New Age Islam
Fri Sep 25 2020, 04:10 PM

Islamic World News ( 9 Sept 2016, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Zakir Naik’s Open Letter Is an Attempt to Communalise Muslims and a Veiled Threat to Govt. of India

















Malays also use the mosque where sermons are in Bahasa Malaysia.The distinct Chinese architecture of the mosque. — Malay Mail Online pic

 

Saudi Regime Destroying Artifacts, Ancient Sites Dating Back to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Era

US, Russia Clinch Syria Deal, Aim for Truce from Monday

 

India

Zakir Naik’s Open Letter Is an Attempt to Communalise Muslims and a Veiled Threat to Govt of India

India: Muslims Claim Bias in Anti-illegal Immigrant Operation

For this Muslim family worshiping Ganesh is a pride

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Arab World

Saudi Regime Destroying Artifacts, Ancient Sites Dating Back to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Era

35 Killed, 40 Wounded in Twin Car Bomb Attacks in Baghdad

ISIL Sends Envoys to 5 Countries to Collect Cash

Saudileaks: Documents Disclose 90,000 Pilgrims Killed for Saudi Mismanagement in 14 Years

Scores of Terrorists Killed in Syrian Army Offensive in Idlib Province

Terrorists' Depots of Arms, Missiles Destroyed in Syrian Airstrikes in Hama

Syrian Army, Popular Forces Take Control of Lattakia-Idlib Highway

ISIL Terrorist Group Pulls Forces Back from Key Base in Eastern Hama

Syrian Army, Air Force Inflict Major Losses on ISIL in Deir Ezzur

Defected ISIL Emir Lives Safe in Turkey

ISIL's Armoured Vehicles Destroyed in Syrian Army Attacks

More Turkish Soldiers Killed in Northern Syria

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Mideast

US, Russia Clinch Syria Deal, Aim for Truce from Monday

NATO Supports Turkey’s Right To Defence In Syria

Three soldiers killed in ISIL attack on Turkish tank in Syria

Turkish interior minister vows that 28 municipalities will be ‘seized from PKK’s will’

Ankara wants timetable on visa-free travel to EU

Greenpeace campaigns for panels on Turkish roofs

CHP to gov’t: Don’t repeat your mistakes

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Africa

Several Killed in Bloody Battle within Boko Haram Group

Kenya makes Eid al-Adha festival into public holiday

Boko Haram refugees push Nigeria towards a famine ‘unlike any we have ever seen’

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Pakistan

Nine Suspected Terrorists Killed In Tirah Valley Air Strikes

Pakistan Extends Stay of Afghan Refugees

Indians working in Sharif-run mill: Pakistani opposition party

We’re not supporting any PFF faction, pleads ex-captain Essa

Member of Bohra community shot dead in Karachi

Nawaz to raise issue of India's excessive use of force in held Kashmir during UN address

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Europe

Report To Be Launched On Discrimination against Muslims In Europe

Netherlands Extends Campaign against Islamic State In Iraq

Foiled Paris attack near Notre Dame deemed intelligence success by France

France arrests show terror isn't just a male pursuit

Dozens of Suspected ISIS Terrorists on the Loose in Europe

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South Asia

Peace Deal with Hekmatyar’s Party Likely to Be Signed Today

Afghanistan Slams Iran for Exhibition of Detained Migrants in Cages

Taliban chief instruct fighters to adopt softer approach in his Eid message

‘Real New Silk Road’ to turn Afghanistan into major regional transit hub

Afghanistan’s foreign ill-wishers in isolation: Ghani

Explosion in Jalalabad city leaves 1 civilian dead, another wounded

Afghanistan likely to get more attack helicopters and artillery from India

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Southeast Asia

Chinese Muslims to Light Lanterns at Mosque

Within Malaysian Opposition, A Battle For The Muslim Ground

More Indonesians in Hajj quota scam to be repatraite

Philippines says Indonesia can enter its waters to fight pirates

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North America

How Being Muslim in America Has Changed Since 9/11

Young South Florida Muslims network at annual Youth Gala

Up to 20 US marine personnel face action in Muslim recruit’s death

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/zakir-naik’s-open-letter-is-an-attempt-to-communalise-muslims-and-a-veiled-threat-to-govt-of-india/d/108528

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Zakir Naik’s Open Letter Is an Attempt to Communalise Muslims and a Veiled Threat to Govt of India

Sep 10, 2016

In his 'open letter to Indians', released on Saturday morning, radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik positions himself as the ‘biggest name and most popular figure of the (Indian Muslim) community’, and portrays the government action against him as an attack on the community.

Naik also offers a veiled threat to the Indian government and investigative agencies that if he and his organisation Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) are banned in India, he would be welcomed by other Muslim countries with a "red carpet". He also says that such an action will be the "biggest jolt to the country’s democracy in recent times".

Naik once again justifies all the religious preaching he has done in the past 25 years and says that none of his words amount to violation of law and forced religious conversions — a claim the investigators have challenged. Naik ends his open letter quoting a verse from the Quran: For Allah says, 'They plot and plan, and Allah too plans. And the best of planners is Allah. (Al-Qur'an 3:54) Beshaq. Without doubt.

Ever since the radical preacher started attracting controversy in the aftermath of the Dhaka terror attacks (Naik was allegedly supposed to have inspired the Dhaka terrorists), Firstpost has cautioned against the preacher’s possible moves to give a religious, communal colour to the investigations and subsequent actions against him.

That is precisely what Naik is doing now, as is evident from his open letter. If this attempt is not checked at this point, the danger that lies ahead for the government and society is much bigger. If Naik manages to convince members in the Muslim community that this is an attack against the whole religion, it can trigger further problems in the society.

Many religious leaders among the Indian Muslims have already pointed out this danger. They have also warned their members to avoid listening to the speeches of the likes of Naik as they only spread wrong ideas of religion and could thus weaken the inter-religious harmony and secular fabric of this country.

Attempts to enforce the idea of religious supremacy, be it from any religion, need to be checked instantly. In this context, the content of Naik’s open letter needs to be studied by government agencies closely and given due importance in the course of the investigation.

Source: firstpost.com/india/zakir-naiks-open-letter-is-an-attempt-to-communalise-muslims-and-a-veiled-threat-to-govt-2998670.html

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Saudi Regime Destroying Artifacts, Ancient Sites Dating Back to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Era

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Al Saud regime using heavy construction machinery has destroyed many ancient mosques and other artifacts which are reminiscent of the important era of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Arab media reported.

"It is very difficult to find many historical mosques in Mecca or other regions which remind Muslims of the early years after the advent of Islam because they have been destroyed by the Saudi regime," the Arabic-language As-Safir newspaper reported.

Last year, the Foreign Policy magazine reported that Saudi Arabia is destroying Saudi Arabia's ancient sites.

"The destruction of artifacts of Mecca is taking place in a planned manner," the magazine quoted Executive Director of Islamic Heritage Research Institute Erfan al-Olwa as saying at the time.

The King Palace and Clock Tower with the height of 600 meters have now blocked the sight in Mecca.

Turki bin Bandar, a dissident member of the Saudi Royal family, has strongly criticized the construction projects in Mecca, and said, "The main goal of these projects is increase the Saudi Royal family's revenues from Hajj pilgrimage."

Earlier on Saturday, media reports said that the Documents leaked from Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry disclosed that over 90,000 pilgrims have lost their lives during the Hajj rituals in Mecca over the past 14 years.

The Arabic-language Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper said that it has 3121 documents disclosing the precise number of the Hajj pilgrims killed while performing their Hajj rituals since 2002.

The documents contain detailed information, including the names, nationalities, age and date of death of the Hajj pilgrims.

The figure is released while according to the official figures released by the Saudi regime about 3,200 Hajj pilgrims have died during 1990-2015 period.

"This means that Saudi Arabia has not only lied to the public opinion about the Mina tragic incident, but it is has been its constant policy throughout years," several media analysts said.

On 24 September 2015, a crowd collapse caused the deaths of at least 7,000 pilgrims who were suffocated or crushed during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Mecca, making it the deadliest Hajj disaster in history.

The deaths occurred as Saudi Arabia is facing increased scrutiny on this year's Hajj to keep pilgrims safe.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000902

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US, Russia clinch Syria deal, aim for truce from Monday

September 10, 2016

The United States and Russia hailed a breakthrough deal on Sept. 10 to put Syria's peace process back on track, including a nationwide truce effective from sundown on Sept. 12, improved humanitarian aid access and joint military targeting of banned Islamist groups.

"Today, Sergei Lavrov and I, on behalf of our presidents and our countries, call on every Syrian stakeholder to support the plan that the United States and Russia have reached, to ... bring this catastrophic conflict to the quickest possible end through a political process," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a news conference after marathon talks in the Swiss city.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that despite continuing mistrust, the two sides had developed five documents that would revive a failed truce agreed in February and enable military coordination between the U.S. and Russia against militant groups in Syria.

Both sides agreed not to release the documents publicly.

"This all creates the necessary conditions for resumption of the political process, which has been stalling for a long time," Lavrov told a news conference.

The deal followed talks that stretched late into Sept. 9 night and several failed attempts to hammer out a deal over the past two weeks. The announcement on Sept. 9 was delayed as Kerry and U.S. negotiators consulted with officials in Washington.

"The Obama administration, the United States, is going the extra mile here because we believe that Russia, and my colleague [Lavrov], have the ability to press the Assad regime to stop this conflict and to come to the table and make peace," he said.

Previous efforts to forge agreements to stop the fighting and deliver humanitarian aid to besieged communities in Syria have crumbled within weeks, with the United States accusing Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/us-russia-clinch-syria-deal-aim-for-truce-from-monday.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103778&NewsCatID=352

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India

Zakir Naik’s Open Letter Is an Attempt to Communalise Muslims and a Veiled Threat to Govt

Sep 10, 2016

In his 'open letter to Indians', released on Saturday morning, radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik positions himself as the ‘biggest name and most popular figure of the (Indian Muslim) community’, and portrays the government action against him as an attack on the community.

Naik also offers a veiled threat to the Indian government and investigative agencies that if he and his organisation Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) are banned in India, he would be welcomed by other Muslim countries with a "red carpet". He also says that such an action will be the "biggest jolt to the country’s democracy in recent times".

Naik once again justifies all the religious preaching he has done in the past 25 years and says that none of his words amount to violation of law and forced religious conversions — a claim the investigators have challenged. Naik ends his open letter quoting a verse from the Quran: For Allah says, 'They plot and plan, and Allah too plans. And the best of planners is Allah. (Al-Qur'an 3:54) Beshaq. Without doubt.

Ever since the radical preacher started attracting controversy in the aftermath of the Dhaka terror attacks (Naik was allegedly supposed to have inspired the Dhaka terrorists), Firstpost has cautioned against the preacher’s possible moves to give a religious, communal colour to the investigations and subsequent actions against him.

That is precisely what Naik is doing now, as is evident from his open letter. If this attempt is not checked at this point, the danger that lies ahead for the government and society is much bigger. If Naik manages to convince members in the Muslim community that this is an attack against the whole religion, it can trigger further problems in the society.

Many religious leaders among the Indian Muslims have already pointed out this danger. They have also warned their members to avoid listening to the speeches of the likes of Naik as they only spread wrong ideas of religion and could thus weaken the inter-religious harmony and secular fabric of this country.

Attempts to enforce the idea of religious supremacy, be it from any religion, need to be checked instantly. In this context, the content of Naik’s open letter needs to be studied by government agencies closely and given due importance in the course of the investigation.

Source: firstpost.com/india/zakir-naiks-open-letter-is-an-attempt-to-communalise-muslims-and-a-veiled-threat-to-govt-2998670.html

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India: Muslims Claim Bias in Anti-illegal Immigrant Operation

September 09, 2016

Bengali Muslim Mainal Mollah considers himself lucky. Although a foreigner’s tribunal in India's north-eastern Assam state declared him an illegal immigrant, he managed to walk out of a detention camp last month, after languishing there for three years.

