New Age Islam
Sun Oct 25 2020, 01:00 PM

Islamic World News ( 12 Dec 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Prophet’s Birthday Celebration ‘Sinful’
















Germany has a rising Muslim population, due to migration, but Berlin-born Ms Chebli said there need not be conflict between Sharia law and Germany's Basic Law

 

Prophet’s Birthday Celebration ‘Sinful’

Muslim State Secretary for Berlin Voices Her Backing for Sharia Law in Europe

Muslim Mob Attacks Chakwal Ahmadiyya Mosque in Pakistan

Blasphemy Trial Tests Pluralism in Mostly Muslim Indonesia

Muslims to March on White House in Bid to Dismantle Discriminatory Registry

 

Arab World

Prophet’s Birthday Celebration ‘Sinful’

Syrian Regime ‘Executes’ People of Aleppo

Horrific Photos from Hama: Russian, Syrian Forces Perpetrate A New Massacre

Full Liberation of Aleppo Imminent, Syrians Pour into Streets in Joy

Saudi Arabia renews call to stamp out terror

Angry protestors describe Iraq’s ex-PM Maliki ‘head of thieves,’ ‘trash’

Over 103,000 Iraqis displaced since Mosul operation began: Minister

Human rights groups criticize Bahraini cleric’s sentence

Syrian Army Fends off ISIL's Large-Scale Offensive on Key Airbase West of Palmyra

Activist: Al-Khalifa Regime Prevents INQUIRY into Torture Claims in Bahrain's Prisons

Egypt accuses Muslim Brotherhood over church attack

Kremlin blames lack of US cooperation for Palmyra blow

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Europe

Muslim State Secretary for Berlin Voices Her Backing for Sharia Law in Europe

Forest Hill 'Stabbing': Man Shouted 'I Want To Kill A Muslim' While Chasing Passengers

Man stabs passenger in London train station, shouts ‘death to Muslims’

11 arrested in France over Nice massacre

European Christian Groups Shine Light on Israeli Counter-Terrorism Expertise

France accuses Russia of 'lying' about Syria

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Pakistan

Muslim Mob Attacks Chakwal Ahmadiyya Mosque in Pakistan

Certain Elements Have ‘Distorted’ Islam’s Image: Nawaz Sharif

US ‘very concerned’ over Pakistan’s crackdown on Ahmadis

Omani ships dock at Karachi for joint exercise with Pakistan Navy

AIOU plans to promote `Seerat-un-Nabi’

Holy Prophet (PBUH) best role model for humanity: NA speaker

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Southeast Asia

Blasphemy Trial Tests Pluralism in Mostly Muslim Indonesia

Some Muslims in Malaysia Have Flawed Idea of Fairness: Zaid Ibrahim

Governor of Indonesia capital breaks down as blasphemy trial begins

Take heed of conflicts in Muslim nations, says Sabah chief minister

Sultan Muhammad V reveres Islam, respects religious intellectuals

Malaysia enthrones new king in lavish ceremony

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North America

Muslims to March on White House in Bid to Dismantle Discriminatory Registry

Samuel L Jackson Calls Muslims 'The New Black Kids In America'

Outgoing attorney general urges American Muslims to have faith

Islamic Group Asks to Examine Official's Files in Denied-Mosque Case

Suspect sought in stabbing near California mosque

Muslims Like Us is a wake-up call for Islamophobes everywhere

U.S. Justice Department sues Virginia County for blocking mosque

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South Asia

Afghan Air Force Raid Leaves 16 Militants Dead In Helmand

Reprisals, Rape, and Children Burned Alive: Burma’s Rohingya Speak of Genocidal Terror

Senior border police commander killed in East of Afghanistan

ISIS commander among 4 killed in US airstrike in East of Afghanistan

Myanmar calls ASEAN talks over ‘Rohingya issue’

China to continue opposing India’s NSG bid, UN ban on Masood Azhar

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Mideast

Yemeni Children Suffering From All-Time High Malnutrition: UNICEF

Iranian Ground Force Unveils 2 New DRONES IN Last Day of Drills

Turkish Army urges Syrians to seek safety as fighters push on Al-Bab

Turkey detains 235 over Kurdish militant links after Istanbul blasts

Dozen countries to hold sit-ins in support of Palestinian inmates

Turkish fighter jet crashes near airport in Diyarbakir

Yemeni Army Takes Full Control of Southern Ma'rib Province

Turkish Source: Unknown Warplanes Attack Syrian Army Positions in Lattakia

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India

India, Indonesia Resolve to Deepen Coop to Combat Terror

Warring Muslim Groups in Kerala Have Joined Forces to Fight the Government on Uniform Civil Code

Bangladesh Home Minister to celebrate Vijay Diwas in Kolkata

Muslims observe Prophet Mohammad’s birth anniversary

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Africa

Tinubu Seeks Final Push against Boko Haram

Uganda: Kamoga Was Determined to Kill Sheikhs - Witness

Prayers solution to Nigeria’s woes, says Gov. Tambuwal

Somalia: Car bomb kills many in Mogadishu

Tanzania: No Rights Abuses in War On Terror – PM

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/prophet’s-birthday-celebration-‘sinful’/d/109366

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Prophet’s birthday celebration ‘sinful’

3 January 2015

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has warned against celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him), saying that it is a superstitious practice that was illegally added to the religion.

“It is a bida (a sinful religious innovation) that crept into Islam after the first three centuries when the companions and successors of the companions lived.”

Instead, it is obligatory for Muslims to follow the Prophet’s teachings as contained in the Sunnah, the sheikh said in his Friday congregational sermon at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh.

The sheikh said that those who urge others to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet are evil and corrupt. “The true love of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is manifested by following in his footsteps and supporting his Sunnah ... that is how the love for the Prophet (pbuh) is expressed.”

He said Almighty Allah has said: “Say: ‘If you do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive your sins.’” Muslims have a duty to believe in the Prophet (pbuh) as the servant and messenger of Allah, who was sent as a guide to the entire universe, Al-Asheikh said.

It is the duty of Muslims to love and respect him. They should also defend him against those who misinterpret his teachings, the atheists who deny him, and those who abuse or mock him. These are the duties of Muslims who truly love the Prophet (pbuh), the sheikh said.

He said that Almighty Allah states in the Holy Qur’an: “Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which you fear a decline; or the dwellings in which you delight, are dearer to you than Allah, or His messenger, or the striving in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision, and Allah guides not the rebellious.”

http://www.arabnews.com/islam-perspective/news/683771

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Muslim State Secretary for Berlin Voices Her Backing for Sharia Law in Europe

12 December 2016

A politician has controversially voiced her backing for Sharia Law being introduced in Europe, calling it 'absolutely compatible' with current legislation.

The State Secretary for the Berlin Government, Sawsan Chebli, defended Islamic law saying it can exist alongside Germany's Basic Law because it 'largely regulates the relationship between God and man'.

Ms Chebli, a Muslim who herself wears western dress and does not cover her head, defended the headscarf as a 'religious duty' and said there should be no problem with those who choose to wear one.

Last week Berlin Mayor Michael Müller announced a new government consisting of a coalition of Social-Democrats, Greens and the left-wing Die Linke party that will rule Germany's capital city.

Mr Müller announced he planned to appoint Ms Chebli, 38, as the state secretary in charge of federal government coordination.

But her comments about Sharia law have been criticised even within her own Social Democrat (SPD) party.

Erol Ozkaraca, who is of Turkish origin, said: 'Chebli is one of the comrades who wants to build a bridge to Islamist societies. This is absolutely wrong. It's fatal.'

Mr Ozkaraca, who is now threatening to resign from the SPD if the Mayor goes ahead with the appointment, said: 'If Müller takes this decision I do not have an opportunity anymore to represent my view in this party.'

Ms Chebli, who has 12 siblings, grew up in a strict Muslim household but carved out a career as a Social Democrat and equality campaigner, saying she does not see a contradiction.

Making a dig at the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, she told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper: 'My father is a pious Muslim, hardly speaks German, can neither read nor write, but he is more integrated than many functionaries of the AfD who question our constitution.'

The AfD has seen a rise in popularity, largely off the back of its criticism of Angela Merkel's refugee policy, ahead of next year's general election.

Around two percent of Germany's population - 1.5 million people - are now Muslims.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4024812/Muslim-State-Secretary-Berlin-voices-backing-Sharia-law-Europe-saying-absolute-compatible-German-legislation.html

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Muslim Mob Attacks Chakwal Ahmadiyya Mosque in Pakistan

December 12, 2016

Police and Army personnel were called in on Monday as a Muslim mob armed with guns and rocks attacked a Mosque in central Pakistan.

Chakwal Ahmadiyya MosqueThe mob which numbered over 1,000 was part of a procession celebrating the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad when it attacked the minority Ahmadiyya community’s Mosque in Dulmial village, Chakwal. Around 40 worshippers who were present in the Mosque locked themselves in as the mob opened fire and hurled rocks.

After gaining control of the Mosque, the attackers burnt property inside the building, including carpets. They also washed the building to bring it “under the influence of Islam.”

A spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community claimed that one Ahmadi was killed in the incident, but was unable to identify the dead.

The Government of Punjab said it was “following up” on the “Chakwal incident”.

Police and Army personnel were called in on Monday as a Muslim mob armed with guns and rocks attacked a Mosque in central Pakistan.

Chakwal Ahmadiyya MosqueThe mob which numbered over 1,000 was part of a procession celebrating the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad when it attacked the minority Ahmadiyya community’s Mosque in Dulmial village, Chakwal. Around 40 worshippers who were present in the Mosque locked themselves in as the mob opened fire and hurled rocks.

After gaining control of the Mosque, the attackers burnt property inside the building, including carpets. They also washed the building to bring it “under the influence of Islam.”

A spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community claimed that one Ahmadi was killed in the incident, but was unable to identify the dead.

The Government of Punjab said it was “following up” on the “Chakwal incident”.

In a petition filed with the local Police department a few weeks ago, Local clerics warned the Police of ‘extreme measures’ if the Mosque was not “liberated” from minority Ahmadis. The petition said:

“The Qadianis (Ahmadis) are using the Mosque as their worship place which is illegal under the law, We request that you free the Mosque from the Infidels and save Muslim interests by saving the Mosque from these Infidels, If these steps are not taken we will be forced to take extreme measures in order to liberate this Mosque”

The petition which was signed by over 500 people was started by a Pakistani-Canadian, Haji Malik Rashid Ahmad, who is a resident of Mississauga, Ontario. Ahmad traveled to Pakistan to file the petition against the use of Mosque by Ahmadis. Sources claim the Canadian resident is one of the main “agitators” in the Chakwal Mosque attack.

Ahmadiyya is a minority sect of Islam which has been declared non-Muslim under Pakistani law. In 2010, 90 Ahmadis were killed in a twin attack on Ahmadiyya Mosques in Lahore.

https://www.rabwah.net/muslim-mob-attacks-mosque-in-pakistan/

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Blasphemy Trial Tests Pluralism in Mostly Muslim Indonesia

By SARA SCHONHARDT and ANITA RACHMAN

Dec. 13, 2016

JAKARTA, Indonesia—The Christian chief of one of the world’s largest mostly Muslim cities delivered an emotional defense at the start of his blasphemy trial Tuesday, a politically charged case that has become a test of pluralism in this young democracy.

Hundreds of people had gathered outside the courthouse in central Jakarta to demand that Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama be jailed even before the verdict, carrying on from a series of massive street protests. They were countered by dozens of supporters of the governor—also the most prominent politician in Indonesia from the ethnic Chinese minority.

The small courtroom was filled to its capacity, about 80 people. In an unusual public display for Mr. Purnama, a blunt-talker often described as brash, he shed tears while telling the panel of five judges how his Muslim godparents had taught him Islamic values while he was growing up, and how insulting Islam would be tantamount to showing them disrespect.

He said he intended no insult during his speech in September, in which he lightheartedly referred to a verse in the Quran that says Muslims should not take Christians or Jews as leaders.

The remark, he said, was directed at politicians who use the verse incorrectly “because they don’t want to compete fairly in the elections.” He added that, “in this case, perhaps my language might have given the wrong perception or interpretation from what I had intended, or meant.”

Mr. Purnama, known by his nickname Ahok, concluded by saying he objected to the charges and asked the court to dismiss them “so I can go back to serving the citizens of Jakarta and developing the city.”

The trial continues next Tuesday, and is expected to last several weeks. If convicted, Mr. Purnama, 50 years old, faces up to five years in prison.

He has previously apologized for the remarks. But excerpts from his speech, disseminated widely via social media, sparked widespread anger, stoked by hard-line Islamist groups long opposed to having a non-Muslim hold an elected office with authority over Muslims.

The vast majority of Jakarta’s roughly 10 million people are Muslim.

The tensions coincide with fears of Islamist terrorism as Indonesia enters the holiday season, when Western tourist numbers increase and churches have been targeted in past years.

On Saturday, police said they had foiled a plot to bomb the presidential palace by a female suicide bomber with links to Islamic State, the latest in a string of attacks or attempts this year.

The blasphemy case has shaken Indonesia’s reputation as a stable, tolerant democracy, following decades of authoritarian rule, as politics in Southeast Asia have taken a tumultuous turn.

Malaysia has been rocked by a colossal corruption scandal, the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte is awash in a bloody so-called war on drugs, and Thailand is increasingly under the grip of military rulers.

In a speech last week at a Democracy Forum in Bali, President Joko Widodo reiterated the country’s commitment to its national motto, “Unity in Diversity,” including religious freedom.

“The Indonesian people believe that through democracy, Indonesia will become a better country,” he said.

Nearly 90% of Indonesians are Muslim, but the country recognizes six religions and operates under a secular political system. For years hard-line groups have been challenging that foundation, making inroads culturally but with little political success.

However, once-fringe groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front have become increasingly organized and adept at using social media to spread their conservative message directly, sidelining mainstream Islamic organizations.

Analysts say in Mr. Purnama, whose moves to clear the crowded, dirty capital of slums have angered many of those being relocated, they seem to have found a lightning rod. Their Dec. 2 rally against the governor drew hundreds of thousands of people—one of the biggest in decades.

For the Islamists, Mr. Purnama is “the perfect gift,” said Greg Fealy, senior fellow in Indonesian politics at Australian National University.

A guilty verdict would “put a stop to pluralism because it doesn’t give space for minorities to be a part of the political fabric,” said Tobias Basuki, an analyst at the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Mr. Purnama—who assumed office in 2014 when his then-boss, Mr. Widodo, was elected president—is seeking another term in elections in February. He is running against two Muslim candidates, including the son of former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and a few months ago seemed well-positioned to win.

