Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Xenophobic Forces Challenge the Post-1945 Order, Based On Human Rights and Democracy, In Europe



By Praveen Swami
June 22, 2016
“No Popery”, the mob was shouting, as it tore down the house of the Earl of Mansfield, in London’s posh Queen’s Square. Richard Ingram, a local resident, told of how he watched “some furniture flying out, particularly a remarkable table, which struck my eye; it was thrown out of the two-pair-of-stairs room”. Then, books were set on fire, starting a giant blaze. Ingram tried reasoning with the mob as the building was set on fire, only to find it was a dangerous business: “Spies, spies”, the mob cried, spying the black cockade on Ingram’s hat, which identified him as an honorary captain of His Majesty’s Royal Dragoons.
In that summer of 1780, with Britain mired in wars with France, Spain and the US, the English working class had been hit by falling wages, rising prices and unemployment. Two years earlier, Parliament had eased official discrimination against Catholics, partly in the hope of raising more Irish soldiers. The issue was used to whip up working class anger by the Protestant politician Lord George Gordon — leading to attacks on wealthy Catholics, embassies of Catholic countries, and Catholic churches.
The idea of a Britain torn apart by ethnic-religious violence might seem implausible today. This week’s referendum on the country’s future in the European Union makes it imperative, though, to consider just that possibility. Irrespective of the outcome of the referendum, English nationalism has now established itself as a major force, giving xenophobia unprecedented visibility in British political life. The assassination of Member of Parliament Jo Cox demonstrated the violent potential of this nationalism.
English nationalism isn’t an outlier, though. Leaving aside well-established far right-wing tendencies like France’s National Front or Austria’s neo-Nazi Freedom Party, xenophobic forces are resurgent even in Scandinavia’s socialist utopias.
For the European post-World War II ideals of pluralism and democracy, these xenophobic forces are a major challenge. In essence, the post-1945 order sought to build a liberal system based on human rights and democracy, in which questions of ethnic-religious identity would become irrelevant. Europe, it seems, might be beginning the unmaking of this order.
Ever since the autumn of 1980, the lethal potential of the European far-right has been well known. In August that year, 84 were killed when a bomb ripped through the Bologna railway station. Eleven were killed when the Munich Oktoberfest was targeted on September 26; four persons died when a bomb went off in front of a synagogue in Paris on October 2. Though the violence of the right has surfaced periodically — most spectacularly in the form of Anders Breivik’s killing of 77 people in 2011 — it has never acquired the political legitimacy it has today.
How has this come about? It’s no coincidence that xenophobic nationalisms have grown in the three decades during which the European welfare states built after 1945, the product of a century of working-class struggle, were systematically dismantled. In large parts of Europe, this process left working class communities economically disempowered and politically disenfranchised.
In a prophetic 1991 essay, the historian Eric Hobsbawm noted that this economic dislocation came at the end of decades of immigration into Europe — in the main, of workers brought in to work in factories that were now shutting down. He noted that “the massive population movements of the past 40 years — within and between countries and continents — have made xenophobia into a major political phenomenon”. There’s nothing resembling evidence to show immigration is responsible for white poverty, but they are an easy scapegoat for intractable frustrations, just as Catholics were in 1780.
Even though the UK is one of the 10 richest countries in the world, David Darton and Jason Strelitz noted in a study conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation last year, its growing prosperity over the last two decades has excluded large swathes of the population. “Many people — and in some cases whole neighbourhoods — have fallen further and further behind”, they wrote. “Many millions of people are unable to afford goods and services that the majority deem necessary”.
The Open Society Foundation’s granular 2015 study of white poverty in Manchester pointed to the fact that Higher Blackey, a largely white neighbourhood, had never recovered from the loss of industrial jobs a generation ago. That, coupled with educational under-attainment among poor white males, had resulted in “a marked and steady decline in democratic engagement and participation over the last 40 years with an increased sense of isolation from mainstream politics”.
Frustration is most marked among the young: One in three of the UK’s 9 million 14-24 year olds live in poverty, surveys have shown. Though black and Asian youth are over-represented in this cohort, over two in three are white.
In a thoughtful analysis of the nationalisms which rose across Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union, the historian Miroslav Hroch noted that “where an old regime disintegrates, where old social relations have become unstable, amid the rise of general insecurity, belonging to a common language and culture may become the only certainty in society, the only value beyond ambiguity and doubt”. This disintegration of the old order — and the failure of traditional politics to offer transformative possibilities — has enabled the rise of the new, xenophobic politics.
Europe’s economic and institutional resources sometimes lead to sanguine assessments of its vulnerability to crisis. The German journalist Sebastian Haffner, watching events in the 1920s as Fascism began its inexorable rise, left the world with a contemporary insight which cautions against ignoring the new xenophobia.
“Hundreds of saviours were running around Berlin”, he wrote, “people with long hair, wearing hair-shirts, claiming that they had been sent by God to save the world”. “The most successful of them was a certain Haeusser, who advertised on advertising pillars and staged mass gatherings and had many followers. According to the newspapers, his Munich counterpart was a certain Hitler. Whereas Hitler wanted to bring about the thousand-year Reich by the mass murder of all Jews, in Thuringia a certain Lamberty wanted to bring it about by having everyone do folk dancing, singing, and leaping about”.
European liberalism might well be proved to have enough cultural and institutional capital to withstand a similar onslaught. But no one, Haffner’s account should remind us, should dismiss the prospect that such a challenge might lie ahead, in the not too distant future.
Source: indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/britain-european-union-brexit-days-of-unmaking-2867762/
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/current-affairs/praveen-swami/xenophobic-forces-challenge-the-post-1945-order,-based-on-human-rights-and-democracy,-in-europe/d/107722#sthash.zv3h6kmv.dpuf

Tambourine in Hand, a Christian Wakes Up Muslims for Ramadan


Midlleeasteye.net
21 June 2016

Michel Ayoub's holy racket begins each day at 2am, when he steps into the cobbled streets of Acre's old city with tambourine in hand, awakening Muslims for Ramadan.
His role as the city's "Mesaharati" is a traditional one during the sacred fasting month, but Ayoub is by no means a traditional holder of the position: He is Christian.
The 39-year-old Arab Israeli sees no contradiction in that, and neither do the Muslim residents of this ancient city in north-western Israel, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
"We are the same family," says Ayoub, who wears traditional Levantine dress as he meanders the alleyways, a keffiyeh draped over his shoulders, and baggy Sirwal pants held around his waist with an embroidered belt, a black-and-white turban tied around his head.
"There is only one God and there is no difference between Christians and Muslims."
His voice rings out as he chants, piercing the silence of the empty streets decorated with traditional colourful lamps for Ramadan.
"You, sleeping ones, there is one eternal God," he chants.
Houses begin to light up one by one. Some stick their heads out of their windows to greet him and tell him they have heard the call, awakening them for the "Suhur", the traditional Ramadan pre-dawn meal.
During the holy month, which began on 5 June, Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sundown, making the Suhur an important meal before the long day ahead.
'We would be lost'
Acre's population of more than 50,000 includes Jews, Muslims, Christians and Baha'is.
It has been continuously inhabited since the Phoenician period, which began around 1500 BC.
It was the main port of the medieval Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem and a major Ottoman walled city.
Napoleon tried to conquer the heavily fortified town in 1799 but was repelled by the Ottomans and a small British Royal Navy force.
The walled old city, complete with a well-preserved citadel, mosques and baths, is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
Today it is part of Israel, which captured it in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war surrounding the state's creation.
About 28 percent of its population are Arab Israelis, who are Palestinians and their descendants who remained after the 1948 creation of Israel.
Most of the city's Arabs are Muslims, but a minority, like Ayoub, are Christians.
The Mesaharati tradition had disappeared from Acre until Ayoub, who usually works in construction, revived it 13 years ago. He says it was his way to preserve his grandfather's heritage.
He says his grandfather, a fervent Catholic, listened to readings of the Quran every Friday during the main weekly Muslim prayers.
Partly for that reason, Ayoub says he grew up with the idea of coexistence, respect and knowledge of other religions.
By carrying on the mesaharati tradition, he says he was "only doing my duty by helping our Muslim brothers who endure hunger and thirst" during the fasting month.
Sabra Aker, 19, says she "grew up with Michel Ayoub's wake-up calls during Ramadan".
"If he didn't come one day, we would be lost," she says through the window of her home.
Safia Sawaid, 36, exits her home to ask if she can take a photo with Ayoub and her children.
"It's great to see someone so attached to our culture and our traditions," she says. "I hope that he will continue every year."
Ayoub may even be grooming a successor to ensure the tradition does not end with him.
Ahmed al-Rihawi, 12, accompanies him on his night-time mission, wearing Sirwal pants, a black vest and a turban.
"He is a promising Mesaharati," Ayoub says. "He is very talented."
Source: middleeasteye.net/news/tambourine-hand-christian-wakes-acres-muslims-ramadan-577321852
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/interfaith-dialogue/midlleeasteyenet/tambourine-in-hand,-a-christian-wakes-up-muslims-for-ramadan/d/107723#sthash.qDhclzYv.dpuf

