Saudi Imam Says Killing Is the Only Language Jews and Christians Understand  

President Barack Obama speaks at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015

Arab World

Saudi Imam Says Killing Is the Only Language Jews and Christians Understand

Sunni Officials in Iraq Say Shi’ite Militias Executed 70 Civilians

Over 22 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Anbar

Kurds celebrate ousting Islamic State fighters from Kobani

Deadly bomb blast rocks Egypt’s Alexandria

IS urges new attacks after Charlie Hebdo killings

Shoura seeks body to directly tackle domestic violence cases

Syria tells US to pressure Turkey over ‘support of Islamists’

IS affiliate in Egypt claims executing police officer

Security Forces Regain Ground in Bloody Battle with ISIL

Assad: Syria Opposition Groups Foreign Paid Puppets

Jordan drawn deeper into mire as ISIL demands release of Al Qaeda prisoner

Pakistan

Pakistan Arrests 9,000 Suspected Militants Including Over 3,000 Clerics

Moot Calls on World to Stand United Against Blasphemous Cartoons

India’s Role in Militancy: Pakistan Shares ‘Dossier’ With US

‘Pakistanis Have Expressed Their Resolve to Eliminate Terrorism’

Evidence of Indian Hand in Terror Acts in Pakistan Handed Over To US

JuD: The snakes in Pakistan’s backyard

54 cases selected for military courts

Nawaz calls for friendly India-Pakistan relations

Militants abduct five miners in Quetta

India

Obama Prods India on Religious Freedom, Says Everyone Has Right to Profess Faith

Development without Hindu Rashtra Is Of No Use: Togadia

Proud To Be Part of Obama’s Speech, Tweets Shah Rukh Khan

US Sees Role for India in Battle against Islamic State

Nations Are More Successful When Their Women Are Successful, Says Obama

Cops Yet To Open Operator of a Pro-ISIS Twitter Handle Mehdi’s Google Accounts

History Will Judge Manmohan Kindly: Omar Abdullah

Africa

South Sudan Ambush Leaves 13 Dead, Including Three Journalists

Gunmen at Libyan Luxury Hotel Take Hostages; 3 Guards Dead

Nigerian Military Got Intelligence Report before Attack, yet Taken By Surprise

Uganda: Child Soldier Turned Rebel Appears in Court

Niger Lifts Refugee Camp Ban As Record Numbers Flee Boko Haram

South Asia

7 ANA Embraced Martyrdom in IED Explosion, 29 Insurgents Killed In Operations

“Marg” Group Formed Against Taliban and ISIS in Northern Afghanistan

Afghanistan launches poppy eradication campaign in former Taliban stronghold

Another case filed against Khaleda Zia

Japan working on freeing hostage and Jordan pilot

North Korea accuses Israel of being ‘dictatorial force for aggression’

Pakistan an irreplaceable, all-weather friend: China

Mideast

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Takes Mediator Role between Hamas, Fatah

Yemen’s Houthis ‘Similar’ To Lebanon’s Hezbollah: Iran Official

Yemen rivals sign deal to form salvation government

Not Turkey, but US should change its Syrian policy: Erdoğan

UN halts Gaza house repairs saying donors failed to pay up

Europe

UN to Discuss Contempt of Religions at KSA’s Request

European Jewish Leader: Islamic Extremists Are the New Nazis

Cameron govt views Muslims with suspicion: Sayeeda Warsi

France’s ethnic apartheid: ‘Separate Islamic societies’ breed discontent, radicalism

Paris attacks prompt fresh concerns about online Islamophobia

At least two arrested in ‘anti-jihadist’ raid in France

North America

North Texas Muslims, Neighbours Gather To Call For Peace

US-Belgian initiative is blueprint for Muslim engagement

Americans still confusing Sikhs for Muslims: study

Spielberg says Jews still face anti-Semitism 70 years after Holocaust

Southeast Asia

Stop using Sedition Act, Canada tells Putrajaya

Philippine Special Forces chief fired after 44 commandos die

KL Archbishop Urges Catholics to Stand Up For Rights of Minorities

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-imam-says-killing-is-the-only-language-jews-and-christians-understand/d/101221

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Arab World

Saudi Imam Says Killing Is the Only Language Jews and Christians Understand

27 January 2015

Saudi Imam Issa Assiri justified the killing of 12 people at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris by Islamist gunmen this month, saying the killings are the only language Jews and Christians understand.

“This is the language these Jewish and Christian infidels understand. This is the only language they understand.

[After the attack] they changed their policy,” he said at a Friday sermon, according to a transcript provided by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute).

“When someone curses or mocks the Prophet Muhammad – what should be his punishment? Cursing or mocking the Prophet is an act of apostasy, as all scholars concur, whether it is done seriously or in jest. Anyone who does this, Muslim or infidel, must be killed, even if he repents,” said the imam in the video, posted online on January 9 and January 16.

The Saudi religious figure went on to claim that Muslims discovered America, echoing a statement made in November by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Dear believers, some notions require correction.

For example, what we learned in school about the discovery of America is a lie,” said Assiri, according to MEMRI.

The narrative that claims that Christopher Columbus discovered America is “a fabrication and a lie, which is as far removed from the truth as possible,” he said.

“The truth is that Columbus knew about the ‘new world’ even before he set sail. He also knew that there were Muslims there,” Assiri continued. “He received a personal commission to sail to America from a Crusader queen who hated Islam and the Muslims.”

This queen, Isabella, signed an agreement ending the Muslim presence in Andalusia in Spain “before this hateful Crusader [Isabella] turned to the American continent, in order to fight the Muslims there. The Muslims were there before Columbus and all the others,” he said.

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/WATCH-Saudi-Imam-says-Charlie-Hebdo-attack-is-only-language-Jews-and-Christians-understand-389001

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Sunni officials in Iraq say Shi’ite militias executed 70 civilians

27 January 2015

BAGHDAD: Sunni politicians and tribal chiefs from Iraq’s eastern Diyala province accused Shiite militias of killing more than 70 unarmed civilians who had fled clashes with Islamic State militants.

Interior Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan denied the claims, saying IS was trying to undermine the reputation of Iraqi security forces.

A local Shiite official said it was too soon to draw conclusions and suggested IS could have been behind the deaths in the eastern village of Barwanah.

The accusations followed a three-day offensive in which Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias captured two dozen villages from Islamic State fighters in Diyala.

The assault, which began on Friday, enabled Shiite militias, the Iraqi army and Sunni tribesmen to push the militants out of the Muqdadiya area, the closest Islamic State outpost to the Iranian border 40 km (25 miles) to the east.

Iraq’s Shiite-led government, backed by US-led air strikes, has been trying to push back Islamic State since it swept through northern Iraq in June.

Diyala’s governor, Amir Salman, and Nahida Al-Daini, an MP from nearby Baquba, called on Baghdad to intervene in Barwanah, 5 km (3 miles) northwest of Muqdadiya where pro-government militias and some security forces took control of about two dozen villages from IS fighters earlier on Monday.

“This evening the militias entered the village of Barwanah and executed more than 70 residents. This is a real massacre by the militias,” Daini told Reuters.

