New Age Islam
Thu Dec 03 2020, 02:10 AM

Islamic World News ( 1 Jan 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Who Controls Pakistan’s Atomic Bomb? Hafiz Saeed says it’s ‘Asset of Islam’, Use It for Jihad against US













Photo: Hafiz Saeed is showered with flower petals as he walks to court before a Pakistani court ordered his release from house arrest in Lahore, Pakistan November 22, 2017. (REUTERS File)

 

Pictures Showing Tehran Woman Removing Hijab during Anti-Government Rally Hailed As Symbol of Defiance

Former Libyan Official: Seif al-Islam Gadhafi Favourite to Win Elections

Mumbai: Muslim Law Board Demands Review of Triple Talaq Bill

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Pakistan

Who Controls Pakistan’s Atomic Bomb? Hafiz Saeed says it’s ‘Asset of Islam’, Use It for Jihad against US

China Rushes to Pakistan's Defence after Trump's Outburst

Supreme Court rejects Sharjeel Memon's bail application

'I'm sadiq and ameen, not a terrorist': Imran secures bail in 2014 PTV attack cases

'Saudi Arabia has complete faith in Pakistan,' says Shahbaz on return from the Kingdom

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Mideast

Pictures Showing Tehran Woman Removing Hijab during Anti-Government Rally Hailed As Symbol of Defiance

Israeli Warplanes Strike Site in Gaza

Imam Khamenei: Enemies deploying different tools to hurt Islamic establishment

450 people arrested in Tehran over past three days, says official

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Africa

Former Libyan Official: Seif al-Islam Gadhafi Favourite to Win Elections

Those Killed In Defence Of Churches Are Martyrs: Awqaf Min.

Gunmen Kill Dozens in Southern Nigeria

Egypt executes 4 Islamic militants over 2015 attack

Over 5,000 Muslims killed in Boko Haram violence, reveals Islamic body data

Meet heroes who came to rescue Helwan victims

MURIC demands holiday for Islamic year

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India

Mumbai: Muslim Law Board Demands Review of Triple Talaq Bill

Mangaluru: Members Of Saffron Outfits Assault Girls, Found With Muslim Boys

Triple Talaq Bill: Opposition Presses For Parliamentary Committee Review

One BJP MLA says India is for Hindus, another claims Muslims want to take control of country by 2030

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Arab World

Islamic State Returns to Guerrilla Warfare in Iraq and Syria

Saudi-Led Coalition Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 23 Civilians

ISIL's Baghdadi Still Alive under US Forces' Back up in Eastern Syria

Al-Nusra Tries to Sabotage Peace Agreement between Militants, Syrian Army in Southwestern Damascus

Yemeni Forces Seize Saudi Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Syrian Army Drives Terrorist out of More Regions in Southern Idlib

Southern Syria: Terrorists Engage in Heavy Infighting in Dara'a

Terrorists Suffer Heavy Defeats in Clashes with Syrian Army in Eastern Damascus

10 Islamic State militants apprehended during combing operation in Mosul

Army Repels Terrorists' Attack on Gov't Positions in Hama Province

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South Asia

120 Suspected Terrorists Killed in Afghanistan

Karzai Welcomes President Trump’s Latest Remarks Regarding Pakistan

US drones target Taliban insurgents in Nangarhar province

Intelligence circles attempting to destabilize Balkh, claims Noor

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North America

US Follows Up Trump Tweet and Withholds $255 Million to Pakistan

Extremists have not only hijacked Islam and its symbols, but also American sensibility

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Europe

German AfD Politician Banned From Twitter Over Anti-Muslim Tweet

Young Muslims help keep Halesowen tidy after New Year festivities

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Southeast Asia

PAS leader: AmanatHadi relevant when Umno was 'anti-Islam' under Dr M

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/who-controls-pakistan’s-atomic-bomb?-hafiz-saeed-says-it’s-‘asset-of-islam’,-use-it-for-jihad-against-us/d/113787

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Who Controls Pakistan’s Atomic Bomb? Hafiz Saeed says it’s ‘Asset of Islam’, Use It for Jihad against US

FE Online | Published: January 2, 2018

Pakistan-based international terrorist Hafiz Saeed has openly called for Jihad against the US and even urged the Pakistani authorities to use the country’s nuclear bombs for this purpose. Saeed’s threats came on a day when US president Donald Trump denounced Pakistan’s years of “lies and Deceit” openly on the social media. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” Trump had tweeted in the New Year’s Day.

On the same day, the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), called for launching a Jihad against the US and Israel at a rally in Lahore. According to ANI, scores of JuD activists and leaders, including Hafiz Saeed and Abdul RehmanMakki, participated in the rally – ‘TahafuzBaitulMuqaddas’ – at the Istanbul Chowk.

The rally was organised in the wake of US decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A motion in this regard in the UN General Assembly was not approved by a majority of the countries of the world, including India. Speaking during the rally, Saeed said, “The day Jerusalem (Bait-ul-Muqaddas) becomes the capital of Israel, a caravan of ‘Jihad’ will be launched. Pakistan’s army chief General (Qamar Javed) Bajwa, Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi and all leaders of the political parties need to unite.”

Saeed is a very influential personality in Pakistan and, despite global condemnation and bounty on his head, Pakistan has not been able to keep him in jail. On Monday, Saeed even urged Islamabad to use Pakistan’s nuclear bombs for Jihad against the US and Israel.

“Pakistan’s atomic bomb is the asset of Islam, which should be used to free Jerusalem. This is my open announcement,” the international terrorist was quoted as saying.

Saeed further said, “We should organise an Islamic conference to be attended by chiefs of the Islamic states to declare ‘Jihad’. The influence of the ISIS will weaken and the conspiracy of the United States against Islam and holy war (Jihad) will come to an end.”

Saeed was recently released from house arrest in Pakistan after a court couldn’t find any proof against him. Saeed has now formed Milli Muslim League (MML) and plans to contest the 2018 general elections in Pakistan.

At the Monday rally, his deputy in JuD, Abdul RehmanMakki, “May Allah almighty willing this ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ (Battle of Hind) and ‘Ghazwa-e-Saleeb’ (Battle of Christianity) will continue and this conference had pledged and promised they would wage jihad for Palestine like JuD had been waging Jihad in Kashmir.”

financialexpress.com/world-news/who-controls-pakistans-atomic-bomb-hafiz-saeed-says-its-asset-of-islam-use-it-for-jihad-against-us/998464/

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Pictures Showing Tehran Woman Removing Hijab during Anti-Government Rally Hailed As Symbol of Defiance

Tuesday 2 January 2018

An Iranian woman pictured removing her hijab in an apparent protest against the country's mandatory Islamic dress code has been hailed as a "hero".

Footage shows the woman silently waving a white flag during anti-government protests in the capital Tehran, which have seen around 450 people arrested in three days.

Women in Iran have been forced to cover their hair since the 1979 revolution.

Last week, police in Tehran announced they would no longer arrest women for failing to observe the Islamic dress code.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said violators would instead be made to attend classes given by police, but added that repeat offenders could still be subject to legal action.

Younger and more liberal-minded women have long pushed the boundaries of the country's official dress code by wearing loose headscarves that don't fully cover their hair and painting their nails.

he video of the woman's defiant gesture was posted on Twitter by Armin Navabi, a former Muslim from Iran and author of "Why There Is No God".

"This woman in Iran took off her Hijab to protest the mandatory Islamic dress code imposed on Iranian women," he tweeted, using the hashtag "#IStandWithHer".

The tweet has been retweeted over 15,000 times and liked more than 32,000 times.

Many people on social media celebrated the woman's protest.

"This woman is brave," one wrote, while others called her a "real hero" and said "her bravery is to be admired."

In the largest demonstrations to strike Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election, six days of unrest across the country have resulted in a death toll of at least 20.

The protests began on Thursday in Mashhad over Iran's weak economy and a jump in food prices and have expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Hundreds of people have been arrested and a prominent judge warned that some could face the death penalty.

Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted MousaGhazanfarabadi as saying: "Obviously one of their charges can be Moharebeh," or waging war against God, a capital offence in Iran.

Around 450 protesters have been arrested in the capital city of Tehran.

The semi-official ILNA news agency qouoted Ali AsgharNasserbakht, a security deputy governor of Tehran, who said security forces arrested 200 protesters on Saturday, 150 on Sunday and 100 on Monday.

independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-protests-latest-update-tehran-woman-hijab-remove-islamic-dress-code-anti-government-hassan-a8137541.html

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Former Libyan Official: Seif al-Islam Gadhafi Favorite to Win Elections

Tuesday, 2 January, 2018 - 09:45

Former Libyan official Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam predicted that Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of former leader Moammar, was the favorite to lead the country should “transparent elections” be held, reported the German news agency (dpa).

He said that this victory would not be credited to the power of the Gadhafi family and its alliances, but the Libyan people, who have grown tired of the successive leaderships that have failed to rule the country since Moammar Gadhafi’s ouster in 2011.

Gadhaf al-Dam acknowledged the role of Field Marshal KhalifaHaftar in Libya and his achievements on the ground, but said that Seif al-Islam was favorite to win the elections if they were fair and honest.

“Haftar’s power is limited to the eastern region, as for the western and southern ones, we do not believe that he has much there,” he speculated.

“Talk about foreign support is useless because the Libyans consider this to be meddling in their affairs,” he remarked.

Furthermore, he ruled out the possibility that Haftar had struck a deal with the United Nations, which persuaded him to hold the elections.

Gadhaf al-Dam said that it was also unlikely that Haftar would resort to military action if political options failed.

“He does not have enough military power to do that,” he opined.

Moreover, he criticized UN special envoy to Libya GhassanSalameh’s objection to holding dialogue with Seif al-Islam because he is wanted on international arrest warrants.

“What is Salameh’s position on the crimes that were not only committed against the supporters of the Gadhafi regime, but also against large numbers of the Libyan people?” asked Gadhaf al-Dam.

These crimes are well-documented and the UN is currently holding talks with their perpetrators, he stressed.

“Why is it adopting such double standards?” he wondered.

He stated that the accusations against Seif al-Islam are “not backed by any tangible evidence and most of them are driven by revenge.”

“The Libyans were the ones who proposed the possibility of Seif al-Islam running in the polls because they sense that he could be their way out of the chaos,” he explained.

“He himself has not made any statement on this issue and I believe that he will run in the elections if the conditions are appropriate,” he said according to dpa.

“Should he run, then he will not only garner the votes of the Gadhafi regime supporters, but the votes of several Libyans who have grown tired of the political figures that have contributed in ruining the country since 2011,” he stated.

In addition, he said that many Libyans realize that their demands for change in 2011 were exploited to serve foreign agendas that are aimed at looting their country’s wealth and prolonging its conflict.

Asked about the chances of other Libyan figures, such as former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril and current Presidential Council head Fayez al-Sarraj, in winning the elections, Gadhaf al-Dam said: “The ballot box will be the judge.”

“Sarraj is in a difficult position after the deadline for the Skheirat agreement passed,” he noted.

On the poor turnout for people seeking to vote in the polls, he said that this is not due to security fears, but to the Libyans’ lack of trust in the West and UN.

Envoys who preceded Salameh sought to manage the crisis instead of resolving it, he explained, while suspecting that foreign conspiracies are at play in order to keep the country divided.

This is demonstrated in how hundreds of ISIS terrorists, who fled Iraq and Syria, are being transported to Libya, specifically border regions with Tunisia, he remarked.

“What is the purpose of this? Do they want Libya’s stability or do they want to mark it with extremism and later declare an international military coalition to liberate it from ISIS?” asked Gadhaf al-Dam.

Such a move will not help end the crisis, he said, but it will only lead to the depletion of more of Libya’s resources and the continuation of military operations.

aawsat.com/english/home/article/1130761/former-libyan-official-seif-al-islam-gadhafi-favorite-win-elections

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Mumbai: Muslim law board demands review of triple talaq bill

Jan 02, 2018, 16:37 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Even as the historic Triple Talaq Bill faces its final test in the Rajya Sabha today, dissenting voices have begun to rear their ugly head, describing the bill as "irrational and pointless". The bill, which seeks to criminalise triple talaq, proposing a three-year jail term for a Muslim man found guilty of the act, is now being opposed by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a non-government organisation constituted in 1973 to adopt suitable strategies for the protection and continued applicability of Islamic law.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and other ministers and members during the passage of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2017 by the Lok Sabha in New Delhi, last week. Pic/PTI

The Supreme Court has already set aside triple talaq as illegal and arbitrary, and hence, there is no need for further legislation on it," said Dr QasimRasoolIlyas, member of AIMPLD. "If triple talaq is null and void, then criminalising it and making it punishable, is a pointless effort. Even if the government thinks that there is room for legislation, how can you make a civil issue a criminal case? Furthermore, the punishment being prescribed is three years imprisonment and a fine. This bill is irrational and will completely destroy the family life of a Muslim man."

lyas has demanded that the bill be taken back. "If that's not possible, the bill should at least be sent to a standing committee so that they can remove discrepancies from the bill." The AIMPLB is also upset with the Congress party and how it has been "dilly-dallying" over the issue. "We have failed to understand the role of the Congress party," said Ilyas. "In the Lok Sabha, they had demanded that the bill be sent to a standing committee as it has several discrepancies. But, at the time of voting, they supported the bill. It is very unfortunate that the Congress has supported this biased bill."

