New Age Islam
Tue Nov 24 2020, 11:39 PM

Islamic World News ( 23 Sept 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Police Remove Islamic State Flag Waving In Islamabad








Photo: The flag was removed by police after a man reported the matter. ─DawnNews

 

Bangladeshi Buddhists to Give Up Festivity for Rohingya Refugees

International Journalists, Activists Urge UN to Stop ‘Muslim Holocaust’ in Myanmar

Algerian FM Calls for Immediate Return of Syria to Arab League

Hijab Part Of Uniform At Nearly Half Of Islamic Schools In England

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Pakistan

Police Remove Islamic State Flag Waving In Islamabad

Security Forces Kill 3 Suspects during Alleged Encounter in Dera Ismail Khan

Pakistan says Army Lieutenant killed by militants close to Durand Line

In Pakistan, once-fringe Islamist radicals are making their way into mainstream politics

Imran Khan demands early elections, says 'Abbasi should seeks fresh mandate'

Imran Khan’s PTI links anti-Pak campaign in Switzerland to Afghanistan, India

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South Asia

Bangladeshi Buddhists to Give Up Festivity for Rohingya Refugees

Bangladesh Imposes Mobile Phone Ban on Rohingya Refugees

UN doctors in Bangladesh report symptoms of horrific sexual attacks on Rohingya women

Kabul suicide attack on Nato convoy wounds three civilians

Afghanistan rejects Pakistan perception regarding India’s role

Key Taliban leader Janat Gul among several dead, wounded in Laghman clash

Afghan Air Force UH-60 maiden flight in the presence of top defense officials

15 years a long time for US to decide regarding Pakistan’s lies: Karzai

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Southeast Asia

International Journalists, Activists Urge UN to Stop ‘Muslim Holocaust’ in Myanmar

Myanmar Cartoonists Lead Media-Jeering As Rohingya Flee

Fighter in Islamic State video is believed to be radicalised Singaporean: MHA

Comment about Islamic State on social media lands Chinese man in prison

Launderette in Johor adopts Muslims-only policy

Muslim NGOs lodge police report against Hannah Yeoh for preaching Christianity

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Africa

Algerian FM Calls for Immediate Return of Syria to Arab League

NGOs Regulatory Bill Won’t Affect Mosques, Churches – Reps Member

Algeria Turns to Islamic Banking to Fix Its Financial Woes, For First Time Ever

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Europe

Hijab Part Of Uniform At Nearly Half Of Islamic Schools In England

Muslim and Proud, London Mayor Won't Be Cowed By Trump or Terror

Islamic State Propagandist Who Arrived as a ‘Child Refugee’ Jailed

Educational program on Mahdism studies begins in Austria

Germany bans face coverings for drivers amid claims of anti-Muslim discrimination

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India

BSF Uses Local Intel, Language Skills to Check Rohingya Muslim Refugees Influx

Pakistan Flashes Fake Image of 'Pellet Gun Victim' To Malign India at the UN General Assembly

Unite or You Will End Up Like Rohingyas: Azam Khan to Muslims

Indian Union Muslim League Sets Off On Race For Vengara

CISF proposes armed cover against terror threat to UDAN scheme

Afghanistan likely on agenda as US defense secretary starts visit to India

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Arab World

Syria Is Marching Steadily Towards Rooting Out Terrorism: Al-Moallem At UNGA

Yemen’s Ansarullah Mocks Saudi Condemnation Of Myanmar’s Crackdown On Rohingya Muslims

More Civilians Killed in US, SDF Attacks in Northeastern Syria

Al-Nusra Preparing to Attack Turkey-Backed Militants West of Aleppo Province

Syria: ISIL Appoints Former FSA Commander as New Emir of Terrorist Group in Deir Ezzur

Militant Reports: Joulani Involved in Assassination of Al-Nusra Commanders

Syrian Army Receives More Advanced Tanks, Military Vehicles

Terrorists Continue Vast Withdrawal in Deir Ezzur, Raqqa Provinces under Syrian Army Attacks

Syrian Soldiers Repel Terrorists' Heavy Attack in Northern Homs

Yemeni Army Targets King Khalid Airbase with Ballistic Missile

Advanced Russia-Made Air-Defence System Deployed in Central Syria

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Mideast

Iran Halts Flights to Iraqi Kurdistan at Request of Baghdad

Iran Could Walk Away From JCPOA If US Scraps It: Zarif

36 People have been Detained for Ties to "Islamic State" in Istanbul

QIB named as safest Islamic bank in Qatar

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North America

‘Make Hummus, Not War’: Chickpeas Unite Jews and Muslims In Argentina

Marriott is hosting the conference of the largest anti-Muslim hate group

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/police-remove-islamic-state-flag-waving-in-islamabad/d/112640

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Police remove Islamic State flag waving in Islamabad

September 24, 2017

A flag similar to that of the militant Islamic State (IS) group was seen waving in Islamabad's Khana area on Sunday morning, before being removed by the local police after a citizen reported the matter.

Police removed the flag, hoisted on a pole by an unidentified person, in the afternoon after one Naveed Ahmed Khan — a resident of Dera Ismail Khan — informed Rescue 15 of the matter.

Khan, who was taken in by the police, said in his statement that he was travelling on the Sixth Road in Islamabad when he saw the flag. Khan added that he recognised the flag as he had seen it on the television before.

The flag had "Khilafat is coming" written on it, in addition to the Arabic verses.

Taking notice of the matter, Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal asked the inspector general of police to file a report on the said matter.

dawn.com/news/1359750/police-remove-islamic-state-flag-waving-in-islamabad

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Bangladeshi Buddhists to Give Up Festivity for Rohingya Refugees

September 22, 2017

The Buddhist community in Bangladesh has announced it will downsize an upcoming religious feast to express solidarity with Rohingya Muslim refugees.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled ethnic violence in majority-Buddhist Myanmar during recent weeks.

There are fears that, as in the past, the small Buddhist population of majority-Muslim Bangladesh could be subjected to revenge attacks over the persecution of Muslim Rohingya by Myanmar Buddhists.

The United Forum of Buddhists in Bangladesh said on Sept. 18 that Probarana Purnima, the second largest annual Buddhist feast, would be conducted on a smaller scale than usual in order to save money to help Rohingya refugees.

AshokeBarua, the group’s chief coordinator, said the move is also aimed at highlighting atrocities against Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Barua said the festival this year, which falls on Oct. 5, would curtail a popular ceremony in which Buddhists send into the sky colorful paper lanterns as a symbol of enlightenment.

He noted that Buddhists in Bangladesh have sent a "memorandum" to the Myanmar government calling for the protection of Rohingya in Rakhine State. 

"No sane Buddhist can support what is being done to Rohingya in Myanmar," Barua said.

"Lord Buddha preached peace and humanity, but what they are doing is completely the opposite."

Probarana Purnima marks the end of a three-month long seclusion of monks inside their monasteries for self-edification and atonement.

On Sept. 14, several Buddhist groups joined with 19 minority community organizations to protest 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya in Myanmar.

In 2012, sectarian attacks in Rakhine on Rohingya sparked anti-Buddhist violence in the Buddhist-majority Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong areas of Bangladesh.

More than 100 houses and 19 temples were burned.

Local media have reported that Islamic extremists in Bangladesh are now threatening new revenge attacks on Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong Buddhists.

Monk ShuddhanadaMohathero, based in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, said as a Buddhist he is ashamed and saddened over the "uncivilized" murdering of Rohingya in Myanmar.

"I appeal to the Myanmar government to stop violence, to restore peace and make efforts to take Rohingya back," Mohathero, who is president of the Bangladesh Society for Promotion of Buddhist Culture and Traditions, told a local newspaper.

"Myanmar’s is a big country and I don’t accept that a minority group like Rohingyas cannot be accommodated and allowed to live in peace and harmony."

He said that by failing to defend Rohingya, Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was bringing dishonor to her Nobel Peace Prize and tainting Buddhism globally.

ucanews.com/news/bangladeshi-buddhists-to-give-up-festivity-for-rohingya-refugees/80322

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International Journalists, Activists Urge UN to Stop ‘Muslim Holocaust’ in Myanmar

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A group of international journalists and activists have called on the UN to put an end to the “Muslim holocaust” in Myanmar, warning that the “worst bloodshed” after the World War II looms ahead as a result of the ongoing atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority group.

“Hereby, we, as the international journalists, photographers and media activists condemn in the strongest terms the Muslims’ holocaust in Myanmar, and call for an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on this issue, before the world faces the worst bloodshed after the WWII,” the journalists said in an open letter to the UN Human Rights Council, presstv reported.

The letter expressed deep concern over the murder and displacement of thousands of Muslims in Myanmar who are deprived of their citizenship rights and forced out of their homes while their farms and cottages are burnt.

The journalists warned that while the international community, including the US and EU, have imposed an arms embargo against the government in Myanmar, Israel is “the main arm supplier of Myanmar and continues to arm Burma military amid ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslims.”

“It is noteworthy that all these crimes are happening before the Myanmar's Nobel Peace Prize winning Aung San Suu Kyi, who not only refrains from condemning these crimes against humanity, but also claimed that the situation is being twisted by a ‘huge iceberg of misinformation’,” the letter pointed out.

Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state have been subject to systematic persecution and violence at the hands of the military and Buddhist mobs for decades.

The minority group has been facing an escalated campaign of horrific violence since late last year, when the military laid siege to Rakhine. There have been widespread reports and eyewitness accounts of killings, raping, indiscriminate shootings at fleeing civilians, and the burning down of houses.

The Myanmar government claims it is fighting militants in the area, but the UN says the situation is better described as the “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya Muslims, whom the government refuses to recognize as citizens despite the fact that the 1.1-million-strong population has been living in the country for generations.

Over the past month, nearly 430,000 Rohingya have fled from the brutal army-led crackdown across the border in Rakhine. The recent exodus of Rohingya has brought the number of refugees from Rakhine living in Bangladesh to over 800,000.

Bangladesh state officials said on Saturday that the influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh has come to a virtual halt. The officials gave no reason for the dramatically reduced numbers.

However, Rohingya Muslim leaders said the influx of refugees has stopped probably because villages located near the border in Myanmar's Rakhine state are now empty.

According to Human Right Watch, new satellite images show that 99 percent of the villages in Rakhine have been destroyed.

On Friday, Amnesty International said Myanmar’s military and vigilante Buddhist mobs continue to set fire to Rohingya Muslim villages in Rakhine, despite the claims by Suu Kyi that army operations have ended there.

The government forces in Myanmar do not even spare the fleeing Rohingya refugees. Recent reports by Amnesty International and Bangladeshi officials say the military plants landmines on the path of those trying to cross into Bangladesh, causing them to sustain serious wounds or lose their limbs.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000528

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Algerian FM calls for immediate return of Syria to Arab League

September 24, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - On Saturday, Algerian minister of foreign affairs Abdul QaderMsahel who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York , reiterated that Damascus must immediately return to the Arab League , adding that Algeria and Syria share robust ties.

Msahel added that his country enjoy amicable relations with Iran and Qatar, stressing on the need to solve regional crises through diplomacy and dialogue.

Algerian top diplomat added that Algiers support the United Nation’s bid to end the conflict in Libya.

Referring to Russian-Algerian relation, Msahel described it as ‘special’ , adding that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Algeria on October 10, 2017, expressing hope that this visit would boost the Russian-Algerian relations in all aspects.

en.abna24.com/news/africa/algerian-fm-calls-for-immediate-return-of-syria-to-arab-league_856096.html

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Hijab part of uniform at nearly half of Islamic schools in England

Sunday 24 September 2017

More than two in five Islamic schools in England that accept girls require them to wear a hijab as school uniform, according to new research. Some 59 of 142 (42%) Islamic schools, including 27 primary schools, have a uniform policy which states a head-covering is compulsory, the National Secular Society (NSS) said. The body has written to Education Secretary Justine Greening to express its concern over the figures, which also showed eight of the secondary schools and three of the primary schools were state-funded. In the letter, the NSS asks for Muslim girls to be given "free choices" and that guidance should be issued that allowing headscarves to be worn should not extend to primary schools. The letter said: "In our view, the forcing of a child to wear the hijab, or any other item of religious clothing, is entirely at odds with this fundamental British value and with wider human rights norms on children's rights. This conflict needs to be addressed." The letter, which is co-signed by NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans, human rights activist Sara Khan and journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, goes on to say: "We are further concerned that a number of non-Islamic schools appear to be acceding to fundamentalist pressure to incorporate the hijab into their uniform. "Given the 'justifications' that lie behind so called 'modesty' codes, and its implicit sexualisation of children, we regard it as a matter of deep regret that so many schools are facilitating young girls being dressed in the hijab." The NSS said the policy at Feversham College in Bradford states the uniform should be "loose fitting and modest" and a hijab is compulsory. Another 18 schools say in their policy the head covering is option, including 13 that are state-funded, the NSS survey of school websites found. Mr Evans told the Sunday Times: "If individual liberty means anything it all, surely it means allowing young people to develop their own beliefs and decide for themselves how they choose to manifest them. Schools should be empowering girls to make their own decisions once they are ready to do so." Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Read more at: doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/regional/hijab-part-of-uniform-at-nearly-half-of-islamic-schools-in-england-1-8769956 Read more at: doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/regional/hijab-part-of-uniform-at-nearly-half-of-islamic-schools-in-england-1-8769956

doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/regional/hijab-part-of-uniform-at-nearly-half-of-islamic-schools-in-england-1-8769956

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Pakistan

Police remove Islamic State flag waving in Islamabad

September 24, 2017

A flag similar to that of the militant Islamic State (IS) group was seen waving in Islamabad's Khana area on Sunday morning, before being removed by the local police after a citizen reported the matter.

Police removed the flag, hoisted on a pole by an unidentified person, in the afternoon after one Naveed Ahmed Khan — a resident of Dera Ismail Khan — informed Rescue 15 of the matter.

Khan, who was taken in by the police, said in his statement that he was travelling on the Sixth Road in Islamabad when he saw the flag. Khan added that he recognised the flag as he had seen it on the television before.

