New Age Islam
Mon Nov 30 2020, 06:10 PM

Islamic World News ( 30 Aug 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Osama’s Ex-Aide Urges British Muslims Not to Join ISIS

















File photo of Islamic State members.

 

Europe

Osama’s Ex-Aide Urges British Muslims Not to Join ISIS

British Forces Hunt for Jihadi John In 'Combat Burqas'

Belgian Imam Urges Muslims Not to Observe Udhiyah

Julian Assange Asked Edward Snowden To Choose Russia Over Latin America For Asylum

----------

 

Arab World

‘A Sinner in Mecca’ Documents Gay Muslim Pilgrimage

‘Leasing’ Expats Is Permissible Business, Says Top Saudi Scholar

Iraqi Forces Identify, Target Bomb-Laden Suicide Car West of Ramadi

ISIS destroys part of another temple in Palmyra

Saudi retaliates to Houthi attack on courthouse

ISIS in Syria executes over 90 people in month

Army Destroys Al Nusra Front's Hideouts in Lattakia Province

Egypt rallies slam coup against Morsi, vow more protests

Mortar round hits posh area of Syria’s capital, child killed

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Shift Focus from Zabadani on Madaya Frontline

Nine Muslim Brotherhood members jailed for life in Egypt

-----------

 

Africa

Boko Haram Can’t Read Qur’an: Army Official

Boko Haram Kills 56 in Nigeria’s Restive Borno: Governor

Libyan soldiers in deadly clash with Islamists

----------

 

Mideast

Air Strike Leaves 36 Civilians Dead In Yemen

Arrest of Khobar Bomb Mastermind ‘Raises Doubts about Trusting Iran’

Scores of Yemenis Killed In Saudi Air Attacks

Yemeni Forces Take Control of Key Military Base in Jizan

Video of Palestinian resistance to Zionist aggression goes viral

Israeli troops fire tear gas at separation barrier protest

Iran bars Israeli musician, thwarting Tehran concert plan

Yemeni Forces Attack Saudi Positions

IRGC Disbands Anti-Revolutionary Group in Western Iran

Israelis demolish 15 Palestinian homes in West Bank's Ramallah

-----------

 

India

High Muslims’ Fertility Rate Will Cause Demographic ‘Imbalance': BJP MP

Pakistani University Awards First M.Phil Degree in Hindi

Vice President Inaugurates the 50th Anniversary of All India Muslim Majlis-e- Mushawarat

Is Rise in Muslims Larger Conspiracy to Islamise Bharat, Asks RSS Mouthpiece

Muslim Representation in Parliament on Decline

A Muslim is as Indian as Anybody Else is: Farooq Abdullah

Muslims Throw Weight behind Grand Alliance of RJD, JD (U), Congress and SP

----------

 

North America

US Calls For Tough Action against Haqqani Network

VOA Panel: Defeat Al-Shabab with Correct Interpretation of Islam

Cheney: Iran deal may lead to first nuke since WWII

Muslims Open Doors of Janesville's 1st Mosque

----------

 

Pakistan

US Security Adviser Hails Pakistan Army’s Efforts against Terrorism

No Dialogue with India Unless All Issues On Agenda: Pak

LHC bans live broadcast of Altaf Hussain's speeches

Restoring peace in Afghanistan a shared responsibility: military

IED blast in Bajaur kills one, injures four

Gilani to skip court in TDAP cases today

Saudi Arabia executes Pakistani for drug trafficking

----------

 

South Asia

Taliban Release Biography of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour

600 Pro Akhtar Mansour Taliban Arrived in Zabul’s Khak-e-Afghan to Confront with Opponents

NDS detain 30 terrorists involved in recent Kabul attacks

Afghan Taliban admit covering up Mullah Omar's death

Afghan airfields built for war seen as economic hubs

Restoring peace in Afghanistan a shared responsibility: military

Kandahar’s director of culture wounded in armed attack

50 students injured in attack on human chain

61 activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami held

UN special envoy for freedom of religion in Bangladesh

Taher, Nani implicated in Netrakona freedom fighter murder again

----------

 

Southeast Asia

Indonesia Urges Islamic Cooperation Organization to Establish Contact Group On Terrorism

China's Ningxia Starts Annual Mecca Pilgrimage

Malaysia government reclaims capital streets, PM asserts command

Malaysia in space: On Soyuz wings and a short prayer

Bishops won’t ‘discourage’ patriotic Christians

Suryadharma Faces Life over Hajj Fund Graft Scandal

Why China should worry about Pak

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/osama’s-ex-aide-urges-british-muslims-not-to-join-isis/d/104433

----------

 

Europe

 

Osama’s ex-aide urges British Muslims not to join ISIS

August 30, 2015

In a rare interview, Mr. Anas told The Sunday Times that ISIS was exploiting conflict to advance its own agenda, rather than helping oppressed Syrians.

A former aide of Osama bin Laden has appealed to British Muslims not to join Islamic State for the so-called jihad in Syria as he denounced the group’s beheadings and mass rape as “completely against Islam”.

Abdullah Anas is the most senior former jihadist and one of the architects of the Afghan jihad against the Russians.

In a rare interview, Mr. Anas told The Sunday Times that ISIS was exploiting conflict to advance its own agenda, rather than helping oppressed Syrians.

“This jihad is not legitimate,” Mr. Anas said.

He denounced the group’s beheadings and mass rape as “completely against Islam” and said the Quran called for prisoners to be treated with the same compassion as orphans and the poor.

He urged young British Muslims not to fall for ISIS slick propaganda on social media, adding: “You are not helping [your Syrian brothers].”

At least 700 British Muslims, including girls as young as 15, are believed to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS and other jihadist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, an affiliate of al-Qaeda.

As many as 30,000 foreign fighters have headed to the Middle East, including up to 5,000 from Europe.

The influx of foreign recruits has echoes of the Muslim fighters who flocked to Afghanistan in the 1980s to help defeat the occupying Soviet army.

Mr. Anas (57), an Algerian who lives in Britain, was one of the first to arrive.

He was drawn to the region after meeting Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian cleric widely regarded as the ‘Father of Jihad’ and Osama’s spiritual mentor.

In 1984, Mr. Anas and Azzam founded the Services Bureau, an office in Peshawar, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border which recruited thousands of foreign fighters.

Osama joined the office in 1985 and became a key fundraiser for the Afghan cause.

Mr. Anas said the 4,000 foreign recruits who travelled to the area were involved in a legitimate jihad, or holy war, against a foreign aggressor.

“But what ISIS and al-Qaeda are doing [in Syria], they are bringing their own agenda,” he said.

Mr. Anas said the main priority of such groups was to create an Islamic state, or caliphate, rather than to help Syrians oppressed by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Mr. Anas, who married Azzam’s daughter, sought asylum in the UK in 1996.

He rejects al-Qaeda, which was established in 1988, but has mixed memories of Osama: “I am torn between two Osamas.

The one in my heart who I remember (from the Afghan jihad) as a very high-mannered and polite man; and the one in my brain, the leader of al-Qaeda, responsible for bloodshed everywhere — that man is not someone I can love.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/osamas-exaide-urges-british-muslims-not-to-join-isis/article7596648.ece

----------

 

British forces hunt for Jihadi John in 'combat burqas'

August 31, 2015

British special forces are reportedly using stealth clothing dubbed as “combat burqas” in their hunt for feared Islamic State executioner Jihadi John in Syria.

SAS and other elite snipers are wearing the suits which keep them hidden from sophisticated surveillance systems used by Islamic State extremists in Syria.

http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/british-forces-hunt-jihadi-john-combat-burqas-135364

----------

 

Belgian Imam Urges Muslims Not to Observe Udhiyah

30 August 2015

BRUSSELS – A Belgian imam has urged Muslims not to observe the ritual slaughter (Udhiyah) during this year's `Eid Al-Adha, in a protest against the government's decision to ban religious slaughter without stunning.

Muslims should “either send the same sum of money to those who do not have the means to make their religious sacrifice, or spend that money profitably (i.e. finance projects here in Belgium),” Khaled Harra, the imam of the Forest Mosque, said in a statement cited by Morocco World News on Saturday, August 29.

The opinion was expressed in protest against the latest decision by the Ministry of Animal Welfare in Flanders and Wallonia in Belgium to ban religious slaughter without stunning.

Affecting both Muslims and Jews, the decision was protested by the Muslim community, demanding their right to slaughter rams during `Eid Al-Adha in the halal method.

The imam deplored the new regulations by the Belgian government as discriminatory.

“We pay our taxes! And for farmers who are in crisis, this represents a significant revenue, right?” the imam questioned.

“We feel increasingly stigmatized. Every time, we feel that these laws target Muslims. One can sense a growing Islamophobic climate," he added.

By not making the sacrifice, the imam hopes to penalize farmers and push the government to react.

Belgian Muslims are estimated at 450,000 – out of a 10-million-population – about half of them are from Moroccan origin, while 120,000 are from Turkish origin.

Udhiyah or animal sacrifice, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.

A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or cow as an act of worship during the four-day `Eid Al-Adha.

The Udhiyah meat should be divided in three equal parts, one each for one's own family, friends and the poor.

It is permissible that someone in another country could perform the sacrifice on one's behalf.

According to the Islamic and Jewish ritual, the animal is slaughtered by a sharp blade.

The concept of halal, -- meaning permissible in Arabic -- has traditionally been applied to food.

Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.

Muslim scholars agree that Shari`ah provides a divine law of mercy that should be applied on all Allah’s creations, including animals.

Islam also provides details about avoiding any unnecessary pain.

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/492821-belgian-imam-urges-muslim-not-to-observe-udhiyah.html

----------

 

Julian Assange Asked Edward Snowden To Choose Russia Over Latin America For Asylum

By Sounak Mukhopadhyay

August 31 2015

Julian Assange might have been responsible for Edward Snowden’s decision to take political refuge in Russia.

The WikiLeaks co-founder said that he had advised the NSA whistle-blower to choose Russia over Latin America, which was Snowden’s original choice for taking asylum. Assange asked Snowden to move to Russia “despite the negative PR consequences.”

“My assessment is that he had a significant risk of being kidnapped from Latin America on CIA orders…kidnapped and possibly killed,” Assange said in an interview with The Times. He said that Snowden was “well aware” of the consequences of taking asylum in Russia.

The former NSA agent, facing a number of charges including theft of government property and espionage, went to Russia in 2013. He was given a Russian residence permit for three years in August 2014. If Snowden comes back to the United States, he may face up to 30 years of imprisonment, Russia Today reported.

Assange, on the other hand, fears using the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London due to “bomb threats and assassination threats from various people.” The 44-year-old Australian computer programmer believes that he may have to be at the embassy for four more years.

“There have been bomb threats and assassination threats from various people… I’m a public figure and a very controversial one, including in the United States,” Assange said in the interview, “As a result there have been quite a number of threats by unstable people.”

