New Age Islam
Tue Dec 01 2020, 03:45 AM

Islamic World News ( 10 Jun 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Syria: Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Killed In US Airstrike in Raqqa, Says State TV



  

Photo: Syrian state TV reports on Sunday claimed that Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed in an airstrike in Syria’s Raqqa, said news.com.au

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In A First, Pakistani Man Gets Death Sentence for Posting 'Blasphemous' Anti-Islam Content on Facebook

Al-Aqsa Imam: Western Wall Belongs To Muslims

Fight Breaks Out Between Anti-Fascism and Anti-Sharia Protesters as Controversial Marches across America Are Marred By Violence

300 Fasting Muslims to Take Part in Narendra Modi's International Yoga Day Event in Lucknow

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Arab World

Syria: Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Killed In US Airstrike in Raqqa, Says State TV

Syrian Army Reach Iraqi Border, Announce 'Strategic Turning Point’ In War on ISIS

US-Led Coalition Acknowledges Use of Banned-Munitions in Syria

Independence Referendum in Kurdistan A Plot Hatched by Certain Arab States

Pro-Gov't Troops to Continue Anti-ISIL Operation to Restore Security to Aleppo Province

Long Convoy of ISIL's Vehicles Destroyed in Syrian, Russian Airstrikes en Route to Deir Ezzur

Tens of Gunmen Receive Gov't Amnesty in Northeastern Syria

Senior Terrorist Commander Break Ties with Turkey-Led Euphrates Shield in Northern Syria

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques issues a directive to take into account humanitarian cases of mixed Saudi-Qatari families

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Pakistan

In A First, Pakistani Man Gets Death Sentence for Posting 'Blasphemous' Anti-Islam Content on Facebook

Jamaat-e-Islami to Play Role in Resolving Issues of Muslim Ummah: JI Chief

Pak-born London terrorist was trying to get job with Wimbledon security firm: Report

'God will provide', say 3 Pakistani men who fathered 96 kids

Arabs must learn lessons from Iraq's wars: Pak top politician

Pakatan Harapan reps harassed, chased away by youths at Kluang Ramadan bazaar

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Mideast

Al-Aqsa Imam: Western Wall Belongs To Muslims

Iran: Political Prisoners Warn of Mullahs' Exploitation of Tehran Terror Attacks

President Rouhani: Muslims proud of Holy Quran, Prophet Household

‘Mastermind’ of Tehran terrorist attacks killed by Iranian security forces

Iran Sends 4 Consignments of Foodstuff to Qatar

Qatar, accused of supporting terrorism, hires ex-US attorney general

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North America

Fight Breaks Out Between Anti-Fascism and Anti-Sharia Protesters as Controversial Marches across America Are Marred By Violence

On Day of Anti-Muslim Protests, North Texas Mosque Welcomes Public In to Learn About Islam

Washington, Moscow Agree on Syrian Forces' Control over Borders with Iraq

Muslims In Jamaica United Against Violence

Muslims have a unique responsibility in fighting terror

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India

300 Fasting Muslims to Take Part in Narendra Modi's International Yoga Day Event in Lucknow

For Army’s Newest Officers from J&K, Lt Umar Brings both Hope and Dread

Army Using 'Wall Radars' To Catch Terrorists Hiding In Houses

India's progress will be incomplete until J&K is taken out of miseries: Mehbooba Mufti

Qatar crisis: India favours constructive dialogue

J&K's youth 'being instigated by a misinformation campaign on social media,' says Army chief

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Europe

How to Celebrate Eid Al-Fitr 2017 In The UK When Muslims Mark The End Of Ramadan

3 Men Detained After Emergency Landing over ‘Terrorist Matters’ Chatter On London-Bound Plane

On the UK terror spree: We need to talk about Islam

 ‘There is danger this conflict could become war’: German FM on Gulf crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says walls don't solve immigration problems

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South Asia

Taliban’s Mine Factory Hit by Airstrikes in Helmand, Leaving 8 IED Experts Dead

Afghanistan Can Have Peace Only Through Political Solution: US

3 US soldiers shot dead by Afghan an Afghan commandos soldier in Nangarhar

Suicide bomber arrested with car bomb in Kabul city

Afghan border police forces suffer casualties in Helmand airstrike

President Ghani and Nawaz Sharif hold talks on key issues on SCO sidelines

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Southeast Asia

US Forces Back Philippine Troops in Islamist Held City

How Indonesian Bars Can Keep Serving In Ramadan

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Africa

Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam 'released by Libyan militia'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/syria--islamic-state-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-killed-in-us-airstrike-in-raqqa,-says-state-tv/d/111496

 

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Syria: Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Killed In US Airstrike in Raqqa, Says State TV

Syrian state TV reports on Sunday claimed that Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed in an airstrike in Syria’s Raqqa, said news.com.au. The Islamic State leader was reportedly killed after the United States-led coalition’s forces entered the Islamic State stronghold on Saturday. But Baghdadi has been reported killed on several occasions in the past as well, and the reports turned out to be untrue later.

The Syrian Democratic Forces in a statement on Saturday said they had opened up the western front in Raqqa, after entering the eastern part last week, reported BBC. Supported by US-led airstrikes, the SDF has been encircling the city for months, and are now engaged in fierce fighting with Islamic State militants.

“The SDF captured the western half of the Al-Sabahiya neighbourhood and are reinforcing their positions there,” the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group told AFP on Saturday. He said they had advanced north to the district of al-Romaniya.

The SDF said that it had seized al-Mishlab district, east of Raqqa on Friday and al-Sabahiya district in the west, reported Reuters.

The US-led coalition estimates that Raqqa, which Islamic State seized from Syrian rebels in 2014, is defended by 3,000 to 4,000 militants.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 13 civilians had been killed in coalition airstrikes over the past 24 hours, according to a PTI report. Syrian activist collective Raqqa24 said that seven people were killed on Saturday when coalition aircraft bombed al-Nour street in Raqqa. But Reuters quoted former residents of Raqqa, who are in touch with their relatives in the city, as saying that at least 50 people, mostly civilians, had been killed in the US airstrikes since Friday evening. They put the number of dead in the attack on al-Nour street at 10, while at least 14 others were killed in the western neighbourhood of Jazra, where jets targeted an internet café.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported on Saturday that the US-led coalition had used white phosphorus in Raqqa, the use of which is banned, under international law, in populated areas. Photographs and video clips posted online showed blinding spots of light spreading outward on Thursday night over the skies of Raqqa. Residents reported similar attacks on Friday.

The Islamic State media agency, Amaq, as well as a monitoring group called Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently distributed these images online. A freelance reporter from Iraqi Kurdistan shared a video of the white phosphorus attack on Twitter.

https://scroll.in/latest/840294/syria-islamic-state-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-killed-in-us-airstrike-in-raqqa-says-state-tv

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In a first, Pakistani man gets death sentence for posting 'blasphemous' anti-Islam content on Facebook

June 11, 2017

Insulting Islam or Prophet Mohammad can carry the death penalty in Pakistan.

The prosecutor said the convict’s Facebook account had more than 3,500 followers or friendsAamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images

A 30-year-old man in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for posting alleged blasphemous content on Facebook - the harshest punishment on social media-related charges handed down in the country so far. An anti-terrorism court in Punjab's Bahawalpur, about 600 km south of Islamabad, found Taimoor Raza guilty of using Facebook and WhatsApp to "disseminate" hate material including "offensive pictures and comments" insulting the prophet Muhammad, VOA reports.

Prosecutor Mohammad Shafiq Qureshi said Raza's Facebook account had more than 3,500 followers or friends.

Raza was arrested in April last year for allegedly posting derogatory content about prominent Sunni religious figures and the wives of Prophet Muhammad on Facebook, the Nation reports. He also allegedly showed onlookers objectionable material on his cell phone at a bus terminal and had posted other offensive content on Facebook earlier.

Defence attorney Rana Fida Hussain said Raza had an argument about Islam on Facebook with a person who was actually a counter-terrorism department official, AFP reports. The official later brought charges against Raza based on the alleged comments made online.

Hussain maintained that his client is innocent and plans to appeal the conviction.

Under Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws, any person found guilt of insulting Islam or Prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death. Even unproven allegations of blasphemy can trigger violence, mob lynchings and protests in the conservative country.

The sentencing comes just a month after a 10-year-old boy was killed and five other people were left injured after a mob attacked a police station in an attempt to lynch a Hindu man charged with blasphemy. The man allegedly posted an offensive image on social media.

In April, a 23-year-old journalism student was brutally attacked and killed by a mob after he was falsely accused of blasphemy. His death sparked a massive uproar and widespread protests with calls for stringent blasphemy laws.

In March, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the removal and blocking of all "blasphemous" content on social media. Pakistan also urged Facebook and Twitter to help identify any suspected Pakistani users found posting such content on their platforms.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/first-pakistani-man-gets-death-sentence-posting-blasphemous-anti-islam-content-facebook-1625727

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Al-Aqsa imam: Western Wall belongs to Muslims

11/06/17

Priestly blessing at Kotel (Western Wall)Priestly blessing at Kotel (Western Wall)Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Arab news outlets report that 300,000 Muslims participated in prayers in and around the Al-Aqsa mosque on the second Friday of Ramadan

In his Friday sermon at Al-Aqsa, Sheikh Ikarma Sabri said the mosque's grounds include the entirety of the Western Wall, and that the entire area belongs only to Muslims.

Claiming the Western Wall is part of the Islamic Waqf, and Jews have no connection to it, Sabri condemned the "Israeli occupation" of Al-Aqsa and attacked Israel for trying to force facts on the ground.

In his opinion, Israel is "boastfully" attempting to "convince the world" to "create" its right to Jerusalem.

Speaking about Fatah member and PA executive Jibril Rajoub's interview with Channel 2, Sabri said Rajoub's view that the Western Wall should remain under Israeli sovereignty is "unacceptable" and "contradicts the Islamic belief that the Western Wall belongs to Al-Aqsa mosque."

Last week, Rajoub said, "We understand that the wall... is sacred for Jews. At the end of the day it must be under Jewish sovereignty, there is no doubt about it."

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/230835

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Fight breaks out between anti-fascism and anti-Sharia protesters as controversial marches across America are marred by violence

11 June 2017

It's unclear what specifically caused the altercation, and though it seemed to end quickly, fights broke out in other cities as well. 

March Against Sharia rallies were organized by ACT for America, an organization that says it is focused on fighting terrorism and promoting national security.

This year's rallies are expected to be the group's largest protest against Islam and took place in cities including Phoenix, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, New York, Boston and Seattle.

But many of the marches saw even larger counter-rallies.

Hundreds marched through downtown Seattle, banging drums, cymbals and cowbells behind a large sign saying 'Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors.'

A Trump supporter in New York holds up a sign during an anti-sharia law rally organized by ACT for America on June 10, 2017 at Foley Square   +31

A Muslim woman in New York gestures during a rally to support Muslims rights as a counter protest to an anti-sharia law rally organized by ACT for America on Saturday +31

ACT for America has become an increasingly vocal anti-Muslim activist group, and has organized protests across the United States. This protester, left, and counter-protester, right, demonstrated in New York

Participants chanted 'No hate, no fear, Muslims are welcome here' on their way to City Hall, while a phalanx of bicycle police officers separated them from an anti-Shariah rally numbering in the dozens.

Local activists even set up an 'Ask an American Muslim' booth where attendees could meet and learn about their Muslim neighbors.

In front of the Trump building in downtown Chicago, about 30 people demonstrated against Islamic law and in favor of President Donald Trump, shouting slogans and holding signs that read 'Ban Sharia' and 'Sharia abuses women'.

About twice as many counter-protesters marshaled across the street.

A demonstrator dressed as Lady Liberty holds up a sign in support of the Muslim community in New York  +31

Counter-protesters sounded air-horns and banged pots and pans in an effort to silence an anti-Shariah rally with about 100 protesters in New York City Saturday

A similar scene played out in a park near a New York courthouse, where counter-protesters sounded air-horns and banged pots and pans in an effort to silence an anti-Shariah rally with about 100 protesters.

'The theme of today is drowning out racism,' counter-protester Tony Murphy said, standing next to demonstrators with colorful earplugs.

'The more racists get a platform, the more people get attacked.'

The groups verbally clashed with police officers standing between them. The marches were held in 18 states and are 'against Sharia law and for human rights', according to the ACT for America website.

But the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated ACT for America as an extremist, anti-Muslim hate group.

Protesters clash at March Against Sharia rally at Colorado Capitol

ACT for America says it condemns bias against religious groups and is 'proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with peaceful Western Muslims as well as peaceful Muslims worldwide'.

Yet many Muslims and others say the group promotes a distorted and prejudiced view of Islam.

'Many aspects of Sharia law run contrary to basic human rights and are completely incompatible with our laws and our democratic values,' the ACT for America website says.

Their activists portray Shariah as largely incompatible with American democracy and often warn of a stealth effort to replace US law with Islamic law.

Muslims call the claims ludicrous and say Islamic law plays a role similar to Jewish law, as a guide to religious life rooted in the Quran and scholars say there's little to no threat to US democracy from Islamic law.

'I don't believe Islam can peacefully co-exist with the Constitution,' said Seattle anti-Shariah demonstrator Aaron Bassford, 29.

'I'm not going to tell them they can come here and take away my Second Amendment right. We need unity in this country under no ideology and no banner except the Constitution of the United States of America.'

But the overwhelming majority of Muslims don't want to replace US law with Islamic law, known as Shariah, and only 'radical extremist groups' would call for that, said Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario.

Shariah, Takim said, refers to guidelines or principles - how Muslims should live.

'Fiqh' refers to jurisprudence, or specific laws. The values embedded in Shariah do not change and are shared among Muslims, he said, while fiqh is open to interpretation and change, and in fact differs among Islamic sects and communities.

'The Quran allows slavery, so does the Old Testament. That doesn't mean we allow it today, too,' Takim said. 'Laws are amenable to change.'

The marches come amid a rise in reports of anti-Muslim incidents in the US, including arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing Muslim head coverings and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren.

In St Paul, Minnesota, the demonstrations were mostly peaceful until some people leaving a rally inside the Capitol encountered counter-protesters outside.

