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Islamic World News ( 5 Dec 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Takfiris Absolutely Devoid From Islamic Teachings: Prominent Lebanese Cleric


















Shabiha Sheikh, left, and Barbara Breitman attend a workshop at the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom Leadership Conference at Drew University in Madison, N.J., Dec. 4, 2016. The group, made up of women of Muslim and Jewish faiths, is banding together in solidarity as a result of the rising tide of hate crimes in America. Yana Paskova, New York Times

 

Takfiris Absolutely Devoid From Islamic Teachings: Prominent Lebanese Cleric

Ghannouchi: Political Reforms Provide Ground for Democratic Islam

Both Feeling Threatened, American Muslims and Jews Join Hands

Islamic State Plots Chemical Weapons/Drone Attack in UK

Hafiz Saeed to Launch Movement against New Bill on Forced Religious Conversions in Sindh

 

Arab World

Prominent Lebanese Cleric: Takfiris Absolutely Devoid From Islamic Teachings

Syria: Gov't Forces in Control of 65 Percent of Eastern Aleppo Now

Syria rebels rule out withdrawal from Aleppo

Syrian Army Continues to March on Terrorist Centers Southeast of Aleppo City

May in Bahrain to start 'new chapter' despite international outrage

Iraqi forces making steady gains in southeast Mosul

Syrian Army Restores Security to Aleppo's Civilian, Military Airports

Syrian Army Restores Security to Old Dara'a-Damascus Road

Syria: Gov't Forces Inch Closer to Winning Back Aleppo Citadel

Turkey Suspends Military Operations in Syria's Al-Bab Region

Jeish Al-Fatah Arrests Tens of Fugitive Members in Aleppo

KSA backs call for urgent UN meeting on Syria

Saudi Arabia: 15 in Iran spy cell sentenced to death

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Africa

Ghannouchi: Political Reforms Provide Ground for Democratic Islam

Forces Loyal To Libyan Unity Government Fully Liberate Sirte

U.N. identifies 41 Burundi, Gabon troops accused of abuse in C.Africa

Fresh attacks in Nigeria raise questions over ‘defeat’ of Boko Haram

7 al-Shabaab terrorists killed in deadly battle

Pilot dies after warplane crashes in east-central Jordan

Nigerian authorities urge prosecution of Sheikh Zakzaky

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North America

Both Feeling Threatened, American Muslims and Jews Join Hands

U.S. Muslim Meets Eric Trump, Discovers Media Lied About ‘Muslim Registry’

Muslim man’s restaurant attacked twice in US

Man accused of threatening NY Muslim officer faces hate charge

Trump’s America: NY Muslim Woman Pushed down Stairs after Being Called A ‘Terrorist’

Terrorism Conviction of a Wiretapped American Is Upheld on Appeal

US Muslim cleric fights deportation over Hamas conviction

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Europe

Islamic State Plots Chemical Weapons/Drone Attack in UK

Inequality among British Muslim Communities Getting Worse: UK Govt Report

Muslims ‘forced to leave’ Christmas market in Germany after setting up Islam info stand

IAEA warns 'N-terrorism' can strike anywhere

Germany warns against backlash over Afghan refugee suspected of murder

Discrimination among British-Muslim communities rising: UK govt report

Russia, China veto U.N. proposal to stop deadly violence in Aleppo

Pakistan Critical to Defeating ISIS, Says Russian Special Rep to Afghanistan

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Pakistan

Hafiz Saeed to Launch Movement against New Bill on Forced Religious Conversions in Sindh

Resumption of Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan Inevitable: Sartaj

Muslims Leaguers, Not Leagues, Should Get United: Shujaat

12 suspected terrorists killed in Khyber Agency air strikes

Pakistani Hindus oppose forced conversions

COAS confirms death to four terrorists

Saudi jets attack Pakistani boat off Yemen, kill six sailors

Aziz brings bad name to country: Siraj

Govt ‘won’t bring’ any law violating Islamic principles

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Southeast Asia

Kedah Umno Man Accuses Tun Dr Mahathir of Insulting Prophet Muhammad

Indonesia Has No Tolerance for Terrorists: Speaker

Malaysia’s DAP accused of blindly copying PAP

7 years for cop guilty of ‘hiding’ terror activities

Suhakam: Amendments to marriage and divorce law reform to benefit child

Indonesia savored its ties to Obama. Now it prepares to say goodbye.

Jokowi shows leadership mettle at Islamic rally

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Mideast

New Islamic State Spokesman Seeks To Rally Sunnis against Iran, West

Dialog Only Means To Restore Regional, Global Peace: Larijani

Amnesty urges Turkey to facilitate return of displaced Kurds to homes

Israeli parliament moves bill forward to legalize unlawful outposts

Israel’s 1st envoy to Turkey in 6 years officially takes office in Ankara

Islamic State Sympathizers Debate Fate of Two Captured Turkish Soldiers

Houthis kidnap dozens of civilians in Sana'a

Yemeni Guantanamo detainee released to Cabo Verde

Kremlin confirms Putin wrote confidential letter to Rouhani

Kerry stresses commitment to Iran deal

Iran’s Zarif urges cultural war on terror

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India

India Warns Against ‘Nuclear Terrorism’

NIA Seeks Lie-Detector Test on Guest Manager with Islamic Research Foundation

India-Bangladesh decides to strengthen anti-terror mechanism

Hizbul Mujahideen militant arrested in Kashmir, two grenades recovered

Pakistan to Take Part in Amritsar Trade Meet

Indian Muslims ‘Need To Reinvent and Reinvigorate’

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South Asia

Tell Taliban Peace Has No Alternative, Says US

Ex-Afghan Intelligence Chief Supports Ghani’s Stance against Pakistan

ISIS commander among 2 killed in East of Afghanistan

Taliban militants suffer heavy casualties in Helmand air and ground raids

Now In Bangladesh, Rohingya Muslims Describe Rape, Murder in Myanmar

NATO to reaffirm support to Afghanistan during foreign ministerial: Stoltenberg

Zabul governor and mayor escape gunmen attack in south of Afghanistan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/takfiris-absolutely-devoid-from-islamic-teachings--prominent-lebanese-cleric/d/109299

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Takfiris Absolutely Devoid From Islamic Teachings: Prominent Lebanese Cleric

December 6, 2016

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Prominent Lebanese cleric, Sheikh Hammoud lectured crimes perpetrated by Takfiri groups urging Shia and Sunni scholars to mobilize their effort for infighting against religious sedition and preventing the spread of the Takfiri ideology in Muslim societies.

Speaking in a meeting with Sheikh Ahmad al-Qattan, Head of Lebanon’s Qawluna wal-Amal [We Say and Act] Society, the seasoned cleric highlighted as well the necessity of promoting unity and solidarity in the World of Islam.

"Takfiris have no conceptions of religious teachings and we must fight this ideology," underscored the religious cleric stressing, "Hezbollah plays a telling role in preventing the threat of Takfiri terrorists from Lebanon and the military also has good gains in the fight against them.”

The Sunni scholar hailed the Syrian army and the Islamic Resistance for the victories they achieved in Aleppo and praised the Iraqi army and Popular Mobilization Forces for their actions in Mosul.

Sheikh Hammoud called for the quick formation of a government with the participation of all groups and the approval of a just election law in Lebanon.

Sheikh al-Qattan for his part placed stress on the prime importance of protecting national and Islamic unity in the light of the danger of Takfiri and Zionist terrorism noting, “All Lebanese politicians must unite in regard to the struggle against the Zionist and Takfiri enemies that are present on the borders and whose common goal is to strike at Lebanon.”

http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/12/06/796346/story.html

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Ghannouchi: Political Reforms Provide Ground for Democratic Islam

December 5, 2016

The leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi said only true democracy can defeat destructive and erroneous readings of Islam.

Speaking during the Mediterranean Dialogue Forum in the Italian capital Rome on Saturday, Ghannouchi said political reform provides fertile ground for the emergence and spread of democratic Islam explaining that “the real challenge lies in how to make Islam a power of moderation and tolerance in the face of extremism and violence”.

“Democratic Islam can be an alternative in a country that overcame repression which characterises tyranny,” he said.

Ghannouchi pointed out that Tunisians’ focus now is on establishing strong and long-term policies and political institutions and to improve the quality of people’s lives.

The three day forum discussed ways to establish a new regional system, face terrorism and activate political solutions in Libya and Syria.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20161205-ghannouchi-political-reforms-provide-ground-for-democratic-islam/

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Both Feeling Threatened, American Muslims and Jews Join Hands

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

DEC. 5, 2016

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Jolted into action by a wave of hate crimes that followed the election victory of Donald J. Trump, American Muslims and Jews are banding together in a surprising new alliance.

They are putting aside for now their divisions over Israel to join forces to resist whatever may come next. New groups are forming, and interfaith coalitions that already existed say interest is increasing.

Vaseem Firdaus, a Muslim who has lived in the United States for 42 years, spent Friday night at a Shabbat dinner for members of a women’s group called the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, in a home here filled with Jewish art and ritual objects.

Until Mr. Trump was elected president, Ms. Firdaus, who is 56 and a manufacturing manager at Exxon Mobil, felt secure living as a Muslim in America. She has a daughter who is a doctor and a son who is an engineer, and she recently traveled to Tampa with her husband looking to buy a vacation home. But Mr. Trump’s victory has shaken her sense of comfort and security.

After joining in blessings over home-baked challah and sparkling grape juice (instead of wine, out of consideration for the Muslims), Ms. Firdaus talked with four Jewish women she had never met before, balancing plates of Indian food on their laps. They found that the spate of hate crimes and the ominous talk by Mr. Trump or his advisers about barring Muslims from entering the country and registering those living here had caused all of them to think about Germany in the years before the Holocaust.

“When did you know it was time to leave?” Ms. Firdaus asked one woman who had just recounted how her relatives had fled the Nazis. “The ones that didn’t leave are the ones who went to Auschwitz.”

The Jewish women tried to convince her that they would not let it come to that. “If Muslims have to register, we’re all going to register,” said Mahela Morrow-Jones, who is helping to build the first West Coast chapter of the Sisterhood in Santa Barbara, Calif. “You’ve got to believe it, sister.”

Groups are reaching out not just to clergy members, but also to laypeople, including business executives, students and women.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, said in a recent interview: “Jews know what it means to be identified and tagged, to be registered and pulled aside. It evokes very deep emotions in the Jewish community.”

Mr. Greenblatt received a standing ovation when he declared at his organization’s conference in Manhattan last month that if Muslims were ever forced to register, “that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim.”

“All of us have heard the story of the Danish king who said if his country’s Jews had to wear a gold star,” he said, “all of Denmark would, too.”

Nearly 500 Muslim and Jewish women, many wearing head scarves and skullcaps, gathered on Sunday at Drew University in Madison, N.J., in what organizers said was the largest such meeting ever held in the United States. It was the third annual conference of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, a grass-roots group that now claims 50 chapters in more than 20 states. The first conference two years ago drew only 100 people.

The women spread out inside an enormous sports complex and met in clusters to study sacred texts on the racquetball courts, practice self-defense techniques in the dance studio and, in the bleachers, discuss how to talk to friends whose impression of Islam had been shaped entirely by news of terrorist attacks.

Over lunch and in the hallways, they traded stories about the latest ugly outbreaks back home: a brick thrown through the window of a Muslim-owned restaurant in Kansas, apartments of Muslim families in Virginia hit with eggs and graffiti, swastikas scrawled on synagogues and in a playground in New York. Sisterhood chapters keep track of the incidents on their Facebook pages and other social media.

“Ignorance is one of the key triggers of hate,” said Sheryl Olitzky, the group’s executive director, in her opening remarks. “We need to show the world that we are Americans. We are here because we love each other and we’re overcoming hate.”

Ms. Olitzky, a marketing executive whose husband and two sons are rabbis, started the first Sisterhood women’s meeting in New Jersey six years ago on the theory that “women navigate the world through relationships.” She baked the challah and hosted the Shabbat dinner on Friday night at her home.

The Sisterhood is one of several groups expanding their work on Muslim-Jewish relations: The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding started an initiative to elevate Muslim condemnations of terrorism, which are often ignored by the news media. The Anti-Defamation League is increasing its work against anti-Muslim bigotry.

“It’s the Trump effect,” said Imam Abdullah Antepli, the chief representative on Muslim affairs at Duke University, who attended the women’s conference with his wife. “I see the Muslim community even more eager to reach out and to put aside the grievances of the past.”

The most prominent new initiative is a Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council whose co-chairmen are Fortune 500 chief executives: Farooq Kathwari, of the furniture company Ethan Allen, who is Muslim, and Stanley Bergman, of the medical products distributor Henry Schein, who is Jewish.

The council, which was forming as Mr. Trump’s campaign was gaining steam, includes both Democrats and Republicans. It was created by leaders of the American Jewish Committee and the Islamic Society of North America in an effort to have influence on public policy. The group intends to oppose a registry, support immigrants and refugees, and push for accommodating religious practices in the workplace.

Despite the new cooperation, tensions over Israel continue to flare up. Several Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, recently declared their opposition to a bid by Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is a Muslim, to become chairman of the Democratic National Committee, because of critical statements he has made about Israel.

And the embrace of Muslims is hardly universal. A few Jewish groups have applauded Mr. Trump’s hard line on Muslims, and cheered his choice of Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn to be national security adviser. The retired general has called Islam “a cancer” and a “political ideology” masquerading as a faith.

The selection of General Flynn prompted the usually stoic Ms. Firdaus to rethink her situation. She abandoned the plan to buy a vacation home in Tampa, or anywhere in the United States, at least for now. Instead, she and her family will spend Christmas vacation in Toronto, where they intend to open a bank account and look for a condominium to buy — just in case they have to flee.

Attending the Sisterhood conference on Sunday, however, Ms. Firdaus said she was feeling a bit more optimistic. She was surrounded by Jews who pledged not to abandon Muslims. Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, brought the women to their feet cheering with stories of how in history’s darkest times, love had conquered hate.

“Sitting here makes you feel it’s really not so hopeless. This is food for the soul,” Ms. Firdaus said. “But there were 60 million people who voted for Trump. I’m not ready to leave, but you have to have a plan.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/muslim-jewish-alliance-after-trump.html

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Islamic State plots chemical weapons/drone attack in UK

December 05, 2016

According to The Times UK, a "dirty bomb", (a conventional explosive with waste radiological materials mixed in to cause panic and terror) or a biological weapon may be detonated within the UK by the Islamic State:

Businesses have been warned that Isis fighters returning to Britain from Syria and Iraq will seek to carry out a mass-casualty chemical or radiological “dirty bomb” attack, possibly using a drone.

Law enforcement agencies believe hardened Isis recruits are planning to import terrorist tactics perfected on the battlefields of the Middle East, including the deployment of chlorine and mustard gas, to the UK.

According to sources within Bulgaria, a "huge amount of explosives and weapons was caught two days ago" in Bulgaria, and there was no doubt they were intended for the West.

Bulgarian medical and security experts discuss the biological weapons aspect of this likelihood at just after the five minute mark:

http://www.therebel.media/islamic_state_plots_chemical_weapons_drone_attack_in_uk

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Hafiz Saeed to launch movement against new bill on forced religious conversions in Sindh

December 5, 2016

JuD chief Hafiz Saeed on Monday announced launching a movement against the passage of a bill that stopped forced religious conversions in Pakistan’s Sindh province, saying that the law is anti-Islam and against the Constitution. The Sindh Assembly had recently adopted the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2015, against forced religious conversions and recommended a five-year jail term for perpetrators and facilitators of forced religious conversions will be handed a three-year sentence.

Under the newly passed bill, forcibly converting a minor is also a punishable offence. Adults will be given 21 days to consider their decision to convert. According to the South Asia Partnership-Pakistan (SAP-PK), at least 1,000 girls mostly Hindus are forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan every year. Saeed said in a statement that the new law is against Islam and Pakistani Constitution.

