New Age Islam
Mon Aug 03 2020, 05:06 PM

Islamic World News ( 20 Oct 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, To Palestinians: Die As Martyrs









Ending nearly a decade of Conservative rule, Canada's Liberal Party has decisively won general elections, as anti-Muslim rhetoric failed to garner support for the country's outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Mideast

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to Palestinians: Die as Martyrs

Turkish MP: Ankara Supplied Terrorists in Syria with Sarin Gas

U.S. Deploys Ground-Attack A-10 Planes to Turkey

U.N. Security Council To Meet On Mideast Violence

Iran says Saudi, not Tehran, destabilizing Middle East

Iran, Syria, Russia acting in coordination against Daesh: Iranian Deputy FM

---------

 

North America

Canada Rejects Anti-Islam Rhetoric, Elects Liberal

Canada's Islamic State Combat Mission to End, New PM Trudeau Tells Obama

Shiites, Sunnis connects in California Mosque

US Muslim teen accused of making clock-bomb to move to Qatar

Canada withdrawing fighter jets from Iraq, Syria

Canadian Muslims Cheer Justin Trudeau Win

---------

 

Arab World

ISIS Not Alone In Looting Syria Cultural Heritage, Syrian Regime, Kurdish and Other Opposition Forces Are Also Major Players: Study

20 Terrorists Killed in Single Army-Militants Battle in Aleppo

Nearly A Dozen People Are Killed In Iraq Bombing, Shooting Attacks

Syrian Army Kills over 15 Militants in South-western Damascus

Iraq Mulling to Replace US with Russia in Anti-Terrorism Campaign

Fresh Infighting Erupts between Terrorist Groups in Syria

'Halal Tourism' Emerges as Businesses Serve Muslim Travellers

Iraq's Ruling Alliance, Militias Urge PM Abadi to Request Russian Strikes on ISIS

Three Top Militant Commanders Killed in Lattakia

Russian Jets Hit 60 ISIL, Nusra Front Targets in Syria

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Advancing against Militants near Aleppo

King Salman calls for Arab-South American summit

Canada to withdraw jets from Iraq and Syria

U.S., Russia sign memo to avoid clashes in air over Syria

Fighting Daesh in Syria should be in cooperation with Damascus: Minister

Field Commander: Syrian Army, Hezbollah Tightening Noose on Kuweires Airport

Over 10,000 Syrians Lay Down Arms in Two Years

---------

 

South Asia

Dissident Commanders Meet to Choose Rival Afghan Taliban Leader

Security Forces Fend off Taliban Attack on Herat’s Ghoryan District

Ghani thanks Obama and Allies for ‘Historic Decision’ to support Afghanistan

Bangladesh investigates alleged radical threat against media

Islamists Issue Death Threat against Leading Bangladeshi Blogger

Afghan issue to dominate White House talks

Top B’desh opposition politician jailed for 13 years

Afghan-Canadian wins seat in Canadian Parliament

---------

 

India

Islamic Scholars Make Kashmiri Youth Aware of Sufism and Its Significance

Muslim Law Body (AIMPLB) Blames Centre for Beef Violence

Ban Ki-Moon Will Use Good Offices Only If Requested By Both Pakistan, India

---------

 

Pakistan

Four Militants Killed In Swabi Police 'Encounter'

Cleric Says Sunni-Shia Ties ‘Cordial’ In Pakistan

Conference on Sufi Poets: ‘Sufis Transformed Poetry’

India's response to efforts for peace not encouraging: PM

Plans to import power from India stalled

Prosecutors in Safoora carnage case decide to quit for lack of security

CII chief wants to tackle ‘incendiary issues’

Former PCB Chairman blames Najam Sethi for current turmoil with India

Banned group claims Quetta bus blast

Australian diplomat unveils aid programme in Quetta

---------

 

Europe

Syria's Assad in Surprise Visit to Moscow

PEGIDA Wants Muslims, Refugees in Nazi Camps

Dutch Muslim Mayor Gives Refugees Hope

Surging numbers of refugees land in Greece: UN

Dozen of ISIL suspects arrested in Moscow

UK still backing Turkey's EU bid

French anti-immigration leader goes on trial for ‘inciting hatred against Muslims’

U.S. intercepts targets in Europe missile test

---------

 

Southeast Asia

Non-Muslims Have ‘Complete’ Freedom to Worship, Najib Says

Muslim group wants fatwa against investing in firms responsible for haze

Tougher times ahead for Islamic finance as core markets slow

Muhammadiyah rejects National Santri Day

---------

 

Africa

Random Shelling Kills Five Civilians In Libya

Hamas leadership warmly welcomed in South Africa

Tear gas used against Congo protesters

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/sheikh-yusuf-al-qaradawi,-to-palestinians--die-as-martyrs/d/105000

---------

 

Mideast

 

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to Palestinians: Die as Martyrs

10/19/2015

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and considered to be the leading decisor on Sunni Muslim religious law, called on Saturday for the wave of terror attacks against Israel to escalate.

In a message published to his official Facebook account, the sheikh - who is a spiritual guide for the Muslim Brotherhood and its Gazan offshoot Hamas - wrote that support of the Palestinian Arab terror war against Israel is "a religious obligation."

He went on to claim that "Jerusalem is in danger" of "Judaisation and a removal of its Arab and Islamic character." His words are an apparent repetition of the false claim according to which Israel is changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, where the Jordanian Waqf continues to enjoy de facto control and ban Jewish prayer.

"Jerusalem does not belong to the Palestinians alone - they have first rights to it, and it doesn't belong to Arabs alone - they have first rights to defend it. Rather, it belongs to all Muslims, everyone according to his ability," wrote al-Qaradawi about the 3,000-year-old capital of the Jewish nation.

"We want to arouse the negligent, to awaken the sleeping, to remind those who forget, to reprove the hesitant, to reveal the traitors, to strengthen the hands of the mujahideen (jihadists - ed.) who refused to submit, freed themselves from the weakness and showed firmness in their will to live in honour or die as martyrs."

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/202096#.Vic5wdIrLIV

---------

 

Turkish MP: Ankara Supplied Terrorists in Syria with Sarin Gas

Oct 20, 2015

"The terrorist groups in Syria have received Sarin gas from Ankara," member of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Barish Arkadash said on Tuesday.

He pointed to the investigations by the UN in Syria proving that ISIL has Sarin Gas, and said, "We will also prove soon that the ISIL has received the (poisonous) gas from Turkey and we will also prove that some sections of the Turkish government and maybe some special private companies have been involved in this big crime."

Arkadash also called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign from his post as soon as it is proven that Ankara has supplied the terrorists in Syria with deadly Sarin gas.

On August 21, 2013, the terrorist groups using Sarin agent launched chemical attacks on Eastern Ghouta in Damascus countryside which resulted in death of a large number of civilians, including women and children.

Sarin, or GB, is a colorless, odorless liquid, used as a chemical weapon owing to its extreme potency as a nerve agent and it has been classified as a weapon of mass destruction.

In late 2014, American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh said Turkey was behind 2013’s Sarin gas attack carried out by foreign-backed insurgents in Syria.

In a report published in the London Review of Books, Hersh claimed Turkey staged the gas attack to provoke a US war on Syria.

According to the report, more than ten members of the Al-Nusra Front were arrested in May 2013 in Southern Turkey with “two kilograms of Sarin”. But in a news conference in Summer 2013, Turkey's ambassador to Moscow Aydin Sezgin dismissed the arrests and told reporters that the recovered “Sarin” was merely “anti-freeze", the report said.

“We knew there were some in the Turkish government,” Hersh quoted a former senior US intelligence official, who has access to current intelligence, as saying. The American official believed “they could get Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s nuts in a vice by dabbling with a Sarin attack inside Syria and forcing Obama to make good on his red line threat.”

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728001371

---------

 

U.S. Deploys Ground-Attack A-10 Planes to Turkey

20 October 2015

The U.S. military has deployed a dozen A-10 ground-attack planes to the air base at Incirlik in southern Turkey, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

The 12 planes, famed for their tank-destroying capabilities, arrived over the weekend and have already been scheduled to fly missions in support of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadists in Iraq and Syria, the official told AFP.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said the move had "added capability" to the coalition's efforts against ISIS.

Known by troops on the ground as "Warthogs," A-10 planes are heavily strengthened and designed to withstand direct hits from armor-piercing rounds.

The planes typically fly lower and slower than F-16s, which also puts them more in harm's way.

"There's more significant risk than other aircraft due to the flight path they typically fly," the official said.

It wasn't immediately clear if the U.S.-led coalition has already used A-10s during its bombing campaign of ISIS jihadists, which has been going on for more than a year.

The move comes three weeks after Russia launched its own bombing campaign in Syria. Officials from the Pentagon and Moscow are due to finalize an "understanding" over air-safety rules to avoid planes from the two powers flying into each other.

The official said the A-10s could potentially be used to support rebel groups fighting ISIS in northern Syria, including a group called the "Syrian Arab Coalition" that received a massive airdrop of ammunition this month.

Turkey in July allowed U.S. planes to use Incirlik Air Base to attack IS positions in Syria.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/20/U-S-deploys-ground-attack-a-10-planes-to-Turkey-.html

---------

 

U.N. Security Council to meet on Mideast violence

21 October 2015

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief the Security Council on Wednesday on his trip to the Middle East where he is seeking to defuse weeks of violence, diplomats said.

Ban made the request to urgently speak to council members by video-conference from the Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah.

The closed-door emergency meeting is scheduled for 1900 GMT.

Ban paid a surprise visit to the region on Tuesday to personally deliver a warning to both Israelis and the Palestinians to stand back from a "dangerous abyss."

The U.N. chief met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was due to hold talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Wednesday morning.

More than 40 Palestinians, including alleged attackers, have been killed in the upsurge of violence that began at the beginning of the month. Eight Israelis have died in attacks.

Ban called for renewed negotiations after the peace process went into a deep freeze last year following the breakdown of a U.S. initiative.

"We must, for the future of our children, come back from this dangerous abyss, safeguard the two-state solution, and lead people back to the road toward peace," he said.

Ban's report from the region will come on the eve of a ministerial-level debate at the Security Council on the way forward in the Middle East amid fears that the violence could spiral out of control.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will also meet Netanyahu in Germany this week and Abbas later at an unspecified location in the Middle East.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/21/U-N-Security-Council-to-meet-on-Mideast-violence-.html

---------

 

Iran says Saudi, not Tehran, destabilizing Middle East

20 October 2015

Saudi Arabia, not Iran, is destabilizing the Middle East, an official in Tehran said Tuesday, rejecting claims from Riyadh that Iran is acting like a “colonizing state.”

The comments from foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham come after Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday accused Iran of “meddling in the affairs” of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.

Relations between Iran, the region’s dominant Shiite Muslim power, and Saudi Arabia, its Sunni rival, have been fraught since an uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad broke out in 2011.

Iran openly backs Assad and is also accused of supporting Shiite Houthi militia group who overran large parts of Yemen last year and early this year.

