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Islamic World News ( 15 Jul 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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‘Stop Killing Muslims’: Hackers Post on Jharkhand Rights Panel’s Site

New Age Islam News Bureau

15 Jul 2017

Leader of ISIS organization in Libya Jalaluddin al-Tunisi. (Supplied), Likely To Succeed Baghdadi as ISIS New Leader



 ‘Stop Killing Muslims’: Hackers Post on Jharkhand Rights Panel’s Site

 No Haj for Muslims If They Create Obstacles in Construction of Ram Temple: BJP MLA

 Fugitive Preacher Zakir Naik to Be Key Guest at Conference by Malaysia Opposition Party

 Jalaluddin Al-Tunisi Likely To Succeed Baghdadi as ISIS New Leader

 Muslim World Condemns Israel’s Closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque

 Muslim Leaders Make Formal Complaint Over 'Islamophobic' Banners At London Pride



 ‘Stop Killing Muslims’: Hackers Post on Jharkhand Rights Panel’s Site

 No Haj for Muslims If They Create Obstacles in Construction of Ram Temple: BJP MLA

 Fear in Muslim Locality after Attack on BJP Muslim Leader by Cow Vigilantes

 Ensure Those Ferrying Animals Are Not Attacked: Shahi Imam of Delhi to Home Minister

 LeT terrorist held with arms from north Kashmir's Bandipora

 2 terrorists killed in encounter in south Kashmir's Tral area

 Jharkhand Lynchings: Muslims Fear Backlash, Hindus Dread Arrest in Sobhapur

 Jammu-Kashmir police looking into militant draped in ISIS flag at funeral


Southeast Asia

 Fugitive Preacher Zakir Naik to Be Key Guest at Conference by Malaysia Opposition Party

 Minister: Public Caning Means More Than Two Observers in Islam

 Report: Pahang mufti mulls public caning too if Kelantan succeeds

 Sabah precedes Kelantan with three open caning for Shariah offenders

 Indonesia Blocks Telegram Messaging Service over Security Concerns

 Police in West Java Nab Four Linked to Last Week's Bandung Explosion


Arab World

 Jalaluddin Al-Tunisi Likely To Succeed Baghdadi as ISIS New Leader

 How Four Brothers Triggered Terror across Saudi Arabia’s Al-Awamiyah District

 Over 100 Iraqi journalists killed, injured while covering Mosul battle: FAJ

 Qatar plotted to destabilize the UAE, ex-Muslim Brotherhood member confesses

 Saudi forces kill Qatif’s ‘most dangerous terrorist’

 Gunmen kill five Egyptian police south of Cairo

 Militants in Southern Syria Reject US-Russia Brokered Ceasefire Deal

 Syrian Army Advances in Eastern Damascus after Heavy Airstrikes

 Syrian Army Recaptures More Areas in Eastern Hama

 Heavy Clashes Erupt between Rival Militants in Idlib

 Iraqi police parade car bombs seized from ISIS



 Muslim World Condemns Israel’s Closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque

 US Should Help Prove Gulen Coup Role: Turkey

 Why IRGC Is Enemy of Islam and a Major Source of Terrorism

 2 police killed in Jerusalem, attackers shot dead

 Turkey dismisses over 7,000 police, soldiers, ministry officials

 Ankara sacks over 7,000 for suspected links to last year failed coup



 Muslim Leaders Make Formal Complaint Over 'Islamophobic' Banners At London Pride

 Young British Muslims Are Launching Their Own Publications To Provide A Different Media Narrative

 PKK supporters target Turks at July 15 event in London

 German court sentences terrorist PKK member to prison

 Qatar accused of  promoting sedition in UAE and Europe

 Nice attack: Tragedy drags on with little relief & few answers

 A UK mosque is targeted once a week – we need to deal with anti-Muslim hatred


North America

 Supreme Court Asked To Overturn Muslim Ban Ruling

 Trump Asks Supreme Court to Block Judge's Travel Ban Ruling

 Future of Muslim cemetery rests with 49 voters in Quebec town

 A Muslim mom’s response to Kalkaska official's anti-Muslim posts

 US House rejects controversial Muslim amendment

 US has no proof IS leader Baghdadi is dead: Mattis

 Pentagon: Leader of Afghan ISIS branch killed in US raid

 CSIS faces $35M harassment lawsuit as Muslim employees claim discrimination



 Christian Man Arrested On Blasphemy Charge in Gujrat, Pakistan

 ATC Orders Seizure of Imran, Qadri Properties

 Bills suggesting curbs on US assistance to Pakistan okayed

 Pakistan helped Iraq in defeating IS, says Iraqi envoy

 ‘Terrorists in desperation’ targeting law enforcers: ISPR

 8 jailed in Britain for smuggling heroin from Pakistan


South Asia

 Newly Appointed ISIS Chief for Afghanistan Abu Sayed Killed

 Sirisena eager to work with Bangladesh to combat terrorism

 Foreigners among several dead in airstrikes on Taliban and ISIS in Nangarhar

 Pakistan says political incentives key to bring Afghan Taliban to negotiations table

 Key Pak politician warns Islamabad regarding persistent interference in Afghan affairs

 Afghan IS leader killed in US raid



 Nigeria Again Claims to Have ‘Defeated’ Boko Haram After First Victory Cry in 2015

 Muslim, Christian Interfaith Forum Preaches Peace, Decries Hate Speeches

 Liberia: Nimba Muslim Community Denies Support to Benoni Urey

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




‘Stop killing Muslims’: Hackers post on Jharkhand rights panel’s site

Jul 14, 2017

Sanjoy Dey


The website of Jharkhand’s rights panel was hacked and its wall was defaced with messages such as “stop killing innocent Muslims” for the second time within a span of 10 months, exposing its vulnerability.

Though the site of the Jharkhand State Human Rights Commission (JSHRC) was apparently hacked by a hacker group, codenamed ‘Mr H1DD3N’ in July, no one noticed it until Thursday.

A message on the homepage of the site reads: “India Hello Modi....stop killing innocent Muslims, stop killing beef eaters, stop torturing Muslim women, stop arresting Muslim boys from college. We are human being. We are equal. We are Islamic Cyber (sic).” The hacker further posted, “Sorry for my actions. This is just a lesson for you to make your website more secure. Fix the gap immediately. I am not a destroyer I am a slit seeker. Because there is no safe system then you should be more careful (sic).”

The same website was compromised in September last year.

Founder of National Anti-hacking Group Vineet Kumar said two to three hackers were involved and they used proxy server.

“Though it’s showing that the hackers were from Japan, they could have diverted through proxy server route of their origin, which could be Pakistan or any other country,” Kumar added.

He said even other government websites in the state are vulnerable to hacking.

“We had given a live demonstration before the Jharkhand government about the vulnerability of its sites in December last year. But, the lapses were not fixed,” he said, adding, “Hacking not only defaces crucial information on the website but also impacts visitors’ system or mobile phones if they open it.”

State IT director UP Shah, terming the breach a “serious issue,” said they would investigate the lapse.

He, however, was quick to add the state’s IT department did not develop the site. “The JSHRC is an autonomous body and it must have got it developed through a private agency,” he said.

JSHRC secretary Bhagwan Das said the site has been blocked.

“Ranchi police have been informed about hacking of the site and asked to lodge an FIR against unidentified persons,” he said.

National Informatics Centre’s state informatics officer Sahid Ahmed said there should be a security audit of the website by authorised government agencies.

“There may be lapses in application development or data hosting centre that allows the hacker to enter into it. It can deface all the information uploaded on it.”

Jharkhand has recently witnessed series of mob lynching that targeted mostly Muslims.

In June, two Muslim men were lynched on charges of carrying beef while four others from the community were killed by a mob in Saraikela-Kharswan district suspecting them as child traffickers in May.



No Haj for Muslims If They Create Obstacles in Construction of Ram Temple: BJP MLA

Jul 14, 2017

BJP MLA from Charkhari, Brijbhushan Rajput, warned Muslims that they won’t be allowed to go on Haj pilgrimage if they create obstacles in the construction of Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.

He issued the warning through a video on his Facebook page.

“The Muslim community should respect the feelings (on the issue of Ram Temple) of 100 crore Hindus in the country. If they don’t do so, we will not respect their feelings too,” he said.

“If they (Muslims) create hindrance or stop construction of Ram Temple, their Haj pilgrimage will also be stopped,” Rajput said.

The MLA also called upon the people to avenge the killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims by “storming the houses of terrorists”.

Rajput demanded that the minority status of Muslims should be repealed and the subsidy given on Haj pilgrimage should be scrapped.

After putting up the video on his Facebook page, Rajput told HT it was not his statement but that of 100 crore Hindus.

Justifying his stand he said if Muslims were taking it as a threat then let it be. “I completely stand by what I have said in the video,” he said.

Rajput is a first-time BJP MLA from Charkhari, a constituency represented by senior leader Uma Bharti in 2012.

He is the son of former MP Ganga Charan Rajput who shot into limelight after he threatened to end his life outside the Congress headquarters when party president Sonia Gandhi refused to take over as the Prime Minister in 2004.



Fugitive preacher Zakir Naik to be key guest at conference by Malaysia opposition party

Jul 14, 2017

Televangelist Zakir Naik, on the run from Indian authorities investigating him for alleged links to terrorism and money laundering, will be a key guest at a gathering of Muslim scholars organised by the conservative opposition Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) next week.

Naik fled India after the Bangladesh government said his controversial sermons had inspired Islamic State-linked terrorists who stormed a café in Dhaka in July last year and killed 24 people. Cases have been filed against him by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has also attached the assets of his Islamic Research Foundation.

Reports about Naik’s participation in the conference to be held at a stadium in Kota Baru, the capital of Malaysia’s Kelantan state, during July 20-22 have raised eyebrows in New Delhi as deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had been quoted as saying that his country would assist India in its investigations against the preacher.

Officials said Hamidi had told a delegation from the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce in May that such assistance would include facilitating investigations when Naik is in Malaysia.

An official of the external affairs ministry said the process of revoking Naik’s passport is underway following a request from security agencies. Sources said Naik had renewed his passport for 10 years in January 2016.

India has a mutual legal assistance treaty with Malaysia and officials have also been examining the options for taking action under the pact.

The PAS, a hardline Islamist party that is in power in Kelantan state, said it was aware of the charges levelled against Naik but defended his participation in the conference by saying the meet would stay away from debating controversial matters.

“The issue of Zakir Naik is not an issue of conflict. It is his personal issue, with others who do not agree with him,” PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was quoted as saying at a news conference on Monday by MalayMail Online.

“We take in the context of how he plays his role in evangelism, how he can contribute in that aspect,” Ibrahim said while naming Naik among the representatives from 23 countries attending the conference.

Other guests include International Union of Muslim Scholars assistant secretary-general Sheikh Ghafar Abdul Aziz of Pakistan and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind vice-president Syed Sadatullah Husaini of India.

Since leaving India, Naik has travelled between Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and other Southeast Asian countries. Earlier this year, Malaysia’s home ministry confirmed that Naik had been granted permanent residence status five years ago and reports have suggested that he is seeking Malaysian citizenship.

Naik has denied the allegations against him and appeared on an Arabic TV channel recently to say that he had been offered citizenship by 10 Islamic countries. During April, Naik addressed several gatherings Indonesia while campaigning for hardline politicians.

His activities in Malaysia have been a cause of concern to some like the Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce, which informed deputy prime minister Hamidi about “its concern over the tolerance shown by Malaysian authorities on the extreme statements made by Zakir Naik in his preaching and his continued presence in Malaysia”.

Naik’s religious lectures in Kuala Lumpur and some other cities last year were criticised by parties in the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, and he has been named in a lawsuit filed in March by Malaysian rights activists against the government, which was accused of failing to protect the country from a “security threat” such as Naik.



Jalaluddin Al-Tunisi Likely To Succeed Baghdadi as ISIS New Leader

15 July 2017

After the reported news about the death of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the organization is expected to shortly announce the name of its new leader, who will succeed Baghdadi, in order to maintain unity among its members, defend its survival and ensure its continuity.

In a brief statement issued by ISIS a few days ago, the organization mourned its dead leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and called on its members to remain united, keep it up in the strongholds and not get dragged behind the sedition.

ISIS is witnessing a critical time, especially after the recent strikes received in Iraq and the successive defeats over the past months, during which it lost most of its leaders.

A few leaders were left, the most important of which is the leader of the organization in Libya Jalaluddin al-Tunisi, who is one of the most important names qualified to succeed Baghdadi.

The real name of Jalaluddin al-Tunisi who is from Tunisia as his name suggests, is Mohamed Ben Salem al-Ayouni. He was born in 1982 in the Masaken region of the coastal province of Sousse.

He immigrated to France since the 90s and managed to obtain the French citizenship before returning to Tunisia upon the revolution.

In 2011, he went to Tunisia and then moved to Syria to participate in the war. He announced in 2014 that he joined ISIS after the killing of the commander of the “Ghoraba battalion.” He became the battalion’s leader and became one of the most important leaders in the organization and very close to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He made his first appearance on the media in a video on the borders between Syria and Iraq in 2014.

After the losses of ISIS in Libya, specifically in the city of Sirte last year, Baghdadi appointed him as the Emir of the organization in Libya because he believed that he was able to win battles and maintain the presence of the organization there, as well as good relations with some of the other extremist groups in North Africa, such as Oqba ibn Nafi who is affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Tunisi was able to convince some of the members there to defect and join ISIS.

Since the North African region is at the top of the regions where ISIS is seeking to expand and survive and with its recent collapse in Iraq, the organization might seek to expand again in African countries starting from Libya, which is still in a state of chaos when it comes to security.

Libya, especially its insecure south, provides a safe haven for insurgents and terrorists in order to operate freely, reorganize, recruit and train members. It also helps in the financing through the smuggling of goods in order to cover up as soon as possible for the recent fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.



Muslim world condemns Israel’s closure of al-Aqsa Mosque

Jul 15, 2017

The Muslim world has denounced Israel’s recent move to shut down the al-Aqsa Mosque after a deadly shooting at the holy mosque’s compound in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Friday gunfight took place just outside the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) and left three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers dead.

Following the incident, Israeli police closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, briefly detained Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds, and cancelled Muslim Friday prayers at the site.

“We insist on reaching al-Aqsa mosque and performing prayers there. The occupation preventing us from praying marks an assault against our right to worship in this pure Islamic mosque,” Sheikh Muhammad said.

The measures taken by the Tel Aviv regime drew condemnations from the Muslim world.

Arab League, Jordan demand al-Aqsa reopening

The Arab League warned against the consequences of Israel’s “dangerous” closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and ban on Friday prayers.

In a statement released on Friday, the 22-member pan-Arab organization said the move would adversely affect the so-called peace process in the region and fuel conflict, terrorism and extremism.

It further called on Israel to the immediately reopen al-Aqsa and avoid any attempt to change the historic status of the mosque, demanding the international community protect the Islamic and Christian sacred sites.