“A foreigner’s tribunal declared that I was a foreigner and sent me to a detention camp from where I was to be pushed back to Bangladesh. This happened very strangely in my case after another tribunal had declared that my parents were Indian citizens,” Mollah said.

“Some rights activists took my case to the big court [Supreme Court in Delhi] and finally I came out of the camp. I am lucky that I did not die in the camp, where in horrible condition many perished before me, and that I didn’t have to go through a traumatizing situation of being pushed back to Bangladesh.”

Despite several documents showing his family had lived in Assam for generations, Mollah landed in the detention camp to be sent to Bangladesh, said Aman Wadud, with the civil rights group MY-FACTS.

“There are documents showing that Moinal Mollah’s grandfather had held land in Assam in 1938. The names of Moinal’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather figured in the National Register for Citizens of 1951. After a tribunal had declared him a foreigner, Moinal produced all the related documents before the Honorable Gauhati High Court, while filing writ petitions,” Wadud, a human rights lawyer, told VOA.

Full report at:voanews.com/a/india-hindus-muslims-assam-state/3500713.html

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For this Muslim family worshiping Ganesh is a pride

Sep 9, 2016

AGRA: In yet another example of composite culture in an otherwise communally sensitive Agra, a Muslim family from Sanjay Nagar has been observing Ganesh Chaturthi for the last four days and have even installed an idol of Lord Ganesha in their house, even when Islam forbids all types of idolatry.

Since Monday, the family of Munni Begum (60) has been holding daily prayers and following all rituals associated with Ganesh Chaturthi. Though this may surprise many but for Munni Begum and her family, religious tolerance and respect is core to their hearts as her second husband for 20 years, Sri Kishan, is a Hindu.

Munni Begum married Kishan in 1993, after her first husband, Salim's death. She has six children from her first marriage and five from the second one and the entire family follows Islam.

In fact it was Munni Begum's daughter, Sangeeta Begum, had taught Arabic and Quran recitation to her Hindu neighbour Pooja (18), who is now teaching the same to about 35 Muslim children from the locality. As reported in these columns, "This 18-year-old Hindu girl teaches Quran to Muslim kids", Sangeeta Begum had motivated Pooja to take up teaching Quran after she gave it up due some personal family reasons.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Agra/For-this-Muslim-family-worshiping-Ganesh-is-a-pride/articleshow/54255239.cms

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Arab World

Saudi Regime Destroying Artifacts, Ancient Sites Dating Back to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) Era

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Al Saud regime using heavy construction machinery has destroyed many ancient mosques and other artifacts which are reminiscent of the important era of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Arab media reported.

"It is very difficult to find many historical mosques in Mecca or other regions which remind Muslims of the early years after the advent of Islam because they have been destroyed by the Saudi regime," the Arabic-language As-Safir newspaper reported.

Last year, the Foreign Policy magazine reported that Saudi Arabia is destroying Saudi Arabia's ancient sites.

"The destruction of artifacts of Mecca is taking place in a planned manner," the magazine quoted Executive Director of Islamic Heritage Research Institute Erfan al-Olwa as saying at the time.

The King Palace and Clock Tower with the height of 600 meters have now blocked the sight in Mecca.

Turki bin Bandar, a dissident member of the Saudi Royal family, has strongly criticized the construction projects in Mecca, and said, "The main goal of these projects is increase the Saudi Royal family's revenues from Hajj pilgrimage."

Earlier on Saturday, media reports said that the Documents leaked from Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry disclosed that over 90,000 pilgrims have lost their lives during the Hajj rituals in Mecca over the past 14 years.

The Arabic-language Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper said that it has 3121 documents disclosing the precise number of the Hajj pilgrims killed while performing their Hajj rituals since 2002.

The documents contain detailed information, including the names, nationalities, age and date of death of the Hajj pilgrims.

The figure is released while according to the official figures released by the Saudi regime about 3,200 Hajj pilgrims have died during 1990-2015 period.

"This means that Saudi Arabia has not only lied to the public opinion about the Mina tragic incident, but it is has been its constant policy throughout years," several media analysts said.

On 24 September 2015, a crowd collapse caused the deaths of at least 7,000 pilgrims who were suffocated or crushed during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Mecca, making it the deadliest Hajj disaster in history.

The deaths occurred as Saudi Arabia is facing increased scrutiny on this year's Hajj to keep pilgrims safe.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000902

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35 Killed, 40 Wounded in Twin Car Bomb Attacks in Baghdad

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Nearly three dozen people have been killed and tens of others injured in two car bomb attacks that struck a busy mall in the violence-plagued Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.

A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said just before Friday midnight a car rigged with explosives was detonated at the car park of al-Nakheel Mall in Palestine Street in Eastern Baghdad. An assailant blew up his explosive-laden car at the busy street outside the mall building shortly afterwards, press tv reported.

The explosions set ablaze a number of cars parked at the parking lot and outside the mall, and damaged many others.

An unnamed source at Baghdad Health Directorate told Arabic-language al-Forat news agency that 35 people have been killed and 40 others injured in both acts of terror.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for the assaults yet, but such incidents are usually blamed on the Takfiri ISIL terrorist group.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq says a total of 691 Iraqis were killed and another 1,016 wounded in acts of terror and armed conflict in August.

According to the UN mission, the number of civilian fatalities stood at 473. Violence also claimed the lives of 218 members of Iraqi security forces. A great portion of last month's fatalities was recorded in Baghdad, where 231 civilians were killed.

The Northern and Western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since ISIL terrorists mounted an offensive there more than two years ago. The militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities in the country, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.

The Iraqi army and volunteer fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units have been engaged in joint operations to retake militant-held regions.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000385

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ISIL Sends Envoys to 5 Countries to Collect Cash

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Counter-terrorism experts disclosed that the ISIL has sent its representatives to five countries to collect financial aid to help the terrorist group continue its operation.

"The ISIL's envoys are now in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Algeria to collect cash in order to help the terrorist group to keep on with its terrorist activities," Terrorist Groups Expert Omar Badreddin said.

He noted that the ISIL is in a very bad financial shape as the terrorist group has to pay salaries of its militants, and buy weapons and ammunition in order to fight the government forces in Syria.

"The ISIL commanders in Syria have come to know that their financial resources are quickly coming to an end and the relentless attacks by the Syrian army and Russian air force as well as the Turkish army's attacks on their military positions will soon result in cutting all their logistical and supply routes," Badreddin added.

He reiterated that the ISIL has announced that it will execute those militants who flee the battlefields and this has resulted in the discontent of the terrorists.

"The ISIL's five envoys are commissioned to meet the terrorist group's supporters in Egypt's Sina region and receive financial aid from them," Badreddin said.

The ISIL has also been promised to receive more new recruits for war in Syria and Libya because the terrorist group has lost many of its militants over the past three months.

The ISIL commanders have written several letters to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and demanded urgent logistical help from him, but the aids have been delayed due to the intensified attacks by the Syrian army on ISIL's military positions in Mosul and Fallujah in recent months.

In early June, military sources said that the Syrian Army troops and popular forces' rapid advances and their race towards the ISIL-held city of Raqqa from different directions testify that the ISIL is on the verge of a complete fall in Syria.

"The ISIL now faces a serious threat to its capital, Raqqa city," the sources said, adding, "However, the more immediate objective seems to be the capture of al-Tabaqa Airbase or a push Northwards to the Euphrates River; the latter move would have all ISIL-held areas in the Aleppo province cut off from the ISIL mainland."

"In the past week, about 100 ISIL fighters have been killed in Western Raqqa while government forces have advanced 45 kilometers along the Ithriya-Raqqa road," the sources added.

"With the ISIL capital under increasing pressure, the group's commanders are forced to prioritize their scarce manpower between the Manbij frontline and the Western Raqqa frontline," they went on to say.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000548

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Saudileaks: Documents Disclose 90,000 Pilgrims Killed for Saudi Mismanagement in 14 Years

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Documents leaked from Saudi Arabia's Health Ministry disclosed that over 90,000 pilgrims have lost their lives during the Hajj rituals in Mecca over the past 14 years, media reports said.

The Arabic-language Beirut-based al-Akhbar newspaper said that it has 3121 documents disclosing the precise number of the Hajj pilgrims killed while performing their Hajj rituals since 2002.

The documents contain detailed information, including the names, nationalities, age and date of death of the Hajj pilgrims.  

The figure is released while according to the official figures released by the Saudi regime about 3,200 Hajj pilgrims have died during 1990-2015 period.

"This means that Saudi Arabia has not only lied to the public opinion about the Mina tragic incident, but it is has been its constant policy throughout years," several media analysts said.

On 24 September 2015, a crowd collapse caused the deaths of at least 7,000 pilgrims who were suffocated or crushed during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mina, Mecca, making it the deadliest Hajj disaster in history.

The deaths occurred as Saudi Arabia is facing increased scrutiny on this year's Hajj to keep pilgrims safe.

On Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei blasted the silence of the international community and those countries which have lost their citizens in the 2015 Mina incident, and called for sending a fact-finding committee to Saudi Arabia to find the root causes of the painful death of over 7,000 Muslims.

Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000665

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Scores of Terrorists Killed in Syrian Army Offensive in Idlib Province

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Dozens of Jeish al-Fatah militants, including several non-Syrian commanders, were killed in the Syrian army attacks in Southern Idlib.

The Syrian Army, in two battles, killed a number of Jeish al-Fatah members in Ta'oum and Khan Sheikhoun near border with Hama province.

Several non-Syrian commanders of Jeish al-Fatah were killed in the army attacks on their bases in Ta'oum and Khan Sheikhoun.

Yesterday, Syrian fighter jets bombed two main positions of Jund al-Aqsa terrorists in Southern Idlib, destroying a number of the terrorist group's vehicles.

Syrian warplanes targeted Jund al-Aqsa's sites in al-Latamina and Skeik, ending in the destruction of number of their vehicles.

In the meantime, several members of the Free Syrian Army were killed in a roadside bomb explosion on Lattakia-Jisr al-Shughour road.

Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000643

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Terrorists' Depots of Arms, Missiles Destroyed in Syrian Airstrikes in Hama

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian fighter jets traced and targeted two main depots of terrorists' arms and missiles in Northern Hama.

Jeish al-Fatah's depots of arms and ammunition in Souran and Morek were demolished in the Syrian air raid.

The Syrian warplanes also bombed Jeish al-Fatah's bases, tanks and armored vehicles in Ma'an, Taybat al-Imam, Atshan, Tal Bazam, Skeik, Tal al-Naseriyeh and surrounding of Khirbet al-Hajameh.

Sources said on Thursday that the Syrian army troops regained control of Khirbet al-Hajameh village and al-Mazra'a heights adjacent to Maarades town in Northern Hama.

"The army units in cooperation with the National Defense Forces used proper war tactics in direct clashes with the terrorists and won back control of Khirbet al-Hajameh village in the Southwestern parts of Taybat al-Imam in the Northern parts of Hama, killing tens of terrorists and destroying their weapons and ammunition," the source said.

Other reports also said hat the Syrian army could liberate Batish region near Khattab town as well as al-Abadah heights and al-Iskandariya village in the countryside of Marrades town.

Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000743

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Syrian Army, Popular Forces Take Control of Lattakia-Idlib Highway

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian army troops alongside popular forces continued to push back militants in Northeastern Lattakia and won back the province's highway to the bordering province of Idlib after years of battles.

Syrian government forces, who seized back several villages and hilltops bordering the Idlib province in Northeastern territories of Lattakia, took full control over the Idlib-Lattakia highway after several years since the war on terrorism started.