Relations soured further after Saudi Arabia’s decision to launch an air campaign in Yemen.

The deaths of at least 464 Iranian pilgrims in the recent hajj stampede in Mina and further Iranian military activity in Syria saw ties plunge again, with increasingly abrasive statements from both sides.

Afkham described Jubeir’s remarks -- he had said the kingdom would use all its “political, economic and military powers” to defend itself -- were “despicable, arrogant and non-diplomatic.”

“This destructive and non-constructive approach leads nowhere,” Afkham said of Jubeir, who had demanded that Iran pull fighters out of Syria, stop supplying arms to Assad and cease to act like a “colonizing state” there.

Afkham responded: “The Saudi foreign minister, whose country has a military and extremist approach to crises... and bombed continuously for seven months in Yemen, is not qualified to talk about the role of Iran in the region.”

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/20/Iran-says-Saudi-not-Tehran-destabilizing-Middle-East-.html

---------

 

Iran, Syria, Russia acting in coordination against Daesh: Iranian Deputy FM

Oct 21, 2015

A senior Iranian official says Iran, Russia and Syria are operating in tandem to tackle Daesh Takfiri terrorists who are wreaking havoc in the Arab country. 

“We enjoy coordination with Syria and Russia in the fight against Daesh,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, said at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London on Tuesday. 

He rejected claims that Iran’s cooperation with Russia is limited to the Syria crisis, stressing that Tehran maintains “strategic” relations with Moscow.

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/21/434326/Iran-Russia-Syria-AmirAbdollahian-Daesh-militants-

---------

 

North America

 

Canada Rejects Anti-Islam Rhetoric, Elects Liberal

20 October 2015

CAIRO – Ending nearly a decade of Conservative rule, Canada's Liberal Party has decisively won general elections, as anti-Muslim rhetoric failed to garner support for the country's outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“This is what positive politics can do. This is what a hopeful vision and platform and team can make happen,” a hoarse but jubilant Justin Trudeau, the son of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, told cheering supporters at Liberal headquarters in Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth hotel, The Independent reported on Tuesday, October 20.

“You can appeal to the better angels of our nature, and you can win while doing it.”

Canadians went to polling stations on Monday, October 19, to vote in the country’s federal election.

Over the past few weeks, many headlines focused on how Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who heads the Conservative Party, has been under fire for allegedly making anti-Muslim comments.

Harper’s anti-Muslim message has centered around his support for banning the niqab, a religious piece of cloth that covers the face along with a hijab, from the Canadian workforce.

The Conservative Party nominee also said he would appeal a Canadian court ruling from earlier this year that allowed a Pakistani woman to wear her niqab when she was sworn in as a citizen.

These anti-Muslim comments backfired after voters picked 43-year-old Trudeau, whose father was Prime Minister for more than 15 years in the 1970s and 1980s, to become their second youngest Prime Minister.

Trudeau is a sometime actor and former high school teacher, who sprang on to the public stage when he delivered the eulogy at his father’s funeral in 2000. He has been an MP since 2008.

"We beat fear with hope, we beat cynicism with hard work. Most of all we defeated the idea that Canadians should be satisfied with less," Trudeau said as he addressed his jubilant supporters.

"This is what positive politics can do," he said, also praising Harper for his service to the country.

The Liberals were elected or were leading in 185 districts, with Mr Trudeau winning his Montreal district. The party needed 170 to gain a majority.

The Conservatives were next with 97, followed by the New Democrats at 28 and Bloc Quebecois with nine.

Full Report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/495273-canada-rejects-anti-islam-rhetoric-elects-liberal.html

---------

 

Canada's Islamic State combat mission to end, new PM Trudeau tells Obama

21 October 2015

OTTAWA: Canada's prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he told United States (US) President Barack Obama that Canadian fighter jets would withdraw from fighting the self-styled Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, but gave no timeline for the withdrawal.

"About an hour ago I spoke with President Obama," Trudeau told a press conference.

While Canada remains "a strong member of the coalition against ISIL", Trudeau said he made clear to the US leader "the commitments I have made around ending the combat mission".

Canada last year deployed CF-18 fighter jets to the region until March 2016, as well as about 70 special forces troops to train Kurds in northern Iraq.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214591/canadas-islamic-state-combat-mission-to-end-new-pm-trudeau-tells-obama

---------

 

Shiites, Sunnis connects in California Mosque

October 20, 2015

Ahlul Bayt News Agency - Building bridges between American Sunnis and Shiites, a California mosque is using art, music and celebrations to bring members of the Muslim community together, bridging a deep gap void between the two sects.

"I think one missing thing ... right now, today, is beauty — really paying attention to the beauty of Islam, and its rich history," California mosque leader Ali Sheikhulislami told npr on Sunday, October 18.

Sheikhulislami, the leader of the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California (ICCNC), was talking about activities being held by his mosque to break down divisions between Sunnis and Shiites.

In its majestic building, ICCNC tries to be a model of harmony between the two sects by hosting plays, open mic nights, painting and ceramics classes.

"Every inch of this building just has a meaning," manager Azita Sayyah says.

Being not like an average mosque, white, black and Asian people, some in embroidered green Sufi robes, others in black Shiite turbans or flowing white Arab jalabeyas, pack ICCNC.

"It's a unique experience," says Ali Saadeghi.

"If you go to a traditional Muslim place, that's not something that you're gonna get. It's more fun, and it's a good place for my kid and my wife to enjoy."

The United States is home to a Muslim community of between six to eight million.

A recent survey about mosques in the United States found that %7 of mosques in the country are Shiites.

The survey also showed that %44 of Shiite mosques in the United States opened in the 1990s.

Tolerance

The mosque has been favourable for many visitors, where they found rare harmony between Sunnis and Shiites.

"The unique thing about the American experience is ... we are able to come to this country and practice the religion the way we want to, and to do it in a way that we're tolerant of each other," said ICCNC's Ahmed Sheikhulislami.

A similar opinion was shared by Ali Sheikhulislami, the mosque leader, who believes that being far from the Middle East gives room for dialogue.

Full Report at:

http://en.abna24.com/service/america/archive/2015/10/20/716021/story.html

---------

 

US Muslim teen accused of making clock-bomb to move to Qatar

October 21, 2015

The Muslim teenager arrested when a Texas teacher mistook his homemade clock for a bomb is moving to Qatar, local media reported a day after Ahmed Mohamed visited the White House. Mohamed, 14, became an overnight sensation after his sister tweeted a photo of the aspiring inventor standing in handcuffs while wearing a t-shirt with the US space agency NASA’s logo last month. His family was overwhelmed by offers to support Mohamed’s education and decided to move to Qatar after receiving a full scholarship for his secondary and undergraduate education, his father told the Dallas Morning News. The son of Sudanese immigrants who live in a Dallas suburb, the young robotics fan brought in a home-made clock to impress a new teacher at MacArthur High School. Instead, he was accused of trying to scare people with a hoax bomb and escorted from the school in handcuffs. President Barack Obama joined a surge of public support by congratulating the teen on his skills, in what was seen as a pointed rebuke to school and police officials amid accusations of Islamophobia. “Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great,” Obama tweeted. Invitations poured in from Facebook, Google, the United Nations and in the coming weeks Mohamed tweeted photos of visits to New York, Sudan, Qatar and Mecca. On Monday night, Mohamed joined a group of students, teachers, scientists, astronauts and celebrities — including the “Myth Busters” and Bill Nye — for White House Astronomy Night. “So happy, I can’t believe that I met the #president of the #unitedstates!!!” he tweeted, in all caps, alongside a photo which showed Obama hugging Mohamed. Mohamed will join the Qatar Foundation’s Young Innovators Program, which he visited earlier this month. “Qatar was a cool place to visit,” he said in a statement released to the Dallas Morning News yesterday. “The teachers were great. I think I will learn a lot and have fun too.”

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/us-muslim-teen-accused-of-making-clock-bomb-to-move-to-qatar/

---------

 

Canada withdrawing fighter jets from Iraq, Syria

21 October 2015

Canada's prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he told U.S. President Barack Obama that Canadian fighter jets would withdraw from fighting the ISIL group in Iraq and Syria.

But he gave no timeline.

"About an hour ago I spoke with President Obama," Trudeau told a press conference.

While Canada remains "a strong member of the coalition against ISIL," Trudeau said he made clear to the U.S. leader "the commitments I have made around ending the combat mission."

Canada last year deployed CF-18 fighter jets to the region until March 2016, as well as about 70 special forces troops to train Kurds in northern Iraq.

During the campaign, Trudeau pledged to bring home the fighter jets and end its combat mission. But he vowed to keep military trainers in place.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/america-canada/165491/canada-withdrawing-fighter-jets-from-iraq-syria

---------

 

Canadian Muslims Cheer Justin Trudeau Win

21 October 2015

TORONTO – The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) has sent congratulations to the Liberal Party of Canada and its leader Justin Trudeau on their historic victory in Canada’s 42nd general election.

“We commend the Liberal Party of Canada and Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau on their election victory and for running a campaign based on inclusiveness and on promoting the strength of a diverse Canada,” said Kashif A. Ahmed, NCCM Board Chair.

Justin Trudeau won a stunning victory Monday night ousting Conservative leader Stephen Harper after almost a decade in power.

In less than three years, Trudeau took the Liberal party from third place in the House of Commons to a majority government — and he did so after trailing badly early in the election campaign.

“The election of a Liberal majority government comes with heavy responsibility,” added NCCM’s Executive Director, Ihsaan Gardee.

“Canada witnessed the highest turnout of voters in decades and Canadians are now more engaged about the issues that impact them.

"In the coming weeks and months, Canadian Muslims and their fellow citizens will expect decisive steps from their new government to protect civil liberties promote social cohesion and reaffirm the inclusive nature of our country,” he added.

The NCCM also extended congratulations to the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Green Party of Canada for running principled campaigns.

“This election has been difficult for Canadian Muslims,” noted Amira Elghawaby, NCCM’s Communications Director.

“But many are expressing hope that Canadian values of multiculturalism, cohesion, and mutual understanding have been strengthened.”

The Liberals were elected in 185 districts, with Trudeau winning his Montreal district. The party needed 170 to gain a majority.

The Conservatives were next with 97, followed by the New Democrats at 28 and Bloc Quebecois with nine.

Full Report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/495321-canadian-muslims-cheer-justin-trudeau-win.html

---------

 

Arab World

 

ISIS Not Alone In Looting Syria Cultural Heritage, Syrian Regime, Kurdish and Other Opposition Forces Are Also Major Players: Study

October 21, 2015

NEW YORK: The self-styled Islamic State (IS) group may dominate headlines about the destruction of heritage sites in Syria, but it is far from the only culprit, new United States research warned Wednesday.

The Syrian regime, Kurdish and other opposition forces are also major players in the destruction, according to the study led by a specialist in Middle East archaeology at Dartmouth University.

The findings, published in the journal Near Eastern Archaeology, are based on analysis of satellite imagery from nearly 1,300 out of Syria's estimated 8,000 archaeological sites.