Additionally, Jordan, which serves as the custodian of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, urged the reopening of the site and advised Israel to “refrain from taking any step aimed at changing” the status quo of Jerusalem al-Quds or the mosque compound.

“Jordan rejects any attack on the rights of Muslims,” Jordanian government spokesman Mohammad Momani said in a statement carried by the official Petra news agency on Friday.

Qatar wants global action

In a similar development, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry censured the Israeli closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque, prevention of prayers there and declaration of the area as a closed military zone as a severe violation of the sanctity of Islamic sites and a provocation to millions of Muslims around the world.

In a statement, the ministry called on the international community to assume its responsibility in halting these violations.

‘Aqsa’s historical status must be respected’

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed regret over Friday’s incident, saying, “It is a humanitarian and legal obligation to respect the sanctity and historical status of the religious sites in the Israeli occupied East Jerusalem [al-Quds], especially the Haram al-Sharif.”

The Haram al-Sharif should be opened to worshippers “via the immediate lifting of the entry ban imposed by Israel and calm should be attained as soon as possible,” it added.

Dozens arrested after shooting

In the immediate aftermath Friday’s shootout, Israeli forces detained dozens of employees of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, an Islamic religious trust that manages the current Islamic edifices on and around the Haram al-Sharif.

Firas Dibs, head of the Waqf public relations, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that Israeli forces had detained 58 staff of the organization, and interrogated them over the gunfight.

The occupied lands have witnessed tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound two years ago.

The Tel Aviv regime has been trying to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015, when the tensions intensified.

Tel Aviv has come under fire for using violence against Palestinians and adopting a policy of shoot-to-kill.



Muslim leaders make formal complaint over 'Islamophobic' banners at London Pride

Jul 15, 2017

Muslim leaders have lodged a formal complaint with the organisers of London’s Pride festival after placards allegedly bearing Islamophobic messages were spotted at the event.

A secularist group of former Muslims were seen carrying a series of controversial signs during the march through the capital last weekend.

Banners bearing slogans such as “Allah is gay”, “F*** Islamic homophobia” and “East London Mosque incites murder of LGBTs” were carried at the event by members of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), who were a participating group listed on Pride’s website.

But leaders from the Muslim community wrote to the event’s organisers to raise concerns the messages incited hatred.

East London Mosque spokesman Salman Farsi told the Standard: “We’ve raised a complaint with the co-chairs of the event that the group was inciting hatred against Muslims, and in particular [in relation] to our good name, based on absolutely groundless reasons.

“Our track record for challenging homophobia in East London is quite well known,” he added, citing campaigns to condemn “gay-hate” stickers that sprung up around Tower Hamlets several years ago and the mosque’s public condemnations of attacks on LGBT people.

“For us to see such a mainstream event that is supposed to celebrate tolerance and love used as a hate platform was really quite shocking.

“One of the signs said ‘Islamophobia is an oxymoron’.

“Our religion doesn’t promote hatred or homophobia. Yes, there might be theological topics dealing with homosexuality in Islam, but that’s clearly very separate from promoting hatred and homophobia,” said Mr Farsi.

He added that the mosque had asked for an apology from Pride and a probe into what had happened.

Lucy Masoud, a firefighter and LGBT secretary for the Fire Brigades Union, stood next to CEMB activists at Pride and told the Standard she was also disturbed by the slogans.

“The group describes itself as a safe space for gay people and former Muslims. Obviously I support that. What I don’t support is people holding up signs saying ‘F*** Islam’ at Pride,” she said, adding that she was speaking as an individual rather than on behalf of the FBU.

She published a blog on the FBU website on Wednesday in which she condemned the banners as Islamophobic, but it was taken down as the union had yet to agree a common stance on the matter.

About 20 CEMB activists marched on Saturday with placards bearing a range of messages from “We’re here, we’re kaffir, get used to it” to “Allah is gay”. Several wore body paint across their chests depicting eyes crying rainbow-coloured tears.

Maryam Namazie, spokeswoman for CEMB, said the group was protesting the treatment of LGBT people in states under hardline Islamic leadership, such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Iran – where homosexuality is a capital offence.

Ms Namazie told the Standard it was “apt” to name the East London Mosque on the placards.

"At Pride, we were highlighting the 13 states under Islamic rule that kill gay men - 14 if we include Daesh-held territories."

Ms Namazie said that the signs did not say "F*** Islam" but "F*** Islamic homophobia", adding: "In my view Islam, like all religions, is homophobic. Why is it not possible to say this without fear of reprisal or accusations of Islamophobia?"

She said: "Pride is full of 'God is gay' and 'Jesus had two fathers' placards as well as those mocking the church and priests and pope, yet hold a sign saying 'Allah is gay' - as we did - and the police converge to attempt to remove them for causing offence."

A debate on an online forum attracted hundreds of comments after a man wrote that his Muslim friend – who went along to Pride to show support – was left feeling insulted by the "Allah is gay" sign.

However, some people came to the defence of CEMB, saying the group was exercising freedom of speech.

“No ideas should be immune from criticism or satire here in the UK,” wrote one.

A Pride London spokesman told the Standard: "If anyone taking part in our parade makes someone feel ostracised, discriminated against or humiliated, then they are undermining and breaking the very principles on which we exist. Our code of conduct is very clear on this matter.

“All volunteers, staff and parade groups agree that Pride celebrates diversity and will not tolerate any discrimination of any kind.

"While our parade has always been a home to protest, which often means conflicting points of view, Pride must always be a movement of acceptance, diversity and unity. We will not tolerate Islamophobia.”

Pride has also written to East London Mosque to say it has referred the complaint to its community advisory board, which assesses every parade entry after each year’s march, and “decide on whether CEMB will be allowed to march again in the years ahead.”





Fear in Muslim Locality after Attack on BJP Muslim Leader by Cow Vigilantes

Pavan Dahat

JULY 14, 2017

Shabbir Shiekh (25), a resident of Shahar Masjid area in Katol town of Nagpur, is a devout Muslim but he is afraid to grow a long beard nowadays.

“We had heard about Muslim men being lynched in north India, but now a person from our own locality has been attacked. This is shocking and dreadful. We feel unsafe,” Mr. Shiekh told this reporter.

He was referring to a group of men attacking his neighbour Salim Shah at Bhorsingi village (15 km from Katol) a couple of days ago on the suspicion that he was carrying beef.

Mr. Shiekh is not the only person in his locality who feels this way.

“This (attack by cow vigilantes) should not have happened in Maharashtra. We believed our State is safe compared to northern States,” said Shiekh Abid, another resident of the Shahar Masjid locality. “Even when there were incidents of communal violence in other parts of the country, our area never witnessed any rift. The Hindus, the Muslims, and Buddhists have been living here peacefully. But what is happening now is not good. The situation has changed in the last few years. There was Akhlakh, there was Junaid and now there is Salim. The attackers should be given strict punishment.”

The Muslims in the area are afraid, though Mr. Shah is a BJP leader and his party has openly condemned the incident. The BJP’s Nagpur rural president Rajiv Potdar said Mr. Shah was carrying mutton, not beef.

Almost all the residents had gathered in front of Mr. Shah’s house when he came home on Thursday and the fear among the people was palpable.

“There should be strict action against the attackers. Luckily, the police acted swiftly and saved Salim’s life. The incident was shocking. It shows no one is safe,” stated Farid Shah, another resident of Shahar Masjid area.

Mr. Shah was attacked by “five to eight men” in Bhorsingi village. “They attacked him at the bus stop. He ran to my garage. I heard the noise and came out as the group was thrashing him. I asked them to stop, but someone said they would murder him. I called up the police and the policemen came here quickly and saved his life,” said Allauddin Sheikh of Bhorsingi, an eyewitness to the incident.

However, apart from Allauddin, no other villager was willing to talk about the incident that took place in the busiest square of the village at 10 a.m.

Most of the shopkeepers and workers at restaurants claimed they opened their shops and restaurants late that day.

Parents of the main accused, Moreshwar Tandurkar, were unapologetic. “The entire village participated in the attack, but only my son was arrested. He was taluka president of the Prahar organisation and would be the first person to help anyone in need. It must have been beef and Moreshwar must have had the correct information,” said Moreshwar’s father Lakshan Tandurkar. “But they should not have beaten that man. They should have handed him over to the police, because we knew the villagers would back out when it came to police matters.”

Ashok Raut, a close friend of Mr. Moreshwar who met him in jail, said he showed no remorse. “He said he knew it was beef and he told me what he did was right,” Mr. Raut told The Hindu.

Friends and family members of the main accused alleged the victim was into “beef business”, a claim denied by Mr. Shah, his family, and his neighbours.

“There are slaughter houses in Amner village (7 km from Bhorsingi) and this man was transporting beef to his customers in Katol,” claimed Arun Dhote, another friend of the main accused.

However, Amner sarpanch Devendra Bondre denied the allegations. “There are slaughter houses in the old locality of our village, but I have never heard of cows being slaughtered there. They do slaughter old and sick horses and other animals, but not cows,” he said.

Four villagers from Amner — Sheikh Habib, Sahebrao More, Santosh Jevankar, Javed Qazi — and inspector of Jalalkheda police station Vijay Tiwari also denied the allegation that cows are slaughtered in Amner and beef is transported to other areas.

Bhorsingi’s deputy sarpanch Chintaman Raut, whose tailoring shop is situated at the bus stop, said he was not present when Mr. Shah was attacked. However, he called the incident “barbaric”.

“Civilised men will never indulge in such attacks. All the four attackers are unemployed and in their early thirties. The main accused Moreshwar is unmarried. All of them are drunkards and known for rowdy behaviour. I don’t think it was beef. These men only took advantage of the prevailing situation (in the country),” Mr. Raut said.



Ensure Those Ferrying Animals Are Not Attacked: Shahi Imam of Delhi to Home Minister

by Abantika Ghosh

July 15, 2017

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid of Delhi, has written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, urging him to take steps to ensure that people ferrying buffaloes and goats during Eid-ul -Adha are not attacked.

“We are not in favour of sacrificing cow. Sentiments of a particular religious community are attached with the cow. We give due respect to their religious sentiments. But, if those carrying buffaloes and goats are attacked in the name of protection of animals, then the peace of the country will get vitiated…as the sacrifice of animals on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha is a part and parcel of the Muslim faith, no hindrance should come in this way.

News Bulletin 3 : Alleged Cow Vigilantes Attack Drivers Transporting Cattle

Muslims should be completely free to practise their religious obligations. The way we respect the religious sentiments of others, we expect the same for us,” Bukhari wrote in the letter dated July 12. Eid-ul-Adha, commonly known as Bakrid, is scheduled to be observed on September 1.

Full report at:



LeT terrorist held with arms from north Kashmir's Bandipora

Jul 14, 2017

SRINAGAR: A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist was on Friday arrested from north Kashmir's Bandipora district and arms and ammunition recovered from his possession, police said here.

The newly-recruited LeT militant has been identified as Shahbaz Rasool Mir, a resident of nearby Hajin.

Mir was nabbed during a search operation in an orchard area in Markundal village in Sumbal area of the district, a police official said.

A Chinese pistol, a pistol magazine, four pistol rounds, a hand grenade, a knife and other items were recovered from his possession, the official said, adding a case has ben registered.



2 terrorists killed in encounter in south Kashmir's Tral area

Jul 15, 2017

NEW DELHI: Two terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Tral in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Saturday.

Security forces launched a search operation in the Satora area of Tral after receiving intelligence about the presence of terrorists there. The encounter broke out when the hiding terrorists opened fire on the security personnel. A counter-operation is currently underway.

On July 9, a CRPF jawan was injured when terrorists hurled a grenade inside a security forces' camp in Tral's Aribal town.

Security forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police have killed 102 terrorists this year, making it the highest number of killings in the January-July period in seven years.

Full report at:



Jharkhand lynchings: Muslims fear backlash, Hindus dread arrest in Sobhapur

Jul 14, 2017

The house of Mohammad Murtaza is under lock and key. His neighbour, Abdul Hakim, has also left with his family for a place known to none.

A little ahead in the lane at Sobhapur village in Jharkhand’s Seraikela-Kharsawan district, three more houses were also found locked and the families traceless.

An uneasy calm prevails in the village, with around 130 houses, 80 of them Muslims, that witnessed grisly scenes of violence as an agitated mob lynched four men, all Muslims, on suspicion of being child lifters on May 18. Investigations later revealed that they were planned murders, and alleged cattle theft and smuggling — not child lifting — was the actual cause of the lynching.

During the lynching, the berserk mob had also attacked and vandalised few houses. Those families were the first ones to flee.

Villagers after much persuasion revealed that the families have migrated days after the lynching incident. “More families are planning to shift to safer places,” they said.

Around one and half months after the gruesome incident, in Sobhapur and neighbouring Muslim-dominated Haldipokhar from where the victims hailed, the local populace has undergone a lot of social, political, and behavioural changes.

Muslims and Hindus, who peacefully coexisted and lived in harmony for decades, look at each other with suspicion. Muslims in Sobhapur — the only village under Rajnagar police station area, around 170 km from capital Ranchi, with a sizeable Muslim population — are feeling insecure and migrating gradually to safer places.

A Hindustan Times team traced Murtaza in Haldipokhar, a semi-urban Muslim colony housing at least 1200 families, eight kilometres from his village, where he has built a small asbestos roofed house on the outskirts.

“I feel safe here,” he said, putting up a plastic sheet outside his house to cover few household articles from the rain.

“It was painful migrating from the village where I was born and my forefathers lived but there is nothing else we could have done. The fear of reprisal after massive police crackdown against those involved in the lynching loom large on the Muslim families,” Murtaza rued.

A farmer, he occasionally visits his farms in Sobhapur for a couple of hours during the day but returns before sunset just like other villagers who have stopped stepping out of the house in the night.

“We are living in constant fear. The only solace is the newly set up police outpost in our village. Their presence is giving us strength,” said Md Zakir, who hasn’t migrated yet.

At Hata Chowk, the local market, Muslims shut their shops early.

“Nowadays, we shut our shops as early as 6pm. Women back home get worried if we do not reach home after sunset,” said Sheikh Salim, the elder brother of Sheikh Halim, who was killed along with his other business partners on that ill-fated day.

Several Hindu families from Sobhapur and adjoining villages such as Kamalpur, Adarhatu, and Gopinath are also missing due to fear of being arrested.

A couple of local Hindu and Muslim leaders confided that the four men who were lynched paid a price for their wrongdoings.

“They were making huge money by lifting cattle from streets, villages in their SUVs, mini trucks and selling them to slaughterhouses. Sometimes, they would butcher the cattle in their vehicles to accommodate more,” said a Muslim Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader requesting not to be named.

Police said they have arrested 19 accused so far and that a search is on to arrest others involved in the crime. The government had suspended the local police station in-charge, circle inspector, deputy commissioner and police superintendent, holding them responsible for the lynching.

A completely new set of administrative and police officials are leaving no stone unturned to ensure justice prevails and normalcy returns.

“We need to verify the allegations. But for the time being, our priority is to ensure normalcy returns to the villages and we have succeeded much in that direction,” superintendent of police Chandan Kumar Sinha said.