Reports said earlier today that the army soldiers alongside the National Defense Forces continued to hit terrorists' strongholds in the mountainous regions of Lattakia and captured several key hills and villages.

"The Syrian government forces' anti-terrorism operation in Northern Lattakia inflicted major losses on the militants and forced them to pull their forces back form the villages of Ein al-Qantara and the hills of Rasha, al-Oweizarat, Zohra, Abu Saeed and Ruweisat al-Kataf," the sources said.

"The terrorist groups retreated from the battlefield after they suffered a heavy death toll and their military hardware sustained major damage," they added.

Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000721

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ISIL Terrorist Group Pulls Forces Back from Key Base in Eastern Hama

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military sources announced on Saturday that ISIL has evacuated all its members and military equipment from a key base in Eastern Hama heading towards terrorist-held regions distant back.

"The ISIL has surprisingly left one of its main bases in the town of Rasm al-Abd in Eastern Hama. They took everything with them. No militant stayed there. The base in empty," the sources said, adding, "They have moved to ISIL-held regions in al-Qalamoun, Deir Ezzur or the town of Huweisin in Eastern Homs."

Meantime, a notorious commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and a field commander of Ajnad al-Ghoghaz were killed in the Army attacks in Hama province on Friday.

Ahmad Nahlawi aka Abu al-Zahar, the FSA commander, and Abdul Hakim al-Shishani were confirmed dead by terrorist groups.

In the meantime, the Syrian government forces pushed back terrorists from the towns of Zowar al-Masaeq and Zowar al-Jadideh in Northwestern Hama.

Syrian fighter jets for their part pounded terrorist centers in Ma'ardes, Taybat al-Imam and Kafr Zita.

Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000679

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Syrian Army, Air Force Inflict Major Losses on ISIL in Deir Ezzur

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army soldiers, for the second day in a row, struck heavily ISIL's centers in different parts of Deir Ezzur city and its countryside, destroying a large numbers of the terrorists' heavy weapons.

Syrian warplanes carried out a number of combat flights over ISIL's positions in al-Jafreh, Hatleh, Jabal al-Thardeh, al-Baqaliyeh and Tal Brouk, meantime, the Syrian army's artillery units shelled ISIL's based in al-Sina'ah, al-Hamidiyeh, al-Huweiqa, al-Roshdiyeh, and al-Orfi.

A large number of ISIL's mortar Launching-pads were damaged in the attacks.

In relevant developments in the province on Friday, Syrian Air Force and Army's artillery units hit ISIL's position in at least eleven regions, inflicting tens of casualties on the terrorists.

ISIL's gatherings in al-Huweija, al-Roshdiyeh, al-Jafreh, Hatleh, Jabal al-Tharda, al-Hamidiyeh, al-Orfi, al-Sina'ah, al-Baqaliyeh, Northwest of Tal Brouk and East of Deir Ezzur's airbases were seriously targeted by the Syrian fighter jets and artillery units.

ISIL suffered a heavy death toll and its military hardware sustained major damage in the attacks.

Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000591

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Defected ISIL Emir Lives Safe in Turkey

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- The ISIL’s emir of explosives Rafe’ Al-Salibi recently defected from the ISIL and fled towards Turkey as the terrorist group continues to suffer a string of defeats in both Iraq and Syria.

It has been uncovered that accused war criminal had successfully arrived to Turkey and is currently living there with no lawful repercussions whatsoever, al Masdar News reported.

Turkish security have yet to bother him even though he has a lustrous criminal history.

The notorious terrorist comes from the village of Mohassen that lies close to the provincial capital of Deir Ezzur province.

Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000652

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ISIL's Armored Vehicles Destroyed in Syrian Army Attacks

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Several armored vehicles of ISIL were damaged in the Syrian Army troops' attacks on the terrorist group's positions in energy-rich regions in Eastern Homs.

The Syrian army soldiers and their popular allies stormed ISIL's positions in Arak oilfield, destroying the group's armored vehicles in large scale.

In the meantime, the Syrian fighter jets bombed ISIL's gatherings in al-Sha'er oilfield, Jazal, East of the village of Arak, Western side of third station and near the village of Huweisis in Eastern side of Palmyra.

On Friday, the Syrian air force strikers targeted ISIL's fuel convoy in Eastern Homs, demolishing most of the tankers.

The Syrian warplanes, in several rounds of combat flights, targeted and destroyed a number of fuel tankers of the ISIL on a road between al-Khashabiyeh and al-Fasedeh.

ISIL's positions in the Southern side of Palmyra, al-Sukhnah and Eastern side of Qasr al-Halabat were also bombed in the air raid.

Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000547

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More Turkish Soldiers Killed in Northern Syria

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Three Turkish soldiers were killed and one other was wounded during fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists in Northern Syria.

In a statement on Friday, the Turkish military said one of its tanks was also hit by the ISIL militants near the Syrian town of Tel el-Hawa.

On Wednesday, three Turkish soldiers were killed and four wounded in a rocket attack by ISIL in Northern Syria.

Turkey declared on August 24 that its army has launched the 'Euphrates Shield' military operation in Syria to allegedly cleanse the ISIL terrorists from its border with the Arab country.

Damascus has condemned Ankara's military operation and entry of Turkish special forces and tanks into Syria while Moscow has expressed deeply concern about what is happening in the Syrian-Turkish border area.

Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000413

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Mideast

US, Russia clinch Syria deal, aim for truce from Monday

September 10, 2016

The United States and Russia hailed a breakthrough deal on Sept. 10 to put Syria's peace process back on track, including a nationwide truce effective from sundown on Sept. 12, improved humanitarian aid access and joint military targeting of banned Islamist groups.

"Today, Sergei Lavrov and I, on behalf of our presidents and our countries, call on every Syrian stakeholder to support the plan that the United States and Russia have reached, to ... bring this catastrophic conflict to the quickest possible end through a political process," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a news conference after marathon talks in the Swiss city.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that despite continuing mistrust, the two sides had developed five documents that would revive a failed truce agreed in February and enable military coordination between the U.S. and Russia against militant groups in Syria.

Both sides agreed not to release the documents publicly.

"This all creates the necessary conditions for resumption of the political process, which has been stalling for a long time," Lavrov told a news conference.

The deal followed talks that stretched late into Sept. 9 night and several failed attempts to hammer out a deal over the past two weeks. The announcement on Sept. 9 was delayed as Kerry and U.S. negotiators consulted with officials in Washington.

"The Obama administration, the United States, is going the extra mile here because we believe that Russia, and my colleague [Lavrov], have the ability to press the Assad regime to stop this conflict and to come to the table and make peace," he said.

Previous efforts to forge agreements to stop the fighting and deliver humanitarian aid to besieged communities in Syria have crumbled within weeks, with the United States accusing Assad's forces of attacking opposition groups and civilians.

Kerry said the "bedrock" of the new deal was an agreement that the Syrian government would not fly combat missions in an  agreed area on the pretext of hunting fighters from the banned al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

"That should put an end to the barrel bombs, and an end to the indiscriminate bombing, and it has the potential to change the nature of the conflict."

Under the agreement, Russian-backed government forces and opposition groups, supported by the United States and Gulf States, would halt fighting for a while as a confidence building measure. During this time, opposition fighters will have the chance to separate from militant groups in areas, such as Aleppo, where they have become intermingled.

If the truce holds from Sept. 12, Russia and the United States will begin seven days of preparatory work to set up a "joint implementation center," where they will share information to  delineate territory controlled by al-Nusra and opposition groups.

Both warring sides would pull back from the strategic Castello Road in Aleppo to create a demilitarized zone, while opposition and government groups would both have to provide safe and unhindered access via Ramouseh in the south of the city.

"We must go after these terrorists," Kerry said. "Not indiscriminately, but in a strategic, precise and judicious manner so they cannot continue to use the regime's indiscriminate bombing to rally people to their hateful crimes."

All sides in the conflict would need to adhere to the nationwide truce, Kerry added, cautioning opposition fighters that if they did not separate from Nusra they would not be spared from air attacks.

"This requires halting all attacks, including aerial bombardments, and any attempts to gain additional territory at the expense of the parties to the cessation. It requires unimpeded and sustained humanitarian access to all of the besieged and hard-to-reach areas including Aleppo."

Pentagon and U.S. intelligence officials have spoken out against the idea of closer military cooperation with Russia, in particular the sharing of locations of opposition groups that have fought to topple Assad.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who only days ago delivered a forceful speech in England criticizing Russia, has long been skeptical of Moscow's intentions in Syria.

The Pentagon said in a statement it would carefully monitor the "preliminary understanding" agreed on Sept. 9 and cautioned the Assad regime and its backer, Russia, to stick to deal requirements.

"Those commitments must be fully met before any potential military cooperation can occur," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said. "We will be watching closely the implementation of this understanding in the days ahead."

The United States and Russia have backed opposite sides in Syria's civil war, with few signs of an end in sight to more than five years of conflict, which killed more than 400,000 people and drove tens of thousands of refugees into Europe.

The United Nations said on Sept. 9 the Syrian government had effectively stopped aid convoys this month and the besieged city of Aleppo was close to running out of fuel, making the talks even more urgent.

The U.N. special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, welcomed the announcement, saying in a statement that it had provided "clear rules" for a cessation of hostilities and would allow warring sides to resume political talks on a transition.

Source:hurriyetdailynews.com/us-russia-clinch-syria-deal-aim-for-truce-from-monday.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103778&NewsCatID=352

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NATO supports Turkey’s right to defense in Syria

September 10, 2016

Turkey is within its rights in defending itself by staging an incursion in Syria, according to NATO’s secretary-general, who is staging a visit to Ankara.

“Turkey is the NATO ally most affected by the turmoil and violence in Syria and in Iraq. Turkey has suffered many terrorist attacks. Turkey has the right to defend itself, as all nations have,” Jens Stoltenberg told the Hürriyet Daily News in an interview on Sept. 9.

“I welcome Turkish efforts to fight ISIL. This is important for Turkey but this is important also for all NATO allies,” he said.

Stoltenberg met President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, as well as opposition parties, in his first trip to the Turkish capital since July 15.

Below are questions and answers from the interview:

This is your first visit to Turkey after the failed coup attempt. Have you ever thought a NATO army could stage a coup attempt against its own democratic government?

The coup attempt in Turkey was a real attack. It was real and dramatic experience for Turkish democracy. The coup attempt was also an attack against the core values of NATO. Therefore, it stands in full solidarity with Turkey, the people of Turkey and its democracy. Turkey was one of the first countries I visited after taking my post as the NATO secretary-general. This is my fifth visit to Turkey and this reflects the essential role of Turkey in the alliance and the importance of Turkey for all of the NATO.

No impact on Turkey’s role in NATO

Full report at:hurriyetdailynews.com/nato-supports-turkeys-right-to-defense-in-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103761&NewsCatID=359

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Three soldiers killed in ISIL attack on Turkish tank in Syria

September 10, 2016

Three soldiers were killed and one was injured on Sept. 9 when Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants hit a Turkish tank in Syria, the Turkish Armed Forces have announced.

The soldiers were killed after a tank was hit at 12:20 p.m. local time during clashes in the Tel al-Hawa region, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement.

The bodies of the martyred soldiers and the wounded soldier were brought to Turkey's southeastern Gaziantep province by helicopter.

The bodies of the martyrs will be sent to their hometowns after military funerals. The wounded soldier was taken to Gaziantep's 25 Aralık State Hospital.

The statement said that a rocket landed in a rural area near the southeastern province of Kilis from the ISIL-controlled Kafr Ghan region. No casualties were reported.

The military said Turkish artillery units fired 41 shots at 15 ISIL targets.

It also said that Turkish Air Forces carried out an air operation Sept. 9 morning against four ISIL targets in the Tal Ali, Tel al-Hawa, and south Wuquf regions.

