Monday, 12 September 2016

Zakir Naik’s Open Letter: Democrat or an Islamo-Fascist Demagogue?



By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
12 September, 2016
It is rather rich of Zakir Naik to write an open letter to the government about his perceived sense of persecution at the hands of Indian authorities. As I have written in previously, every person including Zakir Naik should be probed within the due process of law. To create conditions in which he is forced to live outside India without a clinching evidence is hardly excusable. That he is followed by thousands of Muslims who have not become terrorists is proof enough that there is a complex set of causative factors behind every act of terror. A complex phenomenon such as terrorism should not be simplified as the result of the teaching and sermons of some individual.
Zakir Naik’s letter however goes further. It accuses the government of the day of selectively targeting Muslims. Zakir Naik becomes the victim within this narrative by becoming one of the 170 million of India’s Muslims.
The problem starts right here. A majority of Muslims here are poor and uneducated and mostly do not have a voice. On comparison, Zakir Naik owns a million-dollar enterprise and has a powerful lobby fighting for his defence. How then can he compare himself with the average Indian Muslim?
Moreover, Zakir Naik speaks openly against the religious practice of the majority of Indian Muslims. He has accused them of being open to polytheism and not following the correct tenets of Islam. How then does he become one of them? Clearly his ideas about Islam is much at variance with that of the majority of Indian Muslims. And that’s precisely the reason why he cannot represent the majority of Indian Muslims. For almost all major schools of Islam in India, barring Salafi-Wahhabi-Ahl-e-Hadeesi, Zakir Naik represents something other than Islam; in fact, the majority even refuse to certify him as a religious scholar.
It sounds patently hypocritical when Zakir Naik talks about ‘murder of democracy’ and violation of ‘fundamental rights’. Of course, all this is peppered by the undertone of ‘justice’ which he argues has been denied in his case. Talking in terms of democracy and rights would almost make Zakir Naik a believer in these secular ideas. However, all his own speeches and conduct have belied this.
A person who sings praises for the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, accepts their hospitality and prize is now talking about democracy and human rights. Why didn’t he remember them when the Saudis gave him millions to promote their ideology of Islamism? As a champion of democracy, why did he accept Saudi money when it is well documented that there are flagrant violations of all kinds of rights in that kingdom. What kind of democracy is he talking about when his mentor hangs and stones people for petty crimes in full public view?
There cannot be any doubt that Zakir Naik is talking about democracy and rights without even believing an iota in these concepts. After all, didn’t his Islamist predecessors argue that democracy was a system of men and what they wanted was to bring the system of God? Has Zakir Naik all of a sudden turned secular when confronted with man-made laws?
In the same letter, Zakir Naik argues that he is promoting peace and harmony in society through developing an understanding of Islam. Again, he probably knows that this is not the case. Through his erroneous understanding of the text, he has created newer religious schisms within the Muslim society so much so that there was a fatwa against him. If he cannot create harmony even within Muslim society, then heaven only knows how he is going to create peace and harmony within the Indian society. His sermons actually have the opposite effect: of promoting enmity between different religious groups in society.
If one is hell bent on arguing that Islam is the best religion in the world and that polytheism of the Hindus is a backward and deplorable religious worldview, then how does this promote peace and tolerance? If he continues to justify that Islam alone is the saviour of world, then how does this promote peace and mutual respect? Calling such sermons of a third rate pedant as dialogue militates against the very idea of a dialogical plural world. Zakir Naik is not interested in dialogue: he is a fascist demagogue who wants the entire world to convert to his point of view.
His hypocrisy on democracy begins to unravel the minute he takes recourse to the Quran. There are many passages within the text to cite in terms of pluralism and tolerance. But to quote the verse which tells Muslims to be patient and wait for their eventual victory over the polytheists is perhaps too much. This is not a man who is a believer in the virtues of secular laws like democracy. This is a man who wants to unfurl the Islamic flag everywhere, demean and trounce all other religious traditions. The recourse to democracy and the language of rights are only a means to an end: that of establishing the supremacy of Islam.
Arshad Alam is a NewAgeIslam.com columnist.
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/arshad-alam,-new-age-islam/zakir-naik%E2%80%99s-open-letter--democrat-or-an-islamo-fascist-demagogue?/d/108534#sthash.kzc5CHl9.dpuf

Media in Pakistan Is Under Siege



By Ambreen Agha
September 12, 2016
My family has been falsely implicated in drug racket. It is distressing to see that my family is suffering because of my profession. It is difficult to be a journalist in Pakistan and that too in tribal areas. You are punished for bringing out stories that do not sit well with the military establishment, which is ubiquitous here. We see Taliban commanders visiting military quarters in the tribal belt. What happens inside is not for us to know. We are caught between the military and the terrorists. Being a journalist has cost me my family, who disowned me after the slapping of false charges. And now I am without money, looking for alternative means of sustenance.
------An unnamed journalist from an unspecified location in tribal areas to SAIR.
Media in Pakistan, particular in the tribal regions, is under siege. Working under constant threat to life and livelihood, media personnel have faced a backlash from both state and anti-state elements. These include the warring political parties, military intelligence agencies and terrorist formations operating across the country.
As freedom becomes increasingly elusive for media personnel in the country, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) report, released on February 3, 2016, noted that Pakistan runs fourth on the list of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists, recording a total of 115 killings since 1990. According to partial data compiled by Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), a total of 57 journalists have been killed in targeted attacks since 1994 (data till September 11, 2016). Meanwhile, the World Press Freedom Index - 2016, published by Reporters without Borders (RWB), ranked Pakistan at 147 out of 180 countries. The RWB Report on Pakistan, "Targeted on all Sides", states,
Journalists are targeted by extremist groups, Islamist organizations and Pakistan's feared intelligence organizations, all of which are on RSF's [Reporters Sans Frontières] list of predators of press freedom. Although at war with each other, they are all always ready to denounce acts of "sacrilege" by the media. Inevitably, self-censorship is widely practiced within news organizations.
In a recent incident on August 22, 2016, a group of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers attacked the office of ARY News Channel, killing one person and injuring several others, near Zainab Market in the Saddar Town of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh. A day earlier, another group of infuriated MQM protestors had damaged the Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) van of the Samaa TV channel in the Liaquatabad Town of Karachi. The protestors involved in both these attacks had alleged lack of "due media coverage" of MQM workers, who had been protesting since August 18, 2016, against the random disappearances and arrest of party workers by the paramilitary Rangers ever since the beginning of the ongoing 'Targeted Action' against terrorists and criminals in the commercial capital. During a meeting of the Sindh Apex Committee headed by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on August 31, 2016, Rangers Director General Major General Bilal Akbar informed the participants that 848 'target killers' involved in 7,224 cases have been arrested since September 4, 2013, in Karachi, of which 654 suspects were affiliated with MQM. The MQM suspects have allegedly confessed to being involved in 5,863 incidents of target killings.
In the past, religious-political parties have also brazenly attacked the media. Following the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri, an Elite Force commando convicted of killing former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, angry protesters attacked media houses and facilities in Sindh and Punjab on March 1, 2016, leaving over half a dozen media people injured, and equipment burnt or destroyed. Qadri was executed on February 29, 2016, at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi District of Punjab. The most violent attack occurred in the Hyderabad District of Sindh, where a demonstration was staged by several religious parties against Qadri's execution. The collective call for protest outside the Hyderabad Press Club was given by different religious organizations and parties, including, Milli Yakjehti Council, Jama'at-e-Ulema Pakistan (JuP) and Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST). Apart from burning tyres and blocking roads, the enraged mobs burned a counter at the Hyderabad Press Club, injuring four journalists and a Press Club employee. They also beat up journalists en route to Karachi. Two journalists, who were travelling to cover the protest in Karachi's Malir Town were pulled out of the car and beaten up. The cameraman was also dragged out of the van. The infuriated protestors damaged the camera and the vehicle.
The media has been targeted by the country's proliferation of terrorist formations. On May 7, 2016, unidentified terrorists killed two people, including Shia religious scholar and rights activist Syed Khurram Zaki and his journalist friend Rao Khalid, in North Karachi Town. While Khalid was currently working as a journalist, Zaki was a former journalist. No outfit claimed responsibility for the attack.
On November 22, 2015, unidentified armed assailants shot dead TV journalist Hafeez ur Rehman (42), on the outskirts of the Kohat District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Though terrorist outfits, primarily the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), have claimed responsibility for these attacks, the media has been directed by the Pakistan Army not to report.
The unnamed journalist from tribal area, in a conversation with this writer, stated,
Since the launch of the NAP [National Action Plan (NAP), media's coverage of the conflict in Pakistan and more specifically in the tribal area is dictated by the Army. There is a clear instruction to all journalists, independent or affiliated, working in the tribal belt to not report claims of responsibility by terrorist outfits. The military has drawn the line for the journalists working on the ground. There are claims made by the Pakistani Taliban [TTP] after every attack that we are categorically told to ignore. Reporting a terror claim is a crime now. In the tribal areas, reporters risk it all to deliver the news independently and objectively. Instead, it is the Army's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), which has increased its activities in the last few years.
The 20-point NAP came as a counter-terrorism measure on December 24, 2014, after the gruesome December 16, 2015, Peshawar Army Public School massacre.
Corroborating this claim, the last attack on the media claimed by TTP was on January 17, 2014, when at least three Express News workers, identified as driver Khalid, technician Waqas and security guard Ashraf, were shot dead after TTP terrorists ambushed a stationary DSNG van near Matric Board Office in the North Nazimabad Town of Karachi. In a live telephone call from Afghanistan TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan declared,
We accept responsibility. I would like to present some of its reasons: At present, Pakistani media is playing the role of (enemies and spread) venomous propaganda against Tehreek-e-Taliban. They have assumed the (role of) opposition. We had intimated the media earlier and warn it once again that (they must) side with us in this venomous propaganda (sic)."
Five days later, on January 23, 2014, TTP issued a 29-page fatwa (edict) against the media, declaring it a "party to the conflict" in the country. Since TTP's creation in 2007, this was the first ever fatwa issued by the terrorist organization against the media, drawing up a hit-list of journalists and publishers across the country. The fatwa accuses media of siding with "disbelievers" against Muslims in the "war on Islam". It alleged that the media was inciting people against mujahidin (holy warriors) through propaganda, and was propagating promiscuity and secularism. One of the author's of the fatwa, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, 'deputy chief' of TTP, separated journalists into three categories - Murjif, Muqatil and Sa'ee Bil Fasad. Explaining the terms further in the fatwa, Haqqani stated,
Murjif is someone who engages in propaganda against Muslims during a war between Islam and disbelief. Muqatil is someone who incites disbelievers and their allies to act against Muslims, while the third category (Sa'ee Bil Fasad) includes those who allegedly corrupt Muslim society through steps like replacing Islamic ideology with secular beliefs.
While sending the fatwa to Dawn, the outfit's spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan warned, "Media could mend its ways and become a neutral entity. Otherwise, the media should not feel secure. A few barriers and security escorts will not help. If we can get inside military installations, media offices should not be too much of a challenge."
Indeed, at least 13 attacks with nine fatalities have been recorded since the declaration of the fatwa on January 23, 2014.
The military establishment has played a malicious role in this enduring wave of intolerance against the media. During the 139th Corps Commanders Conference held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) on June 9, 2011, the then Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, warned critics to stop trying to deliberately run down the Armed Forces and the Army as an institution, and to put an end to "any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the country." The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and other Pakistani intelligence agencies have a long history of intimidation, abduction and secret killings of those who challenge or expose them.
One prominent incident in this category was the abduction, torture and brutal murder of Asia Times Online Pakistan Bureau Chief, Syed Saleem Shahzad, on June 1, 2011, in the Mandi Bahauddin District of Punjab Province. Shehzad was abducted on May 29, 2011, by the ISI just one day after he exposed links between al Qaeda, a group of naval personnel and the ISI, in the deadly attack on the Pakistan Naval Station (PNS) Mehran within the Faisal Naval Airbase in Karachi on May 22, 2011. 10 Security Force (SF) personnel were killed in the attack. Shahzad's killing was a deliberate and planned targeted killing that sent shock waves through Pakistan's journalist fraternity and civil society.
In another such attack, Hamid Mir, the anchor on Geo News, was shot at and injured by four unidentified armed pillion riders on April 19, 2014, in Sharah-e-Faisal Town of Karachi. Before the attack, Mir had told his colleagues and friends that if he was attacked, Pakistan's ISI, "and its chief Lieutenant General Zaheer-ul-Islam will be responsible". On the day of the attack, Geo News disclosed that Mir had also sent a recorded video to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) implicating the ISI in any possible attempt on his life. Mir had claimed that the Agency had been infuriated by his Capital Talk programmes that criticised ISI's tactics against the separatists in Balochistan, where the military is accused of enforced disappearances and killings.
Persistent efforts by the Army and its agencies to silence the media over decades have diminished the spaces of freedom within Pakistan. There have been serious concerns voiced by activists regarding the "muzzling of free speech" in Pakistan. Expressing concern over the role of the ISPR department on June 15, 2016, Asma Jahangir, former chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), appeared before a two-judge Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices Ejaz Afzal Khan and Qazi Faez Isa, which was hearing petitions filed by journalists Hamid Mir, Absar Alam and others, seeking a court order abolishing the secret fund being maintained by the Information Ministry. Jahangir asserted that ISPR should also be monitored by regulatory authorities and requested the Court to investigate the law under which the Army's media cell was operating. "We have been talking a lot about the civilian government, but the media cell of the [army] should also be monitored," Jahangir argued.
In the ongoing "war of ideologies", as TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan called it after the January 17, 2014, attack on Express News, the media has borne the brunt from all the three quarters - political, military and terrorist. An environment of repression has been created, enforced by an unholy alliance of Islamist extremists, radicalized political parties and the omnipresent Army and its agencies, within a culture of enveloping immunity, expanding spaces for future ideological wars.
Ambreen Agha is a Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
Source: South Asia Intelligence review
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-the-media/ambreen-agha/media-in-pakistan-is-under-siege/d/108542#sthash.QuoYrlpi.dpuf

