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Islamic World News ( 27 Feb 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

‘School Syllabus Needs To Be Purged Of Extremist Content’: Activists and Parliamentarians

 

 

 

 

 

Kishwar Naheed speaks at the conference on Friday. Activist Tahira Abdullah is also seen. — White Star

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan

‘School Syllabus Needs To Be Purged Of Extremist Content’: Activists and Parliamentarians

Islamic State can become potent force in Pakistan: scholar

Alleged IS wall chalking in Sector H-9 of Islamabad

Pakistan Ulema Council to hold int’l conference of scholars

‘Pakistan’s domestic dilemmas are linked to international

Nanga Parbat ‘attackers’ break prison; 2 other fugitives killed

DJ told to probe harassment charge in ‘staged’ encounter case

 

South Asia

10,000 Protest In Malé, Call for President Yameen’s Resignation

13 Taliban Killed, 12 Arrested In Police Operations

Militant den busted, arms, explosives seized in Bangladesh

Bangladeshi Blogger Hacked To Death by Extremists, Ansar Bangla 7 Claims Responsibility

After escape from Pakistan, Christian family hides in Bangkok

Bangladesh FM: Khaleda Zia trying to start a civil war

 

Arab World

Dozens of Jihadis Fighting In Syria Using the Name ‘Al-Britani’

Double Bombing Kills 9 People in Iraq

Iraq: Dozens of Isil Terrorists Killed In Anbar

Car Bomb near Syrian Capital Kills 12, Injures Dozens

ISIS fighters attack Samarra ahead of army offensive

Syrian Army Retakes 5 Villages from ISIL in Hasaka

Kurdish forces capture key IS Syria bastion: Monitor

Arab League: ISIS destruction of Iraqi heritage ‘odious crime’

Counselling helps 2,950 extremists mend ways

Saudi man sentenced to death for apostasy

 

North America

Canada Worried As Growing Number of Youths Join Jihad

India must take the call on joining anti-IS coalition: U.S.

U.S. sets out 'bottom lines' for Iran nuclear deal

U.S. denies pressuring Iraq on Mosul offensive

Training of Syrian rebels to begin ‘in weeks’: U.S. military

U.S. concerned over ‘deteriorating rights’ in Turkey

 

Mideast

Turkish-Style Presidential System Needed, Erdoğan Repeats

Iranian Assyrians Blast West For Keeping Mum on ISIL Crimes

Drone raid kills three Qaeda militants in Yemen: Tribe

Turkey voices support for Austrian Muslims

Former Mossad chief calls for Netanyahu’s ouster in next elections

No Umrah for sealed Gazans

IPI Turkey to act against defamation lawsuits against journalists

 

Southeast Asia

Why Sudden Interest in Muslim Unity, Dap Asks Umno

PKR Low-Key On Hudud For Fear Of Muslim Sentiments

Indonesian Bishops, Migrant Activists Reject Death Penalty

Peaceful protests legal but cops abusing law against pro-Anwar rallies, say lawyers

 

Europe

Cameron Defends Security Services After Media Unmask 'Jihadi John'

Assad Has No Role In Syria's Future: Britain, France

German police warn of potential Islamic extremist threat

EU says hands are tied on Libyan human rights violations

U.N. Security Council slams ISIS barbarity in Iraq

Twitter suggests ‘edible’ ISIS #FoodTour targets

UN condemns Bangladeshi blogger Avijit murder

Peace in Afghanistan: Top UN official acknowledges Pakistan’s pivotal role

 ‘Jihadi John’: quiet football fan who developed thirst for war

 

Africa

Libya’s PM Says Turkey Supplying Weapons To Rival Tripoli Group

Tunisia to get 8 Black Hawks for fight against militants

FM: Some 5,000 foreign fighters present in Libya

Ban Reiterates Condemnation of Boko Haram Attacks, Urges Efforts to Combat Terrorist

India

Delhi Entrepreneur Launches App to Unite Pakistan and India

Two Hizbul militants killed in encounter in South Kashmir

Six acquitted in post-Godhra riots case

Encounter breaks out between security forces, militants in Pulwama District

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/‘school-syllabus-needs-to-be-purged-of-extremist-content’--activists-and-parliamentarians/d/101758

 

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Pakistan

 

‘School Syllabus Needs To Be Purged Of Extremist Content’: Activists and Parliamentarians

February 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Social activists and parliamentarians on Friday called for purging the school syllabus of extremist contents.

The speakers from various political and social backgrounds and religions demanded the government eradicate extremism from the educational system.

The speakers at the national caucus, ‘Quota issues and resource reservation for non-Muslim communities in Pakistan’, called for making ‘Ethics’ as a compulsory subject for all students.

At present, the subject is being taught to non-Muslim students in place of Islamic Studies.

Asia Nasir, a JUI-F MNA, said there was political discrimination in the past as a result “we lost a part of the country on December 16, 1971.

Then there was radicalisation of the education system and we faced the gruesome school attack in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.”

She said Pakistan was made by the minorities of South Asia as they feared that the majority community was not fair with them.

“But now they are facing the same situation in Pakistan,” the Christian MNA from the JUI-F added.

PTI minority MPA, Shanila Rooth, said reforms were needed in the educational system.

“There is a law under which only Muslims can get admission to the Punjab Vocational Training Council Institutes,” she said.

She said non-Muslims had been kept out of the 170 technical training centres because they were run through the Zakat fund. However, the centres also received foreign, mainly European, funding, she added.

“There was a time when Christians in Pakistan were seen as an educated segment of society but now their status has been reduced to sanitary workers,” Ms Rooth said.

Eminent poet Kishwar Naheed said Pakistani society was not a bunch of radicals.

“With or without niqab, all of us are part of this society,” she said.

She said there was a need to look into the school books, as Islamic Studies and social studies are almost the same.

“These teachings were leading towards making suicide bombers,” she added.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166410/school-syllabus-needs-to-be-purged-of-extremist-content

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Islamic State can become potent force in Pakistan: scholar

February 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: South Asians will play a minimal role in the Iraq and Syria wars on either side of the divide, said Arif C Rafiq, an adjunct scholar at the Middle East Institute, Washington DC.

The expert, who has recently published a author of 144-page study titled Sunni Deobandi-Shi’i Sectarian Violence in Pakistan, observed the South Asia Muslims in Europe may be seen playing active role in the IS or Daesh. “Iran mainly uses Hazara Shias from Afghanistan and Pakistan as cannon fodder to serve on their front lines (against the Daesh). Some Pakistani Shias have taken part in the fighting in Iraq and Syria in response to the destruction of Shia shrines,” the MEI scholar said.

He told Daily Times that the Islamic State has the potential to become a potent force in Pakistan but its presence in the region has been quite limited. “The growth of IS could result in a greater emphasis on anti-Shia terrorism. And, as a reaction to this, we may see a further radicalization of the Shia,” said Arif. The scholar observed that the political establishments in Salafi Persian Gulf states see IS as a threat to their existence. “But they are not opposed to supporting Sunni jihadist groups, including ones that are anti-Shia. Iran, meanwhile, has strengthened its support for Shia militants in Iraq, Syria, and, to a lesser extent, Pakistan.”

The president of Vizier Consulting, LLC explain that the difference in their behaviour stems less from intent than capabilities. “Iran has the military capability to provide trainers and Special Forces. Iran’s Salafi Arab rivals are yet to be able to provide those services on a significant scale.” Speaking about the sectarian trends, he said, the Nawaz Sharif government has partnered with the anti-Shia Sipah-e Sahaba Pakistan in elections and other arenas besides usingd the SSP’s then-leader Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi to negotiate with the Pakistani Taliban.