"In the air operation, four buildings that were used as headquarters were destroyed," it said.     

The statement also said that a ISIL militant was "neutralized" in an air operation by coalition forces in Kafr Ghan.     

The attack marks the seventh Turkish casualty so far in the Euphrates Shield operation, on the 17th day of the operation aimed at clearing ISIL from the Turkish border by using Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters backed by Turkish armor, artillery, and jets.     

On Aug. 27, one soldier was killed and three were injured when the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) attacked Turkish tanks.

Four Turkish soldiers were injured on Aug. 30 when a rocket fired from the west of Syria’s Jarablus region hit a tank in northern Syria.

Late on Sept. 6, three soldiers were killed and four others were wounded in another ISIL attack on two tanks.

Source:hurriyetdailynews.com/three-soldiers-killed-in-isil-attack-on-turkish-tank-in-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103779&NewsCatID=352

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Turkish interior minister vows that 28 municipalities will be ‘seized from PKK’s will’

September 10, 2016

The administration of 28 local municipalities accused of supporting terror “will be taken over from the will of the PKK within 15 days,” Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu stated on Sept. 9.

“With the authorization of the KHK [decree law], the administration of 28 municipalities will no longer be in the hands of terrorists or Kandil. They will continue under the administration of people who have absorbed that flag within their hearts,” Soylu said. The Kandil Mountains are the headquarters of the PKK across the border in northern Iraq.

Soylu stressed that it was the “government’s duty to intervene in those who confiscate 80 percent of their employee salaries to send to Kandil.”

The government was given authority to directly appoint trustees to municipalities in a state of emergency decree announced after the failed coup attempt of July 15.

According to the decree, the appointment of trustees to municipalities would be possible if mayors, deputy mayors or members of the municipal council are suspended on terror charges.

The regulation had previously been included in an omnibus bill in parliament but was later removed upon the opposition’s reaction.

Source:hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-interior-minister-vows-that-28-municipalities-will-be-seized-from-pkks-will.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103773&NewsCatID=338

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Ankara wants timetable on visa-free travel to EU

September 10, 2016

Ankara has demanded the European Union lay down a “concrete road map” for visa liberalization, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Sept. 9 following a proposal by Ankara for an interim formula to meet EU criteria for Turkish citizens’ visa-free travel.

Ankara proposed that the Council of Europe monitor Turkey’s anti-terror law, which could pave the way for the implementation of a migrant deal that includes a readmission agreement in return for visa liberalization.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn made the highest-level EU visit to Turkey since the failed coup attempt to hold a political dialogue meeting between Ankara and Brussels.

“The key element which we agreed to was that we talk more to each other and a little bit less about each other, showing full respect,” Mogherini said after talks with Çavuşoğlu and EU Minister Ömer Çelik. 

Turkish and EU officials engaged in a war of words over the opening of chapters 23 and 24 of the accession process – encompassing justice and rights and freedom and security – as Çelik accused some member states that said it would take years for Turkey to become a member of holding “double standards.”

Çelik recalled criticisms from the EU on the state of human rights and the freedom of press and called on the union to discuss the issues in official platforms during the opening of the relevant negotiation chapters 23 and 24.

Noting that preparations were underway to open the chapters, Hahn referred to the de facto blockage by Greek Cyprus on the opening of the chapters, and said a solution to the Cyprus problem could pave the way for the opening of the chapters.

Arguing that Cyprus and the EU negotiations were different topics for Ankara, Çavuşoğlu identified the position of the EU as a “weakness.” Hahn, however, objected to the wording and said the situation was rather about the operation of EU institutions. 

Proposal for CoE monitoring on anti-terror law

The Turkish government has also suggested that the Council of Europe monitor the implementation of Turkey’s anti-terror law, but the union has yet to give a response, a Turkish official told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that the issue would be discussed at a technical level.

If the EU agrees to an interim formula on the anti-terror law, which Turkey has refused to alter due to current security challenges, Ankara anticipates that visas will be liberalized in October, according to a Turkish official. The implementation of the deal would naturally be delayed until the end of the year since Turkey has not instituted the use of new passports, which is another criterion for visa liberalization, said the official.

Turkey and the EU earlier this year implemented a deal to stem the record flow of migrants to Europe in exchange for billions of euros in aid to Turkey and the lifting of short-term visa requirements on Turkish citizens in October.

But the EU has failed to change its visa rules, accusing Turkey of refusing to alter its draconian counter-terrorism laws to meet EU political criteria.

Source:hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-wants-timetable-on-visa-free-travel-to-eu.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103762&NewsCatID=510

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Greenpeace campaigns for panels on Turkish roofs

September 10, 2016

The Rainbow Warrior, the legendary boat of the international environmentalist group Greenpeace, arrived in Turkey this week on a three-stop tour for its campaign “Sail to the Sun,” which aims to increase the use of solar energy in Turkey.

The campaign aims to create public awareness on the benefits of solar energy for Turkey and is urging the installation of solar panels on 1 million roofs.

“This is not a dream,” said Duygu Kutluay, a long-time activist for the environment who is responsible for the group’s Climate and Energy campaign in the Mediterranean. Kutluay and Ansgar Kiene, the team leader for Climate and Energy, have brought the Rainbow Warrior to Turkey for an ambitious awareness-rising tour.

“Turkey has a great potential that would make the country a leader in the use of clean, renewable resources, such as solar energy,” said Kutluay as the Rainbow Warrior started its tour of Turkey on Sept. 6 in Bodrum.

Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon, who visited the boat, said he was happy to see that the Rainbow Warrior had chosen Bodrum, “a sunny and environmentally conscious city” to start its Sail to Sun campaign. 

“Come again next year, to join or to simply accompany our annual sailing race,” he told the ship’s captain, Peter Willcox, who was arrested 21 years ago in Turkey during a Greenpeace activity.

Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/greenpeace-campaigns-for-panels-on-turkish-roofs.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103764&NewsCatID=340

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CHP to gov’t: Don’t repeat your mistakes

September 10, 2016

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has slammed the government for taking indiscriminate post-coup attempt measures and carrying out a “witch hunt” against independent media, academics and teachers in Turkey.

“Saying ‘the rain falls on both the just and unjust does not absolve you of responsibility.’ On the contrary, it means you see and know what’s happening and you’re aware of your mistakes but continue doing the same thing anyway,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in his address ahead of a CHP Party Assembly to mark the 93rd anniversary of the party’s founding.

“If you try to run the country with the feelings of revenge and hatred, then you will cause suffering for many innocent people. This is the point we have reached now. A total witch hunt has been launched in many fields,” he added.

Recalling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent urgings for purges to continue in the state, Kılıçdaroğlu questioned the government’s responsibility for the current situation.

“Who is responsible for this? Who is in government? Who is the prime minister, president of the country? Who is guilty? The government is never guilty. On the one hand you complain but on the other hand you continue to implement these measures,” he said. 

The media is the “first leg of the witch hunt,” the CHP head suggested, as 113 journalists have been arrested, 2,308 have lost their jobs, and countless newspapers and television channels have been closed since the coup attempt.

“It is not right to take the attitude saying, ‘I have taken authority from the state of emergency. I can do whatever I want.’ Turkey is rapidly turning into an authoritarian structure. Everyone should be very careful about this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

“We are speaking openly and clearly: We never favor the arrest of any journalist or any writers. You cannot explain this situation to the contemporary world. In fact, none of the journalists who have been arrested or detained have supported the CHP. But we defend their rights. Because we are the CHP and we defend democracy,” he added.

The academy is the site of the “second leg of the witch hunt,” Kılıçdaroğlu also said, referring to the scores of academics who have been jailed for signing a petition in favor of peace, while the “third leg” are ordinary teachers, 11,285 of whom were recently dismissed on the grounds of having alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“If these 11,285 teachers were linked to the terror organization, where have you been for 14 years? Who appointed them? Don’t you have any responsibility? There is only one reason for their dismissal: These teachers are all members of a certain trade union,” he said, referring to the progressive Eğitim-Sen teachers’ union.

Many actions of the government in the post-coup process violate the principle of individual criminal responsibility, the CHP leader also stated, particularly citing the annulment of the passport of Dilek Dündar, the wife of journalist Can Dündar, who has been living abroad since he was prosecuted over a news story published by daily Cumhuriyet.

“Can the state take innocent people hostage? Can there be such a thing in the rule of law?” Kılıçdaroğlu said, rejecting the government’s comparison of the state of emergency declared in Turkey with the ongoing state of emergency in France. 

The CHP leader also expressed concerns over the fact that more than 500 companies have been appointed trustee administrators by the government over suspected links to the Gülenists, suggesting that the new management appointed to these companies would likely be made up of individuals close to ruling party cadres.

Full report at:hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-to-govt-dont-repeat-your-mistakes.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103763&NewsCatID=338

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Africa

Several Killed in Bloody Battle within Boko Haram Group

September 10, 2016

TEHRAN (FNA)- Clashes were reported between rival factions of the terrorist group Boko Haram as forces loyal to the new leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi and those following Abubakar Shekau engaged in skirmishes in Borno state in Nigeria.

Several people were reportedly killed in sectarian battles within the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, sources said.

Boko Haram faced a split in its ranks between the followers of al-Barnawi and troops loyal to Shekau as, according to reports, skirmishes in Borno state between troops loyal to al-Barnawi and to Shekau resulted in the deaths of several Shekau loyalists.

The leader of Boko Haram in August was fatally wounded in an airstrike carried out by the Nigerian army in Borno State.

The Nigerian army claimed to have fatally wounded the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, in an airstrike targeting a meeting of the terrorist group's commanders while a number of top commanders were reportedly killed.

Colonel and Acting Director of Nigerian Army Public Relations Sani Kukasheka Usman stressed that the Nigerian army has carried out unprecedented and spectacular air raid and fatally wounded Abubakar Shekau.

The air raid was reportedly carried out by Nigerian military on August 19 in the village of Taye.

Boko Haram leader's death was reported in 2013 and again in September 2014. But a month later, Shekau released a video to prove his safaty.

Boko Haram, just like ISIL, is considered to be one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world. According to the Global Terrorism Index, the Takfiri group has actually killed more people than ISIL, murdering more than 6,000 people just last year.

Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950620000714

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Kenya makes Eid al-Adha festival into public holiday

09.09.2016    

Kenya’s government announced Friday that the Islamic festival of Eid-al-Adha will become a national public holiday -- a new step by the majority-Christian country.

The religious celebration was previously only observed by the Muslim community.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s office confirmed the move Friday and said Sept. 12 would be a public holiday “for all persons throughout the Republic”.

The Kenyan government said it realized the pivotal role played by religion in fostering cohesion and positive social order, and was acting in solidarity with Kenyans of the Islamic faith.

Kenyatta’s office urged all Kenyans from diverse faiths in the East African country to “share in celebrating that auspicious holy day together with our Muslim brothers and sisters; on a day that celebrates sacrifice and unwavering obedience to the greater good”.

Source: aa.com.tr/en/africa/kenya-makes-eid-al-adha-festival-into-public-holiday/643802

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Boko Haram refugees push Nigeria towards a famine ‘unlike any we have ever seen’

Saturday, 10 September, 2016

The whimpers from skeletally thin babies too weak to cry are a harbinger of worse things to come: A quarter of the children lucky enough to make it to this emergency feeding centre are dying. They are the latest victims of Boko Haram’s Islamic insurgency.

No one knows how many more children are dying of starvation in refugee camps and areas too dangerous to access because of the extremists’ presence, according to Doctors Without Borders, which runs the emergency feeding centre. The aid group first sounded the alarm of a humanitarian crisis of “catastrophic” proportion in northeast Nigeria as Boko Haram lost its grip on some areas and its victims began to emerge.

