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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

If Islam Means Peace, Why Is Much Of Its Theology Soaked In Hatred, Humiliation, Offensive War?



By Sultan Shahin, New Age Islam
October 10, 2016
Fifteen years after 9/11, the scourge of violent Islamist extremism has become even more complex and deadly. The alacrity with which 30,000 Muslims from around the world joined the so-called Islamic State’s war against humanity has puzzled many. How could a peaceful, pluralistic religion be subverted so easily to create inhuman monsters?
Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common feature is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist and totalitarian Jihadi theology. This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation, that 1.6 billion Muslims believe, teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness.
 But there has to be a reason why jihadi ideology has gained acceptance so quickly; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars prove so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, including Muslims, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to heaven?
 









Image: thecommentator.com
 Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. For instance, jihadists are able to misuse the intolerant, xenophobic, war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. Indeed, the Islamic theology of consensus, taught in all madrasas, says that Quran is uncreated, meaning that it is just an aspect of God; and so, divine like God Himself.
 









The corollary is that no verse of the Quran can be questioned in terms of its universality and applicability. Indeed, that any Muslim who tries to do so is committing blasphemy and deserves no less than death. Quran on earth is said to be just a copy of the one lying safe in a divine vault in Heaven called Lauh-e-Mahfooz.
This is completely irrational. Suppose Meccan elite had not responded to Islam’s message of equality with violence and persecution, leading to Prophet Mohammad fleeing to Madina. There would have been no battles in Prophet’s lifetime and no war-time verses would have been required. How can these verses then acquire universal applicability and eternal value?
Not only that. There is also a near-consensus in Islamic theology around the so-called Doctrine of Abrogation whereby all peaceful, pluralistic Meccan verses, at least 124, are considered abrogated by the later confrontational Medinan verses. This is most damaging for Islam and useful for jihadism.
How do Islamic theologians reconcile the uncreatedness of Quran, its total, unquestionable divinity, with the Doctrine of Abrogation is beyond a rational person’s understanding. This is a belief with hardly any basis in Quran. It evolved hundreds of years after the demise of the Prophet.
 The same is true of the divinity and universal applicability attached to Hadith, the so-called sayings of the Prophet, and Sharia laws. Narrations of Hadith were recorded decades and centuries after the Prophet passed away. Almost the last verse of the Quran (5:3) says that God has now completed the religion of Islam. How can we write books centuries after that and give them the status of revealed literature? Yet, all ulema are agreed that Hadith is akin to revelation. This is clearly the height of irrationality.
 Similarly Sharia was first codified 120 years after the demise of the Prophet, based on some verses of the Quran and Arab practices of that era. This has been changing from country to country and age to age.  How can we Muslims be told, as we are by a multitude of scholars, that it is a Muslim’s prime religious duty to see that this Sharia is established in the world?  
 Wherever a Muslim turns, from al-Ghazali, Ibn-e-Taimiyya, Abdul Wahhab, Sheikh Sarhindi, Shah Waliullah to Syed Qutb and Maulana Maududi, he or she gets the same Islam-supremacist message.
 Let us see what some of these learned ulema of yore, most revered by all schools of thought, tell us:
 Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111): Considered the greatest of all Sufi theologians, and by many as next only to Prophet Mohammad in his understanding of Islam:
“… one must go on jihad at least once a year...one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them… One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide... Christians and Jews must pay... on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits on the protuberant bone beneath his ear... they are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells... their houses may not be higher than a Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They have to wear an identifying patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the baths ...  dhimmis must hold their tongue...” (Kitab Al-Wagiz FI Figh Madhad Al-Imam Al-Safi’i pp. 186, 190, 199-203)
 Imam Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328): Most revered Hanbali jurist and scholar among Wahhabi-Salafi Muslims whose influence has recently grown immensely with the propagation of his creed by the Saudi monarchy:
“Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God's entirely and God's word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought... As for the People of the Book and the Zoroastrians, they are to be fought until they become Muslims or pay the tribute (jizya) out of hand and have been humbled. With regard to the others, the jurists differ as to the lawfulness of taking tribute from them. Most of them regard it as unlawful...”  (Excerpted from Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam (Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 1996), pp. 44-54).
 Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (1564-1624): Indian Islamic scholar, Hanafi jurist, considered Mujaddid alf-e-Saani, the renewer of Islam of the second millennium:
“...Cow-sacrifice in India is the noblest of Islamic practices.”
“Kufr and Islam are opposed to each other. The progress of one is possible only at the expense of the other and co-existence between these two contradictory faiths is unthinkable.
"The honour of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One, who respects kafirs, dishonours the Muslims.”
"The real purpose in levying jizya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that, on account of fear of jizya, they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling".
"Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam.”
(Excerpted from Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Agra, Lucknow: Agra University, Balkrishna Book Co., 1965), pp.247-50; and Yohanan Friedmann, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: An Outline of His Thought and a Study of His Image in the Eyes of Posterity (Montreal, Quebec: McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies, 1971), pp. 73-74.) 
Shah Waliullah Dehlavi (1703–1762): Highly revered Indian scholar, theologian, Muhaddis (Hadith expert) and jurist:
“It is the duty of the prophet to establish the domination of Islam over all other religions and not leave anybody outside its domination whether they accept it voluntarily or after humiliation. Thus the people will be divided into three categories. Lowly kafir (unbelievers), have to be tasked with lowly labour works like harvesting, threshing, carrying of loads, for which animals are used. The messenger of God also imposes a law of suppression and humiliation on the kafirs and imposes jizya on them in order to dominate and humiliate them…. He does not treat them equal to Muslims in the matters of Qisas (Retaliation), Diyat (blood money), marriage and government administration so that these restrictions should ultimately force them to embrace Islam.” (Hujjatullahu al-Balighah, volume – 1, Chapter- 69, Page No 289)
 Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (1703–1792): Founder of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi-Salafi creed:
“Even if the Muslims abstain from shirk (polytheism) and are muwahhid (believer in oneness of God), their faith cannot be perfect unless they have enmity and hatred in their action and speech against non-Muslims (which for him actually includes all non-Wahhabi or non-Salafi Muslims). (Majmua Al-Rasael Wal-Masael Al-Najdiah 4/291).
Abul A'la Maududi (1903–1979): Indian ideologue, founder of Jamaat-e-Islami:
 “Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam, regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and programme, regardless of which nation assumes the role of the standard-bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State. …
"Islam requires the earth — not just a portion, but the whole planet.... because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme [of Islam] ... Towards this end, Islam wishes to press into service all forces which can bring about a revolution and a composite term for the use of all these forces is ‘Jihad'. .... The objective of the Islamic ‘jihad’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule.” (Jihad fil Islam).
 Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi, a Hyderabad-based scholar, justifies indiscriminate violence in his fatwa on the concept of power in Islam. Let me quote a few lines from the writings of this maulana who runs a girls’ madrasa in Hyderabad and is known to have been an inspiration behind Indian Mujahedin:
 “Let it be known that, according to Islamic jurisprudence, fighting the infidels (kuffar) in their countries is a duty (farz-e-kifayah) according to the consensus of ulema …
“… I can say with full conviction that qital (killing, violence, armed struggle) to uphold the kalimah (declaration of faith) has neither been called atrocity or transgression nor has it been prohibited. Rather, qital has not only been ordained for the purpose of upholding the kalimah but also stressed and encouraged in the Book (Quran) and the Sunnah (Hadith). Muslims have indeed been encouraged and motivated to engage in qital and they have been given good tidings of rewards for this.”
 “It is the duty (of Muslims) to struggle for the domination of Islam over false religions and subdue and subjugate ahl-e-kufr-o-shirk (infidels and polytheists) in the same way as it is the duty of the Muslims to proselytise and invite people to Islam. The responsibility to testify to the Truth and pronounce the Deen God has entrusted with the Muslims cannot be fulfilled merely by preaching and proselytising. If it were so there would be no need for the battles that were fought.
 “Jihad has been made obligatory to make the Deen (religion) dominate and to stop the centres of evil. Keeping in view the importance of this task, the significance of jihad in the name of God has been stressed in the Quran and Hadith. That’s why clear ordainments have been revealed to Muslims about fighting all the kuffar (infidels): “Unite and fight the polytheists (mushriks) just as they put up a united front against you” (Surah Tauba: 9:36)”.
 [Excerpted and translated from Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi’s Urdu booklet "Taqat ka Istemal Quran ki Raoshni Main," ‘The use of violence, in the light of the Qur’an’]
 Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (Born 1925), otherwise a promoter of peace and pluralism, says the following:
 "Efforts on the part of prophets over a period of thousands of years had proved that any struggle which was confined to intellectual or missionary field was not sufficient to extricate man from the grip of this superstition (shirk, kufr). (So) it was God’s decree that he (Prophet Mohammad) be a da’i (missionary) as well as ma’hi (eradicator). He was entrusted by God with the mission of not only proclaiming to the world that superstitious beliefs (shirk, kufr) were based on falsehood, but also of resorting to military action, if the need arose, to eliminate that system for all time".
 [From Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s book “Islam – Creator of the Modern World,” re- printed in 2003].
It is ironic that even an indefatigable promoter of peace and pluralism among Muslims has to concede on the basis of commonly accepted Islamic jurisprudence that the Prophet’s job was to eradicate unbelief from the world, even using military means. And if this is so, what would stop Bin Ladens and Baghdadis of this world claiming that they are simply carrying forward the Prophet’s unfinished mission?
The message from all these sermons is clear. Islam must dominate the world and it is the duty of every Muslim to help the process. Wherever a Muslim turns to he gets the same Islam-supremacist message. The latest among the most authoritative books on Islamic theology is a 45-volume comprehensive Encyclopaedia of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). It was prepared by scholars from all schools of thought, engaged by Ministry of Awqaf & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait, over a period of half a century. Its Urdu translation was released in Delhi by Vice-president Hamid Ansari on 23 October 2009.
This most influential book of Islamic jurisprudence has a 23,000-word chapter on jihad. We moderate Muslims and Sufis keep talking ad nauseum about struggle against one’s own nafs (lower self, negative ego) being the real and greater jihad and qital (warfare) being rather insignificant, lesser jihad. But except one sentence in the beginning, the entire chapter talks entirely about the issues related with combating and killing enemies, i.e.  infidels, polytheists or apostates, starting with the stark declaration: “Jihad means to fight against the enemy.” There is no mention of real or greater jihad.
Then Ibn-e-Taimiyya is quoted to say: “… So jihad is wajib (incumbent) as much as one’s capacity”. Then comes the final, definitive definition: “Terminologically, jihad means to fight against a non-zimmi unbeliever (kafir) after he rejects the call towards Islam, in order to establish or raise high the words of Allah.” (Translated from original Arabic)
It is not difficult for an intelligent, educated Muslim to discover our hypocrisy. Clearly what is censured by us moderates as radical Islamist theology is not substantially different from the current Islamic theology accepted through a consensus by ulema of all schools of thought.
Late Osama bin Laden or his ideological mentor Abdu’llāh Yūsuf ‘Azzām, now called father of global jihad, and his present-day successor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not invent a new theology. Their use of consensual theology is what lies behind their great success in attracting thousands of Muslim youth in such a short while. They will continue to attract more and more youths until we mainstream Muslims realise our hypocrisy and change course.
What are the ingredients of this consensus theology that is leading to radicalisation of our educated youth? A few examples:
1. Following a literal reading of some allegorical verses in Quran, far too many Muslims now regard God as an implacable, anthropomorphic figure permanently at war with those who do not believe in His uniqueness. This is a negation of the Sufi or Vedantic concept of God as universal consciousness or universal intelligence radiating His grace from every atom in the universe. Unfortunately, Sufi madrasas themselves have abandoned, at least in the Indian sub-continent, the concept of wahdatul wajud (unity of being) for fear that this would be considered too close to the Vedantic and thus Hindu concept of God.
Instead they teach Sheikh Sirhindi’s wahdatul shuhood (Apparentism, unity of appearances) in the name of wahdatul wajud. Sheikh Sirhindi had invented this concept to counter the growing influence of Sufi masters like Mohiyiddin Ibn-e-Arabi and Mansour al-Hallaj during the reign of Emperor Akbar.
 







Most Sufi madrasas have thrown out from their curriculum mystical books like Kashful Mahjub by Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Hijweri, Awarif-ul-Ma’arif by Shaykh Umar Shahabuddin Suhrawardi, Fawaidul Fu’aad by Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, Masnawi of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, Gulistan and Bostan by Shaikh Sa’adi Shirazi, Si Asl by Mulla Sadra Shirazi, Fususul Hikam by Shaikh Ibn ul Arabi, Life and teachings of great Sufis like Ghareeb Nawaz Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri, Baba Fareed, Ameer Khusro etc.
  2. Radical ideologues quote militant, xenophobic verses of Quran to support offensive jihad. We moderates from Sufi stream of thought counter that by saying: look at the context. These verses came during war and had to inevitably order fighting, killings, offer rewards for martyrs and show intolerance towards the manifest enemy. It’s not unusual in wars to make binary arguments.
 Thus the Muslim-Kafir binary inevitably emerged during wars. After all, most of the war-time verses of Quran revealed in Medina, first permitting and then guiding Muslims in the course of various wars were a response to the evolving situation. But we do not take the argument of these war-time verses being contextual in nature to its logical conclusion, which is, that these verses have now become obsolete; they are no longer applicable to us today when that context does not exist.
 3. Not only that we do not call contextual verses of Quran obsolete, but we also agree with the radicals that Quran is an uncreated attribute of God, with all its verses, universally and eternally applicable to Muslims, without reference to context. Every madrasa teaches that Quran is uncreated, divine, direct speech of God, as if God were an anthropomorphic being. This totally defeats our earlier argument that when dealing with Quranic exhortations, we should look at the context. What context?
 If Quran is an uncreated attribute of God, immutable, eternal, merely a copy of the original Quran lying in the ‘Heavenly Vault’ (Lauh-e-Mahfouz), then where is the question of context? This makes it possible for militant ideologues to tell our youth that even the militant, xenophobic, intolerant exhortations of Quran that were revealed in the context of war, must be followed and implemented, as there is no controversy about their applicability today in any school of thought.
 4.  There is consensus in Islamic theology that Hadith, the so-called sayings of Prophet Mohammad, are akin to revelation. These were collected up to 300 years after the demise of the Prophet. Rational Muslims doubt their credibility and authenticity, but even ulema opposed to ISIS, cannot bring themselves to question the Hadith-based millenarian thesis that is the primary cause of ISIS’ great success in comparison to al-Qaeda which did not stress millenarianism.
 As a couple of allegorical verses of Quran and predictions attributed to the Prophet have been interpreted to mean that the world is about to end, and Islam is about to be victorious following the end-time war being waged by ISIS, then what is the point of working for corporates run by infidels? Why not join the battle and become a martyr or ghazi just before the world ends? So goes the argument.
 One of the permanent bestsellers in Delhi’s Urdu Bazaar is a booklet called “Qeyamat ki peshingoiyan” (End-time Predictions). I imagine a similar booklet selling on streets of Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus, Istanbul, wherever. Why should ISIS not make good use of this belief, when it has the unquestioning support of theologians of all schools of thought, including self-proclaimed moderates, who call Hadith akin to revelation?
 Ahadith are also used to justify the killing of innocent civilians in a war, although there are repeated and clear instructions in the Quran against that. But the moment you say Hadith is akin to revelation, you are nullifying the impact of your Quranically justified claim that in Islam killing of one innocent person amounts to killing of humanity.
