 nations to join the effort, the rise of the Islamic State and the attacks by homegrown terrorists in Paris; Ottawa, Ontario ..

Muslim leaders here and elsewhere have already started organising or expanding prevention programmes and discussions on countering violent extremism, often with assistance from law enforcement officials and trained counter-recruiters who emphasise that the Internet's dangers for young Muslims now go far beyond pornography.

Full report at:

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/american-muslims-expand-programmes-on-counter-violent-extremism-to-take-down-isis-recruiting-machine/articleshow/46318743.cms

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ISIS jihadi who led execution of Christians could be an American

Feb 21 2015

The masked jihadi who led the executions of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya over the weekend could be an American recruited by ISIS, a US official told The Post on Wednesday.

Intelligence experts are currently analyzing the facial features and speech patterns of the unidentified extremist seen in gruesome video released by the Islamic State on Sunday.

“They are analyzing the video now, using facial recognition and they continue to analyze his speech patterns,” said an official who requested to not be named. “He sounds American to me.”

Professor Erik Thomas — a linguistics expert at North Carolina State University — added that based on distinctive word pronunciations, he also believes the unidentified man in camouflage “sounds like an American” with some Arabic influence mixed in, according to ABC News.

Another expert, who asked not to be named, said the ISIS execution leader could be a native Arabic speaker who came to learn American English while spending a “significant amount of time” in the US.

Full report at:

http://nypost.com/2015/02/18/isis-jihadi-who-led-execution-of-christians-could-be-an-american/

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Islamic leaders of burned center ask prosecutors to drop arson charge

Feb 21 2015

Flanked by clergy from a cross-section of Houston's religious community, leaders of an Islamic religious center Friday asked prosecutors to drop the felony charge lodged against a homeless man accused of setting one of their buildings on fire.

"We always preach forgiveness," said Ahsan Zahid, assistant imam at the Quba Islamic Institute. "Our God is forgiving. Our prophet was always forgiving, and God tells us we should do as we expected to be treated by others. We should forgive, and that is the request we made."

Leaders of the institute, at 730 FM 1959 in the city's southeast side,made their public request at a news conference called by Interfaith Ministries. Lending support to the Muslim group were clergy from Jewish and Christian congregations.

Harris County District Attorney's spokesman Jeff McShan confirmed that his office had received and would consider the institute's request.

Full report at:

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Islamic-leaders-of-burned-center-ask-prosecutors-6092894.php#/0

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It’s everyone’s duty to imagine a better future for Muslims–and for America

Mohammed Hameeduddin

February 20, 2015

As a child, I saw my parents and relatives band together to help others and witnessed the great impact their actions, no matter how seemingly small, had on my entire community.

Their example inspired me to get involved in local politics in Teaneck, New Jersey, and make a difference in my community. I served as mayor for four years and am now a member of the city council. In these roles, I have had the privilege to be a resource for people when they need help – from everyday problems like snow removal, to more serious challenges like foreclosure.

When I look at my two sons, Ahsan, age 4, and Zain, age 2, I worry that they may be too afraid to participate in civic life as I have. I never want my sons to feel ashamed to be Muslim.

We have seen increasing anti-Muslim bias in recent weeks, stemming in part from anti-Muslim statements by public officials and media personalities calling for more profiling of American Muslims since the tragic events in Paris last month.

On February 18, the White House hosted a summit on its efforts to counter violent extremism (CVE) that focus primarily on American Muslims even though only a small fraction of acts of violent extremism are carried out by Muslims.

Full report at:

http://qz.com/346582/no-starbucks-chai-tea-latte-is-not-real-chai/

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Muslim group wants apology for canceled prayer

21 FEBRUARY 2015

BISMARCK, North Dakota: The largest Muslim civil liberties group in the U.S. wants Republicans in the state of North Dakota to apologize for canceling a Muslim’s opening floor session prayer on Ash Wednesday and having a Christian deliver the invocation instead.

Dr. Nadim Koleilat, a surgeon in Bismarck and president of the city’s Muslim Community Center, went across the hall from the North Dakota House of Representatives and delivered the invocation to the state Senate, without objection from the lawmakers in that chamber. Republicans control both chambers.

Full report at:

http://www.nst.com.my/node/73471

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FBI vows vigilance on anti-Muslim graffiti

By Laura Crimaldi

 FEBRUARY 20, 2015

The head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston office said Friday the region is seeing an uptick in anti-Muslim messages, and he plans to act swiftly to put an end to incidents like the threatening notes found in Revere earlier this week.

“We need to nip this in the bud,” said Boston Special Agent in Charge Vincent B. Lisi. “I’m worried that we’re going to see more and more of this.”

Lisi’s comments came as the FBI’s Boston office revealed it was looking into the Revere incident, in which anti-Muslim notes were found near the Revere Beach MBTA station on Monday. On the same day, the office launched a civil rights probe into vandalism at an Islamic school in Rhode Island. The FBI said the Rhode Island and Revere incidents do not appear to be related.

Full report at:

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2015/02/20/fbi-boston-probe-anti-muslim-graffiti-found-revere-and-school-rhode-island/MPsNSN0CIZydmFPBt4zy6H/story.html

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‘Force alone cannot eradicate extremism’

21 February 2015

WASHINGTON: More than 60 countries which participated in a White House summit have concluded that using force alone to curb extremism can exacerbate the problem and suggested a multi-pronged approach, which includes methods to win hearts and minds.

They also stressed that terms like “violent extremism” and “terrorism”, should “not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation, or ethnic group”.

The participants also “reaffirmed their determination to stand against any manifestation of religious-based discrimination wherever it may reveal itself”.

Take a look: Nisar presents anti-terrorism strategy at US summit

The three-day summit to counter violent extremism, which ended on Friday, also brought dozens of international organisations, including the UN, EU, OIC and the Arab League, to the US capital.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164978/force-alone-cannot-eradicate-extremism

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Europe

 

Jews, Muslims face increasing French discrimination, racism – Council of Europe

February 20, 2015

The independent Council of Europe has warned that France is becoming more intolerant towards minority groups, including Gypsies, Muslims and Jews. The findings were made before last month’s Charlie Hebdo shootings.

Nils Muiznieks, the Council's Commissioner for Human Rights, painted a grim picture of multiculturalism in France, which just experienced the horrific Charlie Hebdo shootings that left 11 people dead at the satire magazine’s headquarters in Paris.

The assailants in the attack, Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, were Muslims.

But the trend towards intolerance in France had been a growing phenomenon long before those attacks.

“In recent years, there has been a huge increase in anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and homophobic acts,” wrote Muiznieks, who based his findings on a visit he made to France in September 2014. “In the first half of 2014 alone, the number of anti-Semitic acts virtually doubled, while the number of Jews leaving France for Israel tripled compared with 2012, which is a telling indication of their feeling of insecurity.”