Sagar Al-Jabouri and Ahmed Ibrahim, Sunni sheikhs from Muqdadiya, confirmed the reports. “The militias are acting above the law. The security forces are unable to restrain them,” Jabouri said. “We will defend ourselves. We are afraid we will be next.”

Reuters was unable to independently verify these claims due to the security situation in the area.

“Daesh terrorists might have killed those people because they refused to fight with them,” said Amal Omran, a Shiite member of the Diyala provincial council, using a derogatory acronym to refer to Islamic State.

Villages

Hadi Al-Amri, head of the Shiite paramilitary group Badr Organization, told a news conference broadcast on state TV at least 58 soldiers and pro-government fighters were killed in the Muqdadiya offensive and 247 wounded.

“We managed on Jan. 25 and after three days’ tough battle to defeat the terrorists in northern Muqdadiya and we cleansed all the villages of Daesh,” Amri said.

About 65 Islamic State fighters were killed, Sadiq Al-Hussaini, chairman of the security panel of Diyala’s provincial council, said, adding other militants had fled but did not specify where. Mountainous terrain could make it difficult to eliminate Islamic State from the area.

Previous seizures have often been followed by a counter-offensive.

Residents and security sources said Shiite militias had destroyed several mosques and set fire to dozens of houses in the village of Shirween, even some belonging to Sunni fighters who had participated in the offensive.

“After liberating some villages in northern Muqdadiya, a group of militias assaulted us and accused us of being IS members. After they restricted our movement, they began to blow up the large houses,” said Salam Abdullah Al-Jobouri, a Sunni tribal fighter.

An army major, a local official and a Sunni tribal leader confirmed the reports. The major said security forces were unable to stop the militias.

The Interior Ministry spokesman denied government forces had intentionally destroyed residents’ homes. He accused IS of planting bombs as they retreated in order to ambush the troops and undermine their reputation.

While Islamic State’s advance has forced thousands of people from their homes, government attempts to regain territory have also displaced many.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed, Stephen Kalin and Saif Hameed)

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/695311

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Over 22 ISIL Terrorists Killed in Anbar

27 Jan, 2015

The Iraqi army continued its offensive operations against the ISIL Takfiri group in the Western province of Anbar, leaving at least 22 terrorists dead, a military source said.

A senior Iraqi official said that the army troops, backed by tribal forces, inflicted heavy losses on ISIL near Haditha city and killed more than 22 terrorists.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control a shrinking part of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.

Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.

The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931106001197

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Kurds celebrate ousting Islamic State fighters from Kobani

AP | Jan 27, 2015

BEIRUT: Jubilant Kurdish fighters ousted Islamic State militants from the key Syrian border town of Kobani on Monday after a four-month battle — a significant victory for both the Kurds and the US-led coalition.

The Kurds raised their flag on a hill that once flew the Islamic State group’s black banner. On Kobani’s war-ravaged streets, gunmen fired in the air in celebration, male and female fighters embraced, and troops danced in their baggy uniforms.

The failure to capture Kobani was a major blow to the extremists whose hopes for an easy victory dissolved into a costly siege under withering airstrikes by coalition forces and an assault by the Kurdish militia.

For the US and its partners, Kobani became a strategic prize, especially after they increased the number of airstrikes against IS fighters there in October.

“Daesh gambled on Kobani and lost,” said senior Kurdish official Idriss Nassan, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

“Their defenses have collapsed and its fighters have fled,” he told The Associated Press from Turkey, adding that he would return to Kobani on Tuesday.

Kobani-based journalis Farshad Shami said the few civilians who remained had joined in the celebration. Most of the town of about 60,000 people had fled to Turkey to escape the fighting.

Several US officials said they couldn’t confirm that Kurdish fighters have gained full control of Kobani, but added that they have no reason to disbelieve the claims.

A senior US official said the Kurds controlled most of the town and have consolidated control particularly in the central and southern areas. The official said Islamic State militants still have a considerable presence in outlying areas around Kobani and are still putting up stiff resistance to the Kurds in those pockets outside it.

Kurdish officials and activists said Kobani was entirely in Kurdish hands, with only sporadic fighting on the eastern outer edges where the militants retained some footholds.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighters of the main Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, where searching houses in the eastern suburbs of the town and dismantling and detonating bombs and booby-traps left behind.

Capturing Kobani would have given the IS militants control of a border crossing with Turkey and open direct lines for their positions along the frontier. Now, it is a grave psychological loss for the extremist group, which has been dealt a series of military setbacks in both Syria and Iraq, particularly at the hands of the Kurds.

Last month, Kurdish fighters in Iraq retook the strategic town of Sinjar that had been home to many of Iraq’s minority Yazidis.

The focus is now expected to shift to several hundred villages around Kobani still held by the militants. Kurdish activists said they expected the fight for those to be easier than for the town itself.

In September, Islamic State fighters began capturing about 300 Kurdish villages near Kobani and thrust into the town itself, occupying nearly half of it and sending tens of thousands of residents fleeing into Turkey.

But the once-nondescript town with few resources quickly became a centerpiece of the international campaign against the Islamic State group. TV crews flocked to the Turkish side of the border and trained their cameras on the besieged town, plumes of smoke rising from explosions. US secretary of state John Kerry declared it would be “morally very difficult” not to help Kobani.

The US-led air assault began Sept. 23, with Kobani the target of about a half-dozen daily airstrikes on average. More than 80 percent of all coalition airstrikes in Syria have been in or around the town.

At one point in October, the US air dropped bundles of weapons and medical supplies for Kurdish fighters — a first in the Syrian conflict. Dozens of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces joined their brethren in Kobani, bringing in heavy weapons that neutralized the Islamic State group’s artillery advantage.

By early January, more than 1,000 Islamic State fighters had been killed and much of its heavy weaponry destroyed. The group continued to invest in resources, bringing in hundreds of reinforcements. Activists said these included many teenagers and even children, signaling a shortage in its forces.

The group made a last stand in the past few weeks, unleashing more than 35 suicide attacks in recent weeks, activists said. But the advancing Kurdish fighters could not be stopped.

Nassan said coalition airstrikes intensified in recent days, helping the Kurds in their final push toward IS positions on the southern and eastern edges of Kobani.

The US Central Command said Monday it had carried out 17 airstrikes near Kobani in the last 24 hours that struck IS infrastructure and fighting positions.

Shami, the Kurdish journalist, said the remaining IS militants in eastern Kobani vacated quickly, leaving behind fresh food and heavy weapons.

“Their morale collapsed,” he said by telephone as celebratory gunfire echoed in the background.

Gharib Hassou, a representative of Syria’s powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, based in Southern Kurdistan, said most of the militants fled to the IS-controlled town of Tal Abyad to the east.

“There are a lot of dead bodies … and they left some of the weapons,” he said.

Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Observatory, also confirmed Kobani was entirely in Kurdish hands. He said the Kurdish force was led by Mohammed Barkhadan, the Kobani commander of the main Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG.

Barkhadan, a well-known militia commander, led an offensive in 2013 that ousted Islamic militants from the northern Syrian town of Ras Ayn, Aburrahman said.

Retired Marine Gen. John Allen, the US envoy for the international coalition fighting the IS group, had predicted in November that Kobani would be a defeat for the extremists.