If the bill is sent to a parliamentary committee for review, it is unlikely that it will be passed in the winter session of the Rajya Sabha that ends later this week. Both houses are required to clear the bill for it to become law.

mid-day.com/articles/mumbai-muslim-law-board-demands-review-of-triple-talaq-bill/18883169

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Pakistan

Who Controls Pakistan’s Atomic Bomb? Hafiz Saeed says it’s ‘Asset of Islam’, Use It for Jihad against US

FE Online | Published: January 2, 2018

Pakistan-based international terrorist Hafiz Saeed has openly called for Jihad against the US and even urged the Pakistani authorities to use the country’s nuclear bombs for this purpose. Saeed’s threats came on a day when US president Donald Trump denounced Pakistan’s years of “lies and Deceit” openly on the social media. “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” Trump had tweeted in the New Year’s Day.

On the same day, the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind and chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah (JuD), called for launching a Jihad against the US and Israel at a rally in Lahore. According to ANI, scores of JuD activists and leaders, including Hafiz Saeed and Abdul RehmanMakki, participated in the rally – ‘TahafuzBaitulMuqaddas’ – at the Istanbul Chowk.

The rally was organised in the wake of US decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. A motion in this regard in the UN General Assembly was not approved by a majority of the countries of the world, including India. Speaking during the rally, Saeed said, “The day Jerusalem (Bait-ul-Muqaddas) becomes the capital of Israel, a caravan of ‘Jihad’ will be launched. Pakistan’s army chief General (Qamar Javed) Bajwa, Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi and all leaders of the political parties need to unite.”

Saeed is a very influential personality in Pakistan and, despite global condemnation and bounty on his head, Pakistan has not been able to keep him in jail. On Monday, Saeed even urged Islamabad to use Pakistan’s nuclear bombs for Jihad against the US and Israel.

“Pakistan’s atomic bomb is the asset of Islam, which should be used to free Jerusalem. This is my open announcement,” the international terrorist was quoted as saying.

Saeed further said, “We should organise an Islamic conference to be attended by chiefs of the Islamic states to declare ‘Jihad’. The influence of the ISIS will weaken and the conspiracy of the United States against Islam and holy war (Jihad) will come to an end.”

Saeed was recently released from house arrest in Pakistan after a court couldn’t find any proof against him. Saeed has now formed Milli Muslim League (MML) and plans to contest the 2018 general elections in Pakistan.

At the Monday rally, his deputy in JuD, Abdul RehmanMakki, “May Allah almighty willing this ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ (Battle of Hind) and ‘Ghazwa-e-Saleeb’ (Battle of Christianity) will continue and this conference had pledged and promised they would wage jihad for Palestine like JuD had been waging Jihad in Kashmir.”

financialexpress.com/world-news/who-controls-pakistans-atomic-bomb-hafiz-saeed-says-its-asset-of-islam-use-it-for-jihad-against-us/998464/

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China rushes to Pakistan's defence after Trump's outburst

PTI | Updated: Jan 2, 2018

BEIJING: China on Tuesday defended Pakistan saying the world community should acknowledge its all-weather ally's "outstanding contribution" to counter terrorism, a day after US President Donald Trump lashed out at Islamabad for providing safe havens to terrorists.

In a scathing attack on Pakistan, Trump had accused it of "lies and deceit" and of fooling US leaders while sheltering terrorists.

"The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools," Trump had tweeted on Monday.

"They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!", he said in a scathing criticism of Pakistan.

The United States has also suspended its $255 million military aid to Pakistan for now, the White House confirmed on Monday, saying the fate of such assistance will depend on Islamabad's response to terrorism on its soil.

"The United States does not plan to spend the $255 million in FY 2016 in Foreign Military Financing for Pakistan at this time," a senior administration official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

"The president has made clear the US expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil, and that Pakistan's actions in support of the South Asia Strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship, including future security assistance," he said.

The US administration continues to review Pakistan's level of cooperation, the official said.

Today China, on expected lines, praised Pakistan's counter terrorism record.

"Pakistan has made enormous efforts and sacrifice for the fight against terrorism and has made very outstanding contribution to the global cause of counter terrorism. The international community should acknowledge that," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman GengShuang said here when asked about Trump's criticism of Pakistan.

He said China is glad to see Pakistan engaging in international cooperation, including counter terrorism, on the basis of mutual respect so as to contribute to regional peace and stability.

"China and Pakistan are all weather partners. We stand ready to promote and deepen our all-round cooperation so as to bring benefits to the two sides," Geng said.

China is currently investing heavily in Pakistan as part of the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) over which India has raised objections as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

During the first ever trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan here last week, Beijing had announced plans to extend the CPEC to Afghanistan which shares close ties with India.

Afghanistan also accuses Pakistan of sheltering Taliban militants, leading to a long running spat between the two countries. China is seeking to mediate between the two neighbours through the trilateral mechanism.

Analysts here say US is mounting pressure on Pakistan as it has firmed up an alliance with Beijing by allowing heavy Chinese investments in the strategic CPEC corridor providing China access to the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Asked whether Trump's criticism would affect China's efforts to bring peace between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Geng said "We believe as neighbours China, Pakistan and Afghanistan are closely linked not only geographically but also in terms of common interests. It is natural for us to enhance communication and exchanges".

He said during the December 26 trilateral meet, the three countries "reached a lot of consensus" on cooperation.

This included the three nations enhancing cooperation on counter terrorism and fighting against terrorism in all forms and manifestations.

"The parties will enhance cooperation in this regard," Geng said.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/china-rushes-to-pakistans-rescue-after-trumps-outburst/articleshow/62337077.cms

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Supreme Court rejects SharjeelMemon's bail application

HaseebBhattiUpdated January 02, 2018

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected bail applications submitted by PPP leader SharjeelInamMemon and two others accused of corruption in contracting advertisements requisitioned by the Sindh government.

On November 25, the PPP leader had filed an appeal in the apex court, challenging the Sindh High Court's decision to reject his bail in a reference pertaining to the award of advertisements at 'exorbitant rates' through the abuse of his power when he was the provincial information minister.

In his appeal, Memon had said that he should be granted bail since the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) does not have any evidence against him and because his arrest was in contradiction with accountability laws.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa observed during Tuesday's proceedings that the appeal filed on behalf of Memon was regarding pre-arrest bail, whereas he had already been arrested. He asked Memon's counsel, Lateef Khosa, to approach the lower courts for his client's post-arrest bail instead.

Lateef Khosa, however, argued that NAB did not have the authority to arrest Memon in the first instance and the law could not be applied differently in different provinces.

"This is discriminatory behaviour," he argued, adding that others similarly accused "from Islamabad" were moving freely and visiting other countries for much bigger crimes while his client has been kept behind bars.

"My client should also be given relief just like Nawaz Sharif and Ishaq Dar," Memon's counsel requested, making plain who he was referring to.

The counsel of YousufKaboro, a deputy director of the Sindh Information Department and a co-accused in the case, argued that Kaboro — facing charges of signing the fraudulent advertising bills — only acted on the orders of the minister.

"The chairman NAB issues warrants on personal preferences," he alleged.

However, Justice Dost Mohammad said the country was facing its crises because of people like Kaboro.

"The country was a better place when public servants would refused illegal requests," he remarked.

The three-member bench subsequently rejected all appeals for relief.

Whisked away by NAB

A team from NAB had taken Memon into custody on Oct 23 after the Sindh High Court rejected his bail plea in a corruption case.

Following the rejection of his bail plea, Memon had holed up for hours in a courtroom to avoid arrest as his team explored their options, but could not stave off the inevitable for long.

As soon as Memon exited the building, surrounded in a tight cordon by his lawyers and supporters, he was nabbed by representatives of the accountability bureau and whisked away.

In a previous hearing of the case, NAB had said that it investigated corruption and corrupt practices in the award of advertisements against the law and at exorbitant rates to TV channels and FM radio stations for various awareness campaigns between July 2013 and June 2015. It said it had found that the accused acted with the connivance of each other, resulting in losses to the national exchequer.

The PPP leader is also facing a separate reference regarding illegal adjustment and consolidation of hundreds of acres of land in favour of a private housing project.

dawn.com/news/1380343/supreme-court-rejects-sharjeel-memons-bail-application

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'I'm sadiq and ameen, not a terrorist': Imran secures bail in 2014 PTV attack cases

Mohammad ImranUpdated January 02, 2018

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Islamabad on Tuesday accepted Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran's bail appeal in all four cases regarding an attack on Pakistan Television (PTV) headquarters in 2014.

ATC judge ShahrukhArjumand, hearing Khan's appeal, granted him bail.

"The decision proves that I am sadiq (truthful) and ameen (righteous), not a terrorist," Imran Khan told the media outside the court after the ruling.

"I am a ladla [darling] of the law because I abide by it," said the PTI chief, taking another opportunity to aim at Nawaz Sharif and his "lack of transparency". "Nawaz Sharif could not have withstood half of the scrutiny that I went through," Khan added, referring to the trial against him in the Supreme Court in which he was acquitted last year.

"There are cases against me because I am holding them [Sharifs] accountable," he claimed, adding, "I've never stolen anything in my life."

The PTI leader is one of the accused in the four cases related to the 2014 attack that took place during the party's dharna in the capital. Khan, in December 2017, had moved the court for the case to be transferred to a civil court, but his request had been turned down.

Later, on Twitter, Khan reiterated that he was "not a terrorist" and was going to go after "the crooks".

@ImranKhanPTI

My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist. Moreover, the SC has pronounced me Sadiq and Ameen and I am coming after them crooks!

4:12 PM - Jan 2, 2018

 4,205 4,205 Replies   6,756 6,756 Retweets   16,211 16,211 likes

Twitter Ads info and privacy

'Inciting violence'

During Tuesday's hearing, Khan's lawyer Babar Awan had tried to convince the court that PTI chief should not be named in the case, arguing that he was not named in the statements by the police officials that were attacked by the protesters back in 2014.

Awan told the court that 11 witnesses had recorded their statements regarding the attack on Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Asmatullah Junejo and Constable Sajjad Ahmed, arguing that the officials had not specifically named Imran Khan. He also read out the first information report and the statements of the SSP and constable in court.

The state prosecutor rejected Awan's arguments, saying that Khan and Pakistan AwamiTehreek (PAT) chief TahirulQadri had incited violence during the protests, that ultimately led to the attack on PTV, SSP Junejo and Constable Ahmed. He was rebuked by Khan, who spoke up during the prosecutor's arguments, saying that the claim was a lie.

The prosecutor, however, said that he had recordings of the speeches given by Khan during the protests as well as pictures of the PTV attack. He then showed the pictures to the courtroom.

Awan responded that Khan's protest was not to spread violence but to provide awareness to the public.

When the judge asked whether any of the PTV attackers, who had been identified from CCTV footage obtained from the state television headquarters, were arrested, police officials responded in the negative.

The state lawyer added that Imran Khan only surrendered and appeared in court after the ATC ordered authorities to seize his assets and issued arrest warrants against him.

Attack on PTV office

In 2014, Khan and PAT Chairman TahirulQadri staged a major rally in Islamabad against alleged rigging in the 2013 election and the Model Town tragedy, which had seen as many as 14 people killed and 100 others injured when police attacked Qadri's residence during an 'anti-encroachment' operation.

Khan had threatened to shut down the entire country in what was perceived as a bid to topple the government. The protest had continued for a record 104 days.

On Sept 1, 2014, while the sit-in was still ongoing, SSP Junejo and five other police officers had been beaten up by protesters on Constitution Avenue as they stormed the PTV headquarters and the precincts of the Parliament.

Hundreds of PTI and PAT supporters led by their leaders had briefly seized the state broadcaster on Sept 1, 2014, at a time when the country was under intense political crisis.

