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Islamic World News ( 16 May 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistan University Bans Boys and Girls from Sitting as Couple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Sargodha University is first public sector institute which has imposed this kind of ban in recent times. (Representational Image)

 

Taxpayer Money Should Be Utilized to Promote American Mosques

Afghan Forces Turned Balkh into Graveyard of Taliban and ISIS: Acting Governor

Scottish Converts to Islam without Ever Meeting a Muslim, Azaan Woke Something Up Inside Him

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Pakistan

Pakistan University Bans Boys and Girls from Sitting as Couple

Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws Creating Political and Economic Problems

Son of Slain Pakistani Governor Narrates Horrific Kidnap Ordeal

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North America

Taxpayer Money Should Be Utilized to Promote American Mosques

Angelina Jolie Slams Trump for Anti-Muslim Comments

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Europe

Scottish Converts to Islam without Ever Meeting a Muslim, Azaan Woke Something Up Inside Him

Pope Francis Praises London’s New Muslim Mayor

Trump's Muslim Ban Still 'Stupid and Wrong', U.K. Prime Minister Says

Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam posted Islamic State flag online

Islam and Christianity share 'idea of conquest', says Pope Francis

World and regional powers meet in Vienna on Syria

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South Asia

Afghan Forces Turned Balkh into Graveyard of Taliban and ISIS: Acting Governor

Over 80 Taliban insurgents killed, wounded in Kandahar: 205th Atal Corps

20 Taliban insurgents killed in Kunduz drone strike

Major rocket attack on Kabul city thwarted, three 122 mm rockets seized

Bangladesh arrests Islamic State militant for professor’s murder

Bangladeshi opposition official arrested over alleged Mossad plot

Car bomb attack on Ministry of Interior foiled in Kabul

Demonstrations for TUTAP to be organized in Japan, Austria and Australia

Afghanistan and China sign 6 documents for bilateral cooperation

Ghani thanks protesters for ‘responsibly’ behaving during Kabul demonstration

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Arab World

Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia: Iran Blocking Its Own Haj Pilgrims

Kurdish Fighters Inflict Major Losses on ISIL in Hasaka Province

ISIL Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Returns to Iraq

Clashes Intensify between Gov't Forces, Terrorist Groups North of Aleppo

ISIL Retreats from more Territories near Homs Oilfields

Former DM Warns of US Plots to Deploy Terrorists in Eastern Iran

Syrian Army Wins One more Battle against Terrorists East of Damascus

New Deaths in Nagorno-Karabakh after Armenia, Azerbaijan's Leaders Meet

Lebanese Authorities Detain ISIL Supporter

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India

Pathankot Attack: Fresh Red Corner Notice against JeM Chief Masood Azhar

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Mideast

Turkey Using Military Operations in Northern Syria to Help Terrorists

Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian Homes in Jerusalem

Turkey confirms 13 missing were killed in PKK blast in Diyarbakır

AKP deputy ‘feels like downing another Russian jet’ after CSKA Moscow defeat

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Africa

Al-Qaeda Affiliates Threaten Peaceful Cities in West Africa

Uganda: Islamic Banking Agitators Want Four Laws Reviewed

Key Witness Cross Examined in Minnesota Islamic State Case

Why does al-Shabaab still exist?

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Southeast Asia

Philippine Militants Trying to Unite with Other IS Support Groups

Can ‘The Punisher’ Outmatch ISIS in the Philippines?

Get to know about Indonesian Halal Cuisine

Terrorist attack was 'imminent' police say as Sydney teenager arrested

Buddhist group fails in bid to expel Muslims from Myanmar city

Sittwe’s Muslim quarter allowed limited access to market

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/pakistan-university-bans-boys-and-girls-from-sitting-as-couple/d/107330

 

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Pakistan university bans boys and girls from sitting as couple

17 May 2016

Lahore: A Pakistani university has banned 'one-on-one' sittings of boys and girls on campus by terming it against Islamic 'cultural' norms, in a case of moral policing.

The Sargodha University Lahore campus on Monday issued a circular banning the 'one-on-one' sittings of male and female students in classroom, cafeteria or any other place in the campus.

"In view of our cultural and religious bindings and complaints by parents, inappropriate interaction between male and female students is hereby strictly prohibited within the university premises," the notice states.

"We have imposed ban on sittings of male and female students together in 'couple form' on the complaints of parents. Parents have objected to the boys and girls sitting together especially in classroom," Sargodha University Director Mian Javed said.

"He said considering the complaints of parents and some students the varsity administration and its board have unanimously decided to place a ban on 'one-on-one' sittings of boys and girls," he said, adding the boys and girls can sit together in group form (three or more) for 'academic discussions'.

Javed further said Pakistan is an Islamic state and "we have to discourage this culture (of boys and girls sitting together)."

Sargodha University is first public sector institute which has imposed this kind of ban in recent times. Ali Ahtasham, a student of Sargodha University, said that the administration has actually given in to the pressure of a student wing.

"The extremists elements on campus earlier had thrashed some boys for sitting with girls," he said. In Punjab University, the Islami Jamiat Tulba often thrash male students for sitting with girls but the administration did not ban 'couple' sittings.

deccanchronicle.com/world/neighbours/170516/pakistan-university-bans-boys-and-girls-from-sitting-as-couple.html

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Taxpayer Money Should Be Utilized to Promote American Mosques

Monday 16 May 2016

Teaneck, New Jersey – For a year now, I have had conversations with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of State, and Congress, and they all seemed to agree that American mosques are a shield against extremism. Yet to my disappointment, none of the officials I spoke with could (wanted to?) offer any concrete assistance to mosques so as they improve their reach and attract more young Muslims or promote a message of peace to the Americans who do not have any encounter with Muslims other than what is showcased on some movies or news about terrorism.