 5.  Nearly all Muslims consider Sharia as divine and immutable, even though it was first codified on the basis of some Quranic verses and pre-Islamic Arab Bedouin customs 120 years after the demise of the Prophet and completion of the religion of Islam as declared by God in Quran (5:3).
 The result is that even Muslims living in non-Muslim majority multicultural Europe demand Sharia-compliant laws. No wonder that those who want to practice what they believe in would want to migrate to the so-called Islamic State, sometimes even with their families. Radicalised youth cannot be blamed for feeling that the moderate Muslims, in India, for instance, are hypocrites. They want to use their purported belief in the divinity of Sharia only for male-supremacist privileges like instant divorce and multiple marriages, whereas the radicals migrating to the so-called Islamic State are willing to accept all the rigours of Sharia’s criminal justice system, namely, cutting off hands for theft, lashes and stoning for adultery and murder, etc.
 6.  There is consensus in Islamic theology that helping establish and supporting a caliphate is the religious duty of Muslims, even though there is absolutely no such direction in the Quran. But those who believe in the Hadith being akin to revelation are unable to dispute ISIS’ claim to legitimacy on the basis of this Hadith: “Hazrat Huzaifa narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Prophethood will remain among you as long as Allah wills. Then Caliphate (Khilafah) on the lines of Prophethood shall commence, and remain as long as Allah wills. Then corrupt/erosive monarchy would take place, and it will remain as long as Allah wills. After that, despotic kingship would emerge, and it will remain as long as Allah wills. Then, the Caliphate (Khilafah) shall come once again based on the precept of Prophethood." (Musnad Ahmed inb Hanbali).
 7.  Hijrat (migration) to the land of Islamic Sharia from Darul Harb where Sharia is not enforced is a religious duty for Muslims. This may appear grotesque at a time when millions of Muslims are marching to the so-called European ‘Darul Harb’ almost barefoot in a desperate effort to escape from so-called Darul Islam of Khalifa al-Baghdadi. The ‘Darul Islam’ of Saudi Arabia has refused to give refuge to a single soul, while the European ‘Darul Harb’ is accommodating millions of Muslims. But the ulema will not allow any part of their theology to be questioned.
 8.  Theologians of all school believe that some early verses of Quran have been abrogated and replaced by better and more appropriate later verses. This consensual Doctrine of Abrogation is used by radical ideologues to claim all 124 foundational, constitutive, Meccan verses of peace, pluralism, co-existence with other religious communities, compassion, kindness to neighbours, etc. have been abrogated and replaced by later Medinan verses of war, xenophobia and intolerance. As long as Sufi theologians do not contest this Doctrine of Abrogation, their quoting verses from Meccan Quran has no meaning.
 9.  There is consensus among theologians of all schools of thought that there is no freedom of religion for Muslims in Islam. Apostasy (irtidad or riddah) has to be punished by death. The only dispute is whether the apostate should be given the opportunity to seek forgiveness and revert to his earlier position. With this core aspect of theology, how can Muslims confront terrorist ideologues who order death for vast numbers of Muslims on ground of their having turned apostate? In their eyes all those Muslims who are not with ISIS and other such groups are apostates, particularly all Shia, Ahmadis, Yezidis, etc. How can we prevent radicalisation of our youth unless we confront this theology?
 10. The problem is there is no consensus among Muslims as to who is a Muslim? Justice Munir of the Commission of enquiry set up in Pakistan following anti-Ahmadia riots in 1954 reported that no two ulema agreed on the definition of a Muslim. Ideally, Quran should be our guide, according to which even Hazrat Moosa or Moses, who surrendered to God, much before the advent of Prophet Mohammad, was also a Muslim (Quran 10.90).
 Allah informs us of Muslims who have converted but ‘faith has not yet entered their hearts’ (Quran 49:14). And yet, Allah does not prescribe any punishment for them, nor are they turned out of the fold of Islam. This means that anyone who claims to believe in or surrender to God is a Muslim. The least Muslims can do is to accept irja, the position of the murjias (postponers), who said let us postpone judgement in matters of faith for the Day of Judgement. Let us allow God to judge people on matters of faith. When we humans do not know what lies in someone’s heart, who are we to punish someone for what he believes in or not? A very rational position, but Muslims will need to embrace rationality or Quran first.
 11. The same is true of blasphemy. Consensual Islamic theology prescribes death for the blasphemer, even on the flimsiest of accusations. Many Muslim countries have anti-blasphemy laws, though the one that misuses them most is Pakistan. Unfortunately, Sufi-minded Muslims are in the forefront of those who advocate killing for blasphemy and some are even among the killers for blasphemy. How can we fight ISIS ideology, if our own ideology is the same?
 Clearly Islamic theology will have to be rethought, and not just to defeat jihadism, but also to deal with many other pressing issues including human rights of women, children, homosexuals, religious minorities, atheists, etc.
 (Sultan Shahin is founding editor of a progressive Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com. This article is based on his address to the UNHRC on September 26, 2016)
This article was first published on Sabrangindia.in

Every 7 Seconds, a Girl Younger than 15 Gets Married: Save the Children
















Fawzia poses for a picture as she spends her jail term in one of the tribal elders' house in Paktika province, Afghanistan July 27, 2016. Picture taken July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

Most Afghan Women Sentenced To Jail Serve In Tribal Elders’ Home, Not Prison
Malaysian Woman Fights against Islamic Laws Imposed On Her Because Father Is A Muslim
Muslim Women's Law Board Chief Moots New Marriage Act, AIMPLB Trashes Idea
Nigerian Televangelist Randomly Donates To Indian Muslim Acid Attack Victim
Patriarchy Couldn't Stop This 14-Year-Old Muslim Girl from Becoming a Wushu Martial Arts Champion
Kendall Jenner Accused of Cultural Appropriation for Wearing Burqa as Disguise
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
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Every 7 Seconds, A Girl Younger Than 15 Gets Married: Save The Children
Wednesday Oct 12, 2016
One girl under the age of 15 gets married every seven seconds, according to a new report by the international nonprofit Save the Children.
The study presents a "girls' opportunities" index of countries, ranking nations on a host of criteria, including access to education and the preponderance of child brides. Nordic countries sit at the top, while impoverished, fragile states such as the Central African Republic, Niger and Chad hold up the bottom.
According to UNICEF data, more than 700 million girls today were married before their 18th birthday - and one in three of them were married before she turned 15. They are often forced into these marriages, almost invariably to older men. The bulk of them live in relatively poor, rural communities in South Asia and parts of Africa. In many instances, these unions take place in contravention of local laws.
Despite global efforts to combat the enduring practice, Save the Children estimates that the total number of women married in childhood will grow to 950 million by 2030 and to 1.2 billion by 2050.
There's a link between statistics on child marriage and a country's faltering development. And girls who are subject to such marriages often are more vulnerable to abuse and trafficking, as well as the risk of maternal mortality.
"Child marriage starts a cycle of disadvantage that denies girls the most basic rights to learn, develop and be children," Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the chief executive of Save the Children, said. "Girls who marry too early often can't attend school, and are more likely to face domestic violence, abuse and rape."
The international organisation found that girls are more likely to be forced into child marriages in conditions of poverty, humanitarian disaster and conflict. Save the Children pointed to an upswing in girls in Syria being married off as their families cope with life in the shadow of their country's ruinous civil war. In Sierra Leone, an Ebola outbreak shut down schools and led to an estimated 14,000 teenage pregnancies.
The number of child brides is particularly high in South Asia, where the population is large and the practice difficult to stamp out in more impoverished areas. There remains an entrenched rural-urban divide with regard to the preponderance of girls being married as children.
And incidents of child marriage increase where there is less acess to education.
In the index compiled by Save the Children, the United States ranks at a rather lowly 32, beneath nations such as Kazakhstan and Algeria. This is largely because of the country's relatively high rate of teenage pregnancy and slightly higher rates of maternal mortality compared with those in other developed countries.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11727483
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Most Afghan Women Sentenced To Jail Serve In Tribal Elders’ Home, Not Prison
Wed Oct 12 2016
A new harrowing report has emerged from the eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan unveiling the distressing condition of the Afghan women who are sentenced to jail.
An 18-year-old woman in Paktika province was forced to serve in a tribal elder’s home after she was sentenced to jail on charges of elopement and adultery.
The woman, Fawzia, told Reuters that she was treated like an animal and kept like a slave as she was kept in the tribal elder’s home to serve 18-month jail sentenced awarded by the court.
“What I have suffered, I pray that no woman should ever suffer,” Fawzia told Reuters in Sharana as she was briefly released from the elder’s house due to an illness.
According to the paper, quoting Alim Kohistani, director of Afghanistan’s prison service, some 850 women are imprisoned in official detention centers in Afghanistan for crimes ranging from murder to drugs and “moral crimes”.
Kohistani further added that “There could be thousands of other women kept in unofficial places across the country in the absence of proper jails.”
“We do our best to help them whenever needed and review their cases on time and make sure their rights are not violated,” he said.
Zalmay Kharote, a rights activist in Paktika, said “From sexual abuse to other forms of unjust and inhumane acts, these women become a tribal elder’s property.”
According to a report by Human Rights Watch, some 95 percent of girls and 50 percent of women imprisoned in Afghanistan were accused of “moral crimes” like running away from home or “zina” – extramarital relations.
http://www.khaama.com/most-afghan-women-sentenced-to-jail-serve-in-elders-home-not-prison-02060
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Malaysian Woman Fights against Islamic Laws Imposed On Her Because Father Is A Muslim
October 11, 2016
A 35-year-old woman who was born to a Buddhist mother and Muslim father out of wedlock is now fighting against having Islamic laws imposed on her in the Selangor state of Malaysia.
Rosliza Ibrahim has been locked in a court battle against religious authorities in the state, which insist she is a Muslim because she was born to a Muslim father.
The National Registration Department has refused to change her Muslim name to one of her choice, saying that it first needed a letter of approval from the Shariah Court.
The decision comes despite the fact that she had provided evidence that both her and her mother had never converted to Islam.
Her mother, who is since deceased, had also provided a statutory declaration confirming that she never married Rosliza's father, whose whereabouts is currently unknown.
In the Court of Appeal, Rosliza said that under English common law and substantive Islamic law, an illegitimate child's natural father has no rights over the child, and therefore her religion should follow her mother's wishes.
She had filed a case in the Shah Alam High Court seeking a declaration that Islamic laws in Selangor do not apply to her and therefore the Shariah courts do not have jurisdiction over her. The High Court rejected her application in March of this year, because she did not prove that her parents were not married to each other.
Rosliza's lawyer, Aston Paiva said: "The High Court did not request for evidence of this from the appellant during the hearing. She was not given an opportunity to be heard."
He continued: "A failure by the Malaysian courts to conclusively determine this dispute would affirm that the religion of Islam can be imposed on the Buddhist appellant against her will; violating guaranteed Constitutional rights and human rights in Malaysia."
He told the Malay Mail a day before the Court of Appeal hearing: "Her Constitutional right to religious freedom and disposition of property are all adversely affected. She cannot go to the Shariah court as, by law, she is not even a Muslim in the first place. Thus there is no question of leaving Islam."
On 11 October, the three-member panel of the Court of Appeal in overturning the High Court's decision, ordered that her case be sent back to the Shah Alam High Court but this time, to be heard in front of a different judge, the Malay Mail reports.
Lawyer Philip Koh, who is holding a watching brief for the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, urged the court to recognise Rosliza's right to practice the religion of her choice, FreeMalaysiaToday reports.
Malaysia has regularly been hit with cases of unilateral conversions of children into Islam with questions being raised as to whether such conversions are lawful.
There has been pressure for such children to be allowed to hold on to their original faith until they can decide for themselves when they reach the age of 18. There have been several cases when a parent converts to Islam during the dissolution of the marriage, which effectively forces the children to become Muslims even though the other spouse has not converted.
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/malaysian-woman-fights-against-islamic-laws-imposed-her-because-father-muslim-1585870
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Muslim Women's Law Board Chief Moots New Marriage Act, AIMPLB Trashes Idea
October 12, 2016
As the debate over Triple Talaq heats up with the Centre telling Supreme Court that the practice violates fundamental rights, a Muslim women body has gone a step ahead and demanded a new Muslim Marriage Act on the lines of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Shaista Ambar, head of All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board, threw her weight behind Centre’s affidavit last week in the apex court that the concept of Triple Talaq violated fundamental rights. She told News18 that what the community needed was a new Muslim Marriage Act that should be based on Quranic principles of marriage while aligned with the law of the land. Ambar said she had written to the then President of India Pratibha Patil as early as 2009 on the need for such a law.
“The Hindu Marriage Act was passed after due deliberations in the Parliament. A Muslim Marriage Act as defined by Quran, which also has a legislative backing, is something which will benefit the community as a whole. The act can nullify polygamy and prohibit Talaq-e-Biddat (Triple Talaq),” she said.
talaqtriple-875
Ambar also rubbished criticism from conservative circles that she was a pawn at the hands of BJP and RSS. “The people who are accusing us of being linked to RSS and BJP are not realizing that it is them who are trying to hide behind their disability and incompetence,” she said.
Ambar’s suggestion for a new Act was rubbished by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), a co-litigant in the Triple Talaq case that has been arguing that it is part of Sharia law and is as inevitable part of Islam.
AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani said Ambar’s demand was “illusory” in nature. “If the act prohibits polygamy, then how can it be based on the Quran? Moreover, there are varied sects of Muslims in India…how will the law take into account Shia, Sunnis, Ahle Hadees, Hanafi, Hanbali, etc?” he asked.
muslimtrippletalaq-news18-875
Going into the complexity of the issue, Jilani said the Ahle Hadees sect considered Triple Talaq as one Talaq, whereas the Hanafis considered them as three separate Talaqs. “How will you ever achieve any harmony? This will be a clear violation of our personal laws. The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 gives Muslims the right to contract marriages and divorces according to the personal laws. What is the need to re-think all of this again?” he asked.
On the Centre’s affidavit last week in the apex court that the concept of Triple Talaq violated fundamental rights, Jilani said the SC itself had laid down in the Madhu Kishwar’s judgment that it has no right to interfere in the personal laws of a community under Article 25 of the Constitution. He said AIMPLB would only attempt to ‘remind’ the court of its earlier stance.
Jilani suggested that the Centre hold a referendum on Triple Talaq. “Ninety per cent of all Muslim women supports Shariat. The Union government can hold a vote on the issue of triple talaq, and see for itself,” he said.
Validity of Triple Talaq, issue of alimony, and the idea of a uniform civil code have been three issues that has been doing politic-legal rounds for decades. While the Triple Talaq issue got a fresh lease of life with the Centre’s affidavit last week, the civil code also came into limelight when the Law Commission put out a questionnaire seeking public comments on the topic.
Ambar’s demand for a new Marriage Act received support from unexpected corners like the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political outfit of Popular Front of India (PFI), known for its conservative views. Advocate Sharifuddin Ahmed, UP President of SDPI, told News18 that marriage is essentially a contract and every woman can state her intent in the contract itself. “A woman should never give approval for a marriage until these issues are sorted out,” he said.
Nadeem Siddiqui, chief of UP-based All India Muslim Majlis, felt that Muslim women have approached the ‘wrong forum’ to settle their disputes. “This entire ‘tamasha’ is happening at the behest of the ruling government who is gearing up for the next year UP elections. If one believes in Islam, then such disputes would have never arisen,” he said.
His views – in line with AIMPLB and other conservative outfits – were echoed by Mohammad Salim Engineer, Secretary General, Jamaat-E-Islami Hind.