“The SSP is a banned organization but operates freely in Punjab and, in fact, across Pakistan.” Arif Rafiq observed that Nawaz would have to bring hard-line Sunni Deobandi and Shia leaders together and get them to agree to a code of conduct to help reduce sectarian incitement across the country. “More important than the madrasas are these broader organizational networks, like the SSP, that radicalize people through public speeches, rallies, and the Internet. They are indirectly legitimized by a state that looks away at their hate speech and directly legitimized by a state that makes electoral and other deals with them,” the US-based scholar told replying to a question.

To a question, Arif said Pakistan’s religious seminaries are painted with a broad brush in the country’s English-language media and in the foreign press. He noted there are some innovative institutions, such as private schools that offer a fusion of the Cambridge and the traditional Islamic Dars-e Nizami systems. However, he agreed that select religious seminaries produce sectarian agitators and anti-state terrorists. “There are some seminaries that have produced a disproportionate number of militants for the anti-state Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan as well as the anti-Shia Sipah-e Sahaba Pakistan. These are bad apples among Pakistanis thousands of seminaries.”

In 2011, Rafiq was listed by Foreign Policy magazine as among the top 100 foreign policy Twitter users. To a question about trend in sectarian violence and his recent in-depth study, he said, “Between 2007 and 2013, violence between Sunni sub-sect known as the Deobandis and Shias rose significantly.” “The anti-Shia Sipah-e Sahaba Pakistan group has come out in support of the beleaguered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while groups from the Shia as well as Barelvi Sunni sub-sect took part in rallies against him,” he detailed. Sectarianism, a long-term challenge in Pakistan, is resolvable, he said adding that it “requires the country’s political leaders to stand up for inter-sectarian unity and isolate agitators and terrorists who seek to deepen sectarian enmity.” Arif Rafiq pointed to the future of Afghanistan as a major question mark for Pakistan’s internal stability.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/28-Feb-2015/islamic-state-can-become-potent-force-in-pakistan-scholar

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Alleged IS wall chalking in Sector H-9 of Islamabad

February 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Sector H-9 was in the spotlight on Friday after rumours spread that some people had written slogans in support of self-styled Islamic State (IS).

According to police sources, the slogans were written on the wall of an educational institution located near Excise and Taxation Office.

An official of Industrial Area police station, requesting anonymity, said people had contacted the police station, asking about slogans written in favour of the IS.

“At around 8pm an Anti-Terrorist Squad official came to the police station and asked about the wall-chalking,” he added.

However SHO Fayaz Shinwari told Dawn: “No one came to my office to inquire after the IS wall chalking nor am I aware of any one writing slogans in support of IS in the limits of Industrial Area police station.”

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166426/alleged-is-wall-chalking-in-h-9

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Pakistan Ulema Council to hold int’l conference of scholars

February 28, 2015

LAHORE: Pakistan Ulema Council has decided to call an international Ulema conference of scholars from South Asian countries as well as Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to form a joint strategy on the current situation of the Islamic world; publication of blasphemous caricatures and increasing inclination of the Muslim youth towards extremism.

PUC Central Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Ashrafi told this while talking to the journalists on Friday. He said the conference was being scheduled in the last week of April. Ashrafi said the peace is the need of the world and added that Islam is a religion of peace and security. He urged the Muslim leaders to form a joint strategy to spread the Islamic message of peace and for guidance of the Muslim umma. The PUC, he said, had contacted Muslim scholars of South Asian countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey and it would be endeavoured that the religious sections play its role for peace in the region and world.

To a question, Ashrafi said the solution of Afghanistan issue was a responsibility of the Afghan groups, adding the Pakistani Ulema Council could only appeal all groups including Taliban to initiate dialogue and make it successful for the future of the country and peace of the region. Afghan Taliban, he said, would also be invited like the representatives of religious organisations of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India. “The PUC will discuss the issue with the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan,” he added.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/28-Feb-2015/puc-to-hold-int-l-conference-of-scholars

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‘Pakistan’s domestic dilemmas are linked to international

February 28, 2015

KARACHI: In the post cold war world, military dominance in Pakistan is more of a liability than an asset, said noted historian Ayesha Jalal while presenting salient features of her book The Struggle for Pakistan at the Mohatta Palace Museum on Friday evening.

Ms Jalal said her work attempted to tackle the contemporary narratives on Pakistan that existed at the international level, the narratives that suggested that Pakistan was a mistake, a failed state and an irrelevant state. Narratives such as these tended to flatten out Pakistan’s history, only taking present perspectives into account. Her book was an attempt to contest such narratives, she said.

Referring to her earlier work, her second book, she said sources available to her in 1980 revealed that the effects of the cold war had to do with the state of martial rule in Pakistan, and she stood by her research. Military dominance was the enduring feature of Pakistan in the country’s post-colonial history. She said her research was built upon not just opening up of archives but also revisiting literature written at the time of partition, including Saadat Hasan Manto’s stories.

Speaking on the points of analysis in her book, Ms Jalal first touched upon the topic of why Pakistan was created. She said it’s generally considered that religion was the main impetus for the creation of the country; though it may be true, it’s too loosely explained in history and little understood. In 1947, Muslims were divided into two hostile states, and a third came into being in 1971. Another generally considered notion was that the rot started with M.A. Jinnah’s death and Pakistan lost its moorings, but Gandhi had also died.

She argued that the military rise to dominance should be understood in the context of challenges of the cold war. Pakistan’s domestic dilemmas were inextricably linked to international conflicts, she said, and alluding to the dismemberment of East Pakistan mentioned that she was not fond of using the word ‘inevitable’ because “human beings make choices”.

Full repost at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166378/pakistans-domestic-dilemmas-are-linked-to-international

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Nanga Parbat ‘attackers’ break prison; 2 other fugitives killed

February 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Two suspected militants facing trial for the massacre of 10 foreign climbers two years ago escaped from jail, while two other prisoners were shot and killed in the jailbreak in Gilgit early on Friday morning, an official said

The 2013 killing of the climbers and their local guide in a pre-dawn attack on their base camp on Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world, dealt a severe blow to Pakistan’s mountaineering tourism industry.

The four had dug a tunnel from their barracks to the wall of the prison, another jail official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to talk to the media.

The two who escaped were among about a dozen suspected Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants jailed while on trial for the Nanga Parbat massacre, said Sultan Faisal, the prison’s deputy inspector general.

Full repost at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/28-Feb-2015/nanga-parbat-attackers-break-prison-2-other-fugitives-killed

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DJ told to probe harassment charge in ‘staged’ encounter case

February 28, 2015

KARACHI: While throwing out the appeal of SHO Ismail Lashari against the order of the Sindh High Court for registration of a murder case against him for killing a 17-year-old boy in a fake encounter, the Supreme Court on Friday categorically warned Malir SSP Rao Anwar that he would be held responsible if any harm came either to the victim’s father or his family.

SHO Lashari, who along with other police officials was booked for killing Anisur Rahman Soomro on the SHC’s order on the petition of victim’s father, Anwar Soomro, had moved the apex court against the registration of the murder case against him by arguing that he was not heard by the high court.

Full repost at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166373/dj-told-to-probe-harassment-charge-in-staged-encounter-case

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South Asia

 

10,000 protest in Malé, call for President Yameen’s resignation

February 28, 2015

Thousands of opposition supporters marched through Malé calling on President Abdulla Yameen to resign and free “political prisoners.”