These are kids that basically have been hungry all their lives, and some are so far gone that they die here in the first 24 hoursJEAN STOWELL, A MIDWIFE

“These are kids that basically have been hungry all their lives, and some are so far gone that they die here in the first 24 hours,” said Jean Stowell, an American midwife in charge of the centre in Maiduguri, the biggest city in this largely Muslim region. The 110-bed centre has quadrupled in size in recent weeks, but each time it expands it rapidly fills.

Nearly a quarter of a million children are severely malnourished because Boko Haram has disrupted trade and farming, UN Assistant Secretary-General Toby Lanzer warned at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday. About 2 million people in the region have not been reached, “and we can’t assess their situation. We can estimate that it’s awful”.

With Nigeria in a recession and without speedy outside help, “we will see, I think, a famine unlike any we have ever seen anywhere,” he said.

One million refugees from Boko Haram are crowded into camps in Maiduguri. Outside the camps, fresh produce is cruelly bountiful. Markets are filled with pineapples, oranges, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes and carrots. But most refugees cannot afford them, and Nigeria’s government is investigating reports of officials stealing food aid.

Jean Stowell walks past malnourished children at a feeding centre run by Doctors Without Borders in Maiduguri. Photo: AP

Elsewhere, 1 million children are trapped in areas too dangerous to reach because of Boko Haram, the UN children’s agency estimates. Its effort to reach some of them was put on hold in July when the extremists attacked a military-escorted humanitarian convoy on a major highway and a rocket hit the windshield of an armoured car. A Unicef worker was among three civilians wounded.

Nigerian air force claims to have killed top Boko Haram militants, including their leader

Boko Haram has been hostile to Western medicine. A Doctors Without Borders vehicle exploded a land mine on the same road in July; no one was seriously hurt. The organisation had just brought the first aid to Bama, the region’s second largest city, where they discovered that six people a day were dying of malnutrition and diarrhoea.

Some children who make it out of such areas remain in danger.

In the steamy heat inside the feeding centre, Hassana Mohammed tried to breastfeed a baby while comforting 18-month-old Yakubu, who was too weak to swallow and was irritated by the intravenous drip that fed him through his nose.

Mohammed’s five children have known little but hunger and fear since Boko Haram killed her first husband when her eldest, 7-year-old Aisha, was just a month old.

Boko Haram video gives mother of kidnapped Chibok girl proof of life - and fresh misery

“We’ve been on the run ever since, but Boko Haram was never far away,” Mohammed said. “You will see some women dying in the bush during childbirth, and some dying on the way while running because of hunger. Some will run and leave their children for their safety, now many children were left in the bush to die.”

The hardest thing now is finding food, she said. When aid workers made it to her refugee camp in Maiduguri, an informal collection of huts made of plastic sheeting and palm leaves, she received four handfuls of rice.

“It’s supposed to last a week, but we run out after just a day or two,” she said.

Source: scmp.com/news/world/africa/article/2018118/boko-haram-refugees-push-nigeria-towards-famine-unlike-any-we-have

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Pakistan

Nine suspected terrorists killed in Tirah valley air strikes

Sep 10, 2016

PESHAWAR: At least nine suspected terrorists were killed in air strikes in the Tirah valley area of Khyber Agency on Friday.

Military officials said two hideouts were also destroyed in the airstrikes.

Pakistan Air Force jets precisely targeted militant hideouts in Kukikhel area of Tirah valley in which nine militants were killed and two hideouts were destroyed, said security officials.

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

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

Military operation Zarb-i-Azb and the National Action Plan were launched against insurgents following attacks on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport and Peshawar's Army Public School in 2014.

Officials say nearly 3,000 militants have been killed since the launch of the latest offensive.

The number of attacks in Pakistan has fallen around 70 per cent this year, due to a combination of a military offensive against Taliban bases along the Afghan border and government initiatives to tackle militancy.

Source: dawn.com/news/1283079/nine-suspected-terrorists-killed-in-tirah-valley-air-strikes

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Pakistan extends stay of Afghan refugees

September 10, 2016

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday decided to extend the stay of the registered Afghan refugees until March 2017, the authorities said.

The legal stay of the registered refugees in Pakistan was scheduled to end on December 31, 2016. However, the registered refugees are now allowed to stay until the end of March next year.

Islamabad has issued Proof Registration (PoR) cards to refugees that legally allow their stay in Pakistan.

The cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided a three-month extension in the period of PoR cards, an official statement said.

Pakistan currently hosts around three million Afghan refugees, including 1.6 million registered while a similar number undocumented, according to UN refugee agency.

The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, which deals with the Afghan refugees, to hold broad-based consultations with the national leaderships of main stream political parties and Afghan representatives for addressing the concerns of Afghan Refugees.

“We would not allow that Afghan refugees living in Pakistan to be terrified in any way. They are our guests and their return plans would be decided in a way that does not create any negative impression in the minds of people living on both sides of the border,” further said the Prime Minister.

Officials of the UNHCR in Islamabad also confirmed and hailed the decision.

“The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) welcomes the Cabinet’s decision to extend the validity of the Proof of Registration cards for registered Afghan refugees until 31 March 2017. This extension will bring much needed relief to anxious Afghan refugees,” UNHCR spokesperson Dunya Khan said in a statement.

Source: siasat.com/news/pakistan-extends-stay-afghan-refugees-1016870/

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Indians working in Sharif-run mill: Pakistani opposition party

September 10, 2016

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani opposition leader on Friday alleged that 300 Indians were working in the sugar mills owned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family, however, the company management refuted the claim.

Chairman of Pakistan Awami Tehreek Tahir-ul-Qadri claimed that Indian citizens working in the sugar mills of Sharif brothers were being given “special protocols”, they were exempted from police report whereas they have been granted the Visa after suspension of Pakistani laws by the authorities.

However, Yousaf Abbas Sharif, who is said to be Managing Director of the company, said that not a single Indian was working in Sharif family sugar mill.

In a statement, Yousaf Abbas Sharif said the mill was established in 1992 and at present has over 1,100 employees all of them were Pakistanis.

Qadri said that Indians were called in Pakistan to work for Sharif brothers’ sugar mills as engineers.

Source: siasat.com/news/indians-working-sharif-run-mill-pakistani-opposition-party-1016661/

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We’re not supporting any PFF faction, pleads ex-captain Essa

Sep 10, 2016

KARACHI: The turnout wasn’t the one Mohammad Essa expected. At most, a 100 turned up. Yet, the former Pakistan football team captain who is leading the movement for the formation of a national players association was undeterred.

“This is not politicised at all,” Essa told reporters when asked if he was being backed by one faction of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).

“We’re not with the group led by Faisal Saleh Hayat or with the court-appointed administrator of the PFF,” he added.

The Hayat faction is backed by the world’s football governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) but isn’t recognised by the Lahore High Court (LHC).

The PFF has been mired in crisis ever since it split into two factions in the lead-up to its presidential elections in June last year after a full-blown dispute over the controversial Punjab Football Association (PFA) elections in April.

With the two groups — one led by incumbent president Hayat and the other by contender and vice-president Zahir Ali Shah — heading into the polls, it saw the Lahore High Court (LHC) intervene and order a stay on the elections.

The Hayat group however went on to hold the elections and that has resulted in a drawn-out battle against the honourable court which appointed retired Justice Asad Munir as PFF Administrator till the issue is resolved.

FIFA, meanwhile, has backed Hayat and has given him two years to conduct fresh elections.

Well-placed sources, however, have told Dawn that Essa has been offered an assistant coach job with the national team and a post in the AFC if the Hayat group is recognised locally.

“This is not about the post,” Essa told when asked if it was true. “Both factions of the PFF have their flaws and we’re not with anyone. This movement is only to protect the rights of the players who are suffering due to no football action during the last year.”

Alongside Essa was Zabe Khan, the former sports head of K-Electric — the club Essa plays for domestically.

Sources have told Dawn that Zabe has been offered the national team manager job, along with a post in the AFC, if the player movement succeeds in keeping Hayat in power.

Zabe, however, said he was only there to “advise the movement and help it take its mission forward”.

Sardar Naveed Haider Khan, a member of the Hayat faction and the controversially-elected PFA president in a closed-door poll which started the PFF crisis, had recently posted on social media about giving the local players association voting rights in the PFF Congress.

There was also talk on social media about getting the movement recognised by FIFPro — the worldwide representative organisation for professional football players.

Essa said he hadn’t spoken to Sardar Naveed but acknowledged he can get the movement “affiliated with the AFC” whenever he desires — an indication that the continental body had given its backing to the Essa-led body.

Essa attended the AFC Grassroots Conference in Kuala Lumpur in March this year — a trip arranged for by the Hayat faction.

Officials and supporters of the Hayat faction have regularly attended AFC and FIFA conferences and meetings despite the football team being out of action.

With politics having hurt the game in the country for the last year and a half, a politicised players association would only add to football’s woes.

“We aren’t political at all,” Essa reiterated. “I can promise we will never get political.

“The focus of the movement is to help players get their rights. With no football in the country, several departments are closing their teams. We are trying to make sure that it doesn’t happen and the players don’t lose their livelihood.

“Pakistan has also missed out on several international tournaments which has hampered its FIFA ranking. We don’t want our team to fall further behind.”

In the hours leading up to the formal announcement for the formation of the players association, Essa had arrived at the local press club with almost 100 other former and current footballers in a protest march from Lyari.

But before the protest march began, Essa lost the support of former FIFA referee Ahmed Jan.

Jan had planned to come with Essa to the march, believing it was a fair movement, but told Dawn that he decided to back out after meeting Essa late on Thursday night.

“He told me that the AFC has a keen interest in the protest,” Jan said. “Hayat is being backed by the AFC and Essa is towing his line.”

Source: dawn.com/news/1283137/were-not-supporting-any-pff-faction-pleads-ex-captain-essa

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Member of Bohra community shot dead in Karachi

Sep 10, 2016

KARACHI: A trader belonging to the Bohra community was shot dead in the metropolis North Nazimabad area on Friday night.

“Bohra community members were standing near Burhan Centre when armed pillion riders opened fire on them and fled,” said North Nazimabad SHO Ghulam Asghar Abbasi.

The deceased was identified as Hakim Feroz.

In the attack, another member of the community was injured.

The victim was a businessman, added the police official.

Earlier this week, two police officials were shot dead in the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) area of the metropolis.

Source: dawn.com/news/1283096/member-of-bohra-community-shot-dead-in-karachi

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Nawaz to raise issue of India's excessive use of force in held Kashmir during UN address

Sep 10, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will raise the issue of India’s excessive use of force against civilians in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, it was reported on Friday.

"The prime minister has expressed grave concern during today's meeting over India's use of excessive force in occupied Kashmir," said a spokesperson from the Prime Minister House.

He added the issue will be raised during the UNGA session.

The issue of IHK and India's treatment of Kashmiris was at the forefront of discussions held during the meeting today for the upcoming UNGA session.

The Foreign Office, earlier this month, also invited the Indian Foreign Secretary to visit Islamabad for discussion on the Kashmir dispute and to find a fair and just solution as per United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Modi aggravates the problem

Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, further fuelled Pakistan’s resentment when he said that people of Balochistan and Kashmir thanked him during his Independence Day speech this year.

“What kind of life is this, inspired by terrorism? What kind of government setup is it that is inspired by terrorism?” asked Modi, who delivered the open-air address amid a security lockdown in the Indian capital.

“The world will know about it and that's sufficient for me.”

The Indian PM went further in his diatribe against Pakistan.

“People of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) have thanked me a lot in past few days, I am grateful to them," said Modi in his Monday address.

Modi also said that Indians “also cried” when children in Peshawar were killed in the APS attack in December 2014.

“This is our nature, but look at the other side. They glorify terrorists.”