“The sole issue of Triple Talaq has been hyped by the present government to create an atmosphere for the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code. This entire issue has been created to ignite polarization among the communities. We all know that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hatching a conspiracy here to bring it all up so that a stage for the Uniform Civil Code could be set up. If the government is so worried then what is being done for the people who were lynched at Dadri, or the women who were beaten up for allegedly carrying beef, or the slain Ehsan Jafri?” he asked.
Ambar rubbished allegations that she was acting at the behest of the Centre or any political outfit. She said she was being targeted by the conservative elements for demanding “authentic Islamic justice” which “makes them uncomfortable.”
http://www.news18.com/news/india/muslim-womens-law-board-chief-demands-a-new-marriage-act-aimplb-trashes-the-idea-1300953.html
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Nigerian Televangelist Randomly Donates To Indian Muslim Acid Attack Victim
Tue 11 Oct 2016
A televangelist in Nigeria has donated around £12,000 (5 million Nigerian naira) to a Muslim acid attack victim in India after hearing about her case.
Pastor Joshua Iginla, Senior Pastor at Champions Royal Assembly in Kubwa, donated the funds 26-year-old Jamila Yusuf (pictured above) who was allegedly bathed with acid by her partner.
Speaking on his Facebook page, the pastor, who has never met the survivor, said: "I am not doing this for her because she is a member of my Church; I don't know her from anywhere; she's even a Muslim by religion!
"We are only doing this to preach love and not to convert her to Christianity, after her surgery in India, if she decides to remain a Muslim so be it."
The Christian leader has also encouraged parishioners to donate towards the cause as the cost of surgery is expected to be more than his denotation.
He wrote to his almost 700,000 followers: "This is an opportunity to show love to your neighbour because she's not a Christian; your neighbour must not necessarily come from your religion or ethnic group."
The pastor, based in the capital, Abuja, said Jamila Yusuf had suffered chemical burns and would have to have surgery.
Pastor Joshua Iginla announced the donation for Ms Yusaf's surgery at a church service.
http://www.premier.org.uk/News/World/Nigerian-televangelist-randomly-donates-to-Indian-Muslim-acid-attack-victim
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Patriarchy Couldn't Stop This 14-Year-Old Muslim Girl from Becoming a Wushu Martial Arts Champion
12 Oct 2016
A majority of Indias may be unfamiliar with the word 'wushu', but students of one girls' school in Hyderabad are big fans of it. A form of martial arts that reportedly originated in China in 1949, wushu combines 'elements of performance and martial application', according to this article.
One school in Hyderabad embraced this form of martial arts to teach girls self defence. And of all the practitioners of this sport in the school, 14-year-old Fareeha Tafim is perhaps the most successful. After winning the state championships, Fareeha was selected to participate in the national championships this year. The nationals were to be held in Assam.
However, Assam seemed too far away and Fareeha's mother wasn't ready to let her go as yet. Her mother told her, "You are a young girl and it is dangerous outside." She also believed that if Fareeha doesn't don the veil--which she couldn't during the competition--she will be called 'shameless' by the community and immediate acquaintances. After all, not only will she be showing her face, she will be doing it in front of thousands of people.
Snooping into somebody's personal life is not 'allowed'  in India. But there are certainly some examples in recent history where celebrated and powerful persons do it and walk without facing trials even if the matter reaches Supreme Court.  In one such case, the accused was a two term CM of a State which was advertised to be a "Model" in growth achievement under his tenure.  This man got the parents hooked 'properly' and they submitted an affidavit (not in fear or under pressure from anybody, naturally)  in the Supreme Court stating that pursuing the case will damage the reputation of the girl and their family and hence the case may please be closed.  Surprisingly, the Supreme Court allowed the closure of the case without looking into the merits or demerits of it.  The same SC later heroically upheld that "even if the accused undergoing trial in a rape case give an assurance to marry the victim and the victim approves of it, case cannot be concluded in acquittal of the accused and he will have to go through the trial and be punished as per the law of the country.  If the rape accused was a powerful two term CM representing a party that believes in terrorizing their opponents through physical high handedness perhaps the SC would have allowed him to marry the rape victim and close the case.  Snooping by powerful politicians are approved in India, legally.
While Fareeha was raring to go, tradition and orthodoxy nearly held her back.
At one point, the teen's mother and brother even told her that she was bringing dishonour to the family. However, Fareeha was not alone in this fight. With unwavering support from her father, not only did she travel all the way to Guwahati, she also won the national championships.
Fareeha is the subject of London-based filmmaker Jayisha Patel's documentary India's Wushu Warrior Girl. Patel's documentary was made for Al Jazeera English's documentary strand, Witness, that focuses on stories and events that go underreported.
Patel, who has been making films on women in India for a while now, tells HuffPost India why she thought Fareeha's story needs to be told. She says, "It is an important issue. What struck me was that for her age, she was very forward thinking. Also the conservative community she lives in and to have that sort of for thinking and the determination is absolutely amazing."
Patel further adds that the principal of the school must be given due credit. Not only did he familiarise himself with this niche sport he also encouraged the girls to take it up and supported them in their pursuit of excellence in the sport.
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2016/10/11/patriarchy-couldnt-stop-this-14-year-old-muslim-girl-from-becom/
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Kendall Jenner Accused Of Cultural Appropriation For Wearing Burqa As Disguise
11/10/2016
Kendall Jenner has been accused of cultural appropriation for wearing a burqa as a disguise from the paparazzi.
She was visiting Dubai with DJ Neptune who posted a picture to his Instagram account.
Social media users denounced the model's use of the garment.
The burqa is traditionally worn by Muslim women for modesty.
One Twitter user wrote: "I wish my hijab helped me go undercover at 14 when a stranger told me I was oppressed and I had trouble with my identity."
http://www.breakingnews.ie/showbiz/kendall-jenner-accused-of-cultural-appropriation-for-wearing-burqa-as-disguise-758869.html
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Afghanistan NSA Urges Sunni, Shia Scholars to Recognize Enemies of Unity










At Whitemoor prison in Cambridgeshire (pictured), 44 per cent of the 447 inmates are Muslim. It is the highest proportion in any British jail and nearly double the number recorded less than a decade ago
Salafism Brought Kerala ISIS Group Together
Pak Human Rights Commission Slams Faith-Based Violence in Balochistan
Europe's Jails Are 'Breeding Grounds' For Jihadists Because ISIS See Criminals as Ideal Recruits
US Paid Half A Billion Dollars to Produce Fake Terrorism Videos in Iraq
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South Asia
Afghanistan NSA Urges Sunni, Shia Scholars to Recognize Enemies of Unity
Al-Qaeda Attack Survivor Says Quran Makes Her 'Such a Good Atheist'
Bangladesh Offers Cash to Lure Militants Away From Terrorism
Afghan forces clear Kunduz city after 9 days of clashes
Ghani makes surprise visit to Mines Ministry, slams officials for insufficient work
Second attack reported on a mosque in Kabul city
Muslims commemorate Ashura in Bangladesh; Taazia processions remember the Karbala battle
Kabul attack death toll rises to 18 as UNAMA condemns killing of civilians
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India
Salafism Brought Kerala ISIS Group Together
Held For WhatsApp Message on Beef, Youth Dies In Custody
Muslim Personal Law Board should become active – Zahid Ali Khan
Nawaz Sharif praising Burhan Wani as if he has joined IS: Bhupatray Shashank
Pampore encounter enters third day: Two militants killed
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Pakistan
Pak Human Rights Commission Slams Faith-Based Violence In Balochistan
Asia Bibi's Final Appeal against Blasphemy to Be Heard In Supreme Court
Pakistan ranked dismal 107 of 118 countries on hunger index
JI urges people to unite against corrupt regimes
Two mourners die, over 300 fall unconscious in Rohri
Sindh tightens security along border with Balochistan
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Europe
Europe's Jails Are 'Breeding Grounds' For Jihadists Because ISIS See Criminals as Ideal Recruits
Hungarian Intelligence Expert Describes How Muslim Conquest of Europe May Play Out
I'm an anti-Putin Russian, and Clinton makes me nervous
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North America
US Paid Half A Billion Dollars to Produce Fake Terrorism Videos in Iraq
Pentagon Confronts a New Threat from ISIS: Exploding Drones
Around two hundred gather for anti-Islam speech protest
Speaker challenges narrative about Muslim Americans
--
Arab World
Only the Hardest Of Hearts Could Ignore These Syrian Kids' Hopes for Peace
Militant Firing on Syrian School Kills At Least Five Children
Iranians Commemorate Imam Hossein's Martyrdom Anniversary
Positions of ISIL, Fatah Al-Sham in Homs Severely Damaged in Syrian Airstrikes
Army Wins Back Key Town in Hama Province, Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses
Fatah Al-Sham's Offensives Repulsed by Syrian Army in Northern Dara'a
Senior Fatah Al-Sham Commander Killed in Syrian Army Attacks in Homs
Syrian Army Cuts off Most Terrorist Supply Lines in Northern Hama
Syrian Army, Air Force Launch Heavy Strikes at Terrorists across Dara'a City
Islamic economic system is the basis of economic growth: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
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Africa
Tension As 501 Ghanaian Soldiers Opt To Join Boko Haram
Nine Dead As Nigeria Police Open Fire on Shia Muslim Procession Marking Ashura
Kenyan police arrest Briton in Shabaab recruitment probe
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Mideast
AKP to Submit Own Constitutional Draft for Presidential System: PM Yıldırım
40,000 Denounced To Police as Gülenists in Ankara
Erdoğan slams isolation of Turkey from Iraq operation
Iraqi PM hits back in war of words with Turkish president
Turkey will judge suspects demanded by US itself, not extradite them immediately: Erdoğan
Turkish military dismisses 233 more soldiers over coup attempt
Turkey to implement British model for military medical services
CHP lends support to gov’t in spat with Iraq over Bashiqa base
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Southeast Asia
Myanmar Forces Pursue Militants after Attacks on Police
12 people dead after unrest in Muslim-majority state of Rakhine
Indonesia seeks stronger anti-terror law against ISIL
Sheikh Hamdan attends 3rd Global Islamic Economy Summit
Jais arrests 50 Pakistani Shia Muslims
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
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Afghanistan NSA Urges Sunni, Shia Scholars to Recognize Enemies of Unity
Wed Oct 12 2016
The National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar has called on the religious scholars of the Sunni and Shia Muslims to recognize the enemies of the unity of the Afghan nation as a deadly attack ripped throug a gathering in a shrine in capital Kabul.
Condemning the attack in strongest words, Atmar said “We request Sunni and Shia and the Muslim people of Afghanistan to recognize the enemies of our unity, empathy and stand firm against them.”
He said “The brutal attack on Ashura mourners at Karte Sakhi shrine is an unforgivable crime carried out by terrorists.”
The attack on the shrine was launched around 7:20 pm on Tuesday night after a number of gunmen stormed into the gathering and started indiscriminate firing on the mourners.
The security officials said at least 14 people including women and children were killed and scores of others were wounded in the attack.
The clearance operations continued for several hours before the Afghan security forces managed to eliminate the assailants who had taken position inside the shrine.
No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the attack with the Taliban group immediately distancing itself from the brutal raid.
The attack sparked anger among the Afghan people who condemned in strongest words and called the raid an attempt to spark ethnic and religious tensions among the people.
Source: khaama.com/kabul-attack-atmar-urges-sunni-shia-scholars-to-recognize-enemies-of-unity-02063
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Salafism Brought Kerala ISIS Group Together
October 12, 2016
The NIA said the accused were inspired by the IS and had assembled at a hilltop in Kannur to plan attacks against key politicians in Kerala and TN.
Six men, part of an Islamic State (IS)-inspired group, who were arrested from Kerala on October 2, have told their interrogators that though they closely followed controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and another Kerala-based preacher, M.M Akbar, their speeches did not have much influence on them.
Investigators found several video clips on the mobile phones and laptops of the six accused containing the speeches of Naik and Akbar. Both preachers have been accused of radicalising people through their fiery speeches.
A senior National Investigation Agency (NIA) spokesperson said all six accused were Salafis (followers of the puritanical form of Islam) and this was the common thread that brought them together.
“They were closely following the speeches of Naik and Akbar but told us that they were hardly influenced by them. They said the preachers spoke not only about Islam but other topics as well and theirs was one of the many speeches they [the group] followed,” said a senior home ministry official.
The six accused first created a blog post in Malayalam called ‘muhajiroun2015. wordpress.com’ but it was blocked by the security agencies. “Once it was blocked, the accused then created another blog called ‘muhajiroun2016. wordpress.com’ and used to share their views on IS,” said the official.
The NIA said the accused were inspired by the IS and had assembled at a hilltop in Kannur to plan attacks against key politicians in Kerala and Tamil Nadu when they were apprehended.
The arrests were made soon after one of the accused, Manseed alias Omar al Hindi (30), a Kerala resident, who had been working in Qatar, made an unscheduled visit to India in the last week of September.
“Manseed told us that he did not have a regular job in Qatar. He had been going there for the past six years on a tourist visa and doing odd jobs. He says he decided to come back to India all of a sudden as he had got a regular job there and wanted to return on a proper work visa,” said an NIA official.
The accused had been on the radar of the security agencies for the past four months. The others — Abu Basheer (29) alias Rasheed is a mechanic, Swalih Mohammed T. (26) works at Club Mahindra in Chennai, Safwan P (30) works as a designer for a newspaper, Jasim NK (25), an engineer and Ramshad (24) is an accountant.
Source: thehindu.com/news/national/salafism-brought-kerala-is-group-members-together/article9208845.ece
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Pak Human Rights Commission slams faith-based violence in Balochistan
October 11, 2016
Lahore [Pakistan]: Pointing out the failure of concerned authorities to stop sectarian killings and attacks in Balochistan, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the political and religious parties to take effective steps to stop the faith-based violence and bloodletting there.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Commission said: “HRCP has serious concerns over the recent attack in Quetta where four women from the Hazara community were killed in an attack on their bus, and violence in Panjgur where several worship places of the Zikri community were torched.”
“Such attacks are just the latest evidence of the authorities’ failure to arrest the mindless bloodletting by extremist elements.”
The commission said that the Hazara Shia community has particularly been much affected with such attacks saying, “The extremist violence in Balochistan, especially against the Hazara Shia in recent years, has dispelled any illusions about the perpetrators’ moral compass. But the attack on the bus carrying Hazara women proves that no depth is too low for the killers and those who control them.”
“Official condemnation of such violence is of little consequence without meaningful action against those who have tried to divide people in the name of religion and sect. They have also tarnished the tolerant tradition of Balochistan, where humanity transcended religious or sectarian identity,” it added.
“The outrage of the affected families and the citizenry is understandable. We hope that, if nothing else, the helplessness and frustration of the people shames the authorities into bringing the bloodletting and insanity in the province to a halt.”
It further urged the political and religious parties to take up the cause and exert and sustain pressure on the government to do its duty to protect the lives and religious freedoms of the people.
Source: siasat.com/news/pak-human-rights-commission-slams-faith-based-violence-balochistan-1039351/
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Europe's Jails Are 'Breeding Grounds' For Jihadists Because ISIS See Criminals as Ideal Recruits
October 11, 2016
Prisons in Europe are becoming 'breeding grounds' for jihadist groups, with some criminals seeing violent extremism as a form of redemption for their crimes, a report has found.
The emergence of Islamic State has strengthened the link between crime and terrorism, according to research, and as many as one in five UK maximum security prisoners are Muslim compared to one in 20 in the British population.
