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Islamic World News ( 29 Dec 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Palestine Conveys 'Deep Regret', Recalls Envoy Who Shared Stage with Hafiz Saeed











Photo: Palestine has decided to recall its ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, for sharing a stage with Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, Palestinian envoy to India Adnan Abu Al Haija said on Saturday.

 

Triple Talaq Bill: Draft Law Is More Focused On Victimising Muslim Women Rather Than Empowering Them

Germany Warns of Female Islamic Extremists Radicalising Next Generation of Muslim Youth

Mass Graves of Dozens of ISIL Victims Discovered in North-eastern Syria

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India

Palestine Conveys 'Deep Regret', Recalls Envoy Who Shared Stage with Hafiz Saeed

Triple Talaq Bill: Draft Law Is More Focused On Victimising Muslim Women Rather Than Empowering Them

Love Jihad Incidents In 2017 Which Went Beyond Religion To Alleged Terrorist Links

'No person here disputes Muslim preference for BSP'

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Europe

Germany Warns of Female Islamic Extremists Radicalising Next Generation of Muslim Youth

From Halal Meal Boxes to Modest Menswear: Top UK Islamic Economy Trends For 2018

Islamic State claims responsibility for Saint Petersburg supermarket bombing

Police arrest fifth man over suspected Islamist plot to attack UK

The UK's Archbishop Angaelos, Egypt's Muslim leader and more join in condemning Egypt church terror attack

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Arab World

Mass Graves of Dozens of ISIL Victims Discovered in North-eastern Syria

Iraqi Search Teams Find Dozens of Izadi Bodies in Mass Grave in Nineveh

Izadyar funeral attackers were transported in black mirrored vehicles: Noor

Syria: Terrorists Intensify Insecurity in Dara'a to Blackmail Civilians

Northern Hama: Infighting Intensifies among Terrorists

Terrorist Front in Northeastern Hama Collapsing amid Syrian Army Advances

Yemeni Forces Shoot down Saudi Reconnaissance Drone over Hajjah

Syria: Buses Arrive to Transport Militants from Occupied Golan Heights to Idlib

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Mideast

Over 100 Palestinians Injured in Clashes with Israeli Army in Gaza

Israeli Forces Suppress Friday Rallies over Jerusalem Recognition

Bahrain Opposition Bloc In London Calls To Stop Military Trials, It Reflects Track Of 'Militarizing State'

Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi: Iraq's Popular Forces Ready to Fight for Quds

Turkey Dispatches Another Military Convoy for War against SDF in Northern Syria

Palestinian Dies of Wounds Sustained during Clashes with Israeli Forces at Gaza Border

Turkish police stage dawn raids on suspected Islamic State fighters

Iranians rally to back Islamic Establishment, Leader's prudence

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Africa

Egypt's Morsi Sentenced To Three Years in Prison

Egypt's Muslim leader condemns church terror attack in which ten died

Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Christians in Egypt

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Southeast Asia

Islamic State Remains the Top Terror Threat for Malaysia in 2018: Police

Don’t Force Islam on the Public, Dr M Urges In PPBM Meet

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Pakistan

Pakistan Man Exonerated After Serving 9 Years for Blasphemy

Pakistani military claims to have arrested Afghan intelligence facilitator

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South Asia

11 ISIS Militants Killed In US Drone Strikes in East of Afghanistan

Afghan Air Force Intensifies Airstrikes on Terrorist Centres in Northern Faryab Province

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North America

US Arms Seized from Terrorists in Deir Ezzur

Guatemala: Jerusalem embassy move 'will not be reversed'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/palestine-conveys--deep-regret-,-recalls-envoy-who-shared-stage-with-hafiz-saeed/d/113756

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Palestine Conveys 'Deep Regret', Recalls Envoy Who Shared Stage with Hafiz Saeed

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Dec 30

NEW DELHI: Palestine has decided to recall its ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, for sharing a stage with Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, Palestinian envoy to India Adnan Abu Al Haija said on Saturday.

"The Palestine government has told Ali that he was not its envoy to Pakistan anymore," Haija told PTI.

Palestine has decided to recall its Ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, for sharing stage with Hafiz Saeed, confirms Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija

5:34 PM - Dec 30, 2017

The top envoy said that Ali has been given couple of days to pack and return from Islamabad.

"We are supporting India in its fight against terrorism and because of that my government decided to directly call our Ambassador to go back home, not to be Palestine ambassador to Pakistan anymore," Haija told ANI.

Earlier in the day, Palestine expressed regret after India strongly condemned the Palestinian envoy's presence at a rally organised by Saeed in Pakistan's Rawalpindi on Friday.

"The Palestinian side has conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the Government of India that they are taking serious cognizance of their Ambassador's presence at this event," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

In a strongly worded demarche to the Palestinian government, India reminded them that Saeed is a UN-designated terrorist and the ambassador's association with the JuD chief is "unacceptable".

"Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan's association with terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations, at an event in Rawalpindi on 29.12.2017, is unacceptable," the statement read.

Palestine further assured that in view of its bilateral ties with New Delhi, it will not engage with terrorists who seek to destabilize India.

"They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately. It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in war against terrorism and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India," said the MEA.

According to reports, Palestinian ambassador in Islamabad Walid Abu Ali attended a large rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Friday morning.

Difa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan) Council (DPC) is an alliance of Islamist groups in Pakistan, including Saeed's outfit.

The presence of the Palestinian envoy at a JuD rally was a slap in the face for India, coming days after it voted for a UNGA resolution against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This isn't the first time the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan has met with Hafiz Saeed. In August 2014, Waleed Abu Ali had attended the Palestine Unity Caravan organised by the JuD, where Saeed delivered an address denigrating India and Israel for "killing innocent Muslims".

Accused of orchestrating the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people, Saeed was placed on the terrorism black list by the United Nations Security Council. The US too has designated him as a global terrorist and has announced a reward of $10 million for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/palestine-regrets-envoys-presence-at-hafiz-saeed-event-mea/articleshow/62307496.cms

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Triple Talaq Bill: Draft Law Is More Focused On Victimising Muslim Women Rather Than Empowering Them

Deya Bhattacharya

30 Dec, 2017

In August 2017, the Supreme Court passed a seemingly remarkable judgment in the ShayaraBano v Union of India on the practice of instant triple Talaq, stating that it was “manifestly arbitrary” and “against the basic tenets of Islam”. The court split 3:2 – the minority opinion, including erstwhile Chief Justice JS Khehar, had asked the Centre to legislate on the matter of Talaq-e-biddat, and the majority opinion stated that the practice is inherently illegal and unconstitutional. The Centre, in a bid to stay true to the judiciary, introduced the triple Talaq bill and passed it in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The bill is titled ‘The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017’ and its objective is “to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce by pronouncing Talaq by their husbands”. Under the bill, the declaration of Talaq “by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, void and illegal.” The practice of triple Talaq is criminalised under this bill; a cognisable and non-bailable offence under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, wherein the punishment for pronouncing Talaq upon one’s wife is imprisonment that may extend to three years and fine. Chapter III of the bill highlights provisions on the ‘Protection of Rights of Married Muslim Women’. It provides for a ‘subsistence allowance’, determined by a magistrate, for her and any dependent children. A Muslim woman who has been subjected to triple Talaq is also entitled to custody of her minor children.

The bill is followed by a ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’– a simple rationale about the factors that spurred the draft legislation. It talks about the liberation of Indian Muslim women from the “practice of capricious and whimsical method of divorce, by some Muslim men, leaving no room for reconciliation.” The statement also affirms that there was a need for state action in order to give effect to the order of the apex court and to redress the grievances of victims of illegal divorce. According to the statement, it would meet the objectives of gender justice and equality of married Muslim women.

On a thorough examination of the draft legislation, it is apparent that nuances of women’s human rights have not been taken into account. The concept of ‘subsistence allowance’ is abstract at best, and knowing how Muslim property and maintenance laws work, the calculation of such allowance should have been prioritised. Moreover, the ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ within the bill proposes to mete out justice to the “hapless married Muslim woman” and save her from the throes of instant triple Talaq – it makes victims out of Muslim women living in India. The statement grossly victimises Muslim women living in India – “In order to prevent the continued harassment being meted out to the hapless married Muslim women due to Talaq-e-biddat, urgent suitable legislation is necessary to give some relief to them. The bill proposes to declare pronouncement of Talaq-e-biddatby Muslim husbands void and illegal in view of the Supreme Court verdict. Further, the illegal act of pronouncing Talaq-e-biddat shall be a punishable offence. This is essential to prevent this form of divorce, wherein the wife does not have any say in severing the marital relationship. It is also proposed to provide for matters such as subsistence allowance from the husband for the livelihood and daily supporting needs of the wife, in the event of husband pronouncing Talaq-e-biddat, and, also of the dependent children. The wife would also be entitled to custody of minor children.”

The bill looks at Talaq-e-biddat in an isolated manner – it does not take into account the domestic violence, cruelty, rape, sexual assault that the “hapless married Muslim woman” might have been subjected to in the course of her marital relationship. Under the bill, the protection of the rights of Muslim women does not include protection, prevention or redressal of violence against Muslim wives by their husbands.

Is this a deliberate attempt to quash triple Talaq, “empower” Muslim women, while at the same time hiding violence in marital relationships?

Criminalisation of pronouncement of triple Talaq as a non-bailable and cognisable offence would mean that anyone can report a Muslim man if he pronounces Talaq-e-biddat against his wife. Is this an attempt of the government to saunter into the marital homes of the “hapless married Muslim woman”? But hasn’t the Supreme Court and the Centre repeatedly spoken about the sanctity of the matrimonial home and how the entry of the state in a matrimonial relationship would prove to be a “ruthless destroyer” of the institution of marriage? For years together, the government has been reluctant to reconsider the marital rape exemption within Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. The state does not want to introduce constitutional law in the home as it is inappropriate and might cause “weakening of the marriage bond”. Even a recent case of 2014 (State v Vikash), the judiciary refused to intervene in the marital relationship by refusing to identify that marital rape had taken place – “[t]he prosecutrix and accused being legally wedded husband and wife, the prosecutrix being major, the sexual intercourse between the two, even if forcible, is not rape.”

