New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 18 March 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Terrorists Slaughter 17 Western Tourists in Tunis Museum

 

 

 

A victim is evacuated from the Bardo National Museum. AP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa

Terrorists Slaughter 17 Western Tourists in Tunis Museum

Pentagon Says Al-Shabab Leader Killed In Drone Strike

Boko Haram 'driven out' of northeastern Nigerian town

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Arab World

Shariah Guaranteed Human Rights Long Before Magna Carta

12 Tripoli-Based Militias Killed During Clashes with ISIL

Islamic Scholars Promote Sharia as an Alternative to Extremism

Saudi Arabia Right to Reject Interference in Its Affairs

Syrian army: downed U.S. drone was ‘spying in ISIS-free area’

Syrian opposition chief talks future of war-torn nation with German FM

Iraq Air Force targets ISIL positions in Tikrit

Egypt gives 22 Morsi supporters death penalty

Saudi King Salman holds talks with Maldives president

UAE summons Swedish ambassador

Iraq forces looted, burned after breaking ISIS siege: HRW

Three Iraqis dead in explosion near Kuwaiti border

240 Saudis change names each month

ISIS commander mocked online for ‘shawarma’ outfit

Downed US drone spying in ISIL-free area: Syria army source

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Pakistan

Pakistan Says 34 Militants Killed In 'Precise' Strikes in Northwest

Killed KESC Chief on Altaf Hussain's Orders, Saulat Mirza Claims

Pakistan for no regional interferance in Afghanistan: Sartaj Aziz

 ‘Some people sacked to keep N-programme safe’

Altaf, Governor Ibad, Ghauri deny allegations

ANP ready to hand over ‘wanted men’ to authorities

India-Pakistan Relations like ‘Saas-Bahu’, Says Envoy

MQM chief may be declared proclaimed offender

11 more convicts hanged in Punjab

Four more prisoners sent to the gallows

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South Asia

Seven Causalities, 41 Injured From Taliban Attack in Afghanistan

UN Asks Myanmar to End Discriminating Minorities

BD students to stand trial over 2013 blogger murder

War crimes tribunal clears another of contempt

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India

Indian Muslims Are Patriots: Union Home Minister

Muslim Scholars Unite Against ‘Ghar Wapsi’ Programme; Focus Will Be On Communal Harmony

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Southeast Asia

Malaysian State OKs Islamic Penalties, Splitting Opposition

Indonesia and Turkey Intelligence Sharing Could Increase to Combat ISIS Threat

Indonesia Condemns Tunisia Terror Attack, No Indonesians among Victims

Govt Blocks ISIS Video Allegedly Showing Indonesian Children with Assault Rifles

Isis targeting Malaysian students, says report

Raja Bahrin rips Tee to shreds for his un-Islamic behaviour

Maldives ex-president’s trial was flawed: UN rights chief

Malaysia, Singapore top destinations for Muslim travellers

Nurul alleges political revenge, but envoy denies it

Support Hudud If You Want To Use ‘Allah’, Says Umno Man

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Mideast

Gulf States Say Will Not Let Yemen Become Terrorism Hub

U.S. Republicans Hail Netanyahu Comeback Win in Israel

Poll boosts Palestinian resolve to oppose Israel on world stage

West Trying to Undermine Muslim Unity: Iranian MP

Five killed in clashes at Yemen’s Aden airport

Palestinian court upholds decree stripping Abbas rival of immunity

Latest round of Iran nuclear talks ends in Switzerland

Iran’s deal should be subject to UN approval: Source

Yemenis honor ‘Friday of Dignity,’ support Ansarullah

Dreams and despair in Turkey's 'little Syria'

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North America

Teacher Accused Of Calling Muslim Teen a Taliban

UN to monitor safety measures at Pakistani schools: Brown

World leaders condemn Tunisia attack

John Allen: U.S. position on Assad hasn’t changed

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Europe

Canon Goddard Apologises For Muslim Prayers in His Church

British-made Afghanistan war movie set to premiere in Jordan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/terrorists-slaughter-17-western-tourists-in-tunis-museum/d/102021

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Africa

 

Terrorists Slaughter 17 Western Tourists in Tunis Museum

By Chris Perez

March 18, 2015

Islamic terrorists armed with assault rifles and grenades gunned down at least 19 people at a crowded museum in the capital of Tunisia on Wednesday, officials said.

The mayhem started around 12:30 p.m. when the militants picked off tourists as they got off a bus outside the Bardo National Museum, killing eight, according to witnesses and officials.

The gunmen then stormed the museum, where they grabbed several hostages and hunkered down for hours, according to the Associated Press. They killed 10 of their victims during that standoff.

Television footage from the attack depicts a chaotic scene as people frantically escape from the building. One man cradling a child can be seen sprinting for shelter in a compound next to the parliament.

The two militants inside the museum were eventually killed in a firefight, along with a security officer, during a counter-operation to retake the building, officials said.

Of the 19 people who died, Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said 17 were tourists from Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland. The other two victims were from Tunisia, according to BBC.

In addition, 22 others were injured during the assault, officials said.

The Bardo museum had been exceptionally busy Wednesday thanks to a pair of cruise ships that were docked in Tunis at the time. The attack unfolded as many guests were on tour at the museum, according to CNN.

It is unclear exactly how many militants took part in the attack, but initial reports said three men were involved in the strike — and officials now believe one of the bloodthirsty savages could still be out there.

“It is a critical moment in our history, and a defining moment for our future,” Essid explained. “We have not established the identity of the two terrorists. Reports are not final, these two terrorists could have been assisted by two or three other operatives.”

A manhunt was under way to find any additional militants as authorities “comb the area to find out the remaining operatives, if any,” Essid said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told Radio Mosaique that the attackers were Islamists, and witnesses told Radio Mosaique that all three men were wearing military-style clothing and posing as soldiers when they made their assault.

A large police presence was spotted moving in to evacuate any other people remaining inside the parliament building, which is located in Bardo Palace. The TAP state news agency claims that local cops opened fire with one of the terrorists outside, RT reports.

Local TV stations say several of the fatalities occurred during the counter-operation, but this had yet to be confirmed by authorities.

The Bardo museum is one of the North African nation’s most popular tourist attractions and chronicles Tunisia’s history. It includes one of the world’s largest collections of Roman mosaics.

Wednesday’s assault there was the worst attack involving foreigners in Tunisia since an al Qaeda suicide bombing of a synagogue left 21 people dead on the popular island of Djerba in 2002, according to Reuters.

While the identity of the attackers could not be verified, Tunisia has struggled with violence sparked by Islamic extremists in recent years.

Tunisia’s armed forces are currently fighting Islamist militants who emerged in 2011 after the country’s uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Bordering Libya, the North African nation has reportedly become a breeding ground for ISIS. Since 2011, officials estimate that around 3,000 Tunisians have traveled to Syria to wage jihad, according to Reuters.

Back in February, Tunisian authorities arrested an estimated 100 people in just three days because they were all suspected of having links to the Islamic State.

A message sent from a pro-ISIS Twitter account just hours before Wednesday’s attack possibly hinted the terror group’s involvement in the attack on the Bardo museum.

“Coming good news to Tunisia’s Muslims,” the tweet read, according to the Daily Mail. “And a shock to the disbelievers and the hypocrites, especially those who claim to be cultured.'”

The tweet was posted by the account @riff0BA9 and was retweeted numerous times by other Islamic State sympathizers. The profile and message have since been deleted.

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Pentagon says al-Shabab leader killed in drone strike

18 Mar 2015

A US drone strike in southern Somalia has killed Adnan Garaar, an al-Shabaab leader believed to be behind a 2013 attack on a Nairobi shopping mall that killed 67 people, the Pentagon has said.

It said in a statement that the strike last Thursday hit a vehicle carrying Garaar, a top official of the al-Shabaab armed group, which the Pentagon says targets US and other Western interests to further al-Qaeda's goals.

"He posed a major threat to the region and the international community and was connected to the West Gate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya. His death has dealt another significant blow to the al-Shabaab terrorist organisation in Somalia," the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon added that the operation took place about 240km west of Mogadishu near the town of Dinsoor.

Residents said at the time of the strike that the drone had hit a car carrying three al-Shabaab members and that the vehicle was completely burnt.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/03/pentagon-al-shabab-leader-killed-drone-strike-150318233502759.html

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Boko Haram 'driven out' of northeastern Nigerian town

19 Mar 2015

Soldiers from Niger and Chad have taken the Nigerian town of Damasak from Boko Haram, another victory in a regional campaign to wrest back control of swaths of northeastern Nigeria from the armed group.

Damasak, a few kilometres over the border from Niger, was taken from Boko Haram's control over the weekend, a spokesman for Niger's army, Colonel Michel Ledru, said on Wednesday.

In heavy fighting, 228 rebel fighters were killed and one soldier from Niger died, Ledru said. Vehicles and motor cycles riddled with bullets littered the streets.

