Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Psychology of Ideology and Religion



By Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
28 July 2016
Two of the drivers of world affairs that manifest in the daily decisions that affect our lives are ideology and religion.
Ideology is the term widely used to describe the underlying set of values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine that shape the behavioral approach to political, economic, social, cultural and/or ecological activities of an individual or organization. This organization might be a political party, government, multinational corporation, terrorist group, non-government organization, community or activist group.
Religion usually describes the belief in a superhuman controlling power involving a God or gods; it entails a system of faith and worship as well as, like ideology, an underlying set of values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine that shape the behavioural approach to political, economic, social, cultural and/or ecological activities of an individual or organization.
At the macro level, there are worldwide or regional ideologies such as capitalism, fascism, conservatism, communism, socialism, feminism, pacifism and environmentalism as well as religions including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. There are also variations of these major ideologies and religions. But even at the micro level, the local service club, neighbourhood charity and sporting club operates in accordance with an ideology or religion that is shared by its members too.
Frequently, a shared ideology or religion is a functional way for like-minded people to find each other and to work together to achieve a shared aim. When this helps to achieve a desirable social outcome, the shared ideology or religion has a valuable purpose.
Unfortunately, however, often enough the shared ideology or religion has a dysfunctional basis and the outcome is detrimental both individually and socially with the (violent) consequences sometimes reverberating throughout a national or even global society. This is why it is useful to understand the psychology of ideology and religion.
When a child is very young, they start to learn from the people around them. Predominantly, they learn by being participants, one way or another, in the events in which they are involved. That is, when their parents, other significant adults (such as relatives, school teachers and religious figures) or an older sibling involve the child in an activity, the child is taught and copies the mental responses and behaviours of those around them. This is what is called 'socialization'.
However, it is important to identify the ideological/religious elements in this process too. First, there are ideological and religious imperatives around raising children. These imperatives are sometimes deliberately shaped by an ideology or a religion but, often enough, they are simply copied on the advice of, or by observing the behaviour of, other nearby adults.
Second, and more importantly however, the child unconsciously acquires a set of values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine (in relation to social, cultural, political, economic, religious, sporting and ecological issues) that are approved by the adults in the child's life.
There is much that is functional about this process and, historically, it can explain a great deal about human behaviour, including in particular cultural contexts.
But I would like to discuss the dysfunctional aspects of this process which arise from the way in which the child's fear is deliberately played upon so that, consciously or unconsciously, they copy the ideology or religion of the adults around them. And the reason that the child does this is so that the ideology or religion that they acquire, together with the behavioural outcomes that arise from this, does not scare these same adults.
In an ideal world, a child would be socialized in an environment devoid of fear and in which they are loved, there is no 'visible', 'invisible' or 'utterly invisible' violence – see 'Why Violence?' http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence – damaging them in any way, they have their needs met and they are utterly free to choose (and later change if they wish) the values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine by which they will live their life, preferably with the benefit of substantial aware listening from adults while they work this out for themselves. Needless to say, this never happens.
In fact, the typical child is endlessly terrorized into adopting some version of the individual ideologies and religions, which are sometimes bizarrely conflicting, of the people around them.
This means that a fixed set of values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine – including those in relation to violence – become fearfully and unconsciously embedded in the child's mind and they cease to be values, myths, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and doctrine that are easily and consciously accessible for review and reconsideration in light of new information or evidence. Let me briefly illustrate this point.
For some people, it is easy to laugh at or be outraged by the absurd statements they hear uttered by a very conservative politician, especially if they display a pronounced bias against a particular racial or religious group or a class of people. But to a conservative, their ideology is imperative and it reflects a childhood of being terrorized into believing certain things. There is no conscious awareness of this unconscious terror and even if asked, they would readily proclaim that they are not terrified (because they have been terrorized into suppressing their awareness of this terror, which is why it is now unconscious to them).
Similarly, most socialists are very attached to the ideology that puts class (based on the production relations of capitalism) predominantly at the centre of their analysis, feminists usually believe that gender relations under patriarchy are the primary problem in society, many people who combat racism view white domination as the core issue in social oppression, and religious fundamentalists believe that they know the one truth to the exclusion of people of other faiths. Irrespective of the proclaimed original basis of the ideology or religion, often enough, at least some of its adherents also learn to believe that violence is the appropriate behaviour for achieving some or all of their aims.
The issue in this context, however, is not whether any of these people is right or wrong but why they hold so tenaciously to a worldview that they do not willingly and fearlessly subject to ongoing scrutiny. And that is why the psychology of ideology and religion is so important.
If any person is willing to fearlessly and open-mindedly consider other worldviews and analyses of society's social relationships and problems, as well as how to tackle these problems, then it is likely that their ideology or religion is one that has been genuinely and intelligently acquired of their own free will and their mind will be capable of analysis and reconsideration if compelling evidence of the merits of an alternative worldview or explanation is made available. They are also likely to be highly tolerant of other worldviews as some religions, for example, specifically teach.
But if someone, whatever their ideology or religion, is dogmatically insistent on their own worldview, then their fear of further analysis and reconsideration will be readily apparent and it is a straightforward conclusion that they were terrorized out of the capacity to think fearlessly for themselves when they were a child. They are also more likely to behave violently.
If you would like to read a detailed explanation of how a child is terrorized, to a greater or lesser extent, into unconsciously absorbing a version of the ideologies and/or religions of the adults around them, you can do so in 'Why Violence?' tinyurl.com/whyviolence and 'Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice.' anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/ These documents explain the visible, invisible and utterly invisible violence to which children are subjected throughout childhood and which few survive. Moreover, it is this adult violence against children that leads to all other manifestations of violence.
Now, you might well ask: Is this simply my ideology? Well perhaps it is. But five decades of research, which included substantial reading and thoughtful consideration of many ideologies and religions, led me to this conclusion. Nevertheless, I remain happy to review my beliefs in this matter if someone offers me compelling evidence in support of another explanation.
Even better, when I witness Christian parents raising children who have chosen to be Muslims and conservative parents raising children who have chosen to be anarchists and... I will have all of the evidence I need to know that I am wrong.
If you would like to work towards creating a world in which fear does not shape every single outcome of human endeavour, you might like to sign the online pledge of 'The People's Charter to Create a Nonviolent World'. http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com
In essence, most children are terrorized into believing what the adults around them want them to think. This is because most adults are far too (unconsciously) frightened to let children think for themselves and to then let them believe and behave as they choose.
Consequently, therefore, it is fear, often mediated through ideology and religion that drives most human behaviour.
Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of 'Why Violence?' tinyurl.com/whyviolence
- See more at: http://newageislam.com/spiritual-meditations/robert-j-burrowes,-new-age-islam/the-psychology-of-ideology-and-religion/d/108105#sthash.Lw36J9J1.dpuf