A confrontation that included shoving and punching occurred, The Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota State Patrol separated the groups and appeared to make at least one arrest.

In California, small but raucous demonstrations were held in a handful of cities, including San Bernardino, where a husband and wife inspired by the Islamic State group killed 14 people and wounded 22 in a 2015 shooting attack.

Clusters of protesters and counter-protesters gathered on four corners of an intersection at a memorial to the slain. Anti-Islamic law demonstrators marched past the building where the shootings occurred.

Denise Zamora, 39, of Upland said the group wasn't opposed to all Muslims.

'We're anti-Shariah. We're anti-radicals,' she said.

'It's coming in very slowly, and a lot of the refugees are bringing that ideology here,' Zamora said of Shariah. 'All of it is just barbaric.'

No arrests were made at the San Bernardino rally, and there were no reports of violence, police spokeswoman Eileen Hards said.

But it was noisy, with groups chanting, yelling and waving American flags and posters proclaiming various causes.

'There's an anti-Trump, a pro-Trump, anti-extremists, so there are a variety of messages here,' Hards said.

'There are so many messages going on that I'm not sure who's who.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4592728/Fight-breaks-anti-Sharia-march-Seattle.html#ixzz4jfjbJrug

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300 fasting Muslims to take part in Narendra Modi's International Yoga Day event in Lucknow

Jun, 11 2017

#Indian muslims#International yoga day#Muslims#Narendra modi#Newstracker#Pm modi#Pm narendra modi#Ramdan#Ramzan#Roza

Lucknow: At this year's International Yoga Day event in Lucknow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have for company scores of roza-observing Muslims who will be performing various asanas.

Narendra Modi performs yoga with others to mark the International Day of Yoga, in New Delhi, June 21, 2015. ReutersNarendra Modi performs yoga with others to mark the International Day of Yoga, in New Delhi, June 21, 2015 (representational photo). Reuters

At least 300 Muslim men and women under the banner of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch will be among the 55,000-strong participants at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan.

"More than 1,000 Muslims had contacted us about participating in the International Yoga Day celebrations, but at least 300 have confirmed their participation. Most of the participants will be observing roza, while performing yoga.

"In fact most of them are likely to arrive to the programme venue after Sehri (pre-dawn meal)," Mahiraj Dhwaj Singh, national co-convenor (organisation) of Muslim Rashtriya Manch for UP and Uttarakhand, told PTI.

Azam Khan, the national president of Shriram Mandir Nirman Muslim Karsevak Manch, will also be performing yoga while fasting.

"I will be participating in the third International Yoga Day celebrations and performing various yoga asanas (postures)," he said.

Singh said a request seeking a separate area for the Muslims participants will be made to the organisers.

Mohsin Raza, minister of state for Muslim Waqf and Haj, when contacted, said, "I will also participate and perform yoga while observing roza. Both yoga and roza are good for one's health."

Raees Khan, the UP and Uttarakhand in-charge of Muslim Rashtriya Manch, informed that the manch is trying to ensure attendance of at least 1,000 Muslim yoga enthusiasts at Modi's programme.

"So far 300 have already confirmed their participation. Most of the participants will be rozadars. Since 15 days, the participants have been practicing different aasans and postures," he said.

Member of UP unit of BJP Iqbal Haidar, who also heads a brotherhood committee of Muslims and had pledged to build Ram temple in Ayodhya, said, "I will be fasting, but at the same time participate in the Yoga Day celebrations. Yoga and roza are two different entities, and there should be no confusion in this regard. There should also be no difficulty or restriction on the participation of a rozedar in yoga programmes."

For convenience of ordinary citizens, LED screens will be installed at different parks in Lucknow, so that visitors could also participate simultaneously. Directions have already been issued to hold a 28-day workshop for the participants prior to the International Yoga Day.

The main programme would be the mass yoga demonstration from 7.00 am to 8.00 am, which will adhere to Common Yoga Protocol. Other events would include yoga fests, seminars, workshops, musical and cultural programmes.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/300-fasting-muslims-to-take-part-in-narendra-modis-international-yoga-day-event-in-lucknow-3540757.html

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Arab World

Syria: Islamic State Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Killed In US Airstrike in Raqqa, Says State TV

Syrian state TV reports on Sunday claimed that Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed in an airstrike in Syria’s Raqqa, said news.com.au. The Islamic State leader was reportedly killed after the United States-led coalition’s forces entered the Islamic State stronghold on Saturday. But Baghdadi has been reported killed on several occasions in the past as well, and the reports turned out to be untrue later.

The Syrian Democratic Forces in a statement on Saturday said they had opened up the western front in Raqqa, after entering the eastern part last week, reported BBC. Supported by US-led airstrikes, the SDF has been encircling the city for months, and are now engaged in fierce fighting with Islamic State militants.

“The SDF captured the western half of the Al-Sabahiya neighbourhood and are reinforcing their positions there,” the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group told AFP on Saturday. He said they had advanced north to the district of al-Romaniya.

The SDF said that it had seized al-Mishlab district, east of Raqqa on Friday and al-Sabahiya district in the west, reported Reuters.

The US-led coalition estimates that Raqqa, which Islamic State seized from Syrian rebels in 2014, is defended by 3,000 to 4,000 militants.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 13 civilians had been killed in coalition airstrikes over the past 24 hours, according to a PTI report. Syrian activist collective Raqqa24 said that seven people were killed on Saturday when coalition aircraft bombed al-Nour street in Raqqa. But Reuters quoted former residents of Raqqa, who are in touch with their relatives in the city, as saying that at least 50 people, mostly civilians, had been killed in the US airstrikes since Friday evening. They put the number of dead in the attack on al-Nour street at 10, while at least 14 others were killed in the western neighbourhood of Jazra, where jets targeted an internet café.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported on Saturday that the US-led coalition had used white phosphorus in Raqqa, the use of which is banned, under international law, in populated areas. Photographs and video clips posted online showed blinding spots of light spreading outward on Thursday night over the skies of Raqqa. Residents reported similar attacks on Friday.

The Islamic State media agency, Amaq, as well as a monitoring group called Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently distributed these images online. A freelance reporter from Iraqi Kurdistan shared a video of the white phosphorus attack on Twitter.

https://scroll.in/latest/840294/syria-islamic-state-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-killed-in-us-airstrike-in-raqqa-says-state-tv

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Syrian army reach Iraqi border, announce 'strategic turning point’ in war on ISIS

Published time: 10 Jun, 2017 17:32

The Syrian army, in cooperation with its allies, have taken control of a vast territory in southeastern Syria, reaching the border "with friendly Iraq," Syrian military officials have announced, describing it as a decisive moment in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

"This achievement is a strategic turning point in the war on terrorism and a springboard to expand military operations in the Badia [region in southeast Syria] and along the border with the friendly Iraq," a Saturday statement from the General Command said, as quoted by the state Syrian news agency, SANA.

In cooperation with its allies, the Syrian army reached the border northeast of al-Tanf crossing on Friday evening, the command said in the statement. It added that the move signals the "first stage of the military operations" in the region.

The offensive had been launched south and east of Palmyra, Syrian military officials said. After hundreds of IS terrorists had been killed there, forces proceeded to the Iraqi border, having retaken a large number of strategic points and positions within the territory which covers over 20 square kilometers in Badia.

The latest advance establishes a bridgehead for further anti-terrorist operations along the border, as it "tightens the noose around remaining ISIS groups" in the area. It further cuts IS supply routes from several directions. 

The successful operation underlines the ability and determination of the Syrian army to defeat jihadists, and demonstrates that it is the "only effective force in fighting terrorism," the Syrian command said.

Pro-Syrian government forces have recently been targeted by the US-led coalition in that region, with Washington claiming that they represented a threat to opposition groups backed by the US.

In its statement Saturday, the Syrian command reiterated it saw such US-led attacks as an attempt to "hinder the advance of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in their war on terrorism."

https://www.rt.com/news/391811-syria-iraqi-border-turning-point/

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US-Led Coalition Acknowledges Use of Banned-Munitions in Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The US-led coalition confirmed the use of internationally-banned white phosphorus munitions in Syria, media sources reported.

Russia's RIA Novosti reported that the coalition claimed to use the white phosphorus for acts of camouflage, screening, obscuring and marking in an attempt to deny its crimes.

In its statement, the coalition referred to “cautious and rational measures taken to reduce the dangerous effects of white phosphorus on civilians and infrastructures.”

The US-led coalition warplanes have carried out 25 airstrikes on residential buildings in Raqqa city during the past 24 hours, using internationally prohibited white phosphorus bombs.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320001177

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Independence Referendum in Kurdistan A Plot Hatched by Certain Arab States

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Iraqi analyst and a senior advisor to the former Iraqi President Jalal Talibani warned that certain Persian Gulf Arab states have hatched plots against Iraq and provoked Massoud Barzani to hold a referendum for independence.

"Massoud Barzani insists on holding a referendum to grow independent from Iraq and certain (Persian) Gulf littoral states have provoked him," Wafiq al-Samerayee said on Saturday.

He warned the Arab people in Iraq not to unite with Barzani at all, warning that such a move would be an unforgivable mistake.

Al-Samerayee also warned that the neighboring countries will also show a serious reaction to the Iraqi Kurdistan region's decision for independence.

Iraq's Kurdish region on Wednesday announced it would hold a referendum on independence, in a move the central government in Baghdad is likely to oppose strongly.

"I am pleased to announce that the date for the independence referendum has been set for Monday, Sept. 25, 2017," Barzani said on Twitter.

Barzani's assistant Hemin Hawrami tweeted that voting would take place in the disputed region of Kirkuk and three other areas also claimed by the central government; Makhmour in the north, Sinjar in the northwest and Khanaqin in the east.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320001244

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Syria: Pro-Gov't Troops to Continue Anti-ISIL Operation to Restore Security to Aleppo Province

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Field sources in Northeastern Syria reported that the country's Army troops and popular forces are ready to continue their operation against ISIL in Western Raqqa to restore sustainable security to Aleppo province.

The sources said that the army soldiers are getting ready to continue their advances towards the Southern direction of the newly-freed positons in Western Raqqa to reach the border triangle of Raqqa-Aleppo-Hama and access Kharba al-Baydh region and Raqqa-al-Salamiyah highway.

The sources underscored that the army's operation is aimed at expanding the area of advances and laying siege on ISIL in other terrorist-held regions in Southeastern Aleppo.

"The ISIL terrorists are now faced with only the two options of retreat from areas near Southeastern Aleppo or stay and die," they said.

If the army manages to take control over regions from the Southern direction of their positons in Raqqa countryside to Khirbet al-Baydh up to Sabkha al-Joboul, they will manage to drive ISIL out of 2,500sq/km of land and end ISIL's presence in Aleppo province. 

Relevant reports said on Friday that the army troops continued to hit ISIL in Southeastern Aleppo and Western Raqqa, taking control over 32 towns and farms.

The army men continued to clash with ISIL terrorists and drove them out of the villages and farms of al-Qeramah, Mastaheh Makhzoum, Khirbet al-Haja, al-Makhzoum, al-Jovin, Rasm Faleh, al-Meftahiyeh, Ba'ar al-Saba'a, Jarabat, Tarqavi, al-Salihiyeh, Anz Bu Kurdi, Bu Kurdi, Jarabat Saqir, al-Movili, al-Busi, Ba'ar Khatab, al-Qadesiyeh, Ramthan, Khirbet Ramthan, Barmalihan, Kharab al-Makhzoum, Debsi, Madihar, Debsi Afnan, Qazali Sharqiyeh, Moshref al-Sa'ab, Moshref al-Qajar, Khirbet al-Eis, al-Amirat, al-Sa'ad, Fakhikheh and Debsi Faraj in Southeastern Aleppo and Western Raqqa.

Military sources, meantime, reported that over 500 ISIL terrorists have been killed and hundreds more wounded in the army operations.

In the meantime, 6 tanks, two BMP vehicles and three drones of ISIL were destroyed by the army, while the engineering units are now carrying out cleansing operation in the newly-freed villages, towns and farms.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320001450

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Long Convoy of ISIL's Vehicles Destroyed in Syrian, Russian Airstrikes en Route to Deir Ezzur

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian and Russian fighter jets targeted a long convoy of ISIL's vehicles that had left Raqqa province for Deir Ezzur province in Eastern Syria, and destroyed tens of the vehicles.

The aircraft pounded ISIL's long convoy that had left Raqqa for al-Baqaleh region along the road that connects the town of al-Sukhnah to Deir Ezzur city, destroying tens of military vehicles, including a number of bomb-laden vehicles.

A number of ISIL terrorists were also killed or wounded in the air raid. 

Local sources reported on Tuesday that ISIL was planning to announce Deir Ezzur city as its new capital in Syria after the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF inked an agreement with the ISIL that allows militants' exit from Raqqa city without a battle.

The sources said that while the US and the Predominately Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) permitted ISIL terrorists to leave their capital city of Raqqa without clashes, the Takfiri terrorists were moving towards Deir Ezzur in groups.

In the meantime, the Russian-language Izvestia daily reported that the agreement between the SDF and ISIL on evacuation of terrorists from Raqqa caused intensified ISIL attacks on pro-government forces' positions in Deir Ezzur.

The paper further added that the ISIL was trying to drive the Syrian Army troops out of Deir Ezzur city to declare it as its new capital.

The daily went on to say that the Syrian General Command was about to dispatch fresh forces from Palmyra to Deir Ezzur on airplanes to join the army forces in Deir Ezzur to face ISIL as strong as possible.

Izvestia also said that the general command would possibly use Ilyushin Il-76 cargo planes they recently received from Russia in this operation.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320001583

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Tens of Gunmen Receive Gov't Amnesty in Northeastern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Local officials reported that tens of militants that had handed over their weapons to the Syrian Army and endorsed the peace agreement with Damascus have received government pardoning in Hasaka city.

The sources said that the Syrian government granted amnesty to fifty gunmen that surrendered to the army men and applied for pardoning in Hasaka city in the framework of the reconciliation plan and implementation of pardoning decree No.15 in 2016.

Local officials confirmed last week that in line with implementation of the peace agreement in Barzeh district over 150 militants that had handed over their weapons to the Syrian Army received government amnesty.

The officials added that application forms of the remaining pockets of militants in Barzeh will be studied in the next few days.