Pakistan: Ahmadi Apartheid



By Ambreen Agha
June 20, 2016
The Ordinance promulgated by the President (of Pakistan) on April 26, 1984, goes a long way in accepting the most extreme demands and transforms much of the daily life of the Community into a criminal offence.
-Yohanan Friedman, Prophecy Continuous (1989)
On June 4, 2016, an Ahmadi doctor, identified as Dr. Hameed Ahmed (65), was shot dead by unidentified militants in the Islam Colony area of Attock District of Punjab. Dr Hameed had been facing threats and intimidation on account of being an Ahmadi. In 2014, his clinic had survived an attempted arson attack.
On May 25, 2016, another Ahmadi, identified as Daud Ahmad (55), was killed in a targeted attack while he was waiting for his friend outside his house in the Gulzar-e Hijri area of Gulshan Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.
On March 2, 2016, in another such attack, an Ahmadi, identified as Qamarul Zia (35), was killed for his faith in the Kot Abdul Malik city of the Sheikhupura District of Punjab. Zia was killed while he was leaving his house to fetch his children from school. Zia's murder marked the first killing of an Ahmadi in 2016. Zia had survived several attacks in the past. Six months ago, he was attacked by cadres of the Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat (MTKN/Organization for the Preservation of the End of Prophethood. Zia had also been attacked by some religious clerics in 2012.
According to Persecution of Ahmadis, an organization that documents violence against Ahamdis in Pakistan and rest of the world, at least 194 Ahmadis have been killed in Pakistan since 2001 [data till 2015]. Two Ahmadis were killed in 2015, 11 in 2014, seven in 2013, 10 in 2012, five in 2011, 99 in 2010, 11 in 2009, six in 2008, five in 2007, three in 2006, 11 in 2005, one in 2004, three in 2003, nine in 2002 and 11 in 2001.
According to South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) data, at least three Ahmadis have been killed in targeted attacks in 2016, thus far (Data till June 19, 2016).
In the worst ever attack on the Ahmadis, at least 86 worshippers of the community were killed and another 98 were severely injured in a suicide attack at Darul Zikr and Baitul Noor mosques in the Model Town and Garhi Shahu areas of Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, on May 28, 2010. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack and congratulated Pakistanis, calling people of the Ahmadiyya community "enemies of Islam and common people". The outfit urged Pakistanis to take the "initiative" and kill every such person in "rage".
Ahmadis differ with other Muslim sects over the finality of Prophet Muhammad as the last Prophet. The Ahmadi branch of Islam was founded on March 23, 1889, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian town of pre-partition Punjab. They believe in the Prophethood of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and have endured discrimination and violent persecution for holding this belief. An estimated 10 to 20 million Ahmadis live all over the world, representing 1 per cent of the total Muslim population. The core community lives in Pakistan, mainly in Punjab and Sindh Provinces. The estimated population of Ahmadis in Pakistan is 2-4 million out of the total population of over 192 million, amounting to 3.1 per cent to 4.2 per cent of the total.
The campaign against Ahmadis started soon after Independence in 1947, when religious clerics in the newly created Pakistan demanded that Ahmadis be declared a non-Muslim minority, and that Pakistan's first Ahmadi Foreign Minister, Muhammad Zafrullah Khan, be removed from the cabinet for adopting Articles 18 and 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948), providing for the freedom of conscience and freedom to change one's religion. Khan had then argued that these articles were compatible with and recognized under Islamic Law (Shariah), and declared the adoption of the provisions of the UDHR as an "epoch making event." Article 18 of UDHR influenced Article 20 of the then Pakistan Constitution, which read:
Subject to law, public order and morality:- (a) every citizen shall have the right to profess, practice and propagate his religion; (b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.
Violence against Ahmadis started in March 1953, engulfing Punjab to claim over a dozen lives. However, the persecution of Ahmadis was systematically institutionalized on September 6, 1974, when the Pakistan National Assembly under the leadership of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto declared them as a 'non-Muslim minority'. The process to dilute the provisions of Article 20 was, in fact, initiated by Bhutto, in 1974. Later, in 1984, President General Zia-ul-Haq issued an ordinance to amend the Objectives Resolution of 1949, in an effort to placate Muslim clerics and establish the principal of religious conformity in Pakistan. Under this resolution, Pakistan was to be modelled on the ideology and democratic faith of Islam and all rules and regulations were to be framed in consonance with Islam, allowing a greater role to the Ulema, who felt emboldened by this recognition.
Thereafter, five Criminal Ordinances explicitly or principally targeting religious minorities were passed by Parliament in 1984. These new laws restricted the freedom of faith for Ahmadis, among others. The five ordinances included a law against blasphemy; a law punishing the defiling of the Qur'an; a prohibition against insulting the wives, family or companions of the Prophet of Islam; and two laws specifically restricting the activities of Ahmadis. Zia-ul-Haq issued the last two laws as part of Martial Law Ordinance XX, on April 26, 1984, suppressing the activities of religious minorities, specifically including the Ahmadis, by prohibiting them from "directly or indirectly posing as Muslims." Since then, a number of Ahmadi Muslims have been jailed for either reciting the Qur'an, or praying like a Muslim, or identifying themselves as Muslims.
Even as the persecution of Ahmadis was legalized and institutionalized in Pakistan, the hard-line Islamist clergy demanded a systematic purge of the Ahmadis. Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) aggressively pushed this agenda and its leaders boasted of the anti-Ahmadi initiatives as the Party's most noteworthy achievement. Indeed, even today, former Prime Minister and PPP leader Raja Parvez Ashraf, speaking at a political rally in Kotli, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, on April 29, 2016, declared,
No one has been able to compete with Pakistan People's Party, if someone has served Islam! Only the Government of Martyr Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto did it. 90 Year Old Problem, the Problem of Qadianis [Ahmadis] who challenged the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, (PPP) shut them up, broke their neck and buried the [Ahmadi] Problem (sic).
The rally was also attended by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and another former PPP Prime Minister, Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani. Such statements by a former Prime Minister reek of hate and intolerance and are a demonstration of the dangers of religious prejudice and persecution that are nurtured by the Pakistani establishment and that have now travelled beyond Pakistan's borders.
The ideology of intolerance and hate, which triggered the growth of extremism in Pakistan, also operates within the Pakistani Diaspora. The hatred for the Ahmadi has thus been exported to western countries as well. Recently, in an unprecedented anti-Ahmadi incident in the UK, an Ahmadi shopkeeper, identified as Asad Shah (40), was stabbed to death by another British Muslim in Scotland on March 24, 2016. Shah's killer was identified as Tanveer Ahmad, a 32-year old Pakistani Muslim. Ahmad expressed no regrets for killing Shah and claimed that he had committed the act because Shah had "disrespected Islam," and was a blasphemer. Significantly, Ahmad received praise from radical Sunni groups for this "courageous act". The Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-e- Nabuwwat (AMTKN / International Organization for the Preservation of the End of Prophethood), the sister organization of the MTKN, congratulated all Muslims on Asad's cold-blooded murder on its Facebook page, in a gloating message "congratulation to All Muslims."
Further, on April 10, 2016, leaflets calling for the killing of members of the Ahmadi sect were found in the Stockwell Green Mosque located in south London. The leaflets warned Ahmadis to either convert to 'mainstream Islam' within three days or face "capital punishment" [death].
Back in Pakistan, a Canadian cardiologist, identified as Mehdi Ali Qamar (51), was shot dead on his return to his home in the Chenab Nagar town (also known as Rabwah) of Chiniot District in the Punjab Province on May 24, 2014. Qamar had come to Pakistan on a short visit to render voluntary service to the Tahir Cardiac Hospital and was killed outside the Ahmadi graveyard located in Rabwah.
Shah's murder in Glasgow and the targeted sectarian killings in Pakistan bring an embedded culture of sectarian hatred to the forefront. This culture is fostered by organizations like MTKN that have gained political, legal and constitutional legitimacy in the 'Land of the Pure'.
MTKN was established by its mother organization, Majlis Ahrar Islam Pakistan (Organization for the freedom of Islam in Pakistan) prior to the 1953 anti-Ahmadi riots and soon after the partition of the sub-continent. It declares on its website,
Its sole aim has been and is to unite all the Muslims of the world to safeguard the sanctity of Prophethood and the finality of Prophethood and to refute the repudiators of the belief in the finality of Prophethood of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad.
The MTKN cult of violence against the Ahmadis, which includes endured discrimination, violent persecution, criminalization of identity, vandalizing of mosques and homes; and desecration of graves, has been transported to the west. A 2010 AMTKN calendar read, "The only cure of Qadianis (Ahmadis): Al Jihad, Al Jihad."
The anti-Ahmadi culture and sentiment thrives with the unchecked circulation of hate literature. The anti-Ahmadi text 'Tohfa Qadianiat' written by Maulvi Yusuf Ludhianvi, in which he urges ' true Muslims' to "not to leave a single Qadiani alive on earth", is openly sold across Pakistan. Significantly, on June 10, 2011, the All Pakistan Students Khatm-e-Nabuwwat Federation, the student wing of the MTKN, issued pamphlets branding members of the Ahmadiyya community as "Wajib-Ul-Qatl" (obligatory to be killed). The pamphlet, circulated in the Faisalabad District of Punjab Province, read, "To shoot such people is an act of jihad and to kill such people is an act of Sawab (blessing)." Worse, in an outrageous attempt to further restrict the religious freedom of Ahmadis, the Government of Punjab on May 10, 2015, banned more than 90 books and publications by the members of the Ahmadi community. These books primarily include the whole body of work by the founder of the community.
Such state-backed religious zealotry has cost many innocent Ahmadi lives. Anti-Ahmadi violence persists inside Pakistan, with little to no effective Pakistani Government response at Federal, Provincial, or local levels. While the claims of "success against the militants" in tribal areas continue to resound at high decibels, attacks on Ahmadis occur unchecked. On November 13, 2013, Mehboob Qadir, a retired Brigadier of the Pakistan Army, wrote in Daily Times "The state has lost its sense of responsibility, control, direction, leaving the field open to all sorts of rogues, ruffians and assassins from all over the world in the name of jihad." Regrettably, there is little evidence that the Pakistani state is now prepared to abandaon this long-standing policy of employing terrorism as an instrument of state policy and for domestic political management.
Ambreen Agha is a Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management
Source: South Asia Intelligence Review
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-sectarianism/ambreen-agha/pakistan--ahmadi-apartheid/d/107724#sthash.oabbnuEM.dpuf

Sunni-Shia Children Defy Sectarian Divide


By Nesrine Kamal
18 June 2016
It is a storyline of an episode of a satirical Saudi TV series which has sparked wide debate on social media.
The plot: two babies switched at birth by mistake in a Saudi hospital and raised by two radical families - one Sunni, the other Shia.
Years later, the hospital discovers the error and each son, now a young man, goes to live with his real family.
When the fathers discover their sons were raised by a family from an "opposing" sect, they desperately attempt to change their offspring’s' religious perceptions, trying to convince them that they have not been following the "right doctrine".
The series, Selfie, stars popular but controversial satirist Nasser al-Qasabi.
On Twitter, the comedian asked his audience to "fasten seatbelts" before the episode was shown. Afterwards it was praised by both Sunni and Shia viewers.
Although the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam share fundamental beliefs, they differ in religious practices, rituals and organisation. The intensity of the divide differs from one Islamic country to another.
The majority of Muslims in the world are Sunnis. Shia, who make up roughly 10% of the Muslim population, are a majority in Iraq, Iran and Bahrain.
They also constitute large sections of the population in Syria, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, while they are a minority in Egypt and Jordan.
'Sushi' Children
Sunni-Shia marriages illustrate the sensitivity of the sectarian divide in some countries.
While such unions are common in countries with large Shia populations like Iraq and Lebanon, they are rare in Egypt and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.
The subject of "Sushi" children - a reference to the offspring of Sunni-Shia marriages - remains a sensitive topic for many.
Arij Umran (not her real name) spoke to the BBC about her experience as a young Saudi woman who was born to a Sunni father and a Shia mother.
"My parents met and got married in Iraq 40 years ago. Sunni-Shia marriages were not such a big deal back then. However, when they returned to Saudi Arabia, they started facing some difficulties."
Arij says that as a child, she had to keep her mother's doctrine a secret because many friends "stopped talking to her" when they found out her mother was a Shia.
She says her parents were open-minded and supportive of her choices. When she asked which doctrine she should follow, they said: "It is your duty to find out. You need to read, learn and tell us what you have decided".
BBC Monitoring journalist Mina al-Lami, who was born in Iraq into a Sunni-Shia inter-marriage, says that having a parent from each sect was and continues to be common in Iraq, especially in mixed areas like the capital Baghdad.
"Growing up there, I didn't even know there were two different sects until my early 20s," Mina says. While Sunni-Shia marriages have dropped in Iraq after 2003 given sectarian tensions, they are still not unusual, she adds.
The issue was also tackled by the British-Iraqi filmmaker Hoda El Soudani in her documentary "Why Can't I be a Sushi?”
The filmmaker told the BBC: "My main intention was to objectively address as many key issues as possible that one sect may have towards the other sect, and then break down the misconceptions so that some kind of bridge could be built once they realise they have so much in common".
She says she was motivated to address this sensitive subject after "seeing what is happening elsewhere: in Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, Iran, Iraq...".
"The point is not to ask why there are differences of opinion, but rather why these differences have led to violence and animosity. To me, the conflict seems to be more political than religious, although it may be hiding behind the religious language."
"People may say the film is painting a romanticised picture of Sunnis and Shia uniting, but I would say if it existed once, then it can exist again. I'm sure we can be less arrogant and more accepting of the other sect."
"People needed to be reminded to go back to their roots and embrace the simplicity of just being a Muslim regardless of which sect one follows," Hoda adds.
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-sectarianism/nesrine-kamal/sunni-shia-children-defy-sectarian-divide/d/107725#sthash.FYA2st8u.dpuf

Before Omar Mateen Committed Mass Murder, the FBI Tried To Lure Him into a Terror Plot