I still believe that American mosques have the right message that America strives for in order to combat extremism. I emphasize the following:

Al Qaida or ISIS are only symptoms of a larger problem. Military and intelligence operations cannot exterminate an ideology that is not bound by geography.

Extremism can only be nullified with another ideology (let us for the sake of this article call it “Moderate Islam”) though I personally believe that there is only one Islam, and that extremism does not have much to do with Islam).

American mosques are a great source of Moderate Islam. American mosques have the right intentions but lack the skills, tools, and funding.

Here are the reasons that make using taxpayer money to leverage moderate Islamic knowledge on the internet an urgent must.

Islamic jurisprudence that is Not Made in the USA

American Muslims, especially first generation Americans who understand an Eastern language (Urdu, Arabic, etc…) and who are not well connected with an imam or a mosque that has steady educational programs, rely, to a high extent, on knowledge coming from the East, which neglects the peculiarities of the American society.

Scholars and preachers from certain countries benefit from their funding to propagate their message across satellite channels and now on the internet.

It is a no-brainer that some foreign scholars have views that are strange to America (e.g. a woman should not go to school, etc…). But what is dangerous is that several of these scholars declare America as an enemy of Islam, or that for Muslims to flourish, they must conquer other countries.

On the other edge of the spectrum, there are other preachers who do not even have academic credentials, but give themselves the authority to preach about Islam on television in a way that is misleading or overly liberal for the average Muslim.

For instance, Dr. Khaled Montasir, an Egyptian gynecologist with no academic credentials in Islamic studies, had his own TV show in which he discussed Islam.

Another example is Turkey’s Adnan Oktar (Harun Yahya), who has his own TV channel where his main talk show about Islam features him and a set of very seductive bombshells whose way of dressing may not be accepted even in American TV channels.

It is also worth mentioning that the Middle-East is going through a Sunni-Shiite ideological war, which requires governments to spend money to promote their ideologies.

In the midst of this chaos of Islamic knowledge imported from the East, coupled with a scarcity of Islamic knowledge “made in the USA,” a Muslim individual may get lost spiritually, which can lead to distance from religion, or to extremism.

US media Contribute to a bad image about Muslims

Today’s media are more interested in bad events. Bad events sell. As a result, when Muslims are mentioned in the media, it is almost always because of a bad event: terrorism most likely.

When millions of Muslim Americans witness that their media are against them, would it be unreasonable to say that out of these millions, a few thousands may develop an anti-American sentiment, and that out of these few thousands, a few hundreds may engage in terrorist activity? No, it would not be unreasonable.

Terrorism has evolved

In the past, a potential terrorist would be known for being peculiar, for being unfriendly, and for having some deviant habits. Mohamed Ata, one of the 9/11 hijackers, was described as “someone who had the face of death,” and who allegedly was addicted to cocaine.

However, recently, the profiles of terrorists have changed. The 2015 Boston Marathon bombing gave birth to a new type of terrorists: your average Joe. He is friendly, dances at parties, hangs out with coworkers and classmates, he dates, everyone loves him in the neighborhood, etc.   The San Bernardino terrorist attack confirms this profile (i.e. coworkers and neighbors did not suspect anything unusual about the behavior of Rizwan Farook, the main suspect).

If I were John, a person who is not Muslim, such profiles would lead me to doubt my neighbor Ahmed, although I have known Ahmed for years and have not seen anything bad from him.

Add to this, in the past, media attacks on Islam were a habit that was exclusive to right wing media. But this has changed. Today, liberals such as Bill Maher and Sam Harris devote a good deal of their media presence to bash Muslims and Islam not only by criticizing Islam (which would be acceptable in a country that guarantees freedom of expression), but by making categorical generalizations about Islam and Muslims.

Muslims in America are surrounded by a spider-web of anti-Muslim messages. A lot of Muslims are in the pressure-cooker.

While mainstream media are free to broadcast what would bring them more viewers, and therefore more ad revenue, it becomes compulsory to create a balance –somehow- by stimulating pro-Muslim content and moderate Muslim knowledge, especially on the internet.

The lack of this positive content paints a terrible image about Muslims in America, and eventually causes a lack of trust between Muslim Americans and other Americans, and between Muslim Americans and their country as a whole.

Funding media and youth activities of some predominant American mosques in this case can be presented as a necessity that is not necessarily a first amendment issue or a violation of separation of church and state, just like holding prisoners without trial at Guantanamo Bay or extra screening that some Muslims go through at American airports are presented as security necessities.

I would not exonerate the Muslim American community from any responsibility for insufficiently outreaching to the American public, but, since extremism is a national security issue, and that the Muslim community in America is able to offer a long term weapon against extremism, taxpayer money should be spent on American mosques.

moroccoworldnews.com/2016/05/186715/taxpayer-money-should-be-utilized-to-promote-american-mosques/

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Afghan Forces Turned Balkh into Graveyard of Taliban and ISIS: Acting Governor

Mon May 16 2016

The acting provincial governor of northern Balkh province and chief executive of Jamiat-e-Islami party Ata Mohammad Noor has said at least 38 militants were killed during clearance operations in Koshindeh district.

According to a statement by the provincial government media office, the operations were conducted in Tanj village of Koshindeh district under the supervision of Noor.

The statement further added that 24 militants were also arrested during the operations and were handed over the relevant authorities.

Noor quoted in the statement said “As we have repeatedly said in the past, Balkh province will be turned into graveyard of Taliban militants and loyalists of ISIS terrorist group.”

Noor further added that the “militants were supposed to refrain from destabilizing Balkh province but they didn’t and the province has turned into a graveyard for them.”

He said all the militants from Samangan and Sar-e-Pul provinces had launched an offensive in Balkh and they have all been killed or arrested by the security forces.

According to Noor, even one of the militant has not managed to return back and escape the operation of the Afghan forces.