If convicted, Mr. Purnama would likely have to withdraw. That has fueled rumors that political rivals are aiding the Islamists as a way to undercut Mr. Purnama and his ally, Mr. Widodo, who faces re-election in 2018. Both men have clashed at times with Indonesia’s political and military elite.

All but one of the more than 100 blasphemy prosecutions in Indonesia between 2005 and 2014 ended in conviction, according to Amnesty International.

Write to Sara Schonhardt at Sara.Schonhardt@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/blasphemy-trial-tests-pluralism-in-mostly-muslim-indonesia-1481610704

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Muslims to march on White House in bid to dismantle discriminatory registry

12 December 2016

Thousands of American Muslims and activists from progressive groups will march on the White House on Monday in a last-ditch effort to persuade Barack Obama to dismantle a discriminatory program that singled out Arabs and Muslims for surveillance, before it falls into the hands of Donald Trump.

Obama has less than six weeks to rescind the regulatory framework of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERs), an openly discriminatory registry that was introduced in the wake of 9/11 and mothballed in 2011. Civil rights groups fear that should the program still be in place when Trump enters the White House on 20 January he could revive it very quickly, making his threat to impose a database of Muslims a reality.

Talks have been proceeding at the highest levels of the Obama administration, involving senior officials from both White House and Department of Homeland Security. The Guardian understands that scrapping NSEERs is actively being considered within the administration as one of the most concrete steps that the current president could take to protect vulnerable groups and individuals from the threatened actions of his successor.

Organisers hope that the march, which will proceed from the Department of Justice at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue at 1.15pm and end in Lafayette Park outside the White House, will be the final nudge that gets Obama over the line. Several of the largest progressive and civil rights groups will be participating, including the ACLU, MoveOn.org, Desis Rising Up & Moving (Drum) and CREDO.

Petitions calling on Obama to tear up NSEERs have also been started by MoveOn.org and Drum, CREDO, ACLU, Bend the Arc Jewish Action and MomsRising, and have already attracted more than 280,000 signatures. The petitions come on the back of a joint letter from 51 Congress members appealing to Obama to rescind the scheme.

Trump made a threat to ban all Muslims entering the US a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. He later amended that to propose introducing “extreme vetting” of newcomers with a focus on a number of identified countries deemed a terrorism threat.

NSEERs would allow the new president to carry out that threat of “extreme vetting” within days of forming his new administration. Kris Kobach, one of the original architects of NSEERs who is now an influential adviser to the Trump transition team, proposed last month as his No 1 priority for homeland security that he would “update and reintroduce” the program.

NSEERs was created a year after 9/11 by the DoJ as a way of tracking the movements of people coming into and out of the US from specific countries. Some 25 countries were singled out for special treatment, 24 of which were majority Arab or Muslim.

Individuals without immigrant visas arriving in the country from those 25 countries were required to provide fingerprints and a photograph to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If they stayed longer than 30 days, they were forced to visit a federal government office where they would be interrogated.

Family members would disappear in the middle of the night, to be thrown into overcrowded jails and then deported. Some 14,000 people on the registry were placed into deportation proceedings.

John Ashcroft, the then US attorney general who introduced NSEERs under the Bush administration, called it a “vital line of defense in the war against terrorism” that would “expand substantially America’s scrutiny of those foreign visitors who may pose a national security concern”.

But it proved entirely ineffective. More than 80,000 people, almost all of them Muslim or Arab, were forced to sign up to the scheme in a way that spread fear and resentment through Muslim American communities across the US, with nothing to show for it.

“NSEERs was a completely failed counterterrorism tool,” said Joanne Lin, legislative counsel with the ACLU. “It was in effect for nearly a decade, but NSEERS didn’t yield a single terrorism conviction. Instead it alienated Muslim and Arab American communities around the country who saw their husbands, uncles, brothers appear for registration, for no reason than their nationality.”

Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights clinic at the Pennsylvania State University, said, “The NSEERs program was counter-productive, discriminatory and costly. It was discredited by leaders across the board.”

NSEERs fell into abeyance in 2011 after its value to counterterrorist agencies was called into question. It was replaced by an upgraded system based on biometrics that allowed for the screening of all newcomers to the US, not just Muslims and Arabs, removing its discriminatory basis.

In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security’s own watchdog, the inspector general, issued a report calling for the program to be torn down. He found the Muslim database to be “unreliable” and “obsolete”, and concluded that DHS should “dismantle the vestiges of the program”.

But that never happened. The program was effectively halted by removing the names of the 25 targeted countries, but the regulatory framework of NSEERs was left standing.

Civil rights groups now fear that if Trump inherits it he could very easily start it back up simply by reinstating the country names into the system.

So it falls to Obama in the dying days of his presidency to decide whether or not to dismantle the disused shell of the program. He could do so by issuing a “notice and comment rule” announcing the end of the scheme, but that would require a 30-day public consultation period which is now all but impossible.

Alternatively, he could claim an exemption that would allow him to scrap NSEERs without first going to the public. By doing that, and by rescinding the regulatory framework altogether, he would force the incoming Trump administration to start from scratch in rebuilding a Muslim registry.

The process of rebuilding a Muslim registry could be cumbersome for Trump and fraught with delays. More importantly, it would force the new president to face public scrutiny in explaining why he was reintroducing a surveillance scheme that was openly discriminatory and had been found to be unworkable.

“It would put the responsibility for the registry squarely on the shoulders of the new administration. That’s why Obama should do the right thing and wipe this program clean,” Wadhia said.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/12/american-muslims-march-white-house-nseers

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Arab World

 

Syrian regime ‘executes’ people of Aleppo

13 December 2016

Syrian regime forces and sectarian militias carried out on Monday nearly two hundred executions in Aleppo, which included women and children, according to eyewitnesses from within the city, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

A firing squad from Bashar al-Assad’s forces and militiamen also executed medical staff.

According to activists on the ground, Hezbollah militia carried out most of the mass executions in the war-torn city.

Sources confirmed to Al Arabiya that militias loyal to the regime had also burned nine children and four women.

Meanwhile, the White Helmets in Aleppo reported more than 90 bodies under the rubble that had not been recovered.

Civilian Evacuation

The legal adviser of the Free Syrian Army, Osama Abu Zayd, appealed to the international community to help provide assistance for the evacuation of civilians and guarantee their freedom and safety, stressing that the FSA was willing to exit if there were international guarantees for them.

Zayd stressed that the Syrian regime forces are forcing those fleeing from Aleppo to fight on their side.

UN ‘alarmed’

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is alarmed by reports of atrocities against “a large number” of civilians, including women and children, in recent hours in the Syrian city of Aleppo, his spokesman said Monday.

“While stressing that the United Nations is not able to independently verify these reports, the secretary-general is conveying his grave concern to the relevant parties,” said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Ban has asked his envoy Staffan de Mistura to follow up.

“The United Nations underlines the obligation of all parties on the ground to protect civilians and abide by international humanitarian and human rights law,” Dujarric said.

“This is particularly the responsibility of the Syrian government and its allies,” notably Russia and Iran, he added.

Assad Aleppo take over

Syria’s army and its allies have taken full control of all Aleppo districts abandoned by rebels during their retreat in the city, a Syrian military source said on Tuesday.

On Monday rebel defenses collapsed, leading to a broad army advance across more than half of the remaining insurgent pocket in Aleppo and a retreat of opposition fighters to a few districts on the west bank of the city’s river.

Recapturing the entire rebel pocket of Aleppo will constitute the biggest battlefield victory yet for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his military coalition of Russia’s air force, Iran and Shiite militias.

For rebels, it will mark a sobering loss and leave them without a significant presence in any of Syria’s main cities. They still hold much of the countryside west of Aleppo and the province of Idlib, also in northwest Syria.

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/12/13/Syrian-regime-executes-people-of-Aleppo.html

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Horrific photos from Hama: Russian, Syrian forces perpetrate a new massacre

12 December 2016

Airstrikes killed 85 civilians including dozens of children in Oqayrabat village in the central province of Hama, on Monday according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In the photos published, bodies of children are seen, apparently the victims of the attack.

(Al Arabiya.net)

The warplanes either belong to the Syrian regime or Russia.

Oqayrabat lies northwest of Palmyra, the city that was recaptured by ISIS during the weekend.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/12/12/Horrific-photos-from-Hama-Russian-Syrian-forces-perpetrate-a-new-massacre.html

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Full Liberation of Aleppo Imminent, Syrians Pour into Streets in Joy

Dec 12, 2016

Militants retreated from more districts in Aleppo city as the Syrian army and its allies are in the final stages of recapturing the city after months of battle with thousands of terrorists.

The Syrian soldiers and Hezollah forces managed to drive members of the Jeish Al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups out of Bustan al-Qasr (Bustan al-Kaser) and al-Kelaseh districts in Aleppo city, squeezing the militants in a very small area with two choices: surrunder or die.

Jeish Al-Fatah, a conglomerate of terrorist groups under the command of the Al-Nusra Front sustained numerous casualties in Aleppo on Monday. The backbone of the umbrella group is made of Al-Nusra units, while militants from 12 other terrorist groups, including Ahrar Al-Sham, are all members of Jeish al-Fatah.

According to a Syrian military source, pro-government forces are in "the final moments before declaring ultimate victory" in Aleppo, as the neighborhoods of al-Ansari, al-Mashhad, al-Zabdiyeh and al-Sukri are the only regions still under militants' control.

Local sources in the city also reported that Syrian people have poured to the streets in the Southern neighborhoods, celebrating the imminent victory of the country's soldiers and popular forces in Aleppo battle.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950922001899

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Saudi Arabia renews call to stamp out terror

13 December 2016

Saudi Arabia's Council of Ministers on Monday strongly condemned Sunday’s terrorist bombings that struck Egypt, Turkey and Somalia, claiming the lives of scores of people and injuring many others.

While reiterating the Kingdom’s firm position against terrorism, the Cabinet called for concerted efforts by the global community to root out the scourge of terrorism.

King Salman chaired the weekly session of the Cabinet at al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh.

In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency following the session, Minister of Culture and Information Adel Al-Turaifi said the Cabinet offered its sincere condolences to the bereaved families of the victims as well as to the governments of Egypt, Turkey and Somalia.

The Cabinet stressed that these terrorist acts are rejected by Islam and other religions, and are in contravention of humanitarian values and principles as well as international norms and conventions. The Cabinet expressed happiness over the Kingdom’s election to the UN Human Rights Council for a fourth term. “This emphasizes an appreciation of the Kingdom’s efforts in consolidating justice, equality, and protection and promotion of human rights at the domestic and international levels.”

Al-Turaifi said the Cabinet renewed its calls to convene an emergency session of the UN General Assembly, demanding the international body to assume responsibility to protect the Syrian people who are exposed to mass killings, siege and displacement in the ongoing aggression by the Syrian regime and its allies.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2016/12/13/Saudi-Arabia-renews-call-to-stamp-out-terror.html

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Angry protestors describe Iraq’s ex-PM Maliki ‘head of thieves,’ ‘trash’

12 December 2016

Angry protesters on Sunday have stormed a meeting held by Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in the country’s most southern city of Basra.

News of Maliki touring Basra prompted protesters to take to the streets asking the former premier from 2006 to 2014 to leave the city. Maliki was scheduled to hold the meeting at the Cultural Center in Basra.

In one of the videos published, protestors outside the center were heard chanting: “Maliki you are trash, head of the thieves.”

Iraqis from the south to the north have long complained about their living conditions and standards compared to the prosperity enjoyed by their politicians, whom they deem as corrupt.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/12/12/Angry-protestors-describe-Iraq-s-ex-PM-Maliki-head-of-thieves-trash-.html

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Over 103,000 Iraqis displaced since Mosul operation began: Minister

Dec 12, 2016

The Iraqi minister of displacement and migration says more than one hundred thousand civilians have fled their homes ever since Baghdad, supported by volunteer fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, launched an operation to retake Mosul from Daesh terrorists.

Jassim al-Jaff announced in a statement that more than 103,000 civilians had experienced forced displacement in the face of the military campaign, noting that nearly 2,470 more civilians fled violence in northern Iraq on Monday alone.

“This takes the total number of displaced people to 103,362 since the operation began,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abu Bakr al-Kanaan, the head of an Iraqi government commission tasked with repatriating displaced people, said some 15,000 people have already returned to their homes in liberated areas south of Mosul.

“And another 10,000 will return to their homes in the area soon,” Kanaan pointed out.

Daesh prisons uncovered  

On Monday, Iraqi counter-terrorism forces uncovered a prison of Daesh in Qadisiyah neighborhood eastern Mosul.

Iraqi fighters from Popular Mobilization Units advance towards the Iraqi town of Shwah, west of Mosul, on December 11, 2016, during an ongoing operation against Daesh Takfiris. (Photo by AFP)

A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Baghdadia television network that government forces found many individual cells and torture chambers in addition to classified documents and a list of the names of the detainees at the site.

Later in the day, counter-terrorism forces discovered another Daesh prison in Mosul’s eastern neighborhood of al-Zohour.

An unnamed official said there weren’t any detainees at the site then, yet there were many individual cells plus a very large hall for holding captives, and rooms with electric torture devices.

The official added that counter-terrorism forces also found lists of the names of detainees and the wanted inside the prison.

Iraqi forces recapture more areas

Moreover, pro-government fighters from Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, established control over Tal al-Aska’ district northwest of Tal Abtah region.

Iraqi fighters from Popular Mobilization Units advance towards the Iraqi town of Shwah, west of Mosul, on December 11, 2016, during an ongoing operation against Daesh Takfiris. (Photo by AFP)

The volunteer forces had earlier liberated the village of Abu Sanam northwest of Mosul, following fierce skirmishes with Daesh terrorists. Tens of Takfiri terrorists were killed during the heavy exchange of gunfire.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/12/497597/Iraq-civilains-Mosul-liberation-operation

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Human rights groups criticize Bahraini cleric’s sentence

Dec 12, 2016

Human rights groups have strongly condemned Bahrain’s ruling Al Khalifah regime for upholding a nine-year prison sentence against distinguished Shia cleric and opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman.

“Today’s shocking verdict is another example of Bahrain’s flagrant disregard for the right to freedom of expression. Sheikh Ali Salman is a prisoner of conscience,” Deputy Director of Campaigns at Amnesty International's Beirut regional office Samah Hadid said on Monday.