“We will take other political and religious organisations on board in our movement against this anti-Islam law,” he said. “We will not remain silent on this controversial law and launch a countrywide movement to force the Sindh government to withdraw this anti-Islam law,” the alleged mastermind of Mumbai attack further said. He said India always tried that Hindus residing in Sindh could be used against Pakistan but it could not succeed.

The Senate Standing Committee on Religious Affairs had also termed forced conversions “illegal and against the principles of Islam”. Cases of forced conversions have regularly been reported from different parts of Sindh including Jacobabad, Tharparkar, Mithi, Umerkot, Kashmore, Kandhkot, Ghotki, Sukkur and Larkana.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/pakistan-hafiz-saeed-to-launch-movement-against-new-bill-on-forced-religious-conversions-in-sindh-4411718/

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Arab World

 

Syria: Gov't Forces in Control of 65 Percent of Eastern Aleppo Now

Dec 05, 2016

The Syrian government's War Information Center, Elam al-Harbi, reported that government troops have liberated the entire neighborhoods in Northeastern Aleppo and captured a number of districts in the South-East, extending their rule over some 65 percent of entire Eastern Aleppo.

The army managed to win back the districts and neighborhoods of Hanano Housing Project, Jabal Badrou, Ard al-Hamra, al-Heidariyeh, Bostan al-Pasha, Sheikh Khedher, Shiekh Fares, al-Halak, al-Sakhour, Ba'eidin, al-Nazarat, Youth Housing Complex, Tariq al-Bab, Karam al-Tarab, Karam al-Jazmati, Karam al-Qaterji, Karam al-Maysar, Karam al-Tahan, several squares and key heights, the graveyard and residential units in recent weeks.

The army men continued their advances and opened their way into al-Sha'ar district this afternoon after laying a brief siege on the militants.

Field sources said that al-Sha'ar seems to fall to the army in coming hours help the government forces come closer to Aleppo Citadel and the old neighborhoods of the city.

Sources in militant-held districts of Eastern Aleppo disclosed on Monday that Jeish al-Fatah has arrested a large number of its militants after they attempted to escape their areas to surrender themselves to the government forces.

The sources said that after devastating advances of the Syrian army and popular forces in Eastern Aleppo, a large number of militants, who wanted to leave the city and surrender themselves to the government forces, have been captured by their commanders and hardliners of Jeish al-Fatah.

"Members of the Aleppo Command Council have arrested a number of Jeish al-Islam militants on charges of escaping war, but Jeish al-Islam's commander Soheib has managed to flee," they added.

The Aleppo Command Council also seized the field commander, Omar Qasoumeh who intended to surrender to the Syrian Army along with 150 of his troops.

Local sources had disclosed earlier that Jeish al-Fatah has dispatched a large number of those in its prisons, including the old Aleppo prison, to the frontline.       

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950915001284

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Syria rebels rule out withdrawal from Aleppo

5 December 2016

Syrian rebels on Monday ruled out a pullout from east Aleppo despite sweeping government advances, after Moscow announced it would hold talks with Washington on their withdrawal from the city.

The Syrian army has seized two-thirds of east Aleppo and continued to advance on Monday, pounding remaining opposition-held territory.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Moscow would hold talks with Washington this week on a timeframe for the withdrawal of all rebels from Aleppo.

“During the Russian-American consultations, the concrete route and timeframe for the withdrawal of all fighters from eastern Aleppo will be agreed upon,” he said, indicating the talks in Geneva would likely start on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“As soon as these routes and timeframes are agreed on, a ceasefire can come into effect,” Lavrov said.

But officials from two rebel groups in Aleppo said they would reject any plan that involved the withdrawal of fighters from the city.

Yasser al-Youssef of the Nureddine al-Zinki rebel group said any proposals “for the exit of rebel groups would be unacceptable.”

“It is for the Russians to leave Aleppo, and for the sectarian militias to leave Aleppo and Syria and stop interfering in the internal affairs of Syrians,” he told AFP.

Russia is a staunch ally of Syria’s government, and it launched a military campaign to bolster President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in September 2015.

The government also fights alongside Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement, Iranian forces and Shiite fighters from other countries.

“The revolutionaries will not leave Aleppo and will fight the Russian and Iranian occupation until the last drop of blood,” said Abu Abdel Rahman al-Hamawi of the Army of Islam, another rebel group.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/12/05/Syria-rebels-rule-out-withdrawal-from-Aleppo-.html

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Syrian Army Continues to March on Terrorist Centers Southeast of Aleppo City

Dec 05, 2016

The Syrian government forces destroyed the terrorist groups' bases in Southern parts of East Aleppo and captured Qadi Askar square and al-Hawoudh residential area South of the Aleppo International Airport.

The army's engineering units started to defuse bombs and landmines planted by the terrorists in the newly-freed areas immediately after their recapture.

The last group of terrorists positioned at an eye treatment Hospital and optical medical center in Qadi Askar district were killed in clashes with the army soldiers.

The pro-government forces now need to move ahead only for 1 km to lay siege on the remaining pockets of the terrorists in areas still under their control in Southeastern Aleppo.

A Syrian source underlined the importance of the newly-freed districts and neighborhoods whose geographical situation and population density had made their seizure difficult.

The source further added that with the recapture of these difficult-to-win districts the army has gained fire control over the rest of the militant-held neighborhoods.

The source went on to say that the terrorists' only strong defense line that still stands in Eastern Aleppo is areas near Sheikh Saeed district in the South-East, stressing that if the army defeats the terrorists in this area, Jeish al-Fatah will fully collapse in the city.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday that Syrian Army troops and popular forces have thus far driven Jeish al-Fatah terrorists out of, at least, 30 neighborhoods in the Eastern parts of Aleppo city.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950915000850

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May in Bahrain to start 'new chapter' despite international outrage

Dec 6, 2016

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has arrived in Bahrain to expand ties with Arab countries of the Persian Gulf region, ignoring international calls to scrap the trip due to widespread violations of human rights by some of those governments.

May was welcomed by Bahrain's Prime Minister Prince Khalifah bin Salman al-Khalifah upon her arrival at Bahrain International Airport in Manama on Monday.

Before departing London for a two-day visit to the tiny Persian Gulf country, May said she was headed there to lay the foundations for “a new chapter” in ties with members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is formed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman.

The expansion of ties is critical now because the UK plans to leave the European Union (EU), May noted.

“There is so much we can do together - whether it is helping one another to prevent terrorist attacks, (Persian) Gulf investment regenerating cities across the UK or British businesses helping (Persian) Gulf countries to achieve their long-term vision of reform,” she said.

UK PM Theresa May arrives at Bahrain International Airport, December 5, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

The British premier is slated to attend a dinner with GCC leaders on Tuesday evening, before giving a speech at the organization’s plenary session on Wednesday.

She will also sign a space technology deal with the UAE, as well as a new multiple five-year visa entry plan for British firms working in Saudi Arabia.

Overshadowing the visit from days ago, however, has been a deep concern about May’s reluctance to address the Al Khalifah regime’s heavy-handed crackdown on a years-long popular uprising in the country.

May took a cautious line on the issue, saying that human rights abuses should not affect London’s trade policy.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/06/496666/UK-May-Bahrain-PGCC-Saudi-Yemen

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Iraqi forces making steady gains in southeast Mosul

Dec 5, 2016

Advancing Iraqi forces have pushed into the southeast regions of the Daesh-held city of Mosul.

Gunfire and blasts could be heard throughout the southeastern part of the city on Monday as Iraqi troops pushed ahead with their operation to purge Mosul of its Daesh occupants.

"We are now at Intisar neighborhood, Nineveh province. We are the defensive lines of al-Karama district and in front of us there is al-Salam neighborhood, which is the last point for the forces of the 3rd Brigade, First Division,” said the division’s commander.

He added that the sector has now been cleansed of all Daesh militants. “They were retreating and they were in low supply and they were cut off from their supply routes, so they were retreating gradually and they've started to flee," he added.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi army has announced that six villages located to the south of the city have been retaken from the terrorists.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/05/496632/iraq-mosul-daesh-gains

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Syrian Army Restores Security to Aleppo's Civilian, Military Airports

Dec 05, 2016

The army troops' recent victories against Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups in the Eastern districts of Aleppo city have brought back security to the International Airport and Nairab military airport South-East of the city.

The Western part of the Aleppo International Airport was previously under the control of terrorists and their missile units and snipers could target or prevent flights.

The army's seizure of the Youth Housing Complex and its surrounding districts played a crucial role in reestablishing security at these two airports.

Restoring security to the Aleppo International Airport was one of the most imports objectives of the army troops, specially after the liberation of the Youth Housing Complex and al-Bohouth al-Elmiyeh region on the Western side of the airport.

Field sources said that the army is resolved to restore security to the road connecting Aleppo to the International Airport via carrying out cleansing operation in nearby districts of the airport to reopen the airport after four years and, meantime, tighten siege on the militants in the old neighborhoods of the city.

The army advances in Southeastern Aleppo have also helped restore security to Nairab military airport just to the South of the International Airport and some vital chunks of the main road connecting the Central parts of the city to this airport for the first time since 2012.

Syrian Army troops and popular forces won back more key positions in Southeastern Aleppo earlier today after hours of non-strop clashes and inflicting major losses on Jeish al-Fatah terrorists.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950915001151

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Syrian Army Restores Security to Old Dara'a-Damascus Road

Dec 05, 2016

The army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists in Northwestern Dara'a and took full control of al-Farooq farms and the key hills that overlook the towns of al-Faqi and Barqah.

The army troops further laid siege on the militants in al-Faqi and Barqah and earned control over the roads, including the old Dara'a-Damascus road, that are used by the militants for movement in the region.

Meantime, a field commander also confirmed that the army troops advanced in Northwestern Dara'a and laid siege on the militants in the town of al-Faqi from the North, South and East, boosting security at the old Dara'a-Damascus road.

The army has now found a chance to set up more military bases in Northwestern Dara'a for its future anti-terrorism operations in the region.  

The Syrian Army troops targeted two bases of Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in the Southern city of Dara'a earlier today, destroying both bases and killing several militant commanders.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950915001333

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Syria: Gov't Forces Inch Closer to Winning Back Aleppo Citadel

Dec 05, 2016

The pro-government force's victories against terrorists in a wide region South-East of Aleppo opened their way towards Aleppo Citadel, and helped them drive a wedge between the Southeastern districts of Aleppo.

The government's vanguard troops are now deployed only a few hundred meters from the Aleppo Citadel that overlooks the Old Aleppo neighborhoods.

Once the Syrian army opens its way into the Aleppo Citadel region, militants' movements across their tunnel network will be ceased and stop leaving any tangible impact on the outcome of the war, and the districts in Southeastern Aleppo will be cut into two halves.

The Arabic language Al-Mayadeen network reported for its part that the army men and the popular forces are now at the gates of the Old Aleppo neighborhoods after their recent advances that comprised of capturing several districts in the region just this morning.

In the meantime, opposition groups have acknowledged that militants have lost their positions in al-Sha'ar and Karam al-Jabal districts.

Syrian Army troops continued their advances against Jeish al-Fatah all throughout Sunday and Monday, capturing four more key districts and a hospital in Southeastern Aleppo city.

The army soldiers and the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters took control over the districts of Karam al-Qaterje, Karam al-Tahan, Juzeh Awad, Zahrat Awad and Aleppo government hospital Southeast of the city and on the Western side of the Aleppo International Airport.

The army men had earlier captured the Youth Housing Complex, Karam al-Tarab, Karam al-Jazmati, al-Halwaniyeh, Tariq al-Bab, Karam al-Maysar and two key squares of al-Jazmati and al-Halwaniyeh.

According to reports, the next target of the army soldiers is the key district of al-Sha'ar that is now under government forces' siege from three flanks.

An informed source told al-Mayadeen that the terrorists are now only faced with the two options of either retreating from the entire Eastern districts of Aleppo or getting killed.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Monday that Syrian Army troops and popular forces have, thus far, driven Jeish al-Fatah terrorists out of, at least, 30 neighborhoods in the Eastern parts of Aleppo city.

The pro-government forces have managed to liberate at least 30 neighborhoods in Eastern Aleppo since the start of their large-scale operation against Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups, the Russian defense ministry said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950915001215

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Turkey Suspends Military Operations in Syria's Al-Bab Region

Dec 05, 2016

According to the Shabakat Akhbar Syria Mottaheda news website, dissident sources said Ankara has decided to suspend military operations in al-Bab city as long as the war in Eastern Aleppo city is underway.

The sources added that the Turkish fighter jets have not carried out any mission over the Syrian airspace in the past few days.

Also, the Turkish army has issued a short statement on pounding the ISIL positions in Northern Syria, stressing that the bombing has been carried out from inside the Syrian territories near the borders, they said.

The report was released after the Syrian military aircraft targeted positions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorists in the area of al-Bab in Aleppo province and halted the advance of the Turkey-backed militants in the area, a media report said.

The bombing carried out by the Syrian Air Force on the positions of the Free Syrian Army militants in the area of al-Bab, previously controlled by ISIL, halted the advance of the FSA fighters, who are supported by Turkey.

After recapturing Manbij from ISIL by Kurdish forces, al-Bab and Deir Hafer have turned into the largest bases of ISIL in Aleppo province.

A field sources earlier said that the ISIL has shifted plans to launch new offensive to reoccupy the city of Manbij to surrender both Manbij and al-Bab to the Turkey-backed militants in a later move after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his troops' incursion into Syria is meant to fight and topple President Bashar Al-Assad.

Reports said that the ISIL has started a new scenario in the regions near Manbij in coordination with the Turkish government and has attempted in the past few days to reoccupy the villages in the Western and Northwestern parts of the Kurdish-held Manbij with the help of the Turkish forces who are stationed in the Northern villages.

According to field sources, the ISIL terrorists have also agreed to evacuate the strategic city of al-Bab in several stages and reoccupy Manbij again so that the Turkish government will be able to deploy forces in the city under the pretext of fighting against terrorism.

Sources in the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) also disclosed that the US forces stationed in Northern Syria have also agreed with the Turkish scenario and have instead promised the Kurdish forces to give them control of the Southern parts of Raqqa province.

A Syrian official underlined last week that Ankara is technically at war with Damascus given its lack of coordination with the Syrian army in al-Bab city.

"Considering its campaign against the terrorist groups in Aleppo, the Syrian army is fighting against Turkey indirectly" as the latter is in on the opposite side and helping the terrorists in the same region, Samir Sulayman, a high-ranking official at Syria's defense ministry, said.

He explained that since the Syrian army is fighting against the terrorists in different parts of the country, specially Aleppo, it has indirectly entered a battle against Turkey because the terrorist groups are enjoying Ankara's arms support and consultations.

Sources close to the Syrian dissidents disclosed last month that the Turkish army has deployed anti-aircraft 'Stinger' missile system to the regions near al-Bab city Northeast of Aleppo province.

Ahmad al-Khatib, a journalist with close links to the Free Syrian Army terrorist group, disclosed on his twitter page that Turkey is equipping its affiliated forces stationed near the strategic city of al-Bab with Stinger missile system.

The Turkish media had also reported that a number of trucks carrying air defense systems were moving from Oguzeli region in Gaziantep towards the Syrian borders.

Tensions between Damascus and Ankara have gone so high that Syrian sources report army's preemptive strike in the Northern parts of Syria to block the Turkish army's attempts to establish a buffer zone in the region.

After liberation of 25 farms and villages from the terrorists' control in Aleppo, the Syrian army forces continued to advance in the region to surround the strategic city of al-Bab from its Southern and Western sides.

The ISIL stronghold city of al-Bab Northeast of Aleppo is on the verge of a major war among the Syrian army, the Kurds and the Turkey-backed forces that are part of Turkey's Euphrates Shield Operation.