What Media Is Not Telling Us about AIMPLB’s Stand



By Flavia Agnes
Sep 11, 2016
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has given to the Supreme Court its opinion on triple Talaq and polygamy. As expected, media reports have reacted to the absurd and indefensible statements made by the Board, but the positive aspects in the affidavit seem to have gotten buried beneath the flurry.
The affidavit starts on a positive note by stating that the Supreme Court in the 2002 Shamim Ara ruling has already dealt with the issue of instant, arbitrary triple Talaq, and has laid down the test of “reasonable cause” and “prior reconciliation”, and goes even further to state that the principle laid down in the Shamim Ara ruling is the law of the land and a binding precedent.
Even while stating that the Shamim Ara ruling does not accurately reflect the Shariah law, the affidavit accepts the judgment by stating that the Board does not wish to reopen the discussion on it in these proceedings but ends with a rider that it reserves its right to “interpret” the Shamim Ara ruling in future. This appears to be a feeble objection to the historic ruling, especially since the board accepts that the proper course open to Shayara Bano — petitioner in the current case — was to challenge the arbitrary triple Talaq and claim her rights in a local court by invoking the 2002 ruling.
Fourteen years have gone by since the ruling, and the volume of case law accumulated through the decisions of various high courts which have relied on the Shamim Ara ruling makes it difficult for the Board to feign ignorance about it as the principle of stare decisis will apply when the Board wakes up to challenging this ruling.
What does this imply for Muslim women who are sent such arbitrary Talaqnamas by post? While trial courts have been relying on this ruling when Muslim women approach them to claim their rights, the community has been hesitant to challenge the Fatwas that triple Talaq are valid, discouraging women from approaching the courts. The Board’s affidavit, in paragraph six, sends out a clear signal that a Muslim woman has every right to challenge the triple Talaq sent to her by her husband relying upon the Shamim Ara ruling.
The fact that the Board has accepted the principles laid down in the Shamim Ara ruling is the most positive aspect of the affidavit, and this should be hailed. After pleading that Shayara Bano had the right to challenge the triple Talaq in a local court in a duly affirmed affidavit by a person no less than its secretary, it will be difficult for the Board to retract from this position in future. Now Muslim women can defend their rights against instant Talaq pronounced on them, as the Board has given its approval.
The second positive aspect is the acceptance that a Muslim woman who has been subjected to domestic violence has the right to claim relief under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA), 2005. This helps break yet another prevailing myth that Muslim women are not entitled to relief under PWDVA. There is a clear direction to Muslim women who are victims of domestic violence to claim relief under the progressive statute, which helps women claim maintenance, protection, injunction, residence, compensation and child custody through summary proceedings in a magistrate’s court.
Further, remedies under this Act can be claimed not only during the marriage but at any time thereafter. The Board does not seem to restrain Muslim women from claiming relief under this statute even after their marriage has been dissolved. Acknowledging the rights of Muslim women for remedies under this civil statute is sufficed to clear any misconception which the media may harbour.
The third positive point: In the event that Shayara Bano wished to end her violent marriage by accepting the Talaqnama sent by her husband, she has the option of exercising her rights under the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights upon Divorce) Act, 1986. The agency of the Muslim woman and her multiple choices under various legal provisions, which are seldom highlighted, are captured in a nutshell.
The affidavit chides Shayara Bano for rushing to the Supreme Court by way of a PIL without first benefiting from the remedies available to her against her husband in a local court. In fact, it is on these grounds that the affidavit claims that the PIL should be dismissed ad-limine (at the initial stage).
The affidavit further states that these alternate remedies are more apt as the appropriate judicial authorities can give effective and adequate remedy. These statements help to clear the misconception that a divorced Muslim woman has no rights under the existing laws.
The affidavit further states that provisions of maintenance after divorce have been codified in the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, and the constitutional validity of this Act was upheld in the Danial Latifi ruling of 2001.
The Board was a party to these proceedings and had opposed the wider interpretation provided by the Supreme Court. But today it seems to accept this judgment and urges Muslim women to reap its benefits.
Unfortunately, due to the negative projection of these important milestones, Muslim women were not able to sufficiently reap the benefits of these rulings. The affidavit seems to clear the misconception surrounding these important rights.
It would have been better for the Board to confine itself to these legal positions rather than contradict what is stated in the opening paragraphs, by invoking obscurantist authorities to uphold arbitrary, instant triple Talaq. Unfortunately, by making sensational and outlandish comments about the necessity of validating this practice, the Board has played into the hands of Hindu communal elements, especially before the UP elections, and provided fodder to mount its vitriolic campaign against the Muslim community.
After affirming that the principle laid down in the Shamim Ara ruling is the law of the land and is binding, these contradictory and atrocious comments were totally unwarranted.
Since the main objective of the media is to secure the rights of Muslim women, it would do well to publicise the fact that the Board has encouraged Muslim women to safeguard their rights by using the existing laws available to them.
Flavia Agnes is a women’s rights lawyer
Source: asianage.com/columnists/what-media-not-telling-us-about-aimplb-s-stand-699
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/flavia-agnes/what-media-is-not-telling-us-about-aimplb%E2%80%99s-stand/d/108538#sthash.3Q54ehFw.dpuf

Triple Talaq and Polygamy: Divorced From Religion



By Zeenat Shaukat Ali
Sep 11, 2016
The Muslim Personal Law Board has justified triple talaq and polygamy. Muslim women’s groups fighting for a ban on the two customs say the Board’s reasons are medieval, patriarchal. It’s over to India’s top court now.
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) recently told the Supreme Court that “rewriting Personal Laws in the name of social reform” would erode religious freedom guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
AIMPLB said that a man giving triple Talaq to his wife was a better option than him murdering her or burning her alive; that women were less proficient in decision-making and, therefore, this “right” lay with men; and that polygamy was Islamic, banning of which would lead to promiscuous sexual practices.
The justifications of AIMPLB —a non-government organisation that is supposed to educate Indian Muslims on the protection and application of Islamic laws — are medieval and reinforce the worst stereotypes that “Islamophobes” have constantly proliferated. By relegating women to second-class status, the Board betrayed misogyny and patriarchy of the worst kind that was done away with by Prophet Muhammad.
Some of Quran’s major concerns were to liberate humankind from the dangers of subservience, autocracy, ethnicity, racism and chauvinism. Islam allowed questioning, encouraged the ability to interrupt a prearranged archaic thought process ingrained in a male-dominated oligarchic system.
In early Islam, Muslim women were active in numerous fields, and participated in decision-making. They were equal participants in both spiritual and material aspects of life. Women’s right to participate in social, economic, educational, cultural and political activities was equal to their male counterparts. They could acquire, administer, dispose and inherit property. They had equal freedom to choose or refuse a spouse. Women can enjoy the same benefits as men, and follow any respectable profession as men: “To men is allotted what they earn and to women what they earn” (Quran, 4:32).
The Quran extols the leadership of Queen Bilques as “a woman ruling over them provided with every requisite” (H.Q. 27:23). Her leadership qualities are not measured by her gender but by her capacity to fulfill the requirements of office, her political acumen, the purity of her faith and her independent judgement.
Historical evidence shows that women contributed significantly in the fields of knowledge and learning. The wife of the Prophet Mohammad, Harzat Khadija, also a powerful business woman, was the first to embrace Islam. The progeny of the Prophet primarily emanates from his esteemed daughter Hazrat Fatimah who played an active role on discussions relating to succession.
Hazrat Aisha, well known for her knowledge of Hadith, was also a politically active, influential leader. Hazrat Hafsa held with her the entire manuscript of the compilation of the Quran finally published in the time of the Caliph Uthman. Umm Salamah was instrumental in advising the Prophet during the crises at Hudaibiya). Bibi Zainab was actively involved in social work.
The early history of Islam shows that women took part in national activities, acted as advisors, and joined in congregational prayers in mosques. They were in battlefields, helped carry the wounded and slain. Women served male guests during feasts, did business with men.
The Prophet consulted women and took their opinion seriously. According to Imam Hanbal, the Prophet appointed Umm Waraqah as the imam of her household. She also led prayers for both genders. Khawla bit Salibah corrected the authoritative ruling (fatwa) of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab on the issue of dower (Mahr). Hanbali jurisprudence upholds the qualifications of women to serve as judges. They owned and sold property and engaged in commercial transactions (there are references to this effect from Hadith of Imam Bukhari).
Women became Muslims before men, again contradicting the patriarchal view that women were incapable of independent action. In the political arena the Quran refers to women who, independent of their male relatives, pledged the oath of allegiance (Bayah) to the Prophet: “O Prophet whenever believing women come to thee to pledge their allegiance to thee… then accept their allegiance” (Quran. 60:12).
Women were not confined within the four walls of their houses. Household duties were not their sole responsibility. “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife” (Tirmidhi; Ibn Majah).
The Board also said that divorce proceedings instead of triple Talaq could damage a woman’s chances of re-marriage if the husband indicts her of loose character in the court.
But neither the Quran nor Prophet Muhammad sanctioned triple Talaq. The Prophet said: “God has not created anything on the face of the earth that he loves more than emancipation; and God has created nothing upon the face of the earth more hateful to him than divorce” (Abu Daud, 13:3).
Triple Talaq clearly disregards the displeasure of the Prophet as the following tradition illustrates: “The Messenger of Allah was informed of a man (Rukhana) who divorced his wife three times together, his face became red and he stood up in displeasure and said: ‘Is the Book of Allah being sported with while I am still in your midst?”(Nasai; 27:6).
AIMPLB has argued that polygamy is a “social need” and a “blessing” as a lawful second wife is better than an unlawful mistress, saying that it gave divorced or widowed women more opportunity to remarry.
But polygamy in Islam is a restrictive and not a permissive ordinance; it is an exception not the rule. Prophet Muhammad did not introduce polygamy as is conveniently believed. The only verse in the Quran on polygamy (4:3) was revealed during the Battle of Uhud when, under the circumstances of war, women were left orphans, homeless and destitute. Prophet Muhammad restrained polygamy by insisting on Adl (justice). A large number of influential jurists, like the Mutalazaites, belonging to schools presently archaic, held polygamy unlawful.
Prophet Muhammad at the age of 25 married Hazrat Khadeeja who was 40, adhering strictly to the ideal of monogamy in a totally polygamous society, at a time when prevailing conditions were normal and there was no war. It was only when war situations arose and women needed shelter and protection that the Prophet married another.
A number of Muslim countries have limited polygamy by bringing about statutory provisions, anti-bigamy stipulations or exercise of judicial and social control.
AIMPLB has argued that the death rate of men is higher since it is mostly men who die in accidents, and that since women outnumbered men, not permitting polygamy would force women “into leading a spinster’s life”.
But in India the sex ratio is approximately 920 women to a 1,000 men. What then is the argument to retain polygamy?
It is not Islam but the assertion of pre-Islamic patriarchy that are obstacles in the path of women.
Zeenat Shaukat Ali is director general, World Institute of Islamic Studies for Dialogue, Peace and Gender Justice.
Source: asianage.com/columnists/triple-talaq-polygamy-divorced-religion-696
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/zeenat-shaukat-ali/triple-talaq-and-polygamy--divorced-from-religion/d/108539#sthash.NB7zaqX2.dpuf

Don’t Confuse Wahhabiat with Kashmiriyat



By M.D. Nalapat
10 September, 2016
No income-tax officer seems at all curious as to how those loyal to Pakistan and who are resident in Kashmir maintain such opulent lifestyles.
Recently, CNN aired visuals by Clarissa Ward, a correspondent who claimed to be reporting from “Free Syria”, i.e. that part of the country that had been prised loose from Bashar Assad. While she had to wear a black abaya while in “freedom”, in Assad’s “unfree” Syria, Ward would have been unmolested even in denims or short skirt, presumably dresses that are more familiar to her than the dress she was in while interviewing “freedom loving” fighters.
Such hypocrisy is equally commonplace among Ward-style foreign correspondents in Kashmir, who ignore the reality of the “Azadi” being sought by a violent minority of the people of Jammu & Kashmir being a licence to enforce Taliban-style laws on the population, including stoning to death and chopping off hands. CNN (or the Washington Post, for that matter) has been consistent from the 1990s in backing the Wahhabis in Kashmir, as they were in the case of Libya, when the likes of Arwa Damon and Hala Gorani traipsed around the country in support of the war unleashed in 2011 by Hillary Clinton and other western leaders.
 In our pell-mell rush to follow US fashions, most of the media in India has continued the error made by Atal Behari Vajpayee during 1998-2004, that of confusing “Wahhabiat” with Kashmiriyat. What organisations such as the Hurriyat seek to achieve in Kashmir is the total replacement of the gentle, Sufi ethos of the state with the harshness of Wahhabism, something which ought to have been clear from at least the 1990s, but which is apparently yet to be understood even by several policymakers.
Appeasing the backers of Wahhabiat damages the chances of Kashmiriyat making a comeback in the Valley, and hence it is not surprising that every gesture of “reconciliation” (i.e. surrender to the Wahhabis) has been followed by a further descent into chaos. This columnist had from the start warned that the “healing touch” touted by the PDP-BJP alliance should bypass the Wahhabis entirely and concentrate on those in Kashmir who still believe in the moderate ethos of that state. Instead, as has been taking place in the state since 1975, it was the Wahhabis who were coddled by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and which made the present situation in Kashmir inevitable.
 According to individuals who are current with the facts, an unambiguous signal was sent from within the state government to the Pakistan lobby that the police would largely look the other way should there be protests. This perception of police inaction was the spark which led to the present flame-up, not the killing of a youthful terrorist, although here as well, the UPA policy of refusing to return the remains ought to have been followed. Those who advised the NDA otherwise need to lose their jobs.
Thus far, it does not appear that a single individual from those who have motivated and fuelled so many unwary youths in Kashmir into forfeiting their futures has been held to account. And this in a country where the colonial system of governance ensures that citizens get jailed first while the police question him later, presuming they ever do, that is. In a country where a policy of zero tolerance for black money has been initiated by the Prime Minister, no income-tax officer seems at all curious as to how those loyal to Pakistan and who are resident in Kashmir maintain such opulent lifestyles.
What Hurriyat seeks to achieve in Kashmir is the total replacement of the gentle, Sufi ethos of the state with the harshness of Wahhabism.
After an initial Wahhabi-appeasing stance, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appears to be sensing the error in pursuing a soft approach towards those who ultra-hard working for a Wahhabi future for Kashmir. In Delhi, Lutyens Zone policymakers have for long outsourced their thinking to US-based think-tanks, almost all of whom adopt a Wahhabi-friendly tilt in their recommendations. While the US is indeed important in the external security of India, to listen to advice from Washington on matters relating to internal security would lead to a splintering of India. Any country that has followed the US administration’s prescriptions in such matters has spiralled into hell till reversing course, Egypt being a recent example.
Even after having the door slammed in their faces, it is inexplicable why leaders of so many political parties seek to pamper with public funds the self-declared agents of GHQ Rawalpindi in the Kashmir valley. Taxpayers need to file a petition in court demanding that those policymakers who spend hundreds of crores of rupees of taxpayer money in providing facilities to wannabe Pakistani citizens in Kashmir should be made to repay the cost of such generosity out of their own wealth and income. When members of the Hurriyat are treated at airports and elsewhere with the deference and the protocol shown to Union ministers, it is no surprise that they have contempt for the Indian state.
 The best course would be to give them a ticket to Pakistan, tearing up their Indian passports at the point of departure. However, before that, it ought to be a criminal misuse of state funds to spend any public money on their upkeep, travel, security or other needs. Vajpayee was correct that Kashmiriyat needs to be encouraged. He was wrong in assuming that pandering to Wahhabiat would assist the return of Kashmiriyat to the Valley. Only those who accept the need for “Ekta” should be shown any “Mamata”.
Source: sundayguardianlive.com/opinion/6400-don-t-confuse-wahhabiat-kashmiriyat
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/current-affairs/md-nalapat/don%E2%80%99t-confuse-wahhabiat-with-kashmiriyat/d/108540#sthash.hnVn1HI5.dpuf