Approximately 10,000 people are estimated to have attended the rally organized by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Jumhooree Party (JP).

Protesters carried national flags and placards calling for former President Mohamed Nasheed, former Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim and MDP MP Ali Azim’s release.

Nasheed and Nazim are currently in police custody until a verdict is delivered in two separate trials on terrorism charges. Azim was arrested during a protest last week, with police alleging he tested positive for drugs.

While leaders from both parties have insisted in recent days that toppling the government was not the purpose of the mass rally, MDP Chairperson Ali Waheed Ali suggested at a march on February 20 that the demonstration would usher in “a second February 7,” referring to the day when former President Mohamed Nasheed resigned in the wake of a police and army mutiny.

Full repost at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/live-blog-mdp-jp-mass-protest-underway-93007

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13 Taliban killed, 12 arrested in police operations

Feb 28 2015

13 Taliban insurgents have been killed and 12 others arrested during clearance operations in past 24 hours, a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior on Saturday morning states.

The statement further adds that one insurgent was also wounded during confrontation with Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

According to the statement, the operations were conducted in Uruzgan, Zabul, Helmand Ghazni, Herat and Parwan provinces where Afghan National Police was also supported by Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

Also, on Thursday night, two Taliban insurgents were killed and two others wounded after the rocket they wanted to fire at their target exploded on them.

Nabiullah Perkhil, spokesman for the provincial governor of Paktika province has confirmed the incident.

He said that the incident took place in Sharmadkhil area of Barmal Distrit on Thursday night.

Taliban have not commented on the report at this time.

Azizullah Amiri from Paktika contributed to this story.

http://www.khaama.com/13-taliban-killed-12-arrested-in-police-operations-29118

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Militant den busted, arms, explosives seized in Bangladesh

February 28, 2015

The members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have busted a militants' den in Bashundhara Residential Area of the port city's Halishahar and seized firearms, ammunitions and bomb-making materials.

RAB7 Commanding Officer Lt Col Mista Uddin told the Dhaka Tribune: “Acting on a tip-off, the RAB members raided the first floor of a five-storied building in the residential area and arrested three militants.”

“We have seized 30 grenades along with a huge cache of firearms, ammunitions and explosive materials from their possession. We are estimating that some 300-400 bombs could be made, using the explosive.”

Benazir Ahmed, the newly appointed RAB director general, will arrive in the city around 12 noon and briefed the media over the recovery of firearms and explosives, said the official.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/crime/2015/feb/28/militant-den-busted-arms-explosive-seized#sthash.QQma8npT.dpuf

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Bangladeshi Blogger Hacked To Death by Extremists, Ansar Bangla 7 Claims Responsibility

February 28, 2015

“Aamra shokahoto. Kintu Aamra Aparajito (We are mourning, but we are undefeated).” These few words, written against a black background, on the homepage of Mukta-mona.com on Friday evening said it all. The popular blog’s founder, Avijit Roy, was hacked to death by suspected Islamic extremists on the streets of Dhaka Thursday night. His wife Rafida Ahmed Banna was injured seriously in the attack, her fingers were severed.

Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was in Dhaka for the launch of two of his latest books at a book fair. His friends said he was expected to leave for Kolkata on Friday.

Around 9 pm on Thursday, Roy and Rafida were returning from the book fair when they were attacked by a group wielding sharp weapons. Roy died around 10.30 pm as he was being taken to a government hospital. Doctors said there were three deep gashes on Roy’s head, caused possibly by a machete.

Ansar Bangla 7, a Twitter account believed to be operated by Islamic extremists, tweeted that the “anti-Islamic” blogger was assassinated due to his “crime against Islam”.

An atheist, Roy wrote blogs like the recent “Does the Quran have any scientific miracles”. He had authored 10 books, including the famous Bishwasher Virus (Virus of Faith), which took on religious extremism. His website was down the entire day, before it was up again in the evening.

Full repost at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/neighbours/unidentified-attackers-hack-us-blogger-to-death-in-dhaka/99/

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After escape from Pakistan, Christian family hides in Bangkok

February 28, 2015

BANGKOK: They were a middle-class family in Pakistan, living in a comfortable three-bedroom apartment with a modern kitchen and a PlayStation for the three kids.

Fluent in English, the father ran his own moving company while the mother taught art.

A death threat signed by an Islamist extremist group with three bullets attached compelled the Christian family to leave it all behind 18 months ago.

Now they live in a barren room in Bangkok, where the children share a double bed and the parents sleep on the floor. They cook on a propane burner on a tiny balcony.

A picture of Jesus, the source of their solace and their troubles, hangs on the inside of the door.

Full repost at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166049/after-escape-from-pakistan-christian-family-hides-in-bangkok

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Bangladesh FM: Khaleda Zia trying to start a civil war

February 28, 2015

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday claimed that BNP chief Khaleda Zia was trying to start a civil war in the country, which is why the number of murders increased in the capital.

Speaking to reporters at the district conference of Rotary International in Sylhet city yesterday, he said: “She is inciting murders in Dhaka because she wants a civil war to happen. But she will not succeed because the government will never allow it.”

He made the remark when asked about the European Union’s concern about a possible civil war in Bangladesh.

“She [Khaleda] has no collaboration with the people of the country. That is why she has no clue about the sufferings of common people. She wants to grab power by holding the people hostage through violence and hartal-blockade.”

Urging the BNP chairperson to leave the path of destruction, Muhith said: “Killing people won’t help after all. The people must get united against to resist such destructive movement and work together to uphold peace and order in the country.”

Presided over by Rotary District Governor MA Latif, the conference was further addressed by special guest and former Indian Rotary governor Nirmal Kumar Sinvi, his wife and Rotary member Dina Sinvi, and former Rotary Club governor Dr Manzurul Haque Chowdhury.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2015/feb/28/muhith-khaleda-zia-trying-start-civil-war#sthash.xtRT5Foj.dpuf

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Arab World

 

Dozens of jihadis in fighting in Syria using the name ‘al-Britani’

February 28, 2015

There are several dozen “al-Britanis” fighting in Syria and Iraq, all members of the jihadist “family” from the UK, a country that has become a net exporter of Islamist terrorism.

The nom de guerre has been taken by many of the 600 Muslims from the UK who have joined groups like Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra. To name but a few, there was Abu Sammyh al-Britani, also known as Kabir Ahmed from Derby, who died as a suicide bomber last November in Baji, north of Baghdad; Khalil al-Britani, aka Ibrahim Kamara from Brighton, killed in a US air strike in Aleppo two months earlier; and Abu Dugma al-Britani, born Abu Rahin Aziz in Luton, who fled abroad after stabbing a football fan.

We have Um Hussain al-Britani, also known as Shakina Hussein, previously Sally Jones, who declared after the video appeared of James Foley’s murder that her ambition was to carry out a beheading. The 45-year-old former punk-rock singer, from Kent, who used to be interested in witchcraft, has been in online contact with Muslim girls in Britain, enticing them to become jihadi brides.

Full repost at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/dozens-of-jihadis-in-fighting-in-syria-using-the-name-albritani-10076635.html

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Double bombing kills 9 people in Iraq

February 28, 2015

Authorities in Iraq say back-to-back car bombs targeting a market have killed nine people in a town northeast of Baghdad.

Police officials say the attack took place Saturday morning when the first bomb exploded near a busy market in the town of Balad Ruz. Minutes later, a second car bomb went off on the people who gathered to inspect the site of the first blast.