The flag had "Khilafat is coming" written on it, in addition to the Arabic verses.

Taking notice of the matter, Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal asked the inspector general of police to file a report on the said matter.

dawn.com/news/1359750/police-remove-islamic-state-flag-waving-in-islamabad

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Security forces kill 3 suspects during alleged encounter in Dera Ismail Khan

September 24, 2017

Security forces on Sunday claimed to have killed three suspected terrorists in GaraMadda near Dera Ismail Khan, the military media wing reported.

A press release issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) stated that the law enforcement agencies were carrying out a search operation in GaraMadda area when the alleged encounter took place.

The officials signalled three people, riding a bike, to stop but they reportedly resorted to firing on the security personnel, ensuing an encounter, claimed ISPR.

All the three suspects were killed by the security officials during the alleged encounter whereas the security personnel remained unhurt.

The deceased were later identified as Iqbal, Waheed, and Majid, said ISPR, adding that Iqbal was reportedly carrying a head money of Rs1 million.

dawn.com/news/1359742/security-forces-kill-3-suspects-during-alleged-encounter-in-dera-ismail-khan

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Pakistan says Army Lieutenant killed by militants close to Durand Line

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Sep 24 2017

The Pakistani military says an army Lieutenant was killed during the attack by the militants close to the Durand Line with Afghanistan.

According to a statement by the Pakistani military, the army officer, Lieutenant ArsalanAlam was killed during the attack in Khyber Agency.

The Pakistani military claims that the militants launched the attack on a newly-established check post in Khyber Agency from the Afghanistan soil.

“Lieutenant ArsalanAlam, the officer commanding the post, was hit while performing his duties and later embraced martyrdom,” a statement from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

The statement further added “When the Pakistan Army soldiers retaliated, three militants were killed and two others were injured,” ISPR said.

This comes as the Pakistani military officials are saying that an operation was launched in Khyber Agency several months ago in a bid to clear the area from the presence of the militant groups.

The bordering region located along the Durand Line is home to several militant terrorist groups who are often launching attacks both in Afghanistan and on Pakistani security forces.

The Afghan officials are saying that the Haqqani terrorist network and the Taliban sanctuaries are located across the line in the tribal regions of Pakistan from where they plan and launch attacks in Afghanistan.

khaama.com/pakistan-says-army-lieutenant-killed-by-militants-close-to-durand-line-03513

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In Pakistan, once-fringe Islamist radicals are making their way into mainstream politics

September 24 2017

ISLAMABAD — One candidate was from a banned group, its leader under house arrest for past ties to armed militants. The other was from a movement built around the cult of an assassin and the belief that blasphemers against Islam deserve death.

Few people noticed the campaign posters pasted in many run-down alleys that featured these obscure, bearded figures and religious messages. Instead, the nation was waiting to see which of two mainstream political parties would win a crucial parliamentary election in Lahore this past Sunday.

But when the final results were announced, the two hard-line Muslim candidates had placed third and fourth in a race with numerous other contenders, winning 11 percent of the vote. It was a stunning debut for two Islamist groups that had shunned electoral politics but built devoted public followings, inspired by figures who used violence in the name of defending their faith.

[Pakistan’s election plays into larger struggle for democracy]

It was also a sign that such groups, long considered to be at the fringes of Pakistani society, are making unprecedented inroads into the mainstream life of an impoverished, fast-growing country of 207 million. More than 90 percent of Pakistanis are Muslim, and many have felt increasingly frustrated by a lack of opportunities and justice under multiple leaders from the wealthy elite.

A shrine honoringMumtazQadri in BharaKahu, Pakistan, in February.Qadri was put to death last year for killing a governor. (Pamela Constable /The Washington Post)

This development coincides with new accusations from the Trump administration that Pakistan is giving shelter to anti-Afghan militants and “agents of chaos,” which it has denied. The emerging religious groups have no connection with Afghanistan, but they have condoned violence against Hindu-led India or to support the honor of Islam.

The timing is also significant because the Lahore contest was seen as a prelude to national elections scheduled for next year. The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N and the opposition Pakistan Justice Movement came in first and second, respectively. But the two fringe religious campaigns did well with just a fraction of the publicity and effort, and with literally no prior political experience.

“The resurgence of the religious ultraright in politics ought to be a matter of concern for state and society,” the editors of Dawn, Pakistan’s leading daily paper, wrote Wednesday, noting that both candidates ran as independents at the last minute after their parties had problems registering.

“Testing by stealth the viability of mainstreaming militant groups is unacceptable,” they wrote. “The two radical campaigns bode ill for next year’s general election.”

[‘A disaster in the making’: Pakistan’s population surges to 207.7 million]

Pakistan has several Islam-based parties, some of which are anti-West and pro-sharia but have been participating in the democratic electoral system for years. None has ever won a significant role in power, except from 2002 to 2008, when a coalition of religious groups governed the conservative northwest province now called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Until now, though, extreme parties mostly have built support through mosques and religious appeal. Some have changed their names, added front groups, embraced popular causes and carried out charity work to soften their image. Some have benefited from selective government tolerance and appeasement, even when accused of terrorism by Pakistani or international officials.

A woman at a Kashmir solidarity day rally holds a banner in front of a truck showing scenes of violence and death in the Indian portion of the disputed territory. ( Pamela Constable/The Washington Post)

The party that backed candidate Sheikh Yacoob in the Sept. 17 race was the latest of many offshoots of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a radical anti-India militia accused of masterminding a terrorist siege in Mumbai in 2008. After that, it rebranded itself as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a religious teaching institute, and founded a separate charity to provide disaster relief. A month ago, it established its first political party, the National Muslim League.

But the central figure behind all these groups remains Hafiz Saeed, 68, the fiery cleric who founded Lashkar in 1987 and has been a relentless crusader against alleged Indian abuses of Muslims in Kashmir, a contested border region. The popularity of that cause — and of Saeed — has made Pakistani authorities reluctant to imprison him or fully enforce their own ban on his organizations.

“People love Hafiz Saeed, and we see him as a hero,” Yacoob, 46, a Saudi-trained Islamic scholar, said in an interview during his campaign, which featured the benign party symbol of a power-saving lightbulb. He said he found “a lot of silent support” for Saeed when going door-to-door, and he dismissed accusations of Saeed’s role in the Mumbai siege as “all Indian propaganda. It was never proved in court.”

[Cleric arrested to appease Trump administration, India, supporters say]

Other groups with extreme creeds have appealed to Pakistanis who are not connected to Islamist militancy but who feel a deepening attachment to Islam and view it as under attack — whether from the West, domestic secular forces or muscular Hindu leadership in next-door India.

This is the case with the Movement in Service to the Messenger of God, the anti-blasphemy group on the Sept. 17 ballot. It arose in 2010, when a Christian peasant woman was sentenced to death for blasphemy and the Punjab provincial governor, Salman Taseer, suggested that the harsh anti-blasphemy laws needed to be revised. MumtazQadri, one of Taseer’s guards, shot him dead out of religious conviction. Last year he was hanged for murder, but to some Pakistanis he has become a cult figure.

“Ours is a long struggle for the respect of the prophet and for those who gave their lives for him,” said AllamaKhadim Rizvi, the movement’s founder. He said the group already is making plans to participate in next year’s national elections. “If we win, we will serve the people and struggle to establish Islamic rule in this country, based on Islamic justice for all,” he said.

The Lahore results also have triggered a renewed debate on the sensitive subject of how state authorities, especially security and intelligence agencies, treat various banned or extremist groups. The issue already is raising official hackles and disputes here because of the Trump administration’s accusations that Pakistan is providing sanctuary for anti-Afghan militant groups.

Both the anti-blasphemy and pro-Kashmir movements have been unofficially tolerated because of their public popularity, and Pakistan’s intelligence agency has long been reported to abet Lashkar-e-Taiba in its various incarnations. Saeed has been repeatedly placed under house arrest, then allowed to return to his fiery pulpit in Lahore on Fridays. The activities of Qadri’s devotees have been watched carefully but left alone. 

Some analysts suggest it is better to allow such groups to join the political process, assuming it will de-radicalize them. Others say it is a dangerous mistake, because it will legitimize extreme views and stir up sectarian fights. A new chance to test these theories will come in just one month; since Yacoob’scandicacy did so well in Lahore, an official of the Saeed-led group Jamaat-ud-Dawa has now registered to compete as an independent in another parliamentary race in the northwest city of Peshawar on Oct. 26.

“By participating in the electoral process, these outfits are trying to spread their influence in society. This is alarming, because it means that sectarianism and friction will increase,” said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political analyst in Lahore. “They cannot win elections and come to power. There is no planned effort to bring them into the mainstream. They can only cause problems, because their agendas haven’t changed. They just want to control more and more segments of society.”

washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-pakistan-once-fringe-islamist-radicals-are-making-their-way-into-mainstream-politics/2017/09/23/81cec5bc-9d38-11e7-b2a7-bc70b6f98089_story.html?utm_term=.2d0463d36139

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Imran Khan demands early elections, says 'Abbasi should seeks fresh mandate'

September 24, 2017

Criticising the ruling party on several fronts, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairperson Imran Khan on Sunday demanded that Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi seek a fresh mandate by holding early elections.

"This is necessary for a democracy," the PTI leader said during a press conference in Islamabad. "In order to save and strengthen the democracy, you [PM Abbasi] should move towards elections. Seek the people's mandate."

During the press conference, Khan criticised the ruling party on several fronts, stating that the country's foreign affairs were being affected.

'Endangering Pakistan'

Khan said that the statement made by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and later endorsed by PM Abbasi and reiterated by Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal that Pak­istan needs to put its house in order was "endangering" the country.

The statement is similar to the narrative adopted by New Delhi at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), he added.

During her address at the UNGA on Saturday, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had called Pakistan an "export factory for terror". Last year, India had termed Pakistan a "terrorist state."

Khan questioned why the government had not 'brought its house in order' four years ago under the National Action Plan.

Khan said that the prime minister was making "irresponsible statements" at a time when Pakistan was facing immense pressure from India and America in the aftermath of US President Donald Trump's South Asian policy announcement, during which he lambasted Pakistan for offering safe havens to "agents of chaos".

'Nobody to speak for Pakistan'

Khan said that Washington's South Asian policy had humiliated Pakistan on the international platform and "there was nobody to speak for the country."

He added that Trump's statement placed the blame for America's failed policy in Afghanistan on Pakistan.

"Where was our foreign minister when this policy was being developed?" Khan asked, adding that at that time the ruling party was pre-occupied with the verdict of the Panama Papers case. He said that the ruling party was embarrassing Pakistan abroad.

Keeping in view the country's internal and external challenges, I demand that the prime minister, on an urgent basis, hold elections and seek a fresh mandate," Khan stressed.

dawn.com/news/1359753/imran-khan-demands-early-elections-says-abbasi-should-seeks-fresh-mandate

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Imran Khan’s PTI links anti-Pak campaign in Switzerland to Afghanistan, India

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Sep 24 2017

The Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf led by Imran Khan has blamed Afghanistan and India for the anti-Pakistan in Switzerland.

PTI’s Baluchistan president SardarYar Mohammad Rind said the campaign was launched with the support of Afghanistan and India.

Without elaborating further or presenting any evidences regarding the involvement of the two countries in the campaign, Rind claimed that those running the ‘free Balochistan’ campaign in Geneva received support from both these two neighbours of Pakistan.

He called on the government of Pakistan to summon the ambassador of the county from Switzerland to protest to against the campaign.

The latest claims made by PTI leader came as Islamabad is under pressure regarding the presence of the sanctuaries of the terrorist groups often accused of deadly attacks both in Afghanistan and India.

The Afghan officials are saying that such claims by the Pakistani leaders comes in contrast to the country’s resolve to take actions against the terrorist groups.

According to the Afghan officials, the leadership councils of the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network are based in the key cities of Pakistan from where they launch deadly attacks in Afghanistan.

khaama.com/imran-khans-pti-links-anti-pak-campaign-in-switzerland-to-afghanistan-india-03517

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South Asia

Bangladeshi Buddhists to Give Up Festivity for Rohingya Refugees

September 22, 2017

The Buddhist community in Bangladesh has announced it will downsize an upcoming religious feast to express solidarity with Rohingya Muslim refugees.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled ethnic violence in majority-Buddhist Myanmar during recent weeks.

There are fears that, as in the past, the small Buddhist population of majority-Muslim Bangladesh could be subjected to revenge attacks over the persecution of Muslim Rohingya by Myanmar Buddhists.

The United Forum of Buddhists in Bangladesh said on Sept. 18 that Probarana Purnima, the second largest annual Buddhist feast, would be conducted on a smaller scale than usual in order to save money to help Rohingya refugees.

AshokeBarua, the group’s chief coordinator, said the move is also aimed at highlighting atrocities against Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Barua said the festival this year, which falls on Oct. 5, would curtail a popular ceremony in which Buddhists send into the sky colorful paper lanterns as a symbol of enlightenment.

He noted that Buddhists in Bangladesh have sent a "memorandum" to the Myanmar government calling for the protection of Rohingya in Rakhine State. 

"No sane Buddhist can support what is being done to Rohingya in Myanmar," Barua said.

"Lord Buddha preached peace and humanity, but what they are doing is completely the opposite."

Probarana Purnima marks the end of a three-month long seclusion of monks inside their monasteries for self-edification and atonement.

On Sept. 14, several Buddhist groups joined with 19 minority community organizations to protest 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya in Myanmar.

In 2012, sectarian attacks in Rakhine on Rohingya sparked anti-Buddhist violence in the Buddhist-majority Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong areas of Bangladesh.

More than 100 houses and 19 temples were burned.

Local media have reported that Islamic extremists in Bangladesh are now threatening new revenge attacks on Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong Buddhists.

Monk ShuddhanadaMohathero, based in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, said as a Buddhist he is ashamed and saddened over the "uncivilized" murdering of Rohingya in Myanmar.

"I appeal to the Myanmar government to stop violence, to restore peace and make efforts to take Rohingya back," Mohathero, who is president of the Bangladesh Society for Promotion of Buddhist Culture and Traditions, told a local newspaper.