The officials further added that 500 gunmen that refused to join the peace plan in Barzeh are to leave the district along with their family members on 20 buses for other militant-held regions.      

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320001385

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Senior Terrorist Commander Break Ties with Turkey-Led Euphrates Shield in Northern Syria

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Field sources in Northern Syria reported that one of the senior commanders of the militant groups affiliated to the Free Syrian Army defected the Ankara-backed gunmen of the Euphrates Shield Operation in Northern Aleppo, fleeing towards regions controlled by the Syrian Army.

The sources said that Abu al-Kheir, the commander of Ahrar of Manbij Brigade affiliated to the FSA has cut relations with the Turkey-backed Euphrates Shield along with 30 of his forces.

The sources said that Abu al-Kheir and his forces have fled the regions under the control of the Euphrates Shield forces to surrender to the army soldiers and apply for government amnesty.

Abu al-Kheir said that he and his forces managed to exit regions controlled by the Ankara-backed militants of the Euphrates Shield Operation in three phases to use Assad's pardoning, adding, "Turkey intends to implement its plan to occupy Syria but we do not accept it."

In relevant development but in Northeastern Syria on Wednesday, one of the notorious commanders of ISIL broke ties with the terrorist group and surrendered to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa.

The Kurdish websites reported that Abdullah al-Jalqif, a senior commander of ISIL in Raqqa, cut relations with the terrorist group and surrendered to the SDF.

The sources further added that al-Jalqif, official in charge of issuing death penalties for civilians, was under accusation by ISIL of spying for the coalition and apostasy.  

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320001345

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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques issues a directive to take into account humanitarian cases of mixed Saudi-Qatari families

11th June, 2017

JEDDAH, (WAM) -- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulazizi Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, has issued a directive to take into account the humanitarian cases of the mixed Saudi-Qatari families in recognition of the brotherly people of Qatar.

An official source on Sunday was quoted by the Saudi Press Agency as saying: "further to the statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on severing relations with the State of Qatar and the reference within the statement to Saudi Arabia's keenness on the brotherly Qatari people who are a natural extension of their brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, has issued a directive to take into account the humanitarian cases of the mixed Saudi-Qatari families in recognition of the brotherly people of Qatar."

"In implementation of the directive, the Ministry of Interior set up a helpline +966112409111 to receive the cases and take appropriate action on them," the source said.

http://wam.ae/en/details/1395302618436

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Pakistan

In a first, Pakistani man gets death sentence for posting 'blasphemous' anti-Islam content on Facebook

June 11, 2017

Insulting Islam or Prophet Mohammad can carry the death penalty in Pakistan.

The prosecutor said the convict’s Facebook account had more than 3,500 followers or friendsAamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images

A 30-year-old man in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for posting alleged blasphemous content on Facebook - the harshest punishment on social media-related charges handed down in the country so far. An anti-terrorism court in Punjab's Bahawalpur, about 600 km south of Islamabad, found Taimoor Raza guilty of using Facebook and WhatsApp to "disseminate" hate material including "offensive pictures and comments" insulting the prophet Muhammad, VOA reports.

Prosecutor Mohammad Shafiq Qureshi said Raza's Facebook account had more than 3,500 followers or friends.

Raza was arrested in April last year for allegedly posting derogatory content about prominent Sunni religious figures and the wives of Prophet Muhammad on Facebook, the Nation reports. He also allegedly showed onlookers objectionable material on his cell phone at a bus terminal and had posted other offensive content on Facebook earlier.

Defence attorney Rana Fida Hussain said Raza had an argument about Islam on Facebook with a person who was actually a counter-terrorism department official, AFP reports. The official later brought charges against Raza based on the alleged comments made online.

Hussain maintained that his client is innocent and plans to appeal the conviction.

Under Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws, any person found guilt of insulting Islam or Prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death. Even unproven allegations of blasphemy can trigger violence, mob lynchings and protests in the conservative country.

The sentencing comes just a month after a 10-year-old boy was killed and five other people were left injured after a mob attacked a police station in an attempt to lynch a Hindu man charged with blasphemy. The man allegedly posted an offensive image on social media.

In April, a 23-year-old journalism student was brutally attacked and killed by a mob after he was falsely accused of blasphemy. His death sparked a massive uproar and widespread protests with calls for stringent blasphemy laws.

In March, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered the removal and blocking of all "blasphemous" content on social media. Pakistan also urged Facebook and Twitter to help identify any suspected Pakistani users found posting such content on their platforms.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/first-pakistani-man-gets-death-sentence-posting-blasphemous-anti-islam-content-facebook-1625727

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Jamaat-e-Islami to Play Role in Resolving Issues of Muslim Ummah: JI Chief

June 11, 2017    

KARACHI - Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Pakistan chief Senator Siraj-ul-Haq has announced that the JI has decided to play its role in defusing tensions in Gulf region, saying that resolving issues among Muslim countries is a religious obligation.

He also demanded the government to play an active role in this regard and warned that otherwise Pakistan would also suffer if tensions in the Middle East further worsened.

Siraj was addressing an Iftar party here in Gulshan Iqbal. Hundreds of people participated in the event. He further said that the party would dispatch delegations to all the stakeholders in the issue, in order to resolve the issue.

He was of the view that if Pakistan and Turkey did not douse the fire of differences among Muslims countries, the entire region might fall victim to unrest.

He said imperial forces of the world were hatching conspiracies against the Muslims to cement their hold on the oil- producing Muslim countries.  

Citing examples from the history of Muslims, he said that the month of Ramazan is the month of struggle.

Relating the past with the present day situation, he stressed the need for unity among the Muslims. He said it was unfortunate that Muslims killed each other in the name of sectarianism.

Talking about the domestic issues, he said that the ruling elite was responsible for all the miseries of masses.

He accused the government of neglecting masses and only following its personal interests.

http://nation.com.pk/karachi/11-Jun-2017/ji-to-play-role-in-resolving-issues-of-muslim-ummah-siraj

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Pak-born London terrorist was trying to get job with Wimbledon security firm: Report

PTI | Updated: Jun 11, 2017

LONDON: Pakistan-born British citizen Khuram Butt, the London Bridge attack ringleader, had been trying to get a job with a security firm that provides stewards for Wimbledon and other sporting events, raising concerns whether he had considered targeting the prestigious tennis tournament.

Security services and counter-terrorism police are now investigating 27-year-old Butt's motive in trying to get the job with the security company, the Telegraph reported on Sunday.

Citing well-placed sources, the paper said that Butt had set up the job interview with the security firm that supplies safety stewards to Wimbledon and to Premier League football clubs. The interview was scheduled to take place at the end of this month.

"One possibility is Butt had considered targeting the tennis tournament but decided to speed up the plot, following the Manchester Arena bombing, and switched the attack to London Bridge," the paper said.

Butt had previously worked for six months on the London Underground until quitting in October.

Khuram Butt. (AFP photo)

Although he was under lowlevel investigation by MI5 and counterterrorism police, Butt was able to get a job working at Westminster station because employers are not made aware of security services' concerns when performing criminal records checks, the paper said.

"The security firm would check his background but it does not have access to the police watch list or have knowledge of any MI5 investigation. There would have been no reason for him not to get the job. Butt could not only have caused serious damage but potentially helped other terrorists to get into one of these events," the paper said, quoting a source close to the intelligence services.

Butt and his aides Moroccan-origin Rachid Redouane and Moroccon-Italian Yousef Zaghba rammed a high-speed van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing revellers at the nearby Borough Market, killing eight people before being shot dead by armed police officers last week.

Scotland Yard on Saturday night released photographs of the fake suicide belts Butt, Redouane and Zaghba wore during the attack.

The trio had attached water bottles to leather belts and covered them in silver masking tape. The belts were still being worn by them when they were shot dead by armed officers.

"It is hard to speculate what the motive was for wearing the belts. It could be that they had plans to take the attack in to a siege situation or it might be that they saw it as protection from being shot themselves," said Commander Dean Haydon, who is leading the investigation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/pak-born-london-terrorist-was-trying-to-get-job-with-wimbledon-security-firm-report/articleshow/59092451.cms

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'God will provide', say 3 Pakistani men who fathered 96 kids

AFP | Updated: Jun 10, 2017, 09.04 PM IST

BANNU: Three men who have fathered nearly 100 children among them are doing their bit for Pakistan's skyrocketing population, which is being counted for the first time in 19 years.

But in a country where experts warn the surging populace is gouging into hard-won economic gains and social services, the three patriarchs are unconcerned. Allah, they say, will provide.

Pakistan has the highest birth rate in South Asia at around three children per woman, according to the World Bank and government figures, and the census is expected to show that growth remains high.

"God has created the entire universe and all human beings, so why should I stop the natural process of a baby's birth?" asks Gulzar Khan, a father of 36, citing one of the strongest influences in the region: the belief that Islam prevents family planning.

Read this story in Marathi

Tribal enmity is another factor in the northwest, where the 57-year-old lives in the city of Bannu with his third wife, who is pregnant.

"We wanted to be stronger," the 57-year-old tells AFP, surrounded by 23 of his offspring -- so many, he observes, they don't need friends to play a full cricket match.

Polygamy is legal but rare in Pakistan, and families like Khan's are not the norm, though the beliefs he holds are widespread.

The last census, held in 1998, showed Pakistan had a population of up to 135 million. Estimates suggest the new census - carried out earlier this year, with the preliminary results due by the end of July - will put the figure closer to 200 million.

Read this story in Gujarati

The economy is expanding faster than it has in a decade, and last month Islamabad hiked its development budget by 40 percent.

But observers have warned the population boom is negating any progress, using up valuable resources in a young country where jobs are scarce and nearly 60 million people live below the poverty line.

"It definitely is a problem because it is affecting health outcomes adversely and also eating into development gains," says Zeba A. Sathar, country director for the UN population council.

Sathar predicted the census would show growth has slowed due to lower fertility rates, though she added it would remain among the highest rates in the region.

"There has to be a clear enunciation of need to slow growth as a positive policy lever," she said. "And then next a good, effective health system that provides information and services of quality."

Khan's brother, Mastan Khan Wazir -- one of his 15 siblings -- also has three wives. So far, Wazir has only fathered 22 children but, like his brother, he says his grandchildren are too numerous to count.

The 70-year-old, with his bushy moustaches and bejewelled fingers, is a minor celebrity in North Waziristan tribal district, where his blinged out jeep -- done in the style of Pakistan's famous "jingle trucks", with Pashto music pouring from the stereo -- is a familiar sight.

"God has promised that he will provide food and resources but people have weak faith," he tells AFP, wearing a traditional Waziristani turban.

In the southwestern city of Quetta in Balochistan province, Jan Mohammed - the father of 38 children - agrees, despite having previously called on the government to provide resources for his family.

Jan spoke with AFP in 2016 to voice his desire for a fourth wife as he continues his mission of having 100 children. No woman has yet agreed, he says, but he has not given up.

"The more Muslims grow, the more their enemies will fear them... Muslims should go for more and more children," he said.

Denied their husbands' permission to speak, none of the three men's wives could give their views on family planning in Islam.

But there is already "abundant" awareness in Pakistan about the need for birth spacing, or allowing a woman's body to rest for at least 18 months between pregnancies, Sathar said.

"The need is for clear information about the methods available, how they work, their possible side effects and where to get them. That is missing," she added.

Giving women more of a choice in the matter could help, argues Aisha Sarwari, a feminist activist who has previously written on population and women's rights.

"Access to birth control for women can be a game changer," she told AFP. "Ultimately the impact is that there are more resources to go around ... Empowered women have fewer children, and this creates a mindset that leads to prosperity within families that is likely to be emulated across communities."

Khan, at least, admitted there could be some benefits to slowing down.

For one thing, tribal enmity in the northwest has decreased in recent years, he said. "Now, with the grace of God, the situation has changed - war and fighting is finished - so, now, a decrease in the population would not be bad."

It would also free him up for other leisure activities, he says, adding wistfully: "If one had fewer children, one would have more time to make love with his wives."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/god-will-provide-say-3-pakistani-men-who-fathered-96-kids/articleshow/59082024.cms

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Arabs must learn lessons from Iraq's wars: Pak top politician

June 11, 2017

Islamabad, June 10, IRNA – Leader of Pakistan’s top Islamic party said the US invasion of Iraq happened after Iraq wars on Iran and Kuwait based on the American conspiracies and it seems that Arab states in the region have not learnt any lesson from these wars.

Arabs must learn lessons from Iraq's wars: Pak top politician

'Jamaat-i-Islami' leader Senator 'Siraj-ul Haq' said the Iraq-Iran war and Iraq’s attack on Kuwait on US bidding were US conspiracies.

Later, the US invaded Iraq, massacred one million people and also occupied oil wells in Iraq.

The politician also viewed that the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Qatar has created an alarming situation in the Muslim world and the enemy alone will benefit from the situation.

'The US is happy over the tension between Muslim states as some Muslim states are buying US arms and ammunition to fight other Muslims.'

He said the forces hostile to Islam had been playing the game of dividing the Muslim world and to shatter Ummah’s unity. In this situation, the US arms business was flourishing.

The politician regretted that the Persian Gulf states had not learnt any lessons from some current and old wars in the region.

'The US is once again dragging the Persian Gulf states into war to sell its weapons and to occupy their resources,' he said.

http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82560307/

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Pakatan Harapan reps harassed, chased away by youths at Kluang Ramadan bazaar

 

A videograb shows the Pakatan Harapan group, led by Kluang Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong (right) being chased away by youths at the Kluang Ramadan bazaar.

By Chuah Bee Kim - June 11, 2017

KLUANG: A video recording of a group of youths harassing Kluang Pakatan Harapan leaders at a Ramadan bazaar here yesterday has caught the eye of social media users.

The footage, which has gone viral, shows the youths chasing away the Pakatan Harapan group, led by Kluang Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong, who is Johor DAP chairman and DAP national political education director, who was with other party members distributing dates to Muslims at the bazaar.

The youths are also heard cursing and threatening to bash up the camera.

Also seen are former Johor Pas Youth member Sheikh Omar Ali, who is now DAP’s assistant publicity secretary, and DAP’s Socialist Youth (Dapsy) national secretary Tan Hong Pin.