Full report at:



Jammu-Kashmir police looking into militant draped in ISIS flag at funeral

July 14, 2017

The police are looking into a militant’s body being draped in an ISIS flag at his funeral procession in Jammu and Kashmir. Pictures are up on social media sites of Sajid Ahmad Gilkar’s body being draped in the flag of the terror group and being taken in a procession to his home in the Malaratta area of the city.

Gilkar was killed, along with two other militants, in the Redbugh area of Budgam during an overnight encounter with security forces on Tuesday.

The police have taken cognisance of the matter and started investigations, police officials said in Srinagar. A police spokesperson said Gilkar had played a key role in the lynching of Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohammad Ayoub Pandit on June 22 at Jamia Masjid in the Nowhatta area.



Southeast Asia


Minister: Public Caning Means More Than Two Observers in Islam

July 15, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom sought to put a lid on the controversy surrounding Kelantan’s move to allow public caning for Shariah offenders this week.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the whipping penalty carried out in prison can actually be deemed to be public caning in Islam, which only requires more than two observers, national news agency Bernama reported today.

“In prison there are already more than two people including the doctor who is there to observe, the religious [enforcement] officer, the offender’s escort and others on duty,” he was quoted telling reporters in Guar Chempedak, Kedah after officiating the Jerai Umno Youth delegates meeting there.

The Jerai Umno chief was also reported telling people that whipping outside prisons for Shariah offences is not new in the country as it was already a practice in Sabah.

“Don’t turn it into an issue… this practice has already been carried out outside prisons in Tawau,” he was quoted saying and added that many do not understand the laws based on Shariah only involves Muslims.

Sabah’s Shariah courts had meted out three public whipping sentences since 2014, all for the Islamic crime of zina or illicit sex, with the last reported punishment carried out on a couple last year in a civil courtroom in Tawau, reportedly due to a request from participants of an unnamed seminar who wanted to see how Shariah whipping is carried out.

The all-Muslim Kelantan state legislative assembly passed the amendment to its Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002 last Wednesday to allow public caning for four offences: sodomy, illicit sex, alcohol consumption and false accusation.



Report: Pahang mufti mulls public caning too if Kelantan succeeds

July 15, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 ― Pahang could also implement public caning for Shariah offences if it is shown to be effective in Kelantan.

Pahang mufti Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Osman said the state will observe how Kelantan enforces public caning on Shariah offenders first, news portal Malaysiakini reported today.

“We will discuss it first. Perhaps, in future, after observing the developments in Kelantan on whether it is effective or not, then perhaps it can be (implemented in Pahang).

“If it has a big impact and can stop Muslims from gambling and make them become better people,” he was quoted as saying.

On Wednesday, the Kelantan legislative assembly passed amendments to its state Shariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002, which among others will now allow Shariah offenders to be caned publicly.

Kelantan is hoping to enforce public caning for Shariah offences after two months, according to its state executive council member Datuk Nassuruddin Daud.

In a separate news report by Chinese daily Sin Chew, Nassuruddin who is in charge of Islamic development in Kelantan, said its implementation hinges on the gazettement of the amendment.

“Once it is gazetted, we will carry out the preparatory works,” he was quoted saying.

Full report at:



Sabah precedes Kelantan with three open caning for Shariah offenders

July 15, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Kelantan is not the first state to push for public caning of Shariah offenders in the country, it would seem.

Sabah’s Shariah courts had meted out three public whipping sentences since 2014, all for the Islamic crime of zina or illicit sex, The Borneo Post reported today.

The news portal reported the state Shariah Chief Justice Datuk Jasri @ Nasip Matjakir saying that the three whipping sentences were given by the Tawau Shariah Court in 2014 and 2016 and were held in a courtroom.

But Jasri explained that the whipping was done openly due to special circumstances.

“The 2014 case which involved a woman, was supposed to be held in Tawau prison.

“However, the offender was only punished with whippings, so it could not be done in the prison area. The whipping sentence is done at the request of the offender.

“Hence, the prison’s side recommended for the sentence to be exercised in the open court,” Jasri was quoted saying.

The second and third Shariah whippings took place last year when the Tawau Shariah Court found a couple guilty of zina.

However, the couple were this time whipped in a civil court instead of the Shariah court, reportedly due to a request from participants of an unnamed seminar who wanted to see how Shariah whipping is carried out.

According to the news report, the 2016 whipping was recorded and then posted on video-sharing site YouTube, where it was widely shared.

Jasri was reported saying that no laws were committed even if the video of the sentencing in the civil court was shared openly, adding that it helped to educate the public on the difference between Shariah whipping and caning imposed by the civil courts.

Jasri was also reported saying that the execution of Sabah’s open whipping sentences should suffice to help the federal government explain to the public about PAS’ efforts to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.

Full report at:



Indonesia Blocks Telegram Messaging Service Over Security Concerns

Jul 15, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia on Friday (14/07) blocked access to the encrypted messaging service Telegram, citing concerns that it was being used to spread "radical and terrorist propaganda" in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation.

he move comes amid heightened concerns over the growing presence and influence of Islamic State in Southeast Asia as the jihadist group loses territory in Syria and Iraq.

Indonesia itself has seen a resurgence in home-grown militancy, inspired in large part by Islamic State; a twin suicide bombing at a Jakarta bus station in May killed three police officers and injured several others. It has stepped up anti-terrorism cooperation with Malaysia and the Philippines.

"This has to be done because there are many channels on this service that are full of radical and terrorist propaganda, hatred, ways to make bombs, how to carry out attacks, disturbing images, which are all in conflict with Indonesian law," the Ministry of Communications said in a statement on its website.

Telegram is a messaging platform known to be popular among Islamic State sympathisers, who use chatrooms with hundreds of members as well as private conversations.

The ministry added that both the mobile application and the desktop version of Telegram would be blocked throughout Indonesia. It did not say if it would take similar action against other messaging platforms.

Telegram was not immediately available for comment.

Many messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Telegram offer end-to-end encryption from sender to recipient, which means not even the companies providing the platform can see the messages.

Security officials in several countries have complained that the apps provide a safe space for militants to communicate with each other.

Several governments, including those of Australia and Britain, have urged technology companies to do more to help security agencies thwart security threats.

Full report at:



Police in West Java Nab Four Linked to Last Week's Bandung Explosion

Jul 15, 2017

Jakarta. Throughout this week, police in West Java have rounded up four suspected militants who had allegedly planned to launch a string of bomb attacks, a police spokesman said on Friday (14/07).

All of the arrested have reportedly been linked to last weekend's explosion of a pressure-cooker bomb in Bandung, at a house of a bomb maker who was initially considered a "lone-wolf" militant.

The bomb maker, Agus Wiguna, 22, who had allegedly planned to use the bomb to attack a popular Bandung cafe, was immediately nabbed after the explosion.

The most recent arrests were of 23-year-old Ramlan Suryadi and 24-year-old Adri Rosidi, who are suspected of knowing Agus's plot, and of Kodar, 26, and Ade Arif Suryana, 28, who had allegedly been helping Agus in assembling bombs.

According to police investigators, the arrested had earlier attempted to construct two explosive devices, West Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus told the Jakarta Globe.

He said the bigger one, weighing about 1.5 kilograms, Agus tried to detonate at a restaurant in Bandung.

"It was placed inside the restaurant but failed to explode. He threw it somewhere but we haven't found it," Yusri said.

The arrested had also planned an assault on a Catholic church in Bandung, with another flawed bomb, Yusri said.

"He tried once more, but failed again. It only emitted smoke."

Full report at:



Arab World


How four brothers triggered terror across Saudi Arabia’s al-Awamiyah district

15 July 2017

In one of the dens in the Saudi town of al-Awamiyah hid four al-Qedehi brothers who were wanted by the security services.

Their names were associated with terrorist operations in Qatif, where sources told Al Arabiya that they had been involved in drug dealing, kidnapping of innocent civilians and many terrorist operations over the past two decades. Jassim and Ghazi Ali al-Qedehi were arrested while their brother Bassim was recently killed. Maitham, the fourth brother, is still hiding in the neighborhood of al-Masoura, which has become a hotspot of terrorists who have launched several attacks against citizens and security forces this past four years in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia.

Al Arabiya has found a link between the terrorists al- Masoura area and the four brothers who were recently handed with death sentences while others are waiting to be arrested. Al Arabiya received a photo of Bassim with Mahdi al-Sayegh, a convict who was executed last Tuesday. The photo revealed that the terrorists received terror training by elements of the terrorist Lebanese Hezbollah group.

Remaining fourth brother: Maitham al-Qedehi

Security authorities recently killed Bassim after a confrontation in al-Awamiyah after he was targeted for participating in more than one attack on security headquarters and his involvement in the kidnapping of citizen Shah al-Shukan.

As for the wanted 27-year-old Maitham, evidence has proven that he has been involved in many terrorist and criminal activities in the area. His name is often associated with the terrorist Mohammed al-Ammar. Two months ago, Maitham appeared in a video threatening the residents of the town who rejected the terrorists with revenge operations.

He was recently listed among nine wanted convicts by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior after targeting citizens, residents and security men, and the destruction of public, security and economic facilities, and the disruption of public life.

Maitham is also being held responsible of recruting terrorists who kidnapped Qatif judge Mohammed al-Jirani and identify them from the same area where the Sheikh lived in Tarut Island.

He also met with two of the terrorists who were executed in Qatif. They were Yousif Ali Almushaikhis and Mahdi Sayegh. Their photos were posted on social media sites in successive meetings before they were arrested.

History of terrorism

The Interior Ministry arrested Jassim for his involvement in shooting at security men in Tarut Island, in addition to participating in shooting against security forces and their patrol units along with wanted men. He was arrested with the recently arrested Sayegh. They were arrested while seizing two Kalashnikovs, a pistol and a military suit.

The Saudi authorities arrested Ghazi in al-Awamiyah while trying to enter Bahrain through King Fahad's bridge last April.

The Al-Qedehi’s uncle is the detainee Abdullah al-Aujan, who was sentenced to death but currently on appeal in Riyadh’s specialized court on terrorism.



Over 100 Iraqi journalists killed, injured while covering Mosul battle: FAJ

Jul 14, 2017

The Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ)  has announced that more than 100 Iraqi journalists have lost their lives and sustained injuries while covering fierce battles between Iraqi government forces and Takfiri Daesh terrorists in the run-up to the liberation of the country’s second largest city from the extremists.

The Cairo-based FAJ, in a statement released on Thursday, announced that forty-seven journalists were killed, while fifty-five others were wounded while accompanying security troops during battles in Mosul and reporting on the skirmishes.

The federation also extended its deep felicitations to the Iraqi journalists, who covered the details of the battles in Mosul, praising government troops’ victory over Daesh there.

On June 24, French journalist Véronique Robert died from wounds she had sustained earlier in a mine explosion in the western part of Mosul as she was covering Iraqi government forces’ advances against Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

Sophie Pommier, a spokeswoman for the French Embassy in Baghdad, said Robert lost her life at a hospital in the French capital Paris.

The late journalist had been repatriated and transferred to the hospital on Friday after being operated in Baghdad.

State-owned France Television said Robert had covered numerous conflicts and expressed its "sincere condolences."

French video journalist Stephan Villeneuve and Iraqi Kurdish journalist Bakhtiyar Haddad, who were working with Robert, were killed in the June 19 explosion in Mosul. Haddad died moments after the blast and Villeneuve died hours later from his wounds.

They were reporting for investigative news program Envoye Special broadcast by France 2 national television channel.

Reporter Samuel Forey, who worked for a number of French media organizations, including French daily Le Figaro, also suffered light injuries in the act of terror.

The Metro Center for Journalists’ Rights and Advocacy said Haddad had been injured three times before as he covered the war in Mosul.

In February, Iraqi Kurdish correspondent Shifa Gardi, 30, was killed in a roadside bomb blast while covering clashes between Iraqi government forces and Daesh terrorists just south of Mosul for the Kurdish-language Rudaw television network. Her colleague, Younis Mustafa was wounded.

On October 22, 2016, a cameraman working for Iraq’s Arabic-language al-Sumaria television network was fatally shot by a Daesh sniper while covering Iraqi military advances near the village of al-Shura, which lies south of Mosul. The slain journalist was identified as Ali Raysan.

Over 500 Iraqi children killed, injured in Daesh conflict: UNICEF

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says more than 500 Iraqi children have been killed and injured in the wake of military operations against Daesh militants in the first half of the current year.

Chief of UNICEF Field Operations in Erbil, Maulid Warfa, told reporters in Geneva on Friday that 506 children were killed and wounded in Iraq during the first half of 2017, stressing that the UN agency is working with the Iraqi government to secure access to places, where children may have been recruited by Daesh Takfiris.

The UN official explained that many children have been separated from their parents as a result of Daesh conflict, pointing out that UNICEF is working to reunite them with their parents.

“Children are the main victims of the war in Mosul, and many of whom have separated from their families. A total of 4,300 children have been reunited with their families, and more than 1,000 ones are now receive follow-ups as part of attempts to bring them together with their parents,” Warfa said.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the extremists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.

In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, had made sweeping gains against Daesh since launching the operation on October 17, 2016.

The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19.

Full report at:



Qatar plotted to destabilize the UAE, ex-Muslim Brotherhood member confesses

15 July 2017

The Muslim Brotherhood's secret organization in the UAE plotted to destabilize Abu Dhabi with the help of Qatar, a former leading member of the group has confessed.

Three years after the UAE government issued a ruling against members of the so-called secret organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, which planned and undermined state security and stability, Abdulrahman bin Subaih Khalifa Al Suwaidi revealed to Abu Dhabi Television Channel that the Qatari government sponsored and supported all the activities of the organization, worked on developing its tools and provided its members with passports, residency and money to do so.

Suwaidi, currently serving a 15-year jail term for being one of the leader of the banned extremist group, noted that the Qatari media provided courses for members of the organization on how to spread chaos in the country through social media and revealed that Arab and Qatari personalities were hired to train members of the organization.

“They gave us a five-day course on how to use social media to advertise for demonstrations,” Suwaidi said.

Online mobilization against the state was part of the secret organization's plans as well as its supporters in order to replicate the experience that Qatar supported in other countries during the so-called Arab Spring.

Suwaidi said that “Qatar believes that it is only a matter of time before it would bring people into the streets as it did in other countries”.

Suwaidi’s confession confirms the findings of the inspection that followed the dismantling of the organization. The investigation disclosed that members of the Muslim Brotherhood and their parallel organizations were in touch, not only at the international and regional level, but also at within the Gulf, to gain financial, consultative and media support.

Full report at:



Saudi forces kill Qatif’s ‘most dangerous terrorist’

15 July 2017

Saudi authorities have announced that they have killed Qatif’s “most dangerous terrorist” named Jaafar bin Hassan Makki al-Mubaireek.

Al-Mubaireek was killed on Friday night during a security operation in the city of Saihat. The extremist is considered one of the “most dangerous terrorists of Qatif” by authorities for his involvement in terror attacks in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

He was listed as a wanted person in October of last year on charges of committing a number of terrorist acts in Qatif, including shooting at civilians and public facilities and helping suspected terrorists.