Media attention "has led to a widespread misunderstanding that ISIS is the main culprit when it comes to looting," said Jesse Casana, associate professor at Dartmouth, using another acronym for the IS group.

"Using satellite imagery, our research is able to demonstrate that looting is actually very common across all parts of Syria."

The research found that more than 26 per cent of sites were looted in regions held by Kurdish or other opposition groups. Around 21.4pc of sites were looted in IS-controlled areas and 16.5pc in Syrian regime areas.

Severe looting by Syrian military

But while minor looting was most common in Kurdish and opposition-held areas, IS dominated when it came to heavy destruction, the study found.

The study classified 42.7pc of looting in IS-held areas as heavy, 22.9pc in Syrian regime areas, 14.3pc in opposition force-held areas, and 9.4pc Kurdish areas.

"To the best of our knowledge, the sites that were within IS-held areas now have a much higher incidence of moderate or severe looting than sites we have sampled in other places, and a much lower incidence of looting overall," Casana told AFP.

"IS is terrible, awful," he said. "On the other hand, looting on an equally large scale is taking place at a large number of sites all across Syria."

Episodes of severe looting have been perpetrated under the direct watch or perhaps by the Syrian regime military and not been widely reported, Casana told AFP.

IS has carried out a sustained campaign of destruction of heritage sites in Syria and Iraq, most notoriously dismantling the ancient ruins of Palmyra since capturing the area in May.

In September, CBS News reported on smugglers selling looted artifacts to help fund IS, including a mosaic purportedly dug up in the Roman city of Apamea in western Syria.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214594/is-not-alone-in-looting-syria-cultural-heritage-study

---------

 

20 Terrorists Killed in Single Army-Militants Battle in Aleppo

Oct 20, 2015

The Syrian army said that its forces stormed Kafer Kar area and killed nearly 20 militants, in the meantime, the militants' military equipment and ammunition depot were destroyed in a separate operation in al-Mashhad area near Aleppo.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728000674

---------

 

Nearly a dozen people are killed in Iraq bombing, shooting attacks

Oct 21, 2015

Nearly a dozen people have lost their lives and 30 others sustained injuries in separate bomb explosions and shooting incidents in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and elsewhere in the crisis-hit Arab country.

A security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said unidentified gunmen sprayed a civilian car with bullets as it was traveling on Mohammed al-Qasim Expressway in eastern Baghdad, leaving one employee of the Iraqi Ministry of Justice dead and two others wounded, Arabic-language al-Baghdadia satellite television network reported.

Earlier in the day, a civilian was killed and six others wounded when a bomb attached to a car went off in the Bob al-Sham neighborhood of northern Baghdad.

Separately, an improvised explosive device detonated close to a commercial district in Baghdad’s eastern neighborhood of New Baghdad, on Tuesday, killing one civilian and injuring eight others.

Unknown gunmen also shot dead two pro-government and anti-al-Qaeda Sahwa (Awakening) fighters in the city of Muqdadiyah, situated about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

An Iraqi man looks at a burnt vehicle on October 6, 2015, a day after a car bomb explosion in a busy area in the town of Hosseiniyah, located some 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad. (Photo by AFP)

A bomb explosion near a commercial district in the town of Taji, located 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Baghdad, also left one civilian dead and eight others injured.

Two other Sahwa fighters were also killed and five others injured on Tuesday when unidentified gunmen stormed a security checkpoint near the town of Madain, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southeast of Baghdad, and opened fire indiscriminately.

Additionally, a farmer lost his life when an improvised explosive device planted in an orchard went off in the town of Abu Sayda, located about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.

On Tuesday morning, a dentist and his assistant were killed and a civilian was injured, when unidentified armed men stormed the dentist’s office in the town of Tarmiyah, situated about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Baghdad in a shooting attack.

The assailants later fled the scene, and a search operation is underway to arrest the perpetrators of the act of violence.

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/21/434315/Iraq-violence-Baghdad-Madain-Sahwa

---------

 

Syrian Army Kills over 15 Militants in South-western Damascus

Oct 20, 2015

The sources said that the Syrian soldiers stormed the terrorist hideouts in the surroundings of Darayya and killed over 15, wounding several more.

On Saturday, the Syrian army troops regained control over several strategic areas in Damascus countryside.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728000921

---------

 

Iraq Mulling to Replace US with Russia in Anti-Terrorism Campaign

Oct 20, 2015

"The parliament fractions are calling on the Iraqi government to request Russian airstrikes and use it to attack the ISIL military bases and oil centers," Rubaie, who is now a senior legislator at the Iraqi parliament, told FNA on Tuesday.

"The US air force doesn’t cooperate with Iraq's federal government and security and armed forces and refrains from providing any intelligence on ISIL's concentration and field camps," he added.

Rubaie complained that in every 10 flight missions conducted by the US-led coalition planes, ISIL positions come under attack in only two missions, while nothing special happens in the remaining 8 missions.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Iraqi security expert Hesham al-Hashemi said the Baghdad government would ask for Russia's direct military assistance in the fight against the ISIL in the coming days, adding that further military advances by Iraq's joint forces would be a great achievement for the quadrilateral coalition.

"If the Iraqi security forces achieve considerable advances in their fight against the ISIL in the Northern parts of Salahudin province, Iraq will surely ask for Russia's military aid to help them in the fight agaist the ISIL," Al-Hashemi told FNA.

The Iraqi security expert reiterated that the Iraqi air force desperately needed the Russian air force's help in the fight against the ISIL.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728001257

---------

 

Fresh Infighting Erupts between Terrorist Groups in Syria

Oct 20, 2015

Terrorists of Jund Al-Aqsa have engaged in fierce clashes with Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group in al-Tamanna, informed sources said.

On Monday, clashes also erupted between the terrorists organizations due to the increased withdrawals of some of the Takfiri groups from al-Ghab plain in Hama countryside, leaving at least 7 militants dead.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728001356

---------

 

'Halal Tourism' Emerges as Businesses Serve Muslim Travellers

21st October 2015

ABU DHABI: A rental company in Orlando, Florida, is offering "Halal vacation homes" with curtained pool decks and rooms with prayer mats and copies of the Quran. A British company's app lists gourmet restaurants serving Halal meat in London and Dubai, while a Boston-based developer's app offers travel guides for 90 cities with local prayer times and a compass pointing Muslims toward Mecca for daily prayers.

The so-called "Halal tourism" market was once seen as a niche revenue stream, limited to pilgrimages like the multi-billion dollar-a-year revenue stream generated by Muslim travellers to Mecca.

But now there's a movement in the tourism industry to widen the "Halal tourism" market to cater to Muslim travellers worldwide, particularly those from wealthy Gulf Arab states.

Travellers from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman will spend $64 billion travelling this year and are expected to spend $216 billion by 2030, according to a 2014 study for the travel tech company Amadeus. The study found that, on average, a traveler from these countries spends around $9,900 per trip outside the Gulf. For Emiratis, the figure reaches $10,400.

Ritz-Carlton hotels in Dallas and New York hired the Dinar Standard advisory firm to help them better serve Muslim guests, including Arab royalty. Now the two hotels serve halal meals upon request, have Middle Eastern chefs on staff, offer rooms with spaces that allow for gender-segregated settings and have trained frontline staff on other cultural norms.

Reem El Shafaki, a senior associate at Dinar Standard, says that the hospitality industry can market to Muslims without alienating non-Muslims. "What some hotels and destinations are doing is that they're using the term 'family friendly'," she said at a conference this week in Abu Dhabi, which brought people from across the budding industry to explore the topic.

Halal in Islam literally means that which is permissible. Observant Muslims typically avoid alcohol and areas where there can be excessive nudity, like beaches and nightclubs. For women who adhere to Islam's modest dress code, swimming can pose a challenge. That means resorts that offer gender-segregated beaches and pools have an advantage.

Roberto Silva of Florida Reality Investments says the company took 50 of its rental properties and outfitted them with a few changes, like curtains around the pool deck, to make them more comfortable for their many Gulf Arab customers, who often travel as large families to Orlando for several weeks at a time and want to be near Disney World and other parks.

"I would love to do more ... Los Angeles and San Diego, there are a lot of people going there, and also New York," he said from his stand at the World Halal Travel Summit and Exhibition in Abu Dhabi.

Along Turkey's southern coast, several all-inclusive resorts have expansive private beaches and pools for women. One resort even built a structure in the sea to keep people on boats from catching a glimpse. Malaysia is also aggressively seeking more Muslim tourists, promoting itself as "Muslim-friendly Malaysia" in brochures at the Abu Dhabi conference.

Elnur Seyidli, chairman of a website called Halal Booking, says his company has served 43,000 customers from 75 countries. The website can filter requests to find hotels that do not serve any alcohol, or hotels that only serve alcohol in some restaurants. For meat, which should be slaughtered according to Islamic rules, the website offers filters ranging from food that is all Halal, or Halal meat available upon request.

Full Report at:

http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/Halal-Tourism-Emerges-as-Businesses-Serve-Muslim-Travelers/2015/10/21/article3090016.ece

---------

 

Iraq's ruling alliance, militias urge PM Abadi to request Russian strikes on IS

October 21, 2015

BAGHDAD: Iraq's ruling alliance and powerful militias have urged Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to request Russian air strikes on the self-styled Islamic State (IS) militants, who control large parts of the country, members of the coalition and militias told Reuters.

America's top general, Joseph Dunford, said on a trip to Baghdad on Tuesday that the United States (US) won assurances from Iraq that it would not seek such strikes.

Former Cold War foes the US and Russia are carrying out rival campaigns of air strikes in neighbouring Syria and speculation has been growing this could spill over into Iraq, a major Opec oil producer.

Abadi, his government and the Iranian-backed militias have all expressed frustration with the pace and depth of the US campaign against IS and signalled their intention to lean on Moscow, to the consternation of Washington.

Two members of parliament said the prime minister was under "tremendous pressure" from the ruling National Alliance to request Russian intervention.

Iraq received over $20 billion in US military training since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 but its army virtually collapsed in the face of an IS sweep through the north last year and made further gains in the west.

US-led air strikes have failed to turn the tide in the war against the militants.

MPs and alliance members said an official request was relayed to Abadi in a meeting last week and that he has not responded.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214596/iraqs-ruling-alliance-militias-urge-pm-abadi-to-request-russian-strikes-on-is

---------

 

Three Top Militant Commanders Killed in Lattakia

Oct 20, 2015

The terrorist groups said on their social media pages that Kafi Fahd and Abu Libia from the so-called "Asifet al-Hazm Battalion" and the leader of "Sayyed al-Shuhadaa Hamzeh Battalion", nicknamed as Abu Hamza, were killed during clashes in the Northern countryside of Lattakia.

Earlier reports said the Russian fighter jets' air raids on the terrorist positions across the coastal province of Lattakia left at least 40 militants dead, including Basel Zimmo (Abu Hamza) a senior commander known as the King of US TOW antitank missiles.