Balad Ruz is 70 kilometers (45 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

Police and hospital officials put the death toll at nine killed and 30 wounded. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Iraq sees near-daily attacks that are often claimed by the Islamic State group, which seized about a third of the country last year.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/124113/World/Region/Double-bombing-kills--people-in-Iraq.aspx

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Iraq: Dozens of ISIL Terrorists Killed in Anbar

February 28, 2015

The Iraqi army intensified its fight against the ISIL terrorists in the Western province of Anbar, inflicting heavy casualties on the Takfiri group, a military official said.

A senior Iraqi official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the army troops continued their offensive against the ISIL terrorists in Northern Fallujah, leaving at least 13 militants dead.

Also, the Iraqi troops struck a major blow at the Takfiri group in the city of Ramadi, and managed to kill 10 terrorists and destroy four of their vehicles.

The ISIL terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Iraq and Syria. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931209000321

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Car Bomb near Syrian Capital Kills 12, Injures Dozens

February 28, 2015

 A car bomb exploded in a town in the countryside of Syria's capital, Damascus, killing at least 12 people, and injuring dozens.

According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the car bomb hit the city of Dumair on the Eastern suburbs of Damascus, more specifically on the road connecting Dumair with Palmira in Central Syria, press tv reported Friday.

The report says the number of casualties is likely to rise due to the large number of critically wounded people.

No further information has yet been released on the incident.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931209000345

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ISIS fighters attack Samarra ahead of army offensive

28 February 2015

ISIS suicide bombers and fighters struck targets on Saturday in the northern Iraqi city of Samarra, where security forces and their Shiite militia allies have been gathering for an offensive against the radical militants.

Security sources and residents said the attack on Samarra was launched at 5.30 am (9.30 p.m. ET Friday) when two ISIS suicide bombers blew up their cars in the northern area of Sur Shnas.

At the same time a man drove a Humvee rigged with explosives into the south of the city and detonated it, while ISIS fighters attacked security forces to the west with sniper fire, mortars and rocket propelled grenades.

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/28/ISIS-fighters-attack-Samarra-ahead-of-army-offensive.html

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Syrian Army Retakes 5 Villages from ISIL in Hasaka

February 28, 2015

The Syrian army flushed out ISIL terrorists from the outskirts of Hasaka province after inflicting major losses on the Takfiri group, and managed to regain control over five key villages.

The Syrian troops continued their fight against the ISIL terrorists in Hasaka, and brought back security to the villages of Farfara, Tal Ahmad, Kherbat Noura, Tafihyeh, and Khazna after heavy clashes with the militants.

The army soldiers drove out the ISIL terrorists during the operation, defusing dozens of IEDs and destroying several vehicles.

Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fueled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of over 210,000 people.

The ISIL militants, with members from several western countries, control parts of Syria and Iraq, and have been carrying out horrific acts of violence such as public decapitations and crucifixions against all communities.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931209000428

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Kurdish forces capture key IS Syria bastion: Monitor

February 28, 2015

Kurdish fighters gained an important victory against the Islamic State group Friday by seizing a key stronghold in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"The jihadists retreated without much resistance after Kurdish forces, backed by Arab fighters, returned to Tal Hamis" some 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Qamishli, the Britain-based monitor said.

The Kurds now occupy a strip of land linking Tal Hamis with the Iraqi border, impeding militant movements in the region.

The main Kurdish party, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), said its fighters had liberated Tal Hamis and surrounding communities at the request of villagers "who wanted to get rid of these terrorists and mercenaries".

IS militants withdrew to other parts of Hasakeh, and Arab villagers also fled the Kurdish advance towards the Turkish border, the Observatory said.

It said Kurdish forces have burned houses belonging to fighters and IS supporters.

Earlier, the Observatory reported that fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) had entered Tal Hamis and captured parts of it after six days of clashes with the militants.

Full repost at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/124095/World/Region/Kurdish-forces-capture-key-IS-Syria-bastion-Monito.aspx

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Arab League: ISIS destruction of Iraqi heritage ‘odious crime’

27 February 2015

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi denounced Friday the destruction of priceless artefacts by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Iraq as an “odious crime” against cultural heritage.

“This barbaric attack against the cultural heritage of the Iraqi people is one of the most odious crimes committed in our day and age against the heritage of humanity,” Arabi said in a statement.

A video released by the militants shows men smashing ancient Assyrian statues and other priceless artefacts from the main museum and an archaeological site in the northern city of Mosul.

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/27/Arab-League-ISIS-destruction-of-Iraqi-heritage-odious-crime-.html

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Counseling helps 2,950 extremists mend ways

February 28, 2015

Maj. Gen. Nasser Al-Mutairi, director of the Mohammed bin Nayef Center for Counseling and Care, said that his facility has reformed 2,950 young men who are now all fully integrated in society.

Nasser made these remarks on Monday, during a lecture at the headquarters of the Muslim World League, where several Saudi experts talked about the experience of fighting terrorism in the Kingdom. However, the center's success of retrievals of youth in danger of becoming extremists currently stands at 13 percent.

Despite the grim data, 120 individuals coming from Guantanamo Bay were successfully integrated in society thanks to the center, with 98 percent of them giving up extremist ideas.

Al-Mutairi said the center has a five-year strategy based on three propositions: psychological treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Full repost at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/711386

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Saudi man sentenced to death for apostasy

February 28, 2015

A court in Hafr al-Batin has sentenced a Saudi citizen to death for insulting Allah, as well as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his daughter Fatima, a local daily reported.

The court issued a preliminary ruling based on charges leveled by the prosecutor against the citizen who was charged with insulting the Prophet (pbuh) by tearing up pages of the Holy Qur'an and posting videos on social media sites.

The defendant rejected the ruling and the case has been referred to the Court of Appeals, the paper said.

The defendant, whose case is known as the “Hafr Al-Batin apostasy” case, was arrested by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) last year. He was subsequently referred to the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution (BIP) to face charges of apostasy.

A three-member bench in Hafr Al-Batin ruled that the defendant was guilty of the charges and issued a preliminary death sentence for apostasy, the paper reported.

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/711371

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North America

 

Canada worried as growing number of youths join jihad

February 28, 2015

MONTREAL: Concerned about a growing number of Canadian youths traveling overseas to join terrorists, and lacking an immediate alternative, political leaders have asked parents to keep a more watchful eye on their children for signs of extremism.

“These situations are disastrous,” Quebec premier Philippe Couillard said, a day after Canadians learned that six of their own, aged 18 and 19, including two young women, had left for Syria via Turkey mid-January.

All of them were born in Canada to immigrant parents who said they sought to instill Western values in their offspring. One father even confiscated his son’s passport to try to keep him from taking a flight.

They are not the first to venture abroad to join Islamic State jihadists. On Wednesday, an Alberta family revealed that their 23-year-old daughter had flown to Syria.

She had taken an online course to study the Qur'an but instead learned from her teacher — a suspected IS recruiter — how to get to the IS-controlled city of Raqqa in Syria to join the extremist group.

Others left months earlier, and some have since died, such as a former University of Ottawa student John Maguire, who was reportedly killed in December near Kobani, and four cousins from Calgary whose deaths devastated their families, which had fled conflict in Somalia to start new lives in Canada.

Full repost at:

http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/711466

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India must take the call on joining anti-IS coalition: U.S.

February 28, 2015

India would have to decide for itself whether to “formally” join the international coalition fighting against Islamic State, the militant jihadist outfit, a senior State Department official said here this week.