Gunmen kill five Egyptian police south of Cairo

Jul 15, 2017

CAIRO - Gunmen ambushed an Egyptian security checkpoint on Friday, opening fire on a car and killing five policemen in an area just south of the capital, the state-run MENA news agency and the Interior Ministry said.

Three gunmen on a motorbike attacked police in al-Badrasheen area of Giza province, 30 km (20 miles) south of Cairo, killing two officers and three conscripts, the agency said citing a security source.

“A police officer who was near the site of the attack exchanged fire with the assailants forcing them to flee,” the ministry statement said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Egyptian security forces have been battling the local affiliate of Islamic State in the northern Sinai area and attacks have spread to other parts of Egypt.

Hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed since 2013 in the Sinai Peninsula. At least 23 soldiers were killed last week when suicide car bombs hit two checkpoints in the region in an attack claimed by Islamic State. It was one of the bloodiest assaults on security forces in years.

Islamic State has also intensified attacks in other areas, often targeting Coptic Christians. About 100 Copts have been killed since December.

In May gunmen assault on a group of Copts in a bus traveling to a monastery, killing 29 people and two bombings of churches killed more than 40 people a month earlier.

Full report at:



Militants in Southern Syria Reject US-Russia Brokered Ceasefire Deal

Jul 14, 2017

Releasing a long statement on the matter, the ‘Death over Humiliation’ operations room that was formed in February to unite Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the al-Nusra Front) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorist groups under one fighting force, stated it would not adhere to the ceasefire, rendering it useless:

Thus, clashes between militants and the Syrian army resumed across all the three provinces in Southern Syria on Friday with both sides exchanging artillery fire.

Effectively, the ceasefire held for less than one week.

A ceasefire took effect in Southwest Syria after a deal was brokered by the US and Russia on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in the German city of Hamburg last Friday.

The truce was enforced by midday on Sunday, in the provinces of Dara'a, Sweida and Quneitra in the Southwest, along the Jordanian border.

Syrian government forces had announced a halt to combat operations in the three provinces. According to the military, the move was aimed at supporting the peace process and national reconciliation in Syria.

The United States and Russia have backed opposing sides in Syria's six-year-conflict, with Moscow supporting the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Washington backing rebel groups seeking his ouster.

Full report at:



Syrian Army Advances in Eastern Damascus after Heavy Airstrikes

Jul 14, 2017

Supported by the air force's heavy airstrikes, the Syrian army’s 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard managed to capture the Ein Tarma's Meat Market and the surrounding buildings after fierce battle with Faylaq al-Rahman terrorists.

Meanwhile, another unit of the 105th Brigade, alongside the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) and National Defense Forces (NDF), stormed the militant-held Taybeh District of Jobar in Northwest of Ein Tarma, resulting in a series of clashes this morning.

Fierce clashes are still ongoing at several axes in Eastern Damascus as the Syrian army is trying to win the upper-hand in this important area near the capital.

On Thursday, the Syrian army soldiers continued military operations against the terrorists in Eastern Ghouta, further advancing in Ein Tarma.

The army forces continued clashes with the terrorists near the meat packaging company and al-Khair Markets, regaining control of several points.

A military source said that the Syrian troops have rapidly advanced in the region, and added that a number of terrorists were killed in clashes.

The source stressed that the army wants to separate Jobar district from Eastern Ghouta by advancing in regions parallel to al-Moltahlaq al-Janoubi, between Eastern Damascus and the Western parts of Eastern Ghouta.

Meantime, the Syrian army could retake control of houses in the Eastern parts of the Marble Factory.

Full report at:



Syrian Army Recaptures More Areas in Eastern Hama

Jul 14, 2017

The army forces won back control of Kojak farms and the hills overlooking the village of al-Takileh in the Eastern parts of Salamiyah.

They also engaged in fierce clashes with the al-Nusra terrorists who wanted to occupy the military points in al-Sathiyat region in Western Salamiyah.

Meantime, the Syrian air force launched airstrikes on ISIL positions in the villages of al-Makimen and Hamada Omar in Eastern Salamiyah, inflicting casualties on the terrorists.

In relevant developments on Wednesday, the Syrian army troops, supported by the Russian and Syrian warplanes, targeted the ISIL positions and movements in the Eastern and Central parts of Hama province, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

The army's artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at ISIL's positions in Sheikh Hilal in Eastern Hama, killing and wounding a large number of militants.

In the meantime, the army soldiers engaged in heavy fighting with terrorists in a region near the oil pipelines East of the town of al-Salamiyah, killing a large number of them and damaging their equipment.

Also, the Russian and Syrian fighter jets pounded ISIL's positions East of al-Salamiyah.

Full report at:



Heavy Clashes Erupt between Rival Militants in Idlib

Jul 14, 2017

The heavy clashes started when a large Ahrar Al-Sham convoy began moving towards a Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the al-Nusra Front) base in Killi, and the latter opened fire on teh convoy.

According to opposition activists, clashes have died down now, however, several civilians were wounded during the militants' infighting.

Tensions have heightened in Idlib province between the former allies, as Tahrir al-Sham’s aggression has forced Ahrar al-Sham to fortify many areas in anticipation of a large attack by the al-Qaeda affiliate.

Relevant reports said on Thursday that a suicide blast against one of the positions of Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib left at least 26 terrorists dead and wounded.

Two successive blasts occurred after a suicide bomber blew up a bomb-laden motorcycle near Tahrir al-Sham base near the spinning factory in Idlib.

The blasts inflicted 12 tolls on the terrorists and wounded over 14 others.

Field sources confirmed on Tuesday that another militant group has defected Tahrir al-Sham after Ansar al-Shariyah and Ajnad al-Sham terrorist groups also cut ties with the al-Qaeda-affiliated group.

The sources reported that the al-Tamkeen Brigade, one of the largest factions within Tahrir Al-Sham Hay'at, announced that it would not fight for the al-Qaeda-affiliated group before infighting between rival militant groups is halted for an indefinite period of time.

Ansar al-Shari'a and Ajnad al-Sham terrorist groups had defected Ahrar al-Sham and joined Tahrir Al-Sham but after a while they cut relations with the al-Qaeda-affiliated group too. 

Tahrir al-Sham has been engaged in severe tensions and clashes with Ahrar al-Sham in Idlib and Jeish al-Islam in Eastern Ghouta, and reports from the region said the battle has inflicted hundreds of casualties on both sides. 

Late in June, Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at suffered another setback, as a large faction defected the terrorist coalition and joined rival Ahrar Al-Sham Movement.

Full report at:



Iraqi police parade car bombs seized from ISIS

14 July 2017

Iraqi police displayed 23 vehicles that had been turned into car bombs and also an anti-aircraft gun, all captured from ISIS militants during the battle for the city of Mosul.

The vehicles shown to the media were mostly civilian cars, covered in thick metal armor, with small glass ports for a driver to see through, and had been equipped with bombs.

They appear similar to vehicles used in apparent suicide attacks shown in ISIS propaganda.

Many had been painted in camouflage or blue, the color of Iraqi Federal Police vehicles, in a bid to fool surveillance aircraft into mistaking them for Iraqi forces’ vehicles.

“Heroes of the Emergency Rapid Division and the Federal Police seized these cars in successful night raids,” Iraqi Federal Police captain Bassam Hillo Kadhim said.

Most eye-catching among the vehicles was a tank turret, complete with its gun, mounted on the back of a large truck, which police officials said had been designed to target military aircraft and ground troops from a distance.

Iraqi forces plan to destroy the vehicles.

Full report at:





US should help prove Gulen coup role: Turkey

Jul 15, 2017

A Turkish official says the United States should help prove an Ankara government narrative that a US-based Turkish dissident was to blame for a failed coup d’état in Turkey last year, as Ankara marks the anniversary of the abortive putsch.

The coup attempt, carried out on July 15 last year, saw rogue soldiers driving tanks on the streets and flying helicopters overhead and claiming that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was no more in charge of the country. The attempt, however, was suppressed over the course of two days. Some 249 people, not including the rogue soldiers, were killed during the coup attempt.

The government has named July 15 a national holiday.

President Erdogan has accused his former-ally-turned-foe Fetullah Gulen (seen below), who resides in Pennsylvania in self-exile, of having spearheaded the coup. Gulen, a cleric, denies the accusation.

Erdogan has been riding a wave of patriotism since the coup, and has been pressing hard for Gulen’s extradition. The US, however, has not accepted Turkish requests for Gulen’s extradition so far.

Speaking to Reuters on Friday, Turkey’s ambassador to the US once again repeated Ankara’s demand from Washington to extradite Gulen.

Ambassador Serdar Kilic said US authorities had to examine Gulen’s communications for evidence showing he masterminded the putsch.

“They (the Americans) should help us in this regard. We don’t have national intelligence authority in the United States,” he said.

Kilic cited “confessions” by some alleged coup plotters and their purported visits with Gulen at his US compound in the lead-up to the putsch as proof that the cleric had been behind the coup.

Meanwhile, Alp Aslandogan, Gulen’s media adviser, said the cleric did not own a cell phone, the land line at his compound was used by staff members, and that he did not use email. He said confessions of alleged coup plotters implicating Gulen were dubious because of accusations that their testimonies had been “obtained under duress and sometimes torture.”

Erdogan said in May he would pursue “to the end” Gulen’s extradition and has waged a post-coup crackdown on the cleric’s followers.

The authorities have so far arrested 50,000 people and sacked over 100,000 more as part of a post-coup crackdown.


The government has set up giant posters in Istanbul depicting the key events of the coup night, including the surrender of the putschists, and bearing the slogan “The epic of July 15.”

Patriotic placards also hang between the minarets of some of the city’s greatest Ottoman mosques.

A special session of the parliament will start commemorations marking the first anniversary of defeating the coup at 1000 GMT.

At midnight local time (2100 GMT) on Saturday, people across Turkey will take part in “democracy watches,” rallies commemorating people’s confrontation with the putschists.

Erdogan will fly to Istanbul to take part in a people’s march on the bridge across the Bosphorus, where bloody fighting occurred during the botched coup. He will return to Ankara and give a speech at the parliament at 2300 GMT to mark the legislature was bombed during the coup.

The celebrations will also witness the unveiling of a monument in commemoration of those killed outside his palace in the capital.



Why IRGC is enemy of Islam and a major source of terrorism

15 July 2017

In 1979, after decades of oppression, people in Iran courageously stood up to the Shah dictatorship and demonstrated power of the people by toppling him. But their hopes of freedom were soon crushed when Khomeini was able to deceive them with false promises to establish a bloody reign of terror, based on a state principle called velayat-e-faqih.

We must not be deceived by media outlets, which try to compare Iran’s state principle to other countries in the region. Velayat-e-faqih means that the faqih, a so-called Islamic jurist, is the custodian of all Muslims until the missing 12th Imam Mahdi reappears. By nature, he must rule not only people in Iran but Muslims all over the world and has the divine duty to give global fatwas and intervene into other nations to “free” them.

This is manifested in the preamble of the Iranian constitution of 1979 when it says: “[T]he Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) […] will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s law throughout the world”.

We can see here that one main goal of IRGC is the export of “revolution” into other countries. There can never be peace as long as the whole world has been taken over by Iran’s fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Therefore, we see that the IRGC is meddling in different countries in the region. No other country has a similar state form as Iran with the exception of ISIS.

By nature these two ideologies are similar with the difference that Iran claims to be “Shiite” while ISIS claiming to be “Sunni”. The Saudi Crown Prince therefore has every reason to say that dialogue with such a regime is impossible.

These interpretations counter the main principles of Islam which means submission and roots in the very Arabic word peace. When we take a look at the biography of Prophet Mohammad, he was always aiming to achieve peace treaties even if disadvantaging Muslims. It’s worth mentioning that Allah sent him an Ayah for victory (Quran 48:1) not after the winning of a fight but after making a peace treaty in Hudaibiyyah. These very principles are also found in the Quran which particularly aims to make people humble and loving.

Use of force

Similarly, also according to “Shiite” interpretations of Islam, Imam Ali called for the use of force only in situations of defense and only unless a necessity exists, forbidding even further violence when the enemy is injured and defenseless and from attacking innocent bystanders. This is manifested in important Shia sources such as Nahj al-Balagha.

Most “Shiite” scholars therefore reject Khomeini’s ideology and his state principle. We can therefore clearly see that the manifestation of the IRGC’s exportation of the ‘revolution’ through violence counters the very teachings of Islam. It is because of the exportation of terror through groups such as the IRGC, al-Qaeda and ISIS that many people have a wrong perception of Islam today.

These groups are therefore enemies of Islam. They misuse the banner of religion to teach anti-religious doctrines. According to the famous cleric Ayatollah Taleghani this is the most dangerous ideology possible, because here fundamentalism is justified through higher powers.

In recent years we have unfortunately seen numerous attempts to appease the Iranian regime. The Obama administration, for economic and geopolitical reasons, followed a policy of appeasement with Iran and gave them billions of dollars that were used for sectarian policies, terror and the export of its “revolution”. Even former US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged in an interview that Iran will use money from sanction relief for terrorism.

Qatar also helps Iran when it stroke deals and held meetings with notorious IRGC Commander Qassem Suleimani as recently in Baghdad and by spreading a pro-Iranian narrative on Al Jazeera. Therefore among other reasons Qatar is rightfully targeted by its Gulf neighbors for its involvement in global terrorism.

Economy and IRGC

Moreover according to sources from the Iranian opposition, at least 40 percent of the economy is in the hands of the IRGC. Thence many economic deals with Iran will in the end have no other result than the strengthening of the IRGC and the export of terrorism. Iran’s involvement in terror, assassinations and cooperation with terror groups such as Al Qaeda is well documented and was even mentioned by US President Donald Trump.

These failed policies of appeasement have endangered the Middle East and were a main cause for the birth of so-called ISIS. When Iran’s sectarian forces started to massacre the ‘Sunni’ community in Iraq and Syria with help from their governments, many ‘Sunnis’ by nature became more extreme and wanted to retaliate.

According to former US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey, the positions and policies adopted by former Iraqi PM Maliki against Iraq’s Sunni community paved the path for the rise and growth of ISIS. Moreover, in a Fox News interview in November 2014, John Kerry acknowledged how Assad facilitated the release of 1,500 extremist prisoners which parallel to the release of 1,000 prisoners by Maliki in Iraq led to the foundation of ISIS.

To stop fundamentalism and sectarianism in the region, it is important to target the ultimate cause of instability. That can only happen when the international community places the IRGC on its terror lists and starts to confront it.

Full report at:



2 police killed in Jerusalem, attackers shot dead

Jul 15, 2017

Jerusalem - Three Arabs opened fire on Israeli police in Jerusalem Friday, killing two before fleeing to an ultra-sensitive holy site where they too were shot dead in one of the city's most serious incidents in recent years.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone later as tensions rose over the attack and its aftermath. Israeli authorities also detained Jerusalem's top Islamic cleric as crowds gathered at the Old City's gates after the attack, his son said.