Rather than looking to universities or religious establishments, IS increasingly turns to 'ghettos', prisons and 'under-classes' to recruit individuals with a history of criminal behaviour, it said.
Jihadist and criminal groups are recruiting from the same pool of people, while their social networks are also converging, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) found, in what it dubbed a 'new crime-terror nexus'.
 The report by the British think tank examined the profiles of European jihadists recruited since 2011.
Prisons provide a ready supply of 'angry young men' who are 'ripe' for radicalisation, according to the study, entitled Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures: European Jihadists and the New Crime-Terror Nexus.
ICSR director Peter Neumann, one of the report's authors, said the lines between crime and jihadist groups were becoming 'increasingly blurred'.
'Prison is becoming important as a place where a lot of networking happens,' he said.
'Given the recent surge in terrorism-related arrests and convictions, we are convinced that prisons will become more - rather than less - significant as breeding grounds for the jihadist movement.'
Of those studied, 57 percent had been incarcerated before being radicalised and at least 27 percent of those who spent time in prison were radicalised behind bars.
For some, jihadism offered a form of 'redemption' for their crimes, researchers said.
Ali Almanasfi, a British-Syrian from London who fought in Syria after serving a jail term for violent assault, was cited in the report as saying: 'I want to do something good for once. I want to do something pure.'
According to Neumann, the findings point to a shift if the way ISIS operates.
'We think ISIS no longer aspires to be a very theological organisation,' he said.
'It embodies the brutality, strength and power that these young people who were often members of gangs are looking for.
'It basically tells them "you can continue to do all the things you did before, but now you can get into heaven".'
Full report at:dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3833926/Europe-s-jails-breeding-grounds-jihadists-ISIS-criminals-ideal-recruits-one-five-UK-maximum-security-prisoners-Muslim.html
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US paid half a billion dollars to produce fake terrorism videos in Iraq
October 12, 2016
The US government has spent over half a billion tax-payer dollars to make fake al Qaeda videos bugged with a code to trace viewers’ locations and to generate false propaganda, Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported last week.
Malaysia arrests 16 for suspected militant links
The Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm, Bell Pottinger, over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda programme in Iraq. The PR firm generated a series of coded videos between 2007 and 2011, displaying visuals of bloodletting and bombing by al Qaeda and sequencing these into short documentaries.
The videos were recorded on CDs which were circulated by the US forces in Iraqi neighbourhoods by secretly slipping them inside peoples’ houses. Whenever someone tried playing them, the viewer’s location was transmitted to the US military. “The discs were designed to run on a video software called Real Player that automatically disclosed the user’s location,” Martin Wells, a former Bell Pottinger employee, said.
Pentagon wanted to navigate the routes of the terror group from Iraq to other countries. “These tactics can be very instrumental in making progress and leading to those who can be potential threats,” he added.
At least 10 people killed in blast in northern Syria: Observatory
None of the bombings or killings that feature in the videos were fake or staged. The Pentagon’s primary purpose was to attract al Qaeda propagandists towards the tampered videos and then keep a close watch on their movements. “Nothing was set up, no bombs [were] faked,” Wells informed.
Apart from entrapping al Qaeda operatives, the Pentagon’s other main motive was to manufacture a propaganda of its own. It paid Bell Pottinger $540 million as part of this operation, according to the Bureau’s investigation.
As a result, the PR agency got involved in producing brief news packages to engineer a propaganda. Whenever there was a bomb blast, the agency would send out its employees to film the aftermath. The US military then gave instructions on how to put together the news that best suited their agenda.
Suicide bomber kills at least 10 in town north of Baghdad
The videos were produced in Arabic and their quality was intentionally tampered with to give away the impression like a local news crew had made them.
Source: tribune.com.pk/story/1197773/us-paid-half-billion-dollars-produce-fake-terrorism-videos-iraq/
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South Asia
Afghanistan NSA Urges Sunni, Shia Scholars to Recognize Enemies of Unity
Wed Oct 12 2016
The National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar has called on the religious scholars of the Sunni and Shia Muslims to recognize the enemies of the unity of the Afghan nation as a deadly attack ripped throug a gathering in a shrine in capital Kabul.
Condemning the attack in strongest words, Atmar said “We request Sunni and Shia and the Muslim people of Afghanistan to recognize the enemies of our unity, empathy and stand firm against them.”
He said “The brutal attack on Ashura mourners at Karte Sakhi shrine is an unforgivable crime carried out by terrorists.”
The attack on the shrine was launched around 7:20 pm on Tuesday night after a number of gunmen stormed into the gathering and started indiscriminate firing on the mourners.
The security officials said at least 14 people including women and children were killed and scores of others were wounded in the attack.
The clearance operations continued for several hours before the Afghan security forces managed to eliminate the assailants who had taken position inside the shrine.
No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the attack with the Taliban group immediately distancing itself from the brutal raid.
The attack sparked anger among the Afghan people who condemned in strongest words and called the raid an attempt to spark ethnic and religious tensions among the people.
Source: khaama.com/kabul-attack-atmar-urges-sunni-shia-scholars-to-recognize-enemies-of-unity-02063
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Al-Qaeda Attack Survivor Says Quran Makes Her 'Such a Good Atheist'
OCTOBER 11, 2016
A survivor of a 2015 machete attack by al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent told a conference in Pittsburgh this past weekend that she only has to read the Quran to confirm her atheism.
In February 2015, Bangladeshi-American secularist blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death on a Dhaka street. “The target was an American citizen.. 2 in 1. #America recently martyred 2 of our brothers in #Khurasan & #Shaam. #Revenge+#Punishment,” Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh tweeted afterward.
Roy and his wife, Rafida Bonya Ahmed, lived in suburban Atlanta and were visiting Bangladesh for a month.
"I am a Bangladeshi American writer, blogger and also one of the moderators of the Bengali blog Muktomona – which is the first freethinking blog in the Bengali language," Ahmed said while accepting the "Forward" award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. "My late husband Dr. Avijit Roy founded this online platform in 2001 as a Yahoo forum, way before the very, very noisy days of blogging."
"My husband and I were attacked by the Indian Subcontinent [branch] of al-Qaeda, on Feb. 26, 2015, when we were visiting Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, for a book signing event," she said. "This claimed Avijit’s life and I barely escaped… I suffered four machete stabs on my head, a sliced-off thumb, and numerous other injuries all over my body."
"What was our fault? Avi and I were, are atheists, blogger, writer, and above all secular humanists. Avijit wrote and edited 10 books... two of his books titled Philosophy of Disbelief and Virus of Faith, they made him exceedingly popular among young adults and progressive readers."
But those titles, Ahmed said, "also fueled hostility and anger towards Avijit from religious fundamentalists."
"The online blogging platform Muktomona also became the name of a secular humanist movement for Bangla-speaking people. I wrote a book on evolution and wrote many other blogs," she added. "I guess that would be it -- a pretty good summary of our crimes in the eyes of the Islamic terrorist groups."
Before the attack, Ahmed was a marketing director with a computer science background. After the attack, she accepted an offer from a university "to do research work on the rise of Islamism in Bangladesh."
"My late husband would have loved such an opportunity; he loved to write, that was his life, his passion," she said. "The reason I think Bangladesh is important because unlike many other Islamic countries, Bangladesh, had a secular history with 90 percent Muslim population... over the last few decades it has slowly moved towards Islamic fundamentalism. I think it will be a unique case to uncover why Bangladesh is embracing the same fate as many other traditional Islamic countries, though Bangladesh had such a different background."
Full report at:pjmedia.com/homeland-security/2016/10/11/al-qaeda-attack-survivor-says-quran-makes-her-such-a-good-atheist/
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Bangladesh Offers Cash to Lure Militants Away From Terrorism
October 11, 2016
After the Bangladeshi government made public its offer of cash to militants willing to reform, authorities say two members of a notorious terrorism group gave themselves up.
“We had chosen a dark path,” Abdul Hakim, one of those who surrendered, told a national television audience at a public ceremony last week where he received a check from a government official.
“We have realized our mistake,” said the 22-year-old Hakim. “We do not believe in terrorism. Everyone who has gone on this path should return.”
Hakim and Mahmudul Hasan Bijoy were among the first people to receive money under a new initiative that encourages extremists to lay down guns and renounce their radical paths. In return, those who turn themselves in will receive financial and legal assistance to help smooth their reintegration into the society.
The government handed over 500,000 Taka (about $6,350) to each of the two men who walked into a police station in northern Bogra city.
Police said the young men belonged to the Neo-JMB, an affiliate of the Islamic State and a splinter group of Jama’atul Mujahideen, considered one of the top terror organizations in Bangladesh.
“I have left that path. Please forgive me for what I have done and pray that I may be able to work for the country,” said Bijoy, 23, who offered apologies to the nation.
Bangladesh’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said on Monday that the two men “were still in police custody awaiting a trial. Their fate would be decided by the court which would be looking into if the two have committed any crimes.”
And while government officials were not specific, they said the men will be offered a rehabilitation program to keep them on the straight path.
Bangladesh is facing growing domestic threats from a variety of militant and extremist groups, including affiliates of Islamic State and al-Qaida. Terror attacks in recent months killed at least 70 Bangladeshis and some foreigners.
Militants in Bangladesh are often poor, uneducated and unemployed, or work in menial paying jobs. The government is hoping its high incentive payment - more than four times Bangladesh’s per capita income of about $1,300 – will entice many militants to come forward.
“If the militants want to come to the normal life, we will help them,” Benazir Ahmad, chief of the Rapid Action Battalion, told reporters in Dhaka last week.
But analysts say the payment strategy is risky and may not accomplish its intended goal – to curb terrorism and uproot militants.
“This strategy has been undertaken in other places such as Saudi Arabia and Indonesia as well,” said Ali Riaz, who teaches South Asian politics and political Islam at Illinois State University. “It can be done. But this alone is not going to help you in countering extremism. It should be backed up by many other steps and be part of a larger and more comprehensive deradicalization strategy.”
Saudi Arabia’s rehabilitation program, for example, isolates participants and provides months of therapy by moderate Islamic clerics and psychologists. The program has been criticized, though, for providing gourmet meals and cushy surroundings.
Analysts say the Bangladeshi government needs to reform the education system to provide better opportunities for young people susceptible to extremists’ recruiting. The government should encourage Muslim religious leaders to be part of the rehabilitation process to counter the extremists’ narrative, they say.
“I am deeply concerned that it might not work,” Riaz said. “Social and educational institutions that have the potential to radicalize need to be reformed. Is the society ready to accept the assimilation of militants? How can they be rehabilitated in the society? Without involving the society into the deradicalization process, it can be a challenge.”
Source: voanews.com/a/bangladesh-offers-cash-to-lure-militants-from-terrorism/3546549.html
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Afghan forces clear Kunduz city after 9 days of clashes
Wed Oct 12 2016
The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) cleared the strategic Kunduz city from the presence of the Taliban militants after nine days of intense gun battle, local officials said Wednesday.
Provincial police chief Mohammad Masoom Hashemi said the clearance operations fully concluded late on Tuesday night and operations are currently being conducted in the remote parts of the province.
There are no reports regarding the casualties incurred to the local residents and security forces during the past 9 days.
Thousands of local residents of the city were forced to flee the area after the Taliban militants launched a coordinated attack on the city.
The Taliban militants have launched numerous attacks on Kunduz city since it was retaken by the Afghan Special Operations Forces earlier in the month of October last year.
The latest attack by the group was launched last week after they started their offensive on the strategic city from different directions with an aim to capture its control.
The Taliban insurgents were accused of horrific criminal activities after they seized control of the city, including target killings, rape, kidnappings, use of civilians as shields, looting of public and private properties.
The Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan said at least 50 civilians were killed and over 350 others were wounded.
Source: khaama.com/afghan-forces-clear-kunduz-city-after-9-days-of-clashes-02062
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Ghani makes surprise visit to Mines Ministry, slams officials for insufficient work
Wed Oct 12 2016
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani visited the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum as part of his visit to the institutions to assess the government institutions work.
He listened to the report provided by deputy minister of mines and petroleum Ghezal Habibyar and said the performance of the ministry is not satisfactory despite it was given a free hand in the past two years.
In response to the award of contracts by the ministry, President Ghani said the contracts should not be awarded on recommendation basis as he emphasized on efforts to bring a comprehensive momentum in the execution and implementation of the plans by the ministry of mines and petroleum.
President Ghani questioned the report regarding the generation of AFN 28 million revenue from 315 small contracts and said the figure is not acceptable, instructing the ministry officials to categorize all the small contracts and present a report to the Presidential in two weeks to show who were involved in the contracts.
Emphasizing on the transparent award of the contracts through bidding process and accountability, President Ghani said the accountability process should become general and transparent reasons should be available for the award of the contracts in order to ascertain the main motive behind the reduction in revenue generation from small mining contracts.
He also added that practical steps should be taken for the collection of information and studies regarding the mines within a transparent framework in bid to prepare a specified plan to attract investment in the sector.
President Ghani also criticized the foreign advisers of the ministry and said they did not have tangible achievements in the past three years and their target is not clear, instructing his adviser to review the job descriptions of the advisers and achievements and assist the ministry to prioritize the jobs of the advisers.
The President said the term of the duty of the foreign advisers will not be extended without the approval of the economic council.
Source: khaama.com/ghani-makes-surprise-visit-to-mines-ministry-slams-officials-for-insufficient-work-02061
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Second attack reported on a mosque in Kabul city
Wed Oct 12 2016
The militants have conducted another attack in Kabul city on Tuesday night after the first coordinated attack left at least 14 dead in a shrine in west of Kabul.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman, Sediq Sediqi, in a Twitter message, said the second attack was conducted on Charyar mosque located in Karte Char area of the city.
He said the special forces have arrived in the area to repulse the attack by the militants.
“The second terrorist attack in KBL tonight is on Char Yar Mosque in Karte Char, Special forces are there to gun down the attacker/s,” Sediqi said.
There are no reports regarding the casualties as a result of the attack and it is yet not clear if the target of the attack was the mourners of Ashura.
The first attack on Karte Sakhi shrine was launched by a group of three to four militants who started opening fire on worshippers in the shrine, leaving at least 14 people dead.
Several explosions were also heard from the vicinity of the shrine as the militants took the mourners hostage and continued to clash with the security forces for several hours.
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) officials said at least 36 peole were also wounded in the attack although the casualties toll could rise.
No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.
Source: khaama.com/second-attack-reported-on-a-mosque-in-kabul-city-02059
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Muslims commemorate Ashura in Bangladesh, Taazia processions remember the Karbala battle
OCTOBER 12, 2016
Muslims in Bangladesh along with those elsewhere in the world are observing Ashura on Wednesday, the 10th day of the lunar month of Muharram in Islamic calendar.
Ashura marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram when Shia Muslims commemorate the slaying of the Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein ibn Ali in 680 AD in the Battle of Karbala.
Amid tightened security measures, Shia Muslims brought out Taazia processions in different parts of the capital Dhaka.
Bangladeshi Muslims, particularly the Shia community, observe the day with various religious rituals. Residents of the community in Old Dhaka started their remembrance a few days before.
On the first day of Muharram, the army of Caliph Yazid laid siege to Hussein and his followers in the desert near Karbala. Hussein was killed in battle 10 days later after he had refused to pledge allegiance to Yazid.
He was decapitated and the head was taken to Damascus, the seat of the Ummayad dynasty to which Yazid belonged.
Authorities are on high alert over the processions after bombers, disguised as Shias, attacked a gathering at the Husseini Dalan in Old Dhaka last year.
A boy was killed and over 100 people injured in the explosion past midnight when Shias were preparing for the Taazia procession from Azimpur.