Reports said if the Euphrates Shield Operation forces reach the gates of al-Bab city, the ISIL terrorists will withdraw without any resistance which will pave the ground for the Turkey-backed groups. The ISIL has adopted the same strategy in a number of villages and towns in the Northern parts of Aleppo.

Meantime, possibility is high for direct clashes between the Syrian and Turkish armies as the Turkey-sponsored forces that are backed up by the Turkish army tanks stress that they are resolved to take al-Bab.

Last month reports said that the Syrian army had inched closer to one of the most important strongholds of the ISIL in the Arab country, and were only three kilometers away from the Northern Syrian city of al-Bab in Aleppo province, while the Ankara-backed militants are also racing towards the city.

According to the Al-Mayadeen TV channel, the army troops managed to dislodge ISIL terrorists from six settlements near al-Bab, and are approaching the ISIL's stronghold city.

The Free Syrian Army supported by the Turkish Air Force and armored vehicles has also launched an offensive to push terrorists out of the vital Bastion of ISIL as capturing the city is of strategic importance to Ankara in order to prevent the Kurds' reunification.

Military sources had disclosed in mid September that a large number of Syrian soldiers are deployed at Kuweires airbase to start military operations against the terrorists in al-Bab.

"Hundreds of Syrian soldiers are now in Kuweires airbase 40 kilometers to the east of Aleppo city to start al-Bab military operations against the ISIL terrorist group," the Arabic-language media quoted an unnamed military source as saying.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950915000574

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Jeish Al-Fatah Arrests Tens of Fugitive Members in Aleppo

Dec 05, 2016

The sources said that after devastating advances of the Syrian army and popular forces in Eastern Aleppo, a large number of militants, who wanted to leave the city and surrender themselves to the government forces, have been captured by their commanders and hardliners of Jeish al-Fatah.

"Members of the Aleppo Command Council have arrested a number of Jeish al-Islam militants on charges of escaping war, but Jeish al-Islam's commander Soheib has managed to flee," they added.

The Aleppo Command Council also seized the field commander, Omar Qasoumeh who intended to surrender to the Syrian Army along with 150 of his troops. 

Local sources had disclosed earlier that Jeish al-Fatah has dispatched a large number of those in its prisons, including the old Aleppo prison, to the frontline. 

Local sources and militants' social media pages said on Sunday that the militant groups started accusing each other of committing treason after Syrian Army troops pushed them back from at least 60 percent of the Eastern districts in Aleppo city in recent days.

Terrorist-affiliated websites disclosed that Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) and Abu Amarah battalion stormed the bases of Faylaq al-Sham and Jeish al-Islam in the Eastern districts of Aleppo city.

Rebel groups accused each other of committing treason and starting ceasefire talks with the Damascus government, reports said.

Terrorist groups are still preventing civilians from leaving militant-held districts of Aleppo despite their public claims to the opposite.

Several militants fled the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city and surrendered to the Syrian army on Sunday. Two of the surrendered militants were transferred to the city's hospitals to be treated there.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950915000970

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KSA backs call for urgent UN meeting on Syria

5 December 2016

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has backed an international call for a special UN session on the situation of Syria. Fierce fighting in Aleppo and the province of Idlib has claimed the lives of more than 40 civilians, including 3 children, on Sunday. This has led to international condemnations of the Syrian regime.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar, the UAE and Turkey, has backed the international call for a special UN session on the situation of Syria, according to an SPA report.

In a joint statement issued on Saturday evening, the permanent representatives of the four countries to the United Nations have justified the convening of an emergency special session of the General Assembly, given the “terrifying conditions in Syria.”

They welcomed “the letter of the permanent representatives of Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, the Netherlands and Togo to the United Nations,” in which they have called to and on behalf of 74 UN member states to hold a formal plenary session of the UN General Assembly on the situation in Syria under item 31.

Supporting the move, the statement said, “The letter addressed to the President of the UN General Assembly is commendable, and we believe that the UN General Assembly has responsibilities (that) should be carried out with respect to the preservation of international peace and security.”

The statement pointed out that “Convening an emergency special session will highlight an emergency situation, which deserves special concern from the UN General Assembly.”

No victory for Assad, Putin

As the advance of President Bashar Assad’s forces has sparked international outrage, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday rebuked Damascus and said the Syrian regime’s advances in war-torn east Aleppo do not represent a “victory for Assad” or his Russian ally Vladimir Putin.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1019641/saudi-arabia

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Saudi Arabia: 15 in Iran spy cell sentenced to death

6 December 2016

In Jun, Saudi Arabia announced that it has arrested 32 spies with links to Iran.

The spies were 30 Saudis, an Iranian, an Afghan with links to the Iranian intelligence services were on trial and the public prosecutor has presented his evidence against each of the suspects.

The charges include the formation of a spy cell, which liaised and collaborated with elements of the Iranian intelligence to provide secret and sensitive information related to the military and that affects the national security, the territorial unity and integrity of Saudi Arabia and its armed forces.

The suspects are also accused of meeting Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei and coordinating with agents from the Iranian intelligence.

Other charges include attempts to carry out acts of sabotage against economic interests and vital installations in Saudi Arabia, to undermine social peace and public order, to spread chaos, to incite sectarian strife, and to carry out hostile acts against the kingdom.

The suspects also faced accusations of high treason of their country and king, and attempting to recruit people working in state agencies to commit acts of espionage for the Iranian intelligence service.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2016/12/06/Saudi-Arabia-15-sentenced-to-death-in-Iran-spy-cell.html

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Africa

 

Forces loyal to Libyan unity government fully liberate Sirte

Dec 5, 2016

Forces loyal to Libya’s UN-backed government have fully liberated the militant stronghold of Sirte from the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, officials say.

Reda Issa, a spokesman for pro-government forces, made the announcement on Monday.

"Our forces have total control of Sirte," Issa said, adding, "Our forces saw Daesh totally collapse."

The spokesman also noted that the forces are now carrying out mop-up operations to clear the area of the Takfiri remnants.

Meanwhile, a statement on the loyalist forces' official Facebook page confirmed the liberation of the terrorist group’s ex-North African stronghold of Sirte.

"Daesh has totally collapsed and dozens of them have given themselves up to our forces," the statement read.

Daesh took control of Sirte, on the Mediterranean coast, early last year and took advantage of the political chaos in Libya to increase its presence in the country.

Libyan forces launched a military operation in May to retake the city. They managed to enter the city in June and, since then, they have liberated a number of districts.

Sirte’s recapture will leave Daesh with no territory in Libya.

The oil-rich North African state has been dominated by violence since a NATO military intervention followed the 2011 uprising that led to the toppling and killing of longtime dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. Rival governments were set up in Tripoli and eastern Libya back in 2014.

Last December, however, the two administrations agreed on forming the Government of National Accord (GNA) after months of UN-brokered talks. The presidential council of the GNA arrived in Tripoli in March in a bid to restore order to the country.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/05/496565/Libya-Sirte-Reda-Issa-Daesh--Gaddafi-NATO

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U.N. identifies 41 Burundi, Gabon troops accused of abuse in C.Africa

Dec 6, 2016

By Michelle Nichols

| UNITED NATIONS

UNITED NATIONS An internal United Nations inquiry has identified 25 peacekeepers from Burundi and 16 from Gabon accused of sexual abuse and exploitation in the Central African Republic in 2014 and 2015, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday. "Responsibility for further investigations lies with Burundi and Gabon," Dujarric said, adding that the U.N. had asked those states to interview the identified troops, who all left Central African Republic before the allegations surfaced.The 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force there, known as MINUSCA, has been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse since its deployment in April 2014 to curb fighting between the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels and rival anti-balaka Christian militias.Central African Republic, which holds reserves of uranium, gold and diamonds, suffered the biggest crisis in its half-century of independence in early 2013 when Seleka toppled then-President Francois Bozize. French troops deployed in a separate intervention in the former French colony have also been accused of abuses.

The 41 troops from Gabon and Burundi were identified by 45 possible victims in Central African Republic's Kemo prefecture, Dujarric told reporters. However, in 83 of the 139 cases investigated by the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), the possible victims were unable to identify the peacekeepers they accused of abuse or exploitation or provide corroborating evidence. A further three cases were considered unreliable. The inquiry found another eight victims described distinctive traits of peacekeepers accused of abuse, but could not identify them through photos or corroborating evidence.

Full report at:

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

http://www.firstpost.com/world/u-n-identifies-41-burundi-gabon-troops-accused-of-abuse-in-c-africa-reuters-3141224.html

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Fresh attacks in Nigeria raise questions over ‘defeat’ of Boko Haram

December 5, 2016

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Abba Kaka has good reason to doubt the government’s claims to success in the battle against one of the world’s deadliest terror groups.

Mr. Kaka narrowly escaped death last week after Boko Haram insurgents raided his village of Duwabayi in the country’s remote northern Borno State. Mr. Kaka, who runs a general store, jumped over his back fence to escape the attackers as they seized food and other supplies.

Duwabayi is one of several Borno State communities where the Islamic State-affiliated militants have stepped up attacks recently after months of relative peace following the Nigerian government’s crackdown on the fighters. Authorities later said that around nine people were killed in the raid.

“As I’m talking to you now, I don’t know the whereabouts of my wife and four children,” Mr. Kaka said, adding that he has yet to return home. “I had to run for my life, leaving my family behind. It’s a terrible thing to do.”

Just two weeks ago, the Nigerian army’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Burutai, insisted “the terrorists have been defeated” and said the army was conducting “mop-up operations aimed at ensuring that we clear the rest of them.” It was the latest proclamation from the government of President Mohammadu Buhari that Boko Haram was on the verge of being wiped out after a concerted, multinational military push.

But the general’s story flies in the face of accounts from other Nigerian authorities, who say the terrorists haven’t been defeated but simply have gone underground to wait out the pressure.

Recent events in Borno State suggest Boko Haram is resuming the battle. The jihadis have attacked and burned down several villages, detonated bombs in marketplaces and continue to run rampant over much of the countryside. Several people, including two military officers and a handful of soldiers, have perished in the attacks, according to military officials and villagers.

“Do not be overwhelmed by people like Donald Trump and the global coalition fighting our brethren in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and everywhere,” said Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau on an hourlong message posted recently on YouTube. “We remain steadfast [in] our faith, and we will not stop. To us, the war has just begun.”

The Vigilante Group of Nigeria, an irregular security force working together with government soldiers to secure communities in Borno State, claimed that Boko Haram fighters killed 13 people in Dasa, a village only 2 miles away from Munguno, a local government headquarters, shortly before they attacked Duwabayi.

“The gunmen who stormed the villages in large numbers ensured that they burned down every building in the two villages,” said Abbas Gava, who leads the vigilante group.

Boko Haram militants have assimilated into local communities in the wake of the crackdown following Mr. Buhari’s election last year, said Timothy Mshelia of the Search for Common Ground, a humanitarian organization seeking the protection of holy sites in violence-prone communities.

Buhari offensive

A former military general who ruled Nigeria briefly in the mid-1980s, Mr. Buhari ran as a civilian and reformer in the 2015 race, vowing to take a hard line against the militants, unlike predecessor Goodluck Jonathan, who was accused of letting Boko Haram have free rein in the territories it controlled.

Mr. Buhari and his generals have claimed steady progress since then, and U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on an August visit congratulated the government for its successes. Nigerian security officials say that Boko Haram has lost some 95 percent of the territory it controlled at the height of its reign of terror.

But recent operations by Boko Haram suggest reports of its demise were premature.

“There is little to indicate the group is nearing its end or even that it is severely weakened,” William Assanvo, an expert on Nigeria and militancy at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), told the British newspaper The Guardian last month.

Militants coalesce periodically, attack their neighbors and then disperse to new villages to collect intelligence, added Mr. Mshelia.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/5/new-attacks-raise-questions-over-defeat-of-boko-ha/

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7 al-Shabaab terrorists killed in deadly battle

Dec 6, 2016

African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) forces have confirmed that they killed seven al-Shabaab militants in a battle.

Amisom said it its official Twitter account that its soldiers killed 7 al-Shabaab militants, and injured 9 others in Barire area in the southern Lower Shabelle region after deadly clash.

Full report at:

Amisom said the incident occured on Sunday, December 4, in its tweet.

https://tuko.co.ke/223675-7-al-shabaab-terrorists-killed-deadly-battle.html

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Pilot dies after warplane crashes in east-central Jordan

Dec 5, 2016

A single-engine, supersonic and multirole F-16 fighter jet of the Royal Jordanian Air Force has gone down in the country’s east-central province of Zarqa after take-off during a training mission.

A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the military aircraft was flying over Azraq town, located 100 kilometers east of the capital Amman, on Monday, when it experienced a technical glitch and crashed.

The slain pilot was later identified as Major Ayed Ahmad al-De'ajah.

The Jordanian air force reportedly has around 60 F-16 fighter jets.

On April 6, 2015, a two-seat Slingsby T67 Firefly aerobatic training aircraft of the Royal Jordanian Air Force crashed north of the capital, killing the Jordanian pilot and his trainee pilot.

Colonel Mamdouh al-Amiri, spokesman for the Jordanian military, identified the victims as Lieutenant Colonel Ibrahim Hassouneh and Iraqi national Laith Nasser.

Jordan’s military suffered a similar incident in 2013, when another Firefly training aircraft crashed, killing the two pilots on board.

Jordan joined the so-called US-led military coalition against Daesh in September 2014. The contingent purports to be carrying out airstrikes against the terrorists’ positions both in Iraq and Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/05/496586/Jordanian-Air-Force-F16-fighter-jet-crash-Azraq-pilot-death

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Nigerian authorities urge prosecution of Sheikh Zakzaky

Dec 6, 2016

Authorities in a Nigerian state have called for the prosecution of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky who was recently ordered to be released after nearly a year of detention without trial.

The government of Kaduna State on Monday said Zakzaky should be put on trial for alleged "lawlessness" of his group, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), for the past 30 years.

In October, authorities in the state declared the mainstream Shia group as illegal as part of the state crackdown against the Muslim community. On Monday, the Kaduna government accused the group of "allegiance to a foreign power."

The news comes few days after the federal high court of Nigeria ruled that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, should be released unconditionally.

The prominent cleric and his wife were taken into custody on December 14, 2015, after deadly clashes between the supporters of the IMN movement and Nigerian troops.

Nearly 350 members of the Shia movement were killed in the clashes. The sheikh was brutally injured and his house was reportedly destroyed by the army in the incident.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole said he had given 45 days for authorities to provide new accommodation for the Zakzaky family. The judge also said the state security service would pay each of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife $78,984 in compensation for the violation of their rights by being held in unlawful custody for nearly a year.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/06/496673/Nigeria-State-prosecution-Zakzaky

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North America

 

U.S. Muslim Meets Eric Trump, Discovers Media Lied About ‘Muslim Registry’

DECEMBER 5, 2016

Mohammed Amer is a Muslim comedian who traffics liberally in claims that Muslims are being unfairly victimized in post-9/11 America. Operating as if such a false media narrative is still simply accepted as truth in 2016, Amer’s website proclaims:

With parents from Palestine, born in Kuwait, and raised in Houston, Texas, his entire life provides fodder for hilarious -- and at times heartbreaking -- personal stories.

Well, Amer just got what he assumed would be a splendid opportunity to further his career of playing victim, but it didn’t turn out that way. Amer boarded a plane last week, and to his shock, found Eric Trump, Donald’s son, next to him.

Instead of the fireworks Amer expected -- presumably due to Amer having believed the two years of outrageously false media coverage of the Trump campaign -- Amer received a lesson in establishment media distortion and lies. Though unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Amer realizes yet just how badly he had been misled all these years.

A Huffington Post article on the Trump/Amer encounter gives us a glimpse of what Flying While Trump must be like today: “[T]he woman behind them was clearly upset” that Eric Trump was on the flight. She said to Amer: “I wouldn’t even sit next to him if I were you.”