The three attackers, Arab Israelis aged between 19 and 29, were shot dead by police. A body could be seen on the ground near the Al-Aqsa mosque at the site in Jerusalem's Old City.

Police recovered two locally made automatic rifles, a pistol and a knife, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

Videos posted on social media showed a hail of gunfire ring out in what seemed to be an exchange between Israeli security forces and the assailants.

Security forces locked down the area and in a highly unusual move the Al-Aqsa mosque was closed to Friday prayers after the attack.

The attackers were from the Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm near the occupied West Bank.

Police identified them as Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad Jabareen, 29; Muhammad Hamed Abdel Latif Jabareen, 19; and Muhammad Ahmad Mafadal Jabareen, 29. Arab Israelis are descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land following the creation of Israel in 1948. They largely identify with the Palestinian cause.

The police who were killed were Ha'il Satawi, 30, and Kamil Shanan, 22, both from the Druze minority.

The assailants were killed at the site known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount, the scene of regular clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police, but where gunfire rarely occurs.

The site includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

In the phone call with Netanyahu, Abbas "expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident at the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque and his rejection of any act of violence from any side, especially in places of worship", official Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

The statement appeared stronger than previous such responses from Abbas, who has repeatedly called for non-violent resistance to Israel's occupation without specifically condemning Palestinian attacks.

A statement from Netanyahu's office confirmed the call.

"The prime minister said that Israel will take all the necessary measures in order to ensure the security on the Temple Mount without changes in the status quo," it said.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called it an "extremely severe event which crossed all red lines".

With Al-Aqsa closed, crowds gathered at Old City gates and held prayers there.

The grand mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the city's highest Islamic authority, condemned the closure of the mosque compound for prayers.

"I have very little information about it, but it doesn't mean you should close the mosque for prayers," he told journalists at the Lions Gate entrance to the Old City, near the holy site.

According to his son Jihad Hussein, he was later detained by Israeli police who declined to comment.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, called the attack "a natural response to the Zionist terrorism and the desecration of the Al Aqsa mosque", referring to previous Israeli raids at the site.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said on Twitter that "places for worship are for prayer, not for violence. All must take a stand against terror & condemn it."

Basem Badawi, 60, a water-seller in the Old City, told AFP: "I was standing here and then I heard the shooting. I thought it was fireworks. "But then I saw the police coming from everywhere."

The Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount is considered the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred in Judaism.

It is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians fearing Israel may one day seek to assert further control over it.

It is located in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

Jews are allowed to visit, but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

The site is administered by the Islamic Waqf organisation. Waqf officials said Israeli police detained its guards there after the attack.

A wave of unrest that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of at least 281 Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 44 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.

Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

Full report at:



Turkey dismisses over 7,000 police, soldiers, ministry officials

Jul 15, 2017

ISTANBUL - Turkey dismissed more than 7,000 police, soldiers and ministry officials under a new decree published Friday under a state of emergency imposed after last year’s failed coup, state media reported.

A total of 7,563 people - including police - have been dismissed in the latest purge, the Anadolu news agency reported.

Turkish authorities also stripped 342 retired army personnel of their rank, Anadolu said.

Earlier, Hurriyet daily reported that 7,348 people including 2,303 police - were dismissed in total.

The new decree came a day before Turkey marks the first anniversary of a military-led bid to seize power from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey blamed the failed putsch on US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, who denies the accusations, and vowed to root out his “virus” from state institutions.

Since then some 50,000 people have been arrested and over 100,000 fired or suspended from their jobs.

Meanwhile, Turkey has refused German lawmakers permission to visit soldiers serving at an air base near the city of Konya, marking a new escalation in tensions between the two NATO allies.  Turkey’s earlier refusal to let lawmakers visit German soldiers serving at Incirlik air base led to Berlin relocating those troops to Jordan. In Konya, German airmen contribute to a NATO air surveillance mission.

“We regret Turkey’s request to delay the journey of a parliamentary delegation,” a German foreign ministry official said on Friday. “We are in intensive talks with all parties, including NATO, to set a new date as soon as possible.”

Germany’s armed forces are under parliamentary control, for reasons rooted in its modern history, and Berlin says the lawmakers must have access to its soldiers. Germany relocated its troops from Incirlik after repeated attempts to gain lawmaker access.

In May Turkey authorised a visit to Konya, but then revoked its permission due to increased bilateral tensions, said Rainer Arnold, defence spokesperson for the Social Democrats (SPD), the junior party in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing coalition.

The two countries are at odds over a host of issues, including Berlin’s refusal to extradite asylum seekers Ankara accuses of involvement in last year’s failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, while Berlin is demanding the release of an imprisoned Turkish-German journalist.

Merkel’s criticisms of Ankara have been muted, partly because she needs its cooperation in upholding a deal whereby Turkey prevents migrants and refugees, many fleeing Syria’s civil war, from leaving its shores for the European Union.

With a German parliamentary election due in September, relations with Turkey are an especially sensitive issue, exposing her to criticism from other parties that hope to unseat her.

Full report at:



Ankara sacks over 7,000 for suspected links to last year failed coup

Jul 15, 2017

The Turkish government has dismissed over 7,000 people, mostly police officers, civil servants and academics, from their jobs as part of the latest wave of crackdown against those accused of supporting a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year.

According to the latest decree on Friday, 2,303 police personnel, including some from senior ranks, and 302 academics from universities across the Anatolian country lost their jobs, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported.

It added that the ruling also stripped 342 retired officers and troopers of their ranks and grades.

During the July 15 putsch last year, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had seized control of the country and the government of President Erdogan was no more in charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.

Ankara has since accused Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric and opposition figure, of orchestrating and masterminding the coup. He is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army, police and the Judiciary. Turkey has also outlawed the Gulen movement, his large organization, in the country and has branded it as the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). Gulen, however, categorically denied the allegation.

Turkish officials have frequently called on the US to extradite Gulen, but it has taken no concrete measure so far.

Gulen condemns 'despicable putsch'

Meanwhile, Gulen denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.

“Accusations against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically motivated slanders,” he said.

The 76-year-old cleric also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his followers, a move he said is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to President Erdogan and his regime.”

"The government's treatment of innocent citizens during the past year is dragging Turkey into the category of the countries with the worst record of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms in the world," he further said in his Friday's statement.

Gulen has accused Erdogan of orchestrated the coup as a false flag to crack down on those disloyal to him across the country.

'State of emergency addiction'

Turkey, which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups believed to have played a role in the failed putsch.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Friday that he would propose extension of the emergency rule by another three months when it expires next week.

His announcement, however, was condemned by Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), with its deputy leader Bulent Tezcan accusing the government of becoming “addicted” to ruling the country under a state of emergency.

“They got used to ruling Turkey under the state of emergency. It has become like a drug addiction,” Tezcan said at a press conference.

Full report at:





Young British Muslims are launching their own publications to provide a different media narrative

By Zainab Mahmood

July 15, 2017

The editors of two magazines targeting Britain’s 2.8m Muslims have spoken about why they felt the need to provide a different media perspective for the minority group.

The Black Muslim Times UK is a website set up  British Nigerian Halimat Shode which is updated with new features and interviews on a quarterly basis and seeks to better represent black British Muslims.

British Muslim Magazine is a lifestyle title established in 2013 and aimed at a UK audience.

BMM co-founder Natasha Syed said: “The Daily Mail and mainstream publications have so many readers, and you just think one misrepresentation can take a very large readership to start thinking something completely different.

“And if they don’t put that right in follow-up features and follow-up blogs or whatever, I think they’re painting it a completely bad picture for readers.”

Recent years have seen a number of British Muslim publications appear, Syed’s included.

No related posts.

She said of the recent increase in Muslim media: “I think people are fed-up from the misrepresentation through mainstream media.

“To have that feeling that suddenly you’re not feeling that British because of all this news and all of this pollution of politics that takes place in news and media is actually quite depressing, it’s quite sad, and there’s absolutely no need for it.

“These magazines are created by mid-20-year-olds that at their age they should be doing other jobs, but they’re becoming publishers and they’re becoming website owners because they’re completely sick of reading media that just doesn’t represent them.”

However, Syed said that mainstream media portrayals of Muslims have improved over the years: “Now when you read something about a Muslim…through mainstream press, it is a little bit more sensitive, which is nice because it allows you to kind of carry on reading.

“Their attention to detail is slightly more, so they will really go into finding out what the situation is.”

She praised a story in the Guardian that corrected allegations that a Muslim woman drove into a group celebrating Eid as an act of terror, rather it was an accident.

Mail Online issued an apology after referencing Muslim “hate cleric Abu Hamza” in the article breaking news of the Finsbury Park mosque attack.

Syed said publications such as the Black Muslim Times UK have been launched because the communities are “not being represented in the right way”.

Syed said: “We’re trying to say Muslims can do other things…there’s no point dividing us and trying to use a scaremongering tactic via news or via publications, websites or TV, it’s just not going to work.”

Titles offering a more positive image of British Muslims include: Sisters magazine, which publishes real-life stories with a religious focus to support Muslim women, and Muslim Lifestyle a title which focuses on lighthearted aspects of Muslim life.

Syed said that with her title she has tried to “move the focus to something else which was more to do with travel, fashion and some lifestyle things that Muslims genuinely do on a day-to-day…and stay clear of the political side of the news.

“The magazine definitely provides a kind of inspiration and advice for Muslims in Britain looking for luxury travel experiences, food, heritage and fashion.”

The title claims to have 20,000 readers of the print edition and covers Muslim fashion events, halal food festivals and Eid festivals such as the London mayor’s Eid festival earlier this month.

The BMM team currently consists of two freelance sales people, two full-time editors working alternate months and freelance editorial contributors.

Syed said you don’t have to be Muslim to work for the title: “Our staff isn’t just Muslim focused, in fact we want to diversify it to have the chance to work with people who have the skills and knowledge to take this further, not the religion and faith to take it further.”

Halimat Shode of the Black Muslim Times UK is one of the 20-somethings that Syed mentioned who are  taking it upon themselves to establish publications aimed at Muslims in the UK.

Like Syed, Shode wishes to stay clear of the negative Muslim narratives portrayed by the mainstream media: “It’s not about acting like there’s nothing bad happening, of course there’s always something bad happening in the world, and those things can be highlighted.”

She added: “But what the publication is, is definitely a reinforcement of positivity…and letting people see themselves when they normally don’t.”

She started the title as a blog in December 2015, half a year after completing her undergraduate degree in English and Creative Writing.

She said: “It’s very much what it says it is, a platform of representation, as opposed to feeling left out and feeling like I need to compete with other publications or other groups.

“So what you see on the publication is people telling their stories, people having conversations, people sharing their perspectives, as opposed to just a case of reacting to lacking representation or other issues.”

Shode spoke of Muslims taking ownership of their narratives with the founding of their own platforms: “There’s only so much you can do in a mainstream publication; you might get a column and you might have a few features, but there comes a point where you want more of your story being told, you want more of your perspective being shared, and you want to share it in a way that you want to share it.”

BMT profiles black British Muslims from a range of fields including the arts, sports, entrepreneurship and business.

Shode feels it important to support one another within such a significant minority group: “I do want their work to be highlighted.

“So it’s not just about showing them off, it’s about saying this is great work they’re doing and you haven’t heard about them because they’re not represented.

“And rather than have a whine and a moan about them not being represented, what I can do is just…seek out these people.”

Shode hopes to establish a fixed editorial team that can help her broaden the content of the publication, as well as make it a multimedia platform through which video content can enhance interaction with the readers.

At the moment Shode funds the business through private tutoring and agency work.

Black Ballad, produced by black British women, Amaliah, produced by Muslim women, and Media Diversified are other online platforms for which Shode still sees it important to write, in order for her stories and BMT to reach a larger audience.'



PKK supporters target Turks at July 15 event in London

15 July 2017

Sympathizers of the PKK terror organization attacked a group of Turks gathered at an event Friday in British capital.

One policeman was injured when the 40-man strong group threw objects at the Turks who were in the Walthamstow Town Hall to commemorate the anniversary of the July 15 defeated coup in Turkey.

There were more than 300 people at the event when the PKK sympathizers attempted to enter the hall.

They threw stones and bottles at the Turks after police refused to intervene despite criticism from the Turkish audience.

A brief scuffle broke out before police separated the two groups before detaining three individuals from the PKK group.

Police also detained one attendee of the event.

The event organized by the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) eventually continued as additional police arrived at the venue.

Full report at:



German court sentences terrorist PKK member to prison

14 July 2017

A German court has sentenced a man to three years and three months in prison on Thursday for leading a branch of the terrorist organisation PKK in Germany.

The 47-year-old Muhlis K. was charged with “being a member of a foreign terrorist organization”.

The Higher Regional Court in the southern city of Stuttgart said in a statement that the convict was the chief operative of the terrorist organization in various regions in Germany between 2013 and 2016.

He was in the northern city of Dusseldorf when he was arrested in February last year.

The court underlined that the PKK was “a particularly dangerous terrorist organization” that not only targeted Turkish security personnel but also civilians in order to realize its goals, and founded various structures in Germany and other Western European countries for its funding, propaganda and recruitment activities.

The Turkish government has repeatedly urged German authorities to take measures against the PKK, which has also been outlawed in Germany since 1993.

The PKK has more than 14,000 followers in Germany among the Kurdish migrant population, and raised more than €13 million ($14.3 million) in 2015, according to reports by the German domestic intelligence agency, the BfV.

Full report at:



Qatar accused of  promoting sedition in UAE and Europe

July 15, 2017

A man claiming to be a former  member of an “underground organisation” in the UAE, appeared on a Sharjah TV programme on Friday, in which he accused Qatar of involvement in seditious activities in the Emirates.

Abdel Rahman Al Suwaidi said he worked for several charitable bodies in the UAE as a cover, but had to flee the country when the authorities disbanded the underground organisation. He fled to Yemen, then Turkey and finally Indonesia, where he was arrested  and extradited to the UAE. The name of the underground organisation was not given and there is no indication of whether Al Suwaidi remained in custody.

According to Al Suwaidi, “There is an underground group here in the UAE. We speak of an ideology, not practices. But when a fatwa comes from Al Qaradawi, they are ready to act.” He was referring to Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the head of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, who is based in Qatar.

Al Suwaidi also alleged that groups in Europe, including Muslim immigrants and European Muslims, receive material support from Qatar. Funding, he said, went into the establishment of Muslim centres and summer camps in Belgium and Switzerland. These, according to Al Suwaidi, were “also vehicles for the extremist ideology spread by Al Qaradawi.”

In addition, Al Suwaidi claimed that the May 22 terrorist attack at a pop concert in Manchester, northern England was connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. “Investigations have revealed that the perpetrators belong to one of those groups that met in one of the mosques linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Twenty-three people died in that suicide bombing.

Al Suwaidi further claimed that the “coordination office for the Muslim Brotherhood in the GCC has links to Iran and receives funding from Qatar.”