Just this week, Zvika Klein, a Jewish journalist, decided to take a 10-hour stroll around Paris while wearing a skull cap, as well as a hidden camera to capture the action. He told RT of the experience.

Full report at:

http://rt.com/news/234019-france-racism-jews-muslims/

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A French Education Minister Who Knows Immigrants’ Struggles

February 21, 2015

PARIS — IN late January, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem sat in her office lined with gold leaf in the 18th-century Hôtel de Rothelin-Charolais, reflecting on the identity crisis among young French Muslims.

“When these young people feel frustrated with school, they look for an identity elsewhere and put forward their religious identity,” said the 36-year-old Moroccan immigrant, the first female education minister in France. “It is not surprising that they are impervious to republican values.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/world/europe/a-french-education-minister-who-knows-immigrants-struggle.html

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European jihadis unable to join Islamic State, locked at home

Feb 21 2015

(Reuters) - The flow of European fighters from Europe to territory held by the ultra-hardline Islamic State is drying up due to tighter restrictions imposed by European states that have prevented would-be jihadis from travelling, fighters from the group said.

Fighters in Syria and Iraq contacted by Reuters said the impact was limited on the battlefield since European fighters make up only a fraction of the forces of Islamic State.

"Now most of the (foreign) fighters are coming from Asian countries, like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. They are tough fighters," an Islamic State militant who fought with the group in both Syria and Iraq, told Reuters via the internet.

Some also said that restrictions might backfire on European countries when jihadis who are prevented from travelling to the Middle East are encouraged to wage individual attacks at home.

Full report at:

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/02/20/mideast-islamicstate-europe-idINKBN0LO1YB20150220

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Student dressed as Muslim cleric receives abuse on streets of Milan

21 February 2015

An Egyptian student in Italy took to the streets and walked around dressed as an imam while carry a copy of the Holy Quran to record reactions of passersby, Mail Online reported.

Hamdy Mahisen decided to conduct the social experiment to test how tolerant the people of Milan were of Muslims. To conduct his experiment, he walked for five hours dressed in white robes and a cap worn my Muslim men.

The results showed that torrents of abuse were hurled at the 30-year-old as he attracted astonished stared and terms such as “Taliban” were also screamed out at him.

Several references to terrorism were also made including one person who said “S*** have you seen the ISIS” while another person remarked “Imagine if he has a gun under his tunic.”

The experiment came among escalating tensions between Italians and the Muslims residing in Italy following terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen.

It has been reported that Islamic State could soon bring terror into Europe.

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/02/20/foreign/student-dressed-as-muslim-cleric-receives-abuse-on-streets-of-milan/

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There’s a Muslim baby boom in the UK and it’s going to hit the ballot box

February 20, 2015

A study of demographic changes (pdf) in Britain’s Muslim population should be required reading for Britain’s would-be leaders. In short, the existing policy of “non-engagement” isn’t going to work for much longer.

What the country is seeing is a Muslim baby boom: a group of people getting to childbearing age, and all having kids at the same time. A recent report by the Muslim Council of Britain (pdf) notes that while Muslims make up just 4.8% of the population, the share of school children who are Muslim is around 8.1%, according to the latest census data. As such, Muslims in Britain skew younger than the general population: muslim-population-uk-comparative

Britain’s politicians would do well to take note: this is a fast-growing new generation of voters. British Muslims aged 18 or above are eligible to vote in the May general election. Those aged 13 or above in 2014 will be eligible to vote the next time around. And the youngest children of current voting-age Muslims will not be able to cast a ballot for a while, but they will be brought up by parents at the the sharp end of debates about immigration, identity, and the link between Islam and extremism.

Full report at:

http://qz.com/343320/theres-a-muslim-baby-boom-in-the-uk-and-it-will-soon-hit-the-ballot-box/

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Islamic State not just a Western problem, says top Russian spy

FEBRUARY 20, 2015

MOSCOW — The self-declared Islamic State isn't just a Western or Mideast problem, Russia's chief spy said today in Washington. It's a Russian problem, too – and in more serious ways.

As many as 1,700 Russians are currently fighting in Iraq alongside the extremist group, Alexander Bortnikov, head of the FSB security service, told journalists after a security conference in the US capital, "and this number almost doubled over the past year."

Mr. Bortnikov, who was part of the Russian delegation to the Obama administration's Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, said it's time to create a special antiterrorism center under UN auspices and for intelligence services of all countries to pool their efforts. "We are interested not only in information exchanges, but also in joint work."

Full report at:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2015/0220/Islamic-State-not-just-a-Western-problem-says-top-Russian-spy

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Putin tries to deflect Muslim rage toward his foes as jihad threat rises in Russia

FEB 20, 2015

MOSCOW – Hundreds of thousands of Muslims vented their anger in unison, shouting, “Allahu akbar!” as their leader condemned supporters of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo after militants murdered five of its cartoonists.

The protest against caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad and the policies of the U.S. and its allies was organized by the state and televised live across the country for more than an hour. But it wasn’t in Iran or Pakistan. It was in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin came to power vowing to “wipe out” Muslim extremists, even “in the outhouse.”

Fifteen years later, Putin is now seeking to turn Muslim anger to his advantage by pushing for a united front against what he considers to be a U.S.-led conspiracy to dominate the world.

Putin is also trying to neutralize the threat posed by the return of Russian jihadis who are currently fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq — a task complicated by his growing isolation over the war in Ukraine, officials and analysts in Moscow say.

“The protest was an attempt to meld Muslim opinions with Russian-wide views about the Western world, a lever to unite the population around Putin,” said Alexei Malashenko, a Middle East analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center.

Full report at:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/20/world/putin-tries-deflect-muslim-rage-toward-foes-jihad-threat-rises-russia/#.VOhOgHyUd5s

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Mayor: 'Without Jews Paris would not be city that it is'

February 20, 2015

WASHINGTON — Jews and Muslims are part of the fabric of French society, despite recent terror attacks in Paris that shined a light on long-running discrimination and attacks aimed at both groups, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Thursday.

"Without Jews Paris would not be the city that it is," Hidalgo said in an interview with USA TODAY.

French society must provide more education and job opportunities to its Muslim immigrant community, but "we can't ask them to integrate into French society because they are (already) French," she said.

French citizens of all stripes are part of a "national community" that transcends religion, village and country of origin, she said. "We cannot accept this opposition or violence of one group over another within a national community in Paris."

Full report at:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/02/19/mayor-anne-hidalgo-says-paris-is-for-muslims-jews/23696293/

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Pakistan

 

Terror wave in Pakistan sparks rare criticism of Saudi Arabia

21 February 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long enjoyed close relations, but Islamabad's new-found resolve for fighting the root causes of extremism has seen the Gulf state come in for rare criticism.