Saturday, July 23, 2016

‘Hidden Divorces’ Threaten Fabric of Saudi Society













Photo: ‘Hidden divorces’ threaten fabric of Saudi society

Christian Woman Gives £1000 to Muslim Family in UK after Attack
Nigeria's Muslims Applaud Lifting Of Hijab Ban in Lagos Schools
Saudi Women Not Far Behind Men in Marrying Foreigners
Taliban Leader Suggests Softening Stance on Women’s Rights
Pakistan’s all-Women Schools Send Mixed Messages
Muslim Teenagers Use Slam Poetry to Educate Others about Their Faith
Iran's Conservatives Lash Out at New Female Fashion Trends
New Art Exhibition Explores Muslim Women’s Experiences Living in Toronto
State cabinet approves funds for weavers, students of marginalized communities
Senegalese authorities sweep child beggars off streets
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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‘Hidden Divorces’ Threaten Fabric of Saudi Society
Jul 23, 2016
RIYADH: Official data shows 40,394 divorces took place in 1436 H, including marriage annulments; 133,687 marriages were contracted last year.
But while the Justice Ministry statistics point to an increase in the phenomenon, the real situation could be a lot worse as the so-called concealed divorces and separations are kept unannounced for some time, with husband and wife trying to hide them for the longest possible period.
Hidden divorces are not recorded in Shariah courts and specialists in the field claim there are many such cases. Judicial sources say a large number of marital disputes lead to divorces, but initially they often leave the couple on non-talking terms that can last for several years.
“When courts listen to the parties, many couples admit having had old differences without them reaching the courts or any charitable advisory society specialized in working out reconciliation,” said one source.
Mohammad bin Ali Al-Radi, director general of Mawaddah Charitable Society, described hidden divorces as a major problem threatening the fabric of the Saudi society.
“They exist inside homes because of disputes between the spouses. The two keep living under the same room without any kind of relation, including physical. They just live under the same roof for the sake of their children,” he said.
Sometimes the problems could be solved “through guidance and counseling extended to the families through a hotline. Our society has family counselors working around the clock. In addition, the society has allocated 120 hours of training in order to provide services on daily basis”, said Al-Radi.
Last year, he added, the society’s hotline received more than 45,000 calls from people seeking solutions to their family problems.
Experts say the hidden divorce is more dangerous to the family than divorce.
The spouses pretend to live as if married, but they are completely isolated from each other in all aspects of life, say experts who attributed the persistence of this situation to the fact that people often greatly fear being labeled by the community as “divorcees.”
Psychoanalyst and expert in family and community issues Dr. Hani Al-Ghamdi confirmed that many Saudi couples suffer emotional coldness in such cases.
He stressed that in the majority of married couples do not know how to patch up their relations.
“They are unaware of courtship, tolerance and forgiveness. They are not frank with each other and cannot sit together to talk things out. Dialogue is absent from their relationship,” he said.
A recent study confirmed that the hotline for counseling contributed significantly to a drop in family problems leading to divorce.
The study noted showed that the level of education of the spouses plays an important role; better educated couples are less likely to have such problems.
arabnews.com/node/958346/saudi-arabia
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Christian Woman Gives £1000 To Muslim Family In UK After Attack
 23 Jul 2016
A Christian woman has donated £1000 to a Muslim family in the UK after learning that their shop was attacked.
Mohammed Riaz, 58, was attacked in Bradford in July 2016 by three people inside his butcher’s shop, Meat Hut. The three attackers – one of whom was later charged with robbery – damaged Riaz’s shop and left him with injuries on the eve of Eid celebrations.
Following the attack however, one woman named ‘Jane’ posted a letter to the family enclosed with a cheque for £1,000.
In the letter the woman said:
Dear Mr Riaz,
I was so sorry to read in The Telegraph & Argus of the attack on your shop. I am a Christian, and Jesus Christ taught that when we see someone in trouble we should not walk by without helping.
Kanees Riaz, Mohammed’s wife, says she was astonished by the letter, reports indy100:
“We were astonished – we were in tears because of this woman’s kindness – she doesn’t even live in the area. This shows that in the end race and religion doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter at all.”
Speaking of the trauma, Nafeesa Riaz, Mohammed’s daughter said, “We’re all still traumatised but the community and people from all over have shown huge support which has helped us immensely. We had people from all ages and ethnicities. We can never thank everyone enough for what they have done.”
“It has been a really emotional and stressful time for us all but the love and concern we received was astounding,” she added.
Following the attack strangers all around the area expressed their support for the family and showered them with flowers.
Mr Riaz who is currently in recovery said “We would not have made it through this difficult time without [her and the community].”
Riaz suffered a bruised face and back after some of the equipment in his shop fell on top of him and five of his teeth have been left so loose they will be removed.
tribune.com.pk/story/1147036/christian-woman-gives-1000-muslim-family-racist-attack/
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Nigeria's Muslims applaud lifting of hijab ban in Lagos schools
23 July, 2016
A leading Muslim group in Nigeria has welcomed a court ruling lifting the ban on girls wearing the headscarf in government schools in Lagos state.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MRC) said the Lagos Court of Appeal's ruling was a victory for the rule of law.
The judges said the ban violated the religious rights of Muslim girls, overturning a lower court's ruling.
Girls had been barred from wearing the headscarf, or hijab, because it was not part of school uniforms.
The state government has not yet commented on whether it intends to challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court.
Africa Live: More on this and other African stories
Nigeria's war of the religious robes
Nigeria's population is roughly divided between Muslims and Christians, with both groups being staunch believers.
The majority of Muslims live in the north and Christians primarily are in the south - though the southern state of Lagos has a more religious mix.
In June, the High Court in the southern state of Osun also lifted the ban on Muslims girls wearing the headscarf.
It caused religious tension in the state, with some Christian boys insisting on wearing church robes to school.
Two Muslim girls challenged the ban in Lagos state, taking their case to its Court of Appeal after the High Court ruled against them in 2013.
"The fact that the judgment was unanimous and only two of the five judges are Muslims leaves a firm stamp of authority on the legality of the use of hijab not only by female Muslim students but also by all Muslim women in the country," the MRC said.
bbc.com/news/world-africa-36865257
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Saudi Women Not Far Behind Men In Marrying Foreigners
 23 Jul 2016
RIYADH: Saudi women have joined Saudi men in their penchant for foreigners as life partners. The Ministry of Justice revealed in new statistics that the number of marriage contracts of Saudi men to non-Saudi women last year reached 3,596, while female Saudi marriage contracts to non-Saudi males reached 3,352.
The statistical reports stated that the number of divorces among Saudis last year reached 40,000, representing almost a third of the marriage contracts in the same year, of around 133,000 contracts.
The report explained that the divorce contracts issued from Saudi courts for Saudis in Makkah region reached 10,345, 26 percent of the total divorce contracts issued by various courts in all regions of the Kingdom during the past year, followed by Riyadh, which reached 9,470 contracts, or 23 percent.
The divorce contracts in the Eastern Province reached 4,727, or 12 percent of total divorce contracts.
Statistics also revealed that the number of divorces between Saudi men to non-Saudi women last year reached 1,593, while divorces between Saudi women and non-Saudi men reached 700. The divorces between non-Saudi men and non-Saudi women reached 3,686.
arabnews.com/node/958316/saudi-arabia
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Taliban leader suggests softening stance on women’s rights
23 July, 2016
KABUL, Afghanistan — A recent pledge by the Afghan Taliban’s new leader to give more rights to women living in areas under the group’s control has been met with skepticism by members of the government, but even some critics see the move as evidence the militants are changing with the times.
When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, women were denied formal education, forbidden to work and could not leave home without a male chaperone. Today, laws criminalizing harmful traditional practices have been adopted. A record number of women are enrolled in school and university, and female ministers comprise more than a quarter of the Afghan parliament.
But some conservative, rural areas have seen virtually no change in the last 15 years.
Earlier this month, a pregnant 14-year-old girl in Ghor province was burned to death by her in-laws in an alleged “honor killing.” She had been married to settle a family dispute in a tradition known as Baad.
In his first official statement since becoming the Taliban’s leader in May, Haibatullah Akhundzada earlier this month appeared ready to stamp out some of these sexist traditions in areas he holds influence.
“I will try for better reforms of courts and efficient conduct of affairs and for ... the rights of women as per Sharia (Islamic law),” he said in the statement, posted on the Taliban’s website.
When asked by Stars and Stripes about the pledge, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said the group is tackling a number of issues, including ensuring women are allowed to divorce and receive inheritance.
Kate Clark, a senior analysts with the Afghanistan Analysts Network, cautioned that conceptions of what constitute women’s rights “can be very different.”
“The Taliban have always talked about women’s rights but often in their own terms within an Islamic discourse.”
According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Taliban control more territory now than at any time since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion ousted them from power. But Clark said that the group remained fragmented and that local commanders could easily ignore orders to protect women.
Last summer a group of about a dozen Afghan women held unprecedented talks with the Taliban in Oslo, Norway, aimed at ensuring the rights gained by women are not forfeited in any future power-sharing deal with the government. The meeting was held a month after Taliban representatives pledged a softer stance on women during exploratory talks with Afghan government officials in Qatar.
According to participants, the Taliban representatives said they would support women’s rights to education, work, inheritance, choice of their own husbands and participation in politics. A year later, the group appears to be standing by many of these pledges, at least officially.
But Sima Samar, chairwoman of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, remains wary. “Now that they’re not in power, they might be softer in their actions, but there’s no guarantee,” she said.
nd actions may speak louder than words.
Last year when the Taliban briefly took control of the northern city of Kunduz, they looted offices of women activists, shelters and women-run radio stations. As a result, dozens of activists fled the city, Human Rights Watch reported.
Still, it is generally agreed that the Taliban have softened their stance on women’s education, and they seem to be playing down past efforts to prevent women from studying.
“We are not against educations for women ... we signed a protocol with the U.N. at the time (of Taliban rule) to provide separate schools and transportation for girls if the U.N. funded it, but they didn’t fund us so we could not provide the facilities,” Mujahid said.
Clark said the militants actively prevent girls from going to school, but she said the behavior was also revealing.
“I think they have been forced by changing public opinions to change their stance on education,” she said. “People definitely want their boys to go to school, and a lot of them want their girls to go to school. And I think the Taliban have responded to that demand by changing their views.”
Afghan parliamentarian Shinkai Karokhail insisted the Taliban would lose supporters if they did not adapt to new perceptions of women.
“They have to change their attitudes; they have to change their policies,” she said. Regardless of whether new leader Akhundzada’s recent statement was sincere, the fact that he mentioned women’s rights, Karokhail said, shows the issue is more important to Afghans than it was in the recent past.
“What I would say is that we should not really generalize that the Taliban have changed their mentality,” said Samar, chairwoman of the Independent Human Rights Commission. “I think the behavior that we see in some areas they control is not very positive.” But she believed there was room for optimism.
“There’s no doubt the situation for women is improving across Afghanistan,” she said, “and we cannot also ignore that humans, even the Taliban, are changeable.”
Zubair Babakarkhail contributed to this report.
stripes.com/news/taliban-leader-suggests-softening-stance-on-women-s-rights-1.420456
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Pakistan’s all-women schools send mixed messages
23 July, 2016
KARACHI, Pakistan — At 22, Wahabba Husain had never worn a headscarf. As she walked into the classroom at Al-Huda, an all-female Pakistani institute for Islamic studies, on a December afternoon in 2014, she felt a pang of worry.
Would the other women judge her immodest? A bad Muslim?
Husain exhaled when she saw many of her classmates had removed their veils. Her teachers, some as young as she was, had angelic faces. For the next several months, studying the Quran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad among two dozen women every Friday became a haven for her in male-dominated Pakistan.
“I wanted something to feel at peace,” Husain said, lingering over a juice at an upmarket cafe in Karachi. “There is a very big sense of masculinity in this city. The classes are one of the best ways for women to connect with God in a way that is ours.”
Al-Huda – which caters mainly to educated urban women – is the best known of a growing number of female-only academies that form an important outlet in an increasingly conservative country. They offer women a space outside the home to study and socialize while empowering them with a measure of the religious authority long monopolized by powerful male mullahs.
Yet there is a paradox at the heart of the schools’ appeal. Even as they seek to embolden women, many preach an austere interpretation of Islam that segregates the sexes, tolerates unequal gender roles and rejects other strains of the faith – philosophies that critics say contribute to Pakistan’s growing fundamentalism.
EACHING A U.S. SHOOTER
A former Al-Huda student was Tashfeen Malik, who went on a shooting spree with her husband in December at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others. Before the killings, the couple pledged loyalty to the leader of the Islamic State, raising questions about the role Al-Huda might have played in radicalizing Malik during the several months she spent attending classes in the southern Pakistani city of Multan.
It was the first time the school was directly linked to such an attack. Al-Huda’s founder, Farhat Hashmi, a Pakistani-born woman living in Canada, said the organization “denounces extremism, violence and terrorism of all kinds” and should not be held responsible for students’ “personal acts.”
Husain said none of her teachers at Al-Huda – or any other academy – endorsed violence. “I’ve been to all of them and they never taught me anything like that,” she said.
“There are so many girls going to these institutions. If all of them went around shooting … well, the ratio is very, very low.”
Many women say the academies have allowed them to reassert themselves in a society that often feels hostile to their gender. In Karachi, the sprawling port city where Husain lives, violence and lawlessness, combined with a creeping religious orthodoxy, conspire to restrict even many educated working women to roles as wives and homemakers.
Classes taught by women, for women, fill the drawing rooms of the city’s best neighborhoods and banquet halls in five-star hotels, as well as classrooms and more modest venues. Tickets for Quranic lectures are sold at coffee shops and perfume boutiques, aimed squarely at women from the middle class and above.
“It’s an alternative space outside the home or kinship networks that women didn’t have access to earlier, and it’s important that they can justify to their families that it is something noble and religious,” said Faiza Mushtaq, a sociology professor at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi.
‘I WAS BECOMING MORE RIGID’
One Karachi woman said she began studying Islam in 2000 to cope with the “emptiness” she felt after giving birth to two daughters. Al-Huda drew women from different social classes together, a rarity in stratified Pakistan.
Yet the woman, a journalist in her mid-40s, quit after a few years in frustration over her teachers’ failure to address social issues such as rape and extremist violence.
“I didn’t see anything that advised us to act in a violent way. But it did make people profoundly religious,” she said.
“I sensed that I was becoming more rigid. I was avoiding my husband’s male friends and (avoiding) visiting places that had music. It started to create problems at home.”
Like other women interviewed for this story, the ex-student requested anonymity because she has not disclosed to co-workers that she studied at Al-Huda, which remains controversial despite its popularity. The religious establishment regards Hashmi as unqualified to teach the Quran and her methods as too modern. In liberal and secular circles, she is seen as reactionary and anti-feminist.
Founded in 1994, Al-Huda began as a response to the traditional schooling administered by large Islamist organizations, which many educated women had begun to view as regressive and overly political.
Muslim women have long gathered for informal study circles known as dars. Hashmi, who earned her Ph.D. in Islamic studies from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, created a university-style system with admissions requirements, fixed class schedules, homework assignments and an 18-month diploma program.
In lectures, Hashmi advocates women’s right to go to school and hold jobs.
She has raised the ire of traditionalists by ridiculing certain ritualistic beliefs, such as barring women from entering mosques when they’re menstruating or not allowing them to pray while wearing nail polish.
But generally, Al-Huda’s curriculum is in line with the orthodox Sunni Muslim establishment that has held sway in Pakistan since the 1980s. Shiite Islam, Sufism and other strains of the faith are seen as sacrilegious. Some students said divorce was discouraged.
About a year after she began attending classes, Husain decided to don the Islamic headscarf, or hijab. She hangs out with her friends less often in public places now, preferring to invite them to her house for barbecues. Recently, she was engaged to a young man of her family’s choosing.
But she hasn’t shunned her other male friends or broken off her old friendships. She listens to Islamic music, but she remains a huge fan of pop artists like Taylor Swift and Imagine Dragons.
“Music continues to be my weakest point,” Husain said laughing. “I would still call myself a struggling practicing Muslim.”
Los Angeles Times
pressherald.com/2016/07/22/pakistans-all-women-schools-send-mixed-messages/
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Muslim Teenagers Use Slam Poetry To Educate Others About Their Faith
 23/07/2016
The girls say they hope their poetry will dispel any misplaced fears non-Muslims have about Islam.
“September 11, 2001, wake up America the enemy is here.”
This is how a group of four Muslim American teenagers, who hope to change the culture of discrimination toward Muslims through the art of slam poetry, start their poem, “Wake Up America.”
This year there have been at least 200 acts of Islamophobia in the United States. And if Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had his way, Muslims wouldn’t even be allowed to enter the country.
“I think people like Donald Trump want Muslims banned out of fear. They are scared of the unknown and they are scared of change,” Kiran Waqar, a 16-year-old poet from Vermont, told The Huffington Post.
Waqar is a member of the slam poetry quartet, Muslim Girls Making Change, which recently participated in the international youth poetry festival Brave New Voices. She, along with members Balkisa Abdikadir, Hawa Adam and Lena Ginawi, formed MGMC after getting involved with the Young Writers Project, a Vermont-based nonprofit that helps young artists develop their crafts and find avenues for creative expression.
“Hawa, Lena, Balkisa and Kiran are radiant, powerful young women. They each bring such unique characteristics to the table,” YWP outreach coordinator Sarah Gliech told HuffPost.
For the four young women, slam poetry is a vehicle for discussing the issues and events in their lives ― many of which center around their Muslim American identity.
In their co-written poem, “Chameleon,” Waqar and Adam discuss the difficulty of navigating their racial, religious, ethnic and national identities, which sometimes feel at odds.
“We will never be white, only pretend to be. We hide behind fake mirrors and lies, unsure of who we really are,” the poem reads. “Am I African American or the other way around?” Adam says. 
“Pakistani first? American?” Waqar says in the poem.
“In middle school, especially, I wanted to be an average girl so bad. I didn’t want anyone asking me questions or even acknowledging the fact that I am different from them,” Waqar told HuffPost. “This wanting to be ‘normal’ stayed strong until the beginning of 10th grade when I put on the hijab. Now I am a little more comfortable with the stares, the questions and the disapproval prompting me to start to learn more about my culture.”
The girls say they hope their poetry will educate people about the experiences of Muslims Americans and dispel any misplaced fears non-Muslims have about the faith.
“Whenever you hear the word terrorism I don’t want the first thing you think about is Islam, because Islam, to me, is a religion of peace,” Ginawi told the Associated Press. “Anything that these terrorists do has nothing to do with Islam.”
Watch the performance of their thought-provoking poem, “Wake Up America” above.
huffingtonpost.in/entry/muslim-teenagers-use-slam-poetry-to-educate-others-about-their-faith_us_57926ad2e4b01180b52eea44
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Iran's Conservatives Lash Out at New Female Fashion Trends
23 July, 2016
Iran’s anti-vice squads, also referred to as the morality police, are particularly busy in the hot summer months when Iranian women wear lighter clothes and are less observant of the mandatory hijab. But this year the squads are focusing on a new “threat:” women wearing clothes with large English words on them.
On National Hijab and Chastity Day (July 11, 2016), state-sponsored events occurred in ten locations in Tehran and in 400 others throughout the country to “defend the sanctity of the family” and promote the strict observance of the hijab.
The events, mostly organized by the Basij paramilitary organization (a subsidiary of the Revolutionary Guards) and affiliated groups featured ultra-conservative officials and clerics who touted a common claim: foreign enemies of the Islamic Republic are waging a “soft war” to encourage women to take off their hijabs.
“In the early years of the [1979] revolution people accepted the hijab [becoming mandatory for women] without much force, but this trend did not continue and now we have a situation where we are moving from lax observance of the hijab to no hijab at all,” said the Deputy Head of the Judiciary in Charge of Social Affairs Mohammad Bagher Olfat during Judiciary Week (June 21-27).
Controlling Women’s Bodies
The focus on the hijab last week brought attention to this new fad among young people in Iran, especially in Tehran, of wearing the manteau-long, form-concealing coats that women were told to wear when in public following the revolution-with large English phrases printed on them, usually with a humorous message.
In response to the negative light being shown on the fashion trend, Iranians light-heartedly shared photos of the latest phrases being featured on the clothing on social media last week. But conservatives were not laughing.
“The spread of these kinds of products are against public morality and indicate a lack of attention by the officials in charge of cultural matters,” said Minoo Aslani, the female secretary general of the hardline Women’s Basij Organization on July 11, 2016.
“There are dirty and disdainful phrases printed on the back of these manteaus and so they should be banned from sale and removed from stores as soon as possible,” she said in a separate interview that same day.
Some of the phrases include variations of the World War II British slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” such as “Keep Calm, I am Queen” or “Keep Calm, I am Insured By Abolfazl.”
“I have seen girls and boys wearing clothes that have the word ‘Queen’ on them. This is an ugly manifestation of a Western trend that has entered our country with evil intentions devised behind the scenes,” said the conservative female former Tehran MP Zohreh Tabibzadeh on July 11, 2016. “This is obviously a calculated plan that is spreading because the government’s cultural policies leave our country’s gates wide open.”
Compulsory Hijab: Not a Life Sentence?
In early July 2016 a senior theologian based in the holy city of Qom issued a fatwa (religious decree) permitting Iranian Muslim women living abroad to remove their hijab under certain circumstances.
Asked how Muslim women should respond if they were required to remove their hijab to continue their education in countries like Turkey, Ayatollah Nasser Makkarem Shirazi said: “Given that important posts would be filled by loose women if religious Muslim women are unable to receive higher education, the latter are permitted to remove their hijab if necessary. But in all other cases they should observe it.”
Mohammad Oliaei-Fard, an Iranian legal expert, described Makkarem Shirazi’s fatwa as a “historic” step that could eventually lead to the end of the compulsory hijab.
“The Constitution says that laws must be based on Islam, but Islamic precepts can be interpreted in a way to protect the individual and social rights of citizens, including the right to not wear the hijab. Therefore, this fatwa could be an important step in that direction,” said Oliaei-Fard. “As the founder of the Islamic Republic [the late Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini] said, ‘preserving the state is most important’... therefore the hijab could become voluntary instead of mandatory, if the preservation of the state requires it.”
Despite being imposed on all Iranian women after the revolution, the hijab has gradually transformed into many different forms and fashions in Iran. Women have been creatively skirting religious sensitivities, regardless of frequent warnings from the supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and his conservative followers about foreign plots to undermine traditional values.
“There’s no doubt that this new immoral trend has been orchestrated. Our officials are not prepared to respond to questions about the wide availability of these immoral products in our Islamic society,”said Aslani, who regularly preaches hardline policies in the media. “It appears that those who are making profits and plotting a cultural invasion are much smarter than our officials in charge of cultural affairs. It’s as if they are in deep sleep.”
Source: International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
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New Art Exhibition Explores Muslim Women’s Experiences Living in Toronto
23 July, 2016
Terrorist, dirty, oppressed, ignorant: these are just some of the words that Muslim women say are often hurled at them in Toronto. These are also some of the words you will see written on works of art by those same women.
On display at the Gardiner Museum this week, Respect, by the South Riverdale Community Health Centre aims to put the stigma and Islamophobia faced by Muslim women in the spotlight through art.
The brain child of Gurpreet Karir and Wanda Georgis, both non-Muslim social workers at the community health centre, Respect was born out of the niqab debate that took place in Canada during the Harper government, their own work with Muslim women in the Danforth and Jones Avenue neighbourhood, and the harassment and physical assault that some Muslim women are facing in Toronto.
“We were wondering how [Muslim women] were doing in this climate and how their children were doing. We were trying to think of a way to get them talking about these issues,” Karir says.
The project proved difficult at first. Karir and Georgis did not anticipate some of the anxiety and apprehension that the women had speaking about their experiences. Participants say they’ve heard several upsetting stories of Islamophobia from other Muslim Torontonians: those who wanted to change their names to avoid persecution, community members who were harassed on public transit, and many who felt anxious just leaving their homes.
“It was not easy. At first, they would say ‘everything is fine,’ ‘Canada is great,'” she says. “But as soon as we began to share our own experiences, the women also opened up about the stigma and sometimes verbal assaults that they had met.”
One of the participants, Salha Al-Shuwehdy was hesitant to join the project when she was initially asked. Never having done any art, let alone silk screening, she did not know what to expect.
“I didn’t even know that I had anything to say,” she says. “I was very anxious because…I didn’t think that anyone would care about what I had to say.”
She now credits the project with helping her find her voice. And that’s the purpose of the project: to bring the voice of Muslim women to other communities in Toronto.
While Respect is currently on display at the Gardiner Museum, part of the project—silk screens created by Muslim women including Al-Shuwehdy—was first exhibited last year at the Carrot Common in Toronto’s east end. Just like the Gardiner Museum, none of the participating women had ever been to the Carrot Common, and their one-day exhibition on the rooftop there proved to be a conversation that they wanted to continue to have.
“I told my husband, this is not the end of this project,” Al-Shuwehdy says.
And she was right.
A year later, a new, younger group of Muslim women began exploring issues of stigma and Islamopohbia through silk screening messages written on hijabs that they designed at the community centre.
Twenty-year-old Fatima Khan, a Ryerson University student whose mother participated in the first phase of the project, jumped at the chance to take her message outside of her own community.
“Me and my friends talk often about what is happening in the world and how we feel about being Muslim in Canadian society,” she says. “But we were never invited to speak openly about this or share with others from outside of our community.”
“When the attacks happened in Paris last year, my mom told me to stop taking the TTC for awhile because she was afraid everybody would blame all Muslims for what happened,” Khan adds.
After the second group of girls were finished their silk screens, Georgis and Karir once again began the difficult task of looking for a space to exhibit the works, stumbling upon the Gardiner Museum.
Through an open call for proposals, the South Riverdale Community and Health Centre applied to be a part of the Gardiner Museum’s summer-long Community Arts Space Program. And while Respect is far unlike the usual clay and ceramics that patrons are used to seeing, the Gardiner Museum was keen to host the exhibit.
“We know how difficult it can be to find space in this city,” says Rachel Weiner, senior communications officer at the Gardiner Museum. “We thought this work was vital and deserved to be seen and so we were happy to fit it into our program.”
Making art accessible to people and communities who wouldn’t normally be attending exhibitions and openings, let alone exhibiting their own works, is what is so transformative about this project. South Riverdale Community Health Centre provided the means and Gardiner Museum provided the space for Muslim women to share their stories and their hopes for a more inclusive and welcoming Toronto. In light of this, a special message from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be read at a community celebration of the exhibit Friday.
torontoist.com/2016/07/new-art-exhibition-explores-muslim-womens-experiences-living-in-toronto/
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State cabinet approves funds for weavers, students of marginalized communities
23 July, 2016
DEHRADUN: The state cabinet in a meeting convened after the assembly session on Friday took a string of important decisions which included among others approving the creation of jobs for artisans through a weavers' development fund for which banks would give 25 per cent of the margin money, upto Rs 50,000 per person, as assistance grant for projects upto Rs three lakh. The cabinet also approved an amount of four thousand rupees per month as pension for families of statehood activists. This amount will be divided equally among the sons and daughters of the activists.
In some welcome news for the over 3000 cane farmers in the state, the cabinet announced payment of cane arrears of Rs 200 crore. While the state governmment will pay Rs 100 crore, the rest would be paid through loans and other provisions, an official communique issued by the state information department said. Meritorious children of BPL households will now be able to avail of scholarships under the Indramani Badoni scheme of the state government, the communique said. In addition, Muslim girls wishing to pursue higher and technical education can avail of the CM Special Muslim Students' scholarship scheme for which a corpus fund of one crore was being created. A fund of Rs two crore had been approved for providing scholarships to extremely talented children of farmers while the cabinet had given the go-ahead for a fund of Rs one crore to provide incentives for students of nomadic, semi-nomadic community to pursue elementary education. Similar provisions had been made for students belonging to Other Backward Categories (OBCs). "Most of the proposals which were finalized at today's cabinet meeting will contribute to improving the financial conditions of those belonging to economically weaker classes in a bid to bring them into the mainstream ",said chief secretary Shatrughana Singh.
Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/State-cabinet-approves-funds-for-weavers-students-of-marginalized-communities/articleshow/53344214.cms
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Senegalese authorities sweep child beggars off streets
23 July, 2016
DAKAR: In recent weeks, packs of shoeless boys and girls have been coaxed off the streets where they have spent their childhoods, crying and frightened as they are loaded onto buses in the Senegalese capital Dakar.
The crackdown on child begging comes after years of inaction and is praised by children’s groups but greeted with anger by powerful Islamic figures in the west African nation.
The children are from a mix of poor or homeless families and others known as “talibes” — boys sent out to beg by Islamic tutors to make money for their boarding schools.
They are brought to Guinddi Children’s Centre in the capital accompanied by social workers, where they are interviewed and checked for signs of maltreatment and disease.
“The children are generally unaccompanied. When they come here we ask them for the telephone number of their tutor or Koranic teacher and they give it to us,” explained Maimouna Balde, director of the Guinddi centre.
Parents, or Islamic teachers known as “marabouts”, will generally come and pick up the children themselves, Balde said, whereupon the centre’s staff explain that if their charges are found on the streets again they will be prosecuted.
The operation will continue “for as long as there are children on the streets,” she said.
Profitable system
With 270 street kids picked up in the first two weeks of July in Dakar, according to the authorities, the initiative is a long way from dealing with the 30,000 talibes estimated to be begging daily.
Often from poor rural families, the talibes are sent to Dakar and other Senegalese cities nominally to memorise the Koran, but are often left vulnerable to abuse and receiving little education.
Sometimes the journey home is long: on July 11 nine children were repatriated to neighbouring Guinea after being collected from the streets, according to one Guinean charity.
The current crackdown is the first time a decade-old law has been firmly applied, with parents or guardians of child beggars potentially facing two to five years in jail and fines of up to 2,000,000 CFA ($3,355).
“There are fattened calves hidden behind this education system to exploit children through begging, which is an easy and profitable business,” Niokhobaye Diouf, national director of child protection services.
Parents of street children should be assessed to see if they could benefit from state welfare and health programmes to deter them from relying on their children’s labour, he said.
Talibes are told to beg for food and money and not to return to their “daara” — Islamic school — until they have collected enough.
Even late at night in Dakar children only visibly out of kindergarten can be seen shaking empty tins of food, trying to get enough to be allowed to finish up for the day.
Power of tradition
Dealing with the systematic slavery of children in Senegal in this way has been attempted and then abandoned by the state several times before.
Until now, the power of tradition means few have been willing to challenge the marabouts, given their status and the respect they are afforded as Islamic scholars.
Muslim elder Sidy Lamine Niasse told journalists the government “doggedly pursued daaras” to “stigmatise and demonise” them.
But the schools have a long history of abuse: in February, the Senegalese authorities found 20 boys aged between six and 14 kept in chains by their marabout — resulting in a rare prosecution.
Mustapha Lo, president of the national federation of Koranic schools, said the street sweep was taken without consulting Muslim educators and downplayed the concerns relayed by children’s charities.
“The majority of us manage our Koranic schools without making the children beg on the streets. Some Koranic teachers do that because they lack any other financial means,” Lo said.
Countering their arguments, Diouf said the government hopes to reform the daaras’ curriculum while giving them a better level of financial support.
More than their education is at stake: the authorities want to avoid children falling prey to jihadist recruiters in the region, who are luring young men away with promises of riches and glory.
freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2016/07/23/senegalese-authorities-sweep-child-beggars-off-streets/


- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islam,-women-and-feminism/new-age-islam-news-bureau/%E2%80%98hidden-divorces%E2%80%99-threaten-fabric-of-saudi-society/d/108056#sthash.Zdbxnvn7.dpuf

Only Six Shrines Remain Standing As Gaza's Ancient Sites Crumble











Photo: The shrine of Sheikh Youssef is seen in the village of Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Yunis, in this image taken on July 11, 2016. (photo by Mohammed Othman)

This Is What Zakir Naik Thinks About Narendra Modi, Islamic State and Jihad
UN Seeks Progress Report on Measures against Honour Killing
‘IS Targeting Malaysian Military Personnel for Recruitment’
Al-Qaeda in Syria Executes 14 Govt ‘Soldiers’
Mideast
Only Six Shrines Remain Standing As Gaza's Ancient Sites Crumble
Turkish Cyprus Designates Gülen Organization as Terrorist
Turkey wants Pakistan to shut institutions run by Gulen
Erdogan says EU 'biased' against Turkey after coup bid
Iranian academics still divided over nuclear deal
US offered to help on Gülen’s extradition, Turkish FM confirms
CHP leader urges gov’t not to turn post-coup probe into ‘witch hunt’
Iran Blasts West for Keeping Mum on Terrorists' Brutal Crimes in Syria
Tehran stops ‘terrorist infiltration’ from Turkey

India
This Is What Zakir Naik Thinks About Narendra Modi, Islamic State and Jihad
‘100 Marathwada Youths In Touch With Daesh’: Shiv Sena MLA
Mumbai Police Likely To Submit Report on Zakir Naik Next Week
IS recruiter' Kalyan youth arrested
Indian consulate in Munich puts out advisory after shooting
J&K HC asks govt to take action against news channels creating ‘hysteria’ in state
Stop inciting violence: India to Pakistan
Acid bottles are Kashmiri protesters’ new weapon against pellet guns

Europe
UN Seeks Progress Report On Measures Against Honour Killing
Officials: Munich Mass Killer Just A Nutcase, No Links to Any Group
Islamic State Supporters Celebrate Munich Shooting On Social Media
United Nations delivers food to starving displaced by Boko Haram
Pakistan-based terror groups target India's interests in Afghanistan: Envoy
'British Muslims give the most to charity'
UK Reveals Saudi National with Diplomatic Immunity Involved in Human Trafficking
Kyrgyzstan Apprehends ISIL Terrorist in Bishkek
UN urges Turkey to ensure rights after declaring state of emergency
Brazil Muslims back probe of 10 for terror suspicions
France bolsters Iraq military fight against IS
Munich shooter was German-Iranian, motive ´unclear´