Liew, who uploaded the video on Facebook, wrote that the 5.45pm incident should not have occurred during the month of Ramadan, as it was tainted with hatred and harsh words.

"We had already sought the approval of the secretariat of the bazaar (to distribute the kurma), who was managing the food section.

"However, the secretariat in charge of the clothes section did not want us to be there," he said.

Sheikh Umar reportedly claimed that one of the youths had prevented the opposition party representatives from entering the same bazaar in 2014.

A police report was lodged at the Kluang police station on the night of the incident.

https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/247751/pakatan-harapan-reps-harassed-chased-away-youths-kluang-ramadan-bazaar

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Mideast

Al-Aqsa imam: Western Wall belongs to Muslims

11/06/17

Priestly blessing at Kotel (Western Wall)Priestly blessing at Kotel (Western Wall)Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Arab news outlets report that 300,000 Muslims participated in prayers in and around the Al-Aqsa mosque on the second Friday of Ramadan

In his Friday sermon at Al-Aqsa, Sheikh Ikarma Sabri said the mosque's grounds include the entirety of the Western Wall, and that the entire area belongs only to Muslims.

Claiming the Western Wall is part of the Islamic Waqf, and Jews have no connection to it, Sabri condemned the "Israeli occupation" of Al-Aqsa and attacked Israel for trying to force facts on the ground.

In his opinion, Israel is "boastfully" attempting to "convince the world" to "create" its right to Jerusalem.

Speaking about Fatah member and PA executive Jibril Rajoub's interview with Channel 2, Sabri said Rajoub's view that the Western Wall should remain under Israeli sovereignty is "unacceptable" and "contradicts the Islamic belief that the Western Wall belongs to Al-Aqsa mosque."

Last week, Rajoub said, "We understand that the wall... is sacred for Jews. At the end of the day it must be under Jewish sovereignty, there is no doubt about it."

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/230835

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Iran: Political Prisoners Warn of Mullahs' Exploitation of Tehran Terror Attacks

Sunday, 11 June 2017

NCRI - Political prisoners in Evin, Gohardasht, Fashfaviye in Greater Tehran, Zahedan and Ahvaz issued a letter to Amnesty International, United Nations Human Rights Council and all human rights entities of the Iranian regime capitalizing on recent events in Tehran.

The letter text:

Following the terrorist attacks targeting the parliament and Khomeini’s tomb, as if a heavenly gift has come for Iran’s criminal rulers, to relate everything and anything to this, to provide a pretext to legitimize future criminal measures in the past, present and future.

State TV is continuously using this as an excuse to justify previous and future killings.

These measures that lead to the death and injury of innocent people were planned by the regime itself to bring an end to the current atmosphere in Iran where everyone is questioning the 1980s executions. There is a threat that:

- The regime intends to use this as a pretext to justify their crimes in the 1980s and the 1988 massacre,

- They intend to crackdown any demand for freedom, and those protesting for their most investment, under the pretext of such terrorist measures,

- All the questions in today’s society and amongst the youth will be placed in the shadows of security issues, and they will refuse to answer,

- Increasing the number of executions and with a huge lie apparently being ISIS (their own ally in Syria and Iraq) has officially accepted responsibility; and kill a number of our Sunni brothers.

Therefore, we the political prisoners of Evin, Gohardasht, Fashfaviye in Greater Tehran, Zahedan and Ahvaz prisons in advance warn Amnesty International, the UN Human Rights Council and all human rights organizations about the threats facing a group of prisoners and their execution under bogus reasons.

Political prisoners of Evin, Gohardasht, Fashfaviye in Greater Tehran, Zahedan and Ahvaz

June 9, 2017

CC: United Nations Secretary General – United Nations Human Rights Council – Mrs. Asma Jahangir, UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights Situation in Iran

http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/terrorism-fundamentalism/22984-iran-political-prisoners-warn-of-mullahs-exploitation-of-tehran-terror-attacks

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President Rouhani: Muslims proud of Holy Quran, Prophet Household

11/06/17

Tehran, June 11, IRNA – President Hassan Rouhani pointed to the Holy Quran as the book of guidance and also the Prophet Household as bringing blessings to all humanity.

President Rouhani: Muslims proud of Holy Quran, Prophet Household

Rouhani made the remarks on Saturday night in a ceremony to praise the promoters of Quranic studies.

Addressing the meeting, President Rouhani said that Islamic Revolution is based upon teachings of the Quran.

The president added Iranian reciters of the Holy Quran are shining in the world

http://www.irna.ir/en/News/82560898/

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‘Mastermind’ of Tehran terrorist attacks killed by Iranian security forces

Published time: 11 Jun, 2017 00:51

‘Mastermind’ of Tehran terrorist attacks killed by Iranian security forces

“The mastermind and main commander of terrorist attacks on the parliament and Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini was killed today by the security forces,” intelligence minister Mahmoud Alavi was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency, Reuters reports.

The suspected orchestrator of the attack, who has not been named, was tracked down by Iranian intelligence after he had fled the country amid the ongoing crackdown by government forces.

Acting in cooperation with “friendly foreign intelligence services,” the Iranian team killed the suspect on Saturday, PressTV reported, citing the minister.

Two guards, ten government staffers and five civilians were killed in the Wednesday attacks which targeted the country’s parliament and shrine of the late founder of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Fifty-two others were injured in the attacks, according to the Interior Ministry.

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the deadly operation and threatened more attacks against Iran’s Shiite majority, triggering a massive manhunt for IS followers by Tehran.

Authorities said Saturday that they identified and arrested an IS-affiliated cell of some 60 members in the suburb of Tehran, Iran’s IRNA news agency reported.

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GRAPHIC: Footage has emerged of the recent attack on the Iranian parliamenthttps://on.rt.com/8dz9

7:30 AM - 9 Jun 2017

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“The terrorists were affiliated to the Wahabi and Takfiri groups who joined the Daesh terrorist group overseas and were red handed in the crimes of the terrorist group in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqah in Syria,” Commander of the Law Enforcement Force Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari said.

Authorities also announced the detention of eight suspects in the Alborz province, north of Tehran.

A day earlier, the Intelligence Ministry said they detained 41 members of the “Wahhabi IS group,” in Tehran and the western Kurdish provinces.

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#Tehran attacks will ‘increase hatred’ for US, Saudi Arabia – Iran supreme leader https://on.rt.com/8e65

6:25 PM - 9 Jun 2017

Photo published for Tehran attacks will ‘increase hatred’ for US, Saudi Arabia – Iran supreme leader — RT News

Tehran attacks will ‘increase hatred’ for US, Saudi Arabia – Iran supreme leader — RT News

Iranian leaders have accused the US and Saudi Arabia of supporting twin attacks which killed 17 people in Tehran earlier this week, saying the attacks will further add to the country's hate for the...

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Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Friday that terrorist attacks would only increase Tehran’s hatred against the US and its “stooges” such as Saudi Arabia. The comments come just a day after Alavi said investigators were working to determine whether Riyadh had a hand in the attacks.

https://www.rt.com/news/391825-tehran-terrorist-attacks-mastermind/

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Iran Sends 4 Consignments of Foodstuff to Qatar

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's national flag carrier, Iran Air, announced that it has carried four consignments of foodstuff to Qatar after the Arab country was boycotted by its other neighbors.

"After Qatar was sanctioned by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, Iran Air has transferred foodstuff and vegetables to Qatar on four flights so far," Head of Iran Air's Public Relations Office Shahrokh Noushabadi told FNA on Saturday.

He underlined Iran Air's preparedness to transfer more foodstuff and vegetable to Qatar upon the Arab country's demand.

Iran has rallied to Qatar’s aid, offering the Persian Gulf state the use of three of its ports to import supplies as its Arab neighbors seek to isolate the emirate.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Qatar’s foreign minister, said Doha would be able to import all the goods it needed. He described the de facto blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain as “collective punishment”.

“We have been isolated because we are successful and progressive. We are a platform for peace not terrorism,” Sheikh Mohammed told reporters.

Riyadh and its allies on Monday announced their move to isolate Qatar, accusing the Persian Gulf state of supporting terrorist groups and being too close to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.

Turkey also on Wednesday threw its weight behind Doha, fast-tracking plans to deploy extra Turkish troops to Qatar, potentially putting Ankara on a collision course with Riyadh.

Qatar, which hosts the US’s main military base in the Middle East, admits that it supports Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, the Palestinian faction. But it denies it backs terrorism.

The small nation imports virtually all its goods, but Sheikh Mohammed said that only 16 per cent of food supplies come into Qatar via the countries that have imposed the de facto blockade.

“It’s replaceable and has been replaced in one day,” he said. “They [Qataris] can survive at the same standard forever,” he said.

But he decried the humanitarian cost of Qatar’s neighbors’ actions, which has meant that Saudis, Emiratis and Bahrainis have to leave Qatar in two weeks. Qataris also have the same amount of time to leave those nations.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320001290

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Qatar, accused of supporting terrorism, hires ex-US attorney general

Reuters | Jun 10, 2017

WASHINGTON: The government of Qatar has hired John Ashcroft, the US attorney general during the September 11 attacks, as it seeks to rebut accusations from US President Donald Trump and its Arab neighbors that it supports terrorism.

Qatar will pay the Ashcroft Law Firm $2.5 million for a 90-day period as the country seeks to confirm its efforts to fight global terrorism and comply with financial regulations including US Treasury rules, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, filing on Friday with the Justice Department.

"The firm's work will include crisis response and management, program and system analysis, media outreach, education and advocacy regarding the client's historical, current and future efforts to combat global terror and its compliance goals and accomplishments," according to a letter by Ashcroft firm partner Michael Sullivan included in the filing.

Qatar faces isolation by fellow Arab countries after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt severed ties with Doha on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their adversary Iran. Qatar denies the allegations.

The crisis is a major diplomatic test for the United States, which is a close ally of countries on both sides but has given mixed signals on whether to isolate Qatar or bring it into talks with other Gulf countries.

Trump on Friday accused Qatar of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism in remarks made shortly after his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, pushed Qatar's Arab neighbors to "immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation."

The Ashcroft firm was hired to do a compliance and regulatory view of Qatar's anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing framework, Sullivan said in an email.

"Qatar is confident that the review and analysis will confirm that Qatar has significant measures in place to prevent and detect efforts to launder funds and/or to use its financial systems to finance terrorist organizations," he said.

Ashcroft was US attorney general under President George W Bush from February 2001 to February 2005, turbulent years in which U.S. policies and laws were reshaped by the so-called war on terrorism that followed the 2001 al Qaida attacks.

Ashcroft's firm includes an array of former senior government officials including Sullivan, a former US attorney in Massachusetts appointed by Bush to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/qatar-accused-of-supporting-terrorism-hires-ex-us-attorney-general/articleshow/59088067.cms

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North America

Fight breaks out between anti-fascism and anti-Sharia protesters as controversial marches across America are marred by violence

11 June 2017

It's unclear what specifically caused the altercation, and though it seemed to end quickly, fights broke out in other cities as well. 

March Against Sharia rallies were organized by ACT for America, an organization that says it is focused on fighting terrorism and promoting national security.

This year's rallies are expected to be the group's largest protest against Islam and took place in cities including Phoenix, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, New York, Boston and Seattle.

But many of the marches saw even larger counter-rallies.

Hundreds marched through downtown Seattle, banging drums, cymbals and cowbells behind a large sign saying 'Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors.'

A Trump supporter in New York holds up a sign during an anti-sharia law rally organized by ACT for America on June 10, 2017 at Foley Square   +31

A Muslim woman in New York gestures during a rally to support Muslims rights as a counter protest to an anti-sharia law rally organized by ACT for America on Saturday +31

ACT for America has become an increasingly vocal anti-Muslim activist group, and has organized protests across the United States. This protester, left, and counter-protester, right, demonstrated in New York

Participants chanted 'No hate, no fear, Muslims are welcome here' on their way to City Hall, while a phalanx of bicycle police officers separated them from an anti-Shariah rally numbering in the dozens.

Local activists even set up an 'Ask an American Muslim' booth where attendees could meet and learn about their Muslim neighbors.

In front of the Trump building in downtown Chicago, about 30 people demonstrated against Islamic law and in favor of President Donald Trump, shouting slogans and holding signs that read 'Ban Sharia' and 'Sharia abuses women'.

About twice as many counter-protesters marshaled across the street.

A man holds a placard as he participates in the anti-Sharia law protests in New York City

Counter-protesters sounded air-horns and banged pots and pans in an effort to silence an anti-Shariah rally with about 100 protesters in New York City Saturday

A similar scene played out in a park near a New York courthouse, where counter-protesters sounded air-horns and banged pots and pans in an effort to silence an anti-Shariah rally with about 100 protesters.

'The theme of today is drowning out racism,' counter-protester Tony Murphy said, standing next to demonstrators with colorful earplugs.

'The more racists get a platform, the more people get attacked.'

The groups verbally clashed with police officers standing between them. The marches were held in 18 states and are 'against Sharia law and for human rights', according to the ACT for America website.

But the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated ACT for America as an extremist, anti-Muslim hate group.

Protesters clash at March Against Sharia rally at Colorado Capitol

ACT for America says it condemns bias against religious groups and is 'proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with peaceful Western Muslims as well as peaceful Muslims worldwide'.

Yet many Muslims and others say the group promotes a distorted and prejudiced view of Islam.

'Many aspects of Sharia law run contrary to basic human rights and are completely incompatible with our laws and our democratic values,' the ACT for America website says.

Their activists portray Shariah as largely incompatible with American democracy and often warn of a stealth effort to replace US law with Islamic law.

Muslims call the claims ludicrous and say Islamic law plays a role similar to Jewish law, as a guide to religious life rooted in the Quran and scholars say there's little to no threat to US democracy from Islamic law.

'I don't believe Islam can peacefully co-exist with the Constitution,' said Seattle anti-Shariah demonstrator Aaron Bassford, 29.

'I'm not going to tell them they can come here and take away my Second Amendment right. We need unity in this country under no ideology and no banner except the Constitution of the United States of America.'

But the overwhelming majority of Muslims don't want to replace US law with Islamic law, known as Shariah, and only 'radical extremist groups' would call for that, said Liyakat Takim, a professor of Islamic studies at McMaster University in the Canadian city of Hamilton, Ontario.