"Myanmar’s is a big country and I don’t accept that a minority group like Rohingyas cannot be accommodated and allowed to live in peace and harmony."

He said that by failing to defend Rohingya, Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was bringing dishonor to her Nobel Peace Prize and tainting Buddhism globally.

ucanews.com/news/bangladeshi-buddhists-to-give-up-festivity-for-rohingya-refugees/80322

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Bangladesh imposes mobile phone ban on Rohingya refugees

Reuters | Sep 24, 2017

DHAKA: Bangladesh has banned telecommunication companies from selling mobile phone connections to Rohingya refugees, citing security concerns for the latest restrictions, officials said today.

Bangladesh's four mobile phone providers were threatened with fines if they provide any of the nearly 430,000 newly arrived refugees from Myanmar with phone plans while the ban is in force.

"For the time being, they (Rohingya) can't buy any SIM cards," Enayet Hossain, a senior officer at the telecoms ministry, told AFP today.

Yesterday's decision to impose a communication blackout on the stateless Muslim minority was justified for security reasons, said junior telecoms minister Tarana Halim.

Bangladesh already prohibits the sale of SIM cards to its own citizens who cannot provide an official identity card, in a bid to frustrate the organisational capacity of homegrown militants.

"We took the step (of welcoming the Rohingya) on humanitarian grounds but at the same time our own security should not be compromised," Halim said, without elaborating on what specific risk the Rohingya posed.

Bangladesh's telecoms authority said the ban could be lifted once biometric identity cards are issued to the newly arrived refugees, a process the army says could take six months.

It is just the latest restriction imposed on the Rohingya who have fled in huge numbers from violence in neighbouring Rakhine State into squalid camps in Bangladesh's southernmost Cox's Bazar district in the past four weeks.

The nearly 430,000 refugees have been herded by the military into a handful of overstretched camps near the border, where tens of thousands live in the open without shelter.

Many have been evicted from squatting in forest and farmlands by police and soldiers, who have been ordered to keep the Rohingya from seeking shelter in major cities and nearby towns.

Roadblocks have been erected along major routes from the camp zones, where a dire shortage of food, water, shelter and toilets is creating what aid groups describe as a humanitarian crisis.

Some 5,100 have already been stopped at these checkpoints and returned to the designated camps, police said.

"We have set up 11 check posts across the Cox's Bazar highway to stop the Rohingya refugees from spreading further toward the interior," Cox's Bazar police chief Iqbal Hossain told reporters.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/bangladesh-imposes-mobile-phone-ban-on-rohingya-refugees/articleshow/60815278.cms

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UN doctors in Bangladesh report symptoms of horrific sexual attacks on Rohingya women

Sun Sep 24, 2017

United Nations (UN) doctors based in makeshift clinics in Bangladesh have reported symptoms of rape and horrific sexual abuse on Rohingya Muslim women arriving from western Myanmar.

Doctors treating Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh reported dozens of cases consistent with violent sexual attacks, including cases where firearms had been used to violate women.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) medical officer TasnubaNourin said she had treated at least five women who appeared to have been recently raped. The physical injuries were consistent with the patients’ accounts of what had happened, according to the UN doctor at the Leda makeshift refugee camp in Teknaf, Bangladesh.

Another IOM doctor working at one of those clinics near the Kutapalong refugee camp, who asked not to be identified, reported lacerations and cuts.

There had already been reports of widespread abuse by the Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs in a western state in Myanmar where the military has laid siege to the Muslims.

The government in Myanmar has flatly denied the rape allegations against its soldiers, who have been committing horrendous abuse against the minority Rohingya Muslims in the western Rahhine State.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi (2nd-L) visits Bangladesh’s Kutupalong refugee camp for the Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence in neighboring Myanmar, September 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Meanwhile, the government in Bangladesh has banned telecommunication companies from selling mobile phone connections to the Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar, imposing a communication blackout on the persecuted community.

Bangladesh’s four mobile phone providers were threatened with fines if they provide any of the nearly 430,000 newly-arrived refugees from Myanmar with SIM cards while the ban is in force.

“For the time being, they can’t buy any SIM cards,” Enayet Hossain, a senior officer at the Bangladeshi Telecoms Ministry, told AFP on Sunday.

The decision, taken on Saturday, was linked to “security” concerns, according to Junior Telecoms Minister Tarana Halim.

“We took the step (of welcoming the Rohingya) on humanitarian grounds but at the same time our own security should not be compromised,” Halim said, without elaborating on what specific security risk the refugees posed.

Bangladesh reportedly also prohibits the sale of SIM cards to those of its own citizens who cannot provide an official identity card.

Bangladesh’s telecoms authority said the ban could be lifted once biometric identity cards were issued to the newly-arrived refugees, a process the army says could take six months.

Rohingya refugee children are seen at one of the squalid refugee camps in Bangladesh near the Myanmarese border on September 22, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Nearly 430,000 refugees have been led into a handful of overstretched camps in Bangladesh near the border with Myanmar. Humanitarian groups have issued numerous warnings regarding the dire shortages of food, water, shelter, and toilets in the camps.

Roadblocks have been set up along major routes from the camp zones to stop the refugees from moving further into Bangladesh.

The United Nations has described the practices against the Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar as “ethnic cleansing.”

presstv.com/Detail/2017/09/24/536280/Bangladesh-Rohingya-refugees-Myanmar-SIM-cards

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Kabul suicide attack on Nato convoy wounds three civilians

September 24, 2017

A suicide bomber targeting a Nato convoy wounded three Afghan civilians in Kabul on Sunday morning without causing casualties among Danish troops on board, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing in the west of the Afghan capital.

“Around 11:02am, a suicide car bomber detonated himself, targeted a convoy of foreign forces near Afshar neighbourhood of Kabul city,” Najib Danish, interior ministry spokesman, told AFP.

“Unfortunately as a result of the attack, three Afghan civilians were wounded.” Bill Salvin, a spokesman for Nato's Resolute Support train and assist mission, confirmed the attack had targeted a military convoy.

“There are no Resolute Support casualties as a result of the explosion, and a team from Resolute Support is on the scene to recover the vehicle,” Salvin said, adding that “there is no impact to Resolute Support operations.”

In a statement on Twitter Sunday, Taliban insurgents claimed to have killed and injured up to 16 American soldiers in the attack. The militants routinely exaggerate claims.

Nato has nearly 13,000 troops in Afghanistan including 8,400 Americans, with an additional 3,000 troops expected to be deployed in support.

The alliance's mission in Afghanistan is focused on training, advising and supervision of domestic security forces to counter the Taliban insurgents who oppose the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani and the militant Islamic State (IS) group.

On September 13, a suicide bomber killed three people including a policeman and wounded five others after blowing himself up near a cricket stadium in Kabul.

dawn.com/news/1359747/kabul-suicide-attack-on-nato-convoy-wounds-three-civilians

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Afghanistan rejects Pakistan perception regarding India’s role

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Sep 24 2017

The Afghan envoy in Pakistan has rejected the perceptions by Islamabad regarding the destructive role of India using the Afghan soil.

The Afghan consul general in Peshawar Dr. Abdul WaheedPoyan said India is not responsible for the deteriorating relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

Speaking during a gathering in the city, Dr.Poyan said such perceptions by Islamabad that India is harboring terrorist groups to destabilize Pakistan, are not true.

Insisting that Kabul wants cordial relations with all its neighbors, Dr.Poyan said the Afghan government is also keen to have good relations with Pakistan.

He said Afghanistan respects Pakistan’s advice on foreign relations but not the directions.

This comes as Islamabad has long been expressing concerns and opposing the role of India in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi once again expressed his country’s opposition regarding the presence of India in Afghanistan as he was speaking during to a think tank in New York last week.

On the other hand, tensions between Kabul and Islamabad remains persistent since a long time, mainly due to the presence of terrorist networks, specifically the Taliban and Haqqani network leadership councils and the circumstances surrounding the fight against terror.

The Afghan officials are saying that the leadership councils and sanctuaries of the two groups have remained intact despite Pakistan launched major offensives against the terror groups.

khaama.com/afghanistan-rejects-pakistan-perception-regarding-indias-role-03518

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Key Taliban leader Janat Gul among several dead, wounded in Laghman clash

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Sep 23 2017

Several Taliban militants including a key leader of the group are among several killed or wounded during the clash in eastern Laghman province of Afghanistan.

According to the local government officials, the militant suffered casualties during the clash that took place between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgents in Alisheng district.

The provincial government media office in a statement confirmed the clash and said at least eight militants were killed and five others were wounded during the clashes.

The statement further added that a key leader of the Taliban group identified as Janat Gul was among those wounded.

Janat Gul is a prominent Taliban leader who was involved in various terrorist related activities including roadside bombings, execution of the civilians, and major attacks in this province, the statement added.

According to the provincial government, at least one Afghan policeman also lost his life and three others were wounded during the clashes.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

The security situation in eastern Laghman province has started to deteriorate during the recent months as the militants are attempting to expand their insurgency in some of the key eastern provinces.

khaama.com/key-taliban-leader-janat-gul-among-several-dead-wounded-in-laghman-clash-03511

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Afghan Air Force UH-60 maiden flight in the presence of top defense officials

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Sep 24 2017

A top US army general conducted the maiden flight of the newly-supplied UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters in the presence of the senior defense officials. (Photos: NATO Resolute Support)

The maiden flight was conducted by the US army Major General Neil Thurgood.

“U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Neil Thurgood flew a UH-60 helicopter, which will soon join the Afghan Air Force fleet as part of the AAF’s modernization program,” the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

The statement further added “During the trip to Kandahar Airfield, the Assistant Minister of Defense for Strategy and Plans TamimAsey and the 205th Corps Commander Afg. Maj. Gen. Iman NazarBehbod joined Thurgood for a flight in the newly arrived Black Hawk.”

The first batch of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for the Afghan Air Force arrived in southern Kandahar province on Monday.

The Afghan government and the country’s international allies including US and NATO have stepped up efforts to bolster the capabilities of the Afghan force and Air Force.

The introduction of UH-60 assault helicopter is included in the plans for the expansion of the Afghan Air Force, the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission has said.

 “The world is taking notice of Afghan Air Power and its success against the enemy. The Afghan Air Force will more than double their fleet of aircraft over the next seven years,” the Resolute Support mission said last week.

The statement further adds “Along with the new arrival of UH-60 Blackhawks this week, plans include the introduction of AC-208 light attack and surveillance aircraft, A-29 attack aircraft and additional UH-60 assault and MD-530 attack helicopters to the force.”

khaama.com/afghan-air-force-uh-60-maiden-flight-in-the-presence-of-top-defense-officials-03516

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15 years a long time for US to decide regarding Pakistan’s lies: Karzai

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Sep 24 2017

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai reaffirmed his opposition to the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia as he expressed doubts regarding the latest stance Washington has adopted against Pakistan.

Speaking to Foreign Policy in his office in Kabul, Karzai said the new US strategy has not been announced with an aim to end the ongoing conflict and violence but rather the US administration wants the conflict to continue.

In regards to the latest stance Washington has adopted against Islamabad, the former President said the issue of Pakistan was shared for years with the Americans.

“They not only ignored me, they named Pakistan as a major ally,” he added.

Karzai believes the new stance Washington has adopted against Islamabad is aimed at finding a justification to main the war and conflict in Afghanistan.

He described his pessimism regarding the stance while raising questions regarding the long time taken for the US administration to decide the regarding lies of Pakistan.

 “It doesn’t take a country 15 years to decide whether someone [Pakistan] is lying to them or not; 15 years is a long time. They can’t come to us after 15 years and say Pakistan is exporting terrorism,” he said.

The remarks by Karzai came as the Afghan government is optimistic and welcomed the announcement of the new strategy, calling it a move the Afghans have long been waiting for and demanding to eliminate the menace of terror from the region.

khaama.com/15-years-a-long-time-for-us-to-decide-regarding-pakistans-lies-karzai-03512

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Southeast Asia

International Journalists, Activists Urge UN to Stop ‘Muslim Holocaust’ in Myanmar

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A group of international journalists and activists have called on the UN to put an end to the “Muslim holocaust” in Myanmar, warning that the “worst bloodshed” after the World War II looms ahead as a result of the ongoing atrocities against the Rohingya Muslim minority group.

“Hereby, we, as the international journalists, photographers and media activists condemn in the strongest terms the Muslims’ holocaust in Myanmar, and call for an emergency meeting of the UN Human Rights Council on this issue, before the world faces the worst bloodshed after the WWII,” the journalists said in an open letter to the UN Human Rights Council, presstv reported.

The letter expressed deep concern over the murder and displacement of thousands of Muslims in Myanmar who are deprived of their citizenship rights and forced out of their homes while their farms and cottages are burnt.

The journalists warned that while the international community, including the US and EU, have imposed an arms embargo against the government in Myanmar, Israel is “the main arm supplier of Myanmar and continues to arm Burma military amid ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslims.”

“It is noteworthy that all these crimes are happening before the Myanmar's Nobel Peace Prize winning Aung San Suu Kyi, who not only refrains from condemning these crimes against humanity, but also claimed that the situation is being twisted by a ‘huge iceberg of misinformation’,” the letter pointed out.

Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state have been subject to systematic persecution and violence at the hands of the military and Buddhist mobs for decades.

The minority group has been facing an escalated campaign of horrific violence since late last year, when the military laid siege to Rakhine. There have been widespread reports and eyewitness accounts of killings, raping, indiscriminate shootings at fleeing civilians, and the burning down of houses.

The Myanmar government claims it is fighting militants in the area, but the UN says the situation is better described as the “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya Muslims, whom the government refuses to recognize as citizens despite the fact that the 1.1-million-strong population has been living in the country for generations.

Over the past month, nearly 430,000 Rohingya have fled from the brutal army-led crackdown across the border in Rakhine. The recent exodus of Rohingya has brought the number of refugees from Rakhine living in Bangladesh to over 800,000.

Bangladesh state officials said on Saturday that the influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh has come to a virtual halt. The officials gave no reason for the dramatically reduced numbers.