Southeast Asia
‘IS Targeting Malaysian Military Personnel for Recruitment’
Islamic State Jihad Not True Jihad, Says Jakim
IGP: 14 nabbed for IS links, one for sharing bomb recipes
‘Pokemon Go’ an ‘evil’ that will ‘engulf the world’, says local columnist

Arab World
Al-Qaeda in Syria Executes 14 Govt ‘Soldiers’
38 Regime Men Die as Aleppo Tunnel Bombed
Syria: Infighting Kills Several Terrorists In Eastern Damascus
Syria: ISIL Terrorists Fleeing Manbij In Aleppo Province In Women's Dress
Jeddah Saudi Arabia Attack on Americans 'Imminent,' Warns Embassy
Syrian, Russian Airstrikes Inflict Major Losses on Terrorists in Aleppo
Russian Warplanes Bomb Terrorist Centers Heavily across Syria
Syrian Democratic Forces Take Control of 90 Percent of Western Manbij
Kingdom’s anti-terror efforts pay dividend
Coalition welcomes gains against Daesh
Syria: Terrorists Lose 40 Tanks, 300 Fighters in Aleppo

North America
Jihadis Urged Black Americans to Convert to Islam after Baton Rouge Shooting
Obama Administration Taken Aback by Pakistan Permitting Hafiz Saeed’s Anti-India Rally
US says airstrikes on Syrian city Manbij to continue despite civilian deaths
3 Florida men charged with aiding Islamic State
US Muslim voters launch anti-Trump campaign
Clergy Put Pressure On Florida Official Who Axed Polling Site At Mosque
Resolving Kashmir issue require goodwill of India, Pak: UN counter- terrorism executive director

Pakistan
Media Blackout Comes in Handy with Pakistan’s Attempt to Wipe Extremism
As 7th Largest Immigrants, Pakistanis Not Eligible For US Diversity Visa
Waiting for the day Kashmir becomes part of Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif
18 suspects added to ECL over alleged IS ties
‘104,000 Pakistanis gained US citizenship in 10 years’

South Asia
Books Being Used To Radicalise Bangladeshi Muslims in Singapore
Kabul: Suicide Bomber Attacks Demonstration by Hazara Minority, 10 Killed
Afghan commandos launch operation against ISIS in Nangarhar
Clash during Taliban leader’s funeral in Parwan, casualties feared
3 ‘militants’ held in Old Dhaka
Jamiatul Ulama condemns Islamic foundation’s instruction
Bangladesh police gives blood samples of cafe attackers to FBI

Africa
Somalia Joins African Countries Interested In Morocco’s Religious Experience
Libya: UN Authorizes Offshore Disposal Chemical Weapons
Nigeria: President Buhari Confirms Talks With Niger Delta Militants
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

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Only six shrines remain standing as Gaza's ancient sites crumble
Jul 23, 2016
KHAN YUNIS, Gaza Strip — All that is left of the Sheikh Youssef shrine is a room surmounted by a dome made of ancient marble. Located on the main road in the village of Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Yunis, the shrine houses a tomb that Gazans believe contains the remains of a mysterious but righteous Muslim man.
Although the shrine is in an area crowded with pedestrians and residents, it has become so deserted over the past few years that the municipality of Bani Suhaila has closed it. People have become less inclined to visit the shrines and mausoleums in Gaza that were once filled with people and hosted festivals each year.
One shrine, al-Khodr, is currently being restored as a cultural site by the NAWA for Culture and Arts Association with funding by UNESCO. Parts of the shrine, located in a residential area in the city of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, will be used as a library.
Assad Ashour, an archaeologist and the former head of excavation at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Gaza, told Al-Monitor that there are only six ancient shrines and tombs left in Gaza. A large number have disappeared as a result of government and community neglect.
Ashour said, “The remaining ones include al-Khodr shrine in Deir al-Balah, al-Zaouia al-Ahmadiya shrine in al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza City and Sheikh Mohammed shrine on the outskirts of Khan Yunis. There is also the shrine of Sheikh Bashir in al-Tuffah neighborhood east of Gaza City, where I did some exploration five years ago. I found tombstones taken from other locations and some marble panels from different mosques.”
He added, “The last and largest ancient shrine is the shrine of Sayyid Hashim, the grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, located inside Sayyid Hashim Mosque in Gaza City. But people are starting to forget all about it as well.”
Ashour lamented the widespread neglect, saying, “There were times when people from all over Gaza would visit these shrines, but no longer. No government authority pays attention to them in the absence of financial resources, with people preoccupied with the growing concerns of daily life. Only al-Khodr shrine has recently been restored with funding from UNESCO.”
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in the West Bank does not offer financing to its Gaza counterpart for the restoration and preservation of shrines. The Gaza ministry must rely on local taxes collected by Hamas.
According to Ashour, al-Khodr shrine, which was poorly rebuilt in the 1930s, is considered a holy place for Muslims who believe that a Muslim sheikh named al-Khodr is buried there. He said, “However, the writing on the tombstone indicates that the shrine holds the remains of a Christian saint named Hilarius who escaped Roman persecution in the fourth century, when Emperor Julian recanted from Christianity and destroyed the monastery built by Hilarius on the shore of the Sea of Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip, which is considered one of the largest monasteries in Palestine. Only parts of this monastery remain, and the site is now known as Tell Umm Amer.”
Jamal Abu Rida, the head of the General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage at Gaza's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, told Al-Monitor that his ministry is interested in preserving the shrines and other archaeological sites in the Gaza Strip.
“Despite the ministry's financial hardships and lack of manpower, we are able today, with funding from UNESCO, to restore al-Khodr shrine in the city of Deir al-Balah. But we need to preserve all shrines and mausoleums all around the Gaza Strip,” he added.
Abu Rida called for amending some articles of the Palestinian Antiquities Law No. 5 of 1929, passed in the era of the British Mandate over Palestine. The law lacks measures to prevent the violation of archaeological sites, including shrines. He also pointed to a need for a budget that will allow the ministry to restore and preserve these shrines.
The drop in visitors to Gaza's shrines and mausoleums is attributable in part to the increase in religiosity and religious awareness, as Muslim clerics have been telling people that visiting shrines conflicts with Islamic directives.
In this context, Muslim scholar Mohammed Skeik told Al-Monitor that there is a difference between visiting the tombs to meditate, which is allowed in Islam, and visiting shrines to beg for divine intervention, which is not allowed. He said that very few people visit certain shrines in Khan Yunis these days.
“The hadiths about the Prophet Muhammad discouraged lifting the graves from the ground and building [shrines] atop. In addition, according to our Islamic doctrine, Muslims should be buried in Muslim graves, not in special places. Ignorant people started worshiping the shrines instead of God,” he said.
Skeik explained that people used to frequently visit shrines such as Sayyid Hashim's in Gaza City. Muslims would come from abroad to beg Sayyid Hashim to pray for material gains.
He said that Shiites started building shrines in the beginning of the fourth century after the prophet's death. “For the first three centuries after the Prophet Muhammad migrated from Mecca to Medina, there were no shrines to attract people to the city. In the fourth century AH, Shiites began building shrines for their imams, such as al-Hussein shrine in Karbala, Musa al-Kadhim shrine in Kadhimiya in Iraq and Sayyida Zeinab shrine in Syria.”
Although the majority of the population in the Gaza Strip has stopped visiting shrines and mausoleums, some are still hoping to preserve them as part of Palestine’s cultural heritage.
al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/gaza-shrines-neglect-lack-funding.html#ixzz4FEDyb7o3
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This Is What Zakir Naik Thinks About Narendra Modi, Islamic State and Jihad
23 July, 2016
Jeddah: Mumbai-based televangelist Zakir Naik, who is under fire over allegedly inspiring one of the terrorists who attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka recently, has opened up in a bid to douse the controversies surrounding him.
Talking to The Times of India, the Islamic preacher said the news that one of the attackers was his follower first appeared in a Bangladeshi newspaper on July 03 and in the Indian media on July 04. “It is totally wrong. The paper later clarified but the Indian media ran a trial against me.”
Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the only PM of India who has visited so many Muslim countries in just two years, Naik said this will “strengthen relations between India and other Muslim countries”.
“If his (Modi's) intention is to maintain unity between Hindus and Muslims and between India and other Muslim countries, I am totally for him."
“Hinduism is a major religion of the world and India has a high Muslim population. So if the PM reaches out to Muslim countries, it is good. It will help bring investments to India. If all these countries get together, India would become a superpower. India was a superpower in the past and will attain that stature again.”
When asked about his views on the Islamic State, Naik said, “Jihad means to strive and struggle to make the society better. It also stands for self-defence. But the Indian media has hyped jihad. Besides non-Muslims, it is misunderstood even by Muslims.”
“IS is killing innocent people which, according to the Quran, is a sin against humanity. I call them anti-Islam state. They have given a wrong meaning to Islam. If someone killed Muslims in Gujarat that does not justify killing innocent Hindus in Mumbai.”
He also refuted claims that he forced Hindus to embrace Islam.
The preacher also declared that he was “proud to be an Indian and an Indian Muslim”.
Saying that he has full faith in the Indian judiciary, Naik underlined that there should not be any political pressure on it.
He further rejected the charge that his lectures were against the Indian Constitution or attempted to disrupt the harmony of India.
The controversial preacher has said he is willing to return to India "whenever the government or the agencies want me".
Naik's Peace TV and Peace mobile have been banned in Bangladesh following revelations that one of the young Islamist attackers who killed 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, during a Dhaka cafe siege on July 01 drew "inspiration" from his speeches.
On Thursday, a joint team of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad and Kerala Police arrested a youth allegedly associated with Naik's foundation in connection with a case registered in Kochi.
A senior police official said Arshid Qureshi, who was associated with IRF Foundation of Zakir Naik, was nabbed from Navi Mumbai.
zeenews.india.com/news/india/know-what-zakir-naik-thinks-about-narendra-modi-islamic-state-and-jihad_1910305.html
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UN seeks progress report on measures against honour killing
Jul 23, 2016
ISLAMABAD: The United Nations (UN) committee on the elimination of discrimination against women will examine Pakistan’s progress report about its legislative and administrative measures against honour killing and anti-women offences early next year, a senior official of the ministry of foreign affairs said.
Pakistan has been asked by the committee to submit its report by March 2017. Another progress report is to be presented to the UN Human Rights Committee Against Torture (CAT) for its examination on 17 April next year, the official added. CAT monitors matters pertaining to cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment.
Parliamentary panel clears honour killing, rape laws
“The progress reports will be submitted in compliance with the directive of the UN committees,” the official further said.
Human rights activists and civil society have repeatedly expressed their serious concern over constant delay on the part of federal government in enacting laws against offences of honour killing, rape and other anti-women laws and customs.
The government’s inability on this issue is reflected by the fact that it had miserably failed to get approval of three pro-women bills by the National Assembly within 90 days after they were passed by Senate last year.
As a result all the three proposed legislations, Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill 2015, Anti-Honour Killing Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill 2015 and the Torture, Custodial Death and Custodial Rape (Prevention and Punishment) Bill had lapsed in October 2015.
The cause for the expiry of those bills was that the government delayed in convening the National Assembly session due to its political expediencies. According to the rules and procedure, those bills will now have to be approved by a joint session of parliament.
My son should be shot on sight, says Qandeel’s father
The UN committee on the elimination of discrimination against women in its report on 27 March 2013 had expressed its serious concern over the state of women in Pakistan.
Apart from several other issues pertaining to the lack of legislative measures to ensure protection of women against unfair treatment, the committee was extremely worried about the persistence of child and forced marriages, Karo-Kari, honour killing, stove burning and acid throwing, marriage to the Holy Quran and polygamy.
It was anxious that despite the provisions in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2004 that criminalise offences in the name of so-called honour, the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance continue to be applied in these cases, resulting in perpetrators being given legal concessions and/or being pardoned and not being prosecuted and punished.
The committee had asked Pakistan to address shortcomings in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2004 and repeal all provisions under which perpetrators of so-called honour crimes are allowed to negotiate pardon with victims’ families.
The UN body also expressed its concern at the high prevalence of domestic violence and martial rape and at the absence of clear legislation criminalising such acts.
It was also concerned about the paucity of information about the implementation of the standard operating procedures on the treatment of women victims of violence and at the scarce number of shelters for victims.
It was further concerned at the inconsistencies in the collection of data on violence against women and about reports on the wide circulation of small arms and its impact on women’s security.
Patriarchy is specifically violent towards fearless women
In line with its general recommendation No 19 (1992) on violence against women, the committee had called for ensuring the proper implementation of the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices Act of 2011 and other relevant legislation.
It also asked Pakistan to guarantee uniformity in the application of the law and repeal the provisions of the Qisas and Diyat Ordinance which discriminate against women.
tribune.com.pk/story/1147093/un-seeks-progress-report-measures-honour-killing/
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‘IS targeting Malaysian military personnel for recruitment’
 Jul 23, 2016
Islamic State (IS) is targeting Malaysian military and police personnel to recruit them as they have the expertise in combat and in handling weapons, a top official of the country’s armed forces said here on Friday.
Malaysia’s Armed Forces Religious Corps (Kagat) deputy director-general Brig. Gen. Nawawi Daud said military and police personnel were targeted by IS because they were already trained for combat and had knowledge and skills in handling weapons.
“These two uniformed groups also have access to weapons and even bombs so IS targets them,” he said at a forum about IS and its threat in Malaysia.
Brig. Gen. Nawawi said, however, constant efforts were being made to make sure that members of the armed forces are not attracted to IS.
“We hold regular briefings and seminars to educate our members about this and I know the police also do the same.
Perhaps in the future the armed forces and police can jointly come up with a more integrated programme to educate our men and women about the IS threat,” he said.
He added that while there were cases of military and police personnel found to be linked to IS, the number was very small.
Another speaker, an officer from Special Branch Counter— Terrorism Division (Investigations and Legal) officer Ahmad Norisham agreed and said the police was constantly monitoring and added they had so far foiled nine attempts at recruitment by this group.
He said this relatively new trend by IS to get its supporters to carry out attacks in their own countries was due to the fact that it had become increasingly difficult for them to travel to Syria.
“Ninety per cent of their recruitment is still done via social media and we are closely monitoring it,” he said.
thehindu.com/news/international/is-targeting-malaysian-military-personnel-for-recruitment/article8886811.ece
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Al-Qaeda in Syria executes 14 govt ‘soldiers’
Jul 23, 2016
BEIRUT: Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front has executed 14 captured men it accused of fighting for President Bashar Assad, in retaliation for a regime advance near Damascus.
A video distributed via the group’s social media accounts showed 14 men, many with injuries including black eyes, stating their names as they lined up in pairs in front of the group’s black flag.
“Implementation of the death sentence against a group of ... regime prisoners because of their attack on Harira village in Wadi Barada,” text on the video read.
The footage showed the men being shot in the head simultaneously as they knelt in front of Al-Nusra fighters. Wadi Barada is an area in the Qalamun region of Syria’s Damascus province and is mostly controlled by an array of opposition groups, including Al-Nusra.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said that Al-Nusra had threatened to execute prisoners if government forces entered Harira.
The threats came in an earlier video in which one of the captured men warned that the group would kill 14 captives if the government attacked.
Al-Nusra is the local affiliate of Al-Qaeda and has regularly carried out executions of government forces.
In September 2015, it executed at least 56 regime fighters at a military airport in Idlib province in the northwest of the country.
More than 280,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011.
arabnews.com/node/957736/middle-east
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Mideast