Speaking to a small media group at the Foreign Press Centre, Nisha Biswal, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, noted that taking the fight to IS was “an area of concern for all countries in South and Central Asia and an issue of discussion for the U.S. in our bilateral discussions with each of the countries of South and Central Asia.”Ms. Biswal said although Washington had held “very robust discussions” with the administration of PM Narendra Modi about the threat that violent extremism, specifically of IS, whether India decides to team up with nations in militarily engaging IS or “whether India takes other steps is for India to determine.” “We value the cooperation between our two countries, which is certainly deepening on issues of combating terrorism ,” Ms. Biswal said, also alluding to the recent Countering Violent Extremism seminar sponsored by the White House, to which India sent a delegation. Asked for details on the India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement, , Ms. Biswal said, “I’m not going to get into the weeds.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-must-take-the-call-on-joining-antiis-coalition-us/article6942119.ece

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U.S. sets out 'bottom lines' for Iran nuclear deal

28 February 2015

The United States on Friday set out what it called its “bottom lines” to reach a deal with Iran to rein in its nuclear program, ahead of new talks next week.

Washington had stuck to its guns that it wanted a “good deal” and had agreed to several extensions of the negotiations “because we have held firm to certain bottom lines,” a senior U.S. administration official said.

“We will only accept an agreement that cuts off the different pathways to the fissile material that Iran needs for a nuclear weapon,” the official stressed.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will leave at the weekend for Switzerland, where he will meet once again with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The pace and intensity of the talks have sped up as global powers gathered under the P5+1 group have been seeking a deal with Iran to stop it acquiring a nuclear weapon -- something Tehran denies trying to do.

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/28/U-S-sets-out-bottom-lines-for-Iran-nuclear-deal-before-new-talks.html

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U.S. denies pressuring Iraq on Mosul offensive

28 February 2015

The U.S. military insisted Friday it was not pressurizing Iraq to launch an offensive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremists in the next few months, saying the timing was up to Baghdad.

Previous comments by senior U.S. officials suggesting the Iraqi army would stage a counter-attack against the ISIS group in the northern city as soon as April or May have provoked an angry response in Baghdad.

But Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said Washington was not out to force the hand of the Iraqi army before it was ready to launch such a major undertaking.

“I don’t think it’s fair to say that the Pentagon or the military has been pushing the Iraqis on any specific timeline,” Kirby told reporters.

“We haven’t laid a date certain down here at the Pentagon... we’re not pushing or aggressively trying to nudge them towards a faster timeline than they’re going to be ready.”

General Lloyd Austin, who as head of U.S. Central Command oversees the international campaign against the ISIS militants, recently said that Iraqi and Kurdish forces would be ready by the spring or early summer to start an offensive to grab back Mosul -- Iraq’s second-largest city, seized by the ISIS group last June.

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/28/U-S-denies-pressuring-Iraq-on-Mosul-offensive.html

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Training of Syrian rebels to begin ‘in weeks’: U.S. military

 28 February 2015

The U.S. military said Friday the training of moderate Syrian rebels will likely begin within four to six weeks in Turkey after the two NATO allies clinched an agreement last week.

Potential recruits still needed to be vetted for the training sessions, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told a news conference.

About 1,500 Syrian rebels had been identified to take part and of those 100 had been screened and approved, Kirby said.

“I won’t put a date certain on when the training will begin, but our assessment is that we could be ready sometime within the next four to six weeks to begin actual training,” Kirby said.

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/28/Training-of-Syrian-rebels-in-Turkey-in-4-6-weeks-.html

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U.S. concerned over ‘deteriorating rights’ in Turkey

February 28, 2015

People in a democratic country should be able to express criticism of their leaders, a senior U.S. official has said, voicing Washington’s concern over Turkey’s human rights situation, amid a series of recent cases in which senior elected officials have opened cases against citizens upon alleged “insults.”

“We are very concerned about this. People have been prosecuted for speaking their mind. In a democratic country that respects freedom of expression, people should not be prosecuted for expressing their views on the government of the day or public officials,” said Thomas O. Melia, the deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL).

Melia’s comments came upon a question about people facing criminal charges due to their criticism against Turkish leaders posted on social media.

Full repost at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-concerned-over-deteriorating-rights-in-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78986&NewsCatID=359

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Mideast

 

Turkish-style presidential system needed, Erdoğan repeats

February 28, 2015

Unlike what many argue, establishing an authentic Turkish-style presidential system is both possible and necessary, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stressed, underlining that presidential systems in different countries around the world vary in form.

“It is being said: ‘A Turkish-type presidential system is not possible.’ I am saying it loud and clear: It is possible, pure and simple. Why wouldn’t it be?” Erdoğan said on Feb. 27, delivering a speech to governors from all 81 provinces of the country at the presidential palace in Ankara.

“In America, there is a different presidential system; when you go just to its south, in Mexico, there is a different presidential system. When you go to Cuba, it is different; Argentina is different; Brazil is different; Russia is different; France has a semi-presidential system,” he added.

Full repost at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-style-presidential-system-needed-erdogan-repeats.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78988&NewsCatID=338

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Iranian Assyrians Blast West for Keeping Mum on ISIL Crimes

February 28, 2015

The Iranian Assyrian community in a statement condemned the smashing up of a museum on the historic site of Nineveh, Northern Iraq, by the ISIL, and lashed out at the western states for their silence on the terrorist group's crimes.

"The question is how the western world which claims to be supporting the human rights, considers the killing of an occupier Israeli soldier as an adequate pretext for parting with the fake and hated (Zionist) regime and massacring the innocent children and civilians in Gaza, but today it is witnessing these crimes hands and lips-closed and it seems that it doesn’t believe it itself has nurtured such a dragon," the statement by Iran's Association of Assyrians said on Saturday.

Full repost at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931209000708

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Drone raid kills three Qaeda militants in Yemen: Tribe

February 28, 2015

A drone strike Saturday killed three Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, a tribal source said, in a region where the United States is the only country operating the unmanned aircraft.

The raid "targeted a vehicle in which three members of Al-Qaeda were riding in the village of Bijan, in Shabwa province," the source said.

All three were killed, and their bodies burnt.

Yemen has descended into chaos since a Shiite militia overran the capital in September.

The Houthi militia effectively placed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi under house arrest in January but last week he escaped to the southern city of Aden.

Despite the turmoil, President Barack Obama vowed on January 25 not to let up in the US campaign against jihadists in the strife-torn Arabian Peninsula country.

Within a week, a US drone strike killed Harith al-Nadhari, a senior Al-Qaeda figure, and three other militants in Shabwa province, the jihadist network said on Twitter.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is seen by the United States as the deadliest branch of the global extremist network.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/124116/World/Region/Drone-raid-kills-three-Qaeda-militants-in-Yemen-Tr.aspx

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Turkey voices support for Austrian Muslims

February 28, 2015

Turkey will make every effort to protect Muslims in Austria, especially those of Turkish descent, from being harmed due to a controversial recently approved bill regulating Islam in the country, Turkey’s EU minister said on Feb. 26.

“We cannot accept any harm to Muslims because of this law and we will make every effort to prevent such harm,” EU Minister Volkir Bozkır told Anadolu Agency during a visit to Finland’s capital, Helsinki.

The Austrian Parliament passed a law on Feb. 25 banning foreign funding for Muslim organizations in the country and requires the usage of a standardized German translation of the Quran.