Assange, however, does not believe he will be killed by a U.S. drone attack unless he gets converted to Islam. He refuses to travel to Sweden to get interrogated in connection with a rape allegation even though he denies it. He fears that he may be extradited to the U.S. for releasing a significant number of classified U.S. intelligence data.

http://www.ibtimes.com/julian-assange-asked-edward-snowden-choose-russia-over-latin-america-asylum-2074651

----------

 

Arab World

 

‘A Sinner in Mecca’ Documents Gay Muslim Pilgrimage

August 31, 2015

NEW YORK: The confession of a Pakistani murderer. Overzealous religious police. An Arab angered his pregnant wife was molested in the holiest site known to Islam.

A new film made by a gay Muslim pilgrim offers a English-speaking Western audience a warts-and-all view of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in a documentary that has attracted death threats and an online hate campaign.

It is a rebuke of Saudi Arabia and its strict Wahhabi form of Islam, but it is also deeply personal — a man trying to reconcile his faith with his sexuality.

From that perspective which includes footage of his wedding to his American husband in New York, millions of Muslims will likely find “A Sinner in Mecca” provocative if not offensive.

But director and pilgrim, Indian-born New Yorker Parvez Sharma, sees it as a wake-up call for a faith followed by nearly a quarter of humanity which he believes has been hijacked by a violent minority.

“Islam is imploding upon itself right now and there’s a huge crisis,” Sharma told AFP.

“It (a reformation) is happening, but it is happening too slowly and we’re running out of time.”

“The change needs to happen with Wahhabi Islam — that is the root of all the problems,” he said.

Sharma associates with the Sufi branch of Islam common in his homeland India, which unlike Wahhabism embraces music and a more mystical — and less dogmatic — approach to faith.

Wrong end of the stick

He performed hajj in 2011, four months after Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed and seven months after the Arab Spring began. He says the timing was deliberate.

“I felt that it would be the most interesting time to go with all this churning going on in the Muslim world.”

Most striking is his footage, filmed on a mobile phone and two tiny cameras without permission from Saudi authorities, then smuggled out of the country.

“Early on,” he explains, “my iPhone was taken away by the religious police and they deleted initial early footage,” he said.

“These guys walk around with sticks and hit you if you’re doing something they consider un-Islamic, and I was on the wrong end of the stick several times.”

He captures the crush encircling the Kaaba, the sacred site in whose direction Muslims pray, the giant shopping mall next door where you can get a Starbucks coffee and the discomfort of standing on a bus an entire night to go to Mount Arafat.

“There is nothing kind about this process,” Sharma says in the film.

He calls his first experience at the Kaaba “probably the most violent night of my entire life.” He says he strung his iPhone around his neck and just let the camera roll.

Threats

Most of the film focuses on him. But he also includes two of more than 50 interviews he said he conducted.

An Arab man in the film complains that his wife was touched by other men, and a man from Lahore, a city in eastern Pakistan, confesses to seeking atonement for taking part in a so-called “honor” killing.

It has been shown at film festivals in Britain and North America, and goes on cinema release in New York on Friday before being aired on European television and Netflix in coming months.

“Sharma’s constant filming of his own face and his reactions to what he’s seeing give the film a sometimes annoying ‘selfie’ perspective,” wrote reviewer, David Savage, in Cut Print Film.

But he called it “an important and rare film” given “the threats of violence and death that have suppressed many of his fellow Muslim gays into hiding.”

Sharma says much of the response has been positive. But he has received a torrent of hate mail and online death threats coming from servers in countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

He says the Iranian government has denounced it. He tells of being accosted by yelling Saudi women at a festival in Britain.

“I hope that Muslims will eventually react positively,” he told AFP.

– AFP

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2015/08/31/a-sinner-in-mecca-documents-gay-muslim-pilgrimage/

----------

 

‘Leasing’ Expats Is Permissible Business, Says Top Saudi Scholar

30 August 2015

A top Saudi scholar has dismissed allegations that leasing of foreign workers by individual Saudi sponsors to work for other employers in return for money is a form of human trafficking. He, however, said such leasing should be approved by the concerned workers.

Sheikh Abdullah Al-Mutlaq, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said Saudis can lease expatriates under their sponsorship to others as an acceptable “business”.

Al-Mutlaq said the Council of Senior Scholars has agreed that individual sponsors may send their expatriate employees to work for other people with the consent of the workers.

“Sponsors can lease their drivers, maids, technicians, electricians or any other worker to other Saudis in return for money as long as the expatriates agree to work for other employers. But the expatriates must work in jobs stated on their work permits,” said Al-Mutlaq.

Terms and conditions

He added there are companies that recruit expatriates and rent them to their clients as a business.

“Many viewed leasing workers as a form of human trafficking when it is not. The transactions have to be completely consensual and the workers should never be overburdened,” said Al-Mutlaq.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/30/-Leasing-expats-is-permissible-business-says-top-Saudi-scholar.html

----------

 

Iraqi Forces Identify, Target Bomb-Laden Suicide Car West of Ramadi

Aug 31, 2015

“The forces of al-Jazeerah and al-Badiyah Operation alongside Haditha tribal forces foiled a suicide attack by a booby-trapped vehicle that targeted the security forces in the area of al-Amiriyah East of Haditha District (160 km West of Ramadi),” Commander of al-Jazeerah and al-Badiyah Operations Major General Ali Ibrahim Daboun announced.

“The Iraqi force destroyed the vehicle and killed the suicide bomber before reaching his target; without any human casualties in the ranks of the security forces and clan fighters.”

On Sunday, military sources said that scores of the ISIL Takfiri terrorists were killed or wounded in the Iraqi airstrike on their gathering centers in Western side of Ramadi, in Anbar province.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940609000566

----------

 

ISIS destroys part of another temple in Palmyra

30 August 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group has destroyed part of an ancient temple in Syria’s UNESCO-listed Palmyra city, a monitoring group said on Sunday, only a week after another temple nearby was reduced to rubble by the militants.

The militants targeted the Temple of Bel, a Roman-era structure in the central desert city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said according to Reuters.

The extent of the damage was not known, the Observatory said, citing its contacts on the ground.

Last week, ISIS militants blew up the ancient temple of Baal Shamin at the famous site. Satellite photos appeared to show it had been completely destroyed.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/30/ISIS-destroys-part-of-ancient-temple-of-Bel-in-Syria-s-Palmyra-city.html

----------

 

Saudi retaliates to Houthi attack on courthouse

30 August 2015

Saudi forces in the kingdom’s southwestern Jizan region bordering Yemen shelled Houthi militias over the frontier on Sunday in retaliation to an attack on a courthouse, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

Houthi militants had reportedly targeted the courthouse in the area of al-Horth near the Yemeni border with a missile earlier on Sunday.

Earlier this week, Saudi air defense intercepted a Scud missile fired by Houthi militias and supporters of deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh towards Jizan city.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/30/Saudi-retaliates-to-Houthi-attack-on-courthouse.html

----------

 

ISIS in Syria executes over 90 people in month

30 August 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria jihadist group has executed more than 90 people, a third of them civilians, over the past month in areas of war-torn Syria under its control, a monitoring group said Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 32 civilians were among 91 people executed for “crimes” in the jihadist group’s self-proclaimed caliphate between July 29 and August 29.

The toll included ISIS members, rebel fighters and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Witchcraft, homosexual acts and working with the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria are among “crimes” punishable by death for the group.

Since it announced its “caliphate” in June 2014, ISIS has swept across Syria, seizing swathes of land in central Hama and Homs provinces, Deir Ezzor and Hasakeh in the east, and the north’s Raqa and Aleppo.

According to the Britain-based Observatory, the latest monthly toll has brought to 3,156 people the number of ISIS executions in Syria since the caliphate was announced.

The number includes 1,841 civilians.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/30/ISIS-in-Syria-executes-over-90-people-in-month.html

----------

 

Army Destroys Al Nusra Front's Hideouts in Lattakia Province

Aug 31, 2015

A large number of Al Nusra Front terrorists were killed in army's raid in the town of Rabe'a in the Northern countryside of Lattakia.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more injured in the Syrian army raid on their positions in Lattakia.

Also in the past 24 hours, a prominent Arab political analyst underlined that the battle over the Strategic town of Zabadani is very important for all warring sides.

"Winning back Zabadani can play a crucial role in resolving the Syrian crisis," Nasser Qandil told FNA.

He noted that the developments underway in Zabadani are paving the way for the Syrian army's control over all the Zabadani region.

"Zabadani is of highly strategic importance because it links the areas controlled by the militants in the city and countryside of Damascus," Qandil said.

Meantime, the violation of the ceasefire in the countryside of Damascus and Idlib province has been orchestrated by the Turkish government, media reports said.

Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group has received orders from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to violate the ceasefire between the government and the militants in the town of Zabadani in Damascus countryside and two Shiite villages of Fuaa and Kafraya in Idlib province, the Arabic-language Al-Watan newspaper reported.

"One of the reasons that the ceasefire was violated was because Ahrar al-Sham called for complete withdrawal of the Syrian troops from the villages of Kafraya and Fuaa in Idlib," Al-Watan quoted Secretary General of the Syrian Solidarity Party Mohammad Abolqassem as saying.

Elsewhere, military sources in the Southern battlefields said that the Syrian Army's operations against the strongholds of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front in Dara'a province resulted in the killing of over 10 militants.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940609000409

----------

 

Egypt rallies slam coup against Morsi, vow more protests

Aug 31, 2015

Anti-government activists have waged rallies across Egypt to protest the continuing state crackdown on the opponents of the military coup against former President Mohamed Morsi.

Protest rallies, organized by Egypt’s Revolutionary Youth movement, took place in a number of provinces throughout the country on Sunday.

Police clashed with the protesters after the latter used fireworks and shouted slogans against what they referred to as the martial law and oppressive measures imposed by Egypt's Interior Ministry, opposition news website Rassad reported.

Egyptian protesters set an armored vehicle on fire during clashes with police, August 30, 2015. (Photo by Rassad news website)

The development came after an Egyptian judge adjourned court proceedings earlier on Sunday for Morsi, who was the country’s first freely-elected president, and 10 other opposition figures until September.

Protests were also held in Egypt’s northern al-Jizah Province.

Egyptian demonstrators demand the prosecution of the engineers of the 2013 military coup against former President Morsi, August 30, 2015. (Photo by Rassad news website)

In al-Sharqiya Province, meanwhile, protesters also demanded the prosecution of those who led the military coup against Morsi in July 2013, and clashed with police officers.