Only six shrines remain standing as Gaza's ancient sites crumble
Jul 23, 2016
KHAN YUNIS, Gaza Strip — All that is left of the Sheikh Youssef shrine is a room surmounted by a dome made of ancient marble. Located on the main road in the village of Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Yunis, the shrine houses a tomb that Gazans believe contains the remains of a mysterious but righteous Muslim man.
Although the shrine is in an area crowded with pedestrians and residents, it has become so deserted over the past few years that the municipality of Bani Suhaila has closed it. People have become less inclined to visit the shrines and mausoleums in Gaza that were once filled with people and hosted festivals each year.
One shrine, al-Khodr, is currently being restored as a cultural site by the NAWA for Culture and Arts Association with funding by UNESCO. Parts of the shrine, located in a residential area in the city of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, will be used as a library.
Full report at:
al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/gaza-shrines-neglect-lack-funding.html#ixzz4FEDyb7o3
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Turkish Cyprus designates Gülen organization as terrorist
Jul 23, 2016
Turkish Cyprus has declared that it has designated the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) as a terrorist organization, after the group allegedly tried to topple the Turkish government with a failed coup attempt on July 15.
Hüseyin Özgürgün, the prime minister of Turkish Cyprus, said on July 21 after a cabinet meeting that FETÖ had been listed as a terror organization by the Turkish Cypriot government and that it would take effect after the cabinet’s decision was published in the Official Gazette on the island.
He added he would talk about FETÖ with his counterpart when he paid a visit to the Turkish capital of Ankara.
Full report at:
hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-cyprus-designates-gulen-organization-as-terrorist-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101977&NewsCatID=352
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Turkey wants Pakistan to shut institutions run by Gulen
Jul 23, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Ankara expects Pakistan to close down institutions run by Fethullah Gulen, the US-based religious leader accused of masterminding and backing the botched coup attempt in Turkey last week.
“We have called on all friendly countries to prevent activities of this (Gulen’s) group,” Turkish Ambassador Sadik Babur Girgin said at a media briefing on the developments in Turkey after the failed attempt to topple the government.
He said the Turkish government had solid evidence that Gulen’s movement was behind the plot.
Full report at:
dawn.com/news/1272617/turkey-wants-pakistan-to-shut-institutions-run-by-gulen
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Erdogan says EU 'biased' against Turkey after coup bid
 Jul 23, 2016
ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday charged that the European Union has a "biased and prejudiced" stance on Turkey, following stinging EU criticism over a crackdown in the wake of the failed coup.
"They are making statements that are contradictory. They are biased, they are prejudiced and will continue to act in this prejudiced manner towards Turkey," Erdogan told France 24 television in an interview.
Full report at:
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/Erdogan-says-EU-biased-against-Turkey-after-coup-bid/articleshow/53353003.cms
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Iranian academics still divided over nuclear deal
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN, Iran — Just over a year after the signing of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, Iranians are divided over its achievements and weaknesses. There is no sign of the celebrations in the streets of Tehran that followed the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on July 14, 2015, let alone praise of Iran’s nuclear negotiators on social media.
Indeed, according to a recent survey by Iranpoll.com — an independent polling firm based in Canada — for the University of Maryland, 74% of Iranians believe their lives have not improved after the JCPOA, while a great portion accuse the United States of not fulfilling its commitments under the deal. The survey also shows that public awareness among Iranians of the dimensions of the JCPOA has increased dramatically.
Full report at:
al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/iranian-political-experts-divided-on-jcpoa-on-anniversary.html#ixzz4FEDtabcF
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US offered to help on Gülen’s extradition, Turkish FM confirms
Jul 23, 2016
The United States made an offer to form a working group composed of officials from its foreign affairs and justice departments in order to assist Turkey in preparing its formal request for the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is believed to have orchestrated the July 15 failed coup attempt, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has confirmed.
“We want to bring the ringleader of FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization] to Turkey. Our demand from the U.S. is plain and simple. They should not harbor this person who attempted to make a coup,” Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with state-run broadcaster TRT Haber on July 22, a day after U.S. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby remarked on Turkey’s extradition request.
Full report at:
hurriyetdailynews.com/us-offered-to-help-on-gulens-extradition-turkish-fm-confirms.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101955&NewsCatID=510
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CHP leader urges gov’t not to turn post-coup probe into ‘witch hunt’
Jul 23, 2016
The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has urged the government not to turn the investigation into the recent failed coup attempt into a “witch hunt,” calling on it to respect democratic norms and the rule of law.
“Any kind of wrongdoing with regard to legal proceedings would only help strengthen the coup mentality. We should carefully avoid this. We want all those who are prosecuted on coup-related charges to be tried in line with democracy and the rule of law. We don’t want a witch hunt,” CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told private broadcaster NTV in an interview on July 22.
Full report at:
hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-leader-urges-govt-not-to-turn-post-coup-probe-into-witch-hunt.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101974&NewsCatID=338
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Iran Blasts West for Keeping Mum on Terrorists' Brutal Crimes in Syria
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blasted the West for its “deafening” silence on the crimes committed by the western-backed terrorists in Syria.
"Apparently the western-backed terrorists' beheading a 12-year innocent boy in Syria is the new normal. Western silence is deafening," Zarif wrote on his Twitter page on Friday after a video emerged showing US-backed terrorists brutally beheading a child.
 Full report at:
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000404
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Tehran stops ‘terrorist infiltration’ from Turkey
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN: Iranian forces have foiled a “terrorist” bid to infiltrate the country from Turkey, the official IRNA news agency said Friday, in the latest report of tension at its borders.
The elite Revolutionary Guards intercepted on Thursday “a terrorist group trying to infiltrate the country using Iran’s border with Turkey,” IRNA reported quoting a commander.
One suspect was killed and one arrested while the other two fled back toward Turkey, said Alireza Madani, a commander in the West Azerbaijan province that borders Turkey. They were intercepted near Salmas and two military rifles were seized.
“Based on the intelligence, the four terrorists were counter-revolutionary elements who lived in Turkey. They wanted to launch terrorist activities in Iran but their plans were aborted,” Madani said.
Full report at:
arabnews.com/node/958226/middle-east
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India

This Is What Zakir Naik Thinks About Narendra Modi, Islamic State and Jihad
23 July, 2016
Jeddah: Mumbai-based televangelist Zakir Naik, who is under fire over allegedly inspiring one of the terrorists who attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka recently, has opened up in a bid to douse the controversies surrounding him.
Talking to The Times of India, the Islamic preacher said the news that one of the attackers was his follower first appeared in a Bangladeshi newspaper on July 03 and in the Indian media on July 04. “It is totally wrong. The paper later clarified but the Indian media ran a trial against me.”
Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the only PM of India who has visited so many Muslim countries in just two years, Naik said this will “strengthen relations between India and other Muslim countries”.
“If his (Modi's) intention is to maintain unity between Hindus and Muslims and between India and other Muslim countries, I am totally for him."
“Hinduism is a major religion of the world and India has a high Muslim population. So if the PM reaches out to Muslim countries, it is good. It will help bring investments to India. If all these countries get together, India would become a superpower. India was a superpower in the past and will attain that stature again.”
Full report at:
zeenews.india.com/news/india/know-what-zakir-naik-thinks-about-narendra-modi-islamic-state-and-jihad_1910305.html
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‘100 Marathwada Youths In Touch With Daesh’: Shiv Sena MLA
Jul 23, 2016
Sena MLA from Parbhani Rahul Patil creates controversy in assembly, asks state govt to probe the mystery of missing youths; AIMIM rubbishes his claim.
Shiv Sena MLA from Parbhani Rahul Patil raked up a controversy when he alleged that the 100 youths who had gone missing from Marathwada recently were in touch with Daesh. Dr Patil suggested the state government set up a special police team to probe the matter.
Raising the issue during zero hour through point of propriety in the Maharashtra assembly on Friday, Patil said, "If the state government fails to act in time, these youth would pose grave threat to communal harmony in society."
However, Patil did not substantiate his startling claim of the missing youth. The MLA also demanded derecognising the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), calling it an anti-national party that supported such radicalised youth.
Patil was referring to the arrest of Naser Bin Yafai Chaus, a 31-year-old civil contractor from Parbhani, by Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad for being in active touch with Daesh.
Chaus was kept under surveillance by the ATS for almost a year. During this period he was found to keep in touch with his handler Faroque in Syria through various chat rooms on social media.
Full report at:
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/100-Marathwada-youths-in-touch-with-Daesh/articleshow/53353147.cms
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Mumbai Police likely to submit report on Zakir Naik next week
 Jul 23, 2016
The Mumbai police is likely to submit by next week its report to the state government on controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is facing multiple probes over his alleged provocative speeches, a high-ranked police official said on Friday.
“The report is in the final stages of preparation and it is likely to be submitted by next week,” the police official said.
According to him, police were planning to submit the report a couple of days back but the arrest of Arshi Qureshi, associated with Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), prompted them to wait for additional inputs, if any.
Full report at:
indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/save-kashmir-from-becoming-syria-panun-kashmir-to-centre-hizbul-burhan-wani-kashmiri-pandits-2930184/
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'IS recruiter' Kalyan youth arrested
Jul 23, 2016
Mumbai: The Kerala police along with the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad on Saturday arrested a suspect, Rizwan khan, who reportedly forced a Kerala youth for religion conversion and asked him to join the ISIS. He has been sent to the transit remand till July 25.
He was arrested from Kalyan's Bazarpeth area. Two days ago the ATS and Kerala police had arrested Arshi Qureshi in the same case. Khan was detained on Wednesday and let off saying it was a case of mistaken identity. It's still not clear on what basis the police had earlier said it was a mistaken identity.
On Wednesday, the police arrested Qureshi and produced before the Vashi Judicial Magistrate First Class court in CBD-Belapur on Thursday and the Kerala police obtained his transit remand. It is alleged that Qureshi was an office bearer of the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation.
Full report at:
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/IS-recruiter-Kalyan-youth-arrested/articleshow/53352477.cms
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Indian consulate in Munich puts out advisory after shooting
IANS, Berlin
Jul 23, 2016
The Indian consulate in Munich has put out an advisory and helpline numbers so that Indians in Munich could report their safety from the shooting rampage at a mall in the German city of Munich in which eight people have been killed and several injured.
“Safety of Indian nationals may be informed on Indian Consulate, Munich helpline numbers 0171 2885973, 01512 3595006, 0175 4000667,” a post said on official Twitter account of the Consulate General of India in Munich, Germany.
Full report at:
hindustantimes.com/india-news/indian-consulate-in-munich-puts-out-advisory-after-shooting/story-9lWPVB9oniMHgh7rG9nBBO.html
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J&K HC asks govt to take action against news channels creating ‘hysteria’ in state
Written by Sofi Ahsan
 July 23, 2016
Taking note of the article IAS officer Shah Faesal wrote for The Indian Express, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Friday asked the state government to “regulate” news channels that have created “hysteria” about Kashmir and its people, and blamed such channels for pushing Faesal “to the edge”.
Addressing the state attorney general, a division bench of the High Court said the “hysteria created by some national news channels” has led to problems for the government. “The government needs to regulate such news channels,” the bench said, adding that the media is not above the law and needs to be made aware of it.
Full report at:
indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/jk-hc-asks-govt-to-take-action-against-news-channels-creating-hysteria-in-state-2929454/
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Stop inciting violence: India to Pakistan
 Jul 23, 2016
India on Thursday attacked Pakistan for a series of statements on Kashmir, and its decision to mark a “Black Day” over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and the subsequent violence in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We once again ask Pakistan to stop inciting and supporting violence and terrorism in any part of our country and refrain from its deplorable meddling in our internal affairs in any manner,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
Full report at:
thehindu.com/news/national/stop-inciting-violence-india-to-pakistan/article8883118.ece
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Acid bottles are Kashmiri protesters’ new weapon against pellet guns
Neeraj Chauhan | TNN | Jul 23, 2016
NEW DELHI: While there has been a furore over Kashmiri protestors getting injured with the use of pellet guns during the recent unrest in the valley, more than 2200 security personnel too suffered injuries while on duty to control stone-pelting demonstrators. What compounded the problem for the men in uniform was the use of acid bottles as a new weapon by the protesters.
On the use of pellet guns, an officer said, "It's not that pump action guns (pellet guns) are used all the time. It's used only when the situation gets out of control and a mob of 500-1000 people attacks 30-40 security personnel and tries to loot the armoury or damage police posts/bunkers and vehicles." "They security personnel or cops are also human beings and sometimes they have to take action for fear of being lynched by the mob," he said. A senior official said even after working for 14-15 hours a day, security personnel has to remain on the toes, not sure when would they faced with a mob attack again. "Several hundred jawans and police officers have received stitches on their faces, heads and elsewhere. They have to look after their colleagues too when ever a mob comes to attack," said a senior official.
Full report at:
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Acid-bottles-are-Kashmiri-protesters-new-weapon-against-pellet-guns/articleshow/53347343.cms
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Europe