The protesters had disrupted transmission of PTV news channel and PTV World for a short period of time. The buildings were later cleared by personnel of the Pakistan Army.

A case had been registered against Khan, Qadri, and others for torturing SSP Junejo and the other police officers. Both leaders had been declared proclaimed offenders and arrest warrants were issued against them.

The ATC had declared Khan a proclaimed offender and issued non-bailable warrants for his arrest in November 2015.

In November 2017, the PTI chief had finally surrendered before the ATC in four cases regarding the 2014 sit-ins after the court ordered confiscation of his movable and immovable assets.

After the surrender, the court had withdrawn his arrest warrants and granted pre-arrest interim bail to the PTI chief.

dawn.com/news/1380330/im-sadiq-and-ameen-not-a-terrorist-imran-secures-bail-in-2014-ptv-attack-cases

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'Saudi Arabia has complete faith in Pakistan,' says Shahbaz on return from the Kingdom

Dawn.comUpdated January 02, 2018

Addressing the media shortly after his return from Saudi Arabia, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday said the Kingdom retains complete faith in Pakistan.

The chief minister made the remark while addressing a press conference at a kidney and liver transplant institute, where he had gone directly after landing at Lahore airport.

"If we look at Pakistan's 70-year history, [we can see that] at every turn — during earthquakes, storms and wars — Saudi Arabia has stood by Pakistan on both diplomatic and international levels," the chief minister, who had travelled in mysterious circumstances to Saudi Arabia on Dec 27, told the press.

On December 30, his brother, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, had followed him to the Kingdom. Opposition parties have remained suspicious of the purpose of the Sharifs' visit, with many interpreting it as an attempt to coerce an 'NRO' — a colloquialism for cases opened against them to be dropped — by asking the Saudis to exert their influence in Pakistan.

The chief minister had landed in Lahore after a six-day visit to Saudi Arabia where he met with Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Muhammad.

When asked by a journalist if the visit to Saudi Arabia was an attempt to secure an NRO, Shahbaz left the question unanswered, only saying, "for God's sake!".

His elder brother is set to return to Pakistan later today.

dawn.com/news/1380338/saudi-arabia-has-complete-faith-in-pakistan-says-shahbaz-on-return-from-the-kingdom

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Mideast

Pictures Showing Tehran Woman Removing Hijab during Anti-Government Rally Hailed As Symbol of Defiance

Tuesday 2 January 2018

An Iranian woman pictured removing her hijab in an apparent protest against the country's mandatory Islamic dress code has been hailed as a "hero".

Footage shows the woman silently waving a white flag during anti-government protests in the capital Tehran, which have seen around 450 people arrested in three days.

Women in Iran have been forced to cover their hair since the 1979 revolution.

Last week, police in Tehran announced they would no longer arrest women for failing to observe the Islamic dress code.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said violators would instead be made to attend classes given by police, but added that repeat offenders could still be subject to legal action.

Younger and more liberal-minded women have long pushed the boundaries of the country's official dress code by wearing loose headscarves that don't fully cover their hair and painting their nails.

he video of the woman's defiant gesture was posted on Twitter by Armin Navabi, a former Muslim from Iran and author of "Why There Is No God".

"This woman in Iran took off her Hijab to protest the mandatory Islamic dress code imposed on Iranian women," he tweeted, using the hashtag "#IStandWithHer".

The tweet has been retweeted over 15,000 times and liked more than 32,000 times.

Many people on social media celebrated the woman's protest.

"This woman is brave," one wrote, while others called her a "real hero" and said "her bravery is to be admired."

In the largest demonstrations to strike Iran since its disputed 2009 presidential election, six days of unrest across the country have resulted in a death toll of at least 20.

The protests began on Thursday in Mashhad over Iran's weak economy and a jump in food prices and have expanded to several cities, with some protesters chanting against the government and the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Hundreds of people have been arrested and a prominent judge warned that some could face the death penalty.

Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted MousaGhazanfarabadi as saying: "Obviously one of their charges can be Moharebeh," or waging war against God, a capital offence in Iran.

Around 450 protesters have been arrested in the capital city of Tehran.

The semi-official ILNA news agency qouoted Ali AsgharNasserbakht, a security deputy governor of Tehran, who said security forces arrested 200 protesters on Saturday, 150 on Sunday and 100 on Monday.

independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-protests-latest-update-tehran-woman-hijab-remove-islamic-dress-code-anti-government-hassan-a8137541.html

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Iran’s Khamenei says ‘enemies’ swaying protests using money, weapons

AP | Dawn.comUpdated January 02, 2018

Enemies of Iran in recent days have utilized various means, including money, weapons, politics and intelligence apparatuses, to create problems for the Islamic system, a Tuesday report on the website of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei quoted him as saying

Iran’s Supreme Leader, who has the final say on all state matters, did not name any country but said he would explain more in the near future.

This is the first time Khamenei has commented publicly since protests over inflation and economic corruption began on Thursday in Mashhad and spread to other cities.

'Saudi behind unrest'

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani, however, named the Saudi government and its allies as the forces behind the recent unrest in Iran that has left at least 12 dead, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

Speaking in an interview with Press TV, Shamkhani accused the Kingdom as well as the United States and Great Britain of waging a proxy war against Iran through Twitter and other social media website.

"Based on our analyses, around 27 percent of the new hashtags against Iran are generated by the Saudi government," he said in the interview.

Shamkhani was also quoted as saying that "Iran's progress in different spheres" is the reason its rivals are scheming against the Islamic republic.

The SNSC secretary, however, made it clear that Tehran is not bothered by the recent wave of protests and that things would boil down to normal in a matter of days.

"What is happening in Iran will be over in a few days, and there is no reason to worry at all," Shamkhani said.

A dozen deaths have so far been confirmed in the ongoing protests in Iran, with reports of armed protesters trying to take over police stations and military bases.

More than 400 people have been arrested in the four days of protest across Iran.

dawn.com/news/1380347/irans-khamenei-says-enemies-swaying-protests-using-money-weapons

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Israeli Warplanes Strike Site in Gaza

Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:41

Israeli aircraft fired two missiles at the site, destroying it in total, while damage was also caused to nearby homes but no casualties were reported, WAFA reported.

Israel claimed the attack came in response to the firing of a missile from Gaza that landed in a settlement near the strip. No casualties were reported.

The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

The Tel Aviv regime has waged several wars on Gaza since 2008. Thousands of Gazans have been killed or maimed in the Israeli offensives and a significant portion of infrastructure there has been destroyed.

The Israeli regime denies about 1.8 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.

The United Nations says the overall situation will make Gaza uninhabitable by 2020.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000580

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Imam Khamenei: Enemies deploying different tools to hurt Islamic establishment

January 2, 2018 - 3:30 PM News Code : 875383 Source : Khamenei.ir

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - In recent events, the enemies of Iran united by using different tools in their disposition, including money, weapons, politics and intelligence, in order to create problems for Islamic system.

In continuation of Ayatollah Khamenei's weekly meetings with the respected families of the martyrs, a group of families of the martyrs of the 8-year holy Sacred Defense era met with Ayatollah Khamenei this afternoon, January 2, 2018.

Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in the weekly meeting with a number of honorable families of martyrs, today (Tuesday), regarded the Iranians' dignity, security, and progress as the fruit of the martyrs' self-sacrifice. Referring to recent events and the enemies' efforts to damage the Islamic system, he stated: "What prevents the enemies and their hostile actions is the spirit of courage, self-sacrifice, and faith among the people."

Pointing to the fact that the enemy has always waited for the opportunity to penetrate and endamage the Iranian nation, Ayatollah Khamenei added: "In recent events, the enemies of Iran united by using different tools in their disposition, including money, weapons, politics and intelligence, in order to create problems for Islamic system."

He continued, "Regarding these events, I have more to say, which I will share with dear Iranian people at the right time."

Ayatollah Khamenei reminded the audience of upsetting situations in certain countries of Western Asia and North Africa, by stating: "If during the imposed Iraq-Iran war, the Ba'ath Regime could have entered our country, they wouldn't show the slightest mercy towards anything or anyone; our situation could have been much worse than situations in Syria and Libya today."

Praising the martyrs' families, the Leader of the Revolution concluded: "The value of the efforts put forth by parents of these brave martyrs, their courage and their self-sacrifice, is no less than their martyred sons, the country is beholden to them."

en.abna24.com/news/iran/imam-khamenei-enemies-deploying-different-tools-to-hurt-islamic-establishment_875383.html

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450 people arrested in Tehran over past three days, says official

AFP Updated January 02, 2018

Some 450 people have been arrested in the Iranian capital over the past three days during unrest linked to protests, an official told local media on Tuesday.

“200 people were arrested on Saturday, 150 on Sunday and around 100 on Monday,” Ali-AsgharNaserbakht, a deputy in the Tehran city governor's office, told the reformist-linked ILNA news agency.

Protests have been relatively small in Tehran compared with many parts of the country since the unrest began last Thursday.

“We feel the situation in Tehran is more calm than previous days. Already yesterday, it was calmer than before,” said Naserbakht.

He added that no request had yet been put to the Revolutionary Guards to intervene in the capital.

“We will not permit insecurity to continue in any way in Tehran. If it continues, officials will take decisions to finish it,” said EsmailKowsari, a deputy commander for a local branch of the Revolutionary Guards, on state television.

There was a heavy police presence in Tehran as small groups of protesters ran through the capital shouting anti-government slogans.

It followed the deadliest night yet on Sunday when 13 people died in the violence.

The death toll linked to the protests currently stands at 16.

Rising living costs

After initial silence, state media began showing some footage of the demonstrations on Sunday, focusing on young men attacking banks and vehicles, an attack on a town hall in Tehran and images of a man burning the Iranian flag.

Rouhani came to power in 2013 promising to mend the economy and ease social tensions, but high living costs and a 12 per cent unemployment rate have left many feeling that progress is too slow.

“We have no problem bigger than unemployment. Our economy needs an operation. We must all stand together,” Rouhani acknowledged on Monday.

The authorities have blamed external forces for fomenting violence, saying the majority of social media reports were emanating from Saudi Arabia or exile groups based in Europe.

dawn.com/news/1380342/450-people-arrested-in-tehran-over-past-three-days-says-official

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Africa

Former Libyan Official: Seif al-Islam Gadhafi Favorite to Win Elections

Tuesday, 2 January, 2018 - 09:45

Former Libyan official Ahmed Gadhaf al-Dam predicted that Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of former leader Moammar, was the favorite to lead the country should “transparent elections” be held, reported the German news agency (dpa).

He said that this victory would not be credited to the power of the Gadhafi family and its alliances, but the Libyan people, who have grown tired of the successive leaderships that have failed to rule the country since Moammar Gadhafi’s ouster in 2011.

Gadhaf al-Dam acknowledged the role of Field Marshal KhalifaHaftar in Libya and his achievements on the ground, but said that Seif al-Islam was favorite to win the elections if they were fair and honest.

“Haftar’s power is limited to the eastern region, as for the western and southern ones, we do not believe that he has much there,” he speculated.

“Talk about foreign support is useless because the Libyans consider this to be meddling in their affairs,” he remarked.

Furthermore, he ruled out the possibility that Haftar had struck a deal with the United Nations, which persuaded him to hold the elections.

Gadhaf al-Dam said that it was also unlikely that Haftar would resort to military action if political options failed.

“He does not have enough military power to do that,” he opined.

Moreover, he criticized UN special envoy to Libya GhassanSalameh’s objection to holding dialogue with Seif al-Islam because he is wanted on international arrest warrants.

“What is Salameh’s position on the crimes that were not only committed against the supporters of the Gadhafi regime, but also against large numbers of the Libyan people?” asked Gadhaf al-Dam.

These crimes are well-documented and the UN is currently holding talks with their perpetrators, he stressed.

“Why is it adopting such double standards?” he wondered.

He stated that the accusations against Seif al-Islam are “not backed by any tangible evidence and most of them are driven by revenge.”

“The Libyans were the ones who proposed the possibility of Seif al-Islam running in the polls because they sense that he could be their way out of the chaos,” he explained.

“He himself has not made any statement on this issue and I believe that he will run in the elections if the conditions are appropriate,” he said according to dpa.

“Should he run, then he will not only garner the votes of the Gadhafi regime supporters, but the votes of several Libyans who have grown tired of the political figures that have contributed in ruining the country since 2011,” he stated.

In addition, he said that many Libyans realize that their demands for change in 2011 were exploited to serve foreign agendas that are aimed at looting their country’s wealth and prolonging its conflict.