An Associated Press photographer in the northeastern town said it was largely deserted of civilians.

Four people, including an old man, came onto the street to wave at a convoy among 2,000 troops from Niger and Chad in the town.

There were still signs of the town's occupation by the rebels. Their writings were scrawled on every wall and the groups' black and white flag still flew above some buildings.

A group of Chadian troops transferred weapons confiscated from Boko Haram into a pick-up truck truck. They were then taken to helicopters for transport to Niger.

The weapons included AK47 assault rifles and 50-calibre guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells.

The Nigerian armed group seized Damasak with little resistance on November 24, when residents reported that the rebels drove in flinging firebombs and improvised explosive devices.

Boko Haram has been fighting a six-year insurgency to create an Islamic state and had taken control of large parts of Nigeria's northeast during the past year.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/03/niger-chad-troops-nigeria-town-boko-haram-150319015134021.html

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Arab World

 

Shariah Guaranteed Human Rights Long Before Magna Carta

19 March 2015

After receiving a kind invitation from Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, the Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom, I attended the Global Law Summit in London as part of the Saudi delegation. The summit attracted delegates from more than 100 countries around the world as well as 30 ministers of justice from various states.

The conference was held to mark the passage of 800 years since the first constitutional document in the United Kingdom in 1215. Known as the Magna Carta, it was the first constitutional document of human rights reform in addition to being a cornerstone in the development of the principle of the rule of law and individual equality before the law. The document also guaranteed basic rights and public freedoms.

The conference listened to the British minister of justice, the US attorney general and others on how the document has evolved over the years to become an integral part of current legal systems in the UK, the US and Commonwealth states.

While listening to these words, I became very proud that Islamic Shariah was a leader in the expression and recognition of fundamental and constitutional rights of the individual. More than 14 centuries ago, before the existence of many conventions and international declarations of laws and governance, Islamic Shariah guaranteed the protection of human rights. Unlike modern-day, human-influenced entities and systems, which can be characterized as having shortages and deficiencies, the principles of human rights in our Islamic Shariah are comprehensive and perfect as they are based on the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace be upon him).

I would like to emphasize that we, as a nation, should be proud of the principles of Shariah as they set the precedent for the consolidation and establishment of the principles of human rights.

As I previously described in a piece I wrote for a local newspaper, our religion is completely valid and applies to every situation. For example, it beautifully establishes the smooth and easy transition of power as was recently evident upon the death of King Abdullah and the handing of power to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman. This transition of power, as stipulated in the provisions of the Allegiance Law, is derived directly from our tolerant and comprehensive Islamic principles.

Following the London conference, Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani confirmed in his statement to the media that our judicial system draws its power directly from Islamic law. He said this ensured the impartiality of the judicial system and its independence, as clearly stated in the first article of the justice system.

Al-Samaani also pointed out that the Kingdom was one of the first countries that supported the principles of human rights and has agreed to all international conventions and treaties. He also praised the continuous development of the judicial system and its administrative processes which in turn have helped boost its overall efficiency.

Al-Samaani’s important statement about the system of justice in the Kingdom is commendable, as are his efforts to take advantage of international experience in order to exchange ideas related to improving the Kingdom’s overall development efforts. In due time, Insha’Allah, we will discuss how other countries can benefit from the Kingdom’s experiences.

Al-Yaum

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/720236

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12 Tripoli-based militias killed during clashes with ISIL

Mar 18, 2015

At least 12 militias loyal to Libya’s Tripoli-based government have been killed during clashes with ISIL Takfiri terrorists close to the central city of Sirte.

"Twelve heroes of the Libyan army have been killed treacherously at Noufliyeh," Tripoli authorities said on Wednesday.

Noufliyeh is a stronghold of the Takfiri militants who have been in control of vast regions around Sirte since February, they added.

As of yet there have been no reports in relation to ISIL casualties.

According to the Tripoli-based defense ministry, the fighting broke out on Saturday after ISIL militants blocked a coastal road to protest against the arrests of some of their leaders.

The Tripoli-based General National Congress, backed by the Fajr Libya militias controlling the capital, are waging a war against the official Libyan army, supported by the Tobruk-based parliament, in the far east of the country.

The new Tripoli rulers have set up a rival parliament and government not recognized by the international community.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/18/402466/ISIL-kills-12-Tripoli-based-Libyan-troops

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Islamic Scholars Promote Sharia as an Alternative to Extremism

By KAREEM FAHIM

MARCH 18, 2015

MECCA, Saudi Arabia — To combat extremist ideologies, Islamic scholars and researchers meeting in Mecca last month urged Muslim governments to tackle poverty, overhaul school curriculums — and get back to religion.

In particular, they counseled strict, Muslim religious observance of the kind practiced in Saudi Arabia. “Apply Islamic Shariah in all life’s affairs,” they recommended, referring to Islamic law, which they said had the capacity to “accomplish justice, maintain dignity, uphold rights and meet the aspirations of the people.”

The state-sanctioned conference, called “Islam and Countering Terrorism,” was an effort by the Saudi government to burnish its anti-extremist credentials and promote its religious establishment as an alternative to the savage leadership of the Islamic State.

Yet, the conference itself highlighted the contradiction at the heart of the Saudi effort: Amid worthwhile talk of outreach to youth and fighting corruption, there was almost no mention of the Saudi monarchy’s decades-long role in aggressively spreading its strictly conservative religious ideology — a creed that itself has provided inspiration for leaders of the Islamic State, the militant group often referred to as ISIS, ISIL or by the Arabic acronym Daesh.

Arab leaders have vigorously condemned the Islamic State and some, like Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, have reacted by vowing to restore moderation to religious discourse and thought. But the denunciations by the region’s autocrats and monarchs have rarely been accompanied by deeper self-criticism about the role played by state policies in fueling radicalism, according to analysts.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/world/middleeast/islamic-scholars-promote-sharia-as-an-alternative-to-extremism.html?_r=0

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Saudi Arabia Right to Reject Interference in Its Affairs

ABDULLAH AL-BARGI

19 March 2015

The whole world must understand that Saudi Arabia will never succumb to any pressure to change the way its judiciary and other organs of state function.

This is because Islamic law underpins all these separate and autonomous bodies and entities. The judicial system is independent of the country’s executive, which means there is no interference in the decision of judges.

In the words of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, “Saudi foreign policy is committed to the teachings of our religion, which call for love and peace.” He said the Kingdom would “continue to comply with international treaties, conventions and covenants, respect the principle of sovereignty, reject any attempt to interfere in its internal affairs, and continue to defend Arab and Islamic issues.”

The Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s recent criticism of a Saudi court ruling stands in sharp contrast to Sweden’s virtual silence on the daily crimes committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people, and the Israeli practices against the Palestinian people.

Wallstrom has created a political crisis for her country, not only with Saudi Arabia, but also other Arab states, who have denounced her statements. Many have argued that she lacks basic diplomatic skills.

An important question must be posed: Why has she not declared her opposition to remarks ridiculing our Prophet, peace be upon him, and Islam, which have hurt the feelings of more than a billion Muslims. Why have we not heard about a Swedish law that punishes those who insult our Prophet (pbuh)?

The Council of Ministers has confirmed that the principles of Islam are not negotiable. These very same principles are the foundation of the Saudi judicial system, which strives to protect people and ensure stability in society.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/Syria-claims-shooting-down-of-U-S-drone-over-Latakia.html

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Syrian opposition chief talks future of war-torn nation with German FM

19 March 2015

The chief of the main western-backed Syrian opposition met on Wednesday in the German capital Berlin with Germany’s foreign minister, discussing the situation of Syrian refugees in Germany and the road ahead for Syria without President Bashar al-Assad, according to press release from the opposition group.

Syrian National Coalition chief Khaled Khoja, who was elected in January, thanked German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier for the country’s resettlement of Syrian refugees, and for his country’s support for a moderate political opposition.

While most European nations have been unwilling to let in refugees fleeing the 4 year conflict in Syria, Germany is an exception: it has already accepted 6,000 Syrian refugees and has pledged to take up to 20,000.

During their meeting, Khoja and Steinmeier “agreed that a comprehensive approach is urgently required to defeat [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group] and address the root cause of the extremism through a political transition to a future Syria without Bashar al-Assad,” according to the press release.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/19/Syrian-opposition-chief-talks-future-of-war-torn-nation-with-German-FM.html

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Iraq Air Force targets ISIL positions in Tikrit

Mar 19, 2015

The Iraqi Air Force has inflicted heavy losses on the ISIL Takfiri group by carrying out a number airstrikes against its positions in the city of Tikrit.

On Wednesday, Iraq’s aircraft attacked selected targets in Tikrit, leaving dozens of militants dead and destroying their equipment in the regions of Thera Dijla and Nadhem, the Defense Ministry said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/19/402476/Iraq-aircraft-attack-ISIL-in-Tikrit

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Egypt gives 22 Morsi supporters death penalty

Mar 18, 2015

Twenty-two supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi have been sentenced to death by an Egyptian court.