Kenya Kills Three Hijabi Women Attackers of Mombasa Police Station
















Police said women entered the station claiming they wanted to report a crime

Islamic State Female ‘Terrorist Commando’ Found In France
India Muslim Women 'Raped' In Fatal Attack 'Over Beef'
Muslim Women’s Forums Flay AIMPLB Stand on Triple Talaq
She Was Targeted As a Black Muslim Woman In A Football Ad, Here’s How She Responded
Brooklyn Woman Attacks Muslim Moms, Attempts to Rip Off Their Hijabs
Woman Attacks 2 Muslim Women Pushing Strollers
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
URL:
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Kenya Kills Three Hijabi Women Attackers of Mombasa Police Station
11 September 2016
 Three women have been killed after trying to stage an attack at the main police station in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, officials say.
The women, wearing Hijabs, entered the station saying they wanted to report a stolen phone, police say.
One of the women pulled a knife and another threw a petrol bomb, starting a fire. Two officers were injured.
It is not clear who is behind the attack, but Islamist group al-Shabab has staged numerous attacks in Kenya.
The Somali-based group has been targeting Kenya since 2011, when Kenyan troops were deployed to rid Somalia of the militants.
Scene in Mombasa where three women were killed after trying to stage an attack at the main police station
A BBC journalist in Mombasa said the women were apparently wearing bullet-proof vests under their dresses, and an unnamed police officer said "they were definitely on a mission".
A witness called Saumu told Agence France-Presse that they were "shouting Allahu Akbar (God is greatest, in Arabic).
Al-Shabab has recruited hundreds of Kenyans, especially around Mombasa which has a large Muslim population.
Al-Shabab said it was behind the massacre at Garissa University in April 2015, in which 147 people were killed, and the attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre in 2013 in which 68 people were killed.
Source: bc.com/news/world-africa-37332459
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Islamic State Female ‘Terrorist Commando’ Found In France
September 12, 2016
A judge handed preliminary charges to a woman whom authorities suspect is part of a female “terrorist commando” in the service of Islamic State.
The 29-year-old was one of five suspects in an aborted attack near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and another possible attack thwarted by police.
The discovery of an abandoned car on September 4 led investigators to the arrests of three more women and a man that revealed links to two attacks this year in France claimed by Islamic State. The abandoned car was found with its licence plates removed, its hazard lights flashing and it was loaded with gas canisters.
A woman identified as Ornella G, was the first to be arrested, on Tuesday with a companion near the city of Orange. Her companion was freed, police said at the weekend. But Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said Ornella G’s fingerprints were found in the car. She was known as someone looking to go to Syria.
The judge charged Ornella G with association with terrorists to commit attacks and attempted murder in an organised group linked to a terrorist enterprise and ordered her jailed, the prosecutor’s office said.
Following Ornella G’s arrest, police traced the person linked to the car to a house in the Essonne region south of Paris and descended on Friday. A confrontation with three women outside ensued, including the 19-year-old daughter of the car’s owner, Ines Madani.
She was shot in the leg as she lunged at a police officer with a knife, after another woman, Sarah H, 23, attacked and wounded an officer with a kitchen knife through the open window of his car, Mr Molins said.
The third woman, Amel S, 39, who lived at the house, was arrested along with her daughter, who was about to turn 16 but implicated in the “terrorist project,” said the prosecutor.
Mr Molins said the probe had led to the dismantling of a “terrorist commando of young women” aligned with Islamic State. “In the last few days and hours, a terrorist cell was dismantled, composed of young women totally receptive to the deadly Daesh ideology,” said Mr Molins, using an Arabic acronym for the extremist group.
The prosecutor said the women were guided in their actions by Islamic State members in Syria, “which shows this organisation intends to make women combatants”.
Police found a handwritten pledge of allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the purse of Ines Madani. Mr Molins said the note stated that in answer to the call of the No 2 Islamic State leader, killed in August, Abu ­Mohammed al-Adnani: “I attack you in your lands to mark your minds and terrorise you.”
The probe took on a wider scope with the arrest of Sarah H.
Investigators discovered she was to marry Larossi Abballa, the man who killed a police couple in June in their home in Magnanville, outside Paris, before being killed in a police raid.
She then was to marry Adel Kermiche, who slit the throat of the priest Jacques Hamel, 85, during morning Mass in July in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Mr Molins said. Kermiche and another attacker were shot dead by police.
Sarah H. was subsequently to marry Mohamed Lamine A, known to be radicalised and the brother of a man jailed in the Magnanville murders.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/islamic-state-female-terrorist-commando-found-in-france/news-story/347a651ae7de9b55f1e417a6451b3deb
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India Muslim Women 'Raped' In Fatal Attack 'Over Beef'
12 SEPTEMBER 2016
The woman, 20, told the BBC that four men carried out the attack in northern Haryana state two weeks ago. She denied consuming beef.
She said the men beat her uncle and aunt to death in their home in Mewat.
Many Hindus consider cows sacred and the slaughter of the animal is banned in several states, including Haryana.
The suspects have been arrested and charged with rape and murder.
However police have told reporters that there is no evidence to suggest that cow protection groups were involved in the attack.
Although the alleged rape took place two weeks ago, news of the incident has only just come out.
"They [the accused men] said that we ate cow meat and that is why we were being disgraced [raped]. They even threatened to kill me and my family if we ever told anybody what happened to us," the woman told BBC Urdu.
Muslim-dominated Mewat district, 100km (62 miles) from the capital Delhi, recently made headlines after a senior official told reporters that police would check dishes of mutton biryani to ensure they did not contain beef.
The latest attack has increased tensions.
Rape and gender crimes have been in the spotlight in India in recent years after the brutal gang rape and murder of a student in 2012 in Delhi.
In response, tough new anti-rape laws were introduced in the country.
However, brutal sexual attacks against women and children continue to be reported across the country.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-37336050
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Muslim Women’s Forums Flay AIMPLB Stand on Triple Talaq
12th September 2016
Bharathiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and Sadhanai Pura Women Federation (TN) strongly condemned “the patriarchal, inhuman and shameful propositions” put up by All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), in its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, justifying triple talaq and polygamy.
In a statement here on Sunday, BMMA State convener Jaibu Nisha Reyazbabu said the Board’s stand that “men have greater reasoning power compared to women” smacked of a medieval mindset and prejudice against women.
Its justification of polygamy and triple talaq contravened the Constitution and the principles of gender justice in Islam. Nowhere in the Islamic world was triple talaq legal, she added.
A majority of Muslim women across the country would not tolerate biases and prejudices against them.
They expected to be treated with respect and dignity.
Not only should triple talaq be legally abolished but also misogynist practices such as ‘Halala’, underage marriages, ‘Muta’ marriages and polygamy and any form of unilateral divorce without recorded arbitration must be legally abolished, she demanded.
The entire Muslim family law as practised in India must be codified to enable Muslim women to live with dignity and respect, she added.
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/muslim-womens-forums-flay-aimplb-stand-on-triple-talaq/article9097002.ece
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She Was Targeted As A Black Muslim Woman In A Football Ad, Here’s How She Responded
September 12, 16
The Stanford football game advertisement was typical for what’s often issued by colleges around game day: a group of students, smiling and cheering in the stands and displaying school colors. One of the fans pictured, a black Muslim student at the center of the frame, was dressed in a Hijab. That’s what got the attention of some online commenters last week.
“That Hijab Or whatever is being shoved right done [sic] my throat!” one user wrote on Facebook.
“What a ridiculous advertisement. You had to throw a Muslim in there, didn’t you,” another commented, adding, “Disgusting. Not one white person in that ad. Screw Stanford.”
One Facebook user left a comment saying, “Hey Stanford take the Muslim bull—- elsewhere, we don’t wanna see it…” to which another replied, “Take the Islamophobia elsewhere, we really don’t wanna hear it.”
Tesay Yusuf, the Muslim student in the ad and a junior at the university, didn’t immediately see the ad for a Stanford “VIP Football Experience” because it was sponsored through a third-party company that uses Facebook’s audience-specific advertising, as school officials later told her. The image appeared on Facebook and was shared on the site by the Stanford Club, eventually finding its way to Yusuf.
“We all thought it was pretty cool that they had used the picture of us for the ad and didn’t make much of it otherwise,” she wrote in an email to The Post.
But the self-described first-generation American and first-generation college student soon noticed the comments, and she made the decision to reveal a few of the more vitriolic responses on her Twitter account Saturday morning.
“I became more frustrated, which led me to share the tweet,” wrote Yusuf, who was born in Maryland and grew up in the Washington, D.C., area. “I wasn’t expecting the tweet to get so much attention.”
At press time, Yusuf’s post has been retweeted more than 6,000 times and liked over 5,000 times. Many users offered words of support, calling Yusuf “gorgeous,” imploring her to “keep spreading your light,” and saying “Stanford should be honored to have you in the pic.”
“Thankfully almost every single response I’ve gotten has been extremely positive,” Yusuf, an international relations major who is minoring in African and African American studies, wrote in her email. “I also know that the people who made those hateful comments are random people who probably have no connection to Stanford whatsoever.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/09/12/she-was-targeted-as-a-black-muslim-woman-in-a-football-ad-heres-her-powerful-response/
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Brooklyn woman attacks Muslim moms, attempts to rip off their hijabs
September 12, 2016
The suspect is alleged to have shouted, "this is the United States of America, you shouldn't be different from us," during the attack.
A Brooklyn resident, 32 year-old Albanian-American Emirjeta Xhelili, attacked two Muslim women and their children while on a walk Thursday, NBC reported.
The 32-year-old reportedly punched one of the women and attempted to rip off her hijab while yelling, "get the f--k out of America b----s, you don't belong here," according to the criminal complaint.
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Xhelili also reportedly pushed the woman's stroller with her 3-month-old infant inside and then attempted to grab the second woman's stroller which had her 11-month-old baby inside. The complaint filed reflects that one of the strollers was knocked to the ground.
The suspect is alleged to have shouted, "this is the United States of America, you shouldn't be different from us,"  during the attack.
Xhelili is currently facing multiple criminal charges including assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
According to Xhelili's social media accounts she is a staunch Trump supporter and works at Noi Due, a kosher Italian restaurant on the Upper West Side. She is expected to appear in court on September 14.
http://www.jpost.com/International/Brooklyn-woman-attacks-Muslims-attempts-to-rip-off-their-hijabs-467515
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Woman attacks 2 Muslim women pushing strollers
12 SEPTEMBER 2016
New York City woman attacked two Muslim women who were pushing their young children in strollers and tried to rip off one woman’s Hijab. Court documents say Emirjeta Xhelili approached the women near her Brooklyn home Thursday afternoon, punching one of them in the head as she screamed obscenities and told her to leave America. Authorities say Xhelili pushed the woman’s stroller toward the ground and later tried to grab the second woman’s stroller away from her. Xhelili faces charges including assault, menacing and endangering the welfare of a child. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office has described the incident as a hate crime. Xhelili is being held on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail. Her lawyer tells the New York Daily News Xhelili has no previous arrests.
http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/09/172634/woman-attacks-2-muslim-women-pushing-strollers
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- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/kenya-kills-three-hijabi-women-attackers-of-mombasa-police-station/d/108544#sthash.s6oZbbKb.dpuf

World’s Muslims Celebrate Feast of Sacrifice















Muslims worldwide are celebrating Islam’s holy Feast of Sacrifice – known as Eid al-Adha: AFP photo