But Amer says his own reaction was different: “Thank you, God.”

Amer said to Eric:

You don’t even know how fantastic this is for me. I’m a Muslim named Mohammed who happens to be a stand-up comedian, and I’m sitting next to you. Its perfect.

Apparently, Amer thought he would have an excellent opportunity to school young Eric in the Leftist, mainstream media vision of all that is moral and good, and he immediately set out to try. The Huffington Post recounts:

Then, in the politest way he could, Amer let him know something …

“I was like, ‘Yo, and I’m not doing that s--t. I’m not going to get an ID, a Muslim ID and all this crap. I’m not doing that. F--k that,’” Amer explained.

That was polite? Anyway, Mohammed Amer quickly learned from Eric that the establishment propaganda hysteria over this supposed “Muslim registry” had no basis in fact:

Amer said that Eric told him nothing of the sort would happen. "He goes, 'Come on, man you really think we’re going to do that? We’re not doing that.' That’s what he said. “We’re not doing that.” I was like, “OK, fantastic.”

True to form, the Huffington Post allowed this exposure of a falsehood having been used to distort Donald Trump’s actual position to pass by without further comment. And if, at that point, a glimmer of skepticism had flashed across Amer’s mind regarding the propaganda he had been fed, it was not recorded in the article, either.

The Huffington Post article did include this:

As Amer and Eric got to talking, the comedian told him that he had toured with Dave Chappelle. When Eric heard that, he had a request: “Tell him to take it easy on [my dad].” To which Amer responded, “That’s not gonna happen. We are not going to take it easy. It’s not our job to take it easy on you guys.”

Of course, the vast majority of entertainers think it is their job to take it easy on Democrats, socialists, and the like.

https://pjmedia.com/homeland-security/2016/12/05/u-s-muslim-meets-eric-trump-discovers-media-lied-about-muslim-registry/

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Muslim man’s restaurant attacked twice in US

December 5, 2016

Houston: A Pakistani restaurant in the US has been targetted for a second time in a suspected hate attack, the latest in a slew of anti-Muslim incidents since Donald Trump has been elected US President.

Asad Khan, owner of ZaZa Bar & Bites in Galveston city in Texas, said his eatery was covered in bacon and he has also received five threatening calls telling him to go back to his native Pakistan.

“It shook me,” Khan said. “It took me off guard because I wasn’t expecting that. I feel bad for whomever did this because they’re carrying so much hate in them,” Houston Chronicle reported.

This incident is the second this week for Khan, who also discovered bacon grease smeared on the front door handles on Thursday. He filed a report with the Galveston police, but there have been no arrests made in the case, the report said.

The restraunt has only been open for about nine months and since opening his business he has received about five threatening phone calls telling him to go back to his country.

The local branch of an Islamic organisation has called for a hate crime investigation.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/news/muslim-mans-restaurant-attacked-twice-us-1080102/

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Man accused of threatening NY Muslim officer faces hate charge

Dec 6, 2016

A man who authorities said shouted “go back to your country” at a Muslim woman wearing a religious head covering may have picked the wrong target: a decorated New York City police officer.

Officer Aml Elsokary, a New York City native who joined the force after the September 11 attacks, said she was off duty in her Brooklyn neighbourhood Saturday when she encountered a man yelling and pushing her 16-year-old son.

When she intervened, she said, the man referenced the militant Islamic State group and threatened to slit her throat.

It was the first time anything like that had happened to her, she said at a news conference with the city's mayor Monday.

“I became a police officer to show the positive side of a New Yorker, a Muslim woman, that can do the job,” Elsokary said.

“I help everybody, no matter what your religion, what's your faith, what you do in New York. I'm born and raised here.”

The man accused of making the threat, Christopher Nelson, 36, was arraigned Monday on a felony charge of menacing as a hate crime. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The encounter was one of a number of alleged episodes of religious or racial bigotry reported in the city in recent days.

On Monday, a transit worker who is Muslim was pushed down the stairs at Grand Central Terminal by a man who called her a terrorist, police said. The station agent, who was wearing a religious head covering, was attacked while on her way to work. She was treated at a hospital for ankle and knee injuries.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also noted in a statement that a subway train was vandalised with swastikas on Saturday, and Ku Klux Klan materials were distributed at Long Island Rail Road stations last week.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1300829/man-accused-of-threatening-ny-muslim-officer-faces-hate-charge'

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Trump’s America: NY Muslim Woman Pushed Down Stairs After Being Called A ‘Terrorist’

By Sean Colarossi

Dec 5th, 2016

In the latest hate crime to take place in Donald Trump’s America, a New York transit worker who just happens to be a Muslim was pushed down the stairs on Monday by a man who called her a “terrorist” and said she shouldn’t be working in the city.

According to CBS News, the woman was on her way to work when the man pushed her down the steps at Grand Central Terminal.

More from the news organization:

The assault took place on Monday morning as the victim, 45, was heading to work on the subway, CBS New York reported. The suspect followed her off the train and shoved her down the stairs, police said.

Sources told CBS New York the suspect allegedly called the victim a “terrorist” and said she shouldn’t be working in the city. She was wearing a Muslim head covering at the time of the assault, and was treated at a Manhattan hospital for ankle and knee injuries.

The incident is disturbing, of course, but it’s also becoming the new normal in a country filled with so many people that support a man who spent an entire campaign season painting Muslims and other minorities as enemies.

As CBS reports also reports:

On Saturday, a man harassed and threatened an off-duty police officer who was wearing a Muslim head covering in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, authorities said.

The officer, Aml Elsokary, had encountered a man who was yelling and pushing her 16-year-old son. She tried to intervene, according to police.

Police said the suspect, 36-year-old Christopher Nelson, said to her, “ISIS [expletive], I will cut your throat, go back to your country,” CBS New York reported.

Obviously, not all supporters of Donald Trump would engage in or condone such behavior; many would likely denounce it, in fact. But those in America who have a deep-seated hatred toward Muslims and other minority groups are only emboldened by Trump’s candidacy and subsequent electoral college victory.

Full report at:

http://www.politicususa.com/2016/12/05/muslim-woman-pushed-stairs-trump-america.html

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Terrorism Conviction of a Wiretapped American Is Upheld on Appeal

By CHARLIE SAVAGE

DEC. 5, 2016

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Monday upheld the 2013 conviction of a Somali-American man for trying to detonate a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Ore., rejecting his arguments that the F.B.I. had entrapped him and that the government had unconstitutionally intercepted his emails without a warrant.

The ruling — by a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco — was particularly important because it upheld the government’s use of emails gathered without a warrant under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. The law permits the government, on domestic soil, to collect phone calls and emails of noncitizens abroad, even when they are communicating with an American.

The case centered on Mohamed Mohamud, who was 19 when he tried to blow up what he thought was a bomb. In fact, there was no danger: The plot had been orchestrated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of a sting operation. Mr. Mohamud was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

He appealed, arguing that the conviction should be overturned in part because the government had used evidence derived from warrantless surveillance. But the panel upheld the verdict.

“Many young people think and say alarming things that they later disavow, and we will never know if Mohamud — a young man with promise — would have carried out a mass attack absent the F.B.I.’s involvement,” Judge John B. Owens wrote for the panel. But, he went on, some such people “take the next step, leading to horrific consequences.”

“While technology makes it easier to capture the thoughts of these individuals, it also makes it easier for them to commit terrible crimes,” Judge Owens wrote. “Here, the evidence supported the jury’s verdict, and the government’s surveillance, investigation and prosecution of Mohamud were consistent with constitutional and statutory requirements.”

For years, the government prevented judicial evaluation of surveillance conducted under the FISA Amendments Act by concealing when evidence was derived from it, so defendants did not know that they had standing to challenge it. In early 2013, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the law brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, without addressing the merits, because the A.C.L.U.’s clients could not prove they had been wiretapped under the act and so lacked standing.

But the Justice Department changed its practice in the summer of 2013 and began notifying a handful of defendants that they had faced evidence derived from warrantless surveillance. Mr. Mohamud was among the first to receive such a notice. The A.C.L.U. filed “friend of the court” arguments to assist him.

They argued that the underlying surveillance violated the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches. According to declassified information, the government learned, by targeting a foreigner for surveillance without a warrant, that Mr. Mohamud was in email contact with that target. It then used those emails to obtain an individualized warrant to wiretap Mr. Mohamud.

The government gathered the emails via the so-called Prism program, which collects messages in the accounts of targeted foreigners from webmail providers.

The Ninth Circuit opinion was written by Judge Owens, an appointee of President Obama. He was joined by Judges Harry Pregerson, an appointee of Jimmy Carter, and Carlos T. Bea, who was appointed by George W. Bush.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/05/us/politics/mohamed-mohamud-terrorism-conviction-upheld.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus

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US Muslim cleric fights deportation over Hamas conviction

December 6, 2016

NEWARK, New Jersey — The leader of one of New Jersey’s largest mosques, who is accused of lying on his green card application, was in court Monday to fight deportation.

Imam Mohammad Qatanani, the leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, didn’t disclose being convicted in Israel for being a member of Hamas, federal officials have said.

Qatanani denies that he was ever a member of Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist organization by the US government. He says that he was only detained — like many others at the time — and was never told that he was convicted of anything. He also said he was subjected to physical and mental abuse while in detention.

Eight years ago, a judge ruled against immigration authorities’ attempt to have him deported.

“We believe the justice system in this country is very special,” he said before entering court Monday, The Record reported.

Qatanani was born in the West Bank and said that he was detained by Israeli officials while visiting there in 1993. He came to the US in 1996 from Jordan.

His brother-in-law was a senior Hamas military leader killed by Israel, but Qatanani said in his 2008 trial that he did not participate with him in political activities.

Khalid Abu Goura, who served on the board of a mosque in Jordan when Qatanani was imam there, said that he never spoke about Hamas. Goura also said that he never saw any Hamas-related books or literature in Qatanani’s possession.

Goura also said imams were banned by Jordanian law from talking about politics, and that they could only be hired after a background check by Jordanian intelligence and security agencies.

Full report at:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-muslim-cleric-fights-deportation-over-hamas-conviction/

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Europe

 

Inequality among British Muslim communities getting worse: UK govt report

Dec 6, 2016

Some UK communities are "worryingly" segregated and government's failure to tackle social and economic isolation, particularly among Muslims, is playing into the hands of extremists, a government-commissioned report released Monday said.

Louise Casey, a senior civil servant, said her study exposed "uncomfortable truths" about the impact of large-scale immigration, in particular discrimination against women in some South Asian communities in the country.

"Inequality within certain communities in these highly segregated areas is getting worse, not better," she told the BBC. Casey highlighted issues in areas that have high concentrations of Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage.

She said that people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin were more likely to live in residentially segregated communities than other ethnic minority groups, pointing to areas where up to 85 per cent of residents were Muslim.

Casey warned that many people in those areas did not have the same opportunities as others across Britain, often because they did not speak English, and also because cultural and religious practices held them back.

This was particularly true of women, and Casey warned that domestic abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage remained "all too prevalent" in some communities.

"It is the misogyny and the patriarchy that has to come to an end. Leaders that are not Muslim and are Muslim need to unite around unity in this country," she told the BBC.

She admitted her findings would put further pressure on Britain's 2.8 million Muslims, amid concerns about rising Islamophobia.

But in a foreword to the report, she warned: "A failure to talk about all this only leaves the ground open for the far-right on one side and Islamist extremists on the other. Every person, in every community, in every part of Britain, should feel a part of our nation and have every opportunity to succeed in it. There can be no exceptions to that by gender, colour or creed."

Government officials had reportedly sought to water-down the study, which was commissioned by former prime minister David Cameron last year, because of its controversial findings.

'Inflammatory, divisive'

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid said the report was a "valuable contribution".

"We need to take a serious look at the facts and must not shy away from the challenges we face," he said.

But Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim lobby group, condemned it as "inflammatory and divisive".

"Sadly, in today's Britain, Muslims are seen as an easy target to attack by politicians, commentators and parts of the media without any regard for the impact this has on communities," he said.

"There was no mention about the responsibility of the white community to help with integration, as many white families flee mixed areas as ethnic minorities move into a particular area," Shafiq added.

He also noted that the government had cut funding for English language classes one of Casey's recommendations to improve integration.

The report also said immigrants should take an oath of integration with British values and society on arrival in the country, rather than waiting until their final citizenship test.

Casey urged the promotion of British laws, history and values within the core school curriculum to build "integration, tolerance, citizenship and resilience".

She also called for greater mixing among young people through activities such as sport, and efforts to raise employment levels among marginalised groups.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1300638/inequality-among-uks-muslim-communities-getting-worse-uk-govt-report

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Muslims ‘forced to leave’ Christmas market in Germany after setting up Islam info stand

By: Trends Desk

December 5, 2016

In the days leading up to Christmas, around the world there are special fairs and markets set up for the festive season. The special Christmas markets are also crowd-magnet, not just for locals but even tourists, who flock to these places in great numbers.

Usually each town has its own special set of stalls promoting local business and handicraft, with enjoyment and communal love being the principal sentiments, however, at a Christmas market in Germany’s Rüdesheim by the Rhine, members setting up a stall were forced to leave because of their religion. Their fault – they were Muslims, and not Christians.

According to a Metro UK report, “Members of the Ahmadiyya Islamic community had set up an information booth on Islam at the Rüdesheim town hall simply to make people better understand the religion.” But locals complained that their stall was not in accordance with the Christmas spirit. The report also added that the members were allegedly ordered to leave “because of the ‘danger potential due to the violent public reaction’.”

Reportedly, few residents of the locality objected to their stall and one of the displeased citizen also remarked “This does not belong at a Christmas market!” the Express UK reported.

“Local people argued that a stand ‘which is obviously a question of the Koran design’ does not belong at a Christmas market,” the report further said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/trending/this-is-serious/muslims-forced-to-leave-christmas-market-in-german-town-rudesheim-after-setting-up-islam-information-stand-4411778/

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IAEA warns 'N-terrorism' can strike anywhere

December 06, 2016

VIENNA - "Nuclear terrorists" can strike anywhere, the head of the UN atomic watchdog warned Monday at the start of a week-long ministerial conference on preventing misuse of radioactive materials and attacks on facilities.

"Ensuring effective nuclear security is important for all countries, including those which possess little or no nuclear or other radioactive material," International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said.

"Terrorists and criminals will try to exploit any vulnerability in the global nuclear security system. Any country, in any part of the world, could find itself used as a transit point. And any country could become the target of an attack," he said in Vienna.

Countries all over the world have stepped up their investment in nuclear security with support from the IAEA, and have been working to reinforce staffing levels with more than 10,000 police, border guards and other specialists trained in the past six years, Amano said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/06-Dec-2016/iaea-warns-n-terrorism-can-strike-anywhere

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Germany warns against backlash over Afghan refugee suspected of murder

December 05, 2016

The German government said on Monday nobody should try to make political capital out of a criminal case involving an Afghan refugee suspected of raping and murdering a German university student.

The case could bolster support for anti-immigrant groups such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD), which have already gained ground after Germany admitted nearly a million mostly Muslim migrants and refugees last year.

Last Friday police detained a 17-year-old Afghan schoolboy who arrived in Germany last year and a test determined that his DNA matched that found near the site where a 19-year-old female student died in the southwestern city of Freiburg on Oct. 15.

Police said an autopsy found she had been a victim of sexual crime and violence before she drowned in a river.

"We must not allow this abominable crime to be misused for rabble-rousing and conspiracy propaganda," German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Facebook.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said the Afghan refugee "must be punished with the full force of our laws" if found guilty.

"But we must not forget that we are talking then about a possible crime by one Afghan refugee, not a whole group of people who are Afghan or refugees," Seibert added.

Their comments reflect the political sensitivity of crimes involving migrants after Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door policy triggered a sharp fall in her popularity. She wants to seek a fourth term in next year's federal election in Germany.