The sentence, which was passed on Wednesday, was in relation to an attack on a police station in the town of Kerdasa on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital Cairo which claimed the life of one police officer, AFP reported.

The attack took place on July 3, 2013, the day Egypt’s military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is currently the president of the country, announced Morsi’s dismissal.

The court’s verdict will be confirmed or commuted on April 20 and the defendants have the right to appeal.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/18/402463/22-Morsi-supporters-given-death-penalty

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Saudi King Salman holds talks with Maldives president

19 March 2015

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Wednesday met with Maldivian President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Qayoom in his palace in the capital Riyadh, and discussed bilateral ties, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

“During the session of talks, the two reviewed bilateral relations and discussed ways of enhancing cooperation in all fields in addition to the latest developments at Islamic and international arenas,” the SPA reported.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/19/Saudi-King-Salman-holds-talks-with-Maldives-president.html

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UAE summons Swedish ambassador

18 March 2015

The United Arab Emirates summoned the Swedish ambassador in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday to protest against recent comments made by Stockholm that were deemed offensive to Saudi Arabia.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash, in statements carried by state news agency WAM, expressed “the UAE’s extreme condemnation of the statements made by the foreign minister of Sweden to the Swedish Parliament regarding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its judicial system.”

The minister said “these statements violate the principle of sovereignty upon which normal relations between states are based and are considered an interference in internal affairs and do not respect the religious and cultural specificities of countries and societies.”

Saudi Arabia had recalled its ambassador to Sweden last Wednesday, accusing Stockholm of “flagrant interference” in its internal affairs.

“An official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that due to the offensive remarks made by Sweden's Foreign Minister against the Kingdom, the Kingdom considered these remarks as a blatant interference in its internal affairs,” Saudi official news agency SPA reported.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/Saudi-Arabia-summons-Sweden-s-ambassador.html

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Iraq forces looted, burned after breaking ISIS siege: HRW

18 March 2015

Iraqi troops and militia looted and burned homes and destroyed villages after breaking the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group’s months-long siege of a Turkmen town last August, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday.

“Following the operations to end the Amerli siege, pro-government militias and volunteer fighters as well as Iraqi security forces raided Sunni villages and neighborhoods around Amerli in Salaheddin and Kirkuk provinces,” the New York-based group said in a report.

“During the raids, militiamen, volunteer fighters and Iraqi security forces looted possessions of civilians who fled fighting during the onslaught on Amerli, burned homes and businesses of the villages' Sunni residents,” HRW said.

They also “used explosives and heavy equipment to destroy individual buildings or entire villages,” it added.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/Iraq-forces-looted-burned-after-breaking-is-siege-HRW.html

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Three Iraqis dead in explosion near Kuwaiti border

18 March 2015

Three Iraqis were killed on Wednesday when a booby-trapped truck exploded in Iraq near the border with Kuwait, Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported.

The agency quoted Talib al-Hosuna, a local Iraqi official saying that five other people were wounded in the explosion at a garage near the main road about 12 km (7.5 miles) north of the Safwan border crossing with Kuwait.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/Three-Iraqis-dead-in-explosion-near-Kuwaiti-border.html

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240 Saudis change names each month

19 March 2015

As many as 10 Saudis change their names every day, Makkah daily reported on Tuesday.

An informed source at the Interior Ministry’s agency for civil affairs said most of name changes are carried out by women. The source said about 240 Saudis change their first names every month.

Name changes are done at a total of 130 civil affairs departments across the Kingdom, he said.

“The majority of the approvals for name changes are for women who look for more appealing names, believing that they will make them more beautiful,” he said.

He said though a number of names that were changed had no Islamic or societal taboos, the bearers were keen to obtain more modern and distinguished names.

The source said some men and women were ashamed by their names because they had bad meanings, so they changed them. The Ministry of Education has introduced in its syllabus for intermediate schools a whole subject about the rights of children, including their right to have good names.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/03/19/240-Saudis-change-names-each-month.html

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ISIS commander mocked online for ‘shawarma’ outfit

18 March 2015

An Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighter in Iraq has been mocked by users of social media after a photo showed him wearing military camouflage that users likened to a shawarma - an popular Arab meat-filled sandwich.

A picture spread by anti-ISIS activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently showed Abu Wahib - a 28-year-old commander known for his portly appearance and signature monobrow – in unusual brown fatigues was shown next to a doner kebab rack.

The post quickly went viral online, with users reposting the content on microblogging site Twitter.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/variety/2015/03/18/ISIS-commander-mocked-online-for-doner-kebab-outfit.html

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Downed US drone spying in ISIL-free area: Syria army source

March 19, 2015

Syria's military downed a US drone in the country's west because it was snooping in an area where Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists are not present, a military source said March 18.

"Did the drone come into Syrian territory just to have a picnic?" asked the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"As soon as it entered Syrian air space, we considered it to be gathering security and military information on Syria's territory," he told AFP.        

The source said the aircraft was not immediately identified as being American, but was "dealt with as a hostile target".

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/downed-us-drone-spying-in-isil-free-area-syria-army-source-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79831&NewsCatID=352

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan Says 34 Militants Killed In 'Precise' Strikes in Northwest

Wed Mar 18, 2015

By Jibran Ahmad

PESHAWAR (Reuters) - Pakistani air strikes on Wednesday killed 34 militants in the country's lawless northwest, near the mountainous border with Afghanistan, security officials said, but residents put the toll at 20.

Fighter jets pounded positions in the Tirah Valley in the Khyber region, west of the city of Peshawar, in "precise" strikes", the military said in a statement.

"The local population had fled their homes and villages when the operation was launched against the terrorists," an official told Reuters.

Another security official said those killed belonged to the outlawed militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and an allied group, Lashkar-e-Islam.

"In precise aerial strikes in Tirah, Khyber Agency, 34 terrorists were killed today," the military said in a statement.

The Pakistani Taliban are allied with the Afghan militants of the same name and share a similar jihadist ideology. But they operate as a separate entity, focused on toppling the Pakistani state and establishing strict Islamic rule in the nuclear-armed nation.

In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing in Peshawar on Wednesday of a district president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Full report at:

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0ME0XO20150318

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Killed KESC chief on Altaf Hussain's orders, Saulat Mirza claims

March 19, 2015

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Saulat Mirza, in a video statement aired on Geo News, hurled startling allegations on Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and its top leadership, just a few hours before his execution was scheduled to take place on Thursday at 5:30AM.

Mirza's execution has now been postponed for 72 hours.

Mirza said he was an MQM worker and received direct orders from MQM leader Babar Ghauri to assassinate KESC chief Shahid Hamid.

“I was summoned at Babar Ghauri’s house where I took Altaf Hussain’s orders via telephone. Altaf Hussain would usually pass on instructions through Babar Ghauri,” alleged Saulat Mirza.

Speaking to ARY News, MQM Chief Altaf Hussain said, "Without any proof or evidence, Saulat Mirza's statement will not have any effect on the party."

Hussain termed the allegations a conspiracy against MQM.

Babar Ghauri speaking to Geo News dismissed Mirza’s statement as a “fable” and denied having given any order for a murder.

“This is a made up story, we are not allowed to call workers to our house and deal with them there,” he said. When asked if Saulat Mirza has never come to his house, Ghauri said “no”.

“When he [Mirza] was in North Nazimabad, I met him then as an MPA,”.

“Then he was removed from the party and I maintained no communication or relationship with him.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1170392/killed-kesc-chief-on-altaf-hussains-orders-saulat-mirza-claims

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Pakistan for no regional interferance in Afghanistan: Sartaj Aziz

March 19, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said on Thursday that Pakistan is pursuing a policy of non-interference in Afghanistan and expects the same from other countries in the region.

Talking to the media persons and addressing a conference on Afghanistan in Islamabad today, Aziz said that there are prospects of dialogue between Afghan government and different groups in the coming days and Pakistan desires early start of talks between Afghan government and different Afghan groups for peace and stability.

The Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs said Pakistan is only playing the role of facilitator in the reconciliation process and persuading the groups it has contacts with to start the dialogue process.

He said Pakistan is pursuing the policy of non-interference in Afghanistan and hoped this policy will also be followed by other regional countries.

Aziz said Afghanistan needs lot of help for economic development but it has to resolve the political issues on its own.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1170600/pakistan-for-no-regional-interferance-in-afghanistan-sartaj-aziz

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‘Some people sacked to keep N-programme safe’

BAQIR SAJJAD SYED

March 19, 2015

ISLAMABAD: An official disclosed on Thursday that “some people” working with the country’s nuclear programme were sacked to keep it safe.

Retired Brig Tahir Raza Naqvi, who works for Strategic Plans Division, the administering body for the nuclear programme, was speaking at a seminar on ‘Future Security Outlook of South Asia: Trends and Challenges’.