The two countries, both with majority Sunni Muslim populations, are bound together by shared Islamic religious ties, financial aid from oil-rich Saudi and Pakistani military assistance to the kingdom.

But a Taliban massacre at a school that killed more than 150 people in December, mostly children, has led the government to crack down on militants and talk of bringing religious seminaries under tighter control.

Now the country's media and even government ministers have begun to question whether support from Saudi Arabia for seminaries, known as madrassas, is fuelling violent extremism — bringing tension to the relationship for the first time.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1165018/pakistan-terror-wave-sparks-rare-criticism-of-saudi-arabia

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Pakistan’s role in peace talks deserves credit: Ghani

21 February 2015

KABUL: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday saluted Pakistan’s cooperation as Kabul seeks to lay the groundwork for peace with Taliban insurgents, the latest sign of improving ties between the two countries.

Afghanistan “appreciates Pakistan’s recent efforts in paving the ground for peace and reconciliation”, Mr Ghani said in a statement. “We welcome the recent position Pakistan has taken in pronouncing Afghanistan’s enemy as Pakistan’s.”

Also read: Pakistan supports Afghan reconciliation

He cited two major recent attacks as helping to bring the countries closer together — one in Yahya Khel in Afghanistan in November that left nearly 50 people dead, and the Taliban massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar in December that killed 153, mostly children.

Mr Ghani’s statement came after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar said on Thursday that relations between the two countries had never been better.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164977/pakistans-role-in-peace-talks-deserves-credit-ghani

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US lauds Pakistan’s efforts for regional peace

February 21, 2015

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State John Kerry expressed United States’ appreciation for Pakistan’s “critical” efforts towards peace and security in the region as he hosted talks with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, underscoring wide-ranging cooperative ties between the two countries.

“Pakistan obviously is playing a critical role right now in a number of respects,” Kerry, said while welcoming Minister Khan for a meeting at the State Department. Pakistan’s ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani accompanied the Interior Minister, who is representing Pakistan at the Summit on countering violent extremism. On the US side, Dan Feldman, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, assisted Secretary Kerry during the meeting. “First of all, in the transition taking place in Afghanistan, we are witnessing an unprecedented level of effort to try to produce cooperation. And thus far, there are some signs of real results with respect to that. And we’re grateful for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s commitment to this, for (Army Chief) General Raheel’s efforts. They’ve been real,” Kerry said, standing alongside Khan before the meeting.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/21-Feb-2015/us-lauds-pakistan-s-efforts-for-regional-peace

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Pakistan calls for joint world action against terrorism

21 February 2015

Pakistan is seeking greater coordinated action by nations around the world to tackle terror organizations, the country’s envoy said here last week.

Ambassador Manzoor ul Haq made the comments after an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) headquarters on Sunday. The meeting was convened to discuss the menace of terrorism and its challenges to global peace and stability.

Haq said terrorism threatens people across the world, in every society. The international community has not yet been able to handle it in an effective manner, he said.

“We support multilateral efforts to tackle the issue. Pakistan has a clear approach to terrorism. At the moment, our armed forces are in the middle of taking very decisive action against the terrorists who have been trying to create instability in Pakistan,” he said.

He said that the OIC meeting had been called at an opportune time because the entire Muslim world was under serious threat. “It is high time that the issue is addressed in its entirety and with a collective approach,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/707656

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Day of Condemnation against terrorism observed: Pakistan Ulema Council

Press Release

February 21, 2015  

LAHORE: On the call of Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC), a day of condemnation against terrorism was observed on Friday throughout the country.

Resolutions were passed against terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence during Friday sermons in 74,300 mosques affiliated with Wafaqul Masajid Pakistan (WMP).

Pakistan Ulema Council Central Chairman and WMP President Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi while addressing the Friday sermon said peace could not be restored in the country without elimination of terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence. He urged the government to take action against those creating hurdles in implementation of the National Action Plan. He said the world expressed grief over the loss of lives in incidents of Peshawar, Shikarpur and Lahore.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/21--2015/day-of-condemnation-against-terrorism-observed

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Five militants, soldier killed in NWA fighting

February 21, 2015

PESHAWAR: A clash between security forces and militants on Friday in the troubled northwest left five militants dead and a soldier martyred, the ISPR said.

The insurgents were neutralised in a North Waziristan tribal district, where the military has been mounting an offensive against militant strongholds since June 2014.

“During a search operation five terrorists were killed in Datta Khel. One soldiers also embraced martyrdom,” Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. For around nine months the army has been waging a major campaign against strongholds of Taliban and other militants in the North Waziristan tribal area, which lies close to Peshawar. Meanwhile, political administration imposed curfew for an indefinite period in North Waziristan Agency. The officials have warned the tribesmen to remain in their homes.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/21-Feb-2015/five-militants-soldier-killed-in-nwa-fighting

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Sindh govt to form counter terrorism force’: Zardari

February 21, 2015

KARACHI: In order to counter with terrorism Sindh government should formulate ‘Counter Terrorism Force’ at an earliest. Apart from this anti-terrorism women force should also be formed.

Former President and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari presiding over a meeting of party directed Sindh government to maintain law and order situation at any cost and all steps should be taken in this regard. He asked Sindh government should play its active role in coordination with federal government and law enforcement institutions to eliminate terrorism from onset.

Zardari praised role of Sindh police, Rangers and law enforcement agencies in restoring peace and directed chief minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah to ensure provision of equipment and weapons to relative security institutions.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/sindh/21-Feb-2015/sindh-govt-to-form-counter-terrorism-force-zardari

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Army major, eight militants killed in N. Waziristan, Kurram clashes

21 February 2015

MIRAMSHAH: An army officer and eight suspected militants were killed in clashes in North Waziristan and Kurram tribal region on Friday.

According to a statement by the military’s public affairs wing ISPR, five militants were killed when fighting erupted during a cordon-and-search operation in Dattakhel area, some 30km west of the agency’s headquarters of Miramshah. An army officer also lost his life in the clash, the statement said.

Sources said that security personnel were conducting house-to-house search when militants opened fire on them, killing a major and injuring a soldier. The troops returned fire and killed five militants. Two of the dead militants were foreigners.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164989/army-major-eight-militants-killed-in-n-waziristan-kurram-clashes

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PPP to always play role for guarding democracy

February 21, 2015

MULTAN - Former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani has said that the PPP will keep playing key role for the protection of democracy to strengthen political culture in the country.

Talking to different delegations here at his residence, he asked the rulers to take practical steps for steering the country out of crises like loadshedding and terrorism instead of giving mere statements.

He maintained that the power crisis, unemployment and lawlessness further added to the miseries of people.

He declared that his endeavour for the creation of Saraiki Province would continue.