By Max Blumenthal, Sarah Lazare
June 19, 2016
New revelations raise questions about the FBI’s role in shaping Mateen’s lethal mindset.
Before Omar Mateen gunned down 49 patrons of the LGBTQ Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, the FBI attempted to induce his participation in a terror plot. Sheriff Ken Mascara of Florida’s St. Lucie County told the Vero Beach Press Journal that after Mateen threatened a courthouse deputy in 2013 by claiming he could order Al Qaeda operatives to kill his family, the FBI dispatched an informant to "lure Omar into some kind of act and Omar did not bite."
While self-styled terror experts and former counter-terror officials have criticized the FBI for failing to stop Mateen before he committed a massacre, the new revelation raises the question of whether the FBI played a role in pushing Mateen towards an act of lethal violence.
Since 9/11, the FBI has relied heavily on informants to entrap scores of young, often mentally troubled Muslim men and send them to prison for as long as 25 years. As Aviva Stahl reported for AlterNet’s Grayzone Project, the FBI recently encouraged an apparently mentally disturbed recent convert to Islam named James Medina to bomb a South Florida synagogue and pledge allegiance to ISIS, a militant group with which he had no prior affiliation. On trial for planning to commit an act of terror with a weapon of mass destruction, Medina has insisted through his lawyer that he is mentally ill.
Trevor Aaronson, a journalist and author of “Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terror,” revealed that nearly half of terror cases between 9/11/01 and 2010 involved informants, including some with criminal backgrounds raking in as much as $100,000 from the FBI. The FBI's assets have often preyed on mentally ill men with little capacity to resist their provocations. “Is it possible that the FBI is creating the very enemy we fear?” Aaronson wondered.
The revelations of FBI manipulation have cast Mateen’s case in a troubling light. Though he refused to bite when an FBI asset attempted to push him into a manufactured plot, he wound up carrying out an act of spectacular brutality years later and allegedly swore loyalty to ISIS in the midst of it.
“It looks like it's pretty much standard operating procedure for preliminary inquiries to interview the subject or pitch the person to become an informant and/or plant an undercover or informant close by to see if the person bites on the suggestion,” Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, told AlterNet. “In the case of Mateen, since he already worked for a security contractor [G4S], he was either too savvy to bite on the pitch or he may have even become indignant that he was targeted in that fashion. These pitches and use of people can backfire.”
To highlight the problematic nature of informants, Rowley pointed to the case of Humam Khalil al-Balawi, a Jordanian physician whom the CIA used to gather intelligence on Al Qaeda,. The CIA ignored obvious warning signs like Balawi’s extremist online manifestos and never subjected him to a vetting process. While Balawi claimed to have penetrated Al Qaeda’s inner circle, he was actually exploiting his CIA security clearance to plan a major attack. On December 30, 2009, Balawi strode into Camp Chapman in Khost, Afghanistan, and detonated an explosive vest that killed seven CIA agents and wounded six more -- the deadliest attack on CIA personnel in 25 years.
Mateen, for his part, displayed many of the psychological characteristics that typify both FBI informants and the disturbed figures they attempt to ensnare in bogus terror plots. Raised in a troubled home by an abusive mother and an apparently eccentric father, Mateen exhibited signs of erratic, violent behaviour throughout his life. His ex-wife told reporters that he physically abused her and was “unstable and mentally ill.” He transformed from a chubby adolescent to a burly young man with the help of steroids, yearning for a career in law enforcement.
Seven months into a job as a prison guard in 2007, Mateen was fired for threatening to bring a gun to class. He settled on a career as a low level security guard for G4S Security Solutions, a global security firm that employed him for nine years. Though Mateen’s applications to two police departments were rejected, he was able to pass a G4S background check and receive several guard assignments. (The world’s third largest private employer, G4S has accumulated a staggering record of human rights abuses, including accusations of child torture.)
While the full extent of Mateen’s contact with the FBI is unknown, the fact that an informant encouraged Mateen to agree to carry out a terror attack should provoke serious questions and further investigation. Whether or not manipulation by a FBI informant had any impact on Mateen’s deadly decision, there is no denying that the attempt to entrap him did nothing to protect the public.
“The FBI should scrutinize the operating procedure where they use under-covers and informants and pitch people to become informants,” said Rowley. “They must recognize that, in this case [with Mateen], it had horrible consequences if it did, in fact, backfire.”
Max Blumenthal is a senior editor of the Grayzone Project at AlterNet, and the award-winning author of Goliath and Republican Gomorrah. His most recent book is The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza
Sarah Lazare is a staff writer for AlterNet. A former staff writer for Common Dreams, she co-edited the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn against War.
Source: alternet.org/grayzone-project/omar-mateen-committed-mass-murder-fbi-tried-lure-him-terror-plot
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam-and-the-west/max-blumenthal,-sarah-lazare/before-omar-mateen-committed-mass-murder,-the-fbi-tried-to-lure-him-into-a-terror-plot/d/107726#sthash.2GbBQ63P.dpuf

Everything You Need To Know About Being Gay in Muslim Countries



By Brian Whitaker
21 June 2016
When the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of same-sex marriage last year, the White House welcomed it with rainbow-coloured lights and many people celebrated by adding a rainbow tint to their Facebook profile.
For the authorities in Saudi Arabia, though, this was cause for alarm rather than celebration, alerting them to a previously unnoticed peril in their midst. The first casualty was the privately run Talaee Al-Noor school in Riyadh which happened to have a rooftop parapet painted with rainbow stripes. According to the kingdom’s religious police, the school was fined 100,000 riyals ($26,650) for displaying “the emblem of the homosexuals” on its building, one of its administrators was jailed and the offending parapet was swiftly repainted to match a blue rainbow-free sky.
The case of the gaily painted school shows how progress in one part of the world can have adverse effects elsewhere and serves as a reminder that there are places where the connection between rainbows and LGBT rights is either new or yet to be discovered.
In Afghanistan, only a few years ago, there was a craze for decorating cars with rainbow stickers – which Chinese factories were only too happy to supply. It wasn’t until the Afghan Pajhwok news agency explained how they might be misinterpreted that the craze came to a sudden halt.
Look on the internet and you will also find copies of the “Rainbow Qur’an” for sale – an unconsciously gay edition of the holy book with tinted pages of every hue and recommended on one website as “an ideal gift for Muslims”.
But there are two sides to this cross-cultural misunderstanding. Western visitors to Egypt are often struck by the sight of men – even soldiers in uniform – holding hands in the street. In Lebanon, you’ll find straight men who spend hours preening themselves and, in Afghanistan, warriors who wear eye makeup.
It doesn’t mean what you might think it means, but it’s also less surprising than it might seem. Gender segregation, which goes to extreme lengths in the more conservative Muslim countries, encourages homosocial behaviour, creating a situation where men are often more comfortable in the presence of other men and where placing a hand on another man’s knee is a sign of friendship, not an invitation to sex. They hug and kiss a lot too – and according to a former head of Al-Azhar’s fatwa committee in Egypt, there’s nothing wrong with same-sex kissing so long as there is “no chance for any temptation”.
Muslim society is still, by and large, strongly patriarchal. Patriarchy, by its nature, extols masculinity. There’s no sin in appreciating male beauty, either. In the Qur’anic vision of Paradise, there are not only 72 female virgins in attendance but handsome young men who serve an endless supply of non-alcoholic drinks.
Of course, same-sex relationships don’t always stop at the platonic level. Historically, Muslim societies have often acknowledged this – tolerating it to some extent even if they disapproved.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, men who had been persecuted for their sexuality in Europe often sought refuge in Morocco and, long before same-sex marriage was dreamed of in the west, male-on-male partnerships were recognised – and marked with a ceremony – in the remote Egyptian oasis of Siwa.
In some Muslim countries, whole towns have become the butt of jokes about the supposed homosexuality of their inhabitants. Idlib in Syria is one of them; Qazvin in Iran is another. An old joke in Afghanistan is that birds fly over Kandahar with one wing held under their tail – as a precaution.
At another level, though, it’s no joking matter. In Iran today, lavat (sodomy) is a capital offence and people are frequently executed for it. In Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Mauritania, sodomy is also punishable by death – though no executions have been reported for at least a decade.
Among other Arab countries, the penalty in Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Tunisia and Syria is imprisonment – up to 10 years in the case of Bahrain. In those that have no specific law against homosexuality, gay people may still be prosecuted under other laws. In Egypt, for example, an old law against “debauchery” is often used.
These laws have a catastrophic effect on the lives of people who are unlucky enough to get caught but, despite occasional crackdowns, the authorities don’t, on the whole, actively seek out gay people to arrest them. Statistics are scarce but the number of arrests is undoubtedly lower than it was during the British wave of homophobia in the 1950s. In England in 1952, there were 670 prosecutions for sodomy, 3,087 for attempted sodomy or indecent assault, and 1,686 for gross indecency.
The problem with such laws, even if not vigorously enforced, is that they signal official disapproval of homosexuality and, coupled with the fulminations of religious scholars, legitimise discrimination by individuals at an everyday level and may also provide an excuse for action by vigilantes. Years before Isis began throwing allegedly gay men off the top of buildings, other groups in Iraq were attacking “un-manly” men – sometimes killing them slowly by injecting glue into the anus.
One reason for the comparatively small number of prosecutions is the official fiction that gay people don’t exist to any great extent in Muslim countries; homosexuality is regarded primarily as a western phenomenon and large numbers of arrests would call that into question. Some of the most brutal Arab regimes (Iraq under Saddam Hussein and Syria under the Assads, for example) also showed little interest in attacking gay people – probably because they had other things to worry about.
There are, however, periods of moral panic and times when it suits a government to blame the country’s ills on those least able to defend themselves. This is what the Sisi regime has been doing in Egypt recently – and its targeting of sexual minorities is documented in detail by rights activist Scott Long on his blog. Gay people are not the only ones, though. The regime is also working on plans to “eradicate” atheism.
Arrests in the Arab countries often involve groups of men at parties (sometimes described as gay “weddings”) and occasionally at hammams (bathhouses). Individuals or couples accused of having unlawful sex may be arrested for a variety of reasons, including some which initially are unrelated to homosexuality. There are also reported cases where people suspected of being gay have been arrested by police seeking to elicit bribes or turn the suspects into informers. For those caught, the effect on their lives is catastrophic but the law is not much of a deterrent and for those who are discreet about their sexuality the risk of arrest is small.
For the vast majority who identify as gay, lesbian or transgender the attitudes of family and society are a much bigger problem.
The one issue that affects all gay people – everywhere – at some point in their lives is coming out. For Muslims this can be an especially difficult decision. The pressure to marry is much greater in Muslim countries than in most western countries. Remaining single is usually equated with social disaster and once young people have completed their studies, organising their marriage becomes a priority for the family. The more traditional kinds of family take on the task of finding them a partner; arranged marriages are still very common.
For those who are not attracted to the opposite sex, this presents a major problem. Some manage to postpone the issue by prolonging their studies and/or going abroad. Some give in to the pressure and accept a marriage for which they are ill-suited. A few of the more fortunate ones find a gay or lesbian partner of the opposite sex and enter a pretend marriage. Some bite the bullet and decide to come out.
How families respond to a coming out depends on several factors, including social class and their level of education. In the more extreme cases, coming out results in the person being ostracised by their family or even physically attacked. A less harsh reaction is to seek a “cure” – either through religion or, in better-off families – through expensive but futile psychiatric treatment.
Blaming It on Islam? Not So Fast
Following the Orlando massacre – perpetrated by a man from an Afghan family background – it has been noted that all the countries where the death penalty for sodomy still applies justify it on the basis of Islamic law. But to blame this entirely on Islam is an oversimplification. In Egypt and Lebanon – predominantly Muslim countries with a large Christian population – attitudes towards homosexuality among Christians are not very different from those among Muslims.
Also, it’s clear that the prophet Muhammad never specified a punishment for homosexuality; it wasn’t until some years after his death that Muslims began discussing what a suitable punishment might be.
Muslim condemnations of homosexuality, like those in Christianity, are based mainly on the story about God’s punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah which is recounted in the Qur’an as well as the Old Testament. In essence, the biblical and Qur’anic versions are very similar.
The difference is that over the last 60 years or so many Christians have taken a fresh look at the story and concluded that it’s about attempted male rape and the ill-treatment of strangers rather than consensual sex between males. So far, though, there have been only a few Muslims willing to reappraise it.
The key point here is that while the words of scripture are fixed and unchangeable they are always subject to human interpretation, and interpretations may vary according to time, place and social conditions. This, of course, is something that fundamentalists, whether Muslim or Christian, prefer to deny.
Although Muslim societies today can be described as generally homophobic, it’s a mistake to view homophobia as a self-contained problem: it’s part of a syndrome in which the rights of individuals are subsumed in the perceived interests of the community and – often – maintaining an “Islamic” ethos. The result is that society places a high value on conformity and expressions of individuality are frowned upon; there is a strong emphasis on upholding social “norms” and keeping up appearances – in public if not necessarily in private. The patriarchal system plays a major part in this too, with strongly defined roles for men and women. Gay men, especially those who show feminine traits, may thus be regarded as challenging the social order.
“Masculine” men who have sex with other men are a slightly different matter. Although state law and traditional Islamic law view the penetrator and penetrated in anal sex as equally culpable, popular opinions of the penetrator tend to be less hostile: he is still a man, doing what men naturally do, even if it’s not with a woman. The receptive (or passive) partner, on the other hand, is viewed with disgust. He is behaving like a woman and it’s assumed that he cannot be doing it for pleasure, so he must be a prostitute.
Meanwhile, lesbian activity goes largely unnoticed – probably because in a male-orientated society men don’t pay it much attention or don’t regard it as very significant.
How the Middle East Views the Entire Gender Spectrum
Traditional ideas about gender roles cause particular problems for transgender people, especially in places where segregation of the sexes is more strictly enforced and cross-dressing is criminalised.
In 2007, under pressure from Islamist members of parliament, Kuwait amended its penal code so that anyone “imitating the opposite sex in any way” could face up to a year in jail and/or a fine of 1,000 dinars ($3,500). Within a couple of weeks at least 14 people were thrown into prison for the new offence.
Since there is no mechanism in Kuwaiti law to register a change of sex, even trans-people who have had surgery are at risk of arrest for cross-dressing.
“Transgender” is a broad term which includes intersex people (whose biological sex is unclear or was wrongly assigned at birth), those with gender dysphoria (who feel like “a man trapped in a woman’s body”, or vice versa) and may also include others who simply get pleasure or satisfaction from cross-dressing.
As it happens, Islam has case histories in this area which make it accommodating in some ways, though not in others. Reports from the prophet’s lifetime show he was familiar with three types of gender diversity beyond the usual male-female binary.
There were eunuchs (castrated men) and Mukhannathun (effeminate men) to whom the rules of gender segregation did not apply: they were allowed access to the women’s quarters, presumably because there was thought to be no likelihood of sexual misbehaviour.
Eunuchs often acquired influential positions administering wealthy Muslim households. The Mukhannathun were less respectable, with a reputation for frivolity and loucheness, though they seem to have been broadly tolerated during the earliest years of Islam. They appear not to have been associated with homosexuality during the prophet’s lifetime, though later they were.
A third type – the khuntha, who today would be called intersex – proved more complex theologically. A statement in the Qur’an that God “created everything in pairs” forms the basis of an Islamic doctrine that everyone is either male of female – there can be no halfway house. The question this raised was what to do about children born with ambiguous genitalia since, according to the doctrine, they could not be sex-neutral.
Islamic jurists resolved it by concluding that such children must have an underlying “hidden” sex which was waiting to be discovered. The issue then was how to discover it, and the jurists devised elaborate rules for doing so. In that connection, a remark attributed to the prophet about urine and the differing inheritance rules for men and women proved especially helpful. He is reported to have said that inheritance is determined by “the place of urination” (mabal in Arabic). Thus the 11th-century Hanafi scholar al-Sarakhsi explained that a person who urinated “from the mabal of men” should be considered male and one who urinated “from the mabal of women” would be female.
The importance of these rulings today is that they provide an Islamic dispensation for sex reassignment surgery – so long as the purpose of the surgery is to uncover the person’s “hidden” sex. On that basis, operations have been carried out in Sunni Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
But although the rulings can easily justify surgery in intersex cases, it’s more difficult to apply them to gender dysphoria. A controversy in Egypt during the 1980s involved a 19-year-old student who had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria (or “psychological hermaphroditism” as the doctors called it at the time) and underwent male-to-female reassignment surgery.
The case became public when Al-Azhar University refused to readmit her either as a male student or a female student. There were also many who found the concept of gender dysphoria difficult to grasp and some characterised her as a gay man who was trying to game the system.
The affair resulted in a fatwa from Muhammad Tantawi, Egypt’s grand mufti, which is still cited in cases across the region today. In line with Islamic orthodoxy, Tantawi said surgery was permissible “in order to reveal what was hidden of male or female organs” but added that surgery was not permissible “at the mere wish to change sex from woman to man, or vice versa”.
Basically, this left the question of surgery for gender dysphoria unresolved, allowing both supporters and opponents to interpret the fatwa as they chose. In practice, however, obtaining surgery is not necessarily the biggest hurdle – those who can afford it often go abroad. Gaining social acceptance and official recognition of a change of sex subsequently can be more difficult.
Theologically, Shia Iran seems to have fewer problems with gender dysphoria than the Sunni Arab states. There have been repeated claims that Iran now performs more reassignment operations than any country other than Thailand.
Although at first sight the Iranian approach to transgender might look remarkably liberal, it does have a darker side. One concern is that people may be pressurised into operations they do not actually want. There are plenty of trans people who simply wish to be accepted as they are – without surgery – and the Iranian system doesn’t really provide for that.
Also, the difference between being transgender and gay is not well understood in Iran, even within the medical profession, and there have been reports of gay men being pressured into surgery as a way of “regularising” their legal position and avoiding the risk of execution.
The Tireless Work Of Activists
Organised activism for gay rights began to develop in the Middle East in the early 2000s. In 2002 a group of Palestinian women formed Aswat (“Voices”) which was later joined by another Palestinian group, al-Qaws (“The Rainbow”). Both of those are based in Israel but have connections in the Palestinian territories. Around 2004 a group of Lebanese activists established Helem – the first LGBT organisation to function openly in an Arab country.
These are not the only activist groups. Others have sprung up in various places – often disappearing again fairly quickly. There are also Arab LGBT websites and blogs which, again, tend to come and go. My Kali, a Jordanian magazine which aims “to address homophobia and transphobia and empower the youth to defy mainstream gender binaries in the Arab world” has been published regularly since 2007.
So far, no one has attempted to hold a Pride parade in an Arab country, though there have been parades in the Turkish city of Istanbul since 2003 (not without opposition). However, there have been activities in Lebanon and elsewhere linked to IDAHOT, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which is viewed as less likely to arouse hostility.
Non-governmental organisations working in Arab countries often face government restrictions, and those working for LGBT rights face the additional problem of social stigma. Some groups therefore approach the issue more obliquely, for example by focusing on sexual health and HIV prevention, or campaigning for “personal rights” in general.
The development of social media has also created space for a more informal kind of activism which seems to have proved successful in a couple of instances recently.
One came in 2014 when police and a TV channel collaborated in a raid on a Cairo bathhouse. Far from winning praise for exposing “the secret behind the spreading of Aids in Egypt”, the programme’s presenter was resoundingly condemned and later ran into legal problems.
Last April, the authorities in Amman, Jordan, cancelled a concert by Mashrou’ Leila, a popular Lebanese rock band with an openly gay singer, just a few days before it was due to take place. Such was the outcry on social media that the authorities rescinded their decision 24 hours later – though too late to reorganise the concert as originally planned.
On the religious front, prevailing Islamic views of homosexuality have been challenged here and there, but not on a scale that is likely to make much difference. There are a handful of gay-friendly mosques and a few openly gay imams – including Muhsin Hendricks in South Africa, Daayiee Abdullah in the US, and Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, a French-Algerian imam.
These, very noticeably, are in the diaspora rather than the Muslim heartlands, but the diaspora is where Islam is forced to confront reality – not in the countries where it is protected and privileged.
An illustration of where this can lead came in Britain in 2007 over the Sexual Orientation Regulations – a measure mainly intended to prevent businesses from discriminating against gay people. The Muslim Council of Britain reluctantly found itself on the same side as LGBT rights advocates in supporting the new law, since British Muslims are also at risk of discrimination.
These are all small developments, but 15 years ago none of them were happening. They haven’t produced tangible results in the sense of persuading governments to change their laws, and on that score there’s obviously a very long way to go.
But one thing they have done is make it difficult to claim that LGBT Muslims don’t exist. They have established a degree of visibility which, though still limited, is important because visibility is the first step towards achieving rights and without it there is no hope of doing so.
Brian Whitaker is a former Middle East editor of the Guardian. He is the author of several books about the region, most recently Arabs without God: Atheism and Freedom of Belief in the Middle East
Source: theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/21/gay-lgbt-muslim-countries-middle-east?utm
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This Woman Discarded Her Traditional Clothes in Protest at ISIS Former Islamic State Sex Slave Tells Congress the Terror Group Must Be ‘Terminated’