However, Rohingya Muslim leaders said the influx of refugees has stopped probably because villages located near the border in Myanmar's Rakhine state are now empty.

According to Human Right Watch, new satellite images show that 99 percent of the villages in Rakhine have been destroyed.

On Friday, Amnesty International said Myanmar’s military and vigilante Buddhist mobs continue to set fire to Rohingya Muslim villages in Rakhine, despite the claims by Suu Kyi that army operations have ended there.

The government forces in Myanmar do not even spare the fleeing Rohingya refugees. Recent reports by Amnesty International and Bangladeshi officials say the military plants landmines on the path of those trying to cross into Bangladesh, causing them to sustain serious wounds or lose their limbs.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000528

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Myanmar cartoonists lead media-jeering as Rohingya flee

September 24, 2017

Cartoons taking aim at Rohingya Muslims are spreading rapidly across social media in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, where public opinion on the crisis stands in stark contrast to the outcry overseas.

Fanned by Myanmar's civilian and military leaders, an information war has taken hold and is being embraced with gusto by a legion of satirists, meme-makers and internet trolls.

Local cartoonists, many of whom earned their revered status for skewering the former junta, have taken aim at the Rohingya.

One widely-shared sketch called 'crocodile tears' shows a group of reptiles swimming away from a bank of mutilated animals towards an eager Western cameraman.

“I had to flee my motherland,” a crying crocodile says into the microphone, a swipe at the testimonies of Rohingya refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh with accounts of atrocities by Myanmar's army.

“There is something untrue about what they (the Rohingya) are saying,” Win Naing, one of Myanmar's most famous cartoonists, told AFP.

The 58-year-old, whose pen name is Aw Pi Kyeh, said he just wanted to provoke thought in a highly charged situation.

“We draw cartoons with a spirit that loves the country.”

For decades the paranoid former junta sequestered its people from technology, global opinion and debate.

But since the country creaked open a few years ago Myanmar's public has dived head first into Facebook and Twitter.

Now, anti-Rohingya diatribes are being 'liked', shared and retweeted, reinforcing long-held religious hatreds against the minority.

Since late August, around 430,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh, escaping an army crackdown in Rakhine state which the United Nations (UN) has called 'ethnic cleansing'.

The global condemnation has triggered a defensive instinct in Myanmar where the Rohingya are not citizens and are broadly reviled.

Win Naing, whose pen name is Aw Pi Kyeh and is one of Myanmar's most famous cartoonists, speaking during an interview in Yangon. — AFP

inNaing, whose pen name is Aw Pi Kyeh and is one of Myanmar's most famous cartoonists, speaking during an interview in Yangon. — AFP

Keyboard warriors

Armed with crass humour, internet fame and riding a wave of public opinion, cartoonists have delivered sharp counter-punches.

When Malala Yousafzai condemned fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to speak up for the Rohingya, one cartoonist hit back with a rendering of the Pakistani activist with human excrement instead of brains, a grim reference to her surgery after being shot in the head by the Taliban.

A sketch by cartoonist Okka Kyi Winn, liked nearly 10,000 times on his Facebook page, showed a UN insignia wrapped in a Middle-Eastern keffiyeh, suggesting the body is in cahoots with the Arab world.

While the intention may be pure satire, such images are contributing to a siege mentality in Myanmar, where keyboard warriors are trading blows with vocal pro-Rohingya groups scattered across the Muslim world.

The prevailing view among the Buddhist majority is that foreign media and international NGOs have embellished the plight of the Rohingya and unfairly bashed Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

'The Lady' has refused to weigh in on the squall of claims and counterclaims, saying only that there is a 'huge iceberg of misinformation'.

Many outside Myanmar are baffled by the seeming lack of empathy, and the often violent rhetoric from a Buddhist people.

But toxic Islamophobia has been brewing in the country for years, fed in part by official rhetoric that the Muslim Rohingya are foreign invaders intent on taking a Buddhist land.

As his troops blanket Rakhine, Myanmar's commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing has continued with Facebook posts branding the Rohingya as "terrorist extremists" of "Bengali" origin, a state-stamped slur that condemns them to the status of illegal migrants.

'Better angels'

Newspapers, TV debates and social media have followed suit, jeering at the Rohingya as they flee, says Sein Win of the Myanmar Journalism Institute.

Some of the loudest noises are coming from people who fought repression under the junta, he told AFP, in a remarkable reshaping of the young democracy's political landscape.

“I am disturbed by the actions of the media, civil society and even former political activists. You need to care about humans across the board, not just when it suits you,” he said.

On Friday, United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy condemned the hate speech on social media and urged the “better angels” of the Myanmar people to find empathy for the Rohingya.

But cartoonists such as MaungMaung Fountain (pen name) argue their sketches “don't insult any religion or any people”.

In one, he draws a camel, a code for Rohingya Muslims, that has edged its way into a tent made from the Myanmar flag then bellows 'Human Rights' at the startled Burmese man he has just evicted.

“I meant to say that some people want more and more rights and opportunities."

dawn.com/news/1359752/myanmar-cartoonists-lead-media-jeering-as-rohingya-flee

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Fighter in Islamic State video is believed to be radicalised Singaporean: MHA

24 Sep 2017

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday (Sep 24) said it believed a person featured in an Islamic State video was a Singaporean man named MegatShahdan Abdul Samad.

The video, allegedly made by the media wing of Islamic State, features a fighter who claims to be "Abu 'Uqayl from Singapore". The 3min 30s clip has been circulating on social media.

In the video, 'Abu 'Uqayl' and a few others in camouflage military attire are loading what look like artillery shells onto a truck with a machine gun mounted on it.

He turns to the screen and speaks in English, calling for people to join the Islamic State in East Asia, or to fight with Islamic State fighters in other areas such as Libya, Yemen, West Africa, and urges them to "sacrifice all that is precious".

He also addresses Britain's Prince Harry, taunting him to "come here and fight us if you're man enough".

"Our security agencies have been aware for some time now of the presence in Syria of a Singaporean, MegatShahdan bin Abdul Samad (aged 39), and have been monitoring his activities," MHA said. "It is believed that the person in the video calling himself 'Abu Uqayl' is Shahdan."

Shahdan left Singapore in 2014 to work in the Middle East where he was believed to have been radicalised, MHA said. He subsequently made his way to Syria to join Islamic State, and is believed to still be with the group in Syria.

MHA said that it had previously shared Shahdan’s case confidentially with Singapore community leaders.

"Anyone who is in contact with him or knows of anyone in touch with him should report it to the authorities," it said.

"The Government takes a very serious view of anyone who supports, promotes, undertakes or make preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how they rationalise such violence, or where the violence takes place."

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam said that authorities had "expected this will happen sometime" and that over time, "we must assume more of this will happen".

"We have to think of ways of dealing with radicalisation of Singaporeans, that could take place outside Singapore, particularly in countries where the possibilities of radicalisation are higher."

channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/fighter-in-islamic-state-video-is-believed-to-be-radicalised-9246182

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Comment about Islamic State on social media lands Chinese man in prison

Sunday, 24 September

The 31-year-old, identified only by the pseudonym Zhang Qiang, was found guilty of breaking China’s antiterrorism laws after suggesting to his friends in a private WeChat group that they should “come join ISIS with me”, using an abbreviation for the terrorist group, Worker’s Daily reported on Friday.

The incident happened on September 4 last year, after Zhang changed his profile picture to an image of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. On seeing the new picture, a friend messaged the group of about 300 people saying, “Look, a big shot just arrived.”

WeChat users censoring content amid China crackdown on social media

Zhang, who lives in Beijing, responded to that comment with the message that landed him in prison.

He was arrested the following month and charged with spreading terrorist and extremist propaganda, though the investigation found no other terrorism-related comments on his phone or computer.

“It never crossed my mind that a joke would cause this much trouble for me,” he told reporters. “I really regret it.”

Zhang appeared in court in June. As well as the nine-month prison sentence, he was fined 1,000 yuan (US$150).

Many internet users argued that the punishment was too harsh, with one Jiangxi-based commentator saying: “Although his actions were bad, this sentence seems severe.”

China’s WeChat crackdown drives bitcoin enthusiasts to Telegram

While China is not the first country to arrest someone for joking about terrorism online, several internet users questioned how Zhang’s comment became public knowledge considering it was made in a private WeChat group.

“Very curious about how the police found out,” a Guangdong-based user said.

The social media platform recently tightened its control over its users, making all group administrators criminally liable for messages posted in their chat rooms.

An internet user from Beijing joked about reverting to more traditional forms of communication to avoid suffering the same fate as Zhang.

“I have already informed all my friends, in the future we will correspond by carrier pigeon, [and by] writing letters instead of calling each other. Only these ancient methods will be safe.”

China ‘gravely concerned’ by report two Chinese killed by Islamic State in Pakistan

Beijing lawyer Shi Fumao was quoted by Worker’s Daily as saying that internet users should be careful about what they say online or “risk of committing a crime”.

In August, another Chinese person was sentenced to eight months in prison and fined 1,000 yuan for uploading a video to the internet that had terrorism-related content.

scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2112605/comment-about-islamic-state-social-media-lands-chinese-man-prison

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Launderette in Johor adopts Muslims-only policy

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A self-service launderette in Muar, Johor, is limiting its clientele to Muslim customers only.

The matter first came to light when a photo, believed to have been taken at the launderette, showing an "Only For Muslims" sign went viral on social media.

The sign also asked customers to remove their shoes before entering the premises.

The 40-year-old operator, who was interviewed by a Chinese daily on Saturday (Sept 23), said he was just carrying out his duty as a Muslim.

He said he welcomed Chinese and Indian Muslims to his launderette and that non-Muslims could visit other nearby launderettes.

He, however, declined to comment on whether he had imposed the rules as he worried that there might be "unclean" elements such as dog fur on the clothes non-Muslims brought to his launderette.

The operator also did not allow the Chinese daily reporter to take his photo.

Meanwhile, a Malay daily reported Johor mufti Datuk MohdTahrirSamsudin as saying that the launderette's move was commendable as cleanliness is a priority for Muslims.

"This should not be turned into an issue as it only encourages negative perception from non-Muslims towards Muslims.

"I think it is a good move as Muslims will no longer be doubtful when using the self-service launderette," the daily quoted him as saying.

The launderette's move has received mixed reactions from netizens, with some praising the move and others questioning the motive for segregating customers based on their religious backgrounds.

straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/launderette-in-johor-adopts-muslims-only-policy

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Muslim NGOs lodge police report against Hannah Yeoh for preaching Christianity

September 24, 2017

GEORGE TOWN: Fifteen Muslim non-governmental organisations (NGO's) lodged a police report against Selangor State Assembly speaker Hannah Yeoh for allegedly preaching about Christianity to the people in the country.

Amongst the NGOs which lodged the report were JaringanMusliminPulau Pinang (JMPP), IkatanMuslimin Malaysia (ISMA) and GabunganPelajarMelayuSemenanjung (GPMS).

JMPP chairman Mohamed Hafiz Mohamed Nordin said that Hannah had the intention to preach Christianity by inviting Oversea Church Fellows (OCF) as per written in her book 'Becoming Hannah'.

"What does she mean by building the Kingdom of God? Which God is she referring to? We believe it is an attempt to spread the Christian beliefs to others.

"She also should not use the state legislative assembly as a platform to do so. She better stop. With this report, we are calling upon the police to investigate and take action against her," he said after lodging the report at Bayan Baru Police Station here today.

The group also lodged reports urging the authorities to investigate an allegedly seditious video uploaded on Youtube in 2014.

Hafiz said that the seven minutes and eight seconds video titled 'Message to Malaysian Church 2014' was made by a foreign Christian Evangelist movement led by AseefHadalah, who allegedly challenged Islam as the official religion of the country.

The video shows Aseef delivering a talk where he said: "There are people called missionaries in other nation, yet the general will of God for all of us in Malaysia is to invade this nation with Kingdom of God. We are called to bring down God's principle and cultures into Malaysia."

The video was believed to have been uploaded from a talk by Aseef at unidentified location overseas.

"The verse is clearly to provoke Christians in the country to 'invade' our country under the orders of their God. This is a very seditious statement which could bring disharmony to the country.

"We will approach relevant authorities including Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to ensure Aseef does not enter our country to spread such hatred to the people," he added.

nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/09/283586/muslim-ngos-lodge-police-report-against-hannah-yeoh-preaching

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Africa

Algerian FM calls for immediate return of Syria to Arab League

September 24, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - On Saturday, Algerian minister of foreign affairs Abdul QaderMsahel who was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York , reiterated that Damascus must immediately return to the Arab League , adding that Algeria and Syria share robust ties.

Msahel added that his country enjoy amicable relations with Iran and Qatar, stressing on the need to solve regional crises through diplomacy and dialogue.

Algerian top diplomat added that Algiers support the United Nation’s bid to end the conflict in Libya.

Referring to Russian-Algerian relation, Msahel described it as ‘special’ , adding that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Algeria on October 10, 2017, expressing hope that this visit would boost the Russian-Algerian relations in all aspects.

en.abna24.com/news/africa/algerian-fm-calls-for-immediate-return-of-syria-to-arab-league_856096.html

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NGOs regulatory bill won’t affect mosques, churches – Reps member, BubaJibrilPublished on September 24, 2017 By Daramola Adebayo

Deputy Majority leader, House of Representatives, Hon. BubaJibril, has disclosed that the 2010 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Regulation and Co-ordination bill will not affect Mosques, Churches and other religious organizations.

Jibril, who said that the house will pass the bill, insisted it was aimed at forestalling illegal activities of some organisations in the country

He explained that Mosques, Churches, other religious organisations and quasi financial institutions were not affected by the bill because they were not NGOs.

Jibril who made these clarifications in a statement made available to newsmen noted that the bill is to ensure transparency and accountability in administration of NGOs.

He said “Churches, mosques, esusu and market women associations are not affected by the bill. The NGOs bill is primarily to set up a commission to regulate their activities and provide a platform for robust relationships between them and the government for the interest of Nigerians. Recent developments have shown that some people registered NGOs to solicit funds for selfish motives.”