Earlier this year, while debating the case on marital rape around the same time as the ShayaraBano case, the Centre stated that if marital rape is declared a crime, it would hit the institution of marriage. The former governor of Mizoram, Swaraj Kaushal, was reported tweeting – “There is nothing like marital rape. Our homes should not become police stations...There will be more husbands in the jail, than in the house.”

When legislating on triple Talaq and “empowering” Muslim women, why isn’t the sanctity of marriages a concern? Why is violence, assault, torture and harassment condoned by the state under the pretext of preserving the family system and instant triple Talaq criminalised? Moreover, what is this abject sense of “empowerment” if the legislation is passed quietly, without consulting the community of Muslim women and any other stakeholders on what they would have wanted in the law? The bill has been drafted by an exclusive committee of privileged men who are marginalising Muslim women’s interests and stifling their voices.

The triple Talaq bill provides no new remedies to Muslim women who are subject to Talaq-e-biddat by their husbands. In fact, it seems unnecessary and redundant when the Supreme Court had already invalidated the practice. In my opinion, the bill only serves one purpose – it allows elitist Hindu men to save the hapless married Muslim women from Muslim men.

firstpost.com/india/triple-Talaq-bill-draft-law-is-more-focused-on-victimising-muslim-women-rather-than-empowering-them-4281477.html

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Germany Warns of Female Islamic Extremists Radicalising Next Generation of Muslim Youth

by Chris Tomlinson | 29 Dec 2017

German domestic intelligence has warned of a growing number of Islamic extremist women who are taking over the Salafist scene, as their men head to prison, and are radicalising the next generation of young jihadis.

The Agency for the Protection of the Constitution in North Rhine-Westphalia claims that the Islamic extremist scene is becoming increasingly more influenced by women. BurkhardFreier, head of the regional branch of the agency, said that the women have come into prominence and they have at least 40 female radicals under observation, Die Welt reports.

“The men have realised that women can network much better and therefore are much more able to tie the scene together and keep it alive,” Freier said.

According to the agency head, the real danger is that the women are creating Salafist communities in which mothers preach extremism and raise their children as young jihadis in a parallel society.

“This makes Salafism a family affair, it begins to create something that is much harder to liquidate, namely a Salafist society,” Freier said and added that “every jihadist terrorist we’ve seen in Europe in recent years came from the Salafist scene.”

“There is an increasing number of underage Salafists who fantasise about violence,” Frier noted.

Women, particularly young women, have proven to be actively involved in Salafist extremist groups like Swiss Burqa advocate Nora Illi who was recently arrested in Vienna protesting the Austrian full-face veil ban.

Others, like German Muslim teen Linda Wenzel, travelled to the Middle East to join Islamic State. The 16-year-old currently faces the death penalty after she was captured by forces liberating territory from the terror group’s control.

She is said to have served as a female enforcer of the strict Sharia law endorsed by the extremist group.

breitbart.com/london/2017/12/29/german-intelligence-warns-female-islamic-extremist-networks/

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Mass Graves of Dozens of ISIL Victims Discovered in North-eastern Syria

Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:26

Field sources reported on Friday that the army has found two mass graves near the town of al-Wadi, 25km away from the South-eastern parts of Debsi Afnan.

They added that corpses of tens of Syrian civilians and military men, who were killed and executed by the ISIL during its rule over the region, were seen in the mass graves.

US Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon told reporters in November that hundreds of suspected members of the ISIL terrorist group and thousands of their family members were allowed to flee Raqqa in convoys arranged by US-backed forces in the days before the city fell to coalition forces,.

Col. Ryan Dillon essentially confirmed a BBC report that 250 ISIL fighters and thousands of family members, along with weapons and other supplies, were disbursed throughout Syria in a series of convoys that were arranged by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"In the course of that screening there were four foreign fighters that were identified and detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces," Dillon said, adding, "Out of the rest of the 3,500 civilians that came out of Raqqa at that time, approximately less than 300 were identified and screened as potential ISIL fighters."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000614

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India

Palestine Conveys 'Deep Regret', Recalls Envoy Who Shared Stage with Hafiz Saeed

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Dec 30

NEW DELHI: Palestine has decided to recall its ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, for sharing a stage with Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief and 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, Palestinian envoy to India Adnan Abu Al Haija said on Saturday.

"The Palestine government has told Ali that he was not its envoy to Pakistan anymore," Haija told PTI.

Palestine has decided to recall its Ambassador to Pakistan, Walid Abu Ali, for sharing stage with Hafiz Saeed, confirms Palestinian Ambassador to India Adnan Abu Al Haija

5:34 PM - Dec 30, 2017

The top envoy said that Ali has been given couple of days to pack and return from Islamabad.

"We are supporting India in its fight against terrorism and because of that my government decided to directly call our Ambassador to go back home, not to be Palestine ambassador to Pakistan anymore," Haija told ANI.

Earlier in the day, Palestine expressed regret after India strongly condemned the Palestinian envoy's presence at a rally organised by Saeed in Pakistan's Rawalpindi on Friday.

"The Palestinian side has conveyed deep regrets over the incident and assured the Government of India that they are taking serious cognizance of their Ambassador's presence at this event," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

In a strongly worded demarche to the Palestinian government, India reminded them that Saeed is a UN-designated terrorist and the ambassador's association with the JuD chief is "unacceptable".

"Government of India has strongly conveyed to the Palestinian side that the Palestinian Ambassador in Pakistan's association with terrorist Hafiz Saeed, who is proscribed by the United Nations, at an event in Rawalpindi on 29.12.2017, is unacceptable," the statement read.

Palestine further assured that in view of its bilateral ties with New Delhi, it will not engage with terrorists who seek to destabilize India.

"They have said they will deal with this matter appropriately. It was also conveyed that Palestine highly values its relationship with India and stands with us in war against terrorism and will not engage with those who commit acts of terror against India," said the MEA.

According to reports, Palestinian ambassador in Islamabad Walid Abu Ali attended a large rally organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Friday morning.

Difa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan) Council (DPC) is an alliance of Islamist groups in Pakistan, including Saeed's outfit.

The presence of the Palestinian envoy at a JuD rally was a slap in the face for India, coming days after it voted for a UNGA resolution against the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This isn't the first time the Palestinian ambassador to Pakistan has met with Hafiz Saeed. In August 2014, Waleed Abu Ali had attended the Palestine Unity Caravan organised by the JuD, where Saeed delivered an address denigrating India and Israel for "killing innocent Muslims".

Accused of orchestrating the November 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people, Saeed was placed on the terrorism black list by the United Nations Security Council. The US too has designated him as a global terrorist and has announced a reward of $10 million for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/palestine-regrets-envoys-presence-at-hafiz-saeed-event-mea/articleshow/62307496.cms

-----------

 

Triple Talaq Bill: Draft Law Is More Focused On Victimising Muslim Women Rather Than Empowering Them

Deya Bhattacharya

30 Dec, 2017

In August 2017, the Supreme Court passed a seemingly remarkable judgment in the ShayaraBano v Union of India on the practice of instant triple Talaq, stating that it was “manifestly arbitrary” and “against the basic tenets of Islam”. The court split 3:2 – the minority opinion, including erstwhile Chief Justice JS Khehar, had asked the Centre to legislate on the matter of Talaq-e-biddat, and the majority opinion stated that the practice is inherently illegal and unconstitutional. The Centre, in a bid to stay true to the judiciary, introduced the triple Talaq bill and passed it in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The bill is titled ‘The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017’ and its objective is “to protect the rights of married Muslim women and to prohibit divorce by pronouncing Talaq by their husbands”. Under the bill, the declaration of Talaq “by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, void and illegal.” The practice of triple Talaq is criminalised under this bill; a cognisable and non-bailable offence under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, wherein the punishment for pronouncing Talaq upon one’s wife is imprisonment that may extend to three years and fine. Chapter III of the bill highlights provisions on the ‘Protection of Rights of Married Muslim Women’. It provides for a ‘subsistence allowance’, determined by a magistrate, for her and any dependent children. A Muslim woman who has been subjected to triple Talaq is also entitled to custody of her minor children.

The bill is followed by a ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’– a simple rationale about the factors that spurred the draft legislation. It talks about the liberation of Indian Muslim women from the “practice of capricious and whimsical method of divorce, by some Muslim men, leaving no room for reconciliation.” The statement also affirms that there was a need for state action in order to give effect to the order of the apex court and to redress the grievances of victims of illegal divorce. According to the statement, it would meet the objectives of gender justice and equality of married Muslim women.

On a thorough examination of the draft legislation, it is apparent that nuances of women’s human rights have not been taken into account. The concept of ‘subsistence allowance’ is abstract at best, and knowing how Muslim property and maintenance laws work, the calculation of such allowance should have been prioritised. Moreover, the ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ within the bill proposes to mete out justice to the “hapless married Muslim woman” and save her from the throes of instant triple Talaq – it makes victims out of Muslim women living in India. The statement grossly victimises Muslim women living in India – “In order to prevent the continued harassment being meted out to the hapless married Muslim women due to Talaq-e-biddat, urgent suitable legislation is necessary to give some relief to them. The bill proposes to declare pronouncement of Talaq-e-biddatby Muslim husbands void and illegal in view of the Supreme Court verdict. Further, the illegal act of pronouncing Talaq-e-biddat shall be a punishable offence. This is essential to prevent this form of divorce, wherein the wife does not have any say in severing the marital relationship. It is also proposed to provide for matters such as subsistence allowance from the husband for the livelihood and daily supporting needs of the wife, in the event of husband pronouncing Talaq-e-biddat, and, also of the dependent children. The wife would also be entitled to custody of minor children.”

The bill looks at Talaq-e-biddat in an isolated manner – it does not take into account the domestic violence, cruelty, rape, sexual assault that the “hapless married Muslim woman” might have been subjected to in the course of her marital relationship. Under the bill, the protection of the rights of Muslim women does not include protection, prevention or redressal of violence against Muslim wives by their husbands.

Is this a deliberate attempt to quash triple Talaq, “empower” Muslim women, while at the same time hiding violence in marital relationships?