Photo: “This outfit is a fraud - it is a deception, when we used to wear it with our free will, it was beautiful. When it became obligatory and enforced it became despised. I don’t want it anymore,” -Radi Suleiman says.

Twitter Trolls Are Reporting Middle Eastern Women Who Support LGBTQ Causes, Punishment Could Be Death
In Canada, Muslim Woman Attacked In Supermarket, Pig’s Head Left at Mosque
Thousands Shared This 'Perfect' Story about A Man Confronting A Muslim Woman on A Bus – But Is It True?
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
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This Woman Discarded Her Traditional Clothes in Protest at ISIS
June 22, 2016
Radi Suleiman first takes of the veil that covers her face and then the scarf that covers her head and throws both away from her. “When we used to wear it with our free will, it was beautiful. When it became obligatory and enforced it became despised. I don’t want it anymore,” she says.
Suleiman, 39, lived in ISIS-controlled Raqqa in northern Syria but has since escaped to Lebanon with nine of her 11 children.
Sitting in an well-kept refugee tent in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley, she hates ISIS. At first she thought their presence would be relatively benign, until it started imposing rules on women about their dress – demanding they cover their heads and faces in public, and then forcing women to marry foreign fighters. “This outfit is a fraud – it is a deception,” she says.
As a Muslim women she says wearing the hijab is an important part of her culture, however, when a dress code is enforced – particularly in such an oppressive way—it becomes something to “despise.”
All of the armies kill and slaughter – the Kurds, the Iraqi army, the Free Syrian Army, Assad’s Army, but ISIS is “the most evil and criminal organisation,” she says.
They put the slaughtered bodies on the bridges to display them and “bring children and make them look at them”, she recalls. These children have “evil in their hearts” because of what they’ve seen – “you can’t even trust kids anymore” – you never know who they are with and who is training them, she says.
“I have seen things you can’t imagine,” says Suleiman. “I saw how they cut the hands and legs of men before they slaughter them,” she recalls.
Now, she pays $100 a month rent for the refugee tent near Zahle. Her tidy kitchen and neat bedrooms are testament to her defiance against the fate that has befallen her and millions of other Syrians in recent years.
yahoo.com/style/watch-woman-discard-her-traditional-104841392.html
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Twitter Trolls Are Reporting Middle Eastern Women Who Support LGBTQ Causes, Punishment Could Be Death
June 22, 2016
A group of Twitter trolls are going after Muslim women and girls, and could potentially cost these women their lives. According to The Daily Beast, the trolls claim to be from the Middle East and are reporting Muslim women and girls who have expressed support for LGBTQ people to local authorities, who could potentially punish their pro-LGBTQ views with death.
The Daily Beast reported that a Twitter account called @old_gaes, whose account was created this month is now empty of any tweets, sent out a screencap of a tweet sent by a young Muslim girl, @Pharaohoe, who reportedly lives in Kuwait. The tweet composed by @Pharaohoe, an account that no longer exists, contained a passage from the Koran where the word "domain" had been replaced with a slang term for the word "vagina."
@old_gaes tweeted the screencap with a message in Arabic, saying, "This is the end of another atheist and we should continue exposing every Arab atheist child to their parents who do not know of their atheism," according to The Daily Beast. The Daily Beast further reported that the official Twitter account of the Dubai police department responded to one of @old_gaes' posts where the user called out a pro-LGBTQ woman and asked for details to be sent over email.
On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that @Pharahoe tweeted "they fucking found me," "im gonna puke," and "i'm deactivating guys." She deleted her Twitter account shortly after. Before @old_gaes cleared their Twitter account, The Daily Beast writes that they and supporters on Twitter were celebratory about @Pharahoe's account going dark.
A woman who only identified herself as Afra spoke to The Daily Beast, saying that she and others have repeatedly reported @old_gaes and similar accounts who repeatedly threaten the safety of LGBTQ and ex-Muslim women living in the Middle East. Additionally, she imparted how dangerous their tweets are.
A woman who spoke to The Daily Beast anonymously said, "Twitter is absolutely useless. They don’t take this sort of thing seriously. I don’t know what the solution is." Afra said that "He’s [@old_gaes] so dangerous. I don’t know how his account is still up."
Twitter did not immediately reply to Complex's request for comment.
complex.com/life/2016/06/twitter-trolls-women-lgbt
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In Canada, Muslim woman attacked in supermarket. Pig’s head left at mosque.
June 22, 2016
A Muslim woman and her infant child weren’t even safe in the supermarket.
On Monday, a woman and her four-month-old son were enjoying some late afternoon shopping at the Superking Supermarket in London, Ontario. According to a statement by London Police, at approximately 5 p.m., a woman wearing a shirt exclaiming “CANADA,” neon pink slip-on shoes and wide-legged black pants approached the unnamed victim and her baby and allegedly began screaming at them.
The suspect then reportedly attempted to rip off the victim’s hijab and, once it was askew, began tearing at her hair. Finally, she left the area but not before the victim snapped a few pictures of her.
In the photos, the woman stands with her face contorted with anger. She’s pointing an accusing finger at the camera. In one, her mouth is gaping, her eyes are narrowed and one hand is balled into a fist — the picture of hatred.
“We would like to find out ourselves what … the motive was,” London Police spokesperson Sandasha Bough told CBC. “After that, then we will continue with the investigation. It’s definitely very concerning for anyone to be assaulted for no apparent reason.”
The victim sustained minor injuries.
It’s the second aggression against Muslims in Canada since the beginning of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting observed by Muslims around the world.
The other occurred around 2:30 a.m. Sunday
A man had finished praying at the Quebec City mosque. As he opened the door to leave, he noticed a package on the doorstep.
It must have looked like a nice present at first glance, with bushy ribbons decorating the top, accompanied a note with the words “Bonne appétit” written in thick, black capital letters.
A closer look would reveal an odd detail: The picture of a pig, exposing its underbelly in a seductive sprawl, the kind bikini models long ago made famous.
An even closer look would reveal it to be a grotesque package.
Wrapped in the crinkly cellophane, under bright bows, was a bloody, fleshy mass: A severed pig’s head, still dripping fluids. Observant Muslims do not consume pork and leaving a pig’s head at a mosque has become an all-too frequent gesture of hate among anti-Muslim bigots across the globe. A similar incident occurred in Philadelphia last year.
The president of the mosque did not appear worried about catching the perpetrator.
“It is a waste of time, money and energy. We have high-definition cameras,” Mohamed Yangui told CBC. “We will certainly find the person who did this.”
Yangui thinks it’s an isolated incident — he said this happens about once a year — and he thinks the mosque has a good standing in the community.
“We love everyone,” Yangui said. “We have no problem with anyone and we respect people. We hope it’s mutual. And we are always here to give the image of the good Muslim to all Quebecers.”
Others, though, feel differently.
“I’m tired, I’m exhausted. I am hurt and I’m disappointed,” Saleha Khan of the National Council of Canadian Muslims told CBC. “Part of me doesn’t want to give up hope, because if I give up hope, I’ll probably curl up and never want to come out in public. You just sort of buckle down and say, OK, I’ve got more work to do now.”
At an open house held Sunday in Quebec City to discuss relations between Muslims and the community, Jean-Yves Duclos, the federal minister responsible for the Quebec City region, condemned the act.
“Any form of intolerance, hatred and unjustified incomprehension has to be condemned,” he said. “We must continue to promote inclusion and integration.”
Both investigations remain open.
washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/22/in-canada-muslim-woman-attacked-in-supermarket-severed-pigs-head-dropped-at-mosque/
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Thousands Shared This 'Perfect' Story About A Man Confronting A Muslim Woman On A Bus – But Is It True?
June 22, 2016
A Facebook post about an encounter on a bus in Wales has gone viral this week, being shared more than 21,000 times in a little over 24 hours.
It was posted by music promoter Tom Bradbury, who wrote: “The most perfect thing I have ever seen just happened on the replacement train bus service between Newport and Cwmbran: White man sat in front of a mother and her son. Mother was wearing a niqab.
"After about five minutes of the mother talking to her son in another language the man, for whatever reason, feels the need to tell the woman 'When you're in the UK you should really be speaking English'.
"At which point, an old woman in front of him turns around and says, 'She's in Wales. And she's speaking Welsh'.
"Perfect."
His story proved immensely popular, and has been reported on by the Times, the BBC and the Huffington Post among others.
However, many observers are now questioning whether the story is too good to be true.
Several people have pointed out that the story bears a remarkable similarity to another story that has apparently been doing the rounds for years. Here's one version of it:
He also told the South Wales Argus: "The woman's response was … just so perfect.
"It made the few of us in the surrounding seats laugh and the guy seemed to shrivel up a little bit and mumble something to himself, but stayed quiet afterwards."
telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/21/thousands-shared-this-perfect-story-about-a-man-confronting-a-mu/