The seminar was organised by an Islamabad-based think tank, Centre for International Strategic Studies, and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung of Germany.

The sacked nuclear workers could not clear the Personnel Reliability Programme that was started in mid-2003/04 to screen the employees working on the sensitive programme. All employees of the nuclear programme are periodically checked for family background, education, political affiliation and religious inclinations.

Take a look: US confident of Pakistan's nuclear security

Fears expressed about nuclear safety and security in Pakistan are related to insider threat.

Brig Naqvi would not say how many were sacked over the years or why they failed to clear the screening.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1170533/some-people-sacked-to-keep-n-programme-safe

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Altaf, Governor Ibad, Ghauri deny allegations

March 19, 2015

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and MQM leader Babar Ghauri on Wednesday night categorically denied allegations levelled by death-row convict Saulat Mirza in a recorded video message aired by television channels.

“I am not afraid of trial or media trial,” the MQM chief told a private news channel. “It is a conspiracy to damage the image of the MQM world over.”

He added that he never met or spoke to Mirza in his life.

A spokesperson for the governor said that Dr Ibad had never protected any criminal or convict and it was not in his power to do so.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1170580/altaf-governor-ibad-ghauri-deny-allegations

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ANP ready to hand over ‘wanted men’ to authorities

March 19, 2015

KARACHI: Awami National Party Sindh chapter president Senator Shahi Syed has offered law enforcement agencies that they can inform his party if any member of his party is wanted by them in order to hand over such elements to law enforcers.

Addressing a press conference at his residence Mardan House on Wednesday, Shahi Syed said that he was making this offer because after the Rangers raid on MQM headquarters Nine Zero it had been repeatedly demanded by the MQM chief that raids were also carried out on the Mardan House and an action against an alleged armed wing of the ANP was carried out.

Also read: Rangers raid MQM HQ in Karachi, detain member of Rabita Committee

Welcoming these statements, Mr Syed said that it was the ANP which had demanded before any other party to hand over Karachi to the army and cleanse the city of weapons.

He said he had also tabled a resolution in Senate and got it passed through it to dewaponise the city.

Full report at:

Mr Syed said that the ongoing operation should continue without any discrimination.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1170416/anp-ready-to-hand-over-wanted-men-to-authorities

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India-Pakistan relations like ‘saas-bahu’, says envoy

March 19, 2015

Kolkata - Likening the “conflict-riddled” relationship between India and Pakistan with that of “saas-bahu” relations, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Wednesday hoped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to his country for the Saarc summit would lead to resumption of peace talks.

“Indo-Pakistan relation is riddled with conflicts and issues.

Despite the abundance of mutual goodwill, we have not allowed this relation to grow as normal.

We talk to each other for years.

.

.

one little incident on the Line of Control and we stop talking to each other like saas and bahu,” Basit said here at an event.

“The next summit will be in Pakistan and we hope that it will be a huge success because all Saarc leaders will be there.

One hopes that Modi’s visit to Pakistan would add more to it beyond the Saarc issues,” he said.

The envoy said Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar’s meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhury was very positive and would lead to “something tangible”.

Even as he asserted it was an opportune time to carry forward the momentum, Basit said Pakistan was not in a hurry and would wait for India.

“If India feels it is not yet the right time to talk, we can wait.

.

.

but we will like to see this engagement to resume as quickly as possible.

We are also not in a hurry in that sense,” he said.

Following media queries, the diplomat subsequently clarified that he did not intend to trivialise the relation by likening it to ‘saas bahu’ and even apologised.

“My intention was not to trivialise anything.

There is no harm in saying difficult things in a lighter vein.

My intention was not to trivialise, but if you think that way, I apologise,” he said.

Talking to media persons during an event organised by the MCC Chamber of Commerce, Basit termed “bizarre” the visa arrangement between the two neighbours, and said the prevalent travel permit terms were not conducive for promoting trade.

“It’s a bizarre arrangement that we have.

If there is visa restriction, how can you expect trade to realise its inherent potential?” he said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/19-Mar-2015/india-pakistan-relations-like-saas-bahu-says-envoy

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MQM chief may be declared proclaimed offender

March 19, 2015

LAHORE  - MQM Chief Altaf Hussain is likely to be declared as a “proclaimed offender” in case he skips joining police investigations in connection with a criminal case lodged against him on the complaint of an officer of Pakistan Rangers.

Seasoned police investigators and leading lawyers say Altaf Bhai who denies his party having any military wing has been left with no other choice except to appear before the police to face investigations.

“Once a criminal case is registered by police against a person, he or she has to join investigations.

And an accused person can join police probe only after getting pre-arrest bail from a local court or by surrendering to the police.

There is no other way,” a top police investigator told The Nation, requesting his identity not to be revealed.

Legal experts say that after a court declares an accused a proclaimed offender, the next step is the pasting of proclamations against the accused at different locations, including the courtroom, police stations, prominent public places and the residence of the accused.

The police then submit a challan against the proclaimed offender after which the court starts process of attachment of the properties and freezing of bank accounts of the accused person.

Ultimately, the court declares him as an absconder.

After a 30-day time period, the police investigators are bound to declare the accused person as a proclaimed offender.

“In case, the accused has been staying abroad, the police will have to write to the Ministry of Interior, asking the authorities to take up the case with the Interpol.

Then the accused person could be brought to the country through Interpol,” explained another officer who worked in the Sindh police for a couple of years before joining a deferral government department.

Also, the Interior Ministry will have to take up the matter with the Interior Ministry of the country where the accused person has been staying.

Even if the accused person is not a Pakistani national, the Interior Ministry can bring him back through the Interpol.

In November, an Islamabad anti-terrorism court (ATC) had declared Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri ‘proclaimed offenders’ in a case related to the attack on Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Asmatullah Junejo.

An ATC Judge had also issued non-bailable arrest warrants for PTI Chairman Dr Qadri and other senior leaders of both the parties in connection with the FIRs registered against them for storming of the Parliament House and the Pakistan Television (PTV) buildings.

Following the registration of a criminal case against the MQM chief, the government can reach out to the UK authorities at any stage to seek extradition of the accused for the purpose of investigations, said a senior jurist.

Advocate Salman Akram Raja said that on the complaint of a Rangers officer, an FIR against Altaf Hussain has been registered in Karachi.

As such in the first instance the local law would be pressed into service for the purpose of collecting evidence, circumstances and other allied material relevant to the alleged offence.

Raja said that in the next phase the international law can come into play to seek extradition of Altaf Hussain which can take place at any stage from the investigations to the judicial proceedings.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/19-Mar-2015/mqm-chief-may-be-declared-proclaimed-offender

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11 more convicts hanged in Punjab

March 19, 2015

LAHORE/JHANG/RAWALPINDI - Eleven more death-row prisoners were executed in various jails across the Punjab in the wee hours of Wednesday.

With the latest executions, the number of hanged convicts across the country rose to 45 since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted moratorium on capital punishment after a deadly attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.

The authorities hanged four more convicted murderers at Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi.

Those who were taken to the gallows amid tight security were Shaukat Ali, Muhammad Shabbir, Talib Hussain and Rabnawaz.

However, the execution of Qadeer was suspended by the jail authorities as the heirs of the deceased pardoned the convict.

According to details, Adiala Jail Superintendent Malik Muhammad Ashiq Awan received death warrants for the four convicted murderers and arranged their last meetings with their family members and relatives in the jail.

Later, the four convicted murderers were hanged by the jail authorities.

There was a tight security inside and around Asia’s largest jail at the time of the hangings.

The dead bodies were handed over to the heirs who took them to their native towns for burial.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/19-Mar-2015/11-more-convicts-hanged-in-punjab

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Four more prisoners sent to the gallows

HASEEB BHATTI

March 19, 2015

RAWALPINDI/MIANWALI: Three death row prisoners, including two brothers, were executed in Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail on Thursday while another was hanged to death in Mianwali jail. All convicts had been awarded the death sentence in non-terror related cases. Prisoners sent to the gallows in Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail also included two brothers, Mohammad Asghar and Ghulam Mohammad, who had been awarded the death penalty by a district and sessions judge for killing two of their relatives within the remit of Gujar Khan's Jatli police station in 1996.

The third executed prisoner, Gulistan Zaman, had also been condemned to death by a district and sessions judge in a murder case. He was convicted for killing a man in 1998 in Kallar Syedan.

Another death row convict, Abdul Sattar, was executed in Mianwali Jail. Sattar was sentenced to death for killing a man over a personal feud in 1992.

The appeals of all convicts had been rejected by higher and superior courts and their mercy petitions were also rejected by President of Pakistan.

With the recent hangings, so far 54 convicts have been hanged across the country, after the deadly attack on the Army Public School on December 16, 2014.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1170589/four-more-prisoners-sent-to-the-gallows

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South Asia

 

 

Seven causalities, 41 injured from Taliban attack in Afghanistan

March 19, 2015

KANDAHAR: A truck bomb set off by a Taliban suicide attacker targeting senior provincial officials killed at least seven civilians and wounded around 40 in southern Afghanistan, officials said.