Major rallies were also held in other Egyptian cities, with demonstrators condemning the use of torture in the country’s prison facilities as well as what they described as pre-arranged killings of imprisoned opposition activists. The protesters also demanded the release of all female inmates in military prisons.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/31/427068/Egypt-rallies-military-coup-Mohamed-Morsi-AbdelFattah-alSisi

-----------

 

Mortar round hits posh area of Syria’s capital, child killed

30 August 2015

Syria’s official news agency says a mortar round has hit an upscale central Damascus neighborhood, killing a child and wounding four people.

It is not uncommon for Damascus to be shelled. Sunday’s attack targeted the posh neighborhood of Abu Rummaneh, which houses hotels and several embassies. The agency, quoting a police official, said a girl was killed in the attack.

An Associated Press reporter on the scene saw two people wounded by shrapnel. Vehicles in the area were also damaged.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/30/Mortar-round-hits-posh-area-of-Syria-s-capital-child-killed.html

----------

 

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Shift Focus from Zabadani on Madaya Frontline

Aug 31, 2015

The sources said that a substantial number of soldiers from the Syrian army’s 63rd Brigade, Hezbollah, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), and the National Defense Forces (NDF) stormed the rebel forces’ positions in Southwest Madaya, targeting the latter at the Al-Kazbari Mosque and its surrounding area after almost two months of little activity in this town.

According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Armed Forces and Lebanese Resistance retake full control over the Al-Kazbari Mosque’s surrounding building blocks, while the Syrian warplanes unleashed a fury of powerful airstrikes inside the rebel-controlled areas of Madaya.

However, the Syrian Air Force did not stop there: on Sunday, the latter conducted over 80 airstrikes in Madaya and Al-Zabadani, destroying a number of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham’s military sites and killing a multitude of militants there.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940609000441

----------

 

Nine Muslim Brotherhood members jailed for life in Egypt

Aug 30, 2015

An Egyptian court has sentenced 9 people to life in jail for their alleged role in violence following the ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi, Press TV reports.

The verdict for the Muslim Brotherhood members was announced at a courthouse in the capital Cairo on Saturday.

All nine of those sentenced to death were convicted of taking part in the violence in 2013 in the northern Ismailia province.

Under the Egyptian law, all the execution sentences will be referred to the Egypt’s Grand Mufti, who has to review all death penalties, although his ruling on the cases is not binding.

Meanwhile, at least 14 anti-government protesters were sentenced to 3 to 10 years in jail for their alleged role in protests in the southern Qalyubia province following Morsi’s ouster.

Since Morsi’s 2013 overthrow in a military coup led by then-army chief and current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, the Egyptian government has been brutally cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters.

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood defendants stand behind the bars during their trial, along with ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi (unseen), in Cairo on June 16, 2015. AFP photo

Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood’s top leader Mohamed Badie were sentenced to death earlier this year, along with 100 other senior members of the movement, for escaping from prison in 2011 before the country’s popular revolution that ousted long-time US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/30/427027/Egypt-jailing-court-Cairo-9-opposition-Muslim-Brotherhood-members-life-bars

----------

 

Africa

 

Boko Haram Can’t Read Qur’an: Army Official

30 August 2015

ABUJA – Blasting Boko Haram militants, a Nigerian senior military official has claimed that insurgents don’t know how to read the holy Qur’an and don’t practice the religion that they claim committing atrocities in its name.

"Most of the Boko Haram terrorists captured by Nigerian Military cannot read the Holy Qur'an, some of them cannot even recite the first chapter- Suratuh Al-Fathiha, yet they claimed they want to establish an 'Islamic State',” acting director Army Public Relations (Ag DAPR), Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, wrote on Facebook.

Considering the acts of extremist group’s acts as “ironically shameful”, the senior military official revealed that “when the Nigerian Military captured their bases and training camps, they never found Qur'an, Hadith or other Islamic literature.”

“What they found were ammunitions, chams, condoms and all sort of drugs including sex enhancing drugs in their enclaves at Sambisa Forest, Borno, North Eastern Nigeria,” officer Usman said.

Usman’s Facebook post was shared hundreds of times by his followers who asserted that the terrorist group tarnishes the image of Islam.

“Of course, we all know vividly that they are not Muslims because the Muslims that I know can never be that heartless to the point of beheading their fellow human being all in d name of western education,” one user wrote, Naij.com reported.

“God will bring them to His rout of fire and they will be doomed soon.”

Another user wrote: “Very interesting… We must get to the root of the matter as well as their sponsors, financiers.”

On his part, Stephen Andow, former Military officer, said that the insurgents were never Muslims from the onset.

“From the beginning it was obvious that they were not Muslims. I see them as what would unify Nigeria and help us to set aside religious, tribal differences and other forms nepotism,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/africa/492851-boko-haram-cant-read-quran-army-official.html

----------

 

Boko Haram kills 56 in Nigeria’s restive Borno: Governor

Aug 31, 2015

Takfiri Boko Haram militants have killed 56 villagers in a remote area in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, a local official says.

On Sunday, Kashim Shettima, the governor of the restive state, confirmed the raid in Baanu village, during a meeting with the parents of the 219 girls kidnapped last year by the Takfiri militants from a school in the town of Chibok in Borno.

“Just yesterday, they (Boko Haram militants) killed 56 people in Baanu village of Nganzai local government [in Borno]. As I am speaking to you their corpses are still littered on the streets of the village because virtually everyone in the village had to run for their lives," Shettima said.

He, however, did not provide further details of the attack.

Meanwhile, residents fleeing Baanu village said they came under the Takfiri terrorists’ attack on Friday night.

"We returned back to the village in the morning after spending the night in the bush, we saw corpses in the streets of the village," said a Baanu resident.

Also on Sunday, Nigerian security forces announced that they had detained a number of Boko Haram militants, including key commander Usman Shuiabu, during the past two months.

Boko Haram, whose name means ‘Western education is forbidden’, says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/31/427052/Nigeria-Boko-Haram-Borno-state-Chibok-Baanu-

----------

 

Libyan soldiers in deadly clash with Islamists

31 August 2015

Four Libyan soldiers were killed and six wounded in fresh fighting with Islamist groups in the eastern city of Benghazi on Sunday, medics and military officials said.

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognized government have been fighting Islamist groups in the country's second-largest city Benghazi since last year, part of a wider struggle since Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

A tank battalion fought with Islamist brigades which had been trying to advance in the west of Benghazi, military officials said. Fighting raged until late in the evening.

Army forces backed by armed residents have regained some areas in Benghazi lost last year. But critics say their outdated war planes and helicopters lacking precision guns have damaged parts of the city without gaining much on the ground.

There was also fighting on Sunday between army units loyal to the official government and ISIS outside the city of Derna to the east of Benghazi.

The air force flew a strike against ISIS positions outside Derna, said a military spokesman. Both sides also clashed with ground forces in the same area.

ISIS started this month an offensive to try retake Derna after a rival Islamist group had expelled it in June. Army forces are based outside Derna but have not tried to take the city, a militant hotspot.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/31/Libyan-soldiers-killed-in-battle-with-Islamists-.html

----------

 

Mideast

 

Air strike leaves 36 civilians dead in Yemen

Aug 31, 2015

SANAA: An air strike by warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition, which said it targeted a bomb-making factory, killed 36 civilians working at a bottling plant in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah on Sunday, residents said.

In another air raid on the capital Sanaa, residents said four civilians were killed when a bomb hit their house near a military base in the south of the city.

The attacks were the latest in an air campaign launched in March by an alliance made up mainly of Gulf Arab states in support of the exiled government in its fight against Houthi forces allied to Iran.

“The process of recovering the bodies is finished now. The corpses of 36 workers, many of them burnt or in pieces, were pulled out after an air strike hit the plant this morning,” resident Issa Ahmed said.

Coalition spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri denied the strike had hit a civilian target, saying it was a location used by the Houthis to make improvised explosive devices and to train African migrants whom they had forced to take up arms.

“We got very accurate information about this position and attacked it. It is not a bottling factory,” he said.

He accused the Houthis of using African migrants, stuck in Yemen after arriving by sea before the war in the hope of crossing the Saudi border and finding work in the oil producer, as cannon fodder in dangerous border operations.

Human rights group Amnesty International said in a report this month that the coalition bombing campaign had left a “bloody trail of civilian death” which could amount to war crimes.

Air strikes killed 65 people in the frontline city of Taiz last Friday, most of them civilians, and the bombing of a milk factory in Western Yemen in July killed 65 people including 10 children.

More than 4,300 people have been killed in five months of war in Yemen while disease and suffering in the already impoverished country have spread.

Militias and army units loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, currently taking refuge in Saudi Arabia, have made significant advances toward the Houthi-controlled capital in the last two months but the group remains ensconced in Yemen’s north and casualties mount in nationwide combat every day.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203881/air-strike-leaves-36-civilians-dead-in-yemen

----------

 

Arrest of Khobar bomb mastermind ‘raises doubts about trusting Iran’

31 August 2015

Investigations into the 1996 attack on Khobar Towers that killed 19 U.S. airmen moved closer to a conclusion after its alleged mastermind, Ahmed al-Mughassil, was caught and handed over to Saudi authorities in Beirut late last week.

Pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat broke the news of the arrest, but stopped short of giving further details, reporting only that Mughassil was captured by Saudi intelligence and handed over to relevant Saudi authorities in Beirut.

The bombing destroyed an eight-story building in Khobar Towers, a housing complex for American Air Force personnel stationed in Saudi Arabia. Nineteen people were killed in the blast and 400 were wounded.

Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) analyst and senior Obama administration official, now with the Brookings Institution, told Al Arabiya News that Mughassil had been living in hiding in Beirut under the shelter of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group. “Mughassil has been protected by Iran and Hezbollah since 1996, he may have gotten careless about his security. The Saudis were quick to get him out of Beirut before Hezbollah could rescue him,” Riedel said.

Devastating scene

At the time of the bombing, Riedel was the deputy assistant secretary of defense and recounted the day he was dispatched to the bombsite in an op-ed for Al Monitor: “The scene was devastating. Mughassil had driven a truck containing the bomb up to a protective wall near the barracks. He then remotely detonated the bomb. It was the equivalent of 20,000 pounds of TNT, larger than the bomb used to blow up the Marine barracks in Beirut. In addition to the Americans killed and wounded, dozens of Saudis and South Asian guest workers were injured. Mughassil allegedly fled to Iran immediately after the attack.”

Neither the U.S. nor Saudi Arabia have directly commented or confirmed Mughassil’s arrest. American newspapers were quick to welcome the news but raised doubts regarding the timing of it.

At the time of publication, the FBI’s most wanted list still had Mughassil listed as “at large” with a bounty of $5 million dollars and according to a report by Asharq al-Awsat, American analysts said that Washington were “the last to be informed regarding Mughassil’s arrest.”

The New York Times, in an editorial published on August 28, said that the news’ timing had something to do with the current debate over the P5+1 Iranian nuclear deal.