The Russian warplanes, on Monday midnight and early hours of Tuesday, targeted the hideout of the militant commanders in Jabal al-Akrad area in several missile attacks in which, at least 40, terrorists were killed and many others were injured.

Abu Hamza, a defected captain and Chief of Staff of Coastal Division, was trained by the US forces in Turkey to operate the US-made antitank missiles against the government forces in Syria.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728001404

---------

 

Russian Jets Hit 60 ISIL, Nusra Front Targets in Syria

Oct 20, 2015

Russian bombers destroyed 19 terrorist command centers, 30 firing positions, 9 fortified areas, 2 ammunition depots, a plant producing arms and explosives, 3 terrorist fighting vehicles and 6 off-road vehicles over the past 24 hours, the Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman said, Sputnik News reported.

The Russian Aerospace Force has hit and destroyed a large terrorist base with a command post and a disguised ammunition depot in Idlib, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.

An ISIL command post and a communication center have been destroyed in the Syria's Deir ez-Zor province by the Russian aviation, Konashenkov said.

Russia has received an agreed memorandum from the United States on the prevention of air incidents in the Syrian airspace, he said.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728001450

---------

 

Syrian Army, Hezbollah Advancing against Militants near Aleppo

Oct 20, 201

The source said that the militants have failed the clashes in Kahan Touman and al-Khalidiyah due to massive joint-operation of the Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters, in which dozens of terrorists have been killed or wounded.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728000706

---------

 

King Salman calls for Arab-South American summit

21 October 2015

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz has called on Arab leaders to attend he Fourth Summit of Arab-South American countries set to be held in Riyadh next month.

The king sent invitations to Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Yemen's President Abdrabbo Mansour Hadi to attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Summit of South American-Arab Countries is a bi-regional mechanism for cooperation and political coordination, which gathers the 22 member-states of the Arab League and the 12 countries of South America.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/21/King-Salman-calls-for-Arab-South-America-summit.html

---------

 

Canada to withdraw jets from Iraq and Syria

21 October 2015

Canada's prime minister-elect Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday he told US President Barack Obama that Canadian fighter jets would withdraw from fighting the ISIS group in Iraq and Syria.

But he gave no timeline.

“About an hour ago I spoke with President Obama,” Trudeau told a press conference.

While Canada remains “a strong member of the coalition against ISIL,” Trudeau said he made clear to the U.S. leader “the commitments I have made around ending the combat mission.”

Canada last year deployed CF-18 fighter jets to the region until March 2016, as well as about 70 special forces troops to train Kurds in northern Iraq.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/21/Canada-withdrawing-fighter-jets-from-Iraq-Syria.html

---------

 

U.S., Russia sign memo to avoid clashes in air over Syria

21 October 2015

U.S. and Russian military officials signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday that includes steps their pilots should take to avoid an inadvertent clash over Syria as they carry out separate air strikes against militant groups, the Pentagon said.

The issue of aircraft safety started after Russia began bombing targets in Syria last month. Moscow says it is attacking Islamic State, but many of its air strikes have hit territory held by other rebel groups fighting against Russia’s Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the full text of the memo would not be released at Russia’s request, but it included specific protocols for air crews to follow, plus the creation of a ground communications link between the two sides in the event air communications fail.

Earlier this month the Pentagon said U.S.-led coalition aircrafts bombing Islamic State in Syria were re-routed at least once to avoid a close encounter with Russian planes.

“The U.S. and Russia will form a working group to discuss any implementation issues that follow,” Cook said during a press briefing.

Cook told reporters later the memo was signed for the U.S. side by Army General Lloyd Austin, the head of U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. forces in the Middle East region.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/10/21/U-S-Russia-sign-memo-to-avoid-clashes-in-air-over-Syria.html

---------

 

Fighting Daesh in Syria should be in cooperation with Damascus: Minister

Oct 21, 2015

The Syrian information minister says the countries aiming to combat the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Syria should cooperate with the Syrian government.

“Any side that wants to fight the ISIS should cooperate with the Syrian state and army,” Omran al-Zoubi said in an interview with the Syrian Ikhbariya TV on Tuesday, using another acronym for Daesh.

The Syrian minister referred to Russia’s fight against terrorism in the Arab country, saying that the reason for the Russian military campaign is that terrorism is a cross-border threat and it poses dangers to the regional and international security.

Zoubi stressed that Syria is fighting a war of global nature against terrorism, stressing that Russia and Iran share the same stance with Syria concerning the fight against terrorism.

He also denied the presence of any forces from other countries like Cuba and North Korea on Syrian soil, saying, “Russia’s presence is more than sufficient.”

Russia began its military campaign against terrorists in Syria on September 30 upon a request from the Damascus government, shortly after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the mandate to use military force in Syria.

The image, by RIA Novosti, shows Russian Su-25 attack aircraft taking off from the Khmeimim airbase in Syria’s northwestern city of Latakia.

Zoubi contrasted the US and the Russian military activities in Syria, saying Washington’s role is very different as it alleges there is a “moderate opposition,” which it has been training.

He further said that the motive for labeling terrorist groups as “moderate” is to camouflage the groups that no one truly knows where their loyalty lies and to what terrorist group they are affiliated.

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/21/434308/Syria-Daesh-Omran-alZoubi-Russia-US

---------

 

Field Commander: Syrian Army, Hezbollah Tightening Noose on Kuweires Airport

Oct 20, 2015

The Syrian army backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance and Iraq's resistance forces launched massive military operations in Aleppo province, specially in its Southwest, concurrent with the army's new operations in Hama and Lattakia provinces.

"The goal of these operations is to purge these regions of terrorists and continue advances towards the Lattakia province; if these operations succeed, the route connecting the terrorist groups in Aleppo to Lattakia and Idlib provinces will be cut off and supply of aids to them through the Turkish border will grow fully impossible," the Syrian field commander, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons, told FNA on Monday.

Also according to the commander, if the mop-up operations in Southwest Aleppo, Northern Hama and Idlib ends with success, security will be established on the main route linking Central Syria, or the Damascus province, to the Northern parts of the country, or Aleppo, and accordingly dispatch of equipment and troops will be expedited, while terrorists in Eastern and Western Syria will be fully disconnected.

Kuweires Military Airport

Another goal of the operation is Kuweires airbase. The Syrian forces backed by Hezbollah forces have started operations in the Eastern countryside of Aleppo since two years ago in a bid to break the siege of Kuweires military airbase.

Hundreds of Syrian forces have been fully besieged at the Kuweires airport as a result of the occupation of vast areas surrounding the airport by the terrorists in the past two years.

The Syrian army troops advanced towards Kuweires airbase, and are now only less than 6 kilometers away from the besieged airport as mentioned above.

On Sunday, battlefield sources said that the Syrian armed forces, backed by the Russian warplanes, were pushing back the Takfiri terrorists from areas adjacent to the Kuweires military airport.

The march towards the strategic airbase started on Saturday. Following a series of battles, sources said yesterday that "the army had inflicted heavy casualties on the militants in areas near the Kuweires airport, killed tens of the terrorists and wounded dozens more".

The Russian warplanes launched heavy airstrikes on ISIL positions in Al-Jaboul village to open the path for the Syrian ground forces to win back the village.

The Syrian troops killed dozens of the militants and took full control of the village which is close to the Kuweires military airbase.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists have besieged the Kuweires airport for over 2.5 years now, but the airport itself is under the Syrian army's control.

The Syrian army's helicopters supply foodstuff and other needs to the Syrian troops defending the airport.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728001136

---------

 

Over 10,000 Syrians Lay Down Arms in Two Years

Oct 20, 2015

"In total, including Homs and its Western suburb, we are talking about 10,000 people who have laid down arms over the past two years," Ali Haidar said, RIA Novosti reported.

Up to 6,000 former fighters have returned to civilian life in the Damascus suburb in the past six months, according to Haidar.

Full Report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940728001080

---------

 

South Asia

 

Dissident commanders meet to choose rival Afghan Taliban leader

October 21, 2015

PESHAWAR: Weeks after the Afghan Taliban's biggest battlefield success since 2001, dissident commanders unhappy with their new leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor are meeting to choose a rival, they told Reuters on Tuesday.

Analysts say the recent brief occupation of the northern city of Kunduz has cemented Mansoor's power, boosting his reputation among foot soldiers and causing the US government and NATO to slow plans for withdrawing their troops.

But in the opaque manoeuvring around the Taliban leadership, it is unclear whether the anti-Mansoor faction will seek to challenge him on the battlefield, how many fighters they control or how much money they have.

A leadership battle within the Taliban could create space for militants loyal to the self-styled Islamic State (IS) to expand their foothold in the region, and could discourage Mansoor from resuming Pakistan-backed peace talks with the Afghan government.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is pushing for a negotiated settlement to the 14-year insurgency, which has escalated markedly since tens of thousands of NATO combat troops withdrew ahead of an end-2014 deadline.

The two sides held inaugural talks in Pakistan in July, but many commanders, including prominent dissident Mullah Abdul Qayum Zakir, opposed the process. It has since stalled.

Mullah Abdul Manan Niazi, a spokesman for the anti-Mansoor faction, said a new leader would be chosen within days.

“There is one agenda, and that's to choose the new emir (leader) unanimously and get rid of Mullah Mansoor,” he said.

Niazi said the dissident commanders would not accept Mansour despite the Taliban's brief occupation of Kunduz earlier this month, their most important military success since the US-led invasion toppled the Taliban government in 2001.

Just weeks after the peace talks, Mansoor was hastily appointed head of the Afghan Taliban when Kabul's intelligence agency leaked news that Mullah Omar, the reclusive one-eyed founder of the Taliban, had been dead for more than two years.

During that time, Mansoor issued statements in Omar's name, a subterfuge he said was necessary to unify the insurgency. But many commanders were furious over the deception and refused to accept him.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214392/dissident-commanders-meet-to-choose-rival-afghan-taliban-leader

---------

 

Security forces fend off Taliban attack on Herat’s Ghoryan District

Oct 21 2015

Security forces have fended off a Taliban attack on Ghoryan District of western Herat province.

According to reports, around 200 militants launched the attack on security forces in the vicinity of Ghoryan’s capital city on Tuesday evening

Sediq Sediqi, spokesman for Ministry of Interior posted a message on its twitter account last night stating that security forces have repelled the attack on Ghoryan District.

“Terrorists attack on Ghorian district repelled by Afghan security forces, Herat Police chief with special forces have reached Ghorian,” the messaged stated.

This morning he posted another message stating that 15 militants were killed in last night’s battle.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/security-forces-fend-off-taliban-attack-on-herats-ghoryan-district-4017

---------

 

Ghani thanks Obama and Allies for ‘Historic Decision’ to support Afghanistan

Oct 20 2015

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani thanked the US President Barack Obama and the other allies of Afghanistan for their ‘Historic Decision’ to extend support for Afghanistan.