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‘Bangladesh Assured Muslim World of Fighting Terrorism’











Photo: The man who filed the petition at Madras High Court also said that the Jamat is preventing him from entering the local mosque to offer prayers during the Holy month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Man Moves Court against Jamat Functionaries over Occupation of a Mosque
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South Asia
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India
Man Moves Court against Jamat Functionaries over Occupation of a Mosque
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Pakistan
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Southeast Asia
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Arab World
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ISIL Command Centre Hit Hard in Syrian Army's Offensive North of Sweida
Senior Terrorist Commanders Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army West of Damascus
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Africa
Obama Nominee to Lead US Military in Africa, Favours Powers to Strike Islamic State
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Europe
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North America
Gains against Islamic State Not Yet Enough, Could Backfire: U.S. Officials
How American Christians Should Respond To Islamic Extremism
Calling Muslims ‘un-American’ is un-American
Two California men convicted of plotting to support IS
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Mideast
Anti-PKK Operations Over, Time for Reconstruction: Turkish PM
Turkey’s First Ever ‘Refugee Council’ Holds First Congress
Greek Cypriots accept Turkish help to fight forest fire
Jets hit PKK targets in Turkey’s southeast, northern Iraq
Three ISIL suspects arrested over plot to attack LGBT march in Istanbul
Turkey ranks 20th most popular spot for FDI, rising two spots
U.N. Ro-Ro offers North African route to Turkish exporters
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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‘Bangladesh Assured Muslim World Of Fighting Terrorism’
Tue Jun 21 2016
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today told the parliament that Bangladesh assured the Muslim world of doing everything necessary to fight militancy and terrorism.
“Bangladesh government is determined in this regard,” she said in reply to a lawmaker’s query.
“Islam is the religion of peace. We will always try to take this peace-loving religion to new heights. Our government will do whatever necessary to curb terrorism and militancy,” she said.
“Our government has taken the decision to show zero-tolerance against militancy and terrorism. In no way shall we allow these militants and terrorists,” she said.
SAUDI ALLIANCE A CHANCE FOR MUSLIMS TO UNITE
Premier Hasina said she spoke of a united stand of the Muslim Ummah against militancy and terrorism to the King of Saudi Arabia, the OIC and other Muslim countries.
“The Saudi government has taken an initiative to fight militancy and terrorism. Bangladesh has joined the Islamic coalition. Almost 40 Muslim countries are in the coalition. It paved a way for the Muslim world to unite. Bangladesh has taken up this opportunity.”
In a supplementary question, ruling Awami League Whip at the Parliament Shahiduzzaman Sarkar asked the premier whether her government took any initiative to unite the Muslim Ummah to combat militancy and terrorism carried out in the name of Islam in Muslim countries.
thedailystar.net/country/bangladesh-assured-muslim-world-fighting-terrorism-1243723