Asked about the chances of other Libyan figures, such as former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril and current Presidential Council head Fayez al-Sarraj, in winning the elections, Gadhaf al-Dam said: “The ballot box will be the judge.”

“Sarraj is in a difficult position after the deadline for the Skheirat agreement passed,” he noted.

On the poor turnout for people seeking to vote in the polls, he said that this is not due to security fears, but to the Libyans’ lack of trust in the West and UN.

Envoys who preceded Salameh sought to manage the crisis instead of resolving it, he explained, while suspecting that foreign conspiracies are at play in order to keep the country divided.

This is demonstrated in how hundreds of ISIS terrorists, who fled Iraq and Syria, are being transported to Libya, specifically border regions with Tunisia, he remarked.

“What is the purpose of this? Do they want Libya’s stability or do they want to mark it with extremism and later declare an international military coalition to liberate it from ISIS?” asked Gadhaf al-Dam.

Such a move will not help end the crisis, he said, but it will only lead to the depletion of more of Libya’s resources and the continuation of military operations.

aawsat.com/english/home/article/1130761/former-libyan-official-seif-al-islam-gadhafi-favorite-win-elections

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Those killed in defense of churches are martyrs: Awqaf Min.

By: Egypt Today staff | Thu, Dec. 21, 2017

CAIRO – 21 December 2017: The protection of churches is “a legitimate and national duty”, and those who died in the defense of the church are martyrs, Awqaf (Religious Endowments) Minister Mokhtar Gomaa stated on Wednesday.

Gomaa further stated that attacking churches is like attacking mosques, “so we must protect our churches like we protect our mosques.”

The minister stated that his remarks come in light of the concepts of equal citizenship and the increased value of citizenship. “In our war against terrorism, there’s no difference between Muslims and Christians.”

Gomaa reviewed the ministry’s efforts regarding human rights during the Human Rights Committee meeting in Parliament. He also underlined the recommendations of the Cabinet in applying human rights standards in Egyptian governorates.

egypttoday.com/Article/1/37755/Those-killed-in-defense-of-churches-are-martyrs-Awqaf-Min

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Gunmen Kill Dozens in Southern Nigeria

Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:39

The incident occurred on Monday near the town of Omoku where the gunmen opened fire indiscriminately at people returning from the church, the Premium Times media outlet reported citing Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency DakukuPeterside.

No terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but, according to Peterside, the attack was allegedly a part of the conflict between rival cult groups.

Boko Haram has been blamed for more than 20,000 deaths during its eight-year insurgency, which has spilled over into neighbouring countries and created a vast humanitarian crisis with millions displaced and hungry.

Thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced as a result of eight years of Boko Haram militancy, which has also affected Nigeria’s neighbors, including Niger, Cameroon, and Chad.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has claimed the group has technically been defeated as a result of a massive operation that began in early 2015, but the latest attacks shows the group’s continued ability to stage hit-and-run raids.

However, civilians and security forces in Northern Nigeria are still targeted in sporadic attacks, while the government warned that the group can still attack civilians at soft targets such as mosques, markets, and camps for displaced people.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000532

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Egypt executes 4 Islamic militants over 2015 attack

By Associated Press January 2 at 5:55 AM

CAIRO — Egypt on Tuesday executed four Islamic militants following their conviction by a military tribunal of killing three military academy students in a 2015 bomb attack that wounded six others.

The attack took place outside a stadium in the Nile Delta city of Kafr el-Sheikh as the military cadets were waiting for a bus to take them to the academy.

Tuesday’s executions at a prison in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria bring to 19 the number of militants executed over the past week.

Authorities executed 15 militants on Dec. 26 after a military court convicted and sentenced them to death over a 2013 attack on a military checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula, home of a long running insurgency by Islamic militants. An officer and eight soldiers were killed in that attack.

Six militants were hanged in a separate terror case in 2015 after being convicted also by a military tribunal. Rights groups say the legal process against all 21 was flawed. They also decried last month’s executions, arguing that at least one of the 15 was tortured in detention and that relatives were not allowed to see them on the day of their execution in accordance with regulations covering capital punishment.

The spate of executions follows an uptick in high-profile attacks by militants and repeated vows by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to use “brute force” to crush the insurgency, now spearheaded by a local affiliate of the extremist Islamic State group. El-Sissi has also warned that he expected IS militants who had fought in Syria and Iraq to join the Sinai insurgency after the loss of their strongholds in the two countries.

On Friday, a militant killed at least nine people when he attacked a Christian church in a Cairo suburb and a nearby Christian-owned shop. On Dec. 19, militants fired a guided rocket that damaged a helicopter at the airport of el-Arish during a previously unannounced visit by the defense and interior ministers to the Sinai coastal city. IS claimed responsibility for both attacks.

In the deadliest attack by militants on civilians, 311 worshippers were killed inside a mosque in northern Sinai on Nov. 24. There was no claim of responsibility for the massacre, but witness accounts said the gunmen carried the Islamic State’s black banner.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/egypt-executes-4-islamic-militants-over-2015-attack/2018/01/02/76bdd506-efa3-11e7-95e3-eff284e71c8d_story.html?utm_term=.3cc07422532e

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Over 5,000 Muslims killed in Boko Haram violence, reveals Islamic body data

 ANI | Updated: Jan 01, 2018 08:20 IST

 Muslims have been killed in the Boko Haram violence in seven local government areas of Adamawa town in northern Nigeria between 2013 and 2017.

According to local media reports, the data was revealed by the Adamawa State chapter of Muslim Council. The council represents all Islamic organisations in Adamawa. The affected areas were - Madagali, Michika, Maiha, Mubi North, Mubi South, Hong and Gombi.

A report signed by the Adamawa Council Chairman AbubakarMagaji and Secretary-General IsmailaUmaru indicates that another 5,161 Muslims sustained injuries.

The report also indicated that 12,732 properties belonging to Muslims in the councils, including houses, mosques, livestock and farm produce worth 81.6 billion nairas ($2.2 million) were destroyed by the insurgents. Madagali reported the highest number of dead victims with 2,500 people, while Hong had the least with 68 people.

Also, the Muslims in Michika suffered the highest amount of losses with property worth 23.3 billion nairas destroyed, while Maiha reported least losses with 157 million nairas.

The report recommended the reconstruction of places of worship and Islamic schools destroyed. It also suggested an increase in security personnel and providing financial support to the victims, who in turn, will assist the military in fighting against the militants.

Adamawa is one of the three states in Nigeria most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, followed by Borno and Yobe states. (ANI)

aninews.in/news/world/asia/over-5000-muslims-killed-in-boko-haram-violence-reveals-islamic-body-data201801010812040003/

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Meet heroes who came to rescue Helwan victims

By: Egypt Today staff Sat, Dec. 30, 2017

CAIRO – 30 December 2017: Salah Megahed, the citizen who stepped in to attack the terrorist that attempted to blow up the church of Martyr Mina on Friday in southern Cairo’s district of Helwan, spoke out about the details of the incident.

Megahed said during his phone-in on Extra news TV, “The terrorist was walking down the street and randomly firing shots into the air to scare people away. I came from behind, tossed him down, snatched his gun to unload it and punched his head with it while he kept saying you are not getting facts right.”

“My sole concern was to protect innocent people who probably would have got harmed.”

Megahed, who had previously served in the armed forces, called on citizens to quickly inform security authorities about any suspicious activities or terrorists so that they could deal with them immediately.

“I was prepping for the Friday prayers in the mosque and then one of the worshippers came up and told me that some terrorists carrying automatic rifles are walking towards the church. I proceeded to call on people through the microphone to go out and to defend their brothers,” said Sheikh Taha, Imam of the mosque located next to the church.

“All people responded to my call and came out in droves.” the 24-year-old Sheikh added.

The church attack took place on Friday morning when two armed men used firearms to target dozens of Christian worshippers attending a religious service, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.

According to the statement, attackers opened fire at a household appliances shop, then headed to the church, where they attempted to trespass the church's perimeter security.

The security forces were able to capture one of the attackers after shooting him, managed to defuse an explosive belt that was fasten around the militant's chest, while the other one fled the scene, the Ministry said.

egypttoday.com/Article/2/38866/Meet-heroes-who-came-to-rescue-Helwan-victims

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MURIC demands holiday for Islamic year

Published on January 2, 2018 | By FikayoOlowolagba

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called for a public holiday to mark the celebration of 1st day of Islamic year.

The group accused government of segregation and favouritism to Christians by honouring the Christian calendar, yet refusing to recognise Muslim calendar despite petitions to federal government.

Professor IshaqAkintola, Director of MURIC in a statement called for the first day of Muslim calendar to be also declared a public Holiday, adding that Muslims were being treated as second class citizens.

Th statement reads “As usual and since colonial days into Nigeria’s post-independence period, the Federal Government declared today, 1st January 2018, as a public holiday.

“MURIC observes that today’s holiday fully consolidated the two-day Christmas holiday and enabled Nigerian Christians to kick off the 2018 Christo-Western Gregorian calendar.

“However, conscious Nigerian Muslims, particularly stakeholders in the welfare of Muslims as well as the growth and development of Islam in Nigeria, approached today’s holiday with mixed feelings. First and foremost, we express happiness for our Christian neighbours who were able to spend the day giving full practice, expression and manifestation of their faith. On the other hand, we experienced a feeling of despair, isolation and marginalization.

“Our feeling of marginalization arises from the reality of the Nigerian situation which has conditioned Muslims in the country for religious segregation and subjected them to spiritual apartheid.

“Here we are today, enjoying January 1st holiday which was declared by the Federal Government (FG) of Nigeria in recognition of the Christo-Western Gregorian calendar. But the same FG which recognizes this Christian calendar is yet to declare 1st Muharram a public holiday in recognition of the Islamic calendar despite several petitions and appeals to it dating back to the 60s. Surprisingly, some people still complain that Nigeria is Islamised

“For the avoidance of doubts, only two of the world’s nine calendars have either survived or remained relevant to us in Nigeria. The first was the Egyptian calendar which came into existence ten thousand years ago. This was followed by six other ancient calendars, namely, the Babylonian, Hebrew, Mayan, Chinese, Greek and Roman calendars.

“Due to human errors in the Roman calendar discovered by NumaPompilius (715 – 673 B.C.) and Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., the Council of Nicea of 365 C.E. came up with its surgical abracadabra by moving back the Roman calendar by four days. Thus March 25, 365 C.E. became March 21.

“But even this historical razzmatazz was not good enough for Pope Gregory XIII (1502 – 1585) when he discovered on Thursday, October 4, 1582 that the equinox fell on March 11 instead of March 21. By royal fiat, Pope Gregory quickly slashed off ten days from the year 1582 and the next day, a Friday which would have been October 5, 1582 became Friday, October 15, 1582. It is this Gregorian calendar, which was a product of gymnastic make-belief, that the Western world uses till today. It was this same calendar, a sheer hocus-pocus that the British Christian colonialists forced on Nigeria.

“Why is FG granting holiday for a false god of Rome and denying same for Allah the Creator of all things (Qur’an 2:29), the Judge of all Judges (95:8), Master of all masters (51:58) and the King of Kings (3:26).

“We do not wish to be misunderstood: we are not agitating for the cancellation of anything which FG has given its over-pampered favourite, whether 1st January is based on falsehood and idolatory tendency or not is not our business, let them continue to enjoy it. But give us our day for crying out loud!

“Fortunately MURIC has successfully resisted the collective amnesia which is rampant among Nigerians. We recall the torments suffered by Nigerian Muslims under colonial rule. The most relevant of these inhuman treatments was the denial of holidays for Muslims on their festival days.

“Although the colonialists declared holidays for Easter, Christmas and 1st January, they bluntly refused to give any Muslim festival an equal status. Muslims were therefore forced to go to work on Id al-Fitr and Id Al-Kabir days. While Maulud an-Nabiyy was an anathema to the colonial master, 1st Muharram was blue murder.

“Whereas Nigerian Muslims were able to secure public holidays for some of its festivals in post-colonial period by dint of struggles and determination, 1st Muharram remains a pipe dream till today. The question on the lips of Nigerian Muslims today, 1st January, 2018 as Nigerian Christians savour the sweet sensation of the holiday and relish in the euphoria of spiritual fulfillment is, “When will our own come? When will the Nigerian state treat Muslims as complete human beings? For how long shall we remain second class citizens?”