Uptick in violence

In the worst civilian violence to hit the restive region of Indian-held Kashmir since 2010, at least 70 Kashmiri civilians have been killed and thousands more injured in Indian-held Kashmir in clashes with security forces after the killing of a prominent Kashmiri separatist leader Burhan Wani, in a military operation on July 8.

Wani, a 22-year-old commander of Kashmir's largest pro-independence militant group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), was killed along with two other separatists during a gun battle with Indian government forces. Indian paramilitary soldiers on patrol after a day long curfew in Srinagar. -AP

Wani joined the HM group at the age of just 15, and was viewed as a hero by many in Kashmir. The state's former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted after his death that he had become the “new icon of Kashmir's disaffected”.

Witnesses said tens of thousands attended his funeral despite a curfew imposed by Indian authorities, chanting independence slogans.

Indian government troops in IHK have reportedly fired live ammunition, and used pellet guns and tear gas to control anti-government protesters.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called an emergency meeting to discuss escalating violence in India-held Kashmir amid anti-India protests.

Pakistan's Foreign Office has also condemned the violence in Indian-held Kashmir.

HM is one of several groups that for decades have been fighting around half a million Indian troops deployed in the region, calling for independence for Kashmir or a merger with Pakistan. Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol during curfew in Srinagar.

Kashmir has been divided between rivals India and Pakistan since 1947, but both claim the territory in its entirety.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting since 1989.

Violence had sharply declined in recent years following a major crackdown by the hundreds of thousands of Indian forces deployed in the region.

But a recent uptick in militant attacks has galvanised frustrated young Kashmiris, majority of whom deeply resent the Indian military's presence.

Source: dawn.com/news/1283082/nawaz-to-raise-issue-of-indias-excessive-use-of-force-in-held-kashmir-during-un-address

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Europe

Report To Be Launched On Discrimination against Muslims in Europe

Sat 10 September 2016

TEHRAN, Sep. 10 (MNA) – IHRC will launch its report ‘Environment of Hate: the New Normal for Muslims in the UK and Europe’ on Tuesday, September 27 at the European Parliament in Brussels to seek to convey the way Islamophobia across Europe has evolved into new, accepted forms of discrimination.

Special attention is given to the UK government anti-extremism strategy PREVENT which the authors say is demonizing and alienating Muslims. With an overview of headlines in popular media, the report highlights embedded stereotypes and coded discriminatory language. The Muslim minority becomes victim to the social attitudes of the majority – learned through government policy and the media they consume – and this is then expressed in acts of hatred, hostility and violence.

This is the second such study the authors have undertaken in the UK and it takes into consideration age, religiosity and visible Muslimness as well as income and work status. Comparisons are also drawn with the findings in 2010 and the results are alarming.

Between 2010 and 2014, the number of people who reported seeing Islamophobia directed at someone else spiked from 50 per cent to 82 per cent. In the same period, the number of people stating they had witnessed negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims jumped from 69 per cent to 93.3 per cent suggesting these experiences has become almost universal for Muslims.

The authors blame the worsening conditions on what they call a 'hate environment' that has been deliberately whipped up by the media, politicians and the commentarial, the purpose of which is to 'otherwise' Muslims and legitimize discriminatory treatment of them through official policy.

Hosted by MEPs Jean Lambert, Afzal Khan, and Sajjad Karim in collaboration with ARDI Intergroup; panel discussions will take place on the day featuring experts, academics, civil society organizations, EU institutions and European Muslim human rights activists. The launch will explore how to have an intersectional approach to discrimination and hate crime and how to improve the implementation of non-discrimination legislation.

Source:en.mehrnews.com/news/119617/Report-to-be-launched-on-discrimination-against-Muslims-in-Europe

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Netherlands extends campaign against Islamic State in Iraq

09.09.2016

The Hague (dpa) - The Netherlands will extend until the end of 2017 its training mission in Iraq as part of the campaign to defeat the Islamic State militia, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced Friday in The Hague.

The Netherlands has been part of the international coalition against Islamic State in Iraq since the end of 2014.

There are currently some 150 Dutch soldiers stationed in Iraq engaged in training Iraqi fighters and Kurdish Peshmerga.

In future, the training will take place closer to the front than previously, when it has been confined to training camps, the Defence Ministry said.

Dutch troops also provide military cover for Belgian fighter jets and plan to station an air tanker in the region to refuel coalition fighter jets in the air.

The Dutch operation in Iraq was originally scheduled to end in October 2016.

Source:en.europeonline-magazine.eu/netherlands-extends-campaign-against-islamic-state-in-iraq_483564.html

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Foiled Paris attack near Notre Dame deemed intelligence success by France

Saturday, 10 September, 2016

PARIS — President François Hollande praised French security forces Friday for apprehending a group of terrorism suspects ­believed to be plotting a major attack.

An Interior Ministry official told the Reuters news agency that the foiled attack had been planned for the Gare de Lyon, a train station in the southeast quadrant of Paris that is one of the busiest in Europe.

“There’s a group that has been annihilated, but there are others,” Hollande said. “Information we were able to get from our intelligence services allowed us to act before it was too late.”

Still reeling from two major attacks in 2015, the French capital has been on edge since Sunday, when authorities found an abandoned car full of gas cylinders near Notre Dame Cathedral.

The area is a major tourist destination that frequently draws crowds to its pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalk cafes, places similar to those near the seaside promenade struck in the July attack on Nice, in southern France, that killed 86 and injured hundreds more.

On Thursday, authorities arrested three women outside Paris in connection with the suspected plot — ages 19, 23 and 39. The youngest, identified by the Associated Press as Ines Madani, stabbed a police officer during the confrontation, officials told French media.

According to the RTL radio network, Madani had written a letter pledging her support to the Islamic State. The three women were apparently attempting to avenge the death of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s lead propaganda officer killed in Syria in late August, RTL reported.

Before his death, Adnani had called on followers of the self-proclaimed caliphate to carry out small-scale attacks on “nonbelievers” in Europe and the United States, an injunction that became a reality in France and Germany this summer. In July, attackers inspired or claimed by the Islamic State slit the throat of a French village priest, stabbed tourists on a German train and shot at random in a Munich shopping mall.

According to the Le Monde newspaper, Madani had been known to authorities since 2015, when she unsuccessfully attempted to leave France for Syria, where thousands of foreign-born fighters had joined the Islamic State.

This week, France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, announced that the flow of French citizens and residents decamping for Syria has significantly decreased, raising concerns about the possibility of more domestic attacks by would-be fighters who have opted to stay home as the Islamic State loses territory.

As France struggles to formulate a strategy to prevent attacks of the type that appears to have been planned for the Gare de Lyon, analysts argue that a stronger intelligence infrastructure must be the primary focus.

In June 2015, largely in response to the attack on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper office, the French Parliament passed intelligence legislation that increased the government’s powers to monitor its citizens’ communications. But Jean-Charles Brisard, chairman of the Paris-based Center for the Analysis of Terrorism, said key provisions of the law — such as the pledged use of eavesdropping technologies and “black boxes” designed to catch threats sent electronically — have not been enacted, more than a year after the law was passed.

In the suspected plot, investigators found the car only after a shopkeeper reported it. It sat with its lights flashing for at least two hours, Florence Berthout, the mayor of Paris’s 5th arrondissement, where Notre Dame is located, wrote in a letter to the Paris Police Prefecture this week.

In total, seven suspects — two men and five women — have been arrested in the ongoing investigation into the foiled plot. According to an unnamed official quoted in an Associated Press report, one of the men arrested had ties to Larossi Abballa, who live-streamed the murder of a French police officer in June.

The car belonged to the Madani’s father, who later reported his daughter to French authorities

Source: washingtonpost.com/world/europe/france-hails-foiled-paris-attack-as-an-intelligence-success/2016/09/09/763e2c3e-76aa-11e6-9781-49e591781754_story.html

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France arrests show terror isn't just a male pursuit

Saturday, 10 September, 2016

There's a twist to France's latest foiled terror attempt: Authorities say the extremist cell they smashed was a three-woman operation.

On Friday, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the three women - ages 19, 23 and 39 - had taken inspiration from and pledged allegiance to the "Islamic State" (IS).

"The vision of women being confined to domestic and family roles by Islamic State has been overtaken," Molins told reporters at a press conference on Friday, adding that "the terrorist organization not only uses men, but also young women who understand and breed their project virtually."

Police arrested the women Thursday night in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Paris. Molins said the officers shot and wounded one of them after two had attacked them with knives.

The arrests are linked to an abandoned car found near Notre Dame Cathedral over the weekend loaded with gas canisters. Investigators found a blanket and a cigarette butt laced with diesel fuel in the trunk, Molins said, adding that a single explosion of one of the tanks could have exploded the car.

They also found a letter in the purse of the driver, 19-year-old Ines Madani, pledging allegiance to IS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Several other people have been detained.

"There's a group that has been annihilated, but there are others," President Francois Hollande warned on Friday.

Effect of radicalization

The top suspects in previous terror attacks in France have almost always been men. Yet the fact that women have taken an interest in terror does not come as a shock to many who follow extremism.

"I am not surprised," said Dounia Bouzar, an anthropologist who has worked with scores of radicalized French youths and their families. "I've been talking about it for two years."

Bouzar said women might be drawn to Islamic extremism for different reasons - the possibility of doing humanitarian work in Syria, for example, or perhaps of marrying IS fighters - but the recruiting methods and the radicalization process were the same as for men.

"These women are just as dehumanized as men," Bouzar said. "They want to die. They want to kill."

For IS and other militant groups, women can be an unexpected weapon, Bouzar said, predicting that militants could turn to ever more shocking tactics - such enlisting teenage girls who might not otherwise be racialized as "Muslim" - "because that will sow terror even more."

In 1985, a 17-year-old Syrian girl blew herself up next to an Israeli convoy and about a dozen other women have targeted Israeli interests in the past decade. Women have staged attacks in South Asia, Africa and elsewhere, as well.

"It's extremely frequent with the Tamil Tigers, and Boko Haram is doing this almost every day," the French criminologist Alain Bauer said, referring to the use of female suicide fighters by militant groups in Sri Lanka and Nigeria, respectively. "It may appear new because it happens here - but it's nothing new by itself."

Even in France, women have played roles in recent attacks, although it's unclear just how big. Hayat Boumeddiene, partner of terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, escaped to Syria shortly before Coulibaly killed four people at a kosher store in January 2015. Photos showed her first posing in a scanty bikini and later clad in a face-covering niqab, gripping a crossbow.

French media reported that the women who were arrested on Thursday were in contact with Boumeddiene and had ties with other known extremists. Molins, the prosecutor, said one of the women, identified as Sarah H, had been engaged to the men who carried out separate deadly attacks in recent weeks against police and a Normandy priest.

Hasna Ait Boulahcen, the cousin of Paris attacks organizer Abdelhamid Abaaoud, also expressed admiration for Boumeddiene on her Facebook page. Though she helped Abaaoud hide from police after the November 2015 attacks, it's unclear what, if any direct role she played in the assaults. Both cousins died in a police raid a few days later.

"Women are smarter - they're more suspicious," Bauer said. "They lie better than men."

The journalist Mathieu Suc, author of a book on female terrorists, said that though IS has assigned roles to men and women - with men used as cannon fodder and women in supporting roles to shore up the 'caliphate' - a number of young women want to be in the action.

About 250 women are among the nearly 700 French citizens currently in IS-held areas of Iraq and Syria, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said earlier this week.

"Women are often the motors," Suc told France Info radio. "That was the case of Hayat Boumeddiene."

The anthropologist Bouzar said any fallout from this week's arrests might be felt most keenly by other Muslim women at a time of deep divisions in France over burkinis and veils.

"There will be searches, verifications based on Islamic references and whether they wear a headscarf," Bouzar said.

That, in turn, may increase the sense of persecution among Muslims, Bouzar said - "and that is the first step to radicalization."