The procession this year started from in front of the Husseini Dalan around 10:30am.
Hundreds of Shias joined, chanting ‘Hai Hussein,’ mourning the death of Prophet Mohammad's grandson.
The procession ended at Dhanmondi after passing through Lalbagh, Azimpur, and New Market.
The mourners carried red and green flags and wore black headbands while two horses led carraiges were seen at the front of the procession.
 As a part of the ritual, Shias mourners used to bleed themselves with sharp weapons but this year police had banned carrying any objects due on 'security considerations.'
Dhaka metro police's Joint Commissioner Krishnapada Roy said: “Police is controlling traffic along the entire route of the procession. Forces have been also deployed on the rooftops. Intelligence officials are also on duty.”
He claimed that the intense security measures have not dampened the religious fervour.
Shias have also taken out separate processions at capital's Farmgate, Mohammadpur and Mirpur.
Source: bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2016/10/12/muslims-commemorate-ashura-in-bangladesh-taazia-processions-remember-the-karbala-battle
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Kabul attack death toll rises to 18 as UNAMA condemns killing of civilians
Wed Oct 12 2016
The death toll in Kabul shrine attack has climbed to at least 18 as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the killing of civilians in the attack.
“The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns last night’s attack at the Karte Shakhi mosque and shrine in Kabul that killed at least 18 civilians and injured more than 50 others,” the UN mission said in a statement.
According to UNAMA, an attacker wearing an Afghan security forces uniform entered the Shia mosque as civilians congregated on the eve of the Muslim Shia day of remembrance, Ashura.
The attacker opened fire on the congregation and used a hand grenade, killing and maiming worshipers. Among those killed were four women and two children, a boy and a girl, UNAMA said.
“This attack deliberately targeting a large group of civilians exercising their right to freely manifest their religion in worship, observance and practice is an atrocity,” the statement by UNAMA added.
“International humanitarian law prohibits deliberate attacks against civilians and civilian property, including places of worship, and places a specific obligation on parties to enable religious personnel to carry out their work,” the UN mission said, adding that the International humanitarian law further prohibits attacks directed against people and places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples.
“UNAMA expresses condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery for the injured,” UNAMA added.
Source: khaama.com/kabul-attack-death-toll-rises-to-18-as-unama-condemns-killing-of-civilians-02064
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India
Salafism Brought Kerala ISIS Group Together
October 12, 2016
The NIA said the accused were inspired by the IS and had assembled at a hilltop in Kannur to plan attacks against key politicians in Kerala and TN.
Six men, part of an Islamic State (IS)-inspired group, who were arrested from Kerala on October 2, have told their interrogators that though they closely followed controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and another Kerala-based preacher, M.M Akbar, their speeches did not have much influence on them.
Investigators found several video clips on the mobile phones and laptops of the six accused containing the speeches of Naik and Akbar. Both preachers have been accused of radicalising people through their fiery speeches.
A senior National Investigation Agency (NIA) spokesperson said all six accused were Salafis (followers of the puritanical form of Islam) and this was the common thread that brought them together.
“They were closely following the speeches of Naik and Akbar but told us that they were hardly influenced by them. They said the preachers spoke not only about Islam but other topics as well and theirs was one of the many speeches they [the group] followed,” said a senior home ministry official.
The six accused first created a blog post in Malayalam called ‘muhajiroun2015. wordpress.com’ but it was blocked by the security agencies. “Once it was blocked, the accused then created another blog called ‘muhajiroun2016. wordpress.com’ and used to share their views on IS,” said the official.
The NIA said the accused were inspired by the IS and had assembled at a hilltop in Kannur to plan attacks against key politicians in Kerala and Tamil Nadu when they were apprehended.
The arrests were made soon after one of the accused, Manseed alias Omar al Hindi (30), a Kerala resident, who had been working in Qatar, made an unscheduled visit to India in the last week of September.
“Manseed told us that he did not have a regular job in Qatar. He had been going there for the past six years on a tourist visa and doing odd jobs. He says he decided to come back to India all of a sudden as he had got a regular job there and wanted to return on a proper work visa,” said an NIA official.
The accused had been on the radar of the security agencies for the past four months. The others — Abu Basheer (29) alias Rasheed is a mechanic, Swalih Mohammed T. (26) works at Club Mahindra in Chennai, Safwan P (30) works as a designer for a newspaper, Jasim NK (25), an engineer and Ramshad (24) is an accountant.
Source: thehindu.com/news/national/salafism-brought-kerala-is-group-members-together/article9208845.ece
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Held For WhatsApp Message on Beef, Youth Dies In Custody
Written by Prashant Pandey | Ranchi, Oct 12, 2016
Less than a week after he was arrested for allegedly sharing an objectionable comment about beef on WhatsApp, Minhaj Ansari, a 22-year-old from Jamtara district in Jharkhand, died at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here on Sunday.
While his family claimed that Ansari was beaten up and tortured in police custody, police officers cited medical records that showed Ansari was suffering from encephalitis.
Police officers, however, admitted that there were prima facie lapses on the part of the officer-in-charge of Narayanpura police station, Sub-Inspector Harish Pathak. He has been suspended and an FIR of murder has been registered against him.
According to police, a WhatsApp message that purportedly made an objectionable comment about beef started doing the rounds in Dighari village of Narayanpura, in Jamtara district, on October 2.
A few people were detained as suspects. While the others were later released, Ansari was placed under arrest on October 3.
Two days later, Ansari’s father, Umar Sheikh, and the rest of his family came to know that Ansari had been shifted to Dhanbad for treatment after he reportedly sustained injuries in police custody.
“They went to the police station along with other villagers. There was a scuffle at the police station between Ansari’s parents and the officer-in-charge, Harish Pathak. Ansari’s family filed a written complaint against Pathak, following which an FIR of attempt to murder and outraging the modesty of a woman was registered against him. The officer was suspended immediately. After Ansari’s death, the attempt to murder charge has been changed to a murder charge,” said Jamtara Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Kumar Dubey.
On October 7, Ansari was shifted to RIMS, where he died two days later.
“While an inquiry is on, the medical reports indicate that Ansari was suffering from encephalitis. It appears that the officer-in-charge did not check on this,” said Jamtara SP Manoj Kumar Singh. However, he denied allegations that Ansari’s family was not informed about his medical condition.
“We took action because the WhatsApp message, with some comments about beef, had the potential to disturb communal peace, coming so close to Dussehra and Muharram. The situation is peaceful now, we are keeping a strict watch,” he said.
While security forces have been deployed in the village, the district administration has ordered a joint inquiry by the Sub Divisional Officer and Sub Divisional Police Officer. Meanwhile, a compensation of Rs 2 lakh has been given to the victim’s family member.
Source: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/beef-whatsapp-mesaages-ban-man-arrest-custodial-death-3077851/
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Muslim Personal Law Board should become active – Zahid Ali Khan
October 12, 2016
Hyderabad: Minorities Welfare Minister of Govt. of Bihar, Dr. Abdul Ghafoor called on Mr. Zahid Ali Khan, Editor of Siasat Urdu Daily and Mr. Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, Managing Editor of Siasat Urdu Daily and discussed various Muslim issues and political situation of the country. He said that for resolving the issues the Muslims of India are facing, serious and concerted efforts are essential. He applauded the services Siasat Urdu Daily is offering for the welfare of the community. He further told that such organizations play a key role in leading Muslim Ummah. Such of the institutions which take active steps for the development of the community ensure its progress.
Dr. Abdul Ghafoor told that Govt. of Bihar is taking concrete steps for the development of the people of the State. He visited Maulana Azad Urdu University’s Urdu Medium Model School located at Falaknuma. During his talk with Mr. Zahid Ali Khan, he told that the system of Urdu medium education is essential in primary schools for the progress of Urdu language.
Mr. Zaheeruddin Ali Khan apprises him of various schemes launched by Siasat Urdu Daily for the educational and economic development of the Mulims. Dr. Abdul Ghafoor appreciated the efforts of  Siasat Urdu Daily for arranging admissions of the students of Bihar in various Engineering Colleges of Hyderabad.
He expressed the view that Muslim Personal Law should take and an active part and invite the leaders of secular parties to muster support in favour of continuing Muslim personal law.
Source: siasat.com/news/muslim-personal-law-board-become-active-zahid-ali-khan-1039430/
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Nawaz Sharif praising Burhan Wani as if he has joined IS: Bhupatray Shashank
October 12, 2016
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s praise of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani suggests that he may have joined the Islamic State, or he is not aware about the difference between the Islamic State, Kashmir and Pakistan, said former foreign secretary Bhupatray Shashank.
Shashank told ANI, “Burhan Wavi by his own admission was a member of the Islamic State. So, either Nawaz Sharif has joined the Islamic State, or, he thinks there is no difference between Islamic State and Kashmir and Pakistan.”
“So, he should make his position clear, what he thinks Pakistan, India and Kashmir should be? Should they all form part of Islamic state? By calling him a hero of Kashmir, does that means he is hero of Pakistan also? Because Pakistan is fighting this war in Kashmir and does he even want whole of India to form a part of Islamic state?” he asked. Shashank further said that Sharif should make his position clear; otherwise Indian people would give him a befitting reply.
Earlier, Sharif on Monday said that no power in the world can stop Islamabad from supporting the struggle of Kashmiris.
“India is mistaken if it considered that the freedom fight could be equated with terrorism,” Radio Pakistan quoted him as saying while chairing a central working committee meeting of the PakistanMuslim League (N).
He once again hailed slain terrorist Burhan Wani, who was the commander of Hizbul-Mujahideen terror group, as a freedom fighter and pride of Kashmiri people. Addressing the meeting, Sharif also said those trying to paralyze the country through their negative politics will miserably fail in their designs.
He further said the government is striving hard to overcome all challenges including terrorism and energy shortages, adding that the economy of the country has been strengthened as a result of effective policies.
Source: financialexpress.com/india-news/nawaz-sharif-praising-burhan-wani-as-if-he-has-joined-is-bhupatray-shashank/414905/
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Pampore encounter enters third day: Two militants killed
October 12, 2016
Srinagar: Two militants were killed as the operation to flush out holed up ultras inside a government building in Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway entered the third day today with security forces pounding the multi-storey structure with mortars and rockets.
The bodies of the two militants killed in the operation, which has now been going on for over 50 hours, have been recovered, officials said.
Security forces have been pounding the building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) since Monday after three militants barged inside the complex with the aim of engaging the law enforcing agencies.
The security forces have managed to enter one portion of the building but are proceeding cautiously as one more militant might be hiding inside.
“The operation at Pampore is still going on but it is definitely now in final stages,” the official said.
The operation has been now going on for 52 hours as most parts of the concrete building has been reduced to a skeleton after many of its walls were blown up.
Elite Para commandos of the army have were also called in to neutralise the militants, the official said.
Two to three militants stormed into the EDI complex in the wee hours of Monday and took positions inside one of the buildings.
The ultras could have entered the complex from the riverside but that can only be ascertained once the operation is over, the official said.
After getting inside the complex, the militants set on fire few mattresses inside a hostel room to attract the attention of the police and other security forces, which arrived within minutes of the smoke emanating from the building.
In the initial exchange of firing, one army soldier was injured, the officials said.
Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well.
Five security force personnel including two young army officers and a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation which lasted 48 hours.
Source: siasat.com/news/pampore-encounter-enters-third-day-two-militants-killed-1039484/
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Pakistan
Pak Human Rights Commission slams faith-based violence in Balochistan
October 11, 2016
Lahore [Pakistan]: Pointing out the failure of concerned authorities to stop sectarian killings and attacks in Balochistan, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the political and religious parties to take effective steps to stop the faith-based violence and bloodletting there.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Commission said: “HRCP has serious concerns over the recent attack in Quetta where four women from the Hazara community were killed in an attack on their bus, and violence in Panjgur where several worship places of the Zikri community were torched.”
“Such attacks are just the latest evidence of the authorities’ failure to arrest the mindless bloodletting by extremist elements.”
The commission said that the Hazara Shia community has particularly been much affected with such attacks saying, “The extremist violence in Balochistan, especially against the Hazara Shia in recent years, has dispelled any illusions about the perpetrators’ moral compass. But the attack on the bus carrying Hazara women proves that no depth is too low for the killers and those who control them.”
“Official condemnation of such violence is of little consequence without meaningful action against those who have tried to divide people in the name of religion and sect. They have also tarnished the tolerant tradition of Balochistan, where humanity transcended religious or sectarian identity,” it added.
“The outrage of the affected families and the citizenry is understandable. We hope that, if nothing else, the helplessness and frustration of the people shames the authorities into bringing the bloodletting and insanity in the province to a halt.”
It further urged the political and religious parties to take up the cause and exert and sustain pressure on the government to do its duty to protect the lives and religious freedoms of the people.
Source: siasat.com/news/pak-human-rights-commission-slams-faith-based-violence-balochistan-1039351/
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Asia Bibi's final appeal against blasphemy to be heard in Supreme Court
October 12, 2016
LAHORE: The Supreme Court is due to hear the final appeal against the execution of Asia Bibi, accused for blasphemy, on Thursday.
Some insist it is not just a fight for one life, but a battle for the nation's soul as the state walks a razor-sharp line between upholding human rights and appeasing populist hardliners.
This will be the final appeal for Asia Bibi, some six years after she was sentenced to death, accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) during an argument with a Muslim woman over a bowl of water.
“There is no question that what is at stake is the very soul of the state and Pakistan society: does Pakistan respect the rights of the most vulnerable? Does it defend those rights against spurious allegations even where those allegations involved matters that are sacred to most Pakistanis?” Mustafa Qadri, an expert on human rights in South Asia, told AFP recently.
Bibi was convicted and sentenced to death in 2010, despite her advocates maintaining her innocence and insisting the accusers held grudges against her.
The allegations against Bibi date back to June 2009, when she was labouring in a field and a row broke out with some Muslim women she was working with.
She was asked to fetch water, but the Muslim women objected, saying that as a non-Muslim she was unfit to touch the water bowl.
The women went to a local cleric and accused Bibi of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), a charge punishable by death under legislation that rights groups say is routinely abused to settle personal vendettas.
Successive appeals have been rejected, and if on Thursday the three-judge Supreme Court bench upholds Bibi's conviction, her only recourse will be a direct appeal to the president for clemency.
She would become the first person in Pakistan to be executed for blasphemy.
The repercussions for minorities, human rights and the blasphemy laws will be “tremendous” if that happens, says Shahzad Akbar, a human rights lawyer.
“In Pakistan blasphemy cases are mostly misused... it would be a huge blow for minorities in Pakistan who already live in fear,” Akbar explained.
A decision in Bibi's favour, Qadri says, “would send a powerful message to the world that Pakistan respects the rule of law and not the mob.” But he also warned that hardliners “would without question react angrily and likely violently” if Bibi is acquitted.
In 2011, former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, who spoke out in support of Bibi, was gunned down in broad daylight in Islamabad.
His assassin Mumtaz Qadri was executed earlier in 2016 in a Supreme Court decision that was hailed by progressives, but brought hardliners into the streets supporting Qadri and demanding Bibi be killed.
Her husband has already written to President Mamnoon Hussain to seek permission to move her to France, where the Council of Paris unanimously adopted a proposal to award honourary citizenship to Asia Bibi in March.
Family in hiding
Bibi's family have lived largely in seclusion since 2010, fearing they will be mistreated if they venture out into the brimming streets of Lahore.
“Papa used to tell me not to go out, the situation out there is very bad,” her daughter Esham, 18, says of the days after Qadri's hanging. “We used to stay inside all the time.”
