New Age Islam
Sat Nov 28 2020, 02:19 PM

Islamic World News ( 25 Jun 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Turkey Says Pope’s ‘Armenian Genocide’ Declaration Bears Stamp of ‘Crusades’ Mentality’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group is trying a new method against peasants in villages near Qara Taba region (122km from East of Baquba in Diyala province) by sending gangs of motorcyclists to blackmail them.

 

 

ISIL Using New Method to Blackmail Iraqis in Baquba

Muslim Craftsmen Renovate Hindu Temple in Shahjahanpur

Cleric Suspended After Selfies with Pakistan’s ‘Kim Kardashian’

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Mideast

Turkey Says Pope’s ‘Armenian Genocide’ Declaration Bears Stamp of ‘Crusades’ Mentality’

Iran Cracks Down On ‘Vulgar Western’ Dog Owners

Investigation into alleged killer of Russian jet pilot reopened in Turkey

IHH declares objection to Turkey-Israel normalization

Turkish jets hit PKK targets in Turkey’s southeast

Brexit won’t affect Turkey’s exports to UK and EU: Minister

Two soldiers killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

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Arab World

ISIL Using New Method to Blackmail Iraqis in Baquba

Damascus: Syrian Army Foils Jeish Al-Islam's Attempt to Recapture Lost Positions near Douma

ISIL Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army's Offensive in Hama

Kurd-Arab forces enter ISIS bastion in northern Syria

Russia Launches Incessant Air Campaign over Northern Aleppo

Senior Diplomat: Zionists Fear World's Normalization of Economic, Banking Ties with Iran

Syrian Army Repulses Al-Nusra Front's Attack in Southern Hama

Hama: Syrian Army Destroys ISIL's Military Positions near Salamiyeh City

Aleppo: Kurdish Forces Very Close to Manbij City Center

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India

Muslim Craftsmen Renovate Hindu Temple in Shahjahanpur

Let Terrorists Ambush CRPF Bus near Srinagar, Kill 8 Troopers

India A Transit Point For Afghan Heroin, Cocaine: UN Report

Two militants killed in encounter in Baramulla

India should supply tanks and artillery to Afghan army: Indian war veteran

Indo-Bangladesh border fencing to be completed by 2017

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Pakistan

Cleric Suspended After Selfies with Pakistan’s ‘Kim Kardashian’

Hindus Seek Possession Of Worship Places In Pakistan

After Amjad Sabri murder, Awais Shah kidnapping, army chief heads to Karachi

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Southeast Asia

Myanmar Buddhists Ransack Mosque as Religious Violence Flares

Suu Kyi urged to recognize Rohingyas as Burmese

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Africa

At Least 14 Killed In Somalia Hotel Attack

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North America

Muslim Attitudes about LGBT Are Complex, Far From Universally Anti-Gay

Anti-Muslim Racism Drives Anti-EU Push

Donald Trump makes Aziz Ansari 'afraid for my family'

Muslim immigration ban will keep US safe says Donald Trump

Brexit racist blowback: Muslim women targeted for abuse after EU referendum vote

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Europe

Europe’s First Islamophobia Summit Highlights European-Wide Problem

Europe is the creation of the Third World

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South Asia

Haqqani Network Ramadan Attack Plots Foiled In Khost Province

ISIS Commanders among 18 Killed In Latest Operations in Nangarhar

Top Taliban commander killed in an airstrike in Kunduz province

Prominent Taliban leader arrested in North of Afghanistan

Afghan man’s ears chopped off in Pakistan, allegedly for harassing a woman

131 ISIS loyalists killed in latest clashes, says Nangarhar governor

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/turkey-says-pope’s-‘armenian-genocide’-declaration-bears-stamp-of-‘crusades’-mentality’/d/107767

 

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Turkey says pope’s ‘Armenian genocide’ declaration bears stamp of ‘Crusades’ mentality’

June/26/2016

Turkey has condemned as “very unfortunate” Pope Francis’s declaration that the mass killings of Armenians a century ago by Ottoman forces amounted to a genocide, saying it bore traces of “the mentality of the Crusades.”

“It is not an objective statement that conforms with reality,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canlikli said late on June 26.

The pope on June 24 denounced the World War I killing of Armenians as a genocide, prompting Turkey’s anger.

“Sadly this tragedy, this genocide, was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century,” the pope said at the presidential palace in Yerevan.

Canikli said: “It is possible to see all the hallmarks or reflections of the mentality of the Crusades in the Pope’s activities.”

When Francis last used the term in the Vatican in 2015, on the centenary of the killings, Ankara angrily recalled its envoy from the Holy See for nearly a year.

The Turkish government maintains that as many Turks as Armenians died in the latter stages of World War I as a result of civil strife triggered in part by Armenians siding with invading Russian troops.

The pope on June 25 visited the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan but sought to strike a conciliatory tone during evening prayers.

“May God bless your future and grant that the people of Armenia and Turkey take up again the path of reconciliation, and may peace also spring forth in Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Pope with regards to the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region which started in early 1990s and has been some what partially frozen since a cease-fire in 1994.

The pope called on nations to “resist being caught up in the illusory power of vengeance.”

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-says-popes-armenian-genocide-declaration-bears-stamp-of-crusades-mentality-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100900&NewsCatID=510

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ISIL Using New Method to Blackmail Iraqis in Baquba

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group is trying a new method against peasants in villages near Qara Taba region (122km from East of Baquba in Diyala province) by sending gangs of motorcyclists to blackmail them.

The villages which are near Hauz Hamrain area have witnessed the incursion of 40-member gangs of ISIL motorcyclists to blackmail the residents in recent months, said a local source who called for anonymity.

"In the past few months, the ISIL motorcyclists have misused the lack of security, army and police forces in remote areas and killed, kidnapped and blackmailed people in these regions," the source added.

The source said that the security forces have several times tried to detain them but failed, adding that the motorcyclists hide in secret houses every time and restart their activities again.

The Northern and Western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since ISIL terrorists mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.

Iraqi forces, backed by volunteer forces, have been pushing the militants out of the country’s territory.

On June 17, Iraqi forces managed to raise their national flag on the main government complex in Fallujah as they faced little resistance from the ISIL terrorists, who had lost their defenses there in the course of the weeks-long offensive.

Later in the day, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated the nation on the liberation of Fallujah, saying there is no place for ISIL terrorists in the country.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000276

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Muslim craftsmen renovate Hindu temple in Shahjahanpur

Kanwardeep Singh | TNN | Jun 25, 2016

At a time when communal incidents are being reported from across UP, Shahjahanpur offers a picture of communal harmony.

The work of constructing a temple inside the collectorate premises was given to two Muslim artists, who have now completed it.

Local residents said it was heartening to see them work inside the temple even as they were fasting for Ramzan.

Shahjahanpur: At a time when communal incidents are being reported from across UP, Shahjahanpur offers a picture of communal harmony. The work of constructing a temple inside the collectorate premises was given to two Muslim artists, who have now completed it.

Local residents said it was heartening to see two Muslim youths, Mohammed Yaseen and Sajid Khan, both of whom belong to Kichcha (Udham Singh Nagar) in Uttarakhand work inside the temple even as they were fasting for Ramzan.

"Every time they entered the temple, they touched the feet of goddess Durga before starting their work," said Rajeev Gupta, a local who donated Rs 1 lakh for the renovation of the temple. Others have also donated generously for the religious cause.

Mohammed Yaseen, 25, told TOI, "I have worked in many mosques and temples and I have not felt any difference. We have respect for all the religions because religion is directly attached to the sentiments of a human being.

Disrespecting a religion means disrespecting the emotions of a human being and the holy Quran says that we should not hurt anyone and always give respect to human beings."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/Muslim-craftsmen-renovate-Hindu-temple-in-Shahjahanpur/articleshow/52910501.cms

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Cleric suspended after selfies with Pakistan’s ‘Kim Kardashian’

AFP | Jun 23, 2016

ISLAMABAD: A high-profile Pakistani cleric who posed for selfies with a controversial model famed for her suggestive photos has been suspended from a senior government committee, the country's religious affairs ministry said, rebuking him for his behaviour.

Mufti Abdul Qavi was removed Wednesday from the country's moon-sighting committee which decides when the ongoing holy month of Ramzan begins and ends, according to a notification issued by the ministry and seen by AFP.

The suspension comes after he was widely ridiculed when social media starlet Qandeel Baloch — a deeply polarising figure in the conservative Muslim country — uploaded the pictures earlier this week along with a video of herself with the preacher, wearing his hat and pouting.

Baloch, a Kim Kardashian type figure who frequently posts semi-nude selfies, later called Qavi "a blot on the name of Islam" and accused him of inappropriate behaviour.

Qavi was also suspended as a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf opposition party, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, a former socialite who became more religious after his retirement as a sportsman.

"Mufti Qavi's fate will be decided after the opinion of the (National religious scholars) Council regarding his selfies and behaviour," a spokesman for the ministry told Pakistan's Dawn newspaper Wednesday.

Social media users expressed their amusement over the affair. "Qandeel Baloch for President," said Urooj Zia on Facebook.

In the video which was uploaded on Baloch's Facebook account, Qavi is seen saying he will guide the starlet on religious matters and she had agreed to become his student.

He has also said the meeting took place at her request and told AFP Thursday that she had apologised for the inconvenience caused by the episode.

But Baloch said the cleric had sought her number after the two had appeared on a TV panel together and that he had behaved inappropriately toward her.

"I thought I would expose him as he is in reality," she told AFP, adding: "He is a different person alone and different when he has his followers around him. "He is a blot on the name of Islam. Who is he to claim to be a guardian of Islam?"

Though she is reviled by many and frequently subject to misogynist abuse online, Baloch has also won praise by some of the country's youth for her forthright attitude.

On Valentine's Day, she donned a plunging scarlet dress and posted a video message defying the country's president, who had issued a stern warning against the "Western" holiday. The post garnered more than 70,000 'likes'.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Cleric-suspended-after-selfies-with-Pakistans-Kim-Kardashian/articleshow/52890857.cms

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Pakistan

Cleric suspended after selfies with Pakistan’s ‘Kim Kardashian’

AFP | Jun 23, 2016

ISLAMABAD: A high-profile Pakistani cleric who posed for selfies with a controversial model famed for her suggestive photos has been suspended from a senior government committee, the country's religious affairs ministry said, rebuking him for his behaviour.

Mufti Abdul Qavi was removed Wednesday from the country's moon-sighting committee which decides when the ongoing holy month of Ramzan begins and ends, according to a notification issued by the ministry and seen by AFP.

The suspension comes after he was widely ridiculed when social media starlet Qandeel Baloch — a deeply polarising figure in the conservative Muslim country — uploaded the pictures earlier this week along with a video of herself with the preacher, wearing his hat and pouting.

Baloch, a Kim Kardashian type figure who frequently posts semi-nude selfies, later called Qavi "a blot on the name of Islam" and accused him of inappropriate behaviour.

Qavi was also suspended as a member of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf opposition party, led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, a former socialite who became more religious after his retirement as a sportsman.

"Mufti Qavi's fate will be decided after the opinion of the (National religious scholars) Council regarding his selfies and behaviour," a spokesman for the ministry told Pakistan's Dawn newspaper Wednesday.

Social media users expressed their amusement over the affair. "Qandeel Baloch for President," said Urooj Zia on Facebook.

In the video which was uploaded on Baloch's Facebook account, Qavi is seen saying he will guide the starlet on religious matters and she had agreed to become his student.

He has also said the meeting took place at her request and told AFP Thursday that she had apologised for the inconvenience caused by the episode.

But Baloch said the cleric had sought her number after the two had appeared on a TV panel together and that he had behaved inappropriately toward her.

"I thought I would expose him as he is in reality," she told AFP, adding: "He is a different person alone and different when he has his followers around him. "He is a blot on the name of Islam. Who is he to claim to be a guardian of Islam?"

Though she is reviled by many and frequently subject to misogynist abuse online, Baloch has also won praise by some of the country's youth for her forthright attitude.

On Valentine's Day, she donned a plunging scarlet dress and posted a video message defying the country's president, who had issued a stern warning against the "Western" holiday. The post garnered more than 70,000 'likes'.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Cleric-suspended-after-selfies-with-Pakistans-Kim-Kardashian/articleshow/52890857.cms

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Hindus seek possession of worship places in Pakistan

June 26th, 2016

PESHAWAR: Members of the All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement on Saturday demanded that the government hand over all places of worship and attached properties to the members of Hindu community and ensure their protection.