According to the statement, a number of the Afghan security personnel were killed or wounded during the operations but no further details were given regarding the exact number.

khaama.com/noor-says-afghan-forces-turned-balkh-into-graveyard-of-taliban-and-isis-0961

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Scottish Converts to Islam Without Ever Meeting A Muslim, Azaan Woke Something Up Inside Him

May 16, 2016

How does a middle-aged, white Scottish man living in the Scottish Highlands end up becoming a Muslim – especially when he hasn’t properly met a Muslim in his life?

‘For me, it all started when I heard the call to prayer from a local mosque while on a beach holiday in Turkey. It woke something up inside me and inspired me to begin a spiritual quest,” Scottish man said.

“Back home in Inverness, I went to the local bookshop, bought a Qur’an and started to read. While reading, I always asked God to guide me on the journey I had set out on”.

“A lot of praying. A lot of time on my knees”.

The Qur’an really shook him. He believes that it’s quite a scary book to read because it tells so much about oneself. Some things that he found out about himself, he didn’t approve of that. Thus, he decided to make some changes.

“I knew that I could stop reading the Qur’an and halt the process at any time, but I also knew that would mean giving up something really important. And I knew what the end result of this process would be: I would be a Muslim”.

He kept on reading in fact at least thrice, looking for the catch. “But there was no catch; I was quite comfortable with everything”.

The difficult part in all of this was him wondering who he would become. “Would I become strange, dress differently, speak differently in the eyes of others?”

“I would spend time conducting searches online, looking for the stories of people who had gone through this experience themselves. Nothing ever seemed to quite fit the bill – each person’s journey, of course, is unique”.

According to him, online resources are great to find out how to pray in Arabic, to listen to the Qur’an read out loud or perhaps to listen to some Islamic music.

“After those 18 months, however, I considered myself a Muslim. I was praying five times a day, fasting for Ramadan, and eating and drinking only what was considered acceptable according to the teachings of the Qu’ran”.

Hence, after that, he found out that there was a small mosque in his town.

“I popped along, knocked on the door and introduced myself”.

“I was accepted from the very beginning, however, and am now a constant within the community. I still had things to learn, of course”.

“What is Islam – and how do you divorce that religion from somebody’s culture? It’s important to point out that it’s Islam you have to accept, rather than any cultural specificities from out in the world. You always retain the freedom to define your own identity, so long as you stay true to the written tenets of the Qu’ran”.

He now declares himself as a white, middle-aged Scottish Muslim and is absolutely happy with it.

pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/05/17/foreign/scottish-man-converts-to-islam-without-ever-meeting-a-muslim/

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Pakistan

Pakistan university bans boys and girls from sitting as couple

17 May 2016

Lahore: A Pakistani university has banned 'one-on-one' sittings of boys and girls on campus by terming it against Islamic 'cultural' norms, in a case of moral policing.

The Sargodha University Lahore campus on Monday issued a circular banning the 'one-on-one' sittings of male and female students in classroom, cafeteria or any other place in the campus.

"In view of our cultural and religious bindings and complaints by parents, inappropriate interaction between male and female students is hereby strictly prohibited within the university premises," the notice states.

"We have imposed ban on sittings of male and female students together in 'couple form' on the complaints of parents. Parents have objected to the boys and girls sitting together especially in classroom," Sargodha University Director Mian Javed said.

"He said considering the complaints of parents and some students the varsity administration and its board have unanimously decided to place a ban on 'one-on-one' sittings of boys and girls," he said, adding the boys and girls can sit together in group form (three or more) for 'academic discussions'.

Full report at: deccanchronicle.com/world/neighbours/170516/pakistan-university-bans-boys-and-girls-from-sitting-as-couple.html

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Pakistan’s blasphemy laws creating political and economic problems

May 16, 2016

Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws are dividing the country and are creating a range of political and economic problems.

Pakistan is notable as a country that was formed as a home for the Muslims of British India. As a result, Islam and the state are closely intertwined, highlighted by the official name, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. An example of this close relationship is seen in the blasphemy laws in place in the country. These laws have, especially in recent years, been brutally enforced, resulting in often controversial outcomes. As a country placed at the forefront of the battle against Islamic extremism, from both a physical and a metaphorical perspective, these laws seemingly conflict with Pakistan’s outlook and development. It is for that reason that they have the potential to cause political and economic problems and hold Pakistan back.

Full report at: globalriskinsights.com/2016/05/pakistans-blasphemy-laws-problems/

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Son of slain Pakistani governor narrates horrific kidnap ordeal

17 May 2016

The son of a murdered Pakistani governor has described in chilling detail how he was flogged, shot and had his nails pulled out by Islamic militants during almost five years in captivity.

But Shahbaz Taseer, in his first interviews since he returned home in March, said he never abandoned hope he would one day see his family again.

Taseer, who was kidnapped in his home town of Lahore in 2011, described his horrific ordeal in Pakistan's tribal areas and in Afghanistan in interviews with the BBC's Urdu service and CNN.

Full report at: dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-3594423/Son-slain-Pakistani-governor-narrates-horrific-kidnap-ordeal.html

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North America

Taxpayer Money Should Be Utilized to Promote American Mosques

Monday 16 May 2016

Teaneck, New Jersey – For a year now, I have had conversations with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security, the US Department of State, and Congress, and they all seemed to agree that American mosques are a shield against extremism. Yet to my disappointment, none of the officials I spoke with could (wanted to?) offer any concrete assistance to mosques so as they improve their reach and attract more young Muslims or promote a message of peace to the Americans who do not have any encounter with Muslims other than what is showcased on some movies or news about terrorism.

Full report at: moroccoworldnews.com/2016/05/186715/taxpayer-money-should-be-utilized-to-promote-american-mosques/

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Angelina Jolie slams Trump for anti-Muslim comments

May 16, 2016

London (CNN)Angelina Jolie lashed out at U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday for his controversial remarks against Muslims, comments that have prompted waves of anger in Islamic communities

When asked for her thoughts about Trump's attitude toward Muslims, Jolie closed her eyes and shook her head in disapproval.