He went on to say, “Extremism can only grow and thrive in a favourable environment. Qatar is the safe haven they found. These extremists have reportedly entered Qatar, resided there, stayed in hotels, held meetings there to discuss the Arab Spring, the Syrian crisis.”

Full report at:



Nice attack: Tragedy drags on with little relief & few answers

14 Jul, 2017

On France’s national Bastille Day, the country remembers victims of one of the most horrifying terror attacks in the city of Nice, while questions still remain and wounds are still unhealed a year after.

The attack, which left 86 dead and 458 injured, occurred late on July 14 one year ago, when a 19-ton white cargo truck plowed through crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the city’s Promenade des Anglais. The iconic street was a hotspot for tourists and residents alike, flocking to the seafront to watch the fireworks.

The crowd panicked and fled as the truck mowed people down. The attack ended when the assailant was gunned down by police during a shootout.

Attacker’s motives still unknown

The attacker was identified as 31-year-old French resident of Tunisian origin, Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel.

While the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group released a statement a few days after the attack, calling Lahouaiej-Bouhlel its “soldier” who “carried out an operation against citizens of coalition countries,” a year later the investigators are still unable to determine for certain whether he was indeed a radical Islamist or a mentally unstable person.

Prior to moving to France in 2005, Lahouaiej-Bouhlel underwent psychiatric treatment in Tunis, according to his father. In France, the future perpetrator married his French-Tunisian cousin, and the pair had three children but were separated following multiple reports of domestic violence.

Initial findings indicated that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, known to law enforcement for petty theft and violent behavior, might have gotten radicalized shortly before the attack, as his prior life had little to do with radical Islam. French prosecutor François Molins, leading the inquiry, has described the perpetrator as “a young man completely uninvolved in religious issues and not a practicing Muslim, who ate pork, drank alcohol, took drugs and had an unbridled sex life.”

The attacker, however, started to visit a local mosque earlier in 2016. While the police established, upon examining his internet search history, that he had shown interest in violence, deadly terrorist acts and IS activities, they did not find the exact source for the probable radicalization.

Physical scars & unhealed mental wounds

While most of the injured have recovered from their wounds, between 10 and 20 patients are still in treatment, DW reported, citing the local university hospital official. Some 3,000 people, however, eyewitnesses to the attack and relatives of the victims, are still undergoing psychiatric treatment. While many of the victims are children, Nice is reportedly experiencing a severe shortage of children’s psychiatrists.

Following the attack, some €300 million ($343 million) was earmarked for victim relief, which victims could apply for in the aftermath of the incident. All the applicants received payments ranging from €2,500 to €5,000, but as of this month, only €25 million had been paid out. Only those who lost their close relatives – around a hundred people – were awarded financial compensation, according to radio network Europe 1 report.

Moreover, approximately half of the victims who applied for relief funds are still waiting for their status to be recognized.

The unhealed wounds were disturbed once again just ahead of the sad anniversary, with Paris Match magazine publishing graphic photos from last year’s attack.

The Paris prosecutor demanded that the controversial magazine issue be withdrawn, as the pictures “damage the dignity of the victims and their relatives.” The court ruled that Paris Match is forbidden from re-publishing the edition and barred the outlet from publishing the “obscene” images on its website, but did not order it to pull the copies currently on sale across France.

New administration fails to address old problems

The new French president, Emmanuel Macron, has disbanded a government department created in February 2016 to support victims of terror attacks. The questionable move was branded “absurd” by the National Federation of Victims of Attacks and Collective Accidents (FENVAC).

“Today we come to an absurd situation when we had a device that worked and which had the unanimous support of the victims. These families need to be reassured and in Nice, we are beyond a problem of rights and compensation, we are facing a public health problem,” Stephane Gicquel from FENVAC told Europe 1.

The new administration’s budget cuts, targeting military and law enforcement, raise the likelihood of new attacks, the former vice-mayor of Nice, Benoit Kandel, told RT.

“President Macron has just cut the military budget which is not a good thing. You can’t ask the army and the police to do a better job of protecting the French people and at the same time fail to give them enough financing,” Kandel said.

Full report at:



A UK mosque is targeted once a week – we need to deal with anti-Muslim hatred

14 JULY 2017

Between May 2013 and June 2017, 167 mosques in the UK were targeted in anti-Muslim incidents and attacks.

These incidents, reported to and confirmed by Tell MAMA, the national project tackling growing anti-Muslim hate crime which I founded, range from the distribution of anti-Muslim literature in and around mosques to an attempted bombing campaign against three mosques in the West Midlands in 2013. This was carried out by a Ukrainian neo-Nazi, Pavlo Lapshyn, who also murdered an elderly Muslim man just yards from his home.

Taken together, these equate to an average of one incident against a mosque every week. This all takes place against a backdrop of a 23 per cent rise in religious and race-related hate crimes in the 11 months following the Brexit vote, according to figures from police forces released after a Freedom of Information request.

Mosques have been targeted because they are the visible symbol of Islamic institutions in communities, a key focal point where Muslims congregate. Perpetrators also sometimes believe that the impact of their actions can have wider repercussions than just targeting an individual. An attack against a mosque sends a signal to worshippers that they are also being targeted and that the community itself is under threat.

More recently, Tell MAMA highlighted campaigns which had targeted mosques, the most recent being a set of letters that threatened them with explosive devices. Another campaign involved sending white powder, which turned out to be harmless, but presumably was intended to spread fear that it was a deadly substance.

Such hate campaigns have been bubbling in the background, spreading fear and intimidating those working with Islamic institutions. So when we have looked through the cases that have been reported to us – the 167 mosques targeted in four years – the real numbers may well be higher. Some mosques would not have reported incidents and threats to police or to third-party hate crime monitoring agencies such as Tell MAMA.

Travelling the length and breadth of the country with Tell MAMA during 2011-16, I found mosques had often diligently filled out reports of threats and abuse. But they had then often simply left the items in a folder and placed it on a back shelf, there to fester and wait for the next report before the folder was drawn out again.

Muslim communities are currently undergoing a transformational change in how they manage and reduce impacts of anti-Muslim hatred. Citizen journalism and the recording of anti-Muslim hate incidents, as well as the pro-active use of social media, reflect younger Muslims within communities who are confident to challenge hatred where they find it.

Mosques, on the other hand, have governing committees often dominated by first-generation elders (usually men) with relatively few women and even fewer younger people. This means that, in some mosques, the ability to manage risk and mitigate for hate crimes is reduced and the default position is to clean up breakages and graffiti and “carry on as normal”.

I have news for such mosques: anti-Muslim hatred is not going to suddenly just go away. It has been a growth industry, fuelled by social media as right-wing activists and some columnists churn out anti-Islam rhetoric on an almost daily basis. Allied with inevitable hate crime spikes after Islamist terrorist attacks, and this means that every mosque will have to seriously consider, implement and review safety procedures which include risk management beyond the immediate boundary of the mosque, within the bounds of the mosque and, finally, within the mosque building itself.

This does not mean implementing Fort Knox-type security measures, but it does mean landscaping-in security measures which can be covered by clever architecture, plants and the effective use of lighting. In essence, mosques need to think about how they can protect congregants around the bounds of their buildings, and build in measures that can hinder or slow down entry into mosques by people wanting to harm worshippers.

Finally, I envisage that in the next decade, there will be a number of core subjects that become central to the thoughts and lives of Muslims. Security and the safety of congregations will be one, and this will be a similarity that will bind Muslim and Jewish communities together.

Full report at:



North America


Supreme Court asked to overturn Muslim ban ruling

Jul 15, 2017

The US Justice Department has asked the Supreme Court to block a judge's ruling that prevented President Donald Trump's Muslim ban from being applied to grandparents of US citizens and refugees already being processed by resettlement agencies.

In a court filing on Friday, the administration asked the justices to overturn Thursday's decision by a US district judge in Hawaii, which limited the scope of the administration's temporary ban on refugees and travelers from six Muslim countries.

The latest round in the fight over Trump's March 6 executive order, which he says is needed for national security reasons, came after the Supreme Court intervened last month to partially revive the two bans, which were blocked by lower courts.

The Supreme Court said then that the ban could take effect, but that people with a "bona fide relationship" to a US person or entity could not be barred.

The administration had narrowly interpreted that language, saying the ban would apply to grandparents and other family members, prompting the state of Hawaii to ask Hawaii-based US District Judge Derrick Watson to expand the definition of who could be admitted.

He ruled for the state late on Thursday.

"Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents," US District Judge Derrick Watson said in his ruling.

"Indeed grandparents are the epitome of close family members."

In the court filing, the Justice Department said Watson's ruling on refugees would make the Supreme Court's decision on that part of the executive order "effectively meaningless".

The ruling, if left in place, means refugees can continue to be resettled in the United States, beyond a cap of 50,000 set by the executive order.

That limit was reached this week.

The Supreme Court's decision last month revived parts of Trump's March 6 executive order banning travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, as well as refugees for 120 days.

The Trump administration then decided that spouses, parents, children, fiances and siblings would be exempt from the ban, while grandparents and other family members travelling from those countries.

The Trump administration also said that all refugees without a close family tie would be blocked from the country for four months.



Trump asks Supreme Court to block judge's travel ban ruling

Jul 15, 2017

The Donald Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to block a federal judge's ruling that grandparents of American citizens already being processed by resettlement agencies are exempt from the US president's controversial travel ban.

The Justice Department asked the justices in a court filing on Friday to overturn the ruling of a US district judge in Hawaii that sought to limit the scope of the administration's ban on people from six Muslim countries.

US District Judge Derrick Watson ruled on Thursday that the federal government’s list of family relatives eligible to bypass the travel ban should be expanded to include grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts and other relatives, as well as refugees without family ties to the country.

In his decision, Watson harshly criticized the government’s actions, calling them "the antithesis of common sense."

The Supreme Court handed a surprising victory to the president attempting to ban Muslims last month when it granted the government's request to reinstate parts of the contentious ban.

The court announced that it would hear arguments on the legality of Trump’s executive order in the court's next term, which starts in October.

However, the court also said that people with a "bona fide relationship" to a US person or entity could not be barred.

The Trump administration had narrowly interpreted that language, saying the ban would apply to grandparents and other family members, which prompted Judge Watson to expand the definition of who could be admitted.

The Justice Department argued on Friday that the judge's ruling "empties the (Supreme) Court’s decision of meaning, as it encompasses not just ‘close’ family members but virtually all family members.”

Omar Jadwat, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union involved in challenging the ban, said, "The truth here is that the government’s interpretation of the Supreme Court’s stay order defies common sense.”

"That’s what the district court correctly found and the attorney general’s misleading attacks on its decision can’t change that fact."

Trump issued a revised travel ban on March 6 after his initial directive signed in January was blocked by a federal judge in Seattle, Washington, and upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, California.

However, the revised order was also blocked by federal judges in the states of Hawaii and Maryland and upheld by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.

Full report at:



Future of Muslim cemetery rests with 49 voters in Quebec town


July 14, 2017

MONTREAL — Just 49 voters in a rural Quebec municipality will cast ballots in a referendum Sunday to decide whether a parcel of land should be turned into a Muslim-run cemetery for people in the Quebec City area.

The voters in Saint-Apollinaire, which is located about an hour southwest of the provincial capital, will decide whether to uphold or overturn zoning changes needed to turn a plot currently used to bury ashes contained in funeral urns into a cemetery that operates in accordance with the Islamic faith, according to town officials.

But the results risk sending a strong message across Canada and outside the country’s borders, said resident Sylvain Roy.

“My opinion is that the municipality risks being a symbol of social exclusion in all of Canada, in North America and perhaps further away than that,” said Roy, who is director of the Harmonia funeral home that is selling the land to the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec.

The crucial zoning change is the result of a discussion that began in October 2016 when Roy met a Muslim family that had no local options for burying their loved one in accordance with their religious customs. The only Muslim-run cemetery in Quebec is 250 kilometres away in Laval, a suburb immediately north of Montreal.

But the issue came to wider public notice this winter after a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque that killed six men and injured a number of others during Sunday evening prayers. One of the six victims was buried in Laval while the others were returned to the countries they were born in.

The tragedy spurred members of the mosque to complete the transaction for the land in Saint-Apollinaire in February, reportedly worth $215,000. Mayor Bernard Ouellet and the municipal council followed through on May 1 with unanimous approval of the necessary zoning changes.

But plans were already underway to challenge the changes with a referendum that allows neighbouring residents who might be affected by the project to have a vote on council’s decision. Seventeen signatures were enough to call the referendum. A simple majority of the 49 eligible voters will be enough to uphold council’s changes or overturn the zoning amendment.

The leader of the group contesting the change, Sunny Létourneau, said they proposed the creation of a multi-confessional cemetery, a co-operative with the Muslim community and a privately run business with separate plot for Islamic burials.

“They told us that it was contrary to their beliefs,” Létourneau said of the Muslim community. “But when we consulted other imams and other mosques, they said there is nothing in the Qur’an that prevents that.”

One example is the recent opening last Sunday of a 500-plot section reserved for Muslims that is contained in a larger cemetery, located 30 kilometres from Quebec City.

Mélijade Rodrigue, a spokesperson for the Lépine Cloutier/Athos Funeral Home, said the Muslim section in the company’s Saint-Augustin- de-Desmaures, Que., cemetery is the latest example of religious cohabitation, but there are others in the province.

But the Centre Culturel Islamique du Québec wants the certainty and security that will be guaranteed by owning the land outright.

“When you have land that you own, families have a plot for eternity,” Mohamed Kesri, the organization’s secretary, told The Canadian Press.

Létourneau said she has other concerns if the project goes ahead, from the maintenance and care that the cemetery grounds will receive to the financial effects to the municipality from tax breaks granted to religious groups in Quebec.

But her biggest problem is that cemeteries run by religious groups, be they Muslim, Catholic, Jewish or another denomination, keep people out.

“It’s all religions that pose a problem,” she said, noting that her mother is Catholic but she was never baptized into the faith.

“I have no religion and I refuse to submit to a religion. I respect peoples’ faiths but it means that I won’t even be able to be buried in the same cemetery as my parents ... It’s a problem that will only grow in our society.”

Full report at:



A Muslim mom’s response to Kalkaska official's anti-Muslim posts

July 15, 2017

A Michigan politician has basically called for my death via Facebook, and I was just wondering if we could talk about that.

Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the blonde, Caucasian of Eastern European decent, 52-year-old mother of five, food bank volunteer, helper of the homeless, chess teacher and children’s book author who just happens to be a Muslim.

Jeff Sieting, the president of Kalkaska Village, posted a call on Facebook to kill all Muslims.

One of his posts appears to be pulled from a North Carolina-based blog called “NC Renegade,” titled “Kill them all, every last one.” The post calls Muslims “dangerously destructive to society” and compares Islam to a “flesh-eating bacteria” and a “death cult.”

I’m the farthest thing from “flesh-eating bacteria.” The closest I’ve ever been to a death cult was the last time I was at a Black Friday sale. I’m not “destructive to society.”