Full repost at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-voices-support-for-austrian-muslims------.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78950&NewsCatID=351

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Former Mossad chief calls for Netanyahu’s ouster in next elections

 28 February 2015

A former head of the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, is calling voters to oust Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming general elections, as he accuses his Iran policies of endangering Israeli security.

In an interview with Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Meir Dagan delivered a staunch critique of the prime minister, saying his policies as “destructive to the future and security of Israel,” the Guardian reported.

Dagan is expected to address a rally in Tel Aviv where he will reiterate his call to get Netanyahu out of office.

“Our standing in the world is not brilliant right now,” he is quoted as saying.

“The question of Israel’s legitimacy is up for debate. We should not erode our relations with our most important friend.”

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/28/Former-Mossad-chief-calls-to-oust-Netanyahu-in-next-elections.html

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No Umrah for sealed Gazans

February 28, 2015

GAZA CITY: With the war-battered Gaza Strip’s borders closed, thousands of people have been shut out of a Haj because they cannot leave the sealed territory.

Some 7,500 Gazans have sought to travel to Saudi Arabia, for Umrah but have been turned away. Egypt restricts movement in and out of the coastal enclave. Egypt has shut its border with the Gaza Strip since Oct. 24, citing security concerns in its northern Sinai Peninsula. It has opened it only intermittently for students and patients seeking medical care. Israel heavily restricts exit from the territory.

The closure is affecting a population already disaffected by a war against Israel last summer that destroyed thousands of homes and has displaced tens of thousands of people.

“I wait hour by hour. We feel every day that passes without leaving as though it’s a year,” said Fares Hayek, 80, who is among those waiting to make the pilgrimage. He applied in November along with his wife, children and grandchildren.

Travel agents who facilitate the yearly pilgrimage say they’ve taken a hit from the closed borders. Awad Abu Mazkour, the head of a group that represents travel agents, said agents in Gaza are losing some $140,000 in license fees, bank guarantees and hotel bookings each month because of the closed crossing.

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/711316

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IPI Turkey to act against defamation lawsuits against journalists

February 28, 2015

The Vienna-based International Press Institute’s (IPI) Turkish National Committee has announced that it will start a campaign against the increasing number of defamation lawsuits targeting journalists in Turkey.

“The press freedom-limiting practices of political authorities increased throughout last year,” the committee said in a statement on Feb. 27 after its general assembly in Istanbul, noting that “several defamation lawsuits that have recently been filed one after another are now being added to the picture.”

As a result, the committee said it would soon start a large-scale campaign - in cooperation with national and international journalism associations, as well as leading legal experts - to make sure that no more journalists will be prosecuted through defamation laws after criticizing political authorities in Turkey.

Full repost at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ipi-turkey-to-act-against-defamation-lawsuits-against-journalists.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78994&NewsCatID=339

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Southeast Asia

 

Toll in Philippine clashes with Islamists rises to 26

February 28, 2015

A military assault on Islamic militants in the southern Philippines entered its fifth day on Saturday, with the toll rising to 24 guerrillas and two soldiers dead, officials said.

Ten Abu Sayyaf militants were killed in a two-hour clash on Friday after the army pounded their jungle lair on Jolo island with artillery and helicopter gunships, said Colonel Alan Arrojado, who is leading the assault.

Another 14 rebels and two troops had been killed since the fighting erupted on Tuesday, he said.

Battles were raging in the mountainous and thickly forested villages of Patikul town, an area controlled by Abu Sayyaf, a group of a few hundred gunmen with links to the Al-Qaeda network.

The militants were reportedly moving with three Malaysian Jemaah Islamiyah members who were providing them with bomb-making training, military spokesman Colonel Restituto Padilla told AFP.

Full repost at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/124098/World/International/Toll-in-Philippine-clashes-with-Islamists-rises-to.aspx

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Why sudden interest in Muslim unity, DAP asks Umno

February 28, 2015

With the latest talks of sitting out of the Chempaka by-election for the sake of Muslim unity with PAS, Umno has proven one thing – that it is willing to prostitute itself for narrow political gain through its racial and religious posturing, DAP said today.

The party's deputy publicity chief Zairil Khir Johari said that clearly, Umno's decision to sit out in Chempaka was just an excuse to hide the fact that they would lose their deposit if they contested.

He also said that Umno's sincerity about Muslim unity was highly questionable, where it had also pledged its sudden support for Kelantan to implement hudud law.

"If indeed Umno is so supportive of hudud, then why have they not implemented it in the states they control?

Full repost at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/why-sudden-interest-in-muslim-unity-dap-asks-umno#sthash.txG99wVM.dpuf

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PKR low-key on hudud for fear of Muslim sentiments

February 28, 2015

GEORGE TOWN: Parti Keadlian Rakyat’s low-key stand on hudud, which is championed by its Pakatan Rakyat partner PAS, stems from fear of hurting the sentiments of its Muslim members and supporters, a party official has said.

PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah said that as PKR was a multi-racial party with members from all ethnic and religious backgrounds, it had to be cautious when expressing its stand publicly.

“PKR cannot say it is against hudud because it might hurt the feelings of its Muslim brothers and sisters,” he told a public forum last night on “The Scenario After Anwar’s Imprisonment”.

He pointed out that hudud, the Islamic penal code, was not on the Pakatan coalition’s common agenda, and accused PAS of not honouring the pact among the three coalition partners.

Full repost at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/02/28/pkr-low-key-on-hudud-for-fear-of-muslim-sentiments/

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Indonesian Bishops, Migrant Activists Reject Death Penalty

February 28, 2015

Jakarta. The death penalty is an inhuman form of punishment and not effective in deterring crime, the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI) said on Friday, ahead of the pending execution of 11 drug convicts.

“Apart from moral considerations, we deem the death penalty ineffective and inhuman,” Pastor P.C. Siswantoko, the executive secretary of the KWI’s Commission for Justice and Peace, said at a discussion on Friday.

The pastor said that to tackle drug-related crime, consistency in the rule of law should be the government’s priority.

“Crime, especially the problem of drugs, will not decrease as long as law enforcers are not even-handed in carrying out their duties,” Siswantoko said.

Full repost at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/indonesian-bishops-migrant-activists-reject-death-penalty/

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Peaceful protests legal but cops abusing law against pro-Anwar rallies, say lawyers

February 28, 2015

Lawyers are warning that police may use the Penal Code against peaceful protesters since another law which regulates street demonstrations, the Peaceful Assembly Act, does not criminalise protest rallies.

As PKR Youth under the #KitaLawan banner prepare to march this afternoon in Kuala Lumpur and to hold a mega rally on March 7 to free Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from jail, lawyers say police have shown disregard for citizens' rights to assemble peacefully following last weekend's arrests and investigation against a politician and two activists under the Penal Code.

The police, which is an executive arm of the government, must learn to respect the verdict of the Court of Appeal which last year held that organisers and rally goers should not be punished, provided they participated in peaceful assemblies.

Lawyer N. Surendran said the police was employing a new tactic to curb dissent by wrongly relying on Section 143 of the Penal Code for participating in an unlawful assembly.

"This provision only comes into play when one uses criminal force. Surely, this is not the case when an individual wants to participate in a peaceful gathering," he said, adding that the action of police was pure harassment.

Full repost at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/peaceful-protests-legal-but-cops-abusing-law-against-pro-anwar-rallies-say#sthash.jT77yt9G.dpuf

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Europe

 

Cameron defends security services after media unmask 'Jihadi John'

February 28, 2015

Prime Minister David Cameron has defended Britain's security services after Islamic State executioner "Jihadi John" was unmasked as London graduate Mohammed Emwazi, a man previously monitored by spy agency MI5.