"To me, America is built on people from around the world coming together for freedoms, especially freedom of religion. So it's hard to hear this is coming from someone who is pressing to be an American president," she said.

Trump's call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States came as Syrians fled their war-torn homeland in the tens of thousands, with President Barack Obama pledging to take in 10,000 of them.

Full report at: edition.cnn.com/2016/05/16/politics/angelina-jolie-donald-trump-refugees/

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Europe

Scottish Converts to Islam Without Ever Meeting A Muslim, Azaan Woke Something Up Inside Him

May 16, 2016

How does a middle-aged, white Scottish man living in the Scottish Highlands end up becoming a Muslim – especially when he hasn’t properly met a Muslim in his life?

‘For me, it all started when I heard the call to prayer from a local mosque while on a beach holiday in Turkey. It woke something up inside me and inspired me to begin a spiritual quest,” Scottish man said.

“Back home in Inverness, I went to the local bookshop, bought a Qur’an and started to read. While reading, I always asked God to guide me on the journey I had set out on”.

“A lot of praying. A lot of time on my knees”.

The Qur’an really shook him. He believes that it’s quite a scary book to read because it tells so much about oneself. Some things that he found out about himself, he didn’t approve of that. Thus, he decided to make some changes.

“I knew that I could stop reading the Qur’an and halt the process at any time, but I also knew that would mean giving up something really important. And I knew what the end result of this process would be: I would be a Muslim”.

Full report at: pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/05/17/foreign/scottish-man-converts-to-islam-without-ever-meeting-a-muslim/

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POPE FRANCIS PRAISES LONDON’S NEW MUSLIM MAYOR

May 17, 2016

Pope Francis says that London’s election of the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital is an example of how migrants can be integrated in Europe.

Voters in the English capital elected Sadiq Khan, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, on May 6 after a campaign in which the Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, was criticized for focusing on Labour candidate Khan’s religion.

In an interview with French Catholic newspaper La Croix published on Tuesday, the leader of the Catholic Church said that Khan’s election provided an encouraging sign as other parts of Europe put up borders to migrants coming from the Middle East and Africa. Francis, 79, cited the orchestrators of the Brussels attacks—in which suicide bombings at an airport and metro station killed 36 people in March—as an example of the consequences of not integrating migrants. Many of the perpetrators of both the Brussels attacks and Paris attacks that killed 130 people in November 2015 grew up in the Molenbeek district of the Belgian capital, seen as a haven for extremists.

Full report at: newsweek.com/pope-francis-praises-londons-new-muslim-mayor-460656

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Trump's Muslim Ban Still 'Stupid and Wrong', U.K. Prime Minister Says

read more: haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.719816

May 16, 2016

REUTERS — British Prime Minister David Cameron stands by his description of Donald Trump's proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States as "divisive, stupid and wrong," a spokesman said on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Trump, when asked about Cameron's criticism, said such comments indicate he is unlikely to have a good relationship with the British prime minister.

Full report at: haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.719816

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Paris suspect Salah Abdeslam posted Islamic State flag online

May 17, 2016

Brussels (dpa) - Weeks before the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, key suspect Salah Abdeslam had posted the flag of the Islamic State extremist group on social media but no action was taken, Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported Tuesday.

Abdeslam, a French national who had lived in Belgium, is believed to be the only surviving member of a group of terrorists who killed 130 people in a night of coordinated gun attacks and bombings at sites across Paris on November 13.

Full report at: en.europeonline-magazine.eu/paris-suspect-salah-abdeslam-posted-islamic-state-flag-online-report_455875.html

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Islam and Christianity share 'idea of conquest', says Pope Francis

May 17, 2016

Islam and Christianity share an inherent “idea of conquest”, and those who refer to Europe’s roots as Christian often veer into colonialism, Pope Francis has said in a wide-ranging interview about the the migration crisis and the ability of Christians and Muslims to live together harmoniously.

Speaking to the French Catholic newspaper La Croix, the Argentinian pope also hailed the election of Sadiq Khan in London, saying that a Muslim mayor personified the idea of integration within Europe.

The pope said it was a “fair and responsible” to ask whether Europe had the capacity to accept millions of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. But he said it was more important to ask why there were so many, pointing to war, the unfettered free market, unemployment, the arms trade, underinvestment in Africa and income inequality.

He appeared to reject any link between Islamic extremism within Europe and Islam itself. Instead, he condemned the way in which migrants were “ghettoised” rather than integrated into society.

Full report at: theguardian.com/world/2016/may/17/pope-francis-islam-christianity-share-idea-of-conquest-sadiq-khan

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World and regional powers meet in Vienna on Syria

May 16, 2016

VIENNA — World and regional powers met Tuesday in an attempt to overcome stubborn divisions among Syrian factions that have led to the rise of Islamic extremists and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives since violence turned to war five years ago.

But the session is not expected to substantially advance efforts to find peace. A diplomat familiar with the talks said participants will agree on a document focusing on trying to firm up a shaky cease-fire and improving efforts to deliver humanitarian aid. He demanded anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the statement before its release.

The talks include U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, as well as foreign ministers or other senior officials from more than 20 countries and organizations. They were convened after discussions meant to reduce differences between rival factions sputtered to a halt last month in Geneva amid a flare-up in fighting.

Any statement is not expected to touch on the fate of Syrian President Bashar Assad. But going into the talks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier repeated the position held by the West and the Saudi-backed opposition that a peace agreement should outline steps leading to the end of his rule.

Full report at: stripes.com/news/europe/world-and-regional-powers-meet-in-vienna-on-syria-1.409867

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South Asia

Afghan Forces Turned Balkh into Graveyard of Taliban and ISIS: Acting Governor

Mon May 16 2016

The acting provincial governor of northern Balkh province and chief executive of Jamiat-e-Islami party Ata Mohammad Noor has said at least 38 militants were killed during clearance operations in Koshindeh district.