US Needs Cooperation from 'Patriotic Muslim Americans'
Islamic State Receiving Weapons from Eastern Europe in ‘Rapid’ New Supply Chain Says Arms Expert
'Syria Truce Might Be Used to Resupply US-Backed Militants'
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Mideast
World’s Muslims Celebrate Feast of Sacrifice
Settlers in Israel’s 1st Communal Farming Village a Cornerstone of Zionism
At least 48 wounded in car bomb attack in Turkey’s east
Erdoğan says mayors’ dismissal long overdue
Turkey’s top soldier pays Eid visit to border posts in Gaziantep
Syrian refugees in Turkey head home for Eid amid fragile ceasefire
A consensus for a solution critical before Raqqa ops, says expert
28 mayors replaced with trustees by Turkish government
Brother of jailed PKK leader visits İmralı Island for Eid meeting
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North America
US Needs Cooperation from 'Patriotic Muslim Americans'
Influence of Muslim-American Voters May Far Exceed Their Numbers
Twenty-year-old Muslim recruit killed by officers at Marine boot camp
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Europe
Islamic State Receiving Weapons from Eastern Europe in ‘Rapid’ New Supply Chain Says Arms Expert
France Arrests 15-Year-Old Boy for Planning "Imminent" Paris Attack - Sources
France foiling terror plots 'daily' - Prime Minister Manuel Valls
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Arab World
'Syria Truce Might Be Used to Resupply US-Backed Militants'
Saudi Warplanes Bombing Yemen Back Into Stone Age
Syrian Fighter Jets Hit Hard Terrorists' Military Positions in Western Aleppo
Syria: Top Terrorist Commander Killed in Quneitra
Syrian Army Wins Back Key Hilltop in Quneitra Province
Millions of Muslims Commemorating Eid Al-Adha
Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army's Offensive in Dara'a Province
Yemeni Forces Capture another Saudi Military Camp in Jizan
Hezbollah, Syrian Army Ambush ISIL near Lebanese Border
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Africa
Boko Haram Attacks Muslims Going To Celebrate Eid El-Kabir
Kenyan Officers Kill Three Veiled Attackers in Assault on Police Station
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South Asia
Afghan Police Chief Is Killed as He Tries to Turn Tide against Taliban
Afghan President Expresses Hope for Peace Deal with Notorious Warlord Hekmatyar
Gunmen Attack Hospital in Southern Afghanistan
Nangarhar police Chief Gen. Zarawar Zahid killed in explosion
Afghans mark Eid with prayers for peace
China Lays New Brick in Silk Road with First Afghan Rail Freight
31 ‘IS supporters’ killed in 10 month
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India
Muslim-Hindu Men Donate Kindeys to Each Other’s Wives and Save Their Lives
Kashmir Unrest: Ahead of Eid, Valley Remains Paralysed
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Pakistan
State Bank Widens Islamic Banks' Benchmark Requirements
Sanctioning Pakistan Can Backfire, US Lawmakers Warned
Chandio accuses PML-N leaders of destroying Indian connection, corruption evidence
Pak govt moves force MQM not to collect hides on Eidul Azha
Pakistan says Wagah border crossing open for Afghan traders
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Southeast Asia
Myanmar: Marchers Condemn Ex-UN Chief's Role in Rakhine
Indonesia proposes alcohol ban in Bali
Indonesians prepare to welcome Eid al-Adha
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
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World’s Muslims celebrate Feast of Sacrifice
Sep 12, 2016
Muslims worldwide, including those in Turkey, are celebrating Islam’s holy Feast of Sacrifice – known as Eid al-Adha in Arabic - with millions of Muslims across the world making a pilgrimage this week to Saudi Arabia.
The four-day celebration began on Sept. 12 in Turkey and most other countries with a predominantly Muslim population. 
Large numbers of sacrificial animals including sheep, cows, goats and camels will be killed as part of the Feast of Sacrifice and their meat will be distributed to the poor as a religious tradition in Islam.
This year Turkey declared a nine-day public holiday starting from Sept. 10 for the Feast of Sacrifice.
Public employees would be granted leave on Sept. 16, the Prime Ministry’s Press Office said in a written statement.
While most Turkish Muslims make good on their religious duties by sacrificing livestock and distributing the meat to the poor, a considerably large number of them prefer to instead spend their time off during the holiday vacationing.
Hundreds of thousands of Turks traditionally travel to their hometowns to spend time with their families during the holiday, which has in recent years seen increased traffic accidents across the country due to mass traveling.
The second nine-day holiday this year, following Eid al-Fitr in July, also made Turkish hoteliers happy in a tourism season hit by a decline in foreign arrivals due to the crisis with Russia and security concerns. 
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/worlds-muslims-celebrate-feast-of-sacrifice.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103812&NewsCatID=393
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US Needs Cooperation From 'Patriotic Muslim Americans'
Sunday, 11 Sep 2016
The U.S. needs support and "cooperation of the patriotic Muslim Americans" to help prevent radical Islamic terrorist attacks in this country, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, told CBS’ Jim DeFede on "Facing South Florida" this week.
"It's not about spying on law-abiding people," the former presidential candidate told DeFede. "It's about being able to get ahead of a plot before it happens.
"I do believe that we need to do more work, including in the Muslim American community — to identify radicalism, and to fight against it. And we'll need the cooperation of the patriotic Muslim Americans, and there are many."
Rubio, who is running in Florida for reelection for this Senate seat, cited the shooting at an Orlando gay club this year as an example of how Muslim Americans can help — and have — intelligence and law enforcement officials.
"One of the reasons why the killer, the terrorist in Orlando, came under FBI's radar is because a gentleman at the Islamic center he was attending tipped the FBI off to him, so there's no doubt that there are," Rubio told DeFede.
"… But the biggest thing we can do is to take out the ability of groups like [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] to have a core of operation anywhere in the world, because it is from Mosul, it is from Raqqa, where they have their core operation that allows them to disseminate propaganda, which, in the end, is what causes and inspires people around the world to take action against us."
Source: newsmax.com/Politics/marco-rubio-us-needs-patriotic-muslim-americans/2016/09/11/id/747696/
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Islamic State Receiving Weapons From Eastern Europe In ‘Rapid’ New Supply Chain Says Arms Expert
11/09/2016
Islamic State fighters are illegally using guns and other weapons made in Eastern European factories, in a newly-discovered supply chain that is “almost direct”, a weapons expert has claimed.
James Bevan, the director of Conflict Armament Research (CAR), told The Huffington Post UK that investigations this summer have seen a rapid, frightening change in the source of weapons used by the so-called Islamic State to fight other groups and carry out massacres.
These weapons are moving from Eastern Europe to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria within weeks through a “very rapid” transfer through several countries, according to Bevan, whose company tracks the movement of illegal weapons.
Up until now, IS’s weapons were mainly guns formerly used by the Iraqi army, including some American-made weapons given to it by the US army when they withdrew from Iraq between 2007 and 2011, Bevan told HuffPost UK in an interview.
“Islamic State then overran Iraqi army positions, took those weapons and moved them into Syria.” IS arms could also have come from Syrian armed forces who the group had beaten in battles, he explained. “This is normal with any kind of rebellion or insurgency, they first use the weapons and ammunition of their adversaries.”
But the Islamic State arsenal now includes far newer models, “from 2013 to 2014 and even 2015 dates of manufacture,” Bevan says. He has tracked this rise in recently-made weapons to Eastern Europe, including AK-47s, machine guns and explosives.
In an interview with HuffPost UK, Bevan said CAR is currently challenging the governments of Bulgaria and Serbia, among others, over the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
Despite signing an ‘End User’ agreement saying it will use the weapons itself and not sell these them to any other countries, Saudi Arabia appears to send them “straight to Turkey”, from where they get into Islamic State’s hands “very, very rapidly” via illicit means, Bevan said.
Full report at: huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/islamic-state-weapons-eastern-europe-conflict-armament-research_uk_57d2b66be4b0ced6a09927fd
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'Syria Truce Might Be Used to Resupply US-Backed Militants'
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The US might use the new ceasefire in Syria to give the so-called “moderates” a breather and provide them new weapons and equipment, Marwa Osman, a political commentator, told RT.
If that is the case, the war will continue after the pause, she added.
On Friday, Russia and the US agreed on a breakthrough plan to decrease violence in Syria. A nationwide ceasefire will come into effect at sunset on Monday for a period of 48 hours, RT reported.
According to political commentator Marwa Osman, despite the skepticism expressed by some analysts, the plan could work “because it might be Obama’s last straw in trying to save his face before he leaves office.”
“It also might go to plan if there will be some sort of reconnection between [Recep] Erdogan and [Bashar] Assad – if both Damascus and Ankara are willing to sit back together. If any hope of that is about to happen, then this ceasefire might happen,” she told RT.
Under the agreement reached following marathon talks between Russia and the US in Geneva, a “demilitarized zone” will be established around the Castello Road into Aleppo so that aid can reach the besieged Syrian city.
In Osman’s opinion, this key route will not be used only for the delivery of humanitarian aid, however. “The US and its rebel groups on the ground” also wanted this ceasefire because they “need to take a breath and get resupplied,” she said.
“The Syrian Arab Army with the Syrian government did help [civilians in Aleppo] and give them that necessary aid. But now the Castillo Road is very, very important to resupply these groups that are supported by the US to be rearmed. If this is the case here, then we’re going to see some sort of a pause and then going back to direct battle,” Osman said.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov has expressed concern over whether certain rebel groups will abide by the truce.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000092
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Mideast
World’s Muslims celebrate Feast of Sacrifice
Sep 12, 2016
Muslims worldwide, including those in Turkey, are celebrating Islam’s holy Feast of Sacrifice – known as Eid al-Adha in Arabic - with millions of Muslims across the world making a pilgrimage this week to Saudi Arabia.
The four-day celebration began on Sept. 12 in Turkey and most other countries with a predominantly Muslim population. 
Large numbers of sacrificial animals including sheep, cows, goats and camels will be killed as part of the Feast of Sacrifice and their meat will be distributed to the poor as a religious tradition in Islam.
This year Turkey declared a nine-day public holiday starting from Sept. 10 for the Feast of Sacrifice.
Public employees would be granted leave on Sept. 16, the Prime Ministry’s Press Office said in a written statement.
While most Turkish Muslims make good on their religious duties by sacrificing livestock and distributing the meat to the poor, a considerably large number of them prefer to instead spend their time off during the holiday vacationing.
Hundreds of thousands of Turks traditionally travel to their hometowns to spend time with their families during the holiday, which has in recent years seen increased traffic accidents across the country due to mass traveling.
The second nine-day holiday this year, following Eid al-Fitr in July, also made Turkish hoteliers happy in a tourism season hit by a decline in foreign arrivals due to the crisis with Russia and security concerns. 
Meanwhile, the annual hajj pilgrimage reached its climax on Sept. 11 when Muslims from across the world swarmed a stoney hill in western Saudi Arabia to pray and recite from the Quran.
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/worlds-muslims-celebrate-feast-of-sacrifice.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103812&NewsCatID=393
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Settlers in Israel’s 1st communal farming village a cornerstone of Zionism
Sep 12, 2016
Answering the Prophet Hosea’s call to “respond to Jezreel,” on September 11, 1921, Zionist pioneers founded the moshav Nahalal in the Jezreel Valley.
A moshav is a communal farming village, yet different from a kibbutz in that farms were independently owned.
Nahalal, a Levitical city belonging to the Tribe of Zebulun is mentioned in Joshua 19:15, and its current location is 6 km. (3 mi.) west of Nazareth, in the northern part of the valley region.
The name Nahalal comes from the word “to lead,” with the connotation of leading to water. This root appears several times, such as in Psalm 23:2, “he leads me beside quiet waters,” and as the Prophet Isaiah writes in 49:10, “He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.”
Zebulun, who had a ship as its tribal symbol and was blessed by Moses that they would “feast on the abundance of the seas,” had no port. Therefore, it was very appropriate that the tribe would pray for God to help it succeed in bringing its goods to and from the Mediterranean Sea.
Full report at:jpost.com/Christian-News/Responding-to-Jezreel-Settlers-in-Israels-1st-communal-farming-village-a-cornerstone-of-Zionism-467488
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At least 48 wounded in car bomb attack in Turkey’s east
Sep 12, 2016
At least 48 people were wounded in a car bomb attack in the eastern province of Van on Sept. 12, in the first day of Islam’s holy Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) holiday, the Van Governor’s Gffice has announced.
The explosion was caused by the detonation of a parked bomb-laden vehicle at around 11 a.m. near the Van Governor’s Office and the provincial headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the central Beşyol area, according to the governor’s office.
Among those injured were two police officers.
Buildings near the scene were damaged and a fire broke out in the aftermath of the attack.
A number of firefighters and health personnel were immediately dispatched to the scene, as security forces closed roads linking to the scene of the attack to traffic.
AKP Van deputy Burhan Kayatürk told private broadcaster CNN Türk that the attack targeted the police check point in front of the party’s provincial headquarters.
Source:hurriyetdailynews.com/at-least-48-wounded-in-car-bomb-attack-in-turkeys-east.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103817&NewsCatID=341
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Erdoğan says mayors’ dismissal long overdue
Sep 12, 2016
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sept. 12 defended the suspension of 28 mayors over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, saying it was a long-overdue move. 
“To me, it is a step that came late. It should have been taken long before,” Erdoğan told reporters after prayers at an Istanbul mosque on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
“You, as mayors and municipal councils, cannot stand up and support terrorist organisations. You do not have such an authority,” he said. 
Twenty-four of the outgoing mayors were accused of links to the PKK and the other four to Gülen, blamed for the attempted July 15 coup.    
The latest step was taken under the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the coup attempt, with the ousted mayors, who were elected in the 2014 local elections, replaced by state-appointed trustees. 
Erdoğan accused the ousted mayors of “sending state funds to the mountain,” an apparent reference to the Kandil Mountains, where the PKK has its headquarters.
“They [PKK militants] are carrying TNT... they constitute a constant threat in the region,” he added.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also said some municipalities had turned into a “logistical center for the separatist terrorist organization,” referring to the PKK.
The municipalities affected by the decision were mainly in the country’s eastern and southeastern regions.
Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-says-mayors-dismissal-long-overdue-----.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103819&NewsCatID=338
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Turkey’s top soldier pays Eid visit to border posts in Gaziantep
Sep 12, 2016
Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar paid a visit to border posts in the Karkamış district in the southern province of Gaziantep on Sept. 12 to celebrate Islam’s holy Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) holiday with soldiers amid the ongoing Euphrates Shield Operation in Syria.
Accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Secretary-General Abdulhamit Gül, Gaziantep Governor Ali Yerlikaya and force commanders, Akar visited the Köprübatı and Soylu military posts in the district on the Syrian border.
He celebrated the Eid al-Adha holiday with soldiers at a breakfast and congratulated those who participated in the Euphrates Shield Operation in Syria, launched on Aug. 24 to sweep the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group and other terrorist elements from the Turkey’s border.
Addressing the soldiers, Akar stressed it was the country’s legitimate struggle to protect its borders and unity as well as self-defense with the joint Euphrates operation.
“We are using our right to self-defense here. The entire world knows this. Some ignore or play ignorant about it. They do not reflect the truth. We can explain all steps we take, all pages and all sentences here. It is in line with humanity, law, our history and culture and we are blameless,” Akar said.
He also expressed his anticipation that innocent people living in both Turkey and Syria would be provided with a deserved peaceful and secure environment in the region at the conclusion of the operation.
Source:hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-top-soldier-pays-eid-visit-to-border-posts-in-gaziantep.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103820&NewsCatID=341