Criminalisation of pronouncement of triple Talaq as a non-bailable and cognisable offence would mean that anyone can report a Muslim man if he pronounces Talaq-e-biddat against his wife. Is this an attempt of the government to saunter into the marital homes of the “hapless married Muslim woman”? But hasn’t the Supreme Court and the Centre repeatedly spoken about the sanctity of the matrimonial home and how the entry of the state in a matrimonial relationship would prove to be a “ruthless destroyer” of the institution of marriage? For years together, the government has been reluctant to reconsider the marital rape exemption within Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code. The state does not want to introduce constitutional law in the home as it is inappropriate and might cause “weakening of the marriage bond”. Even a recent case of 2014 (State v Vikash), the judiciary refused to intervene in the marital relationship by refusing to identify that marital rape had taken place – “[t]he prosecutrix and accused being legally wedded husband and wife, the prosecutrix being major, the sexual intercourse between the two, even if forcible, is not rape.”

Earlier this year, while debating the case on marital rape around the same time as the ShayaraBano case, the Centre stated that if marital rape is declared a crime, it would hit the institution of marriage. The former governor of Mizoram, Swaraj Kaushal, was reported tweeting – “There is nothing like marital rape. Our homes should not become police stations...There will be more husbands in the jail, than in the house.”

When legislating on triple Talaq and “empowering” Muslim women, why isn’t the sanctity of marriages a concern? Why is violence, assault, torture and harassment condoned by the state under the pretext of preserving the family system and instant triple Talaq criminalised? Moreover, what is this abject sense of “empowerment” if the legislation is passed quietly, without consulting the community of Muslim women and any other stakeholders on what they would have wanted in the law? The bill has been drafted by an exclusive committee of privileged men who are marginalising Muslim women’s interests and stifling their voices.

The triple Talaq bill provides no new remedies to Muslim women who are subject to Talaq-e-biddat by their husbands. In fact, it seems unnecessary and redundant when the Supreme Court had already invalidated the practice. In my opinion, the bill only serves one purpose – it allows elitist Hindu men to save the hapless married Muslim women from Muslim men.

firstpost.com/india/triple-Talaq-bill-draft-law-is-more-focused-on-victimising-muslim-women-rather-than-empowering-them-4281477.html

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Love Jihad incidents in 2017 which went beyond religion to alleged terrorist links

The year 2017 witnessed some major controversies around love jihad. Read to know more.

By :Gourav Mishra | December 30, 2017 09:57 IST

From the case of the 25-year-old AkhilaAsokan/Hadiya in Kerala to Mumbai model Rashmi or the latest case of ShambhuNathRaigar from Rajasthan and the case of Ghulam Mohammed from Uttar Pradesh, love jihad grabbed headlines .

While we are yet to discover that the alleged Love Jihad finds its origin in the minority section of India, several sectors from India in 2017, from vigilantes and self-proclaimed groups to commoners or politicians— the two word phrase has been used as major propaganda tool to attack their respective opposition.

India witnessed a series of controversies this year in line with the alleged Love Jihad, the one involving Hadiya from Kerala grabbed major attention from media and masses.

Kerala: Hadiya/AkhilaAsokan

This case may be from 2016, but it garnered headlines mostly in 2017. The 25-year-old AkhilaAsokan, who coverted to Islam and is Hadiya today, has been placed under the custody of her college Dean in Salem, where she is continuing her studies, as ruled by the Supreme Court on November 27.

Also Read: NIA reveals Hadiya's husband was in touch with ISIS before marriage, says couple didn't meet on matrimony site

While her father Asokan KM claims that she was forcefully converted, Hadiya has maintained that she converted to Islam and married Shafin Jahan last year on her own.

Jahan, whose marriage with Hadiya was annulled by the Kerala High Court, is under the NIA's scrutiny over his alleged links with the Islamic State group. [Read more]

Rajasthan: Rajsamand love jihad

In a shocking incident that took place in December in Rajasthan's Rajsamand, a man Mohammed Afrazul was allegedly burnt to death over allegations of love jihad by one ShambhuNathRaigar.

The video of Raigar thrashing Afrazul and setting him ablaze went viral on social media. The accused, who is currently in police custody, received support from many in Rajasthan.

In fact, people also deposited a sum of Rs 2 lakh in his wife's account to fight his court case.

However, it has turned out that Raigar was apparently trying to hide an affair with a minor, and the love jihad angle is entirely cooked up. [Read more]

Mumbai model's forced conversion

A former model named Rashmi, based in Mumbai, alleged that her husband had been continuously assaulting her and forcing her to convert to Islam. The incident made headlines in November when Rashmi approached the police.

She alleged that her 47-year-old husband Asif not only tortured her but had also married another 28-year-old woman, who had converted to Islam and was residing in their house.

The victim also claimed Asif's family had brainwashed their seven-year-old son by saying that his mother was a monster as she was not a follower of Islam. [Read more]

Uttar Pradesh: Man thrashed to death

A 45-year-old man identified as Ghulam Mohammad was allegedly thrashed to death by members of Hindu YuvaVahini (HYV) in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr in May this year.

The HYV is a right-wing group founded by Yogi Adityanath, who is currently chief minister of UP.

The activists from the outfit brutally thrashed Mohammed in a bid to learn the whereabouts of his relative Yusuf, who had allegedly kidnapped an 18-year-old Hindu girl from Fazalpur village on April 27, said reports. Mohammed had apparently helped Yusuf elope with the girl. [Read more]

Kerala: Woman moves Supreme Court

A 25-year-old woman identified as Akshara Bose moved the Supreme Court in November requesting an NIA probe, alleging that she was forcibly converted to Islam after one SajjadRaham lured her into a sexual act in 2014 and recorded it on his phone.

Bose had further claimed that Raham blackmailed her through the video, and took her to Saudi Arabia's Jeddah in August 2017.

She managed to escape from Jeddah on October 4 with the help of her father in India, who sent her the air tickets to travel to Ahmadabad. She reached India on October 5.

The 25-year-old also said she was subjected to sexual exploitation and harassment, adding that Raham had plans to take her to Syria and sell her to ISIS. [Read more]

Uttar Pardesh boy and girl lynching

In April this year, a boy and a girl from Uttar Pradesh's Meerut district were dragged out of their home by the HYV activists over alleged forced conversion.

The HYU activists then took the Musilm boy to the police station where they had accused him of romancing the "Hindu girl" and trying to convert her.

They also asked police to take strict action in the matter. However, the boy complained that the HYV activists were indulging in "moral policing."

ibtimes.co.in/love-jihad-incidents-2017-which-went-beyond-religion-alleged-terrorist-links-754996

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'No person here disputes Muslim preference for BSP'

Aman Sharma | ET Bureau | Dec 30, 2017

AMBEDKAR NAGAR: In AmbedkarNagar, considered the bastion of the BahujanSamaj Party, three of Mayawati's lieutenants did hold the fort though the party put up its worst performance with just 19 seats in assembly elections in 2017.

The state BSP president, Ram AchalRajbhar, won from Akbarpur, Lal Ji Verma from the adjoining Katehari and Ritesh Pandey from Jalalpur. "We will be the party in direct fight with the BJP in the 2019 general polls. People have realised that we are the only party that can defeat the BJP, not the Samajwadi Party (SP)," Verma told ET, visibly upbeat after the recent civic polls in which BSP for the first time won two mayoral seats, in Aligarh and Meerut, and came a close second in Saharanpur. Ask Verma if Muslims are returning to the BSP's fold, after they seemingly chose the SPCongress alliance in the assembly elections, Verma says "this is apparent to everyone from the civic election results." He claims BSP will be the party with the biggest tally from UP in the 2019 polls as people are "disillusioned" both with the BJP and SP. "People in UP are already missing the strict law and order scenario under our leader Mayawati," Verma added.

BJP dismisses talk that BSP will put up a performance that will worry them, pointing that BSP scored a blank in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But BJP's leaders do acknowledge the move of Muslims towards BSP which can add to latter's base of Jatav-Dalit voters. "Muslims vote for the party that is strong enough to beat BJP. In 2017 assembly polls, Muslims voted in initial phases (Western UP) for SP-Congress alliance but in later phases (Eastern UP) shifted to BSP realising the alliance was failing. But it was too late by then," a senior BJP leader said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The BSP is expected to focus on Muslim-dominated seats in Western and Eastern UP now on, the latter especially the Azamgarh-Mau belt where BSP entered into an alliance with Mukhtar Ansari's party in the 2017 polls. "Mulayam Singh Yadav may not fight from Azamgarh in 2019. BSP will be focusing here to make big gains," a BSP leader said, on condition of anonymity.

The road for BSP may, however, not be easy. In the recent civil polls, BJP won the Akbarpur Nagar Palika which is BSP stronghold, after BJP had won the Ambedkar Nagar Lok Sabha seat in 2014. "The way Mayawati has appointed her own brother as a top office-bearer in the party has not gone down well among the BSP cadre," BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan said. Both the UP deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP state president MN Pandey have earlier blamed the Aligarh and Meerut losses to "certain equations" on these seats, alluding to the Muslim population voting for the BSP.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/no-person-here-disputes-muslim-preference-for-bsp/articleshow/62303786.cms

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Europe

Germany Warns of Female Islamic Extremists Radicalising Next Generation of Muslim Youth

by Chris Tomlinson | 29 Dec 2017

German domestic intelligence has warned of a growing number of Islamic extremist women who are taking over the Salafist scene, as their men head to prison, and are radicalising the next generation of young jihadis.

The Agency for the Protection of the Constitution in North Rhine-Westphalia claims that the Islamic extremist scene is becoming increasingly more influenced by women. BurkhardFreier, head of the regional branch of the agency, said that the women have come into prominence and they have at least 40 female radicals under observation, Die Welt reports.

“The men have realised that women can network much better and therefore are much more able to tie the scene together and keep it alive,” Freier said.

According to the agency head, the real danger is that the women are creating Salafist communities in which mothers preach extremism and raise their children as young jihadis in a parallel society.

“This makes Salafism a family affair, it begins to create something that is much harder to liquidate, namely a Salafist society,” Freier said and added that “every jihadist terrorist we’ve seen in Europe in recent years came from the Salafist scene.”

“There is an increasing number of underage Salafists who fantasise about violence,” Frier noted.

Women, particularly young women, have proven to be actively involved in Salafist extremist groups like Swiss Burqa advocate Nora Illi who was recently arrested in Vienna protesting the Austrian full-face veil ban.