He added that Saraiki Province was right of residents of South Punjab and the proposed province could get the residents of this region rid of sense of deprivation.

He said that the PPP had taken solid steps for creating the said province, asking the rulers to fulfil this dream of Saraikis.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/21-Feb-2015/ppp-to-always-play-role-for-guarding-democracy

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Pakistan likely to go ahead with Bangladesh tour

February 20, 2015

Karachi: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided in principle to send the national team to Bangladesh in April-May if the hosts agree to foot expenses for the tour.

An official in the board told PTI that while the PCB was still waiting for a final response from the Bangladesh Cricket Board on its demand for a 50 percent share in the revenues earned from the series, it wanted the tour to go ahead.

Our main concern is that we get nothing out of the tour although in principle it should be our home series because we toured Bangladesh in 2011 and they didn't return the tour in 2012, the official said.

We had even offered to host this series in UAE to earn something from it but they declined, he added.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/sports/cricket/pakistan-likely-to-go-ahead-with-bangladesh-tour_1549937.html

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'Pakistan’s plutonium plant likely operational'

NARAYAN LAKSHMAN

February 21, 2015

Pakistan may now be on the fasttrack to weaponising spent nuclear fuel through its plutonium reprocessing plant in Chashma in Punjab, according to recent satellite imagery, which indicates that all the ongoing construction around a tall building, suspected to be the reprocessing facility in question, has been completed.

In its report the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a think-tank here, said that while the operational status of this reprocessing plant was yet to be confirmed, “satellite imagery signatures suggest it may have recently become operational, [a development that] would significantly increase Pakistan’s plutonium separation capability and ability to make nuclear weapons.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistans-plutonium-plant-likely-operational/article6918063.ece

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Afghan Taliban’s Doha office revived: Pakistan officials

Mateen Haider

ISLAMABAD: The Afghan Taliban’s office in Doha has been revived and the Taliban are now holding initial talks with the Afghan government, with Pakistan acting as facilitator, Dawn has learnt.

A top Pakistani official privy to the expected dialogue between Afghan Taliban and Afghan government confirmed the resumption of initial contacts between the two parties for devising the rules and agenda of formal talks expected to begin in March 2015.

"Yes I can confirm Taliban’s Doha office has been revived and now with the facilitation of Pakistan, Afghan Taliban are holding initial talks with senior Afghan government officials to chalk out the strategy and set rules for formal talks," the official told Dawn on condition of anonymity.

Another official said Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif had given the green signal for facilitating the resumption of dialogue when he met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul earlier this week.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164852/afghan-talibans-doha-office-revived-pakistan-officials

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Mideast

 

Senior Cleric Warns against Western Plots to Make Yemen Insecure

Feb 21 2015

Tehran's Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani warned against the western plots to create instability and insecurity in Yemen after closing their embassies and withdrawing their staff from the Arab country.

Addressing a large and fervent congregation of the people on Tehran University campus on Friday, Ayatollah Movahedi Kermani said, "After their recent victories in Yemen, the Arab country's people and popular movement should be vigilant against the plots hatched by the West."

He lauded the popular movement for its recent victories in Yemen, and said the recent victories of the Yemeni people have made the conditions more difficult for the terrorists.

Yemen has been suffering turmoil since a popular uprising that erupted in 2011 ended the autocracy of President Ali Abdullah Saleh a year later.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931201000584

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Turkish troops guarding historic tomb in Syria not trapped by jihadists, FM says

21 February 2015

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has refuted claims that Turkish soldiers protecting the Tomb of Süleyman Şah in northern Syria have become trapped by nearby Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

“It’s definitely not true,” Çavuşoğlu said Feb. 20 at a joint press conference after a Reform Monitoring Group meeting.

Turkish troops were reportedly besieged by ISIL members, as the Tomb of Süleyman Şah – a formal exclave of Turkey around 25 kilometers from the Turkish border – is located among villages controlled by jihadists. Media reports claimed that Turkey was in negotiations with ISIL militants for the release of the Turkish soldiers in exchange for arrested jihadist militants.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-troops-guarding-historic-tomb-in-syria-not-trapped-by-jihadists-fm-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78627&NewsCatID=510

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New video technology could help researchers pin-point where Jihadi hostage videos were shot

20 February 2015

A new video analysis technology could make it easier for the security services to track down hostages taken by terror groups such as Isis or Al Qaeda.

The algorithm, developed by researchers at Ramón Llull University in Barcelona, cross-references videos against a huge database of known footage with the aim of matching their locations.

Because terror groups often film and release videos of hostages, the researchers have suggested that the technology could have some counter-terrorism applications.

 “Our system does not make any assumptions regarding the location of the videos, but in these cases we are given very valuable additional information to limit the searches, as we already know that we are dealing with the area of Iraq or Syria, and therefore, we would only use reference videos from there,” explained Xavier Sevillano, one of the study’s authors.

Still in its early stages of development, the technology located 3% of videos included in a recent study to within 10km of their location, and 1% of videos tested to within 1km.

Counter-terrorism researchers and intelligence agencies already employ a series of techniques to ‘geolocate’ videos – trying to discern the location they were shot.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/new-video-technology-could-help-researchers-pinpoint-where-jihadi-hostage-videos-were-shot-10059587.html

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Adultery in Islam and among the Ottomans

February/21/2015

In “The Big Wedding,” one of the two main characters in the Turkish shadow play Karagöz is getting married. In a rather lengthy prologue, the entire dowry is paraded in front of the audience with appropriately witty remarks that send everyone into gales of laughter. Then the big night comes and instead of offering Karagöz a night of pleasure, his new bride gives birth to a baby boy who swears and blasphemes as soon as he is born. Or take another instance in which Hacivat, the other main character in Turkish shadow plays, informs Karagöz that his wife is being unfaithful. In order to find out, Karagöz tells his wife he’s going on a long trip and then hides to see her flirting with a dandy.

Neither shadow play ends in punishment, although adultery in Islam is to be punished by flogging according to the Quran, not by stoning or some other type of other capital punishment as some would maintain.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/adultery-in-islam-and-among-the-ottomans.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78608&NewsCatID=438

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Yemeni president slips Houthi house arrest

21 February 2015

Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi left the capital Sanaa for Aden on Saturday following weeks of house arrest imposed by Houthi militants since he submitted his resignation in January, the Al Arabiya News channel reported.

Members of the country’s Houthi militia then stormed his residence, which they had been sieging for weeks.

This comes after Yemen’s political parties edge closer to a deal that would resolve the crisis caused by the powerful Houthi militia seizing power, U.N. envoy Jamal Benomar said on Friday.

The Houthis seized Sanaa in September before tightening their grip and prompting Western-backed Hadi to offer to resign in protest.