As more details emerged about Emwazi, named by media and experts as the man who beheaded at least five Western hostages held by the IS group in Syria and Iraq, questions were asked about whether he could have been stopped.

Civil rights group Cage, which had been in touch with the Kuwaiti-born computing graduate before he left Britain, said MI5 had been tracking Emwazi since at least 2009.

Officials have not confirmed Emwazi's identity, but Cameron said Friday: "We will do everything we can with the police, the security services, with all that we have at our disposal, to find these people and put them out of action."

Full repost at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/124102/World/International/Cameron-defends-security-services-after-media-unma.aspx

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Assad has no role in Syria's future: Britain, France

February 28, 2015

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad cannot "credibly" be part of any future government combating the threat from the Islamic State (IS) group in the country, Britain and France said Friday.

Assad is "stoking injustice, disorder and extremism" in Syria, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius wrote in a joint editorial published by newspapers Le Monde and Al-Hayat.

They claimed that Assad is seeking to rehabilitate his public image despite a conflict in Syria which has lasted nearly four years, killed at least 210,000 people and displaced nearly 12 million others.

Full repost at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/124075/World/Region/Assad-has-no-role-in-Syrias-future-Britain,-France.aspx

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German police warn of potential Islamic extremist threat

February 28, 2015 3:06 pm

Police in the German city of Bremen are warning of a potential danger from Islamic extremists there and say they are stepping up security measures.

A police statement said that officials received tips about activities of potentially dangerous Islamic extremists from a German federal authority on Friday evening.

Saturday’s statement said that police in the northwestern city are responding “with coordinated and adapted security measures.”

Police gave no further details of the nature of the potential threat.

The warning comes amid heightened concern in Europe about terrorism following attacks this year in Paris and Copenhagen.

In mid-February, police in the northern German city of Braunschweig canceled a Carnival street parade over fears of a terrorist attack.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/europe/german-police-warn-of-potential-islamic-extremist-threat/

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EU says hands are tied on Libyan human rights violations

February 28, 2015

Though human rights violations are rampant in Libya, the European Union has said that it is at a loss as to how to help the situation, which continues to deteriorate.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has 40,000 pages documenting war crimes in Libya, a delegate revealed at an EU cooperation meeting this week, but the EU cannot enforce international law in Libya because it is a sovereign country.

The EU had offered support since the revolution through its European Union Border Assistance Mission. This involved sending 400 specialists to offer training from 2012-2013. However the Libyan government did not approve the proposal until May 2013. Last year collapsing security led to the suspension of all projects and the temporary closure of the mission which had just relocated to Tajoura.

The meeting heard that the EU had spent €2 million on programmes to displaced persons but only seen the situation grow worse. Because of this lack of success, the EU had opted instead to collaborate with and help fund the Organisation for Migration.

http://www.libyaherald.com/2015/02/28/eu-says-hands-are-tied-on-libyan-human-rights-violations/#ixzz3T5qDcZ00

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U.N. Security Council slams ISIS barbarity in Iraq

28 February 2015

The United Nations Security Council on Friday condemned what it described as the latest "barbaric terrorist acts" in Iraq by ISIS militants, including the destruction of priceless religious and cultural artifacts.

A video published by the ultra-radical Islamist militant group ISIS on Thursday showed men attacking ancient Assyrian statues and sculptures, some of them identified as antiquities from the 7th century BC, with sledgehammers and drills, saying they were symbols of idolatry.

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the ongoing barbaric terrorist acts in Iraq by ISIL (ISIS) the council said in a statement. It also reiterated that the group "must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence, and hatred it espouses must be stamped out."

Among the recent acts by ISIS the 15-nation council cited were the abduction of 100 Sunni tribesmen from outside Tikrit, the immolation of 45 Iraqis and daily attacks targeting civilians in Baghdad.

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/28/U-N-slams-ISIS-barbaric-acts-in-Iraq.html

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Twitter suggests ‘edible’ ISIS #FoodTour targets

28 February 2015

Twitter users in the United Kingdom are capitalizing on the #JihadiFoodTour hashtag to mock Islamist militants following their threats of “conquering” Rome.

Last week, ISIS supporters had vowed to throw homosexuals off the leaning tower of “pizza,” prompting a series of other delicious suggestions the militants should target.

The twitter account associated with the message no longer exists but the Daily Mail posted a screenshot of the tweet.

“This week's poll! What other food-based monuments should Jihadi march on? #jihadifoodtour,” UK television show “The Last Leg” asked its followers on Twitter. And Twitter obliged.

“Grands Biscuits Canyon #jihadifoodtour,” a user who goes by the handle @Mr_GuyWise replied.

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/02/28/-JihadiFoodTour-mocks-edible-ISIS-targets.html

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UN condemns Bangladeshi blogger Avijit murder

February 28, 2015

The United Nations has condemned the killing of Bangladeshi blogger and writer Avijit Roy.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, made the statement in response to a query on the brutal killing in Bangladesh at the regular press briefing on Friday.

"On the attack of the blogger, we spoke to our human rights colleagues who obviously condemned the attack," Dujarric said.

He said the UN also expressed the hope that the perpetrators of the murder will be quickly brought to justice.

"It's obviously very important that the space for freedom of expression in civil society be upheld in Bangladesh," Dujarric quoted the UN human rights officials.

Full repost at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2015/feb/28/un-condemns-avijit-murder#sthash.OOGch6hg.dpuf

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Peace in Afghanistan: Top UN official acknowledges Pakistan’s pivotal role

February 28, 2015

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan continues to express its desire to facilitate reconciliatory settlement in Afghanistan in all manners possible, a top United Nations official has acknowledged what the Foreign Office claims is Pakistan’s pivotal role in peace and stability in Afghanistan.

During his maiden visit to Pakistan in the incumbent capacity, Special Representative of United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) for Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom held detailed meetings with Pakistan’s defence officials and diplomatic authorities.

Separately, both the defence establishment and Foreign Office here stated that the visiting UN dignitary recognised Pakistan’s significant role in reconciliatory (political) settlement in Afghanistan for the country’s development and peace.

Full repost at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/28-Feb-2015/peace-in-afghanistan-top-un-official-acknowledges-pakistan-s-pivotal-role

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‘Jihadi John’: quiet football fan who developed thirst for war

February 28, 2015

LONDON: Mohammed Emwazi, named by British and US media as the self-styled Islamic State executioner known as “Jihadi John”, has been described as a quiet but intense young man who gradually developed a taste for war.

Those quoted in British media reports said they could not reconcile their impressions of football-loving Emwazi with that of the “cold, sadistic and merciless” killer, as he is remembered by one former hostage.

Emwazi was born in Kuwait but the family moved to London when he was six years old and he grew up in North Kensington, a leafy middle-class area of west London with a network of Islamist extremists uncovered in recent years.

As a child he was a fan of Manchester United football club and the band S Club 7, according to a 1996 school year book published by The Sun tabloid.

“What I want to be when I grow up is a footballer,” he wrote in the book.

He went on to study information technology at the University of Westminster, which confirmed that someone by that name left six years ago and said it was “shocked and sickened” by the allegations.