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Syrian refugees in Turkey head home for Eid amid fragile ceasefire
Sep 12, 2016
FRANCE 24 spoke with some of the refugees, who expressed their hopes and fears on returning home.
The crossing is only possible from one border crossing, some 50 kilometers from the cities of Aleppo and Idlib.
Taking place at the start of a fragile ceasefire, many remain pessimistic about the prospects for peace in their war-torn homeland.
“These ceasefires, we've had them for four years, it’s not new,” one man told FRANCE 24.
But they are all keen to see their families, even if the going is tough.
“It's always better to be there,” one woman said. “In Syria we are with family, with neighbors, and it makes Eid really joyful.”
Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/syrian-refugees-in-turkey-head-home-for-eid-amid-fragile-ceasefire.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103821&NewsCatID=482
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A consensus for a solution critical before Raqqa ops, says expert
Sep 12, 2016
A framework for a solution in Syria needs to be found before an offensive on Raqqa, which seems to be in the planning stages between Turkey and the United States, where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will be retreating after the eventual fall of Al Bab, according to a military and political strategist.
Reaching a consensus among the players was important after the possible fall of Al Bab, said Prof. Atilla Sandıklı. “Otherwise you cannot build a structure that will enable all these different groups and elements to act in a synchronized way. Without it, what comes after the fall of Raqqa will be highly complicated,” the head of Bilgesam (the Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies) said.
Was Turkey’s operation inside Syria a surprise or was it saying, “I am coming?”
It was saying “I am coming,” and it was a necessary one. Because the necessary conditions both on the ground and in the international environment were maturing.
Earlier we did not want a Turkish intervention in Syria because ISIL was at the peak of its power, its morale and motivation were very high and it was not yet targeting Turkey. An intervention at that time would have been costly.
ISIL is getting weak financially. It has lost territories; its strength is falling from its peak; it is losing its offensive motivation and its defensive capabilities have started to weaken too. That was in part thanks to coalition forces attacks.
Then the Democratic Union Party (PYD) crossed to the west of the Euphrates (River) and got hold of Manbij.
Although the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took over Manbij, the key structure in it is the PYD. Had the PYD gotten ahold of Al Bab, that would have been a problematic situation for Turkey, since Turkey does not want to see the PYD west of the Euphrates.
The fall of Manbij meant the siege of Jarablus. I knew from the beginning that ISIL would not show resistance in Jarablus, because Turkey is in the north, to the east there is the PYD and to the south there is Manbij. The moment an offensive started from the north it was obvious that they would withdraw to Al Bab to minimize their losses.
So on the one hand the area has been cleared of ISIL and on the other a message has been sent to the PYD.
Full report at:hurriyetdailynews.com/a-consensus-for-a-solution-critical-before-raqqa-ops-says-expert.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103804&NewsCatID=352
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28 mayors replaced with trustees by Turkish government
Sep 12, 2016
Turkey’s Interior Ministry appointed trustees to 28 local municipalities across the country on Sept. 11 on the grounds that they allegedly provided support to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which was accused of staging the failed coup attempt of July 15, sparking angry reaction from the opposition.
A total of 28 mayors, 24 of whom were allegedly linked to the PKK while the other four were allegedly linked to FETÖ, were suspended from their duties as part of a recent decree law under the state of emergency, the ministry said in a statement issued on its website.
The new mayors began their duties as of 9 a.m., it said.
Among the suspended were 24 district mayors, the mayors of the eastern province of Hakkari, the southeastern province of Batman and two town mayors. Twelve were already under arrest, according to the ministry.
The recent appointments were predominantly in eastern and southeastern provinces from municipalities run by the Democratic Unity Party (DBP), the sister party of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), including the Silvan and Sur municipalities of Diyarbakır, four municipalities in Mardin, Van and Batman, and two municipalities in Şırnak. The mayors were either replaced by deputy governors or district governors.
The other four mayors, three from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and one from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), were suspended over their alleged links to FETÖ in the districts of Adana, Erzurum, Giresun and Konya to be replaced by municipal councils in the districts.
Commenting on the assignments, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said the move was “to protect the democratic constitutional state,” accusing the municipalities in question of financing terror.
Full report at:hurriyetdailynews.com/28-mayors-replaced-with-trustees-by-turkish-government.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103784&NewsCatID=341
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Brother of jailed PKK leader visits İmralı Island for Eid meeting
Sep 11, 2016
The brother of Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), paid a visit to Imralı Island Prison in the Marmara Sea on Sept. 11, one day after the jailed PKK leader was granted a family visit during the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday on the island where he is serving an aggravated life term.
Abdullah Öcalan’s brother, Mehmet Öcalan, and lawyer, Mazlum Dinç, arrived at the Gemlik Gendarmerie command post in the Marmara province of Bursa to depart for the high security F-type prison on the island off Istanbul at 8:30 a.m.
Before the departure, Öcalan said it was his legal right to visit his brother, noting that the jailed PKK leader had not been granted a family visit for two years.
Öcalan and Dinç later headed to the island following control and security proceedings at the command post.
It was the first visit to the island by Öcalan since Oct. 6, 2014, when he again had met with his brother for Eid al-Adha.
On Sept. 10, the government granted permission for a family visit to the island.
In April, a three-member delegation from the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) had also paid a visit to the island to examine the treatment and conditions there.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 5, a group of 50 people began a hunger strike in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, demanding a visit to Öcalan by his lawyers, family members or a political delegation amid concerns over his welfare.
However, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced there were no problems concerning the jailed PKK leader’s health and that security had been increased at İmralı Island Prison.
“They spread the wrong information regarding Öcalan’s health and safety in order to mobilize people to use it for their own purposes,” Bozdağ said.
Öcalan was jailed in 1999 for forming an armed organization after a death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
Source: hurriyetdailynews.com/brother-of-jailed-pkk-leader-visits-imrali-island-for-eid-meeting.aspx?pageID=238&nID=103803&NewsCatID=341
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North America
US Needs Cooperation From 'Patriotic Muslim Americans'
Sunday, 11 Sep 2016
The U.S. needs support and "cooperation of the patriotic Muslim Americans" to help prevent radical Islamic terrorist attacks in this country, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, told CBS’ Jim DeFede on "Facing South Florida" this week.
"It's not about spying on law-abiding people," the former presidential candidate told DeFede. "It's about being able to get ahead of a plot before it happens.
"I do believe that we need to do more work, including in the Muslim American community — to identify radicalism, and to fight against it. And we'll need the cooperation of the patriotic Muslim Americans, and there are many."
Rubio, who is running in Florida for reelection for this Senate seat, cited the shooting at an Orlando gay club this year as an example of how Muslim Americans can help — and have — intelligence and law enforcement officials.
"One of the reasons why the killer, the terrorist in Orlando, came under FBI's radar is because a gentleman at the Islamic center he was attending tipped the FBI off to him, so there's no doubt that there are," Rubio told DeFede.
"… But the biggest thing we can do is to take out the ability of groups like [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] to have a core of operation anywhere in the world, because it is from Mosul, it is from Raqqa, where they have their core operation that allows them to disseminate propaganda, which, in the end, is what causes and inspires people around the world to take action against us."
Source: newsmax.com/Politics/marco-rubio-us-needs-patriotic-muslim-americans/2016/09/11/id/747696/
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Influence of Muslim-American Voters May Far Exceed Their Numbers
SEPTEMBER 11, 2016
Thanks to Donald Trump – and to a spate of high-profile terrorist attacks on U.S. soil — Muslims in America have become a highly mobilized voting constituency in 2016. But with just 2.5 million eligible voters – and just 1.2 million registered – you might not think their influence would amount to all that much.
But it turns out that the bulk of Muslim voters are concentrated in just thirty congressional districts in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida – states that are among the most important “toss-up” contests in the battle for the White House and the Senate.
And in the slice-and-dice competition for “niche” voters that frequently defines the modern political campaign even a razor-thin demographic like Muslims could have a significant impact on the election, depending on their voting preference and turn out.
Historically, Muslims, despite their relatively small size, have proven to be a highly volatile and unpredictable voting constituency – more of a “swing” vote than a true voting “bloc.”
For years they voted overwhelmingly for Democratic Party candidates, especially in national elections. But in 2000, they swung sharply behind George W. Bush and the GOP, only to swing sharply away from Republicans after the American invasion of Iraq.
But rather than swinging squarely back to the Democrats, until recently they appeared to be in flux, which only heightens their potential significance.
Normally, without a galvanizing issue, experts say, barely half of Muslim registered voters typically bother to vote at all. But give Muslims a cause to rally around – like being targeted by Trump – and that figure can shoot up to 65-70 per cent.
A turnout on that level could easily translate into tens of thousands of additional Muslim voters in House and Senate races that are sometimes decided by a relative handful. It could also help swing a battleground state like Florida, where Muslims comprise an estimated 180,000 voters.
The unpredictability of the Muslim swing vote has been apparent in recent years. In 2004, polls conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) found that only 44 per cent of Muslims supported George W. Bush, compared to the 72 per cent that had supported him just 4 years earlier. But notwithstanding the Patriot Act, the invasion of Iraq and the global war on terror, some 30 percent of Muslims still refused to align themselves firmly with either party.
In some respects, the Muslim vote is almost as complex as the Latino vote, with divisions based on nationality as well as nativity. There are three distinct groups: South Asian Muslims, primarily Pakistani immigrants; Arab Americans, about 30 per cent of whom identify as Muslims; and a large group of African-Americans who have become converts to Islam.
Overall, Muslims tend to be young, relatively well-educated, upwardly mobile, pro-family, and highly religious voters – in other words, they generally look like Republicans even if they don’t overwhelmingly vote that way.
Bush, apparently, was one of the few American presidents to consolidate the Muslim vote decisively. His call for a return to “traditional family values” and his embrace of “compassionate” conservatism struck an especially responsive chord during his first term in office.  He also won support by vowing to provide special tax credits to private schools, including religious schools, at a time when Muslims were beginning to build more mosques and educational centers for their children.
Under Obama, the picture has remained surprisingly muddled.  Muslims initially cheered the president’s promise of a new American attitude toward the Muslim world.  But Obama, in deference to mainstream voters, long refused to visit mosques or even to meet with Muslim leaders.
He also sharply escalated an increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan and did little to bring peace to the Middle East, all the while leaving the Bush-era domestic surveillance apparatus largely in place. As a result, many Muslims haven’t flocked to Obama.
Still, thanks to Trump, some Democrats believe Muslim voters are ripe to be picked in 2016. And Clinton’s doing her best to exploit that opening.  She’s created state-level directors dedicated specifically to Muslim outreach.  And pro-Democratic Muslim organizations have set a goal of registering one million new voters in an effort to defeat Trump.
Even so, don’t expect Muslims to vote as a monolith. Many have the same concerns as the general voter over the state of the U.S. economy and national security and counter-terrorism preparedness.  And Clinton is closely associated, even more than Obama, with the State of Israel, whose government most Arab Muslims instinctively view with suspicion\
In 2016, more Muslims will cast ballots than ever before. But whether they emerge as a reliable pro-Democratic constituency remains to be seen.
Source: natmonitor.com/2016/09/11/potential-influence-of-muslim-voters-far-exceeds-their-numbers/
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Twenty-year-old Muslim recruit killed by officers at Marine boot camp
12 September 2016
A 20-year-old Muslim Marine recruit, Raheel Siddiqui, jumped out of a third story window on March 18, 2016 after suffering repeated abuse by officers at the Parris Island base in South Carolina.
Siddiqui’s death is one of dozens of cases of officer abuse that have emerged at Parris Island alone. Across the country, officers of the various branches of the US armed forces systematically abuse young recruits, the overwhelming majority of whom, like Siddiqui, come from working-class families.
An initial investigation revealed that Siddiqui began having mental and physical health problems shortly after arriving at training camp. His requests for help were ignored by officers in his company, known as “Killer Kilo Company,” who evaluated him and forced him to return to training.
Following a week of grueling physical training that traditionally involves heavy verbal and psychological abuse by drill sergeants and other officers, Siddiqui first complained that he was being abused. These complaints were again ignored. Salon reported that officers called Siddiqui a “terrorist” because of his Islamic faith.
On March 18, eleven days after he arrived at camp, Siddiqui told his drill instructor that he had a sore throat and requested medical attention. When the drill instructor refused and began yelling at him, Siddiqui remained silent before falling to the floor in pain. The drill sergeant continued to yell at him, and when Siddiqui again failed to respond, the officer hit him on the face as many as three times. Siddiqui then stood up, began sprinting out of the barracks, and leapt over a railing, falling 40 feet to his death.
Though Siddiqui’s death has been labeled a suicide, it would be more apt to call it a murder. Ultimately the young man and his family are victims of American imperialism.
The young man’s family emigrated from Pakistan in 1990 to live in the Detroit-area town of Taylor, Michigan. Like most military recruits, Siddiqui joined the armed forces largely out of a desire to provide a decent life for his family.
Siddiqui’s sister, Sidra, told the Wall Street Journal: “We struggled as a family when we were little, and he wanted to change that.” Siddiqui’s father is an auto-parts worker who was returning from his night shift when he first heard the news that his son was dead. He recalls seeing an ambulance parked in front of his home. Inside, first responders were tending to Siddiqui’s mother, who had just received the news.
Despite the fact that Siddiqui graduated from Harry S. Truman High School as class valedictorian, the lack of job opportunities for young people forced him to take a minimum-wage job at a nearby Home Depot. He received a scholarship to attend engineering program at the University of Michigan, Dearborn.
Siddiqui’s family was skeptical of his decision to join the Marines. His mother told the Wall Street Journal that her son told her: “Mom, there are possibilities in the Marines. If life gives me a golden chance, why can I not accept? I’ll get a good job. I’ll give you a good life. I’ll give you a home. I’ll give you everything.”
Full report at: wsws.org/en/articles/2016/09/12/offi-s12.html
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Europe
Islamic State Receiving Weapons From Eastern Europe In ‘Rapid’ New Supply Chain Says Arms Expert
11/09/2016
Islamic State fighters are illegally using guns and other weapons made in Eastern European factories, in a newly-discovered supply chain that is “almost direct”, a weapons expert has claimed.
James Bevan, the director of Conflict Armament Research (CAR), told The Huffington Post UK that investigations this summer have seen a rapid, frightening change in the source of weapons used by the so-called Islamic State to fight other groups and carry out massacres.
These weapons are moving from Eastern Europe to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria within weeks through a “very rapid” transfer through several countries, according to Bevan, whose company tracks the movement of illegal weapons.
Up until now, IS’s weapons were mainly guns formerly used by the Iraqi army, including some American-made weapons given to it by the US army when they withdrew from Iraq between 2007 and 2011, Bevan told HuffPost UK in an interview.