Under the deal reached in July, sanctions imposed by the U.S., the EU and the U.N. will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/analysis/2015/08/31/Arrest-of-Khobar-bombing-mastermind-raises-doubts-about-trusting-Iran-.html

----------

 

Yemeni Forces Take Control of Key Military Base in Jizan

Aug 31, 2015

The Yemeni forces seized control of Mash'al military base in the province of Jizan in Southern Saudi Arabia.

Tens of Saudi troops were killed and several of their military vehicles and tanks were also destroyed during the Yemeni forces' raid on the base.

On Sunday, several US military advisors of the Saudi army were killed and wounded in heavy clashes with Yemen's revolutionary forces in Saudi Arabia's Najran region.

"The Yemeni revolutionary committee forces killed three US military advisors and wounded two others in the Southern province of Najran," Abu Hessam, a senior  Ansarullah commander, told FNA.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940609000497

----------

 

Video of Palestinian resistance to Zionist aggression goes viral

31 August 2015

JERUSALEM: A video showing an Israeli soldier roughing up Palestinian women and youth at a West Bank protest has been viewed more than 2 million times on Facebook, shining a light on Israeli military policies in the territory.

In the edited video, the masked soldier is seen holding a 12-year-old boy, his arm in a cast, in a chokehold in an attempt to arrest him.

The soldier is surrounded by the boy’s female relatives, including his mother and sister, who resist his action. Bystanders yell, “He is a little boy. His arm is broken.”

Later, a commanding officer arrives to assist the soldier. The soldier then frees himself and releases the boy, angrily throwing a small stun grenade at a group of people as he walks away.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/799281

----------

 

Israeli troops fire tear gas at separation barrier protest

31 August 2015

Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades on Sunday to disperse a protest in a Palestinian Christian town near Bethlehem against renewed work on Israel’s West Bank separation barrier.

Dozens of Palestinian and foreign protesters marched in the West Bank village of Beit Jala towards an area where military bulldozers have uprooted olive trees to clear space for the barrier.

Two protesters were arrested for allegedly throwing stones at soldiers guarding the construction zone, police said.

The former Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, denounced the work that began earlier this month.

“This land belongs to us,” he said.

“Whatever they do, whatever their courts say, this land belongs to us and it will return to us one day. You are stronger with your guns, but you are not the strongest when it comes to humanity.”

Israel began building the barrier of walls and fences inside the occupied West Bank in 2002 at the height of the second Palestinian intifada (uprising), saying it was crucial for security.

The Palestinians see it as a land grab aimed at stealing part of their future state and call it the “apartheid wall”.

U.N. figures show that around two-thirds of the barrier is so far complete.

The network of towering concrete walls, barbed-wire fences, trenches and closed military roads will extend 712 kilometers when finished, separating the West Bank from Israel, 85 percent of its length running through Palestinian land.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/31/Israeli-troops-fire-tear-gas-at-separation-barrier-protest.html

----------

 

Iran bars Israeli musician, thwarting Tehran concert plan

31 August 2015

Iran has barred famed conductor Daniel Barenboim from entering the Islamic republic because of his Israeli citizenship, thwarting his plan to lead a performance in Tehran, media reported Sunday.

Barenboim, the 72-year-old general music director of the Berlin State Opera House, said Thursday he was in talks with Iran about a concert, in what would have been a major example of cultural diplomacy.

But an Iranian culture ministry spokesman, Hossein Noushabadi, said an investigation meant Barenboim could not enter the country for “security reasons”, though the Berlin orchestra was welcome.

“We have no problem with the German orchestra coming to Iran, but we are opposed to the person leading that group,” Noushabadi said, quoted by news agency ISNA.

“He has multiple nationalities and one of them is Israeli. For security reasons and to prevent issues following the entry of certain people into Iran, we stopped it.”

Barenboim also holds Argentinian and Palestinian citizenship.

Revealed

“Our reviews revealed that the conductor has nationality and identity dependence to Israel, was raised in Israel and his parents have also lived there,” Noushabadi added.

“So the suspicion of him being related to that country, which is illegitimate to us, was there.”

Iran does not recognise Israel as a state, usually referring to its leaders as “the Zionist regime”.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is expected in October to travel to Tehran following a July 14 nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, had agreed to back the concert.

Steinmeier did so because he “supports Daniel Barenboim’s dedication to making music accessible to all people, irrespective of national, religious or ethnic boundaries,” a statement said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/08/31/Iran-bars-Israeli-musician-thwarting-Tehran-concert-plan.html

----------

 

Yemeni Forces Attack Saudi Positions

Aug 31, 2015

The Yemeni forces destroyed the vehicles in the area of al-Khobe on Sunday.

The joint forces carried off as booty a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), also known as Humvee, in the retaliatory attack.

The Yemeni forces also targeted several military bases in the province of Dhahran al-Janoub, South of the Asir region.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 159 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 5,602 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940609000563

----------

 

IRGC Disbands Anti-Revolutionary Group in Western Iran

Aug 31, 2015

The officials at IRGC's regional Najaf Ashraf headquarters announced that the positions of the "arrogant powers' hirelings and anti-revolutionary elements" in Western Iran were destroyed.

During the operations, a number of anti-revolutionary forces were killed and injured and a considerable amount of their weapons and ammunition were seized.

Also one of the IRGC forces named Seyed Abdolhamid Hosseini was martyred in the operations.

In April, the IRGC disbanded a terrorist cell in the Southeastern Sistan and Balouchestan province, killing all its members.

"On Monday morning, a terrorist group affiliated to the foreign spy agencies was disbanded in Qasr-e Qand and Nikshahr regions in Southeastern Iran with the decisive action of the forces deployed at the IRGC Ground Force base in the region, and all its (the terrorist group's) members were killed," the public relations department of the IRGC Ground Force's Quds base said in a statement on April 6.

The statement added that the operations were carried out after a series of reconnaissance and chase operations in recent days during which a large cache of weapons, munitions and communication tools were also discovered and seized by the IRGC forces.

In a relevant development in January, Iranian police forces disbanded a terrorist network in Sistan and Balouchestan province.

"After a number of sabotage operations in the Southern part of Sistan and Balouchestan province, 18 members of a terrorist grouplet were arrested in Eastern Iran as a result of three months of round-the-clock efforts by the police forces and the good cooperation of the people in the province," Commander of the Law Enforcement Police in Sistan and Balouchestan Hossein Rahimi told reporters.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940609000343

----------

 

Israelis demolish 15 Palestinian homes in West Bank's Ramallah

Aug 31, 2015

Israeli forces have once again demolished more than 10 Palestinian homes near the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

According to local reports and witnesses, Israeli forces early Monday destroyed 15 Palestinian homes in the Jab’a village, using two bulldozers.

Locals said that other residential buildings nearby were also damaged.

According to reports, the Israeli military unlawfully demolished some 40 structures in the Bedouin Palestinian communities in the West Bank between August 17 and 18, leaving nearly 130 people, including 80 children, homeless.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/08/31/427098/Israel-Palestine-Ramallah-West-Bank-

----------

 

India

 

High Muslims’ Fertility Rate Will Cause Demographic ‘Imbalance': BJP MP

August 31, 2015

Muzaffarnagar (UP): BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, who often stokes controversy with his remarks, has said that “high” fertility rate among Muslims could lead to demographic imbalance and cited the recently released Census data.

“The comparatively high fertility rate among Muslims will cause a dangerous demographic imbalance,” he said while addressing a gathering at Yog Sadhna Yashvir Ashram at Baghra village last evening.

The Muslim community has registered a moderate 0.8 per cent growth to touch 17.22 crore in the 10-year period between 2001 and 2011, up from 13.8 crore, while Hindus’ population showed a decline by 0.7 per cent at 96.63 Crore during the period, according to the latest census data on religion.

Adityanath also raised the ‘Love Jihad’ issue; a term coined by some Hindu groups for alleged efforts to get non-Muslim girls to convert to Islam through love affairs and marriage, and linked it to the rise in Muslim population.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/high-muslims-fertility-rate-will-cause-demographic-imbalance-adityanath-826129/

----------

 

Pakistani university awards first MPhil degree in Hindi

August 31, 2015

Islamabad: For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a university here has awarded an MPhil degree in Hindi, a media report said.

The military-run National University of Modern Languages (NUML) has award the degree to Shahin Zafar for her thesis, titled “Swatantryottra Hindi Upanyason Mein NasriChittran (1947-2000)”, Dawn reported .

Zafar’s work was supervised by Professor Iftikhar Husain Arif and endorsed by the Higher Education Commission.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/pakistani-university-awards-first-mphil-degree-hindi-826154/

----------

 

Vice President Inaugurates the 50th Anniversary of All India Muslim Majlis-e- Mushawarat

August 31, 2015

New Delhi, Aug 31: Vice President M. Hamid Ansari inaugurated the 50th anniversary of All India Muslim Majlis-e- Mushawarat on Monday.

Delivering his inaugural address at the “Golden Jubilee Session of All India Muslim Majlis-e- Mushawarat”, Ansari said “Muslims were an integral part of the freedom struggle against the British rule. They are dispersed all over the country, are not homogenous in linguistic and socio-economic terms and reflect in good measure the diversities that characterise the people of India as a whole”.

“Mushawarat was formed in response to a perceived need to defend and protect the identity and dignity of the Muslim community in India in terms of the rights bestowed by the Constitution of India on the citizens of this land. This objective remains relevant though some of its ingredients may stand amplified or modified,” Ansari said.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/vice-president-inaugurates-majlis-e-mushawarat-826197/

----------

 

Is rise in Muslims larger conspiracy to Islamise Bharat, asks RSS mouthpiece

Aug 30, 2015

New Delhi: Raising concerns over the rise in Muslim population in the religious data of Census, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh publication 'Organiser' has wondered if the the trend is a "larger conspiracy to Islamise Bharat".

At the same time, the editorial termed the decline in Sikhs and Buddhists numbers in religious data of Census as "worrisome" and said whenever indigenous faiths have declined separatist tendencies increase and called for concrete policy measures to correct it.

Noting that growth rate of Hindus and Muslim in India is inversely proportionate and the imbalance is increasing in the last three decades, with the community registered such growth the consecutive third time, it said Muslims share rose by the same 0.8 percentage points between 1981-1991 and 1991-2001 in total population of the country.

"Is this growth all about the growing size of Muslim families? Is it a larger conspiracy to Islamise Bharat? Is it to do just with the less economic development of the community as some reports claim?," it questioned.

"Bharat is expected to have 311 million Muslims in 2050, which is 11 per cent of the global total. This will make India the largest population of Muslims in the world," the editorial titled 'Making numbers policy relevant' said.

It also slammed Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for his remarks that the latest religious data would lead to "communal violence", saying that a leader of a party that "nurtured" the "politics of votebank" in the name of "secularism" is now rubbishing the numbers on communal grounds.