She is afraid, she says, adding: “Someday someone will come and ask me, are you the daughter of Asia Bibi?” Esham and her sister Esha go twice a month to the south Punjab city of Multan, where their mother is held.
“We talk to our mama about the things at home,” Esham says. “I share my thoughts with her, like mother-daughter stuff.”
The visits begin joyfully, she says, but end in grief. “She becomes sad... her daughters come to meet her from such a long distance and she cannot even hug them.”
According to a tally by Human Rights Watch, 17 people including Bibi remain on death row for blasphemy.
Her case has reached all the way to the Vatican - Esham had a face to face meeting with Pope Francis in April last year as the head of Catholic church offered prayers for her mother.
“He gave me blessings and I can't remember more,” she told AFP.
“I feel the Pope is praying for my mother and he will keep praying, and with his prayers my mother will be freed.” In 2010, Pope Francis's predecessor Benedict XVI also called for Bibi's release.
Her family continue to hope. Esham clears her throat and speaks quietly: “My mom will be released. I ask you to pray for her. “
Source: dawn.com/news/1289687/asia-bibis-final-appeal-against-blasphemy-to-be-heard-in-supreme-court
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Pakistan ranked dismal 107 of 118 countries on hunger index
October 12, 2016
ROME: Pakistan has been ranked as a country with "serious" hunger level with 22 per cent of its population undernourished on the 2016 Global Hunger Index released Tuesday.
Placed 107 in a ranking of 118 developing countries, Pakistan performed worse than most of its South Asian neighbours in eliminating hunger.
On a 0-100 point scale (with 100 being the worst in hunger levels), Pakistan has a score of 33.4, improving only slightly from its score of 35.1 in 2008.
India was placed 97 on the index, Afghanistan 111 and China 29 with a "low" hunger level.
At the current rate of decline, more than 45 countries — including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Afghanistan — will have “moderate” to “alarming” hunger scores in the year 2030, the authors of the index said.
Hunger levels in developing countries have fallen 29pc since 2000, but efforts to curb hunger must be accelerated in order to meet an international target to eradicate it by 2030, according to the index.
Hunger levels are “alarming” in seven countries, with Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Zambia experiencing the worst levels.
Nearly half the population in CAR and Zambia, and one in three people in Chad, are undernourished, it showed.
Another 43 countries, including India, Nigeria and Indonesia, have “serious” hunger levels.
“Countries must accelerate the pace at which they are reducing hunger” if they are to meet the 2030 target, Shenggen Fan, director general of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), said in a statement.
“Ending global hunger is certainly possible, but it's up to all of us ... (to) set the priorities right to ensure that governments, the private sector and civil society devote the time and resources necessary,” Fan added.
World leaders agreed a 2030 deadline for ending global hunger last year as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - an ambitious plan for tackling poverty, hunger and inequality.
IFPRI produces the annual index along with aid agencies Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. Overall, some 795 million people go to bed hungry every night.
“We have the technology, knowledge and resources to achieve (zero hunger). What is missing is both the urgency and the political will to turn commitments into action,” said Dominic MacSorley, CEO of Concern Worldwide.
The hunger index ranks countries based on undernourishment, child mortality, child wasting (low weight for height) and child stunting (low height for age).
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest hunger levels, followed closely by South Asia, it showed.
“Too many people are hungry today. There is a need for urgent, thoughtful and innovative action to ensure that no one ever goes hungry again,” said David Nabarro, special adviser to the UN secretary-general on the SDGs.
Source: dawn.com/news/1289693/pakistan-ranked-dismal-107-of-118-countries-on-hunger-index
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JI urges people to unite against corrupt regimes
October 12, 2016
KARACHI: Emir of the Jamaat-i-Islami Senator Siraj-ul-Haq has said any attempt to shelter corruption and corrupt elements in the name of democracy will be thwarted and urged the masses to unite to end the rule of corrupt privileged regimes with the power of their vote.
The JI chief, who was addressing a daylong party convention here on Tuesday, said the imperial regime was responsible for the dismal condition of the country and its institutions.
Terming the struggle against tyranny Great Jihad, the JI chief recalled that the holy month of Muharram taught the message of sacrifice, martyrdom, migration and Jihad. He said bringing bad name to mosques, Islam, Jihad and Ulema through terrorism could be someone’s agenda to please the US but not the Almighty.
Senator Siraj-ul-Haq said action should be taken against all criminal elements across the board, as the writ of law called for indiscriminate action.
The JI leader said that the people of Karachi had been oppressed for a long time, they were held hostage and deprived of their due rights. It’s high time that their issues were resolved, he said, adding that this was the city of patriotic people who were followers of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
He vowed that the past glory of Karachi would be restored. He said the country would lead the Islamic world, as the social system introduced by Islam was the only way to end injustice, poverty and inflation.
On the occasion, Karachi JI chief Engineer Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman reminded the citizens that the JI believed in peaceful, democratic struggle.
Source: dawn.com/news/1289572/ji-urges-people-to-unite-against-corrupt-regimes
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Two mourners die, over 300 fall unconscious in Rohri
October 12, 2016
SUKKUR: Two mourners died and more than 300 others fell unconscious due to suffocation caused by extremely humid weather conditions in Rohri on Monday night.
The victims were participants in the ‘Taazia Karbala Mualla’, a centuries-old procession taken out on the night intervening the 8th and 9th of Muharram. Hundreds of mourners from across the country, besides thousands of residents of Sukkur, take part in the procession every year for which extraordinary arrangements are made by the organisers and special measures are taken by all relevant departments, district administration and security agencies.
Several hundred participants fell unconscious and taken to various hospitals, medical camps and other health facilities for treatment. Two of them, Yousuf Soomro, 42, a resident of Sangrar town, situated near Rohri, and Jameel Memon, 47, a resident of Bhiriya City of Naushahro Feroze district, died during treatment.
An emergency at all government health facilities had already been declared on account of Matam, the prime feature of Muharram mourning processions.
The procession emerged from the central imambargah, Shahrah-i-Iraq in Rohri late on Monday evening and culminated on Tuesday morning after passing through its route — Karbala Ground, Regal Cinema Road, Shahi Bazaar, Vichoro Chowk, Bedil Bekus Chowk, Pakora Chowk, Dhak Bazaar, Shaikh Muhalla, Memon Muhalla, Karbala Ground — amid tough weather conditions.
All roads leading to the road were tightly sealed to prevent any miscreant from joining in the mourners with ulterior motives.
Source: dawn.com/news/1289580/two-mourners-die-over-300-fall-unconscious-in-rohri
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Sindh tightens security along border with Balochistan
October 12, 2016
KARACHI: Sindh has deployed hundreds of police personnel along its border with Balochistan after investigators found that the suspects involved in the last month’s two terrorist attacks in Shikarpur had come from the neighbouring province.
The decision has been taken to stop suspects from entering Sindh, sources and senior official said on Tuesday.
One policeman died and at least 12 people were injured when the twin suicide attacks targeted Eidul Azha prayers.
Earlier in 2015, a suicide blast ripped through in one of the main Imambargahs in the same town during Friday prayers, killing over 60 people and leaving scores others injured.
Investigations into the last month’s foiled attacks convinced the authorities that its planners, handlers and perpetrators had from the neighbouring province. The findings pushed the Sindh authorities to take up the matter with their Balochistan counterparts and tighten security along the border and as the first step they have deployed the policemen on key border points. The Sindh authorities are waiting for the Balochistan government to take the same measures on their side of the border.
“We have deployed a total of 400 policemen on our side of the border,” Sindh IGP A.D. Khowaja confirmed in response to a Dawn query. “The move is part of our plan to keep an eye on suspects and we have been coordinating with the Balochistan authorities at every level. I personally contacted the Balochistan IG and our [Sindh] chief minister has interacted with his counterpart in Quetta for better and coordinated efforts for security arrangements,” he said.
Thirteen people were injured, including five policemen, when law-enforcement agencies foiled the two suicide blasts during Eid prayers in Shikarpur’s Khanpur tehsil. Two attackers targeted an Eid prayer ground where one assailant blew himself up, injuring 10 people. The other attacker fled.
Two other terrorists were stopped by the police at the entrance of an Imambargah after their movement appeared suspicious. During body search one of the attackers blew himself up but the other was shot at and arrested.
One of the injured policemen later died.
The police said that the arrested suspect, identified as Usman, provided important information during interrogation.
“The police probe showed that Usman along with Abdul Rehman, who blew himself up, reached Shikarpur by a motorbike after travelling for three hours,” said a senior official. “The probe suggested that they had stayed somewhere in Jaffarabad, a district in Balochistan. Usman was a resident of Swat’s Qabal tehsil and had studied in Karachi’s Abu Huraira seminary.”
The official said that the move to tighten security at the border was initiated after the January 2015 attack. However, the border security plan failed to meet the reality checks from both sides and finally got the authorities’ attention after the last month’s incident.
“In 2015 as well as the last month, unfortunately, the planners, handlers and attackers all used Balochistan land and entered Sindh hours before the incidents,” the official said. “So it was realised that it’s very crucial to keep an eye on key points if not all along the border,” he added.
Source: dawn.com/news/1289660/sindh-tightens-security-along-border-with-balochistan
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Europe
Europe's Jails Are 'Breeding Grounds' For Jihadists Because ISIS See Criminals as Ideal Recruits
October 11, 2016
Prisons in Europe are becoming 'breeding grounds' for jihadist groups, with some criminals seeing violent extremism as a form of redemption for their crimes, a report has found.
The emergence of Islamic State has strengthened the link between crime and terrorism, according to research, and as many as one in five UK maximum security prisoners are Muslim compared to one in 20 in the British population.
Rather than looking to universities or religious establishments, IS increasingly turns to 'ghettos', prisons and 'under-classes' to recruit individuals with a history of criminal behaviour, it said.
Jihadist and criminal groups are recruiting from the same pool of people, while their social networks are also converging, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) found, in what it dubbed a 'new crime-terror nexus'.
 The report by the British think tank examined the profiles of European jihadists recruited since 2011.
Prisons provide a ready supply of 'angry young men' who are 'ripe' for radicalisation, according to the study, entitled Criminal Pasts, Terrorist Futures: European Jihadists and the New Crime-Terror Nexus.
ICSR director Peter Neumann, one of the report's authors, said the lines between crime and jihadist groups were becoming 'increasingly blurred'.
'Prison is becoming important as a place where a lot of networking happens,' he said.
'Given the recent surge in terrorism-related arrests and convictions, we are convinced that prisons will become more - rather than less - significant as breeding grounds for the jihadist movement.'
Of those studied, 57 percent had been incarcerated before being radicalised and at least 27 percent of those who spent time in prison were radicalised behind bars.
For some, jihadism offered a form of 'redemption' for their crimes, researchers said.
Ali Almanasfi, a British-Syrian from London who fought in Syria after serving a jail term for violent assault, was cited in the report as saying: 'I want to do something good for once. I want to do something pure.'
According to Neumann, the findings point to a shift if the way ISIS operates.
'We think ISIS no longer aspires to be a very theological organisation,' he said.
'It embodies the brutality, strength and power that these young people who were often members of gangs are looking for.
'It basically tells them "you can continue to do all the things you did before, but now you can get into heaven".'
Full report at:dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3833926/Europe-s-jails-breeding-grounds-jihadists-ISIS-criminals-ideal-recruits-one-five-UK-maximum-security-prisoners-Muslim.html
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Hungarian Intelligence Expert Describes How Muslim Conquest of Europe May Play Out
October 11, 2016
László Földi, a Hungarian security analyst, appeared recently on a news show to offer his expertise about the current migration situation in Europe. He warned that “thousands of Muslim soldiers arrived here” via Chancellor Merkel’s foolish opening of Europe’s borders more than a year ago.
What Földi says about the invasion strategy makes perfect sense: the newly arriving jihad soldiers will use existing Muslim immigrant enclaves in Europe as a base of operations for hijra (immigration utilized for Islamic invasion). The unassimilated majority of Europe-residing Muslims will be a population from which more active jihadists can be recruited and trained. Even the non-chopper friends of jihad will vote for the Islamist political parties, and power can be gained gradually through demographic change (as we have seen in California).
In addition, the soldiers of Islam will be able to fight their European neighbors from the fortresses of no-go zones to expand outward.
INTERVIEWER: Our guest is the intelligence service expert László Földi. Welcome, good morning. Is there anybody in the EU or in Europe who could tell us within plus/minus 200,000: How many migrants do we have on the continent?
LÁSZLÓ FÖLDI: I think the problem is bigger than this: Can they tell, WHO ARE the one million people? So the situation is completely catastrophic from this point of view. And the reason for this — as we mentioned it many times — is the policy of open borders when innumerable masses arrived. About a year or a year and a half ago it was a taboo topic to even mention the possibility that terrorists can be mixed in with the migrants.
There was a TV show — I will not say the name — where the reporter said it is stupid for migrants to come here on dangerous trips in inflatable boats, when terrorists can just fly here comfortably. The problem is not that. They could fly here too. But the fact is, thousands of Muslim soldiers arrived here.
This is not terrorism in its classic meaning we are talking about here, but an attack, an invasion which has two purposes: In the first place, get as many as possible well-trained soldiers into Europe, and their primary task is to enlist the local Muslim population, those second- or third-generation Muslims who live in the “non-existent” no-go zones. More than 50% do not want to integrate into the host culture; they are the members of a potential future army.
INTERVIEWER: Those refugees — let’s call them refugees based on the definition of the ’51 Bern Convention— who escape from racial, religious, ethnic or political persecution, facing life-threatening dangers — so these are the refugees. Why they did not go to the rich oil countries right in the neighborhood?
Full report at:vdare.com/posts/hungarian-intelligence-expert-describes-how-muslim-conquest-of-europe-may-play-out
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I'm an anti-Putin Russian, and Clinton makes me nervous
12 Oct 2016
Whoever wins the U.S. presidential election will have a hard time dealing with Russia: The relationship between the two countries is in tatters. Donald Trump obviously doesn't have any answers. Yet, like most of my fellow Russians who follow the race, I also have misgivings about Hillary Clinton -- even though, unlike most of them, I am an active opponent of President Vladimir Putin.
The last time an independent polling organization -- the Levada Center -- polled Russians on the U.S. presidential candidates was in August. Only 12 percent said they were following the election closely, and 73 percent said they'd heard something about it. Among the news junkies, 39 percent said Donald Trump would be a better U.S. president for Russia, while 15 percent said Clinton would be better. The state-owned pollster, VTsIOM, did its latest poll in July, finding about the same proportion of curious Russians. That survey revealed that 34 percent of those who'd heard of Trump thought Russia-U.S. relations would improve under him; only 6 percent of those who'd heard about Clinton believed that of her.
In part, that can be explained by the effect of Putin's propaganda machine, which has been giving Trump more favorable coverage than Clinton for two reasons. First, Russian state TV always backs populist rebels in any Western country on the theory that whatever weakens the Western establishment is good for Russia. Second, Putin and Clinton openly dislike each other. She says she sees in him a cold-blooded, self-enriching KGB agent and a bully; he remembers how she appeared to encourage protests against him in 2011.
Those reasons matter little to me. I believe Russia's place is in an open, free-thinking Western world, and that nationalist populists, including Trump, are destroying that vision of the West. I took part in the 2011 protests and I agree with Clinton's assessment of Putin. And yet I, too, think a Clinton presidency would be bad for Russia -- and that would ultimately hurt the U.S. as well.