The demand was made during a demonstration organised by the APHRM at the Kashmiri Camp No987 here.

The participants held banners and placards inscribed with call for the immediate end to the occupation of their properties.

Oppose sale of attached properties

Speaking on the occasion, APHRM chairman Haroon Sarbdiyal said there were three temples and one gurdwara at Kashmir Camp but they were held by the Auqaf department.

He said the attached properties were meant for the caretakers and not for sale or construction of shopping plazas.

“We are opposed to the sale of the attached properties because the worship places are extremely vulnerable and it is duty of Auqaf and archaeology departments to share details of properties and worship places with Hindus and Sikhs and hand over the properties to the minority groups,” he said.

Mr. Haroon demanded that the National Accountability Bureau intervene and take action against all those government officials and property dealers for bargaining over the properties under the custody of Evacuee Trust Property Board.

He said the federal government had formed a 22-member committee to protect the rights of minorities but ironically, minorities had no representation in it.

The APHRM chairman said Hindus and Sikhs had no proper school and community centre and that their land was on sale in different cities of the country. He claimed the Auqaf department was not giving details about the minorities’ properties occupied by influential people in Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan and other cities.

He warned the sale of attached properties was not acceptable to Hindus.

“Hindus have no objection to the shifting of Kashmiri families anywhere or giving them any lucrative place but the sale of entire attached properties should be stopped immediately,” he said.

Also in the day, auqaf department assistant administrator Asif Khan told reporters at the Peshawar Press Club that four worship places of Hindus were fully protected and his department was responsible for its protection.

“On our request, the district administration has sealed up three temples and one gurdwara located on the premises of Kashmir Camp. No one had ever tried to demolish them,” he said, adding that the Kashmiri families had protected minorities since their arrival in 1947.

The temples, he said were non-functional and could not be handed over to minorities without permission of the federal government because the tombs were built on small pieces of land where security would be major issue for the people.

Muazzam Butt advocate said he had filed a petition in the Peshawar High Court against possible demolition of the temples but the auqaf department assured him that it would ensure protection of the worship places.

He said under Article 20 of the Constitution, every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his/ her religion.

“Every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.

“I had filed petition in the high court to ensure through court that the worship places of Hindus and Sikhs would remain safe,” he said.

He said in Pakistan the worship places of Hindus were safe but in India the Muslims and their worship places were totally unsafe.

dawn.com/news/1267330/hindus-seek-possession-of-worship-places

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After Amjad Sabri murder, Awais Shah kidnapping, army chief heads to Karachi

Jun 26, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif will visit Rangers Headquarters Karachi on Sunday to receive a briefing on the law and order situation in the city, well-placed sources told DawnNews.

The army chief's visit comes days after the high-profile kidnapping of the Sindh High Court chief justice's son Awais Shah and the assassination of famed qawwal Amjad Sabri.

Gen Raheel will later visit Corps Headquarters and attend a briefing on the security situation alongside Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and other high-ranking officials.

The visit comes a day after Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali expressed concern over the recent kidnapping of the Awais Shah, saying that the incident caused a sense of insecurity among judges and their families.

Shah's kidnapping and Sabri's murder within days of each other caused fear and panic to spread among residents of Karachi, where citizens perceived an improvement in the law and order situation since the initiation of the Rangers-led operation in 2013.

Awais Ali Shah, a high court lawyer, was abducted near the Agha's supermarket on Monday with police fearing the kidnapping may be used as a 'bargaining chip' to ensure the release of some captured militants.

On Wednesday, Amjad Sabri was gunned down by unknown assailants in Karachi's Liaquatabad area, with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan Mehsud group claiming responsibility for the attack.

As law enforcement agencies count successes in the ongoing operation against terrorists, banned outfits and militant wings of political and religious organisations, Karachiites have faced a sudden rise in street crimes, which has cost at least four lives during the first 10 days of Ramazan and raised fears for the days ahead.

Official data shows a sharp rise in cell phone and motorbike snatching in the first 10 days of holy month compared to crime rate during the corresponding period before Ramazan, indicating renewed activities of armed groups and individuals in the city despite ongoing Rangers-led operation.

Background: Karachi operation

The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

A high-level apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on May 14, 2015 decided to implement effective policing and surveillance in the "vast suburbs of Karachi", to prevent what the military spokesperson said were "sneaking terrorist attacks".

Amid resentment and criticism from certain political circles over the ‘Karachi operation’, the military establishment in August said that there would be no let-up in actions by law enforcement agencies “to ensure a peaceful and terror-free Karachi”.

Although terror-related incidents have decreased up to 60 per cent in the two years since the commencement of the Karachi operation, sleeper cells of terror outfits still exist in the metropolis and law enforcers have been making concerted efforts to eliminate the same, Karachi Police AIG Mushtaq Maher said in September last year.

The city police chief had said 3,000 hardcore criminals had been arrested, while 246 terrorists, 38 kidnappers and ten extortionists had been killed so far in police encounters.

Maher had said that car-snatching incidents reported in the city were the lowest in the past 15 years while motorcycle-snatching incidents were on the rise, which he said will be curtailed.

Rangers spokesman Colonel Amjad maintained that 913 terrorists including 550 target killers were nabbed while 15,400 illegal weapons were recovered from the custody of criminals operating within the city.

dawn.com/news/1267367/after-amjad-sabri-murder-awais-shah-kidnapping-army-chief-heads-to-karachi

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Mideast

Turkey says pope’s ‘Armenian genocide’ declaration bears stamp of ‘Crusades’ mentality’

June/26/2016

Turkey has condemned as “very unfortunate” Pope Francis’s declaration that the mass killings of Armenians a century ago by Ottoman forces amounted to a genocide, saying it bore traces of “the mentality of the Crusades.”

“It is not an objective statement that conforms with reality,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canlikli said late on June 26.

The pope on June 24 denounced the World War I killing of Armenians as a genocide, prompting Turkey’s anger.

“Sadly this tragedy, this genocide, was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century,” the pope said at the presidential palace in Yerevan.

Canikli said: “It is possible to see all the hallmarks or reflections of the mentality of the Crusades in the Pope’s activities.”

When Francis last used the term in the Vatican in 2015, on the centenary of the killings, Ankara angrily recalled its envoy from the Holy See for nearly a year.

The Turkish government maintains that as many Turks as Armenians died in the latter stages of World War I as a result of civil strife triggered in part by Armenians siding with invading Russian troops.

The pope on June 25 visited the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan but sought to strike a conciliatory tone during evening prayers.

“May God bless your future and grant that the people of Armenia and Turkey take up again the path of reconciliation, and may peace also spring forth in Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Pope with regards to the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region which started in early 1990s and has been some what partially frozen since a cease-fire in 1994.

The pope called on nations to “resist being caught up in the illusory power of vengeance.”

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-says-popes-armenian-genocide-declaration-bears-stamp-of-crusades-mentality-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100900&NewsCatID=510

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Iran cracks down on ‘vulgar Western’ dog owners

June 26th, 2016

TEHRAN: Dog lovers in central Iran are in uproar after authorities began confiscating their pets in an apparent crackdown on the “vulgar Western culture” of canine ownership, Iranian media reported on Saturday.

One unnamed dog owner in Shahin Shahr in Isfahan province told Iran’s Shahrvand newspaper that officials had shown up suddenly at his house last week.

“We were shown a piece of paper indicating they were from the municipal veterinary office. They came in and took away our dogs under the pretext of vaccination,” he said.

The owner was told he could recover the dog after its vaccination, but when he went to the vet’s office they had no record of his case.

Instead, the newspaper said the confiscations were the result of a crackdown launched by local prosecutor Mohsen Boosaidi.

“Keeping and caring for dogs is haram (forbidden) according to religious leaders,” Boosaidi told the Fars news agency on June 19.

“If we find out that anyone is keeping and caring for dogs and so is promoting vulgar Western culture, we will deal with them firmly.” Dog confiscations in the town began three days later, Shahrvand reported.

It did not give precise numbers, but said a number of families had lost their pets.

“Ever since our dog was taken away, you only hear the sound of crying and sobbing in our house,” the Shahin Shahr owner said.

Javid Al-e Davood, the head of Iran’s Society For Protection of Animals, said such confiscations were illegal and that the prosecutor was “absolutely wrong” about the Islamic attitude to dogs.

“Keeping dogs has not been regarded as haram in any religious book.

dawn.com/news/1267250/iran-cracks-down-on-vulgar-western-dog-owners

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Investigation into alleged killer of Russian jet pilot reopened in Turkey

June/26/2016

Investigation into alleged killer of Russian jet pilot reopened in Turkey

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the western province of İzmir has reopened an investigation into the alleged killer of a Turkey-downed Russian Su-24 jet pilot, citing new evidence on the incident.

The Prosecutor’s Office’s terror and organizational crimes bureau had recently ruled for a nonsuit for Alparslan Çelik over “grievous provocation in the killing of the Russian pilot after evaluating reports of his testimony, interviews in the media and video footage,” but reversed its decision on June 24.

“It was found out that there was another pilot that lost his life and that fire was opened on a Russian rescue helicopter which arrived to rescue the pilots and the helicopter crashed as a result. Even though the suspect Alparlan Çelik stated that he tried to calm the situation but the people around him didn’t follow his orders, the fact that fire was opened on the rescue helicopter steadily opens up the defense to be reinvestigated,” read the statement on the decision.

“The insistence on firing on the rescue helicopter after the two pilots reached the ground made it necessary for the reevaluation of the suspect Alparslan Çelik’s defence,” it added.

Çelik’s lawyer voiced his surprise on the reopening of the investigation, saying that the helicopter issue was never asked to his client.

“When we gave our testimony on the Russian pilot case, no questions were asked about the downed helicopter. Questions were asked only on the Russian pilot that jumped out of the plane. But the helicopter issue wasn’t involved,” Çelik’s lawyer, Murat Üstündağ, told daily Hürriyet, adding that he had tried to reach the prosecutor but could not as it was late and thus he was unable view the documents on the investigation.

“I don’t think that the helicopter issue will be related to my client. He feels at ease and we also feel at ease. We thought that the file was closed and we didn’t know about the new developments. Our lawyer friends visited the jail to see Alparslan Çelik. We are not in the position to comment on the investigation without seeing an official document,” he added.

Meanwhile, Russian diplomatic sources denied allegations that Moscow had provided new evidence, with one diplomat, whose identity was not disclosed, saying that they were following the developments closely.

“We are expecting the investigation to be carried out seriously. We didn’t contribute to the recent developments. We didn’t request something,” the source told Hürriyet, adding that the pilot’s name was wrongly stated in the news.

“Our pilot’s name is Peshkov. There is another name in the news. The [Russian] Foreign Ministry spokesman will make a statement on this issue,” the diplomat added.

The reopening of the investigation came amid a softening of tensions between Turkey and Russia. Moscow recently invited Ankara to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Conference scheduled to be held in Sochi.

The Russian diplomats said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov could meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu if a request from the latter was made.

A local court ruled for the arrest of Çelik on April 3 for violating a gun law following his detainment in İzmir on March 30.

Çelik later claimed the Russian pilot could have been killed by another group fighting alongside the Turkmens in Syria and he “definitely” didn’t shoot the pilot.

Both pilots aboard the Su-24 jet downed by Turkey in November 2015 ejected and parachuted to the ground on the Syrian side of the border. One of them was killed by gunfire from the ground after ejecting from the plane.

Turkey says the Russian jet strayed into its airspace and ignored repeated warnings, while Moscow insists it did not cross over from Syria and accuses Ankara of a planned provocation.

hurriyetdailynews.com/investigation-into-alleged-killer-of-russian-jet-pilot-reopened-in-turkey-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100906&NewsCatID=509

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İHH declares objection to Turkey-Israel normalization

June/26/2016

The Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH), which organized the 2010 flotilla to Gaza, has declared its clear objection to on imminent agreement between Turkey and Israel expected to be announced on June 26.

The İHH announced its objection and reasons through its official Twitter accounts late on June 25, both in English and in Turkish.

“Our commitments related with the conditions of [the] probable Israel-Turkey agreement as it appears in the media [are] as such: 1- We are keeping our stance related with the blockade of Gaza and [the] Mavi Marmara incident,” the İHH said.