“Research reveals that 1st January is in honour of Janus, the Roman god of gates whom the Romans believed protected them from invasions. This is an incontrovertible fact. Why should FG force us to idolize the false god of Rome? MURIC charges FG to drop its colonial garb and to don a truly nationalistic identity. On the contrary, the Islamic hijrah calendar is divine (Qur’an 9:36; 2:189; 10:5 and 17:12).

“Nigerians enjoy a total of eight (8) public holidays in a year. These are Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year Day, Good Friday, EasterMonday, Id al-Kabir, Id al-Fitr and Maulud an-Nabiyy. Five (5) of the eight holidays belong to Christians (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 1st January, i.e, New Year Day, Good Friday and Easter Monday). Only three (3) holidays belong to Muslims, viz, Id al-Kabir, Id al-Fitr and Maulud an-Nabiyy.

“It is time for FG to add 1st Muharram to the number of Muslim holidays. This will bring the total number of holidays enjoyed by Muslims to four only while Christians still continue to enjoy five. This year’s 1st Muharram is likely to fall on Tuesday, 11th September, 2018 or thereabouts.

“Finally, we advise FG and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to interact with the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for the exact date of 1st Muharram this year and declare it as a holiday.

“For Nigerian Muslims to feel a sense of belonging, FG must close the gap between Christians and Muslims. There must be a conscious effort to fully integrate Muslims into the Nigerian project otherwise we may be sitting on a keg of gun powder. Justice is the soul of peace and whoever denies one can never enjoy the other.”

dailypost.ng/2018/01/02/muric-demands-holiday-islamic-year/

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India

Mumbai: Muslim law board demands review of triple talaq bill

Jan 02, 2018, 16:37 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Even as the historic Triple Talaq Bill faces its final test in the Rajya Sabha today, dissenting voices have begun to rear their ugly head, describing the bill as "irrational and pointless". The bill, which seeks to criminalise triple talaq, proposing a three-year jail term for a Muslim man found guilty of the act, is now being opposed by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a non-government organisation constituted in 1973 to adopt suitable strategies for the protection and continued applicability of Islamic law.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and other ministers and members during the passage of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights of Marriage) Bill, 2017 by the Lok Sabha in New Delhi, last week. Pic/PTI

The Supreme Court has already set aside triple talaq as illegal and arbitrary, and hence, there is no need for further legislation on it," said Dr QasimRasoolIlyas, member of AIMPLD. "If triple talaq is null and void, then criminalising it and making it punishable, is a pointless effort. Even if the government thinks that there is room for legislation, how can you make a civil issue a criminal case? Furthermore, the punishment being prescribed is three years imprisonment and a fine. This bill is irrational and will completely destroy the family life of a Muslim man."

lyas has demanded that the bill be taken back. "If that's not possible, the bill should at least be sent to a standing committee so that they can remove discrepancies from the bill." The AIMPLB is also upset with the Congress party and how it has been "dilly-dallying" over the issue. "We have failed to understand the role of the Congress party," said Ilyas. "In the Lok Sabha, they had demanded that the bill be sent to a standing committee as it has several discrepancies. But, at the time of voting, they supported the bill. It is very unfortunate that the Congress has supported this biased bill."

If the bill is sent to a parliamentary committee for review, it is unlikely that it will be passed in the winter session of the Rajya Sabha that ends later this week. Both houses are required to clear the bill for it to become law.

mid-day.com/articles/mumbai-muslim-law-board-demands-review-of-triple-talaq-bill/18883169

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Mangaluru: Members of Saffron Outfits Assault Girls, Found With Muslim Boys

Kevin Mendonsa | TNN | Jan 2, 2018, 16:44 IST

MANGALURU: In yet another moral-policing incident, two girls from different communities who were with Muslim boys at a water amusement park in Pilikula were assaulted by members of saffron outfits, on Tuesday.

The incident took place around noon. According to police, students of PU College in Kinnigoli had come to water park.

Members of saffron outfits, who noticed girls with company of Muslim boys at the venue , barged in and assaulted them. However, police who arrived at the spot rescued the students. Video of incidents which has gone on social media shows that activists continued to assault the college students even in the presence of police. A girl was also seen being slapped by a man in front of a policeman.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mangaluru/members-of-saffron-outfits-assault-girls-found-with-muslim-boys/articleshow/62338217.cms

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Triple talaq bill: Opposition presses for parliamentary committee review

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Jan 2, 2018

The Congress and other opposition parties on Tuesday banded together to demand that the triple talaq bill be referred to a parliamentary committee for further consideration. This, even as the Centre tried to win over the Congress before the bill is tabled in the Rajya Sabha, likely tomorrow. Here's a recap of the back and forth which occurred today over the contentious bill:

(Image used for representation)(Image used for representation)

1. The triple talaq bill is expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, after it was passed by the Lok Sabha, albeit with caveats, last week. The contentious bill had gathered mixed response from all parties when it was introduced in the lower house, and it might face an uphill task in the upper house where the ruling BJP lacks a majority.

2. However, the BJP is hopeful the proposed legislation will get a green signal in the Rajya Sabha too, and has reportedly reached out to the Congress, the leading Opposition party, to ensure smooth passage of the bill.

"We are in talks with the Congress party and others for the triple talaq Bill, and hope for a smooth passage in Rajya Sabha. It can be taken up today or tomorrow (Wednesday). May be tomorrow," Union parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar told reporters outside Parliament earlier today.

@ANI

We are in talks with Congress party and others for the #TripleTalaqBill, hope for a smooth passage in Rajya Sabha. Kalpeshhosaktahai: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar

10:35 AM - Jan 2, 2018

 8 8 Replies   18 18 Retweets   79 79 likes

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3. Earlier in the day, opposition parties huddled together to decide a common course of action on the bill - whether to push for amendments or refer the bill to a select committee for detailed consideration.

4. Subsequently, the Congress, CPI, CPM, DMK, Samajwadi Party, BJD and the AIADMK met with Rajya Sabha chairmain M Venkaiah Naidu and demanded that the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill be sent to a select committee, news agency ANI reported.

@ANI

Congress ,CPI,CPIM ,DMK,SP ,BJD, AIADMK, raise issue of #TripleTalaqBill with Chairman of Rajya Sabha and demand that the bill be sent to Select Committee. Union Minister Vijay Goel represented the Govt in this meeting: Sources

1:38 PM - Jan 2, 2018

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5. CPI leader D Raja said the Left was in favour of referring the proposed legislation to the select committee but the Centre was deliberately blocking such attempts to prevent closer scrutiny of the bill.

"The BJP-led NDA government is bypassing the committee system. They are saying 'don't send bills to the Standing Committee for closer scrutiny'. When it comes to Rajya Sabha, we will demand that it should be sent to the Select Committee," Raja told IANS.

6. Union minister for minority affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi attacked the Congress for flip-flopping over its stance on the triple talaq bill.

"The Congress takes one step forward and then 10 steps backward. The party is confused on triple talaq," he said, alluding to how the party had extended its support to the bill in the Lok Sabha.

7. Previously in the lower house, proposed amendments to the bill moved by opposition parties were also shot down. Congress has objected to the imprisonment and maintenance clauses of the bill, and is therefore pressing for the bill to be sent to a parliamentary committee to remove objectionable clauses.

8. The bill, if enacted, will make triple talaq a criminal offense. It proposes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who divorces his wife in any form of spoken, written or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp.

9. Backing calls for sending the bill to the select committee, NCP leader MajeedMemon said: "NCP has already made it clear that we are entirely against criminalisation. A marriage in Islam is a civil contract, you can't impose sentence of 3 years on improper talaq given by husband to wife."

@ANI

NCP has already made it clear that we are entirely against criminalisation. A marriage in Islam is a civil contract, you can't impose sentence of 3 yrs on improper talaq given by husband to wife. Let it go for reconsideration to Select Committee: MajeedMemon,NCP #TripleTalaqBill

10:05 AM - Jan 2, 2018

 18 18 Replies   18 18 Retweets   49 49 likes

10. Renuka Chowdhury, a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress, said her party always stood for empowerment of women but the party needs to see what has been actually included in the bill.

"There is no question of us not standing by anything that empowers women. There is no black and white solution to this, We have to see how the debate evolves... what is actually included and how is it implementable.... and until it is equitable for all women under all clauses of talaq. This is only talaq-e-biddat (triple talaq)", Chowdhury told PTI.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/triple-talaq-bill-opposition-presses-for-parliamentary-committee-review/articleshow/62338380.cms

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One BJP MLA says India is for Hindus, another claims Muslims want to take control of country by 2030

Vikram Saini, a legislator from Muzaffarnagar district, accused previous Uttar Pradesh governments of framing policies that benefit only the minority community.

haratiya Janata Party MLA Vikram Saini, who is known for making provocative statements, has claimed that India is a nation only for Hindus as it is also know as Hindustan, NDTV reported on Tuesday.

Saini, who represents Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district, accused previous governments of framing policies that benefit only Muslims. He made the statement at an event in Muzaffarnagar on Monday. “Today, everyone gets benefits without any discrimination,” he claimed.

Communal politics

One BJP MLA says India is for Hindus, another claims Muslims want to take control of country by 2030

Vikram Saini, a legislator from Muzaffarnagar district, accused previous Uttar Pradesh governments of framing policies that benefit only the minority community.

One BJP MLA says India is for Hindus, other claims Muslims want to take control of country by 2030

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Vikram Saini, who is known for making provocative statements, has claimed that India is a nation only for Hindus as it is also know as Hindustan, NDTV reported on Tuesday.

Saini, who represents Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district, accused previous governments of framing policies that benefit only Muslims. He made the statement at an event in Muzaffarnagar on Monday. “Today, everyone gets benefits without any discrimination,” he claimed.

Saini, who had been detained under the National Security Act after violence in Muzaffarnagar in 2013, had last year threatened to “break the limbs of those killing cows”.

His comments came the same day another BJP MLA reiterated his assertion that Muslims were bearing more children with the aim outnumber Hindus and take control of the country by 2030, The Indian Express reported. Banwari Lal Singhal from Alwar in Uttar Pradesh said that if this is not addressed, soon “nobody will be able to stop [a situation where there is] a Muslim prime minister, president and chief ministers in most states”.

“Muslims are giving birth to 12 to 14 children...while Hindus restrict the number to one or two,” he had written in a Facebook post.

scroll.in/bulletins/112/this-ones-for-the-last-minute-party-saviours

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Arab World

Islamic State Returns to Guerrilla Warfare in Iraq and Syria

By Raja Abdulrahim in Beirut and Isabel Coles in Baghdad | Jan. 2, 2018 5:30 a.m. ET

Despite Syrian and Iraqi claims of victory over Islamic State, thousands of militants still holed up in both countries have mounted a number of recent guerrilla-style attacks on civilians and military forces, according to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the extremist group and others.

wsj.com/articles/islamic-state-returns-to-guerrilla-warfare-in-iraq-and-syria-1514889000

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Saudi-Led Coalition Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 23 Civilians

Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:36

The Saudi air raids targeted a popular market, a farm and a gas station, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens of others, while the death toll was expected to rise, Al-Manar reported.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 15,500 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

The cholera outbreak in Yemen which began in April, has also claimed over 2,200 lives and has infected about one million people, as the nation has been suffering from what the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as the “largest epidemic in the world” amid a non-stop bombing campaign led by Saudi Arabia. Also Riyadh's deadly campaign prevented the patients from traveling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

According to reports, the cholera epidemic in Yemen, which is the subject of a Saudi Arabian war and total embargo, is the largest recorded in modern history.

Aid officials have also warned of the spread of diphtheria in war-torn Yemen, as WHO and officials with the international medical charity Doctors Without Border, announced that the diphtheria spread is inevitable in Yemen due to low vaccination rates, lack of access to medical care and so many people moving around and coming in contact with those infected.

The United Nations had described the current level of hunger in Yemen as “unprecedented,” emphasizing that 17 million people are now food insecure in the country.

A recent survey showed that almost one third of families have gaps in their diets, and hardly ever consume foods like pulses, vegetables, fruit, dairy products or meat, while the humanitarian food aid is reaching only a third of Yemen’s population.

Aid agency CARE also declared that more than 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian aid, 7 million people face famine-like conditions.

More than 3 million pregnant and nursing women and children under 5 need support to prevent or cure malnutrition.

The United Nations has also warned that 8.4 million people in war-torn Yemen are “a step away from famine”, as Saudi Arabia and its allies are ceaselessly pounding the impoverished country.

"The lives of millions of people, including 8.4 million Yemenis who are a step away from famine, hinge on our ability to continue our operations and to provide health, safe water, shelter and nutrition support," Jamie McGoldrick, the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said in a statement on Monday.