“Islamic State then overran Iraqi army positions, took those weapons and moved them into Syria.” IS arms could also have come from Syrian armed forces who the group had beaten in battles, he explained. “This is normal with any kind of rebellion or insurgency, they first use the weapons and ammunition of their adversaries.”
Full report at: huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/islamic-state-weapons-eastern-europe-conflict-armament-research_uk_57d2b66be4b0ced6a09927fd
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France arrests 15-year-old boy for planning "imminent" Paris attack - sources
12/09/2016
A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in Paris suspected of preparing imminent "violent action", two judicial sources said, the second alleged plot with links to Islamic State discovered in France this week.
Last Sunday, a car loaded with gas cylinders was found near Notre Dame cathedral and jerry cans of diesel, leading to the discovery of a plot to attack a Paris railway station under the direction of Islamic State. Seven people, including four women, were arrested.
The boy had been under house arrest since France declared a state emergency after Nov. 13 attacks in Paris in which Islamic State militants killed 130 people, two sources said on condition of anonymity. They did not say why he was under house arrest.
His arrest on Saturday came as he was planning an attack in a public place in the French capital, one of the sources said.
The second source said the boy had been in contact with suspected French Islamist militant Rashid Kassim and that Kassim also guided one of the women arrested last week in the plot to attack a train station in Paris.
French newspaper Le Monde reported that Kassim is in Syria. He has used Telegram, the messaging service, to call for more attacks in France.
"Women, sisters, go on, attack. Where are the brothers?...She brandished a knife and she hit a policeman...Where are the men?" Le Monde quoted a message of Kassim on Telegram.
One of the women, arrested on Thursday stabbed a police officer during her arrest on Thursday.
One of the women, who was arrested with her partner on a motorway on Tuesday , Ornella G., was formally placed under investigation on Saturday in connection with the car found last Sunday near Notre Dame cathedral.
The man was freed on Saturday.
One of the sources said Kassim, 29, inspired two men who carried out an attack in July in a French church during which they slit the throat of the elderly priest.
The attack shocked France, coming less than 12 days after another Islamic State militant drove a truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice.
Source:in.reuters.com/article/europe-attacks-france-idINKCN11H0MU
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France foiling terror plots 'daily' - Prime Minister Manuel Valls
11 September 2016
Up to 7,000 soldiers have been deployed in France's drive to combat Islamist extremists
The French prime minister has said the country's security services are foiling terror plots and dismantling militant networks "every day".
Manuel Valls said about 15,000 people were being monitored for radicalisation as the country continues its drive against jihadist militants.
Previously the authorities said about 10,000 were identified as high-risk.
A boy of 15 was arrested at his home in Paris on Saturday on suspicion of planning an attack over the weekend.
Investigators said he had been under surveillance since April and he had been in touch with a French member of so-called Islamic State (IS), Rachid Kassim.
France has been under a state of emergency since IS attacks on Paris in November killed 130 people in what President Francois Hollande called an "act of war".
However, a recent commission of inquiry found the state of emergency was only having a "limited impact" on improving security.
It questioned the deployment of between 6,000 and 7,000 soldiers to protect schools, synagogues, department stores and other sensitive sites.
"Today the threat is at a maximum, and we are a target," Mr Valls told French media.
"Every day intelligence services, police, foil attacks, dismantle networks, track terrorists. There are about 15,000 people in France who are monitored, because these people are in the process of radicalisation."
In a sombre interview, the Socialist prime minister said: "There will be new attacks. There will be innocent victims."
Security is a central issue in the run-up to next year's presidential election but Mr Valls said proposals by the former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, to set up special courts and detention centres were not the answer.
Mr Sarkozy, who announced in August he would run again for the presidency, gave an interview to the Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (in French).
"Every Frenchman suspected of being linked to terrorism, because he regularly consults a jihadist website, or his behaviour shows signs of radicalisation or because is in close contact with radicalised people, must by preventively placed in a detention centre," he said.
Meanwhile, prosecutors charged one of the women arrested over a foiled attack near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Ornella G, 29, was charged with alleged involvement in a terrorist act and attempted murder.
Three other women were questioned by police, after a car packed with gas cylinders was found last Sunday close to the cathedral.
They are alleged to have been planning other "imminent and violent" attacks.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said on Friday that Ornella G's fingerprints had been found inside the car. She was known to intelligence agents as someone who was considering going to Syria.
She was arrested in southern France on Tuesday with her boyfriend, who has since been released.
Source: bbc.com/news/world-europe-37334836
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Arab World  
'Syria Truce Might Be Used to Resupply US-Backed Militants'
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The US might use the new ceasefire in Syria to give the so-called “moderates” a breather and provide them new weapons and equipment, Marwa Osman, a political commentator, told RT.
If that is the case, the war will continue after the pause, she added.
On Friday, Russia and the US agreed on a breakthrough plan to decrease violence in Syria. A nationwide ceasefire will come into effect at sunset on Monday for a period of 48 hours, RT reported.
According to political commentator Marwa Osman, despite the skepticism expressed by some analysts, the plan could work “because it might be Obama’s last straw in trying to save his face before he leaves office.”
“It also might go to plan if there will be some sort of reconnection between [Recep] Erdogan and [Bashar] Assad – if both Damascus and Ankara are willing to sit back together. If any hope of that is about to happen, then this ceasefire might happen,” she told RT.
Under the agreement reached following marathon talks between Russia and the US in Geneva, a “demilitarized zone” will be established around the Castello Road into Aleppo so that aid can reach the besieged Syrian city.
In Osman’s opinion, this key route will not be used only for the delivery of humanitarian aid, however. “The US and its rebel groups on the ground” also wanted this ceasefire because they “need to take a breath and get resupplied,” she said.
“The Syrian Arab Army with the Syrian government did help [civilians in Aleppo] and give them that necessary aid. But now the Castillo Road is very, very important to resupply these groups that are supported by the US to be rearmed. If this is the case here, then we’re going to see some sort of a pause and then going back to direct battle,” Osman said.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov has expressed concern over whether certain rebel groups will abide by the truce.
That, “of course,” would be an obstacle to fulfilling the plan, in Osman’s view.
She particularly noted that the group formerly known as the Al-Nusra Front, “for some reason” changed its name to Fatah al-Sham Front in July.
“They changed their name and hope that they might by supported by the US. This was actually the plan – for the US to push for Fatah al-Sham Front to be considered as ‘moderate rebels,’ but they failed to do so, because part of Fatah al-Sham Front did also stand hand in hand with ISIL at some frontlines and with other terrorist groups at other frontlines,” Osman said.
Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000092
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Saudi Warplanes Bombing Yemen Back Into Stone Age
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Just as the world’s attention remains focused on Syria, the US and Britain keep selling arms to Saudi Arabia, which has spent the past eighteen months raining bombs on Yemen, French Yemen-affairs expert François Frison-Roche said in an interview with Sputnik.
”UN representatives on the ground there are very few and far between. Which is a pity, because they could tell the world about the 10,000 people killed and those who were injured as a result of these bombings,” François Frison-Roche said, noting that without proper medical assistance available, many of these people were bound to die, Sputnik reported.
He added that those were very conservative figures which, althought giving a picture of what was going on, still failed to reflect the true scope of damage done to the country.
”I think that [Yemen] has suffered much more than some people want us to believe. This is because the UN simply prefers not to see what is happening, carefull not to antagonize the Saudis who are the main player here, and also the other oil monarchies of the Persian Gulf.”
“Saudi Arabia can keep bombing countries like Yemen only because the US and Britain are selling them weapons. This is something that needs to be said loud and clear. 10,000 Yemenis have been killed by US and British bombs rained on their heads. The international community tried to keep mum about what is going on in Yemen because they are selling arms to the Saudis.”
He added that the bombs dropped on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition often fall on hospitals and other civilian targets, forcing the relief organizations working on the ground to pack up and leave.
“This is exactly what the Saudis want: to shove Yemen thirty years back thus making it easy prey for their attempts to subjugate the country and force it do their bidding,” François Frison-Roche emphasized.
The Saudi coalition intervened in March 2015 after Ansarullah fighters overran the capital, to reinstate the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee towards the Southern port city of Aden.
Source: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000161
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Syrian Fighter Jets Hit Hard Terrorists' Military Positions in Western Aleppo
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian air force pounded the military positions of Fatah al-Sham (the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) in the Western countryside of the city of Aleppo.
Three Syrian fighter jets struck the Fatah al-Sham terrorists' positions in al-Mansoura and al-Rashedeen 4 regions in Western Aleppo.
Meantime, heavy clashes continued in Project 1070 front and the Syrian army's artillery units hit the Jeish al-Fatah terrorist group's military positions in al-Jabas market and al-Hikma district.
In a relevant development on Sunday, the battlefield sources disclosed that Syrian army and popular forces started a new round of massive military operation in the Southern part of the city of Aleppo, specially near Project 1070, Hikmah School and al-Ameriyeh district.
The sources reiterated that the Syrian army has already seized back several strategic zones in the early hours of their military operation.
"The army and popular forces inflicted heavy losses and casualties on the terrorists in Southern part of Aleppo city," an army officer said.
On Saturday, the Syrian army continued to march on the militant-held positions in Aleppo and seized control over more lands in the city.
Four more housing complexes in Aleppo city's al-Ameriyeh district came under the Syrian army's control after killing several terrorists and destroying their military hardware.
Meantime, the Syrian air force pounded the terrorists' military positions in the town of Haraytan in the Northern countryside of Aleppo city and Khan Touman warehouses Southwest of the city.
Several armored and machinegun-equipped military vehicles of the terrorists were destroyed the Syrian army offensives.
Meantime, the Russian warplanes launched airstrikes around the city and destroyed the military bases and arms depots of the terrorists in Aleppo countryside.
Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000382
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Syria: Top Terrorist Commander Killed in Quneitra
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior field commander of Fatah al-Sham (al-Nusra) Front was killed in clashes with the Syrian Army troops in the Southern province of Quneitra.
Abu Sahib Tunnisi, a commander of Fatah al-Sham (the newly-formed al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front), was killed by Syrian Army's heavy fire.
Also on Sunday, two senior field commanders of Fatah al-Sham were killed in clashes with the Syrian Army troops in Quneitra province.
Mohammad Yusuf al-Sabihi aka Abu Qanavah, Commander of a terrorist group linked to Fatah al-Sham was killed by the Syrian Army.
Also, one of the field commanders in charge of suicide attacks of Fatah al-Sham in Qadesiyeh Janoub war, Amjad Abdul Hakim al-Balkhi, nom de guerre Abu Omar Basri, was killed in clashes with the army soldiers in the Northern districts of Quneitra.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000360
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Syrian Army Wins Back Key Hilltop in Quneitra Province
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army and National Defense Forces (NDF) continued their advances in the Northern part of Quneitra and took back a strategic region.
The army units and NDF seized back Tal al-Hamriyeh hilltop in Northern Quneitra.
The Syrian government troops also continued advancing towards al-Qaba hilltop, the last base of terrorists in the surrounding areas of al-Hazar town, and recaptured the Eastern part of the hilltop, killing scores of militants in fierce clashes. 
Meantime, the Syrian army's artillery pounded the al-Khashab front in the Northern part of Quneitra province.
On Saturday, the Israeli air force violated the Syrian airspace again and launched airstrikes on an army base in Quneitra province hours after Fatah al-Sham (Nusra) Front started a massive raid in the same province in Southwestern Syria.
There was no report on the possible number of casualties in the Israeli air raid that was carried out in violation of the international laws.
The Israeli army also targeted a Syrian military unit in the Golan Heights last week after it alleged that the army had fired several mortal rounds at targets in Israel.
Also on Saturday, Fatah al-Sham (the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) kicked off a new wave of heavy clashes with the Syrian army in Quneitra province.
Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000342
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Millions of Muslims Commemorating Eid Al-Adha
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Millions of Muslims began celebrating the Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice), which marks the culmination of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in a number of countries.
Muslims are flocking to mosques and open grounds to take part in celebrations marking the auspicious occasion, which is one of the most significant festivals on the Muslim calendar, presstv reported.
In Iran, a mass prayer was held in the capital city of Tehran. Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami was leading the Eid al-Adha prayers, with people from various walks of life and high-profile officials in attendance.
Muslims traditionally celebrate Eid al-Adha with the sacrifice of sheep, cattle, camels and other livestock.
The act commemorates Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham (PBUH)’s submission to divine order to sacrifice his son, Ismail (PBUH). Just before sacrificing his son, God provided Prophet Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead after he successfully passed the divine test.
The major rituals of the Hajj are performed during a five-day period from the 8th through the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah on the Muslim lunar calendar.
The Hajj pilgrimage is a religious ritual, which must be performed at least once by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.
Hajj is considered as one of the five pillars of Islam and the largest act of mass pilgrimage in the world.
The holy pilgrimage is also a demonstration of Muslims’ unity and their submission to Allah.
Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000247
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Terrorists Sustain Heavy Losses in Army's Offensive in Dara'a Province
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian army attacked the terrorists in Dara'a province, and inflicted heavy losses on them over the past 24 hours.
The Syrian army killed and wounded scores of terrorists in the Northern territories of Dara'a province.
The Syrian army also inflicted heavy losses on the terrorist groups in other key regions across Syria.
Dara'a
Syrian military forces clashed fiercely with terrorist groups in the neighborhoods of Dara'a city while other units of the army hit militants' positions hard in the Northern territories of Dara'a province, pinning them down behind their defense lines.
Syrian army soldiers stormed terrorists' centers near al-Shami farms in Dara'a al-Balad, inflicting major casualties on the terrorists and destroying their machinegun-equipped vehicles.
Terrorist group's artillery units in Dael region were traced and targeted by the Syrian army, military sources said, adding, one of the canons was destroyed and its crew were also killed in the attacks.
The Southeastern side of the town of Dael was the scene of heavy fighting between the Syrian soldiers and militants, inflicting several casualties on them.
Most of members of a group of terrorists were killed in Syrian Army attacks along a road between Busra al-Sham and Vadi al-Zeidi.
Aleppo
The Syrian army and popular forces started a new round of massive military operation in the Southern part of the city of Aleppo on Sunday, specially near Project 1070, Hikmah School and al-Ameriyeh district, battlefield sources said.
The sources reiterated that the Syrian army has already seized back several strategic zones in the early hours of their military operation.
"The army and popular forces inflicted heavy losses and casualties on the terrorists in Southern part of Aleppo city," an army officer said.