Hadid said the prominent cleric has been put behind bars for seeking to achieve reforms and to hold those responsible for human rights violations to account.

“Instead of punishing him for peaceful criticism, the Bahraini authorities must ORDER his immediate and unconditional release,” the Amnesty official said, stressing, “The international community can no longer turn a blind eye to the Bahraini authorities’ relentless persecution of government critics and human rights activists with the sole purpose of crushing any form of peaceful dissent or opposition to the government.”

The Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy also sharply criticized the verdict against the secretary general of Bahrain’s dissolved main opposition bloc, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society.

Sheikh Salman was initially sentenced to four years in prison. Bahrain’s Supreme Court of Appeal increased his jail term to nine years on May 30.

The cleric was arrested in December 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the Manama regime and collaborating with foreign powers.

Sheikh Salman has denied the charges, saying he has been seeking reforms in the country through peaceful means.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has repeatedly called on the Manama regime to release the 51-year-old cleric.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/12/497568/Bahrain-Sheikh-Ali-Salman-Al-Khalifah-Amnesty-

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Syrian Army Fends off ISIL's Large-Scale Offensive on Key Airbase West of Palmyra

Dec 13, 2016

The ISIL terrorists continued to advance Westward after taking Palmyra and stormed government positions in T4 airbase from the North and East.

A field source disclosed that the ISIL terrorists attacked government positions with several bomb-laden suicide VEHICLES but the Syrian soldiers targeted the VEHICLES before they could reach their position.

The source further rejected ISIL claims about laying siege on the T4 airbase.

"After detonation of the suicide vehicles, hundreds of ISIL militants stormed army's positions, but the Syrian soldiers managed to ward off their attack after hours of fierce clashes," the source said.

The Russian fighter jets also launched aerial attacks on the surrounding areas of T4 airbase to block the ISIL's advances towards the airbase.

The source further underlined the crucial role of the Syrian fighter jets and Russian choppers in repelling ISIL's attack, adding, "The Russian air force launched continued strikes at ISIL's position and inflicted tens of casualties on the militants."

Based on the reports the ISIL wants to carry out another large-scale offensive to capture T4 airbase before arrival of the army's reinforcement in the region.

T4 airbase is now the main base of the Syrian government forces in Eastern Homs following the fall of Palmyra.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950923000476

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Activist: Al-Khalifa Regime Prevents INQUIRY into Torture Claims in Bahrain's Prisons

Dec 13, 2016

"90% of detainees are faced with beating and insults, electric shocks, hanging from the ceiling, pouring icy and boiling water on their naked bodies and rape," Hessam Abdolsattar told FNA on Tuesday.

Warning that all prisons and detention centers in Bahrain brutally torture the inmates, he said, "The al-Khalifa regime's courts prevent INQUIRY and probe into torture-related complaints."

In relevant remarks earlier this month, a female Bahraini activist who has recently been freed from jail disclosed that women have long been tortured and raped in her country's prisons, adding that the Manama regime's clampdown on human rights organizations has forced them to avoid covering such crimes.

"When torturing women, all methods are used, including electric CHAIRS, sexual harassment, rape, threats to rape, severe beating, deprivation of eating, drinking and sleeping for a long time and insulting prisoners' faiths and beliefs," the activist, who called for anonymity for the fear of her life, told FNA.

She also said many detained women have also been deprived of their right to return to work, specially in the government sector, even after release.

The activist added that certain human rights institutions have recorded many reports on torture and rape against WOMEN in Bahrain's jails but the government has dismissed and prevented their release.

The al-Khalifa regime is exerting mounting pressure on the opposition.

Bahrain has been in the throes of an uprising since February 2011, when hundreds of thousands of protesters took over a Central roundabout in the capital Manama and demanded political and democratic reform in the authoritarian kingdom.

Bahraini authorities backed by Persian Gulf allies, SPECIALLY Saudi Arabia, violently broke up the protests, leading to the deaths of hundreds of people, and since then rallies have continued and human rights groups have accused the kingdom of imprisoning and torturing thousands of activists. Hundreds of others have gone missing without any trace or state explanation.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950923000490

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Egypt accuses Muslim Brotherhood over church attack

2016-12-13

Egypt's interior ministry Monday accused fugitive Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have fled to Qatar of training and financing the perpetrators of the bomb attack on a Cairo church that killed 25 people.

The ministry said investigations revealed the group was led by a suspect who received financial and logistical support and instructions to carry out the attacks by Brotherhood leaders residing in Qatar.

The Muslim Brotherhood have denied any involvement with the explosion at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church on Sunday.

The incident was the deadliest attack in recent memory on the Christian minority, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population.

In a statement, the interior ministry said investigations showed 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa, the suspected suicide bomber, had been arrested in 2014 while securing Muslim Brotherhood convoys while armed. He was released in May the same year.

DNA testing of body parts found at the scene matched with his family, according to the interior ministry.

The suspect's lawyer said Monday that Mustafa had been arrested and beaten by police two years ago after allegedly taking part in an Islamist demonstration.

If independently confirmed, Mustafa would be the latest Egyptian to be radicalised after being subjected to police abuse, a practice that was common for decades and has become rampant after a crackdown on dissent following the military's 2013 ouster of an Islamist president.

Mahmoud Hassan, one of Mustafa's lawyers, said his client, who was 16 at the time of his arrest, was tortured until he confessed to the possession of weapons and explosions. He also faced charges of membership in an "illegal organisation," Egyptian parlance for the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group of which former President Mohammed Morsi was a senior official.

Inflaming sectarian strife

The Interior Ministry said late Monday that Mustafa belonged to a terrorist cell founded by an Egyptian doctor and funded by Muslim Brotherhood leaders living in exile in Qatar, long accused by Egypt of supporting militants groups. It said the cell was tasked with staging attacks that would lead to sectarian Muslim-Christian strife.

After his arrest, Mustafa spent nearly two months in detention before being released on bail. A court later convicted him in absentia, according to the lawyer. Traumatised by the torture, he told his lawyer not to appeal, fearing he would be abused again if detained.

A police photo of Mustafa and a friend arrested on the same day showed the pair, clearly in their teens, with bleeding noses and bruised faces. Placed atop a COFFEE table in front of them was a rifle, ammunition and what appeared to be a homemade bomb.

Full report at:

the security forces, while the government has waged a wide-scale crackdown on dissent.

http://www.france24.com/en/20161213-egypt-accuses-muslim-brotherhood-over-coptic-church-attack-suspect-mustafa

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Kremlin blames lack of US cooperation for Palmyra blow

13 December 2016

MOSCOW: The Kremlin on Monday deplored the lack of cooperation with the United States in Syria’s famed ancient city of Palmyra after Daesh terrorists re-entered the ancient Syrian city at the weekend.

“We regret that we have yet to completely neutralize their offensive,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of the militants return to the fabled city after an eight-month absence.

“We also regret that there still is a lack of coordinated action and real cooperation with other states — with the United States first and foremost — that do not want to cooperate, and this cooperation could allow us to avoid such attacks by terrorists.”

Peskov added that radical terrorists from neighboring Iraq, where a Western coalition is supporting the Iraqi military’s efforts to retake the city of Mosul from Daesh, had been flooding into Syria.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Sunday that its war planes had carried out more than 60 overnight strikes on Palmyra, claiming to have “thwarted all terrorist attacks” on the city.

Daesh’s surprise recapture of Palmyra has given the terrorist group an IMPORTANT propaganda boon as it comes under attack elsewhere.

The group began an assault on government positions in Homs province, where Palmyra is located, last week.

It quickly overran army checkpoints and seized oil and gas fields until it reached the city’s edge.

The terrorists briefly entered the city on Saturday before being forced to withdraw after government ally Russia launched intense airstrikes.

But despite the raids and the arrival of Syrian regime’s army reinforcements, Daesh seized control of the city hours later, a monitoring group and the terror-linked Amaq news agency said.

Experts said several factors explained Daesh’s shock recapture of the city, including its isolated location in the eastern desert of Homs province, where the group was able to overrun territory quickly.

“The geography of the city, which is surrounded by mountains, makes it very difficult to defend,” said Romain Caillet, an expert on terror groups.

Government and Russian forces, on the offensive elsewhere in Syria, may also have been vulnerable to a surprise attack, a favored Daesh tactic.

“One of the key things Daesh is very good at is launching surprise attacks from desert positions,” said Charlie Winter, a senior fellow at the International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence at Kings College London.

“They have a high level of operational security so they are able to essentially launch shock attacks and gain lots of ground.”

Despite its relatively small size, Palmyra is considered symbolically IMPORTANT and of international interest because of its ancient ruins, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Daesh ravaged the ruins during the 10 months it held Palmyra from May 2015 to March 2016, systematically blowing up ancient temples in attacks that provoked worldwide horror.

Russian forces played a key role in Palmyra’s capture, which Moscow celebrated by flying in Russian musicians to perform a classical concert in the city’s ancient theater, where Daesh had staged mass executions of government troops.

Daesh’s win in Palmyra at the weekend comes as the terror group faces major offensives against its two most IMPORTANT bastions — Syria’s Raqqa city and Iraq’s Mosul.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1023441/middle-east

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Europe

 

Forest Hill 'stabbing': Man shouted 'I want to kill a Muslim' while chasing passengers

December 13, 2016

A knifeman reportedly stabbed a passenger on a train at Forest Hill station before chasing people outside shouting "I want to kill a Muslim".

The attacker allegedly shouted: "Who is a Muslim? I want to kill a Muslim."

A 38-year-old man from London has been arrested on suspicion of GBH following the "serious incident", British Transport Police confirmed.

They said they were treating the incident as a "serious hate crime" but said there was "no suggestion of wider terrorist aspect".

An eyewitness told The Daily Mirror: "The man came running out of the station with a knife and everybody started running and screaming.

"He was shouting 'Whoever is Muslim, I will kill you". He was looking for anybody that was Muslim.

"Everybody was running and screaming. He was walking up and down the street for about 15 minutes.

"The looks on some peoples faces, they looked terrified and very scared."

Other eyewitnesses said the man was shouting "death to Muslims" and "go back to Syria".

Miguel Oliveira told the Press Association he was met with a "wave of people" when he arrived at the station.

"The first few were shouting 'he's got a knife, he's got a knife' and then all of a sudden the next ones said 'Oh he's been stabbed call the police'," he said.

He added that some members of the crowd were shouting: "He wants to kill Muslims".

Shellby Curry was with her one-year old child when she saw a man "waving what looked to be a knife in his hand" near the station and screaming words like "Muslims f***ing hate them, kill them all".

She described the attacker as a black man with SHORT hair, who she thought appeared to be in his late 30s or early 40s.

The man also threatened a woman wearing a hijab before the stabbing, LBC News reports.

One man, who is in his forties, was treated by ambulance staff at the scene and then taken to hospital, British Transport Police confirmed.

A BTP spokeswoman said: "We are currently at Forest Hill railway station, after being called to a serious assault at 1.18pm.

"One person has been arrested following the incident and is currently in police custody.

"One man was treated by ambulance staff at the scene and is currently en route to hospital.

"We are still investigating the circumstances of this incident but at this time, we are not treating it as terrorism-related."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/forest-hill-stabbing-kill-muslims-attacker-suspect-station-london-train-a7470016.html

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Man stabs passenger in London train station, shouts ‘death to Muslims’

Dec 12, 2016

A man was stabbed at a London suburban train station on Monday by an attacker said by eyewitnesses to have shouted that he wanted to kill Muslims.

Police said they had arrested a 38-year-old man following the attack on a train which left the victim, who is in his forties, in serious condition in hospital.

An eyewitness, 36-year-old Miguel Oliveira, told the Press Association news agency that he came face-to-face with the attacker, who was “shouting uncontrollably”.

“He was walking towards me and he was shouting stuff like ‘Death to Muslims’ and ‘Go back to Syria’,” he said.

Local resident Shellby Curry, 24, told the agency that she saw a man waving what looked like a knife and screaming “Muslims fucking hate them, kill them all”.

British Transport Police said it had received reports that a man had been assaulted on a train at Forest Hill station in southeast London at 1:18pm (1318 GMT).

“The man, who is in his forties, was taken to hospital with injuries consistent with having been stabbed. He remains in hospital in a serious, but not life threatening, condition,” it said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/man-stabs-passenger-in-london-shouts-i-want-to-kill-a-muslim-report/story-cdGaU7HZxJaOAPpyUhcFYJ.html

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11 arrested in France over Nice massacre

12 December 2016

A British court on Monday jailed two men for up to eight years for handing money to Brussels and Paris terror attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini when he visited Britain last year.

Mohammed Ali Ahmed and Zakaria Boufassil gave £3,000 ($3,770, 3,550 euros) in cash to Abrini in the central English city of Birmingham in July 2015, knowing it would be used for terrorism.

Ahmed, a 27-year-old from Birmingham, had pleaded guilty to the offence last month and received an eight-year jail term.

Boufassil, a 26-year-old Belgian citizen also from Birmingham, had admitted meeting Abrini in a Birmingham park and holding the money for Ahmed, but said he had "no idea" of its intended use.

However, a jury dismissed this claim last week and he was sentenced to three years behind bars.

It emerged Monday, after the judge lifted reporting restrictions, that Boufassil claimed he was recruited by British intelligence agency MI5 after the meeting with Abrini.

He claimed to have been given up to £3,000 in exchange for information, using it to go to Morocco to see his girlfriend. He was arrested on his return in April 2016.

Boufassil's lawyer tried to use the MI5 claim to argue that he did not hold any allegiance to a particular terrorist group or cause.

The prosecuting lawyer said she could neither "confirm nor deny" the claims, and the judge ruled they could not be used in evidence.

Abrini was dubbed the "man in the hat" after his image was caught on security cameras before the Brussels attacks in March, which left 32 people dead.

He is in custody in Belgium, but is also suspected of providing support for the Paris attacks in November 2015, in which 130 people died.

Boufassil's trial heard that Abrini had told Belgian investigators how he was told by a cell in Syria to visit Britain and collect the money.

The cash was withdrawn from the bank account of an associate of Ahmed, Anwar Haddouchi, who had travelled to Syria to fight for ISIL.

French police on Monday arrested 11 people suspected of helping to arm the Islamist radical who crushed 86 people to death with a TRUCK in Nice, sources close to the investigation said.

Ten suspects, including one or more Albanians, were arrested in various parts of Nice and another was detained in the western city of Nantes, the sources said.

The victims from 19 different countries were watching a fireworks display on the Bastille Day public holiday. Over 400 people were injured.