Turkish-Israeli relations were suspended in 2010 after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stormed the Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza-bound “Gaza Freedom Flotilla” trying to break the Israeli blockade on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As a result of the attack eight Turkish citizens and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent were killed and a tenth died of his wounds three years later.

The IHH organized the 2010 flotilla to Gaza.

“2- The blockade of Gaza is unlawful and a crime against the humanity. The blockade has to be lifted. /3- A blockade is cutting [off] all the ties of a certain place from [the] outside World while an embargo is related with trade barriers and sanctions. /4- Blockade is different from embargo. The agreement should be based on the conditions of abolishing the blockade, not the embargo. /5- An agreement foreseeing the using of Ashdod port would not weaken the blockade but rather it leads to official recognition of it. /6- The probable agreement conditions that were published in the press will lead to international recognition of the blockade,” the IHH argued in a series of tweets.

“7- The usage of the Gaza Port for transportation of goods would be the best solution for the Gaza people. /8- It seems that the issue is restricted with humanitarian relief for Gaza in the press, but it is just a part of the problem. /9- Humanitarian relief is just a part of the problem, the fundamental problem of Gaza is related to freedoms. /10- The people of Gaza should have the right of movement and trade freely,” they said.

“11- [The] Mavi Marmara cases should not be contained in the discussions that are being carried. /12- Israel should accept the compensation as a result of its crimes in [the] Mavi Marmara incident not as a donation,” they finally said.

Compensation/donation/court cases

In February, upon reports of meetings between Turkish and Israeli officials over Turkey’s compensation demand, one of the three conditions which had not yet been met by Israel over normalization, the İHH issued a similar “warning” related to the delicate issue of court cases in absentia against former Israeli military commanders over the killings in 2010.

“It is unacceptable for our clients’ rights to be a subject to political bargaining between the two officials,” the İHH had said at the time.

“It is known that Israel has put forward the termination of the court cases we have been following as a precondition to normalize the bilateral relations between the two countries. Ending any of these cases by no means will be a topic of discussion. By law, such a situation is not possible. Israel and the Israeli attackers involved are obliged to compensate for the harm they have caused our clients both morally and financially. When we look back at similar precedents from around the world, the penalty for such an attack is $1 billion. It was said during negotiation talks that, ‘Israel will pay $20 million.’ Israel by ‘donating’ such a small sum is not only trying to slip away from responsibility but also insulting the martyrs by declaring that they will pay this price through ‘donating/giving charity,’” the İHH had said.

“No matter how large the sum is of such a ‘donation’ by no means will it be accepted. Only through a court decision [will] a ‘tort compensation’ meaning ‘criminal responsibility of the perpetrators’ be accepted, even if it’s one penny, in order for it to enter the records,” it had suggested.

hurriyetdailynews.com/ihh-declares-objection-to-turkey-israel-normalization.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100904&NewsCatID=510

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Turkish jets hit PKK targets in Turkey’s southeast

June/26/2016

Turkish warplanes conducted airstrikes against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in the southeastern province of Hakkari on June 25.

Three PKK militants were killed as a result of the airstrikes conducted in the province’s Şemdinli district between 9:02 p.m. and 9:31 p.m., the Turkish Armed Forces said in a statement on June 26.

An anti-aircraft weapon belonging to the militants was also destroyed in the air operation, according to the statement.

Turkish warplanes also carried out airstrikes in other southeastern Turkish provinces on June 24.

hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-jets-hit-pkk-targets-in-turkeys-southeast.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100902&NewsCatID=341

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Brexit won’t affect Turkey’s exports to UK and EU: Minister

June/26/2016

Brexit will not affect Turkey’s exports to the EU and the U.K., the Turkish customs and trade minister has said.       

What matters most in trade was mutual interests, Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkçi told Anadolu Agency, highlighting that there would always be a market as long as quality products and competitive prices existed.

Noting that the EU was not “irreplaceable,” he said the bloc would now have to revise its strategies and policies following the U.K. vote.       

Turkey “respects the [British] people’s decision,” Tüfenkçi said.

On June 23, almost 52 percent of the U.K.’s-registered voters opted to leave the EU in a historic referendum which was dubbed Brexit.  

Brexit has sparked worries across European capitals over the political future of the bloc.     

“What is important for us is to improve our democracy and economy by diversifying production and markets,” the minister said.       

Tüfenkçi also said the EU could increase its power by granting membership to Turkey, which he noted had fulfilled most of the criteria outlined in its accession negotiations.

“We are expecting a sincere approach from the EU while we have been sincerely working to fulfill the criteria in our EU accession process,” he said.

Britain’s shock vote to pull out of the EU wiped $2.1 trillion from global equity markets only on June 24 as traders panicked in the face of a new threat to the global economy.

Investors fled to the safety of gold, the yen and blue-chip bonds as the seismic shift in the structure of Europe left many huge questions hanging, including who will lead Britain following the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Brexit vote sparked eight percent losses in the Tokyo and Paris bourses, nearly seven percent in Frankfurt and more than three percent in London and New York. 

Central banks stepped in to bolster confidence, promising to inject liquidity where needed and appearing to mitigate some of the sharpest losses.

Still, the pound crashed 10 percent to a 31-year low at one point, before rebounding slightly for a 9.1 percent loss against the greenback in late trade.

The euro also plummeted, dropping 2.6 percent on the dollar.

Benefitting from a massive safety selloff, gold jumped nearly five percent and the yen surged 4.2 percent against the dollar and 7.0 percent on the euro. The dollar at one point fell below 100 yen for the first time since November 2013.

US 10-year treasury bond yields hit their lowest since 2012 at 1.42 percent before edging higher, while the German 10-year bund fell into negative territory for the second time in history.

Analysts say the split of Britain with the EU could slow trade and investment in the country and hit its key financial industry, possibly pushing the economy into recession.

hurriyetdailynews.com/brexit-wont-affect-turkeys-exports-to-uk-and-eu-minister.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100905&NewsCatID=344

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Two soldiers killed in PKK attack in Turkey’s southeast

June/26/2016

Two soldiers were killed in an attack by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants in the Lice district of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 26.

The soldiers were wounded during security operations conducted in rural Lice. They were taken to hospital, but succumbed to their wounds at around 9:45 a.m.

A field full of some 240,000 cannabis plants allegedly planted by PKK militants and two hand-made explosives were recently found and destroyed in the ongoing operation in Lice, according to the Turkish Armed Forces.

hurriyetdailynews.com/two-soldiers-killed-in-pkk-attack-in-turkeys-southeast.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100899&NewsCatID=341

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Arab World

ISIL Using New Method to Blackmail Iraqis in Baquba

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL terrorist group is trying a new method against peasants in villages near Qara Taba region (122km from East of Baquba in Diyala province) by sending gangs of motorcyclists to blackmail them.

The villages which are near Hauz Hamrain area have witnessed the incursion of 40-member gangs of ISIL motorcyclists to blackmail the residents in recent months, said a local source who called for anonymity.

"In the past few months, the ISIL motorcyclists have misused the lack of security, army and police forces in remote areas and killed, kidnapped and blackmailed people in these regions," the source added.

The source said that the security forces have several times tried to detain them but failed, adding that the motorcyclists hide in secret houses every time and restart their activities again.

The Northern and Western parts of Iraq have been plagued by gruesome violence ever since ISIL terrorists mounted an offensive in the country in June 2014.

Iraqi forces, backed by volunteer forces, have been pushing the militants out of the country’s territory.

On June 17, Iraqi forces managed to raise their national flag on the main government complex in Fallujah as they faced little resistance from the ISIL terrorists, who had lost their defenses there in the course of the weeks-long offensive.

Later in the day, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated the nation on the liberation of Fallujah, saying there is no place for ISIL terrorists in the country.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000276

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Damascus: Syrian Army Foils Jeish Al-Islam's Attempt to Recapture Lost Positions Near Douma

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army foiled an attempt by the Takfiri terrorists to seize back their lost military positions outside the city of Douma in Damascus countryside.

The Jeish Al-Islam terrorists launched a large-scale assault outside the city of Douma to recapture the positions that they lost to the Syrian Army, but they were pushed back.

"The Takfiri terrorists used a tunnel to sneak into the Syrian Amy's defense lines in the Eastern part of Douma, but to no avail because the Syrian army pushed them back," the Arabic-language media outlets quoted battlefield sources saying on Sunday.

On Thursday, the Syrian troops advanced in the Western parts of Darayya in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus and won back control of 25 farms from terrorists.

The farms located between the Southern parts of al-Maza airbase and Northern parts of Sahnaya cover an area 500m in width and 230m in length.

The region was taken back after fierce clashes between the Syrian forces and their allies and the terrorist groups that claimed the lives of tens of militants.

In a relevant development in Damascus province on Wednesday, two notorious commanders of Ahrar al-Sham were killed in heavy fighting with the Syrian military troops in Western Ghouta.

The commanders of Ahrar al-Sham were killed near the city of Darayya in Southeastern Damascus.

Also on Tuesday, the Syrian Army troops pushed Ajnad al-Sham terrorists back from a strategic road in Western Ghouta, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.

"Ajnad Al-Sham launched a new offensive inside the strategic town of Darayya to reopen the road between Darayya and Mo’adhamiyeh," the sources said, adding, "At first, Ajnad al-Sham captured 9 points from the Syrian soldiers between Darayya and Mo’adhamiyeh, but the Syrian Armed Forces launched a counter-attack took back the lost 9 points."

"Ajnad al-Sham suffered a heavy death toll, including 2 of the group’s military commanders in the failed attacks," the sources said.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000620

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ISIL Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army's Offensive in Hama

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces continued their military operations against the terrorist groups in Hama province, and killed scores of militants over the past 24 hours.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists sustained heavy losses and casualties in Hama.

The Syrian army also inflicted heavy losses on the terrorist groups in other key province across Syria.

Hama

The Syrian military forces stormed the ISIL gatherings and concentration centers in Eastern Hama and captured more farms in the region.

The Syrian army men pushed the ISIL back from the farms of al-Zahireh and Ambouti in Eastern side of al-Salamiyah and took full control over the farms.

Scores of the ISIL were killed or wounded in the attacks.

In the meantime, the army soldiers struck the ISIL strongholds in Tallat al-Rasia al Hamra, which not only ended in the killing or wounding of several militants but destroyed their machinegun-equipped vehicles.

Also, an ammunition depot of Takfiri terrorists was targeted and exploded by the Syrian army in Madajen al-Farouq to the East of al-Mofakker town.

Reports said earlier on Saturday that the Syrian army troops engaged in fierce clashes with al-Shamiyeh Front after the terrorist group stormed the government forces' positions in Eastern Hama.

Al-Shamiyeh Front targeted strongholds of National Defense Forces in Western side of al-Salamiyah near the village of Ramliyeh.

In the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets, for their part, carried out several combat flights over the terrorists' defense lines and inflicted major damage on their military equipment.

The Syrian army's artillery units opened heavy fire at the concentration centers of the terrorist groups in Eastern Hama, inflicting heavy casualties on the militants.

The Syrian artillery units shelled the militant groups' strongholds near the village of al-Mlawlwh in al-Hamra region, which not only destroyed the militants' military hardware and ammunition, but ended in the killing or several terrorists, including Mudar al-Qaderi and Aiman Abdelkarim.

Aleppo

The Syrian Army and popular forces engaged in heavy fighting with the terrorist groups across different neighborhoods of the Northern city of Aleppo, inflicting heavy casualties on them.

The Syrian soldiers, Liwa al-Quds and National Defense Forces, backed up by the Syrian and Russian fighter jets, stormed the militants' strongholds in Jamiyat al-Zahra neighborhood, al-Lairamoun industrial area, the road connecting Western countryside of Aleppo to Jamiyat al-Zahra and near two small towns of Qabtan al-Jabal and Dar al-Izzah, which not only left scores of the terrorists dead or wounded but destroyed their military equipment in large scale.

The terrorist groups, mainly al-Islamiyeh battalions, detonated several bomb-laden tunnels to slow down the government forces' advances in Western districts of Aleppo but the army and its allies repelled their attacks.

Reports said earlier on Saturday that the Syrian Army troops and its popular allies, in large-scale joint operations, struck the terrorist groups' positions in Northern Aleppo, pushing back the militants from more positions in the region.

Syrian soldiers, National Defense Forces and Liwa al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary) launched their assault from several directions in Northern Aleppo, striking the terrorist groups' positions near Handarat and in al-Zahra, al-Khalediyeh, Bani Zeid, and al-Lairamoun districts inside Aleppo.