"The continuing blockade of ports is limiting supplies of fuel, food and medicines, dramatically increasing the number of vulnerable people who need help," he added.

The United Nations had warned that millions of people will die in Yemen, in what will be the world's worst famine crisis in decades, unless the Saudi-led military coalition ends its devastating blockade and allows aid into the country.

Aid agency CARE warned, as the country marks 1,000 days since conflict began, Yemen risks sliding into famine and further disease outbreaks unless all the country’s ports are fully reopened.

“The situation is appalling,” CARE’s Country Director in Yemen Johan Mooij said, adding that “Today millions of Yemenis are facing multiple crises of war, hunger, disease outbreaks and recent blockades on fuel and commercial imports”, Reliefweb reported.

Mooij stressed that while some land, sea and air ports had recently reopened, the country’s main ports remained closed to commercial imports.

International aid agency Oxfam warned that Yemen was pushed ever closer to famine after 1,000 days of a brutal war, exacerbated by a crippling blockade of its key ports which is starving its people of food, fuel and medicine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that on average, some 5,000 people were falling ill daily, with children under 15 accounting for 41 percent of all suspected cases while people over 60 represented 30 percent of fatalities. Currently, a child under the age of 5 dies every 10 minutes of preventable causes.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) described the war in Yemen as a “war on children”, given the extensive damage that the conflict has caused to children in Yemen.

It also stressed that 2017 was the worst year for the children in Yemen.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) pointed to massive starvation across Yemen on its Twitter page, warning that “Yemen is starving to death.”

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000338

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ISIL's Baghdadi Still Alive under US Forces' Back up in Eastern Syria

Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:54

The Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted Deputy Head of the Syrian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Amar al-Assad as saying that a group of ISIL militants are deployed East of Khabour that is under the control of the US forces, adding that it seems that Abu Bakr Baghdadi is living normally in Khabour region under the support of the US forces. 

The Arabic Sputnik further said that the US is organizing alternative scenarios for undermining the Syrian Army achievements against terrorism, adding that Washington is now investing on the remaining pockets of ISIL terrorists.

Washington has openly announced support for such terrorists, planning to use them in a newly-established militant force known as the Nation Army.

The ISIL terrorist group claimed in a statement last week that al-Baghdadi was to return to Iraq soon, a move seen by analysts as a last ditch effort to boost the morale of the remnants of the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

The Arabic-language Asharq al-Awsat daily reported that the ISIL statement said that al-Baghdadi was alive and would return to Iraq in the near future.

"The Asharq al-Awsat report seems to be only a last bid in despair to boost the morale of the ISIL terrorists in the deserts of Eastern Syria who have been entrapped by the Syrian army and its allies," Political Analyst Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm said.

The report on the return of the ISIL ring leader to Iraq came as previous reports had declared that al-Baghdadi in the US custody at a base in Syria.

Official Representative of the International Human Rights Committee in the Middle East Haitham Abu Saeed confirmed last week reports that al-Baghdadi was alive and was in the custody of the US forces in Syria.

Abu Saeed announced in a statement that al-Baghdadi is at T2 Badiyeh (desert) base, adding that he was captured in a heliborne operation of the US commandoes on April 18, 2017.

He further said that a sum of 50 US commandoes were present in the hunting operation of ISIL chief.

"Reports on Baghdadi's capture by the US forces had been previously released, but some did not want to believe in our reliable information about Baghdadi's fate at that time," Abu Saeed added.

The Human Rights Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties.

Meantime, a Syrian source told the Turkish-language YeniŞafak daily on Sunday that al-Baghdadi was captured in Iraq by the US and was then brought to Syria’s al-Karamah region.

The source, who was previously a militant part of Jund al-Aqsa, told the daily that al-Baghdadi was first taken to the US base in Ra'as al-Ein and then to a US base in al-Hasaka-Rmeilan.

The source added that apart from Baghdadi, seven other top ISIL officials were a part of the group (captured by the US) and that one of them was an Iraqi national and the others were from outside of Syria and Iraq.

Spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry General YahyaRasoul said earlier this month that al-Baghdadi was alive, adding that al-Baghdadi was hidden somewhere at Iraq-Syria border.

General Rasoul said that the Iraqi intelligence has found evidence proving that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is in a sleeper cell of the ISIL terrorists at Iraq-Syria border.

He further said that sleeper cells of the ISIL were present in desert regions at Iraq-Syria borders, adding that based on intelligence al-Baghdadi was moving from a cell to another in the region.

General Rasoul added that al-Baghdadi was hidden in a region between the Iraqi border town of al-Qa'em in Anbar and the Syrian town of Albu Kamal near the Euphrates River.

Also, one of the commanders of the Iraqi popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi said in late November that Leader of the ISIL terrorist group is in the US forces' custody in an unknown venue.

The Arabic-language al-Sumeriyeh news quoted Jabar al-Ma'amouri as saying that ISIL Chief was in the US military forces' custody, adding that the US forces would never kill al-Baghdadi unless in a Hollywood-like scenario.

He stressed that people around the world rest assured that the US played a crucial role in the creation of the terrorist groups in last decades, and unfortunately some of the Arab nations embarked on providing financial support for such terrorist groups.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri), also known as Abu Dua, was born in 1971 in the city of Samarra in Iraq.

According to media reports, al-Baghdadi was brought up in a religious family. His relatives were famous preachers and specialists of the Arabic language, rhetoric and logic. He received a PhD in Islamic law from the University of Baghdad.

Al-Baghdadi was proclaimed the caliph of ISIL, a "caliphate" created on the territories ISIL managed to seize in Syria and Iraq in late June 2014.

Contradictory reports have surfaced the media on the fate of Al-Baghdad in recent years, while some claim that he has been killed in attacks in Iraq or Syria, others say that he is still alive and on the move.

Reports of al-Baghdadi’s death repeatedly appear in the world media. His death was reported in November 2014, April 2015, June, October and December 2016 and January 2017.

Arab media outlet reported early November that al-Baghdadi is still alive, adding that the terrorist group's ring leader has been sighted by eyewitnesses in one of the battlefields in SoutheasternDeirEzzur.

The Arabic-language Elam al-Harbi reported that al-Baghdadi was sighted alive in one of the battlefields near the newly-freed town of Albu Kamal at the border with Iraq.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000473

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Al-Nusra Tries to Sabotage Peace Agreement between Militants, Syrian Army in Southwestern Damascus

Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:33

The Arabic-language al-Watan daily quoted well-informed sources as saying that the Al-Nusra has turned its back on the agreement and does not intend to deliver some of its positions to the army men.

The daily further said that the terrorists are still in control of al-Taloul al-Ahmar (the red hills) and Sheikh Abdullah Maqam region that overlooks Beit Jin Farm, adding that the terrorists' refusal to leave the positions is sabotaging the agreement.

The paper added that based on the agreement the terrorists should retreat from al-Taloul al-Ahmar- that consists of three hills - overlooking the town of Hadhar.

Al-Waten said further that according to the agreement the terrorists should withdraw from Sheikh Abdullah Maqam and hand over the Red Hill and later the last group of militants that had not joined the peace agreement could be evacuated from the region to other militant-held regions.

An Arab media outlet reported on Monday that over 200 gunmen of Al-Nusra Front were evacuated from Southwestern Damascus and moved towards militant-held regions in Idlib and Dara'a provinces in an agreement with the Syrian Army troops,

The Arabic-language al-Mayadeen reported that 205 of Al-Nusra gunmen left Beit Jinn region in Southwestern Damascus for Dara'a and Idlib provinces after the Syrian Army advances in the region.

Al-Mayadeen further said that withdrawal of terrorists from the region pushed into failure an Israeli plan to create a buffer zone to prevent the return of the Syrian Army troops to the occupied Golan Heights' borderline.

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Yemeni Forces Seize Saudi Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:15

Brigadier Aziz Rashed, deputy military spokesman for the Yemeni army allied with Ansarullah, told Sputnik news agency on Monday that the AUV was remote controlled.

Rashed identified the craft was of REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring UnitS) series, which are primarily used to detect mines and examine the shipwreck, and operate with WiFi and GPS trackers.

The senior Yemeni military figure noted that the AUV has an operational endurance of 24 hours, and can cruise at 5.93 knots (11 kilometers) per hour. It is used in reconnaissance missions and is capable of either storing information or transferring data via online connections.

Rashed went on to say that Saudi Arabia, through various means, is seeking to spy on the type and number of weapons in the inventory of Yemeni military forces.

Severaal warships and military boats have been hit by the Yemeni army and popular committees since the start of the military operations conducted in reaction to the Riyadh and its allies aggression.

Ansarullah fighters have also launched a retaliatory ballistic missile attack on a Saudi Arabia oil facility in the kingdom’s Western Yababu province, while Riyadh's deadly air campaign continues to kill and wound more civilians in the war-torn country.

Vice-Spokesman of the Yemeni Army Brigadier General Aziz Rashed has also warned that the country's forces have used an advanced secret weapon in their recent attack on a Saudi-led coalition warship in the waters of Yemen.

Ansarullah movement has also threatened that it could strike warships and oil tankers of the Saudi-led coalition in retaliation for the blockade the military alliance has imposed on the Yemeni ports, particularly the Southwestern port of Hudaydah.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 15,500 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Despite Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.

According to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000830

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Syrian Army Drives Terrorist out of More Regions in Southern Idlib

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:2

The army men pushed Al-Nusra back from the villages of Rasm Sham al-Hawa North of the village of Abu Omar and al-Zarzur West of Rasm Sham al-Hawa.

Also, the army's artillery and missile units pounded Al-Nusra's movements and positions in the towns of al-Latamina and Morek, killing several militants.

In the meantime, the Syrian Air Force carried out several rounds of combat flights over Al-Nusra's gathering centers in al-Tamanna, Skeik and in the outskirts of the small town of Abu Dali, destroying several positions and killing a large number of militants.

Well-informed sources reported on Monday that the Al-Nusra Front was seeking a new strategy to face the Syrian Army troops as the government forces were advancing rapidly towards the main stronghold of terrorists in Southern Idlib.

The sources said that the army men managed to prevail over the Al-Nusra positions in Um Jalal region after the pro-government forces captured the village of al-Khowein al-Kabir in SoutheasternIdlib.

The sources said that the army men have significantly advanced in the depth of Al-Nusra's positions and have decreased their distance to the militant-held towns and settlements in Idlib, deploying 5 km away from al-Tamanna, 8 km away from Khan Sheikhoun and 13 km away from Jarjnaz.

In the meantime, Jeish al-Izzah Spokesman Mustafa Ma'arati acknowledged the terrorists' heavy defeats in the battle against the army, adding that the militant groups are seeking another strategy to slow down the army's advances in Idlib.  

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000969

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Southern Syria: Terrorists Engage in Heavy Infighting in Dara'a

Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:5

The sources said that LiwaHouran and LiwaEnkhal, two groups of the FSA terrorists, exchanged fire in Salmin region near the town of Enkhel.

The sources said that the infighting erupted after Zaher al-Zamel, one of the commanders of LiwaAnkhal, was killed by Yaser al-Badi'eh, the commander of LiwaHouran.

The sources further said that LiwaEnkhel has forwarded more fighters and equipment to Samlin and curfew has been declared in the town of Enkhel.   

Dissident-affiliated websites reported on Monday that a senior commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was assassinated after a new round of tensions erupted between the FSA and ISIL terrorists in Western Dara'a in Southern Syria.

The websites reported that one of the field commanders of the FSA-affiliated AnkhalShohadaBrigadd was gunned down by unknown attackers in the town of Jasim in WestnerDara'a, adding that another commander was injured in the shooting.

The websites further said that the FSA engaged in heavy infighting with ISIL in the town of Saham al-Joulan in Western Dara'a.

In the meantime, the FSA-affiliated groups gave a month to the ISIL terrorists deployed in Hawz al-Yarmouk to cut relations with the ISIL and join the FSA.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000731

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Terrorists Suffer Heavy Defeats in Clashes with Syrian Army in Eastern Damascus

Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:0

The army units engaged in heavy fighting with terrorists in the town of Arbin after the latter group attacked the pro-government forces' positions in the Military-Technical Institute near the Vehicles Management Center near the town of Harasra in Eastern Ghouta.

Also, the army's artillery and missile units and aircraft pounded terrorists' movements and positions in Harasta and the Vehicles Management Center.

In the meantime, a field source said that Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Rahman, Jeish al-Islam and  Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) had participated in the attack on army positions in the Vehicles Management Center but failed and suffered major losses.