The militant group “has, in so many ways, impaled itself on Kobani,” he said in an interview in Ankara with the Turkish daily Milliyet.

There also was joy across the border in Turkey, where Kurds set off fireworks and performed a traditional folk dance to mark the victory by their brethren in predominantly Kurdish Kobani. In Istanbul, police used tear gas and pressurized water to break up pro-Kurdish demonstrations in the city.

Shami said it was a triumph for the “entire world” that had come to Kobani’s rescue.

“It is a historic victory, when a small town like Kobani defeats a formidable criminal force like Daesh,” he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Kurds-celebrate-ousting-Islamic-State-fighters-from-Kobani/articleshow/46024438.cms

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Deadly bomb blast rocks Egypt’s Alexandria

27 January 2015

One person was killed by a car bomb, parked near a police station by suspected Islamist militants, in the Egyptian city of Alexandria early on Tuesday, security sources said.

The attack in Egypt’s second-biggest city also wounded two people but there were no immediate details about the identity of the victims.

Security sources also said that unknown assailants had attacked a police station in western Alexandria with Molotov cocktails, setting it alight but causing no casualties.

On Sunday, about 25 people were killed in anti-government demonstrations on the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ousted veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Activists accuse President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of returning Egypt to authoritarian rule since the army removed the Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2013 and then mounted the biggest crackdown against Islamists in the country’s history.

Sisi says he is committed to democracy in Egypt, a strategic U.S. ally with influence across the Arab world.

Islamist militants have killed hundreds of police and soldiers since then-army chief Sisi overthrew president Mohammad Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.

A law enacted during Sisi’s rule severely restricted demonstrations, dramatically reducing unrest in Egypt.

However, signs of discontent emerged in the run-up to the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that raised hopes of greater freedoms in the most populous Arab country.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/01/27/Deadly-blast-rocks-Egypt-s-Alexandria-.html

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IS urges new attacks after Charlie Hebdo killings

27 Jan, 2015

The Islamic State jihadist group Monday urged Muslims to carry out new attacks after the targeting of France’s Charlie Hebdo magazine, in a recording by its spokesman posted online.

Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, referring to attacks in France, Australia, Canada and Belgium, urged “Muslims in Europe and the infidel West to attack the Crusaders where they are.”

“We promise that in the Christian bastions they will continue to live in a state of alert, of terror, of fear and insecurity… You have seen nothing yet,” the recording said.

He added that the group would consider as “enemies” those Muslims who were able to carry out such attacks but failed to do so.

The threat is just the latest instance in which the jihadist group has urged Muslims to carry out attacks in the West.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/contents/afp/2015/01/syria-conflict-france-attacks-jihadists.html#ixzz3Q44HLScE

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Shoura seeks body to directly tackle domestic violence cases

27 January 2015

RIYADH —  The Shoura Council on Monday urged the Ministry of Social Affairs to carry out studies on setting up a specialized executive committee to tackle cases of domestic violence promptly and effectively.

The Council favored that the committee should frame a comprehensive strategy, in coordination with concerned sectors, in handling domestic violence cases directly and making quick intervention to save the victims as well as to evaluate the performance of the agencies working in this field.

Muhammad Al-Amr, secretary general of the Council, said it also suggested that the committee would take into account various psychological and social aspects of the domestic violence cases, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Council session, chaired by its President Sheikh Abdullah Al-Asheikh, urged the ministry to chalk out an Early Intervention Program for the sake of the special needs children since their birth until the age of four.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150127231806

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Syria tells US to pressure Turkey over ‘support of Islamists’

27 January 2015

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Washington should pressure Turkey not to allow money and weapons into northern Syria, accusing Ankara and its president of backing “terrorists.”

The Syrian leader also criticized U.S. plans to train vetted rebels to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), warning it could backfire, in a Foreign Affairs magazine interview published on Jan. 26.

Questioning the seriousness of the U.S.-led campaign against the jihadists, al-Assad said, “What we’ve seen so far is just, let’s say, window-dressing, nothing real.”

“Did the United States put any pressure on Turkey to stop the support of al-Qaeda? They didn’t,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-tells-us-to-pressure-turkey-over-support-of-islamists.aspx?pageID=238&nID=77437&NewsCatID=352

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IS affiliate in Egypt claims executing police officer

27 Jan, 2015

The Islamic State group’s Egyptian affiliate, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, claimed in a video released Monday the killing of a police officer whose body was found almost two weeks ago.

Egyptian troops found the body of Ayman al-Desouky, who had been kidnapped from near the town of Rafah on the border with the Gaza Strip, during a search operation in North Sinai on January 13.

In the video released on its Twitter account, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Partisans of Jerusalem) said its militants abducted Desouky and later executed him.

The footage shows gunmen dragging a policeman out of a car at a checkpoint manned by militants wielding machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades.

It then shows a militant shooting the blindfolded and handcuffed officer in the head three times.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/contents/afp/2015/01/egypt-unrest-jihadists-sinai-police.html#ixzz3Q44OzTGI

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Security Forces Regain Ground in Bloody Battle with ISIL

27 Jan, 2015

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi army and popular forces killed 40 ISIL terrorists as they seized control of the al-Khasfa region. The battle took place 190 kilometres (119 miles) West of Ramadi. After the clashes, security forces took down the ISIL flag and began to dismantle explosive devices planted by them in the region.

http://english.farsnews.com/player.aspx?nn=13931106001417

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Assad: Syria Opposition Groups Foreign Paid Puppets

27 Jan, 2015

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad questioned the credibility of Syrian opposition groups taking part in Moscow talks, describing the opposition representatives as “puppets paid from the outside”.

“We will go to Russia, we will go to these negotiations, but there is another question here: Who do you negotiate with?” Assad asked in an interview with the US magazine, Foreign Affairs, published online on Monday.

“Who do you negotiate with? As a government, we have institutions, we have an army, and we have influence, positive or negative, in any direction, at any time. Whereas the people we are going to negotiate with, who do they represent? That’s the question,” he added, press tv reported.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931106001468

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Jordan drawn deeper into mire as ISIL demands release of Al Qaeda prisoner

27 Jan, 2015

AMMAN // A demand from ISIL for the release of an Iraqi woman on death row in Jordan in return for a Japanese hostage has further complicated the kingdom’s efforts to free a captured air force pilot.

The extremists released a video last week demanding US$200 million (Dh745m) for the release of journalist Kenji Goto and his friend Haruna Yukawa. The figure was the same amount the Japanese government had pledged to help countries affected by the militants.

On Saturday, a second video showed Mr Goto holding what appeared to be a picture of Yukawa’s decapitated body. The video included a demand that the journalist is swapped for Sajeda Al Rishawi, an Iraqi sentenced to death in Jordan for her involvement in the 2005 bombings of three hotels in Amman that killed 60 people.

Jordan, a member of the coalition against ISIL, has been trying to secure the release of First Lieutenant Maaz Al Kassasbeh, a 26-year old pilot captured by the group on December 24 after his jet crashed during a bombing run in northern Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/jordan-drawn-deeper-into-mire-as-isil-demands-release-of-al-qaeda-prisoner#full

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Pakistan

Pakistan arrests 9,000 suspected militants including over 3,000 clerics

Jan 27, 2015

Islamabad: Pakistan authorities have arrested at least 9,000 suspected militants, including over 3,000 clerics, as part of a massive crackdown launched by security forces on militants and their sympathisers.