The bomber detonated his explosives-rigged truck near a complex that houses the governor, the head of the provincial council and the deputy provincial police chief in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, Deputy Provincial Governor Mohammad Jan Rasolyar told AFP.

All three survived, but “seven civilian were killed and 41 were wounded in the attack,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1170370/seven-causalities-41-injured-from-taliban-attack-in-afghanistan

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UN asks Myanmar to end discriminating minorities

March 19, 2015

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations Special Reporter on the human rights situation in Myanmar Wednesday warned against categorising Rohingya Muslims as “illegal aliens” and called for addressing the continuing discrimination against the country’s minorities.

“During my last visit in January 2015, I witnessed how dire the situation has remained in Rakhine state,” Ms Yanghee Lee said during the presentation of her first report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The conditions in Muslim IDP [internally displaced persons] camps are abysmal and I received heart-breaking testimonies from Rohingya people telling me they had only two options: stay and die or leave by boat,” she said.

Ms Lee, the expert, cautioned against any provision in the Rakhine Action Plan that would classify Rohingyas as ‘illegal aliens’ and subject them to possible prolonged internment in camps or removal from the territory.

The expiry at the end of this month of the temporary white cards held by many Rohingyas as identity documentation “further increases their vulnerability,” she said The expert called on the country’s authorities to address ongoing challenges to the democratic reform process “before they undermine the success achieved so far.”  “I was very disturbed by reports on 10 March that excessive and disproportionate force had been used against students and other civilians and that 127 people were subsequently arrested,” she said.

Ms. Lee welcomed the release of some detainees but also called for the immediate release of all the others. Further, Ms. Lee drew attention to the pressure on human rights defenders, including prosecutions under outdated defamation and national security laws, which have a “chilling effect on civil society activities.”

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/19-Mar-2015/un-asks-myanmar-to-end-discriminating-minorities

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BD students to stand trial over 2013 blogger murder

March 19, 2015

DHAKA - A Bangladesh court on Wednesday ordered seven university students and a Muslim cleric to stand trial for the 2013 machete murder of an atheist blogger whom they claimed had defamed Islam.

Judge Ruhul Amin ordered the murder trial to start on April 21 for all eight, who face the death penalty if convicted of killing 35-year-old atheist blogger and architect Ahmed Rajib Haider.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/19-Mar-2015/bd-students-to-stand-trial-over-2013-blogger-murder

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War crimes tribunal clears another of contempt

March 19, 2015

International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday cleared of contempt of court charge another eminent person,the 25th among 49 who had in a statement expressed concern over the sentence of Dhaka-based British journalist David Bergman for demeaning it.

Led by Justice Obaidul Hassan with members Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Shahinur Islam, the tribunal also fixed April 1 to pass further order on the remaining 24 signatories.

Now abroad, Dina M Siddiqi, through the foreign ministry, tendered her unconditional apology, as had expressed the previous 24 for the statement, said the tribunal sources.

On December 2, 2014, the tribunal found Bergman, editor (special reports) of New Age, guilty of contempt for two of his blog posts of January 2013 on the verdict of Abul Kalam Azad, known as Bachchu Razakar.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/city/war-crimes-tribunal-clears-another-contempt-72476

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India

 

Indian Muslims Are Patriots: Union Home Minister

March 19, 2015

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the failure of Islamic State (IS) to attract Indian Muslims was due to their complete integration into the mainstream. “Indian Muslims are patriots and are not swayed by fundamentalist ideologies. Extremism is alien to their nature,” he said.

Launching a scathing attack on Pakistan, he said if the neighbouring country stops supporting terrorists, the security situation in South Asia will improve significantly.

The Home Minister said the source of most terrorist activities in India lies across the borders and it is unfortunate that even after paying such a heavy price for itself, Pakistan and its associates find it difficult to understand that there are no “good terrorists and bad terrorists.”

“Differentiating terrorists into good and bad categories has failed miserably. If the ISI and the Pakistan Army stops their support to certain terror outfits, I have no hesitation in saying that the security situation in South Asia will improve significantly,” he said after inaugurating an international conference on counter terrorism.

The Home Minister said that Pakistan should seriously rethink its strategy of using terrorism as an instrument of proxy war and that it would be in its own national interests.

“India has been a victim of cross-border terrorism for the last several decades. Terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad patronised by those across the border, have inflicted several acts of terror on the Indian soil. There are several instances of such proxies being used in other parts of the world,” he said.

Mr. Singh said the menace of terrorism is greatly amplified in today’s digital world and an incident in one corner of the globe can instantly spark a reaction thousands of miles away where a ‘lone wolf’ or a ‘DIY (do it yourself) terrorist’ can go online and learn how to carry out an attack without even leaving home.

Mr. Singh said the influence of the Islamic State on the Indian youths is negligible. “According to our intelligence agencies, just a handful of Indian youths has joined the ISIS and some have returned after being persuaded by their families,” he said.

He said India as a country is proud of all its diversity and has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-muslims-are-patriots-rajnath/article7010877.ece

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Muslim Scholars Unite Against ‘Ghar Wapsi’ Programme; Focus Will Be On Communal Harmony

Mar 19, 2015

LUCKNOW: Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind (JUiH), country's top association of Muslim scholars, will launch a campaign to counter the BJP's 'ghar wapsi' (re-conversion) programme.

The campaign, to be launched from Lucknow on March 28, will end with a national conference at Ramlila ground in Delhi next month. Top leaders from other religions will also attend the conference.

"The focus will be on communal harmony which is facing a challenge from people who want to create a communal divide for political gains. We cannot let this happen," said Saharanpur-based cleric Maulana Arshad Madni. Referring to Hindu outfits' 'ghar wapsi' programme in west UP, he added, "An attempt is being made to spread communal hatred and our agenda is to foil it."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Muslim-scholars-unite-against-ghar-wapsi-prog/articleshow/46615364.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

Malaysian state oks Islamic penalties, splitting opposition

19 March 2015

A Malaysian state governed by an opposition Muslim party passed a law on Thursday mandating tough Islamic criminal punishments, a move that threatens to break up a fractious opposition alliance.

The state assembly of Kelantan, which is controlled by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), unanimously passed penalties including amputations for theft and stoning to death for adultery, according to Malaysian media reports.

The Islamic criminal code, known as hudud, cannot be implemented as Muslim-majority Malaysia’s federal constitution forbids it. PAS conservatives plan to submit a bill in parliament to change that, but its chances of passage are uncertain.

But the push for hudud in the conservative northern state has already severely strained relations with PAS’s two moderate national coalition partners, who say it violates an agreed policy framework.

The Democratic Action Party (DAP), which represents the diverse country’s large ethnic Chinese minority and strongly opposes hudud, has said it will meet next week to consider its future in the alliance.

“PAS has openly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted,” Gobind Singh Deo, a DAP parliamentarian, said in a statement Thursday.

“It is therefore now untenable for us to remain in any relationship with PAS.”

The three-party opposition alliance took 51 percent of votes cast in 2013 national elections, though it failed to win parliament from Malaysia’s 58-year-old regime due to the way seats are apportioned.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/asia/2015/03/19/Malaysia-oks-Islamic-penalties-splitting-opposition.html

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Indonesia and Turkey Intelligence Sharing Could Increase to Combat ISIS Threat

Mar 19, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesia and Turkey could enhance bilateral intelligence cooperation after 16 Indonesians were caught allegedly trying to cross the Syrian border to join ISIS.

“The Turkish government have started to share their information with Indonesia and they want Indonesia to do the same,” Muhammad Iqbal, director of consular and legal affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

Iqbal said the Turkish government perceived the arrest of 16 Indonesians as a particularly complicated investigation which necessitated their prolonged detention. It is understood they are being questioned in particular about who organized and facilitated their travel.

The group has been detained since Jan.29, two days after they arrived in Turkey.

Iqbal said the government was still trying to investigate their reasons for travel, adding that the group should in time be deported back to Indonesia.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/indonesia-turkey-intelligence-sharing-increase-combat-isis-threat/

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Indonesia Condemns Tunisia Terror Attack, No Indonesians Among Victims

Mar 19, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry condemned a terror attack at Tunisia’s national museum on Wednesday in which at least 20 people were killed, 17 of whom were foreign tourists. No Indonesians were among the dead.

“We received reports saying that Indonesians are not among the victims from the terror attack,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in the press release on Thursday.

The Indonesian government said it extended its condolences to Tunisians and stood by the country as it continued on its path to democratization.

The memo also urges Indonesians living in Tunisia to remain vigilant.

It was not clear on Thursday if President Joko Widodo had called his Tunisian counterpart, Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi, to offer his condolences.

Wednesday’s tragedy was Tunisia’s worst terror attack since Al Qaeda launched a suicide bombing on a synagogue on the island of Djerba in 2002. Some 21 people were killed then.