They added that the army has killed over 30 terrorists in the last three days of clashes in Harasta.

In relevant developments on Sunday the army soldiers clashed with the terrorists that attacked their positions in al-Balaliyeh and al-Nashabiyeh regions in Eastern Ghouta and warded off their offensive.

The army units killed or wounded over 20 terrorists in the clashes.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000625

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10 Islamic State militants apprehended during combing operation in Mosul

Jan 2, 2018, 2:10 pm |  by Mohammed Ebraheem

Nineveh (Iraqinews.com) – Security forces arrested on Tuesday 10 Islamic State militants in Mosul city, a security source was quoted as saying.

“Ten Islamic State militants were arrested while trying to infiltrate into Sumer area in eastern Mosul,” the source told Baghdad Today.

“The arrest was made during the troops’ combing of the area,” the source said, adding that the IS terrorists were carrying fake IDs when arrested.

On Monday, an Islamic State militant turned himself in to security troops in Mosul city.

On July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced liberation of the second largest Iraqi city of Mosul from IS militants, who had captured it in 2014. More than 25,000 militants were killed throughout the campaign, which started in October 2016.

Since the city was declared free, security troops continue to comb Mosul for hidden IS cells. Despite the victory over IS there in the city, observers say IS is believed to constitute a security threat even after the group’s defeat at its main havens across Iraqi provinces.

A government campaign, backed by paramilitary troops and a U.S.-led international coalition, has been fighting the Islamic State group, which declared a self-styled “caliphate” from Mosul in June 2014.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq in November with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.

iraqinews.com/iraq-war/10-islamic-state-militants-apprehended-combing-operation-mosul/

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Army Repels Terrorists' Attack on Gov't Positions in Hama Province

Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:46

The terrorists' offensive to capture the government forces' positions in Khneifes region along al-Salamiyah-Homs road in Southeastern Hama was repelled by the strong counterattacks of the Syrian army troops.

The army units killed and wounded several terrorists in the clashes.

Meantime, the Syrian army and popular forces continued their military advances in other parts of Syria, including Damascus, over the past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army's operations in other provinces across Syria.

Hama

The Syrian Army troops warded off a heavy offensive of Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) in a region along a road connecting the town of al-Salamiyah to Homs.

The army men exchanged fire with Al-Nusra who tried to capture Khneifes region along al-Salamiyah-Homs road in Southeastern Hama and repelled their attack after killing and wounding a number of the terrorists.

Field sources reported that the remaining pockets of Al-Nusra were forced to retreat under heavy fire of the army men.

Field sources confirmed earlier on Monday that the army troops stormed the positions of Al-Nusra Front in Northeastern Hama and SoutheasternIdlib, forcing the terrorist group to pull fighters back from more regions.

The sources said that the army men engaged in heavy fighting with Al-Nusra and captured two strategic hills in Jadou'a and al-Za'atar in Northeastern Hama.

The sources added that the army men further imposed control over the village of al-Jadou'a in SoutheasternIdlib.

The army's engineering units started to defuse bombs and landmines planted by the terrorists in the region as soon as militants withdrew from their positions.

ara'a

A senior commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been assassinated after a new round of tensions erupted between the FSA and ISIL terrorists in Western Dara'a in Southern Syria, dissident-affiliated websites reported on Monday.

The websites reported that one of the field commanders of the FSA-affiliated AnkhalShohada Brigade was gunned down by unknown attackers in the town of Jasim in Western Dara'a, adding that another commander was injured in the shooting.

The websites further said that the FSA engaged in heavy infighting with ISIL in the town of Saham al-Joulan in Western Dara'a.

In the meantime, the FSA-affiliated groups gave a month to the ISIL terrorists deployed in Hawz al-Yarmouk to cut relations with the ISIL and join the FSA.

Idlib

The Al-Nusra Front is seeking a new strategy to face the Syrian Army troops as the government forces are advancing rapidly towards the main stronghold of terrorists in Southern Idlib, well-informed sources reported on Monday.

The sources said that the army men managed to prevail over the Al-Nusra positions in Um Jalal region after the pro-government forces captured the village of al-Khowein al-Kabir in SoutheasternIdlib.

The sources said that the army men have significantly advanced in the depth of Al-Nusra's positions and have decreased their distance to the militant-held towns and settlements in Idlib, deploying 5 km away from al-Tamanna, 8 km away from Khan Sheikhoun and 13 km away from Jarjnaz.

In the meantime, Jeish al-Izzah Spokesman Mustafa Ma'arati acknowledged the terrorists' heavy defeats in the battle against the army, adding that the militant groups are seeking another strategy to slow down the army's advances in Idlib.

Field sources reported earlier on Monday that "over 2,000 terrorists are present in the battlefields" in Hama and Idlib province to face the advancing Syrian Army troops.

The sources said that over 2,000 militants have been dispatched to Northeastern Hama and SoutheasternIdlib to face the army troops that are advancing in the region.

The sources further said that most of the terrorists have deployed in their key bases in Morek, al-Latamina, Kafr Zita and Khan Sheikhoun.

Damascus

The Syrian Army has deployed modernized anti-aircraft systems at an important military base in Southern countryside of Damascus city, military sources conformed on Monday.

The sources said that the Syrian air defense forces have deployed several heavily-modified S-125 Pechora batteries (a Soviet-designed system originally built in the 1960s) to the MarjRuhayyil airbase South of Damascus city.

The modernized variant in question is reportedly the M2 version of the S-125 Pechora, which in addition to having an improved kill probability record, is technically capable of tracking and intercepting low-flying cruise missiles.

The upgrading of the MarjRuhayyil base’s local air defense network is likely a response to the increased number of air attacks carried out by Israeli warplanes against Syrian military assets in the province of Damascus and neighboring regions over the course of 2017.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012000194

South Asia

120 Suspected Terrorists Killed in Afghanistan

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:3

The new offensives were launched following a string of ISIL-claimed attacks in the country, as the NDS said apart from 83 pro-ISIL fighters, 42 Taliban militants were killed in these offensives, Yenisafak reported.

It came days after pro-ISIL fighters killed 65 people, mostly civilians, in suicide attacks in Eastern Nangarhar province and the capital Kabul.

Nangarhar Governor’s Spokesman AttaullahKhogyani told Anadolu Agency Daesh hideouts in HaskaMaina district had been targeted in the offensives.

Similar raids were conducted in Northern Jawzjan province bordering Turkmenistan.

According to the provincial police headquarters in Jawzjan, scores of suspected Daesh fighters, including at least seven foreigners were killed during air and ground offensives in the Darzab district.

Besides the Eastern Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan’s tribal belt, Jawzjan in northern Afghanistan is said to be emerging as another strong bastion of Daesh in the war-riddled country.

en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13961012001121

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Karzai welcomes President Trump’s latest remarks regarding Pakistan

By Khaama Press - Tue Jan 02 2018, 2:13 pm

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed the latest remarks by the US President Donald Trump regarding Pakistan and proposed a joint coalition between the US and the region in a bid to increase pressures on Pakistan to help restore peace in the region.

“President Donald Trump tweet on Pakistan’s duplicitous position over the past 15 years is vindication that the war on terror is not in bombing Afghan villages and homes but in the sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan,” Karzai said in a Twitter post.

He also added “I welcome today’s clarity in President Trump’s remarks and propose a joint US – regional coalition to pressurize the Pakistan military establishment to bring peace to not just Afghanistan but the entire region.”

President Trump on Monday criticized Pakistan in strong words for harboring the terrorist groups despite receiving billions in aid to support the counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan.

“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Trump said in a Twitter post on Monday.

The Afghan and US officials have long been insisting that the leadership councils of the Taliban and the notorious Haqqani terrorist network are based in the key cities of Pakistan where from they plan and coordinate attacks in Afghanistan.

khaama.com/karzai-welcomes-president-trumps-latest-remarks-regarding-pakistan-04174

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US drones target Taliban insurgents in Nangarhar province

By Khaama Press - Tue Jan 02 2018, 12:09 pm

The US forces based in Afghanistan have carried new airstrikes on Taliban targets in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan with the local officials saying at least seven militants including two ISIS insurgents were killed during the raids.

The provincial government media office in a statement said Monday at least five Taliban insurgents were killed in an airstrike conducted in BatiKot district.

The statement further added that the airstrike was carried out earlier today in the vicinity of Ambar Khan area of the district.

According to the provincial government, some weapons and ammunition belonging to the Taliban insurgents were also destroyed in the airstrike.

In another airstrike in Achin district of Nangarhar, at least two militants affiliated with the ISIS terrorist group were killed and some of their weapons were destroyed, the Nangarhar governor’s office added.

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

Earlier, at least five militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed in a similar airstrikes in Achin district.

According to the local officials, the US unmanned aerial vehicles targeted the loyalists of the ISIS terrorist group in Mamand area of Achin on Saturday, leaving five of them dead.

khaama.com/us-drones-target-taliban-insurgents-in-nangarhar-province-04172

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Intelligence circles attempting to destabilize Balkh, claims Noor

By Khaama Press - Tue Jan 02 2018, 3:08 pm

The Chief Executive of Jamiat-e-Islami Ata Mohammad Noor claims that certain circles belonging to the government intelligence are attempting to spark chaos and destabilize Balkh province.

Speaking during a gathering and among his supporters in Balkh province, Noor said some circles belonging to the intelligence department have started to distribute weapons among the people.

Noor did not provide further information regarding his new claims but added that the government is attempting to destabilize the Balkh province.

In other parts of his speech, Noor said a meeting is expected to take place between the Jamiat-e-Islami and the government.

The former governor of Balkh province said he will announce his final stance once the meeting concludes between Jamiat and the government, apparently gesturing towards the government’s decision regarding his resignation.

Noor had earlier admitted that he had submitted his resignation but had several demands before stepping down, emphasizing that no one of them has been met by the government while his resignation has been approved.

Noor had earlier said none one can dismiss him as the governor of Balkh province by issuing a decree, insisting that the political party he is representing is one of the main sides which played a key role in the formation of the government of national unity.

He had also harshly criticized Abdullah and blamed him for conspiring against him in the government and attempting to dissolve the Jamiat party as he called him a snake up in one’s own sleeves.

khaama.com/intelligence-circles-attempting-to-destabilize-balkh-claims-noor-04175

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North America

US follows up Trump tweet and withholds $255 million to Pakistan

ChidanandRajghatta | TNN | Updated: Jan 2, 2018

Trump administration today indicated it will be withholding $255 million in foreign military financing, and possibly future aid for Pakistan.

This action comes after President Trump's New Year tweet, that has traumatised Pakistan going by reactions from the country.

US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron. (AFP file photo)US President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron. (AFP file photo)

Ties between the United States and Pakistan sank to a new low on Tuesday with the Trump administration indicating it will be withholding $255 million in foreign military financing, and possibly future aid for Islamabad, following the US President's New Year's Day smack down of the Islamic Republic for its repeated and public display of support to terrorists and terror groups.

White House officials conveyed to the media that the administration plans to put a lock on the money pending Pakistan demonstrably acting against terrorism in a way that furthers Trump's South Asia Strategy. The strategy invests regional primacy on India, by far the largest country in the region, including giving it a key role in Afghanistan, a situation Pakistan resents and which it has protested against.

"The president has made clear the US expects Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorists and militants on its soil, and that Pakistan's actions in support of the South Asia Strategy will ultimately determine the trajectory of our relationship, including future security assistance," a White House National Security Council spokesman told the media.

Trump's 4 am New Year's Day tweet has traumatised Pakistan going by reactions from the country. Although some Pakistan shills argued it should not be taken as policy, the tweet was widely welcomed in the US and beyond, including by his son.

@realDonaldTrump

The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!

5:42 PM - Jan 1, 2018

 49,337 49,337 Replies   90,536 90,536 Retweets   268,356 268,356 likes

Twitter Ads info and privacy

"Great start. Why give millions to countries who would harbor our enemies?" Donald Trump Jr responded to his father's tweet. "I couldn't agree more. I've been fighting to end aid to Pakistan for years and will again lead the charge in the Senate. Let's make this happen," added Republican Senator Rand Paul.

Even former Afghan President Hamid Karzai joined in excoriating a country that has caused thousands of deaths in Afghanistan of Afghans, Americans, Indians and other foreigners with its unrelenting backing of terror groups in the region.