Some Germans also suspect their government and mainstream media of trying to hush up incidents involving migrants to avoid a political backlash.

When hundreds of women were sexually assaulted and robbed by men of North African and Arab appearance during New Year celebrations in Cologne on Dec. 31, national news outlets did not report them until several days later, prompting strong criticism from anti-immigrant groups.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Dec-2016/germany-warns-against-backlash-over-afghan-refugee-suspected-of-murder

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Discrimination among British-Muslim communities rising: UK govt report

December 05, 2016

Some UK communities are "worryingly" segregated and government's failure to tackle social and economic isolation, particularly among Muslims, is playing into the hands of extremists, a government-commissioned report released Monday said.

Louise Casey, a senior civil servant, said her study exposed "uncomfortable truths" about the impact of large-scale immigration, in particular discrimination against women in some South Asian communities in the country.

"Inequality within certain communities in these highly segregated areas is getting worse, not better," she told the BBC. Casey highlighted issues in areas that have high concentrations of Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage.

She said that people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin were more likely to live in residentially segregated communities than other ethnic minority groups, pointing to areas where up to 85 per cent of residents were Muslim.

Casey warned that many people in those areas did not have the same opportunities as others across Britain, often because they did not speak English, and also because cultural and religious practices held them back.

This was particularly true of women, and Casey warned that domestic abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage remained "all too prevalent" in some communities.

"It is the misogyny and the patriarchy that has to come to an end. Leaders that are not Muslim and are Muslim need to unite around unity in this country," she told the BBC.

She admitted her findings would put further pressure on Britain's 2.8 million Muslims, amid concerns about rising Islamophobia.

But in a foreword to the report, she warned: "A failure to talk about all this only leaves the ground open for the far-right on one side and Islamist extremists on the other. Every person, in every community, in every part of Britain, should feel a part of our nation and have every opportunity to succeed in it. There can be no exceptions to that by gender, colour or creed."

Government officials had reportedly sought to water-down the study, which was commissioned by former prime minister David Cameron last year, because of its controversial findings.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid said the report was a "valuable contribution".

"We need to take a serious look at the facts and must not shy away from the challenges we face," he said.

But Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim lobby group, condemned it as "inflammatory and divisive".

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Dec-2016/discrimination-among-british-muslim-communities-rising-uk-govt-report

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Russia, China veto U.N. proposal to stop deadly violence in Aleppo

December 5, 2016

BEIRUT — Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council proposal to stop fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Monday, thwarting flurried international efforts to end violence that has killed hundreds of civilians in recent weeks.

A Syrian and Iranian-backed push to retake the flash-point city has brought President Bashar al-Assad close to his biggest victory in more than five years of war.

Russia, a key ally of Assad’s, has vetoed several Security Council resolutions aimed at easing the war. On Monday, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the latest proposal was rejected because it ignored parallel diplomatic efforts with the United States.

Washington’s representative, Deputy Ambassador Michele Sison, described that remark as a “made-up alibi.”

“We will not let Russia string along the Security Council while waiting for a compromise that never seems to come,” she said.

Aleppo’s rebels rejected calls to withdraw from their shrinking enclave Monday, despite government advances through what was once the opposition’s most important stronghold.

The offensive has boxed the rebels into a small patch of territory, killing at least 500 civilians and shattering the area’s remaining infrastructure.

Yasser al-Youssef, a spokesman for the hard-line Islamist Nour al-Din al-Ziniki faction, insisted that a withdrawal was “unacceptable.” Another rebel representative, Abu Abdel Rahman Al-Hamawi of the Jaish al-Islam group, said his forces would continue “until the last drop of blood.”

But the Aleppo rebels are running out of options. Militarily overwhelmed and weakened by infighting, they face a stark choice: stay in the city and face a near-certain defeat, or retreat to Idlib, a neighboring province and something of a holding pen for Syria’s remaining armed opposition.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, says at least 50,000 civilians fled rebel-held eastern Aleppo last week as government forces, backed by an array of Iran-funded militia, closed in.

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/rebels-refuse-to-pull-out-of-aleppo-as-assads-forces-close-in/2016/12/05/26433e1c-baee-11e6-91ee-1adddfe36cbe_story.html?utm_term=.c646ee8b71c4

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Pakistan Critical to Defeating ISIS, Says Russian Special Rep to Afghanistan

05/12/2016

Amritsar: Justifying Russia’s recent overture to Pakistan, the Russian president’s special representative to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said that ISIS in the subcontinent cannot be eliminated without cooperation from Islamabad.

Kabulov, Russia’s most experienced diplomatic hand in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, was in India to attend the annual ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia process that aims to develop a regional strategy for Afghanistan’s development.

Russia’s move towards Pakistan had been greeted with wariness but understanding in New Delhi. But this understanding was stretched to its limit when Moscow announced that it will hold a first joint military exercise with Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan, which India claims as part of Jammu and Kashmir. After India protested, the exercise went ahead but took place in Cherat, in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

“We understand all concerns of India about your western neighbour…But we cannot combat (terrorism) efficiently and productively and eliminate (it) without the cooperation of Pakistan. We need their cooperation and they should realise their importance and responsibility,” Kabulov said, justifying Russia’s strategic decision to reach out to Pakistan in order to combat ISIS.

‘More dangerous than the Taliban’

The veteran Russian diplomat, who has also been ambassador to Afghanistan in the past, describes ISIS in Afghanistan as being more insidiously dangerous than the Taliban.

He described the Taliban as a “predominantly a national military-political movement”. “It is local, Afghanistan-based. They believe that they should have, from their perspective, fair share in the government of Afghanistan…They should talk and deal in their local context”.

But Daesh (Arabic name for ISIS) “as an international organisation is really dangerous”. “If you recall, young Taliban under the influence of Al-Qaeda in 1994, their rhetoric was very similar to today’s Daesh rhetoric”.

Among Indian officials, there is some scepticism about the existence of ISIS in Afghanistan. “There is a still a lot of confusion about them. They seem to be largely disgruntled Taliban elements who have formed their own groups and have declared themselves as ISIS,” a senior Indian diplomat said.

However, Kabulov was convinced that stopping ISIS in Afghanistan was a bigger project than stopping the Taliban and that India should be taking note.

“Some people may say, and I remember some Indian officials in the recent past were believing that Daesh is something which is not an immediate threat to India as it’s an Afghanistan maybe Central Asia or Orient problem, but not India. But now, your leadership realised that Daesh is bigger than the Afghan branch of Syria-Iraq Daesh, it’s an international network which is not centralised. A centralised ideology but not organisation,” he said.

Kabulov said that India had to be alert as Daesh is often active where there is a large Muslim population. “They (ISIS) will spread themselves all over. We see first signs of Daesh in Bangladesh. You have very big Muslim community in your country which is maybe target of Daesh. That makes the risk of threat common for all of us. It is better to deal and cope with this issue when it’s small. Don’t wait for it to become big”.

Kabulov has previously stated publicly that the Russians were in touch with the Taliban. In the upper house of parliament, Afghan members of parliament had accused Russia of supplying arms to the Taliban in areas where they are fighting ISIS.

Full report at:

http://thewire.in/84672/pakistan-isis-afghanistan-russia/

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Pakistan

 

Resumption of Composite Dialogue between India and Pakistan Inevitable: Sartaj

06-Dec-16

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Monday said that ultimate resolution to all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan was in resumption of the composite dialogue.

Talking to a private TV channel, he said that expecting any breakthrough in Pakistan-India frosty ties in the current situation was a remote possibility. He said that whipping up an anti-Pakistan rhetoric by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi suited him ahead of elections in February next year.

To a query regarding opening of any window for meeting of the national security advisers of the two countries in the near future, Sartaj said that whenever it happened, the foreign secretaries would also feature in the talks, ranging over all the issues, including the core issue of Kashmir.

For the time being, Pakistan desired to lower the tensions and did not let things heat up further, and this dialogue-driven initiative of Pakistan had earned highest accolades from the world leaders, he added.

He also welcomed Iran's offer of mediation between Pakistan and India over the Kashmir issue.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had already made such an offer, but India did not want to address the lingering issue and always declared it a bilateral issue, he said.

The adviser said after the July 8, with the martyrdom of Wani, an intifada-like campaign was launched by Kashmiris against the Indian oppressive rule, which baffled the Modi government.

He lamented the inhuman use of force by the Indian occupation forces against the Kashmiri people in Indian-held Kashmir.

He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to highlight Kashmiris' plight at the world fora by extending moral, political and diplomatic support to their just cause.

To a question related to permission of land trade route to India linking Afghanistan, he said that under such a scenario, it was not possible to give concession to India.

He categorically stated that India had already suspended the connectivity frameworks.

About the Heart of Asia conference held in India, the adviser said that India gave a very negative message to the world with its repeated flimsy Pakistan-bashing.

With Afghanistan, it targeted Pakistan and tried to create gab between the Pak-Afghan ties, he said, adding that Pakistan would not let it happen, as it enjoyed multifaceted ties with Afghanistan spanning over decades.

To a query, Sartaj Aziz said he was surprised at Afghan President Ghani's statement during the conference, as prior to it, they had held a very constructive meeting.

He noted that such a reaction indicated an unrealistic approach by the Afghan leadership, as it was confronted with very serious and complex issue of unrest and insurgency on its soil.

It might be the cause of frustration and failure on part of the Afghan leadership, which was instigated by India, he opined.

However, he clearly ruled out any serious crises in Pak-Afghan ties, and expressed his optimism that soon there would be interaction at the highest levels.

The adviser said that during the conference, Pakistan's role for regional peace and prosperity was endorsed by China and Russia. They had noted that Pakistan's role was indispensable in bringing stability to the region, he said.

Sartaj said that terrorism was on the rise across the globe, but Pakistan during the last three years had made great strides in curbing the menace.

Pakistan's policy was very clear in that regard, and it had given priority to the fight against terrorism, he said, and added that the country was moving in the right direction under the National Action Plan.

Sartaj said that Pakistan's growing relations with Russia had also worried India, adding that Pakistan was forging stronger ties with all major world powers.

To another question, he said that in recent times there was an emergence of nationalistic agenda due to which the world had shifted it focus on South-South Cooperation in which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor held massive prospects for regional cooperation, connectivity and prosperity.

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/06-Dec-16/resumption-of-composite-dialogue-inevitable-sartaj

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Muslims Leaguers, not leagues, should get united: Shujaat

05 December,2016

LAHORE: (Dunya News) – Pakistan Muslim League (PML) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has on Monday ruled out the chances of a reunion among the various factions of Muslim League. He said that Muslim Leaguers should unite under one banner instead of all Muslim leagues uniting with each other, reported Dunya News.

Talking exclusively to Dunya News on program Nuqta-e-Nazar, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said that General Qamar Javed Bajwa was from Gakkhar Mandi and Jatt by cast but after becoming army chief, his home was Pakistan and his community only the army. He also said that he had never met General Bajwa.

When asked by host Mujib ur-Rehman Shami, Chaudhry Shujaat said that the biggest challenge for General Qamar Bajwa would be to continue Operation Zarb-e-Azb on the same lines as it was carried out under former army chief General (r) Raheel Sharif’s command.

Discussing Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s statement regarding Asif Ali Zardari being elected to presidency again, Shujaat said that it was his right to think so and take steps for it but the way Bilawal was speaking, it didn’t suit his age. “Bilawal’s words are way too ahead of his age”, he said.

Answering a question about an alliance with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Chaudhry Shujaat said that it wasn’t off the cards and could be seen to later. He said that it was up to Supreme Court to decide on Panama Leaks case but he was sure the decision would be based on justice.

Full report at:

http://dunyanews.tv/en/Pakistan/364157-Muslims-Leaguers-not-leagues-should-get-united-

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12 suspected terrorists killed in Khyber Agency air strikes

ALI AKBAR

Dec 6, 2016

At least 12 suspected terrorists were reportedly killed in air strikes in the Rajgal valley area of Khyber Agency on Sunday, DawnNews reported.

According to security sources several hideouts were also destroyed in the air strikes.

Pakistan Air Force jets precisely targeted militant hideouts in Rajgal valley in which 12 militants were killed and several hideouts were destroyed, said security officials.

Khyber Agency and North Waziristan are among Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts near the Afghan border, rife with homegrown insurgents and foreign militants.

These areas have also been considered home to religious extremist organisations including Al Qaeda and the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1300466/12-suspected-terrorists-killed-in-khyber-agency-air-strikes

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Pakistani Hindus oppose forced conversions

South Asian Focus

Dec 6, 2016

Pakistan's Hindu community has criticized religious political parties for opposing the Minorities Bill, 2015, that criminalizes the forced conversions. The bill was recently passed by Sindh's provincial assembly.

Pakistan Muslim League-N lawmaker Ramesh Kumar commended the Pakistan Peoples Party government in Sindh for setting the minimum age for religious conversion at 18.

"People are issued a CNIC and driving licence at 18 and are allowed to vote after they are 18. In Sindh, the age at which someone can be legally married is also 18, because before that age an individual is considered a child," Kumar was quoted by Dawn as saying.

He said that girls belonging to religious minorities were kidnapped in Sindh and forcibly married, mostly to seminary students, and that they have no choice but to adapt to their new lives.

"After this law, conversions before the age of 18 will be considered a crime," Kumar said.

Members of the civil society said that the incidence of forced conversions was increasing across the country, particularly in Sindh, and that the bill will go a long way to help the minorities in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.southasianfocus.ca/news-story/7004567-pakistani-hindus-oppose-forced-conversions/

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COAS confirms death to four terrorists

December 06, 2016

RAWALPINDI -  The Chief of Army Staff yesterday confirmed death sentences awarded to another four terrorists, who were involved in heinous offences related to terrorism, including killing of innocent civilians, officials of Law Enforcement Agencies and Airport Security Force.

They planned and executed attacks on Jinnah International Airport Karachi, CID building Karachi, ISI Office Sukkur and convoy of Law Enforcement Agencies.

On the whole, they were involved in killing of 58 persons including SSP Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam and causing injuries to 226 others including SSP Farooq Awan, an ISPR press release said.

Fire arms and explosives were also recovered from their possession.

These convicts were tried by military courts. Detail of each case is as under:-Atta Ur Rehman S/O Faqir Muhammad, Muhammad Sabir S/O Alaf Gul and Muhammad Farooq Bhatti S/O Muhammad Ishaq.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/06-Dec-2016/coas-confirms-death-to-four-terrorists

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Saudi jets attack Pakistani boat off Yemen, kill six sailors

December 06, 2016

YEMEN - A Saudi air raid had targeted a boat carrying 12 Pakistani sailors off Mukha coast in the Yemeni province of Ta’izz, Yemen’s Saba news agency said. According to the report, the other six sailors are still unaccounted for.

The deadly raid on Sunday comes as the Riyadh regime continues its military campaign against neighbouring Yemen, which was launched in March 2015 to reinstall the former Yemeni government.

Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi has ordered a major assault on the country’s Red Sea coast against Houthi Ansarullah fighters and allied army forces, who have been defending the nation against a deadly Saudi offensive.

Reports said that Saudi warplanes had intensified their air raids on the province of Ta’izz, which has witnessed heavy fighting on the ground between pro-Hadi militants and Yemeni armed forces in recent days.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/06-Dec-2016/saudi-jets-attack-pakistani-boat-off-yemen-kill-six-sailors

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Aziz brings bad name to country: Siraj

December 06, 2016

LAHORE - Jamaat-e-Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq has said that Advisor for Foreign Affairs’ visit to India was ill-timed and ill-advised in the prevailing tense situation.

In a statement issued from JI head office Mansora on Monday, Siraj said Sartaj Aziz brought disgrace instead of good name to the country from Amratsar’s Heart of Asia Conference.