According to a statement by the provincial government media office, the operations were conducted in Tanj village of Koshindeh district under the supervision of Noor.

The statement further added that 24 militants were also arrested during the operations and were handed over the relevant authorities.

Full report at: khaama.com/noor-says-afghan-forces-turned-balkh-into-graveyard-of-taliban-and-isis-0961

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Over 80 Taliban insurgents killed, wounded in Kandahar: 205th Atal Corps

Tue May 17 2016

Over 80 Taliban insurgents were killed or wounded in a series of operations conducted by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) forces in southern Kandahar province.

The 205th Corps of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces in a statement said the operations were conducted in the vicinity of Shahwali Kot district.

According to a statement by 205th Atal Corps, at least 41 militants were killed and 42 others were wounded during the operations.

Full report at: khaama.com/over-80-taliban-insurgents-killed-wounded-in-kandahar-205th-atal-corps-0969

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20 Taliban insurgents killed in Kunduz drone strike

Tue May 17 2016

At least 20 Taliban insurgents were killed in a drone strike in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan, local officials said.

The airstrike was carried out earlier today in Dasht-e-Archi district targeting two vehicles of the Taliban insurgents.

Provincial police spokesman Hejratullah Akbari said the two vehicles were targeted around 10:00 am local time in Mullah Quli area.

He said preliminary reports suggest a number of the Taliban commanders were also among those killed in the airstrike.

Full report at: khaama.com/20-taliban-insurgents-killed-in-kunduz-drone-strike-0966

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Major rocket attack on Kabul city thwarted, three 122 mm rockets seized

Mon May 16 2016

A major rocket attack plot on Kabul city was foiled as the Afghan security personnel seized three 122 mm rockets before the militants manage to fire them on the city.

“Resolute Support Mission-trained Ministry of Interior #MOI Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) Corruption Investigation Unit personnel thwarted a major rocket attack on Kabul on Friday, May 13,” according to a statement by the alliance.

The statement further added that the MCTF members acted on source information and seized three 122 mm rockets aimed at the city of Kabul.

According to RS, the 122 mm rockets are a fairly rare occurrence in Afghanistan and deliver devastating effects from their 40+ pound warhead.

Full report at: khaama.com/major-rocket-attack-on-kabul-city-thwarted-three-122-mm-rockets-seized-0964

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Bangladesh arrests Islamic State militant for professor’s murder

May 17, 2016

Bangladesh police arrested an Islamic State militant charged with the murder of a professor amid a surge in deadly attacks against liberal activists and other minorities in the South Asian nation, a senior officer said on Tuesday.

Bangladesh police arrested an Islamist militant charged with the murder of a professor amid a surge in deadly attacks against liberal activists and other minorities in the South Asian nation, a senior officer said on Tuesday.

Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, 58, English professor at Rajshahi University, was hacked to death on his way to work last month. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killing of the professor for his “calling to atheism”.

Full report at: hindustantimes.com/world/bangladesh-arrests-islamist-militant-for-professor-s-murder/story-dXZBZb9YtqcmP6d6EKT6OJ.html

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Bangladeshi opposition official arrested over alleged Mossad plot

May 17, 2016

Authorities in Bangladesh arrested the joint secretary general of the country's opposition party on Sunday over allegations that he was maintaining contact with Israel's Mossad espionage agency in an effort to overthrow the Bangladeshi government.

Aslam Chowhury came under spotlight recently after the Bangladeshi Daily Star ran a report on a meeting in India between him and Mendi Safadi, who it claimed was "Israel’s ruling Likud party leader."

Safadi is, however, a former aide to a Druze Likud deputy cabinet minister, Ayoub Kara, and does not hold any portfolio.

"This is a very serious issue that a BNP leader has held a meeting with an Israeli leader. It goes against our national values as well as against our party policy as Bangladesh does not have any relations with Israel,” a member of Chowhury's BNP party's standing committee member said, according to the Daily Star.

Full report at: i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/113570-160517-bangladeshi-opposition-official-arrested-over-alleged-mossad-plot

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Car bomb attack on Ministry of Interior foiled in Kabul

Tue May 17 2016

suicide bomber shot in KabulA suicide bomber was shot by the Afghan security forces before he manage to target the Ministry of Interior (MoI) compound in Kabul.

According to reports, the suicide bomber was driving a car packed with explosives and was looking to detonate it inside the ministry compound.

The suicide bomber was identified by the security personnel who acted immediately by opening fire on him as he had reportedly breached several check points.

The security officials have not commented regarding the incident so far.

Full report at: khaama.com/car-bomb-attack-on-ministry-of-interior-foiled-in-kabul-0968

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Demonstrations for TUTAP to be organized in Japan, Austria and Australia

Tue May 17 2016

Separate demonstrations are due to be organized in Japan, Austria and Australia today a day after a massive demonstration was organized in capital Kabul.

Ahmad Behzad, one of the organizers of the demonstrations, said the demonstrations would be organized near the Embassy of Afghanistan and the Parliament of Australia.

He said demonstrations would also be organized in Tokyo, near the parliament of Japan, to protest against discrimination and injustice.

According to Behzad, the demonstrations in Tokyo would have a key role as the country is one of the main donors of the 500kV TUTAP project.

Behzad also added that the demonstrations in Austria will be organized in three main cities of the country, including Vienna.

Full report at: khaama.com/demonstrations-for-tutap-to-be-organized-in-japan-austria-and-australia-0967

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Afghanistan and China sign 6 documents for bilateral cooperation

Tue May 17 2016

Afghanistan and China signed six documents on bilateral cooperation during Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah’s visit to China.

The Office of the Chief Executive in a statement said the documents included 2 agreements, 1 Memorandum of Understanding and 3 Exchange Notes.