Jibril added that recently, in the northeastern part of the country, some NGOs were reported to have funded activities of insurgents in the country.

“The bill is not peculiar to Nigeria; it exists in many countries, particularly in the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) sub-region, Africa and other continents,” he explained.

“NGOs and Civil Society Organisations are voluntary organisations registered to partner government at all levels to fill gaps wherever they exist. They are supposed to be partners in progress with the government; therefore there is the need for a commission to regulate their operations.

‘In spite of criticisms from some quarters on the bill, Jibril said the bill was justifiable, saying, when the bill is for public hearing, anyone can express views, including corporate bodies and government agencies and the standing committee will do justice to the bill.

“Going on cheap propaganda and blackmail and even calling on world bodies to assist in withdrawing any bill from the National Assembly will not be popular,” he added.

dailypost.ng/2017/09/24/ngos-regulatory-bill-wont-affect-mosques-churches-reps-member-buba-jibril/

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Algeria Turns to Islamic Banking to Fix Its Financial Woes, For First Time Ever

September 24th, 2017

The country had rejected sharia-based financing options in the 1990s. Pictured here: Algerian president, AbdelazizBouteflika. (AFP/ File)The country had rejected sharia-based financing options in the 1990s. Pictured here: Algerian president, AbdelazizBouteflika. (AFP/ File)

Algeria will introduce Islamic financial services before 2018 as a way to cope with its financial crisis, announced Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia on Thursday.

The services will be available at two state banks before the end of the year. Four others will adopt the measures in 2018. he added.

The first sukuk, or Islamic bond, will also be adopted in 2018 as Algeria seeks new funding sources after a fall in energy earnings hit state finances, Ouyahia told parliament.

The steps are part of wider reforms planned by the government after the OPEC member’s finances were hit by the more-than-50-percent drop in crude oil prices since mid-2014.

The North African country had rejected sharia-based financing options in the 1990s.

But financial difficulties have prompted the government to speed up implementation of long-delayed reforms aimed at weaning the economy off its reliance on oil.

“This will help us cope with the situation,” Ouyahia told parliament, referring to the plan to sell sukuk, which he said would be in the finance law for 2018. He gave no details.

Algerian firms rely heavily on state spending, which in turn depends on the hydrocarbons sector, with oil and gas exports accounting for 60 percent of the state budget and 95 percent of total sales abroad.

The government also aims to modernize the stock market, which is now smaller than those in neighboring Morocco and Tunisia and has a very low level of liquidity.

The measures follow public spending cuts and new taxes on some subsidized products including electricity, gasoline and diesel.

But Ouyhia said subsidies for basic products will be maintained for now, pending the launch of talks with political parties and civil society.

“We are still studying how to rationalize subsidies,” he said.

Ouyahia’s return to the premiership was met with skepticism in Algeria. He had already served four terms since 1995. He is usually the man the country turns to in times of crisis and after the role of the presidency has been left idle after the chronic illness of President AbdelazizBouteflika, who has been away from political life for years.

Ouyahia came under fire from the opposition when he spoke of Algeria’s “gloomy financial and economic future”. The opposition asked him about the fate of some 1 billion dollars the state had earned from oil revenues between 2000 and 2014. They wondered why Bouteflika’s subsequent governments did not employ these funds to achieve economic growth.

Ouyahia said the funds went to building schools and hospitals, paving roads and improving electricity supplies in distant regions.

His claims were however rejected by lawmakers and the Algerian people, who condemned his statements on social media and said that officials abused the funds for their own personal gain.

albawaba.com/business/algeria-turns-islamic-banking-resolve-its-financial-crisis-1025278

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Europe

Hijab part of uniform at nearly half of Islamic schools in England

Sunday 24 September 2017

More than two in five Islamic schools in England that accept girls require them to wear a hijab as school uniform, according to new research. Some 59 of 142 (42%) Islamic schools, including 27 primary schools, have a uniform policy which states a head-covering is compulsory, the National Secular Society (NSS) said. The body has written to Education Secretary Justine Greening to express its concern over the figures, which also showed eight of the secondary schools and three of the primary schools were state-funded. In the letter, the NSS asks for Muslim girls to be given "free choices" and that guidance should be issued that allowing headscarves to be worn should not extend to primary schools. The letter said: "In our view, the forcing of a child to wear the hijab, or any other item of religious clothing, is entirely at odds with this fundamental British value and with wider human rights norms on children's rights. This conflict needs to be addressed." The letter, which is co-signed by NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans, human rights activist Sara Khan and journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, goes on to say: "We are further concerned that a number of non-Islamic schools appear to be acceding to fundamentalist pressure to incorporate the hijab into their uniform. "Given the 'justifications' that lie behind so called 'modesty' codes, and its implicit sexualisation of children, we regard it as a matter of deep regret that so many schools are facilitating young girls being dressed in the hijab." The NSS said the policy at Feversham College in Bradford states the uniform should be "loose fitting and modest" and a hijab is compulsory. Another 18 schools say in their policy the head covering is option, including 13 that are state-funded, the NSS survey of school websites found. Mr Evans told the Sunday Times: "If individual liberty means anything it all, surely it means allowing young people to develop their own beliefs and decide for themselves how they choose to manifest them. Schools should be empowering girls to make their own decisions once they are ready to do so." Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2017, All Rights Reserved. Read more at: doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/regional/hijab-part-of-uniform-at-nearly-half-of-islamic-schools-in-england-1-8769956 Read more at: doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/regional/hijab-part-of-uniform-at-nearly-half-of-islamic-schools-in-england-1-8769956

doncasterfreepress.co.uk/news/regional/hijab-part-of-uniform-at-nearly-half-of-islamic-schools-in-england-1-8769956

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Muslim and proud, London mayor won't be cowed by Trump or terror

Last Updated at September 23, 2017

Sadiq Khan, the son of a bus driver from Pakistan, is on a mission to ensure London remains a prosperous multicultural melting pot after Britain completes its retreat from the European Union.

As the first Muslim mayor of a western capital, Khan says he’s got too much to prove and improve to be sidetracked by the adversity that’s beset his 16-month tenure. His four-year term started just weeks before the surprise vote for Brexit, which Khan and most Londoners opposed. That was followed by a series of terrorist attacks, the city’s deadliest fire since World War II and multiple personal put-downs from U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Don’t think because we’ve voted to leave the EU we’re going to stop being open-minded and outward-looking,” Khan said in a September 11 interview at the London offices of BGC Partners, a New York-based brokerage that was holding a charity event inspired by the victims of the 9/11 strikes on the US. “Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, Dublin — they’ve each got some wonderful things, but they’re not the complete package. We’re the complete package.”

Since winning his post, the “proud Muslim” has received threats from both white supremacists and Islamist extremists. But going from riding the subway solo to round-the-clock protection from a police force he oversees hasn’t stopped Khan, 46, from talking about Islam, which he said is being unfairly maligned by Trump. The president, whom he’s called “ignorant,” is fuelling extremists’ claims that Islam and the West are incompatible, he said.

“The West doesn’t hate us — I am the West,” said Khan, who donated his Koran to Buckingham Palace after being sworn in as an adviser there in 2009.

The fifth of eight children, Khan joined the Labour Party at 15 and didn’t move out of his family’s council flat in south London until he got married at 24. By then, he’d learned to box, as did all six of his brothers, partly to discourage the racist comments that were common in the neighbourhood.

Such attitudes haven’t disappeared. The campaign of his mayoral opponent, Conservative Zac Goldsmith, the son of a billionaire, referred to Khan’s candidacy as a “dangerous experiment.” That’s the kind of comment that Khan says inspires him to work harder to achieve his main aim, which is to improve the lives of London’s 8.8 million inhabitants, almost a million of whom are citizens of other European countries.

He said his path to City Hall, via law school, human-rights advocacy and parliament, is proof that inter-faith integration can be a net positive everywhere. Last year, he was invited to throw out the first pitch at a professional baseball game in New York, where the Mets gave him a No. 44 jersey in honour of his father’s bus route.

Khan’s critics, including in his own party, have accused him of being a malleable populist, but he’s also earned bipartisan praise. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, who’s locked horns with the mayor in the press, nevertheless defended him in June after a mocking tweet by Trump, saying London’s mayor was doing an “excellent job.”

Supporters of hard-left Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn have vilified Khan since he backed a leadership challenge last year and made a speech at the party’s annual conference arguing that winning is more important than ideological purity. Touted as a future leader, he was only handed a last-minute place on the speaker roster for this year’s event, which starts Sunday, after weeks of behind-the-scenes wrangling by moderate party members.

While Khan’s political skills have been applauded, his aptitude for economics is still being tested. Brexit, which is scheduled to happen in March 2019, is threatening London’s financial industry, the lifeblood of the economy, and Khan has so far been denied a seat at May’s negotiating table.

Many companies are waiting for clarity on the terms of the divorce before deciding whether to relocate thousands of high-paying jobs. And with inflation outstripping wage growth, the lack of affordable housing has become a major concern. Khan has been aggressive on the issue, demanding the government cede control of property-sales taxes to fund more apartments.

Khan said that unlike his flamboyant predecessor, Boris Johnson, who’s now foreign secretary, he’s committed to making sure every pound is used wisely. He scrapped Johnson’s plan for a garden-topped bridge across the Thames, calling it an ill-conceived boondoggle that cost taxpayers 40 million pounds ($54 million).

A senior police officer who’s worked under both men said Khan is more professional, efficient and results-driven. Nick Spencer, research director at Theos, a think tank that studies religion and politics, said Khan has set a precedent that some Britons deemed “impossible” — a practising Muslim is serving in high office in a democratically accountable way.

business-standard.com/article/international/muslim-and-proud-london-mayor-won-t-be-cowed-by-trump-or-terror-117092300824_1.html

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Islamic State Propagandist Who Arrived as a ‘Child Refugee’ Jailed

24 Sep 20170

Failed asylum seeker Hussein Yusef, who came to the UK as a child migrant, was jailed for six and half years on Friday after becoming a propagandist for Islamic State.

The Afghani, who arrived in the UK aged 14 years old as an asylum seeker and was in the care of foster parents in Oxford, is a supporter of the Islamic State and was jailed for terrorism-related offences after posting the personal details of more than 50 U.S. military personnel on Facebook, reports The Times.

Prosecutor Barnaby Jameson told Kingston Crown Court that the 21-year-old “embraced with open arms Islamic State’s uniquely twisted and fanatical view of the world [and] bought wholesale into Islamic State’s particular obsession with intolerance, sadism and murder”.

In 2015, after his asylum application had been rejected and all avenues for appeal were closed, the fast-food shop worker used Facebook to share names and email addresses of 56 U.S. military personnel. The information included addresses of homes in the U.S. as well as military bases in Hawaii, North Carolina, and Virginia.

The Islamist gained the list from information hacked by a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate Army.

Yusef added the hashtags “US Army pigs completely hacked” and wrote: “All praise to Allah alone.”

Google searches found by police on his computer also showed he typed, “Kill Kuffar in the same way they have killed u quran” and “retaliation against the kuffarquran” [sic].

He was found guilty of making a record of terrorist information, encouraging terrorism, and disseminating terrorist publications.

This is the second incident in the past week of asylum seekers from the Middle East being jailed on terror charges.  Syrian asylum seeker Saer Shaker, who was granted “discretionary leave” to remain in the UK, posted Islamic State material on Facebook and was jailed for two years on Friday.

Also on Friday, 18-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmed Hassan was charged with attempted murder and using the chemical compound TATP to cause an explosion likely to endanger life in connection with the Parsons Green terror attack where a bucket bomb partially detonated on a London underground train injuring nearly 30 people. However, both charges are criminal in nature and are not terror-related.

breitbart.com/london/2017/09/24/afghan-migrant-jailed-terror-soldiers-details-online/

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Educational program on Mahdism studies begins in Austria

September 24, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - “Iman” Educational Research Academy in Vienna, Austria, has organized an intensive course on Mahdism studies, starting from September 23.

"Mahdism, Culture of Awaiting the Savior, and features of the age of Zuhur (advent of Imam Mahdi)” is the title of the course.

The Mahdism Research Center based in the Iranian holy city of Qom has cooperated in holding the educational program.

The course will continue until September 28 and the participants will be granted certificates of attendance.

Hojat-ol-Islam PurseyyedAghayi, the head of the center, is the instructor of the course.

Mahdiism, Mahdawiyyat or Mahdaviat is a religious term in Shia Islam translating to "belief in Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his glad advent)”.

en.abna24.com/news/europe/educational-program-on-mahdism-studies-begins-in-austria_856071.html

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Germany bans face coverings for drivers amid claims of anti-Muslim discrimination

24 Sep, 2017

The German parliament’s upper house, the Bundesrat, passed new rules to prevent drivers from covering their faces to avoid speeding tickets in a move that some claim unfairly targets female Muslim drivers.

“The rule of law requires that only drivers can be held accountable. That presumes that they can be identified,” the German Transport Ministry said, as cited by Deutsche Welle.

Bundesrat @bundesrat

#Bundesrat stimmtdemVerbot von #GesichtsverhüllungamSteuerzu: #Identitätsfeststellungbei #Radarkontrolle bundesrat.de/DE/plenum/plenum-kompakt/17/960/043.html#top-43 …

7:08 PM - Sep 22, 2017

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The new rules, which were approved on Friday, apply to any facial covering such as masks and hoods which might impair driver vision.

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RT @RT_com

‘Niqabs& burqas not welcome': Germany’s 1st ‘liberal mosque’ opens in Berlin on.rt.com/8ewe

9:42 PM - Jun 18, 2017

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Anyone caught partially or fully covering their face while driving will receive a fine of €60 ($72).

Although the law explicitly allows for religious headscarves to be worn, the move has been interpreted as symbolic discrimination by some. 

“Proof of this is the fact that laws are being passed in areas that don't need to [be] regulated,” said Deputy Council Chairman NurhanSoykan, according to the magazine Focus. “We know of no case in which a burqa or niqab wearer caused an accident that can be linked to wearing a full-body veil.”

In February, the state of Bavaria proposed banning burqas in schools, universities, polling stations, and government offices.