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Man Moves Court against Jamat Functionaries over Occupation of a Mosque
June 22, 2016
The Madras High court on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to the functionaries of a Jamath on a petition by a man seeking a direction to forebear the Rajasingamangalam Muslim Jamath from excommunicating him from the local Jamath and permit him to enter the mosque at R S Mangalam and perform worship during this Holy month of Ramzan.
Hearing the Petition filed by S Anwar, Justice S Vimala ordered notice to the Jamath functionaries including S A Basheer Ahamed (President) and M Seeni Mohammed (Secretary) seeking their explanation within two weeks.
Anwar submitted that that Basheer and Seeni and 20 others “arbitrarily” selected the new office bearers of the Jamath against which gave a complaint.
He had also complained about misappropriation of funds of the Jamath by the committee office bearers and encroachement of the properties by third parties.
Anwar filed a petition before the High Court seeking to remove the encroachments and the court directed Ramanathapuram District Collector to take action within six weeks.
The President and secretary also conducted “Katta panchayat” (Kangroo court) and arbitrarily imposed fine on him against his actions following which he gave a police complaint, he submitted.
He also filed a writ petition against the actions of the Jamath functionaries.
The High court ordered Collector and Police to take appropriate action on the representation from him following which a case was registered against the functionaries under various IPC Sections.
He submitted that on June 10, the functionaries had passed a resolution excommunicating him from the Jamath and it was recorded in the minute book.
They were also preventing him from entering the mosque even to offer prayer.
He submitted that though he had sent a complaint to the Collector and police officials, no action was taken so far following which he approached the High Court.
Living in R S Mangalam and offering prayer at the Mosque was his fundamental right. By excommunicating, the fundamental right guaranteed under constitution had been violated, he contented.
indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/chennai-man-moves-court-against-jamat-2868408/
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Pakistan continuing to sell nuclear materials to North Korea, reveal U.S. sources
June 22, 2016
Washington : Pakistan is continuing to sell nuclear materials to North Korea, while at the same time urging the international community to accept its membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), according to highly placed U.S. sources who are involved with the tracking of nuclear commerce.
In making this dramatic revelation, the sources said that entities of the Pakistan Energy Commission (PAEC) have been continuing to supply restricted
Items such as ‘ Monel ‘ and ‘ Inconel ‘ material to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions.
The sources said that nuclear materials supplied to the PAEC by Chinese entities have also found their way to North Korea, with the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) recently receiving a written complaint that supplies of a Chinese company, Beijing Suntech Technology Company Limited, to Pakistan were being diverted to North Korea by the Pakistani authorities.
The Chinese Government hushed up the matter as it could have consequences for Beijing’s bid to support Pakistan at the NSG. But this information leaked out of North Korea and came to the knowledge Of Western Governments who are members of the NSG.
In another alarming revelation, informed sources said Pakistan has been giving North Korea equipment which has a direct bearing On producing nuclear weapons. Sources said the Beijing Suntech Technology Company Limited manufactures Vacuum Induction Melting (VIM) furnaces which find application in refining hard metals such as uranium and plutonium, which are used in making nuclear warhead cores. Pakistan is known to have procured these items from China and has passed them along to North Korea.
When asked if this evidence of Pakistan’s illicit nuclear trade with North Korea has been brought to the notice of NSG nations, U.S. sources said all proof and evidence which confirms the violation of sanctions against North Korea and more so the ongoing dangerous nuclear trade has been brought to the notice of “those who need to be informed at the NSG level.”
Behind the scenes Pakistan is aware that it’s nuclear trade with North Korea has been uncovered, but is counting on China to keep the global pressure at bay, said sources.
Giving details of North Korea’s nuclear commerce links with Pakistan, informed sources mentioned that two North Korean diplomats – Kim Yong Choi and Jang Yong Son –posted in the North Korean Embassy in Tehran visited Pakistan eight times between 2012 and 2015. They were associated With the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation ( KOMID ) – an entity sanctioned several times by the United Nations Security Council since 2005 for its involvement in North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction ( WMD ) programme.
These diplomats met with Pakistani officers involved in the nuclear program. They were tracked and investigated by the Western authorities as yet another proof of Pakistan’s continuing nuclear links with North Korea.
Based on Western inputs on these links, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) 1718 Committee, which is monitoring the implementation of sanctions against North Korea, sought information from Pakistan in November 2015 regarding the frequent visits of the two North Korean diplomats from Tehran to Islamabad and Karachi.
At first, say informed sources, Pakistan denied it, but when confronted with photographs and other recorded evidence, Pakistan acknowledged that the two North Korean officials under investigation had indeed visited Islamabad and Karachi.
Highly placed sources said that the West has so far kept this information under wraps in recognition of Pakistan’s value in the war against terror.
But now, when Pakistan has gone into overdrive to upset the equilibrium of the NSG, Western nations of the grouping are saying that Islamabad needs to “look at itself in the mirror ” and ask “how can it run with the hare and hunt with the foxes”, meaning it can’t claim to fulfill the NSG’s requirements, and at the same time, sell nuclear weapons materials to North Korea.
siasat.com/news/pakistan-continuing-sell-nuclear-materials-north-korea-reveal-u-s-sources-976406/
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Not ‘Haram’ For Preacher to Lie During Ramadan?
June 22, 2016
Padang Serai Division Chief Shaharuddin Ibrahim of PAS delivered a sermon at a mosque two weeks ago, where he allegedly said the DAP would ban the azan (call to prayer) if they ever came to power.
After listening to his sermon on YouTube, I must say it was all political in content as he accused the Penang state government of being anti-Islam while he himself campaigned hard for the Hudud Bill.
He also lied through his teeth that the azan had been banned in the state. I live in an area with a large Malay community and there are three surau and a mosque within walking distance. I hear the azan every single day.
His words were “Kalau DAP menguasai negara … nuu Pulau Pinang tuan-tuan, bang (azan) dah tak boleh dah, bang (azan) tak boleh dah, tuan tuan!” (“If DAP controls the country, let alone Penang, gentlemen, the sounding of the call for prayer will not be possible.”)
Now does Islam sanction the telling of lies, let alone telling blatant lies during the holy month of Ramadan? This is how bigots give Islam a bad name and yet no Islamic authority is disciplining them. What’s even worse is that the “sermon” is believed to have been delivered in a mosque.
When will politics and religion be separated so that places of worship are strictly for worship? During the 50s and 60s, such things were unheard of. In those days, I never heard “sermons” of the kind heard today. Prayers used to be a solemn affair and sermons were not delivered in battle-cry tones.
Is peaceful co-existence no longer feasible or desirable in this multi-racial, multi-cultural nation?
Why are our leaders keeping their heads buried in the sand about all this bigotry that is so openly taking place and damaging the unity of the races and cultures?
What happened to the actual teaching of the Koran? It surely looks like political considerations take precedence over the actual teachings of the Koran.
freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2016/06/22/not-haram-for-preacher-to-lie-during-ramadan/
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Over 140 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Clashes with SDF in Northeastern Aleppo
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) repelled ISIL's large scale offensives near Manbij, killing 142 terrorists in the battlefield.
The ISIL stormed the SDF positions from Jarabulus, al-Bab and Maskaneh to remove the SDF siege on the trapped terrorist in the town of Manbij, but their attacks were fended off by the SDF.
The ISIL left behind at least 142 dead and many more wounded members and fled the battlefields.
In relevant developments on Tuesday, the ISIL terrorists struck the SDF strongholds near the recently-liberated village of Arimeh, Owseh Jeli, Towq al-Khalil, Mohtareq al-Kabireh, Qor'at al-Kabireh and al-Saghireh, Qor'eh, Jubb al-Ashreh, Khirbet Ashreh, Khirbet al-Rous, Naimeh, and Jubb al-Sheikh in Western bank of Euphrates river to open a way towards Manbij and save their under the siege comrades in the town, but the Kurdish-led SDF fighter did not allow them to advance.
The ISIL terrorist, who face strong defense of the SDF fighters, left behind scores of the dead and wounded members and fled the battles without any result.
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000611
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South Asia
‘Bangladesh Assured Muslim World Of Fighting Terrorism’
Tue Jun 21 2016
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today told the parliament that Bangladesh assured the Muslim world of doing everything necessary to fight militancy and terrorism.
“Bangladesh government is determined in this regard,” she said in reply to a lawmaker’s query.
“Islam is the religion of peace. We will always try to take this peace-loving religion to new heights. Our government will do whatever necessary to curb terrorism and militancy,” she said.
Full report at: thedailystar.net/country/bangladesh-assured-muslim-world-fighting-terrorism-1243723
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Infighting among Taliban in Herat leaves scores of militants dead
Wed Jun 22 2016
Mullah-RasoolAt least 24 Taliban militants have reportedly been killed in the latest infighting among the rival groups in western Herat province which ended late on Tuesday.
According to the local government officials, the incident took place in Pashtoon Zarghoon district after the supporters of Taliban Chief Mawlavi Haibatullah Akhundzada clashed with the dissident Taliban leader Mullah Rasool.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Jilani Farhad said they are aware regarding the latest infighting among the rival Taliban groups.
He said preliminary reports suggest at least 7 supporters of Mawlavi Akhundzada have been killed in the infighting and 6 others were wounded.
Full report at: khaama.com/infighting-among-taliban-in-herat-leaves-scores-of-militants-dead-01320
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Bangladesh: Literacy Program Pushes Imams to Deliver Anti-Militancy Sermons
Tue Jun 21 2016
After 100,000 Bangladeshi Islamic clerics and scholars issued a fatwa last week against religious extremism, the country’s religious affairs minister told parliament on Tuesday that tens of thousands of imams were already giving anti-militancy sermons.
Imams at 55,180 mosques which have enrolled in the government-sponsored Mosque-Based Child and Mass Literacy program were now delivering Islam’s “peaceful messages” and denouncing “all forms of unrest, terrorism and militant activities” in their sermons before prayers, Minister Motior Rahman told lawmakers in response to an MP’s question.
“This program has been progressing well. It has a huge positive impact on children who are prone to be the victims of the abusers of Islam, the militants. Anything you hear in childhood has a huge impact in future. When a child hears that militancy is prohibited in Islam, he will never be radicalized,” said Rahman, who sometimes volunteers as an imam is also a member of a parliamentary Standing Committee on Religious Affairs.
Full report at: benarnews.org/english/news/bengali/imam-message-06212016154023.html
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ALP commander critically wounded in an explosion in Parwan
Tue Jun 21 2016
A commander of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) forces was critically wounded in an explosion in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan.
The provincial criminal investigation department chief Gen. Abdul Samad Zalmai said the incident took place in Charikar city earlier today.
He said the incident took place near the provincial government’s office in Charikar city but did not disclose further information.
Full report at: khaama.com/alp-commander-critically-wounded-in-an-explosion-in-parwan-01319
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Taliban claims snatching passengers on highways is not kidnapping
Tue Jun 21 2016
The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan has claimed that snatching passengers from the highways is not an act of kidnapping.
The Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid issued a statement following the kidnapping of scores of passengers in Helmand province.
In his statement, Mujahid said the Taliban fighters took passengers from at least 3 buses with them amid suspicions they work for the security institutions of the country.
Mujahid further added that 27 people were taken by the Taliban militants and the remaining militants were released after they went through a preliminary interrogation process.
He said the remaining 27 people would be released if found not guilty or would be handed over to the judiciary of the Taliban group if they had role in working with the security institutions.
Full report at: khaama.com/taliban-claims-snatching-passengers-on-highways-is-not-kidnapping-01318
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Key militant commander Gul Khan killed in drone strike in Kunduz
Wed Jun 22 2016
A key commander of the anti-government armed militants was killed in a drone strike in the restive northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.
According to the local security officials, Gul Khan also well known as Khanjar was killed along with four of his fighters in the airstrike.
The officials further added that the airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of Imam Sahib district where the anti-government armed militants are actively operating.
The officials also added that the airstrike did not incur any casualties to the local residents.
The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.
Full report at: khaama.com/key-militant-commander-gul-khan-killed-in-drone-strike-in-kunduz-01325
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UN Security Council briefed regarding the situation of Afghanistan
Wed Jun 22 2016
The United Nations Security Council was briefed regarding the latest upheavals in Afghanistan by the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Nicholas Haysom.
Haysom said Afghanistan has taken positive steps to overcome five key challenges for the survival of the unity government in 2016.
Recalling his statement to UNSC in March, Haysom said Afghanistan had to tackle a potent conflation of political, economic and security challenges and two additional challenges, including that of securing medium-term financial and military assistance from the international community and making headway in laying the foundation for an effective peace process.
Full report at: khaama.com/un-security-council-briefed-regarding-the-situation-of-afghanistan-01324
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Afghan forces to receive $3 billion a year from US from 2018 to 2020
Wed Jun 22 2016
The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDS) will receive $3 billion a year from 2018 through 2020, it has been reported.
According to the reports, the issue has been shared by the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson on Tuesday.
He informed regarding the commitment by US as he was at a think tank and said  the United States planned to ask Congress for about $1 billion a year in development and economic assistance for Afghanistan from 2018 through 2020.
Full report at: khaama.com/afghan-forces-to-receive-3-billion-a-year-from-us-from-2018-to-2020-01322
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India
Man Moves Court against Jamat Functionaries over Occupation of a Mosque
June 22, 2016
The Madras High court on Tuesday ordered issue of notice to the functionaries of a Jamath on a petition by a man seeking a direction to forebear the Rajasingamangalam Muslim Jamath from excommunicating him from the local Jamath and permit him to enter the mosque at R S Mangalam and perform worship during this Holy month of Ramzan.
Hearing the Petition filed by S Anwar, Justice S Vimala ordered notice to the Jamath functionaries including S A Basheer Ahamed (President) and M Seeni Mohammed (Secretary) seeking their explanation within two weeks.
Full report at: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/chennai-man-moves-court-against-jamat-2868408/
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Members of Two Communities Clash over Installing Loudspeaker on a Mosque
June 22, 2016
TENSION PREVAILED in Tiwaripur of Gorakhpur city on Tuesday following a clash between members of the Hindu and Muslim communities over the installation of a loudspeaker at a madrasa.
Police said members of Gorakhpur MP Yogi Adityanath’s Hindu Yuva Vahini objected to the installation of the loudspeaker before the afternoon Namaz and wanted it removed. As police arrived at the spot, both groups were brought to police station where attempts were made to strike a compromise.
Full report at: indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/gorakhpur-members-of-two-communities-clash-over-installing-loudspeaker-2868059/
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To corner Pak, India eyes UN curbs on IM
Jun 22, 2016
NEW DELHI: Indicating its determination to keep up the pressure on Pakistan, the government is seeking to move the UNSC sanctions committee against seven top Indian Mujahideen members. This, despite India's attempt to get Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the UN security council being blocked by China earlier this year.
The list of seven Indian nationals includes some currently in Pakistan. IM co-founders Amir Reza Khan, Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal are among those on the list. It also names some members of the jihadi group who are fighting alongside Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. India will want them designated terrorists under United Nations' al-Qaeda-Taliban sanctions committee.
Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/To-corner-Pak-India-eyes-UN-curbs-on-IM/articleshow/52859232.cms
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Terrorists hiding near Pathankot: Rijiju downplays speculations
June 22, 2016
New Delhi : With the parliamentary panel cautioning the Centre of another terrorist strike at the Pathankot airbase, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday said that it would not be appropriate to comment on speculative matters.