The 11 people arrested Monday are believed to have been in contact with three people, including two Albanians, arrested in July and charged with supplying Bouhlel with an assault rifle and a pistol.

Bouhlel used the pistol in a firefight with police who shot him dead at the scene, ending his bloody rampage.

"They (the 11) did not necessarily know about the attack but they are part of a criminal milieu involved in arms smuggling," a source said, adding that the person arrested in Nantes had previously lived in Nice.

Under France's anti-terror laws, they can be held for four days before being brought before a magistrate to face charges or being released.

Six people have been charged so far over alleged links to the 31-year-old killer but investigators have yet to prove that any of them knew what he was planning.

ISIL moved quickly after the attack to claim Bouhlel as one of its followers.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/181615/spain-3-catalans-who-burned-kings-photos-arrested

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European Christian Groups Shine Light on Israeli Counter-Terrorism Expertise

DECEMBER 13, 2016

On December 8, in the heart of the European Union (EU) headquarters in Brussels, pro-Israel Christian organizations sought to convey practical advice from Israel to help Europe deal with its terror crisis.

Deputy Speaker of the Knesset MK Yehiel “Hilik” Bar (Labor) and Shuli Davidovich, deputy chief of the Israeli Mission to the EU and NATO, joined EU officials at a conference titled “Terrorism and Security: What the EU Can Learn from Israel.”

Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Bas Belder said he learned this lesson from Israel: “Try to tackle terror and prevent it in [their] backyard, and don’t wait until they come to your backyard.” The event was organized by the European Coalition for Israel (ECI) and the European Christian Political Movement, and drew 150 attendees.

Bar said that Israel’s response to the recent wave of stabbing attacks demonstrated that “the best weapon against [terrorism] is on the one hand providing hope, and on the other hand zero tolerance to terror.”

Terrorism on European soil, Bar said, is motivated by a global jihad movement. But Bar did not blame Islam as a whole, arguing that the majority of asylum-seekers from war-torn Muslim countries are peaceful people who are seeking a better life.

“The more refugees, for example, here in Europe who will see hope in their lives, who will see a bright future for their children, the less they will even consider joining terror,” he said. Bar and other speakers suggested outreach to moderate Muslim communities as one method for tackling terrorism.

“Tell them, ‘Do not be a player in the theater of terror,’” he said. “If you choose this way, you will lose.”

The conference proved to be less of a policy conference and more of a display of solidarity with Israel from within the EU, the 28-nation bloc whose shortcomings in the realm of support for the Jewish State were highlighted by Tomas Sandell, the founding director of ECI.

“The events of this year in Paris and Brussels and have made it perfectly clear that we in Europe face the same enemy that you face in Israel,” he said.

Sandell expressed dismay that the EU does not include Israeli cities when commemorating global terror attacks, and that EU officials do not publicly acknowledge Israel’s help in counter-terror cooperation and intelligence-sharing.

“There is an inconsistency I feel between European Union policies inside the EU and outside EU,” he said.

Yet positive steps have been taken, he said, such as last year’s appointment of Katharina von Schnurbein of Germany as the EU’s coordinator on combating antisemitism. At the conference, von Schnurbein spoke about the rise of antisemitic incidents in Europe and the need to examine Muslim antisemitism, while also building coalitions with moderate Muslims.

Incitement to violence is a criminal offense in the EU, and the EU has ramped up efforts to stop expressions of hatred on social media, she stressed.

“And no situation in the Middle East justifies terror or terrorists attack in Europe or elsewhere for that matter,” said von Schnurbein.

Sandell, however, expressed concern that the EU does not adequately monitor state funding of the Palestinian Authority (PA). He called on the EU to follow the UK’s lead in ensuring that funding for the PA is not funneled towards supporting terror against Jews. He also criticized the EU’s distinction between the “political” and “military” wings of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran.

Israel’s Davidovich tied the EU’s stance on Hezbollah to what she described as the bloc’s misguided support for the Iran nuclear DEAL. “Since the nuclear deal, [Iran] is doing its utmost to gain influence throughout the Middle East,” Davidovich said.

Rabbi Avi Tawil, director of the European Jewish Community Center in Brussels, expressed concern over the extremist ties of some Muslim organizations in Europe, but he still encouraged interfaith dialogue with moderate communities.

“They say the best way to defeat your enemy is to make him your friend,” he said, after describing his personal encounters with antisemitism in Brussels.

Some conference attendees, however, believed the gathering took an overly centrist stance and avoided hot-button issues. During the question-and-answer period, Charlotte Gutman, the Jewish non-profit World ORT’s representative to UNESCO, asked about the possibility that the influx of adult Muslim men into Europe is part of a larger strategy to “Islamize” Europe.

“The initiative [of this conference] is great. The Christians are our best friends. I have been working with them for years. Still, the content was very politically correct,” Gutman, who lives in Brussels, told JNS.org.

Full report at:

https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/12/13/european-christian-groups-shine-light-on-israeli-counter-terrorism-expertise/

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France accuses Russia of 'lying' about Syria

12 December 2016

France on Monday accused Russia of constantly lying over its role in Syria, saying it was claiming to battle ISIS group militants when it was only interested in backing Bashar al-Assad.

Another round of Russia-US talks on ending the bloody conflict made no progress at the weekend as the Syrian president’s forces closed in on the last pockets of rebel resistance in Syria’s second city, Aleppo.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the talks failed “because there is double-talk and a sort of permanent lie” on the part of Russia.

“On the one hand they say: let’s talk, let’s talk and get a cease-fire,” Ayrault said as he arrived for a regular meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Brussels.

“On the other hand, they continue the war and this war is a total war, aimed at saving Assad and capturing Aleppo,” he said.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/12/12/France-accuses-Russia-of-lying-about-Syria.html

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Pakistan

 

Certain elements have ‘distorted’ Islam’s image: Nawaz Sharif

December 12, 2016

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday said certain elements have “distorted” Islam’s image by spreading anarchy and bloodshed and appealed to religious scholars to play their role in elimination of root causes of extremism in the society. He was addressing the National Seerat Conference in Lahore, which was organised to celebrate the birth of Prophet Mohammad.

Sharif said Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance and “it is regrettable that certain elements have distorted this very image by spreading anarchy and bloodshed,” Radio Pakistan reported.

He pointed out that due to the efforts and sacrifices of the national leadership, religious scholars, armed forces and police, the hideouts of the terrorists have almost been eliminated.

“It is the responsibility of religious scholars to re-establish the link between Islam and peace by taking guidance from the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet,” he said.

Sharif said respect of humanity and human life is the inevitable part of Islamic teachings and the holy Prophet Mohammad laid the foundation of a society based on high moral values.

Quoting different incidents from the life of holy Prophet, the Prime Minister said the Prophet gave first written constitution in the form of Misaq-e-Madina and also the first charter of human rights in his last Hajj Sermon.

Sharif said that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Allama Muhammad Iqbal had envisioned Pakistan as a modern Islamic state.

The theme of the conference was “Interfaith harmony in light of the teaching of Islam and life of Prophet Mohammad” and it was attended by scholars belonging to different religions.

The objective of the Conference is to highlight the glorious teachings of the final messenger of Allah, Mohammad and disseminate the peace message of Islam all over the world.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/certain-elements-have-distorted-islams-image-nawaz-sharif-4423810/

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US ‘very concerned’ over Pakistan’s crackdown on Ahmadis

December 10, 2016

 By Ehsan Rehan

The U.S. Government criticized Pakistan on Friday for raiding the International Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim minority in Chenab Nagar (Rabwah).

Speaking at a press briefing, U.S. State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner commented:

“We are obviously very concerned about these reports [that] the Punjab counter-terrorism police have raided the international headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Rabwah and arrested 4 individuals for publishing literature.”

Responding to a question about Pakistan’s attack on Ahmadi Muslims and other minorities earlier in the day, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said:

“Countries are stronger when they respect human rights, when they respect decency and values of their own people.”

Earlier this week, Pakistan’s counter-terrorism department raided the Vatican-like Islamic city of Rabwah that houses the International Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. The security forces brutally assaulted Ahmadi workers during the raid and arrested 4 of them on charges of blasphemy. They later charged another 5 under Pakistan’s infamous anti-Ahmadiyya laws.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Toner also criticized Pakistan’s anti-Ahmadiyya laws:

“We have regularly noted our concerns about Pakistani laws that restrict peaceful religious expression, particularly by the Ahmadiyya community.”

Citing the State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report, Toner added:

“We believe such laws are inconsistent with Pakistan’s international obligations and we would urge the Government of Pakistan to protect religious freedom and basic rights of all members of its population, including religious minorities.”

Also on Friday, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom – the bi-partisan government watchdog — also condemned the “brutal raid.” Chairman Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S.J. remarked:

“USCIRF condemns the brutal raid on the Ahmadiyya offices, the first such raid since Pakistan amended its constitution 42 years ago, declaring that Ahmadis are ‘non-Muslims.’ These actions flow out of Pakistan’s constitution and penal code, both of which impede religious freedom as they prevent Ahmadis from exercising their faith and even calling themselves Muslim. Pakistan’s anti-terrorism law should not be applied to the peaceful Ahmadiyya community simply because they are Ahmadis.”

In 1989 and again in 2008, Pakistani authorities charged residents of Rabwah, including women and children, for committing blasphemy by putting up public lighting displays to celebrate their Community’s centenary anniversary.

Full report at:

https://www.rabwah.net/us-very-concerned-over-pakistans-crackdown-on-ahmadis/

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Omani ships dock at Karachi for joint exercise with Pakistan Navy

Dec 13, 2016

Two ships of the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) arrived in Karachi on Monday to conduct a bilateral naval exercise “Thamar Al Tayyab” with Pakistan Navy, which is the eighth in the series.

A Pakistan Navy statement said that upon arrival at Karachi Port, the visiting ships 'Rnov Al Sadh' and 'Rnov Al Bushra' were given a warm welcome by senior officials of Pakistan Navy at an impressive ceremony.

The exercise which comprises 'harbour' and 'sea' phases, is a regular feature between Pakistan and Omani naval forces.

The harbour phase is currently in progress and consists of various calls on, mutual exchange of visits to ships, table top discussions and harbour training serials as preparatory warm-up for sea phase.

The visit and joint exercises are aimed at improving interoperability for conducting combined maritime operations to ensure a stable maritime environment vital for economic stability and growth as well as ensuring peace and security in the region.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1302085/omani-ships-dock-at-karachi-for-joint-exercise-with-pakistan-navy

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AIOU plans to promote `Seerat-un-Nabi’

December 12, 2016

Islamabad - Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has evolved a plan to promote teachings of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) through academic pursuits.

This was announced by the University’s Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Shahid Siddiqui while addressing the concluding session of two-day International Seerat Conference arranged in a conncetion with Eid-Mild-un-Nabi. Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed was the chief guest on the occasion, who underlined the important role of educational institutions, teachers and Imams sensitizing and motivating the young generation to follow the righteous path, as enshrined in Quran and Sunnah.

Under the plan, Dr Shahid Siddiqui said students of MA, MPhil and PhD will be given an option to do specialized study on Seerat. International Seerat conference will be an annual feature. A special conference will also be arranged to focus on Hadith and their importance.

Besides this, an annual award will be given on best Seerat book and a special journal on Islamic Studies will be published soon. The University has already started series of lectures on `Seerat-un-Nabi’ with name of Khutbath-e-Islamabad. The conference was attended by number of scholars from home and abroad, who deliberated upon various aspects of Seerat-un-Nabi, through their research-based articles.

They called for establishing a society based on Islamic concept of social justice. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed announced that `Seerat Chair’ will be established soon at the country’s major Universities providing opportunity to the students to learn more about the life and sayings of the Holy prophet (PBUH). Strictly adhering to `Sunnat-e-Rasool’ is the only way out to overcome present-day socio-economic problems, said Leader of the House in the Senate, Senator Raja Zafarul Haq at the inaugural session.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/12-Dec-2016/aiou-plans-to-promote-seerat-un-nabi

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Holy Prophet (PBUH) best role model for humanity: NA speaker

December 12, 2016

Islamabad - Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said that the modern world can attain true peace by emulating the principles espoused by holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH).

He expressed these views in his message on the eve of Eid Milad-un-Nabi being commemorated throughout the Muslim world today.

He said that the life of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) is an excellent demonstration of truthfulness, balance, justice, coexistence and compassion.

While congratulating the entire Muslim Ummah on this auspicious day, the speaker said that Holy Prophet (PBUH) was a torch-bearer and blessing for the entire universe.

Underlining the impact of the life of the Holy Prophet, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq highlighted that Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) lifted humanity from the abyss of ignorance, reformed man’s ideals, accorded him an elevated status and injected vitality into the decadent social order.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq mentioned, “It is a matter of pride that we are the adherents of Muhammad’s (SAW) religion whose own life is embodiment of mercy and lofty moral ideals.”

He reiterated that the life of the Holy Prophet is a never ending stream of guidance for all humans in all walks of life.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/12-Dec-2016/holy-prophet-pbuh-best-role-model-for-humanity-na-speaker

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Southeast Asia

 

Some Muslims in Malaysia have flawed idea of fairness: Zaid Ibrahim

Dec 13, 2016

PETALING JAYA: Some Muslims have adopted a "flawed idea of fairness" as Malaysian laws allow non-Muslims to be converted into Islam but not the other way around, says Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

In pointing this out, the lawyer and former de facto law minister, said while it was easy for these Muslims to support another child's conversion to Islam, they were ignoring the Quranic teaching to empathise with the suffering of others.

"There are clear passages in the Quran enjoining us to feel the pain and misery of other human beings and to empathise and sympathise.

"Verse after verse demands that we love humankind and do justice to all, regardless of creed. Only those who do this will receive blessings from Allah," he said in a blog post yesterday.

Last week, Perlis passed amendments to the state's Administration of Islam Enact­­ment 2006, which requires only a single parent or guardian's consent to convert a child under the age of 18 to Islam.

To this, Zaid urged Perlis lawmakers who voted in favour to re-examine their moral priorities as they have caused suffering to non-Muslim parents.

He claimed the Malay assemblymen pro­bably thought that they were being "good Muslims" by facilitating the conversion of non-Muslim children to Islam by one parent, without thinking about the consequences to the other parent.

"They might think they are doing something a good Muslim should do but they are wrong.

"These Malays have lost the capacity to understand what is fair.

"How would they feel if (hypothetically) a non-Muslim parent could unilaterally convert a Muslim child to Hinduism or Christianity?

"They would cry - that's not fair. The whole country would be in turmoil," he said.