Shariah, Takim said, refers to guidelines or principles - how Muslims should live.

'Fiqh' refers to jurisprudence, or specific laws. The values embedded in Shariah do not change and are shared among Muslims, he said, while fiqh is open to interpretation and change, and in fact differs among Islamic sects and communities.

'The Quran allows slavery, so does the Old Testament. That doesn't mean we allow it today, too,' Takim said. 'Laws are amenable to change.'

The marches come amid a rise in reports of anti-Muslim incidents in the US, including arson attacks and vandalism at mosques, harassment of women wearing Muslim head coverings and bullying of Muslim schoolchildren.

In St Paul, Minnesota, the demonstrations were mostly peaceful until some people leaving a rally inside the Capitol encountered counter-protesters outside.

A confrontation that included shoving and punching occurred, The Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota State Patrol separated the groups and appeared to make at least one arrest.

In California, small but raucous demonstrations were held in a handful of cities, including San Bernardino, where a husband and wife inspired by the Islamic State group killed 14 people and wounded 22 in a 2015 shooting attack.

Clusters of protesters and counter-protesters gathered on four corners of an intersection at a memorial to the slain. Anti-Islamic law demonstrators marched past the building where the shootings occurred.

Denise Zamora, 39, of Upland said the group wasn't opposed to all Muslims.

'We're anti-Shariah. We're anti-radicals,' she said.

'It's coming in very slowly, and a lot of the refugees are bringing that ideology here,' Zamora said of Shariah. 'All of it is just barbaric.'

No arrests were made at the San Bernardino rally, and there were no reports of violence, police spokeswoman Eileen Hards said.

But it was noisy, with groups chanting, yelling and waving American flags and posters proclaiming various causes.

'There's an anti-Trump, a pro-Trump, anti-extremists, so there are a variety of messages here,' Hards said.

'There are so many messages going on that I'm not sure who's who.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4592728/Fight-breaks-anti-Sharia-march-Seattle.html#ixzz4jfjbJrug

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On Day of Anti-Muslim Protests, North Texas Mosque Welcomes Public In to Learn About Islam

June 11, 2017

Should Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recuse herself from the Supreme Court decision about President Trump's travel ban, given that she made clear that she didn't like then candidate Trump?

Yes, she should recuse herself

On the same day anti-Islamic marches were held across the country, a North Texas mosque held an open house to educate people about their faith.

(Published 4 hours ago)

Cliburn Competitor Talks Performing for the Queen, Sir Elton John

Just as they do every week, the Islamic Association of Allen opened their doors to curious non-Muslims, wanting to ask questions about Islam.

“We wanted to show support to the Muslim community,” said Betheny Reid of Dallas.

She and her husband spent time speaking with Suhail Kausar, the president of the Dallas Muslim community chapter.

Reid did not know that earlier in the day, protesters and counter-protesters squared off at the Mosque in Richardson.

Driver in Custody After Chase Ends in Fiery Crash, Standoff

“We say: love for all, hatred for none,” said Kausar.

Kaurar says protests against Sharia, Islam or Muslims makes their weekly outreach programs all the more important.

“People when they are protesting probably do not know what the real Islamic teaching is,” he said.

Rick Loessberg people often fear the unknown.

“As we discovered we have far more in common than we give ourselves credit for and we seem to concentrate with the differences rather than the similarities,” he said.

“The other thing I took away from it was something very simple about treat others how you want to be treated,” said Reid. “They’re very much a part of the community. They love being part of this community. They love being Americans.”

The Mosque in Allen is hosting an inter-faith event next weekend and welcomes the public to attend.

Source: On Day of Anti-Muslim Protests, North Texas Mosque Welcomes Public In to Learn About Islam | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/On-Day-of-Anti-Muslim-Protests-North-Texas-Mosque-Welcomes-Public-In-to-Learn-About-Islam-427719993.html#ixzz4jfpp3PvX

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/On-Day-of-Anti-Muslim-Protests-North-Texas-Mosque-Welcomes-Public-In-to-Learn-About-Islam-427719993.html

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Washington, Moscow Agree on Syrian Forces' Control over Borders with Iraq

 

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Arabic-language media sources reported that the US and Russia have concluded an agreement that ensures the Syrian Army troops' control over its borders with Iraq.

Al-Hadath news website reported that based on an agreement between the White House and Kremlin control over the Syria's border with Iraq, specially al-Tanf region will be delivered to the Syrian forces.

Based on the reports, the US forces' attacks on the Syrian Army's positions in the border regions have been carried out to estimate the Syrian forces' firm will to regain control over its border with Iraq, mainly al-Tanf border-crossing.

In the meantime, al-Hadath quoted some sources as saying that based on the American-Russian agreement the Syrian Army is allowed to advance in the border regions along with its popular allies provided that they do not merge with the Iraqi popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi.

Based on the agreement, there must not be any confrontation between Hashd al-Shaabi and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) or between the Syrian Army troops and the SDF.

Reports said on Monday that a terrorist group affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) set up a new base with the US-led coalition forces' support Northeast of al-Tanf military base in Southern Syria.

Mohanad al-Talla'a, the commander of FSA-affiliated Jeish al-Maqawir, said that the new base was set up in al-Zakaf region 60km Northeast of al-Tanf base and with 130km distance to the town of Albu Kamal in Eastern Deir Ezzur.

He claimed that the new base was established to train fighters round the clock to fight ISIL.

Al-Talla'a added that the base which was established with the back up of the US-led coalition would be used for the launch of small and mid-size operations in Syria's Badiyeh (desert).

Another source in Jeish al-Maqawir reported that a large volume of arms and ammunition and a large number of militants affiliated to terrorist groups and the coalition were deployed at the base. 

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320001265

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Muslims In Jamaica United Against Violence

Mark Wignall

June 10, 2017

Sheikh Musa Tijani, director and head of education for the Islamic Council of Jamaica.

My first link was with Tim, a 30-something ardent adherent to Islam. "I am certain that if you speak with the leadership, they will tell you the same thing. The Qu'ran expressly condemns the killing of innocents. The killing of even one is seen as the killing of all. It is reprehensible and it is never to be condoned."

Although the Muslim community in Jamaica is small, at an estimated 6,000, what separates it from Christians is its lack of a denominational structure, like, say, Anglican, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc., there are no Sunni or Shi'a Muslims attending the various Masjids throughout Jamaica. Just Muslims.

On Thursday, as I made the link with Sheikh Musa Tijani at the Islamic Council, he repeated what Tim had told me. "Muslims in Jamaica are very united, but especially so in our view of violence and killings. We are guided by the Qu'ran, which states the killing of an innocent is like the killing of all humanity."

He was responding to my questioning about the recent terror attacks in London and Iran. "Apart from the teachings of the Koran, the Muslim community meets regularly and we ensure that the typical Muslim is an educated Muslim. They have duties to each other and to the community and we do not subscribe to any sectarian poses. They are simply Jamaican Muslims."

Unlike, say, the Mormons in Jamaica, who are always active in recruitment, one gets the sense that it is personal, one-on-one conversations that lead to new members eventually becoming regular mosque-going Muslims.

There exists a clash of views as to what motivated the birth and the rise of ISIS. Many in the Western world would prefer to sweep under the carpet the reality of 'the coalition of the willing' boots on the ground in the Iraqi invasion that began in 2003.

A recent article in the Guardian lays out its view as to what ISIS is.

'ISIS adheres to a puritanical Sunni strain of Islam and considers Shi'as apostates. While it has carried out many attacks in Iraq, it has been unable to strike inside Iran itself, a Shia state.

Extremist Sunni militants have often stated their intention to attack Iran, portraying it as an imperialistic power that is oppressing Sunnis around the region. However, they have very rarely been able to carry out major operations inside the country.

'The attack comes at a time of great regional tension, with Iran and its regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia trading accusations of sponsoring terrorism. The coordinated assault will further stoke those tensions."

PNP Didn't Need This Now

It is usual that at a political divisional office such as the one in Greenwich Town, where divisional secretary Maxine Simpson was recently shot dead and Councillor Karl Blake injured, interlopers would never be a significant concern.

My sympathies go out to the relatives and friends of Ms Simpson, and the entire nation is rooting for a full and speedy recovery on the part of Councillor Blake.

In the years prior to 2006 when I would have hours of telephone time to chat with Portia, she would relate to me, in similar fashion to many other MPs, the reality of attending one's constituency office. "Sometimes, if I was not careful," the soon-to-be-PM said to me, "I would spend all of my pay as an MP at just one visit."

She pointed out to me that people were showing up with school fee bills, some telling her that their roofs leaked so bad during rain, they were better off staying outside. They were looking for a few sheets of zinc. She told me about a man who sat in her office and lifted up his leg to show her the state of his shoes. It was all uppers and there was no sole.

At JLP offices, it is all JLP, totally unfiltered. At PNP offices, it is strictly PNP, and there is no space for any other argument.

The point I am making is that at constituency and divisional offices, the cream that rises to the top in political fanaticism hangs out at those places. All of the street elements that the politician does not want the public to know he or she associates with are usually there.

It is a gathering for the good, the bad, and the ugly - especially the latter two.

I am certain that by now, the police will have figured out who was the direct target and what generated the shooting. It could turn out that it is political - as many believe it is. Or very definitely not so.

What cannot be allowed to happen in this time of murders running rampant as they have always been in modern Jamaica is a return to that dangerous intersection with our politics - where it all began.

Opposition Leader Peter Phillips is obviously not a man to be envied at this time. The extent to which he has been trying to mend the factionalism will not be helped by this tragic shooting incident.

Portia Not Going Anywhere

It matters little that aspirants for Portia Simpson Miller's safest PNP seat in the island are champing at the bit as they draw into their minds her hasty exit, especially when it is thought that politics is Portia's life.

What do they want her to do? To retire and go home and for the first time in her long years in politics become a footnote? That will not be happening soon, so my message to them is this: Lie low and wait, and wait ... . And wait.

Having been stung by the political taint of a loss in February 2016 and findings that her refusal to debate in the election campaign was a big factor in the PNP's loss, there is just no way that anyone is going to get Portia to crawl away and hug up a rocking chair.

What do they want her to do? Go home and watch reruns of her speeches? Won't happen. Some of us know, but not many of us are willing to state what we know, about her massive win in 1976 when the PNP secured the biggest ever win in Jamaican politics, and in Portia's South West St Andrew constituency, the turnout was in excess of 100 per cent.

I first heard Colin Campbell's name associated with South St Andrew as replacement for Dr Omar Davies, the failed finance minister of the 1990s. When Mark Golding swatted that brief flirtation away, I heard that Campbell had his eyes on Portia's seat.

Poor Colin. Had he not suffered enough during the botched shady Trafigura arrangements? Then I heard ex-Kingston mayor, Angela Brown Burke, was interested in Portia's seat.

What is it with these politicians? Do they not wish anymore to compete? To share their ideas on a loud political platform and to give voters a chance to make a decision?

No, that would be too inefficient. Better to walk into a seat that has been brainwashed for the last 40-plus years into hating anything named JLP and to embracing anyone just so long as they represent the orange of the PNP. So Portia, for what it is worth, this is my advice to you. As long as you still enjoy reasonably good health, continue to attend Parliament and make them wait. And wait.

If the aspirants are worth more than their weight in gold, they must put themselves on the open market and be prepared to compete in any of the 63 seats. In a selection first, then election. Retirement is not all that it is made out to be. Boredom and a sense of worthlessness set in quite early, and those factors do not make for a good heart, a good system. Soldier on, Portia!

• Mark Wignall is a political and public-affairs analyst. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and observemark@gmail.com.

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/focus/20170610/mark-wignall-muslims-jamaica-united-against-violence

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Muslims have a unique responsibility in fighting terror

FETHULLAH GULEN   6/11/17

Members of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community join others as they lay flowers during a vigil at Potters Fields Park in London to commemorate the victims of the terror attack on London Bridge and at Borough Market | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

SAYLORSBURG, Pennsylvania — The brutal, deadly attacks in London and Manchester on innocent civilians are the latest in a series of senseless violent acts carried out by the so-called Islamic State, a group that deserves no designation other than the world’s most inhuman criminal network.

In response to this threat, the world’s Muslims can and should help intelligence and security communities ward off future attacks and eliminate the lifelines of this menace.

From its founding amid the ashes of Al Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS has dealt in deception as well as death. Despite its name, ISIS represents a perversion of Islam. The group’s dress, flags and slogans cannot hide their abhorrent betrayal of the spirit of this major world faith.

Denying this barbaric group a geographical base that emboldens them to claim statehood — an essential element of their propaganda to potential recruits — is a worthwhile goal that all Muslims should support. But the challenge isn’t only military.

ISIS, and other groups like it, recruits alienated Muslim youth by offering them a false sense of purpose and belonging in the service of a totalitarian ideology.

Countering that appeal will include religious, political, psycho-social and economic efforts. It will require that local communities and government institutions address structural issues such as discrimination and exclusion.

Self-examination is an Islamic ethic. There are actions we can take, as Muslim parents, teachers, community leaders and imams, to help our youth protect themselves.

International organizations must protect citizens against violent persecution of the kind we witnessed in Syria and assist with transitions to democratic governance. Western governments, too, have a responsibility to adopt a more ethical and consistent foreign policy.

Muslim citizens and organizations can and should be part of these broader efforts, but we also have a unique role and responsibility in this fight.

Across the world, Muslims need to strengthen the immune system of our communities, especially our youth, against violent extremism. We must ask: How did our communities become grounds for terrorist recruitment? Yes, external factors must be addressed, but we must also look within.

Self-examination is an Islamic ethic. There are actions we can take, as Muslim parents, teachers, community leaders and imams, to help our youth protect themselves. We must defeat these murderous extremists in the battlefield of ideas.

A common fallacy of violent extremist ideologues is to decontextualize the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet (peace be upon him) and misinterpret them to serve their pre-determined goals. These ideologues turn snapshots from his or his companions’ lives into instruments to justify a criminal act.

London attack death toll raised to 8 after police find body in Thames

The antidote is a religious education program that teaches the tradition in a holistic and contextualized way. To be able to resist the deceits of radical ideologues, young Muslims must understand the spirit of their scripture and the overarching principles of their Prophet’s life. We need to teach our youth the full story of how the Prophet moved his society from savagery into ethical norms shared by Abrahamic faiths.