Five Japanese as well as visitors from Italy, Poland and Spain were among the dead in the noon assault on Bardo museum inside the heavily guarded parliament compound in central Tunis, Prime Minister Habib Essid said.

“They just started opening fire on the tourists as they were getting out of the buses … I couldn’t see anything except blood and the dead,” the driver of a tourist coach told journalists at the scene.

Scores of visitors fled into the museum and the militants — who authorities did not immediately link to any extremist group — took hostages inside, officials said. Security forces entered around two hours later, killed two militants and freed the captives, a government spokesman said. A police officer died in the operation.

The attack on such a high-profile target is a blow for the small North African country that relies heavily on European tourism and has mostly avoided major militant violence since its 2011 uprising to oust autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/indonesia-condemns-tunisia-terror-attack-no-indonesians-among-victims/

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Govt Blocks ISIS Video Allegedly Showing Indonesian Children With Assault Rifles

Mar 18, 2015

Jakarta. The Communications and Information Ministry said on Wednesday it had blocked a video appearing to show Indonesian children training with assault weapons in front of an Islamic State (IS) flag.

“We requested YouTube remove the video and it’s been done across Asia Pacific starting [Tuesday] at 1 p.m.,” said minister Rudiantara, as quoted by the state-owned news agency, Antara, on Wednesday in Jakarta.

The minister cautioned that the video could still be copied and distributed online.

“If you find any video supporting terrorism, please report it to us and we will respond,” Rudiantara said, adding that anyone should alert the ministry on aduankonten@mail.kominfo.go.id.

National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said the video was a concern but pointed to more direct forms of recruitment as more dangerous.

“What’s more dangerous is when they directly offer — it’s like brainwashing — such as saying it’s part of jihad and also offering a monthly salary between Rp 6 to 20 million,” Rikwanto said.

Full report at:

http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/govt-blocks-isis-video-allegedly-showing-indonesian-children-assault-rifles/

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Isis targeting Malaysian students, says report

19 March 2015

Islamic militant groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), are targeting students in institutions of higher learning here, a report said today.

Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division principal assistant director Senior Assistant Commissioner Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying 61 Malaysians have been identified as being involved in three groups known as Jabhat A-Nusra, Ajnad Al-Sham and Isis.

He said these groups would not spare young Malaysians, adding that police were trying to educate students by telling them that joining them was a "one-way ticket".

"There is no way back unless they managed to get the help of the police here," the NST quoted him as saying at a briefing on militancy at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.

The report also said that there were those who changed their minds and wanted to return home but found it was difficult to do so.

"There are many more ways to get there, but you would not be allowed to leave once you are there," Ayob told the paper.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/isis-targeting-malaysian-students-says-report

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Raja Bahrin rips Tee to shreds for his un-Islamic behaviour

James Sivalingam

March 19, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Kuala Terengganu MP, Raja Kamarul Bahrin Raja Ahmad today strongly condemned the preachings of a ‘self proclaimed authority’ on Islam and Chinese culture, Riduan Tee Adbullah, saying the scholar’s irresponsible statements on Islam were very “un-Islamic.”

At a press conference at Parliament lobby, Raja Bahrin said, “The impression that we get is that Ridhuan Tee feels that he has to do a lot to gain acceptance in his new race and religion, that he is willing to ‘spit’ (I’m sorry to use such word) on his own race, and not only that, but his own father.

“In his article, he even reveals certain things that are not very nice about his own father, when he used to work in the family business in the past … which, in Islam is forbidden.”

Relationships and good ties with one’s parents, even after one has converted to Islam has to be maintained even when the parents aren’t Muslim, Raja Bahrin explained.

“This is what Islam is all about and Ridhuan Tee is very un-Islamic and giving Islam a bad name.”

The PAS MP also expressed his shock over Tee’s own admission that his comments may make some people distance themselves from Islam.

“He knows what he is saying is damaging to Islam….But why is he doing it? Even the Prophet himself, does not allow any discrimination or prejudice.

“Tok Guru Nik Aziz went to the extent of building a mosque in the shape of a pagoda, trying to break the racial and mental block of Chinese Muslims and non-Muslims.

“This is how far our great Muslim leaders have gone and what Ridhuan Tee is doing is destroying the very thing that we have been trying to nurture among (our) multi-racial society,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/03/19/raja-bahrin-rips-tee-to-shreds-for-his-un-islamic-behaviour/

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Maldives ex-president’s trial was flawed: UN rights chief

March 19, 2015

GENEVA - The jailing of former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed for 13 years last week followed a trial marked by “flagrant irregularities,” the UN high commissioner for human rights said on Wednesday.

Nasheed, ousted in 2012 in what his supporters say was a coup, was found guilty of terrorism for ordering the arrest earlier that year of a judge, in a case that raised fears of further political instability in the Indian Ocean state.

In a statement, High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the sentence handed down by the criminal court in Male, the Maldivian capital last Friday, was part of “a rushed process” that prevented Nasheed’s defence from calling witnesses.

The trial “appears to contravene the Maldives’ own laws and practices and international fair trial standards in a number of respects,” said Zaid, a former Jordanian ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

India and the United States have also voiced concern over the case, but they were brushed aside by the government of the Indian Ocean archipelago, a major destination for affluent tourists off the southern tip of India.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/19-Mar-2015/maldives-ex-president-s-trial-was-flawed-un-rights-chief

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Malaysia, Singapore top destinations for Muslim travellers

2015-03-18

Malaysia was the top destination across the globe in the Muslim travel market, based on the MasterCard-CrescentRating Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015.

Others in the top five among Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) destinations, were Turkey, UAE,  Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Singapore came first among destinations that are not part of OIC, followed by Thailand, the United Kingdom, South Africa and France.

The study also revealed that in 2014, this segment was worth $145 billion with 108 million Muslim travellers representing 10% of the entire travel economy.

This is forecast to grow to 150 million visitors by 2020 and 11% of the market segment with a market value projected to grow to $200 billion.

“CrescentRating has seen a recent huge shift towards more destinations targeting this sector like Japan and Taiwan, and it is a trend we expect to continue,” said Fazal Bahardeen, CEO of CrescentRating & HalalTrip.

Full report at:

http://enterpriseinnovation.net/article/malaysia-singapore-top-destinations-muslim-travellers-2120792835

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Nurul alleges political revenge, but envoy denies it

March 19, 2015

JAKARTA: Malaysia’s ambassador to Indonesia, Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, urged the Indonesian media to refrain from writing biased reports based on an allegation by Lembah Pantai MP, Nurul Izzah Anwar, that she was detained for political revenge.

He stressed that the allegation was not true because the Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, had explained in a statement that Nurul Izzah was detained for investigation under the Sedition Act for having allegedly made various accusations at a recent gathering in Kuala Lumpur.

“She was detained for allegedly criticising the judiciary at the gathering and it had nothing to do with the debate in the Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) as reported by the media in this country,” he said in an interview with ‘Tempo News’ here.

The media had described Nurul Izzah as the ‘Malaysian Queen of Reform’ and cited her allegation that she had been detained without reason and that it was a revengeful act by the government.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/03/19/nurul-alleges-political-revenge-but-envoy-denies-it/

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Support hudud if you want to use ‘Allah’, says Umno man

March 18, 2015

PETALING JAYA: Kok Lanas assemblyman and state Umno information chief, Md Alwi Che Ahmad, today questioned the reluctance of non-Muslims to accept the implementation of the hudud law in Kelantan.

“Non-Muslims want to use ‘kalimah Allah’ until the issue is brought to court. Today, Kelantan wants to implement Allah’s laws, why do they reject this?” asked Md Alwi, according to The Malaysian Insider.

“Why do they want to use ‘Allah’ but not accept these laws? Answer this question first,” he told reporters after the 13th Kelantan State Legislative Assembly today.

He had earlier announced at the sitting that his support for the implementation of hudud was because of Allah, and not because of politics.

The voting process to approve a bill to amend the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Enactment II (1993) which was tabled today, will be held tomorrow.

Earlier today, Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang confirmed that a summons had been filed in the Kota Baru High Court to stop the Kelantan government from enforcing hudud in the state.

Full report at:

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/03/18/support-hudud-if-you-want-to-use-allah-says-umno-man/

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Mideast

 

Gulf states say will not let Yemen become terrorism hub

18 March 2015

Gulf Arab states said on Wednesday that they would not allow Yemen to transform into a center for regional terrorism organizations, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

In a statement issued by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab states also condemned “the actions taken by Houthi rebels to dissolve the parliament and the takeover of government institutions in Yemen.”

The Arab Gulf bloc expressed its “rejection of the various acts of violence, for achieving political goals, intimidating the Yemeni people, suppressing their freedoms, and violating their rights.”

On Tuesday Houthi militiamen who control the Yemeni capital attacked the house of a senior army commander, killing one guard and detaining two more, an army source said.

General Mohammed Rajah Laboudha was not home at the time.