"The other religious groupings who are comparative insignificant in political parlance but more rooted in Bhartiya traditions like Sikhs and Buddhists have actually declined in numbers, is also worrisome. Whenever indigenous faiths have declined in numbers, the separatist tendencies increased is also a historical fact.

Full report at:

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/politics/is-rise-in-muslims-larger-conspiracy-to-islamise-bharat-asks-rss-mouthpiece-1056613.html

----------

 

Muslim Representation in Parliament on Decline

Aug 31, 2015

The release of 2011 census data of religious communities by the registrar-general and the census commissioner of India last week has sparked off debate on its political ramifications, especially when the proportion of Muslims to total population has increased modestly in contrast to the slight decline in the percentage of Hindus. In absolute terms, however, the population of Hindus at 96.63 Crore is 5.6 times that of the Muslims (17.22 Crore) as per the latest census.

There is no cause for alarm, though, because the decennial growth rate of Muslims during 2001-2011 has declined compared to earlier decades. Moreover, the growth rate of Muslims is in tune with that of the majority community in the Hindi belt and the southern states. The Muslim growth rates are declining faster in the southern states in tune with the trends for other communities. In the northern states, the decline in growth rate for Muslims is somewhat sluggish, again in keeping with the corresponding rate for other communities.

The religion-wise data for 2011 is bound to be interpreted differently by the demographers, social scientists and politicians. But, the stark reality evident from the 2014 general elections is that amidst the growth in the numbers of Muslims across the country, there is a sharp decline in the representation of this largest minority community in the Lok Sabha. Thus, in the 16th Lok Sabha, there are only 23 MPs belonging to the Muslim minority. Their share in the total strength of 543 members of Lok Sabha thus comes to a measly 4.2 percent.

There is, certainly, large-scale under-representation of Muslims compared to their population proportion of 14.2 percent. The community must have at least 77 MPs in the Lok Sabha but their number is only 23, accounting for a deficit of 54 members. There is no question of proportional representation for the minorities or other communities under the Constitution, except the reservations provided to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). But, the 16th Lok Sabha does not truly reflect the community and caste composition of the country's population, especially the Other Backward Classes (BCs) and the religious minorities.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Muslim MPs were elected only from seven states—West Bengal (8 members), Bihar (4), Jammu & Kashmir & Kerala (3 each), Assam (2) and Tamil Nadu and Telangana (one each), besides one from the union territory of Lakshadweep. These 8 states and UT account for almost 46 percent of Muslim population in the country. These states have 179 Lok Sabha seats.

Surprisingly, there is no representation of Muslims from the remaining 22 States and six UTs, including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi. These 28 unrepresented states and UTs account for 54 percent of Muslim population in India and have 364 Lok Sabha seats.

Out of the 37 parties represented in the Lok Sabha, only 11 parties have MPs belonging to Muslim community. These include Congress and Trinamool Congress (4 Muslim MPs each), PDP (Kashmir) (3), AIUDF (Assam), IUML (Kerala), CPI-M & NCP (2 each), AIMIM, AIADMK, RJD and LJP (one each). Incidentally, 26 other parties have no representation of Muslims in the Lok Sabha. These parties include the ruling BJP and its allies like Shiv Sena, TDP and Akali Dal, besides TRS, YSRCP, BJD, SP, AAP, JD (U) and CPI. The only NDA constituent with a Muslim MP is LJP of Ram Bilas Paswan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslim-representation-on-decline/articleshow/48737293.cms

----------

 

A Muslim is as Indian as Anybody Else is: Farooq Abdullah

Aug 31, 2015

JAMMU: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today supported the demand for 'One Rank, One Pension' by agitating ex-servicemen and said the central government should fulfil the "promise" made to the veterans.

"That (OROP) has been agreed on in Parliament when the other government was there. The OROP should be given. That is the promise that the earlier government has made. I think this government should fulfil this promise made to them (ex-serviceman)," the National Conference patron told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

The ex-servicemen have been agitating for 77 days at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding implementation of the scheme which envisages a uniform pension for the defence personnel who retire in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.

Replying to queries on the issue of population of various religious groups as revealed in the recently released Census data and the remarks of RSS, Abdullah said, there was "no threat to Bharat" with the growth of the Muslim community.

"There is no such thing that their (Muslim) population has grown and they posed a danger. There is no such danger. A Muslim is as Indian as anybody else is," he said.

"I don't know about their (RSS) statement but I can tell you one thing that India belongs to all faiths whether we are Muslims, whether we are Hindus, Sikhs or Christians. Whoever is an Indian, the country belongs to him," he said.

Earlier, while speaking at the function organised to mark the first death anniversary of prominent journalist and activist Bajraj Puri, Abdullah said that Puri was a champion of the cause of uniting all the three regions of the state.

Abdullah asserted that he strongly believes in unity of all the three regions.

"Jammu has its own aspirations. All the regions in the state have their aspirations and we have to think about all of them," he said.

The NC patron said that Jammu is the gateway of Kashmir whereas Kashmir is the gateway of Ladakh.

Full report at:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/A-Muslim-is-as-Indian-as-Anybody-Else-is-Farooq-Abdullah/2015/08/30/article3001443.ece

----------

 

Muslims Throw Weight behind Grand Alliance of RJD, JD (U), Congress and SP

Sheezan Nezami

Aug 30, 2015

Patna: The 'Swabhiman Rally' at the Gandhi Maidan here on Sunday had a fair chunk of Muslims' presence from different districts of Bihar to show their support to the 'Mahagathbandhan' of RJD-JD (U)-Congress-SP. Though the reason for their support varied, what was common was that they all wanted to see Nitish Kumar as their next CM.

Imteyaz Ahmad of local Bank Colony was eagerly waiting for Nitish to speak. A businessman by profession, he said, "I am here to show my support to Nitish. Whatever progress Bihar has seen is under his leadership. No other CM has done that. My daughter is in graduation and I feel safe in sending her to college. Law and order has improved to a great extent. Nitish has also looked after the development of rural areas, be it roads or electricity."

When asked if Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi's entry in Bihar politics, especially in Seemanchal region, would hamper the JD(U), RJD, Congress alliance, the 52-year-old replied, "It seems he has been planted to split Muslim votes (vote-katwa)."

Even Shameem Akhtar, a doctor by profession at Mirzapur in Araria district, was not in favour of Owaisi.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/Muslims-throw-weight-behind-grand-alliance/articleshow/48735834.cms

------------

 

North America

 

US calls for tough action against Haqqani network

ANWAR IQBAL | BAQIR SAJJAD SYED

Aug 31, 2015

ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON: The United States spelt out on Sunday the steps it expected Pakistan to undertake for dealing with the Haqqani network and stressed that these were crucial for Islamabad’s relations with both Washington and Kabul.

The message, described by a senior US official as frank, was conveyed during US National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s visit to Islamabad for delivering an invitation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a meeting with President Obama at the White House on Oct 22.

“In Islamabad today, discussed how to deepen cooperation to tackle shared priorities. Encouraged Pakistan to advance regional peace and stability,” Ms Rice tweeted as she left after completing her trip and said that she “conveyed President Obama’s invitation to PM Sharif to visit the White House in October to continue discussions”.

In a statement the Prime Minister’s Office quoted Mr Sharif as having told her that he “was looking forward to his visit to the US in October this year as an opportunity to further strengthen the ties between the two countries”.

The sense emerging from Ms Rice’s meetings with PM Sharif, Foreign Affairs and National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz and Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif was that counter-terrorism cooperation and more particularly Washington’s perception that Pakistan was not adequately targeting the Haqqani network in the Zarb-i-Azb military operation against militant and terrorist groups in North Waziristan would dominate the agenda awaiting the prime minister in Washington.

The US had doubts about Pakistan taking on the Haqqani network since the start of Zarb-i-Azb last year, but it became more vocal about those concerns after deadly attacks in Kabul earlier this month which, it says, were carried out by the terrorist group (Haqqani network).

Zarb-i-Azb entered its final phase this month as the army launched its ground offensive in Shawal valley.

“Ms Rice expressed concern over the deadly attacks in Kabul, which were perpetrated by the Haqqani network. This is absolutely unacceptable. … We look forward to Pakistan working to reduce this threat,” a senior US official said in a briefing on the visit of the national security adviser.

The official said Pakistan had been conveyed the “specific measures” it was needed to take for stopping the attacks. Ms Rice also explored how the US could collaborate with Pakistan in dealing with the Haqqanis.

The official would not, however, elaborate what steps Pakistan was asked to take.

The US has been gradually increasing pressure on Pakistan on the issue of Haqqani network. Even before the recent attacks in Kabul Pakistan was told by the US that the defence secretary would not be certifying to Congress that the North Waziristan military operation had downgraded the Haqqani network. The move would block disbursement of about $300 million of the Coalition Support Fund. The non-certification was always expected to cloud bilateral ties that were thought to have stabilised over the past couple of years.

Stressing the importance of Pakistan acting against the Haqqani network, the official said the issue had “developed into a key point of regional friction” and “addressing this challenge will be imperative for Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours and with Washington, especially given the recent upsurge in violence in Kabul and the Taliban’s bloody campaign this fighting season in Afghanistan”.

Ms Rice also spoke to her Pakistani interlocutors about downturn in their relations with Kabul after the uptick in violence in Afghanistan this month and the future of the now stalled peace talks with Taliban.

The official said the US was hopeful about the resumption of contacts between Pakistan and Afghanistan for addressing the issues between them so that they could return to “positive climate” that existed over the past few months.

The US believes that death of Taliban chief Mullah Omar created opportunities for peaceful resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan.

“Ms Rice noted that Pakistan should continue to work constructively to take advantage of the death of Mullah Omar and the Taliban leadership transition. They discussed ways that Pakistan, in coordination with Kabul, could further support the Afghan-led reconciliation process at this critical juncture,” the official said.

Pakistan’s aggravating tensions with India and the spike in violence along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary also featured in Ms Rice’s meetings in Islamabad.

“We are interested in hearing from Pakistan about their thoughts and views about addressing the situation,” the official said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203938/us-calls-for-tough-action-against-haqqani-network

----------

 

VOA Panel: Defeat Al-Shabab with Correct Interpretation of Islam

August 30, 2015

The dissemination of the correct interpretation of Islam is one way Islamic scholars could help defeat al-Shabab, according to a VOA panel discussion held Saturday in Nairobi.

Panel members agreed an ideological war, combined with military power, must be waged in the fight against the militant group.

Some panel members voiced concern that the way Kenyan security forces treat some communities is resulting in young people turning to al-Shabab.

One panel member spoke about allegations of extrajudicial killings by the Kenyan forces.