Similar measures across Europe have sparked outrage in recent months.

rt.com/news/404390-germany-face-ban-muslim-discrimination/

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India

BSF uses local intel, language skills to check Rohingya Muslim refugees influx

24th September 2017

The 1.1-million-strong Rohingya have suffered years of discrimination in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship even though many have longstanding roots in the country. (Photo | AP)

KOLKATA: The BSF has enhanced patrolling along 22 sensitive and vulnerable spots in West Bengal and is using local language skills as well as intel to check the influx of Rohingyas into the country.

In most cases, the Rohingyas try to pass themselves off as Bangladeshis if they are apprehended by the BSF, officials said.

To counter this, jawans adept in Bengali language are used for questioning.

"If a person crossing the border illegally is apprehended, he is questioned by the jawans. And although Rohingyas try to identify themselves as Bangladeshis, in most of the cases their accent of Bengali betrays them. The accent of Bangladeshis and Rohingyas are a bit different," said a senior BSF official.

A detailed questioning reveals their identity.

The 22 spots are spread across North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, and Krishnanagar districts.

"These spots were there but after this issue of Rohingya came up, we have reviewed those sensitive spots from where both Bangladeshis and Rohingyas can cross. We have increased our vigil and are using local skills to identify them," PSR Anajaneyulu, IG, BSF (South Bengal), told PTI.

According to BSF sources in South Bengal frontier, patrolling in those areas has been enhanced and the ground level forces with boosted jawans who are adept in Bengali language.

As many as 175 Rohingyas have been apprehended by the BSF out of which seven were in 2017, BSF officials said.

The BSF is also enhancing its local source base and working with different central agencies to track the movement and identify Rohingyas.

Of the 4,096-km-long Indo-Bangladesh border, 2,216.7 km is in West Bengal.

Terming the Rohingya refugees as "illegal" immigrants, the government on September 18 told the Supreme Court that some of them were part of a "sinister" design of Pakistan's ISI and terror groups such as the ISIS, whose presence in the country will pose a "serious" national security threat.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, described by the UN as the most persecuted minority in the world, fled their homes in Rakhine state in Myanmar recently to escape a military crackdown.

newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/se/24/bsf-uses-local-intel-language-skills-to-check-rohingya-muslim-refugees-influx-1662011.html

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Pakistan flashes fake image of 'pellet gun victim' to malign India at the UN General Assembly

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Sep 24, 2017

NEW DELHI: Pakistan's attempt to malign India for alleged atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir backfired when its envoy showed a fake image of a "pellet gun victim" in the UN General Assembly.

Pakistan's ambassador to the UN MaleehaLodhi, while responding to Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj's hard-hitting speech branding Pakistan an "exporter of terrorism", alleged that India had deliberately skirted the "core issue" of Kashmir in the UNGA yesterday.

In the midst of her 'right to reply', Lodhi brandished a photo of a woman whose face was peppered with wounds and said, "This is the face of Indian democracy."

Only, it later emerged, that the so-called "pellet gun victim" was a 17-year-old Gazan woman named RawyaabuJom, who had been injured by shrapnel during an airstrike by Israeli forces. The picture was taken by photojournalist Heidi Levine in July 2014 when she was covering the Gaza war.

Screenshot of photojournalist Heidi Levine's website shows the image of 17-year-old RawyaabuJom, who was injured during the Gaza War.

Ergo, the victim had no connection whatsoever with India or the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

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Rawya Abu Jom’a was wounded during the 2014 war in #Gaza. Credit: Heidi Levine راويةابوجمعةمن #غزةعقباصابتها

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This barefaced lie notwithstanding, Lodhi went on to call India the "mother of terrorism" in South Asia and accused it of sponsoring terrorism in various parts of her country.

On Saturday, Sushma Swaraj had disparaged Pakistan for of waging a war against India and said a country that was providing succor to terrorists and was responsible for countless human rights violations had the gumption to preach to India about humanity.

"Those listening had only one observation: 'Look who's talking!' A country that has been the world's greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium," Swaraj said.

In response to Swaraj's piercing charge, Lodhi dramatically waved the pictures of the Gazan victim and tried to pass them off as 'evidence' of atrocities on Kashmiris.

Given that such responses are normally given by a low level foreign service official, it was quite significant that the top Pakistani diplomat took up the floor to launch a verbal tirade against India. This makes Pakistan's blunder with the photo even more glaring and could even be construed as an attempt to mislead the UN about the situation in Kashmir.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-flashes-fake-image-of-pellet-gun-victim-to-malign-india-at-the-un/articleshow/60815909.cms

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Unite or you will end up like Rohingyas: Azam Khan to Muslims

Pervez Siddiqui | TNN | Updated: Sep 24, 2017, 09:46 IST

Azam Khan urged Muslims to unite or they would be reduced to the status of refugee Rohingyas in their own country

He also made a passionate appeal to leaders who had abandoned the Samajwadi Party to return to the party fold

File photo of senior SP leader Azam Khan. (Photo credit: PTI)File photo of senior SP leader Azam Khan. (Photo credit: PTI)

LUCKNOW: Former minister and senior SP leader Azam Khan on Saturday called upon Muslims to unite or they would be reduced to the status of refugee Rohingyas in their own country. He also made a passionate appeal to leaders who had abandoned the Samajwadi Party and joined other political outfits, to return to the party fold.

The party's Muslim face, known for making headlines with his controversial comments, said Muslims had contributed to the freedom struggle like any other Indian but today, the time had come when the community woke up to routine insults and discrimination every morning and went to bed fearing what would happen next.

"We will go by history that is factual and not by what the RSS (RashtriyaSwayamsevakSangh) wants us to believe as history," Azam said, adding that everybody must unite to take on "fascist" forces.

"Sab ekhojao... kaheenaanewalakaltumhareliyeRohingyaMusalmanojaisanaho (we all must unite before we are reduced to the status of Rohingya Muslims)," Azam said.

Referring to the claim of the Aditya Nath Yogi-led BJP government in UP that not a single riot had taken place under the present regime, Azam said he was not surprised.

"It is you who trigger riots wherever and whenever you want to...Right from the mass massacre in Gujarat to the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar," Azam said.

He added that beggars today no longer seek alms in the name of Allah for fear of being lynched, suggesting that there was a growing mob mentality where people were singled out on the basis of religion, and killed.

"The time has come when you (BJP) should sit and talk about the situation, if not with us (Muslims) then at least with Akhilesh Yadav and find a solution to this problem," he said, adding: "If the secular fabric of our country is facing any threat because of us, then tell us what we should do to improve the situation."

Pledging his loyalties towards Akhilesh Yadav, Azam—he is a founder member of SP—said if he had begun his journey in the party with Mulayam, he would end it beside Akhilesh.

"Now that my son is by your side, let me assure you that this association will continue for generations to come," Azam said, referring to his son Abdullah, an SP MLA.

When the family feud within the Yadav clan was at its peak, Azam had maintained equal distance from both Mulayam and Akhilesh and even tried broker a truce between the two, but in vain.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/unite-or-you-will-end-up-like-rohingyas-azam-khan-to-muslims/articleshow/60812012.cms

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Indian Union Muslim League sets off on race for Vengara

Published Sep 24, 2017

Ropes in party MLAs to conduct election work at every panchayat.

MALAPPURAM: Vengara will be a cakewalk for the IUML. But the party is leaving nothing to chance and has launched an intense electioneering in its bastion.  Besides the local and district leaders and office-bearers, the IUML has roped in 17 party MLAs to conduct the election work  throughout the six panchayats in the  constituency.  Three MLAs each have been assigned each panchayat and they will supervise and monitor the campaign for Mr  K.N.A Khader, the UDF candidate.

“Though there is no concern about the outcome,   we have taken the election seriously to keep the majority intact,” said Mr U.A. Latheef, newly-appointed district general secretary of IUML. The district office-bearers will also be appointed for the booth monitoring, he said.  The whopping majority is a  prestige issue for the party. In the 2016 Assembly elections, Mr  P.K. Kunhalikutty had won  with a majority of 38,057 votes which was more than the total votes (34,124) garnered by  LDF candidate P.P Basheer, who is contesting this time too.

The  majority had further increased to 40,529 votes in the Lok Sabha poll held in April this year. The Congress too is working in tandem with IUML  bringing in its six young MLAs to each of the six panchayats. “This is   our responsibility as the main constituent of the UDF. We have taken the by-election seriously as a democratic process,” said district Congress committee president V.V. Prakash.

KC(M) may support IUML in Vengara

The  Kerala Congress (M) may  support the Indian Union Muslim League in the Vengara by-election. Party chairman K. M. Mani may also campaign for League candidate K.N.A. Khader, the sources said. The KC (M) had previously supported Mr  P.K.  Kunhalikutty in the Malappuram Lok Sabha byelection in April after severing its  ties with the UDF.     Mr Mani, who campaigned for Mr Kunhalikutty, had said that his support was not for the UDF. This time also, the KC(M) will follow the same policy, said the sources.

deccanchronicle.com/nation/in-other-news/240917/indian-union-muslim-league-sets-off-on-race-for-vengara.html

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CISF proposes armed cover against terror threat to UDAN scheme

PTI | Updated: Sep 24, 2017, 16:56 IST

NEW DELHI: The ambitious UDAN scheme — the low-cost regional air connectivity network of the government — could soon have an armed security cover in place against possible terror threats as a blue print has been prepared by the aviation security force CISF.

The Director General (DG) of the 1.80-lakh personnel strong paramilitary force, O P Singh, told PTI in an interview that an "economically viable yet strong security proposal" has been prepared by the force and submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for consideration.

The UDAN (UdeDeshKaAamNagrik) scheme was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Shimla in April this year and the most important factor to keep it running is cheap flight rates for passengers.

"We have given a model (proposal) to the Ministry of Civil Aviation saying you can have a CISF cover in those airports (under UDAN) which are regionally connected and we will give the minimum manpower ranging from 13 to 44 people.

"Such a deployment and security system would be more economical rather than a permanent deployment of the force," the DG told the news agency.

The actual size of the CISF contingent (between 13-44 personnel) to be sent for the duty will depend on the size and geographical location of the airport under the regional air connectivity scheme.

Singh said the security blueprint prepared to guard such facilities has been made as "aircraft-centric" and not airport focussed, as in the case of its regular deployment, as committing such a huge manpower will incur heavy cost.

"So, we have planned something like a hub model as security for this scheme has to be cost effective and economical.

"What we will do is that personnel from the nearest regular CISF unit will be sent to secure the airport area under the UDAN scheme before a flight takes off and they will return to their base after conducting frisking of passengers, their baggage and conducting other anti-sabotage checks," Singh said.

An example in this context is a place like Durgapur in West Bengal, the DG said, where you have the steel plant (already guarded by the CISF) and the airport (under UDAN scheme) and these can be clubbed for conducting the dual tasks.

"This is what I mean by the hub.This means where you have the unit of CISF elsehwere doing some other job and at the same time they can be drafted into the aviation sector. This way you can minimise the cost of deployment and security," he said.

What we have proposed to the government and the civil aviation ministry is that the CISF security "will be aircraft-centric rather than airport centric.They (government and the aviation ministry) are examining it. If he government approves, we can go there.This is like going and coming back task," the CISF boss said.

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is the designated civil airports security force of the country and it secures 59 such airports, out of the total 98, at present.

While security officials do not confirm any input on potential terror threats to the airports under the UDAN scheme, they do accept that an armed security is required for these facilities when an aircraft takes off and lands at these unguarded or thinly guarded locations.

The UDAN seeks to popularise regional air travel on short sectors by capping fares at Rs 2,500 per hour.

The short flights aim at boosting air connectivity to and from unserved and under-served airports and making flying more affordable for the common man.

According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, Maharashtra has the highest number of unserved airports at 19, followed by Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh at 11 each.

Similarly, West Bengal and Karnataka have seven such airports each which do not have one single flight operations.

Unserved airports are the one where there is no flight operations whereas the underserved airports have been catagorised as the ones which have three or less flight per week.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cisf-proposes-armed-cover-against-terror-threat-to-udan-scheme/articleshow/60815755.cms

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Afghanistan likely on agenda as US defense secretary starts visit to India

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Sep 24 2017

The US Defense Secretary James Mattis is expected to start his visit to India next week amid reports the officials of the two countries will also hold talks on Afghanistan besides discussing other issues of bilateral interest.

According to the local media reports, Mattis is expected to arrive in New Delhi late on Monday.

He is expected to start meetings with the Indian officials from next week to hold talks on key issues, including the sale of fighter jets as well as the situation in Afghanistan.

His visit to India and likely discussions on the situation in Afghanistan takes place amid concerns by Pakistan regarding the growing role of India in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Prime Minister said last week that Islamabad wants zero political and military role for India in Afghanistan.

This will be the first visit by a top US official to India following the announcement of the new Us strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.

President Donald Trump last month announced the new strategy and called for contribution of India in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

However, he strongly criticized Pakistan regarding the presence of the terror sanctuaries in the country.

khaama.com/afghanistan-likely-on-agenda-as-us-defense-starts-visit-to-india-03519

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Arab World

Syria is marching steadily towards rooting out terrorism: Al-Moallem at UNGA

September 24, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem says Damascus is close to victory in its fight against foreign-sponsored terrorism which has wreaked havoc on the nation over the past six years.

“My country, along with its steadfast people and its brave army and supported by our loyal allies, is marching steadily towards the goal of rooting out terrorism. The liberation of Aleppo and Palmyra, the lifting of the siege on the city of Dayr al-Zawr and the eradication of terrorism from many parts of Syria prove that victory is now within reach,” Muallem said in his speech at the UN General Assembly on Saturday.

The Syrian diplomat warned about the spillover of Takfiri terrorism to other parts of the world, calling for concerted effort by the international community to eradicate the phenomenon.

“We must all understand that terrorism and the underlying Takfiri extremist ideology will continue to spread like a tumor throughout the world and wound our own people, unless every one of us demonstrates a genuine will to cooperate to confront it together,” he said.