Others, like German Muslim teen Linda Wenzel, travelled to the Middle East to join Islamic State. The 16-year-old currently faces the death penalty after she was captured by forces liberating territory from the terror group’s control.

She is said to have served as a female enforcer of the strict Sharia law endorsed by the extremist group.

breitbart.com/london/2017/12/29/german-intelligence-warns-female-islamic-extremist-networks/

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From halal meal boxes to modest menswear: Top UK Islamic economy trends for 2018

ALICIA BULLER | Published — Saturday 30 December 2017

LONDON: Gone are the days where “halal” shopping referred only to a trip to the local butchers to ask for a special cut. Muslims across the world are increasingly product-savvy, seeking out the latest consumer products that also fit their religious beliefs, spelling a boom in the so-called Islamic economy.

The year ahead ushers in trends for modest garb for men and women, Barbies with mix-and-match abaya wardrobes, and from-scratch meal kits for those who want both a tasty, and halal, dinner.

As the international Muslim population grows, the Islamic economy is expected to grow from $1.24 trillion in 2016 to reach $1.93 trillion by 2022, according to the Thomson Reuters “State of the Global Islamic Economy” report.

In the UK, in particular, which is home to around 3 million Muslims — with 1 million in London alone — the Islamic community is fueling some innovative consumer trends. The UK capital is proving to be an engine of growth for the Islamic economy in the West, with fresh startups emerging every month to tap into growing demand.

Arab News spoke with some of the UK’s top Islamic economy entrepreneurs to find out about some of the hottest trends for 2018.

‘Modest fashion’ for guys

The overall modest fashion industry is thriving in the UK, evidenced by the success of homegrown brands such as Aab and Haute Elan. This trend was crystallized with the launch of London’s first Modest Fashion Week in February 2017, where modern Muslim women flocked to buy everything from modest office wear to sports hijabs.

The trend will dip into the male domain next year, predicted Romannabint Abu Baker, founder of London Modest Fashion Week (LMFW) and owner of modest fashion boutique, Haute Elan.

“Modesty is no longer the realm of only women. LMFW 2018 will be the start of demonstrating that shift,” Abu Baker told Arab News. “The panels and collections we have on the runway will demonstrate the emergence of the aesthetically-conscious Muslim man. We have seen a surge in applications from men. What is male modesty? Longer shirts to cover the rear, longer shirts and sweats and accessories, including more contemporary styles of … head covering,” she said.

Halal meal kits

The last few years have seen the emergence of halal convenience foods in the UK for busy working Muslims. WalliDatoo, co-founder of Halalnivore, an online gourmet halal meat delivery service, predicts there is more growth in the market as the Muslim meat consumer opens up to different options available.

“We are planning to experiment with a hybrid model between what we already do and a service that similar to a ‘Hello Fresh’ or ‘Gousto’ meal box delivered with halal ingredients,” Datoo told Arab News. “We’ll also be working on our branded ‘supper club’ to help engage consumers.”

The food entrepreneur also predicts more innovation in the restaurant space “where halal-only offerings are trying to set themselves apart from the competition.”

“Casual dining places (burgers and wraps) will be getting really creative with their menus and moving away from the traditional kebab shop and plain burger offerings,” he said.

Noman Khawaja, co-founder of Haloodies, a UK premium food retailer that sells prepared halal meats says technology and social media will play a key part in driving demand for halal food in 2018. “Consumer behavior will also be of key interest to businesses,” Khawaja told Arab News.

Haloodies launched the UK’s first handheld, halal meat snack, ‘2Go’ in the UK in 2017 and Khawaja said the firm has more launches planned for 2018.

‘Hijarbies’ and Muslim dolls

Jessica Robinson, the founder of UK-based modest sports fashion firm Shorsa, predicts steady demand for her additional product line: Muslim dolls.

The company is currently selling Shorso Mini dolls, which come with a handmade abaya and matching hijab and retail for £19.99 ($27).

The firm also sells different modest outfits specifically made for Barbie dolls. The ‘Hijarbie’ handmade outfits come in casual styles and formal styles including ball gowns and wedding dresses with sleeves. “They’re close to selling out and we’re ordering more for next year,” said Robinson.

Halal hotel boom

The UK halal-friendly travel market is growing year-on-year. In recent years, VisitBritain, the UK’s national tourism agency, has been running campaigns to target tourists from the Middle East. According to its figures, the average length of stay and average spend for Gulf markets are higher than the worldwide average.

For example, the average Saudi visitor stays for 16 nights and spends £2,370 in the UK. This compares favorably with the overall average figures for international visitors at seven nights and £599 spend respectively.

“One of the big attractions for this market in London is its choice of world cuisine halal restaurants; our guests enjoy eating out and spending money in the various halal restaurants in London. Together with other factors, such as great museums, parks and shopping streets and malls, these are hugely important factors for halal-conscious travelers to travel to London,” said UfukSeçgin, chief marketing officer at UK-based global travel booking site HalalBooking.com.

Seçgin predicts that more London hotels will offer basic halal-friendly services in 2018, such as the removal of alcoholic drinks from the minibar in the guest’s room, provision of prayer mats or halal food options on the hotel’s restaurant menus.

Mainstream at last

Haroon U B Latif, head of insights at research firm Dinar Standard, says he is “bullish” on the UK economy for 2018.

“The UK halal ecosystem will grow its international footprint and halal food will lead the charge at home — you’ll see halal becoming more available in mainstream outlets,” the analyst said.

Latif predicts there will be at least one “significant” private equity investment in a halal food company in 2018.

arabnews.com/node/1216361/business-economy

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Islamic State claims responsibility for Saint Petersburg supermarket bombing

29 December 2017 • 11:48pm | The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)  claimed responsibility on Friday for the bomb attack days earlier that tore through a Saint Petersburg supermarket and wounded 14 people.

"The attack that targeted a shopping centre in Saint Petersburg the day before yesterday (Wednesday) was carried out by an Islamic State-linked group," IS said in a statement via its propaganda agency Amaq.

On Wednesday evening, a homemade bomb placed in a locker at the supermarket in northwestern Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second city and President Vladimir Putin’s home town, went off sowing panic among customers and wounding 14 people including a pregnant woman.

Putin’s 2015 decision to intervene in Syria militarily on the side of Bashar al-Assad has made Russia a priority target for the Islamic State group.

Officials said a total of 14 people had been wounded in the blast.

The bombing came after the FSB security service said earlier this month it had prevented a terror attack on a key Orthodox cathedral in Saint Petersburg with the help of America’s CIA, which led Putin to thank US President Donald Trump.

FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov has said Russia remains on alert for a possible return of jihadists from Syria ahead of the World Cup and the March presidential polls.

Saint Petersburg will host several World Cup matches including a semi-final.

Earlier this month Bortnikov said that at least 4,500 Russians had left the country to fight with "terrorists" in the Middle East, North Africa and other regions.

Over the past 20 years Russia fought two wars with separatists in Chechnya, leading Islamist militants from the North Caucasus to frequently target Russians through suicide bombings and other attacks.

telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/29/islamic-state-claims-responsibility-saint-petersburg-supermarket/

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Police arrest fifth man over suspected Islamist plot to attack UK

Counter-terror officers arrest 21-year-old man in Sheffield, and two buildings are searched in connection with the alleged plot

Sat 30 Dec ‘17 11.36 GMT

A fifth man has been arrested as part of an investigation into a possible Islamist plot to attack Britain, police have said.

Counter-terror officers arrested a 21-year-old man in Sheffield on Friday evening on suspicion of preparing acts of terror, and two buildings are being searched in the north of the city in connection with the alleged plot.

Police said the intelligence-led arrest was made in the Firth Park area at approximately 11:00pm. A residential address in Fir Vale and a business address in Firth Park are being examined.

The raids follow the arrests of four men in Sheffield and nearby Chesterfield before Christmas.

Two of the men arrested on 19 December – Andy Sami Star, 31, who owns a fish and chip shop in Chesterfield, and Farhad Salah, 22, from Sheffield – have been charged with one count of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism under section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

The men, both Iraqi Kurds, are due to appear at the Old Bailey in London on 19 January.

A 36-year-old man from Burngreave in Sheffield also remains in custody. A 41-year-old from Meersbrook in Sheffield was released without charge on Saturday.

A spokesman for Counter Terrorism Policing North East said: “The 21-year-old man, from the Fir Vale area of Sheffield, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

The UK threat level for terrorism remains at severe, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/30/police-arrest-fifth-man-over-possible-islamist-plot-to-attack-uk

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The UK's Archbishop Angaelos, Egypt's Muslim leader and more join in condemning Egypt church terror attack

Christian Today staff writer Sat 30 Dec 2017 9:27 GMT

Egypt's Muslim leader has condemned the church terror attack in which ten died.

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, warned that such attacks threatened national unity in Egypt. He called on all Muslims to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ "with their Christian brothers".

He spoke out after two terrorists opened fire, killing ten including three police officers, on the church of Mar Mina in Helwan district in south Cairo.

"I call on all Egyptians to confront this malignant plot against our nation and to emphasize on such spirit through the participation of Muslims in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with their Christian brothers," he said, according to Egypt Today.

The church had been under intense police guard, like all churches throughout the country, due to the many lethal attacks over recent years at Christmas.

It was due to the exceptional security measures that more lives were not lost and the entire church blown up.

One source told Christian Today that although one of the attackers was a suicide bomber and wearing an explosive belt, he was not able to use it due to the hard security measures that was around the church, and the quick reaction of the security forces who were protecting the church from all sides and closing all the streets around every church in Egypt.

Archbishop Angaelos of the Coptic Church in the UK said: "This should be a time at which individuals and families are preparing to receive a New Year, and in the case of Coptic Orthodox Christians, to celebrate the Feast of the Nativity (Christmas) on the 7 January according to the ancient Julian Calendar. I am saddened however that we find ourselves once again mourning the loss of the precious lives of innocent children, women and men who did no more than attend their local parish to pray as millions do around the world.

"Yesterday's attack on the Church of St Mina in Helwan, on the outskirts of Cairo, indeed directly targeted the indigenous Christian community of Egypt, but alongside the Christians who lost their lives, there was at least one Muslim member of the security services who paid the ultimate price to protect his fellow Egyptian citizens exercising their right to worship.