Also on Sunday, Russian warplanes carried out over 90 combat sorties over Jeish al-Fatah's concentration centers and gatherings in different parts of Aleppo province in Northern Syria, inflicting tens of casualties on the terrorists.
Full report at:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000250
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Yemeni Forces Capture Another Saudi Military Camp in Jizan
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemen's army and popular forces, continued their large-scale offensive in the Southern countryside of Saudi Arabia, targeting the Saudi military camp in the Jizan Region.
The Tribune of Yemen reported on Sunday night that the Yemeni forces and their popular allies managed to capture the Al-Farida Military Camp in the Jizan Region after a fierce battle with the Hadi loyalists and Saudi forces, AMN reported.
In addition to capturing this military site, the Yemeni army and popular forces Seized the Saudi Army's heavy weapons and Abrams Tanks that were left behind.
Al-Farida Military Camp is located near the contested city of Al-Khabuh in the Jizan Region; it was one of the Saudi Army's main bases in this area.
Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000104
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Hezbollah, Syrian Army Ambush ISIL near Lebanese Border
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A group of Hezbollah and Syrian Army forces carried out a successful attack against an ISIL in the Jarod Jar jeer region of the Qalamoun Mountains on Monday.
According to Hezbollah's media wing, their forces, alongside the Syrian Arab Army, destroyed a building filled with ISIL terrorists inside the Jarod Jar jeer village of Ma'ber Abu Jadeej, Al Masdar reported.
Hezbollah's media wing added that the attack resulted in the death of at least five ISIL terrorists.
The village of Ma'ber Abu Jadeej is under the control of the ISIL, however, the Syrian Army and Hezbollah have recently increased their presence in this area to combat the terrorist groups traveling back-and-forth across the Lebanese-Syrian border.
Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000402
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Africa
Boko Haram attacks Muslims going to celebrate Eid el-Kabir
September 12, 2016
Boko Haram has attacked some Muslims going to their village to celebrate Eid el-Kabir – Their rams were also stolen by the terrorists – Some women and women were injured in the attack Muslims going to their village to celebrate the Eid el-Kabir festival have been attacked by Boko Haram terrorists. The Punch reports that one person died and some wounded and children were wounded as the attack was carried out Saturday, September 10. READ ALSO: Army kills 7 kidnappers in Bauchi, nab Boko Haram terrorist The terrorists opened fire on a convoy of vehicles travelling to Maiduguri from Monguno. Kabir Hassan who is a bus driver got to the scene shortly after the incidence and confirmed the attack. “They shot dead a driver and injured two women and a child travelling with him.” It was reported that the vehicles included traders in a pick-up truck packed with rams for the festival. When the attack started, traders abandoned their rams and fled and the animals were seized by the terrorists. READ ALSO: Police arrest pastor, syndicate for stealing 12 kids Abba Gana who is also a driver confirmed the attack and said one of the vehicles was burnt. He said the wounded have taken to a hospital. Meanwhile, the air component of the MNJTF, led by the Nigerian Airforce, carried out aerial bombardment of 12 different camps of the terrorists located at border areas with Niger, Chad and Cameroon, destroying the camps and killing some of the terrorists. The development was disclosed by Col Muhammed Dole, spokesman for the MNJTF, who said that scores of the terrorists also surrendered to troops when they saw that there was no way out for them. The statement read: “The effects of difficult terrains and unpredictable weather conditions continue to pose serious challenges to the conduct of Operation Gama Wiki. “However, despite these limitations for the ground forces, the air component of the operation, through successful combined air operations, continue to deny the terrorists freedom of action and movement within the battle fields. “Recent air strikes and simultaneous clearing operations on 12 identified Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) camps and hideouts have greatly shattered their cohesion. “Moreover, continuous blockade of the terrorists main supply routes and arrest of their logistics suppliers caused serious economic hardship and led to the surrender of many terrorists in different locations in the Area of Operation (AOO) of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
Source: naij.com/964385-death-boko-haram-attacks-muslims-going-celebrate-eid-el-kabir.html?utm_source=mailfire&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mailed
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Kenyan officers kill three veiled attackers in assault on police station
September 12, 2016
Mombasa, Kenya (CNN)Three veiled women were killed by Kenyan police after they launched an attack Sunday on a police station in the port city of Mombasa, a local commander said.
A petrol bomb was thrown and officers were stabbed in the attack on Mombasa's Central Police Station, which Mombasa county police commander Patterson Maelo described as a terrorist incident.
The attack began when the women, their faces covered with buibui, a black shawl worn by many Muslim women in east Africa, entered the police station complaining their phones had been stolen, Maelo said.
One of the women then threw a petrol bomb, while the other two stabbed police officers. Police responded by shooting the women, killing them, he said.
The women were wearing bulletproof vests, he said. Images from the scene showed bomb detector units checking the women's bodies for explosives.
Police later said one of the women was wearing a suicide vest that did not detonate.
Two police officers were injured in the attack and were in stable condition Sunday at a local hospital, he said.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but Patterson said suspicion was falling on Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group in neighboring Somalia that has repeatedly carried out terror attacks on Kenyan soil.
Three suspects were arrested later in connection with the attack, police said, after two of the attackers were identified and police found the suspects at the residence of one of those women.
Major attacks in recent years include a massacre at Garissa University in April 2015, in which nearly 150 people were killed, and the 2013 attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping center that killed at least 67 people.
Kenya is a major contributor to an African Union force fighting Al-Shabaab.
Coast Regional Commissioner Nelson Marwa said security in the area would be boosted in the wake of the attack. He called on the public to be vigilant for suspicious activity.
Source:edition.cnn.com/2016/09/11/africa/kenya-police-station-attack/
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South Asia
Afghan Police Chief Is Killed as He Tries to Turn Tide Against Taliban
SEPT. 11, 2016
KABUL, Afghanistan — A hard-charging Afghan police chief with deep experience in Afghanistan’s long conflict with the Taliban was killed in a blast on Sunday in the country’s eastern Nangarhar Province, which has been under threat from the Taliban and affiliates of the Islamic State.
The police chief, Gen. Zarawar Zahid, was visiting an outpost in the Hisarak district when explosives placed near the outpost detonated, according to Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar. One of General Zahid’s bodyguards was wounded, Mr. Khogyani said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, according to a statement by the insurgency’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid. The attack came a week after twin bombings outside Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense killed at least 40 people, including several senior security officials.
Nangarhar, which borders Pakistan, has faced mounting security perils over the past couple of years, with new Islamic State affiliates complicating the threat from the Taliban. Zabihullah Zmarai, a member of the provincial council, said the Islamic State posed a danger in five districts, despite repeated operations by the Afghan Army.
“Out of the 22 districts, only six are secure,” he said.
The Taliban’s presence across nearly a dozen districts varies, Mr. Zmarai said. But the Hisarak district faced a collapse in recent weeks. That drew the attention of General Zahid, who had gone there to supervise a counterattack.
Over the past decade, he rose from a bodyguard to a well-regarded police chief of several volatile provinces. His postings included two stints as the police chief of southeastern Ghazni Province, and one term each in Zabul and Paktika Provinces.
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General Zahid was seen as a hands-on commander, often arriving at the front lines unannounced. When a major cultural event drew world leaders to the ancient city of Ghazni, the general was photographed riding around the city on the back of a motorcycle to check on security measures. He had been wounded twice and had lost two brothers during the decades of war in Afghanistan.
In June, he took part in clashes with Pakistani forces that erupted on the border. In a Facebook video that he posted, he appeared beside two mortars and shouted to his men, “Strike hard enough to blow up Nawaz Sharif’s home,” referring to the prime minister of Pakistan.
Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior Affairs, called General Zahid “one of the bravest commanders of Afghan police.”
“He lost his life on the front line of duty in the fight against terrorism,” Mr. Sediqqi said.
Source:nytimes.com/2016/09/12/world/middleeast/afghan-police-chief-is-killed-as-he-tries-to-turn-tide-against-taliban.html
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Afghan President expresses hope for peace deal with notorious warlord Hekmatyar
SEPT. 12, 2016
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Monday a peace agreement with one of the country's most notorious Islamist warlords is close to being concluded, offering hope of progress towards ending decades of conflict.
Negotiations with Hizb-i-Islami, a militant group of several hundred fighters led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a veteran of almost 40 years of fighting in Afghanistan, have been going on since May, when a draft accord was signed.
But a final agreement has been held up with many on the government side suspicious of bringing the prominent Pashtun warlord into the political fold and civil rights activists concerned about longstanding accusations of human rights abuses against him.
Hekmatyar has been allied at various times with Pakistan, the Washington-backed anti-Soviet mujahideen in the 1980s and the Taliban, who are seeking to force the NATO-led coalition out of Afghanistan and bring in Islamic law.
"Some issues are left"
“Some issues are left and those are issues that would be very important for implementing peace,” Mr. Ghani said at the start of the three-day Eid holiday. “These issues should be solved within a limited period of time.”
He thanked both Hizb-i-Islami and the High Peace Council for their efforts to negotiate a deal. “There is hope that, God willing, the agreement will be finalised soon and we will witness a major step towards the creation of peace environment and end of fighting,” he said.
Little direct part in surgency
Hekmatyar, who was included on the U.S. State Department's Specially Designated Global Terrorist list in 2003, has played relatively little direct part in the insurgency in recent years.
But an accord would offer some encouragement that the Kabul government can persuade militant groups to move away from the battlefield and into the political process after failed efforts to start peace talks with the Taliban.
During the bloody civil war of the 1990s, Hekmatyar's forces were accused of killing thousands of civilians in heavy bombardments of the Afghan capital and more recently, they were linked with several al-Qaeda and Taliban attacks on international forces in Afghanistan and the Kabul government.
Peace talks yet to start
Peace talks with the Taliban, the largest insurgent group in Afghanistan, have yet to get off the ground, but both sides have said they are open to the idea.
In a statement commemorating the start of the Muslim holiday of Id-ul-Adha on Monday, Taliban chief Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada said his group was “continuing to make diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the issue of Afghanistan alongside its military approach."
Source: thehindu.com/news/international/afghan-presidentislamic-warlords/article9099755.ece
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Gunmen Attack Hospital in Southern Afghanistan
Sep 12, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Two gunmen entered a hospital in the Southern Afghan city of Kandahar Monday, setting off a gun battle with security forces in which one of the attackers was killed, officials said.
It was not immediately clear who the gunmen were or whether they were affiliated with any insurgent group, The Daily Star reported.
Samim Khpalwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Kandahar, said security forces were at the Mirwais Hospital, a large regional facility that provides health services to war victims, including members of the army and police.
He said one of the gunmen had been killed but security forces were moving carefully to avoid casualties and damage to the hospital.
"So far, no patients, visitors, hospital personnel or our security forces have been hurt," he said. "We are taking steps forward very carefully."
Source:en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950622000354
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Nangarhar police chief Gen. Zarawar Zahid killed in explosion
Sun Sep 11 2016
The provincial police chief of Nangarhar province General Zarawar Zahid was killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion.
Gen. Zahir was killed in the blast in Hesarak district later this afternoon.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani confirmed the incident took place earlier this evening after the IED planted near a check post was detonated.
The Taliban militants group claimed responsibility behind the incident and said Gen. Zahid was killed along with several other policemen in the attack.
Gen. Zahid is the second senior police official killed within the past one in the attacks claimed by the Taliban group.
The police chief of the second police district of Kabul city was killed in a coordinated suicide attack in Kabul city on Monday.
Source: khaama.com/nangarhar-police-chief-gen-zarawar-zahid-killed-in-explosion-01875
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Afghans mark Eid with prayers for peace
12 September, 2016
Fellow Muslims across Asia spent the day slaughtering livestock, giving charity to the poor and visiting relatives on Islam's second-holiest holiday.
Afghanistan has seen fighting between government forces and Islamist militants -- mainly Taliban insurgents but also Islamic State fighters -- reach record levels this year following the 2014 withdrawal of US-led foreign combat troops.
"Our country has been at war for nearly four decades, but the three days of Eid are the happiest days of our life because this an occasion where families come together and enjoy and celebrate this festival," Kabul resident Nasratullah Wafa told AFP:
The roads of the capital were mostly empty and many were blocked by military to safeguard against possible attacks, while police stood guard over mosques during the morning Eid prayers.
US Brigadier General Charles Cleveland in August said Afghan security forces were on track for their bloodiest year to date, surpassing the roughly 5,000 deaths of local police and troops and around 15,000 wounded in 2015.
He did not offer figures but said there was an increase of about 20 percent over the corresponding period last year.
Full report at: timeslive.co.za/world/2016/09/12/Afghans-mark-Eid-with-prayers-for-peace
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China Lays New Brick in Silk Road With First Afghan Rail Freight
September 12, 2016
For centuries, Chinese products have wended their way thousands of kilometers across mountains and deserts to the heart of central Asia, Afghanistan. Now, for the first time, the trade is carried by rail.
With the first train last week pulling in to Hairatan, northern Afghanistan, China marked another advance in President Xi Jinping’s Silk Road project to deepen his nation’s influence along old trade routes. For Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, the new link also marks a small step toward a dream of turning his landlocked country into a transit hub of Asia.
Already the top investor in the war-torn country to its west, China is aiming to boost its commercial standing, as the no. 5 trading partner currently. Deepening those ties would help Afghanistan pare back the influence of Pakistan, the southern neighbor with which ties have sometimes been strained over outbreaks of violence and closures in border crossings.
Afghanistan’s first cargo train from China approaches to cut the ribbon.
Afghanistan’s first cargo train from China approaches to cut the ribbon. Photographe: Eltaf Najafizada/Bloomberg
“It’s an unprecedented, vital project for the Afghan economy,” said Azarakhsh Hafizi, the head of the international relations committee at Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries in the capital, Kabul. “That will greatly reduce Chinese imported commodities’ prices and unprecedentedly improve our trade with China, now standing at tens of millions of dollars.”
Full report at: bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-11/china-lays-new-brick-in-silk-road-with-first-afghan-rail-freight
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31 ‘IS supporters’ killed in 10 month
September 11, 2016
Two other members of the deadly group have died by their own hands
Law enforcers have dealt Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh’s new faction a severe body blow over the last ten months, killing leader Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury and 30 of its operatives. Two other identified members of the deadly group have died by their own hands – one in a suicide mission and another to evade arrest.
The dead militants were involved in attacks carried out and claimed by the Islamic State group since October last year.
Militant Md Tarek Aziz alias Musa died in a suicide attack on an Ahmadiyya mosque in Baghmara, Rajshahi on December 26.
Md Shamsher Uddin alias Abdul Karim, who rented safe houses for New JMB operatives in Bashundhara, Kallyanpur and Narayanganj, killed himself during a police raid in Dhaka’s Azimpur area on September 10.