In his speech to the cadets of the Afghan Army, Afghan National Police and National Directorate of Security, President Ghani said “We welcome and thanks President Obama and the other allies including Germany, United Kingdom, Japan and others for their historic decision to extend technical and military support to Afghanistan in line with the frameworks of the bilateral strategic and security agreements.”

Hailing the decision as ‘truly historic’ President Ghani said the announcement reflects the credibility of the noble and proud nation of Afghanistan.

President Ghani further added that the decision was taken as a result of direct advice and consultation with the civil and military officials under the leadership of the government of national unity.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/ghani-thanks-obama-and-allies-for-historic-decision-to-support-afghanistan-1646

---------

 

Bangladesh investigates alleged radical threat against media

October 21, 2015

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh police said Tuesday they are investigating an email sent to various media organizations reportedly by a banned Islamist group threatening to topple "towering buildings" and telling the media not to run anything that goes against what it called jihad.

The email — sent after a series of deadly attacks targeting moderates and foreigners — contains a six-point directive that includes telling women to stay at home. It urges businesses to fire any female employees, and says that working outside of the home is a "punishable offense" according to Shariah, or Islamic law. It does not elaborate what would constitute appropriate punishment.

The letter is signed by the group Ansarullah Bangla Team, which is allegedly linked with several other groups that claimed responsibility for killing four atheist bloggers this year.

It threatens to kill more atheist bloggers, naming six in Bangladesh and nine others living abroad to be targeted as soon as they returned to the South Asian country. It said the list of 15 names is not final, warning that anyone who attempts to degrade Islam would face serious consequences and anyone supporting the atheist bloggers will not "be spared."

Authorities said they are taking the threat seriously and are investigating. "Higher authorities have been informed," Dhaka police spokesman Muntasirul Islam told reporters.

The email, received Monday by many Bangladeshi media outlets but not the AP, has renewed concerns about radical forces within Bangladesh.

Since late September, two foreigners — an Italian aid worker and a Japanese agricultural worker — have been gunned down in daylight attacks. Responsibility for both attacks was claimed by the Sunni radical group Islamic State, but the Bangladesh government rejected those claims along with any suggestion that IS was active in the country.

Full Report at:

http://news.yahoo.com/bangladesh-investigates-alleged-radical-threat-against-media-044804634.html

---------

 

Islamists Issue Death Threat against Leading Bangladeshi Blogger

20.10.2015

Dhaka-based blogger Imran H Sarker is one of the most widely read and popular bloggers in the country with nearly a million followers on his social media handles.

He represents a blogger community that promotes the idea of a secular and tolerant environment in the Muslim-majority country. Sarker is an active voice against religious fundamentalism and also a critic of the ruling government of Sheikh Hasina.

A few days ago, last Saturday, Sarker says he received a death threat on his Facebook page. The entry reads: "You (Sarker) are a black sheep for the Muslims. Just prepare to get killed as your life is on the point of ruin (sic). You will be killed like the foreigners."

The threat refers to the recent slaying of two foreigners - an Italian and a Japanese - in Bangladesh. Moreover, four bloggers have been murdered so far this year.

Sarker, who occasionally writes for DW’s Bengali website, is taking the threat seriously and has filed a formal complaint with the Dhaka police seeking a quick investigation. He told DW about his growing concern about activities of religious extremists in Bangladesh.

Watch video 06:26

Bloggers combating religious extremists

DW: You say you have received a death threat on Facebook. Who do you think is behind it?

Imran H Sarker: We have been receiving threats constantly via social media, phone calls or even letters for quite a long time. But last Saturday, I received a threat to my life on Facebook from an account that contains the name ‘Islamic State’ (IS) in it. The person who sent the message threatened to kill me just like the other two foreigners who were murdered recently. I have checked the account the threat came from.

The people running it are followers of a number of Facebook pages and groups with close ties to Islamic State. The account appears to be closely linked to this terrorist group.

You have received threats before. Why have you reported the matter to the police this time?

These threats can no longer be ignored seeing as these people murdered four of my fellow bloggers this year. Moreover, two foreigners were killed in Dhaka just recently. Following the recent developments, I can’t ignore the latest threat and assume it is a fake.

Rather, I think it’s wise to take action right after a threat has been made. The law enforcement agencies have recommended that I file a complaint and ask for protection as it would help them to investigate the matter.

I have filed the complaint in the hope that the government will act strongly to stop the threats and killings.

Have you received any protection from the police after lodging the complaint?

The police haven’t decided anything about providing security as yet. However, they assured me that they would try their best to trace the person behind the Facebook account that was used to threaten me.

Full Report at:

http://www.dw.com/en/islamists-issue-death-threat-against-leading-bangladeshi-blogger/a-18792944

---------

 

Afghan issue to dominate White House talks

October 21, 2015

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was accorded a red-carpet reception on arrival here yesterday for a three-day official visit to the United States, while his foreign secretary urged Washington to play a role in resolving the core issue of Kashmir with India and the White House maintained that the Afghanistan will dominate the US-Pakistan summit. Prime Minister Sharif will have wide-ranging talks with President Barack Obama and other administration officials on regional situation and bilateral matters during his visit.

He was received at Andrews Air Force Base by Ambassador Peter Selfridge and other senior US officials. Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani and Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi were also present to welcome the prime minister. PM Sharif will go through a tight laid-out schedule. He will meet President Obama on Thursday (tomorrow). A day earlier, Secretary of State John Kerry will call on him. Soon after his arrival, the prime minister was scheduled to have an interaction with members of the Pakistani community.

Hours earlier, both Pakistan and the United States discounted the possibility of a civil nuclear deal between the two countries during Prime Minister Sharif’s official visit to this capital city. But White House spokesman Josh Earnest did state that President Obama and the Pakistani leader will discuss “nuclear security” during their talks on Oct 22 in Washington, at which Afghanistan will be a major topic. He added that Obama was looking forward to welcoming PM Sharif. The visit of Prime minister Sharif is also “an opportunity to strengthen our cooperation on issues of mutual concern, including economic growth, trade and investment, clean energy, global health, climate change, nuclear security, counter-terrorism, and regional stability,” Earnest said on the eve of the Pakistani leader’s arrival.

Sharif’s trip comes a week after Obama announced he will keep more US troops for a longer period of time in Afghanistan. “We certainly have an important security relationship and the security cooperation between our two countries is beneficial to the safety and security of the citizens in both our countries,” said the White House spokesman. “And I’m confident that will be the focal point of discussions.” News reports in the US media suggest that the Obama administration is persuading Pakistan to sign a nuclear deal, which will enable Pakistan to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group if it agrees to accept certain limitations on its nuclear programme.

“About the sort of reports that the United States and Pakistan were planning a (civil nuclear deal) - or published reports indicated that there may be a breakthrough in this regard, and I would significantly reduce your expectations about that occurring on Thursday,” Earnest told reporters at his daily news briefing. On his part, Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry categorically stated, “We are not signing a nuclear deal. No deal, not of any kind.” He said that there were no preconditions in the US-Pakistan dialogue, as such talks reflected a desire for “remaining engaged with mutual respect and understanding.”

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/21-Oct-2015/afghan-issue-to-dominate-white-house-talks

---------

 

Top B’desh opposition politician jailed for 13 years

October 21, 2015

DHAKA - A Bangladesh court Tuesday jailed a former mayor of Dhaka for 13 years for corruption in absentia, a prosecutor said, a fresh blow to the beleaguered opposition which called the charges politically motivated.

An anti-graft court found Sadeque Hossain Khoka, now living in the United States, guilty of amassing wealth illegally and of concealing information about his income.

"He was sentenced to 13 years in jail in total for the two charges," Mosharraf Hossain, prosecutor for the country's Anti Corruption Commission, told AFP. "The judge also ordered confiscation of 100.5 million taka ($1.3 million) in illegally acquired property," he said.

Khoka, 63, is a vice-chairman of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and was mayor of the capital Dhaka for nearly ten years until 2011.

He now lives in New York where he is being treated for cancer, his lawyer Sanaullah Mian told AFP, adding that they planned to appeal against the verdict.

Mian, who is also a BNP official, called the case "one hundred percent politically motivated". "It is part of the government's repression of the opposition," he said.

Full Report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/21-Oct-2015/top-b-desh-opposition-politician-jailed-for-13-years

---------

 

Afghan-Canadian wins seat in Canadian Parliament

Oct 21 2015

An Afghan who migrated to Canada with her family about 20 years ago won a seat in the parliament of Canada.

Maryam Monsef now a member of Liberal Party of Canada received the most votes among her peers from Peterborough-Kawartha District of Ontario province.

She has posted a message on her facebook account about her victory stating that: “I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude today. And then to start my day seeing that even our next generation of voters cast their student “ballots” for #realchange? All I can say is Thank you. Thank you to each and every one of you. Now, let’s get to work–there is so much to be done.”

After fleeing the terror and oppression of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Maryam Monsef and her family went to Canada.

Full Report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-canadian-elected-for-canadian-parliament-4016

---------

 

India

 

Islamic Scholars Make Kashmiri Youth Aware of Sufism and Its Significance

Oct 20, 2015

Kashmir, October 20, 2015: In a bid to make the Kashmiri youth aware of Sufi culture and history, Islamic scholars preached them about the Sufi saints who travelled to Kashmir. In a bid to make the Kashmiri youth aware of Sufi culture and history, Islamic scholars preached them about the Sufi saints who travelled to Kashmir. At an event held in Srinagar, the intellectuals talked about saints like Mir Syed Ali bin Shahab-ud-Din Hamdani, a Sufi of the Kubrawi order, a poet and a prominent scholar, who was very influential in spreading Islam in Kashmir. He had a major hand in shaping the culture of the Kashmir valley. The scholars believe that due to the modernisation and western culture, Sufi culture is losing its glory and the young generation is not fully aware about the importance of Islam that teaches peace, love and humanity. The Kashmir Valley has been facing unrest and bloodshed for many years as the youth have been misled by people with vested interests. A large number of Sufi shrines can be found across the Kashmir Valley, sending out a message of unity and peace. They reflect the age old culture and values of Sufism that young Kashmiris need to follow. Indeed! Sufism promotes peace, harmony and tolerance among the people.

http://www.aninews.in/videogallery9/44453-islamic-scholars-make-kashmiri-youth-aware-of-sufism-and-its-significance.html

---------

 

Muslim Law Body (AIMPLB) Blames Centre for Beef Violence

TNN | Oct 21, 2015,

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Tuesday held the Modi government responsible for violence over beef in UP and elsewhere in the country. Wali Rehmani, AIMPLB's general secretary, said an atmosphere of hate was being created by those in power. Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadwi, AIMPLB's president, had earlier said that a particular culture was being imposed on the country's people.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslim-law-body-blames-Centre-for-beef-violence/articleshow/49475820.cms

---------

 

Ban Ki-Moon Will Use Good Offices Only If Requested By Both Pakistan, India

Oct 21, 2015

UNITED NATIONS: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will use his "good offices" to help India and Pakistan mend fences only if both countries requested it, his spokesperson said Tuesday.