"Even at this painful time, the Christians of Egypt, who have mourned over 120 members in the past year as a result of targeted attacks on Churches and individuals, continue to do what they have done for centuries; they are resilient, forgiving, hopeful, and praying for Egypt, and its leadership, during this trying time of its contemporary history.

"I hope that the extraordinary reaction of this faithful community that I am honoured to call my own might transform the hearts of those who continue to seek its destruction."

Earlier this month, Egypt's Religious Endowments Minister Mokhtar Gomaa stated that the protection of churches is "a legitimate and national duty" that and those who died in the defense of the church are martyrs.

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi also offered condolences to the Egyptian families of those killed, ordering the state institutions to take all necessary actions regarding the families of the "martyrs" and the injured. He said it had increased the determination of Egypt's government and security forces to cleanse to the country of terrorism and extremism.

Father Hani Bakhoum, Patriarchal Vicar of the Coptic Catholic Church, condemned the incident, stating: This terrorist attack will not dampen our festive spirit."

In a statement put out through its own news agency, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

christiantoday.com/us/archbishop-angaelos-egypts-muslim-leader-and-more-condemn-egypt-church-terror-attack/122578.htm

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Arab World

Mass Graves of Dozens of ISIL Victims Discovered in North-eastern Syria

Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:26

Field sources reported on Friday that the army has found two mass graves near the town of al-Wadi, 25km away from the South-eastern parts of Debsi Afnan.

They added that corpses of tens of Syrian civilians and military men, who were killed and executed by the ISIL during its rule over the region, were seen in the mass graves.

US Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon told reporters in November that hundreds of suspected members of the ISIL terrorist group and thousands of their family members were allowed to flee Raqqa in convoys arranged by US-backed forces in the days before the city fell to coalition forces,.

Col. Ryan Dillon essentially confirmed a BBC report that 250 ISIL fighters and thousands of family members, along with weapons and other supplies, were disbursed throughout Syria in a series of convoys that were arranged by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"In the course of that screening there were four foreign fighters that were identified and detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces," Dillon said, adding, "Out of the rest of the 3,500 civilians that came out of Raqqa at that time, approximately less than 300 were identified and screened as potential ISIL fighters."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000614

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Iraqi Search Teams Find Dozens of Izadi Bodies in Mass Grave in Nineveh

Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:36

Haji Kendor told Arabic-language al-Ghad press news agency on Friday that the mass grave contains the bodies of 80 elderly and disabled women and is located near the town of Sinjar, situated over 400 kilometers Northwest of the capital Baghdad.

Kendor added some of the victims had been buried alive, noting that the ISIL terrorists buried the Izadi women in a fish farm, and the grisly discovery was made by local search teams.

Back in August 2014, ISIL terrorists overran the town of Sinjar, killing, raping, and enslaving large numbers of Izadi Kurds.

The region was recaptured in November 2015, during an operation by Kurdish Pishmarga forces and Izadi fighters.

The Office of Kidnapped Affairs in the Northern Iraqi city of Dohuk said earlier this year that around 3,500 Izadi Kurds were still being held captive by the ISIL, adding that a large proportion of the abductees were women and children.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000584

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Izadyar funeral attackers were transported in black mirrored vehicles: Noor

By Khaama Press - Sat Dec 30 2017, 1:26 pm

The Chief Executive of Jamiat-e-Islami Ata Mohammad Noor claims that the suicide bombers who detonated themselves in Salim Izadyar’s funeral ceremony were transported to the attack area in black mirrored vehicles.

Noor made the latest claims during a press conference in Balkh governor’s office as he assumed his work as an ordinary governor despite his resignation was signed by President Ghani nearly two weeks ago.

He said the suicide bombers who detonated themselves among the funeral participants of Salim Izadyar were shifted in vehicles having black mirrors.

The former governor of Balkh province went on to claim that the main target of the attack was to wipe out the leadership of Jamiat-e-Islami.

Noor blamed the leaders of the government of national unity for hatching the plot to eliminate the Jamiat party leaders.

A coordinated suicide attack rocked Kabul city earlier in June as scores of people had gathered in the funeral ceremony of Salim Izadyar, the son of the deputy house speaker of the Afghan Senate House, who was killed during the rallies organized to protest against the attacks and failure of the government and security institutions to ensure security for the people.

The Afghan intelligence had then said the directorate has credible information suggesting that the attacks were plotted and carried out by the Haqqani network based in Pakistan.

khaama.com/izadyar-funeral-attackers-were-transported-in-black-mirrored-vehicles-noor-04150

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Syria: Terrorists Intensify Insecurity in Dara'a to Blackmail Civilians

Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:31

A fresh wave of insecurity and tension has covered terrorist-held regions in Dara'a province, the sources said, adding that kidnapping civilians and plundering their properties by the terrorists have increased in the region in an unprecedented manner.

The sources said that terrorists abduct civilians and then ask their families to pay $200,000-250,000 in ransom.

The Arabic-language al-Watan reported Earlier this month that the terrorist groups of Al-WiyahMojahedHooran, al-WiyahJidroHooran, Toweiresh Elite 1st Brigade and Osama Bin Laden Brigade formed a new collation in Dara'a province known as JidroThowar Coalition.

In the meantime, Chief Coordinator of the JidroThowar Coalition Bashar al-Fares announced that the terrorist groups formed a coalition in the two regions of Jidro and in a region among Northern Dara'a, Western Damascus and Northern Quneitra known as the Death Triangle to unite the terrorist groups to resist against the advancing Syrian Army troops.

Al-Fares went on to say that the JidroThowar Coalition has been formed to cooperate with other terrorist groups to slow down the army's advances.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009001259

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Northern Hama: Infighting Intensifies among Terrorists

Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:61

The ISIL terrorists penetrated into the military positions of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) in the town of Abu Khanadeq in the Northern outskirts of Hama, the terrorist-affiliated websites reported.

They also reiterated that the ISIL penetrated into Northern Hama after a group of Al-Nusra Front terrorists joined ISIL and withdrew from their military positions in Abu Khanadeq. 

The terrorist-affiliated sources also said that clashes among terrorists erupted after a terrorist group affiliated to Al-Nusra Front attacked the ISIL stronghold in the village of Kafroumeh and killed senior ISIL commander Mohammad EbrahimJoulaq nom du guerre Shimiayee.

In a relevant development on Saturday, military sources reported that the Syrian Army troops' advances in Northeastern Hama and Southeastern Idlib have pushed the Al-Nusra Front into complete failure and collapse.

The sources said that the army men that liberated the strategic Abu Dali region in Northern Hama continued to hit Al-Nusra positions and drove the terrorists out of the village of al-Hamdaniyeh and Jabal (mount) al-Zab'ah Southeast of al-Hamdaniyeh.

Also, the army soldiers managed to capture the key Murgh hill Northwest of al-Hamdaniyeh, the sources went on to say.

They further said that a large number of Al-Nusra members have been killed or wounded in the army's devastating advances, forcing the terrorist group to the threshold of collapse.

Well-informed sources reported on Friday that the army’s Tiger Forces Division conducted a powerful assault against terrorists along the Hama-Idlib provincial border, bursting through the lines of the terrorists and liberating a string of towns and villages in rapid advances.

The sources said that within hours of reports emerging about the success of the Tiger Forces’ operation, a video was also released over social media by an account linked to one of the division’s units showing the assault which took place.

The footage shows light motorized units of the Tiger Forces rapidly moving from town to town in Hama province’s Northern countryside and also clearing mines left behind by the militias.

Halfway through the film can be seen – from a distance – the strategic town of Abu Dali, which Syrian Army artillery now has under total fire control.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009001086

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Terrorist Front in Northeastern Hama Collapsing amid Syrian Army Advances

Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:2

The sources said that the army men that liberated the strategic Abu Dali region in Northern Hama continued to hit Al-Nusra positions and drove the terrorists out of the village of al-Hamdaniyeh and Jabal (mount) al-Zab'ah Southeast of al-Hamdaniyeh.

Also, the army soldiers managed to capture the key Murgh hill Northwest of al-Hamdaniyeh, the sources went on to say.

They further said that a large number of Al-Nusra members have been killed or wounded in the army's devastating advances, forcing the terrorist group to the threshold of collapse.

Well-informed sources reported on Friday that the army’s Tiger Forces Division conducted a powerful assault against terrorists along the Hama-Idlib provincial border, bursting through the lines of the terrorists and liberating a string of towns and villages in rapid advances.

The sources said that within hours of reports emerging about the success of the Tiger Forces’ operation, a video was also released over social media by an account linked to one of the division’s units showing the assault which took place.

The footage shows light motorized units of the Tiger Forces rapidly moving from town to town in Hama province’s Northern countryside and also clearing mines left behind by the militias.

Halfway through the film can be seen – from a distance – the strategic town of Abu Dali, which Syrian Army artillery now has under total fire control.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000497

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Yemeni Forces Shoot down Saudi Reconnaissance Drone over Hajjah

Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:48

The Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing an unnamed official from Yemen's air defense unit, reported on Saturday that the Saudi reconnaissance drone was shot down as it was flying in the skies over Hirz district in the early hours of Saturday.

Back on October 27, Yemeni forces, using a surface-to-air missile, shot down a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet of the Saudi Air Force as it was flying East of the Yemeni capital city of Sana’a.

Earlier that month, the Yemeni army announced that it also managed to shoot down a US-made General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, a drone operated by the Saudi Air Force.

In June, the Yemeni air defense forces also intercepted and shot down a Saudi F-15 fighter jet in the skies over Sana’a.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an invasion of Yemen from the air, land, and sea since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstate former president AbdRabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to undermine the Ansarullah movement.

The Riyadh regime has, however, failed to reach its goals despite suffering great expense. Over the past two years, the Ansarullah fighters have been running state affairs and defending Yemeni people against the Saudi aggression.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000670

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Syria: Buses Arrive to Transport Militants from Occupied Golan Heights to Idlib

Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:39

According to the Syrian military, at least 300 terrorists of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) will be transported from Beit Jinn to Idlib as part of the ceasefire deal.

Another batch of terrorists are expected to leave in the coming days, as the Syrian army men begin entering the areas Al-Nusra once controlled in the Beit Jinn pocket.

With the Beit Jinn pocket cleared, the Syrian Army will shift their attention to the Southern suburbs of Damascus, where they will attempt to retake the Yarmouk Camp District and Hajar Al-Aswad region.