Full report at: dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/crime/2016/09/11/31-supporters-killed-10-months/
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India
Muslim-Hindu men donate kindeys to each other’s wives and save their lives
September 11, 2016
Just ahead of Eid ul-Adha and Onam celebrations, these two families have set an example of friendship and brotherhood that go far beyond religious boundaries. In a private hospital in Jaipur, Rajasthan, two kidney transplants reportedly took place, but the uniqueness of the situation was that a Hindu man donated his kidney for a Muslim woman, whose husband, in turn, donated his kidney to the former’s wife.
Though it does seem like a fantastical situation and sheer luck that the two couples should be in the same hospital, according to reports in Rajasthan Patrika and Times of India, doctors at the hospital claim that this is a first of its kind in the state. Hasanpur-resident Anita Mehra was suffering from glomerular disease for the past few years leading to kidney failure, while Tasleem Jahan’s (who stays close to Ajmere Gate) kidney had failed due to excessive use of pain killers. While the former’s blood group was B positive, the latter’s blood group was A postive. Both were undergoing dialysis in the same hospital, when the doctors had a brainwave and they suggested the husbands – Vinod Mehra’s blood group was A positive and Anwar Ahmed’s B positive – do a kidney swap. After a counselling session, the two readily agreed. According to Human Organ Transplant Act only near relatives can donate kidneys. But, it permits swap kidney transplant.
Full report at: indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-in-india/muslim-hindu-men-donate-kindeys-to-each-others-wives-and-save-their-lives-3025789/
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Kashmir Unrest: Ahead of Eid, Valley Remains Paralysed
September 12, 2016
Srinagar: Normal life remained affected for the 66th consecutive day today in violence-hit Kashmir, where authorities imposed restrictions on the movement and assembly of people in some areas on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha.
Restrictions have been imposed in some of the towns in Kashmir as well as in three police station areas of Srinagar, a police official said here.
He said restrictions have been imposed in the towns of Ganderbal, Kupwara, Baramulla, Budgam, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag. The curbs have also been imposed in Khanyar, Nowhatta and M R Gunj police station areas of Srinagar city, the official said, adding the step has been taken to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, normal life continued to remain affected due to the restrictions and the shutdown called by separatist groups against the death of civilians in clashes in the aftermath of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter.
Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut during the day even on Eid eve on Monday.
Full report at:siasat.com/news/kashmir-unrest-ahead-eid-valley-remains-paralysed-1018144/
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State Bank widens Islamic banks' benchmark requirements
September 12, 2016
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has amended its regulations to exempt Islamic banks from using interest-based benchmarks for some of their financing products, the latest government step aimed at boosting Islamic finance.
Despite a direct ban on charging interest, interest-based benchmarks are used as a pricing reference by a majority of Islamic banks, due in part to the absence of stable and widely-published alternatives.
In a circular, the SBP said Islamic finance institutions would have to outline their alternative pricing mechanism for participatory financing schemes, replacing the use of the Karachi Inter Bank Offered Rate or KIBOR.
Since 2004, the central bank has required all banks to use KIBOR as a benchmark rate. The use of such benchmarks is viewed as a shortcoming of Islamic banking that discourages wider adoption, in particular among retail clients.
The government, however, wants to help develop Islamic finance, a sector which now holds 11.4 per cent of all banking assets and 13.2pc of all bank deposits in the country.
The exemption applies with immediate effect to participatory modes of financing known as musharaka, mudaraba and wakala.
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1283679/state-bank-widens-islamic-banks-benchmark-requirements
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Pakistan
State Bank widens Islamic banks' benchmark requirements
September 12, 2016
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has amended its regulations to exempt Islamic banks from using interest-based benchmarks for some of their financing products, the latest government step aimed at boosting Islamic finance.
Despite a direct ban on charging interest, interest-based benchmarks are used as a pricing reference by a majority of Islamic banks, due in part to the absence of stable and widely-published alternatives.
In a circular, the SBP said Islamic finance institutions would have to outline their alternative pricing mechanism for participatory financing schemes, replacing the use of the Karachi Inter Bank Offered Rate or KIBOR.
Since 2004, the central bank has required all banks to use KIBOR as a benchmark rate. The use of such benchmarks is viewed as a shortcoming of Islamic banking that discourages wider adoption, in particular among retail clients.
The government, however, wants to help develop Islamic finance, a sector which now holds 11.4 per cent of all banking assets and 13.2pc of all bank deposits in the country.
The exemption applies with immediate effect to participatory modes of financing known as musharaka, mudaraba and wakala.
Such sharia-compliant contracts are well-known but have traditionally been eclipsed by murabaha, a cost-plus-profit arrangement in Islamic finance.
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1283679/state-bank-widens-islamic-banks-benchmark-requirements
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Sanctioning Pakistan can backfire, US lawmakers warned
September 12, 2016
WASHINGTON: United States lawmakers were warned at a congressional hearing that sanctioning Pakistan or declaring it a state sponsor of terrorism could backfire.
A transcript released on Sunday shows a lively debate on the issue at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which held a hearing on US-Pakistan relations.
In his opening statement, the committee’s chairman Senator Bob Corker expressed frustration with Pakistan’s alleged lack of cooperation in defeating militant groups still active in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Editorial: US blame game against Pakistan betrays directionless Afghan policy
Senator Corker, a Republican, and Senator Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the committee, also asked the witnesses to explain what measures US policymakers could take to make Pakistan cooperate.
“In order to justify major policy shifts like eliminating aid, labelling Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism, or enacting sanctions, US policymakers should be able to explain how such actions would make America’s strategic predicament better,” said one of the witnesses, Prof Daniel Markey of the Johns Hopkins University.
Full report at:dawn.com/news/1283650
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Chandio accuses PML-N leaders of destroying Indian connection, corruption evidence
September 12, 2016
HYDERABAD: Adviser to the Chief Minister on Information Maula Bux Chandio has alleged that the records of Prime Minister Nawaz Shaif’s family venture Ramzan Sugar Mills and the Nandipur mega power project had deliberately been destroyed. “The mills record was torched to conceal the employment and identities of the Indians working there for years while the record of the energy project was burned down to hide massive corruption on the part of the PML-N government,” he claimed while speaking at a ceremony organised by PPP leaders and activists at the local press club on Sunday to celebrate his birthday.
Mr Chandio wondered that no notice was being taken by the country’s institution of the serious crime committed by the mill-owners and the ruling PML-N although the media and public at large were raising questions about it. The Sharif family and PML-N government had turned a deaf year to the public voice, he observed, and deplored that the prime minister and his cabinet colleagues were also not paying any attention to the country’s integrity and other serious national issues.
The PPP leader alleged that billions of rupees had been spent from the public money on the Nandipur power project and the record that was destroyed carried the details of all “favourites” who ate up the money in the name of overcoming the country’s energy crisis.
He said that the state institutions must ask the federal government about how much the power plant helped the country overcome the energy crisis after billions of rupees were spent on the mega project.
Had it been the PPP in place of the PML-N, it would sure have been held accountable by these institutions, he added.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1283571/chandio-accuses-pml-n-leaders-of-destroying-indian-connection-corruption-evidence
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Pak govt moves force MQM not to collect hides on Eidul Azha
September 12, 2016
Karachi: For the first time in over 30 years, Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement has decided not to collect hides of sacrificial animals on Eidul Azha this year for its welfare projects, citing “unfavourable conditions” and “targeted” by state institutions.
The announcement was made by MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar who said the party reached the decision after consultation with the coordination committee and all office-bearers of the Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation (KKF).
The leader of the party, which had been winning annual major share of hides collection in the metropolis for decades, decided to stay away from the process considering the “unfavourable conditions” that did not allow the party to go for its “social welfare activity”.
“To generate funds for our social welfare projects, we have only two options, which are Zakat and Fitra collection in Ramazan and hides collection on Eid-ul-Azha,” Dawn newspaper quoted Sattar as saying at the party’s temporary headquarters.
“However, for the past one year, we have not been allowed to carry on with the activities. We were denied this right. We are being forced to announce that we are not collecting hides this Eid.”
Last year, he said, the law-enforcement agencies “targeted” party workers and “snatched truckloads of hides” donated to the KKF and then handed them over to other charity organisations.
Full report at: siasat.com/news/pak-govt-moves-force-mqm-not-collect-hides-eidul-azha-1018063/
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Pakistan says Wagah border crossing open for Afghan traders
September 12, 2016
Islamabad :Pakistan has said it has not stopped Afghan traders to move their goods to India through Wagah border crossing, days after Afghanistan President warned to stop transit facility to Central Asia for Pakistani traders.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had reportedly threatened to stop transit facility for Pakistan if Afghan businessmen were not allowed to trade with India through Wagah.
Reacting to his statement, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria told media that under an agreement with Afghanistan, India cannot send its goods to Afghanistan through Pakistan but Afghanistan can sell goods to India via Pakistan.
“Pakistan is fulfilling its commitment to the Afghan people by providing them a trade transit facility,” he told BBC Urdu yesterday.
Ghani reportedly told UK’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Owen Jenkins, in Kabul on Friday that if Pakistan did not allow Afghan traders to sell goods in India through Wagah, then his country would not allow Pakistanis to use transit facility for Central Asia.
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been volatile due to allegations by both sides of cross border militancy.
Source: siasat.com/news/pakistan-says-wagah-border-crossing-open-afghan-traders-1018044/
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Southeast Asia
Myanmar: Marchers condemn ex-UN chief's role in Rakhine
11.09.2016  
Buddhist hardliners have taken to the streets of Myanmar’s former capital Yangon to protest an ex United Nations chief's role in a government advisory commission formed to find lasting solutions for conflicts in western Rakhine State.
Rakhine – one of the poorest states in Myanmar – had seen a rise in tensions between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and stateless Rohingya Muslims since communal violence broke out in mid-2012 that left nearly 100 people dead and around 140,000 people displaced, mostly Muslims.
The Kofi Annan-chaired commission was formed last month to advise the government on the “complex and delicate issues” in Rakhine, however it has since been attacked for having a foreigner at its helm.
On Sunday, around 400 people from nationalist groups in Yangon and other regions gathered at Bo Sein Hman ground in the city's downtown area, calling for it to be abolished.
Pho Thar, one of the organizers of the rally, told Anadolu Agency that even though protesters realized the commission would play a big role in resolving the problems in Rakhine, "including non-Burmese people was totally unacceptable”.
“What happens if the commission suggests us to accept Bengalis as an ethnic group?” said Pho Thar, using a term to refer to Rakhine's Rohingya minority that suggests they are not from Myanmar, but rather illegal migrants from neighboring Bangladesh.
Myanmar currently grants official statehood to 135 distinct ethnic groups (grouped into eight "major national ethnic races") but nationalists -- stirred by anti-Muslim campaigners such the Committee to Protect Race and Religion (Ma Ba Tha) - are afraid that by including the Rohingya it would give them legal access to the country's resources.
“It will harm our country’s sovereignty more,” he underlined.
Full report at: aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/myanmar-marchers-condemn-ex-un-chiefs-role-in-rakhine/644806
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Indonesia proposes alcohol ban in Bali
11 SEPTEMBER 2016
The party could soon be over in one of the world’s most beer-fuelled tourism spots, the Indonesian island of Bali, under a new law that would ban the drinking of alcohol. 
The proposed bill to outlaw the production, sale and consumption of alcohol across the whole of Indonesia carries a prison sentence of up to ten years for violators. If passed, it would crush the tourism sector, industry chiefs have warned.
“No matter how beautiful the country is, if they can’t find alcohol, they [tourists] won’t want to come here,” said Hariyadi Sukamdani, the head of Indonesia's Hotel and Restaurant Association.
A ban would particularly damage the resort of Bali, one of Indonesia’s 34 provinces.
The island’s economy depends heavily on the four million foreign visitors, including over 100,000 Brits, who arrive every year, with many flocking to enjoy sunset cocktails and then party through the night at clubs in the buzzing tourist areas of Kuta and Seminyak.
Australians, the largest group of holidaymakers, have been up in arms about the news, with some threatening to boycott their favourite holiday resort if they can no longer sip a cool Bintang, the local beer.
Balinese musician, Rudolf Dethu, who leads two groups opposing the legislation, one of them to promote the culinary aspects of beer, agreed that the law would “kill” tourism in Bali. Even if the island secured an exemption, alcohol prices would become exorbitant, he said.
But Mr Dethu also believes that the stakes are much higher, fearing like many others that the curb is a sign of creeping Islamisation in the sprawling island nation, where there has been a recent push to impose more extreme forms of Sharia. 
With a population of 260 million, Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation, but it is also home to several influential religious minorities. 
Full report at:telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/11/indonesia-proposes-alcohol-ban-in-bali/
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Indonesians prepare to welcome Eid al-Adha
11.09.2016
Indonesians across the world's most populous Muslim nation are preparing to welcome Eid al-Adha on Monday by flocking to markets to procure cattle, or by packing their bags and making the often long and arduous journey home.
On Sunday, thousands of people were crowding train stations, bus terminals and airports in an effort to celebrate Eid with their families, but the majority were crawling across the country on cheap -- and often very noisy -- 125cc motorcycles.
"We had to ride slowly and carefully because Suramadu bridge is very crowded by cars and motorcycles," motorcyclist Fatimah, who had to cross the longest bridge in East Java province to return to her hometown in Madura Island, told Anadolu Agency by phone Sunday.
Many Indonesians are feeling the pinch this year, due to the economy slumping to its slowest pace in six years, so some say they have chosen to collectivize the small money they have put aside for the festival and invest in one single cow.
 Jakarta resident Muhammad Zamroni told Anadolu Agency that he had clubbed together with neighbors for the sacrifice.
"It's too tough for me to buy a cow myself, so with six neighbors we collected some money," Zamroni said Sunday, adding that they'd paid 19 million rupiah ($1441) for their cow.
Such cattle are selling for 18-20 million rupiah this year, the Chairman of the Association of Cattle and Buffalo Breeders Teguh Boediyana told Anadolu Agency by phone, adding that that was the equivalent of seven goats.
"The supply of animals was no problem this year as the association had prepared for Eid long ago," he said
Ahead of Eid al-Adha, governors in various provinces assign vets to check the health of the animals.
On Sunday, Agus Wariyanto, the head of Central Java's Department of Husbandry and Animal Health, told Anadolu Agency that it had commissioned around 150 vets to check animal markets in the last week.
"We test for worms in their body, and we also give them vitamins so they do not stress," he said.
More than 50,000 police officers are being employed across the country this year to secure the flow of traffic, while on alert for possible terrorist attack.
Since January, when attacks in Jakarta killed eight people -- including four Daesh-linked assailants, Indonesia has been clamping down on terrorist groups across the archipelago, detaining dozens of suspects on terror charges.
Source:aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/indonesians-prepare-to-welcome-eid-al-adha/644814
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