“Every such measure must respect the sovereignty of states and the interests of the people. We must let go of the illusion that terrorism can be used as a tool for political gains and narrow interests,” the top Syrian diplomat added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Muallem slammed Turkey’s “aggressive policies” under President RecepTayyip Erdogan against Syria, noting, “Turkey’s positions stand in stark contrast to the positive and constructive role played by Russia and Iran.”

He also lashed out at Israel for continuing its “unscrupulous thuggish actions with full impunity” against civilian population in Syria and Palestine.

“Israel did not stop there. It has interfered in the Syrian crisis since its early days. Israel has provided all forms of support for Takfiri terrorist gangs, including funds, weapons, material and communication equipment. Israel has also bombed Syrian army positions to serve terrorist agendas,” the Syrian foreign minister said.

“The unlimited Israeli support to terrorists in Syria did not come as a surprise. After all, the two share the same interests and goals,” he added.

Muallem criticized the massive human rights violations and destruction of Syria’s infrastructure by the US-led coalition claiming to be fighting the ISIS Takfiri terrorist group.

“It is quite ironic that those are the same countries which are shedding the blood of thousands of Syrians by supporting terrorists, bombing innocent civilians and destroying their livelihoods,” he said.

“The so-called international coalition led by the US, which was created there three years ago to allegedly fight terrorist groups such as ISIS, has killed much more innocent Syrians, mostly women and children, that terrorists [did] and destroyed the vital infrastructure that Syrians have worked for years to build. It has also used phosphorous bombs and other internationally-prohibited weapons before the eyes of the whole world,” he said.

Muallem also slammed the “international community’s silence” over the crimes committed by the US-led coalition in Syria and argued that any foreign presence in Syria without the approval of the government in Damascus constitutes an act of “occupation, flagrant violation of … international law and the UN Charter.”

The Damascus government and opposition groups have held six rounds of talks, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey, in the Kazakh capital city of Astana in a bid to end the foreign-backed militancy in Syria, which broke out in March 2011.

The Astana negotiations have so far resulted in an agreement on four de-escalation zones across Syria, which have sharply reduced fighting in the conflict zones.

The talks in Astana come as the UN has also held seven rounds of negotiations in the Swiss city of Geneva, which have achieved little success in comparison with the Astana talks.

en.abna24.com/news/america/syria-is-marching-steadily-towards-rooting-out-terrorism-al-moallem-at-unga_856068.html

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Yemen’s Ansarullah mocks Saudi condemnation of Myanmar’s crackdown on Rohingya Muslims

September 24, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has mocked Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir's recent condemnation of Myanmar’s deadly crackdown on Rohingya Muslims while the Riyadh regime is itself killing Yemenis.

Jubeir voiced alarm over the Myanmar crisis during his address to the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday.

“My country is gravely concerned and condemns the policy of repression and forced displacement carried out by the government of Myanmar against the Rohingya minority,” he said.

Ansarullah spokesman Mohammad Abdulsalam reacted to Jubeir’s remarks, saying the top Saudi diplomat disregarded his own country’s crackdown, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported on Sunday.

The Saudi-led coalition deserves the Nobel Peace Prize due to its crimes in Yemen, Abdulsalam added, in an apparent dig at Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate whose silence on the ongoing atrocities has drawn international outcry.

On Sunday, five civilians were killed when Saudi warplanes bombed Shada'a District of Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada, reports said.

The Yemeni army fired a medium-range Qaher M-2 ballistic missile at a Saudi airbase in the kingdom’s southwestern Asir Region on Saturday.

Reports said that the missile had precisely hit the target but Saudi media quoted Colonel Turki al-Malki, the Saudi-led coalition spokesman, as saying that the Saudi forces had intercepted the missile.

Additionally, the Yemeni army destroyed two military vehicles used by mercenaries supporting former Yemeni president AbdRabbuh Mansur Hadi in the northern and southwestern provinces of Jawf and Lahij.

The Yemeni army also launched a mortar attack against a gathering place for pro-Hadi forces in Lahij Province, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.

An armored vehicle, which belonged to pro-Hadi mercenaries, was destroyed in the Sirwah District of Yemen’s central Ma’rib Province.

Yemen has witnessed a deadly Saudi-led war since March 2015 to eliminate the Houthis and reinstall a Riyadh-friendly Hadi.

Saudi Arabia has achieved neither of the objectives despite spending billions of dollars on the war and enlisting the cooperation of dozens of its allies as well as Western countries.

The protracted Saudi offensive, which has been accompanied by a naval and aerial blockade on Yemen, has so far killed over 12,000 people and led to a humanitarian crisis and a cholera outbreak.

en.abna24.com/news/middle-east/yemen%E2%80%99s-ansarullah-mocks-saudi-condemnation-of-myanmar%E2%80%99s-crackdown-on-rohingya-muslims_856108.html

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More Civilians Killed in US, SDF Attacks in Northeastern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US air raids and attacks by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) killed more civilians in the ISIL-held Northeastern city of Raqqa, militant-affiliated websites reported on Sunday.

The websites affiliated to the terrorist groups reported that the US-led coalition fighter jets and artillery units of the SDF targeted Raqqa city's neighborhoods, killing at least seven civilians and wounding several more.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported earlier this month that hundreds of civilians were killed in the US-led coalition airstrikes and attacks by the SDF on the city of Raqqa and its outskirts over the past three months.

At least 1,000 civilians lost their lives in the US-led and SDF attacks in three months, SOHR said.

It noted that the death toll was related to the US-led and SDF raids during June 5-September 11, 2017.

A sum of 166 women and 236 children were among 1007 civilians killed in Raqqa.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000911

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Al-Nusra Preparing to Attack Turkey-Backed Militants West of Aleppo Province

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) is getting ready to kick off a large-scale attack on Ankara- backed militants following the Turkish Army's reinvigoration of forces along the border with Syria, a Syrian media outlet reported Sunday.

The Arabic-language al-Watan daily reported that Al-Nusra has deployed a large number of terrorists and military vehicles in areas surrounding the town of al-Artab in Western Aleppo.

The Al-Nusra's move came after the Turkish Army sent several convoys of military equipment and forces to the border with Syria, the paper said.

It added that the Al-Nusra is about to attack the al-Artab that is under the Ankara-backed militants of the Free Syria Army (FSA) to foil a plan by the Turkish army and the FSA to carry out an offensive on Al-Nusra Front positions in Idlib.

Al-Watan further said that the FSA has put its forces in al-Artab on alert.

An Arab media outlet reported last week that the Turkish Army dispatched a large number of fresh soldiers and a large volume of military equipment to the country's border with Syria's Idlib province.

The Arabic-language Al-Ahd news website reported that the Turkish army sent fresh forces and military hardware to two border regions across the regions of Bab Saqa and Ra'as al-Hasaan in Northern Idlib.

The army had forwarded its forces and equipment deployed in Hatay province to the borders with Syria yesterday.

The Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, quoted a Turkish paper as reporting that the Turkish Army was to dispatch more soldiers and military hardware to its border with Syria in Hatay province to help the Ankara-backed militants and also monitor ceasefire in Idlib de-escalation zone.

In the meantime, another Turkish daily reported that Ankara and the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army intended to send 25,000 fighters to Idlib to guarantee security in the de-escalation zone.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702001233

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Syria: ISIL Appoints Former FSA Commander as New Emir of Terrorist Group in DeirEzzur

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group has appointed a former commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) as the new Emir of its fighters in DeirEzzur after the terrorist group sustained heavy defeats in recent battles against the Syrian Army in the region, local sources reported earlier today.

The sources said that Ahmad al-Daham, a former field commander of the FSA, has been appointed by the ISIL as the terrorist group's emir in DeirEzzur.

Al-Daham was one of the commanders of the FSA in DeirEzzur before the ISIL took control over the Eastern city.

A local source reported earlier today that the Syrian Army troops have managed to drive ISIL out of 44 regions in Western DeirEzzur, Southern part of Raqqa province and Eastern Hama in the last 13 days, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The source said that the army men captured 44 towns, villages, farms and installations in Western DeirEzzur, Southern territories of Raqqa province and in Eastern Hama in their anti-ISIL operations in last 13 days.

The source added that al-Janineh, al-Baqaliyeh, Ayyash, Mesran, AlbuYatiyeh, al-Jawasmeh, Ma'adan, al-Suweidiyeh, al-Khamisiyeh, al-Atshaneh, MaqlatKabireh and al-Qasibeh were among the regions that the army liberated.

The source went on to say that the army men killed or wounded hundreds of terrorists, destroyed 19 command centers, 17 bomb-laden vehicles, 20 military vehicles, 269 cars and several arms and ammunition depots in their operation.

The source further said that ISIL security commander Abu Mo'amenTunisi, ISIL's religious leader Abu ShimaAraqi, Abu Mo'ataz al-Adnani, an ISIL's spokesman and a close aid to Abu Bakr Baghdadi, Abu Abdullah Tatari Saudi nom de guerre Abu Obeideh were among the killed terrorists in the army's operation.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000842

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Militant Reports: Joulani Involved in Assassination of Al-Nusra Commanders

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Militant-affiliated websites in Syria disclosed on Sunday that Top Commander of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) Abu Mohammad Joulani has been significantly involved in the assassination of several commanders of the terrorist group in recent years.

The websites reported that Abu Mohammad Joulani was behind the assassination of Jeish al-Fatah military commander Abu HajarHomsi nom de guerre Abu Omar Saraqeb, adding that Abu Omar Saraqeb had revealed his intension for cutting relations with Joulani to join Ahrar al-Sham.

The websites added that YunisSha'eib now de guerre Abu al-Hassan Taftnaz was killed in an assassination after he foiled some of the plans of Joulani in the Al-Nusra Front.

They went on to say that Joulani had orchestrated assassination of several commanders of ISIL, including Abu al-Faraj al-Mesri and Abu al-FarasSouri, that had defected ISIL and joined Al-Nusra and had criticized Joulani harshly several times.

The websites said that Joulani had also planned to kill Abdullah al-Muhaysini, the Saudi Mufti of the terrorists, in an attack, but al-Muhaysini found out and cut relations with him.

News website affiliated to the terrorist groups reported last week that fresh waves of tension covered the Northwestern province of Idlib after a main terrorist group and several field commanders cut ties with Al-Nusra Front.

The websites reported that Al-Nusra dispatched several military columns towards Jeish al-Ahrar terrorist group's bases in the towns of Banesh and Taftnaz in NortheasternIdlib after the latter announced that it has defected the Al-Nusra.

In the meantime, Al-Nusra started capturing previous members of the Free Syrian Army and Ahrar al-Sham in the regions and towns in the North and North-West of the province near the border with Turkey.

The Al-Nusra put its forces on alert after rising tensions and defections in the province.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000814

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Syrian Army Receives More Advanced Tanks, Military Vehicles

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army had received a large consignment of modern Russian-made tanks and military vehicles last month and utilized them in the recent anti-ISIL operation to cross the Euphrates River in DeirEzzur province, a Russian media outlet reported on Sunday.

The Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, reported that a large consignment, including Russian-made T-62 tanks and BRM-1K military vehicles was delivered to the Syrian army via the Tartus port in August, adding that the newly-arrived tanks and military vehicles assisted the Syrian soldiers to have an easier and fasters move while crossing the Euphrates River to hit ISIL's defense lines on the Eastern bank of the river.

The BRM-1K military vehicle in designed to carry out reconnaissance operation in the battlefield and the T-62 tanks are equipped with 115mm cannons.

The Arabic Sputnik reported earlier this month that the army had been using modernized models of T-72P and T-72P1 tanks in war on terrorists in the war-hit country.

The Arabic-language page of the Russian news agency, Sputnik, reported that the modernized tanks of T-72P and T-72P1 were being used by the army in their combat against terrorists, adding that the tanks were equipped with Contact 1 technology which has increased safety of the tanks against anti-tank shells.

Also, the military experts said that although the T-72P and T-72P1 tanks were among the advanced military vehicles but they were updated and handed over to the Syrian army, adding these tanks were superior than T-72P3 and T-90 tanks in some cases. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000707

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Terrorists Continue Vast Withdrawal in DeirEzzur, Raqqa Provinces under Syrian Army Attacks

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops continued to hit ISIL's defense lines in the provinces of DeirEzzur and Raqqa on Sunday, driving the terrorists out of more than ten regions.

The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in Eastern DeirEzzur and the Southern part of Raqqa province, imposing control over the regions of al-Jaber, Qisiyeh, Tishrin 6, MaqlatSaqireh, Qanem Ali, Hardaneh, al-Naserah, Namisiyeh, al-Ramah, Jabileh, Tal Qanem and Wadi Abu Souseh.

The ISIL suffered heavy casualties and its military hardware sustained major damage in the attacks.

Local sources confirmed on Saturday that the ISIL executed one of its own senior commanders on unknown charges in DeirEzzur province as the Syrian Army troops continue advancing in the province, adding that a number of terrorist commanders have also escaped the battlefield.

The sources said that ISIL terrorists were accusing each other of betrayal and the cause of their recent failures and defeat in battle with the army men in Eastern and Western DeirEzzur.

They added that ISIL executed Abu Abdul SattarLibia'ei, its own commander in the town of al-Tabni, in the village of Hama al-Shamiyeh in NorthwesternDeirEzzur.

The source went on to say that a new group of ISIL commanders, including, Omar al-Haji, the man in charge of ISIL's public relations, ISIL's Emir ZiyadEidan al-Saleh, ISIL's Emir in Huweija Sakar and ISIL's commander Ali Amar nom de guerre Abu Saraqeh have escaped battle against the Syrian army.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000611

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Syrian Soldiers Repel Terrorists' Heavy Attack in Northern Homs

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops managed to fend off a heavy offensive of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) on the pro-government forces' positions in Northern Homs on Sunday, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The Al-Nusra terrorists violated de-escalation zone truce again and attacked the strongholds of the army South of the town of Talbiseh, in areas surrounding the village of al-Qantou and North of the town of al-Rastan.

The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with Al-Nusra and warded off their attack.

The Al-Nusra suffered heavy casualties and pulled back the remaining pockets of its forces from the battlefield.