However, the panel said the most successful way to diminish the threat of al-Shabab is to confront the militant group inside Somalia, where the group has been pushed from its strongholds but continues to launch attacks.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/content/panel-defeat-al-shabab-with-correct-interpretation-of-islam/2938234.html

----------

 

Cheney: Iran deal may lead to first nuke since WWII

31 August 2015

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has criticized President Barack Obama and the nuclear deal with Iran in what has been deemed one of the harshest statements made by Republican figures following the agreement.

In an op-ed recently published in the Wall Street Journal, an excerpt from Cheney’s upcoming book “Exceptional: Why the world needs a powerful America,” the former vice president compares the Iran nuclear deal to the 1938 Munich pact that led to World War II.

“The Obama agreement will lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclear-arms race in the Middle East and, more than likely, the first use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” he wrote.

Cheney, who has written the book with his daughter Liz, has accused Obama not being truthful about the facts surrounding the deal, saying that “nearly everything the president has told us about his Iranian agreement is false. He has said it will prevent the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons, but it will actually facilitate and legitimize an Iranian nuclear arsenal.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/08/31/Dick-Cheney-Iran-Deal-Will-Likely-Lead-to-First-Nuclear-Weapon-Use-Since-WWII.html

----------

 

 

Muslims Open Doors of Janesville's 1st Mosque

29 August 2015

JANESVILLE – Breaking barriers in the community, Muslims have opened the doors of the first mosque in Janesville, in southern Wisconsin, introducing true Islam to visitors.

“People are worried that Muslims are some type of a threat,” mosque's owner, Salih Erschen, told Gazettextra on Saturday, August 29.

“…If they don't know about the faith and the practice and the ideas and what uslims are focused on in life, then that causes a bit a fear, … so I always encourage Muslims to open their doors and invite people in and talk about what our faith is and share. That's been my approach … is to try and be more and more open about it.”

Erschen hosted the public gathering to help educate the community about Islam.

The open-door policy worked well after several residents experienced Islamic culture firsthand as Erschen shared a short message about social injustice and Allah's role in the world.

Erschen's son-in-law Ibraham Jitmoud read from the Qur'an in Arabic and ended the evening by leading Muslims in prayer.

Visitors included Christians from nearby churches who were curious about the mosque.

“We have an interest in Islam, but not an interest in becoming Muslim,” Rev. David King of Christ Presbyterian Church on Wright Road said, speaking for himself and his wife, Priscilla King.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/492815-muslims-open-doors-of-janesvilles-1st-mosque.html

----------

 

Pakistan

 

US security adviser hails Pakistan Army’s efforts against terrorism

August 30, 2015

RAWALPINDI: US National Security Adviser (NSA) Susan Rice today called on COAS General Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters, where she “appreciated and acknowledged Pakistan Army’s sincere efforts and sacrifices in the war against terrorism,” tweeted Maj Gen Asim Bajwa - the chief military spokesperson.

According to ISPR, matters of mutual interest including the security situation in the region were discussed. Both leaders also recognised the need for close coordination to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/30-Aug-2015/us-national-security-adviser-hails-pakistan-army-s-efforts-against-terrorism

----------

 

No dialogue with India unless all issues on agenda: Pak

Aug 31, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has said it will not resume dialogue with India unless all bilateral issues are on the agenda.

Prime Minister's adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said the meeting between DG Rangers and DG Border Security Force is scheduled for next week despite tensions on the Line of Control and Working Boundary.

He said Pakistan will not resume dialogue with India unless all the bilateral issues are put on the agenda, Radio Pakistan reported.

In an interview to a private TV channel, Aziz said National Security Advisor-level talks between the two countries could not be held in New Delhi last week due to the "Indian pre-conditions".

Aziz' comments came in the backdrop of heightened tensions along the border and LoC.

Pakistan last week had called off the scheduled NSA-level talks at the last minute over India's refusal to allow Islamabad to have consultations with Kashmiri separatists.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-dialogue-with-India-unless-all-issues-on-agenda-Pak/articleshow/48741469.cms

----------

 

LHC bans live broadcast of Altaf Hussain's speeches

IMRAN GABOL

Aug 31, 2015

LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday banned the live telecast of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain's speeches on TV channels till further orders.

The court, while banning the live broadcast of speeches made by the MQM supremo, also issued notices to the foreign secretary, interior secretary and secretary to the prime minister, seeking details of Altaf Hussain's nationality.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi and comprising Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu and Justice Erum Sajjad Gul, heard a petition seeking proceedings against MQM chief Altaf Hussain and other leaders of the party for alleged treason.

Also read: LHC full bench to take up petition against Altaf today

The petition, filed by advocates Abdullah Malik, Aftab, Maqsood and others, called for a lifetime ban on live telecast of Altaf Hussain's speeches.

The petition maintained that Altaf was in violation of Article 5 which asks for showing loyalty to the state and obedience to the constitution. Hence a case of treason should be registered against the MQM chief under Article 6 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Additionally, the court sought record of Hussain's speeches in the past from the additional advocate general (AAG) and the advocate general of Punjab.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned till September 7.

Workers and supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement on August 21 had gathered in front of the Karachi Press Club to protest against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) for allegedly imposing an unannounced ban on airing Altaf Hussain’s speeches on television channels.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1204010/lhc-bans-live-broadcast-of-altaf-hussains-speeches

----------

 

Restoring peace in Afghanistan a shared responsibility: military

Aug 31, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Hitting back at the US allegations that Pakistan was not doing enough to tackle the Haqqani network, the military said on Sunday that Pakistan was not alone to blame and that restoring peace in Afghanistan was a shared responsibility.

“It is the responsibility of all sides and stakeholders to work towards peace in Afghanistan,” a security official told Dawn hours after the US side at a briefing said that National Security Adviser Susan Rice had during her Islamabad trip conveyed a list of steps that it required Pakistan to take to eliminate threat posed by the Haqqani network.

Also read: Afghan forces regain control of a symbolic district in Helmand

The security official conceded that Ms Rice had in her meeting with Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters talked about the US concerns over the Haqqani network. “There was a frank, candid and intense discussion…. Both sides were open,” the official said, adding that while they raised the issue of Haqqani network, Pakistan too put forward its share of complaints.

Instead of the meeting getting bogged down in a blame game, the official clarified that the focus of the talks was on the way forward.

Indirectly blaming the Afghan government for its role in the suspension of peace talks with Taliban, the official said Ms Rice was reminded that the reconciliation process started in Murree on July 7 was now stuck.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203934/restoring-peace-in-afghanistan-a-shared-responsibility-military

----------

 

IED blast in Bajaur kills one, injures four

ALI AKBAR

Aug 31, 2015

PESHAWAR: At least one man killed and four others sustained injuries Monday in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Khar Tehsil of Bajaur agency.

According to security sources, the vehicle was on the way from Salarzai area to Khar when an IED, planted on the roadside, went off.

The source said that a pro-government elder travelling in the vehicle was the apparent target of the attack but the elder survived the blast while his driver was killed.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1204007/ied-blast-in-bajaur-kills-one-injures-four

----------

 

Gilani to skip court in TDAP cases today

Aug 31, 2015

MULTAN: Former Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said that he would not appear before the anti-corruption court in Karachi in the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) cases today (Monday) due to the murder of a former secretary general of the Karachi District Bar Association.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Gilani said he had consulted his counsel, Farooq H Naek, over the issue who suggested that he (Gilani) should not appear before the court as the lawyers had announced boycotting the courts’ proceedings in protest against the killing.

He said some new cases had been lodged against him and Makhdoom Amin Fahim in connection with the TDAP issue and non-bailable warrants had been issued in these cases.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203943/gilani-to-skip-court-in-tdap-cases-today

----------

 

Saudi Arabia executes Pakistani for drug trafficking

August 31, 2015

RIYADH:- Saudi authorities executed a Pakistani man on Sunday for attempting to smuggle drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said.

Up to 129 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, including the latest execution, compared with 87 for the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/31-Aug-2015/saudi-arabia-executes-pakistani-for-drug-trafficking

----------

 

South Asia

 

Taliban release biography of Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour

Aug 31 2015

In the preface of the biography, it has been reiterated that Mullal Akhtar Mohammad Mansour is the legitimate leader of the Taliban.

The biography begins with the Date of Birth and Place of Birth of Mullah Mansour.

It states that he was born in 1968 in Band-i-TAimoor village of Maiwand District of southern Kandahar province

According to the biography when Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Mullah Mansour left his religious education unfinished and joined the ‘Jihad’against them.

It adds that after the collapse of Soviet Union he put down his arms and when Taliban took over the country he joined the Taliban ranks and worked on different posts including the minister for aviation and tourism.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-release-biography-of-mullah-akhtar-mohammad-mansour-3850

----------

 

600 pro Akhtar Mansour Taliban arrived in Zabul’s Khak-e-Afghan to confront with opponents

Aug 31 2015

When Daesh emerged in Afghanistan few months before, some militants who had separated ways with Taliban joined them. Daesh announced war against those who were still supporting Taliban. These differences led to fighting and left dozens of militants killed from both sides.

Taliban ultimately sent open letter to Daesh’s affiliates in Iraq and Syria asking its leader not to draw a parallel line with them in Afghanistan. The open letter contained that ‘according to them’ Afghanistan’s Emir is Mullah Mohammad Omar.

But this letter did not make any difference in the fight between Daesh and Taliban.

Most recently when Mullah Mohammad Omar was confirmed dead rifts rose within the leadership of Taliban itself which has caused infighting within the militant group.

Some support the new leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour but some others support Mullah Mohammad Yaqoub who is the son of Mullah Mohammad Omar. Now Daesh is fighting Taliban but Taliban are fighting their own comrades and Daesh.

Haji Ata Jan Haqbayan, head of Zabul’s provincial council says that fighting has began between the two sides.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/600-pro-mansour-taliban-arrived-in-zabuls-khak-e-afghan-to-confront-with-opponents-3849

----------

 

NDS detain 30 terrorists involved in recent Kabul attacks

By KHAAMA PRESS - Mon Aug 31 2015

National-Directorate-of-SecurityThe National Directorate of security (NDS) – Afghanistan’s intelligence agency has detained 30 key members of Haqqani terrorist network and Peshawar Shura of Taliban during special operations.

A statement issued by NDS on Monday states that these terrorists were involved in recent deadly attacks in Kabul. These attacks left hundreds of people killed and wounded. Two of these attacks were carried out in Shah Shaheed and Fourth Macroryan areas and the two others were carried out on Hamid Karzai International Airport and Parliament House.

The statement further states that these people were planning more attacks in Kabul but NDS personnel detained them before they could implement their intentions.

The detained terrorists include Qari Janan the Peshwar Shura designated governor of Kabul’s Deh Sabz District and some his companions.