The Syrian pro-government forces pushed the militants back from their positions and captured the Aleppo Cotton, Sarheel Factory, and several sites in the al-Zahra district.

The terrorist groups, mainly al-Islamiyeh battalions, detonated several bomb-laden tunnels to slow down the government forces' advances in Western districts of Aleppo but the army and its allies repelled their attacks.

Reports said earlier on Saturday that the Syrian Army troops and its popular allies, in large-scale joint operations, struck the terrorist groups' positions in Northern Aleppo, pushing back the militants from more positions in the region.

Syrian soldiers, National Defense Forces and Liwa al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary) launched their assault from several directions in Northern Aleppo, striking the terrorist groups' positions near Handarat and in al-Zahra, al-Khalediyeh, Bani Zeid, and al-Lairamoun districts inside Aleppo.

Meantime, The Syrian pro-government forces pushed the militants back from their positions and captured the Aleppo Cotton, Sarheel Factory, and several sites in the al-Zahra district.

Scores of the ISIL terrorists were killed or wounded in SDF's attacks and more than 5.3 square kilometers were liberated from the terrorist group.

Reports said earlier on Saturday that the SDF fighters continued to advance against the ISIL in the Southern entrance of Manbij and captured more districts of the town after hours of non-stop battle.

"The SDF fighters seized the Southern entrance of Manbij after capturing the nearby Grain Silos from the ISIL)," the sources said, adding, "However, the Syrian Democratic Forces did not stop there; instead, they pushed further North and won back Shariah School, which left scores of the militants dead or wounded."

Sweida

Several oil tankers of the ISIL terrorist group came under attack and were damaged by the Syrian Army troops in Eastern Sweida, military sources said.

"The Syrian soldiers tracked and targeted a long convoy of ISIL's vehicles, including nine oil tankers and three 4WD vehicles driving on a road near al-Shi’aab village, and inflicted major damage on the convoy," the sources said.

"Several guards of the convoy were also killed or wounded in the attack," they added.

The ISIL had stolen the fuel consignment from oilfields in al-Badiyeh.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000190

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Kurd-Arab forces enter ISIS bastion in northern Syria

AP | Jun 23, 2016

BEIRUT: The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces entered Manbij on Thursday and were advancing slowly to the center of the city, an Islamic State group stronghold in northern Syria, an adviser to the predominantly Kurdish force and a monitoring group said.

Manbij is a key waypoint on an ISIS supply line between the Turkish border and the extremist group's de facto capital, Raqqa, which is also under intense pressure from a Syrian government offensive. If Manbij is captured, it will be the biggest strategic defeat for ISIS in Syria since July 2015, when it lost the border town of Tal Abyad.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said intense fighting is taking place between ISIS fighters and the SDF on the southwestern edge of Manbij. Rami Abdurrahman, the director of the monitoring group, which relies on a network of activists in Syria, said the SDF recaptured a village about 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) outside the city, enabling them to move on to seize two squares on the western side of the city. The forces then advanced toward a third square with air support from the US-led coalition, he said.

An adviser to the SDF, Nasser Haj Mansour, said the force on Wednesday moved into the city from its northern edge, close to its grain silos, prompting clashes with ISIS jihadists. He confirmed other troops entered Manbij from the west. The observatory's director Rami Abdurrahman said ISIS still controls the silos. He said fighters on the ground reported that the silos are within close range but forces have so far abstained from shelling it.

Earlier on Thursday, the US Central Command said the SDF had consolidated their positions around Manbij in preparation for seizing it.

The Syrian Arab Coalition, which is part of the SDF, "have consolidated their position around Manbij in anticipation of the next phase of operations to secure the city," the statement said Thursday. "For the last seven days they have been refining their plans as to how to gain a foothold in Manbij and maintain the safety of the civilian population trapped" by ISIS. Thousands of civilians have fled Manbij in recent weeks.

The US has embedded 300 Special Forces troops with the SDF. France also confirmed it is providing training to the SDF.

The operation against ISIS in Manbij began on May 31. The US Central Command said in its statement the international coalition has since conducted more than 233 airstrikes in the vicinity of the city.

The ISIS news agency Aamaq meanwhile said the group's militants repelled an advance by the SDF from north of Manbij, adding that a suicide attack against the retreating forces killed many fighters.

Mansour, the SDF adviser, said suicide bombings are no obstacle to advance on the city.

"They are no longer a surprise for the forces in Manbij," he said. "The tactic and their moves have become known and ineffective, particularly when there is always air support. They no longer have the desired impact."

The observatory said around 63 SDF fighters had been killed since the start of the operation. Meanwhile, the group said 458 ISIS militants, including field operators and foreign fighters, have been killed since May 31.

The US Central command said displaced people from the Manbij area were beginning to return to their villages after they was cleared of ISIS fighters.

Also on Thursday, at least eight civilians were killed in Syria's Aleppo when airstrikes and mortar shells struck different neighborhoods in opposite sides of the divided city, anti-government activists and Syrian state media reported.

In past months, Aleppo has witnessed some of the fiercest fighting and bombardment, which has claimed the lives of hundreds of people on both sides of the contested city. Partial ceasefires have failed to hold in the city that has been divided between rebel and government areas since 2012.

Syria's state news agency SANA said four people were killed and four others wounded when rocket shells hit the government-controlled al-Khalidia district in Aleppo.

Meanwhile, the anti-government Aleppo Media center said four civilians were killed when airstrikes hit the rebel-held al-Katerji neighborhood. Bebars Mishal, a member of the Syrian Civil Defense, a team of volunteer first responders operating in rebel-held areas, said the airstrike hit a residence, putting the number of those killed at five members of the same family. He said the search continued for others under the rubble.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Kurd-Arab-forces-enter-ISIS-bastion-in-northern-Syria/articleshow/52887540.cms

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Russia Launches Incessant Air Campaign over Northern Aleppo

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Russian Air Force carried out non-stop airstrikes to target terrorists in Northern districts of Aleppo City, while the Syrian Army kept advancing in several areas near the provincial capital, a military source said on Sunday.

“The Russian Air Force carried out over 60 airstrikes in a matter of 5 hours over Northern districts of the Aleppo provincial capital on Saturday night,” said the source based in Aleppo City, Al Masdar reported. 

However, the Russian airstrikes were not limited only to the provincial capital, as they also conducted attacks on several villages under control of terrorist groups in the ‘Anadan Plains and Handarat Mountains in Northern Aleppo. The Russian Air Force has now turned their attention to the Al-Ma’ala Farms near the Handarat Farms.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000711

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Senior Diplomat: Zionists Fear World's Normalization of Economic, Banking Ties with Iran

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry's Director General for Political Affairs and International Security Hamid Baeedinejad expressed pleasure in the world’s anti-money laundering body's suspension of restrictions against Iran, and said the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)'s statement against the decision shows the Zionists' fear and anger.

"During the post-nuclear-deal era, the international banks described the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)'s restrictions as one of the most important obstacles in the way of resuming banking and financial relations with the Iranian sides but all of them have now been suspended," Baeedijenad wrote on his Instagram page on Sunday.

"Despite the satisfaction of many international banking and financial institutions with the FATF's new move which removes an important obstacle to their relations with Iran, the anger shown by the AIPAC, the highly influential Zionist lobby in the US, which issued a harsh statement against the FATF's decision shows how much the Zionists fear normalization of international economic and banking relations with Iran," he added.

The FATF hailed on Friday Iran’s adoption of an action plan to address shortcomings in its anti-money laundering policies and its decision to seek assistance with implementation.

In its plenary meeting in South Korea, the body took into account Iran's implementation of an anti-money laundering law and its membership at the Eurasian Group, an FATF-style regional body.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000389

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Syrian Army Repulses Al-Nusra Front's Attack in Southern Hama

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and its allies repelled the Al-Nusra Front's attack on their military positions along a strategic road near the al-Ramliyeh village on the Southern part of Hama province.

The army units and popular forces pushed back the Al-Nusra Front terrorists from the vacinity  of al-Ramliyeh near the al-Salamiyeh city and Northern Homs. 

The Al-Nusra Front's attack was the biggest one over the past two months.

At least 12 Al-Nusra Front terrorists were killed in the Syrian army's pursuing counteroffensive near Al-Ramliyeh village and al-Asi river.

On Saturday, the Syrian military forces stormed the ISIL gatherings and concentration centers in Eastern Hama and captured more farms in the region.

The Syrian army men pushed the ISIL back from the farms of al-Zahireh and Ambouti in Eastern side of al-Salamiyah and took full control over the farms.

Scores of the ISIL were killed or wounded in the attacks.

In the meantime, the army soldiers struck the ISIL strongholds in Tallat al-Rasia al Hamra, which not only ended in the killing or wounding of several militants but destroyed their machinegun-equipped vehicles.

Also, an ammunition depot of Takfiri terrorists was targeted and exploded by the Syrian army in Madajen al-Farouq to the East of al-Mofakker town.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000397

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Hama: Syrian Army Destroys ISIL's Military Positions Near Salamiyeh City

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army continued its advances in Hama province, and inflicted heavy losses on the Takfiri terrorists there.

The army units destroyed the concentration centers and military vehicles of the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group in the Eastern countryside of the city of Salamiyeh in Hama province

"Many terrorists were killed during the military operation and a vehicle equipped with a machinegun was destroyed in Tallat al-Rasia al-Hamra in addition to an ammunition cache in the area of Madajen al-Farouq to the East of al-Mofakker town," the Arabic-language media outlets quoted an unnamed battlefield source as saying on Sunday.

The source added that another army unit won back the farms of al-Zahria and Ambouti in the Eastern countryside of Salamiyeh after eliminating the last gathering of the ISIL terrorists and destroying their weapons.

On Saturday, the Syrian army had a tactical withdraw from a village in the Southern part of Hama province on Saturday as four terrorist groups simultaneously attacked the army's military positions there.

The government forces pulled out from al-Ramliyeh village in Southern Hama as a large number of terrorists from Faylaq al-Homs, Ansar al-Shariya, Badr 313 and Jeish al-Towhid attacked the military positions of the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces near Homs province.

The terrorist groups occupied the village after several hours of clashes with the Syrian government forces.

Also on Saturday, the Syrian Army troops engaged in fierce clashes with al-Shamiyeh Front after the terrorist group stormed the government forces' positions in Eastern Hama.

Al-Shamiyeh Front targeted strongholds of National Defense Forces in Western side of al-Salamiyah near the village of Ramliyeh.

In the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets, for their part, carried out several combat flights over the terrorists' defense lines and inflicted major damage on their military equipment.

In relevant developments in the province on Friday, the Army troops, tipped off by intelligence agents, disbanded a terrorist group carrying large volume of arms and ammunition heading towards Northern Hama.

"The five-members group of terrorists, carrying two thermal rockets, automatic rifles, grenades, RPG rounds and ammunition for PKC and 23 mm machineguns in their car, were driving on a road towards militant-held regions in Northern Hama," the sources said, adding, "The Syrian soldiers stormed the group near the town of Masyaf, which ended in the killing of one the militants and arrest of the rest of them."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000272

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Aleppo: Kurdish Forces Very Close to Manbij City Center

Jun 26 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) managed to take control of the silos of the city of Manbij from the ISIL as they are now very close to the city center.

The SDF forces are now only two kilometers away from Manbij city center,  the Arabic-language media quoted informed military sources as saying on Sunday.

The sources reiterated that mines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) laid down by the ISIL terrorists have slowed down the SDF fighters' further advances.

Reports said on Saturday that the SDF fighters continued to advance against the ISIL in the Southern entrance of Manbij and captured more districts of the town after hours of non-stop battle.

"The SDF fighters seized the Southern entrance of Manbij after capturing the nearby Grain Silos from the ISIL)," the sources said, adding, "However, the Syrian Democratic Forces did not stop there; instead, they pushed further North and won back Shariah School, which left scores of the militants dead or wounded."

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950406000324

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India

Muslim craftsmen renovate Hindu temple in Shahjahanpur

Kanwardeep Singh | TNN | Jun 25, 2016

At a time when communal incidents are being reported from across UP, Shahjahanpur offers a picture of communal harmony.

The work of constructing a temple inside the collectorate premises was given to two Muslim artists, who have now completed it.