The statement further added that the documents were signed in the presence of CEO Abdullah and China’s Prime Minister.

Full report at: khaama.com/afghanistan-and-china-sign-6-documents-for-bilateral-cooperation-0965

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Ghani thanks protesters for ‘responsibly’ behaving during Kabul demonstration

Mon May 16 2016

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani thanked the protesters for ‘responsibly’ behaving during the massive demonstration in capital Kabul today.

In his speech following the conclusion of demonstrations in the city, President Ghani said “I thank all those who engaged in the discussions and offered their views, analysis, and recommendations in a compassionate way and without having a spirit for chaos and riots.”

President Ghani also thanked the Afghan security forces for maintaining security for the massive demonstration and preventing the enemy conspiracies to conduct destructive activities as the country is on a high alert.

Full report at: khaama.com/ghani-thanks-protesters-for-responsibly-behaving-during-kabul-demonstration-0962

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Arab World

Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia: Iran Blocking Its Own Haj Pilgrims

May/17/2016

JEDDAH: The Council of Ministers said Iran is attempting to politicize the Haj by refusing to sign an agreement mandatory for all countries seeking to send pilgrims on the holy journey.

The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah on Monday afternoon, was briefed about the controversy arising from a meeting last week between an Iranian Haj delegation and the Saudi Haj and Umrah Ministry, said Culture and Information Minister Adel Al-Toraifi in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Full report at: arabnews.com/news/ksa-iran-blocking-its-own-haj-pilgrims

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Kurdish Fighters Inflict Major Losses on ISIL in Hasaka Province

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The predominately Kurdish ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) engaged in heavy fighting with the ISIL in the Southern part of Hasaka province, pinning down the terrorists behind their strongholds with the lowest military movements possible.

The SDF fighters killed several ISIL members in the Southern and Southwestern part of al-Shadadi and Sothern part of Hasaka, while two experienced ISIL terrorists were also killed in mortar attacks of the SDF.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228001067

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ISIL Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Returns to Iraq

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq's local sources disclosed that the leader of the ISIL terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has returned to Iraq from Syria and is now hiding in Nineveh province.

"Al-Baghdadi and a group of ISIL commanders have stealthily returned to Iraq's Nineveh province," the Arabic-language Sumeria News quoted an unnamed local Iraqi source as saying.

Al-Baghdadi has returned to Nineveh province through ISIL-controlled desert roads in Iraq and Syria, added the source.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228000741

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Clashes Intensify between Gov't Forces, Terrorist Groups North of Aleppo

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources said that the Syrian Army troops and popular forces have been advancing against the terrorist groups in the Northern part of Aleppo province, meantime, inflicting a heavy death toll on the militants.

"The Syrian government forces are now advancing towards the small town of Anadan," the sources said, adding, "Fierce clashes are underway between the Syrian soldiers and the terrorists near the town of Nubl and al-Zahra, which have thus far ended in the recapture of several positions in the region."

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228000709 

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ISIL Retreats from more Territories Near Homs Oilfields

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian military forces' offensives on ISIL strongholds in the oil-rich regions of Eastern Homs forced the terrorist group to pull forces back from more positions, battlefield sources said Tuesday.

"The Syrian army and its allies inflicted major losses on the ISIL terrorists and recaptured at least 10 new positions in the Eastern part of Homs province, including Karbala and Qarbi mount," the sources said.

The pro-government forces have engaged in heavy fighting with the ISIL to retake control over the strategic mount of al-Swaneh near al-Sha'er oilfield.

"The army has also gained the upper hand in al-Maher oilfield and has seized key hilltops there," sources said.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228000800

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Former DM Warns of US Plots to Deploy Terrorists in Eastern Iran

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Former Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi warned of Washington's plots to station terrorist groups in the Eastern parts of Iran and Asia, adding that Tehran is fully aware of the US aid to the terrorists.

"We have precise information about the US assistance to the terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria," Vahidi said, addressing a forum in Tehran on Tuesday.

"The Eastern Iran region and Asia is where that they want to transfer the terrorist to," he added.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228000354

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Syrian Army Wins One more Battle against Terrorists East of Damascus

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources announced minutes ago that the Syrian Army troops and popular forces, in a fresh round of joint offensives, hit the terrorist groups' positions hard in Eastern Ghouta and forced the militants to retreat from a strategic town in the region.

"The terrorist groups left behind scores of the dead and injured member and pulled the remaining pockets of their forced from Hosh al-Khatib," the sources said, adding, "Recapture of Hosh al-Khatib will put terrorist groups in Deir al-Assafir under more pressure."

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228000869

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New Deaths in Nagorno-Karabakh after Armenia, Azerbaijan's Leaders Meet

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Soldiers from Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh were killed Tuesday, less than a day after the Armenian and Azeri presidents agreed on the need for a peaceful settlement to the conflict in the disputed region.

Monday's meeting between Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Vienna was the first since fighting between Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh and Azeri forces restarted, the Daily Star reported.

The resurgence in violence has killed dozens of people and pushed relations between the neighbors to their worst in years.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228001035

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Lebanese Authorities Detain ISIL Supporter

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Lebanese General Security detained a Lebanese for contacting extremist groups and offering them logistic support, and questioned another Lebanese man and a Palestinian woman.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228000836

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India

Pathankot attack: Fresh Red Corner notice against JeM chief Masood Azhar

May 17, 2016

Signalling a major development in the Pathankot case, the Interpol on Tuesday issued a fresh Red Corner notice against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his brother Abdul Rauf for their alleged involvement in the attack on the Indian Air Force Base.

According to NIA sources, JeM suspect Shahid Latif is the main handler in the Pathankot attack and that his location at the moment should probably be in Pakistan.

Latif was first arrested in 1994, convicted in 1995 and his jail term was over in 2010. After that he deported to Pakistan through the Atari Border.