The arrests were part of the National Action Plan (NAP) to eliminate militancy after Taliban last month attacked a school and killed 136 students.

Up to 3,100 clerics of various seminaries and mosques in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad have been picked up so far.

Over 3,650 Afghan refugees suspected of involvement in terror-related activities, were also arrested by the police, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary across the country, Express Tribune reported.

Another 490 and 400 suspected militants have been picked up in Sindh and Balochistan respectively.

Law enforcement agencies, in coordination with intelligence operators, have conducted around 9,912 search operations in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Full report at:

http://www.firstpost.com/world/pakistan-arrests-9000-suspected-militants-including-3000-clerics-2064561.html

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Moot Calls on World to Stand United Against Blasphemous Cartoons

27 January 2015

ISLAMABAD: A joint meeting of the representatives of all religions, sects and political parties was held by Pakistan Ulema Council [PUC], under the headship of Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, at a local hotel in Islamabad to discuss offensive cartoons and the country’s current situation.

The meeting was attended by Federal Information Minister Senator Pervez Rasheed, Azad Kashmir President Sardar Yaqoob Ahmed and more than 33 representatives of religious and political parties. The joint declaration issued at the end of the joint conference said that this conference of the representatives of all religions and political parties expresses deep sorrow over the publication of offensive cartoons in France and some other European countries. The joint declaration of the conference urged on religious and political leadership of the world to adopt a unanimous stance against sacrilegious cartoons for world peace and demanded government of Pakistan to summon OIC meeting and to consult United Nations to ensure legislation for honor of holy figures of all religions of the world.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/27-Jan-2015/moot-calls-on-world-to-stand-united-against-blasphemous-cartoons

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India’s role in militancy: Pakistan shares ‘dossier’ with US

January 27, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has presented a ‘dossier’ to top US officials detailing evidence of involvement of Indian secret agencies in stoking and supporting militancy in the country’s troubled regions, according to a top defence official.

The disclosure was made during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence presided over by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Monday. The ‘vital’ evidence against India was handed over to senior US military and intelligence officials by army chief General Raheel Sharif during his recent visit to Washington.

Senator Mushahid confirmed that senior defence officials during an in-camera briefing informed the Senate panel that India was using Afghan soil against Pakistan.

The Pakistani claim comes amid renewed calls from India for action against Jammatud Dawa (JuD) and other militant groups during the ongoing visit of US President Barack Obama. This is the first time Pakistani officials said evidence was shared with the US regarding the involvement of India in subversive activities.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/828208/indias-role-in-militancy-pakistan-shares-dossier-with-us/

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Evidence of Indian Hand in Terror Acts in Pakistan Handed Over To US

27 January 2015

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Defence was informed on Monday that the United States has assured Pakistan that Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah would either be arrested or killed in Afghanistan, officials who attend the meeting told Daily Times.

The officials further said that in case of an arrest he (Fazlullah) would be subsequently handed over to Pakistan. Briefing the Committee in parliament house, defence officials said that during his long visit to the US, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif had also presented vital evidence of Indian involvement in subversive activities in Pakistan by using Afghan soil to top US intelligence and defence officials. The committee further informed that the US would also give Pakistan $1 billion this year under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). The committee was briefed that the US would further give Pakistan used defence equipment to meet its security challenges for which the process had already begun.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/27-Jan-2015/evidence-of-indian-hand-in-terror-acts-in-pakistan-handed-over-to-us

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JuD: The snakes in Pakistan’s backyard

Jan 27, 2015

The Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) may continue to thrive amid the instability of Pakistani politics. After a few days of febrile reporting that Pakistan had proscribed the JuD (an alias of the Lashkar-e-Taiba) and the Haqqani network, it turns out that both groups have in fact not been banned. The Pakistan foreign office confirmed this and noted that the JuD’s assets remain frozen and the movements of its members restricted in compliance with UN sanctions. These measures have barely affected the group so far as it continues to raise funds, run services and hold massive rallies.

Islamabad’s failure to proactively tackle the JuD points to competing forces at play on this issue. Nawaz Sharif’s government has been under pressure from the United States and India to act against the group and has strained to ensure that some symbolic steps concerning the group are taken — such as ensuring that Mumbai attacks mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi remains in jail. Islamabad is, however, unable to go very much beyond that since the JuD is a significant political actor in Punjab and is also still seen as a strategic asset by the Pakistan army in its proxy war against India.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/comment/jamaat-ud-dawa-the-snakes-in-pakistan-s-backyard/article1-1310909.aspx

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54 cases selected for military courts

27 January 2015

QUETTA: The government of Balochistan has selected 54 terrorism cases for trial by military courts set up under the 21st Cons­titution Amendment.

The cases were finalised at a high-level meeting of security officials.

Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told Dawn that of the 54 cases selected, 19 related to the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Afghanis­tan, 18 to Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and 17 to Sipah-i-Muhammad.

The provincial apex committee, which is responsible for implementation of the National Action Programme against terrorism, will forward the cases to the federal government for a final decision.

Balochistan IG Mohammad Amlish Khan told Dawn that 168 accused had been nominated in the 54 cases; 88 of them were under arrest and 80 absconding.

Mr Durrani said that mercy petitions of 14 convicted militants were pending with the federal government and the provincial government had requested it to reject the petitions.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1159651/54-cases-selected-for-military-courts

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Nawaz calls for friendly India-Pakistan relations

27 January 2015

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif greeted his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi On the occasion of 66th Republic Day of India.

The Pakistani Prime Minister not only wished people of India prosperity but also sought friendly ties between the two neighbours. “Pakistan remains committed to developing friendly relations with India on the basis of sovereign equality, mutual respect and commonality of interests,” Sharif said in a message to PM Modi while greeting India on its 66th Republic Day. Sharif further said in the message, “On behalf of the people and the Government of Pakistan, and on my own behalf, I would like to convey our warm felicitations to you, your Government, and the people of India, on the happy occasion of India’s 66th Republic Day.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/27-Jan-2015/nawaz-calls-for-friendly-india-pakistan-relations

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Militants abduct five miners in Quetta

27 January 2015

UETTA: Unknown armed men kidnapped five coal miners in Quetta’s Sorenge area on Tuesday.

Police sources told Dawn that militants kidnapped seven miners belonging to the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation in Quetta’s Sorenge area.

The kidnappers later freed two coal miners and took the other abductees to nearby mountains.

“Five coal miners are still with kidnappers,” police said adding that “The number of kidnappers was yet to be confirmed.”

Personnel of Frontier Corps (FC) and police reached the site and launched a search operation to recover the hostages.

There was no claim of responsibility for the kidnapping.

Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest but least developed with the most sparse population.

It has been wracked by a separatist insurgency that was revived in 2004.

The separatists believe that locals do not receive a fair share of the province’s energy and mineral wealth.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1159790/militants-abduct-five-miners-in-quetta

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India

Obama prods India on religious freedom, says everyone has right to profess faith

Jan 27, 2015

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday gently nudged India to fulfill its Constitution’s pledge to uphold religious freedom as he closed out a three-day visit to New Delhi.