Asked by a reporter if Ban had any advise for the two countries and if he would offer his good offices to help improve their relations, his deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters Tuesday, "The way UN good offices work is that they would need to be requested by both parties."

Full Report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ban-will-use-good-offices-only-if-requested-by-both-Pakistan-India/articleshow/49477455.cms

---------

 

Pakistan

 

Four militants killed in Swabi police 'encounter'

ALI AKBAR

October 21, 2015

PESHAWAR: Four militants were killed in a police 'encounter' in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Swabi district on Wednesday, police said.

The militants were identified as Abbas, Muhammad Zeb, Liaquat and Hazrat Bilal by the police. Abbas is believed to be a resident of Swabi district, Zeb of Mohmand Agency, while the other two are from Peshawar.

Their affiliation with any terrorist outfit is yet to be ascertained.

Police had received information regarding the presence of militants in Swabi's Ajmer area and had commenced a search operation which lasted for hours, District Police Officer (DPO) Swabi Javed Iqbal Wazir told DawnNews.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214588/four-militants-killed-in-swabi-police-encounter

---------

 

Cleric says Sunni-Shia ties ‘cordial’ in Pakistan

14 October 2015

TEHRAN, Oct. 14 (MNA) – A prominent cleric has visited Pakistani religious leaders only to find Sunni-Shia ties ‘surprisingly cordial’ in a land notorious for sectarian violence.

Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought (WFPIST) Ayatollah Mohsen Araki attended in Pakistan a series of joint meetings of Sunni and Shia major religious leaders organized by Islamic Republic of Iran’s embassy in Islamabad and consulates in different cities of Pakistan. Ayatollah Araki described the meetings very diverse and based on dialogue among Pakistani religious community leaders such as Siraj ul Haq, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Liaqat Baloch, and other prominent figures of religious movements; “we addressed critical issues and the possibility of cooperation focused in proximity, and they made promising commitments; we invited some of them to Unity Conference to be held in Tehran in the future,” he added.

“A series of meetings brought to us Pakistan’s leaders and elites in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi we sat along them to address many pressing issues; some of policies, objectives, and viewpoints of the Forum to helping bring unity to the Islamic world,” Ayatollah Araki told reporters. “We also discussed the mechanisms where Islamic elites, experts, and parties would engage in dialogues centered on the proximity; a theme was promoted during the meetings and help and support by Pakistani religious and political leaders were sought; as a general demand, we focused also on the issue of establishment of a union of Islamic countries with first four or five Islamic countries as founders, with the rest of the Islamic countries to follow the suit later on,” he detailed.

Araki described the reaction to the initiative as ‘welcoming’ by Pakistani religious leaders and they had believed that the union would help address and tackle many issues of common concerns for Islamic countries; “the meetings also provided an opportunity to create a dialogue with Pakistani community leaders to improve a committee of ‘cordial cooperation’ to which Pakistani elites and outstanding clerics contribute positively; we had a chance to witness the atmosphere of fraternity and friendly relations between Sunnis and Shiites in Pakistan which affected us with its nature which was ‘surprisingly cordial,’” he rejoiced to say, rejecting the reports of large-scale internecine clashes commonly found in the western media and were to tarnish the image of two major denominations in Islam and fueling sectarian strife and violence in a country wetted by decades of mistrust between Shias and Sunnis.

Full Report at:

http://en.mehrnews.com/news/111044/Cleric-says-Sunni-Shia-ties-cordial-in-Pakistan

---------

 

Conference on Sufi poets: ‘Sufis transformed poetry’

October 15, 2015

LAHORE: Khushal Khan Khattak was a warrior-poet while Sachal Sarmast was the ecstatic saint of truth, World Punjabi Congress Chairman Fakhar Zaman said on Wednesday.

Zaman made the remarks at a conference on the two at the Pakistan Academy of Letters. He said Khattak had rebelled against the tyranny of Aurangzeb who had incarcerated him for five years in Gwalior and Delhi. Zaman said the Mughal emperor had killed his son while he was detained in the Deccan.

The WPC chairman said Sarmad’s work was attuned to various surs and he had a penchant for dancing in ecstasy. Zaman said Sarmad and Khattak’s work converged on the common themes of love, tolerance, brotherhood and humanism.

He said Khattak had espoused the cause of Pashtun nationalism and gave a new direction to Pashto. Zaman said he had suffered immensely at the hands of Aurangzeb due to the machinations of rivals. He said Khattak had strived to unite warring tribes but the handiwork of evildoers had brought his efforts to naught.

Full Report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/973030/men-of-letters-sufis-transformed-poetry/

---------

 

India's response to efforts for peace not encouraging: PM

October 21, 2015

WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during a four-day official visit in Washington said India's response to efforts for peace has not been encouraging.

Addressing the Pakistani-American community in Washington, the premier said that Pakistan wants friendly relations with all its neighbours, including India, and had been making efforts for lasting regional peace as it was in the interest of all.

"If we sincerely want to bring peace to the region, we will have to resolve the Kashmir issue, adding, "The entire world knows that Kashmir is the root cause of tension in the region."

Nawaz also expressed Pakistan's desire for peace in Afghanistan and said that Islamabad would continue to play its role in this regard.

The premier said that the network of terrorists in Pakistan has been destroyed and reiterated the country's resolve to root out terrorism, Radio Pakistan reported.

During his speech, Nawaz highlighted socio-economic development programmes under way in Pakistan, including the Rs341 billion Kissan Package, the joint Pak-China Gwadar port initiative and Pak-Russia cooperation on the North-South gas pipeline.

The prime minister said the addition of 3,600 megawatts of electricity to the national grid by 2017 would allow the country to overcome the energy crisis.

He said Pakistan's budget deficit had been reduced from 8.8 per cent to 5.3pc, and that the stock market had picked up.

The premier called for all stakeholders to join hands for progress and development in Pakistan.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214583/indias-response-to-efforts-for-peace-not-encouraging-pm

---------

 

Plans to import power from India stalled

KHALEEQ KIANI

October 21, 2015

ISLAMABAD: A plan to import up to 4,000 megawatts of electricity from across the eastern border to overcome Pakistan’s energy shortfall has stalled amid rising extremist sentiments in India following the ascension of Narendra Modi.

“How can we push for electricity import [from India] when those at the helm of affairs in India are taking an extremely anti-Pakistan posture,” a senior official from the Ministry of Water and Power told Dawn.

The Modi administration is not only taking a hawkish stance against Pakistan, but is also refusing to come to the negotiating table and is encouraging extremist groups to attack Pakistani visitors, including singers, writers and sportsmen, he said.

Take a look: Indian power plants worth $19bn struggle to find customers

Water and Power Minister Khawaja Asif told the Senate last week that Pakistani and Indian officials had discussed plans for importing 500mw from India in April 2012. Two years after these discussions, M/s Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) of India visited Pakistan in April 2014 to discuss matters related to the import.

In the written statement, the minister detailed how AEL had submitted a draft to the ministry, proposing the export of 500-800MWs in two-three years as a starting point, recommending an eventual scale-up to 3500-4000MWs. “But no further progress was made in this regard,” Mr Asif said.

The minister for water and power also informed the Senate about plans to import electricity from Iran and the Central Asian Republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

He said that Islamabad was currently negotiating with Tehran for the import of 1000MW, which could be increased to 3000MW, at an estimated tariff ranging between 8 and 11 cents per kilowatt hour.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214540/plans-to-import-power-from-india-stalled

---------

 

Prosecutors in Safoora carnage case decide to quit for lack of security

ISHAQ TANOLI

October 21, 2015

KARACHI: Two lawyers engaged by the government around two months ago to represent the state in the Safoora Goth bus carnage trial decided to step down in view of security fears, it emerged on Tuesday.

In August, the provincial authorities notified a two-member prosecution team comprising advocates Mohammad Khan Buriro and Mubashir Mirza — who have previously served as prosecutors in antiterrorism courts — in the Safoora bus carnage case.

Sharing their grievances with Dawn, the prosecutors said that they had sent a series of letters to the provincial home department seeking Rangers’ protection, a safe accommodation during the trial and release of their professional fee in advance.

They said that as the held suspects were affiliated with a globally declared terrorist organisation, Al Qaeda, and the self-styled Islamic State group, it was almost impossible for them to pursue the case without proper security.

They regretted that their pleas for security and safe accommodation were not entertained.

About their fee, the lawyers said that although it was a high-profile case a small amount of Rs150,000 each was released as their professional fees. This amount was usually paid to prosecutors representing the state against an accused in an illicit weapon case, they added.

The duo said that they had communicated to the authorities concerned that they were dissociating themselves from the case.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214434/prosecutors-in-safoora-carnage-case-decide-to-quit-for-lack-of-security

---------

 

CII chief wants to tackle ‘incendiary issues’

KALBE ALI

October 21, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani, chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), said that he intended to take up three “most controversial religious issues”, but lacked the necessary support from council members.

“We have had these items on our agenda for a long time now, but they will only be taken up if my colleagues are ready to cooperate,” Maulana Sherani, who is also a JUI-F MNA, told reporters at the end of the two-day council meeting.

The first of these issues is the question of whether Ahmadis are to be classified as non-Muslims or murtads (those who renounce Islam). It is a widely held belief that the punishment for renouncing Islam should be death.

The second issue, he said, was the imposition of religious tax – or jizya – on Pakistani non-Muslims. The third issue, he said, was a determination of which sects fell under the ambit of Islam and which ones should be considered to be outside the ambit of Islamic ideology.

Council sets yardstick for transgender individuals to be given share in inheritance

“It is up to the members to come up and discuss these important matters and resolve them,” he said, expressing the confidence that the CII would take up these topics in its next meeting.

While these matters have been on the CII’s agenda for some time, some of the more vocal members have been reluctant to take them up for discussion as they may hurt the social fabric.

“We do not want to see riots in the country as we see in India over non-issues like the ban on beef. It is the responsibility of the religious and political leadership to set directions for society and to not be pressured into going with the flow,” said a CII member, on condition of anonymity.

The cleric was reluctant to speak on the record, because “the other problem we are combating is extremism. If I give a statement to the media, I can be accused of being somebody’s agent.”

However, analysts feel that by taking up such non-issues, the CII is stooping beneath its stature.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214556/cii-chief-wants-to-tackle-incendiary-issues

---------

 

Former PCB Chairman blames Najam Sethi for current turmoil with India

MOHAMMAD YAQOOB

October 21, 2015

LAHORE: Former chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Zaka Ashraf, while reacting strongly to PCB chief Shaharyar Khan and chairman of the executive committee Najam Sethi’s visit to India, has said that the duo should not have gone to the neighbouring country in the current circumstances.

Talking to Dawn on Tuesday about the proposed meeting between top officials of the PCB and BCCI which was sabotaged by an Indian religious extremist group in Mumbai, the ex-chief of the PCB said that the Indian board in its statement had clarified that it had not extended any official invitation to the PCB.

“The PCB chairman and Sethi went to Mumbai just on a courtesy call since there was no official agenda of the meeting, while the PCB was insisting for a meeting with the BCCI officials,” remarked Zaka.