They dissolved parliament and installed a “presidential council” on February 6, sparking security concerns that saw several Arab and Western states close their embassies and evacuate diplomats.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/21/Yemen-s-Hadi-slips-Houthi-house-arrest.html

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Iran to increase home-built drones' flight range: Cmdr.

Feb 21, 2015

A senior Iranian official says the country is working to increase the flight range of its domestically-made drones.

Iran’s Aviation Industry Organization is manufacturing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with a longer flight range than previous models, said the organization's deputy director Karim Bani Tarafi in an interview with IRNA on Saturday.

The new drones will also be able to fly at higher speed and altitudes and capture more accurate images, he added.

All UAVs currently used by Iran’s Armed Forces have been completely designed and manufactured by local experts, he noted.

Bani Tarafi said different types of equipment, including radars, could be installed on the new drones.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/21/398510/Iran-will-extend-homebuilt-drones-range

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Israeli forces clash with Open Shuhada Street demonstrators in al-Khalil

Feb 21, 2015

Israeli forces have clashed with Palestinian protesters in the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil also known as Hebron.

On Friday, Israeli soldiers used rubber bullets and fired tear gas to disperse the Palestinian demonstrators who were marking the 21st anniversary of the massacre of a number of Palestinian worshipers in al-Khalil and the resulting closure of the city’s main street, al-Shuhada.

The demonstrators denounced the closure of the street, and called for the re-opening of it.

They also condemned the Israeli occupation and Tel Aviv’s expansion of its illegal settlements in the West Bank, and chanted slogans such as “Free, Free Palestine.”

A number of protesters suffered teargas inhalation or were injured in the crackdown while several others were arrested.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/21/398480/Israeli-troops-attack-Palestinians

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Turkey's ruling AKP rejects parliamentary motion to probe ISIL

February/21/2015

A parliamentary motion asking for an inquiry into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) activities inside Turkey has been rejected by the votes from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Nazmi Gür, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who forwarded the motion late Feb. 20, said that the result of the parliamentary vote was "a sign that the Turkish government still refrains from taking a clear position against ISIL."

"This policy brings serious risks about Turkey's national security," the main opposition Republican's People Party (CHP) deputy Refik Eryılmaz said.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Adnan Çelik, on the other hand, pointed to the Tomb of Süleyman Şah, a formal exclave of Turkey around 25 kilometers from the Turkish border into Syria. "Our soldiers who are on duty at the tomb cannot return, because ISIL besieged the site," he repeated a claim which was refuted by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Feb. 20.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-ruling-akp-rejects-parliamentary-motion-to-probe-isil.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78650&NewsCatID=338

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Southeast Asia

 

PAS ulama declares ‘war’ on pro-Pakatan faction

21 February 2015

The PAS ulama council today launched an all-out attack on Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (PasMa), demanding that disciplinary action be taken against those involved with the pro-Pakatan Rakyat faction.

Acting ulama council chief Datuk Ahmad Yakob said the move was important to ensure that no one would take advantage of the party's struggle to uphold Islam.

Ahmad, who is also the Kelantan menteri besar, also touched on claims by PAS Kuantan Youth over a movement to overthrow party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

He said an internal investigation should be carried out to put a stop to the accusation.

"If the claim is true, we ask for the accusers to lodge a disciplinary report to ensure that the matter is prolonged and internal investigations be carried out."

"After the report has been made, the Ulama council hopes that the investigation will be given priority and, if needed, form a special committee that will not involve the central committee," he said in his opening speech at the Multaqa Ulama Semalaysia II, in Serdang, Selangor.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pas-ulama-calls-for-action-against-pro-pakatan-faction

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Step down if you can’t help Hadi, Perak PAS cleric tells critics

21 February 2015

A Perak PAS ulama council member made a stinging attack at Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's critics today by telling them to relinquish their posts if they were not willing to help him.

Sidek Noor, who trained his gun at the party's central committee members, said this was because they were chosen by members to help Hadi uphold the party's objectives.

"Remember that we chose them to help the president. Now they want to fight him?" he said.

"If they can't help the president, then they are not qualified for the posts," he added, referring to several top party leaderships who were known to be critical of Hadi.

He said the critics were not qualified to hold leadership positions within the part and suggested them to relinquish their posts. But Sidek did not name anyone.

"When (Datuk Seri) Najib Razak, (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang say something, it is not personal. When Hadi says something, it somehow becomes personal," he said.

He added that party leadership should always be "together with the president".

Other delegates at the PAS's Multaqa Ulama Semalaysia II in Serdang today also joined in to show their full support for Hadi and hit out at those who were seen to be going against the party president.

They also chastised pro-Pakatan Rakyat faction, PasMa, by supporting acting ulama council chief Datuk Ahmad Yakob's suggestion to take disciplinary action against leaders and members involved with PasMa. – February 21, 2015.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/step-down-if-you-cant-help-hadi-says-pas-ulama-member

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Zaid Ibrahim’s new moderate Malay portal to counter racial, religious extremism

21 February 2015

Concerned about fraying racial and religious relations and Putrajaya's weak leadership, former Umno minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has set up a "liberal moderate Malay" website to educate Malaysians on good governance and leadership.

The Nasionalis website set up two weeks ago is aimed at creating a culture of discussion, peaceful debate and understanding of issues instead of making provocative statements.

"I wanted a 100% Malay-language portal focussing on political education and issues the country needed to talk about, especially among the Malay community," he told The Malaysian Insider.

Muslim Malays are multi-racial Malaysia's majority ethnic group, constituting about 51% of the nation's 30 million population.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/zaid-ibrahims-new-moderate-malay-portal-to-counter-racial-religious-extremi

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Indonesia Recalls Ambassador to Brazil Over Death Penalty Spat

Feb 21, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesia has recalled its new ambassador to Brazil after the South American country postponed a ceremony sealing his appointment, Jakarta said on Saturday, amid a row over the execution of a Brazilian national for drugs trafficking.

Brazil and the Netherlands withdrew their ambassadors from Indonesia, which has some of the strictest drug trafficking laws in the world, after two of their citizens were among six people executed for drugs offences last month.

Indonesia is also involved in a diplomatic spat with Australia over the fate of two Australian members of the “Bali Nine” drug trafficking ring due to be executed this month.

Toto Riyanto, who was chosen to be Indonesia’s new ambassador to Brazil in October, had been invited to present his credentials at a ceremony at Brazil’s presidential palace on Friday which was postponed at short notice, an Indonesian Foreign Ministry statement said.

“The manner in which the foreign minister of Brazil suddenly informed (us of) the postponement … when the ambassador designate was already at the palace, is unacceptable to Indonesia,” the ministry said.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/indonesia-recalls-ambassador-brazil-death-penalty-spat/

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Family vital in preventing youth from joining Isis, say groups, experts

BY ANISAH SHUKRY, MUSLIZA MUSTAFA AND MD IZWAN

21 February 2015

Families play a key role in preventing youths from being lured to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) by teaching them the meaning of jihad and detecting changes in their behaviour, Muslim groups and academics said.