“India will succeed so long as it is not splintered on religious lines”, Obama said while speaking to an audience of young people at Siri Fort auditorium.

“Everyone has the right to practice their faith without fear of persecution, discrimination,” he said.

As he touted the importance of religious tolerance, he noted the persistent false rumours that he is a Muslim, not a Christian.

“There have been times where my faith has at times been questioned by people who don’t know me, or they’ve said that I adhere to a different religion, as if that were somehow a bad thing,” Obama said.

Drawing on his own experience as a minority in the United States, Obama said while he has had extraordinary opportunities, “There were moments in my life where I’ve been treated differently because of the colour of my skin.”

The US has said some local laws and policies in India restrict religious freedom, with reports of discrimination and organised attacks against religious minorities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself was denied a visa to the US in 2005, three years after religious riots killed more than 1,000 Muslims in Gujarat where he was the chief minister.

Obama also struck a common chord with Modi several times during his speech, urging young people to stand up for the rights of women.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-will-succeed-so-long-as-it-is-not-splintered-on-religious-lines-obama/article1-1310967.aspx

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Development without Hindu Rashtra is of no use: Togadia

MOHAMMAD ALI

Jan 27, 2015

At a time when the Narendra Modi government has been targeted for its alleged failure to rein in Hindutva groups, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia on Monday rejected the discourse of development without “Hindu Rashtra”.

Addressing the Virat Hindu Mahasammelan here, he said development would be of no use if Hindus were not “safe” at home. Amid loud cheers of the 1,000-odd crowd, which braved rain and cold to hear him, he asked the “Hindus of the country to become one and prepare the way for Hindu Rashtra.”

Invoking “Hindu victimhood,” he said: “Neither our houses and businesses nor our daughters and sisters are safe in places such as Hyderabad, Bhopal and Meerut. Development is important, but what will be its use when Hindus won’t be there at homes, and like Hindus in Kashmir, they are thrown out of their motherland.”

“We have to ensure security, safety and respect to the 100-crore Hindus. So, we have to get organised and be ready for Hindu Rashtra,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/development-without-hindu-rashtra-is-of-no-use-togadia/article6824582.ece

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Proud to be part of Obama’s speech, tweets Shah Rukh Khan

Jan 27, 2015

Mumbai, Jan 27: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Tuesday thanked US President Barack Obama, who left India after an absorbing three-day tour earlier in the day, for mentioning him and his film’s dialogue in his address a townhall event at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.

In a tweet, the actor said: “Proud 2 b part of the gender & religion equality speech of Pres. Obama. Sad he couldn’t do the Bhangra…next time Chaiyya Chaiyya for sure.” Obama, who became the first American president to attend the country’s Republic Day ceremony as the chief guest on Monday and also the first incumbent to visit India twice during his term, quoted a line from Khan’s 1995 blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. “Senorita, bade bade deshon mein… you what I mean,” Obama said. The American president mentioned about Khan and other Indian personalities like Mary Kom and Kailash Satyarthi in his speech made on the concluding day of his high-profile visit which had quite a bit of national and international repercussions.

http://www.oneindia.com/mumbai/proud-to-be-part-of-obama-s-speech-shah-rukh-khan-tweets-1633569.html

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US sees role for India in battle against Islamic State

Jan 27, 2015

NEW DELHI: India could play a role in battling Islamic State, the White House said on Monday during a visit to New Delhi by President Barack Obama, underlining Washington’s confidence that India is increasingly prepared to engage on global security issues.

US deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said India’s involvement could focus on intelligence on the flow of money and militants to the radical Islamist group active in Syria and Iraq rather than deploying troops on the ground.

“When you look at our broader counter-terrorism cooperation and how we’re tracking the flow of fighters and terrorist financing, there I do think we want to find space for cooperation,” he told reporters.

The comments came hours after Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi together watched a dazzling parade of India’s military might and cultural diversity, capturing the two countries’ determination to put decades of brittle relations behind them and forge a robust strategic partnership.It rained on the Republic Day parade through the heart of New Delhi, but excitement nevertheless ran high over Obama’s visit, which began on Sunday with a clutch of deals to unlock billions of dollars in nuclear trade and deepen defence ties.

Most significant was an agreement on issues that, despite a groundbreaking 2006 pact, had stopped US companies from setting up nuclear reactors in India and had become one of the major irritants in bilateral relations.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/US-sees-role-for-India-in-battle-against-Islamic-State/articleshow/46021809.cms

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Nations are more successful when their women are successful, says Obama

Jan 27, 2015

US President Barack Obama’s began his speech with a Namaste and “bahut dhanyawaad (many thanks)” as he began townhall at Delhi’s Siri Fort auditorium.

He is addressing about 2000 young people who cheered in delight when he said “Senorita..bade bade deshon mein..you know what I mean”.

“India’s yuth and idealism fill me with hope. India and US could have a defining partnership,” Obama said.

“America wants to be India’s partner as you protect the health of the people & the beauty of the nation. We want to be partner as you help improve the health of people from backwaters of Kerala to banks of Ganga,” Obama said.

After his speech on  ‘India and America: The future we can build together’, Obama will take questions from the audience of at least 2,000 people, including members of the strategic affairs community and students.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/barack-obama-to-conclude-india-visit-with-address-at-siri-fort-auditorium/article1-1310937.aspx

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Cops yet to open operator of a pro-ISIS Twitter handle Mehdi’s Google accounts

Jan 27, 2015

BENGALURU: Cops are seeking to chargesheet Mehdi Masroor Biswas, 26, the alleged operator of a pro-ISIS Twitter handle. But they are yet to hear from Google on their request to access his three Google accounts.

About a month ago, a request was made to Google seeking access to the accounts but there’s been no word yet from the company.

Although hacking into these accounts is an option for cops, they are wary as it would leave hash values (e-footprints) in the account and could be considered tampering with evidence. Cops want to go by the book and access the accounts only through the service provider.

It was recently revealed that a youth from Hyderabad who was arrested for his association with ISIS was in touch with Mehdi. Police are looking for more such possible recruits.

“Once we access these Google accounts, we can find more evidences, especially of any personal communications he had with pro-ISIS supporters or even fighters,” said sources.

However, officers said the recent busting of the IM explosive supply module and Church Street blast case have taken their attention away from this case. Many officers who were investigating Mehdi case have been assigned to the special investigation team probing the blast.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Month-on-cops-yet-to-open-operator-of-a-pro-ISIS-Twitter-handle-Mehdis-Google-accounts/articleshow/46023040.cms

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History will judge Manmohan kindly: Omar Abdullah

Jan 27, 2015

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday saw praise for former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in US President Barack Obama’s comments on poverty alleviation in India.

“Obama — ‘Millions have been lifted out of poverty in recent years’ Dr Manmohan Singh is right — history will judge him more kindly,” Omar wrote on microblogging site twitter.com soon after the US President’s address at the Siri Fort Auditorium in the Union capital.