"@realDonaldTrump tweet on Pakistan's duplicitous position over the past 15 years is vindication that the war on terror is not in bombing Afghan villages and homes but in the sanctuaries beyond Afghanistan. I welcome today's clarity in President Trump's remarks and propose a joint US - regional coalition to pressurize the Pakistan military establishment to bring peace to not just Afghanistan but the entire region," Karzai said.

But Pakistan's military establishment and its frontmen on social media and television talk shows were aflame with angry responses, with much of the country's elite, many with greater stakes and assets in Dubai and London than in Pakistan, quick to take umbrage.

Some of them wanted the Pakistan government to cut off US supply routes to Afghanistan and others wanted complete reassessment of ties, even as Islamabad called in the US ambassador to the foreign office to protest Trump's tweet.

Pakistani officials also continued to parrot the line that the country had made many sacrifices, lost many lives, and was not giving any safe havens to terrorists, even though the country's establishment, including its former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, continue to consort with the UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed.

Pakistan also began to push back against Trump's claim that the US had given the country $33 billion, arguing that almost half of it was reimbursements in the form of Coalition Support Funds (CSF) for services rendered by Pakistan, including transport logistics. Many Pakistani talking heads, who believe the CSF is the country's birthright, also argued that much of the American aid went back to the US in form of consultancy fees etc.

But the bravado was ruthlessly called out by some of the more practical commentators on TV, who pointed out the US still had plenty of leverage on Pakistan, including on its generals and politicians whose families were safely ensconced in US and UK "The first thing Washington should do is load up a plane full of children and families of Pakistani generals and politicians in the US. and ship them back to Pakistan. Let's see how many of them will join the movement for self-respect that makes demands only of Pakistan's poor," taunted Rauf Klasra, among the more outspoken Pakistani commentators.

The country's political and military establishment however breathed fire, expressing confidence that the key supply route it held to Afghanistan via Pakistan and the country's closeness to China, which put out a broad statement supporting Islamabad, would inhibit the Trump administration from taking any precipitate action.

But some lawmakers on the US side too are champing at the bit, wanting to use even greater leverage, including Washington's influence among its allies and in multilateral institutions, to bring Pakistan to heel.

"@realdonaldtrump recognizes Pakistan for what it is-a Benedict Arnold ally. If Pakistan does not stop aiding terrorists, we must cut all aid to Islamabad, revoke their privileged status as a Major Non-NATO ally, & designate Pakistan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism," tweeted Texas Congressman Ted Poe, hours after Trump's Tweet had traumatized Pakistan.

timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/us-follows-up-trump-tweet-and-withholds-255-million-to-pakistan/articleshow/62339494.cms

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Extremists have not only hijacked Islam and its symbols, but also American sensibility

The hate is partly fuelled by an irrational and exaggerated fear of an assumed, but nonexistent, monolithic Islam represented only by its most fanatical fringe

Monday 1 January 2018 16:21 UTC | Faisal Kuty

Six-year-old Mohammad says "Allah" and "boom". The substitute teacher calls the police who question the child and then launch a terrorism investigation against the family. Child protection services also intervene for good measure.

This sounds like a sick joke on Saturday Night Live. Except it is not. This is exactly what happened in the Texan city of Pearland, about 20 miles south of Houston, last November.

The parents of Mohammad Suleiman told Fox 26 that he could not have uttered these words because "he doesn't speak at all" and has "the mental capacity of a one-year-old". He was born with Down's Syndrome.

Fear of Islamic symbols

The rash phone call turned the family's life upside down. We will never understand the full impact of the trauma on the child or family. Suleiman's father said: "They claim that he's a terrorist. This is so stupid, this is discrimination. It's not implied discrimination, it's 100 percent discrimination."

Either the teacher was a bigot and acted on his bias or he was genuinely afraid and freaked out. Both scenarios don't bode well.

Islamophobia and the fear of Islamic symbols and phrases has now become as American as apple pie. It is so insidious that the best defence Suleiman's father could come up with was that his son does not even speak.

What if he did say those words? Would a six-year-old with a mental disability saying "Allah" and "boom" be enough to call the police? Taking it seriously and thoroughly vetting it would be understandable (and necessary), but escalating it to a full police response and investigation reveals how entrenched fear of Islam and Muslims is in American culture. It may be latent, but it's there for sure.

Years ago, when a woman said she did not trust Obama because he was a Muslim, senator John McCain was praised when he responded, "No, ma'am, he's a decent family man…” When the correct answer, as General Colin Powell pointed out, should have been, so what if he was? That was well before there was a US president re-tweeting hate videos about Muslims.

Now anti-Islam attitudes are being normalised.

Yes, "Allahu Akbar" is what New York terrorist SayfulloSaipov reportedly uttered after ploughing down innocents on the streets of New York a couple of months ago. Many other killers have done the same.

Just because these vile killers appropriate our religious terms and symbols does not make them theirs. These are also the first words a Muslim child hears when the call to prayer is read in a newborn's ears.

The first words I uttered into my newborn's ears a few months ago at a hospital in rural Indiana were "Allahu Akbar". A practising Muslim will say "Allahu Akbar" or variations such as "Subhana Allah" (praise be to God), "Mashaallah" (as God willed), "Inshallah" (if God wills it) hundreds of time per day.

A religion hijacked

Muslims are instructed to commence everything they do with BismllahiRahmani Raheem (In the name of God the most merciful, the most compassionate). These beautiful expressions praising the lord of mercy and compassion are repeated even by non-observant Muslims. In fact, even Arab Christians use the same expressions.

Yet today, like the words jihad, sharia and even Islam itself, these words with a sinister connotation have all been hijacked by extremists and by those purportedly fighting Muslim extremism.

Unfortunately, some of those opposed to Muslim extremists are driven by ignorance or in some cases even prejudice and bigotry which extends to all Muslims. The hate is partly fuelled by an irrational and exaggerated fear of an assumed, but nonexistent, monolithic Islam represented only by its most fanatical fringe.

It is exaggerated because it takes the regressive interpretations of the few who employ these religious terms to justify their hateful campaigns and anti-modern ideas and project them onto all Muslims. In the process they ignore the diversity of opinion which characterises Muslims.

It is irrational because it ignores the peaceful interpretations and applications of these terms and practices adopted by the clear majority of Muslims, while authenticating only the extremist views. All 1.6 billion Muslims - except "moderates" - are painted with the extremist brush.

The liberals' darlings

It is not only Muslim fanatics and Islamophobes who have abused these words in advancing their geopolitical and hate objectives. Sadly, even well-meaning liberal and left-leaning outfits and individuals have – sometimes inadvertently - validated the usurpation of Islamic terms by fanatics.

"Allahu Akbar!" blares the alarm clock in Family Guy before blowing up the Griffin home. Funny maybe, but dangerous when most viewers have no exposure to 99.9 percent of the Muslims who use this expression for worship and not to cause harm.

Liberal darlings Ayaan Hirsi Ali and AsraNomani have both been provided with newsprint and platforms by opinion shapers including the New York Times and the Washington Post to criminalise or create suspicion around Arabic terms and aspects of Muslim culture.

Hirsi Ali has repeatedly focused on "Allahu Akbar" as a terrorist battle cry and she has even falsely claimed that jihad is primarily one of the sword. Of course, Muslims who say that jihad is more about an inner struggle are lying.

She has even outrageously suggested that First Amendment rights of Muslims in the United States be revoked. Meanwhile, not to be outdone, in the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombing, Nomani argued in the Washington Post that "Inshallah", or "God willing" in Arabic, is a potential "red flag".

Such words don't fall on deaf ears and have real consequences. It should be no surprise then when someone is removed from a flight for uttering "Inshallah" or is treated with suspicion when they mutter Arabic phrases in any context.

When we let fear dictate our response and ignorance cloud our judgment, then the world will become a dangerous place for all of us.

It is well past the time for non-Muslim Americans to engage with their Muslim compatriots. Then next time these phrases are heard, maybe you will think of the 99.9 percent who use them to worship the God of mercy and compassion, not to kill or maim.

- Faisal Kutty is counsel to KSM Law, an associate professor at Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana and an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter @faisalkutty

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

middleeasteye.net/columns/extremists-have-not-only-hijacked-islam-and-its-symbols-also-american-sensibility-58954655

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Europe

German AfD politician banned from Twitter over anti-Muslim tweet

Barbara Tasch—02.01.2018

Beatrix von Storch, the deputy head of the Alternative fürDeutschland's  (AfD) parliamentary fraction, was temporarily banned from Twitter over an anti-Muslim tweet.

Von Storch reacted to a message from the Cologne police, which tweeted New Year's wishes in Arabic – among other languages – by writing on the social media site that the authorities were trying to appease "barbaric, Muslim, group-raping hordes of men".

German police are now also investigating whether von Storch should be charged with incitement to hatred after a lawsuit against the politician was filed, according to Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Von Storch was back on Twitter on Monday evening and tweeted that Facebook had now deleted her post concerning the police's tweet, too.

During New Year's Eve celebrations in Cologne in 2016, dozens of women were sexually assaulted in the streets by groups of men, which police said were largely of North African origin who had recently come to Germany.

Berlin this year installed "women-only zones" for New Year's Eve celebrations, which caused heated reactions.

The AfD was particularly critical of the zones, printing posters reading: "Celebrating the New Year as a woman? You will spend New Year's Eve in the anti-groping tent!"

NetzDG

On January 1, 2018, a German law came into force stipulating that social media sites that failed to remove "obviously illegal" hate speech within 24 hours could face fines of up to €50 million.

The law, called Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz (NetzDG), was enacted in October 2017, but companies were given until the end of the year to prepare for it.

The head of the AfD's parliamentary fraction, Alice Weidel, reacted to von Storch's suspension and wrote on Facebook that the year had started with a "censorship" law and the "submission of our authorities to the imported, marauding, groping, brawling, knife-stabbing migrant mobs that we should get used to".

Weidel's comment on Twitter was also deleted. She posted a screenshot of the message showing it was removed on Facebook and said: "Welcome to the GDR 2.0! Now, thanks to the NetzDG, a lot will be deleted."

luxtimes.lu/european-union/32315-german-afd-politician-banned-from-twitter-over-anti-muslim-tweet

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Young Muslims help keep Halesowen tidy after new year festivities

YOUNG Muslims celebrated the start of 2018 by picking up their brooms and bin bags to help clean up Halesowen town centre after the new year festivities.

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) Birmingham West woke up at the crack of dawn to take part in communal prayers for a prosperous coming year.

But after their morning prayers, the youth members donned their hi-vis jackets and headed to the town centre as part of the ‘Big Street Clean’ litter pick initiative.

he campaign is one of many charitable and community initiatives carried out by the AMYA across the winter break, with the group also organising blood donation sessions, charity collections, visits to the children’s hospital and nursing homes and homeless feeding sessions.

Muhammad Daud, youth leader for AMYA Birmingham West, said: “Our members have enjoyed living in Halesowen for decades and so any opportunity to help our local community is much welcome.

“Cleaning the streets of Halesowen also presents us with an opportunity to become better Muslims, as cleanliness is an integral part of our faith.

“We are peace loving British Muslims and will continue to do all we can to serve our local community as best we can and wherever there is a need.”

Town councillors and Halesowen in Bloom were quick to heap praise on the volunteers, with the organisation tweeting: “Blooming brilliant thank you for caring for the community.”

ludlowadvertiser.co.uk/news/regional/15802375.Young_Muslims_help_keep_Halesowen_tidy_after_new_year_festivities/

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Southeast Asia

PAS leader: AmanatHadi relevant when Umno was 'anti-Islam' under Dr M

Published: Today 1:47 pm     Modified: Today 3:47 pm

PAS president Abdul HadiAwang's controversial amanat (mandate) in 1981 was relevant at the time when Umno was under the leadership of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, according to a PAS leader.

Dewan Ulama chief Mahfodz Mohamed said Umno is no longer the same and therefore PAS had adopted a different approach.

"Hadi'samanat was issued at the appropriate time because Umno under Mahathir's leadership then was terrible, anti-Islam.

"Our approach towards Umno is now different because the party is no longer like the Umno under Mahathir. When we explain things today, Alhamdulillah, some of it is accepted.

"Back then, it was always Islam which was opposed," he was quoted as saying by Utusan Malaysia.

Critics have accused Hadi and PAS of working with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to ensure Umno is victorious in the coming general election.

PAS, however, has denied this, arguing that its cooperation with Umno is on matters pertaining to Islam and Malay unity.

malaysiakini.com/news/407279

 

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/who-controls-pakistan’s-atomic-bomb?-hafiz-saeed-says-it’s-‘asset-of-islam’,-use-it-for-jihad-against-us/d/113787

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