Media sources reported on Wednesday that the Syrian army has given a 72-hours-long ultimatum to the al-Nusra Front in Southwestern Damascus to leave the region or lay down arms and apply for government amnesty.

The Reuters quoted Ebrahim al-Jabawi, a commander of the Free Syrian Army, as saying that the government army has given only 72 hours to the terrorists near the borders with Israel to surrender to the government forces to be relocated to Idlib province, adding that those gunmen who do not intent to leave the region should lay down their arms and apply for amnesty.

Another source close to terrorist groups said that they have been told to surrender otherwise they will be faced the army's military operation.

The army has laid complete siege on terrorists' positions after capturing strategic hills and farms near Beit Jinn and Mughur al-Mir regions.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961008000582

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Mideast

Over 100 Palestinians Injured in Clashes with Israeli Army in Gaza

Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:34

The Palestinians held protests along the Gaza Strip’s border and in the West Bank on Friday against US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Sputnik reported.

"The number of injured in the Gaza Strip has increased to 100 people, 34 of them suffered injuries from bullets, they have been taken to hospitals, two (out of 100) are seriously injured, another 66, affected by gas, received assistance at the scene," Qedra said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent said that 130 Palestinians got medical assistance in the West Bank.

Trump made a decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6. The move triggered protests in the Muslim nations across the Middle East and led to clashes between Israeli army and Palestinians, in particular.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000388

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Israeli Forces Suppress Friday Rallies over Jerusalem Recognition

Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:35

Israeli forces cracked down on several rallies in the Southern West Bank district of Hebron, injuring three Palestinians, WAFA reported.

One Palestinian protester was hit and injured in the thigh by a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli forces during clashes in Bab al-Zawiya.

At least two others were also hit and injured with live rounds during clashes in al-Arroub refugee camp. The casualties were rushed to hospitals.

Israeli forces cracked down on similar rallies in the Hebron-district towns of Sair and Yatta, causing scores of suffocation cases.

Several protestors were injured and five others were detained during a rally near the Hebron neighborhood of Tal Rumeida.

Meanwhile, Palestinians held a similar rally at the Northern entrance of Al-Bireh city, chanting slogans condemning US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israeli soldiers opened fire towards the rally, injuring a protestor with a rubber-coated steel bullet and causing scores others to suffocate.

Scores of tear gas suffocation cases were also reported in Bilin village, West of Ramallah city.

In the meantime, Israeli forces quelled similar rallies at the Northern entrance of Bethlehem, the main entrance of Nablus-district town of Beita and Huwwara checkpoint, causing scores of suffocation cases and injuring several others with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Another protestor was reportedly injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet as Israeli troops suppressed a similar rally in KufrQaddum village in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000458

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Bahrain opposition bloc in London calls to stop military trials, It reflects track of 'militarizing state'

December 30, 2017 - 12:41 PM News Code : 874885 Source : Bahrain Mirror

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Bahrain Opposition Bloc in London expressed its full rejection to all the political verdicts and trials held in Bahrain since over 7 years against prisoners of conscience in Bahrain, stressing on the necessity to stop these military courts that issued collective death sentences that are considered the first of their kind in Bahrain's history. The bloc pointed out that these courts clearly reflect the track of militarizing Bahrain and declaring martial law in an indirect way.

The statement issued by the bloc on Thursday (December 28, 2017) held Bahrain's king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa the responsibility of militarizing the state and the death penalties, adding "the military courts had always lacked and still lack legal guarantees."

As of the trial of Al-Wefaq Secretary-General Sheikh Ali Salman, the bloc condemned his continuous detention and trial over fake issues and demanded the public prosecution to bring the king, Crown Prince, cabinet minister, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs as witnesses because they are the real witnesses on the calls upon which Sheikh Ali Salman is being sued.

en.abna24.com/news/bahrain/bahrain-opposition-bloc-in-london-calls-to-stop-military-trials-it-reflects-track-of-militarizing-state_874885.html

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Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi: Iraq's Popular Forces Ready to Fight for Quds

Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:58

Speaking at a meeting with Palestinian Ambassador to Iraq Ahmad Aql, Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi stressed the necessity of uniting Muslims against global arrogance, implying the US and Israel.

The two sides emphasized the necessity of unifying the Muslims of the world against Zionism and global arrogance while examining the current situation in the region.

Al-Nujaba's secretary-general condemned the decision of the US president regarding Quds, and explicitly stated, "We are fully prepared to defend the holy Quds."

"The transfer of arrogant countries' embassies to Quds is a provoking act in recognition of the Zionist entity," Sheikh Akram al-Kaabi added.

At the end of the meeting, the Palestinian ambassador praised Al-Nujaba's support for his country and the readiness of the resistance group to defend the Islamic lands.

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Turkey Dispatches Another Military Convoy for War against SDF in Northern Syria

Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:30

The news websites reported that another convoy of the Turkish military vehicles left the village of KafrLoseen and crossed the border into Syria's Idlib.

The websites further said that the convoy, consisting of several personnel carriers and cargo vehicles and engineering machinery, moved to the positions of the Turkish army troops in Afrin region in Western Aleppo.  

An Arab media outlet reported on Monday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that its forces were well-prepared to face the Turkish army and its affiliated military groups after the Turkish forces threatened to attack the town of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat daily quoted Head of the Democratic Unity Joint Party Ayesha Hasou as saying that the entire residents in the town of Afrin were at the highest level of preparedness to defend their town against possible attack by the Turkish troops and their affiliated militants.

Hasou further told the paper that ever since the escalation of crisis in Syria, Afrin were under siege in three directions and from the side of Turkey, were under repeated air attacks and different threats.

"Afrin will be turned into Turkish invaders' graveyard similar to Kobani and Raqqa that became the graveyards of ISIL," she underlined.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000764

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Palestinian Dies of Wounds Sustained during Clashes with Israeli Forces at Gaza Border

Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:56

The Health Ministry said Musleh was shot in the stomach by a live bullet and was reported in critical condition since his arrival at hospital in Deir al-Balah until he was pronounced dead hours later, WAFA reported.

The ministry said at least 45 people were shot by live bullets during the Friday confrontations at the Gaza borders, including four who remain in critical condition.

In the West Bank, the ministry said six people were shot by live ammunition, including one reported in critical conditions shot in the Hebron area. He was among three others also shot by live bullets in Arroub refugee camp, North of Hebron.

Another two were hit by live bullets in Ramallah and Nablus areas, bur reported in moderate condition.

Protests against the US decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital continued in most areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the fourth “Friday of rage” declared by the Palestinian nationalist and Islamic forces.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it treated 461 cases in the Palestinian areas on Friday, including 347 in the West Bank (six live, 76 rubber bullets, 253 from tear gas inhalation and 12 from other reasons), along with 114 in the Gaza Strip (45 live, 57 from tear gas and 12 other reasons).

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009001059

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Turkish police stage dawn raids on suspected Islamic State fighters

Fri 29 Dec ‘17 12.36 GMT |  KareemShaheen in Istanbul

Turkish police have detained dozens of suspected Islamic State militants in a series of dawn raids, including some believed to be planning attacks on New Year’s Eve, as the authorities strengthened security measures ahead of the celebrations.

The unprecedented mobilisation of police patrols and the arrests of terror suspects in Istanbul and Ankara were aimed at preventing a repeat of last year’s midnight assault on a nightclub on the Bosphorus, in which 39 people died when a militant opened fire on revellers.

Street celebrations have been cancelled across Istanbul as a result of what authorities say are security concerns.

“We have taken all precautions for our citizens to spend the New Year’s Eve in the best way possible,” said the Istanbul governor, VasipŞahin. “We have also warned entertainment venues which have their own security personnel to take precautions.”

Seventy-five suspected Isis members were arrested in the country’s two largest cities, Istanbul and Ankara, on the second day of sweeping raids across 12 provinces. On Thursday another 120 suspected members of the terror group were arrested.

The state-run Anadolu agency said some of those arrested on Friday were suspected of planning New Year’s Eve attacks in the country, and the majority of them were foreigners.

Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate collapsed this year as it lost its two largest cities, Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, and retreated to desert hideouts or atempted to flee the battlefield through the Turkish border.

A year ago a lone gunman, AbdulkadirMasharipov, raided the Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortakoy district on New Year’s Eve and killed 39 people, mostly foreigners. Masharipov’s trial, along with that of 56 other defendants, began in December and was adjourned until March. Prosecutors are seeking 40 life sentences.

Several districts in Istanbul cancelled planned street celebrations over security concerns, including in Taksim Square and the Beşiktaş district, as well as in Şişli, whose municipality is controlled by secular opponents of the president. All are neighbourhoods popular with foreigners and with an active nightlife.

The move will appease conservative supporters of the president, who consider New Year’s Eve celebrations un-Islamic.

Government officials have said 37,000 police and 4,000 gendarmerie officers will be deployed across Istanbul in preparation for Sunday night.

Islamic State has orchestrated some of the deadliest attacks in Turkey over the last two years, including a double suicide bombing in Ankara in October 2015, which killed more than 100 people at a peace rally. The group also carried out a gun and bomb attack on Istanbul’s Atatürk airport in June 2016, killing 43 people.

Turkey intervened in the war in Syria last year partly to oust Islamic State from a number of strongholds along its 500-mile border with its war-torn neighbour. But as the militants’ territory shrinks, Ankara faces a renewed challenge as fighters attempt to flee and return to their home countries in Europe or the Middle East, possibly to orchestrate attacks.

theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/29/turkish-police-dawn-raids-suspected-islamic-state-fighters

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Iranians rally to back Islamic Establishment, Leader's prudence

Tehran, Dec 30, IRNA – Iranians from different walks of life rallied throughout the country on Saturday to support the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Establishment.

The rallies were held in 1,200 congregation points in all the 31 provinces of Iran on the eve of the eighth anniversary of '9 Dey Epic' which falls on December 30.

Millions of people took to the streets in Tehran and other major cities on December 30, 2009 condemning those who were involved in the unrests provoked by foreign powers in the wake of the presidential election.

The unrests were referred to by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei as 'sedition' and the day of the public support for the Islamic establishment was called the '9 Dey Epic' (i.e., the epic made by Iranians in the ninth day of the 10th month of the Iranian calendar).