As such, Zaid urged all MPs to support the Government's proposed amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 to be tabled in March next year.

The Bill will put an end to the unilateral conversion of minors.

http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/some-muslims-malaysia-have-flawed-idea-fairness-zaid-ibrahim

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Governor of Indonesia capital breaks down as blasphemy trial begins

December 13, 2016

The minority Christian governor of Indonesia’s capital sobbed in court Tuesday on the first day of his trial for allegedly insulting the Quran as he recalled the role of Muslim godparents in his childhood and said he would never intentionally insult Islam. The national upheaval over the governor’s alleged blasphemy has challenged Indonesia’s reputation for practicing a moderate form of Islam, shaken the government and exposed religious and racial fault lines in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Watch: Gulmarg receives season's first snowfall

Protests against Governor Basuki ‘Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, led by hard-liners and which drew hundreds of thousands of people, have kept Jakarta, the capital, on edge in the past six weeks. A November 4 protest there turned violent, with one death and dozens of police and protesters injured.

Ahok, an ally of President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, faces up to five years in prison if found guilty. He is the first ethnic Chinese governor of Jakarta and the first Christian in more than half a century. “As a person who grew up among Muslims, it is not possible for me to intentionally insult Islam because that is the same as disrespecting the people I appreciate and love,” Ahok said.

He broke down in tears twice while making his statement, in which he talked about the affection of his godparents and remembered how he helped poor Indonesians perform the Hajj pilgrimage when he was a district chief a decade ago. The blasphemy controversy erupted in September when a video circulated online in which Ahok lightheartedly said that people were being deceived if they believed his detractors who asserted that the Quran prohibits Muslims from having a non-Muslim leader. He is seeking a second term as governor in elections due in February.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/governor-of-indonesia-capital-breaks-down-as-blasphemy-trial-begins-4424507/

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Take heed of conflicts in Muslim nations, says Sabah chief minister

December 12, 2016

BEAUFORT, Dec 12 — The ongoing conflicts in some Muslim nations should serve to remind the ummah on the need to preserve harmony and peace, said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

Opening the state-level Prophet Muhammad’s birthday celebration here today, he said countries that had been devastated by conflicts are wistfully longing for peace.

“What is the use when the damage has been done. The frenzy towards disunity, ignoring the values of brotherhood and taking ummah solidarity for granted, has resulted in strife, misery, destitution and destruction.

“Therefore, it is important for us to cherish and maintain the peace and harmony we enjoy at this moment,” he said at the celebration themed ‘Ukhwah Islamiah Asas Penyatuan Ummah’ here.

In addition to solidarity among Muslims, he said the bond of brotherhood with non-Muslims was equally important and should be preserved.

Accordingly, Musa called on Sabah Muslims to emulate the Prophet’s relations with non-Muslims through the Charter of Madinah which emphasised on preserving peace and cooperation among the communities of different race and religion.

“Sabah is unique because of its racial and religious diversity, a true example of harmony and unity,” he said.

He urged the people in Sabah to maintain harmony by avoiding animosity and jealousy, and not to be easily swayed by false accusations that divide the community.

Musa led 73 contingents involving 4,500 participants from various departments and agencies in a 3.5-kilometre procession at 7.30am from Dataran Pesta Bagandang to Dewan Sri Panglima Haji Mohd Dun Banir.

At the event, former Public Services Department deputy director Datuk Ismail Awang Besar, 72, was named as ‘Tokoh Lelaki Maulidur Rasul Negeri Sabah’ while Datin Norsuadah Basah, 63, who was a former Social Welfare assistant minister under the Berjaya government, was named ‘Tokoh Wanita’.

Ismail, who retired from the civil service 15 years ago, currently serves as Sabah Public Services Commission chairman and Sabah State Mosque chairman.

Norsuadah had previously been active in the United Sabah Islamic Association (USIA) and worked in Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) Sabah as programme producer before entering politics.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/take-conflicts-in-muslim-nations-as-lesson-says-sabah-chief-minister

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Sultan Muhammad V reveres Islam, respects religious intellectuals

December 13, 2016

KOTA BHARU, Dec 13 — Malaysia’s 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V is a king who extols Islam and reserves the highest position for it in his life.

Kelantan mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad said the king often turned to him in matters related to Islamic law.

“For example, the entertainment law under Kota Bharu-Bandar Raya Islam Municipal Council. Any show, game, entertainment cannot be held on Friday night.

“But the Chinese community want to hold (entertainment) on a Friday night so they seek permission from Sultan Muhammad V and he will not approve it until he has obtained the views of the Mufti Department,” he said in an interview with Bernama and Bernama News Channel (BNC) at his office at Balai Islam Lundang, here.

Aside from that, Mohamad Shukri said Sultan Muhammad V also has high regard for religious intellectuals such as mudir and ‘sekolah pondok’ headmasters which he expressed by conferring them awards and medals on his birthday.

“In fact, when there is time, he would have lunch at religious schools and I observe in my time as mufti, that there had never been any matter which he would not agree to once an opinion had been given,” he said.

On Sultan Muhammad V’s personality, Mohamad Shukri said he knew the Kelantan Sultan since the latter was 17 years old.

“As how the public knows him, the Kelantan Sultan is keen on learning in depth about Islam and would hold religious classes at least once a week during Maghrib and Isyak at Istana Negeri in Kubang Kerian, here.

“Aside from inviting a number of speakers such as almarhum Tuan Guru Haji Mohd Noor Ibrahim, almarhum Datuk Yusoff Zaky Yaacob and myself, he would ensure that every staff at the istana attends the discourses which often end with light refreshments after Isyak prayers,” he said.

Sultan Muhammad V has a special al-Quran teacher to accompany him in his journeys including to Europe to ensure that he does not forget to hold a congregation of prayer.

“He always invites me to perform umrah particularly on the last 10 days of Ramadan and he would celebrate Aidilfitri there.

“He also sponsors a group of five to six of his subjects every year to perform the haj and built the Masjid Al-Ismaili in Pasir Pekan, Tumpat and as endowment for his father Sultan Ismail Petra,” he said.

He said it was usual for Sultan Muhammad V to attend breaking of fast programmes and tarawih prayers with the people in the state.

“The Sultan is also an expert in the slaughter of cattle for sacrifice and would do it himself during Aidiladha, and distribute the meat to several areas in the state as charity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kelantan Syarie Chief Justice Datuk Daud Muhammad said Sultan Muhammad V would also study any Islamic law in Kelantan that is to be formulated.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/sultan-muhammad-v-reveres-islam-respects-religious-intellectuals

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Malaysia enthrones new king in lavish ceremony

December 13, 2016

Malaysia on Tuesday installed its 15th king, Sultan Muhammad V, a relatively youthful monarch known for his fondness for four-wheel driving and other extreme sports.

In a ceremony steeped in pomp and centuries of tradition, the 47-year-old Sultan, dressed in gold-coloured traditional Malay formal wear, took the oath of office in the national palace in Kuala Lumpur.

The ceremony, marked by honour guards and Islamic prayers, was televised nationally and attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak and hundreds of guests decked out in Islamic finery.

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Sultan Muhammad V, currently the ceremonial ruler of the conservative Islamic northern state of Kelantan, takes the national throne under the rotating monarchy in place since independence from Britain in 1957.

In a unique arrangement, the throne of the Muslim-majority country changes hands every five years between the rulers of the nine Malaysian states still headed by Islamic royalty.

Sultan Muhammad V studied at St Cross College at Oxford and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, according to official media.

He is known for a relaxed public persona, taking part in walkathons to promote health, and has been photographed wearing a baseball cap backwards.

The Sultan “fills his free time by reading and has an interest in extreme sports such as four-wheel drive expeditions and endurance challenges and shooting,” Bernama news agency said.

Despite the merely ceremonial role, Malaysia’s Islamic royalty command great respect, especially from Muslim Malays, the country’s majority group, and criticising them is strictly forbidden.

Full report at:

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/853240/malaysia-enthrones-new-king-in-lavish-ceremony-2

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North America

 

Samuel L Jackson calls Muslims 'the new black kids in America'

December 13, 2016

Samuel L Jackson has compared the discrimination Muslims now face in the US to that which African-Americans have, calling Muslim Americans “the new black kids in America”.

The actor was speaking about diversity in the film industry and in modern day America at the Dubai International Film Festival when he brought up the injustices that Muslims now face in his home country triggered by the rise of Islamophobia in the western world.

“Muslims are getting arrested like black kids get arrested, Muslim Americans are the new black kids in America,” he said according to the Hollywood Reporter. “Suspect as we are for the dominant culture, people don’t understand them. People perceive them as a threat before even saying hello. But the Muslim community is present in our country. They are a vital part of our country and interestingly enough they have less crime, more education and their businesses thrive more than any other group in the country.

“You tell people in the Rust Belt that, and they’re like, ‘Get out of here’.”

The Rust Belt refers to the region of the US which encompasses the MidWest states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana which are dubbed the term after its once powerful industrial sector. Many of the states are swing states and voted to elect Donald Trump in the recent election, a candidate who previously called for the banning of all Muslim immigration to the US.

Jackson, who found himself embroiled in "beef" with Mr Trump during the election campaign, said his agent would not allow him to answer any questions on the President-elect during the talk but he did say he is not surprised or confused by the result.

“I am a product of the segregated South,” he said. “I was a part of apartheid. There were things I couldn’t do. They inform who I am but not how I act.

“I understand something about my country that others don’t understand. Like what just happened during that election, I get it in another kind of way. I’m not confused or shocked by it. I get it, I lived in it during another time. I understand who those people are who want to make America great again.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/samuel-l-jackson-muslims-black-kids-america-us-dubai-film-festival-comments-racism-a7469691.html

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Outgoing attorney general urges American Muslims to have faith

By Abigail Hauslohner

December 13, 2016

Outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday urged Americans, and specifically American Muslims, to have faith, and to “persevere” in the face of “challenges in the years ahead”--even as they grapple with the highest rate of hate crimes since September 11, and growing concerns about the country’s new politics.

“I know that many Americans are wondering: are they in danger simply because of the way they look? Or the way they pray?,” Lynch said during an interfaith gathering at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Virginia. “I know that some are also wondering if the progress that we have made, at such a great cost, and over so many years, is in danger of sliding backwards.”

During her 30-minute speech, Lynch oscillated between praise for what the Justice Department and Americans writ large have accomplished in the field of civil rights, and acknowledgment of the “anxiety” and the “recent eruption of divisive rhetoric,” all without ever mentioning President-elect Donald Trump or his administration by name.

Muslims and other minority groups have voiced increasing concerns in recent weeks about their safety and legal rights under the future Trump administration. During his campaign, Trump said that he plans to implement a ban on Muslim immigrants or require them to register.

The FBI last month released statistics that showed a 67 percent jump in hate crimes against Muslims in 2015--the highest rise for any group—“and that’s not even this year,” Lynch said Monday.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that 2016 could be another record year, with Muslim activist groups and mosques reporting hate incidents on a near-daily basis. Vandals have spray-painted insults on the walls of mosques. Men and women have shouted taunts, and in some cases attacked Muslims or tried to remove women’s headscarves. Some of them have explicitly invoked Trump’s name.

Lynch will be leaving office next month when the Obama administration hands the reins of power to Trump. And if Trump’s nominee for Attorney General wins Congressional approval, Lynch, the country’s first black female Attorney General, stands to be replaced by Jeff Sessions, a white senator from Alabama, who is reported to have flirted with the Ku Klux Klan, and has voiced support for Trump’s proposed Muslim ban.

It’s unclear what, if any changes, Sessions would implement to the Justice Department’s ongoing lawsuits against local jurisdictions that it believes acted with bias when they denied Muslims permits to build mosques, or its prosecution of hate crimes perpetrators--both activities that Lynch touted on Monday.

It’s also unclear if the new administration will implement a Muslim “registry,” as Trump and some of his associates have called for. At least two of his advisors have suggested reinstating the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a program drafted after September 11 by a current Trump advisor, that mandated the registration of immigrants and visitors from “higher risk” countries, and which civil rights groups said unfairly targetted Muslims. Obama retired the program in 2011, but a separate interfaith group held a protest in downtown Washington on Monday to call on the president to dismantle any regulatory vestiges that could be used to rebuild the registry.

On Monday, Lynch likened the struggle of Muslims and other minority groups to the civil rights movement, and to the experiences of her father and grandfather, a North Carolina sharecropper.

“This has always been hard,” she told the gathering, which included Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and Sikh leaders.

“We face challenges that will require the Department of Justice to remain an active force for good in communities from coast to coast,” she said. “Our federal hate crimes laws are among the most powerful tools we have for creating a more just and more equal nation.”

“And career Justice Department prosecutors will continue to enforce them,” she said, to applause.

Lynch didn’t address any specific questions about the future. Nor did she address the concerns of some members of the Muslim and civil rights communities that Muslims and mosques are already the targets of extra scrutiny and entrapment schemes by the FBI—a claim that the FBI denies.

Lynch selected the ADAMS Center, which serves 25,000 people in the D.C. Metro area and is one of the largest mosques in the country, partly because of its “size and the partnership with the interfaith community,” a Justice Deparment official said.

Mosque leaders say they also have a close relationship with the FBI. The Center was the recipient earlier this year of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for its “leadership role in building partnerships between law enforcement and the Muslim community,” according to the Bureau.

Justice Department and FBI officials filled two rows of plastic chairs in the ADAMS Center gymnasium on Monday, listening a group of Muslim Boy and Girl Scouts--the latter in American flag headscarves--recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and as the mosque’s leaders, wearing American flag pins, spoke of Muslim veterans and the mosque’s own Gold Star family.

Muslim leaders who attended the event said they were satisfied with Lynch’s words. “She pretty much covered everything,” said Saleem Arif, the Center’s Scout leader and an IT programmer. “I trust our justice system. It’s not run by one person.”

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/outgoing-attorney-general-urges-perseverance-at-interfaith-gathering/2016/12/12/46b4c6e8-c0a7-11e6-afd9-f038f753dc29_story.html?utm_term=.8b4a770ba556

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Islamic Group Asks to Examine Official's Files in Denied-Mosque Case

DEC 12 2016

An Islamic society asked a federal judge Friday to compel a search of personal files belonging to members of a New Jersey township committee and planning board that the group is suing for denying an application to build a mosque.

The request comes after attorneys for the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge received documents revealing some Bernards Township officials named in its lawsuit used their personal email accounts to allegedly make statements showing animus or discrimination toward Muslims, according to a letter addressed to U.S. District Judge Lois. H. Goodman.