After reports that police arrested a 14-year-old as she was about to join the group, experts said the onus should not be on the police alone to nab the young suspects as the family was the closest entity to them.

Ahmad El-Muhammady, a lecturer from the International Islamic University Malaysia, and one of the panellists in the ongoing White House summit on countering violent extremism, said the family institution plays a key role in preventing youngsters from being exploited as family is the closest entity to them.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/to-stop-youth-from-joining-isis-families-urged-to-play-active-role

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South Asia

 

55 insurgents killed in Operation Zulfiqar in Helmand

Feb 21 2015

Brigadier General Dawlat Waziris Deputy Spokesman for the Defense Ministry of Afghanistan told Khaama Press on Saturday that 55 armed opponents of the government have been killed in Operation Zulfiqar in Helmand province.

He says 57 other insurgents were also wounded and five arrested during the operation in Sangin, Marja, Nawa and Washir District in past 48 hours.

42 bombs were also defused by the Afghan National Security Forces in past 48 hours, according to the Deputy Spokesman of the Defense Ministry.

Operation Zulfiqar which is jointly ran by hundreds of Afghan National Security Forces started about a week ago in different parts of Helmand province to clear the target areas from the presence of the insurgents.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/55-insurgents-killed-in-operation-zulfiqar-in-helmand-29095

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Jihad museum and the life of a Muslim convert

AFP

February 21, 2015

Sheikh Abdullah, who was a Soviet intelligence officer by the name of Khakimov Bakhrodin, was captured after being injured in battle with the Mujahideen. He stayed with his captors, converting to Islam and taking on the name Abdullah. Sheikh Abdullah got married to his wife Jamila with the support of the Jihad Museum vice president and has never returned to his former homeland.

The Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan on February 15, 1989 after ten years of fighting against the Mujahideen millitamen. The Jihad Museum was built in 2010 as a memorial to the Mujahideen heroes and as a place for Afghans to understand past conflicts and their history.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164633/jihad-museum-and-the-life-of-a-muslim-convert

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Afghan President Salutes Pakistan Peace Efforts

February 21, 2015

KABUL:  Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Friday saluted neighbouring Pakistan's cooperation as Kabul seeks to lay the groundwork for peace with Taliban insurgents, the latest sign of improving ties between the two nations.

Afghanistan "appreciates Pakistan's recent efforts in paving the ground for peace and reconciliation", Ghani said in a statement. "We welcome the recent position Pakistan has taken in pronouncing Afghanistan's enemy as Pakistan's."

He cited two major recent attacks as helping to bring the countries closer together -- one in Yahya Khel in Afghanistan in November that left nearly 50 people dead, and a Taliban massacre at a school in the Pakistan city of Peshawar in December that killed 153, mostly children.

Full report at:

http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/afghan-president-salutes-pakistan-peace-efforts-741289

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Afghan civilians often bear brunt of terror attacks

February 21, 2015

KABUL: Ordinary Afghans, most of them unaware of political developments, often bear the brunt of terrorist attacks that have almost become routine in the strife- torn country.

Farid, a nine-year-old Grade 3 pupil, lost his father when Khair Mohammad, 35, was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul last Tuesday.

According to Farid, who like some Afghans go with only one name, his father, a street sweeper, left their house early that morning to report for work but he never returned home.

“When he was alive, my father always told me to go to school and study. Now that he is gone, who would support us?” Farid asked.

Aside from Mohammad, two other civilians suffered injuries from the blast.

Mohammad was the lone breadwinner for a family of 11. He has nine children and his father lives with them.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/region/21-Feb-2015/afghan-civilians-often-bear-brunt-of-terror-attacks

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Indian nationals attack house in Bangladesh

February 21, 2015

Some criminals from India attacked a house of a Bangladeshi at Kisamot Chhatnai Char in Dimla on Thursday evening and injured five people and took away three cattle.

At least 18-20 men entered the village through Kisamoter Char border around 7:30pm from Cooch Behar of West Bengal, said Rabiul Islam Lithon, chairman of Khoga Kharibari union parishad.

They swooped on the house of Abu Taher, assaulted his family and ransacked the house. The criminals then snatched three cattle and went back to India, he added.

Of the injured, Taher, 50, and his son Rafiqul, 22, are being treated at Rangpur Medical College Hospital.

Following this, a commander-level flag meeting was held between the BGB and the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yesterday morning, said Subedar Abdul Hafiz of Thanaghat BOP of the BGB, who led the BGB team in the meeting.

The BGB handed over a list of some attackers to the BSF, demanding punishment to the criminals and the return of the cattle, he added.

http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/indian-nationals-attack-house-in-bangladesh-65879

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Afghans arrested Chinese Uighurs to aid Taliban talks bid

February 21, 2015

Hamid Shalizi - Afghanistan arrested and handed over several Uighur militants from China’s west in an effort to persuade China to use its influence with Pakistan to help start negotiations with the Taliban, Afghan security officials said on Friday.

The deal sheds light on China’s increasing importance in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with its involvement in efforts to end the war with Taliban, who have been fighting since 2001 to re-establish ‘Islamist’ rule in Afghanistan.

Hopes for a peace process were raised on Thursday when Pakistani and Afghan officials said members of the Taliban leadership had signalled they were willing to begin talks as soon as next month.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/21-Feb-2015/afghans-arrested-chinese-uighurs-to-aid-taliban-talks-bid

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Dhaka reaffirms support for fighting terrorism

21 February 2015

The government has once again denounced all forms of terrorism and violent extremism and their manifestations, reaffirming its support for the global efforts to counter violent extremism.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali reiterated Bangladesh's position at a White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) in Washington DC yesterday.

“Terrorists are terrorists irrespective of beliefs, creeds or castes. There must be a 'zero tolerance' approach to all forms of terrorism and violent extremism,” he said.

The foreign minister stressed the government's conviction to face these emerging challenges through enhanced community mobilisation.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/dhaka-reaffirms-support-for-fighting-terrorism-65905

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Bangladesh being compared to Afghanistan, Pakistan

February 21, 2015

There has been an attempt to portray the ongoing incidents in Bangladesh in comparison to those occurring in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which Europe and North America like to see, former Dhaka University vice chancellor Prof Emajuddin Ahmed said yesterday. He claimed that the prime minister and ministers were trying to depict Islam and Islamic system as hooliganism and as something unacceptable.

The pro-BNP academic was addressing a seminar on the 1952 Language Movement in the capital's Jatiya Press Club, organised by Oli Ahad Smrity Sangsad.