When India and the United States agreed upon operationalising the nuke deal, Omar, whose National Conference was part of the UPA—II led by Dr. Singh, had said, “I wonder if Dr. Manmohan Singh is sitting back feeling vindicated today or watching the proceedings disappointed about what could have been!”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/history-will-judge-former-prime-minister-manmohan-kindly-omar/article6826163.ece

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Africa

South Sudan Ambush Leaves 13 Dead, Including Three Journalists

27 Jan, 2015

An ambush on a convoy in the remote Northwest of South Sudan left at least 13 people dead, including three local journalists, the army said.

Vehicles carrying the commissioner, reporters and other civilians came under attack in Raga county in Western Bahr el Ghazal state on Sunday, Army Spokesman Philip Aguer said by phone from the national capital, Juba. Staff from South Sudan’s government-owned broadcasting service were among those killed, Aguer said on Monday, Bloomberg reported.

Aguer blamed the assault on the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group led by Joseph Kony that emerged in Uganda about 25 years ago. Western Bahr el Ghazal’s Governor, Rizik Zachariah Hassan, said soldiers who’d defected from the army were responsible. The county commissioner is wounded and receiving hospital treatment, Hassan said in an e-mailed statement.

An armed group ambushed military vehicles in the area on Jan 15, killing one soldier and injuring two others, Hassan said, while an attack on civilians a week later left four people dead.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931106001479

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Gunmen at Libyan luxury hotel take hostages; 3 guards dead

AP | Jan 27, 2015

TRIPOLI, Libya: A Libyan security official says gunmen have stormed a luxury Libyan hotel popular with foreigners and have taken hostages after killing at least three guards.

Essam Al-Naas, a spokesman for a Tripoli security agency, said the standoff is continuing Tuesday at the Corinthia Hotel.

Hassan al-Abey, a corporate sales manager at the hotel, said five masked attackers wearing bulletproof vests stormed the hotel, shooting in the air. He said the hotel was evacuated before the attackers clashed with the guards and blew up a car bomb in the parking lot of the seaside hotel.

Al-Abey was among those evacuated. He said the hotel had Europeans and Turkish guests.

Tripoli has been hit with series of car bombs and shootings amid turmoil following the country’s 2011 civil war.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gunmen-at-Libyan-luxury-hotel-take-hostages-3-guards-dead/articleshow/46029685.cms

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Nigerian Military Got Intelligence Report Before Monguno Attack, Yet Taken By Surprise

27 Jan, 2015

The Nigerian military received reliable intelligence report indicating that the Boko Haram sect would launch a massive attack on Monguno, yet troops were taken by surprise when the insurgents struck early Sunday, suggesting the 5 Brigade stationed in the area failed to prepare adequately for the group’s onslaught.

Reliable military sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the Brigade received report indicating the insurgents would attack between January 22 and 25.

The report, our sources said, was read to officers and men of the Brigade on the night of January 22, with a stern warning that everyone should remain on high alert.

Despite warning troops to remain on alert, the leadership of the formation failed to take the necessary steps and make the right deployment of men and equipment to check the imminent attack, PREMIUM TIMES was told.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201501262732.html

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Uganda: Child Soldier Turned Rebel Appears in Court

27 Jan, 2015

A child soldier-turned-commander in the feared Lord’s Resistance Army has made his first appearance before the International Criminal Court. Dominic Ongwen faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Seeming calm and composed, Dominic Ongwen appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) Monday for an initial hearing to confirm his identity and inform him of the charges against him.

“I was abducted in 1988 and I was taken to the bush when I was 14 years old until now,” he told the court in Acholi, a language of northern Uganda. “Prior to my arrival at court, I was a soldier in the LRA,” Ongwen, who gave his current age as 40, added according to news agency AFP.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201501262733.html

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Niger Lifts Refugee Camp Ban As Record Numbers Flee Boko Haram

27 Jan, 2015

Dakar — The Niger government has lifted a ban on refugee camps in the south of the country as record numbers flee Boko Haram attacks in neighbouring Nigeria.

The government had banned the camps fearing Boko Haram fighters might use them as bases to launch attacks in Niger and Nigeria as part of their drive to carve out an Islamic caliphate.

But a Niger government official said communities in Niger’s Diffa region had been overwhelmed by new arrivals, prompting the government to reverse the two-year-old policy, a move welcomed by the United Nations.

“We hoped the displacement would stop, but people continue to arrive, and our villages and towns can no longer absorb the masses of people coming,” Hassane Ardo Ido, general-secretary of Diffa province, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201501270215.html

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South Asia

7 ANA embraced martyrdom in IED explosion, 29 insurgents killed in operations

Jan 27 2015

Defense ministry of Afghanistan states that seven Afghan National Army soldiers have embraced martyrdom in an Improvised Explosive Devise explosion.

A statement issued by Defense Ministry Tuesday morning does not specify the location but states that the explosion occurred in past 24 hours.

General Zahir Azimi, spokesman for the defense ministry says that 15 insurgents were also killed in past 24 hours period in confrontation with Afghan National Army.

Azimi has written in his twitter account that six other insurgents were arrested and dozens Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) defused by Afghan National Army soldiers.

In the meantime, Interior ministry of Afghanistan in a statement also issued Tuesday morning states that 14 insurgents were killed in police operations in past 24 hours.

Statement adds that the operations were conducted in Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Logar, Khost, Paktiya , Laghman, Khost and Helmand province where police also recovered ammunition of heavy and light weapons and defused four IEDs, planted by insurgents.

Afghan National Police were also assisted in these operations by Afghan National Army and personnel from the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Statement said.

http://www.khaama.com/7-ana-embraced-martyrdom-in-ied-explosion-28075

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“Marg” Group formed against Taliban and ISIS in northern Afghanistan

Jan 27 2015

A new group calling themselves “Marg” or “Death” announced its existence in northern Afghanistan.

Dozens of members of “Marg” group yesterday went to the provincial council of northern Balkh province and announce their readiness to fight Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and Taliban in Afghanistan.

Although the group did not carry a flag which has been normal if any group comes into existence in Afghanistan but their clothes were made off three colors which is the flag of Afghanistan, this can be their distinguish from other groups operating in Afghanistan.

Marg Group claims that more than 5,000 people have announced their allegiance with them to fight ISIS and Taliban.

Marg Group says there is no difference between ISIS and Taliban and that all of them are enemies of Afghanistan.

Marg Group also called on Afghans to join their group for defense of their country and people.

This group announces its existence after reports of ISIS arriving to parts of the country surfaced.

Zabul, Helmand and Ghazni are among the provinces of Afghanistan where reports of ISIS existence surfaced.

Taliban leadership has also instructed fighters not to allow ISIS function in the country.

http://www.khaama.com/marg-group-formed-against-taliban-and-isis-in-northern-afghanistan-28074

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Afghanistan launches poppy eradication campaign in former Taliban stronghold

27 January 2015

KANDAHAR: A top Afghan provincial official has said thousands of poppy plants have been destroyed in some 20,000 acres in Zhari district of the southern Kandahar province.

In a recent interview, district governor Jamal Agha told Xinhua that Zhari, a former Taliban stronghold, was known for its massive cultivation of poppy.

Kandahar province, with Kandahar city as its capital, used to be under Taliban control.

Kandahar and its neighboring Helmand and Zabul provinces, where Taliban militants remain active, are the major producers of opium poppy in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan supplies some 90 percent of the main raw material for the manufacture of heroin in the world market.