They also include some commanders from Haqqani terrorist network identified as Israr Ahmad, Malik and Mustafa who implemented one attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport and two others in Shah Shaheed and Fourth Macroryan areas.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/breaking-news-suspects-involved-in-recent-kabul-attacks-detained-3853

------

 

Afghan Taliban admit covering up Mullah Omar's death

Aug 31, 2015

KABUL: The Taliban on Monday admitted covering up longtime leader Mullah Omar's death for more than two years, saying he died in 2013 as was first claimed by the Afghan intelligence.

The group had continued as recently as July to release official statements in the name of Omar, who had not been seen in public since the Taliban were toppled from power in Kabul in 2001.

They confirmed on July 30 that he had died but did not say when, deepening internal divisions as many insurgents accused the leadership of covering up his death for two years.

A Taliban statement Monday admitted for the first time that he died on April 23, 2013. The detail was buried in a biography of new leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour, Omar's longtime deputy.

"Several key members of the supreme leading council of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban) and authentic religious scholars together decided on concealing the tragic news of passing away of (Omar)... and keep this secret limited to the very few colleagues who were already informed of this incorrigible loss," the biography said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-Taliban-admit-covering-up-Mullah-Omars-death/articleshow/48741910.cms

----------

 

Afghan airfields built for war seen as economic hubs

Aug 31, 2015

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD: It is a striking vision for a country torn to pieces by war and jihadi insurrection: a series of airports, built by Nato to fight the Taliban, are being handed over to the Afghan government in a civil aviation upgrade that optimists hope will fuel not only regional trade but even tourism.

The eight airfields, worth an estimated $2 billion, are scattered around a landlocked and mountainous land whose lack of rail transport or decent roads makes almost every intercity journey a perilous adventure - even without factoring in attacks from Taliban militants.

Ex-lawmaker Mohammad Daud Sultanzoy, who is overseeing the project for the government, said the airfields, self-contained cities that housed thousands of foreign troops who are now pulling out, will amount to a latter-day "Silk Road" that "will connect Afghanistan internally and to South Asia and Central Asia, and beyond."

The billions of people living in Asia and the Middle East "can constitute a huge number of tourists and related other activities: cargo, passenger and export/import," Sultanzoy said.

Pessimists will have little trouble imagining the Taliban trying to shoot down planes as they land, but officials say the militants do not currently have that ability, making air travel a reasonable and safe option.

US Major General Todd Semonite, who oversees $5 billion in funding to Afghanistan's security sector, said the decision to transfer rather than close the airfields was made in conjunction with President Ashraf Ghani's government after he took power last year, in the belief they could help "jump start the economy."

Military teams are upgrading them ahead of an international roadshow organised by the Afghan and US governments due to be held in Dubai next month.

Under an agreement with the United States, only the top-drawer facilities are being transferred, while small, remote military bases and airfields are being dismantled.

Afghanistan has an aviation infrastructure in place already, but it is rickety. Many of the country's 27 airports, four of them international, are little more than a shack at the end of a tarmac.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1204011/afghan-airfields-built-for-war-seen-as-economic-hubs

----------

 

Restoring peace in Afghanistan a shared responsibility: military

Aug 31, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Hitting back at the US allegations that Pakistan was not doing enough to tackle the Haqqani network, the military said on Sunday that Pakistan was not alone to blame and that restoring peace in Afghanistan was a shared responsibility.

“It is the responsibility of all sides and stakeholders to work towards peace in Afghanistan,” a security official told Dawn hours after the US side at a briefing said that National Security Adviser Susan Rice had during her Islamabad trip conveyed a list of steps that it required Pakistan to take to eliminate threat posed by the Haqqani network.

Also read: Afghan forces regain control of a symbolic district in Helmand

The security official conceded that Ms Rice had in her meeting with Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif at the General Headquarters talked about the US concerns over the Haqqani network. “There was a frank, candid and intense discussion…. Both sides were open,” the official said, adding that while they raised the issue of Haqqani network, Pakistan too put forward its share of complaints.

Instead of the meeting getting bogged down in a blame game, the official clarified that the focus of the talks was on the way forward.

Indirectly blaming the Afghan government for its role in the suspension of peace talks with Taliban, the official said Ms Rice was reminded that the reconciliation process started in Murree on July 7 was now stuck.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1203934/restoring-peace-in-afghanistan-a-shared-responsibility-military

----------

 

Kandahar’s director of culture wounded in armed attack

Aug 31 2015

Unidentified armed men attacked the director of information and cultural affairs of Kandahar province on Monday.

Local officials say Hazrat Wali Hotak was going to office when gunmen opened fire at his vehicle in Kandahar city around 08:00 am this morning.

Hotak received serious wounds but was quickly rushed to Mirwais Hospital for treatment where he was announced out of danger.

Doctors said that Hotak has received wounds to his arm and shoulder.

According to eyewitnesses, gunmen were riding on motorcycles who fled the area after spraying bullets on Hotak’s vehicle.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/kandahars-director-of-culture-wounded-in-armed-attack-3852

----------

 

50 students injured in attack on human chain

august 31, 2015

At least 50 female students were injured as criminals yesterday attacked a human chain programme that was organised demanding  arrest and punishment of the perpetrators who tease the female students of a school in the district.

Sources said a group of miscreants at Pukurpar area under Bahubal upazila teased the students of Faizabad High School while they went to school.

The managing committee of the school held arbitration several times over the issue. But the problem could not be solved.

Around 10am, locals,  students and teachers organised the programme at the school premises demanding exemplary punishment of the culprits. At one stage, the miscreants attacked the female students, leaving 50 of them injured who were participating the programme. They also attacked the school building and vandalised furniture.

On information, police went to the spot and brought out the situation under control.

Mosarraf Hossain, officer-in-charge of Bahubal model police station, said the police fired 40 bullets to bring the situation under control.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2015/aug/31/50-students-injured-attack-human-chain

----------

 

61 activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami held

August 31, 2015

Police last night arrested 61 activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and pro-Jamaat student body Islami Chhatra Shibir at a mosque in Chalk Chhatari of Bagha upazila of Rajshahi in connection with holding a "secret meeting".

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/61-jamaat-men-held-135484

----------

 

UN special envoy for freedom of religion in Bangladesh

August 31, 2015

United Nations Special Rapporteur Heiner Bielefeldt arrived in the capital yesterday for a nine-day mission to assess the state of freedom of religion or belief regarding gender, women, children, and particularly religious minority or indigenous community issues in the country.

He will meet government officials, representatives of religious or belief communities and minority and indigenous communities. He will share his preliminary findings with the media on September 9. Bielefeldt will present a report with his conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in 2016.

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/un-special-envoy-freedom-religion-town-135304

----------

 

Taher, Nani implicated in Netrakona freedom fighter murder again

August 31, 2015

A prosecution witness yesterday corroborated testimonies of previous witnesses that Obaidul Haque Taher and Ataur Rahman Nani killed freedom fighter Dabir Hossain in Netrakona town during the Liberation War in 1971.

Maksuda Hossain Ava, Dabir's younger sister and the 15th prosecution witness in the case, told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that her father requested Taher's father for Dabir's release but to no avail. Maksuda, who also trained for the Liberation War, said she heard about their involvement in her brother's abduction and murder from several witnesses. Earlier, Abdul Hamid and Abu Bakar Siddique, the 13th and 14th prosecution witnesses in the case respectively, also linked them in the killing on October 4, 1971.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/another-implicates-taher-nani-killing-netrakona-freedom-fighter-135310

----------

 

Southeast Asia

 

Indonesia Urges Islamic Cooperation Organization to Establish Contact Group On Terrorism

August 29 2015

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi is hopeful that the international Islamic Cooperation Organization (OKI) will agree on the establishment of a Contact Group on Joint Islamic Strategic Action (JISA) to handle terrorism and extremism, as proposed by the government.

During a meeting with OKI secretary-general Iyad Ameen Madani, who visited Indonesia on Thursday and Friday, Retno said JISA would benefit OKI countries and strengthen the view that terrorism and extremism are not in line with the teachings of Islam.

“It is a follow-up to the President’s [Joko “Jokowi” Widodo] proposal which he delivered during a meeting between Islamic countries at the Asian-African Conference [KAA] in Bandung in May,” said Retno in a press release on Saturday as quoted by Antara news agency.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/08/29/indonesia-urges-oki-establish-contact-group-terrorism.html

----------

 

China's Ningxia starts annual Mecca pilgrimage

English.news.cn   2015-08-31

YINCHUAN, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, which has the largest Hui population in China, began sending Muslims on the annual Mecca pilgrimage on Monday.

A charter flight with 297 Muslims was the first group of 2,833 pilgrims from Ningxia to go on the government-organized trips to the Saudi Arabian city this year.

A total of 14,500 Chinese Muslims will take 47 charter flights on Mecca pilgrimages in 2015, according to China Islamic Association.

Prevention of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) infection will be the top concern of this year's Mecca pilgrimages, said Tian Yufu with the Ningxia Regional Administration of Religious Affairs.

Local authorities have provided the group with medicine and masks, as well as a disease prevention specialist. Checks will also be conducted before their return, according to Tian.

The Mecca pilgrimage, also known as the Hajj, is a Muslim tradition that specifies all able-bodied Muslims who can afford to travel to Saudi Arabia must visit Mecca at least once in their lives.

Full report at:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-08/31/c_134573559.htm

----------

 

Malaysia government reclaims capital streets, PM asserts command

AFP, Kuala Lumpur

Aug 31, 2015

Malaysia's government, with Prime Minister Najib Razak presiding, reclaimed the streets of the capital Monday after massive weekend protests demanding the premier's ouster, staging its own show of force with National Day celebrations attended by thousands.

Masses of flag-waving spectators cheered a colourful parade of soldiers, police and civil servants through the city centre, symbolically underlining the government's clout despite pressure for change.

Organisers of the peaceful weekend demonstrations said more than 200,000 people came out to demand the embattled Najib's removal over a financial scandal.

"Well, we gave it our best shot and now it's their turn again," said Simon Tam, a lawyer who attended the demonstrations on both days.

"Getting Najib to step down is not easy, and maybe there is not much hope at all. But can we stand by and say nothing?"

Najib has been under pressure since the Wall Street Journal last month published Malaysian documents showing nearly $700 million had been deposited into his personal bank accounts, beginning in 2013.

His cabinet ministers now admit the transfers happened, describing them as "political donations" from unidentified Middle Eastern sources but refusing to explain further.

Influential ex-leader Mahathir Mohamad, who calls Najib corrupt and a poor leader and has pressed for his ouster for more than a year, caused a stir by attending the rally on Sunday.

The 90-year-old, who squelched civil disobedience during his 1981-2003 rule, evoked the 1986 Philippine "people power" revolt in calling for Najib to be toppled.

"If the government ignores the law, we have to demonstrate. If you look at (former president Ferdinand) Marcos, when he was ruling the Philippines they had to overthrow him through demonstrations," he said.