Full report at:chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-blm-clinton-russia-comment-e3ef69fe-8fb5-11e6-bc00-1a9756d4111b-20161011-story.html
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North America
US paid half a billion dollars to produce fake terrorism videos in Iraq
October 12, 2016
The US government has spent over half a billion tax-payer dollars to make fake al Qaeda videos bugged with a code to trace viewers’ locations and to generate false propaganda, Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported last week.
Malaysia arrests 16 for suspected militant links
The Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm, Bell Pottinger, over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda programme in Iraq. The PR firm generated a series of coded videos between 2007 and 2011, displaying visuals of bloodletting and bombing by al Qaeda and sequencing these into short documentaries.
The videos were recorded on CDs which were circulated by the US forces in Iraqi neighbourhoods by secretly slipping them inside peoples’ houses. Whenever someone tried playing them, the viewer’s location was transmitted to the US military. “The discs were designed to run on a video software called Real Player that automatically disclosed the user’s location,” Martin Wells, a former Bell Pottinger employee, said.
Pentagon wanted to navigate the routes of the terror group from Iraq to other countries. “These tactics can be very instrumental in making progress and leading to those who can be potential threats,” he added.
At least 10 people killed in blast in northern Syria: Observatory
None of the bombings or killings that feature in the videos were fake or staged. The Pentagon’s primary purpose was to attract al Qaeda propagandists towards the tampered videos and then keep a close watch on their movements. “Nothing was set up, no bombs [were] faked,” Wells informed.
Apart from entrapping al Qaeda operatives, the Pentagon’s other main motive was to manufacture a propaganda of its own. It paid Bell Pottinger $540 million as part of this operation, according to the Bureau’s investigation.
As a result, the PR agency got involved in producing brief news packages to engineer a propaganda. Whenever there was a bomb blast, the agency would send out its employees to film the aftermath. The US military then gave instructions on how to put together the news that best suited their agenda.
Suicide bomber kills at least 10 in town north of Baghdad
The videos were produced in Arabic and their quality was intentionally tampered with to give away the impression like a local news crew had made them.
Source: tribune.com.pk/story/1197773/us-paid-half-billion-dollars-produce-fake-terrorism-videos-iraq/
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Pentagon Confronts a New Threat From ISIS: Exploding Drones
OCT. 11, 2016
WASHINGTON — Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in northern Iraq last week shot down a small drone the size of a model airplane. They believed it was like the dozens of drones the terrorist organization had been flying for reconnaissance in the area, and they transported it back to their outpost to examine it.
But as they were taking it apart, it blew up, killing two Kurdish fighters in what is believed to be one of the first times the Islamic State has successfully used a drone with explosives to kill troops on the battlefield.
In the last month, the Islamic State has tried to use small drones to launch attacks at least two other times, prompting American commanders in Iraq to issue a warning to forces fighting the group to treat any type of small flying aircraft as a potential explosive device.
The Islamic State has used surveillance drones on the battlefield for some time, but the attacks — all targeting Iraqi troops — have highlighted its success in adapting readily accessible technology into a potentially effective new weapon. American advisers say drones could be deployed against coalition forces by the terrorist group in the battle in Mosul.
For some American military analysts and drone experts, the episodes confirmed their view that the Pentagon — which is still struggling to come up with ways to bring down drones — was slow to anticipate that militants would turn drones into weapons.
“We should have been ready for this, and we weren’t,” said P. W. Singer, a specialist on robotic weaponry at New America, a think tank in Washington.
Military officials said that the Pentagon has dedicated significant resources to stopping drones, but that few Iraqi and Kurdish units have been provided with the sophisticated devices that the American troops have to disarm them. The officials said they have ordered the Pentagon agency in charge of dealing with explosive devices — known as the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization — to study ways to thwart hostile drones. This summer, the Pentagon requested an additional $20 million from Congress to help address the problem.
In recent months, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency both rushed to complete classified assessments about the Islamic State’s drone use. And the secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning, recently assigned a special office he had created to respond to emerging threats and to study how to stop drones.
Unlike the American military, which flies drones as large as small passenger planes that need to take off and land on a runway, the Islamic State is using simpler, commercially available drones such as the DJI Phantom, which can be purchased on Amazon. The group attaches small explosive devices to them, essentially making them remotely piloted bombs.
“This is an enemy that learns as it goes along,” said Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the top American military commander in Iraq until August.
Full report at:nytimes.com/2016/10/12/world/middleeast/iraq-drones-isis.html
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Around two hundred gather for anti-Islam speech protest
OCT. 11, 2016
About 200 people gathered in front of the DoubleTree Hotel Tuesday evening to protest an anti-Islam speaker, holding signs reading “Love and Compassion” and “If you are not Native American, you came from immigrants.”
Pastor Shahram Hadian, a former Muslim from Iran, spoke at the event titled “Unveiling the True Face of Islam: A Wake Up Call for the World,” put on by Lake County’s Chapter of ACT for America.
After speaker Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf spoke about negative stereotypes surrounding Islam at the DoubleTree last year, ACT for America felt it “should give Missoulians the chance to hear the other side,” Chapter Leader Ed Kugler said.
ACT for America is a conservative political organization with chapters across Montana. Its mission is to “protect and preserve American culture and to keep this nation safe,” according to its website. With chapters in Flathead and Lake Counties, the group is working to start a chapter in Missoula. It has been recognized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
About 70 UM students, faculty and community members marched from the Emmaus Campus Ministry house to the DoubleTree, where about 130 more gradually joined to silently protest Hadian’s presentation.
Protest organizer Eamon Ormseth said he attended an ACT for America meeting in Kalispell earlier this month. He had to act when he heard the group was coming to the DoubleTree.
“This kind of speech is hate speech toward Muslims and creates a climate where people are more likely to attack Muslims or people of Arab descent in this country,” he said.
Protester and UM student Nasrin Chaudhry said she came because she and her family are Muslims. It is important to her to show what Islam is truly about, she said.
Much of the rhetoric surrounding Muslim immigrants in the U.S. echos that of Jewish immigrants during World War II, Protester Robbie Liben said. Liben is a Jewish man, and it was important for him to come and stand in solidarity with Muslims as a member of another religious minority.
“I fear that I’m next,” he said.
Once protesters disassembled and the event started, Hadian began his speech with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. He prayed for the protesters and that the “Lord would open their hearts and their eyes.”
He spoke to a group of around 70 about growing up in Iran before it became an Islamic Republic in 1979. He feels the U.S. is following in its footsteps.
He criticized political leaders and those who refer to Islam as a peaceful religion, citing verses from the Quran he believes point to violence.
He also spoke about refugees coming to the U.S. They should be more rigorously vetted and then assimilated into American culture, he said.
Hadian will be speaking about the differences between Islam and Christianity in Kalispell on Oct. 13 through ACT for America.
Source: montanakaimin.com/news/around-two-hundred-gather-for-anti-islam-speech-protest/article_f65c7fea-9038-11e6-8093-a3980f7634a7.html
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Speaker challenges narrative about Muslim Americans
October 12, 2016
Molly Dotson | The Daily Eastern News Eiman Aiyash, a graduate student in the school of economics, writes her name in Arabic, which is also her native language, during “The Other 1%: Muslims in America” event in the Bridge Lounge of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.
Through a combination of candid dialogue and anecdotes, storyteller and social media personality Aman Ali sought to humanize the experiences of Muslim Americans.
“The Other 1%: Muslims in America,” hosted by the University Board, featured an hour-long presentation by Ali, along with lessons in Arabic calligraphy, traditional food and an informational booth created by the Muslim Student Association.
Ali said growing up, he and his traditional family were the only Muslims in his small Ohio town, so he often felt left out, especially during the holidays.
Ali also spoke about his experiences traveling around the U.S. for his blog “30 Mosques in 30 Days,” during which he visited 30 mosques in 30 different states for each day of Ramadan.
He told a story about his car breaking down in the middle of nowhere in North Dakota after driving into a rock, which forced him to detour to a tiny mosque for his evening meal. He said he was shocked to learn that Muslim American farmers had been on the land for seven generations, without any serious conflict with their neighbors.
Ali said he kept seeing this pattern throughout his travels — Muslims, Christians and others living peacefully together.
“What I see on television very often is not remotely reflective of the average ordinary Muslim American,” he said. “I became fascinated by questioning these narratives of how people perceive Muslims.”
Ali emphasized the importance of exploring other cultures.
“One of the big takeaways from my visits (to mosques) was the importance of getting out of your comfort zone,” he said.
To do this, he suggested more Christians visit mosques and more Muslims visit churches.
Ali, a former journalist, said he does not think there is an anti-Muslim bias in the news, but that journalists are not without blame.
“We live in a society where whoever shouts the loudest gets the most airtime,” Ali said. “Even if I say something stupid, if I yell it, it’s going to get airtime.”
He said he thinks social media can break the cycle of negativity, as ordinary people can simply tell their stories.
Nevertheless, he said responsible journalism will always play a role in society, as “credible people are always needed.”
Kinesiology professor Hasan Mavi, who serves as adviser for the Muslim Student Association, said he believed correcting misinformation was key to building bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims.
He said many people think Muslims worship a different God from Jews and Christians. However, Allah means “the God” in Arabic.
“If you read an Arabic Bible, it’ll say ‘Allah.’ We believe in the same God,” Mavi said.
Mavi said Muslims are often criticized for not speaking out against violence, but in reality, their voices are not often reported.
He said too many journalists focus on violence, minimizing the accomplishments of Muslims in areas like science and literature.
For Eastern students who wish to learn more about Islamic culture, Mavi recommended they visit the Cultural Center Friday afternoons, when Muslims on campus join for prayer.
He said other instructors can reach out to him to have Muslim students come to classes to have a panel discussion on their religion.
At “The Other 1%,” Arabic calligraphy artist Hassan Qureshi taught a group of students the basics of the art starting with “alif,” the first letter of the Arabic alphabet.
Students then practiced writing the Arabic word for “hope.”
Qureshi said he learned Arabic calligraphy using YouTube videos and was drawn to the art because it is methodical and beautiful.
He said there is a spiritual component to calligraphy.
“I often find myself losing track of time in practice,” he said.
Meagan Ramey, a senior biological sciences major, said she attended the event because she wanted to support the Muslim community.
“I think the Muslim people are oppressed in America, and I wanted to show them love,” Ramey said.
Source: dailyeasternnews.com/2016/10/12/speaker-challenges-narrative-about-muslim-americans/
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Arab World
Only The Hardest Of Hearts Could Ignore These Syrian Kids' Hopes For Peace
12/10/2016
The images that have emerged from Syria’s five-year long civil war are both heartbreaking and convicting: Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body resting face down on a Turkish beach, little Omran Daqneesh sitting in shock in the back of ambulance, bloodied and covered in dust.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that UNICEF calls Syria one of the “most dangerous places to be a child.”
The international organization reports that more than 80 percent of Syria’s child population (that’s 8.4 million children) has been affected by the conflict, either as refugees whose families have been forced to flee their homeland, or as residents of an active war zone. The war has disrupted kids’ access to routine vaccinations, their ability to attend school, and their mental health.
In an effort to spread hope in the midst of this despair, religious organizations in Syria joined forces last week to pray for peace ― and to make sure the international community hears these children’s voices.
Christian denominations in the country, along with the help of international Catholic charities like Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) and Caritas, organized prayers, songs, and theatrical performances calling for peace. According to ACN, both Muslim and Christian kids in over 2,000 schools in the country participated by drawing pictures, writing letters or writing messages to the global community on white balloons.
Crux reports that children in Aleppo, Damascus, Holms, and other Syrian cities and villages participated in the peace initiative on October 6 and 7.
Edward Clancy, Director of Outreach for the U.S. chapter of ACN, told The Huffington Post that it is “crucial” to hear from Syrian children because they are the “most vulnerable victims” of the conflict.
“It is our hope that this cry from the heart of the youngest Syrian will prompt concrete action on the part of the great powers, in particular the US, Russia and Iran, to make genuine efforts, to at least spare the civilian population as it continues the still utterly chaotic struggle for control of Syria and the fight against ISIS and other extremist groups,” Clancy said in a statement.
The Action Day for Peace was inspired by a joint declaration made by Pope Francis and the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in February this year, which called on Catholic and Orthodox Christians to work together to highlight the plight of victims of violence in Iraq and Syria.
A delegation of Catholic and Orthodox Christian religious leaders from Syria is planning to deliver the children’s drawings and letters to high-ranking representatives at the European Union and the United Nations during this week. ACN told The Huffington Post that the drawings will also be shown to Pope Francis.
Pope Francis has repeatedly called attention to the conflict in Syria. Last month, he warned those bombing civilians in Aleppo that they will be “accountable to God” for their actions.
Source: huffingtonpost.in/entry/syria-children-peace_us_57fbc790e4b0e655eab65ba9
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Militant firing on Syrian school kills at least five children
12/10/2016
DAMASCUS: At least five children were killed in firing on a school in the southern Syrian city of Daraa on Tuesday, state media said.
“Five children were killed and 15 wounded in terrorist shelling of a primary school in the Al-Sahary neighbourhood of Daraa,” state news agency SANA reported.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, also reported the rocket fire on the school, saying at least six people had been killed, five of them children.
It said that at least 25 people were wounded in the attack, and that the death toll was likely to rise because a number of the wounded were in critical condition.
Militants control most of Daraa province, but the provincial capital is largely controlled by the government.
Daraa is sometimes dubbed the “cradle” of the insurgency President Bashar al-Assad that began with protests in the province in March 2011.
Source: dawn.com/news/1289495/militant-firing-on-syrian-school-kills-at-least-five-children
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Iranians Commemorate Imam Hossein's Martyrdom Anniversary
12/10/2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Millions of people in Iran on Wednesday mourned on Ashoura, the tenth day of the lunar month of Moharram which marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hossein (PBUH).
Tens of millions took part in massive processions across Iran, marking the anniversary of the martyrdom of one of Shiite Islam's most beloved leaders.
Mourners dressed in black took to the streets or gathered in mosques to grieve the slaying of Imam Hossein (PBUH).
Dressed in mourning black, they beat their chests with bare hands-rituals meant to show their grief over the death of Imam Hossein (PBUH).
Scores of men - moved by their grief - wept as they marched in Tehran, capital of Iran and Shiite Islam. Women watched from sidewalks and balconies, as the marchers filled the streets, led by young men carrying black, green and red banners.
Similar processions were staged in other cities across this nation of 80 million people.
Ashoura marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram, marking the death of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)'s grandson, the revered Imam Hossein (PBUH) in the Battle of Karbala, in modern-day Iraq 1,300 years ago.
Imam Hossein (PBUH) was martyred in the 680 A.D. battle fought on the plains outside Karbala, a city in modern Iraq that's home to the Imam's holy shrine.
In the battle, Imam Hossein (PBUH) was decapitated and his body mutilated by Yazid's armies. All of Imam Hossein's male family members, relatives, friends, soldiers who all together formed a 72-member army were beheaded in an unequal war with a 30,000-strong army of the enemy in the desert of Karbala.
The occasion is the source of an enduring moral lesson for the Shiites.
Some bystanders in Tehran offered sweetened water to mourners. Songs eulogizing Imam Hossein (PBUH) played over loudspeakers. Imam Hossein (PBUH) and his companions were denied water by their enemies who controlled the nearby Euphrates.
Some Tehran streets were partially covered with blood from the slaughter of hundreds of cows and sheep. Volunteers cooked the meat and fed it to the poor.
Imam Hossein's martyrdom - recounted through a rich body of prose, poetry and song - remains an inspirational example of sacrifice to Shiites, who make up a majority of the Muslim population in Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Bahrain.
Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950721000191
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Positions of ISIL, Fatah Al-Sham in Homs Severely Damaged in Syrian Airstrikes
12/10/2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian fighter jets carried out fresh rounds of combat flights over concentration centers of ISIL and Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in Northern and Eastern Homs, inflicting tens of casualties on the militants.
Syrian warplanes bombed heavily Fatah al-Sham's defense lines in Talbiseh, Kafr Laha and Tal Zahab, claiming the lives of tens of militants.
Syrian army aircraft meantime pounded ISIL's gatherings near the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur), North of the Third Station, South of al-Bardeh and Eastern side of al-Quaryatayn.
ISIL's strongholds near the villages of Jabab Mohammad and Rasm Hamideh in Jubb al-Jarrah region were also bombed by the Syrian fighter jets.
ISIL's machinegun-equipped vehicles were destroyed in the air raid. 
Meantime on Tuesday, Syrian military forces launched fresh massive attacks on a main base of Fatah al-Sham Front in Northern Homs, destroying the entire military site.
Syrian army men struck heavily a large base of Fatah al-Sham near the village of al-Sa'an al-Aswad in Talbiseh region, destroying the base and killing or wounding tens of militants.
In the meantime, several armored vehicles of Fatah al-Sham were targeted and destroyed in army attacks in Ezzeddeen, Talbiseh and the village of al-Za'afaraniyeh.
Two commanders of Fatah al-Sham were also killed in clashes with the Syrian army in Northern Homs.
Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950721000135
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Army Wins Back Key Town in Hama Province, Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses
12/10/2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and popular forces continued their military operations against the terrorist groups in Hama, and seized back a strategic town in the province in the last 24 hours.
The army units took full control of Kawkab town in fierce clashes with the terrorists in Hama province after inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists in heavy fighting.
The terrorist groups also sustained heavy casualties in other key provinces across Syria.
Hama
Syrian Army troops and National Defense Forces pushed back the militants from their strongholds in Northern Hama and took control of a small but key town in the region, battlefield sources announced.
"Syrian government forces, in a fresh round of joint attacks, inflicted major losses on the militants and drove them out of Kawkab," the sources said.
"The militants suffered a heavy death toll and pulled the remaining pockets of their forces back from the battlefield to avoid more casualties," they added.
Meantime, a notorious commander of Jeish al-Nasr was killed in heavy artillery fire of the Syrian Army near Ma'an in Northern Hama.
Bassan Aslaan al-Najam nom de guerre Abu Darid, who was also recognized of a high military rank in the Free Syrian Army, was killed in the Syrian artillery fire in Northern Hama.
Local sources announced earlier on Tuesday that Syrian government forces have continued their advances against militant groups in Ma'an region and Tal al-Ahmar.
Aleppo
Local sources said the terrorist groups in Aleppo have been demoralized as the army and its allies are advancing in the city.
Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950721000222
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Fatah Al-Sham's Offensives Repulsed by Syrian Army in Northern Dara'a
12/10/2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian military forces repelled attacks of Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) on their positions near a key town in Northern Dara'a, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
Syrian army soldiers fended off Fatah al-Sham's assaults in Katiby al-Mahjoureh in an area towards the Eastern side of Ibta'a, leaving scores of the terrorists dead or wounded.
Fatah al-Sham's military hardware also sustained major damage in the failed attacks.
Syrian fighter jets, for their part, bombed the vehicles and positions of Fatah al-Sham in Ibta'a and Dael, destroying most on their cars and military trucks.
In relevant developments in the province on Sunday, the Syrian Army opened heavy fire at artillery and mortar sites of Fatah al-Sham Front in Northeastern Dara'a, inflicting major damage on the terrorists' military grid and infrastructure.
Fatah al-Sham's artillery and mortar positions in Ghariyeh al-Gharbiyeh came under heavy attack by the Syrian army troops on Sunday.
Reports said the terrorists sustained several casualties and vast damage in their military hardware.
Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950721000114
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Senior Fatah Al-Sham Commander Killed in Syrian Army Attacks in Homs
12/10/2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A notorious field commander of Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) was killed in clashes with Syrian Army troops and National Defense Forces in Northern Homs.
Samer Mustafa al-Sheikh, alongside a number of his forces, was killed in Syrian government forces' assaults on Fatah al-Sham's bases in al-Sa'an region in the Eastern side of Talbiseh.
Field sources said on Tuesday that a long convoy of terrorist groups' military and supply vehicles came under heavy attack by the Syrian Army troops in Northern Homs, adding that the column sustained major damage.
"Syrian Army units, tipped off by intelligence agents, stormed a column of terrorists' vehicles carrying arms and fresh forces near the village of Ein al-Hossein in al-Nasr region, inflicting heavy damage on the vehicles," the sources said.
"The convoy was on its way towards Northeastern Homs," the sources said.
"A number of terrorists accompanying the cargo were killed and wounded in the attack," they added.
Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950721000103
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Syrian Army Cuts off Most Terrorist Supply Lines in Northern Hama
12/10/2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian Army troops cut off most supply lines of the terrorist groups in Northern Hama, while the remaining few open roads to the militant-held regions are not safe enough to transfer forces and arms supplies, army sources said Wednesday.
"Syrian army soldiers have directed heavy attacks on terrorists' positions along their supply lines in Northern Hama, cutting off most of roads used by the militants to transfer cargos," the sources said.
Also, Spokesman for Jeish al-Nasr Abu al-Majd al-Homsi told Smart Network militants in Northern Hama are faced with a severe lack of arms, ammunition and medical equipment after their lines of supplies were taken by the army, cautioning that the current situation and the acutre shortage will end finally in the eruption of fresh infighting among terrorists. 
Battlefield sources said on Tuesday that Syrian Army troops and National Defense Forces pushed back the militants from their strongholds in Northern Hama and took control of a small but key town in the region.
"Syrian government forces, in a fresh round of joint attacks, inflicted major losses on the militants and drove them out of Kawkab," the sources said.
"The militants suffered a heavy death toll and pulled the remaining pockets of their forces back from the battlefield to evade more casualties," they added.
Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950721000091
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Syrian Army, Air Force Launch Heavy Strikes at Terrorists across Dara'a City
12/10/2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The bases of Fatah al-Sham Front (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) came under heavy attacks by the Syrian army in different neighborhoods of Dara'a city on Wednesday.
"Syrian army men, backed up by the country's warplanes, targeted Fatah al-Sham's concentration centers West of Busra square and Bajabjah in Dara'a al-Balad, inflicting major damage on militants' sites and slowing their movements down in the Southern part of Dara'a city," army sources said.
In relevant development in the province on Sunday, Syrian Army troops fended off an offensive of Fatah al-Sham Front on their positions in Northern Dara'a, killing at least 20 and wounding over 60 militants.
Fatah al-Sham launched attacks on government positions from the villages of Ibta'a and Da'el to prevail over army's defense lines near a desert battalion in Northern Dara'a, but their assault was repelled by the army men.
Fatah al-Sham suffered a heavy death toll and its military hardware sustained major damage in the failed attack.  
Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950721000144
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Islamic economic system is the basis of economic growth: HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
October 12, 2016
Emirates News Agency WAM reports him as saying, "The Islamic economic system demonstrated its high efficiency over the years in a way that no other economic system has achieved. The roots of this system have been established on a global level through trade caravans that followed these principles for more than a thousand years in trade around the world."
"No wonder that the adoption of the Islamic economic system constitutes a key factor for economic growth, creation of jobs and new initiatives in cooperation among local, Islamic and international institutions. Today, the Islamic model in a number of financial institutions is being tested around the world, as it has started to deliver results," Sheikh Mohammed said.
Source: cpifinancial.net/news/post/37664/islamic-economic-system-is-the-basis-of-economic-growth-hh-sheikh-mohammed-bin-rashid
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Africa
Tension as 501 Ghanaian soldiers opt to join Boko Haram
October 12, 2016
Over 500 Ghanaian soldiers have said they are prepared to join Boko Haram and ISIS – The soldiers say joining the terrorist would be revenge for unfair dismissal – They claim that there was so much fowl play in the military boot camp from which they were kicked away There is a growing concern following agitation by some 501 sacked Army recruits who are threatened to join terrorist groups like ISIS or Boko Haram. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter File photo: Soldiers ready to join Boko Haram and ISIS over unfair dismissal from the army. According to Ghana Web, the threat comes after what the soldiers have termed an unfair treatment after they were unceremoniously dumped out of boot camp. The recruits said even though some of their colleagues were found wanting by the instructors, they had never claimed the training was too difficult as claimed by the leadership of the training school, the basis for which they were sent home. READ ALSO: Unbelievable! How Buhari’s minister disgraced Nigeria’s president Convener of the recruits Frank Antwi, in an interview with Adom News said though they could not complete their training, the training they had before the unfortunate dismissal from the training school is enough to qualify them to be recruited into ISIS or Boko Haram unless they are recalled into the training school. They believe they qualified but have been dismissed wrongly as a result of other considerations instead of their inability to complete the required training. But a Security Expert and Assistant Director at the New York University, Dr Nicholas Nii Okine has condemned the threat and recommended that National Peace Council and the intelligence agencies step in. He is suggesting counseling and mini reintegration process to re-tool them to perform other duties for the state, cautioning that this threat if not managed could be disastrous.
Source: naij.com/1004585-tension-ready-join-boko-haram-isis-501-sacked-soldiers-speak.html?source=notification
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Nine dead as Nigeria police open fire on Shia Muslim procession marking Ashura
October 12, 2016
At least nine people are reported to have died after police opened fire on a procession of Shia Muslims marking the Ashura festival in Nigeria.
Graphic images posted to social media appeared to show at least three women among the bodies of those killed in the clashes in the town of Funtua, in the north-western Katsina state.
An eye witness to the clashes told BBC News the army and police had tried to block the procession, which commemorates the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.
He said police then opened fire on the crowd, and while he had seen only eight bodies, many more were feared wounded.
The UK-based UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission said it had received responds suggesting soldiers had used live ammunition and tear gas as clashes broke out.
Katsina, like some other northern Nigerian states, had tried to ban public Ashura commemorations.
The IHRC said it had also received reports of police setting fire to the Kaduna Markaz mosque in Kaduna city, the main mosque used by the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
"Today's violence confirmed fears that the Nigerian authorities would seek to sabotage the annual commemoration of Ashura in the country," it said in a statement.
What is Ashura?
The day falls each year on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This year, it corresponds with Tuesday 11 October, though the festival begins for observant Muslims at sunset on Monday, in some countries the day before is also a public holiday, and events can span a period of more than a week.
Ashura is marked by all Muslims, and commemorations can include a voluntary fast.
But the day is a major part of the religious calendar for Shia Muslims, for whom it is a solemn occasion to mourn the death of Hussein in 680 AD at Karbala in modern-day Iraq.
Pakistani Shiite Muslims flagellate themselves during the Ashura procession in Peshawar. The Islamic month of Muharram marks the seven-century martyrdom of Prophet Mohammad's grandson Imam Hussein who was killed in battle in Karbala in Iraq in 680 AD (Getty)
The day has become best-known around the world for public displays of self-flagellation, but observing Muslims also conduct reenactments of the martyrdom of Hussein and take part in parades and displays of fire-spinning.
Inevitably, the self-flagellation has been a cause for some controversy. Some religious leaders say the graphic scenes that result tend to paint Shia Muslims in a backward or negative light.
And there has been an effort in recent years to channel the annual blood-letting into a more constructive and progressive practice. Some leaders have suggested marking the day by donating blood.
Source: ndependent.co.uk/news/world/africa/ashura-nigeria-clashes-shia-muslims-dead-procession-funtua-katsina-shoot-latest-a7357426.html
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Kenyan police arrest Briton in Shabaab recruitment probe
12 October, 2016
Kenyan police on Tuesday arrested a British national alongside two Somali women, all suspected of recruiting for Somalia's Islamist Shabaab militants, police sources said.
The British male, who works for a well-known advertising agency, was arrested in a raid on his home in the upmarket Nairobi suburb of Gigiri, which is popular with expatriates.
"We have three suspects in custody and one of them is British. We are still interrogating them with a view to taking them to court tomorrow," one police source said. "They are being investigated for radicalisation."
Another source said the three were suspected of "recruiting Kenyan youths to join Al Shabaab."
"They are strong indications that they have travelled to and from Somalia on several occasions and the investigations will be centred on that aspect," he added.
The raid was carried out in the presence of the director of Kenya's Criminal Investigations Department Ndegwa Muhoro, sources said.
The Al-Qaeda backed Shabaab has fought to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu since 2007, but turned its sights on Kenya when the army was sent into Somalia in 2011 to fight the Islamic insurgents.
In November 2014 gunmen flagged down a commuter bus, separated passengers by religion and executed 28 non-Muslims.
Since then the militants have targeted civilians in different parts of Kenya, including a dramatic assault on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall in which at least 67 people were killed and the murder of 148 people at Garissa University in the northeast in 2015.
Source: timeslive.co.za/africa/2016/10/12/Kenyan-police-arrest-Briton-in-Shabaab-recruitment-probe
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Mideast
AKP to submit own constitutional draft for presidential system: PM Yıldırım
12/10/2016
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will submit its own constitutional draft that includes a change to the presidential system, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, one day after Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahçeli hinted at his party’s support for a referendum on the issue.
“The AK Party group will submit [the constitutional draft] for parliamentary approval, preparing the draft with 60 articles that have already been agreed [with opposition parties] and finalizing the missing articles. Parliament may approve it with 367 votes, or bring it to public decision by garnering 330 votes or more,” Yıldırım told a meeting of his party’s provincial leaders on Oct. 12.
His statement came a day after MHP head Bahçeli signaled indirect support, underlining that the final decision on whether Turkey should change its governing system should be “given by the people at a referendum.”
“We agree with Bahçeli’s call and say we will bring our constitutional proposal to parliament as soon as possible. Our proposal is a system that assures continuous, stable and strong power, which works with all institutions in harmony,” Yıldırım also said.
The AKP has 316 seats at parliament and needs at least 14 more votes to take a constitutional amendment to the referendum. The MHP has 40 seats.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are strictly against adopting the presidential system.
Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/akp-to-submit-own-constitutional-draft-for-presidential-system-pm-yildirim.aspx?pageID=238&nID=104876&NewsCatID=338
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40,000 denounced to police as Gülenists in Ankara
12/10/2016
Some 40,000 people in total have been denounced to police in Ankara as followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen since the failed coup attempt of July 15.
The informants include those who have denounced their parents, children, relatives and neighbors, daily Habertürk reported on Oct. 11.
Denunciations started to pour into Ankara counter-terrorism police immediately after the thwarting of the coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Gülen movement.
Counter-terrorism police are concerned that a majority of the denunciations are unfounded, with sources saying some of the information is based on “grudges and hatred” stemming from “personal problems.”
However, police also stress that all allegations are being investigated.
“Unfounded claims take up a lot of our time and hamper our other duties. We call on all citizens to act sensitively on this issue,” a security source told daily Habertürk.
“There are fathers who denounce their sons, wives who denounce their husbands, citizens who denounce their neighbors. Of course, all the information coming from the informants is evaluated and put into the necessary process. We have to separate the unfounded claims from the real ones. If the denunciation clearly aims to simply defame someone, then we take action against the person who has made the unfounded denunciation,” the source added.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım previously said that anonymous denunciations would be discarded in probes into the Gülenist movement, adding that “unjust treatment” was resulting from some of the testimonies.
“For example, some who hate each other, or who simply disagree on things, or those who want to replace others in their positions, may denounce their rivals with the benefit of anonymity. Unjust treatment is the result,” Yı