UN seeks progress report on measures against honour killing
Jul 23, 2016
ISLAMABAD: The United Nations (UN) committee on the elimination of discrimination against women will examine Pakistan’s progress report about its legislative and administrative measures against honour killing and anti-women offences early next year, a senior official of the ministry of foreign affairs said.
Pakistan has been asked by the committee to submit its report by March 2017. Another progress report is to be presented to the UN Human Rights Committee Against Torture (CAT) for its examination on 17 April next year, the official added. CAT monitors matters pertaining to cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment and punishment.
Parliamentary panel clears honour killing, rape laws
“The progress reports will be submitted in compliance with the directive of the UN committees,” the official further said.
Full report at:
tribune.com.pk/story/1147093/un-seeks-progress-report-measures-honour-killing/
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Officials: Munich mass killer just a nutcase, no links to any group
Jul 23, 2016
MUNICH, Germany: German officials on Saturday said investigators have found no evidence linking Munich's mass killer to the Daesh group or any other participant.
The officials made the statement after a search of the home and room of the assailant, identified as an 18-year-old dual national German-Iranian. Police were probing the motives of the lone gunman who went on a deadly rampage at a busy Munich shopping center, killing nine people and wounding 16 before committing suicide.
It was the third bloody attack on civilians in Europe in just over a week.
Prosecutor Steinkraus Koch told a news conference the shooter had been in psychiatric care, treated for depression.
He had no suspect had no criminal record but had a book titled: "Rampage in Head: Why Students Kill,” Koch said.
Full report at:
arabnews.com/node/958361/world
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Islamic State supporters celebrate Munich shooting on social media
 Jul 23, 2016
Supporters of the Islamic State militant group celebrated on social media a shooting rampage in a shopping mall in the southern German city of Munich on Friday that killed and wounded many people.
“Thank God, may God bring prosperity to our Islamic State men,” read one tweet in Arabic on an account that regularly favours the radical Islamist movement.
“The Islamic state is expanding in Europe,” read an Arabic-language tweet on another account also known to support Islamic State.
Read: Shots fired in Munich shopping centre, multiple deaths feared
Full report at:
hindustantimes.com/world-news/islamic-state-supporters-celebrate-munich-shooting-on-social-media/story-95A1AdtJ3Lm34ACg8LFXCM.html
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United Nations delivers food to starving displaced by Boko Haram
Jul 23, 2016
The United Nations has made the first food aid delivery to thousands of people displaced by Boko Haram Islamists in the Nigerian town of Banki, where hundreds have starved to death since March, the UN has said. Officials from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) delivered 30 tonnes of “various lifesaving food items” transported from neighbouring Cameroon, the OCHA said in a statement on Friday.
The convoy reached Banki on Thursday and distributed food to the more than 25,000 people in the town, it said. “An additional 700 kilograms of supplementary food for malnourished children was airlifted from the state capital Maiduguri to Banki on the same day”. It was the first aid delivery to the thousands of internally displaced in the northeast region in the last four months following deadly Boko Haram raids.
Full report at:
indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/united-nations-boko-haram-starving-nigerians-2930819/
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Pakistan-based terror groups target India's interests in Afghanistan: Envoy
Jul 23, 2016
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan-based terror groups such as LeT, the Taliban, JeM and al-Qaida target India's interests and goals in Afghanistan and pursue other objectives like creating sanctuaries and safe havens in tribal areas between Kabul and Islamabad, Afghan envoy to the UN has said.
"In Afghanistan, regional terrorist groups have cooperated with the Taliban based on their common goals and mutual interests. These groups include Lashkar-e-Taiba, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Jaish-e-Mohammad, al-Qaida and Lashkar-e-Islam, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Eastern Turkistan Islamic movement.
Full report at:
timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-based-terror-groups-target-Indias-interests-in-Afghanistan-Envoy/articleshow/53351033.cms
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'British Muslims give the most to charity'
Jul 23, 2016
The Charity Commission in Britain has revealed that British Muslims donated vast amounts of money to charity during the month of Ramazan.
“The sheer scale of the work is immediately apparent. One Muslim-led charity – not one of the largest – estimates that its work last Ramazan had helped over one million people,” the charity commission said.
“Charity may begin at home, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Dozens of countries were named as areas of benefit, from Europe to North America, and right around the world.”
The commission reported that British Muslims as a whole have donated money at a rate of £38 per second during Ramazan, or £371 per individual over the year.
Praising their generous contributions, Nick Donaldson, outreach manager at the commission told The Independent that the money was used for good causes in the UK, Syria, Somali-land and elsewhere. Other donations this year went to flood-affected areas in Carlisle and honey-bee farms in Palestine and Pakistan, while also funding hygiene kits and food in Haiti and “micro-dams” in Mali, which catch water from flash floods.
Full report at:
tribune.com.pk/story/1147604/british-muslims-give-charity/
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UK Reveals Saudi National with Diplomatic Immunity Involved in Human Trafficking
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- A statement released by the UK's foreign office revealed that a Saudi official was accused of bringing a slave to London, among other "serious and significant offenses" committed by individuals with diplomatic protection in the UK.
The statement, listed 11 offences that were allegedly committed by people protected from prosecution by diplomatic immunity in 2015, Al Araby reported.
Saudi Arabia accounted for two of the offences, which were "Human trafficking into the UK for the purposes of exploitation, specifically domestic servitude" and "human trafficking; slavery or servitude/ forced or compulsory labor".
Al Araby contacted the UK's Foreign Office for further details on the allegations and whether action was taken against the Saudi official, but they declined to comment on individual cases.
The Foreign Office has issued a statement on this matter, however the statements lacks any punitive action against the perpetrator.
Full report at:
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000944
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Kyrgyzstan Apprehends ISIL Terrorist in Bishkek
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Kyrgyzstan's police captured a member of the ISIL terrorist group in the city of Bishkek on Saturday before he could carry out his mission.
"The arrested man is an ISIL member who intended to conduct a series of terrorist attacks in Bishkek and Chuy province," Kyrgyzstan police said on Saturday.
The Kyrgyz police also said that it has seized considerable amount of weapons and ammunition from the captured ISIL terrorist.
Last month, Kyrgyzstan's police announced that over 500 Kyrgyz citizens are fighting along the ISIL ranks in Syria and Iraq.
In early January, Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry warned against the potential sabotage and terrorist operations of the militants who had just returned to the Central Asian country from Syria.
Full report at:
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000746
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UN urges Turkey to ensure rights after declaring state of emergency
Jul 23, 2016
The U.N. secretary general has urged Turkish authorities to ensure constitutional order and respect human rights during the recently-declared three-month state of emergency, which was instituted after the July 15 failed coup attempt and drew concern from the international community for its potential to infringe on basic human rights and freedoms. 
In a statement on July 21, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he had received repeated assurances from senior Turkish government officials that they would adhere to rule of law and due process when investigating and prosecuting those believed to be responsible for the attempted coup and he asked that they honor them.
Ban said he hoped that procedures under the state of emergency will be carried out in full transparency.
The European Union expressed “concern” on July 21 over Turkey’s decision to impose a state of emergency following the failed coup attempt, urging the country to respect human rights and the rule of law.
Full report at:
hurriyetdailynews.com/un-urges-turkey-to-ensure-rights-after-declaring-state-of-emergency-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101970&NewsCatID=351
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Brazil Muslims back probe of 10 for terror suspicions
Stan Lehman | Associated Press | Sao Paulo
Sat, July 23 2016
Brazil's Islamic community supports police actions against a group of people suspected of planning attacks during the Olympics as long as the investigations are conducted in a transparent way, a Brazilian Muslim leader said Friday.
Sheik Jihad Hassan Hammadeh, president of the Ethics Committee of the Sao Paulo-based National Union of Islamic Entities, told reporters the community is concerned with the Thursday arrest of 10 Brazilians police said had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and discussed on social media the possibility of staging attacks during next month's Olympics.
He said the National Union of Islamic Entities supports the Federal Police Department's investigation. But he said there must be concrete evidence and transparency to ensure citizens or groups are not unjustly persecuted.
"The arrest of the 10 should have been announced in a more cautious way and with proof," he said.
Full report at:
thejakartapost.com/news/2016/07/23/brazil-muslims-back-probe-of-10-for-terror-suspicions-.html
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Munich shooting: What we know so far about the Olympia shopping centre attack
 Jul 23, 2016
Eight people died in a shooting rampage today in a Munich shopping centre with several people severely injured, police said, in what they described as a suspected terror attack. “Unfortunately we have six dead people to report,” Munich police said on Twitter, adding there was an “unknown number of injured people”.
We are telling the people of Munich there are shooters on the run who are dangerous,” a spokesman told reporters, adding that the police were looking for three perpetrators. “We are urging people to stay indoors.”
Full report at:
indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/munich-shooting-what-we-know-so-far-about-the-olympia-shopping-centre-attack-2930495/
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France bolsters Iraq military fight against IS
 Jul 23, 2016
French President Francois Hollande announced new help on Friday for Iraq’s military in fighting Islamic State extremists, trying to show his government is taking action amid criticism that there weren’t enough police protecting Nice’s Bastille Day celebration when a truck attack last week killed 84 people.
Stressing the international nature of the fight against IS, Mr. Hollande said, “Even if France that was attacked July 14, it’s the world that was targeted.”
The Paris prosecutor says attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel had accomplices and appears to have been plotting his attack for months, citing text messages, more than 1,000 phone calls and video of the attack scene on the phone of one of five suspects handed preliminary terrorism charges on Thursday in the case. Bouhlel was killed by police.
Full report at:
thehindu.com/news/international/france-bolsters-iraq-military-fight-against-is/article8886828.ece
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Munich shooter was German-Iranian, motive ´unclear´
Jul 23, 2016
Munich: Munich police said Saturday that the shooter in a deadly shopping mall rampage was an 18-year-old German-Iranian man whose motive was "completely unclear".
"The perpetrator was an 18-year-old German-Iranian from Munich," police chief Hubertus Andrae told reporters after the massacre that left 10 people dead including the gunman.
"The motive or explanation for this crime is completely unclear."
thenews.com.pk/latest/137081-Munich-shooter-was-German-Iranian-motive-unclear
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Southeast Asia

‘IS targeting Malaysian military personnel for recruitment’
 Jul 23, 2016
Islamic State (IS) is targeting Malaysian military and police personnel to recruit them as they have the expertise in combat and in handling weapons, a top official of the country’s armed forces said here on Friday.
Malaysia’s Armed Forces Religious Corps (Kagat) deputy director-general Brig. Gen. Nawawi Daud said military and police personnel were targeted by IS because they were already trained for combat and had knowledge and skills in handling weapons.
“These two uniformed groups also have access to weapons and even bombs so IS targets them,” he said at a forum about IS and its threat in Malaysia.
Brig. Gen. Nawawi said, however, constant efforts were being made to make sure that members of the armed forces are not attracted to IS.
Full report at:
thehindu.com/news/international/is-targeting-malaysian-military-personnel-for-recruitment/article8886811.ece
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Islamic State jihad not true jihad, says Jakim
23 July, 2016
The jihad ideology bandied about by the Islamic State militant group or IS is not the true jihad as it contravenes the true teachings of Islam.
The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) deputy director-general Ruslan Said said this was because Islam does not promote militant activities as practised by Daesh.
"Daesh militants are doing useless things and they won't die as 'syahid' (Muslim martyr) as they want to.
"Their ideology deviates from the belief of Islam, which ironically, is a peace-loving religion," he said in his speech at the special conference on 'Daesh Threats Rooting in Malaysia' in Kuala Lumpur today.
The conference was aimed at giving a comprehensive insight on the seriousness of IS threats, especially to the younger generation as they had been an easy target for recruitment.
Roslan said Malaysians who were involved in IS militant activity were doing it out of courtesy and sympathy after seeing the suffering by other Muslims abroad.
malaysiakini.com/news/349432
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IGP: 14 nabbed for IS links, one for sharing bomb recipes
23 July, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Counter-terrorism police arrested 14 people in several states between July 14 and 20 for connections to the Islamic State (IS) including the sharing of bomb-making techniques, the Inspector-General of Police said today.
The 13 men and a woman were Malaysian citizens. All were detained in an operation that spanned Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Penang and Sabah.
Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said 12 of those arrested were members of the same cell from which arrests were made last month.
“They are suspected of receiving directions from Muhamad Wandy Mohamed Jedi to conduct attacks in Malaysia.
Full report at:
themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/igp-14-nabbed-for-is-links-one-for-sharing-bomb-recipes#sthash.iFv2s2zN.dpuf
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‘Pokemon Go’ an ‘evil’ that will ‘engulf the world’, says local columnist
Jul 23, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 ― A Malaysian journalist called today for a referendum to prevent Pokemon Go from launching here, pointing to traffic accidents and robberies associated with the augmented reality game.
Chok Suat Ling, an associate editor with local daily New Straits Times (NST) that described her as an “award-winning columnist”, wrote in an opinion piece that the risks of the hit smartphone game by Niantic, which is expected to arrive here next week, outweighed the benefits and could bring about “tragic real-life consequences”.
“There is a sense of foreboding in the air, a feeling that something wicked and evil is about to engulf the world, and swallow Malaysia whole in its wake.
“It has brought about turmoil in several countries, with real threats of severe security breaches and the trespass of sacred and restricted sites. There is even concern that the location of secret military bases would be revealed, and lives lost,” Chok wrote in the article titled “Say ‘no’ to Pokemon Go“.
Full report at:
themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/pokemon-go-an-evil-that-will-engulf-the-world-says-local-columnist#sthash.ALVx10Mv.dpuf
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Arab World