A holistic religious education should start with a commitment to the dignity of every person as a unique creation of God, regardless of faith. When God says “We have honored the children of Adam” (Quran, 17:70), all humanity is honored. The Quran describes taking the life of even one innocent person as a crime against all humanity (Quran, 5:32). Even in a legitimate defensive war, the Prophet’s teachings specifically prohibit violence against any noncombatants, especially women, children and clergy. The belief that one can enter paradise by killing others is a delusion.

Violent extremists also commit another major fallacy: transplanting into the 21st century religious verdicts from the Middle Ages, in which political rivalries were often confused with religious differences. Today, Muslims have the freedom to practice their religion in democratic, secular countries.

The values of participatory governments align with core Muslim ideals of social justice, the rule of law, collective decision-making and equality. Muslims can and do live as contributing citizens of democracies around the world.

Proactively, we must develop positive ways to satisfy the social needs of our youth. Youth groups should be encouraged to volunteer in humanitarian relief projects to help victims of disasters and violent conflicts. In teaching them to help others, we will give them the tools to empower themselves and feel that they are part of something meaningful. We also have a duty to help the youth engage in dialogue with members of other faiths to help nurture mutual understanding and respect. As Muslims, we are not just members of a faith community, but of the human family.

Being part of the worldwide effort to help stop violent religious radicals from repeating the London and Manchester cruelties elsewhere is both a human and religious responsibility.

Since the 1970s, the participants in the social movement Hizmet — the Turkish word for service — have founded more than 1,000 modern secular schools, free tutoring centers, colleges, hospitals and humanitarian relief organizations in more than 150 countries. By facilitating the involvement of young students and professionals as service providers, mentors, tutors and helpers, these institutions and their social networks foster a sense of identity, belonging, meaning and empowerment that constitute an antidote to the false promises of violent extremists.

Indeed, the best way to proactively protect our youth is to provide them with a positive counter-narrative. By offering opportunities for language learning and cultural exchanges, these kinds of institutions nurture a pluralistic outlook, critical thinking and empathy.

As part of their daily rituals, practising Muslims pray for God to keep them “on the straight path.” Today, the straight path means examining our understanding of the core values of our faith, how we embody those values in our daily lives and strengthening our youth’s resistance to influences that contradict those values.

Being part of the worldwide effort to help stop violent religious radicals from repeating the London and Manchester cruelties elsewhere is both a human and religious responsibility.

Fethullah Gülen is an Islamic scholar, preacher and social advocate.

http://www.politico.eu/article/muslims-unique-responsibility-in-fighting-terror-london-attack-fethullah-gulen/

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India

300 fasting Muslims to take part in Narendra Modi's International Yoga Day event in Lucknow

Jun, 11 2017

#Indian muslims#International yoga day#Muslims#Narendra modi#Newstracker#Pm modi#Pm narendra modi#Ramdan#Ramzan#Roza

Lucknow: At this year's International Yoga Day event in Lucknow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have for company scores of roza-observing Muslims who will be performing various asanas.

Narendra Modi performs yoga with others to mark the International Day of Yoga, in New Delhi, June 21, 2015. ReutersNarendra Modi performs yoga with others to mark the International Day of Yoga, in New Delhi, June 21, 2015 (representational photo). Reuters

At least 300 Muslim men and women under the banner of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch will be among the 55,000-strong participants at the Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan.

"More than 1,000 Muslims had contacted us about participating in the International Yoga Day celebrations, but at least 300 have confirmed their participation. Most of the participants will be observing roza, while performing yoga.

"In fact most of them are likely to arrive to the programme venue after Sehri (pre-dawn meal)," Mahiraj Dhwaj Singh, national co-convenor (organisation) of Muslim Rashtriya Manch for UP and Uttarakhand, told PTI.

Azam Khan, the national president of Shriram Mandir Nirman Muslim Karsevak Manch, will also be performing yoga while fasting.

"I will be participating in the third International Yoga Day celebrations and performing various yoga asanas (postures)," he said.

Singh said a request seeking a separate area for the Muslims participants will be made to the organisers.

Mohsin Raza, minister of state for Muslim Waqf and Haj, when contacted, said, "I will also participate and perform yoga while observing roza. Both yoga and roza are good for one's health."

Raees Khan, the UP and Uttarakhand in-charge of Muslim Rashtriya Manch, informed that the manch is trying to ensure attendance of at least 1,000 Muslim yoga enthusiasts at Modi's programme.

"So far 300 have already confirmed their participation. Most of the participants will be rozadars. Since 15 days, the participants have been practicing different aasans and postures," he said.

Member of UP unit of BJP Iqbal Haidar, who also heads a brotherhood committee of Muslims and had pledged to build Ram temple in Ayodhya, said, "I will be fasting, but at the same time participate in the Yoga Day celebrations. Yoga and roza are two different entities, and there should be no confusion in this regard. There should also be no difficulty or restriction on the participation of a rozedar in yoga programmes."

For convenience of ordinary citizens, LED screens will be installed at different parks in Lucknow, so that visitors could also participate simultaneously. Directions have already been issued to hold a 28-day workshop for the participants prior to the International Yoga Day.

The main programme would be the mass yoga demonstration from 7.00 am to 8.00 am, which will adhere to Common Yoga Protocol. Other events would include yoga fests, seminars, workshops, musical and cultural programmes.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/300-fasting-muslims-to-take-part-in-narendra-modis-international-yoga-day-event-in-lucknow-3540757.html

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For Army’s newest officers from J&K, Lt Umar brings both hope and dread

Yeshika Budhwar | TNN | Updated: Jun 11, 2017

DEHRADUN: Lt Umar Fayaz would have been happy today. Eleven boys from his beloved Jammu & Kashmir have become proud officers of the Indian Army, graduating from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun on Saturday along with 479 others.

Fayaz, just 23 and commissioned into the Army in 2016, was killed on May 9 in Shopian, south Kashmir, after terrorists abducted him from the wedding of a cousin he had gone to attend. He was on leave at that time, unarmed and unprepared.

The memory of Fayaz hung heavy as the J&K boys talked, between pensive sighs and happy hoots, about home and hope, anxieties and aspiration - a mesh of conflicting emotions the slain man triggered in them.

All the 11 knew him. He was their senior, a role model. His death had shaken all of them. "When I heard about Fayaz's death, I felt terrible but it only strengthened my resolve to take down the terrorists," Ashutosh Banthia, a Kashmiri Pandit whose family is currently settled outside the state, said. I wanted to get posted in the Valley. Fortunately, that wish has come true. I will be joining an artillery regiment which is presently in Kashmir," said Ashutosh Banthia, a Kashmiri Pandit, who was commissioned into the Army on Saturday.

The mention of Fayaz brings back a rush of memories to the young men. "He was soft-spoken, very jovial. Being my immediate senior and from the same region, we formed a bond quickly and it deepened because we were together in the National Defence Academy as well," said Mohammad Salman, a Ladakh native who has now been commissioned into the Corps of Army Aviation.

Shah Nawaz, who comes from Doda, said he had been "fascinated by the military uniform" ever since he was a child. His beaming father, Mohammad Ashraf, who runs a small eatery in that town, said: "After the Umar Fayaz incident, I am concerned about my son's safety, but at the same time very proud of his achievement. I am sure that their success will motivate more youngsters from J&K to join the Army. I hope my other sons will follow in the footsteps of Nawaz and Umar." Nawaz has opted for the artillery regiment.

"I am itching to be a part of the action in the Valley," Nawaz said as the hands of his batchmates patted his back. "Fayaz's death left a deep impact on me since I knew him well. I do not fear for my safety. However I do hope that no harm comes to my family because of my career choice. The young in Kashmir can improve the situation there and I want to inspire more to join the forces. It is just lack of opportunity which has disillusioned them."

But if the bravado is obvious, fear, too, lurks close by. One of the cadets, from Anantnag, refused to be identified. "No one in my village knows that I have joined the Army," he said. "I don't even plan to tell them. In fact, the situation is such that I have not taken leave to go home as most of my course mates are doing. I will be instead joining my regiment immediately. My family doesn't want me to disclose my profession to anyone back home."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/for-armys-newest-officers-from-jk-lt-umar-brings-both-hope-and-dread/articleshow/59087049.cms

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Army using 'wall radars' to catch terrorists hiding in houses

Surendra Singh | TNN | Updated: Jun 11, 2017

NEW DELHI: With an aim to detect terrorists who hide behind walls or in houses in Kashmir, the Army has started using "through the wall" radars to catch jihadis during counter-insurgency operations in the Valley. "A few such radar systems have already been imported from the United States and Israel," a top source in the Army said.

The radar is being used to help the security forces pinpoint the location of terrorists, who hide behind specially created walls or in underground cavities in houses during combing operations. "Some Army formations have started using these imported radar systems in Kashmir," the source said.

The need for such hi-tech radars was felt after the security forces and J&K police failed to locate terrorists during combing operations despite specific intelligence about the presence of jihadis in the area. In circumstances where troops were unable to trace terrorists in densely populated areas despite a credible tip-off, they faced hostile crowds and stone-pelters.

Last year on July 8, terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen's poster boy Burhan Wani was gunned down only after a search party made three rounds of their hideout in a village in south Kashmir's Anantnag district. Despite a specific intelligence tipoff, the search team, it is learnt, entered the house twice but were unable to find any terrorists, who were hiding in a false ceiling. During the third round of searches, the hiding terrorists came out in the open by firing at the search party. It was only after that the three men, including Wani, were shot dead. The killing later led to unrest in the Valley.

The microwave radiation from these radar systems can detect the presence of terrorists hiding behind walls or any such concrete barriers.

Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE), the Bengaluru-based laboratory of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), has also been working on such hand-held radars. The project started especially after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. During the 26/11 strike, commandos were attacked when they were looking for terrorists hiding in rooms of the Taj Mahal hotel. The DRDO laboratory has developed two types of portable radars — hand-held and tripod-mounted — under the 'Divyachakshu' (divine eye) project to help security forces in such operations.

"These DRDO-developed hand-held imaging radars work on microwave radiation and are capable of scanning through walls. A multiple frequency beam from the device scans an area and gets reflected from a person hiding behind walls and this reflected wave is then detected by an analyser of the computing device integrated with the radar. These hand-held radars can produce images from the other side of the barrier up to a distance of 20 metre," said Ravi Gupta, former director (public interface), DRDO.

"Tripod-mounted radars have longer range (40 metre) than those of hand-held radars but are slightly difficult to carry. Currently, user trial of these radars is going on," says Gupta. "Such radars can be used by security forces and police personnel who are involved in low-intensity conflicts," he says.

Once ready for induction, the DRDO radar will cost just 35 lakh whereas the imported ones cost Rs 2 crore each.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/army-using-through-the-wall-radars-to-trace-holed-up-terrorists/articleshow/59089548.cms

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India's progress will be incomplete until J&K is taken out of miseries: Mehbooba Mufti

PTI | Jun 10, 2017

JAMMU: The country's progress will be incomplete until Jammu and Kashmir is taken out of its "miseries" and "uncertainties", Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday.

She hoped that the country's "strong leadership", an apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would be able to take the people of the state out of the difficult situation.

"The growth and progress of the country remains incomplete if effective steps are not taken to get Jammu and Kashmir out of the quagmire of uncertainties and miseries," Mehbooba said here.

Addressing a gathering at Doda after laying the foundation stone of a Medical College, the Chief Minister said the basic idea behind stitching the alliance between the PDP and the BJP in the state was to get it out of its perennial miseries and challenges.

She expressed hope that the country's leadership would be able give the youth of the state a prosperous, peaceful and vibrant future.

Mehbooba thanked the Centre for supporting the state government in terms of fund flow and other initiatives.

She said with the coming up of new Medical Colleges and two AIIMS, the healthcare facilities in the state would get a phenomenal upgradation and sophistication.

Not only would the number of doctors in the state increase, the people of the state would also get specialized treatments and care at these hospitals, Mehbooba said.

Complimenting the people of the area, the Chief Minister said her government would ensure that every area which could not be represented in the developmental pace of the state in the past is included in future.

Earlier, speaking at a similar function after laying the foundation of another medical college at Kathua, the Chief Minister directed completion of all works within two years so that these colleges are operationalised at the earliest.

She also directed incorporation of latest designs in the constructions.

Speaking on these occasions, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda said the setting up of these five medical colleges and two AIIMS would add up 700 MBBS seats to state's kitty taking it to 1000, one among the highest in the country.

The Union minister said healthcare in the state is getting a major push with the setting up of three tertiary cancer centres at Kupwara, Kishtwar and Udhampur and two state cancer institutes. He pledged all support from his Ministry to the State Government in this regard.

Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh, in his address, enumerated several major initiatives taken by both the central and the state governments for the progress and development of the state. He also assured full support from the Centre towards the development of the state.

Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the present government has put special emphasis on the development and growth of areas which have remained away from the focus of successive governments.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/indias-progress-will-be-incomplete-until-jk-is-taken-out-of-miseries-mehbooba-mufti/articleshow/59088063.cms

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Qatar crisis: India favours constructive dialogue

PTI | Jun 10, 2017

NEW DELHI: Asserting that it has "vital stakes" in peace and stability in the Gulf, India on Saturday asked countries in the region to resolve the Qatar crisis through constructive dialogue and well-established international principles of mutual respect.

External affairs ministry said India is closely following the emerging situation in the region in the wake of the recent decision by Saudi Arabia and some other countries to break diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain announced on Monday they were cutting diplomatic ties and closing all connectivity links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism. The charge has been denied by Doha.

"India has time-tested friendly relations with GCC countries. With over eight million Indian expatriates living and working in these countries, we have vital stakes in the regional peace and stability," the ministry said in a release.

In this context, the government is closely monitoring the situation and is also in regular contact with the regional countries. Their authorities have assured the government continued support for welfare and well-being of the resident Indian communities, it added.

"We are of the view that all parties should resolve their differences through a process of constructive dialogue and peaceful negotiations based on well-established international principles of mutual respect, sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries," it said.