Full repost at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166324/jihadi-john-quiet-football-fan-who-developed-thirst-for-war

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Africa

 

Libya’s PM says Turkey supplying weapons to rival Tripoli group

February 28, 2015

CAIRO: Libya’s internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said his government would stop dealing with Turkey as it was sending weapons to a rival group in Tripoli so “the Libyan people kill each other”, ramping up his rhetoric against Ankara.

Two administrations, one in the capital and Thinni’s in the east, have been vying for power since an armed group called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli in July and reinstated lawmakers from a previous assembly, four years after Muammar Gaddafi’s ousting.

“Turkey is a state that is not dealing honestly with us. It’s exporting weapons to us so the Libyan people kill each other,” he told Egyptian TV channel CBC late on Thursday.

A spokesman for Turkey’s foreign ministry strongly denied Thinni’s allegations.

“Instead of repeating the same baseless and untrue allegations we advise them to support UN efforts for political dialogue,” spokesman Tanju Bilgic told Reuters.

Full repost at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/foreign/28-Feb-2015/libya-s-pm-says-turkey-supplying-weapons-to-rival-tripoli-group

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Tunisia to get 8 Black Hawks for fight against militants

February 28, 2015

Tunisia will take delivery of eight Black Hawk attack helicopters from the United States this year to help it in the fight against al-Qaeda-linked militants, an official said Thursday.

Defence ministry spokesman Belhassen Oueslati told the private radio station Shems FM that the aircraft would arrive in the second half of 2015.

“These helicopters will be used to carry troops and launch attacks, and will represent a qualitative jump in our means for fighting terrorism,” he said.

Tunisia has seen a rise in Islamist extremism since the revolution that ousted veteran strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Full repost at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2015/02/27/Tunisia-to-get-8-Black-Hawks-for-fight-against-militants-.html

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FM: Some 5,000 foreign fighters present in Libya

28 February 2015

Foreign Minister Mohamed Al-Dairi has claimed there are some 5,000 foreign combatants fighting alongside extremists in Libya.

Many terrorist leaders in Libya are foreigners. The so-called Emir of the Islamic State in Libya is a Yemeni. One of the men who carried out the bombing in Guba was Saudi, Dairi told AFP this week.

Indeed, Al-Dairi’s number seems low. Many think there are many more foreign fighters here. With Libya’s porous borders, it is not difficult for them to enter, especially in the south from Mali, Nigeria and Niger.

The Guba bombings were the second time IS has used foreign fighters to carry out Libyan suicide attacks in Libya. IS claimed the assault on Tripoli’s Corinthia hotel last month was carried out by a Tunisian and a Sudanese. A video that has recently surfaced showing the two men discussing and planning the attack seems by their accents, to confirm this.

Al-Dairi used repeated the government’s call for the arms embargo to be lifted and for the international community to arm the Libyan National Army. He also warned that terrorism is a growing threat not only to Libya but also to the region and even Europe.

http://www.libyaherald.com/2015/02/28/al-dairi-some-5000-foreign-fighters-present-in-libya/#ixzz3T5qFhMkw

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Ban Reiterates Condemnation of Boko Haram Attacks, Urges Efforts to Combat Terrorist Threat

February 28, 2015

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated his strong condemnation of the continuing indiscriminate and horrific attacks by Boko Haram against civilian populations in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

"The abduction and use of children, including as 'suicide bombers,' is particularly abhorrent," the Secretary-General stated today in a statement issued by his spokesperson, saying that he is encouraged by the positive steps taken by the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Benin, with the support of the African Union, towards operationalizing the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to counter the threat.

In the statement, Mr. Ban also called on international partners to provide support to regional efforts and urged the states involved to ensure that all measures taken to combat the terrorist threat of Boko Haram are conducted in line with international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.

Full repost at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201502280081.html

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India

 

Delhi entrepreneur launches app to unite Pakistan and India

February 28, 2015

In a bid to limit the rivalry between India and Pakistan to sports grounds, a Delhi-based entrepreneur earlier this month launched a new app to improve relations between the two South Asian rivals.

'India or Pakistan' is an innovative application, available on Google Play store that questions the reader, after showing pictures of the two nations. The idea is to make people focus on what unites them by making them guess whether the photographs were taken in India or Pakistan.

In light of recent events, it is a welcoming gesture that is part of the wider movement called 'India Loves Pakistan' that was launched in 2013. The Delhi-based social movement aims to 'add .. human element to the India-Pakistan relationship.'

The initiative operates primarily on Twitter through #DearNeighbour and #IndiaWithPakistan.

Where the former was launched as a generic hashtag to initiate dialogue across the border, the latter was trending post-Peshawar massacre in Pakistan, with thousands of Indians expressing solidarity with Pakistanis after the terrorist attack.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1166300/delhi-entrepreneur-launches-app-to-unite-pakistan-and-india

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Two Hizbul militants killed in encounter in South Kashmir

PTI | Feb 28, 2015

SRINAGAR: Two Hizbul Mujhaideen militants were killed in an overnight encounter with security forces in Tral area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district.

"Based on specific intelligence about presence of terrorists in Ratsuna area of Tral, a joint operation was launched by Rashtriya Rifles units of Army and the Special Operations Group (of Police) resulting in the killing of two hardcore terrorists," a defence spokesman said here today.

The operation was launched on Friday night and ended in wee hours on Saturday.

The security forces recovered two AK-47 rifles, six AK magazines and 90 rounds of AK ammunition from the scene of the encounter.

The slain militants have been identified as Shabir Mir and Idris Ahmad Shah, both local residents of Tral area. They were affiliated to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, the spokesman said.

This is second success for the security forces this week. Two militants were killed in Zainapora area of Shopian in south Kashmir on February 25.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-militants-killed-in-Kashmir-encounter/articleshow/46410500.cms

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Six acquitted in post-Godhra riots case

February 28, 2015

A special SIT court in Himmatnagar in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district on Friday acquitted six persons for lack of evidence in a 2002 post-Godhra riots case, in which three British nationals and another person were killed by a mob.

British citizens Saeed Dawood, Shakeel Dawood and Mohammad Aswat and their local driver Yusuf Suleiman were killed in the Prantij town in Gujarat’s Sabarkantha district on February 28, a day after the Sabarmati Express train burning incident.

According to the prosecution, they were travelling in a vehicle when they were intercepted by a mob and burnt alive. Another Briton, Imran Dawood, managed to escape with injuries. Imran and his three uncles were on a visit to India. They were returning from their native village of Lajpor near Navsari in Gujarat after visiting Agra and Jaipur.

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT had charged six persons Mithanbhai Patel, Chandu alias Prahlad Patel, Ramesh Patel, Manoj Patel, Rajesh Patel and Kalabhai Patel, all residents of Prantij, with murder and rioting. Principal District Judge I.C. Shah gave the benefit of the doubt to the accused as the prosecution was not able to prove the case “beyond reasonable doubt.”

Full repost at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/six-acquitted-in-postgodhra-riots-case/article6940812.ece

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Encounter breaks out between security forces, militants in Pulwama District

 February 27, 2015

An encounter broke out this evening between security forces and militants in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said.

They said that security agencies received input about presence of militants in Ratsuna village of Tral in the evening.

A joint team of police, army and paramilitary CRPF cordoned the area and began a search operation, police said.

As the security forces zeroed on the hiding militants, they fired upon at the personnel triggering an encounter.

The gunfight was going on as the last reports came in, they said, adding no casualty has been reported so far.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/encounter-breaks-out-between-security-forces-militants/

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/‘school-syllabus-needs-to-be-purged-of-extremist-content’--activists-and-parliamentarians/d/101758

 

 

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