Those documents are part of evidence from the Justice Department, which filed its own federal lawsuit against Bernards Township last month. Both suits allege the township violated a religious land-use law when, after nearly four years of hearings, it disapproved a plan in January to construct a 4,252-square-foot mosque.

Bernards Township, which changed a zoning ordinance for houses of worship while the society's application was pending, has maintained it based its rejection on land-use considerations. The society, however, argues the township capitulated to anti-Muslim feelings in the community.

Bernards Township Mayor Carol M. Bianchi, who is also a defendant in the lawsuit, told NBC News in an email Sunday that attorneys were reviewing the Islamic society's court filings.

She added that township officials had no comment on their substance.

In April, attorneys for the Islamic society first asked township officials named in its complaint for emails, social media postings, texts, and instant messages relevant to the lawsuit, according to the letter. The request was part of the discovery process when attorneys from both sides share evidence with each other.

To date, the officials have refused to comply, saying they didn't use personal accounts or devices to conduct business, the letter said.

But the society's attorneys believe the Justice Department evidence proves otherwise, court papers said. They allege that those files from personal accounts contain "shocking statements that evidence [p]laintiffs' claims of discrimination."

On the personal email accounts of three township committee members, two of whom served on the planning board, was a November 2010 email chain that discussed excluding the society's president, Ali Chaudry, from a Sept. 11 commemoration event in Basking Ridge, according to court documents.

Chaudry previously served as the township's mayor.

Full report at:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/islamic-group-asks-examine-official-s-files-denied-mosque-case-n694871

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Suspect sought in stabbing near California mosque

December 13, 2016

SIMI VALLEY: Police in a Southern California suburb are still seeking a man suspected of a hate crime for stabbing a worshipper near a mosque, authorities said.

A man previously arrested, John Matteson, 29, was involved in the crime, but he was not the one who wielded the name and stabbed a worshipper from the Islamic Center of Simi Valley, police said Monday.

The two men approached a group of people who had just left the Islamic Center of Simi Valley late Saturday night and yelled slurs at them, police spokesman Sgt. Travis Coffey said.

That escalated to a physical fight when the suspect stabbed the man, whose injuries were not life-threatening, Coffey said.

It does not appear that the men had planned the attack, but had merely run across the group of Muslims.

"Our belief is they hadn't staked out the mosque at this point," Coffey told the Los Angeles Times. "It appears to be an opportunity crime."

The crime and the word that the stabber remains free caused concern in the area's Muslim community.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/13-Dec-2016/police-suspect-sought-in-stabbing-near-california-mosque

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Muslims Like Us is a wake-up call for Islamophobes everywhere

Jim White

12 DECEMBER 2016

Before it had even aired, Muslims Like Us (BBC Two) GENERATED the kind of publicity that television producers would give their next commission for. The format of pointing cameras at a group of 10 disparate Muslims brought together under one roof gained immediate notoriety for including in its cast one Abdul Haqq.

Haqq, formerly Anthony Small, had been a champion pugilist before he embraced a somewhat dogmatic interpretation of Islam, subsequently serving time in Belmarsh for, let’s just say, nefarious activities. Long before we had seen the programme, the BBC was widely chastised for providing a platform to a self-confessed terrorist sympathiser. One tabloid described it as a “Muslim Big Brother”.

However, from the moment Haqq walked into the Apprentice-style luxury rented accommodation and started handing out leaflets about how women should DRESS, it was obvious he was not going to get very far spreading his message among these housemates. What became immediately clear was that try as he might – and boy was he trying – his fellow Muslims found him nuttier than the fruitcake he doubtless regards as the food of Satan.

“This is so pathetic,” said housemate Saba, as Haqq refused her greeting with the observation that the Koran forbids him from shaking hands with a woman, “what he gives you is the illusion of knowledge. He’s bogged down in the literal interpretation of words.”

This was the fundamental (and fundamentalist) point. For most of the housemates, Islam was a background comfort in their lives, prayer an opportunity for contemplation. It was certainly not the excuse for fascistic intolerance. These were good folk no more likely to be swayed by Haqq’s dogmatic misreading of the Koran than would be the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Besides, what made Muslims Like Us so compelling was that Haqq was an oddball sideshow. What this programme did was shed LIGHT on a section of society systematically vilified for the actions of its Haqq-like loony fringe. Far more interesting were the doubts and dilemmas that faced the other housemates.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2016/12/12/muslims-like-us-wake-up-call-islamophobes-everywhere/

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U.S. Justice Department sues Virginia county for blocking mosque

Dec 12, 2016

A Virginia county has discriminated against a Muslim congregation on religious grounds by halting the group's plans to build a small mosque on its land, the U.S. Justice Department said in a lawsuit filed on Monday.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, alleges Culpeper County violated federal law when it refused in April to grant the Islamic Center of Culpeper's permit application for a sewage system on its land.

The Justice Department said in its lawsuit that the county's decision amounted to religious discrimination and imposed a "substantial burden" on the Islamic Center of Culpeper's exercise of religion and discriminated against its members based on religion. "The Constitution and federal law specifically protect the freedom of religious communities to establish houses of worship," Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

The lawsuit comes as Muslim and immigrant rights advocates voice concerns over religious discrimination in the United States after statements by President-elect Donald Trump about immigration and other issues. Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

Representatives for Culpeper County did not respond to requests for comment.

The Islamic Center of Culpeper said in a statement it had no immediate comment.

The Justice Department alleges the county violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, which prohibits religious discrimination and unjustified burdens on religion exercise.

Among other things, the department asks the federal court in Virginia to grant the Islamic Center approval to use its property as a place of worship.

In February, the Islamic Center of Culpeper filed a permit application for a pump and haul system - for soil not SUITED to septic or municipal sewer systems - to transport sewage from the Islamic Center's property to a disposal area.

The county's decision, according to the lawsuit, effectively prevented the group from building a small mosque on its land.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-virginia-islam-idUSKBN14205P

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South Asia

 

Afghan Air Force raid leaves 16 militants dead in Helmand

By KHAAMA PRESS - Tue Dec 13 2016

At least 16 militants were killed in an airstrike conducted in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Tuesday.

The airstrike was carried out in the restive Greshk district of Helmand province, MoD added.

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

This comes as at least 14 militants were killed and 11 others were seriously wounded in an airstrike conducted close to Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of southern Helmand province.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Monday that the airstrike was conducted in the past 24 hours but did not elaborate further.

Helmand is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in a number of its districts.

The group has launched numerous attacks in this province during the year with the local officials saying that the growing raids were aimed at establishing a council in this province.

However, the officials said the Afghan forces managed to repulse the Taliban attacks and thwarted their plans to shift some of their leadership council members to Helmand.

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-air-force-raid-leaves-16-militants-dead-in-helmand-02467

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Reprisals, Rape, and Children Burned Alive: Burma’s Rohingya Speak of Genocidal Terror

Dec. 12, 2016

Around 21,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh over the past two months, as Burmese forces launched what one U.N official says is “getting very close to what we would all agree are crimes against humanity.” TIME reports from the Bangladesh border, where the full horror is only just emerging

If the Naf River could talk, which horror story would it tell first?

The narrow waterway marks the border between Burma and Bangladesh. On its western bank is the Bangladeshi province of Chittagong. To the east, Burma’s Arakan state, also known as Rakhine, home to the Buddhist-majority country’s Rohingya people, a Muslim minority described over the years as stateless, friendless and forgotten.

But if the river could remember their stories, it might speak, for example, of the night in late November when Arafa, a 25-year-old Rohingya woman, entered its waters with her five children.

She used to have six. As she talks, sitting on the threshold of a hut in a makeshift refugee camp on the Bangladeshi side of the Naf, she is surrounded by her son and four young daughters. They are a lively bunch, noisy, restless, yet shy, hiding behind their mother’s back or running in and out of the hut, as she recounts what happened to her second son.

He was 8 years old. Sometime around Nov. 22, Arafa says her village was attacked by Burmese security forces. Viewed as illegal immigrants and denied citizenship rights by the Burmese state, the Rohingya have long faced intimidation, oppression and violence at the hands of both Buddhist extremists and the country’s security forces. The last major sectarian spasm was in 2012, when clashes between Arakanese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims displaced some 125,000 people. Rights activists accused security forces of either standing aside as the violence spread, or actively participating in it.

Read More: Aung San Suu Kyi Can’t, or Won’t, Rein In Burma’s Army

This time, Arafa says, the army’s assault felt different. The security men seemed more determined, more driven, to punish the Rohingya. Their weapon of choice was fire.

Arafa says that the military torched her village. As the flames engulfed her home, she just about managed to escape with her six children. That was when the family was confronted by a Burmese soldier. He snatched the fleeing 8-year-old, separating him from his brother and sisters, and flung him into the blaze.

In the chaos, Arafa lost sight of her husband. But she could not turn back; she had to leave him behind, leave her son’s charred body behind, and mourn on the move.

“I had to save my other children. We had to escape [from Burma],” she tells TIME. “They burned everything.”

For two days, Arafa and her children hid in the forests that skirt the riverbank on the Burmese side, laying low to avoid detection by troops, before boarding a rickety boat that took them to safety across the Naf.

A patrol of Bangladeshi Border Guards attempts to prevent Rohingya refugees from crossing into Bangladesh from Burma, on the banks of the Naf River, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on Nov. 22, 2016

They are not alone. Arafa’s family are among the estimated 21,000 Rohingya who have sought refuge in Bangladesh over the past two months, as Burmese forces launched what testimony from refugees, satellite imagery compiled by rights groups and leaked photos and videos from inside Arakan indicate is a horrifyingly bloody crackdown against the million-strong Muslim minority.

Burma Is Pursuing ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ of Rohingya Muslims, U.N. Official Says

Burmese authorities are carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s western Arakan state, a senior U.N. official said.

The latest troubles began in early October, when police said three border guard posts were attacked by Islamist militants. Nine policemen were killed, with the government saying the attackers belonged to an extremist group called Aqa Mul Mujahidin. A statement from the Burmese President’s office linked them to the Rohingya Solidarity Organization, a militant group long thought to be defunct. The only proof for these claims was the government’s word.

Full report at:

http://time.com/4596937/burma-myanmar-rohingya-bangladesh-refugees-crimes-against-humanity/

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Senior border police commander killed in East of Afghanistan

Dec 13 2016

A senior commander of the Afghan Border Police forces was killed in an explosion in eastern Kunar province.

Local officials confirmed the commander of the 3rd brigade of border police forces was killed late on Monday night in Dangam district.

Provincial police chief Juma Gul Hemat said a magnetic bomb planted in the VEHICLE of Gen. Wali Jan was detonated by the militants.

No group including the Taliban insurgents has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the insurgent groups frequently use Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as the weapon of their choice to target the Afghan security forces and the government officials.

However, in majority of such attacks the ordinary civilians are targeted as the militant groups are accused of causing the majority of the civilian casualties.

The  United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said late in October that the mission has documented 8,397 conflict-related civilian casualties (2,562 deaths and 5,835 injured) between 1 January and 30 September,  representing a one per cent decrease compared to the same period in 2015. Ground engagements remained the leading cause of civiliancasualties, followed by suicide and complex attacks, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/senior-border-police-commander-killed-in-east-of-afghanistan-02466

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ISIS commander among 4 killed in US airstrike in East of Afghanistan

Dec 13 2016

A commander of the loyalists of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group was killed in an airstrike conducted by the US forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

According to the local security officials, the airstrike was carried out in the restive Achin district, leaving the ISIS commander dead along with three other militants.

The officials further added that the drone strike was carried out in Abdul Khel district.

This comes as the local officials said Monday that seven loyalists of the terror group was killed in a similar airstrike in Haska Mina district.

 Earlier, a commander of the terror group who was actively recruiting for the terror group was killed during an operation in Khogyani district last week.

Both the Afghan and US forces conducted regular strikes against the loyalists of the terror group in this province.

The increased raids, usually involving drone strikes, by the US forces followed a broader role granted by the Obama administration earlier this year.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/isis-commander-among-4-killed-in-us-airstrike-in-east-of-afghanistan-02465

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Myanmar calls ASEAN talks over ‘Rohingya issue’

December 12, 2016

Myanmar has called an emergency ASEAN meeting to discuss the Rohingya crisis, a diplomat said today, as regional tensions deepen over a bloody military crackdown on the country's Muslim minority.

More than 20,000 Rohingya have flooded into Bangladesh over the past two months, fleeing a military campaign in Myanmar's western Rakhine state.

Their stories of mass rape and murder at the hands of security forces have galvanised protests in Muslim nations around the region, with Buddhist-majority Myanmar facing diplomatic pressure from its neighbours.

Last week Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak lashed out at Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi for allowing "genocide" on her watch, speaking before thousands of angry protesters in Kuala Lumpur.

Myanmar, which has vehemently denied the accusations, responded by angrily summoning Malaysia's ambassador and banning its workers from going to the country.

A diplomatic source in the Philippines confirmed Myanmar had invited them for an emergency ASEAN meeting to discuss "the Rohingya issue".

The source declined to give more details on the meeting, which the Nikkei reported would be held in Yangon on December 19. Myanmar officials could not be reached for comment.

The bloodshed presents the biggest challenge to Nobel Peace prize winner Suu Kyi since her party won the country's first democratic elections in a generation last year.

Last week the UN's special adviser on Myanmar criticised her handling of the crisis, saying it had "caused frustration locally and disappointment internationally".

Suu Kyi also held talks over Rakhine with the foreign minister of Indonesia, after cancelling a visit to the country in November following protests and an attempted attack on the Myanmar embassy.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/world/myanmar-calls-asean-talks-over-rohingya-issue-1329097

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China to continue opposing India’s NSG bid, UN ban on Masood Azhar

December 12, 2016

India’s diplomatic efforts to get China’s backing for NSG membership bid and getting JeM chief Masood Azhar designated as terrorist by the UN seems to be making no headway with Beijing on Monday saying its stand on the two key issues “remains unchanged”. “As for India’s application for Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and listing issue pursuant to resolution of 1267 (to list Masood as terrorist), China’s position remains unchanged,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing.

His assertion that China’s stand remains unchanged on both NSG and Azhar issues was made while answering a question on Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s remarks at an India-China think tank forum in New Delhi last week when he said China should not give a political colour to New Delhi’s efforts to access civilian nuclear technology.

Jaishankar had also expressed dismay over the two countries not being able to come together on the issue of “fundamentalist terrorism” at critical international forums, a reference to China blocking India’s bid to get Azhar banned by the UN.