“To estimate and comment on this matter won’t be right. There can be a possibility of it, but it would not be appropriate for me being a minister to comment on the same,” Rijiju told ANI.
Full report at: siasat.com/news/terrorists-hiding-near-pathankot-rijiju-downplays-speculations-976403/
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US support for Indias NSG bid part of greater design: Pak NSA
June 22, 2016
Islamabad: Pakistans National Security Adviser Nasser Janjua has alleged that Americas efforts to include India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was part of a “greater design” to contain China and prevent the resurgence of Russia.
“Its [part of] a greater design,” Janjua said at a seminar on Pakistans case for NSA membership yesterday.
Janjua said the current move by the US to induct India into the 48-nation exclusive nuclear club should be seen in the context of global power politics trends.
He then listed “contain China, prevent the resurgence of Russia and keep the Muslim world in a controlled chaos” as some of the leading trends in the current global power politics, The Express Tribune reported.
Full report at: siasat.com/news/us-support-indias-nsg-bid-part-greater-design-pak-nsa-976407/
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Pakistan
Pakistan continuing to sell nuclear materials to North Korea, reveal U.S. sources
June 22, 2016
Washington : Pakistan is continuing to sell nuclear materials to North Korea, while at the same time urging the international community to accept its membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), according to highly placed U.S. sources who are involved with the tracking of nuclear commerce.
In making this dramatic revelation, the sources said that entities of the Pakistan Energy Commission (PAEC) have been continuing to supply restricted
Items such as ‘ Monel ‘ and ‘ Inconel ‘ material to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions.
The sources said that nuclear materials supplied to the PAEC by Chinese entities have also found their way to North Korea, with the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) recently receiving a written complaint that supplies of a Chinese company, Beijing Suntech Technology Company Limited, to Pakistan were being diverted to North Korea by the Pakistani authorities.
Full report at: siasat.com/news/pakistan-continuing-sell-nuclear-materials-north-korea-reveal-u-s-sources-976406/
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Not lobbying against Pakistan’s interests says ex-envoy, after Aziz’s remarks
June 22, 2016
Islamabad : Reacting strongly to the comments made by Sartaj Aziz, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s advisor on foreign affairs, the country’s ex-envoy to the United States, Husain Haqqani, said that he was not lobbying against Islamabad’s interests as claimed by the former.
Addressing lawmakers in the National Assembly yesterday, Aziz claimed that a former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. was ‘ lobbying against his own country’ and ‘creating hurdles for the government’, the Dawn reported.
He however, did not mention the name of the ambassador.
Haqqani, in his rejoinder said he knew that Aziz was talking about him because another minister had attacked him by name with similar claims.
Full report at: siasat.com/news/not-lobbying-pakistans-interests-says-ex-envoy-azizs-remarks-976388/
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US drone strike disrupted Afghan peace process, Pakistan tells UN
June 22, 2016
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan told the UN Security Council Tuesday that a United States drone attack that killed Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan had dealt a blow to the Afghan peace process, further complicating the regional situation.
“The US drone strike on our territory was a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity and a blatant breach of the principles of the UN Charter and international law,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said, while speaking in a debate about the situation in Afghanistan.
“This unacceptable action,” the Pakistani envoy said, had “added to the intensity and complexity of the Afghan conflict.”
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1266501/us-drone-strike-disrupted-afghan-peace-process-pakistan-tells-un
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Word ‘420’ causes a stir in KP Assembly
June 22, 2016
PESHAWAR: A slang expression over a cut motion triggered scuffle and exchange of abusive language among lawmakers of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and senior ministers in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Tuesday.
The trouble started in the house when PTI MPA Babar Saleem presented the ‘Rs420’ cut motion on a demand for grant for the department of science technology and information technology.
The word ‘420’ is used in Urdu for defrauding. In the Pakistan Penal Code, Section 420 pertains to fraud, cheating and dishonesty.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1266432/word-420-causes-a-stir-in-kp-assembly
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Local PPP chapter skips Benazir’s birth anniversary
June 22, 2016
RAWALPINDI: For the first time since her assassination on December 27, 2007, the Rawalpindi PPP chapter did not celebrate former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s birth anniversary on Tuesday.
Till last year, the party would arrange events to observe the former prime minister’s birthday and for nine years, set up blood donation camps at the place of her assassination in Liaquat Bagh.
This year, various party leaders observed the day on their own while there was no event at the party level, for which local party leaders and workers blame the lack of formal leadership in the party.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1266414/local-ppp-chapter-skips-benazirs-birth-anniversary
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Honour Killing: Couple Murdered by Girl’s Father, Brothers
June 22, 2016
GUJRAT: Another young girl and her alleged lover fell victims to honour killing at Keeranwala village near Mungowal in the precincts of Kunjah police on Tuesday.
According to police, Waqar Naeem, 24, of Baltian village of Daska tehsil, Sialkot district, had an affair with Moamina Zaman of Keeranwala village.
As Naeem was on a secret visit to the girl’s house, her father, Zaman, saw the couple in a room. The enraged man, along with his two sons, gunned down the lovers.
Police on being informed of the incident took Zaman into custody, whereas his sons Faisal and Rizwan fled the scene.
Full report at: dawn.com/news/1266457/couple-murdered-by-girls-father-brothers
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Southeast Asia
Not ‘Haram’ For Preacher to Lie During Ramadan?
June 22, 2016
Padang Serai Division Chief Shaharuddin Ibrahim of PAS delivered a sermon at a mosque two weeks ago, where he allegedly said the DAP would ban the azan (call to prayer) if they ever came to power.
After listening to his sermon on YouTube, I must say it was all political in content as he accused the Penang state government of being anti-Islam while he himself campaigned hard for the Hudud Bill.
He also lied through his teeth that the azan had been banned in the state. I live in an area with a large Malay community and there are three surau and a mosque within walking distance. I hear the azan every single day.
Full report at: freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2016/06/22/not-haram-for-preacher-to-lie-during-ramadan/
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Religion, gender and the state in Indonesia
22 June 2016
Religious identity and gender relations are integral to women’s experiences of citizenship in Indonesia. While around 88 per cent of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, it is emphatically not an Islamic state, in which state law and Islamic law are coterminous. So what is the relationship of religion to citizenship rights for women in the Muslim majority?
Muslim women read the Quran during the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, 9 June 2016. (Photo: AAP).
Religious prescriptions affect women’s rights, most notably in the area of marriage law and rights within the family. In the Dutch colonial period, family law was largely left to Islamic authorities. But during its slow spread through the archipelago, Islamic law accommodated itself to the existing practices there, particularly in regard to polygyny and property rights: the former was unpalatable in much of the archipelago, and indigenous customs commonly recognised women’s inheritance and other property rights.
Full report at: eastasiaforum.org/2016/06/22/religion-gender-and-the-state-in-indonesia/
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Indonesia grants scholarships for 30 ARMM Islamic students
June 22, 2016
COTABATO CITY -- The education department in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Monday said the Indonesian government has offered scholarships for 30 students.
Indonesia, the world's biggest Muslim country in terms of population, will facilitate the schooling in Aceh of 30 Muslim or Islamic theology students, according to Imam Alzad Sattar, regional undersecretary for Islamic studies of the Department of Education-ARMM.
Sattar said scholarship agreement was forged last June 17 by the ARMM government, the Indonesian embassy, and the Yayasan Sukma School in the Aceh.
Full report at: interaksyon.com/article/129394/indonesia-grants-scholarships-for-30-armm-islamic-students
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Indonesians have to wait for 37 years to perform Haj
Jun 22, 2016
JEDDAH — There are 3.2 million Indonesians on the Haj wait list, said Joko Asmoro, chairman of the Indonesian Muslim Association for Haj and Umrah Travels.
Being the largest Muslim country with some 220 million Muslims, Indonesia faces a huge demand from its citizens eager to perform Haj.
The process, he said, requires people to register their names for Haj in advance to be included on the government Haj list.
“The average waiting time for Haj is 37 years,” said Asmoro.
“This has increased the demand for Umrah as it is less expensive and requires less waiting,” he added.
Full report at: saudigazette.com.sa/saudi-arabia/indonesians-wait-37-years-perform-haj/
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Arab World
Over 140 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Clashes with SDF in Northeastern Aleppo
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) repelled ISIL's large scale offensives near Manbij, killing 142 terrorists in the battlefield.
The ISIL stormed the SDF positions from Jarabulus, al-Bab and Maskaneh to remove the SDF siege on the trapped terrorist in the town of Manbij, but their attacks were fended off by the SDF.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000611
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Iran Urges Impartial Int'l Bodies to Investigate Al-Khalifa Rulers' Bahraini Nationality
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi called on impartial international bodies to study the al-Khalifa dynasty's claim of having Bahraini origins.
"One of the high-ranking Bahraini security officials told me in a meeting 34 years ago that the al-Khalifa are stateless pirates and Saudi Arabia has paved the ground for their control over Bahrain island with the help of the British and the Bahraini people are out of patience with them," Firouzabadi said on Tuesday night.
"What should be now studied by unbiased international bodies is the documents of al-Khalifa's origin and nationality," he added.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000259
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Iranian FM Asks Muslim World's Unity against Terrorism
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on all Muslim states to increase unity and solidarity in campaign against terrorist groups.
"We, in the Muslim world, need to show how we can fight against terrorism which has entangled Islam and the Muslim world," Zarif said in Paris on Tuesday night, addressing the Muslim countries' representatives and envoys.
He underscored the necessity for strengthening unity in the Muslim world against terrorism, and said, "We should decrease our differences to the least against attacks and violence."
Zarif also said that the most important injustice against the Muslim world is Israel's cruelty and injustice against the Palestinians.
Full report at: xen.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000307
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ISIL Fails to Break through SDF Positions near Border with Turkey
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Two ISIL attacks to penetrate into the Syrian Democratic Forces' (SDF) positions in Northeastern Aleppo were repelled by the SDF fighters, Kurdish sources said, adding that the ISIL suffered a heavy death toll in the failed attacks.
"The ISIL terrorists stormed the SDF positions near the village of Zounfal in Jarabulus region using bomb-laden suicide vehicles, but the SDF fighters targeted their vehicle before reaching their positions," the sources said, adding, in the meantime, the Kurdish fighters fended off another attack of the ISIL in the town of Sarrin and forced the Takfiri terrorists to retreat from the battlefield without any gain."
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000667
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Gov't Forces Continue to Hunt Terrorists in Northern Aleppo
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army troops and popular forces hit the terrorist groups' concentration centers heavily in Northern Aleppo to cut the supply lines to militant-held districts in Aleppo city.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000439
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Bahrainis Voice Solidarity with Senior Cleric Qassim
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- People of Bahrain took to the streets across the Persian Gulf island country to express their anger with Al-Khalifa regime's flagrant move to strip the prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim of his citizenship.
Demonstrations were held in several Bahraini regions including Bilad al-Qadeem, a suburb of the capital, Manama, al-Musalla Village, the Northern village of Bu Quwah, the Northwestern village of Diraz, and the town of A’ali, with protesters chanting slogans against the ruling Al-Khalifa regime in condemnation of the measure against the 79-year-old clergyman.
The Bahrainis also expressed their solidarity with the spiritual leader of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc, carrying the portraits of Sheikh Isa Qassim, as well as other prominent Bahraini opposition figures, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, and national Bahraini flags.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000746
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ISIL Suspects Arrested in Turkey over Attack Plot
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Three suspected ISIL militants were arrested in Istanbul after a tip-off they had arranged an attack on a planned march in the Turkish most-populated city.
The suspects, one Turkish national and two from Russia's volatile Dagestan, were ordered held in custody pending formal charges by an Istanbul court, Dogan reported. 
The reported arrests came after police late last week confiscated suicide vests during raids in two Istanbul suburbs. Officers said they had acted on intelligence reports the suspects were plotting to attack a rally on June 19.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000861
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Large Arms Depot of ISIL Destroyed in Syrian Airstrikes in Deir Ezzur
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian fighter jets, tipped off by intelligence agents, traced and targeted a large depot of ISIL arms and ammunition in the Southwestern countryside of Deir Ezzur city.
The Syrian warplanes bombed the ISIL depot in Tal Kroum region, which not only destroyed the entire depot's buildings and underground storages but claimed the lives of several militants guarding in the area.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000835
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World Assembly of Islamic Awakening Condemns Bahrain's Move on Sheikh Qassim
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Secretary-General of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening Ali Akbar Velayati in a statement on Wednesday deplored the al-Khalifa regime for revoking senior cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassim of citizenship.
"The World Assembly of Islamic Awakening advises the Bahraini rulers to respect the people's right of self-determination and the citizens' primary rights and respect the religious and political Bahraini leaders, specially Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassim," the statement said.
Stressing that the al-Khalifa regime's past methods of sowing sectarian and religious strife, imprisonment of Bahraini leaders and activists and closing the civil institutions have failed to yield any results, it said, "This wrong policy (of stripping a religious leader of citizenship) will also lead the Bahraini people's move into a new stage of fight whose result will be destructive for the puppet and reactionary rulers."
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000454
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Syria: Top Terrorist Commander in Northwestern Aleppo Killed in Russian Airstrikes
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior commander of al-Nusra Front in Northwestern Aleppo was reportedly killed in Russian air attacks.
Abu Abdollah Jabal, who led al-Nusra Front during recent battles near al-Eis and Khan Touman, was killed by a Russian airstrike, but other reports claimed the Takfiri terrorist was killed by an IED (roadside bomb) by unknown assailants during a meeting in the region.
Also on Sunday, a senior commander of the al-Nusra Front terrorist group was badly wounded in a targeted attack in Idlib province.
Abu Bakr al-Uzbeki was seriously injured when his vehicle exploded in an attack in Idlib province.
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000792
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ISIL Command Center Hit Hard in Syrian Army's Offensive North of Sweida
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian military forces targeted one of the main headquarters of the ISIL in Northern Sweida, inflicting major losses on the militants.
The Syria soldiers' anti-terrorism operation near the hilltop village of Tal Ishihayb destroyed the ISIL command center and meantime left scores of the Takfiri terrorists dead or wounded.
In relevant developments in the Southern province on Monday, the Syrian soldiers' attacks on terrorists' bases in Rajem al-Dawleh and Tal Asfar regions ended in destruction of at least five military vehicles carrying arms, ammunition and fresh forces.
Meanwhile, the Syrian army men engaged in heavy fighting with the ISIL terrorists in Mashbak al-Widian East of Sweida, which not only left several militants dead but destroyed their rocket launchers, vehicles and other military equipment. 
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000692
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Senior Terrorist Commanders Killed in Clashes with Syrian Army West of Damascus
June 22, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Two notorious commanders of Ahrar al-Sham were killed in heavy fighting with the Syrian military troops in Western Ghouta.