Full report at: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pathankot-attack-fresh-red-corner-notice-against-jem-chief-masood-azhar/

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Mideast

Turkey Using Military Operations in Northern Syria to Help Terrorists

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Ankara is using the large-scale joint military operations in Northern Syria with the partnership of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the US to help the al-Nusra Front terrorists, a former Syrian General said on Tuesday.

"At present, Turkey is hosting military exercises and denies any relationship between the drills and the situation in Syria but actually it is betraying the military operations by allowing the al-Nusra Front terrorists' trafficking through its territories into Syria while they carry chemical weapons to kill the Syrian people," Colonel Mare'i Hamdan told Sputnik Arabic.

He also said that Washington is fully aware that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will misuse the presence of the US forces in the joint wargames in Turkey to his benefit.

Hamdan underlined that the only side which is really fighting against terrorism is the Syrian government which is trying to protect the country's people from the terrorist groups' danger.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US and Turkey agreed to form a coalition to launch a large-scale military operation in Northern Syria.

Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228000452

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Israeli Forces Demolish Palestinian Homes in Jerusalem

May/17/2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Israeli Forces demolished the homes of two Palestinian families in Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Citing security concerns, the Israeli Defense Forces demanded the Palestinian families take their possessions and leave the premises before the demolition crews arrive, Al Masdar reported.

The Palestine based “Palestine Today” newspaper also confirmed this news and the location of the homes.

The two homes were located inside the ancient Sawanah District of Jerusalem, near the alNudbah (Wailing) Wall and Holy Sepulchre Church.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950228000903

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Turkey confirms 13 missing were killed in PKK blast in Diyarbakır

May/17/2016

Turkish authorities on May 16 confirmed that 13 missing civilians had been killed late on May 12 in a blast caused by a huge quantity of explosives hoarded by militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) blowing up accidentally.

Diyarbakır was rocked by a massive explosion said to have been caused by PKK militants loading explosives onto a truck.

Four people, all PKK militants, were initially said by the authorities to have been killed in the blast, which the Interior Ministry blamed on explosives detonating prematurely.

But the local governor’s office later confirmed media reports that a dozen citizens were still missing after the immense blast, which reportedly involved some 15 tonnes of explosives.

A statement by Diyarbakır prosecutors late on May 16 said DNA testing based on body parts sent to Istanbul experts had confirmed 13 more people had been killed in the blast.    

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-confirms-13-missing-were-killed-in-pkk-blast-in-diyarbakir.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99274&NewsCatID=341

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AKP deputy ‘feels like downing another Russian jet’ after CSKA Moscow defeat

May/16/2016

Following the defeat of Fenerbahçe in European basketball’s premier club competition to Russian CSKA Moscow on May 15, a deputy from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said it makes one “feel like downing another Russian plane.”

“It makes a person want to down another Russian plane,” AKP Gaziantep deputy Şamil Tayyar tweeted after the Euroleague final, referring to the incident when Turkey downed a Russian SU-24 jet in November 2015 for violating its airspace on the border with Syria.

As his tweet drew angry reactions from social media users, Tayyar said it was just a “joke” and urged people to calm down. He also said he actually found it wrong to shoot down the Russian jet and said he would support making the same mistake again.

Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in Ankara criticized Tayyar’s remarks, saying in a tweet that “to their surprise, it was a joke.”

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/akp-deputy-feels-like-downing-another-russian-jet-after-cska-moscow-defeat.aspx?pageID=238&nID=99254&NewsCatID=338

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Africa

Al-Qaeda affiliates threaten peaceful cities in West Africa

17 May 2016

DAKAR, Senegal — In a city where nightclubs and mosques coexist peacefully, Islamist violence long felt like a foreign problem — something residents watched on news clips from the Middle East or other parts of Africa.

“We just didn’t worry very much about it,” said Abdullaye Diene, the deputy imam of the country’s largest mosque. “Here you can spend your nights drinking at the disco and then shake the hand of the imam.”

Full report at: sentinelsource.com/news/wapo/al-qaeda-affiliates-threaten-peaceful-cities-in-west-africa/article_219bb04e-7877-5984-9013-4ce6cbbe1c4e.html

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Uganda: Islamic Banking Agitators Want Four Laws Reviewed

17 May 2016

Kampala — Promoters of Islamic Banking and Finance want the government to review four more laws in order for the deepening of Islamic finance.

The government through its legislative arm, parliament, reviewed the Financial Institutions Act 2004, that allowed the introduction of both Islamic and Agency banking.

However, Islamic finance agitators still believe that without the revision of the Central Bank Act, the Hire Purchase Act, The Stamp Duty Act and the Accounting Principles Act, it will be difficult for Islamic finance to deepen in Uganda.

Full report at: allafrica.com/stories/201605170217.html

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Key Witness Cross Examined in Minnesota Islamic State Case

17 May 2016

The U.S. trial of three Somali Americans accused of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State group entered a second week Monday, with a key witness being cross-examined.

Abdullahi Yusuf, 20, who is cooperating with prosecutors, has been testifying against the three defendants in a Minneapolis courtroom. Defense lawyers on Monday grilled Yusuf, who at times appeared flustered. When asked about inconsistences in his story, Yusuf said he lied to U.S. agents during his initial interviews, but later told the truth.

Yusuf is a former friend of the defendants, who he says introduced him to radical Islam. Yusuf was arrested before boarding a plane that would take him to Syria and has pleaded guilty to providing material support -- essentially himself as a fighter -- to Islamic State.

Full report at: voanews.com/content/key-witness-cross-esamined-in-minnesota-islamic-state-case/3333477.html

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Why does al-Shabaab still exist?

May 17, 2016

Why does al-Shabaab still exist? It is five years since Kenya invaded Somalia, declaring war on al-Shabaab.

Five years since the African Union military Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) wrested territorial control of Mogadishu from the militia and a decade since the Ethiopian invasion to destroy the Islamic Courts Union — of which al-Shabaab was a major faction.