China’s second ‘technical hold’ on Azhar’s banning in UN is due to expire at the end of this month and the two countries are in talks on both the NSG and Azhar issues.

Officials here are not clear about the complex process of the UN 1267 committee where China, a veto-wielding member, has blocked India’s application twice already, while the rest of the members supported it.

On Jaishankar’s remarks that China should respect each other’s legitimate aspirations, Geng said as major developing countries it is natural that two countries need not see eye to eye on every issue.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/china-says-no-change-in-stand-on-nsg-masood-azhar-issues-4423405/

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Mideast

 

Yemeni children suffering from all-time high malnutrition: UNICEF

Dec 12, 2016

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has warned that kids in Yemen are suffering from highest ever recorded rates of malnutrition amid scarcity of food supplies due to Saudi Arabia’s devastating military campaign against its southern neighbor.

UNICEF said in a report published on its website on Monday that nearly 2.2 million children in Yemen were acutely malnourished and needed urgent care, adding that most of them, around 1.7 million, were suffering from moderate acute malnutrition.

The UN agency said close to half a million children in Yemen were also grappling with severe acute malnutrition, adding that the figure showed a drastic increase of almost 200 percent, compared to what was recorded in 2014.

The report said the worst affected areas were located in the provinces of Hudaydah, Sa’ada, Ta'izz, Hajjah and Lahij, which together have the highest of all cases of severe acute malnutrition in Yemen.

The province of Sa’ada, located to the north of the capital, has the world’s highest stunting rates amongst children, with an unprecedented eight out of 10 children in some areas being chronically malnourished.

“Malnutrition in Yemen is at an all-time high and increasing,” said UNICEF’s envoy to Yemen, Meritxell Relano, adding, “The state of health of children in the Middle East’s poorest country has never been as catastrophic as it is today.”

Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, has been under Saudi Arabia’s attacks since March 2015. Riyadh’s military aggression, which has killed at least 11,400 people, has been meant to undermine the Ansarullah movement and bring back the resigned Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, to power.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/12/497586/Yemen-UNICEF-malnutrition-Saudi-Arabia-

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Iranian Ground Force Unveils 2 New DRONES IN Last Day of Drills

Dec 13, 2016

The two drones are capable of carrying out combat and reconnaissance missions. The combat drone can carry new home-made air-to-ground missiles. The reconnaissance, 'Oqab (Eagle)', enjoys 24 hours of flight durability.

Also, during the third and last day of the massive DRILLS, two Phantom and Mirage fighter jets flew over the drills zone in the Southeastern parts of the country.

The Phantom fighter jet was equipped with two 500-ton bombs fired at simulated enemy's targets.

The Iranian Ground Force had also on Monday unveiled a new drone named 'Farpad' during the 'Mohammad Rasoulallah (PBUH) 4' wargames.

The hand-launched drone is run by autopilot and can fly maximum 45 minutes to the range of 20km.

Also during the second day of the three-day drills, the Iranian Ground Force unveiled a jamming system which is capable of confronting UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (UAVs) in a range of 3km and can force it to land after taking its control. The system is also portable by individuals.

In another development in the wargames, the home-made Toufan missiles whose range and destruction and precision-striking power have been improved were fired by helicopters and hit simulated enemy's targets precisely.

Also, the latest sniper gun manufactured for the Iranian Ground Force, 'Taher', with a range of 1.2km was unveiled on Monday. The gun weighs 4.4kg (without scope and magazine) and is 1.28m in length.

Meantime, the 209 (Cobra) and 214 helicopters of the Iranian Ground Force's air force units fired several rockets at two floating targets in Makran region (in the Sea of Oman) and destroyed them.

Also, two Mirage fighter jets of the Iranian Air Force participated in the drills for the first time and used air-based weapons in operations against the simulated enemy.

The massive 'Mohammad Rasoulallah (PBUH) 4' wargames started in the Southeastern parts of the country on Sunday morning.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950923000236

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Turkish Army urges Syrians to seek safety as fighters push on Al-Bab

13 December 2016

ANKARA/ISTANBUL: The Turkish Army has dropped leaflets on the Daesh-held city of Al-Bab in Syria urging civilians to seek shelter, as opposition fighters backed by Turkish tanks and warplanes close in on the city.

The leaflets, dropped on the last urban stronghold of Daesh in the northern Aleppo countryside, suggest an imminent assault after hundreds of Arab and Turkmen fighters seized at least two villages west of Al-Bab last week.

“Dear people of Al-Bab, do not let the Daesh terrorist organization, which serves the devil, use you,” read the leaflet, which is written in Arabic, according to a statement from the Turkish armed forces on Monday.

“Help us, and bring your loved ones to safety as soon as possible, until we clean your land of these traitors. With God’s will, victory is near,” it said.

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Turkish-backed fighters had closed in on Al-Bab, in an advance that potentially pits them against both Kurdish fighters and forces allied to Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose front lines lie nearby.

The city is of strategic IMPORTANCE to Turkey, partly because Kurdish-dominated militias have also been trying to take it from the radical terrorists. Turkey is determined to prevent the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as a hostile force, from joining up cantons it controls along the Turkish border, fearing that would embolden Kurdish separatism at home.

In recent days, Turkey has ramped up its airstrikes in northern Syria as part of its almost four-month-old “Euphrates Shield” operation with the fighters, aiming to push the radicals and Kurdish militia fighters away from its border.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1023431/middle-east

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Turkey detains 235 over Kurdish militant links after Istanbul blasts

December 13, 2016

Turkey detained 235 people over alleged links to Kurdish militants in nationwide raids on Monday, two days after twin bombings killed 44 people and wounded about 150 outside an Istanbul soccer stadium.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu vowed those responsible for Saturday's attacks, claimed by an offshoot of the PKK militant group, would be "wiped from this geography".

"Our people expect us to defeat and eliminate this terrorist organization, which has attacked our nation for 40 years," Soylu said while paying a condolence visit to a riot police headquarters in Istanbul.

"We want everyone to know that they will not get anywhere by hiding behind political parties, behind politicians, behind those media outlets protecting them," Soylu said.

Most of those killed in the bomb blasts were riot police. Funerals were held for a second day on Monday, the victims' coffins draped in the Turkish flag. A cabinet meeting was postponed to enable government ministers to attend.

The PKK, which took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984 and is fighting for Kurdish autonomy, is deemed a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union, as well as by Turkey. Saturday's attack was one of the deadliest claimed by Kurdish militants for decades.

Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq, destroying a PKK headquarters and surrounding gun positions and shelters, an army statement said.

NATIONWIDE DETENTIONS

The interior ministry said Monday's detentions were made across 11 provinces from northwest to southeast Turkey and that the 235 people were held on charges of "spreading terror group propaganda" over social media and acting on behalf of the PKK.

Many of those detained were members of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), parliament's second-biggest opposition grouping, which President Tayyip Erdogan and the government accuse of links to the PKK.

In a statement on Sunday the HDP said it "harshly condemned" the Istanbul attacks and expressed condolences for the victims.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/13-Dec-2016/turkey-detains-235-over-kurdish-militant-links-after-istanbul-blasts

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Dozen countries to hold sit-ins in support of Palestinian inmates

Dec 13, 2016

People in at least a dozen countries are going to stage sit-ins in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails across the occupied territories.

Qadura Fares, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), on Monday listed the states as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, France, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Spain and the United States, explaining that the protests would take place on Tuesday on the occasion of the International Political Prisoners’ Day.

Fares added that the sit-ins are organized by the PPS and the Palestinian NGO Human Rights Defenders in coordination with local authorities in the respective countries.

Also on Monday, Israeli authorities had to release Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayid, who had been on hunger strike for 71 days to protest his so-called administrative detention. The 35-year-old Kayid, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), had been arrested in 2002 and spent 14 and a half years in Israeli jails.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/13/497640/Palestine-sitins-solidarity-prisoners

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Turkish fighter jet crashes near airport in Diyarbakir

Dec 12, 201

A Turkish warplane has crashed near an airport in the country’s southeastern city of Diyarbakir, security sources say.

The sources said the incident occurred on Monday, adding that the pilot survived after he had safely ejected from the plane.

The Turkish F-16 warplane had left a military air base in Diyarbakir for a training flight when it fell SHORTLY after take-off in a village nearby, according to Turkey's Dogan news agency.

Jets from the base regularly carry out airstrikes against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq.

Dogan said the pilot was in "good health" but had been taken to hospital after the crash.

There were no immediate reports as to why the fighter jet crashed. The army said in a statement that an investigation had started into the cause of the crash.

Sources also said commercial flights to Diyarbakir were being rerouted to nearby airports following the incident.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/12/497609/Turkish-warplane-crash-Diyarbakir-Kurdistan-Workers-Party

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Yemeni Army Takes Full Control of Southern Ma'rib Province

Dec 13, 2016

"The Yemeni army and popular forces in a SPECIAL operation took full control of the Southern part of Ma'rib province," Senior Ansarullah Commander Ali al-Houthi told FNA on Tuesday.    

Meantime, al-Houthi reiterated that a group of Saudi mercenaries backed by the Saudi air force attempted four times to make their way into al-Kasadeh heights in al-Bayda province, but were pushed back.

"The Yemeni forces killed and wounded several pro-Saudi mercenaries and forced others to flee the scene after heavy clashes," he added.

In relevant remarks on Sunday, a senior commander of the Yemeni popular committees warned that the Saudi-US coalition has hatched plots to take control of the oil-rich regions in the Western coasts of Yemen.

"The US seeks to take control of the countries' wealth and capacities under the pretext of fighting against terrorism and protecting the international maritime activities," Abdullah Hassan al-Qora told FNA.

He said that intelligence authorities have gained information saying that the Saudi-US coalition is transferring the US and Israel-made warfare EQUIPMENT and their mercenaries from other Yemeni provinces to the Western parts of the war-ravaged country.

"The Saudi-US coalition is seeking to increase military attacks against the Western coasts of Yemen in addition to sending fresh forces to those areas to disintegrate the country and take control of its oil and gas resources," al-Qora said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950923000481

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Turkish Source: Unknown Warplanes Attack Syrian Army Positions in Lattakia

Dec 12, 2016

"Unknown fighter jets targeted the Assad regime's positions at Syria Tel heights in Jabal al-Akrad region in Northern Lattakia," Mete Sohata Oglu, Turkish journalist who had earlier worked for CNN Turk and NTV channels, disclosed on Monday.

On November 24, the Turkish army launched heavy artillery fire on the Syrian army and its Desert Hawks forces in Northern and Northeastern Lattakia and pushed them back before they could strike a major victory and win control of Jeish al-Fatah's most IMPORTANT stronghold in the province.

Witnessing a massive disorganized escape of tens of terrorists towards their country's borders, the Turkish army forces deployed near the border with Lattakia province conducted a heavy shelling and rocket fire attack on the Syrian army positions in Navarah, Borj al-Hayat, Ain Issa and Heights 616.

The Syrian armed forces had made a major advance in Jabal al-Rae'i, Navarah and Borj al-Hayat but they were forced to retreat after facing the Turkish army's fierce artillery attacks. Minutes later, the terrorists returned again to the regions which had earlier been liberated by the army, battlefield reports said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950922001462

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India

 

India, Indonesia resolve to deepen coop to combat terror

December 12, 2016

India and Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, on Monday agreed to strengthen defence and security ties with a major focus on maritime space and deepen cooperation for effectively combating terror, its financing, money laundering and arms smuggling. In talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the two countries with impressive growth rates also decided to boost bilateral TRADE AND INVESTMENT, particularly in areas like oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, IT and skill development.

A joint statement issued after the talks said the two leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations in the strongest terms, emphasising “zero tolerance” for acts of terror.

Referring to the South China Sea disputes, where Indonesia is also a party, the two leaders called for resolving the issue through peaceful means and in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law including the UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea).

Emphasising on the need to improve connectivity and encourage people-to-people contact, the two leaders also welcome Garuda Indonesia’s decision to commence direct flights from Jakarta to Mumbai.

On combating terrorism, the joint statement said Modi and Widodo called upon all countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities, in an apparent reference to China blocking India’s move to get Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist by the UN.

The two leaders also asked all countries to work towards eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, besides stopping cross-border terrorism, seen as a message to Pakistan.

Modi and Widodo also underlined the need for all nations to deal with transnational terrorism emanating from their territory by effective criminal justice response while agreeing to extend bilateral cooperation to combating terror, organised crime, drugs and human trafficking, money laundering and arms smuggling.

In his media statement, Modi said the talks focused on the full range of bilateral cooperation and both sides agreed to prioritise defence and security cooperation, besides enhancing efforts to ensure safety and security of the sea lanes.

“As the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Indonesia stands for democracy, diversity, pluralism, and social harmony. These are also our values. Our nations and societies have nurtured strong bonds of commerce and culture throughout our history,” he said.

The Prime Minister said both sides agreed that early implementation of India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment, and finalisation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership would be important steps to further boost trade ties.

“To sustain the momentum of our partnership, President Widodo and I have directed for an early meeting of the existing ministerial-level mechanisms to carry forward the bilateral cooperation agenda,” he said.

The Indonesian President, on his first visit here, said there were detailed talks on ways to strengthen economic partnership, adding Indonesia wants to diversify exports to India.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-indonesia-resolve-to-deepen-coop-to-combat-terror-4423582/

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Warring Muslim groups in Kerala have joined forces to fight the government on Uniform Civil Code

Dec 13, 2016

The government’s revival of the debate on a Uniform Civil Code – a common set of laws governing marriage, divorce, succession and adoption that would replace various religious personal laws – has united warring Muslim religious organisations in Kerala.

Setting aside their ideological differences, at least for now, these groups have joined forces to defeat the Centre. The unity call – engineered by the political party, the Indian Union Muslim League – has even led to the merger of two rival Salafist factions that had parted ways 14 years ago.

The catalyst for the unlikely reunion was the National Law Commission’s questionnaire in October seeking public opinion on a Uniform Civil Code. The questionnaire tied in with the government’s affidavit in Supreme Court, filed the same month, seeking a ban on the Muslim practice of triple talaq, saying it “cannot be regarded as an essential or integral part of the religion”.

Muslims organisations, including the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, had vehemently opposed both actions then.

In November, the Kerala groups – including one Sunni faction, three Salafist outfits and the Jamaat-e-Islami – met in Kozhikode and resolved to boycott the questionnaire. They also decided to conduct a signature campaign against the government’s proposed move to bring in a Uniform Civil Code. “Lakhs of people participated in the campaign held in mosques in the first week of November,” said Indian Union Muslim League national secretary ET Mohammed Basheer.