Source:dw.com/en/france-arrests-show-terror-isnt-just-a-male-pursuit/a-19541329

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Dozens of Suspected ISIS Terrorists on the Loose in Europe

September 9, 2016

Some 30 to 40 suspected Islamic State jihadists who supported the November terrorist attacks in Paris are still at large, European authorities told CNN on Friday.

Officials warned of a heightened terror threat against the West as ISIS continues to face substantial losses in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

“The outlook is as bleak as it has ever been,” said Paul Cruickshank, editor of CTC Sentinel, a publication by the Combating Terrorism Center at the West Point military academy. “We’re talking beyond severe concern.”

European nations involved in U.S.-led coalition strikes against ISIS face a greater risk of being targeted. Those include France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany.

Terror analysts warned that the United States is also vulnerable.

“It is by no means immune,” Matthew Henman, editor of the U.K.-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, told CNN.

He noted that the U.S.-Mexican border “is far from secure or impenetrable.”

Airports are also susceptible to penetration as Western European passport holders can travel to the U.S. without a visa. U.S. nationals are also able to travel to and from Syria by flying into Western Europe and then departing from Turkey.

As of July, ISIS had lost a quarter of its territory over the past year. In retaliation, the terrorist group has ramped up its propaganda aimed at inspiring lone wolf attacks abroad.

Henman said the group will likely attempt to “inspire and provoke” repeat attacks similar to the December shooting in San Bernardino, California and the June massacre on a gay nightclub in Orland, Florida in the upcoming months.

Source:freebeacon.com/national-security/dozens-isis-terrorists-loose-europe/

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South Asia

Peace deal with Hekmatyar’s party likely to be signed today

Sat Sep 10 2016

A peace deal between Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Afghan government is expected to be signed later today, sources close to Hekmatyar have said.

The sources further added that the draft peace agreement between Hezb-e-Islami and the Afghan government has been amended during the negotiations.

According to the sources, Hekmatyar had some remarks regarding the draft peace agreement which led to the amendment of the draft agreement.

A spokesman for the High Peace Council of Afghanistan Mohammad Amin Muzafari earlier said they expect to conclude the peace deal with Hezb-e-Islami.

He said a peace agreement containing 25 articles has been prepared with the mediation of High Peace Council.

This comes reports emerged earlier suggesting that the party has issued new impossible-to-meet demands to sign a peace agreement with the Afghan government.

According to the reports, the new demands included cancellation of pacts with the United States, a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops and that it be signed by a new government.

The new demands were made as Hekmatyar had earlier said he has changed his conditions for peace process with the Afghan government by stepping back from his demands for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces.

Source: khaama.com/peace-deal-with-hekmatyars-party-likely-to-be-signed-today-01862

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Afghanistan slams Iran for exhibition of detained migrants in cages

Sat Sep 10 2016

The Afghan government has slammed Iran for the exhibition of several detained Afghan migrants in cages in Shiraz city.

The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations in a statement said the Afghan migrants were put on display inside cages together with several other illegitimate items confiscated by Shiraz police.

Strongly condemning the act by Shiraz city police, the ministry said such moves are against the humanity and insult to the human dignity of the refugees.

The statement further added that the move is undoubtedly against the principles of human rights, 1951 and 1967 conventions of refugees rights as well as against the bilateral agreement between the two nations on refugees.

It also added that the Iranian government must take immediate steps to investigate the brutal act and try those involved in desecration of the refugees.

The ministry also urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan to follow the issue through diplomatic channels.

The issue has also attracted major attention in social media with the majority of the social media users condemning the move by the police authorities in Shiraz.

A social media user in his reaction to the detention and display of refugees in cages said “The Islamic State and government of Iran have identifical cages as one puts the detainees on fire inside the cage while the other puts them on display.”

Iran is the second largest home to hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees who fled the civil war and ongoing insurgency led by the Taliban militants.

Source:khaama.com/afghanistan-slams-iran-for-exhibition-of-detained-migrants-in-cages-01861

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Taliban chief instruct fighters to adopt softer approach in his Eid message

Sat Sep 10 2016

The Taliban supreme leader Mawlavi Hibatullah Akhundzada has instructed the group’s fighters to adopt softer approach in his message released on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.

The statement by Akhundzada comes in contrast to the brutal approach of insurgency adopted by the group as Taliban accused of causing the majority of civilian casualties in the country.

Claiming victory in the ongoing insurgency led by the group, Akhundza, in his Eid message said the group should bring reforms in its ranks by sidelining the ‘unscrupulous, notorious, self-indulgent, and money-grubbing and immoral persons remain in your ranks — those who misbehave with people.’

“This is in order the people may not face harassment. Mujahideen should maintain interaction with honorable religious and spiritual leaders, tribal influential and pious men of insight; seek their views and advice and benefit from their experiences,” Akhundzada said.

Among the softer approaches Akhundzada suggested in his message included ‘Call and Guidance’ and use of media to focus on alluring the individuals working in the government ranks.

“At the first years of the occupation, our obligation was to combat against the enemy but now as we have control over many areas of the country, it is the time that we should reap the fruit of the 15 years-long jihad and implement objectives of jihad which are: implementation of the Divine Sharia on the land of Allah; to establish justice; maintain stability and security; to protect frontiers and defend life, property, honor and all other God-given rights of the countrymen,” Akhundzada added.

Taliban is accused of inuring around 60 percent of all civilian casualties in Afghanistan, mainly due to direct engagements, complex and suicide attacks and improved explosive devices (IEDs).

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan in latest report released late in July, reported that 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injured civilians, including 1,509 children (388 dead and 1,121 injured) and 507 women casualties (130 killed and 377 injured) were documented between January and June of this year.

The UN mission in Afghanistan further added that the anti-government elements remain responsible for 60 percent of the civilian casualties.

Source: khaama.com/taliban-chief-instruct-fighters-to-adopt-softer-approach-in-his-eid-message-01860

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‘Real New Silk Road’ to turn Afghanistan into major regional transit hub

Sat Sep 10 2016

Optimisms are on the rise with the opening of the New Silk Road connecting China with the Eurasian landmass as two trains carrying dozens of containers bound for Afghanistan left China with the first consignment arriving in Hairatan port of Afghanistan earlier this month.

The initiative by China is considered is a major turnover in Afghanistan’s efforts to turn the country into a regional transit as it has been dubbed as Real New Silk Road following attempts by the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to start the operations of the road in 2011 but subsequently flopped before it even got started.

According to an article published in Forbes by the magazine’s contributor Wade Shepard China is making good on this ambition by integrating Afghanistan in with their Belt and Road initiative — a major part of what could be called the real New Silk Road.

At least 85 containers were transported in the first Afghanistan-bound train that ceremoniously departed from Nantong in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on 25th August.

The side of the train was draped with a banner that read “Congratulations on the Central Asian trains (Nantong – Afghanistan – Hairaton) launching” and on the front was a similar sign topped off with a bright red pom-pom.

The second train bound for Afghanistan is expected to arrive today after covering 7,500 kilometer of journey from eastern Chinese city of Yiwu to Mazar-e-Sharif city of Afghanistan, carrying over 100 containers worth of $4 million cargo.

The latest developments came as the Afghan government has been attempting to turn the country into a major regional transit hub by taking advantage of the geographical position of the country.

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani during his speech at a gathering in Kabul said Afghanistan will continue to emerge as a key player to link the region, insisting that the country will no more remain dependent on a single port, gesturing towards the Pakistani ports on which the Afghan traders have long been counting on.

Source: khaama.com/real-new-silk-road-to-turn-afghanistan-into-major-regional-transit-hub-01865

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Afghanistan’s foreign ill-wishers in isolation: Ghani

Sat Sep 10 2016

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said the foreign ill-wishers of Afghanistan are in isolation as he reaffirmed the government’s stance to turn the country into the graveyard of the terrorists, ruling out the softer stance the government had earlier to resolve the issue through negotiations.

In his speech during a gathering to observe the Martyrs’ Week, President Ghani said the terrorists are facing defeat in the battle ground and their supporters are in a state of isolation.

President Ghani further added that the ongoing violence in Afghanistan is not an internal conflict but has roots to regional and international conflict.

He said the international community has admitted the stance of Afghanistan as the Afghan nation is fighting for their rights while facing an illegitimate force of terror.

Reiterating government’s commitments to support the families of the fallen soldiers, President Ghani said the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are standing against the terrorists with the same spirit they had against the Soviet forces, insisting that the Afghan nation and government will continue to remember their sacrifices.

In other parts of his speech, President Ghani said Afghanistan continues to emerge as a regional player in terms of economic growth and emphasized that the country is no more dependent to a single port.

He said Afghanistan will no more be threatened by port blockage and the country will soon emerge as a connective bridge in the region.

Source: khaama.com/afghanistans-foreign-ill-wishers-in-isolation-ghani-01864

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Explosion in Jalalabad city leaves 1 civilian dead, another wounded

Sat Sep 10 2016

A civilian was killed and another one was injured in an explosion in Jalalabad city, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

The incident took place earlier today after explosives planted near a shop was detonated as the two victims, father and son, were opening their shop.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani confirmed the incident and said the man was killed and his son was injured in the attack.

Khogyani further added that the man was initially wounded and succumbed to his injuries in the way to hospital.

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

Nangarhar is among the relatively volatile provinces in eastern Afghanistan where the anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents and the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group are actively operating in a number of its districts.

The Afghan forces are busy to eliminate the presence of the Taliban and ISIS loyalists as part of their annual operation launched in response to the spring offensive of the militants.

Source:khaama.com/explosion-in-jalalabad-city-leaves-1-civilian-dead-another-wounded-01863

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Afghanistan likely to get more attack helicopters and artillery from India

Fri Sep 09 2016

Afghanistan is expecting to receive more attack helicopters as well as other military equipment including artillery from India with New Delhi expecting to promise the delivery of arms during President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s visit.

According to diplomatic sources quoted in local media reports “A list of urgent requirements has already been handed over to which the Indian response has been positive. It will be discussed and cleared during Mr. Ghani’s visit.”

Priority items on the list include utility and attack helicopters, artillery, ammunition and spares in addition help in reviving some of the Soviet era factories in Afghanistan, according to The Hindu newspaper.

However, on spares and revival India has to coordinate with Russia, the paper reported, adding that while India seems to be more open in supplying lethal hardware, the equipment largely being of Russian hardware needs technical support from Moscow.

This was evident in the case of Mi-25 helicopters with one of the promised four still grounded due to lack of spares which have to come from Russia.

A diplomatic source said efforts were on for a three-way discussions and this was expected to come up for discussion during Mr. Ghani’s bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India has remained among the top contributors in rebuilding of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime and has spent around $2 billion in various sectors in the country.

In the meantime the top US General in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has welcomed the support by India and said New Delhi should further help with the equipment process of the Afghan forces.

Source:khaama.com/afghanistan-likely-to-get-more-attack-helicopters-and-artillery-from-india-01859

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Southeast Asia

Chinese Muslims to Light Lanterns At Mosque

Saturday September 10, 2016

PETALING JAYA, Sept 10 — A group of Chinese Muslims will light up lanterns at the Muhammadiah Masjid in Tasek Jaya, Ipoh, today in another initiative to educate Malaysians on the Chinese culture-Islam relationship in Malaysia.

The move is yet another effort by the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (Macma) that represents Chinese Muslims to improve public understanding of the small community.

Its president, Prof Taufiq Yap, said the lantern festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) was celebrated by all as it was a cultural event and had nothing to do with religion.

“It is much easier these days for Chinese Muslim converts to retain their cultural practices. More are becoming aware that one does not have to abandon one’s cultural upbringing simply because they have embraced Islam,” he said in an interview.

Taufiq said state religious departments tended to be much more understanding on issues like retaining one’s birth name upon conversion.