The commanders of Ahrar al-Sham were killed near the city of Darayya in Southeastern Damascus.
Full report at: en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950402000323
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Africa
Obama nominee to lead US military in Africa, favours powers to strike Islamic State
June 22, 2016
President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the US military in Africa on Tuesday backed the idea of gaining greater power to strike Islamic State, including in Libya, which he described as the group’s Plan B as it loses territory in Iraq and Syria.
Marine Lieutenant General Thomas Waldhauser told his Senate confirmation hearing that the US military was making preparations for possible military strikes in Libya against the militants.
But Waldhauser noted limitations on the current commander’s ability to order strikes against the group in Libya, which require adhering to White House guidance. That differs from the rules of engagement in Iraq or Syria.
Full report at: indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/us-barack-obama-us-military-africa-isil-2867758/
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New foundation formed to promote Islamic knowledge in Ghana
June 21, 2016
The other members of the delegation from Ghana were Hajia Aida Jibirin and Hajia Salma Tahir both of them Ghanaian women Islamic preachers. Known as Mohammed Khamis Foundation, the foundation has its headquarters in Rabat morocco, with branch offices to be opened in African countries such as Senegal, Chad, Sudan, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Ghana.
Sheikh Mustapha Ibrahim said the foundation will recruit Islamic scholars to help spread the true meaning of Islam and wipe out misconceptions about the religion thereby stamping out extremism on the continent.
Sheikh Ibrahim who is also a renowned Ghanaian author and Islamic scholar who has written many books on Islam for schools and general reading said the foundation will soon open offices after the current Ramadan fast period in all member countries including Ghana. The new offices will among other things offer support to Islamic preachers known in Arabic as duats and provide scholarships to needy Islamic students.
Full report at: newsghana.com.gh/new-foundation-formed-to-promote-islamic-knowledge-in-ghana/
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Aqeel holds Iftar dinner for Islamic finance industry players
Jun. 22, 2016
Aqeel Consulting Limited played host at an Iftar dinner for Islamic finance industry players at the Intercontinental Hotel over the weekend.
The dinner unveiled a team to deliberate on the modalities of forming an Association for Islamic Finance in Kenya has been unveiled.
Kenya is the first country in East Africa to introduce Islamic Finance, with two full-fledged Islamic banks in First Community and Gulf Africa. Four conventional banks are now offering Sharia compliant and services and products through Islamic windows.
The country also boast of one stand alone Sharia-compliant insurance company, Takaful.
Among those in attendance were Takaful Insurance of Africa Group CEO Hassan Bashir, Aqeel director Abdullatif Essajee, CBK board chairman Mohammed Nyaoga and KCB's head of Islamic Banking Jaafar Abdulkadir.
the-star.co.ke/news/2016/06/22/aqeel-holds-iftar-dinner-for-islamic-finance-industry-players_c1373062
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Terror in East Africa: Al Shabaab
Jun. 22, 2016
Al Shabaab was originally formed from the Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya group, which emerged in the post regime change in the nineties. Al-Itihaad Al-Islamiya (AIAI) was focused on implementing strong Sharia law, seizing strategic locations in the country and bringing order and control in previously lawless areas. Though this may seem like a solid plan, establishing some kind of order in a chaotic region, even through Sharia, is better than total lawlessness; the Ethiopian government had other plans.
Full report at: globalresearch.ca/terror-in-east-africa-al-shabaab/5532093
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Fear Stalks Minnesota Muslims?
Jun. 22, 2016
On the Left, it is widely held that the biggest problem with Islamic terrorism is that it might give rise to “Islamophobia.” That mentality was on display today in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Fear stalks Minnesota Muslims as anti-Islam feeling builds.”
Pig intestines wrapped around the front door handles of the halal grocery store in St. Cloud sent a clear message to store manager Liban Said and his customers: You’re not welcome here.
Full report at: powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/06/fear-stalks-minnesota-muslims.php
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Europe
Imam Qari Asim: 'The UK and Europe are stronger, safer and better off together'
June 22, 2016
Tomorrow, Britain will make a once in a life-time decision: should we remain within the European Union, or come out of it. As British Muslims we must play our role in this historic vote to decide the future direction of our country and Europe. This vote is of huge significance for everyone, particularly for younger people, as they have the most at stake in this EU referendum. It is their futures that are on the ballot paper.
The decision will have repercussions for many years to come, and will have a huge role in shaping young people’s lives.
Ethnic minorities are following the debate as much as rest of the country, and are navigating their way through the Remain and Leave Camps. Survation’s ethnic minority poll for British Future, identity thinkthank, in 2015 found a 54 per cent to 28 per cent split in favour of Remain, with 18 per cent undecided.
Full report at: asianimage.co.uk/columnists/14572505.Imam_Qari_Asim___The_UK_and_Europe_are_stronger__safer_and_better_off_together_/
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The Tamar Yonah Show – Are Muslims Making Up the Bulk of the French Military?
June 22nd, 2016
Europe is having an identity crisis. With their population not having children and the massive Islamic immigration into their countries, more and more of Europe’s youth is now Muslim…and this includes making up a good size of their military.
Full report at: jewishpress.com/multimedia/israel-news-talk-radio/tamar-yonah-show/the-tamar-yonah-show-are-muslims-making-up-the-bulk-of-the-french-military/2016/06/22/
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What a Brexit could mean for the UK’s aspiring Islamic finance market
June 21 2016
As the referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union (EU) looms in the UK, voices are getting louder, particularly in the country’s financial industry that it would not necessarily be a good idea to vote for a Brexit. Since the weight of the UK in the global financial market is substantial – the financial sector of the City of London has a 20% share in the global market for trading foreign securities and a sizeable part of it depends on the UK’s access to the internal EU market – such a strong position would be certainly threatened.
This could have serious impact on the growing role of Islamic finance in Europe which is entrenched in the UK and from there makes its way into the continent. Since the 1990s, when the first mortgages in the UK were set up in line with Shariah law, the country has aggregated the most advanced experience in Shariah-compliant finance in the Western world. Corporate sukuk followed a decade later, and in 2014, the UK became the first country in the EU to issue some sovereign sukuk and listed them on the London stock exchange. From then on, Islamic finance steadily entered the rest of Europe.
Full report at: gulf-times.com/story/498862/What-a-Brexit-could-mean-for-the-UK-s-aspiring-Isl
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Anjem Choudary backs Remain as EU 'stops prosecution of Islamists'
22nd June 2016
The controversial Muslim – who is facing charges for allegedly inviting people to join Islamic State – said leaving the EU was not an “advantage” for members of the Muslims community.
Choudary, 49, said: “If you want my view on it, I think Britain will be worse off [leaving the EU].
“I think that is something that is probably not in our advantage from a Muslim perspective.”
Choudary is facing trial on June 27 over allegedly encouraging people to travel to territory controlled by twisted ISIS terrorists and trying to drum-up support for the so-called caliphate.
He hinted that Britain would be safer within the European Union, saying: “With all the security implications, you know, while the rest of the world is trying to unite together with common purpose, this is not the time from a security perspective to be isolating.
“And I think about what some of them are saying about Scotland having another referendum, and Britain will be even smaller.”
Full report at: dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/524653/Anjem-Choudary-EU-Referendum-Remain-Islamists-terror-Islamic-State-court
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North America
Gains against Islamic State not yet enough, could backfire: U.S. officials
21 June 2016
President Barack Obama and some administration officials have hailed recent military gains against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, but other U.S. officials and outside experts warn that the U.S.-backed air and ground campaign is far from eradicating the radical Islamic group, and could even backfire.
While Islamic State’s defeats in Iraq and Syria have erased its image of invincibility, they threaten to give it greater legitimacy in the eyes of disaffected Sunni Muslims because Shi'ite and Kurdish fighters are a major part of the campaign, some U.S. intelligence officials argue.
A second danger, some U.S. officials said, is that as the group loses ground in the Iraqi city of Falluja and elsewhere, it will turn increasingly to less conventional military tactics and to directing and inspiring more attacks against "soft" targets in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.
Full report at: reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-usa-iraq-idUSKCN0Z80CO
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How American Christians Should Respond to Islamic Extremism
June 21, 2016
Americans are appropriately responding to last Sunday’s terrorist attack in Orlando, which took dozens of innocent lives, with unfathomable grief and a sense of stabbing darkness. As is said in Orthodox Christian memorial services, may their memory be eternal.
But it would be a disservice to these forty-nine innocent Americans if grief alone comprised the totality of the nation’s reaction. The time has also come to start asking and answering some specific, difficult questions about Islamic extremism and American policies to address it. This starts with acknowledging the threat and evil of Islamic extremism specifically by its name—and understanding that Islamic terrorism, much like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, seeks the very destruction of America. In this war on terror, it’s difficult to envision anything beyond two outcomes: either the nation will confront and defeat the threat of Islamic extremism, or it will continue to inflict vast death and suffering on Americans and Christians globally.
Full report at: nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-american-christians-should-respond-islamic-extremism-16665
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Calling Muslims ‘un-American’ is un-American
June 21, 2016
“Un-American” distills the anti-Muslim script of this year’s election season into a single word.
The latest example was presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump claiming that American Muslims weren’t “assimilating.”
Many have denounced his statement but few have questioned why a number of Americans see me and other Muslims as not part of “us”?
Some inevitably will point to terrorism. Muslims can’t be counted as “us” if they want to kill us, they argue. This ignores the fact that the majority of American fatalities due to terrorists are at the hands of white supremacist or antigovernment extremists, the types of groups that support the Republican presumptive nominee. While most conservatives surely condemn these group’s actions, their “American-ness” is rarely questioned.
Full report at: sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Calling-Muslims-un-American-is-un-American-8316334.php
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Two California men convicted of plotting to support IS
21 June 2016
A federal court convicted Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi, both 25, after a two-week trial.
The pair were arrested last year after Elhuzayel attempted to board a Los Angeles plane headed to Turkey with the intent of joining IS.
Badawi had bought Elhuzayel a one-way ticket to Israel via Istanbul.
The two Anaheim, California, residents had "expressed a desire to die as martyrs" on social media, according to a statement from the US attorney's office.
Prosecutors also said a Facebook account appearing to belong to Badawi featured posts showing he intended to join IS.
Full report at: bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36592643
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Mideast
Anti-PKK operations over, time for reconstruction: Turkish PM
June 22, 2016
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has declared the end of military operations in Turkey’s southeast and said the government is entering a “second phase” by launching a massive campaign for the reconstruction of cities damaged by clashes between the security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 
“Now the operations are over, there will be physical and social renovation. We are replacing destroyed buildings with more beautiful ones. Work is underway,” Yıldırım said during his parliamentary address to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers on July 21.
Ankara also plans to take legal action against municipalities and mayors from the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who are alleged to have transferred state resources to the PKK, he added.
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/anti-pkk-operations-over-time-for-reconstruction-turkish-pm-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100726&NewsCatID=338
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Turkey’s first ever ‘refugee council’ holds first congress
June 22, 2016
Efforts to build a superstructure which would bring together various civil society organizations (CSOs) working to overcome the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing Turkey, which is hosting around 3 million refugees, have yielded a result, as the Center of Refugee Aid Organizations was formed on June 20, World Refugee Day.
The first Center of Refugee Aid Organizations Congress was held at a hotel in Ankara on June 20 with the participation of 14 founding member organizations, as well as some soon-to-be-members, from all corners of the country.
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-first-ever-refugee-council-holds-first-congress.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100739&NewsCatID=341
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Greek Cypriots accept Turkish help to fight forest fire
June 22, 2016
The Greek Cypriot administration has accepted an offer of assistance from Turkey to help fight a wildfire raging for the last three days in the island’s Troodos Mountains.
A statement from the Greek Cypriot administration on the evening of June 21 confirmed that the Turkish Forestry Ministry, in coordination with Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, offered two extinguisher helicopters and a firefighting airplane.
The offer was accepted by Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, state-run Anadolu Agency reported, adding that Anastasiades accepted the offer on grounds that the Turkish aircrafts were “a part of the firefighting force from Israel, Greece, U.K., France, Italy and the European Union which have come for help.”
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/greek-cypriots-accept-turkish-help-to-fight-forest-fire-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100763&NewsCatID=351
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Jets hit PKK targets in Turkey’s southeast, northern Iraq
June 22, 2016
Turkish warplanes conducted air operations on June 21 targeting outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions both inside the country and in northern Iraq.
Turkish jets destroyed a total of 20 PKK targets in rural areas of the Lice district in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır between 4 p.m. and 4:16 p.m., in addition to another air operation in rural areas of the Şemdinli district in the southeastern province of Hakkari between 7:45 p.m. and 8:05 p.m.
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/jets-hit-pkk-targets-in-turkeys-southeast-northern-iraq.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100760&NewsCatID=352
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Three ISIL suspects arrested over plot to attack LGBT march in Istanbul
June 22, 2016
Three suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants were arrested in Istanbul late on June 17 after a tip-off that they had planned to attack an LGBT Trans Pride march held on June 19 in the city’s central Taksim Square.
The suspects - one Turkish national and two from Russia’s volatile Dagestan republic – were detained after a simultaneous operation in Istanbul’s Başakşehir and Pendik districts, on Istanbul’s European and Asian sides, respectively.
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/three-isil-suspects-arrested-over-plot-to-attack-lgbt-march-in-istanbul.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100761&NewsCatID=509
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Turkey ranks 20th most popular spot for FDI, rising two spots
June 22, 2016
Turkey became the 20th most popular destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow in 2015, rising two spots from its 22nd ranking the previous year, a fresh report showed on June 21.
Turkey saw an FDI inflow worth $16.5 billion in 2015, a 36 percent increase from the previous year, rising by four points to 8th among emerging markets, according to the latest World Investment Report 2016 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-ranks-20th-most-popular-spot-for-fdi-rising-two-spots-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100732&NewsCatID=344
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U.N. Ro-Ro offers North African route to Turkish exporters
June 22, 2016
At a time struggling Turkish exporters are looking for ways to diversify their target markets, Turkey’s leading roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) company is offering easier access for goods to North Africa.
The Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan markets are increasing their shares in Turkey’s exports, and it is possible to send goods to these destinations in seven days, according to U.N. Ro-Ro CEO Sedat Gümüşoğlu.
“The total population of 85 million in these countries carries a major potential for our exporters and they can be competitive in these markets with short transit periods thanks to the Ro-Ro voyages via Toulon and Marseille,” Gümüşoğlu told a group of journalists invited to the southern French city of Toulon over the weekend.
Full report at: hurriyetdailynews.com/un-ro-ro-offers-north-african-route-to-turkish-exporters.aspx?pageID=238&nID=100731&NewsCatID=345


- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/%E2%80%98bangladesh-assured-muslim-world-of-fighting-terrorism%E2%80%99/d/107731#sthash.Lhvg7qDG.dpuf