India believes that peace and security in the Gulf are of paramount importance for the continued progress and prosperity of the countries in the region.

International terrorism, violent extremism and religious intolerance pose grave threat not only to regional stability but also to global peace and order and must be confronted by all countries in a coordinated and comprehensive manner, the ministry said.

It asked Indian expatriates in the region to contact the Indian Embassy or Consulate concerned should they require assistance or advise consequent to the developing situation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/qatar-crisis-india-favours-constructive-dialogue/articleshow/59084917.cms

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J&K's youth 'being instigated by a misinformation campaign on social media,' says Army chief

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Jun 10, 2017

NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir's youth "are being instigated by a misinformation campaign on social media" said Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday, news agencies reported.

"Security forces have to devise ways to counter this", he said while addressing cadets at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, on the occasion of the 'passing out parade', reported PTI.

"If we have modern technology it should be used properly, that way the public won't face so many hardships and we can become more capable too," the Army chief said, according to ANI.

General Rawat also said terrorism is the biggest challenge the country is facing. He urged the cadets to be ready to deal with "the scourge".

The Army chief's comments come two days after he said social media is being used by Pakistan to create unrest in Kashmir.

"Pakistan is spreading disinformation among the youth of Kashmir with doctored videos and messages. This is further supported by some of the people in the valley who spread it and glamorize the young boys who have joined terrorist organisations," Rawat said on Thursday, according to PTI

Women in combat

In his address Saturday, General Rawat also talked about the induction of women in combat roles in the Army.

He said it's important to have women in combat roles in the Army even in rank and file positions, reported ANI.

"Because many times during Army operations we have to deal with the public face to face, and many times women are right there in front of us," said Rawat to reporters in Dehradun, after attending a 'passing out parade' at the Indian Military Academy.

General Rawat was speaking in the context of the induction of women in combat roles in the Army, something the institution was ready for, he told PTI earlier this week. Today, he reiterated that women will first be put in these roles as military police.

"Firstly, we will start with women as military police jawans, will take next step after success there," he said.

Military police supervise army cantonments and establishments, prevent the breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintain the movement of soldiers and monitor logistics during war and peace, handle prisoners of war and extend aid to civil police when required.

Not a whole lot of countries have allowed women in combat roles in the Army. Among those who have are Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Norway, Sweden and the United States.

Last year, the Indian Air Force inducted three women+ as fighter pilots, less than a year after the government decided to open these roles for women on an experimental basis.

The Indian Navy is deliberating on whether to have women officers on board ships+ . The Navy allows women in legal, logistics, naval architecture and engineering departments.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/we-need-women-in-combat-roles-in-rank-and-file-positions-too-says-army-chief-bipin-rawat/articleshow/59081078.cms

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Europe

How to celebrate Eid al-Fitr 2017 in the UK when Muslims mark the end of Ramadan

11/06/17

See how you can mark the Muslim festival of Eid around the UK and what the festival represents

Bangladeshi Muslims offer prayers as they kick off the Eid al-Fitr celebrations

A record-breaking 60,000 Muslims turned up in a Birmingham park to mark the end of Ramadan 2015 (Photo: Getty)

Saturday 27th May marked the first day of Ramadan 2017, when Muslim followers around the world began the countdown to 'breaking the fast', better known as Eid al-fitr.

There are almost three million Muslims in the UK, and since midnight on May 27 they've been observing the spiritual month of Ramadan - a 30-day fast which sees worshippers partake in extra prayers in the name of Allah.

The fast will be broken on the morning of June 25 - the start of Eid, with worshippers gathering in local mosques or open-air locations for special prayers called Salat al-Eid, before eating their first daylight meal in a month.

Their prayers thank Allah for the strength, the will and the endurance he's offered to them during Ramadan. Followed by the exchange of gifts, food and family prayers.

This year, a host of cities around the UK will be marking the joyous festival with celebrations, including fireworks, delicious foods and Arabic arts - in London a huge event will be held in Trafalgar Square on 2 July.

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3 men detained after emergency landing over ‘terrorist matters’ chatter on London-bound plane

Published time: 11 Jun, 2017

German police have arrested three passengers for allegedly discussing “terrorist matters,” on an easyJet flight from Slovenia to the UK. The flight from Ljubljana to London Stansted airport was forced to land in Cologne over security concerns.

“EasyJet can confirm that flight EZY3246 from Ljubljana to London Stansted diverted to Cologne today,” the airline said in a statement according to ITV news.

The incident happened mid-flight, when passengers allegedly overheard the three men having a “suspicious conversation” discussing terrorism-related issues, using the words “bomb” and “explosive.” They immediately alerted the crew.

The captain then made the decision to divert the Airbus 319 to Germany as a “precautionary” measure, so that the aircraft and passengers could undergo additional security checks.

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EasyJet flight #U23246 from Ljubljana to London diverted to Cologne earlier and was evacuated upon landing due to a suspicious conversation.

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On arrival at Cologne-Bonn airport at about 6:30pm on Saturday, all 151 passengers on board were evacuated via the emergency slides where they were met by police.

“The three suspects were arrested,” Cologne police said in a statement. A backpack belonging to one of the men was seized and later destroyed in a controlled explosion police said, according to Reuters.

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#Easyjet #U23246 Ljubljana to London div to Cologne due 'bomb threat; not leaving till tomorrow

All 151 evacuated, Airport was closed

4:14 AM - 11 Jun 2017

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The incident forced Cologne airport to suspend operations for three hours. Ten flights were diverted to other air hubs in the area as a result.

A passenger traveling on board easyJet flight told Sky News that at around 3am local time Sunday, the passengers were still grounded.

“We plan to operate the flight tomorrow morning and so are providing all passengers with hotel accommodation and refreshments along with regular updates,” easyJet said.

https://www.rt.com/news/391827-terrorist-talk-emergency-landing/

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On the UK terror spree: We need to talk about Islam

11/06/17

Rather than labelling Islam's critics as racist, we need an honest conversation about Islam.

It's a strange time to be alive. We live in a world that flies into self-righteous fury when a Jew builds a conservatory in his indigenous homeland, only to decline back into idleness when the footsoldiers of Allah slaughter men, women and children. In the UK there have been two major terrorist attacks in as many weeks, plus the Westminster attack in March. That's 36 innocent people dead, and 217 injured, many critically. The response? A concert, balloons, candles, hashtags, expressions of love, and lots of waffle about Islamophobia.

The rush to reassure Muslims that they are "loved" now forms a major part of the post-attack ritual. Also part of the ritual is the eagerness to protect Islam from criticism. Indeed, political leaders and the media go to extraordinary lengths to avoid offending Muslims in the wake of each terrorist atrocity. As Brendan O'Neill, editor of Spiked magazine, rightly points out, this "censorious privilege" is very dangerous, because it encourages Muslims to become intolerant. "You license their intolerance. You inflame their violent contempt for anyone who questions their dogmas. You provide a moral justification for their desire to punish those who insult their religion."

Just as one might say about the Cold War that we knew how to make distinctions between what worked (democracy, capitalism) and what didn’t (totalitarianism, communism), the present age does not make distinctions at all: there is no difference anymore, it seems, between the massacred Manchester concert-goer and the terrorist who carried out the atrocity. Why do I say this? Because liberals argue that the terrorist is also a victim – a victim of borders, of capitalism, of the prison system, of colonialism, of global warming, a victim of everything except the ideology of Islam. This is censorious in the extreme. And we have allowed this daft narrative to take hold because we have collectively given Islam a free pass.

We need honest conversations about Islam, censorship, and so-called Islamophobia.

In what is shaping up to be the ideological war of the 21st century, we need to accept that there is a serious problem with intolerant Islamic beliefs about non-believers, martyrdom, jihad, sharia law, sexuality and the ummah. We also need to ask why so many criminals are drawn to Islam (especially in prison). More needs to be done to tackle non-violent Muslim fundamentalists who legitimize, excuse and passively allow jihadi extremism. For example, a recent opinion poll of British Muslims found that a mere 34 per cent said they would report to the police anybody they thought was involved with jihadi extremism. And we must not overlook university campuses, which are breeding-grounds for extremism and anti-Semitism. Indeed, universities that turn a blind eye to extremism (or worse still, actively promote such behaviour) must be called to account.

Of course, not all Muslims are extremists (this is a politically-correct cliche we trot out after every terrorist attack) but this does not mean that the religion of Islam itself is unproblematic. Far from it. Most people accept this fact; it's just that the media won't allow them to say it. Suppressing criticism of Islam and Islamic beliefs is not only very bad for democracy, it is a gift to the Far Right, which capitalizes on people’s frustration with the political system and thrives on the message that politicians and lawmakers do not speak for (or even care about) the majority.

Rather than labelling Islam's critics as racist, we need honest conversations about Islam, censorship, and so-called Islamophobia. Such conversations may be embarrassing (for some), and they will no doubt expose some very unsavory truths about the doctrines, ideology and history of Islam. But we need to get this sorted if we are to avoid decades of terrorist attacks. Turning the other cheek in the face of Islamist malice may make liberals and the snowflake generation feel good about themselves, but in actuality it is a kind of enslavement – the enslavement of non-Muslims by religious extremists who think non-believers are whores, apes and pigs, or even worse, sub-human and deserving of death.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/20618

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‘There is danger this conflict could become war’: German FM on Gulf crisis

10 Jun, 2017

The recent diplomatic fracture among some of the biggest Arab nations is so "dramatic," it could spiral into a war, Germany's foreign minister has warned in an interview with local media.

Sigmar Gabriel described the ongoing crisis in the Arab world as being "dramatic,” while speaking exclusively to the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung.

The isolation of Doha by such key players as Saudi Arabia and its allies present "a danger that this conflict could become a war," Gabriel, who is also Germany's vice-chancellor, warned.

However, citing his "personal talks" with officials from several states, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, as well as with counterparts from Iran and Kuwait, Gabriel said that although "the situation is serious," he believes "there are good chances to go ahead" in trying to prevent further escalation.

On Friday, Berlin made calls for greater diplomatic efforts to restore relations between allied and neighboring countries in the Gulf. Any escalation into violence must be avoided, and the blockade of Qatar lifted, Germany’s foreign minister said.

"Along with our American colleagues, but above all our colleagues in the region, we must try to find solutions, especially lifting the sea and air blockades," Gabriel told reporters in Germany, as quoted by Reuters.

Gabriel's spokesman, Martin Schaefer has also urged Iran – who Qatar is now being castigated for cozying up to – not to make any move that could exacerbate the crisis.

"It is important that nothing is done on the other side of the Gulf... to pour oil on the fire," Reuters cited him as telling a news conference in Berlin.

Although Berlin has no intentions of becoming a key mediator in the crisis, it will make efforts to promote dialogue between the parties involved, the German official added.

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This week, the Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, visited a number of countries, expressing Doha's stance on the rapidly developing crisis.

While in Germany, al-Thani described the situation as "collective punishment" from its former partners in the region, saying that their blockade of Doha is a "clear violation of international law and international humanitarian law."

"They will not have a positive impact on the region, but a negative one," the Qatari official said following his meeting with Gabriel, Reuters reported.

https://www.rt.com/news/391822-germany-qatar-crisis-gabriel-war/

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel says walls don't solve immigration problems

Reuters | Jun 10, 2017, 10.26 PM IST

MEXICO CITY: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that putting up walls will not solve problems that countries are seeing due to immigration.

Speaking in Mexico City alongside Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Merkel said the history showed only when empires have gotten on well with their neighbors have migration pressures been resolved in a way that ensured stability.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/german-chancellor-angela-merkel-says-walls-dont-solve-immigration-problems/articleshow/59087756.cms

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South Asia

Taliban’s mine factory hit by airstrikes in Helmand, leaving 8 IED experts dead

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 11 2017

A factory of the Taliban insurgents producing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) was targeted in airstrikes in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, leaving at eight insurgents dead.

According to the local government officials, the airstrike was carried out in the past 24 hours in the vicinity of Nahr-e-Saraj district.

The officials further added that the factory was totally destroyed in the airstrike and those killed in the airstrikes were the group’s expert in producing IEDs.

The Taliban insurgents frequently use IEDs as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces and government officials but in majority of such incidents the ordinary civilians are targeted.

The airstrike on Taliban factory was carried out amid ongoing counter-terrorism operations against the insurgent groups in this province.

The foreign forces based in Afghanistan are usually providing air support to the Afghan forces who are targeting the Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the other insurgent groups.

The Afghan border police forces also suffered casualties in an airstrike which was apparently carried out mistakenly by the foreign in Nad-e-Ali district.

According to the local officials, at least two policemen lost their lives in the airstrikes and six others were wounded.

http://www.khaama.com/talibans-mine-factory-hit-by-airstrikes-in-helmand-leaving-8-ied-experts-dead-02911

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Afghanistan can have peace only through political solution: US

June 11th, 2017

WASHINGTON: Afghanistan can have peace only through a political solution, said the US State Department while speakers at a Washington think tank urged Pakistan to persuade the Taliban to join the peace process.

Proceedings of the Atlantic Council’s panel discussion echoed at the State Department’s news briefing on Thursday afternoon when a journalist sought the department’s views on the claim made there that Pakistan was still allowing terrorists to use its territories for launching attacks into Afghanistan.

The State Department did not blame Pakistan. “The United States sees in Afghanistan eventually a political solution to try to bring peace. A military solution would be very difficult to try to bring peace to Afghanistan,” the department’s spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

“It’s been far too long that folks there have been fighting, and we continue to support the government of Afghanistan. That’s all I have to say about that,” she added.

Afghan experts at US think tanks believe there is an opportunity to influence the US policymaking process by publicly sharing their views on issues concerning Afghanistan.

This was also obvious at the Atlantic Council’s panel discussion where speakers urged the Trump administration to “deepen” US involvement in Afghanistan and not to withdraw American troops from the war-torn country without eliminating terrorism.

Three of these speakers — Zalmay Khalilzad, a former US ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the United Nations; Manish Tewari, a former Indian minister and now a senior fellow with the council’s South Asia Centre; and Ashley Tellis, Tata chair for strategic affairs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace — used the opportunity for blaming Pakistan for the troubles the United States was facing in Afghanistan.

And Pakistan’s ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary had to face the hostility of the audience — and the derision of fellow speakers — when he rejected their claims and advised them not to blame Islamabad for everything that’s wrong in Afghanistan.