A small, mobile force of between two and three thousand permanent members is still capable of pushing AMISOM out of Somalia’s Merca port, surprising — and massacring — up to 200 Kenyan soldiers and striking at will in areas supposedly under the control of the government, in particular in the capital, Mogadishu.

Full report at: herald.co.zw/why-does-al-shabaab-still-exist/

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Southeast Asia

Philippine Militants Trying to Unite with Other IS Support Groups

May 16, 2016

The militant group Islamic State (IS) Lanao has claimed that it shot down a drone operated by the Philippine armed forces as it flew a reconnaissance mission over Lanao del Sur, on the southern island of Mindanao, in early May.

The group also released an online video showing in-flight images taken by the drone’s camera as it took off and came down, as well as footage of an IS Lanao fighter playing with the small unmanned aerial vehicle after it fell to the ground.

In the video titled “Allah is the Best of Those who Plot,” narrator Abu Hafs al-Mashriqi (alias Abu Hafs from the East) greets IS fighters in the Philippines in Arabic and urges Muslims to pledge allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

This move by IS Lanao to reach out to other threat groups and seek unification with them reveals an emerging IS centric threat landscape in the Philippines. If the disparate IS support groups link up, the threat posed by IS in the Philippines will be resilient and sustained.

Seeking acceptance

Full report at: benarnews.org/english/commentaries/asia-pacific-threat-update/gunaratna-lanao-05162016122052.html

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Can ‘The Punisher’ Outmatch ISIS in the Philippines?

May 16, 2016

While the world focuses on Syria and Iraq, the menace of Islamic State is quietly expanding into Southeast Asia.

Eight thousand miles from the Middle East frontline, the Philippines has become the region’s main transit hub for Jihadists traveling to Syria, complete with a network of terror training camps.

Not that this is widely known – even by those living in the country. Contrasting against strong-armed efforts in Malaysia and Indonesia, the Filipino government – preferring to label terrorists as ‘criminal gangs’ or ‘bandits’ – has appeared weak.

Until now, that is. Enter the new president: Rodrigo Duterte.

Full report at: fronteranews.com/news/asia/punisher-square-off-isis-philippines/

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Get to know about Indonesian Halal Cuisine

17 May 2016

Muslim population in Indonesia is up to 88% from its total 270 million people. So it's not surprising that the majority of Indonesian cuisine is halal food.

Halal itself is a term used by Moslem around the world to indicate its conformity with the Islamic rules. The opposite of halal is called haram, which means forbidden or non-halal.

Basic non-halal food group are consisting of:

- Pork - both farm raised pork, and wild ones or hogs

- Blood - running blood, while traces on meat are acceptable

- Carrion - including carcass of animal dead not by proper butchering

- Sacrificial animals - animals used for ritual killings, or slaughtered not in the name of God

- Top land predators - animals which hunts by its claws, fangs, or combination of both

- Alcoholic beverages, either fermented or distilled drinks which causes drunk.

Included on the list are also food products that mimic, or originated from those forbidden eats. Excluded from the list is carcass from dead sea animals, i.e. fishes, whales, which is allowed to be consumed -- given that its condition is still good for consumption.

Full report at: en.trend.az/azerbaijan/society/2534411.html

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Terrorist attack was 'imminent' police say as Sydney teenager arrested

17 May 2016

A Sydney teenager has been arrested on suspicion of preparing to commit a terrorist attack and trying to travel to Syria.

Police said an attack was “imminent” when they arrested the Macquarie Park man, 18, on Tuesday.

The teenager’s Macquarie Park home, where he lives with his family was raided by police on Tuesday.

Full report at: theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/may/17/police-launch-melbourne-counter-terrorism-raids-linked-to-cairns-arrests

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Buddhist group fails in bid to expel Muslims from Myanmar city

17 May 2016

A Buddhist group in Myanmar's religiously divided Rakhine state failed in their bid to pressure local authorities to expel Muslims from Sittwe city.

Soe Naing from the Rakhine National Network, a civil society organization from Sittwe, said that they sent a letter with around 400 signatures to the state's chief minister last week that demanded Muslims from the city's Aung Mingalar quarter be expelled.

"We are concerned that the number of Muslims in the quarter have grown and some have been living there illegally so we raised it to the state government," Soe Naing told ucanews.com.

"And we don't want a conflict between the two communities so we want them to be expelled and relocated outside of the city," said Soe Naing.

Full report at: ucanews.com/news/buddhist-group-fails-in-bid-to-expel-muslims-from-myanmar-city/76062

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Sittwe’s Muslim quarter allowed limited access to market

17 May 2016

The number of people allowed out of the police-guarded area was lower than usual, however it has allayed concerns about a potential food and medication shortage.

The temporary stop on transfers followed what residents of Aung Mingalar said was a minor protest staged by a Rakhine group in front of the ghetto’s police barricades close to the centre of the Buddhist-majority capital of Rakhine State. A government official denied that Aung Mingalar had been in lockdown or that any protest had taken place there.

A petition carrying some 600 signatures was delivered by a Rakhine group to the state authorities claiming the enclave’s population had grown. A Rakhine resident who requested anonymity told The Myanmar Times the petition was also in response to rumours there were plans afoot for the construction of a foreign-funded madrassa, an Islamic religious school.

The immigration department has begun conducting identity checks and a head count of the quarter. Many of the inhabitants identify themselves as Rohingya but are known among the Buddhist Rakhine majority – and the Tatmadaw – as Bengalis.

While Aung Mingalar is estimated to be home to some 4500 people, residents say this represents a marked decline on its population prior to the communal riots of 2012 that led to the state policy of segregating Rakhine’s Muslim minority and confining over 100,000 to camps.

Full report at: mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/20328-sittwe-s-muslim-quarter-allowed-limited-access-to-market.html

 

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