He said that New Delhi’s attitude towards Islamabad was of hatred and deceit. “India is not willing to include the Kashmir issue in the talks agenda yet the Pakistani rulers are dying for friendship with her. Unprovoked shelling from India continues in Occupied Kashmir and it kills dozens of our citizens.”

Siraj said Afghanistan was a neighbor and an old friend of Pakistan but India was arousing it against Pakistan in a bid to achieve her nefarious agenda. He said that preventing the Foreign Advisor from talking to the media was sheer Hindu mentality.

He said that unfortunately the goal of the country’s foreign policy still remained undecided.

“Our Foreign Policy is based on sudden happenings and tragedies and the government has never thought of a durable and strong foreign policy”, he said, adding had the foreign policy been any priority of the rulers, a full time Foreign Minister would have been appointed since long.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/06-Dec-2016/aziz-brings-bad-name-to-country-siraj

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Govt ‘won’t bring’ any law violating Islamic principles

December 06, 2016

Karachi - Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister on Religious Affairs Dr Qayyum Soomro on Monday said that the provincial government would not do any legislation against the teachings of Islam, and a provincial Islamic Ideology Council would be formed to oversee such affairs.

He was presiding over a meeting of ulemas here at Sindh Secretariat held to review the security and other issues pertaining to 12th of Rabiul Awal.

The clerics conveyed to him their concerns over the bill, recently passed in the provincial assembly, pertaining to the rights of minorities, and said that it was against the teachings of Quran and Sunnah (SAW). The clerics demanded the provincial government to immediately repeal the legislation.

They also called for implementing the ban on the sale of wine in the province.

Soomro assured the clerics of his complete support and said that the provincial government would take them into confidence over the issue, and that no legislation would be done against the teachings of Islam.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/karachi/06-Dec-2016/govt-won-t-bring-any-law-violating-islamic-principles

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Southeast Asia

 

Kedah Umno Man Accuses Tun Dr Mahathir of Insulting Prophet Muhammad

December 6, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 ― A Kedah Umno Youth leader demanded Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad apologise to all Muslims for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad at the recent DAP convention.

Datuk Shaiful Hazizy Zainol Abidin also claimed that the former prime minister had previously insulted hudud and made fun of the Prophet’s beard.

“Dr Mahathir should not only apologise to all Muslims for this insolence, but should recite his ‘istighfar’ in addition to the ‘shahada’ because there might have been idolatry,” Shaiful Hazizy said in a statement.

“Istighfar” refers to the recitation to seek forgiveness from God, while “shahadah” is the proclamation of Muslims declaring belief in the oneness of God and accepting Muhammad as His prophet.

News portal Malaysiakini reported Dr Mahathir commenting at the DAP convention on Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s claim about how it was God’s will for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be Umno president.

According to the report, Dr said the remark equate Najib to a prophet.

“It’s clear that for the sake of revenge and anger because all his previous methods had failed to topple the BN (Barisan Nasional) government that is under Najib’s legitimate leadership, Dr Mahathir is now willing to sell the name of the Prophet to justify his ceramah,” said Shaiful Hazizy.

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/now-kedah-umno-man-accuses-dr-m-of-insulting-prophet-muhammad

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Indonesia Has No Tolerance for Terrorists: Speaker

December, 05, 2016

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Visiting Indonesian Parliament Speaker Zulkifli Hasan condemned heinous crimes committed by the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group, and said the Southeast Asian country has a no tolerance attitude toward such terrorists.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani in Tehran on Monday, Hasan expressed concern over the spread of terrorism in the world and said his country is opposed to “the savage acts” by Daesh militants.

The Daesh crimes have tarnished the image of Islam, he said, adding that the Indonesian government has no tolerance for the terrorists.

Full report at:

https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2016/12/05/1258704/indonesia-has-no-tolerance-for-terrorists-speaker

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Malaysia’s DAP accused of blindly copying PAP

DECEMBER 6, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR — A leader of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) has accused opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) of blindly emulating Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), after former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad praised the DAP for having a stronger Malaysian spirit.

Mr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, who is a member of Umno’s supreme council, hinted on Monday (Dec 5) that the Malay community in Singapore is marginalised.

“Did Tun M forget, DAP only copies the strategy of Singapore’s PAP?”

Mr Puad asked in a post on his Facebook account, referring to Dr Mahathir. “Singapore’s national anthem is also in Malay, but what happened to the Malays under the Malaysian Malaysia policy practised in Singapore?”

Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who led the PAP, had advocated the “Malaysian Malaysia” motto, which promotes equality for all races, at a gathering called the Malaysian Solidarity Convention in May 1965 when Singapore was still part of the Federation of Malaya.

The then-Malayan government saw the motto as going against its racial affirmative policies and that, together with disagreements on political and economic issues, saw Singapore kicked out of the Federation three months later.

The PAP branch in Malaysia was de-registered, with its former members subsequently setting up the DAP.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, who was then a journalist, joined the party not long after it was formed. Mr Lim had called for a “Malaysian Malaysia” campaign in 1999, and his party’s “Middle Malaysia” concept in 2010 has been accused by detractors of being a continuation of the former campaign.

Mr Puad said on Monday the “Malaysian Malaysia” and “Middle Malaysia” concepts were against the country’s Federal Constitution, especially regarding Article 153, a provision that governs the rights and privileges of the Malays and indigenous bumiputras.

“Even in the DAP Constitution, it is obvious that they are fighting for a ‘secular’ country. This is against the spirit of the Federal Constitution, where Islam is the religion of the federation.”

During DAP’s annual general assembly on Sunday, the party pledged to uphold Bahasa Malaysia’s position as the national language while encouraging the use of mother tongues and to preserve the Malay and bumiputra communities’ special position while protecting the rights of other ethnic groups. It also said it would safeguard Islam as the religion of the federation, while championing freedom of practice for other religions.

The assembly was attended by Dr Mahathir for the first time in DAP’s 50-year history. The veteran leader praised the DAP for using Bahasa Malaysia and having a multiracial membership.

Dr Mahathir, who was Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, quit Umno earlier this year after accusing Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption linked to state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Full report at:

http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/umno-leader-accuses-opposition-dap-blindly-emulating-pap

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7 years for cop guilty of ‘hiding’ terror activities

Ho Kit Yen

December 6, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR: A policewoman was jailed seven years by the High Court on Tuesday for concealing information on terrorism-related activities from the relevant authorities.

She was found guilty as charged under Section 130M of the Penal Code.

Judicial Commissioner Nordin Hassan ordered Jusninawati Abdul Ghani’s jail sentence to start from March 22 this year, the date of her arrest.

“The accused failed to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case,” he said.

JC Nordin said testimony from the prosecution’s witnesses showed she was aware of people fighting as terrorists in Syria.

“She helped an Islamic State (IS) terrorist to open three Facebook accounts. She also set up a Facebook account for those who want to join the militants,” he said.

JC Nordin said it was unreasonable for Jusninawati, as a police officer, to hide such information from the authorities.

“According to a statement from the dock, she thought ‘those individuals’ were only making ’empty talk’ on Syria,” continued JC Nordin. “The court cannot accept her testimony on ’empty talk’.”

In mitigation, her lawyer Nik Zarith Nik Mustapha asked for a lenient sentence. He pleaded it was his client’s first offence.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/12/06/7-years-for-cop-guilty-of-hiding-terror-activities/

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Suhakam: Amendments to marriage and divorce law reform to benefit child

December 6, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 ― The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) today lauded Putrajaya's move to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 2016, saying that if the proposals were passed, it will be in the best interests of the child.

Its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said Suhakam was in support of the proposal to be applied retrospectively in calling both parents in a civil marriage to give consent for their child to be converted to Islam.

“Suhakam supports the proposal that a child shall keep their religious affiliation, so that he or she can freely decide their faith, according to belief, when they attain the age of majority (18 years).

“Suhakam hopes that the issue of unilateral conversion of children in Malaysia and the many obstacles to the full enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion will be quickly resolved by Parliament through the passing of these amendments,” Razali said in a statement.

The Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) 2016 was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman for first reading at the Dewan Rakyat last month, the highlight being the inclusion of a new Section 88A that explicitly states that “both parties” in a civil marriage must agree for the conversion of a minor into Islam.

Specifically addressing the “Religion of a Child” in civil marriages where one spouse has converted to Islam, the amendment also said that the child will remain in the religion of the parents at the time of marriage until the child is 18 years old, when he may choose his own religion.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/suhakam-amendments-to-marriage-and-divorce-law-reform-to-benefit-child

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Indonesia savored its ties to Obama. Now it prepares to say goodbye.

By Jon Emont

December 6, 2016

JAKARTA, Indonesia — When Barack Obama visited Jakarta in 2010, on his first state visit to Indonesia, university students lined up outside the hall starting at 4 a.m., eager to catch a glimpse of the American president who had spent four years of his youth here.

Arlian Buana, a journalist who was a student at the time, remembers Obama’s eloquent speech about how his childhood in Jakarta exposed him to the basic goodness of Islam. “Obama wanted to show that Indonesia offered a model for how Islam and democracy could be compatible,” Arlian remembered. “Not since [former president] Sukarno has Indonesia witnessed such an amazing orator.”

Obama lived here from 1967, when he was 6 years old, to 1971, after his mother had married an Indonesian geographer. He went to Indonesian-language schools, and in his memoir, “Dreams from My Father,” he wrote about the contentment he felt living in that society.

News of his election in 2008 was greeted ecstatically here, and though there have been inevitable feelings of disappointment since then, Indonesians still savor their connection to the American president.

Pew data shows that Indonesian approval of the United States rose to about 70 percent shortly after Obama was elected, from around 30 percent during the George W. Bush years. Indonesian approval of the United States has remained well above 50 percent throughout Obama’s presidency.

But with that presidency drawing to a close, America’s approval rating is set to take a tumble in Indonesia, the country which has more Muslims than any other nation in the world. President-elect Donald Trump’s negative views of Islam, and his declaration that the United States should restrict Muslim immigration, have been widely disseminated and condemned in Indonesia.

Dino Djalal, who was Indonesia’s ambassador to the United States from 2010 to 2013, wrote in a post for the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia that he was concerned Trump’s attitudes toward Islam could damage American-Indonesian relations. “If Donald Trump restricts Muslim immigration to the United States, the Indonesian government must speak up, even if that means raising the issue with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” Dino wrote. He expressed hope that Trump would moderate his positions once in office.

The concerns about Trump go beyond his views on Islam. Indonesian economists and politicians worry that if America becomes more protectionist, other countries will respond in kind, which could ultimately damage Indonesian exports.

Dewi Fortuna Anwar, a prominent Indonesian foreign-policy thinker who serves as deputy secretary to Vice President Jusuf Kalla, was especially worried about Trump’s talk of abandoning America’s allies in the region.

“I was appalled, simply appalled, when Donald Trump said in one of his many speeches that he would like to see Japan become a nuclear power,” Dewi said. “That is a recipe for disaster.”

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/indonesia-savored-its-ties-to-obama-now-it-prepares-to-say-goodbye/2016/12/05/bb9fd552-b5b1-11e6-959c-172c82123976_story.html?utm_term=.219d1b80ef23

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Jokowi shows leadership mettle at Islamic rally

December 6, 2016

Last week's mega-rally by Muslim hardliners in Jakarta took a dramatic turn when Indonesian President Joko Widodo turned up to join the Friday prayers that ended the protest. The rally had brought together an estimated half a million people at the National Monument to demand the arrest of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama for allegedly having insulted Islam.

What is not known publicly is that the President decided to meet the demonstrators in spite of being told by Indonesian intelligence that he faced an imminent terror attack. Security forces had seized several grenades, a bomb and a Molotov cocktail at the demonstration.

According to a high-ranking official who spoke on condition of anonymity, Mr Joko was advised to avoid the rally. It was suggested that he could instead go for Friday prayers at the Masjid Istiqlal, the national mosque, in a conciliatory gesture to the crowds. But at the last minute, he told aides that he would face the demonstrators, notwithstanding the threats.

He wanted to demonstrate his ability to take charge of events instead of being led along by them.

The rally - the largest of three protests spearheaded by the Islamic Defenders Front against the Chinese-Christian governor in as many months - had been infiltrated by terrorists. Other forces, too, were trying allegedly to take advantage of it, leading to the arrests of several people for subversion before the rally. More arrests will follow.

In spite of - or precisely because of - the gravity of the situation, the President disregarded warnings for his safety and attended prayers at the rally site. Accompanied by Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, he seized the initiative from the Muslim hardliners. His presence embodied the message that the state respected the right of dissent but would not tolerate protests being hijacked by anti-national forces.

This is not the first time that Mr Joko has displayed decisive leadership. There have been at least three other occasions.

The first was when, early into his presidency, he slashed fuel subsidies. Just around this time two years ago, he raised fuel prices by more than 30 per cent, saving the government around US$11.5 billion (S$16.4 billion) in subsidies, or 9 per cent of budgetary spending for the following year.

Taking advantage of low oil prices globally, which made the subsidy cut less painful than it would have been otherwise, he moved against an ingrained habit of treating low fuel prices as a social entitlement although Indonesia is a net oil importer.

The second occasion when the President revealed the steel beneath his smiling visage was his visit to the Natuna Islands in June this year.

He held a limited Cabinet meeting on board a warship that had clashed with Chinese fishing vessels the previous week. His message to China was that the Natunas, including waters around them, were an indisputable part of Indonesian territory.

The third instance is the killing of Santoso, Indonesia's most wanted terrorist, under his watch earlier this year.

JAVANESE STATECRAFT

Mr Joko's mindset distinguishes him sharply from his predecessor, the hapless Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The latter's weak and indecisive decade-long governance allowed Indonesia to drift economically, politically and strategically.

Matters came to the point where a reassertion of presidential leadership became necessary for at least a measure of political credibility at home and national self-esteem abroad.

What the incumbent President is doing is to hark back to the iron years of president Suharto. Under that leader, Indonesia recovered from the lost era of the flamboyant but ineffectual president Sukarno, who failed ultimately to reconcile the divergent forces of nationalism, socialism and Islam.

Mr Suharto created a new centre of authority by presenting a platform for the peaceful contention of the forces of secular nationalism, inclusive capitalism and moderate Islam. He was not altogether successful, partly because widespread corruption stymied his nation-building efforts.

However, he brought a new Indonesia into being. It was brutally authoritarian, but it also produced the social goods - economic growth, law and order, and an imaginative sense of national identity - that legitimised his New Order regime.

Mr Joko has to function in the very different conditions of an Indonesia where democratic norms and procedures have been consolidated since Mr Suharto's fall in 1998.

Unlike Mr Suharto, Mr Joko is not a former general who enjoys the support of the most socially extensive institution in Indonesia. Unlike his democratic predecessors, he is an outsider to the political system, not being the scion of a famous family or a bureaucrat propelled from following policy to making it.

But he is persevering in spite of these challenges. He is hard-headed. In May last year, he told me categorically he was confident that he would take control of Parliament by winning over key parties. He has done so.

Full report at:

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/jokowi-shows-leadership-mettle-at-islamic-rally

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Mideast

 

New Islamic State Spokesman Seeks To Rally Sunnis against Iran, West

December 5, 2016

The Islamic State’s Furqan Media Foundation has released an audio message from the group’s new spokesman, Abu al Hassan al Muhajir. Abu Muhammad al Adnani served as the organization’s top propagandist for years until he was killed in an American airstrike in August. The Islamic State had not named a successor since then, meaning no jihadist had served in quite the same role as Adnani for more than three months.

However, Muhajir picks up where Adnani left off, defiantly calling upon the Islamic State’s members and supporters to fight on. He argues that the so-called caliphate’s struggles are merely part of a divine test, which will separate the true believers from all others. Muhajir also threatens Turkey and Iran, while encouraging more terrorist attacks around the globe.

The SITE Intelligence Group has translated Muhajir’s audio message, which was released via social media sites earlier today.