Factions and rivalries

All five organisations that were part of the meeting in Kozhikode espouse divergent views on a host of theological matters, including some details of prayers.

The numerically strong Sunnis owe allegiance to two rival groups led by the late EK Aboobacker Musliyar and AP Aboobacker Musliyar, which are popularly known as the EK and AP factions, respectively. Both groups, in turn, oppose the ideologies of the Salafists and the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Factional feuds have wreaked havoc in the Salafist camp too. The parent outfit, the Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, suffered a vertical split in 2002, resulting in the formation of the TP Abdulla Koya Madani faction and the Hussain Madavoor faction. A third Salafist group, Wisdom Global Islamic Mission, is a more recent addition.

These rivalries have often resulted in violent confrontations – between rival Sunni factions and between Sunnis and Salafists – with many people losing their lives in the process.

A common cause

However, all of them have agreed to bury the hatchet, at least for the time being, to fight a common enemy.

“The Centre will listen to our demands only if we stand united,” said Professor Alikkutty Musliar, Islamic scholar and general secretary of the EK Sunni faction. “We will not allow the government to change Islamic Shariah.”

The biggest unification, perhaps, has been that of the Salafist factions, the TP Abdulla Koya Madani and Hussain Madavoor groups. They had so far resisted all attempts at a patch-up, including several made by the Indian Union Muslim League.

On December 6, in Kozhikode, Madani said the challenges facing the Muslim community at the moment, including the Uniform Civil Code, had acted as a catalyst for the merger. “Of course, the Centre’s plan to implement the Uniform Civil Code was a major cause for concern for all Muslims in India,” he said. “We will stand united in our fight against Uniform Civil Code.”

The Indian Union Muslim League’s ET Mohammed Basheer said only his party could have united the Muslim organisations. “The party was in the forefront of the agitation after the Supreme Court verdict in the Shah Bano case in 1985, which forced the government to enact the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act,” he said. “We will resume protests if the Narendra Modi government insists on implementing a Uniform Civil Code.”

The Shah Bano verdict was a landmark case in which the court had ruled in favour of alimony for the 62-year-old divorced mother of five. However, under pressure from Muslim organisations, the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government had enacted the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, which sought to restrict maintenance to Muslim women to a period of just three months after divorce.

Praising the Indian Union Muslim League for bringing together rival Muslim groups, CP Saleem, convenor of Wisdom Global Islamic Mission, said it was the late GM Banatwala, an MP of the party, who had presented a bill against the Shah Bano verdict in the Lok Sabha way back in 1985.

Problems persist

However, the reunion has not been smooth. In a setback for the Indian Union Muslim League, Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliyar, leader of the AP Sunni faction, did not attend the meeting in November. Party leader Basheer said he did not know the reason for Musliyar’s no-show, saying, “We had invited him for the meeting.”

It is believed that the reason for Musliyar’s absence was his reluctance to share a platform with Salafist and Jamaat leaders.

Soon after the meeting, Mujeeb Rahman Kinaloor, editor of Varthamanam, a newspaper owned by the Hussain Madavoor faction of the Salafists, wrote that Musliyar had sowed the seeds of the Sunni split in 1985 after some Sunni leaders had shared a dais with Salafist and Jamaat leaders. “Leaders of all Muslim organisations in Kerala had participated in a meeting when AIMPLB [All India Muslim Personal Law Board] leaders Abdul Hassan Ali Nadvi and Mujahidul Islam visited Kozhikode after the Shah Bano verdict in 1985,” he wrote. “However, Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliyar criticised the Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulema’s decision to share the dais with Salafist and Jamaat-e-Islami leaders. The rebellion resulted in Musliyar’s expulsion from the organisation.”

Though missing at the meeting, Musliyar later spoke at a public function of his support for the joint agitation against the government. “Uniform Civil Code would destroy the peaceful atmosphere in the country, where people belonging to different religions live amicably,” he said. “I hope that the prime minister will not take any step that might hurt religious sentiments.”

Full report at:

http://scroll.in/bulletins/39/how-indias-digital-revolution-is-changing-the-lives-of-talented-students-in-small-towns-and-villages

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Bangladesh Home Minister to celebrate Vijay Diwas in Kolkata

December 12, 2016

Led by Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, a 72-member delegation of war veterans and “Mukti Jodahas” (freedom fighters) from the neighbouring country will take part in Vijay Diwas celebrations at Fort William in Kolkata this Friday. Held annually to mark India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 liberation war on December 16, the celebration will begin on Monday with a military band concert at Princep Ghat, an Army officials said.

On December 14 and 15, a horse show, para jump and band display will be held at RCTC grounds while on December 16 the wreath laying ceremony will be at the historic Vijay Smarak memorial in Fort William.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/bangladesh-home-minister-to-celebrate-vijay-diwas-in-kolkata-4423702/

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Muslims observe Prophet Mohammad’s birth anniversary

December 12, 2016

Agartala (Tripura): Muslims took part in a religious procession at Indranagar, Jama-e-Masjid here on Monday to mark the birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad.

The Holy Prophet was born on the twelfth day of Rabee-ul-Awwal in 570 CE in Mecca.

Devotees in large numbers participated in the biggest congregation to spread the message of peace and development of their revered “Messenger of Allah”.

“We hope and pray for the development, peace and prosperity of the people of the state and so that we can stay together in this mix-cultured society,” said Md Abdul Hasem, a Muslim leader.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/muslims-observe-prophet-mohammads-birth-anniversary-1084486/

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Africa

 

Tinubu seeks final push against Boko Haram

December 13, 2016

ALL Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has called for a final push against Boko Haram members to bring their dastardly acts against innocent lives to an end.

He spoke yesterday in a statement felicitating with Muslims on the occasion of the Eid-el-Maulud Festival, birth of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

He urged the Muslim faithful to imbibe the virtues of Prophet Muhammed, which include love, peaceful coexistence and sacrifice and to support President Muhammadu Buhari as he tackles the nation’s problems, particularly the challenges posed by the economic recession.

Praying for the souls of the victims of the suicide bombings in Madagali, Adamawa State and Maiduguri Monday Market in Borno State, Tinubu said it was regrettable and hurtful to see hundreds of lives lost needlessly.

The statement reads: “I felicitate with Muslim faithful in the country on this occasion of Eid-el-Maulud Festival (Birth of Prophet Muhammed) (PBUH). I urge them to imbibe the virtues of Prophet Muhammed, among them love, peaceful co-existence and sacrifice, and to exhibit those attributes as we relate with one another.

“Let us also use the occasion to pray for the country and for President Muhammadu Buhari as he boldly confronts the challenges facing the country. The government needs our support, understanding and indeed sacrifice to end the present economic recession. Surely, there would be LIGHT at the end of the tunnel.

“I enjoin Muslims, indeed all Nigerians to be on the alert: pay particular attention to their security by being mindful of movements around them, being WATCHFUL of their surroundings and neighbours, by cooperating with and giving security men information when they suspect untoward developments.

“Boko Haram terrorists will be defeated as they engage in the antics of a drowning man. I salute and encourage our men and WOMEN in uniform not to relent. Nigerians are proud of their exploits.

“As we pray for the country and our troops for Boko Haram to come to an end, I call on our Muslim brothers and sisters across the country to also endeavour to get involved in providing support for the physically- displaced persons in the Northeast. This war will and must come to an end.

“I seek prayers for the souls of victims of the suicide bombings in Madagali, Adamawa State and Maiduguri Monday Market in Borno State. It is regrettable and hurtful to see hundreds of lives lost needlessly. These dastardly acts against innocent lives must be condemned and those behind it brought to justice. That is what we all should be about and united over – bringing these attacks to an end. On this, I stand united with President Buhari in his concerted effort to restore security to the Northeast and other parts of Nigeria.

“I wish all Muslim faithful happy Eid-el-Maulud celebration.”

http://thenationonlineng.net/eid-el-maulud-tinubu-seeks-final-push-boko-haram/

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Uganda: Kamoga Was Determined to Kill Sheikhs - Witness

10 DECEMBER 2016

By Juliet Kigongo

Kampala — A state witness on Thursday told court that remanded leader of the Tabliq Sect, Sheikh Yunus Kamoga, intimated to him that he was ready to kill someone rather than surrender his position as Kampala Amir.

The 22nd prosecution witness, Yasiin Kakomo, explained to the International Crimes Division of the High Court (ICD) that death vows by Sheikh Kamoga were a spillover of Muslim wrangles and disunity that happened in 2013, when a SECTION of Muslims called for the resignation of Kamoga as Kampala Amir.

Mr Kakomo, a preacher of Islam, added that following the factions that arose, he mediated to have the parties calm down but in vain with Sheikh Kamoga assuring him that he is ready to kill someone.

The witness informed court that Sheikh Kamoga asked him to talk to the late Sheikh Mustafar Bahiga, Ibrahim Hassan Kirya and Muhamood Kibate, whom he referred to as "hard people" to leave his Amir leadership.

"I was so surprised just after a month to hear that a Muslim in Bahiga's group was beaten and handcuffed. I went back to Sheikh Kamoga, who asked me to come back after a week saying he was disturbed by Bahiga's group which he was not going to tolerate," Mr Kakomo, who is also a trader in Masaka Town, told court.

"Kamoga told me that if it is to shed blood, I will kill them, they are joking even if it is during day time, I can kill," he added.

Court also heard that SHORTLY after the death of Sheikhs Bahiga and Kirya, Mr Kakomo began receiving threatening messages and calls.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201612120486.html

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Prayers solution to Nigeria’s woes, says Gov. Tambuwal

DECEMBER 12, 2016

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State says fervent prayers by Nigerians remain the only solution to the country’s woes. The governor made the remark in Sokoto on Monday at an event to celebrate Eid el-Maulud, the birth of Prophet Muhammad, organised by the state’s chapter of the Islamic  Shababul Qadiriya Movement. Represented  by the state’s Commissioner for ReligGov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State says fervent prayers by Nigerians remain the only solution to the country’s woes.ious Affairs, Alhaji Mani Katami, the governor said  “prayers should be intensified by all Nigerians, irrespective of religious, political or ethnic differences. “With prayers, Nigeria will soon overcome her challenges. “We should also continue to be our brothers’ keepers, be patriotic, love one another and accord TOP priority to the indivisibility, as well as the unity of the nation.” Tambuwal He also urged parents to continue to enrol their children to acquire both religious and western education. Tambuwal solicited the support of Nigerians to the ongoing anti-corruption fight by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that corruption was abhorred by both Islam and Christianity. The governor promised to accord TOP priority to education, as well as providing an enabling environment for Quranic schools to thrive. ”We will soon conduct a census of these schools to ascertain their number and know how to improve them,” he added. The Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Sambo Junaidu, said the event was organised to commemorate the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him. Junaidu also said it was  to reflect on the prophet’s virtuous life, with a VIEW to emulating his sterling qualities of humility, piety and generosity, among others. The Guest Speaker, Sheikh Abdulgafar Kabara, the Kano State Justice Commissioner, commended Tambuwal for the sustained cordial relationship with the movement. The Chairman of the movement in Sokoto State, Malam Ahmad Abdullahi and several other speakers urged the Muslim Ummah to live their lives according to Islamic injunctions.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/12/prayers-solution-nigerias-woes-says-gov-tambuwal/

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Somalia: Car bomb kills many in Mogadishu

11th Dec 2016

By Mohammed Dhaysane

MOGADISHU, (AA): Several are feared dead after a CAR bomb targeted the seaport in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Sunday morning.

Abdifatah Omar Hallane, Banadir regional administration spokesman, confirmed to Anadolu Agency that the blast was caused by a car bomb.

“It is too early to know how money people were killed or wounded, but I can confirm the type of blast which was a car bomb,” Hallane said

Abdirahmaan Mo’alim Abshir, an eyewitness who was at the scene, told Anadolu Agency over the PHONE that he had seen six lifeless bodies.

“I was at the seaport entrance when the car exploded. I saw at least six dead bodies including WOMEN. After the blast, Somali security forces arrived the scene,” Abshir Said.

The Mogadishu seaport — the largest in the country — is managed by the Turkish company Albayrak.

Full report at:

http://muslimnews.co.uk/news/campaign-on-terror/somalia-car-bomb-kills-many-mogadishu/

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Tanzania: No Rights Abuses in War On Terror - PM

13 DECEMBER 2016

By Louis Kolumbia

Dar es Salaam — The government yesterday assured the public that people's rights won't be violated in the course of implementing anti-terrorism laws and that investigators will treat suspects as innocent until they are proven guilty through due legal process.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said at the Maulid Baraza yesterday in Shelui Township in Iramba District, Singida Region that it was only police investigations that can determine persons to be prosecuted and those who shouldn't.

Earlier in his sermon, the secretary general of the National Muslim Council of Tanzania (Bakwata), Sheikh Suleiman Lolila, asked Mr Majaliwa to form a committee involving religious leaders to address the allegations of the mistreatment of innocent people routinely arrested over alleged links with terror attacks that have been taking place in the country in recent years. He noted that this amounted to slapping trumped up charges against innocent civilians.

He said Bakwata believes justice should take its course with regard to people arrested for whatever reason and pleaded with the government to speed up investigations of cases and set free innocent Tanzanians who have been locked up for long time.

"The word 'terrorism' is sometimes used to suppress the rights of people because it has been associated with Islam. We strongly condemn this unfair association of terrorism with the religion because Islam doesn't advocate violence and the killings; Islam supports unity, peace and security" he said.

Mr Majaliwa responded by maintaining that the government was not ready to see any Tanzanian spend a single night in jail on the basis of "trumped-up" charges

"The crackdown on dishonest and undisciplined civil servants is meant to put an end to things like cooking up cases against innocent citizens. The government isn't ready to see even one innocent citizen spending a night in custody over cooked up cases" said the Premier. Some of the "terrorist" incidents that took place this year included the Mwanza attack earlier this year in which three people, including an imam, Sheikh Ferouz Ismail, were hacked to death after armed men stormed a mosque when people were praying.

Another incident took place at the Amboni Caves on the outskirts of Tanga this year, where four suspects were gunned down and four others arrested, during shootouts pitting police officers against gunmen.

And then at another village in Tanga, there were midnight killings earlier this year, involving eight men whose throats were by slit. Police reports suggested that some of the victims were taken from three houses in the area.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201612130043.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/prophet’s-birthday-celebration-‘sinful’/d/109366

 

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