Al-Qaeda in Syria executes 14 govt ‘soldiers’
Jul 23, 2016
BEIRUT: Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front has executed 14 captured men it accused of fighting for President Bashar Assad, in retaliation for a regime advance near Damascus.
A video distributed via the group’s social media accounts showed 14 men, many with injuries including black eyes, stating their names as they lined up in pairs in front of the group’s black flag.
“Implementation of the death sentence against a group of ... regime prisoners because of their attack on Harira village in Wadi Barada,” text on the video read.
The footage showed the men being shot in the head simultaneously as they knelt in front of Al-Nusra fighters. Wadi Barada is an area in the Qalamun region of Syria’s Damascus province and is mostly controlled by an array of opposition groups, including Al-Nusra.
Full report at:
arabnews.com/node/957736/middle-east
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38 regime men die as Aleppo tunnel bombed
Jul 23, 2016
BEIRUT: Nearly 40 Syrian soldiers and pro-regime fighters were killed when rebels blew up a tunnel under a government position in Aleppo city, a monitor said Friday.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 38 members of government forces were killed in Thursday’s blast, which brought down a building used by the regime in Aleppo’s Old City.
The monitor had earlier reported a toll of 14.
A video posted online by the Thuwwar Al-Sham rebel group purported to show the incident, with members of the force walking through a long tunnel and preparing barrels full of explosives.
Full report at:
arabnews.com/node/958236/middle-east
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Syria: Infighting Kills Several Terrorists in Eastern Damascus
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The terrorist groups of Jeish al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman engaged in heavy clashes in Eastern Ghouta, leaving several terrorists dead or wounded from both sides, provincial sources said.
"Jeish al-Islam issued a statement accusing Faylaq al-Rahman of attacking its center in Damascus countryside. As a result of the violent clashes in the region, 9 members of Jeish al-Islam were struck, including some mediators between the two factions," the sources said.
A few months ago, a civil war took place in Eastern Ghouta between terrorist groups that ended in the killing of over 700 militants.
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000391
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Syria: ISIL Terrorists Fleeing Manbij in Aleppo Province in Women's Dress
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have arrested a number of ISIL terrorists escaping the war-stricken town of Manbij in women's dress.
"The SDF fighters have captured many ISIL militants who wore women's dress and planned to escape Manbij," the sources said.
Earlier reports said that the SDF continued to advance against ISIL's positions in Manbij and took control of 90% of the Western part of the town.
"Heavy fighting is still going on at Tetbekat Prison where some ISIL terrorists are still holding out," the sources said.
"Currently, the predominantly Kurdish SDF are moving into the center of the town and attacking the main Post Office and a cultural center, while the entire al-Hazavaneh district is now under SDF control," the sources said.
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000571
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Jeddah Saudi Arabia Attack on Americans 'Imminent,' Warns Embassy
23 July, 2016
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, especially areas of the city frequented by Westerners, are dangerous for Americans, the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia said on Thursday, citing reports it had received of a "potential, imminent threat" against U.S. citizens.
The notice on the embassy's website provided no other details, reported Reuters.
"It’s a security message, not a travel warning, that our consulate put out in Jeddah. Obviously, our consulate felt that the information they had was credible enough, serious enough to warrant sending that message out immediately," State Department spokesman John Kirby told a briefing.
Full report at:
americans/2016/07/22/id/739962/
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Syrian, Russian Airstrikes Inflict Major Losses on Terrorists in Aleppo
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian warplanes, in close cooperation with Syrian choppers, targeted the terrorist groups' strongholds across Aleppo city districts, inflicting major casualties and losses on the militants.
Terrorists' gatherings and concentration centers in Jandoul Roundabout, Shuqaif Bridge, Shuqaif Industrial District, al-Kindi District, Hraytan and Kafr Hamra were massively bombed by the Syrian military helicopters and Russian fighter jets.
Scores of the militants were killed or wounded and their military hardware was badly damaged in the attacks.
In relevant developments in the province on Friday, Russian Air Force, in a fresh round of airstrikes, targeted positions of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front in Northern Aleppo, inflicting major losses and casualties on the militants.
The Russian bombers struck al-Nusra’s positions in the regions of Hayyan, Hraytan, Anadan and Kafr Hamra, which claimed the lives of several terrorist and slowed al-Nusra's military movements down in the region.
In addition to their airstrikes over Anadan Plains and Castillo highway, the Russian Air Force targeted terrorist-held Handarat Refugee camp.
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000464
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Russian Warplanes Bomb Terrorist Centers Heavily across Syria
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Russian fighter jets, in a fresh round of combat flights, targeted the gatherings and concentration centers of terrorist groups in the two provinces of Idlib and Damascus, inflicting major losses on the militants, military sources said.
"Russian army aircraft targeted Jeish al-Fatah's positions in Binnish in Idlib, which ended in killing or wounding of several terrorists," the sources said adding, "The Syrian army's artillery units, for their part, shelled militant's positions in Jisr al-Shughour in Southern Idlib from neighboring province of Lattakia."
"The Russian Air Force launched a number of airstrikes over the key jihadist controlled town of Khan al-Sheih the Western Ghouta in Damascus province, targeting an al-Nusra Front's command center hidden inside a collection of farms.
Also on Friday, Russian bombers struck al-Nusra’s positions in the regions of Hayyan, Hraytan, Anadan and Kafr Hamra, which claimed the lives of several terrorist and slowed al-Nusra's military movements down in the region.
In addition to their airstrikes over Anadan Plains and Castillo highway, the Russian Air Force targeted terrorist-held Handarat Refugee camp.
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000310
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Syrian Democratic Forces Take Control of 90 Percent of Western Manbij
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) continued to advance against ISIL's positions in Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo and took control of 90% of the Western part of the town, Kurdish sources said.
"Heavy fighting is still going on at Tetbekat Prison where some ISIL terrorists are still holding out," the sources said.
"Currently, the predominantly Kurdish SDF are moving into the center of the town and attacking the main Post Office and a cultural center, while the entire al-Hazavaneh district is now under SDF control," the sources said.
Full report at:
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000429
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Kingdom’s anti-terror efforts pay dividend
Jul 23, 2016
RIYADH: With each passing day, the Kingdom is proving to the world that it is a key and influential player in efforts at addressing major global issues and events, especially efforts for finding solutions to harmful agendas led by Iran to destabilize security and stability of other nations.
The Kingdom is constantly proving its hard work in the fight against terrorism and organizations seeking to promote conflict in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and elsewhere.
Experts believe the successes of Saudi Arabia have significantly contributed to neutralizing the Iranian regime and eliminating its presence in international and regional meetings concerned with finding solutions to regional conflicts and the fight against terrorism. Saudi efforts focus on security and policy, which confirm the country’s determination to reinstate calm in the region and eliminate sectarian strife fueled by those players keen on creating disarray in Islamic communities.
Full report at:
arabnews.com/node/958296/saudi-arabia
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Coalition welcomes gains against Daesh
Jul 23, 2016
WASHINGTON: The foreign and defense ministers of the anti-Daesh coalition and members that have made major non-military contributions have welcomed the steady progress Iraqi forces and moderate opposition forces in Syria have made in denying the terror group access to territory, supply routes and resources.
This came in a joint statement, released by the US State Department, at the end of their meeting.
Saudi Arabia was represented by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who headed the Kingdom’s delegation at the meeting.
Full report at:
arabnews.com/node/958351/middle-east
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Syria: Terrorists Lose 40 Tanks, 300 Fighters in Aleppo
Jul 23, 2016
TEHRAN (FNA)- Tens of armored vehicles of the terrorist groups, including 40 advanced tanks, have been destroyed in the Syrian Army's anti-terrorism operations in Northern and Northwestern Aleppo in the last 30 days, military sources said.
"The large-scale operations of the Syrian army and its popular allies in al-Malaah region, Castillo highway, Handarat, al-Lairamoun, Bani Zeid and other battlefields North and Northwest of Aleppo city inflicted major damage on the terrorist groups' military hardware, including 40 tanks, and killed over 300 terrorists," the sources said.
Full report at:
en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950502000712
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North America

Jihadis Urged Black Americans to Convert to Islam After Baton Rouge Shooting
23 July, 2016
Using social media platforms, jihadis have exploited ambush attacks on the police in an attempt to recruit black Americans to their cause, urging them to convert to Islam and make war against the U.S. government.
The Foreign Desk reports that such attempts were made after both the Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings. After saluting the Dallas rampage against cops in an al-Qaeda forum — “By the grace of Allah, 4 officers dead, inshallah” — a jihadi suggested, “We may think of using this ‘racism’ topic as an opportunity to increase the division of the kuffar through propaganda and instigate more attacks on them!”
He therefore suggested his followers “make propaganda pictures and inspiring media works to instigate more black people attacking the US government.”
ISIS also got in on the act, posting “a purported list of Dallas police arrests, urging people to compare ‘the ratio of the ‘White vs Black & Latino.””
ISIS also posted a list of Dallas police salaries, with the claim America is “buying the consciences of the people.”
Full report at:
breitbart.com/national-security/2016/07/21/jihadis-urge-black-americans-convert-islam-baton-rouge-shooting/
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Obama administration taken aback by Pakistan permitting Hafiz Saeed’s anti-India rally
 Jul 23, 2016
The US administration has taken serious note of Pakistan permitting Jama’at-ud-Da’wah leader Hafiz Saeed, a terrorist wanted by the United States and with a bounty of USD 10 million on his head for information leading to his arrest and conviction for involvement in the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008, to openly lead an anti-India rally of his supporters from Lahore to Islamabad on July 19.
Saeed led a Pakistan government call to observe July 19 as a “Black Day”, apparently to draw attention to the “burning issue of Kashmir “.
The Obama Administration has been taken aback by this event, as it clearly established a link between the Pakistan government and Hafiz Saeed who is on America’s most wanted list. The United States has designated Saeed-led organizations — the Laskkar e Toiba (LeT) and the Jama’at-ud-Da’wah (JuD) as foreign terrorist organisations. Hafiz Saeed has also been listed as a terrorist by the UN Security Council’s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee.
Full report at:
indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/obama-administration-taken-aback-by-pakistan-permitting-hafiz-saeeds-anti-india-rally-2930213/
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US says airstrikes on Syrian city Manbij to continue despite civilian deaths
23 July, 2016
The US will not pause airstrikes in Syria despite appeals from opposition activists after what appears to be the worst US-caused civilian casualty disaster of the war against the Islamic State.
Anas Alabdah, president of the Syrian National Coalition, has called on the US to suspend its airstrikes until it performs a thorough investigation into the attack near the contested northern city of Manbij on Tuesday that Syrian activists say killed at least 73 civilians – and possibly more than 125.
Alabdah, in a statement, insisted on “accountability” for those responsible for the devastating airstrike, “revised rules of procedure” for future strikes, and warned that continuing the aerial bombardment would deliver the hard-fought region back into the hands of Isis.
More strikes at the moment will drive Syrians “further into a spiral of despair and, more importantly, will prove to be a recruitment tool for terrorist organizations,” Alabdah said.
The US has launched at least 12 airstrikes since the destruction in the village of Tokkhar, according to a daily tally released by the military. Asked by the Guardian if the military will pause airstrikes, Army Colonel Christopher Garver, chief spokesman for the US military command in Iraq and Syria, replied: “No. Operations continue against Daesh,” another name for Isis.
Full report at:
theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/22/us-airstrikes-syria-manbij-civilian-deaths
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3 Florida men charged with aiding Islamic State
23 July, 2016
MIAMI — A Florida man was arrested as he tried to fly out of Miami International Airport on his way to join Islamic State militants fighting in Syria, according to a complaint filed in federal court Friday.
The FBI charged Gregory Hubbard, 52, of West Palm Beach, and two other men with conspiring and attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIS or ISIL.
According to the complaint, the three men met regularly over the past year with an FBI informant as they conducted combat training and praised recent terrorist attacks in Orlando and San Bernardino. The men referred to ISIS as the "soccer team," participating in jihadist attacks as "playing soccer" and an AK-47 assault rifle as "the Bible." They discussed attacking members of the U.S. military in their neighborhood and even contemplated attacking the White House, according to the complaint.
Full report at:
usatoday.com/story/news/2016/07/22/florida-men-charged-aiding-isis-palm-beach/87454968/
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S Muslim voters launch anti-Trump campaign
23 July, 2016
Muslim leaders in the United States have begun to register a million voters to help combat Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims.
According to the leaders, Muslim voters could influence results in so-called swing states, such as Virginia and Florida, which are very important in the November presidential election.
"We want the Muslim community to understand that if you give up your rights voluntarily, no one will come and give it back to you," said Osama Abu Irshaid, who is a member of the board of the US Council of Muslim Organizations.
The umbrella organization is spearheading the campaign against Trump who has proposed a temporary ban on Muslim travelers and called for racial profiling of 3.3 million American Muslims.
Full report at:
presstv.ir/Detail/2016/07/21/476225/US-Muslims-antiTrump-campaign
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Clergy Put Pressure On Florida Official Who Axed Polling Site At Mosque
23 July, 2016
Clergy in Boca Raton, Florida are speaking out against a local elections official's decision to remove a polling site from a mosque, saying Muslim houses of worship shouldn't be treated any differently than churches or synagogues.
“In my estimation, the worst thing that can happen is that we play by different sets of rules,” Rabbi Anthony Fratello told TPM in a phone interview this week. “If you’re going to say that people don’t want to go into someone else’s house of worship to vote, polling centers shouldn’t be in houses of worship.”
Full report at:
talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/clergy-respond-islamic-center-boca-raton-polling-site-controversy
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Pakistan