Local residents said it was heartening to see them work inside the temple even as they were fasting for Ramzan.

Shahjahanpur: At a time when communal incidents are being reported from across UP, Shahjahanpur offers a picture of communal harmony. The work of constructing a temple inside the collectorate premises was given to two Muslim artists, who have now completed it.

Local residents said it was heartening to see two Muslim youths, Mohammed Yaseen and Sajid Khan, both of whom belong to Kichcha (Udham Singh Nagar) in Uttarakhand work inside the temple even as they were fasting for Ramzan.

"Every time they entered the temple, they touched the feet of goddess Durga before starting their work," said Rajeev Gupta, a local who donated Rs 1 lakh for the renovation of the temple. Others have also donated generously for the religious cause.

Mohammed Yaseen, 25, told TOI, "I have worked in many mosques and temples and I have not felt any difference. We have respect for all the religions because religion is directly attached to the sentiments of a human being.

Disrespecting a religion means disrespecting the emotions of a human being and the holy Quran says that we should not hurt anyone and always give respect to human beings."

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/Muslim-craftsmen-renovate-Hindu-temple-in-Shahjahanpur/articleshow/52910501.cms

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LeT terrorists ambush CRPF bus near Srinagar, kill 8 troopers

M Saleem Pandit | TNN | Jun 26, 2016

Udhampur: One terrorist killed, three civilian injured in CRPF camp attackUdhampur: One terrorist killed...

SRINAGAR: Eight CRPF troopers were killed by two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants at Pampore, about 14km from here, on Saturday . More than 20 others were wounded, three of them critically, in the worst attack in the insurgency-hit state in three years. The troopers were returning from a target practice session when their bus was attacked.

CRPF spokesman Bhavesh Kumar Choudhary told TOI both the attackers were killed in retaliatory firing. Saturday's attack, the third assault on security forces this month, coincided with chief minister Mehbooba Mufti's victory in the Anantnag assembly bypoll.

Deputy inspector general (South Kashmir) Nitish Kumar called the assault "brief but intensive''. He said it was perhaps a suicide attack as the militants chose a spot near a bridge along the Jammu-Srinagar highway from where they could not have escaped. Sources said the attack took place near a sharp curve where vehicles slow down.

Officials said the bus was carrying 24 jawans. "They were taken by surprise by two terrorists who came in a car and started firing," said an official.

A news agency cited unconfirmed reports saying two more terrorists were involved and had fled in a car towards Srinagar. Reports said the area had been sealed and security forces were in pursuit of the attackers on the run.

The LeT claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest on security forces since June 24, 2013 when nine Army soldiers were killed in an attack in Srinagar's Hyderpora area. In a statement, LeT spokesman Abdullah Ghaznavi confirmed the attackers were part of a suicide squad. He claimed 13 CRPF men were killed and added the outfit paid "glorious tributes" to the slain terrorists.

Jammu & Kashmir police chief K Rajendra, who visited the scene, said the terrorists were from Pakistan "in all probability''.

In Delhi, intelligence sources said the attack has come even as the forces had been put on heightened alert ahead of the upcoming pilgrimage to Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. Sources said there were "several general threats'' on possible attacks on the Amarnath Yatra and security forces. They added security forces have been asked to "take strict action'' against the terrorists following Saturday's attack.

CRPF director general K Durga Prasad would fly to Srinagar to visit the wounded jawans on Sunday .

This was the third assault on security forces this month. Two Jammu & Kashmir policemen, including an assistant sub inspector, were killed in an attack on a check post at Anantnag on June 4.

A day earlier, three Border Security Force troopers were killed when terrorists attacked their convoy near Bijbehara.

Three policemen were killed in Srinagar on May 23. The police had claimed to have killed their attackers later in the day .

Two CRPF men were killed when three terrorists ambushed a patrol at Pampore on February 20. Three Army soldiers, including two captains, were killed a day later in the exchange of fire with the three attackers, who had taken refuge on the nearby Entrepreneurship Development Institute campus after attacking the CRPF troopers. The three terrorists were killed the following day .

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/LeT-terrorists-ambush-CRPF-bus-near-Srinagar-kill-8-troopers/articleshow/52921627.cms

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India a transit point for Afghan heroin, cocaine: UN report

Neeraj Chauhan | TNN | Jun 26, 2016

NEW DELHI: As the controversy over 'Udta Punjab' intensifies the debate over India's drug addiction, the World Drug Report 2016 released on Thursday states that the low value assigned to heroin in the Indian market makes the country more of a transit point for the drug headed for other destinations.

Similarly, with regard to party drug cocaine, India figures in the list of transit countries after Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines. The final destination of cocaine is China and Israel. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), that released the report, says smuggling of cocaine has increased in Asia. The report states that highincome countries are likely to have above-average drug prices and be more attractive to international drug traffickers, particularly in the case of cocaine and heroin, which originate in confined, well-defined areas of production. The limited areas of production create a scenario in which consumers worldwide compete for the product and supply gravitates to places where the largest profits are to be made.

For a country like India, different sub-types of a drug category may have varying patterns of association with the socio-economic status of users. The report says that "heroin in the domestic retail market in India is considered to be of 'low value' and this reflects a distinct market from the heroin transiting India from Afghanistan and headed for other destinations".

The UNODC, among several other countries, also states that India does not have data on drug users. It says India is potentially a large opiate market but there is no regularly monitored data on drug users. "This is a problem, as only indirect indicators (registered drug users or law enforcement data) are available," it states.

The UNODC's estimates suggest that the global number of users of opiates (opium, morphine and heroin) has changed little in recent years and opiate use continued to affect some 0.4 per cent of the global population aged 15-64, or the equivalent of some 1.7 crore people, in 2014. Afghanistan remains the world's largest opium producer, accounting for some 70 per cent (3,300 tons) of global opium production followed by Myanmar, accounting for 14 per cent (650 tonnes).

Asserting that use of drugs may impact one's health and sexual behaviour, the report further states that "apart from Myanmar and Ukraine, there are reports that India has documented HIV epidemics associated with injecting drug use that have spread to the general population chiefly through heterosexual contact".

"Research confirms there are links between drug use patterns and sexual behaviour... the following patterns have been documented: transmission

of sexually transmitted infections from people who use drugs to spouses and partners; people who use drugs engaging in sex work as a way to fund drug use; and people who use drugs engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour while under the influence of certain drugs, especially stimulants and party drugs," it says.

Another interesting finding is on the thriving drug trade on the 'dark net' (internet). "This trend raises concerns in terms of the potential of the 'dark net' to attract new populations of users by facilitating access to drugs in a setting that, although illegal, allows users to avoid direct contact with criminals and law enforcement authorities," it says.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-a-transit-point-for-Afghan-heroin-cocaine-UN-report/articleshow/52921392.cms

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Two militants killed in encounter in Baramulla

PTI | Jun 25, 2016

SRINAGAR: Two militants were killed as an encounter broke out between them and security forces this evening in Uri sector of north Kashmir's Baramulla district, police said.

Acting on a tip-off about presence of militants in Lachipora area of Uri, a joint team of police and the army launched a search operation in the area, a police official said.

As security forces were carrying out the search operation, militants fired upon them, triggering an encounter in which the two militants were killed, he said.

The operation was going on when last reports came in, the official said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-militants-killed-in-encounter-in-Baramulla/articleshow/52918889.cms

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India should supply tanks and artillery to Afghan army: Indian war veteran

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 26 2016

An Indian war veteran and strategic analyst has said India should supply heavy military equipment to the Afghan armed forces, including tanks and field artillery.

In an Op-Ed published in New Indian Express newspaper, Maj. Gen. (Retd) G D Bakhshi, said ” Rapidly do capacity building of the Afghan army, so that it has a military edge over the Taliban and can defend its territory against Pakistan’s incursions.”

The Retired Indian General further added that India should “Complete the Chabahar-Zaranj-Delaram road and beltway via Iran. Till then, supply tanks, artillery guns, attack helicopters and trainer jets via Russia.”

“Once the Chabahar beltway opens up, it can supply large numbers of T-54/T-55 tanks and 105 mm field guns lying in our depot stocks and salvage yards,” Gen. Bakhshi added.

The Op-Ed by Gen. Bakhshi was published days after a bloody clash erupted among the Afghan and Pakistani forces in Torkham over the construction of border gate by the Pakistani forces.

Harshly criticizing the Pakistani step to seal the Durand Line which has not been accepted as formal border line by Afghanistan, Gen. Bakhshi raised the issue of the Afghan militant groups sanctuaries in Pakistan, including the Taliban group leadership.

Pakistan insists that the step to construct gates along the crossings and fencing the Durand Line is an attempt by the country’s security forces to prevent the movement of the terrorists.

However, the Afghan officials insist on a regional fight against the terrorist groups, including the steps to be taken against the leadership councils of the Taliban and Haqqani network based in Quetta and Peshawar cities of Pakistan.

khaama.com/india-should-supply-tanks-and-artillery-to-afghan-army-indian-war-veteran-01354

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Indo-Bangladesh border fencing to be completed by 2017

PTI | Jun 25, 2016

AGARTALA: Work on barbed wire fencing along the Indo-Bangla international border (IB) would be completed by 2017, a top official said on Saturday.

"India has set a target of finishing the barbed wire fencing along the Indo-Bangla international border by 2017," Susheel Kuman, secretary Border Management under the Union Home Ministry said.

Kumar, who arrived here on a three-day tour on Friday, is now visiting the barbed wire construction works in different parts of Tripura border with Bangladesh.

He reviewed the progress of the fencing works in a meeting with officials of the state government, including the chief secretary Y P Singh, DGP, K Nagraj, district magistrates and all the implementing agencies and BSF on Friday.

Kumar said this issue was discussed with all the bordering state governments including West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya earlier.

"Wherever fencing is required, it would be constructed and where riverine stretches are present, no fencing would be constructed because it worked as natural barrier," he said.

Kumar said local problems would be sorted out through discussions, and where fencing is required on the zero point of the border, "it would be taken up with the Bangladesh government and the matters would be sorted out through negotiation."

India constructed border fencing 100 yards away from the international border leaving a large tract of agricultural and homestead land outside the fencing to adhere to Border Management agreement signed in 1975.

India has a 4096km border with Bangladesh, and Tripura which is girded by the neighbouring countries in three sides, has 856 km long border.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Indo-Bangladesh-border-fencing-to-be-completed-by-2017/articleshow/52916030.cms

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Southeast Asia

Myanmar Buddhists ransack mosque as religious violence flares

Jun 24, 2016

BAGO (Myanmar): Scores of Buddhists ransacked a mosque in central Myanmar forcing Muslims to seek refuge overnight in a police station after a dispute between neighbours spilled into religious violence, officials and residents said on Friday.

Bouts of anti-Muslim violence have left scores dead across the country since 2012 and the febrile atmosphere poses serious challenges for Aung San Suu Kyi's new government.

The violence erupted on Thursday afternoon as a mob of around 200 Buddhists rampaged through a Muslim area of Thuye Tha Mein village in Bago province following an argument between neighbours over the building of a Muslim school.

"It started when a Muslim man and a Buddhist women started to argue and then people came to fight him," Hla Tint, the village administrator, told AFP.

"Parts of the mosque were destroyed... they also destroyed the fence of the Muslim cemetery," he added.

Around 70 Muslims, including children, sought shelter in a police station overnight on Thursday, he said, adding there were no serious injuries and peace had been restored.

Police and the secretary of the mosque confirmed the damage, while a Muslim resident told AFP his community of around 150 people is now living in fear.

"We had to hide as some people were threatening to kill Muslims. The situation has never been like this before," Tin Shwe OO, 29, told AFP, adding his family stayed at the small police station overnight.

"I do not dare to stay at my house. For the safety of my family, I want to stay somewhere else for about a week or so."

Outbreaks of deadly violence have roiled the country threatening to unpick democratic gains since the army began loosening its stranglehold on the country in 2011.

The worst violence struck central Myanmar and western Rakhine State which is home to the stateless Rohingya Muslim minority, tens of thousands of whom still languish in displacement camps after rioting.

Buddhist nationalists vigorously oppose moves to recognise the Rohingya as an official minority group, instead labelling them "Bengali" -- shorthand for illegal migrants from the border with Bangladesh.

Democracy champion Suu Kyi, who is currently visiting Thailand, has come under fire for failing to speak up for the Rohingya -- although she recently caused surprise by using the incendiary term during a visit to Myanmar by America's top diplomat.