In the meantime, the army's artillery units opened fire at terrorists' positions in Talbishe and the villages of al-Qantou, al-Za'aferaneh and al-Mokaramiyeh in Northern Homs in response to the terrorists' missile and mortar attacks on the villages of Akrad al-Dasniyeh and Jabourin.  

Relevant reports said on Saturday that the army troops drove ISIL out of three more regions in Eastern Homs within the framework of their anti-terrorism operation in the Central part of the war-hit country.

The army men continued to advance against ISIL in Eastern Homs and captured Mosheirefeh al-Shamali, Mosei'ad and Joureh al-Nazal East of Jubb al-Jarah regions, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000574

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Yemeni Army Targets King Khalid Airbase with Ballistic Missile

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and Ansarullah's missile unit fired a ballistic missile at King Khalid airbase in Southwest of Saudi Arabia, near KhamisMushait.

The 'Qaher M2' ballistic missile was fired at King Khalid airbase in Southwestern Saudi Arabia on Saturday night and hit the target, a Yemeni source was quoted as saying by Saba'a news agency.

Meantime, the Saudi military officials claimed that the missile has been intercepted and destroyed by the country's defense shield.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 14,300 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has drove the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

The cholera outbreak in Yemen which began in April, has also claimed 2,000 lives and has infected 700,000, as the nation has been suffering from what the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as the “largest epidemic in the world” amid a non-stop bombing campaign led by Saudi Arabia. Also Riyadh's deadly campaign prevented the patients from traveling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

According to reports, the cholera epidemic in Yemen, which is the subject of a Saudi Arabian war and total embargo, is the largest recorded in modern history.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000439

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Advanced Russia-Made Air-Defense System Deployed in Central Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- An advanced model of a Russia-made medium-range surface-to-air missile system was stationed in Hama province earlier this month to reinvigorate the air-defense capability of the Syrian government forces in the region, a Russian news website reported on Sunday.

The Arabic-language website of Russia's state news agency, Sputnik, quoted RusskayaVesna website as reporting that the Russia-made mid-range guided missile system S-350 Vityaz was transferred to the town of Masyaf in Hama province via the Tartus port earlier this month to reinvigorate Syrian air-defense units' capability to guard the country's airspace.

The Arabic sputnik said that the S-300 anti-aircraft system has been replaced with S-350 Vityaz system.

S-350 Vityaz enjoys 12 tracing missiles instead of 4 missile in previous system, sputnik said, adding that the S-350 Vityaz's management and control system automation is superior to its older counterpart.

A Russian media outlet reported earlier this month that a series of Su-25SM3 fighter jets, a modern Russia-made warplane known as Supper Grach, would soon join the Russian air fleet in Syria to intensify war on terrorists.

The Arabic Sputnik reported that the Russian Air Force in Syria would receive Su-25SM3 fighter jets before the end of 2017, adding the Su-25SM3 was the modern model of Su-25 known as Grach.

The Arabic Sputnik underlined the specific capabilities of Su-25SM3 and added that the modern fighter jets enjoy Sulet-25 electronic optical system that could track and target objects independent from pilot navigation.

It added that the Sulet-25 enabled the Su-25SM3 fighter jets to attack any objects in any weather condition and any time.

Sputnik went on to say that the Su-25SM3 fighter jet could stand against attacks by different models of anti-aircraft missile systems via utilizing a fits-back system.

It pointed out that the SU-25SM3 fighter jets would participate in war missions in Syria once their pilots accomplish their training. 

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960702000495

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Mideast

Iran halts flights to Iraqi Kurdistan at request of Baghdad

Reuters | Sep 24, 2017, 18:20 IST

DUBAI: Iran has halted flights to airports in Iraqi Kurdistan at the request of the central government in Baghdad, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Sunday, a day before a Kurdish independence referendum.

The agency quoted KeyvanKhosravi, spokesman for Iran's top security body, as adding that Iran was also closing its airspace to flights originating in Iraqi Kurdistan.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/iran-halts-flights-to-iraqi-kurdistan-at-request-of-baghdad/articleshow/60817128.cms

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Iran could walk away from JCPOA if US scraps it: Zarif

September 24, 2017

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Iran has a number of options which includes walking away from the deal and going back with great speed, Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif said.

Zarif made the remarks on Saturday in an interview with Fareed Zakaria of the American media Cable News Network (CNN).

Commenting on a question over Iran's reaction regarding [US] President Doland Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal or decertification of Iran, he said 'Certification is not a part of the deal. It's US internal procedure. It does not absolve President Trump and his administration of the responsibility because the only authority that has been recognized in the nuclear deal to verify is the IAEA.'

'Iran will look at the outcome of this process and will consider its options. Iran has a number of options which include walking away from the deal and going back with great speed with its nuclear program which will not address and except the limitations that we voluntarily accepted over our nuclear program.'

'Let me stress one thing that has been a myth here in the United States and we need to dispel that myth. They say there is a sunset clause in the deal. There is no sunset clause. Iran has committed itself never to develop nuclear weapons both as a member of NPT and in the deal itself.'

Elaborating on his message to Donald Trump after the later's anti-Iran statements at the UN General Assembly,Zarif said 'I think it's in the interest of the United States to look at the realities. There are no alternative realities. Realities in our region are crystal clear they have been for the last forth years and the United States has unfortunately decided to neglect those realities and has not fared well.'

Elsewhere in his remarks Zarif pointed to Iran's defensive needs saying, 'You talked about missiles. Iran has defensive needs. Iran is not buying $400bn of so called 'beautiful' military equipment from the United States. Iran needs to develop its own defense we have set time and again and we have proved it that our missiles are for defense.

'You know we go back to history where our cities were being showered with missiles of Saddam Hussein [the Iraqi toppled dictator] but at that time Saddam Hussein was a sweatheart for the United States and some Western countries. Nobody turned any eyebrow against Saddam Hussein for his use of all these missiles.

'Iran did not have a single missile to work as a deterrent against its citizens and its civilians being targeted of almost daily missile attacks even against the capital.'

en.abna24.com/news/america/iran-could-walk-away-from-jcpoa-if-us-scraps-it-zarif_856073.html

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36 People have been Detained for Ties to "Islamic State" in Istanbul

World | September 24, 2017

Istanbul police have detained 36 people suspected of having a connection with "Islamic state," FOCUS News reported.

31 of the detainees are foreigners, but their nationality is not reported. Police believe the detainees traveled to Syria and Iraq for "Islamic State".

novinite.com/articles/183520/36+People+have+been+Detained+for+Ties+to+%22Islamic+State%22+in+Istanbul

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QIB named as safest Islamic bank in Qatar

24 Sep 2017

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), Qatar’s leading Islamic Bank has been recognised by Global Finance as the safest Islamic Bank in Qatar and one of the safest Banks in the Middle East and Emerging Markets.

Also, marking new additions to its list of achievements, QIB was recognised as the second safest Bank across the banking sector, and the third safest Islamic Bank in the Middle East. Additionally, the Bank made impressive leaps from last year, jumping to the 8th safest Bank in the Middle East from the 22nd position and moving to the 25th safest Bank in Emerging Markets from the 47th position.

Global Finance evaluates the ratings and total assets size of the key players in each region, providing an overview of which financial institutions offer the greatest security. The ranking has been the recognised and trusted standard of financial safety for a quarter-century. The Banks were selected through an evaluation of long-term foreign currency ratings – from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch – of the 500 largest banks in Emerging Markets.

The ranking reflects QIB’s successful growth strategy, cautious financing policies, and its disciplined approach to risk management. Over the past few years, QIB’s management has been working on a transformation program to build a long-term competitive advantage by introducing new products and services, improving customer service levels, developing internal efficiencies, upgrading the Bank’s risk management framework, and migrating to new technology platforms that allow the Bank to better serve its customers.

“Recognition from a trusted source like Global Finance is a testament to the success of our strategy which places the financial safety of our customers first while ensuring the application of a well-thought, conservative risk management plan to safeguard the Bank’s and our customers’ interests. We are proud to be active contributors to Qatar’s growing financial sector and to the country’s National Vision 2030,” said Bassel Gamal, QIB’s Group CEO. In the first half of 2017, QIB achieved a net profit of QR1.165bn representing a growth of 10 percent over the first half of 2016.

Total assets of the Bank have increased by 9.2 percent compared to the first half of 2016, and now stand at QR147bn. Financing activates have reached QR110bn having grown by 13.6 percent compared to June 2016.

Total Income for the first half of this year is QR3.14bn registering 18.4 percent growth compared to QR2.657bn for the first half of 2016 reflecting a healthy growth in the Bank’s core operating activities.

In July 2017, Moody’s Investors Service, (“Moody’s”) affirmed QIB Long term deposit ratings at “A1”. In June 2017, Fitch Ratings affirmed QIB’s Long Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘A+’ and S&P reaffirmed QIB’s rating at “A-“.

thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/24/09/2017/QIB-named-as-safest-Islamic-bank-in-Qatar

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North America

‘Make Hummus, Not War’: Chickpeas Unite Jews And Muslims In Argentina

JTA StaffSeptember 24, 2017

That was the message behind a recent event that brought local Jews, Muslims and other Arabs together in Argentina’s bustling capital city of Buenos Aires.

On Sunday, 20 amateur chefs participated in a hummus-making competition at the Tetuan Moroccan Grill restaurant in the trendy Palermo Soho neighborhood. About 300 people showed up to see judges award a winner of what was unofficially dubbed The First World Championship of Hummus.

The event was less about competition and more about bringing people of different cultures and religions together through the food they all love.

But there was a winner: Turkey native BeynazurOrs, whose colorful hummus contained beet and red cabbage.

“We all want to respect each other,” Ors said of her fellow contestants.

Her husband, Burak, agreed.

“We all want another event like this, more time to cook and eat together,” he said.

Though it may have been the first hummus competition of its kind in Buenos Aires, the evening germinated over the course of informal get-togethers with members of the Latin American Jewish Congress and local Muslim youths. The group started three years ago simply getting coffee or tea together, but soon they invited each other to Passover and Iftar dinners. The hummus contest was an offshoot of the group, but while members of the Latin American Jewish Congress attended, there was little institutional presence.

There has been a heated debate over the years as to whether hummus is an Arab or Israeli invention — or, maybe more accurately, an ancient Jewish creation, since Israel was officially founded in 1948, long after the chickpea dish had become a Middle Eastern staple. But such discussions were not on the table Sunday.

“Instead of importing conflicts, we are exporting coexistence,” Luciano Safdie, who like the event’s other organizers wore a “Make Hummus, Not War” T-shirt, said at the end of the night.

The judges were Matias Cedarbojm, a former Jewish contestant on Argentina’s version of “MasterChef”; Gustavo Massud, owner of an Arab restaurant in Buenos Aires called Al Shark; and Argentine chef Victor Manuel Garcia.

Joan Noejovich, a local Jewish man, made it to the thesemifinals.

“I prepared a Druze recipe with ingredients all imported from Israel,” he said.

His version fared better than one prepared by an Israeli expat from Jerusalem named Adi, who didn’t want to give his last name.

Massud, who noted that his restaurant’s customers typically are half Arabs and half Jews, loved Noejovich’s hummus but said in the end he voted for Ors because it had “the flavor of food made by a mother.”

Myriam Kabbara, who runs an Islamic school in Buenos Aires, had a blast at the event.

“I enjoyed the spirit,” she said. “I never had a problem with Jewish people, and I think it is very good to show that we Jews and Muslims can be friends.”

forward.com/news/breaking-news/383317/make-hummus-not-war-chickpeas-unite-jews-and-muslims-in-argentina/

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Marriott is hosting the conference of the largest anti-Muslim hate group

 

AirBnB, Google, WordPress, Apple, and even Uber are among the companies who have refused the business of white supremacists or other hate-speech groups—it seems that taking a moral stand through business is catching on. Though that isn’t the case for every company: On Oct. 2-3, Marriott is scheduled to host ACTCON, the gathering of ACT for America, at its Marriott Crystal Gateway hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

ACT for America is the US’ largest anti-Muslim organization, and claims some 750,000 members around the country. Its CEO, Brigitte Gabriel, publicly expresses her Islamophobia. She’s also a Donald Trump supporter with direct access to his administration.

“The portent behind the terrorist attacks is the purest form of what the Prophet Mohammed created,” Gabriel wrote in her 2008 book,They Must Be Stopped. “It’s not radical Islam. It’s what Islam is at its core.” Gabriel has also insisted that a “practicing Muslim, who believes in the teachings of the Koran cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.”

After learning about the convention’s location, civil-rights organization Muslim Advocates on Sept. 11 emailed a letter (pdf) to Marriott’s president and other members of the company, demanding that the hotel distance itself from ACT by refusing to host the conference. Last month, PayPal dropped the anti-Muslim group from the list of organizations it serves.

There is precedent: In 2011, Marriott refused to host a conference for American Renaissance, an organization that promotes white supremacy. In its letter, Muslim Advocates appealed to the hotel chain’s list of diversity partners, and to its public stands against the Muslim ban and in support of LGBT rights.

Though Marriott acknowledged receiving the letter, Scott Simpson of Muslim Advocates told Quartz that the company did not communicate any intention of canceling the conference, which is why the organization decided to make the letter public this week. In a statement, a Marriott spokesperson said it is “a hospitality company that provides public accommodations and function space,” adding that accepting a group’s business does not constitute endorsing them.

Simpson disagrees. He says hosting the ACT conference shows that the hotel chain isn’t abiding by its purported respect for diversity, let alone acknowledging that Muslim guests may feel threatened by the gathering.

Marriott International is the largest hotel chain in the world. The company is worth more than $33 billion, and was recently granted $62 million (or about $17,500 per employee) in state and local subsidies for its new headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. The grant was given to stop Marriott from relocating, which would have been a big loss for Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, who had made industry retention a core of his campaign. Back in 1999, Marriott received $43 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies, plus a deal for road improvement, to keep its headquarters in Bethesda.

qz.com/1085346/marriott-is-hosting-the-conference-of-the-largest-anti-muslim-hate-group/

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/police-remove-islamic-state-flag-waving-in-islamabad/d/112640

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