Media blackout comes in handy with Pakistan’s attempt to wipe extremism
Jul 23, 2016
ISLAMABAD: When Hafiz Saeed, amir of banned organization Jama'at-ud-Da'wah, wanted in the United States and India, led a kilometre-and-a-half long caravan of supporters on an anti-India protest march across Pakistan to the capital this week, the story was not aired by local TV channels.
Also absent from the airwaves earlier this year were images of the nearly 100,000 hardliners who packed the funeral of executed assassin Mumtaz Qadri, hailing him a hero for killing a governor who advocated reforming the blasphemy laws.
The blackouts are the most vivid examples of changing editorial behaviour prompted by a little-reported provision in Pakistan's National Action Plan, a counter-terrorism strategy that in effect bans broadcast media from covering Islamist militants.
Full report at:
thenews.com.pk/latest/137086-Pakistan-bars-extremists-airwaves-fear-creeping-censorship
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As 7th largest immigrants, Pakistanis not eligible for US diversity visa
Jul 23, 2016
KARACHI: After forming the seventh largest immigrant population in the United States (US), Pakistanis are no longer eligible for the diversity visa.
The diversity visa is a special immigration lottery that allowed families from countries with low rates of immigration into the US to qualify for the move. A lot of Pakistani families used this facility to immigrate to the US, leading to an immigrant population of between 700,000 and one million Pakistanis.
According to the US law, diversity laws are only allowed to counties that have low rates of immigrants, said US consulate in Karachi’s spokesperson Brian Asmus, during a media tour of the Karachi consulate’s visa section on Friday. Pakistan had 104,000 immigrants in the 10 years between 2005 and 2014, he said, explaining why Pakistanis are no longer eligible.
Full report at:
tribune.com.pk/story/1147303/7th-largest-immigrants-pakistanis-no-longer-eligible-us-diversity-visa/
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Waiting for the day Kashmir becomes part of Pakistan: Nawaz Sharif
 Jul 23, 2016
Pakistan is waiting for the day Kashmir becomes its part, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday after his party PML-N swept PoK’s legislative assembly elections.
Addressing a public gathering in Muzaffarabad, Sharif said, “We are waiting for the day Kashmir becomes (part of) Pakistan.”
In his first public address following his return from London after an open-heart surgery in May, Sharif urged Kashmiris “not to forget those in Kashmir who are sacrificing their lives for their movement for freedom”.
“Their movement for freedom cannot be stopped and it will be successful. You are aware of how they are being beaten and killed. All our prayers are with them and we are waiting for the day Kashmir becomes (part of) Pakistan,” Sharif was quoted as saying by Dawn News.
PML-N is set to form the next government in PoK as the unofficial results of the election for 41 direct seats of the legislative assembly on Thursdaysuggested a landslide victory for the party.
Full report at:
indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/waiting-for-the-day-kashmir-becomes-part-of-pakistan-nawaz-sharif-2930312/
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18 suspects added to ECL over alleged IS ties
Jul 23, 2016
ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry has included the names of 18 persons including three women, in Exit Control List (ECL), Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has revealed it according to a private TV channel.
Their names were added on the disclosure of their link with fighting abroad in favor or against the Islamic State militant outfit. These persons have traveled from Pakistan to Iraq and Syria and after this their names had been included in the ECL.
14 people among these belong to Lahore, two are from Gujrat and one from Faisalabad. No further details about the suspects had been disclosed until the filing of this report.
dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/22-Jul-16/18-suspects-added-to-ecl-over-alleged-is-ties
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 ‘104,000 Pakistanis gained US citizenship in 10 years’
Jul 23, 2016
KARACHI: Figures released by the US mission shows that about 104,000 Pakistanis have gained American citizenship in the past 10 years.
US Consulate Karachi’s consular section opened its doors to members of the media to showcase its visa operations on Friday, a statement said.
The tour was designed to provide greater information to Pakistanis about US visa operations and procedures, it added.
“We want to give all visa applicants fast, friendly and fair interviews,” said non-immigrant visa chief Mary Pellegrini. “So legitimate travellers can go to the United States, while still ensuring that we protect US citizens and visitors,” she added.
Currently, it takes one day on average to get a visa appointment and most visas are processed and returned to applicants within 48 hours.
Consular officers ask questions at interviews to evaluate eligibility under US immigration law. So far in 2016, Consulate General Karachi has issued more than 14,000 visas to tourists, students, business travelers, and workers.
In 2015, Mission Pakistan (Embassy Islamabad and Consulate Karachi) issued a total of 72,000 such visas; 64,000 were issued in 2014.
Full report at:
dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/23-Jul-16/104000-pakistanis-gained-us-citizenship-in-10-years
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South Asia

Books Being Used To Radicalise Bangladeshi Muslims In Singapore
23 July, 2016
Islamist radical groups are targeting vulnerable expatriate Bangladeshis in Singapore to join militancy, through provocative books.
In Singapore, most militant propaganda is spread through books that preach radicalised interpretations of Islam, reports the Dhaka Tribune.
In foreign places like Singapore, where there is no prominent Muslim organisation or influential cleric to follow, many of the overworked expatriates struggle to find spiritual comfort.
Full report at:
business-standard.com/article/news-ani/books-being-used-to-radicalise-bangladeshi-muslims-in-singapore-116072300314_1.html
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Kabul: Suicide bomber attacks demonstration by Hazara minority, 10 killed
Jul 23, 2016
A suicide bomber hit a large demonstration by members of Afghanistan’s Hazara minority in Kabul on Saturday, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens more, officials said.
Photographs posted on social media showed bodies, apparently at the site of the explosion, close to where thousands of people had been protesting over the route of a planned multimillion dollar power line.
Thousands of people from Afghanistan’s Hazara minority had gathered to demand changes to the route of a planned multi-million dollar power transmission line.
The demonstrators were demanding the 500 kV transmission line from Turkmenistan to Kabul be rerouted through two provinces with large Hazara populations, an option the government says would cost millions and delay the badly needed project by years.
Much of the city centre was sealed off with stacks of shipping containers and other obstacles and security was tight with helicopters patrolling overhead but there was no violence by the protestors until the blast rocked the city.
Full report at:
indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/kabul-suicide-bomber-attacks-demonstration-by-hazara-minority-10-killed-2931442/
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Afghan commandos launch operation against ISIS in Nangarhar
23 July, 2016
The commandos of the Afghan National Army (ANA) forces have kicked off a major operation by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) against the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group in eastern Nangarhar province.
According to the security officials, the initial raids were conducted by the Afghan special forces in the early hours of Friday morning in Kot district.
The officials further added that the Afghan Force and as well as the US forces in Afghanistan are providing air support to the Afghan ground forces.
The loyalists of the terror group have not commented regarding the report so far.
This comes as the minister of defense General Abdullah Habibi visited Nangarhar province three days earlier to meet wit the local officials and discuss the launch of the major operation against ISIS loyalists.
The operations are being launched days after President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani ordered the 201st Silab Corps of the Afghan National Army to completely root out the terrorists from Nangarhar.
Full report at:
khaama.com/afghan-commandos-launch-operation-against-isis-in-nangarhar-01539
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Clash during Taliban leader’s funeral in Parwan, casualties feared
By KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Jul 23 2016
A clash has reportedly taken place during the funeral of a Taliban leader in northern Parwan province of Afghanistan.
Sources in Parwan province have said at least nine people were killed and several others were wounded after the clash broke out during Mullah Shakoor’s funeral.
The sources quoted by RFE further added that the incident took place in Syed Khel district, leaving at least 9 dead and 15 others wounded.
The local government officials have not formally confirmed the casualties so far and have said several people were arrested following the incident.
Full report at:
khaama.com/clash-during-taliban-leaders-funeral-in-parwan-casualties-feared-01541
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3 ‘militants’ held in Old Dhaka
23 July, 2016
Law enforcers last night detained three alleged militants of banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad in Kotwali area of Old Dhaka.
The detainees are: Mawlana Nazim Uddin, 40, president of its Dhaka North unit, Anas, 21, and Saiduzzaman, 28, police said.
On tip-off, a team of Detective Branch (DB) conducted a drive and nabbed them, Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) told journalists. 
thedailystar.net/city/3-militants-held-mirpur-1258177
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Jamiatul Ulama condemns Islamic foundation’s instruction
23 July, 2016
Condemning the initiative taken by the Islamic Foundation to read out anti-terror khutba (sermons) during Juma prayers, a group of clerics in Dhaka today termed it “unacceptable”.
“You can monitor the speech delivered from the minbar of a mosque. If anybody delivers inciting speech, detain him. We’ll help you in this regard,” said Yahya Mahmood, vice-president of Bangladesh Jamiatul Ulama’s Dhaka city unit at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.
“But imposing a message in the khutba is unacceptable. You cannot make the imam act like a cuckoo,” he told reporters, responding to a query.
He said that the initiative will fail to create appeal among the country’s imams.
“Nothing should be imposed suddenly, but we (BJU) think the decision should be taken on the basis of opinions from country’s renowned ulemas,” Mahmood added.
Meanwhile, in the spate of recent militant attacks, leaders and activists of the platform on July 29 will hold a demonstration against militancy across the country.
They will chalk out a wide range of programmes to condemn the militant attacks, particularly at Sholakia Eid congregation, Gulshan café and France attacks, said Mahmood.
thedailystar.net/city/jamiatul-ulama-condemns-islamic-foundations-instruction-1258183
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Bangladesh police gives blood samples of cafe attackers to FBI
 Jul 23, 2016
Bangladesh police on Friday handed over to the FBI for testing blood and hair samples of militants who carried out the country’s worst terror attack in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed.
“Hair and blood samples from the five gunmen and their suspected aide have been given to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for testing,” said Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman.
Immediately after the attack on July 1, US Secretary of State John Kerry called Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and offered her assistance from American law enforcement agencies, including FBI.
The counter-terror unit asked for hair and 20 mililitres of blood to be collected from the bodies for a second time, Soheil Mahmud, assistant professor of Forensics Medicine at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital said.
Full report at:
indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/bangladesh-dhaka-cafe-attack-suspect-blood-samples-fbi-2929852/
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Africa

Somalia Joins African Countries Interested In Morocco’s Religious Experience
23 July, 2016
Morocco’s success in combating religious extremism and Islamic radicalization continues to gain regional and international recognition with many African countries voicing desire to benefit from the experience of the North African Kingdom in this field.
The latest of these countries is Somalia, which has just signed a cooperation agreement with Morocco in this field. Somali minister of Islamic affairs Abdelkader cheikh Ali Ibrahim said the agreement would enable his country to benefit from Moroccan pioneering experience, which is based on moderation and tolerance to counter jihadist threats.
To fight Islamic radical ideology and lunatic ideas, Morocco launched a leading center that provides training to hundreds of imams of various nationalities. The center seeks to inculcate in Imams the precepts of a tolerant and non-violent form of Islam based on Maliki rite and teach them how to counter extremism and religious radicalization through sound argumentation and dialogue.
Full report at:
northafricapost.com/13015-somalia-joins-african-countries-interested-moroccos-religious-experience.html
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Libya: UN Authorizes Offshore Disposal Chemical Weapons
23 July, 2016
The UN Security Council (UNSC) on Friday authorized member states to assist Libya in eliminating the country's stockpile of chemicals that could be used to develop toxic weapons.
The US military has reported that the "Islamic State" grew its base of fighters in the span of a year. But the group lacks the know-how to expand the way it did in Iraq and Syria.
The 15-member body determined "that the potential for acquisition by non-state actors of chemical weapons in Libya represents a threat to international peace and security," the British-drafted resolution said.
Libya's UN-backed national unity government last week asked the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to help it remove the chemicals after it transported them to a temporary storage site in northern Libya.
Full report at:
allafrica.com/stories/201607230145.html
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Nigeria: President Buhari Confirms Talks With Niger Delta Militants
23 July, 2016
Abuja and Warri — President Muhammadu Buhari has finally confirmed that his administration is in talks with Niger Delta militants with the help of oil companies and law-enforcement agencies to find a lasting solution to the insecurity in the region.
But as he said this, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the militant group that has claimed responsibility for the recent wave of attacks on oil assets in the region, issued another threat to oil workers, asking all of them to vacate the oil fields and terminals because it was ready to wage a dirty war.
Full report at:
allafrica.com/stories/201607220794.html


- See more at: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/only-six-shrines-remain-standing-as-gaza-s-ancient-sites-crumble/d/108057#sthash.eQjkyllU.dpuf