The source said the Shiite militiamen were “responding to a gun attack on Sunday on the convoy of the Huthi military commander, Abu Ali al-Hakam.”

General Laboudha heads the Fifth Military Region, which covers the strategic Red Sea province of Hudeida, which has been partly held by the Huthis since they seized power in Sanaa on February 6.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/Gulf-states-say-will-not-allow-Yemen-to-be-place-for-terror-groups.html

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U.S. Republicans hail Netanyahu comeback win in Israel

18 March 2015

Republicans were the first U.S. politicians to publicly congratulate Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday for winning Israel’s closely-watched elections, weeks after the prime minister controversially addressed Congress at their invitation.

“Congratulations to Prime Minister Netanyahu on his re-election. He’s a true leader who will continue to keep Israel strong and secure,” Jeb Bush, a Republican prospective frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race, said on Twitter.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker hailed Netanyahu, as well as center-left challenger Isaac Herzog for “his competitive run.”

“The oldest and most stable democracy in the Middle East has once again gone through a hotly-contested election and will peacefully form a new government,” he said.

Even with results still up in the air late Tuesday, some Republicans were quick to declare success for the savvy Israeli politician known to many as “Bibi.”

“Congrats to Netanyahu on victory in Israeli elections. A true leader in a wilderness of turmoil,” congressman Jeff Duncan wrote on Twitter, barely 90 minutes after polls closed in the Jewish state.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/U-S-Republicans-hail-Netanyahu-comeback-win-in-Israel.html

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Poll boosts Palestinian resolve to oppose Israel on world stage

March 19, 2015

Nasser Abu Bakr

The reelection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has ruled out a Palestinian state on his watch, has only strengthened the resolve of Palestinians to battle Israel on the world stage.

After Netanyahu’s Likud took a comfortable lead over its centre-left rival, the Zionist Union, in Tuesday’s election, the Palestinian leadership slammed Israelis for choosing “occupation and settlements” over peace.

“Israel chose the path of racism, occupation and settlement building, and did not choose the path of negotiations and partnership between us,” senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official Yasser Abed Rabbo told AFP.

The Palestinians, he warned, would intensify efforts to sue Israel for alleged war crimes and other violations on occupied territory through the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Netanyahu on Monday, a day before the vote, vowed there would be no Palestinian state if he were reelected, and pledged to ramp up Jewish settlement building on Palestinian territory to ensure that. “We will continue to build in Jerusalem... and in the face of all the (international) pressure, we will persist and continue to develop our eternal capital,” he said.

For the Palestinians, his victory makes their course of action clear. “Netanyahu has buried the two-state solution,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP. “There is no partner for peace in Israel. “We say clearly that we will go to the International Criminal Court in The Hague and we will speed up, pursue and intensify” all diplomatic efforts, he added.

‘Extremism and violence’

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/19-Mar-2015/poll-boosts-palestinian-resolve-to-oppose-israel-on-world-stage

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West Trying to Undermine Muslim Unity: Iranian MP

March 18, 2015

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Iranian lawmaker lashed out at the West for trying to weaken Muslim unity by creating terrorist groups, and urged Muslim countries to stop such plots.

“Western countries are trying to undermine the unity of Muslim people by creating such terrorist groups as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” Mohammad Mahdi Zahedi, the head of Iran-Malaysia parliamentary friendship group, said.

Zahedi, who is visiting Malaysia at the head of a parliamentary delegation, made the remarks in a Wednesday meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman in Kuala Lampur.

He went on to say that all Muslim countries including Iran and Malaysia should be aware and cooperate with each other to prevent such plots by Western countries.

Elsewhere in the meeting, the Iranian lawmaker hailed the capacities of Tehran and Kuala Lampur in scientific, technological, agricultural, and industrial fields, saying the potentials should be used to expand mutual trade ties.

Full report at:

http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/690721

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Five killed in clashes at Yemen’s Aden airport

19 March 2015

Yemeni special forces opposed to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi battled loyalist militia around Aden airport on Thursday leaving at least five people dead and 13 wounded, security sources said.

The clashes, which erupted before dawn, forced the airport to close as the Hadi loyalists battled to defend it against the advancing troops.

Flights were stopped after clashes near Aden International Airport broke out on Thursday, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

Clashes between security forces loyal to toppled President Abdullah Saleh and Popular Resistance Committees members supporters of the current leader Abdrabouh Mansour Hadi in the seaport southwestern city.

Travelers arriving at the international airport early Thursday were told to turn back because of the fighting, which broke out overnight.

“I could not move,” one told AFP, saying that access to the airport was blocked by armed men.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/19/Clashes-halt-flights-at-Aden-airport-in-Yemen-.html

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Palestinian court upholds decree stripping Abbas rival of immunity

18 March 2015

The Palestinian High Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected an appeal by Mohammed Dahlan, a potential rival to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, against a presidential decree stripping him of parliamentary immunity.

The decision means Dahlan could be brought to trial on graft charges made against him by the Palestinian anti-corruption authority, which was set up by Abbas.

The court's ruling, which cannot be appealed, makes it more likely that Dahlan, who lives in exile in the Gulf, will not return to the Palestinian territories anytime soon, making him less of a political threat to Abbas.

Dahlan, a former senior official in Fatah, the Western-backed party headed by Abbas, fell out of favor in 2011. He is now seen as a strong potential candidate for the presidency if Abbas ever steps down or Palestinian elections are held.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/Palestinian-court-upholds-decree-stripping-Abbas-rival-of-immunity.html

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Latest round of Iran nuclear talks ends in Switzerland

Mar 18, 2015

Iran and the United States have wrapped up the latest round of marathon talks in Switzerland to ink a comprehensive nuclear deal before a March 31 deadline.

On Wednesday night, two separate meetings were held in the lakeside city of Lausanne; one between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, his US counterpart John Kerry, and the European Union deputy foreign policy chief, Helga Schmid, and another between Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

Zarif was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, and Hossein Fereydoun, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s special aide, while US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman joined Kerry during the talks.

Earlier in the day, Araqchi and Takht-e-Ravanchi held a meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/18/402464/Latest-Iran-nuclear-talks-end-in-Lausanne

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Iran’s deal should be subject to UN approval: Source

Mar 18, 2015

A final deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries on Iran’s nuclear program should be endorsed under the Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, a source close to the talks between the two sides says.

According to the source on Wednesday, if Iran and its opposite sides in the negotiations want to strike a binding comprehensive accord, they should try to obtain the required approval from the United Nations, so that the terms of the agreement could not be violated in the future.

The unidentified source said putting the deal under a UN oversight and have it approved by a UN Security Council resolution is the “main request of the Islamic Republic of Iran from its negotiating sides.”

He added that such a move by the Security Council would also guarantee the removal of the unfair sanctions which were imposed on Iran under the terms of Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

“A resolution [by the Security Council] under Chapter VII will naturally be a part of the comprehensive solution,” he said, adding that if the final deal is not adopted as a UNSC resolution, “it would be useless and would fail to change the system set up by previous Chapter VII resolutions.”

The official denied that Iran’s insistence on the issue had anything to do with a recent letter by some Republican senators, who tried to sabotage a potential deal on Tehran’s nuclear activities.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/18/402443/UN-chapter-VII-cements-Iran-deal

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Yemenis honor ‘Friday of Dignity,’ support Ansarullah

Mar 19, 2015

Yemenis have taken to the streets in the capital, Sana’a, to mark the fourth anniversary of a deadly attack on protesters who opposed former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, Press TV reports.

On Thursday, for the second consecutive day, hundreds of people rallied in support of the martyrs of the Yemeni revolution, honoring those slain in the “Friday of Dignity.”

On March 18, 2011, loyalist to Saleh opened fire on protesters after Friday prayers in the Liberation Square in Sana’a, killing over 50 protesters and injuring hundreds more. The day is known as the ‘Friday of Dignity.’

“By the will of God, your blood will not go in vain and we tell you that your blood will fuel the fire for this great revolution,” said a demonstrator.

Chanting slogans, the demonstrators held Saudi Arabia and the US responsible for fueling the political turmoil in the country and for the assassination of a senior member of Yemen’s Houthi movement Abdul Karim al-Khiwani in Sana’a.

Al-Khiwani, a member of the Ansarullah movement’s Revolutionary Committee in charge of administering the affairs of the capital, was shot dead by unknown gunmen on Wednesday.

“We came out today to commemorate the martyrs of the ‘Friday of Dignity’ and pay condolences to the family of Abdul Karim al-Khiwani,” a Yemeni army official said.

The army member also warned elements opposing the popular uprising that we stand by the “revolution and they (those opposing the revolution) will never be victorious.”

A similar demonstration was held a day earlier by students at Sana’a University.

“We, the female students of Sana’a University, who speak for all Yemenis, demand the prosecution of murderers involved in the Friday of Dignity. They must face justice and receive a punishment,” one of the student demonstrators said.