“In principle, there is nothing obstructing Chinese Muslims from celebrating cultural festivals which do not go against the tenets of Islam,” he said citing the example of Chinese New Year and Tang Yuan (Winter Solstice Festival).

It might come as a surprise for some to know that Chinese Muslims also participate in Cheng Beng, also known as the tomb-sweeping festival where Chinese families clean the graves of ancestors.

“Although it can be a bit difficult, Chinese Muslims can join them in cleaning graves to honour our ancestors. However, we abstain from rituals such as offering incense as that involves faith,” said Taufiq who became a Muslim 33 years ago.

He said Macma aimed to empower Chinese Muslims and share the universal message of Islam to the wider Chinese community.

“This does not mean we preach or proselytise to them but rather clear whatever misconceptions they might have of our faith,” he said.

Yet challenges remain such as the inability to conduct sermons in Mandarin which required more Chinese Muslims educated in Islamic knowledge.

Taufiq said Macma would support members who wanted to study Islam in the hope that one day sermons could be conducted in Mandarin.

“But the mosque in Ipoh is not for Chinese Muslims only. We encourage others to pray here and in the process learn about our community.”

Taufiq said Chinese Muslims were encouraged to mix with Malaysians of other religions and cultures in ensuring mutual respect .

“All humankind is created by God, and we must respect each other and not speak ill of one another. By accepting differences among Malaysians, we will able to learn that these do not weaken us but add value to our culture,” he said.

Chinese Muslims arrived in the country centuries ago but most members of the community today are recent converts or reverts.

A migration of eight Chinese Muslims took place in 1913 from Shandong in northern China to Sabah.

“The Hui Muslim families have seen five generations in Kota Kinabalu,” he said, adding that they had managed to retain much of their culture.

Taufiq said the majority of Chinese Muslims today comprised Chinese who married Malays.

He said Chinese Muslim immigrants to Penang and Terengganu over the years had lost their distinctiveness, assimilating into Chinese and Malay culture.

On his conversion, the 48-year old chemistry professor at Universiti Putra Malaysia, embraced Islam on November 26, 1983, while in Form Four.

“I embraced Islam on my own accord. My mother supported my decision when I told her of my intention to become a Muslim.

“She told me I was already old enough to decide what faith I should choose to follow. But my stepfather, whom I did not tell, eventually found out from others. When he finally knew, he called me anak Bajau (Bajau child) since the Bajau people in Sabah are Muslims,” he said.

Taufiq said it was not easy trying to retain his communal links after his conversion as traditonal Muslims said he should not use chopsticks or speak Mandarin and that he should eat with his hands.

“But I continued to carry on with my traditional lifestyle despite the criticisms,’’ he said.

Source:themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/chinese-muslims-to-light-lanterns-at-mosque

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Within Malaysian opposition, a battle for the Muslim ground

SEP 10, 2016

Malaysia's Islamist party, PAS (Parti Islam SeMalaysia), is experiencing its biggest split in its six-decades-old history. Some key leaders, dubbed the "progressives", have joined the PAS breakaway party PAN (Parti Amanah Negara), which is now led by Mr Mohamad Sabu (former PAS deputy president) and Mr Salahuddin Ayub (former PAS vice-president).

Recently, Datuk Husam Musa, also a former PAS vice-president, has applied to join PAN.

The current split mirrors the situation of the late 1970s and early 80s, when the party was divided between nationalists and conservative clerics (ulama). In 1982, PAS president Asri Muda, a nationalist, was toppled by the so-called young Turks.

Soon after, PAS reinvented itself to become an Islamist party led by the ulama, calling for the formation of an Islamic state and implementation of hudud laws (punitive Islamic laws).

Recent exchanges between PAS and PAN leaders reflect the two parties' political trajectory running up to the next general elections, due by August 2018. As it stands, PAN is keen on forging a close alliance with opposition parties DAP (Democratic Action Party), PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) and possibly Bersatu (United), but its biggest opponent remains PAS.

Thus, it is unsurprising that while the party continues to be critical of controversial state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and corruption within the ruling party BN (Barisan Nasional coalition), it is torn between trying to portray an Islamic image on the one hand, and a multiracial one on the other.

In June, PAN faced its first test against PAS. It took part in the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections. In both contests, the BN coalition won with increased margins compared with the 2013 elections.

In Kuala Kangsar, BN secured 53.8 per cent of votes, PAS secured 24.2 per cent, PAN 20.8 per cent, and an independent candidate won 0.2 per cent. There were only 801 votes which separated PAN and PAS.

However, PAN did better than PAS in Sungai Besar, garnering 707 more votes. BN won 53.01 per cent of the votes, while PAN won 24.01 per cent and PAS, 21.78 per cent.

These results not only show how opposition disunity favours the ruling party, but also point out how PAS traditional voters were split.

A quick glance at PAN's website and newspaper illustrates that it is national issues that the party is focusing on. It has used these platforms to criticise the government on how the 1MDB issue is handled.

Full report at:straitstimes.com/opinion/within-malaysian-opposition-a-battle-for-the-muslim-ground

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More Indonesians in Hajj quota scam to be repatraited

10.09.2016     

The Philippines has promised to repatriate all Indonesian victims of a scam that allowed them to illegally travel to Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage using the Philippines Hajj quota.

The Jakarta Post on Saturday quoted Rodrigo Duterte as saying that as soon as the pilgrims return to the Philippines from Saudi Arabia, the government would allow them to return home without legal proceedings.

"No problem about that. I don't intend to investigate them," he was reported as saying after a bilateral meeting with President Joko Widodo on Friday, on his way home from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Laos.

He said that he considered them to be victims, and not willing perpetrators of identity-fraud -- a crime in the Philippines.

We will be looking for those who had exploited them, he added.

On Sep. 7, Indonesian Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly announced after an investigation that the pilgrims had travelled to Saudi Arabia using the Philippines quota.

The announcement followed the return of 168 people to Indonesia who were arrested Aug. 19 at Manila airport on seats reserved for pilgrims from the Philippines.

Among them was an elderly couple that had sold a hectare of farmland to pay for the Muslim pilgrimage.

Full report at:aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/more-indonesians-in-hajj-quota-scam-to-be-repatraited/644292

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Philippines says Indonesia can enter its waters to fight pirates

September 9, 2016

The Philippineswill grant the Indonesian navy access to its territorial waters if they are chasing pirates, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said during an official visit here on Friday.

"If the chase begins in Indonesia and continues in the international waters, and inside Philippine waters, they can go ahead and blast them off," Efe news quoted Duterte as saying while interacting with the Filipino community in the Indonesian capital.

Piracy is a major concern for leaders of the region, who fear a Somalia-like rise in maritime insecurity in southeast Asia.

Duterte said he has already discussed the issue with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo during the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Summit that concluded on Thursday in Laos.

Duterte arrived in Indonesia overnight after attending the Asean conference and is scheduled to meet Widodo to discuss matters of maritime security.

In March, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to set up joint patrols in the Sulu Sea, a region from where Filipino militant group Abu Sayyaf has kidnapped several Indonesian and Malaysian sailors in recent months.

Source: business-standard.com/article/news-ians/philippines-says-indonesia-can-enter-its-waters-to-fight-pirates-116090900702_1.html

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North America

How Being Muslim In America Has Changed Since 9/11

09/09/2016

The terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 reverberated around the world long after that fateful morning.

Americans of all stripes grappled with the image of planes crashing into the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon, and unfurling a blanket of dust and debris on New York City. They grieved the lives lost, came together to rebuild and sought answers as to why anyone would commit such an act of hatred.

Within days of the attacks, many had found a convenient scapegoat. Muslims, Arabs and anyone who remotely resembled the terrorists seen on TV, whether in feature, dress or accent, became targets of retaliation. That stereotyping exists to this day.

I hoped they wouldn’t even remember that I was Muslim.”

Shawna Ayoub Ainslie

“I stopped reading the Qur’an between classes,” wrote Muslim blogger Shawna Ayoub Ainslie in 2015. “I used to wear comfortable, loose clothes that covered my arms and legs. [After Sept. 11], I kept the headscarf I carried for prayer hidden in my purse instead of draped around my neck... I began pushing up my sleeves when in groups so people would not worry that I was conservative. I hoped they wouldn’t even remember that I was Muslim.”

Muslims, like people of other faiths, are not a monolith. And the experience of being Muslim in America ranges widely, depending on age, gender, location and a host of other factors. It also isn’t one solely defined by an act of terror 15 years ago.

But Sept. 11 had a tremendous impact on Muslim American communities. Research shows that Muslim Americans were doubly traumatized, first by the attacks themselves and then again by the violent backlash toward their communities that ensued.

Source: huffingtonpost.in/entry/how-being-muslim-in-america-has-changed-since-911_us_57d1a61ee4b03d2d45992990

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Young South Florida Muslims network at annual Youth Gala

09/09/2016

“We are in an age which is full of division, hate, fear, terror [and] the like, that we, as a generation, have never witnessed before.”

These were the opening remarks by keynote speaker Imam Azhar Subedar at the annual Youth Coalition of South Florida Youth Gala at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Coral Springs last month. The annual black tie affair brings together Muslim high school and college students with one main, recurring theme: build bridges, not walls.

“We’re at a time where we’re being tested, and we have to be united. The youth play a really key role and define what it means to be Muslim in this country, especially now when politics are really stressful and we’re being targeted as a group,” registration board member and University of Miami student Rowanne Ali said. “The only way to combat that is to stay educated, stay close and stay active in the community. [Youth Gala] solidifies all the relationships we have in [the Muslim] community.”

Through icebreaker activities, spoken word talent shows, art exhibitions and re-creations of the former cable game show “Minute to Win It,” Muslims from South Florida became empowered and formed new connections, achieving one of the objectives of the gala, said University of Miami student and event coordinator Zain Usman.

“We need to influence the youth to be the future of our community,” Youth Coalition of South Florida President Samir Kakli said.

Source: sun-sentinel.com/teenlink/movies/tl-young-south-florida-muslims-network-at-annual-youth-gala-20160909-story.html

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Up to 20 US marine personnel face action in Muslim recruit’s death

Friday, 9 September 2016

The US Marine Corps is weighing criminal or administrative charges against as many as 20 personnel at a recruit training depot following the death of a Muslim trainee, officials said Thursday (Sep 8).

Investigators opened a probe into the March death of Raheel Siddiqui, 20, who reportedly fell three stories to his death at the recruitment depot in Parris Island, California.

The Marines have classed the death as a suicide but, according to the Wall Street Journal, investigations suggest Siddiqui leaped from a third-story balcony after a drill instructor slapped him in the face.

Citing anonymous Marine officials, the Journal said the drill instructor had referred to the Pakistani-American as a “terrorist.”

According to a Marine Corps statement, investigations revealed “departures” from the policies and procedures established for Marine Corps recruit training.

“Commanders and senior enlisted advisers at the series, company, battalion and regimental level were relieved in the wake of Recruit Siddiqui’s death, and a number of drill instructors have been suspended,” the statement reads.

“Currently, 20 Recruit Training Regiment personnel have been identified for possible military justice or administrative action.”

Investigators uncovered a slew of allegations of physical and verbal abuse of recruits by drill instructors.

Commanders have implemented changes including the mandatory suspension of personnel who are being investigated for recruit abuse.

“I fully support and endorse these initial actions,” Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller said in a statement.

“When America’s men and women commit to becoming Marines, we make a promise to them. We pledge to train them with firmness, fairness, dignity and compassion.”

Source: english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2016/09/09/Up-to-20-US-marine-personnel-face-action-in-Muslim-recruit-s-death.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/zakir-naik’s-open-letter-is-an-attempt-to-communalise-muslims-and-a-veiled-threat-to-govt-of-india/d/108528


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