Mr Tellis warned that there’s a “real possibility” that the Trump administration, “if it is not successful within some acceptable period of time, could choose to reduce its commitment to Afghanistan and ultimately withdraw”.

He then suggested that “an assortment of terrorist groups” found sanctuary in Pakistan, but now it was in Islamabad’s own interest to “redouble its efforts” to compel the Taliban to negotiate a peace deal with Kabul before the US left.

Mr Khalilzad claimed that “the fact that these sanctuaries exist cannot be disputed” and urged Washington to probe “how deep into Pakistan do the logistic lines in support of these terrorists actually extend”.

He advised Pakistan to “tell the Taliban that if they don’t enter a peace process they will not be allowed to operate from Pakistan”.

Mr Tewari urged Pakistan to think why Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who went to Rawalpindi to meet the Pakistan Army chief, turned against Islamabad.

Mr Chaudhry condemned the trend to “blame anything and everything” on Pakistan. “To say that Pakistan is responsible for everything is over-simplistic, and if you keep doing that I think you are barking at the wrong tree and will not be able to get to a solution,” he said.

“What sanctuaries you are talking about? If you want to live in the past, you cannot solve the present. Haqqani and the Taliban are not our friends,” Ambassador Chaudhary said. “They are not our proxies. What Quetta Shura you are talking about? What Peshawar Shura?”

Mr Khalilzad did not like this outright rejection of his allegations and interrupted the ambassador, further adding to the acrimony of an already tense discourse.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1338799/afghanistan-can-have-peace-only-through-political-solution-us

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3 US soldiers shot dead by Afghan an Afghan commandos soldier in Nangarhar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 10 2017

At least three US soldiers were shot dead by a soldier of the Afghan National Army (ANA) commandos forces in eastern Nangarhar province.

The provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani earlier had said that two US soldiers were killed in an insider attack involving an Afghan Special Operation Forces soldier in the restive Achin district.

Khogyani further added that the incident took place this evening after the Afghan soldier opened fire on his US comrades, leaving two dead and two others wounded.

He said the Afghan soldier was also killed in the shootout with the US forces.

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.

The Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-terrorism operations to eliminate the militants affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group in Nangarhar province.

The operations are being conducted in coordination with the US forces based in Afghanistan who are mainly carrying out airstrikes as part of a broader role granted to them by the Obama administration last year.

http://www.khaama.com/2-us-soldiers-shot-dead-by-afghan-an-afghan-commandos-soldier-in-nangarhar-02908

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Suicide bomber arrested with car bomb in Kabul city

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 10 2017

A suicide bomber has been arrested along with a Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) in Kabul city.

The bomber was reportedly arrested in the vicinity of the 5th police district of the city soon after entering Kabul city from Maidan Wardak province.

According to the security sources, the suicide bomber was looking to carry out an attack using the vehicle packed with explosives but was arrested by the security forces.

This comes as a suicide bomber belonging to the Haqqani terrorist network was also arrested earlier by the security forces in central Maidan Wardak province before he manage to carry out an attack in Kabul city.

The provincial police commandment said a suicide bomber identified as Qari Ehsanullah was arrested from the vicinity of Jalrez district by the security forces before he manage to enter Kabul city for the attack.

The latest arrests came as as capital Kabul witnessed a series of deadly attacks and violence last week, leaving more than 150 people dead and hundreds more wounded.

The first incident in the city took place last Wednesday, the 31st of May, after a vehicle packed with explosives was detonated leaving more than 150 people dead and over 400 others wounded.

A coordinated suicide attack also rocked Kabul city on Saturday as scores of people had gathered in the funeral ceremony of Salim Izadyar, the son of the deputy house speaker of the Afghan Senate House, who was killed during the protests last Friday.

http://www.khaama.com/suicide-bomber-arrested-with-car-bomb-in-kabul-city-02907

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Afghan border police forces suffer casualties in Helmand airstrike

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 10 2017

The Afghan border police forces suffered casualties in an airstrike allegedly carried out by the foreign forces based in Afghanistan.

An official with the 6th brigade of the border police forces in the south said the airstrike was carried out late on Friday night in the vicinity of Nad-e-Ali district.

The official speaking on the condition of anonymity further added that two policemen lost their lives in the airstrike and six others were wounded.

The policemen came under the airstrike shortly after taking control of a forward operational base, the official said, adding that the policemen were in civilian clothes.

The provincial government media office in a statement confirmed that two border police soldiers lost their lives after a rocket hit their base at around 11:30 pm local time.

The statement further added that a delegation has been tasked to launch a thorough investigation regarding the incident and further information will be released later regarding the incident.

Helmand is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in its various districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

The Afghan forces are busy conducting counter-insurgency operations in the restive parts of the province after the Taliban insurgents carried out numerous large attacks to capture the key districts of Helmand including the provincial capital of Lashkargah city during the recent months.

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-border-police-forces-suffer-casualties-in-helmand-airstrike-02906

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President Ghani and Nawaz Sharif hold talks on key issues on SCO sidelines

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 11 2017

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani met the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan.

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the leaders of the two nations held talks on key issues, including fight against terrorism and Afghan peace efforts during the bilateral meeting.

“In meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Presidnet Ashraf Ghani stressed the urgency for reducing violence against civilians in Afghanistan,” a statement by the ARG Palace said.

The statement further added that President Ghani agreed to use Quadrilateral Coordination Group with China and US to resolve differences with Pakistan.

The two leaders also agreed to use QCG to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, ARG Palace said, adding that Afghanistan and Pakistan agreed to joint working teams to coordinate action against terrorists with the first meeting to be held in Kabul.

They also agreed to intensify efforts in the fight against all forms of terrorism threatening the two countries and the region, ARG Palace added.

The meeting between President Ghani and PM Nawaz Sharif was organized as the relations between Kabul and Islamabad remains at all time low, mainly due to the recent violence in Afghanistan with the Afghan officials blaming the Pakistan-based Haqqani network for the majority of the deadly attacks in key cities of Afghanistan, including capital Kabul.

http://www.khaama.com/president-ghani-and-nawaz-sharif-hold-talks-on-key-issues-on-sco-sidelines-02910

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Southeast Asia

US forces back Philippine troops in Islamist held city

June 11th, 2017

MARAWI CITY: United States special forces are providing support to the Philippine military battling to dislodge Islamist militants in a southern city, the US embassy said on Saturday, as 13 Filipino marines were killed in fresh fighting.

Philippine troops are struggling to defeat hundreds of fighters, who rampaged through Marawi on May 23 flying black flags of IS, and have used civilians as human shields, bomb-proof tunnels and anti-tank weapons to fortify their positions.

Friday’s ferocious, street-to-street gunbattles with the militants saw 13 troops killed, in a dramatic surge in the toll from the conflict, Philippine military spokesmen said.

It was among the heaviest fighting seen in mainly Muslim Marawi as the air force battered parts of the city with strikes to support ground troops. Some 40 marines were wounded in the gunbattles that lasted 14 hours, according to military spokesman Colonel Edgardo Arevalo.

As the conflict intensified, the US embassy in Manila said American forces were providing assistance to the Filipino troops, although it declined to give details for security reasons.

“At the request of the government of the Philippines, US special operations forces are assisting the [Philippine military] with ongoing operations in Marawi,” the embassy said in a statement.

Marawi-based military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-ar Herrera confirmed the US help, adding that the special forces were not fighting, but “providing technical support”.

Herrera also said there are “strong indications” that Omarkhayam and Madie Maute, two leaders of the Marawi attack, were killed in separate operations. But he added the military is still “validating” the report and there is no way of independently confirming it.

The announcement of US help in the embattled southern region of Mindanao comes after Duterte has sought to reduce the Philippines’ reliance on the United States and build much closer ties with China and Russia.

The US Embassy said Washington would “continue to work with the Philippines to address shared threats to the peace and security of our countries, including on counterterrorism issues” in its statement Saturday.

The US on Monday gave the Philippines hundreds of machine guns, pistols and grenade launchers, which a local commander said would be used in the fight against Islamist militants.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1338741/us-forces-back-philippine-troops-in-islamist-held-city

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How Indonesian Bars Can Keep Serving In Ramadan

11 JUN 2017

Straining to make herself heard over an Oasis cover band, Maggie, who didn’t want to give her full name, explains her bar’s strategy during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

“You don’t want to be too obvious,” she says, also asking that the name of her sprawling venue in the heart of the Kemang entertainment district in Jakarta be withheld – after all, she doesn’t want to attract attention.

Every Ramadan during the past 10 years, Maggie has shut the bar in the front, covered the windows and directed patrons to the restaurant in the back where drinks are served in ceramic mugs rather than glass. Signs advertising Heineken and Bintang beer are covered in black plastic. “You never know if there’s going to be trouble,” she explains.

Would a fatwa stop Indonesia’s ‘fake news’?

Welcome to Jakarta at Ramadan, where a variant of “don’t ask, don’t tell” may well be the maxim for some as a way of keeping the peace between hardline conservatives and secularists – as well as a nod toward the simple realities of keeping a business open.

Tourists drink beer in Jakarta, where a variant of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is a maxim for keeping the peace between hardline conservatives and secularists. Photo: AFP

Tourists drink beer in Jakarta, where a variant of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is a maxim for keeping the peace between hardline conservatives and secularists. Photo: AFP

“If I can’t sell beer I can’t pay my girls,” says Maggie of her army of about 60 or so young waitresses.

But after a first half of 2017 that saw the persecution of the Indonesian capital’s gay and lesbian community, the jailing of its Christian, ethnic Chinese governor thanks to rabble rousing Muslim conservatives and the election of his successor, whose manifesto includes a year-round ban on alcohol, the light touch on tippling may come as a surprise.

Not especially, it turns out. It’s true that Jakarta has been gradually restricting booze during Ramadan since about 2005, when anyone buying beer had to show ID to prove they were the legal drinking age of 21. As conservatives gained influence, though, “nightspots” like ostentatious clubs, massage parlours, and karaoke bars with billiard tables – would close during the holy month or face the wrath of vigilantes. Tarps would be thrown over beer billboards. Liquor stores would be boarded up.

As attacks on transgressors by groups such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) grew more violent, the government of the previous governor Basuki Purnama – who is better known as Ahok – made it official, banning all alcohol sales everywhere during the fasting month. The edict, made through the city’s tourism agency, closed the centres of sin, or, in the case of music venues, for example, curbed their operating hours. On the face of it, the conservatives got what they wanted.

But because this is consensus-loving Indonesia, the ban came with a twist: a rule stating hardliners must follow existing rules against taking the law into their own hands to smash up businesses suspected of selling alcohol during the prohibition period.

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“It’s like the government said ‘you’re both right. Now back off’,” says Sandra Hamid, the country representative of the Asia Foundation think tank.

The result, Hamid suggests, is not so much a display of tolerance, of which much is written by foreign journalists. Rather, it’s a manifestation of muddling.

“This is a negotiation. It’s a manifestation of the Indonesian desire to find a grey area – the middle way so that both sides win and no one loses face.”

Helping the Maggies and revellers of Jakarta is that the hardline FPI is in disarray anyway, owing to scandal and loss of influence.

Police, often enablers and enforcers of the wishes of hardliners, have turned against the group since its new reformist chief, Tito Karnavian, took the reins last year. Since then, the FPI leader, Rizieq Shihab, has become mired in a sexting scandal with a young woman who is not his wife. The affair may put Rizieq at odds with the country’s onerous pornography law. He is on the run in Saudi Arabia.

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Last week, police arrested two members of the group after video circulated on social media of them striking a 15-year-old boy of Chinese descent for having allegedly slandered their leader. The pair were part of a larger group of men caught on video harassing the visibly shaken youngster to sign a letter of apology for the supposed slight.

“The police are being firmer [with the FPI] thanks to the leadership of Tito,” Hamid says.

So, at the halfway point of the fasting month, what does this all mean on the street in Kemang?

“It’s been steady compared with previous years,” says Mukiyono, who dishes up fried noodles and rice or chicken soup from his food stall everyday.

Normally he goes through 7 litres of rice every day, he says, using the Indonesian measurement for the grain. During Ramadan that slips to four. “It might be a little busier at the weekend than it usually is.”

But down the road at the Bremmer Beer Garden, they aren’t taking anything for granted. Nestled down a nondescript corridor off the main street of Kemang, Green Day songs play at a low volume as the night crowd filters in. “We’ve been getting about half of the usual crowd,” says the bartender Glen, who wouldn’t give his last name. In the six years that Glen’s worked at the beer garden, this is the first time the beer garden has been opened during Ramadan.

 Indonesian men offering prayers at a "mobile mosque" outside a sports complex in Jakarta. Photo: AFP

‘Mosque-mobile’ makes answering the call to prayer easier in gridlocked Jakarta

“There’s going to be a change of government so maybe now it makes to sense to open while we can,” Glen explains. “Things are going to get stricter.”

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2097665/how-indonesian-bars-can-keep-serving-ramadan

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Africa

Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam 'released by Libyan militia'

2017-06-11

Saif al-Islam, the son and one-time heir apparent of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has been released after more than five years in detention, his captors said on Saturday.

A statement by his captors, the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq Battalion, said Saif al-Islam was released on Friday, but gave no details on his whereabouts. Battalion officials reached by The Associated Press at Zintan, a town south of the capital Tripoli where it is based, confirmed his release. They declined to disclose his whereabouts, citing concerns over his safety.

They said his release was decided as part of a recent pardon issued by the Libyan parliament based in the country's eastern region.

The parliament in the city of Tobruk is part of one of three rival administrations in Libya, evidence of the chaos that has prevailed in the country since Gaddafi's ouster and death.

Gaddafi's son was captured by the battalion's fighters late in 2011, the year when a popular uprising toppled Gaddafi after more than 40 years in power. He was later killed.

The uprising later plunged the oil-rich North African nation into a ruinous civil war in which Saif al-Islam led Gaddafi's loyalist forces against the rebels.

http://www.france24.com/en/20170611-gaddafi-son-saif-al-islam-released-libya-militia-zintan

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/syria--islamic-state-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-killed-in-us-airstrike-in-raqqa,-says-state-tv/d/111496

 

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