Religious tensions pose a unique challenge to the new government and to Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate once garlanded for her fight for rights for all.

Her party is dominated by ethnic Bamar Buddhists and did not field any Muslim MPs in the election last year that drove it to power.

Hardline monks -- known as the Ma Ba Tha -- are accused of stoking violence and tensions with hate speech.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Myanmar-Buddhists-ransack-mosque-as-religious-violence-flares/articleshow/52897610.cms

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Suu Kyi urged to recognize Rohingyas as Burmese

IANS | Jun 23, 2016

BANGKOK: The Coalition for the Rights of Refugees and Stateless Persons (CRSP) on Thursday urged Myanmar's state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who is on an official visit to Thailand, to recognize the Muslim minority Rohingyas as Myanmarese nationals.

CRSP members read out a statement addressed to Suu Kyi at the Thai Foreign Correspondents Club in Bangkok under police vigilance as journalists were prevented from posing questions.

"I was about to cancel my appearance here. Lots of obstacles were put up, but finally we could hold the conference, even though reporters were not allowed to ask questions," Puttanee Kangkun, the spokesperson for the non-profit Fortify Rights, who attended the event, told EFE news.

The statement also called upon Suu Kyi, who formally occupies the post of foreign minister and state adviser, to revoke the 1982 citizenship law, which struck off Muslim minority group Rohingyas from the list of ethnic minorities.

Suu Kyi arrived in Thailand on Thursday on a three-day visit, during which she will address the issue of immigrants and refugees from her country.

On Friday, Suu Kyi will meet with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, a former military officer who grabbed power in a 2014 coup.

However, the condition of the Rohingyas refugees in Thailand is not expected to feature in the discussions.

To escape discrimination and in search of better opportunities, many Rohingyas undertake dangerous sea voyages, aided by human traffickers, towards Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Suu-Kyi-urged-to-recognize-Rohingyas-as-Burmese/articleshow/52887658.cms

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Africa

At least 14 killed in Somalia hotel attack

June/26/2016

Gunmen stormed a hotel in Somalia’s seaside capital June 25, taking guests hostage and “shooting at everyone they could see,” before security forces pursued the grenade-throwing assailants to the top floor and ended the hours-long assault, police and witnesses said. At least 14 people were killed.

Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the latest in a series of hotel attacks in Mogadishu, one that began with a powerful explosion at the entry gate.

“We have finally ended the siege. The last remaining militants were killed on the top floor,” police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said after security forces cornered the gunmen, who had set up sniper posts on the roof of the Nasa-Hablod hotel. Police said at least four gunmen were involved in the attack, and two were killed.

“We have so far confirmed the deaths of 14 people. Some of them died in the hospitals,” Hussein said. The deaths included women who were selling khat, a stimulant leaf popular with Somali men, outside the hotel, he said.

Security forces rescued most of the hostages; it was not clear whether any were killed. Police and medical workers said another nine people were wounded in the assault.

Police said the attack began when a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at the hotel entrance, ripping off its gate. Gunmen fought their way inside, and a witness said they began shooting randomly at hotel guests.

A witness, Ali Mohamud, said the attackers randomly shot at guests. “They were shooting at everyone they could see. I escaped through the back door,” he said.

Yusuf Ali, an ambulance driver, told The Associated Press he evacuated 11 people injured in the attack to hospitals.

“Most of them were wounded in crossfire,” he said.

hurriyetdailynews.com/at-least-14-killed-in-somalia-hotel-attack.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100908&NewsCatID=357

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North America

Muslim attitudes about LGBT are complex, far from universally anti-gay

June 17, 2016

Attitudes towards LBGT people in Muslim communities are complex, and far from universally anti-gay.

Some Muslims, like Abdullah, are welcoming what they see as an opening within their communities to address anti-gay attitudes. Several groups supportive of gay Muslims have sprung up within the U.S. in past years, including Muslims for Progressive Values and the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

And young Muslims who often feel differently about homosexuality than their elders are increasingly speaking out in support of gay rights, as religion scholar Reza Aslan and comedian Hasan Minaj did in an open letter to American Muslims after last year’s Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.

Others are pointing toward the Quran and a history of relative tolerance.

“In 1858 the Ottoman Empire decriminalized homosexuality, 100 years before they did so in the West,” said Abdullah, referring to the empire that ruled over Turkey and much of the present-day Middle East in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its official religion was Islam.

But Abdullah is under no illusions about the strength of homophobia within modern Muslim cultures.

In the U.S., a 2014 Pew Research Center study shows, Muslim Americans are less accepting of homosexuality than Americans as a whole: 47 percent of U.S. Muslims said it should be discouraged and 45 percent said it should be accepted.

But they were not the religious group that was most disapproving: Evangelical Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons oppose homosexuality by larger margins.

Abroad the picture is starker. And a 2013 Pew global study of Muslims showed overwhelming disapproval of homosexuality. In only three of the nearly 40 countries surveyed do as many as one-in-ten Muslims say that homosexuality is morally acceptable: Uganda (12%), Mozambique (11%) and Bangladesh (10%).

And almost all of the 10 countries that allow the death penalty for same-sex sexual relations are Muslim-majority nations. The president of one of those nations, Iran, has denied that gay people exist in his country.

“In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at Columbia University in 2007. “ I do not know who has told you we have it.”

The gay capital of the Middle East is in the Jewish state of Israel: Tel Aviv advertises itself as a safe, vibrant destination for LGBT tourists, and attracts gays from the Palestinian territories and other societies where it is unthinkable to be openly gay. But even in Israel, a Jewish teenage girl died after an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man went on a stabbing spree last year at Jerusalem’s gay pride parade.

While Muslim nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia have legislated violent punishment for gays, there are no laws against gay sex in either Jordan and Lebanon.You can find gay-friendly bars in Beirut, Amman and Istanbul.

And because socialization between unmarried men and women is unacceptable in conservative Muslim society, same-sex social gatherings are the norm, and may present opportunities for gay people to follow their hearts, Abdullah said.

That doesn’t mean that gays don’t suffer beatings and worse in these somewhat more tolerant countries, or that their families accept them. But even in places like Egypt, where the government has jailed and tortured its gay citizens, some LGBT people are still organizing, carefully, to improve their situations.

Those Muslims who reject gay relationships often point to sacred writings, as is the case with like-minded Christians.

For example, Adbdullah has often heard Muslims invoke the story of Lut in the Quran (comparable to the story of Lot in the Bible) to argue that Islam condemns men who love men. Like many other gay Muslims, he reads the same verses and comes to a different conclusion: that the story condemns cruelty, not any particular sexual act.

In the Quran, he finds nothing to condemn his sexual orientation. The word “homosexuality” is not used in the text, he notes. “The Prophet was not prejudiced.”

Pointing to the Quran or any religion’s sacred writings to explain current day moral stances also makes little sense, said Aisha Geissinger, who teaches about Islam at Ottawa’s Carleton University.

“Nobody takes all of their sexual morality nowadays from an old text. Christians don’t do it. Muslims don’t do it,” Geissinger said. “Otherwise, we’d have slavery.”

And like Abdullah, she offers an example from history that counters the idea that Muslim societies are monolithic and have always been hostile to same-sex desires.

In “Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800,” author Khaled El-Rouayheb points out that much of the poetry in the Arab world prior to the 19th century was written by men about a male beloved, or a person whose gender is ambiguous.

“It is difficult to imagine that this type of poetry was so popular if it didn’t reflect something about what people were seeing as normative,” Geissinger said.

usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/06/17/muslim-lgbt-gay-views/86046404/

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Anti-Muslim racism drives anti-EU push

JUNE 25, 2016

Anti-immigrant, anti-Islam opposition leaders in Europe didn’t wait to demand their countries’ to “leave” the European Union. In the wake of the Brexit result, Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right Front National, called for a similar referendum on France’s E.U. membership. France is more involved in the E.U. than the U.K. and is considered one of the six E.U. founders and advocates.

The FN, an Islamophobic party, has called for an E.U. referendum in France following the U.K.’s vote in favor of leading the Union. Ms. Le Pen, a member of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, is also the natural candidate for her party in France’s 2017 presidential election.

One of the hawkish anti-European parties in the Union, the Front National is calling the popular manifesto “a democratic necessity.”  “The British people have given to Europeans and to all the people of the world a shining lesson in democracy,” Ms. Le Pen said. “A victory for freedom. We now need the same referendum in France and in E.U. nations.”

On Thursday, British people voted to leave the 28-nation E.U. membership, pushing Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his resignation, facing the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two.  Unlike the U.K., France uses the euro currency, is also a member of the open-border Schengen zone, and has a special status deal in the E.U. agricultural policies.

So France has been calling for decades for common foreign and defense policies in the E.U., ironically with the U.K.

Yet, according to recent polls, two-thirds of the population view the E.U. unfavorably.

As for the referendum President Hollande, who is a fervently-convinced European marching on his political mentor Jacques Delors’ path, won’t make President Chirac’s 2005 political mistake, a decision to hold a referendum on the ratification of the European Constitution; for President Hollande such a move would be political suicide.

Chirac expected an easy victory, and moreover thought it would do much to cement his legacy as a French statesman.

Thus, Chirac and the Socialists’ establishment faced ardent objections to the Constitution’s ratification, which broadly divided the political parties into two camps. On the left, many expressed the view that the Constitution would enforce a neo-liberal economic model.

Among those were  some members of the Socialist Party, who dissented from the party’s stance as decided by its internal referendum. Some members of the Green Party (though the party’s official policy was also to support ratification), the Communist Party, the Citizens & Republican Movement of Jean Pierre Chevenement, an Arabist politician, and other small parties allied with the Socialist Party mere, like the radicals of Ms. Taubira.

Other hard-line far-left parties and unions such as CGT expressed severe criticism and sought to link the Constitution to the proposed directive from Brussels as having a direct impact on French workers’ social rights.

On the other hand, there were also prominent opponents to the Constitution from the right, notably Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, a Gaullist, and Philippe de Villiers of Movement for France, another reactionary and Islamophobic politician, and the racist Jean-Marie Le Pen (Marine’s father) of the FN, who opposed the Constitution on the grounds that France should not be part of any institution, whose decisions can take precedence over what is decided in France at a national level.

Another factor in the defeat of the Constitution may have been the linking of the Constitution in the minds of voters with the possibility of the integration of Turkey to the E.U. A political note, yesterday President of the LR Party, Nicolas Sarkozy, did not miss the opportunity to add his rhythmical political statement on the Brexit vote.

On Turkey’s E.U. full integration, most of the French population and leaders right and left alike are opposed.

A referendum for a “Frexit” that Marine Le Pen and her movement are calling for is more a populist one to destabilize France’s establishment and create a panic strategy for President Hollande, who seems totally lost in his message and policies on how to deal with such a survival matter for Europe.

He has been dancing the tango, one step ahead-two behind, trying to contain the racist party by sending senseless signals on his migrants’ and refugees’ policy.

In this stance regarding the refugees camps in Calais, Mayor Natasha Bouchart has declared she wants the French government to consider renegotiating the Le Touquet treaty between the U.K. and France.

Speaking after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Mayor Bouchart said France should consider suspending the agreement which allows British border guards to check on French soil for illegal immigrants stowing away on lorries, cars and trains before they head through the Channel Tunnel and onto ferries.

During the referendum campaign, which saw the “Leave” side victorious with 52% of the vote, Eurosceptics said the presence of immigration checks on the French side of the border would not be affected as Le Touquet treaty was separate from the E.U., wide rules on the free movement of people.

Officially Le Touquet treaty, which was signed in 2003, is a bilateral agreement between London and Paris, which remains valid even if Britain leaves the Union.

Thousands of refugees fleeing war in Mali, Libya, Syria and Iraq made the exodus journey across the Mediterranean and over land borders to get to Europe.

There are around 6,000 people living in the camps or “the jungle” (pejoratively called by the humanitarian NGOs) outside Calais and Dunkerque as they desperately trying to cross over in trucks and on trains to reach Britain.

Far-right parties in France, Greece, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, and the Netherlands are claiming victory and are using Brexit’s example to recruit. These reactionary nationalist movements, which have been gaining political strength and societal presence in recent years use the “fear factor” argument putting the blame on the E.U. immigration policy and the high rate of unemployment among the white population in their respective countries.