“We continue to destroy poppy fields and encourage farmers to replace poppy with legal crops such as wheat, rice, corn and etc., “

Agha said.

Observers here said the success of the government’s drive against poppy cultivation in Zhari would enable local authorities to initiate anti-poppy campaign in the neighboring Reg, Shah Wali Kot and Maruf districts and in the southern region in general.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/region/27-Jan-2015/afghanistan-launches-poppy-eradication-campaign-in-former-taliban-stronghold

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Another case filed against Khaleda Zia

Jan 27, 2015

Another case, for “instigating arson”, has been filed against former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia, who had called a nationwide transport blockade earlier this month, a media report said Tuesday.

Police booked her as the “hukumer asami”, someone responsible for “instigation and conspiracy”, over torching of a covered van at Chouddagram in Comilla district, 100 km away from Dhaka, bdnews24.com reported.

The case was filed by the Chouddagram police station sub-inspector Md. Nuruzzaman Monday night, said station officer Uttam Kumar Chakrabarty.

He said Khaleda and 31 other leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami were accused in it.

Chakrabarty said the covered van was torched in Haiderpool on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway Sunday.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/another-case-filed-against-khaleda-zia/article6826031.ece

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Japan working on freeing hostage and Jordan pilot

27 January 2015

Japan is working with Jordan to free both a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot being held by Islamist extremists, officials said Tuesday, days after militants executed another hostage.

ISIS apparently beheaded Japanese contractor Haruna Yukawa last week after a 72-hour deadline for a $200 million ransom passed without payment.

In a video released Saturday, the group said its demand had now changed and it wanted failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi released from death row in Jordan in exchange for the life of Kenji Goto, the remaining Japanese captive.

Jordan’s King Abdullah pledged full cooperation with Japan to ensure Goto’s release, during a meeting with Japanese deputy foreign minister Yasuhide Nakayama in Amman, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/01/27/Japan-working-on-freeing-hostage-and-Jordan-pilot-.html

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North Korea accuses Israel of being ‘dictatorial force for aggression’

27 January 2015

North Korea this past weekend accused Israel of “representing dictatorial forces for aggression that trample down the legitimate right of the Palestinian people.”

Pyongyang responded angrily to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remark to the visiting Japanese premier last week in which the Israeli leader said that both Jerusalem and Tokyo face “formidable threats from nearby rogue states” – Israel from Iran and Japan from North Korea.

Iran, Netanyahu said, “cannot be allowed to travel the road taken by North Korea,” a path, which he said led to an agreement with Pyongyang in 1994 that “was widely celebrated as a historic breakthrough for nonproliferation, but in the end, that deal failed to prevent the dangerous proliferation that threatens all of east Asia today.”

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/North-Korea-accuses-Israel-of-being-dictatorial-force-for-aggression-389088

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Pakistan an irreplaceable, all-weather friend: China

27 January 2015

BEIJING: China said that Pakistan was its irreplaceable and all-weather friend and both the countries were part of the community of shared destiny.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Raheel Sharif, who is on an official visit to China, on Monday appreciated Beijing’s support and said greater international focus and coordination needed to logically conclude fight against terrorism. The world must understand evolving environment, he said during important meetings with senior Chinese leaders, including State Leader Chairman Peoples Conference, Yu Zhengsheng in Beijing. Yu Zhengsheng in his meeting with the COAS, who is on official visit to China, said Pakistan had always stood by China and was its most reliable friend.

“The Chinese government and people stand by Pakistan and will help Pakistan in all respects,” Yu said quoted by Director General ISPR Maj. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa in his tweets on social media. The Chinese Foreign Minister, in his meeting with Gen Raheel, said Pakistan was China’s irreplaceable all weather friend and both the countries were part of community of shared destiny. Meng, Member Chinese Political Bureau, who also met Gen Raheel, said Pakistan and China had consistent policy beyond individuals. Pakistan’s concern was China’s concern, Meng added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/27-Jan-2015/pakistan-an-irreplaceable-all-weather-friend-china

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Mideast

Palestinian Islamic Jihad takes mediator role between Hamas, Fatah

27 Jan, 2015

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinian Islamic Jihad has ended its silence on the escalating feud between Hamas and Fatah and is trying to position itself as a mediator to end the dispute that is delaying Gaza’s reconstruction after last summer’s devastating war with Israel.

Islamic Jihad is considering a Hamas proposal for an administrative committee to be formed in the Gaza Strip. Leaked minutes of a Jan. 11 meeting between Hamas deputy leader Mousa Abu Marzouk and other Palestinian factions, with the exception of Fatah, circulated in local media. During the meeting, Hamas suggested forming an administration committee to support the consensus government and implement the reconciliation agreement. According to the reports, leftist factions rejected the idea of the committee, while Islamic Jihad has been more open to the idea.

Islamic Jihad’s leadership initially showed hesitation toward the committee proposed by Hamas. But based on Al-Monitor’s interviews, this hesitation is starting to turn into a consensus, especially since several recent meetings were held between Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other factions. These meetings, which were not made public, focused on the electricity crisis and the failure of the Ramallah government to meet Gaza’s demands, according to information obtained by Al-Monitor from an Islamic Jihad source.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/01/palestinian-gaza-islamic-jihad-mediation-hamas-fatah.html#ixzz3Q43lj913

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Yemen’s Houthis ‘similar’ to Lebanon’s Hezbollah: Iran official

27 January 2015

The Shiite Houthi group, currently dominating Yemen, is “similar” to the Shiite movement in Lebanon, Hezbollah, a representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the Qods Force of the Revolutionary Guards has said.

“The Houthi group is a similar copy to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and this group will come into action against enemies of Islam,” Ali Shirazi was quoted as saying in an interview published on Sunday by the Defa Press news agency, which is close to Iran’s armed forces.

“The Islamic republic directly supports the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the popular forces in Syria and Iraq,” he said, adding that “officials in the country have reiterated this many times.”

Shiite fighters in Iraq and Syria have volunteered against radical Sunni militias to safeguard Shiite shrines. In Iraq, the volunteers are also supporting the country’s army in its fight against ISIS jihadists, who have seized large swathes of land.

Adding weight behind his stance on the Houthis, Shirazi said “a coup against Ansarallah [also known as Houthis] means a coup against the people. Ansarallah is not a small group or a special party as it represents the Yemeni people and its awakening.”

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/01/26/Yemen-s-Houthis-similar-to-Lebanon-s-Hezbollah-Iran-official.html

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Yemen rivals sign deal to form salvation government

27 January 2015

Yemeni rivals agreed on Monday to form a salvation national government, according to reports coming from Sanaa, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

U.N. envoy Jamel Benomar had earlier met with leaders of Shiite Houthi militia who seized the presidential palace last week, plunging the impoverished Arab country deeper into crisis.

The meeting was among a series of talks that the Moroccan diplomat was holding in Sanaa to try to broker an agreement after Western-backed President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi resigned, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/01/27/Yemen-rivals-signs-deal-to-form-salvation-government.html

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Not Turkey, but US should change its Syrian policy: Erdoğan

27 January 2015

Turkey is not going to make any changes to its Syria policy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed, saying he hopes it will be the United States that revises its policies on the issue.