Muhajir claims that all of his organization’s many enemies are united in their desire to destroy the jihadists’ caliphate. “Here are Crusader America and Europe, Communist Russia, and Magian Iran, with secular Turkey, atheist Kurds, Rawafidh [Shiites], Nusayris [a reference to Bashar al Assad’s regime], Awakenings, militias, and the tyrants of the Arabs and their soldiers,” Muhajir says, according to SITE’s translation.

The Islamic State’s new spokesman briefly discusses the battle raging around Mosul, pointing specifically to Tal Afar, which is west of the Iraqi city. Iranian-backed militias operating as part of the Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) are leading the charge in Tal Afar and the surrounding area. Muhajir highlights this sectarian aspect of the fight, saying the “Rawafidh [Shiites] have come with their horses and men to the land of Tal Afar, full of hatred and vengeance towards the houses of Islam, to take them and get the Sunni people in them.” He goes on to claim that these Shiites have been “herded by the worshippers of the Cross,” meaning the West, to fight the Sunnis of Iraq.

Muhajir’s narrative with respect to Iraq is similar to the one offered by the Islamic State’s rivals in al Qaeda, with one key difference. Both al Qaeda and the Islamic State portray the war in Iraq as part of a conspiracy against the country’s Sunnis. However, Muhajir argues that only the Islamic State can shield Iraq’s Sunni population, a claim that al Qaeda would never make. “The Sunni has become either a shackled idle one or a humiliated submissive one, and it will not have any deterrent among the Muslims after Allah except for the Islamic State,” Muhajir says, according to SITE’s translation.

Muhajir claims that the Islamic State is fighting on behalf of Sunnis everywhere “from Baghdad to Beirut, from Aleppo to Damascus, and from Khorasan [a region encompassing Afghanistan and Pakistan] to Sana’a.” Meanwhile, Iranian-backed Shiite forces attack Sunni “mujahideen” under the cover of the “shelling of the Crusaders.” In other words, Muhajir accuses the West and Iran of conspiring against Sunni Muslims throughout the region.

In early November, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi called on his followers to strike inside Turkey. Just hours later, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a car bombing in southeastern Turkey. This was the group’s first high-profile claim of responsibility for a terrorist operation inside the country. Turkish authorities quickly blamed the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist organization, for the explosion. And it is possible that Kurdish terrorists did carry out the attack. Still, the Islamic State’s claim was important because it signaled a new, public willingness to lash out at Turkey. While the Islamic State is suspected of launching other operations inside Turkey, the group’s propaganda organs had never claimed responsibility for any of them.

Muhajir continues with Baghdadi’s theme, blasting Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the president of Turkey, as a “beggar before the doors of Crusader Europe” and a “Brotherhood apostate.” With these words, Muhajir points to Erdoğan’s reported ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization that the Islamic State accuses of deviating from the true path of jihad.

Erdoğan “thought that he and his government were in control and safe” even after launching an assault against the Islamic State in northern Syria earlier this year, Muhajir says. But the caliphate’s mouthpiece says this isn’t so. Muhajir says his group’s followers should “target the joints of the secular, apostate Turkish government everywhere – the security, the military, the economic, and the media – indeed every embassy and consulate that represents it in the countries all over the world,” according to SITE’s translation.

Prior to his demise, Adnani stressed the importance of striking inside the West. Adnani repeatedly told supporters that their terror over here, in the West, was more valuable for the cause than waging jihad inside the lands of the caliphate. Similarly, Muhajir implores would-be recruits to “redouble” their efforts. The new spokesman wants followers to attack in the “homes, markets, roads, and clubs” of civilians in the nations opposed to the jihadists’ state.

Abu Muhammad al Adnani was not just the Islamic State’s spokesman. He wore multiple hats within Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s enterprise, including overseeing external operations, or plots in the West. Therefore, it is possible that Abu Hassan al Muhajir is more than the group’s chief propagandist. However, there is no publicly-available information on the scope of Muhajir’s responsibilities at this time.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/12/new-islamic-state-spokesman-seeks-to-rally-sunnis-against-iran-west.php

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Dialog only means to restore regional, global peace: Larijani

Dec 5, 2016

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says peace and stability can be restored to the region and the entire world only through dialog and negotiations.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s strategy is to resolve the current issues and crises through dialog and negotiations, and stability and peace can be restored to the region and the international community only in this way,” Larijani said in a meeting with the Swedish minister for health care, public health and sport, Gabriel Wikstrom, in Tehran on Monday.

He expressed Iran’s readiness “to cooperate with European countries in this regard.”

He said double-standard policies on issues such as the fight against terrorism and the campaign against narcotics as well as human rights are among the main reasons behind the increase in problems and predicaments.

The top Iranian parliamentarian further commended the progress made in economic and industrial cooperation between Iran and Sweden, saying the two countries have great potential to develop relations in different sectors including the environment, clean energies, auto-making industry, technology, health and treatment.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/05/496616/Iran-Sweden-Ali-Larijani-Gabriel-Wikstrom

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Amnesty urges Turkey to facilitate return of displaced Kurds to homes

Dec 6, 2016

Amnesty International has called on the Turkish government to facilitate the return of tens of thousands of displaced families to the predominantly-Kurdish, southeastern city of Diyarbakir, where a curfew has been imposed and military operations are ongoing against Kurdish militants.

Andrew Gardner, Amnesty’s Turkey researcher, urged Turkish authorities on Monday to “lift the curfew without delay” and adopt measures intended to guarantee the displaced people’s return to their homes.

“People were forced to leave their homes with a short notice,” Gardner said, adding, “They need to be compensated for the loss of their possessions but also for the loss of their livelihoods because when they lost their homes, they also lost their jobs in a great number of cases.”

He said, “There isn’t any concrete, detailed or credible plan for how these families are going to be able to return to their homes.”

Gardner further criticized the state of emergency in Diyarbakir, demanding authorities to differentiate between unlawful violence and threats to the state on the one side and peaceful dissent on the other. He did not elaborate.

Turkish officials placed the Sur district of Diyarbakir, situated 676 kilometers east of the capital, Ankara, under curfew in December 2015. The restrictions were expanded to a total of 15 neighborhoods a month later. The measure is still in effect in six neighborhoods of Diyarbakir as authorities are seeking to clear the areas of Kurdish militants with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/06/496651/Amnesty-Turkey-displaced-families-Diyrbakir

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Israeli parliament moves bill forward to legalize unlawful outposts

Dec 6, 2016

Israel’s parliament (Knesset) has given its initial approval to a controversial bill that would authorize the presence of illegal settlement units built on privately-owned Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank amid outcry that the measure would amount to land grab.

The legislature advanced the so-called Regulation Bill by 60 votes to 49 during a late Monday session. It will be put to a second vote on Tuesday, with three readings needed at unspecified future dates before it becomes law.

The bill is a revised version of legislation that, in its original form, defied the Israeli supreme court’s decision on the evacuation of the illegal Amona settlement outpost, which is located northeast of Ramallah in the central West Bank and constructed on private Palestinian land.

The supreme court decision stipulated that the evacuation of Amona “must occur before December 25.”

The new bill has scrapped the so-called Amona clause. The 330 residents of the unlawful settlement outpost are then to be moved to a nearby hill for eight months, after which they would be forced to move a second time.

Hard-line Israeli politician Naftali Bennett has praised the parliamentary approval of the bill to retroactively authorize illegal outposts as a step away from establishing a Palestinian state.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog has, however, lamented the legislation and warned that the Israeli regime is committing “suicide” with the measure.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has also called the bill “really concerning.”

“There will be no advance and separate peace with the Arab world without the Palestinian process and Palestinian peace,” he said.

Additionally, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said, “Some have pronounced (this bill) to be a step towards the annexation of the West Bank (that could have) far-reaching legal consequences for Israel and across the occupied West Bank, and greatly diminish the prospect of Arab-Israeli peace.”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/06/496674/Israel-parliament-advance-Regulation-Bill-legalize-illegal-settlements-outposts-West-Bank

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Israel’s 1st envoy to Turkey in 6 years officially takes office in Ankara

Dec 5, 2016

Israel’s first ambassador to Turkey since a severing of ties over a Tel Aviv attack on a Palestine-bound aid ship has commenced work.

On Monday, Eitan Naeh officially presented his credentials to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential palace in Ankara.

Naeh served as the deputy ambassador in London before his appointment to Ankara.

According to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, Ankara's new ambassador to Israel, Kemal Okem, will begin work later in the week.

Turkey expelled the last Israeli ambassador to Ankara six years ago after the regime forces stormed a Turkish aid flotilla traveling to the besieged Gaza Strip. Ten Turkish activists were killed on board the ship, which sought to deliver humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza.

Turkey said in June that it had accepted Israel’s apology and compensation offer over the flotilla attack and decided to resume diplomatic ties. Reports said Israel had also guaranteed that Turkey could deliver its aid to Gaza unharmed although some sources in the occupied territories denied there was such a guarantee.

After meeting Erdgoan, Naeh said that the flotilla incident has been put behind by Turkey and Israel “to a large extent," and that Erdgoan had stressed that “we have turned a new page in our ties.”

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/05/496627/turkey-israel-ambassador-gaza-flotilla

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Islamic State Sympathizers Debate Fate of Two Captured Turkish Soldiers

5 Dec 2016

Last week, IS announced that two Turkish soldiers had been taken prisoners during a battle near the Syrian town of Elbab, where Turkish troops and Turkish-supported militias were pitted against IS militants.

A Turkish military spokesperson confirmed that contact was lost with two of its soldiers. A Qatari television station reported that an IS ambush led to their capture, together with several Syrian pro-Turkish militiamen.

The report unleashed jubilant reactions from IS supporters on social media networks, even though Turkey was accused in the early phases of the Syrian civil war of providing IS militants with intelligence in a bid to undermine President Bashar Assad’s regime.

IS militant Omar Almaqdesi invited his Facebook friends to suggest what should be the fate of the Turkish POWs.

Full report at:

http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2016/12/05/islamic-state-sympathizers-debate-fate-two-captured-turkish-soldiers/

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Houthis kidnap dozens of civilians in Sana'a

5 December 2016

Yemeni local sources confirmed that Houthi militias have kidnapped dozens of civilians in Sana'a and al-Bayda province in less than 48 hours.

The sources in central Yemen revealed that the rebels have kidnapped more than 60 civilians in Tayab area, including children and elders, retaliating for the operation conducted by the popular resistance resulting in the death of more than 10 rebels.

Citizens in the capital Sana'a later confirmed that the Houthi militias staged a widespread kidnapping campaign against civilian after inspecting their phones.

Witnesses told al-Arabiya that Houthi militiamen have even kidnapped men who were praying in the mosque when they found a photo of the popular resistance on his phone.

Human Rights Watch have accused the Houthis and the rebel militia leaders in Sana'a of arbitrary detentions, torture and forced disappearances of a large number of opposition members. Many deaths have been recorded.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2016/12/05/Militiamen-kidnapping-dozens-of-civilians-in-Sana-a.html

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Yemeni Guantanamo detainee released to Cabo Verde

5 December 2016

The US Defense Department on Sunday announced that a long-held inmate at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Shawqi Awad Balzuhair, had been transferred to the government of Cabo Verde.

Balzuhair, a citizen of Yemen, was arrested in Pakistan on Sept. 11, 2002, and arrived the following month at the US military facility in Cuba.

Last July, the Obama administration found that Balzuhair did not present a significant threat to national security. He had been described by US officials as a “low-level Yemeni militant” who received basic training at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in mid-2001.

With his release, there are 59 detainees remaining at Guantanamo Bay, according to a Defense Department statement.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2016/12/05/Yemeni-Guantanamo-detainee-released-to-Cabo-Verde.html

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Kremlin confirms Putin wrote confidential letter to Rouhani

Dec 6, 2016

The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s point man on Syria has delivered a “confidential” letter penned by the Russian head of state to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“I can confirm the submission of the Russian president’s letter to his Iranian counterpart but cannot reveal its details,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi had earlier said that Russia’s special envoy on Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, who recently visited Iran, carried a message from President Putin to “Iranian political leaders.”

Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency said Peskov had confirmed the delivery of the message in the form of a letter.

Lavrentiev  met with President Rouhani in Tehran on Saturday.

Russia, a Syria ally, has been providing military assistance to Damascus in its battle against foreign-backed terrorism. Iran, also an ally of Damascus, has been lending advisory support to the Syrian counterterrorism push.

Russia and Iran hold regular and close consultation concerning the situation in Syria toward coordinating their efforts in helping purge the Arab country of terrorism.

Also on Monday, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Hossein Jaberi Ansari, the deputy Iranian foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs, in Tehran.

Explaining the subject of the meeting, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, “Tehran and Moscow’s positions to politically resolve the Syrian crisis are the same.”

The statement said that, during the meeting, the two sides highlighted that the armed conflict in Syria does not have a military solution. It was emphasized that the conflict can only be resolved through political channels and unconditional intra-Syria dialog based on United Nations Security Council resolutions, the Geneva Communiqué issued in June 30, 2012, and decision-making by pro-Syria international groups, the statement added.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/06/496652/Iran-Russia-Putin-Rouhani-Syria-Kremlin-confirmation

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Kerry stresses commitment to Iran deal

Dec 6, 2016

US Secretary of State John Kerry has stressed the “absolute urgency” of remaining committed to a nuclear deal with Iran.

Kerry, who was his country’s lead negotiator during talks that culminated in the Iran deal, said in Berlin on Monday that his boss was in contact with President-elect Donald Trump, due to take over in January 2017, to inform him of the importance of keeping the deal intact.

“I know that President [Barack] Obama has already engaged in conversations with the president-elect and we will work as diligently as we can to impart to the incoming team the absolute urgency of keeping that and other agreements intact,” he said, referring to the Iran deal, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The deal was reached between Iran on the one side and the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, and China on the other in July 2015. It followed some 23 months of tough negotiations.

Trump, a businessman with no background in governance or diplomacy, campaigned for US presidency in large part on a platform of rejecting the achievements of President Obama. He succeeded in rallying mostly blue-collar Americans behind his tough talk on matters of world policy without providing any specific policy alternatives of his own.

During the campaign, he said he would “tear up” the Iran deal if elected.

Trump has not commented on Iran-related issues since winning the US presidential election on November 8 but has surrounded himself with individuals who are known for bellicose rhetoric toward the Islamic Republic.

The Obama administration, which regards the deal and the resultant resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran as its foreign policy legacy, has been involved in efforts to convince Trump’s incoming team of why the deal should stand.

Senior officials at the outgoing administration have said they would be making a strong argument to the incoming team that the potential abdication of American commitments under the Iran deal would have “grim consequences” for the United States.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/06/496670/US-Kerry-Iran-deal-Obama-Trump

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Iran’s Zarif urges cultural war on terror

Dec 6, 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says there is a need to wage a cultural war on terror instead of merely taking a military approach to the scourge.

Speaking at the Peking University in the Chinese capital on Tuesday, the top Iranian diplomat said the military approach was not the perfect means of fighting terrorism.

“The military approach is not the ultimate approach to resolving extremism, and toward that end, cultural and university programs must be tapped to degrade and destroy this phenomenon,” Foreign Minister Zarif said.

The United States has formed and been leading a coalition of Western and non-Western countries that have pooled their military resources to bombard purported Daesh positions in Syria and Iraq. The aerial campaign has done little to dislodge the terrorists.

The Islamic Republic has, while giving advisory military assistance to the countries gripped by Daesh militancy, been urging the world to adopt a unified stance toward fighting the root causes of terrorism.

In 2013, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani proposed the contours of an international effort against extremism in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. That proposal, known as a World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE), was drafted and tabled in the form of a resolution at the General Assembly, which adopted the text in December 2013.

Among other provisions, the resolution “encourages the efforts of leaders to discuss within their communities the causes of violent extremism and discrimination and to evolve strategies to address these causes.”