Anti-Israeli and anti-US slogans were chanted in support of the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Establishment.

irna.ir/en/News/82780190

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Africa

Egypt's Morsi sentenced to three years in prison

AFP | Dec 30, 2017

CAIRO: An Egyptian court sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to three years in prison along with 19 other defendants on Saturday for "insulting the judiciary," his lawyer said.

The other defendants include former members of parliament, activists and three journalists.

Morsi had already been sentenced to a total of 45 years in prison in two other trials after the military ousted him in 2013.

The defendants had all been charged with making statements deemed insulting to the judiciary.

Five other defendants, including jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, were fined 30,000 pounds each.

Morsi was also ordered to pay two million pounds to the head of the judges' syndicate and another judge, while 22 other defendants were ordered to pay one million pounds to the head of the syndicate.

Morsi's lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsud told AFP that he would appeal the verdict.

Thousands of Islamists have been arrested and put on trial since the military ousted the divisive Morsi following mass protests demanding his resignation.

The crackdown extended to other opponents of then army chief now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was elected a year after Morsi's overthrow.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/egypts-morsi-sentenced-to-three-years-in-prison/articleshow/62308042.cms

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Egypt's Muslim leader condemns church terror attack in which ten died

Christian Today staff writer Sat 30 Dec 2017 9:27 GMT

Egypt's Muslim leader has condemned the church terror attack in which ten died.

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, warned that such attacks threatened national unity in Egypt. He called on all Muslims to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ "with their Christian brothers".

He spoke out after two terrorists opened fire, killing ten including three police officers, on the church of Mar Mina in Helwan district in south Cairo.

"I call on all Egyptians to confront this malignant plot against our nation and to emphasize on such spirit through the participation of Muslims in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with their Christian brothers," he said, according to Egypt Today.

The church had been under intense police guard, like all churches throughout the country, due to the many lethal attacks over recent years at Christmas.

It was due to the exceptional security measures that more lives were not lost and the entire church blown up.

One source told Christian Today that although one of the attackers was a suicide bomber and wearing an explosive belt, he was not able to use it due to the hard security measures that was around the church, and the quick reaction of the security forces who were protecting the church from all sides and closing all the streets around every church in Egypt.

Earlier this month, Egypt's Religious Endowments Minister Mokhtar Gomaa stated that the protection of churches is "a legitimate and national duty" that and those who died in the defense of the church are martyrs.

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi also offered condolences to the Egyptian families of those killed, ordering the state institutions to take all necessary actions regarding the families of the "martyrs" and the injured. He said it had increased the determination of Egypt's government and security forces to cleanse to the country of terrorism and extremism.

Father Hani Bakhoum, Patriarchal Vicar of the Coptic Catholic Church, condemned the incident, stating: This terrorist attack will not dampen our festive spirit."

In a statement put out through its own news agency, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

christiantoday.com/us/egypts-muslim-leader-condemns-church-terror-attack-in-which-ten-died/122578.htm

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Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Christians in Egypt

Dec 29 2017, 10:37 pm ET |  by Reuters and Phil Helsel

 The terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack in Egypt that targeted a Coptic Christian church in a Cairo suburb, but the group did not provide any evidence to back up its claim.

The gunman first shot at a Christian-owned shop, killing two people, Friday before proceeding to the Mar Mina church in the southern Cairo suburb of Helwan, the Coptic Church said according to Reuters.

The Interior Ministry said he opened fire at the entrance to the site and tried to throw an explosive device.

The gunman killed at least nine people, including a policeman, at the church, according to Interior Ministry and Coptic Church accounts. The Church said a young woman had died later from her wounds, bringing the civilian death toll at the church to eight.

 The attacker was wounded by security forces and taken into custody, Egypt's Interior Ministry said. Church officials had said those killed ranged in age from 43 to 90.

Islamic State in a message through its Amaq media agency that soldiers of “the Caliphate” attacked Christians and said one attacker was killed, according to security consulting firm and NBC News partner Flashpoint Intelligence.

Related: ISIS will remain a threat in 2018, experts warn

But because the group provided no evidence it is unclear whether Islamic State was involved or whether the gunman was inspired by the group, or if there is no connection.

 U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and offered his condolences, according to a statement from the White House.

"President Trump condemned the attack and reiterated that the United States will continue to stand with Egypt in the face of terrorism," the White House statement said.

The attacker was identified by Egypt's Interior Ministry as Ibrahim Isma'ilIsma'il Mustafa, 33, and the ministry said he was involved in several prior terrorist attacks.

Earlier reports by security sources and state media said at least two attackers were involved in Friday's attack, and that one was shot dead and another fled the scene. The interior ministry did not explain the reason for the different accounts.

 Police have stepped up security measures around churches ahead of the Coptic Christmas celebrations on Jan. 7, deploying officers outside Christian places of worship and setting up metal detectors at some of the bigger churches.

Related: ISIS weapons arsenal included some purchased by U.S. government

Islamist militants have claimed several attacks on Egypt's large Christian minority in recent years, including two bomb attacks on Palm Sunday in Apriland a blast at Cairo's largest Coptic cathedral last December that killed 28 people.

nbcnews.com/news/world/islamic-state-claims-responsibility-attack-christians-egypt-n833566

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Southeast Asia

Islamic State remains the top terror threat for Malaysia in 2018: Police

30 Dec 2017 05:55PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Islamic State (IS) remains the biggest terror threat for Malaysia in 2018 - despite the militant group losing most of its territories in the Middle East - as its ideology continues to attract new recruits, says the Royal Malaysian Police counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan MydinPitchay.

The sombre assessment comes even as the number of terror suspects arrested in Malaysia for 2017 declined to 105 from 119 in 2016, according to the police.

Malaysia also foiled five terror plots in 2017. This brings the total number of terror plots disrupted by the police from 2012 to 2017 to 19.

“I rank Islamic State as the number one threat (for 2018) as its ideology has spread all over the world. Even though they no longer have any territories, they still receive strong support and have many sympathisers,” Ayob, head of Special Branch’s counter-terrorism division, told Channel NewsAsia.

Asked whether Malaysians were still being recruited by IS, he said “yes”.

“The reason for that is due to IS’ powerful propaganda … their fight for an Islamic Caliphate which is said to be the true practice of Islam attracts the interest of Muslims all over the world to … support their struggle,” Ayob added.

To date, 53 Malaysians are in Syria while another 34 died fighting for IS. Of the 34, nine died as suicide bombers. Another eight have returned home, said Ayob, adding that they have all been arrested.

Malaysia also faces a serious threat from Mindanao island in southern Philippines where pro-IS groups seized control of the city of Marawi in May 2017 and held on to it for five months before the military wrestled back control.

More than 1,100 people were killed in the battle which drew foreign fighters from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East.

“Marawi in the Philippines is the second biggest threat because IS is expanding its power to the Southeast Asia region. People are joining them (pro-IS groups) in Philippines because the location is nearer and easier to access compared with Syria,” said Ayob.

“At least five Malaysians have gone to Mindanao to join terror groups there,” he added.

Malaysians played prominent roles in the Marawi siege. Amongst them was former university lecturer Mahmud Ahmad who helped plot the take-over of Marawi as well as facilitating the funding for the battle to a tune of US$1.5 million.

In the first half of this month, Malaysian police arrested 16 men who were planning to go to Mindanao to join the pro-IS faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

THE JERUSALEM CONTROVERSY - A MAJOR TERROR RISK FACTOR

US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which triggered massive protests across the Muslim world, is another terror risk factor.

“The Jerusalem issue will inspire people to wage jihad because the (militants) believe the Dajjal (great evil figure) will emerge from a Middle Eastern country before the final phase of the end of the world,” said Ayob.

TEROR SUSPECTS ARRESTED DECLINED IN 2017 FOLLOWING DEATHS OF TWO LEADING MALAYSIAN IS FIGURES

Compared to the 119 arrests last year, the 105 terror suspects arrested in 2017 represent the first decline in four years, according to the police.

Forty one have been charged in court.

The decline is due to increased pre-emptive measures taken by counter-terrorism police as well as the death of two leading Malaysian IS recruiters in Syria in 2017, said Ayob.

“Many active (IS) recruiters like Muhammad Wanndy and ZainuriKamaruddin have been killed. E8 (Special Branch’s counter-terrorism division) has also been carrying out pre-emptive measures which prevented existing terror cells from expanding,” Ayob added.

According to Ayob, terror suspects arrested recently came from small cells with less than six members, unlike Muhammad Wanndy’s terror cell which was known as “Black Crow” that comprised of more than 50 members.

“They (IS suspects) are also finding it hard to enter into Syria’s conflict zones. They are also very careful in their movements and communication to avoid being arrested,” he said.

Malaysians make up 52 of the 105 arrested this year, while the remaining 53 are foreigners, according to police.

Filipinos comprised the largest group of foreign terror suspects. Twenty five of them were arrested, while Indonesians made up the second largest group. Twelve of them were picked up.

Some of the Filipino terror suspects are pro-IS Abu Sayyaf members, according to police. The rest of the terror suspects come from Yemen, Bangladesh, Iraq, Maldives, China, Palestine, Albania and Morocco, they added.

INTERNATIONAL TERROR GROUPS SEEK SAFE HAVEN IN MALAYSIA

To date, police said Malaysia has arrested suspects from regional and global terror groups including Al Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf Group, East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Jamaatul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, Islamic State of Iraq and others.

The militants see Malaysia as a transit zone and a potential safe haven.

“Members of foreign terror groups are here either to transit or to try to make Malaysia a safe haven,” said Ayob.

According to Prof Zachary Abuza of the National War College in Washington DC, foreign terror groups come to Malaysia because of the lax visa requirements for countries from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“They (foreign terror groups) have always come to Malaysia … firstly, no visa requirements for OIC countries; and (due to) the record of  few (foreign) arrests, terrorists of all persuasions feel that Malaysia is a great place to pass through to try to cover their tracks,” said Abuza who specialises in terrorism and insurgencies in Southeast Asia.