Sadly, posting and reposting blind hate on social media is destructive. In the digital age, that radical anti-Muslim hate bacteria was rapidly transmitted from Michigan to Virginia and elsewhere in a keystroke. That viral post made national news, which empowers haters all the way over here in Virginia to put me in the cross hairs.

I’m not interested in obtaining the apology Sieting said he doesn’t owe anyone. I just want him to know a few things.

I speak as someone born in America into a Christian family and who recently converted. I was not brainwashed. I am not ignorant or uneducated. I’m not politically or historically uninformed.

I was swayed to Islam by the kindness and spirit of the many Muslims I met after I went with some neighbors to observe a Friday prayer service at the local mosque last November. Nobody ever tried to convert me. They figured I was just another religious tourist.

Related:Official in northern Michigan stands by anti-Muslim posts

What I know of Islam I learned through both study and encounters with hundreds of Muslims I’ve since met from Saudi Arabia, Africa, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and Indonesia, among other lands. Our faith, which we all strive to reflect in our every action, is one of peace, charity, respect for others, patience and obedience to God.

If Sieting believes in God, then he has something in common with Muslims. Allah is just Arabic for “God.” Muslims believe in one God, the same God as that of Abraham, Moses and Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him).

Islam embraces Jews and Christians believing that God gave three books to the world, the Torah, the Holy Bible and the Holy Quran. We are all “the People of the Book.”

If I could speak directly to Sieting, I would ease his mind by telling him that I would never harm him, nor would the hundreds of Muslims I know. The people he and others fear are not acting as any Muslim should — just as those who were part of the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, the Ku Klux Klan, the genocide of Native Americans, abortion clinic bombings, the Holocaust and any act of hatred or injustice were not acting as good Christians.

Full report at:



US House rejects controversial Muslim amendment



The House of Representatives on Friday narrowly rejected a controversial defense spending bill amendment that would have required the Pentagon to determine which Islamic religious doctrines, concepts or schools of thought could be used by terror groups.

The measure, introduced by conservative lawmaker Trent Franks, was defeated 208-217. It would have also required the Defense Department to identify extremist Islamic leaders.

Franks' amendment was strongly opposed by Democrats, the House's Muslim representatives as well as rights and Muslim advocacy groups.

The first Muslim in the American legislature, Keith Ellison, said on the House floor prior to the vote that while the U.S. must study the root causes of terrorism, "this amendment singles out, stigmatizes one religious group".

"It's wrong and it should be voted down," he said.

Franks has in the past warned of the "creeping threat of sharia [law]", calling it a threat to the Constitution, and slammed former President Barack Obama for not taking a tougher line on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic political party of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi that has been associated with Hamas.

He reportedly said on the House floor Thursday that should lawmakers "not also address this on a strategic level, this underlying ideology that catalyzes the evil of jihadist terrorism across the world, then its list of victims will only grow longer”.

Full report at:



US has no proof IS leader Baghdadi is dead: Mattis

Jul 15, 2017

WASHINGTON - Pentagon chief Jim Mattis said Friday he cannot confirm whether or not Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, after reports from Syria that the jihadist leader had been killed.

"If we knew, we would tell you - right now, I can't confirm or deny it," Mattis said. "Our approach is we assume he's alive until it's proven otherwise, and right now I can't prove it otherwise."

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a longtime conflict monitor, said earlier this week it had heard from senior IS leaders in Syria's Deir Ezzor province that Baghdadi was dead. There was no official confirmation or denial of the news on IS-run social media outlets. "We'll go after him until he's gone," Mattis said.

There have been persistent rumors that Baghdadi has died in recent months.

Russia's army said in mid-June that it was seeking to verify whether it had killed the IS chief in a May air strike in Syria.

With a $25 million US bounty on his head, Baghdadi has kept a low profile but was rumored to move regularly throughout IS-held territory in Iraq and Syria.

Full report at:



Pentagon: Leader of Afghan ISIS branch killed in US raid

15 July 2017

US forces killed the leader of the ISIS’ Afghanistan branch in a raid earlier this week in the northeastern province of Kunar, the Pentagon said Friday.

“US forces killed Abu Sayed, the emir of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -- Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) -- in a strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, July 11,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.

“The raid also killed other ISIS-K members and will significantly disrupt the terror group’s plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan.”

First emerging in 2015, ISIS-K overran large parts of Nangarhar and Kunar provinces, near the Pakistan border, but their part in the Afghan conflict had been largely overshadowed by the operations against the Taliban.

Afghan and US forces had killed Abu Sayed’s two predecessors atop the group’s Afghan branch -- Hafiz Saeed in July 2016 and Abdul Hasib in late April of this year, the Pentagon said.

Hasib and other top militant commanders were killed in a joint raid by US Army Rangers and Afghan special forces.

At the time, the US military had said Hasib’s death would “help reach our goal of destroying them in 2017.”

The compound used by Hasib in Nangarhar province was not far from the spot where on April 13, the US military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, hitting ISIS positions.

Full report at:



CSIS faces $35M harassment lawsuit as Muslim employees claim discrimination

July 15, 2017

Canada’s spy agency is facing questions about its workplace culture amid allegations that senior officials foster a prejudice and distrust for Muslim employees, who are seen as “essential to CSIS’ mission, but working without CSIS’ trust and respect.”

The allegations are contained in a statement of claim filed Thursday in Federal Court by five employees who are seeking upwards of $35 million in damages for what they say was years of harassment condoned by supervisors.

The statement of claim describes an “old boy’s club” culture at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service where complaints about inappropriate behaviour are dismissed, minorities feel distrusted, and advancement is based on personality and not merit, including suggestions of romantic relationships playing a part in promotions.

In one complaint detailed in the court document, a witness told investigators that “the public would be shocked about this (workplace conduct) if they only knew; we keep our own secrets.”

None of the allegations in the 54-page document have been tested in court.

The case could become a political problem for the Liberals, who have vowed to take action against harassment and discrimination in the military and the RCMP, and faced calls Friday to take immediate action at the spy agency.

Speaking in at a news conference in Providence, R.I., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the allegations of “harassment, discrimination, (and a) toxic work environment” unacceptable. He said he was confident the agency’s new director was “working very hard to ensure that we get to the bottom of this issue.”

The five employees, who cannot be legally identified in the court document, allege that their complaints were ignored or dismissed by senior managers, some of whom suggested they should keep quiet out of fear of reprisal. All are no longer able to work resulting from depression, anxiety and other medical ailments linked to the harassment they faced.

One woman, identified as Bahira in court documents, says a colleague didn’t speak with her for three years because of unfounded rumours that she was friends with the Khadr family; one member of that family, Omar, just received a multi-million-dollar settlement and apology from the Canadian government for the violation of his Charter rights during his imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay.

She also alleges that managers had to approve her participation in personal and religious activities after she began wearing a hijab, despite having passed security screening.

A gay man known as Alex alleges that a colleague wrote in an October 2015 email, “careful your Muslim in-laws don’t behead you in your sleep for being homo,” a reference to his Muslim partner, part of a larger set of allegations that Alex makes about being targeted for his sexual orientation.

In another case, a supervisor argued at length that then U.S. president Barack Obama was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. And at a social gathering in Toronto, Alex alleged that a senior member of management yelled, “all Muslims are terrorists.”

In a statement, CSIS director David Vigneault said the agency does not tolerate harassment, discrimination or bullying under any circumstance, which is reflected in the employee code of conduct. He added that any allegations of inappropriate behaviour are taken seriously.

“I believe strongly in leading an organization where every employee promotes a work environment which is free from harassment and conducive to the equitable treatment of all individuals. CSIS employees are proud to be entrusted to carry out the very important work that we do,” the statement said.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims said in a statement that the allegations raise questions about the ability of the spy agency to carry out its mandate and protect Canadians.

“It is unacceptable for discriminatory attitudes to be left unchecked in any context, but especially in the context of intelligence gathering when Canadian Muslims already face disproportionate scrutiny,” executive director Ihsaan Gardee said.

NDP public safety critic Matthew Dube called on Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to launch a investigation into the claims because of the effect such behaviour could have on national security.

“With its expanded powers and limited accountability, CSIS must perform its duties with the utmost professionalism. This sort of behaviour cannot be tolerated, and if upon investigation these claims are proven correct, all those responsible must be dealt with swiftly and severely,” Dube said.

Full report at:





Christian Man Arrested On Blasphemy Charge In Gujrat, Pakistan

Waseem Ashraf Butt

July 15, 2017

GUJRAT: Police on Friday arrested a Christian man hailing from Kharian tehsil after registering a case against him on a blasphemy charge.

They moved the suspect to another place instead of keeping him in the lock-up after rumours started to circulate that religious groups intended to attack the police station.

Nadeem Ahmed, owner of an electric shop in Dinga town, lodged a complaint with police that his friend Ishtiaq Ahmed Jalali had told him on Thursday that a sweeper working at a private hospital had allegedly uttered provocative remarks about the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

Nadeem claimed that when he spoke to the sweeper to verify the allegation, the latter repeated the remarks. Gujrat SP Maaz Zafar rushed to Dinga after police received the complaint. He told Dawn that the situation was under control and police contingents were patrolling the town.

The case against the suspect has been registered under Section 295-C (Use of derogatory remarks, etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet) of the Pakistan Penal Code.



ATC orders seizure of Imran, Qadri properties


ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad on Friday issued orders for the seizure of properties belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri after the two repeatedly failed to appear in hearings of terrorism cases registered against them. The ATC also issued notices to this effect to the relevant police stations and the revenue boards.

On February 3, the ATC had issued perpetual warrants of arrest against Khan and Qadri in a case related to attack on a senior police officer during the 2014 dharna which had kept Islamabad paralysed for months. ATC judge Sohail Ikram had issued the perpetual arrest warrants after police submitted a report stating that the suspects could not be arrested despite a proclamation being issued. On Sept 1, 2014 during the sit-ins, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Asmatullah Junejo was beaten up by protesters on the Constitution Avenue on his first day on the job as SSP Operations of the ICT Police. Secretariat police had registered a case against several PTI and PAT workers for their alleged involvement in vandalism and attacking the SSP. The ATC had issued warrants for Khan and Qadri with directions to the police to produce them before the court. Police had later told the ATC that the execution of the arrest warrants against the two politicians could not take place as they were not found at their residence.

Full report at:



Bills suggesting curbs on US assistance to Pakistan okayed

Anwar Iqba

July 15, 2017

WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives passed on Friday a sweeping $696 billion defence policy bill that would exceed President Donald Trump’s budget request and break through longstanding caps on national defence spending.

The bill adopted decisively by 344 to 81 votes includes provisions for tightening restrictions on US assistance to Pakistan.

Late on Thursday, another congressional panel approved by voice vote the State and Foreign Opera­tions bill that also suggests increased restrictions on US civil and military assistance to Pakistan. The foreign affairs bill now goes to the full House for voting.

Examine: Pakistan’s anxiety

The defence bill authorises $696bn in defence spending for the 2018 fiscal year, including nearly $30bn more for core Pentagon operations than President Donald Trump requested.

All but eight Republicans and 117 Democrats voted for the bill, which surpasses the $549bn cap on defence spending set under the 2011 Budget Control Act by about $72bn.

The other legislation, however, would reduce funding for the State Department and foreign operations by $10bn, down from about $57.4bn in fiscal 2017. Still, the cuts are not as deep as those in the Trump administration’s budget proposal, which included roughly $37bn for the state.

In total, the bill provides $47.4bn in both regular discretionary and Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This total is $10bn below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level, when counting additional funds provided in the Security Assistance Appropriations Act of 2017.

Within this amount, OCO funding totals $12bn, which supports operations and assistance in areas of conflict, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The text of the bill, released earlier this week, includes provisions to make the civil and military aid to Pakistan conditional to Islamabad stopping its alleged support to the Haqqani network and other militant groups in the South Asian regions.

Although the text focuses on the groups that fight US and official Afghan forces in Afghanistan, some groups named in the text also operate in the Indian occupied Kashmir.

In recent days, senior US officials and lawmakers have both sent clear messages to Pakistan, urging it to help the United States and the Afghan government defeat the Taliban militants. They also said that the failure to do so would force the United States to reconsider its relationship with Pakistan.

US officials and lawmakers, however, have left open the option to hold peace talks with the Taliban.

In April, US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson told America’s Nato allies in Brussels that an eventual settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban is the ultimate goal of the Trump administration.

“The ongoing commitment of Nato allies and partners to peace in Afghanistan, including to an eventual settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban, protects this alliance’s interests, and, when successful, ensures that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists,” he said.

Although in power since Jan 20, the Trump administration is still finalising a policy for the Pak-Afghan region and recent leaks to the media indicate that while the new strategy would suggest both “qualitative and numerical” increase in US military presence in Afghanistan, it will also continue to seek a negotiated settlement to the Afghan conflict.

At a recent news briefing, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert avoided categorising the Taliban as a terrorist outfit.

Full report at:



Pakistan helped Iraq in defeating IS, says Iraqi envoy

Baqir Sajjad Syed

July 15, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan quietly helped Iraq in its fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group, which reached a major milestone this week with the liberation of Mosul from the terrorist group’s control after three years of occupation.

Pakistan was among a number of countries that supported Iraq in fighting the IS, also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh, said Ambassador of Iraq Ali Yasin Muhammad Karim at a press conference at the embassy. The presser was held to brief Pakistani media about the eviction of the IS from Mosul.

Pakistan’s contribution to the fight against the IS in Iraq has never been mentioned earlier either by Pakistani officials or Iraqis.

Ancient Assyrian town Mosul, which is Iraq’s second largest city and was used by the IS during years of occupation as the seat of its proclaimed caliphate, was freed after a gruelling nine-month-long military campaign by Iraqi security forces that was backed by several countries.

Talking about Pakistan’s help, the ambassador said Iraq, besides getting intelligence on terrorists, also received arms and ammunition and military medical assistance from the country. He recalled some of the Iraqi pilots, who took part in action against the IS, had been trained in Pakistan.

The ambassador said the continuing intelligence cooperation between Iraq and Pakistan could help the latter deal with the expanding footprint of the IS in the region.

Underscoring the IS threat, he said, the outfit was the most dangerous terrorist group and likened its threat to “time bombs” and “booby traps”.

“We share the same enemy,” Mr Karim said.

While responding to a question, the envoy played down involvement of Pakistanis with IS activities in Iraq, saying that “the bad guys” represented a very small proportion of the population of Pakistan. People of over 100 nationalities, he added, were part of IS ranks.

The people of Pakistan were generally very supportive of Iraq in its war against the IS, he remarked.

He praised Pakistan’s policy of neutrality towards the Middle East.

After Mosul, Ambassador Karim said, Iraq was about to make a final push against the IS from its territory.

Mosul’s liberation has, however, come at a huge cost.

The city after remaining under the IS occupation for three years during the fight for its liberation is in complete ruins and almost a million of its population has been displaced. The same is the case with other areas that Iraq has succeeded in liberating from the IS. Reports from Mosul warn of an emerging humanitarian crisis.

Full report at:

 “We need help for rebuilding infrastructure, which is the next important task,” he said.