Blaming Sethi for the current turmoil, the former PCB chairman said that it was Sethi who had offered unconditional support to the ‘Big Three’ formula without getting assurance for the resumption of the bilateral series.

“I have been opposing the idea of Big Three as PCB chairman because it was giving upper hand to India, Australia and England.

“But Sethi gave vote in its favour, allowing the ICC to approve the amendment of Big Three to its constitution.”

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214408/zaka-blames-sethi-for-current-turmoil-with-india

---------

 

Banned group claims Quetta bus blast

October 21, 2015

QUETTA: Young Baloch Tiger (YBT), a banned militant organisation, has claimed responsibility for Monday’s bomb blast on a bus in the city’s Sariab road area which left 11 people dead and many others injured.

The claim was made in a phone call to the media by one Berg Baloch, who spoke on behalf of the YBT.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214534/banned-group-claims-quetta-bus-blast

---------

 

Australian diplomat unveils aid programme in Quetta

SALEEM SHAHID

October 21, 2015

QUETTA: During her first visit to Balochistan, Australian High Commissioner Margaret Adamson unveiled the Australian Aid Programme (AAP) for Pakistan here on Tuesday at the World Food Programme’s Humanitarian Response Facility.

Speaking on the occasion, she said: “Australia has particularly close links with Balochistan. That’s why I chose this province for my first official visit.

“We have longstanding connection with this part of Pakistan... Both of us have problems with water resources, both of us have strong agriculture and livestock sector and both of us have strong mineral resources to explore and develop.”

She said that since 2009 her country and the World Food Programme Australia had contributed 90 million Australian dollars for food storage facilities in the province.

Talking about the growing nutrition problems in the province, she said: “I have just been launching, together with the World Bank and other international partners, and very importantly a drive by the government of Balochistan a new programme for improving nutrition for little children and for mothers.”

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214531/australian-diplomat-unveils-aid-programme-in-quetta

---------

 

Europe

 

Syria's Assad in Surprise Visit to Moscow

21 October 2015

President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday evening made his first foreign visit since Syria's war broke out in 2011, and held talks with his main backer and counterpart Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Wednesday.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165495/syrias-assad-met-putin-in-moscow-tuesday

---------

 

PEGIDA wants Muslims, refugees in Nazi camps

Oct 21, 2015

The German far-right anti-Islam movement PEGIDA has come under investigation after one of its speakers suggested that the country must reopen Nazi-era concentration camps and house Muslims and refugees there.

"We are investigating the case on suspicion of incitement to hatred," Lawrence Haase, the state prosecutor for the eastern Germany city of Dresden, said on Tuesday, the DPA reported. "We are checking the criminal relevance," he noted.

The probe was launched a day after the city hosted a thousands-strong rally marking the first anniversary of the movement’s establishment, where German-Turkish writer Akif Pirincci told the crowd, "Of course, there are other alternatives, but the concentration camps are unfortunately out of service."

The movement’s founder Lutz Bachmann later apologized for Pirincci's remarks on his Facebook page, attempting to deflect the wave of strong reactions sparked by the comments.

This is not the first time the movement has been hit by a scandal.

Back in January, Bachmann quit as the group’s leader following public outrage over the emergence of a picture of him posing as Adolf Hitler.

The controversial picture of the PEGIDA founder, Lutz Bachmann, posing as Adolf Hitler

PEGIDA is a German acronym which stands for the “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West.”

Full Report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/10/21/434305/Germany-PEGIDA-Nazi-Pirincci

---------

 

Dutch Muslim Mayor Gives Refugees Hope

20 October 2015

AMSTERDAM – Coming to Netherlands as a refugee himself, Rotterdam's first Muslim mayor is offering asylum-seekers shelter and hope, as the refugees influx continues to spark tensions in other parts of Europe.

"I don't have a recipe. I have my own experiences, and I have my policy in my city," Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam since 2009, told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Tuesday, October 20.

Born in Beni Sidel in Morocco in 1961, Aboutaleb moved to the Netherlands at the age of 15.

Aboutaleb first took the helm of Europe's largest port in January 2009, a sea-change in a city which once led a national anti-immigrant drive.

Tensions have eased in Rotterdam since the populist far-right politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated in May 2002.

His success in Rotterdam, home to more than 600,000 people of 170 nationalities, has turned him into a rising star of the Labour Party now tipped as a possible candidate for the next prime minister.

With the increasing influx of refugees into Europe, the Netherlands is expected to host up to 60,000 refugees by the end of the year as an estimated 3,000 people arrive every week.

"I have experienced what it is to go to bed without food... walking without shoes, I know how that feels. Living outside and it's cold and you didn't have a proper coat, I know how that is," he told AFP.

At the beginning he wondered if he would ever master the Dutch language or understand the people.

"I went crying to bed during those years. It was not an easy thing to adapt."

But his teenage experiences are not the "main driver" behind his insistence that no asylum-seeker should sleep rough on the city's streets.

That philosophy he puts down to "basic thinking about humanity."

Political Star

Aboutaleb shot to international fame in the wake of the attacks on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, when he said Muslims who disliked western culture should "pack their bags" and "fuck off."

Defending an individual's right to believe in what they want, he insists no-one has the right to shatter democracy and use violence to impose their beliefs.

"If someone wants to pray 24 hours a day what's wrong with that?" Aboutaleb, 54, said.

"As a mayor, I like people that have radical ideas," he said.

"Thanks to having radical ideas about the way to lead our civilizations and our societies we left the Stone Age."

"But that's not what we are talking about. We're talking about a group of people who are threatening others, not only because they have radical ideas, but they believe they have their own truth justifying their own goals ... by using violence."

Born to a Muslim Sunni imam, the Rotterdam mayor tackles head-on what he sees as a deep lack of knowledge and misconceptions about Islam.

Full Report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/495287-dutch-muslim-mayor-gives-refugees-hope.html

---------

 

Surging numbers of refugees land in Greece: UN

20 October 2015

Greece has witnessed a surge in refugee arrivals in recent days amid fears of worsening weather and closing borders inside Europe, the United Nations and Greek authorities said Tuesday.

The UN refugee agency said it had registered a clear "spike in arrivals" that left some 27,500 packed on Greek islands by Tuesday morning.

A high-ranking Greek police official told AFP that of 8,000 people who landed in Greece on Monday, 5,000 crowded onto the already overwhelmed island of Lesbos.

The official suggested the hike was "due especially to milder weather, which makes the journey easier, and to the serious concern among refugees concerning the ongoing closure of borders in Europe."

In previous years, the numbers crossing the Mediterranean to Europe have dropped off sharply as winter approaches, but the International Organization for Migration said Tuesday that recent arrivals, averaging around 9,000 a day, far exceeded the summer peaks.

"We are alarmed at how much this is continuing through the cold weather," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told reporters.

Millman suggested that people smugglers were rushing their business out of concern Turkey would soon start cracking down on them, following a recent agreement with the EU.

Greek newspaper Kathimerini quoted police sources hinting Turkey is allowing more departures to put pressure on the EU and improve its leverage in discussions with the bloc, but the high-ranking police source told AFP that was a "hypothesis, which is not held by the authorities."

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165479/german-politicians-speak-up-over-nazi-rhetoric

---------

 

Dozen of ISIL suspects arrested in Moscow

20 October 2015

More than ten alleged ISIL-linked suspects were arrested by Russian security forces Tuesday.

"Over ten people, mostly of Central Asian origin, including Tajikistan, were arrested across Moscow region as they are suspected of having links to extremist organizations such as ISIL," interior ministry source reported.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165472/dozen-of-isil-suspects-arrested-in-moscow

---------

 

UK still backing Turkey's EU bid

20 October 2015

Turkey still enjoys Britain’s support for its bid to join the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday.

However, Britain would not be part of any European scheme to relax visa regulations for Turkish nationals, he added. Britain and Ireland are not members of the border-free Schengen agreement that encompasses most of Europe.

“I can confirm that the British government’s policy has not changed,” he said in response to a question from former Cabinet minister Kenneth Clarke about support for Turkey's EU membership.

Turkey's further integration into the EU and its 28-year bid to become a member have been highlighted by the refugee crisis facing Europe and the EU’s need to enlist Turkish help in stemming the flow of refugees.

Cameron added: “More than 2 million refugees, almost nine out of 10¸ have stayed in Turkey, and everything that we can do to help the Turks to keep those refugees - perhaps allowing more of them to work and to play an economic part in Turkey - will obviously help in this crisis.

“I think it fair to say that, although the Turks have done extraordinary work in looking after refugees - their refugee camps are some of the best anywhere in the world - we all need to help them to do more to stop people taking off from western Turkey into the waters of the Mediterranean, because that is a journey on which so many have died.”

Britain’s ruling Conservative and opposition Labour parties both support Turkish membership of the EU.

In response to an earlier question from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Cameron said the details of an EU aid package worth 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) announced last week had not yet been concluded.

“Obviously we want Turkey to do even more to make sure that people don't get on to dangerous dinghies and launch themselves into the Mediterranean and that's what the recent discussions have been about,” the prime minister said.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/europe/165449/uk-still-backing-turkeys-eu-bid

---------

 

French anti-immigration leader goes on trial for ‘inciting hatred against Muslims’

21 October 2015

LYON: Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, went on trial on Tuesday on charges of inciting hatred after comparing Muslim street prayers to the Nazi occupation.

The 47-year-old, who has won a string of election successes after working to soften the image of her party, appeared in a court in the central city of Lyon over the comments she made while campaigning to take over the leadership of the party from her father five years ago.

“I have committed no crime,” said a smiling Le Pen as she entered the court. If convicted, she faces up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 45,000 euros ($51,000).

While on the campaign trail in December 2010, Le Pen complained about places in France where Muslims worshipped in the streets outside mosques when they were full.

“I’m sorry, but for those who like talking a lot about World War II, if it comes to talking about the occupation, we can talk about it, because that (Muslims praying on the street) is the occupation of territory,” she told a crowd in Lyon.

“It is an occupation of part of the territory, suburbs where religious law is applied. Sure, there are no armoured vehicles, no soldiers, but it is an occupation nonetheless and it weighs on residents.”

After the comments, which provoked outrage in France, Le Pen was investigated but the probe was later closed without further action.

However, a complaint by an association led to the launch of a judicial inquiry in January 2012.

Le Pen was charged in July 2014 after her immunity as a member of the European Parliament was lifted following a vote requested by French authorities.

She is accused of “inciting discrimination, violence or hatred towards a group of people based on their religious beliefs”.

The French Muslim Council’s secretary general Abdallah Zekri said that it was “such comments often made by politicians that feed the climate of Islamophobia we currently live in”.

Full Report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1214522/french-anti-immigration-leader-goes-on-trial-for-inciting-hatred-against-muslims

---------

 

U.S. intercepts targets in Europe missile test

21 October 2015

The U.S. military and eight allied countries on Tuesday worked together to simultaneously intercept dummy ballistic and cruise missiles off the coast of Scotland, the U.S. Navy said, calling the test an important first demonstration of that capability in Europe.