In 2016, the Malaysian cabinet rejected a proposal from the National Security Council to introduce visa requirements for those originating from the Middle East.

channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/islamic-state-remains-the-top-terror-threat-for-malaysia-in-2018-9820872

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Don’t force Islam on the public, Dr M urges in PPBM meet

Saturday December 30, 2017

SHAH ALAM, Dec 30 ― The freedom for Malaysians to worship is part of their rights, TunDr Mahathir Mohamad insisted today as he listed down several of PartiPribumiBersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) promises to the public today.

In his keynote speech at the party’s inaugural annual general meeting (AGM), Dr Mahathir said Islam forbids anybody from forcing the public into embracing Islam, and at the same time he warned against any attempts to proselytise Muslims.

“The freedom of religion is the right of the people. Don’t intrude on this and force anybody,” the PPBM chairman said.

“For Muslims, this coercion is forbidden. This was said many times in the Quran. To us our religion, and to them theirs.”

Dr Mahathir also urged Malaysians to cherish their culture to ensure stability and peace in Malaysia.

“Besides the influence of Islam, we also have our cultures. Among them is the attempt to spread other religions among Muslims is unacceptable,” the former prime minister said.

“Let it not be just because of human rights, we ignore our culture. Remember, freedom has its limit. Setting this limit aside will invite instability and riots in our beloved country.”

themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/dont-force-islam-on-the-public-dr-m-urges-in-ppbm-meet#GGeMPq2QdkPL2ztZ.97

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Pakistan

Pakistan Man Exonerated After Serving 9 Years For Blasphemy

AP | Dec 30, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Supreme Court exonerated a man convicted of blasphemy after he served nine years of a life sentence in prison.

A two-judge panel of the court ruled on Friday that Mohammad Mansha was falsely accused, citing lack of evidence.

According to court records, Mansha, 58, was arrested in September 2008 after the imam of a mosque in the Bahawalnagar district in Punjab province told authorities that Mansha had desecrated a copy of the Quran.

A Punjab judge convicted Mansha of blasphemy and sent him to life in prison in 2009. His conviction was upheld in 2014 and the Supreme Court took up the case the same year.

Mansha's defense attorney, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, said his client was arrested on a complaint from a man who was suffering from hearing and speech impairments. He said evidence from such a witness has no legal value under the Evidence Act.

Mansha's attorney said that following the complaint, his client was presented before a village council where he was badly beaten then handed over to police. The police registered the case under the country's harsh blasphemy law based on the complaint of the Imam Hafiz Muhammad Munir. The hearing and speech impaired Akhtar Mohammad became the star witness.

Abdul Waheed, the prosecutor in the case, said that there was no "scientific evidence" against Mansha and that the police investigation was 'faulty' which led to his acquittal. Waheed said Mansha, a poor villager, could not hire a lawyer so the court appointed him one.

Rights groups say Pakistan's harsh blasphemy law is often exploited to settle personal scores.

Blasphemy is a very sensitive issue in Pakistan's conservative society. In 2011, a liberal governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was assassinated by his official guard because he spoke in support of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, languishing in a jail after being convicted in a blasphemy case.

Taseer said at the time that the blasphemy law was being exploited.

Zia Awan, head of Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Assistance, lauded the Supreme Court's verdict in Mansha's case but said the court should have compensated him for his years behind bars on "false" charges.

Awan added that it is time for the parliament to "carefully look into" the country's blasphemy law and finds the means to curb its misuse or exploitation.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-man-exonerated-after-serving-9-years-for-blasphemy/articleshow/62308450.cms

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Pakistani military claims to have arrested Afghan intelligence facilitator

By Khaama Press - Sat Dec 30 2017, 11:21 am

The Pakistani military claims that an Afghan national who was acting as the facilitator of the Afghan intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), has been arrested during an operation.

“Balochistan along with Intelligence agencies conducted IBOs in Musa colony and Sangan areas. An Afghan national suspected NDS facilitator apprehended,” the Pakistani military said in a statement.

The statement further added “In Sangan FC recovered weapons and ammunition including explosives and communication equipment. In de-weaponising campaign residents of Sibbi, Talli and Dera Murad Jamali voluntarily deposited illegal weapons to FC.”

This is not the first time an Afghan national is being arrested on charges of working with the Afghan security institutions or having links with the terror groups.

On the other hand, the Afghan security institutions have also made similar claims in the past.

The Afghan intelligence said late in August that an agent of the Pakistani military intelligence, inter services intelligence (ISIS), has been arrested by the security forces in Kabul as he was planning an attack on the major Pul-e-Charkhi prison.

The Afghan intelligence, national directorate of security (NDS), said the man was detained during an operation from Kabul city.

A statement by NDS said the detained suspect has been identified as Allah Noor who is originally a resident of Quetta city of Pakistan.

The detained agent confesses in a video published by NDS saying he wanted to have a role in the attack on Pul-e-Charkhi prison.

He also admits his involvement in organizing meetings between the ISI officials and Taliban leader Mullah Hebatullah as well as Haqqani network leader SirajuddinHaqqani network in Pakistan.

khaama.com/pakistani-military-claims-to-have-arrested-afghan-intelligence-facilitator-04148

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South Asia

11 ISIS militants killed in US drone strikes in East of Afghanistan

By Khaama Press - Sat Dec 30 2017, 3:21 pm

At least eleven militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in separate drone strikes in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan army in a statement said the US military carried out an airstrike in DehBala district, targeting a group of insurgents carrying weapons on two horses.

The statement further added that the militants were targeted in Kas area of the district, leaving three ISIS militants dead and as a result the two horses were also killed.

The provincial government media office however said the airstrike was carried out in Haska Mina district, providing the same casualties toll.

In the meantime, the 201st Silab in a separate statement said Friday that eight ISIS militant were killed and three others were wounded in a similar airstrike on Thursday.

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in East of Afghanistan but the security situation of the province has started to deteriorate during the recent years.

At least 15 ISIS militants were killed in the latest drone strike of the US forces in this province last week.

The provincial government media office in a statement said the latest airstrike was carried out Bandar area of Achin district.

The statement further added that fifteen ISIS militants were killed and their weapons, ammunition, and explosives cache was destroyed in the air raid.

khaama.com/11-isis-militants-killed-in-us-drone-strikes-in-east-of-afghanistan-04152

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Afghan Air Force Intensifies Airstrikes on Terrorist Centers in Northern Faryab Province

Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:27

The 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan army in a statement said Saturday that Afghan Air Force carried out a series of airstrikes in Pashtun Kot district, Khaama press reported.

The statement further added that as a result of the airstrikes at least seven militants were killed and three others were wounded.

According to the Shaheen Corps of the Afghan military, the airstrikes were carried out on the positions of the Taliban insurgents in this province.

The anti-government groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

Faryab is among the relatively volatile provinces in the Northern parts of the country where the anti-government armed militants are actively operating in a number of its districts.

Several militants including key members and commanders of the anti-government armed militants were killed in similar operations in this province last month.

According to the Afghan military officials, the operations were conducted in Sherin Islam Qalam, Zaqoom, and Tapa-e-Qeshlaqvilages located in Khwajah Sabs Posh and SherinTagab districts.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000806

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North America

US Arms Seized from Terrorists in DeirEzzur

Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:34

While purging terrorists from different districts of the city of DeirEzzur, the army units gained access to a large cache of mortar rounds, different types of machine-guns, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and shoulder-mounted rockets, including some manufactured by the US.

The army forces also seized wireless and radio broadcasting stations in one of ISIL's headquarters while purging terrorists from al-Sayyal village in the outskirts of Albu Kamal city East of DeirEzzur.

In a relevant development on Thursday, the Russian defense ministry revealed that the Syrian army's fighter jet was shot down by al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) militants in Hama province, using an American missile.

The Arabic-language al-Hadath news website quoted Alexander Ivanov, the spokesman of Russia's airbase at Humeimim, as saying that al-Nusra has used a US-made missile to bring down the Syrian fighter jet on Tuesday.

The al-Nusra's possession of US-made weapons indicates that Washington is supplying the terrorist group with different aid with the aim of preventing reestablishment of stability in Syria, he added.

A Syrian military jet was shot down by militants in Hama province, the Syrian state broadcaster confirmed, adding that a pilot was killed in the attack.

“The military aircraft crashed in the vicinity of Hama after it was shot down by terrorists; the pilot was killed,” the Syrian state-run SANA news agency quoted a source as saying. The plane, identified as a L-39 Albatros jet trainer, was shot down by terrorists' anti-aircraft machineguns, a source within the Syrian opposition told Al-Masdar news.

It was not immediately clear which militant group was responsible for the attack, but the so-called Free Idlib Army, an offshoot of the Free Syrian Army, claimed responsibility on social media and in a statement to Turkish Anadolu news agency. Reuters also reported that Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, had also claimed responsibility.

A video later emerged, purportedly showing the aircraft pilot’s dead body lying in the back of a truck, with blood around his neck. The footage appears to show a body surrounded by a group of armed men, who are described in the Telegram channel Directorate 4 as members of Jeish al-Nukhba, a militant group based in Idlib and Hama.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961009000621

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Guatemala: Jerusalem embassy move 'will not be reversed'

AFP | Dec 30, 2017

GUATEMALA CITY: Guatemala's foreign minister insisted that President Jimmy Morales' plan to move the country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem will not be reversed, and called for critics to "respect" the country's decisions.

"It's a decision that has been made ... it is not going to be reversed," Sandra Jovel told journalists during an event to commemorate the end of the Guatemalan civil war in 1996.

"The Guatemalan government is very respectful of the positions that other countries have taken, and as we are respectful of those decisions, we believe others should respect decisions made by Guatemala," she added in response to critics including the Palestinians.

Last Sunday, Morales unexpectedly announced the transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel on social media, in the wake of the UN General Assembly's condemnation of a similar move by the United States.

The announcement made Guatemala the first country to follow the United States's controversial lead on the holy city.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital, while Palestinians, consider east Jerusalem as the occupied capital of their future state.

Morales, defending his decision, said Israel is an "ally" and that Guatemala has "historically been pro-Israel."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/guatemala-jerusalem-embassy-move-will-not-be-reversed/articleshow/62303869.cms

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/palestine-conveys--deep-regret-,-recalls-envoy-who-shared-stage-with-hafiz-saeed/d/113756

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Total Comments (1)

  • 1 .
    India should not said anything, on the contrary should see what type of mentality is harbour by Palestinian and support accordingly.


    By Aayina 01/01/2018 01:24:24