Delving into the current political situation, Ahmed condemned the alleged restriction on food supply to BNP chief Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/bangladesh-being-compared-to-afghanistan-pakistan-65908

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Africa

 

At least 30 dead in Boko Haram raids near Chibok, Nigeria

21 February 2015

KANO: At least 30 people were killed in Boko Haram raids on two villages in northeast Nigerian Borno state near the town of Chibok, a community leader and residents told AFP on Friday.

The attacks on Thursday targeted the villages of Thlaimakalama and Gatamarwa, which were torched by the rampaging militants, said Pogo Bitrus, head of the Chibok Elders Forum.

“From information coming in from residents of the two villages at least 30 people were killed in the attacks,” he added.

Luka Haruna, who lives in Chibok, some 15 kilometres away, gave an identical death toll and added: “The two villages were completely destroyed."

Chibok gained notoriety last April when Boko Haram fighters kidnapped 276 schoolgirls, causing global outrage and a social media campaign to release them. Fifty-seven managed to escape but 10 months on, 219 are still being held.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1164856/at-least-30-dead-in-boko-haram-raids-near-chibok-nigeria

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IS suicide bombers kill 40 in Libya

February 21, 2015

BENGHAZI - Militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State killed 40 people by blowing themselves up in cars laden with explosives in eastern Libya on Friday in an attack retaliating for Egyptian air strikes on Islamist targets.

Three car bombs exploded in Qubbah, a small town near the seat of the official government in what appeared to be another higher profile attack by the group after the storming of a Tripoli hotel and the killing of 21 captive Egyptian Copts.

On Monday, Egyptian air force jets bombed suspected Islamic State targets in Derna in far eastern Libya, a day after the ultra-radical group released a video showing the Egyptian Coptic Christian migrant workers being decapitated on a beach.

Four years after rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, the oil-producing North African state is in chaos, with two governments and parliaments allied to armed factions fighting for control, while militant groups exploit a power vacuum.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/21-Feb-2015/is-suicide-bombers-kill-40-in-libya

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10 killed in suicide attack targeting Somalia officials

February 20, 2015

MOGADISHU- Islamist rebels detonated a car bomb at the entrance of a hotel in the Somali capital today and then stormed inside where politicians had gathered, killing at least 10 people including a lawmaker and lightly wounding two ministers.

Al Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the attack, aims to topple the Western-backed federal government and impose its strict version of Islamic sharia law on the Horn of Africa nation that is struggling to rebuild after two decades of war.

The suicide attack targeted the Central Hotel around midday on Friday, typically a busy time for hotels as it is the Somali weekend. Ambulances wailed as they raced to the scene where a huge plume of smoke rose above the Indian Ocean coastal city.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/20-Feb-2015/10-killed-in-suicide-attack-targeting-somali-officials

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Boko Haram kills villagers after fleeing offensive

20 Feb 2015

Boko Haram fighters have killed 21 people in attacks near the northern village of Chibok, according to a military source, as the armed group suffers major setbacks from a growing regional offensive.

The rebels were fleeing a land and air offensive to clear them out of the Sambisa forest when they raided the villages of Gatamarwa, Makalama and Layhawul and opened fire on residents on Friday, the source said.

Boko Haram fighters in many parts of Nigeria and the region are on the run, after being subjected to a major military offensive on all sides by Nigeria and its neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2015/02/boko-haram-kill-villagers-fleeing-offensive-150220174617818.html

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192 Egyptians flee Libya through Tunisia amid rising ISIL threat

Feb 21, 2015

A group of 192 Egyptians have left Libya for Tunisia amid the rising threat of the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group in the violence-wracked North African country.

Reports said on Friday that the Egyptians left Libya from the Ras Jdir border crossing and headed towards the Tunisian island of Djerba.

Cairo said it will send planes to Djerba to transport the Egyptian nationals to their homeland.

Before their departure for the island, the Egyptians were shortly held up by a group of protesters in the Tunisian border town of Ben Guerdane.

The protesters, who demanded the government’s investment in the impoverished city, reportedly released the Egyptians after a while and provided them with food and water.

ISIL terror gains momentum in Libya

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/21/398485/192-Egyptians-leave-Libya-for-Tunisia-

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Arab World

 

Iraqi Army Kills 38 ISIL Terrorists in Salahuddin

Feb 21 2015

The Iraqi Army forces bombed positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in Central and Southern Tikrit in Salahuddin province on Saturday.

"The shelling resulted in the death of 38 ISIL terrorists, according to the initial count," a security source said, adding that 9 of the terrorists' vehicles were burned.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931202000694

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Over 31 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Iraq's Tikrit

Feb 21 2015

At least 31 terrorists were killed in heavy fighting between the Iraqi army and ISIL Takfiri group in North of Tikrit, Salahuddin province, a security source said.

A senior army official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the army troops made gains in their fight against the ISIL terrorists in al-Suqour area North of Tikrit, leaving more than 31 militants dead.

The ISIL terrorists currently control areas of Iraq and Syria. The group sent its militants into Iraq in June 2014, seizing parts of land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.

Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.

The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931202000254

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Syrian Army Kills 24 ISIL Terrorists in Homs Province

Feb 21 2015

Syrian Army's advances against rebels, including killing of 24 members of the ISIL terrorist group, in the Central Homs province were aye-catching.

Jazel and al-Shaer areas, as two strongholds of the ISIL terrorists in the Eastern countryside of Homs, were targeted by the Syrian troops who killed 24 fighters at the spot, and injured so many others.

Meantime, Syrian troops killed a number of Takfiri terrorists during their operations in two villages of Om al-Reesh and Onoq al-Hawa and the road connecting Western Habra to Rajem al-Qaser at the Eastern countryside of Homs province.

Syria has been the scene of insurgency since 2011 when certain western powers and their regional allies voiced loudly that Syrian protests have no diplomatic solution and they started supplying the country's opposition groups with their arms and funds.

In 2014, specially after victory of President Bashar al-Assad in the country's presidential election, the army has gained upper hand in its anti-terrorism campaign, and has been partly successful in sealing borders with Turkey and Jordan.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931201000378

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25 Takfiri Terrorists Killed in Syria's Hama Province

Feb 21 2015

At least 25 Takfiri terrorists were killed and several other were injured in the Syrian Army's operations in the Central province of Hama.

Syrian soldiers, who staged massive attacks against gathering centers of Takfiri terrorists, killed 14 fighters in Dkeileh village in the countryside of al-Salamiyeh town.

11 other terrorists were killed by army men in Mount al-Bal’as on the road linking Eqeirbat town and Palmyra city.

Syria has been the scene of insurgency since 2011 when certain western powers and their regional allies voiced loudly that Syrian protests have no diplomatic solution and they started supplying the country's opposition groups with their arms and funds.