Instead of blaming the neo-liberal economic policies, harsh austerity measures and the hypocritical refugee policy attitude that have made the lives of working people throughout the continent complicated, consider the counter argument of the anti-establishment movements of the Mélenchon (PRG) in France, Podemos in Spain, M5S in Italy and Syriza in Greece, who are calling for a referendum to reform the Union rather than dissolve it.

thearabdailynews.com/2016/06/25/anti-muslim-racism-drives-anti-eu-push/

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Donald Trump makes Aziz Ansari 'afraid for my family'

June 25, 2016

After Omar Mateen shot 49 people at Orlando's Pulse nightclub, actor Aziz Ansari called his parents, who are Muslim, and begged his mother not to "go anywhere near a mosque" out of fear of reprisals.

Ansari, who was born in South Carolina, writes in an essay for the New York Times that he was struck by the realization of "how awful it was to tell an American citizen to be careful how she worshiped."

Things in the USA were already less than ideal before the Orlando shootings, the star of Netflix's Master of None says. "In our culture, when people think 'Muslim,' the picture in their heads is not usually of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or the kid who left the boy band One Direction. It’s of a scary terrorist character from Homeland or some monster from the news."

When Ansari was a student at New York University, a cab driver called him a terrorist shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, which he felt in his dorm room.

"The vitriolic and hate-filled rhetoric coming from (Donald) Trump isn’t so far off from cursing at strangers from a car window," he writes. "It’s visceral, and scary, and it affects how people live, work and pray," Ansari confesses. "It makes me afraid for my family. It also makes no sense."

He pointed out a noteworthy statistic: that if every single person on the FBI's list of 1,000 homegrown extremists were Muslim-American, that figure would amount to .03% of their population. "The overwhelming number of Muslim Americans have as much in common with that monster in Orlando as any white person has with any of the white terrorists who shoot up movie theaters or schools or abortion clinics," he says.

"(Trump) has said that people in the American Muslim community “know who the bad ones are,” implying that millions of innocent people are somehow complicit in awful attacks." So by that logic, Ansari writes, the best way to protect the U.S. economy after the 2008 financial crisis "would have been to ban white males ... "I doubt we’ll hear Mr. Trump make a speech asking his fellow white males to tell authorities “who the bad ones are,” or call for restricting white males’ freedoms."

He also calls Trump out for continuing to claim that Muslims celebrated in the streets following 9/11. "There was absolutely no cheering," Ansari says. "Only sadness, horror and fear."

Contrast that to Trump's tweet immediately after the Orlando shootings, in which he crowed about having predicted the attack, writing, "Appreciate the congrats.”

"It appears that day he was the one who was celebrating after an attack," Ansari notes.

usatoday.com/story/life/people/2016/06/25/donald-trump-makes-aziz-ansari-afraid-my-family/86390260/

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Muslim immigration ban will keep US safe says Donald Trump

25 June 2016

During the speech, Trump launched a scathing attack on presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee, Hillary Clinton, and intensified calls for his Muslim immigration ban, which he claims will keep the US safe. Trump described the shootings in Orlando as "the worst 'terrorist' strike on US soil since September 11."

Trump also branded the shooter, Omar Mateen, a 'radical Islamic terrorist who targeted the Pulse nightclub, not only to execute American citizens, but to kill gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation.'

Real estate billionaire, Trump, then gave reasons why the US should impose a Muslim immigration ban, using Mateen as an example, he said: "The shooter, who I will never name, was born an Afghan to Afghan parents who emigrated to the USA. The only reason these shootings occurred is because we allowed that man's parents into the country."

Sanwar Ali, Editor of workpermit.com News has the following comments to make:

It is somewhat bizarre that following the mass shooting in Orlando that the "Glorious Leader" (the title used in a neo-Nazi site for Trump) now portrays himself as being pro-gay and pro-LGBT. Trump attracts support from many people who are very anti-gay. He is very friendly with Pastor Robert Jeffress who has been described as being one of the most anti-gay pastors in America. He is also anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Catholic, and anti-Mormon.

Trump also lacks credibility for other reasons. There is a huge scandal involving Trump "University" which illegally used the name "University". In 2013 New York State Attorney General Eric Schneidermanissued proceedings against a Trump company. Donald Trump has been accused of fraud. It is alleged that students at Trump "University" were defrauded out of millions of dollars.

Trump used in terrorist video propaganda

Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric has led to him being featured in a number of terrorist videos. Al Qaeda clips in particular feature the billionaire tycoon as part of their recruitment campaigns, which has led many critics to statethat Trump's Presidential campaign has caused division and animosity towards the US in the world.

According to a commentary posted on Politicus USA – a liberal political news and analysis site – "Without even occupying the White House, Trump has emboldened terrorists abroad and alienated peaceful Muslims at home. He picks fights with America's closest allies, while heaping praise on the country's toughest adversaries.The actions Trump has taken so far make attacks like Orlando more likely, not less."

Muslim immigration ban statement repeated

Some have said that Politicus USA has a point. One of Trump's first actions during his recent speech was to restate his plans to temporarily suspend Muslim immigration. He also linked terrorism to immigration. Trump criticised Clinton over the issue, saying: "She has no clue in my opinion what radical Islam is, and she won't speak honestly about it if she does, in fact, know."

Trump was, asked the following: "Does the Orlando shooting, and every other recent shooting in the US for that matter, have everything to do with US gun law and not terrorism? Do you think Hillary Clinton is right to want to abolish the US second amendment?"

Trump's response: "Abolish the Second Amendment? Leaving only the bad guys, terrorists with guns. Not gonna happen."

The real estate tycoon's speech then quickly descended into a series of blanket statements attacking Islam. He quipped that the Muslim community are well aware of what's going on, but do nothing. 'They have to start turning these extremists in,' he said. This despite there being no actual evidence that the Muslim community knew the Orlando tragedy would occur.

According to a report published in the New York Times, Mateen was known to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)following remarks that he had made in 2013 to fellow co-workers about his connection with terrorist networks.

Mateen was investigated by the FBI for 10 months, in which time he allegedly claimed that he had 'family connections to Al Qaeda and that he was a member of Hezbollah, a Shiite group that's actually in conflict with both Islamic State (IS or Daesh) and Al Qaeda.

However, the FBI closed its investigation against Mateen and he returned to work for security firm G4S as a security guard.

Mr Mateen's father posts video on Facebook

Mateen's father, Seddique Mir Mateen, posted a video on Facebook on Monday, June 13, in which he expressed his 'regret and confusion about why his son had gunned down his victims.'

Speaking in Dari, a language spoken in Afghanistan, and translated, he said: "I don't know what caused this. I did not know and did not understand that he has anger in his heart.My son, Omar Mateen, was a very good boy, an educated boy, who had a child and a wife, very respectful of his parents."

However, various news reports say that the attack was sparked after Mateen became outraged at the sight of two homosexual men kissing.

Evidence into the shooting is still being gathered. During a news conference in the aftermath of the events in Orlando, the United States attorney for Central Florida, A. Lee Bentley, said:"Investigators have collected a large amount of electronic and criminal evidence and were trying to determine whether Mr Mateen acted alone."

"If anyone else was involved in this crime, they will be prosecuted," he added.

workpermit.com/news/2016-06-25/muslim-immigration-ban-will-keep-us-safe-says-donald-trump

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Brexit racist blowback: Muslim women targeted for abuse after EU referendum vote

Samantha Payne By Samantha Payne

June 25, 2016

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon plans EU talks to 'protect' Scotland

Remain campaigner Shazia Awan, a Welsh businesswoman, was told to "pack her bags and go home" following the vote to leave the EU won by a majority on Friday.

Wales was one of the main areas in the UK where the Leave campaign was successful with 854,572 votes (52.5%) compared to 772,347 votes (47.5%) in the Remain camp.

Awan now fears one of the consequences of the referendum campaign, which saw Nigel Farage controversially pose in front of queue of a Syrian refugees, will be a rise in racist abuse.

She had written on Twitter: "Don't see how this country can heal itself. The UK is my home yet I feel alienated," to which Warren Faulkner, whose Twitter handle is @foggyneiinfidel, responded: "Great news...you can pack your bags, you're going home...BYE THEN."

In shock, she tweeted: "Campaign was vile and racist. #Euref has ruined country forever – someone just even told me to go home and am born in the UK."

Campaign was vile & racist. #Euref has ruined country forever- someone just even told me to "go home" I'm born in UK

Awan also told the Independent she witnessed a white man calling a woman a "n*****" in Cardiff after she accused her of voting to stay in Europe and the victim had felt that she could not report it as a hate crime.

"Every ethnic minority, every decent person, everyone who is in a mixed race relationship or from a black, Asian minority ethnic background are going to feel this now. Now start the vile tweets," she said.

A worried mother on Friday tweeted how her daughter saw a Muslim girl was targeted by a group of boys in Birmingham telling her to leave the country.

Labour MP Seema Malhotra said on Saturday she was"personally devastated" at the Brexit vote and wanted to assure firms "Britain was still open for business" and that people were worried about community relations.

Other incidents included a British-born Asian who contacted a London radio talk show who claimed she was harassed by a man bellowing nationalist slogans whilst shopping with her child and reports of Muslim schools being targeted for low-level abuse.

Cambridgeshire Police are also investigating after signs reading 'Leave the EU - No more Polish vermin' were posted through doors in shocking post-referendum racism.

Laminated cards were reportedly delivered to members of the Polish community in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

They were also found on the road near St Peter's School at around 8.30am on Friday, with a translation on the back reading 'go home Polish scum.'

Meanwhile an account on Twitter has been set up, entitled Post Ref Racism, for people to report the rise in racism in the UK following the Brexit vote.

ibtimes.co.uk/racist-brexit-blowback-muslim-women-targeted-abuse-after-eu-referendum-vote-1567421

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Europe

Europe’s first Islamophobia summit highlights European-wide problem

June 25, 2016

It is fundamental that people from all faiths and backgrounds work together in the spirit of pluralism and democracy to face these radical lurches with courage and build a better Europe for tomorrow.

A man carries a EU flag, after Britain voted to leave the European Union. (photo credit:REUTERS)

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This week’s UK referendum on European Union membership could tilt the EU toward either greater disintegration or stronger union; Europe finds itself at a vital crossroads.

The UK campaign against membership has not been without its controversies; images of Syrian refugees have been used in campaign posters to evoke fears of about an impending demographic invasion of Europe. On the other hand, the upcoming EU presidency in July will go to a Slovak government whose party leader openly admires the 1939-1945 Nazi-sponsored Slovak state that sent 75,000 Jewish citizens to Nazi concentration camps, and a prime minister who said Muslim refugees are not welcome in Slovakia.

It is within this increasingly politicized climate of fear, divisiveness and bigotry that the first ever European Islamophobia Summit will be taking place in Sarajevo this week; a gathering of political leaders, journalists, academics and civil society representatives from across Europe and the US.

Anti-Muslim hate crime and bigotry after all is undoubtedly a real problem.

Anti-Muslim hate crime tripled in London during December 2015.

According to Dilcra, a French government body, the number of Islamophobic hate crimes increased three-fold in 2015. According to Spain’s largest Islamic organization, the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities, 2015 saw an 11-fold increase in reports of anti-Muslim hate crime. And calls by US presidential candidate Donald Trump to ban all Muslims from entering the US represents the kind of collective stigmatization of a global religious community that could end up creating dangerous and disturbing precedent.

But it isn’t just anti-Muslim sentiment that has been on the rise in Europe. Anti-Semitic hate crime had surged to 93 percent in London by the end of 2015. Human Rights First reported a doubling in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2015 compared to the previous year, and the recent attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando by what appears to have been an Islamic State-inspired attacker also drew attention to the existence of a deep-seated homophobia. According to UK Home Office records, the number of UK homophobic attacks reported to police leapt by nearly a quarter in 2015.

Ultimately, at times of economic and political uncertainty it seems that bigotry and prejudice rise across the board – against all minorities, whether they be Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, members of the Afro-Caribbean community, the LGBT community, refugees or migrants. And all forms of bigotry and prejudice share the same pernicious structure, whether it be Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia or any other form of prejudice, irrespective of where it comes from.

That’s why the first European Islamophobia Summit will be discussing cross-community unity against all forms of discrimination and prejudice – something central to any comprehensive response.

And yes: problems of extremism do indeed afflict the Muslim world.

Islamic State (ISIS) demonstrates that.