It was the first time that a Standard Missile-3 Block IA guided interceptor built by Raytheon Co was fired on a non-U.S. range, and the first intercept of a ballistic missile threat target in Europe, the Navy said.

A Dutch ship tracked the target and relayed targeting information to the USS Ross, a U.S. Navy Aegis ship.

The long-planned test involved ships from the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Britain. It came as Russia stepped up its use of cruise missiles against Islamic State military in Syria.

“This exercise demonstrates the commitment of the United States to the defense of Europe through our Aegis ships and our shore station in Romania, as well as the professional performance of our allied sailors,” said Admiral Mark Ferguson, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.

Ferguson said the test carried out by the Maritime Theater Missile Defense Forum showed the group’s ability to “safely conduct effective coalition sea-based defense against simultaneous anti-ship and ballistic missile threats.”

Riki Ellison, founder of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, said the test showed that other countries’ navies could track and relay targeting and firing information about potential missile threats to U.S. Navy ships.

Full Report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/10/21/U-S-Navy-intercepts-targets-in-Europe-missile-test.html

---------

 

Southeast Asia

 

Non-Muslims have ‘complete’ freedom to worship, Najib says

BY BOO SU-LYN

October 21, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 ― Non-Muslims enjoy total religious freedom in Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today, despite a ban on Christians from referring to God as “Allah” and previous incidents of bible seizures in the country.

The prime minister also said he was “committed” to ensuring that racial and religious tensions do not “get out of hand” in the multi-cultural country.

“Although Islam is the religion of the federation, those of other faiths are at complete liberty and freedom to worship as they please,” Najib said in his welcome address at the Global Transformation Forum here.

“You can see here in Malaysia the true face of Islam, or sometimes I refer to as authentic Islam. It’s a religion of peace, moderation and justice, and of course mutual respect for our fellow men.

“You can see this in the way Malaysians visit each other and share food on a variety of festivals, including Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Christmas and Deepavali. This is why there are many places in Malaysia where you can find a church, mosque and temple on the same street,” the prime minister added.

Full Report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/non-muslims-have-complete-freedom-to-worship-najib-says

---------

 

Muslim group wants fatwa against investing in firms responsible for haze

BY IDA LIM

October 21, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 ― The National Fatwa Council should issue a fatwa (religious edict) to bar investments in companies that contribute to the annual haze crisis, a Muslim group said today.

A leader from the group, Sheikh Abd Kareem Said Khadaied, said the council also has to make a stand on whether existing investments in the firms responsible for the burning of forests in Indonesia can continue to be listed as “Shariah-compliant”.

“Meaning if Company A does burning, that means it is doing something that is contradicting Islam, therefore the investment in this company cannot be called Shariah-compliant.

“So we need the National Fatwa Council to issue a clear fatwa on the law on burning forests for profit and whether companies that are listed in the Shariah index can do it. If not, they must be removed,” the secretary-general of Pertubuhan Tarekat Muktabar Malaysia (Pertama) told reporters today.

If a fatwa is issued against these companies, this would mean that bodies such as Muslim pilgrims fund Tabung Haji and Amanah Saham Bumiputera cannot invest in them, he said.

Earlier in the same media conference, Sheikh Abd Kareem and other Malay-Muslim groups had announced that they plan to file a class action suit in one month's time against companies that conduct land-clearing in Indonesia through forest fires.

They also said that a boycott may be launched against these firms, but noted that they are still finalising their investigations and will first give these companies time to own up and offer solutions.

Full Report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/muslim-group-wants-fatwa-against-investing-in-firms-responsible-for-haze

---------

 

Tougher times ahead for Islamic finance as core markets slow

October 21, 2015

A decision by DBS Bank to wind down a joint venture with Gulf investors is more than a setback for Singapore’s biggest lender – it’s a sign that tougher times lie ahead for Islamic finance worldwide.

The industry grew at double-digit annual rates for much of the past decade, faster than conventional finance. Economic booms in its core markets, the Muslim-majority nations of the Gulf and southeast Asia, fueled the gains.

As Islamic financial assets came to exceed $2 trillion, the industry started expanding beyond its historical borders. Banks and governments in nations without Muslim majorities, from Britain to South Africa, scrambled to grab some of the market by issuing sharia-compliant debt.

But plunging oil and commodity prices since last year mean the Gulf and Malaysia may be in for years of slower growth. That will make it harder for Islamic banks and insurers, which remain smaller than their conventional competitors, to invest in developing products and expertise needed to narrow the gap.

Customers and investors may be less willing to tolerate the higher costs which Islamic products often carry because of their complexity and lack of standardization.

And with less money sloshing around the Gulf and southeast Asia, banks and governments outside the Muslim world may see less need to court Islamic investors.

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, which estimates Islamic finance grew 10 to 15 percent annually over the past decade, thinks growth will drop to single digits in 2016.

“There has been a positive impact from the high economic performance of countries where Islamic banking has been developing,” said Mohamed Damak, S&P’s global head of Islamic Finance. “But now growth is expected to go down.”

Slowdown

Born in its modern form in the 1970s, Islamic finance – which obeys religious principles such as bans on interest payments and monetary speculation – was advertised during the global credit crisis as a safe alternative to conventional finance. It became mainstream in Gulf Arab countries and Malaysia, accounting for around a quarter of banking assets.

But even before this year, signs were appearing in some countries that its period of easiest growth was ending. Banks and insurers had already signed up most customers who had purely religious motives; to continue growing, they had to compete more directly on price and service with conventional finance.

Annual growth of Islamic bank assets in Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, dropped to 8.1 percent in June from 12.4 percent in 2014 and above 20 percent in the previous two years.

An economic slowdown may magnify this problem. Weak growth prospects appear to be behind several corporate decisions in the last few months to cancel expansion plans on the periphery of Islamic finance.

Last month, DBS said it would wind down Islamic Bank of Asia, a joint venture set up in 2007 alongside Gulf investors with $500 million in paid-up capital; it said it had failed to reach economies of scale.

In Turkey, state-run Halkbank said this month it was cancelling plans to set up an Islamic unit.

International Bank of Azerbaijan, the country’s largest bank, closed its Islamic banking department this month. Behnam Gurbanzada, its former head of Islamic banking, cited lack of support from local regulators and other industry bodies.

“During the crisis we raised funds from Dubai, Qatar etc., so the interest from Islamic investors is there,” said Gurbanzada, now deputy chief executive at rival Amrahbank. But he added that expansion of the industry was hurt by Islamic banks’ emphasis on short-term profits rather than long-term growth.

Full Report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/business/2015/10/21/tougher-times-ahead-for-islamic-finance-as-core-markets-slow/

---------

 

Muhammadiyah rejects National Santri Day

October 20 2015

Indonesia's second largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, has rejected the government's plan to declare Oct. 22 as National Santri (Islamic boarding school students') Day, arguing that such a declaration could spark controversy among Indonesia's Muslims.

The rejection was stipulated in a letter to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo dated Oct. 19 signed by Muhammadiyah chairman Haedar Nashir.

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin is scheduled to attend the event at Istiqlal Mosque. The reason for selecting Oct. 22 as the National Santri Day was based on a fatwa made by Nahdlatul Ulama founder Hasyim Asyari on Oct. 22, 1945, that defending the nation was an obligation for each Muslim. The fatwa was made when Indonesia struggled to defend its independence from the Dutch colonists.

Haedar said he could understand that President Jokowi wanted to fulfill his campaign promise and to recognize the role of Muslims during the independence struggle. “But declaring a National Santri Day could spark sectarian groups in our society, weaken national integration and revive old religious sentiments,” Haedar said in his letter.

He said that Islamic communities, including Muhammadiyah, have tried to minimize and even eliminate sectarian groups that were counterproductive to the efforts to strengthen national unity.

Full Report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/10/20/muhammadiyah-rejects-national-santri-day.html

---------

 

Africa

 

Random shelling kills five civilians in Libya

 20 October 2015

Five people lost their lives, including an unidentified number of children, late Monday, when a random shelling projectile fell on a residential area in Libya’s Benghazi, a medical source told Anadolu Agency.

Benghazi’s al-Leithi area has been witnessing clashes for more than a year between the Libyan army, which is loyal to the Tobruk-based Council of Representatives, and Ansar al-Sharia group.

The medical source said a local hospital received four bodies, while an injured victim succumbed to his wounds, raising the death toll to five.

The Libyan army aims to take full control of Benghazi, but the Ansar al-Sharia group remains in control of some areas of the city, including al-Leithi district.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/165471/random-shelling-kills-five-civilians-in-libya

---------

 

Hamas leadership warmly welcomed in South Africa

20 October 2015

A senior delegation from the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, arrived in South Africa for a historic official visit on Sunday. The delegation was given an unprecedented welcome that immediately infuriated the Israelis.

Headed by the leader of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, the delegation met South African President Jacob Zuma on the first day of the visit.

The Hamas delegation includes Mousa Abu Marzouk and Muhammad Nazzal. According to Arabi 21, they will attend a mass rally in the centre of Cape Town on Wednesday and Meshaal is expected to address the South African parliament.

South Africa is one of the world’s leading lights in the fight against racism and despotism. Its late President Nelson Mandela spent almost three decades jailed by the Apartheid regime — which had very close links to Israel — before it collapsed, leading to the country’s first, free and fair democratic election which saw Mandela and the African National Congress weep to power.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/165477/random-shelling-kills-five-civilians-in-libya

---------

 

Tear gas used against Congo protesters

20 October 201

Police in Republic of Congo's capital fired tear gas Tuesday to try to disperse protests against a constitutional referendum to make the country's long-time president eligible for a new term, say residents.

Politicians campaigning against the October 25 referendum called for a campaign of "civil disobedience" to begin on Tuesday.

"This morning, young people went onto the streets to burn tires and erect barricades," said Rudel Ganziami, a resident of Brazzaville's southern Bacongo district. "Right now the police are firing tear gas grenades to try to disperse them."

Phone and internet service appeared to be down in much the city on Tuesday.

Under current laws 71-year-old President Denis Sassou N'Guesso is barred from seeking re-election when his second term expires next year. The referendum calls for the limit of two terms to be scrapped as well as changing a regulation preventing candidates older than 70 years.

Full Report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/165476/random-shelling-kills-five-civilians-in-libya

---------

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/sheikh-yusuf-al-qaradawi,-to-palestinians--die-as-martyrs/d/105000


 

Loading..

Total Comments (2)

  • 2 .
    According to the Quran, we can only live as Shuhuda.

    To die as Shuhuda, is not a Quranic concept. This is an invention in religion and bid'at. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is a bid'ati.

    By Naseer Ahmed 21/10/2015 23:05:10
  • 1 .
    "Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to Palestinians: Die as Martyrs" . . . . .

    Qaradawi is a prophet of hate and violence. We Sunnis need better leaders than that.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin 21/10/2015 15:38:41