In his Tuesday speech, Zarif said the main cause of extremism and terrorism is “feelings of hate, desperation, and dissatisfaction that occupation has brought to nations.”

He said hegemonic powers harbored wrong perceptions of world politics, including that a country can achieve something only at the expense of other states.

The pursuance of zero-sum games, Zarif said, manifested itself in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by US-led military forces.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/12/06/496671/Iran-Zarif-Peking-University-cultural-war-on-terror

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India

 

India Warns Against ‘Nuclear Terrorism’

By Shubhajit Roy

December 6, 2016

India on Monday said it will evolve technology against nuclear terrorism, not only for “physical protection” but also against cyber attacks. Without naming Pakistan, New Delhi said all countries must assume responsibility and should scrupulously abide by their respective international obligations.

Addressing the IAEA Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Security in Vienna, Minister of State (External Affairs) M J Akbar said, “We, in India, will continue to evolve technology against nuclear terrorism not only in terms of physical protection measures, but also to guard against cyber intrusion and sabotage. We will also continue to maintain and enhance export controls, in particular intangible controls, to complement nuclear security measures. We invite the Agency to take the lead in promoting work on the technology dimension of nuclear security.”

He said recent developments showed that terrorist use of WMD materials is not a theoretical concern. “A breach of nuclear security could lead to unimaginable consequences. Our meeting is therefore critical, urgent and essential. It underlines the Agency’s central role in strengthening the global nuclear security framework, in facilitating national efforts on nuclear security, in fostering effective international cooperation, in setting future priorities and in forging technical and policy guidance. This meeting must carry forward the legacy of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) process,” he said, alluding to the NSS process started by US President Barack Obama.

Reiterating India’s commitment to global nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, he said, “Few phrases in the language can wholly convey the magnitude of the potential danger of terrorists finding their way, while acting on their own or with the help of revanchist elements, to nuclear instruments. The sane world wants to prevent malignant actors from getting access to nuclear and radiological material.”

He said India has always held that nuclear security is the domain of national sovereignty but this national prerogative demands national responsibility. “All states must assume this responsibility and should scrupulously abide by their respective international obligations. Responsible national actions and effective international cooperation should be pursued together to prevent non-state actors and other malignant forces from threatening the lives of innocents on a mass scale,” he said.

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-warns-against-nuclear-terrorism-4412701/

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NIA Seeks Lie-Detector Test on Guest Manager with Islamic Research Foundation

December 6, 2016

THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency has approached a special court on Monday seeking to conduct a lie-detector test on Arshi Qureshi, guest manager with Islamic Research Foundation, arrested for ‘instigating’ 22 youths to join terror organisation, the Islamic State.

As per Supreme Court directions, NIA produced Qureshi before the special NIA Judge VV Patil after filing an application to seek his consent to undergo the test.

Qureshi told the court he was not ready to undergo the test and alleged that the NIA had ‘psychologically’ tortured him. He said the investigating agency had made him stand for a whole day.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/nia-seeks-lie-detector-test-on-arshi-qureshi-4412652/

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India-Bangladesh decides to strengthen anti-terror mechanism

December 5, 2016

India and Bangladesh on Monday decided to strengthen anti-terror mechanism besides increasing cooperation to deal with border crimes, including smuggling of arms, narcotics and cattle. Growing activities of dreaded terror group ISIS in Indian subcontinent, increased presence of Jehadi groups in Bangladesh and sharing of intelligence also dominated the Indo-Bangladesh Home Secretary level talks held in the capital.

J. Jayalalithaa to be accorded state funeral

During the meeting, the two sides discussed working of institutional arrangements, security related issues, cooperation in prevention of illegal activities along the borders, border management issues, an official statement said. Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Mozammel Haque Khan led their respective teams in the talks.

The talks were held in a cordial atmosphere and conducive to greater cooperation between the two countries, the statement said. Both sides flagged the menace of smuggling of cattle, narcotics and arms through the porous Indo-Bangladesh border and agreed to work together to check them.

Bangladesh side requested for Indian cooperation in nabbing its most wanted criminals, especially those who were involved in war crimes and assassination of Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Both sides exchanged notes about developments and investigations following the July 1 terror attack at a cafe in Dhaka. Bangladesh has been on edge ever since the terror attack.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-bangladesh-decides-to-strengthen-anti-terror-mechanism-4412151/

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Hizbul Mujahideen militant arrested in Kashmir, two grenades recovered

Dec 05, 2016

Security forces arrested a Hizbul Mujahideen militant from Shopian district of south Kashmir on Monday and claimed to have recovered two hand grenades from his possession.

Bilal Sheikh was apprehended by a police party from Shopian following a specific tip off, a police official said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/hizbul-mujahideen-militant-arrested-in-kashmir-two-grenades-recovered/story-D87p4tSrQrLQxbfY0YSPzL.html

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Pakistan to take part in Amritsar trade meet

by KAMALDEEP SINGH BRAR

December 6, 2016

A PAKISTANI delegation has confirmed its participation in the 11th edition of the Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX) in Amritsar along with participants of other SAARC countries. “We have confirmation that 54 Pakistani traders will participate in the PITEX,” said Dr Parveen Rathee, regional director of PHD (Progress Harmony Development) chamber that is organising the event. Pakistani participation in the annual PITEX has been a regular feature of the event over the last 10 years.

This year, it will be held from December 8 to 12 amid a spike in tension following the Uri attack and the Indian “surgical strike” across the LoC, with Nagrota attack being the latest.

Immediately after the attack on the Uri brigade headquarters, Pakistani delegations either stayed away or their participation was cancelled at trade events in Delhi and Chandigarh.

PITEX will come close on the heels of the 6th ministerial meeting of the Heart of Asia Conference which was held in this city.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Sartaj Aziz, foreign affairs adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister, were present together at the international conference in which over 40 countries took part. It was the first official delegation from Pakistan to visit India in months, but an anticipated India-Pakistan pull-aside did not happen. Earlier, India had refused to participate in the SAARC summit in Islamabad, leading to the cancellation of the event. But, trade between India and Pakistan has continued despite the escalation at the Line of Control spilling over into several aspects of the bilateral relationship.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/pakistan-to-take-part-in-amritsar-trade-meet-4412735/

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Indian Muslims ‘need to reinvent and reinvigorate’

Dec 6, 2016

By Yasa Iqbal

RIYADH — Indian expatriates in Riyadh got together in a massive gathering over the weekend to listen to Yogendra Yadav, founder of the newly-formed Swaraj India party.

A noted political analyst, activist and academic, Yadav was making the keynote address at a seminar titled “Current Political Discourse in India – A Challenge for Minorities,” organized by Aligarh Muslim University Old Boy’s Association (AMUOBA) Riyadh.

“More than a minority question, we are looking at the specific question of Indian Muslims. Because Indian Muslims suffer, not merely as a religious minority, but also as a socially disadvantaged and discriminated group.

This is what makes the situation of Indian Muslims unique. They face a challenge today, a challenge that has created a sense of siege, especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory and consolidation of political power in 2014,” Yadav said.

“Muslims, unlike other minorities are different. They have been subjected to social and political discrimination. They are being reduced to second class citizens and the blame does not go to Mr. Modi and his party alone but the general decline of secularism in recent years,” Yadav added.

According to Yadav, Muslims of India have been used as a tool for political gain by mainstream parties. While the majoritarians think Muslims are pampered by political parties, this does nothing but brings more disadvantage to their already deplorable situation.

He referred the Sachar Committee report where it clearly mentioned that Muslims form only 1 percent of teachers in central universities and just 2.5 percent of their students.

“The problem is that this siege-like situation has resulted in a siege mentality among Indian Muslims, their leaders, their intellectuals and their politicians. And this siege mentality leads them in doing things, which are detrimental to their own interest,” he explained.

“What siege mentality does is it makes you play the script of your opponent. I believe the national debate on uniform civil code is a classic example of that. Mr. Amit Shah laid a trap and Muslim religious and political leaders along with the so-called secular political parties stepped into that trap and made something that wasn’t an issue into an issue that serves BJP’s interests,” the political analyst added.

“Islam ensures the rights of women more than any other religion and it is being portrayed as a religion that is anti-women. This is because of the siege mentality. If we want to come out of the siege mentality, we have to diagnose and debunk the fundamental reasons why the Muslim community is in dilemma and the only thing that comes to my mind right now is that the basic reason is the fraudulent character of secular politics.”

When asked about the political challenge, he said, “We must learn to identify the root cause of Mr. Modi’s victory in the abysmal failure and fraudulence of the so-called secular parties because while secularism is a sacred principle, secular politics has become one of the biggest frauds and hoaxes of our time. Secularism has become a way of keeping Muslims hostage, political hostage. That is what needs to be challenged.”

When asked how that can be challenged, the former leader of Aam Admi Party said, “By thinking way forward. Muslims today are at a crossroads. There are four options before them. The first and the laziest one is to go back to the same parties which they had left and which let the Muslims down and who are responsible for bringing Narendra Modi to power. Going back to the ‘contractors’ of Secularism is not a viable option at all.”

He said the second is Muslim-only politics, the kind of politics being played by the Owaisis or AUDF in Assam and this again would be a poor and bad choice.

“Remember Muslim extremism and Hindu fundamentalism feed each other,” the Punjab University professor said.

Moving forward, Yadav said, “The third option is the radical one that no one wants to talk about. It is to attack the base of democratic politics. That’s a suicidal move. And I sincerely hope that the Muslim youth would not go for it.”

Full report at:

http://saudigazette.com.sa/saudi-arabia/indian-muslims-need-reinvent-reinvigorate/

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South Asia

 

Tell Taliban peace has no alternative, says US

ANWAR IQBAL

WASHINGTON: The United States has urged Afghanistan’s neighbours to make it clear to the Taliban that there is no alternative to a negotiated settlement of the Afghan dispute.

The statement, issued on the conclusion of the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar on Sunday, does not name any country but in previous remarks US officials have directly asked Pakistan to facilitate talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

“The door to negotiations is open; the Taliban must be pressed, and must choose, to walk through that door,” said Laurel Miller, acting US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We encourage all countries of the region to support the Afghan government in seeking a much broader peace and to take every opportunity to make it clear to the Taliban first that a negotiated settlement of the conflict is a necessity and second that the Taliban has a genuine opportunity to participate in a peace process,” she added.

On Friday, the commander of the US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, Gen John Nicholson, told a news briefing at the Pentagon that Pakistan, Iran and Russia had considerable influence on the Taliban and they could play a key role in bringing political stability to Afghanistan.

Gen Nicholson also said that the Haqqani network of terrorists, which was fighting alongside the Taliban, still posed the greatest threat to Americans, coalition and Afghan partners from its alleged sanctuary in Pakistan.

In her statement at the Heart of Asia conference, Ms Miller noted that while the international community had continued to support the Afghan government, “what is … arguably more important over the long run is the support and partnership of Afghanistan’s neighbours”.

The US official warned that the threat of terrorism “remains very real” in Afghanistan and throughout the region and all regional states needed to work together to deal with this threat.

This is the second year since Afghan forces assumed full security responsibility for their country, and US officials have praised their performance against the militants but they have also warned that the fight could get more intense in the coming years.

And Washington wants Afghanistan’s neighbours, particularly Pakistan, to support the Afghan government as it strives to create the conditions for a durable peace.

“An Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process is the surest way to end the conflict and bring stability to Afghanistan. The United States strongly and without reservations supports such a process,” Ms Miller said.

“We commend the Afghan government for concluding a peace agreement with Hizb-i-Islami, and believe that successful implementation of the agreement can send an important message to other militant groups.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1300748/tell-taliban-peace-has-no-alternative-says-us

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Ex-Afghan intelligence chief supports Ghani’s stance against Pakistan

Dec 06 2016

The former Afghan intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), chief Rahmatullah endorsed President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s stance against Pakistan in the Heart of Asia conference.

“I support Afg gov recent position against Pak. A.Ghani rejection of Paki’s doubl-face policy is a positive step, n not tolerable,” Nabil said in a Twitter post.

Nabil has long been criticizing Pakistan for supporting the Afghan insurgency and released several confidential documents by obtained by Afghan intelligence to prove the country’s role in the ongoing violence in the country.

“Despite our intense engagement with Pakistan on bilateral and multilateral basis, the undeclared war – the name that I gave to the phenomenon in the winter 2014 – not only has not abated but also intensified during 2016, with special intensity right after the Brussels Conference,” President Ghani said during his speech at the 6th Heart of Asia conference on Sunday.

Citing a Taliban commander’s remarks about Pakistan, President Ghani said “As Mr. Kakazada, one of the key figures in the Taliban movement recently said, if they did not have sanctuary in Pakistan, they would not last a month.”

President Ghani insisted on the need for intense dialogue and engagement to resolve the issue, including fight against criminal economics, and an Asian and international regime, whatever acceptable, particularly, to Pakistan to verify cross-frontier activities and terrorist operations.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/ex-afghan-intelligence-chief-supports-ghanis-stance-against-pakistan-02428

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ISIS commander among 2 killed in East of Afghanistan

Dec 06 2016

A commander of the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group was killed along with another militant in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defense said the two militants were killed in the restive Achin district.

No further details were given by the ministry and it is yet not clear if the militants were killed in Afghan forces raid or US airstrike.

This comes as at least 2 loyalists of the terror group were killed in a US drone strike in Achin district last week.

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

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

The broader role was granted amid concerns that the loyalists of the terror group are attempting to expand foothold in the country and turn the eastern Nangarhar province into a regional operational hub for its fighters.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/isis-commander-among-2-killed-in-east-of-afghanistan-02427

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Taliban militants suffer heavy casualties in Helmand air and ground raids

Dec 06 2016

The Taliban militants suffered heavy casualties during the air and ground raids conducted by the Afghan security forces.

The provincial government media office said the operations were conducted in Garamser and Nahr-e-Saraj districts.

The statement further added that 38 Taliban insurgents including some commanders of the group were killed in the raids.

Several weapons and a number of the facilities being used by the group were also destroyed in the raids.

No further details were given regarding the casualties of the security forces during the operations.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/taliban-militants-suffer-heavy-casualties-in-helmand-air-and-ground-raids-02426

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NATO to reaffirm support to Afghanistan during foreign ministerial: Stoltenberg

Dec 05 2016

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the NATO Foreign Ministerial will kick off on Tuesday with the Foreign Ministers of the alliance to discuss Afghanistan on Wednesday.

 “On Wednesday, we will meet with Afghan Foreign Minister Rabbani, to reaffirm our commitment to supporting Afghans to secure their own country, and to review Afghanistan’s reforms, which are linked to continued international support,” Stoltenberg said.

He said “NATO’s presence in Afghanistan demonstrates our long-term commitment to the fight against terrorism. It is helping to stabilise the region and stem the flow of migrants and refugees.”

According to Stoltenberg, the alliance will will discuss the progress made in boosting the capacity of their neighbours to the east and to the south, including our support to the Counter-ISIL Coalition, training of Iraqi officers, and alliance’s new Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean.

He said NATO has many years of experience in projecting stability in the Western Balkans and in Afghanistan.

The Secretary General said late in October that the presence of the loyalists of the Islamic State Of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Afghanistan is underlining the importance of the NATO in the country.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/nato-to-reaffirm-support-to-afghanistan-during-foreign-ministerial-stoltenberg-02425

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Zabul governor and mayor escape gunmen attack in south of Afghanistan

Dec 05 2016

The provincial governor and mayor of southern Zabul province escaped an ambush by unknown gunmen earlier today.

According to the local government officials, the incident took place on Zabul-Kandahar highway as the two top officials were on their way to Safa district.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Gul Islam Siyal confirmed the incident and said governor Bismillah Afghanmal and mayor Karimullah Hakimi escaped the attack unhurt.

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

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/zabul-governor-and-mayor-escape-gunmen-attack-in-south-of-afghanistan-02424

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