In 2014, specially after victory of President Bashar al-Assad in the country's presidential election, the army has gained upper hand in its anti-terrorism campaign, and has been partly successful in sealing borders with Turkey and Jordan.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931201000240

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ISIS winning the digital propaganda war

February 21, 2015

ISIS is winning the digital war because its opponents are unable to counter their propaganda and challenge the falsehood of their narratives effectively enough, one of Britain's most influential counter-extremism experts has warned.

Haras Rafiq, the managing director of the government-funded Quilliam Foundation, said British efforts to counter Isis propaganda had fallen short, compounding dangerous extremist narratives that were aiding the radicalisation process.

"In the absence of social activists online, you have a symbiotic relationship between Islamists and the far-right — one is breeding the other: the West is at war with Islam, so the response is Islam is at war with the West," Rafiq told a seminar in London.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/isis-winning-the-digital-propaganda-war-65881

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Grand Mosque imam: Promote values through new media

21 February 2015

Imam and Khateeb at the Grand Mosque Sheikh Saleh Bin-Humaid called on the believers to employ the new media to promote virtue, humanitarian sentiments and values, love for others and encourage good and charitable deeds and cooperation in good deeds and piety.

''The new media has brought about various kinds of positive and negative social changes some of which are good, some bad, useful or harmful. It is a significant media platform that transcends geographical borders as people can come into contact from all corners of the world, cutting across distances of space and time. Its role is immense in the lives of individuals, families and nations and it has made giant strides in the world of communication,'' Bin-Humaid said while addressing the congregation at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Friday.

The new media has the potential to open the doors of virtue making the path to righteousness easy, enabling a man to be obedient to Allah and engage in charitable deeds, he said.

It can also maintain the good relations between individuals, communities, relatives and friends and also between workers of the same profession and enable exchange of useful information and create a mutually loving and kind community doing virtuous deeds. It also can save time, efforts and money and communicate fast.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/707681

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Children, Caged for Effect, to Mimic Imagery of ISIS

February 21, 2015

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The killings have been both deliberately lurid and strangely intimate. Designed for broadcast, they have helped the Islamic State militant group build a brand of violence that shocks with its extreme brutality, yet feels as close to viewers as the family images on their smartphones.

Broadcast specifically to frighten and manipulate, the Islamic State’s flamboyant violence consumes the world’s attention while more familiar threats, like the Syrian government’s barrel bombs, kill far more but rarely provoke global outrage.

A few human rights advocates and antigovernment activists in Syria are creating shocking if nonviolent images and videos — even herding children in orange jumpsuits into a cage — to call attention to the wider scope of violence. So far, though, their voices have hardly been heard.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/world/middleeast/activists-trying-to-draw-attention-to-killings-in-syria-turn-to-isis-tactic-shock-value.html?_r=0

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IS revenge blasts for Egypt airstrikes kill 40 in Libya

21 February 2015

BENGHAZI: Three car bombs ripped through the eastern Libyan city of Qubbah on Friday, killing 40 people and wounding 70.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the bombings.

A brief statement by an IS branch in Libya said two suicide bombers targeted the forces of General Khalifa Haftar “in revenge for the blood of our Muslim people in the city of Derna,” an apparent reference to airstrikes on the stronghold this week.

On Monday, Egyptian air force jets bombed suspected Islamic State targets in Derna in far eastern Libya, a day after the group released a video showing 21 captive Egyptian Coptic Christian workers being decapitated on a beach. Four years after rebels overthrew Muammar Qaddafi, the oil-producing North African state is in chaos, with two governments and parliaments allied to armed factions fighting for control, while radical groups exploit a power vacuum.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/707721

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Riyadh talks seek stronger Iraqi army: western source

20 February 2015

Military chiefs from two dozen countries gathered in the Saudi capital Thursday sought to bolster the Iraqi army against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, a Western diplomat said.

U.S. General Lloyd Austin, who heads the U.S.-led war against ISIS, was among the senior officers attending the two-day talks that opened Wednesday behind closed doors.

“I’m confident that they are looking at a firm plan, a coordinated plan, to empower the Iraqi army” against ISIS, the source said, asking for anonymity.

With “nobody” interested in putting ground troops into the country, strengthening Iraq’s 200,000-strong army against about 30,000 ISIS fighters remains the best option, he said.

Many Iraqi soldiers abandoned their weapons and uniforms when ISIS advanced last June, seizing large areas of the country.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/20/Riyadh-talks-seek-stronger-Iraqi-army-western-source-.html

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Millions of people displaced by ISIL in Iraq: Iraq

Feb 21, 2015

Millions of people have been internally displaced by the conflict with ISIL Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, a government official says.

“The last statistic shows 521,000 internally displaced families. More than 2.6 million internally displaced persons exist if the average family is five people,” said Asghar al-Mosawi of the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement on Friday.

Mosawi went on to say that the families were mostly from the Anbar province in western Iraq, the eastern Diyala province and northern provinces of Saladin and Nineveh.

The majority of the displaced people were forced to flee their homes when the ISIL militants advanced across the county during the summer. 

He added that the displaced families are currently living in camps located in Iraq’s northern, central and western regions.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/21/398498/Millions-displaced-by-ISIL-in-Iraq

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Iraq top cleric calls for key town liberation

Feb 20, 2015

Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has called for the liberation of the western town of al-Baghdadi currently held by the ISIL militants, one of his close aides says.

Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, who represents the senior cleric, said on Friday that the grand ayatollah wanted efforts to be intensified to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the town located in the restive Anbar Province in western Iraq.

The ISIL Takfiri group captured most of al-Baghdadi last week. The town, which is located near the Ain al-Asad air base, was under siege for months. The air base reportedly houses more than 300 US marines.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/20/398466/Iraq-top-cleric-urges-town-liberation

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Rights foundation says ISIL kidnapped more than 400 Turkmens in Iraq

Feb 20, 2015

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists have abducted over 400 Turkmens in various parts of Iraq, the Turkmen Rescue Foundation says.

Nearly 450 members of the Muslim community, among them 50 children and 70 women and girls, are taken hostage by ISIL, the rights agency said.

Akram al-Bayati, chairman of the foundation, said the ISIL extremists kidnapped the Turkmens from Iraq’s northern provinces of Kirkuk, Nineveh and Salahuddin as well as the eastern province of Diyala.

He further called upon the government in Baghdad, the Iraqi parliament as well as international organizations to work for the release of the abductees.

The remarks come as a senior Turkmen politician has said some 10,000 Iraqi Turkmen tribesmen have joined the volunteer Shia fighters to battle ISIL.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/20/398446/ISIL-kidnaps-over-400-Turkmens

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/obama-cites-good-work-by-muslims-in-india;-admits-image-distorted-in-us/d/101639

 

 

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