The demonstrators, who were chanting “Justice must be served,” called for the immediate prosecution of those who played a role in the 2011 massacre.

“We came out today in solidarity with the victims of the “Friday of Dignity.” We believe that their causes are still alive,” a protester said.

In February 2011, Yemeni people embarked on a revolution that eventually forced longtime dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to quit after a year of mass street demonstrations demanding his ouster.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/19/402504/Yemenis-honor-Friday-of-Dignity

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Dreams and despair in Turkey's 'little Syria'

March 19, 2015

Since the Syrian civil war erupted four years ago, tens of thousands of refugees have poured into the southern Turkish port town of Mersin, fearing they may never return home and yearning for a better life.

Between 200,000-350,000 Syrian refugees are now estimated to live in the workaday Mediterranean city, swelling its population of around one million by about a quarter.

Some get on with starting over again, but for a smaller number the city serves as a hub for the dangerous and illicit boat journey across the Mediterranean to Europe and a shot at a new life.

"I tried for a long time to get to the US, France and Italy but they refused me a visa. As Turkey does not require one, I came here," said a 24-year-old Syrian professional health worker who wanted to remain anonymous.

Sitting in a cafe, puffing on a nargile (water pipe) and sipping a coffee, he explained in perfect English that he had left Damascus with all he had only three months ago.

Asked if he was considering making the trip across the sea that killed thousands of migrants last year, he replied: "It is too risky. I prefer to live in Turkey but I also fear that I am going to die here."       

He and the others in Mersin make up a large proportion of the 1.7 million Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey since the war broke out in March 2011.

It is an unprecedented influx that, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, has made Turkey the world's biggest refugee hosting country.

Stricter controls on the once porous border between Turkey and EU member Greece have pushed migrants and traffickers to use the Mediterranean Sea route to Europe, said Fulya Memişoğlu, a researcher at Çukurova University in the Turkish town of Adana.

"Before it was İzmir or Bodrum (on the Aegean Sea), now Mersin has become the hub for the migrants," she said.

Since 2014, traffickers have increasingly been turning from smaller boats to cargo ships to transport migrants who are usually headed for Italy from the port of Tasucu, which is about 90 kilometres (56 miles) south of Mersin.

"It's generally migrants from the middle class who want to leave to find work in Europe that better suits their education," Memişoglu said.

Even with all the risks and uncertainties, the journey can cost $6,000 (over 5,600 euros) and only a minority are prepared to take up the journey.

"They wait for several weeks, even months, for the green light from a trafficker who will put them on a rogue ship," said Kenan al-Najari, a Syrian businessman from Aleppo.

In a murky incident last week showing the difficulties of such an voyage, Turkish coast guards in the Dardanelles Straits fired on a ship carrying more than 330 mainly Syrian migrants after traffickers refused to halt.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/dreams-and-despair-in-turkeys-little-syria-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79828&NewsCatID=341

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North America

 

Teacher accused of calling Muslim teen a Taliban

March 18, 2015

WESTON, Fla. -- A South Florida school board voted to suspend a high school teacher accused of making a slur against a Muslim student, CBS Miami station WFOR-TV reports.

"She called my son, on Feb. 2 as we walked into class, 'Here comes the raghead Taliban,'" said Youssef Hassan Wardani, the father of Deyab-Houssein Wardani, 14.

Youssef Wardani said his son was called the slur by his French teacher, Maria Valdes, at Cypress Bay High School in Weston. The student said the teacher said it several times.

The Broward School Board, after the father demanded action, voted Tuesday to suspend Valdes for five days without pay.

"The diversity of our students, our families and this community is of tantamount importance to us as a school district," said Tracy Clark, a Broward County Schools spokeswoman.

WFOR-TV tried reaching Valdes, but she was unavailable.

Youssef Wardani is furious over the suspension and said it doesn't go nearly far enough. He wants the teacher to be fired or suspended for a year without pay.

Youssef Wardani addressed the school board hoping for a more harsh punishment. He accused the board of not doing enough.

"You have failed every teacher and parent and child in this district just to hide Mrs. Maria Valdes and racists like her," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-teacher-muslim-high-school-student-taliban/

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UN to monitor safety measures at Pakistani schools: Brown

March 19, 2015

UNITED NATIONS - Former British Prime Minister and UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown said his office would closely monitor efforts, under the Safe Schools Initiative, to improve security at 1,000 schools in Pakistan, saying Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had pledged his support to the move.

“We are going to monitor the implementation of safety measures at every school in Pakistan, “Brown told a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York. Security fences, metal detectors, armed guards and emergency communication systems are part of a package of safety measures for Pakistan’s schools being proposed the UN envoy. The former UK prime minister has held talks with Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif last month about making schools safer after the Peshawar school massacre.Brown said he wants to help schools “stand up to terrorist violence”. The proposals follow an agreement between UN envoy Brown and Prime Minister Sharif to improve the safety of schools in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/19-Mar-2015/un-to-monitor-safety-measures-at-pakistani-schools-brown

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World leaders condemn Tunisia attack

18 March 2015

World leaders on Wednesday condemned the deadly attacks on a museum in the Tunisian capital that left 22 – including 17 European tourists - dead.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned what he called the “deplorable” attack.

Ban “condemns in the strongest terms today’s attack” against the Bardo museum and “conveys his deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this deplorable act,” said his deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.

The secretary general also “expresses his solidarity with the Tunisian people and the Tunisian authorities,” the spokesman said.

As of Wednesday, the motive of the attackers – two of which are said to still be at large – are unknown, said Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the U.S. is prepared to offer assistance to Tunisian authorities in their investigation of the attack against the Bardo museum and “will continue to stand with our Tunisian partners against terrorist violence.”

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of today's heinous violence in Tunisia and condemn in the strongest terms this terrorist attack, which took the lives of innocent Tunisians as well as visiting tourists,” Earnest said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/World-leaders-condemn-Tunisia-attack.html

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John Allen: U.S. position on Assad hasn’t changed

18 March 2015

Top U.S. envoy John Allen on Wednesday affirmed Washington’s position on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has not changed following controversial remarks earlier this week by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Allen said the U.S. still wants a negotiated political settlement in Syria that excludes Assad.

"General Allen reiterated that the United States' position on Assad has not changed," the U.S. embassy in Ankara said in a statement after Allen held "constructive talks" with Turkish foreign ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu

On Sunday, Kerry had said the U.S. would have to negotiate with Assad, though the State Department later said he was not specifically referring to the Syrian leader and that Washington would never bargain with him.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/18/John-Allen-U-S-position-on-Assad-hasn-t-changed-.html

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Europe

 

Canon Goddard apologises for Muslim prayers in his church

By Madeleine Davies

18 Mar 2015

A PRIEST in the diocese of Southwark who opened us his church for Muslim prayers has apologised after being told that this was not permitted within a consecrated building.

The Vicar of St John's, Waterloo, the Canon Giles Goddard, said on Tuesday that the event had caused "great consternation", and he apologised for "the offence caused and any infringement of Church of England's framework and guidelines".

The prayers were held on 6 March as part of the Inclusive Mosque Initiative, in the run-up to International Women's Day. They were led by Dr Amina Wadud who campaigns for gender justice in Islam. Men and women sat alongside one another in the church.

Canon Goddard read from Psalm 139 and concluded: "Allah, God, is always with us and always around us, and is within us. And this is from the Hebrew scripture, so it is our shared, we all share, these great traditions. So let us celebrate our shared traditions by giving thanks to the God that we love, Allah, Amen."

It was announced last Friday that the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, had asked the Bishop of Kingston, the Rt Revd Richard Cheetham, to "investigate fully what happened". A spokesperson said: "The Bishop of Southwark takes very seriously his responsibility to uphold the teaching of the Church and to work within its framework of legislation and guidance."

On Tuesday, the spokesperson said: "Whilst it is very important to build good interfaith relations, it is clear that an act of worship from a non-Christian faith tradition is not permitted within a consecrated Church of England building."

Further clarification was provided on Wednesday: "Canon B1 sets out what services can be used in the Church of England:  these are the Book of Common Prayer or those authorised or commended through the appropriate processes. This does not include services from another faith tradition."

Full report at:

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2015/20-march/news/uk/canon-goddard-apologises-for-muslim-prayers-in-his-church

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British-made Afghanistan war movie set to premiere in Jordan

18 March 2015

A British movie about the Afghanistan war, by the producer of Oscar winner “The King’s Speech,” is set to premiere in Amman on Wednesday.

“Kajaki: The True Story” was filmed in Jordan and some 500 guests are expected to watch the film on Wednesday. The audience will include the local crew and cast and high-profile guests, Variety reported exclusively.

The flick is a tense war thriller and was written by Tom Williams, with Gareth Ellis-Unwin one of the executive producers.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/entertainment/2015/03/18/British-made-Afghanistan-war-movie-set-to-premiere-in-Jordan.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/terrorists-slaughter-17-western-tourists-in-tunis-museum/d/102021

 

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