But counter-Islamophobia efforts are crucial to counter-extremism efforts.

ISIS attacks intend to divide Western societies by establishing the “gray zone”; the destruction of peaceful co-existence between Muslims and non-Muslims. An Islamophobic reaction is precisely what ISIS terrorists and far-right Islamophobic activists hope for in order to realize their clash of civilizations narratives.

For us to prevent such an outcome and for Europe’s values of tolerance, democracy and pluralism to stand the test of time, the discourses of hate and division must be confronted with unity, humanitarianism and optimism.

That can be achieved by the collective will of people from all backgrounds working together.

Unfortunately, this is yet to occur in Europe, with leaders of countries such like Slovakia and Hungary unabashedly stating that Islam is not welcome in their countries, several other European countries refusing to give shelter to desperate refugees and the disturbing mainstreaming of far-right parties.

What’s more, this constant exploitation of fear is spiraling into noticeable democratic deficits in some European countries, perhaps the starkest warning yet that the discourse of hate and division is fundamentally antithetical to democracy, diversity and pluralism.

It is fundamental that people from all faiths and backgrounds work together in the spirit of pluralism and democracy to face these radical lurches with courage and build a better Europe for tomorrow. If this investment is not made now, then there is little point in making them tomorrow.

The author is the spokesperson for the first European Islamophobia Summit, being held in Sarajevo from the 24th to the 26th of June.

jpost.com/Opinion/Europes-first-Islamophobia-summit-highlights-European-wide-problem-457722

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Europe is the creation of the Third World

June 25, 2016

Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

In a famous passage in his now classic book, Wretched of the Earth (1961) Frantz Fanon wrote one of his most iconic phrases: "Europe is literally the creation of the Third World."

Why would he say that and what could that phrase actually mean? What will have remained of the very idea of "Europe" that now even the UK has opted to bid it farewell?

Let us answer these related questions with another more recent - more urgent, perhaps - question.

Brexit consequences: EU ministers urge Britain to make quick exit

Why would Dalai Lama, evidently a kind, gentle, caring man, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, for millions around the world, Buddhist or otherwise, the very definition of tolerance and gentility say: "Europe, for example, Germany, cannot become an Arab country. Germany is Germany."

While finding his own remark entertaining, the Dalai Lama laughingly adds during his conversation with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "There are so many."

'Germany cannot become an Arab country'

That is right: "Deutschland," he is reported to have said, "konne kein arabisches Land werden". This is not a neo-Nazi skinhead sharing these sentiments with a leading German newspaper. This is His Holiness, the Dalai Lama: "Germany cannot become an Arab country."

ALSO READ: Brexit: The night the UK became a little island

Germany is not an Arab country, nor is it even "in danger" of becoming an Arab country. But why would the Dalai Lama say such a thing - be so dismissive, derisive even, nervously sardonic of even the idea? What is it to him? He is neither a European nor an Arab.

Dalai Lama and the rest of Eurocentric universe around the world need this idea of 'Europe' as the figment of their own captured imagination ...

The answer to this question rests on Fanon's insight: "Europe is literally the creation of the Third World."

To be sure, Fanon meant it "literally", as he puts it bluntly: "Latin America, China, and Africa. From all these continents, under whose eyes Europe today raises up her tower of opulence, there has flowed out for centuries towards that same Europe diamonds and oil, silk and cotton, wood and exotic products. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World."

But there is also an even more potent, metaphoric, aspect to his iconic phrase, that the Third World has been definitive and instrumental in manufacturing the very idea, the metaphoric normativity, of "Europe", and with it the myth of "the West".

Partaking in the Eurocentric universe

The Dalai Lama and the rest of Eurocentric universe around the world need this idea of "Europe" as the figment of their own captured imagination, the whitewashed epicentre of their own metaphoric cosmos.

The Dalai Lama [EPA]

He cannot imagine this metaphor of "Europe", which in his mind is all white, all Christian, all the civilised measure of our humanity, tinted with the presence of non-Europeans, Arab or otherwise.

He, in effect, partakes freely and is categorically invested in the unexamined metaphor of "Europe" beyond all reality and geography. In that assumption, he is not a racist at all, for his mental makeup is already racialised, a normative entrapment he can never decode. 

This figment of imagination has nothing to do with the reality of Europe: fragmented along race, gender, and class; some welcoming, many resentful of the new immigrants and refugees.

ALSO READ - Brexit: A wake-up call for the EU, but will it listen?

Not just the reality of this wave of migration, or even the reality of European Muslims long before this wave, but the reality of Europe as fractured in its layered composition opens to much different horizons. Put them together, these varied realities map out a vastly different Europe than the one the Dalai Lama imagines.

Europe is changing for good

The city of London has just elected its first Muslim mayor, just before the UK opted to exit the EU.

Yes, there was UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who, in order to prevent this from happening, tried to recreate sectarian hostility in London on the model of British colonial practices in India.

Yes, the new mayor had to shift to the right and denounce BDS before he could get elected. But elected he was: and on a merely symbolic and demographic register, this was an indication of what is dawning on the opening horizons.

The UK has now opted for nativism. Cameron has just announced his resignation.

British Prime Minister David Cameron resigns on the steps of 10 Downing Street on June 24 [Getty]

Yes, there are nervous "European" philosophers (as they continue to insist in designating themselves) like Slavoj Zizek, or even more zealous Zionists like Bernard-Henri Levy and Alain Finkielkraut, or mass murderers like Anders Breivik, or politicians like Marine Le Pen, or Islamophobe atheists like Richard Dawkins, who fume and fumble at the sight of new Muslim immigrants.

But there are also other defiant voices like Alain Badiou's, who catch these retrogrades red-handed and whose visions are far more embracing of the newcomers.

Europe is changing, slowly but shortly, self-imploding much quicker than the new immigrants and refuges would warrant it.

Muslim refugees are awakening Europe to its central paradox: both its racist foregrounding and its liberal illusions, and the force of this dialectic will forever alter the repressed memories of the thing that has called itself "Europe", and even more so "the West".

Refugees are liberators

Look at them closely: These refugees are liberators. They are liberating Europe from the deadpan myth of "the West". The reaction of nervous philosophers like Zizek, Levy, and Finkielkraut, as indeed the rise of nativism in UK, are symptomatic of a futile resistance to the full dimensions of a seismic change they are unable to see yet.

But change is inevitable, not so much under the pressure of refugees, but because of the bursting bubble of the myth of "Europe" itself that has long since exhausted its enabling emotive universe. 

Today, the Dalai Lama and millions of other retrograde cartographers of our changing world will be disoriented and dizzy if they were to be denied "the European" figment of their own captured imagination. But tomorrow the creative consciousness of a radically different geography will inform and people our fragile earth. 

The bursting of the myth of Europe and its contingent metaphor of "the West" does not bode well for "the Rest" either, for it spells out the end of all the binary illusions it has manufactured to believe itself more ardently, chief among them "the Islam" it has colonially manufactured to rule it better, aided and abetted, to be sure, by Muslims themselves.

Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York.

The views expressed in this article are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.

aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/06/europe-creation-world-160613063926420.html

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South Asia

Haqqani network Ramadan attack plots foiled in Khost province

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 26 2016

A group of Haqqani network militants who were planning to carry out attacks during the holy month of Ramadan was busted by the Afghan intelligence operatives.

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS), said the group included 11 fighters who were operating under the supervision of Haqqani terrorist network in Khost province.

NDS in a statement said the intelligence operatives confiscated 11 Ak-47 rifles, 26 other types of weapons, 18 rounds of 82mm rockets, 5 pistols, 6000 rounds of different ammunition from the detained militants.

The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

Haqqani network was formed in the late 1970s by Jalaluddin Haqqani. The group is allied with al-Qaida and the Afghan Taliban and cooperates with other terrorist organizations in the region.

The network is accused of staging numerous cross-border attacks from their base in North Waziristan, including the 19-hour siege at the US Embassy in Kabul in September 2011.

The Haqqani network is believed to be operating from its safe havens located in Pakistan as the Afghan officials have long been critizing Pakistan for allowing the network to use the Pakistani soil to plan and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan.

khaama.com/haqqani-network-ramadan-attack-plots-foiled-in-khost-province-01355

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ISIS commanders among 18 killed in latest operations in Nangarhar

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 26 2016

At least 18 militants fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in the latest operations conducted in eastern Nangarhar province.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said two commanders of the group identified as Khetab and Kamran were among those killed.

MoD further added that 22 militants of the terror group were also wounded during the operations.

The operations were conducted in Kot district involving security personnel from different security institutions, including army, police, and the Afghan Air Force, MoD added.

This comes as the loyalists of the terror group launched a major attack on police check posts in Kot district early on Friday.

At least eight civilians including women and children were killed and seven others were wounded during the attack by ISIS loyalists.

According to reports, the loyalists of the terror group also kidnapped several women after the attack.

The Afghan forces as well as the US forces are regularly targeting the loyalists of the terror group in this province in a bid to curb their activities.

The US forces stepped up airstrikes against the ISIS loyalists earlier this year after they were granted more authorities by President Barack Obama.

The increased raids against ISIS loyalists followed amid concerns that they are attempting to expand foothold in the country besides attempting to consolidate operations with the terror group in Iraq and Syria.

khaama.com/isis-commanders-among-18-killed-in-latest-operations-in-nangarhar-01350

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Top Taliban commander killed in an airstrike in Kunduz province

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 26 2016

A top commander of the Taliban group was killed in an airstrike together with his six fighters in northern Kunduz province, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Sunday.

“During an air strike, seven armed Taliban were killed including Janat a key commander of armed Taliban,” a statement by MoI said.

The statement further added that the airstrike took place in Sarak Payin village, Chahar Dara District of northern Kunduz province, last night.

“This group was involved in many terrorist and destructive activities in this district and other areas of Kunduz province,” the statement said.

According to MoI “After eliminating this group the security situation in this district is expected to improve.”

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as a key commander of the Taliban group identified as Gul Khan was killed in a drone strike in this province last week.

The Taliban insurgents are actively operating in a number of Kunduz districts and often carry out insurgency activities.

The group managed to briefly take control of the strategic Kunduz city last year and launched numerous attacks this year with an aim to capture the city after announcing its spring offensive earlier in April.

khaama.com/top-taliban-commander-killed-in-an-airstrike-in-kunduz-province-01353

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Prominent Taliban leader arrested in North of Afghanistan

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sun Jun 26 2016

A prominent Taliban leader was arrested by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in northern Parwan province.

According to the security officials, the detained Taliban leader was identified as Abdul Samad and was arrested as he was traveling in Sia Gerd district.

The officials further added that Samad was a senior intelligence figure of the group and was also supervising suicide attacks.

The Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as another senior Taliban leader was found wounded in a police vehicle as he was being shifted to Kabul apparently for treatment purposes last week.

The Taliban leader identified as Qari Zahir was the spy chief of the Taliban group and was found from the police vehicle in a check post in Khenjan district of Baghlan.

A security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said Qari Zahir was arrested by the operatives of the Afghan intelligence, National Directorate of Security (NDS).

The official further added that two policemen were also arrested in connection to the evacuation of the senior Taliban leader using the police vehicle.

khaama.com/prominent-taliban-leader-arrested-in-north-of-afghanistan-01352

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Afghan man’s ears chopped off in Pakistan, allegedly for harassing a woman

By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jun 25 2016

An Afghan man was severely beaten and his ears were chopped off by in a remote village in Pakistan’s Razaar Tehsil area, it has bee reported.

The incident reported took place on Friday after the Afghan man was accused of harassing a woman.

According to the local newspaper, Dawn News, the Afghan was beaten by the residents of Parmuli village after she alleged that the man had harassed her.

They severely beat him up and also chopped off both his ears, leaving him bleeding.

Registering an FIR in Parmuli police station, the injured man admitted that the cause of the incident was the woman issue, the paper reported.

It also added that police registered case against 11 people for torturing the man, and began efforts to arrest the accused.

Pakistan is home to millions of Afghan refugees and the latest incident involving severe punishment of an Afghan man comes amid narrowing situation for the Afghans living in the country mainly due to the latest political upheavals.

The Pakistani officials also recently alleged that the Refugee camps located in the country have turned to terrorists safe havens, forcing the UNHCR officials to dismiss the allegations by Pakistan.

khaama.com/afghan-mans-ears-chopped-off-in-pakistan-allegedly-for-harassing-a-woman-01348

 

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