‘Terrorists in desperation’ targeting law enforcers: ISPR

Saleem Shahid

July 15, 2017

QUETTA: Against the backdrop of a renewed wave of targeted attacks against senior police officers in Balochistan, Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa arrived in Quetta on Friday and reviewed the security situation prevailing in the restive province.

In less than a week, seven policemen, among them two senior officers, have been martyred in Quetta and Chaman in two gun-and-bomb attacks reportedly by militants of the banned Jamaatul Ahrar and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

The army chief assured the people of Balochistan that their prosperity would remain his priority and his focus was on bringing them on a par with the people of other provinces.

Accompanied by Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Aamer Riaz, the COAS visited the Quetta Garrison as well as the headquarters of the Frontier Corps, Balochistan, where he was given a briefing on the security situation in the province.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the army chief was apprised that “terrorists in desperation” were targeting law enforcement agencies and soft targets since there had been a phenomenal reduction in targeted killings on sectarian grounds in the province.

Gen Bajwa appreciated the efforts of the army, FC, police and intelligence and other agencies as well as the provincial administration for achieving improvement in the security situation.

He especially mentioned efforts in the socioeconomic domain and resultant considerable voluntary surrender of ferraris — a term used for the militants belonging to Baloch nationalist groups.

Later, he interacted with officers and troops and appreciated their morale and motivation. “We are Army for people of Pakistan and shall continue to perform our duty with their full support,” he said, according to the ISPR.

A day before the army chief’s visit, SP Mubarak Shah and his three police guards were martyred in Quetta in a gun attack by four men riding two motorcycles.

Earlier on Monday, Qilla Abdullah District Police Officer Sajid Khan Mohmand, his security guard and driver were martyred and over 10 other people, including five policemen, wounded in a suicide blast in the border town of Chaman.

Full report at:



8 jailed in Britain for smuggling heroin from Pakistan

July 14, 2017

A Birmingham drugs gang who conspired to smuggle up to £19 million of heroin into the UK from Pakistan have been jailed for more than 130 years, Birmingham Mail reported on Friday.

According to the details shared by the UK based news outlet, “the convicts had hid the drugs inside industrial machinery shipped from Lahore, but were arrested following an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA)”.

The eight were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday for a total of 138 and a half years after being convicted of conspiracy to import heroin, the report read.

Ringleaders Ameran Zeb Khan, 38, Mohammed Ali, 36, and Sajid Hussain, 32, were sentenced to 22 years each.

The court previously heard the men had organised two container shipments from Lahore, via Karachi, to the London Gateway Port in February and July last year.

The media outlet reported that John Davies, from the Crown Prosecution Service’s international justice and organised crime division, said: “These men were involved in a sophisticated conspiracy to import a huge amount of heroin into the country, ignoring the human cost class A drugs can have.

“The prosecution case demonstrated how the operation involved the use of bogus companies, false documents, unregistered mobile phones and trips to Pakistan.

Full report at:



South Asia


Newly appointed ISIS chief for Afghanistan Abu Sayed killed

Jul 15 2017

The newly appointed leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group’s offshoot in Afghanistan, ISIS-Khurasan, Abu Sayed has been killed in an airstrike.

Sayed was killed in the airstrike conducted in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan on Tuesday, the US Department of Defense, Pentagon said in a statement.

“U.S. forces killed Abu Sayed, the emir of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), in a strike on the group’s headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, July 11,” the statement added.

Pentagon said the strike also killed other ISIS-K members and will significantly disrupt the terror group’s plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan.

According to Pentagon, ISIS leaders chose Abu Sayed to lead the group after Afghan and U.S. forces killed the previous ISIS-K leaders – Hafiz Sayed Khan in late July 2016, and Abdul Hasib, in late April of this year.

Afghan and U.S. forces launched a counter-ISIS-K offensive in early March 2017 to drive fighters from Nangarhar and send a clear message to ISIS that there is no sanctuary for their fighters in Afghanistan, the statement by Pentagon said.



Sirisena eager to work with Bangladesh to combat terrorism

July 14, 2017

The visiting Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena, today expressed his eagerness to work with Bangladesh in combating terrorism and violent extremism as he praised Bangladesh's leadership to contain the social menace.

Sirisena expressed his country's willingness when Leader of the Opposition in parliament Raushon Ershad paid a courtesy call on him at his hotel suite here this afternoon.

During the meeting, Raushon discussed various issues of bilateral relations focusing on increasing trade and business and expanding cooperation in various sectors for the betterment of the people of two countries.

Emerging from the meeting, Raushon told reporters that she had requested the Sri Lankan President to work together to combat terrorism for the sake of peace and stability in the region.

In this connection, she mentioned Bangladesh premier's "zero tolerance" policy against all sorts of terrorism and violent extremism.

Raushon said the Sri Lankan President highly praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her firm stand against terrorism to ensure safety and security of the people of Bangladesh towards achieving sustainable development.

Full report at:



Foreigners among several dead in airstrikes on Taliban and ISIS in Nangarhar

Jul 15 2017

Several insurgents including foreign nationals were killed in a series of airstrikes targeting Taliban and ISIS militants in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The provincial government in a statement said at least seven Taliban insurgents including their commander Khayesta Khan were killed and another insurgent wounded in a drone strike in Bati Kot district on Friday.

The statement further added that a vehicle belonging to the insurgents was also destroyed but no losses or casualties were incurred to the civilians.

In a separate statement, the provincial government said at least nine ISIS insurgents were killed and five others were wounded during the air and ground operations in Pacher Agam district.

According to the provincial government, several foreigners, including Pakistani nationals and citizens of Uzbekistan were among those killed.

The local officials are saying that the civilians and security personnel did not suffer any casualties during the operations.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban and ISIS militants have not commented regarding the report so far.

Full report at:



Pakistan says political incentives key to bring Afghan Taliban to negotiations table

Jul 14 2017

As the Afghan officials have long been criticizing Islamabad for supporting the anti-government armed militant groups in Afghanistan, specifically the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network, the Pakistani officials have once again started to lobby in favor of the group, emphasizing on consideration of political incentives to encourage the group to reconciliation negotiations.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Nafees Zakaria made the remarks during a press briefing on Thursday.

“Pakistan believes that there is no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. The focus should be on a politically negotiated settlement under an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process,” Zakariza said.

He also added “We believe the focus should be on exploring political incentives that can attract Taliban to negotiations. In the same spirit, Pakistan has welcomed the peace deal with Hizb-i-Islami and we believe that this can serve as a model.”

The Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman was responding to a question regarding the warnings issued by President Ghani to accept peace talks or get ready for the inclusion in the global list of specially designated terrorist groups.

President Ghani said last week that the Taliban group should understand that time is not waiting for them.

“They should wholeheartedly accept the peace process or they should get ready to be included in the international list of the globally designated terrorists,” President Ghani said.

President Ghani further added that the government of national unity has a crystal clear approach and policy towards peace process since the beginning of its formation.

In the meantime, during a meeting with the German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Afghan leader said less time is left for the Taliban group to accept the reconciliation process offers, apparently reiterating the government’s pervious stance that strict military operations policy will adopted along with the efforts to blacklist the group.

Full report at:



Key Pak politician warns Islamabad regarding persistent interference in Afghan affairs

Jul 14 2017

A key political figure in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tribal region of Pakistan Mahmood Achakzai has warned Islamabad regarding the persistent interference of Islamabad in the internal affairs of Afghanistan.

Speaking during a gathering in Quetta city, Achakzai said the persistent interferences could have negative consequences that will take Pakistan towards major crisis.

He also warned that such interferences would also have a negative impact and could sabotage the efforts to establish the China and Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

This comes as the Afghan officials have long been insisting that the leadership councils of the Taliban group and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network are based in Peshawar, Quetta, and other parts of Pakistan from where they plan and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan.

The US Department of Defense in its report also said last month that “Afghan oriented militant groups, including the Taliban and Haqqani Network, retain freedom of action inside Pakistani territory and benefit from support from elements of the Pakistani Government.”

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Afghan IS leader killed in US raid

Jul 15, 2017

Washington - US forces have killed the leader of the Islamic State group's Afghanistan branch in a raid in the northeastern province of Kunar, the Pentagon said Friday.

"US forces killed Abu Sayed, the emir of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) - in a strike on the group's headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, July 11," Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.

"The raid also killed other ISIS-K members and will significantly disrupt the terror group's plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan."

Meanwhile, at least eight Afghan civilians including women and children were wounded in an air strike in a restive southern province, doctors said Friday, as ordinary people continue to pay a disproportionate price in the ongoing conflict.

The strike occurred late Thursday in volatile Sajawal Kala near Tarin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan, a poppy-growing province where the Taliban have a heavy presence.

"At least eight people, all civilians, were wounded" in the strike and brought to a government hospital in Tarin Kot, said Zia-ul-Rahman, a doctor in the hospital.

"Among the victims were five women, two children and a young man," he told AFP. A doctor in the village where the incident took place, Ehsanullah Ehsan, confirmed the incident to AFP, saying it happened late Thursday.

Rahman blamed the strike on "foreign forces". There was no immediate statement from either the US or NATO on the incident.

Civilian casualties caused by NATO forces have been one of the most contentious issues in the 15-year campaign against the insurgents, prompting strong public and government criticism.

In February this year, a US airstrike in volatile Sangin of Helmand province killed at least 18 civilians, mostly women and children.

In November last year, 32 Afghan civilians were killed in a US airstrike in volatile northeastern province of Kunduz.

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Nigeria Again Claims to Have ‘Defeated’ Boko Haram After First Victory Cry in 2015

14 Jul 2017

The Nigerian military has once again claimed to have “defeated” Boko Haram. Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, the chief of the Nigerian army, recently told BBC at the end of last month the jihadist group has been “defeated” militarily but “not eliminated.”

However, this week, Boko Haram suicide bombers killed up to nineteen people and wounded 23 others in a spate of attacks that targeted a civilian self-defense force and the people who had gathered to mourn their deaths in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s Borno state, known as the birthplace of the jihadist group.

Citing a report by SBM Intel, an Africa-based market intelligence firm, Quartz reports that the terrorist group has launched 43 attacks so far in 2017, killing an estimated 200 people.

In the last two years, the Nigerian government has claimed to have decimated Boko Haram on several occasions, but violence affiliated with the terrorist organization continues to plague Nigeria and its neighbors.

Nigeria alleged in December to have “crushed” the jihadists in their stronghold of the Sambisa Forest, which covers the northeastern Nigerian states of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano.

“It’s not the first time Nigeria has appeared to claim a premature victory against Boko Haram. Back in December 2015, Nigeria’s president Buhari claimed Boko Haram had been ‘technically’ defeated, but in the month that followed, attacks by the sect resulted in over 200 deaths,” notes Quartz.

Nigeria has also repeatedly alleged to have spent Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, but he keeps resurfacing in propaganda videos threatening the country.

Boko Haram has suffered some setbacks in recent years, losing territory to the U.S.-backed African region’s Multinational Joint Task Force currently fighting the terrorist group.

The coalition includes troops from Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Benin.

Quartz points out, “Under president Muhammadu Buhari however, Nigeria’s military forces have been successful in the fight against the sect, recovering swathes of previously occupied territory and freeing hundreds of abductees.”

The most recent Nigerian military claim that it defeated Boko Haram came on June 29, less than a week after the end of Islam’s holiest month of Ramadan, during which the terrorist group killed and injured dozens of people throughout Nigeria.

Boko Haram, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), is increasingly using girls and young women to carry out suicide attacks in Nigeria, a prevalent tactic employed during Ramadan.

Together, ISIS and its Boko Haram ally have executed at least 875 people, more than half of the total 1,639 Ramadan fatalities, and wounded 577 others, data compiled by Breitbart News reveals.

Boko Haram has reportedly killed more than 20,000 people and displaced an estimated 2.7 million in its bid to create an Islamic state launched in 2009.



Muslim, Christian Interfaith Forum Preaches Peace, Decries Hate Speeches

Jul 14, 2017


The Interfaith Forum of Muslim and Christian Women’s Association also known as Women Interfaith Council (WIC) has called on all and sundry to shun all forms of hate speeches and embrace peace in the interest of peaceful coexistence.

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The women group also lamented the noticeable increase in violence which includes kidnapping, rape, sporadic killings all of which results in deaths and destruction of properties.

A statement jointly signed by the General Coordinator Hajiya Amina Kazaure, Secretary General Reverend Sr. Anne Falola Ola, Mrs Elizabeth Abuk Christian Coordinator and Hajiya Daharatu Ahmed Aliyu Muslim Coordinator said, “we as mothers strongly advocate for peace in our state and country and condemn in totality the issuance of unguarded and inflammatory statement tending towards hate speeches capable of plunging the country into catastrophic circumstances.

“We urge all residents of the state to be law abiding and to always seek for redress of any wrong done to them or their loved ones through appropriate channels.

“While we as mothers share in the pains of these constant vices of kidnapping, rape, and killings, we appeal to the government and the security agents to further enhance their apparatus /personnel for better security of lives and properties in the State.

“As peace loving mothers who has as its slogan ‘women of Faith working together as mothers of a culture of peace ‘ we are using this medium to join our voices with those of other concerned citizens by calling on every Nigerian to desist from acts that are capable of causing disunity particularly in Kaduna and the country at large”.

The women group further noted that in Kaduna metropolis for some time now, “we have enjoyed relative peace and we do not want to see this to be disrupted, because when there is no peace in the land, women and children particularly bear the brunt of the untold hardships brought by violence.

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Liberia: Nimba Muslim Community Denies Support to Benoni Urey

14 JULY 2017

A group under the banner Nimba Concerned Mandingo Muslim Youth Association (NICOMA) has in a strongest term condemned media reports of its intention to endorse the presidential bid of Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP). The organization has so far distanced itself from what it calls 'fake report'

Speaking on one of the popular radio talk shows in Ganta recently following the just ended national convention of the ALP, Morris Jabateh who claimed to be a representative of the Muslim group revealed that the organization has agreed in principle to unanimously endorse the presidential bid of Mr. Urey.

Jabateh said their decision is based on the fact that they believe that Mr. Urey can make a better president for Liberia. He then asserted that among the several presidential candidates, Urey is religiously tolerant and is one that is creating jobs for many Liberians.

He said in the past they were divided as it relates to which political party to support in the election, but they have now resolved to support the ALP, something which was demonstrated by their huge presence at the ALP recent national convention that was held in Ganta.

But responding to the issue, the spokesman of NICOMA, Bemba Si-Soko Sackor said the statement was far from truth and that Morris Jabateh is neither a member of their organization nor a resident of Nimba County.

He noted that the statement was only the making of Mr. Jabateh for his own financial gain and political interest.

Sackor asserted at know time the group has decided to support any political party in the pending presidential and legislative elections.

He further implored that the decision is expected to be reached at a mass consultative meeting that is expected to be held this weekend with stakeholders of the Nimba Muslim Community.

Sackor, who claimed that NICOMA is the official political wing of the Nimba Muslim Community, noted that as per their constitution, no one speaks on behalf of the organization without consulting the spokesman or the public relations officer.

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