But the chances of a "people power" revolt in Malaysia are remote.

Najib can 'rest easy'

Najib retains firm control of the powerful ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and its coalition government enjoys solid support among the Muslim ethnic Malays who make up more than 60 percent of the population.

"Najib can rest easy because the only way anyone could remove him is through parliament or the ruling party," said Ibrahim Suffian, head of leading Malaysian polling firm Merdeka Centre.

Najib has already faced months of allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars disappeared from deals involving a state-owned company, and Mahathir, who remains active in UMNO, accused the premier of using them as party bribes to secure political support.

But Najib, who firmly denies any wrongdoing, on Sunday refused to step down, calling the protesters "shallow-minded".

The prime minister recently strengthened his position by purging critics in his cabinet and appears to have stalled investigations into the scandal through other personnel moves.

UMNO has controlled multi-racial Malaysia through coalition governments since independence in 1957, but support is sliding over persistent corruption, civil liberties curbs and controversial policies favouring Malays.

Najib had vowed earlier to end corruption, expand freedoms and reform the pro-Malay policies, but abandoned those initiatives under pressure from UMNO conservatives after a 2013 election setback.

Participants in Monday's rally in Kuala Lumpur were overwhelmingly from the ethnic Chinese who make up about a quarter of the population, suggesting the demonstrations had limited Malay support.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/malaysia-government-reclaims-capital-streets-pm-asserts-command/article1-1385976.aspx

----------

 

Malaysia in space: On Soyuz wings and a short prayer

August 31, 2015

Rakesh Krishnan Simha,

The first Malaysian in space rode into the final frontier on a Russian rocket on October 10, 2007. As launches go, it was a textbook liftoff. But the actual flight was a tricky one because the first Malaysian in space had to comply with certain Islamic rules – 400 km above Earth.

Sheikh Muszaphar, a 36 year old medic, had been handpicked out of 11,000 applicants from Malaysia. When he arrived at the International Space Station, riding the Soyuz-TMA-11 rocket, the antariksawan – cosmonaut in Malay – was expecting to conduct a series of experiments to study the effect of microgravity on the human body, cancer cells and bacteria.

Instead Muszaphar had to spend time going through an instruction manual on daily religious rituals provided by Malaysian mullahs. Vyacheslav Urlyapov of the Moscow-based Centre for Southeast Asia, Australia, and Oceania Studies, RAS Institute of Oriental Studies, sums up the cosmonaut’s experience:

“The 11-day flight overlapped in part the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims had been in orbit before him, but it fell to Muszaphar to comply with the detailed instructions written for him by Islamic theologians (ulema) to remain a true believer in space, too.”

Muslims are required to face in the general direction of the city of Mecca while saying the mandatory – five times a day – prayers. But locating the tiny city from space is not an easy task, especially when you are hurtling around Earth at more than 17,000 km per hour. Also, in space there is no sense of direction – as we know it on land. The Malaysian cosmonaut was therefore all at sea during his first space flight.

Mercifully, Muszaphar was released from fasting, and was allowed to say shorter prayers and perform daily rituals according to Kazakhstan time. Plus, he didn’t have to face the constant ordeal of locating Mecca.

It isn’t known whether it was the Russian space station crew or the Malaysian space bosses who overruled the ulema, but Muszaphar’s mission set a benchmark for future Muslim space travellers. “Muszaphar's flight highlighted the challenges that Muslims confront in practising their religion in space,” writes Robert Harding in 'Space Policy in Developing Countries: The Search for Security and Development on the Final Frontier'.

“A resulting publication, 'Guidelines for Performing Islamic Rites at the International Space Station' was published by the Malaysian government, suggesting that each Muslim figure out the best way according to each one's ability.”

For, in space where the slightest mistake can cause a great tragedy and place the entire mission in jeopardy, cosmonauts – especially crew members – should be concentrating on the mission rather than prayers.

Following religious laws drafted in the seventh century can be difficult in the space age. For instance, Muslims are required to fast from daybreak to sunset during the month of Ramadan. However, in low earth orbit you have a sunrise every 90 minutes. Therefore, in space there is a no night or day as we know them on earth.

Except for the religious hiccup, the rest of the mission was more or less glitch free. Urlyapov says: “Although the landing was not fully perfect, it did not cool Kuala Lumpur’s desire to continue cooperation with Russia in space. The parties discussed what Muszaphar’s stand-in, Major Faiz Khaleed of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, was to do. Both wanted him to continue training and start research at the Centre for Medico-Biological Studies in Moscow.”

The Malaysian government planned to buy the space capsule that had brought the “Malaysian Gagarin” back to Earth and put it on show as a symbol of the country’s advance in science and technology. But the plan could not have come at a worse time as a global economic crisis broke out and it had to be shelved.

Earlier, in September 2000, Russia helped put a Malaysian remote Earth sensing mini-satellite into orbit. That year, fires raging in the jungles of Sumatra and Kalimantan at regular intervals turned into a common disaster for Southeast Asia. Suffocating whitish haze was suspended in the air above many of Malaysia’s territories for long periods. Data beamed down from the satellite helped assess the scale of the environmental disaster and search for ways to counter it.

Full report at:

http://rbth.com/arts/2015/08/31/malaysia_in_space_on_soyuz_wings_and_a_short_prayer_48845.html

----------

 

Bishops won’t ‘discourage’ patriotic Christians

Shane Fuentes

August 31, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) of Malaysia, while dedicating itself to the secular nature of the Federal Constitution, stressed in its Merdeka Day Message that it cannot discourage Christians if they feel that it’s their sacred duty to seek justice, especially for the vulnerable in society as part of their efforts to play a role in nation-building. “Christians, as individuals, have a right to make a stand on matters that they are concerned about in the affairs of the nation,” conceded CBC President Reverend Julian Leow who was speaking on behalf of the Archbishops, and bishops in Sabah, Sarawak and Malaysia.

“It’s their inalienable right as citizens to deliberate, communicate and act on matters of societal concern, be they political, social or economical.”

He hastened to add that the Church however, as an institution guided by secularism, would concern itself with administering to the spiritual welfare of the faithful. “There were many distressing events in Malaysia which made people question whether the country was still ruled by law,” pointed out Reverend Julian. “The Rule of Law is paramount as reflected in the Federal Constitution. No extremist or religious group can behave as if they are above the law.”

“Human rights, freedom of expression and the liberty of the social media are coming increasingly under severe restrictions through administrative actions which may have no basis in law.”

Reverend Julian added that the voice of dissent, a democratic right, was being stifled and ironically on the dubious grounds that they are detrimental to parliamentary democracy. “These trends, coming on top of the doing away over the years of checks and balances in the system, have caused a great deal of anxiety among the people.”

“The current political trends in the country are very disturbing and have caused concern among the people who have their daily lives to worry about.”

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/08/31/bishops-wont-discourage-patriotic-christians/

----------

 

Suryadharma Faces Life Over Hajj Fund Graft Scandal

Aug 31, 2015

Jakarta. Former religious affairs minister Suryadharma Ali could spend the rest of his life in prison should he be found guilty of two counts of embezzlement.

Suryadharma stands accused of bypassing the required tender process in appointing 17 Saudi firms and hotel operators to provide housing for Indonesian pilgrims in the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

The former United Development Party (PPP) chairman is also alleged to have misused Indonesia's hajj pilgrimage quota, handing them to hundreds of family members, friends, colleagues and subordinates.

The alleged crime "cost the state Rp 27,3 billion [$1.9 million] and 17.96 million Saudi riyal [$4.78 million]," the prosecution told the court.

Full report at:

http://jakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/suryadharma-faces-life-hajj-fund-graft-scandal/

----------

 

Why China should worry about Pak

Vinod Saigha

31 August, 2015

In excerpt from a paper presented at ICRIER on 9 August 2009 is reproduced below:

“The US and its allies have been concentrating on the nuclear proliferation threat building up in Iran and North Korea. After the A Q Khan episode Pakistan seems to have been put on the back burner. As a matter of fact the Pak nuclear threat is far more insidious and widespread than is currently assessed in most quarters. Iran’s capability vis-à-vis Pakistan on a scale of 0 to 9 is not even 1; Pakistan would be hovering around 7 or 8 in its comparative nuclear capability. Likewise in the case of North Korea although it has gone much ahead of Iran, it is not in the same league as Pakistan in the number of nuclear weapons that it possesses or is likely to possess in the next decade or so. What is more relevant North Korea does not have the radical groups that are capable of carrying out terrorist acts of varying intensities practically across the globe; Iran to date limits its reach to Lebanon, Syria & Gaza”.

Other disturbing trends that should make the world sit up and take note are:

- Of all the countries that possess nuclear weapons Pakistan is the only one that routinely threatens to use them. To date that threat has been limited to India. What happens in future is anybody’s guess.

- With the help of China and North Korea Pakistan has developed the missile capability to extend its reach well beyond India to cover much of the Middle East and Central Asia.

- At the start of its nuclear weapons programme the principal financiers were Saudi Arabia and Libya. After the big donation a stadium was named after Col. Gaddafi. Libya has become a failed state and is now out of the reckoning. The Saudis retain the right to demand return on investment. A part of the transfers might already have been made.

- From the very beginning Pakistan announced that it was producing an Islamic bomb; never a bomb against India, in so many words. The connotation of an Islamic bomb could not have been lost on the world. For the time being China can afford to play dumb. But for how long?

- Pakistan has single-handedly held up the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty that was being negotiated in Geneva.

The threat of non-state actors getting hold of a nuclear weapon, device, or suitcase bomb presently relates only to Pakistan, whatever the assurances given by its military that their nuclear weapons are one hundred per cent safe from radical elements. China and the US are two countries that have had a major role in boosting Pakistan’s nuclear programme and nuclear weapons augmentation. China has been a direct booster of Pakistan’s nuclear capability. The evidence is in the public domain and has been fairly well-documented in spite of China’s denials. The US has been an accomplice in the sense that administrations have turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear weaponisation by certifying on the country’s behalf for grant of billions of dollars even before it became a major non-NATO ally during General Pervez Musharraf’s tenure.

China is further augmenting Pakistan’s nuclear weapons potential by constructing two more reactors in that country. Even before the most recent estimates coming from the US that in ten years Pakistan would have more nuclear weapons than one of the P5 countries, France, it was generally accepted by experts around the world that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons stockpile had gone beyond that of India and that its weapons augmentation programme was the fastest in the world. That being the case, who should be most worried at these developments in a state that although never declared a rogue was known to have been by far the biggest nuclear proliferator.

Full report at:

http://www.thestatesman.com/news/opinion/why-china-should-worry-about-pak/86395.html

------------

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/osama’s-ex-aide-urges-british-muslims-not-to-join-isis/d/104433



Loading..

Loading..