“Our policy toward Syria is well-known, we should say it openly. We are not thinking of making any changes to it. Our target is the regime,” Erdoğan told journalists returning from his official trip to Africa on Jan. 25.

Regarding disagreements between Turkey and the United States over Syria, the president stressed that he had made clear to both U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden that three things should be resolved, including the establishment of security zones inside Syria, the declaration of a no-fly zone, and the launch of a train and equip operation.

Criticizing Washigton for no longer targeting the al-Assad regime, Erdoğan suggested that the negative course of developments in Syria, particularly around Aleppo, would bring about the birth of what he called the “second Iraq.”

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/not-turkey-but-us-should-change-its-syrian-policy-erdogan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=77484&NewsCatID=338

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UN halts Gaza house repairs saying donors failed to pay up

AFP | Jan 27, 2015

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: The UN agency for Palestinian refugees said on Tuesday that it cannot afford to repair Gaza homes damaged in last year’s war with Israel because donors have failed to pay.

“The agency has exhausted all funding to support repairs and rental subsidies,” the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said in a statement.

“$5.4 billion was pledged at the Cairo (aid) conference last October and virtually none of it has reached Gaza. This is distressing and unacceptable.

“It is unclear why this funding has not been forthcoming,” it added. UNRWA said that the homes of more than 96,000 Palestine refugees were destroyed or damaged during the conflict.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-halts-Gaza-house-repairs-saying-donors-failed-to-pay-up/articleshow/46029328.cms

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Europe

UN to discuss contempt of religions at KSA’s request

27 January 2015

RIYADH — The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to discuss the issue of contempt of religions and to introduce a resolution for vote at its next session in March at the request of the Kingdom.

The Kingdom’s request was submitted by Saudi Ambassador to UN in Geneva Faisal Trad to the High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Bin Ra’ad Al-Hussein.

The resolution, to be put to a vote at the Human Rights Council, demands that the freedom of expression should not cross the lines which represent an insult to religions and beliefs, and demands an end to deliberate insults to Islam.

The Kingdom sought in 2011 a similar resolution by the Human Rights Council but Western countries coordinated diplomatic alliance to water down the text of the resolution on the grounds that there should be no prejudice to the freedom of expression and the press.

They re-worded the resolution to include a compromise language stating the prevention of religious intolerance.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20150127231805

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European Jewish leader: Islamic extremists are the new Nazis

27 January 2015

PRAGUE – European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor compared Islamic extremism to Nazism during a panel at the residence of the president of the Czech Republic in Prague on Monday, ahead of the 70th anniversary of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“Yes, in certain vital aspects jihadism is very close to Nazism,” Kantor said. “One could say that they are two facets of the same evil.”

Kantor made it clear he was not blaming all Muslims. “Ninety-nine percent of Muslims are normal law-abiding people who never think of persecution, pogroms or murders.”

Nevertheless, he went on to say that “radical Islam is the force to blame. The features of this phenomenon are well known: arrogance, unshakable belief in your own righteousness, contempt for other faiths, creeds and ideals.”

Kantor made his comments as part of the “Let My People Live” conference that seeks to propose pan-European measures – including legislation – that would fight hate speech, incitement, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/EJC-president-Islamic-extremists-are-the-new-Nazis-389076

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Cameron govt views Muslims with suspicion: Sayeeda Warsi

Jan 27, 2015

Sayeeda Warsi, who became Britain’s first Asian woman cabinet minister in the David Cameron government in 2010, has attacked its policy towards Muslims, and has alleged that the coalition views the community with suspicion.

Warsi, who resigned in August last over the government’s policy on Gaza, wrote in The Observer on Sunday that the government had a narrowly selective approach in dealing with the Muslim community, which had created a climate in which even benign correspondence becomes toxic.

Referring to the recent letter to all mosques in Britain after the Paris attacks sent by Communities secretary Eric Pickles, Warsi claimed that it appeared as if the government was ‘neither listening nor genuine in its intentions’.

“The obsessive checking of the backgrounds of those on guest lists to Eid events, the refusal to attend events where there may ‘possibly’ or ‘potentially’ be a speaker whose views we find unsavoury, even when attendance would provide the perfect opportunity to challenge those views, has created a unique approach within government over the last four years”.

“This is to view ever-increasing numbers of Muslim organisations or individual activists with suspicion and dangerously narrow engagement to a dozen people from a community of more than three million”, she wrote.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/cameron-govt-views-muslims-with-suspicion-sayeeda-warsi/article1-1310711.aspx

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France’s ethnic apartheid: ‘Separate Islamic societies’ breed discontent, radicalism

27 Jan, 2015

Francois Hollande increases counterterrorism surveillance of isolated Muslim neighborhoods

In 2011, as the Charlie Hebdo killers were learning their jihadi trade, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told his country that it had suffered a major societal defeat.

Multiculturalism, Europe’s grand experiment in expanded immigration, had failed in France — or, as Mr. Sarkozy put it, “It’s a defeat.”

Today, in the aftermath of the Jan. 7 slaughter of 17 people by Muslim jihadis, the socialist government of President Francois Hollande has turned an even starker phrase: ethnic apartheid.

The Hollande government last week announced steps to increase counterterrorism surveillance and to intervene in the classroom to blunt the message of radical Islam. Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned of a “territorial, social and ethnic apartheid that has developed in our country.”

Full report at:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/25/frances-ethnic-apartheid-separate-islamic-societie/?page=all

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Paris attacks prompt fresh concerns about online Islamophobia

27 Jan, 2015

Amid concerns over an increase in Islamophobic content on social media following the recent Paris attacks, BBC Asian Network has been hearing from Muslims about their experience of being the target of anti-Islamic sentiment online.

Activist Akeela Ahmed says she uses Twitter to campaign on equality issues. Her profile picture shows her in her hijab.

“If I tweet something to do with women’s rights, I’ll get tweets usually from men saying, ‘How can you tweet that when you’ve got that thing on your head?’ They’re talking about my hijab.

“Post-Paris, the abuse increased and it was a lot worse,” she says, referring to negative comments posted online following the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in which gunmen said they were killing in the name of Islam.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30938849

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At least two arrested in ‘anti-jihadist’ raid in France

27 January 2015

At least two people were arrested during an anti-jihadist operation in southern France that was still ongoing early Tuesday, a security source said.

The operation took place in the small town of Lunel east of Montpellier in southern France, from where around 20 young people have left for Syria. Six of them, aged 18 to 30, have been killed since October.

Crack French security forces launched the operation at 6:00 am local time in a building in the center of the town, according to witnesses that spoke to AFP.

“Several unmarked cars drew up. Masked men got out and smashed in the doors to the apartments in the building,” said one resident of the block, who said they had threatened him.

“They put a gun to my head … in the end, they arrested my neighbor above me, Said,” said this witness.

Another witness said authorities had taken away his brother.

“They flattened me, got me on the floor, hit me. Then they took away my brother,” this man said.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/01/27/At-least-two-arrested-in-anti-jihadist-raid-in-France.html

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North America

North Texas Muslims, neighbours gather to call for peace

27 Jan, 2015

From a rally in front of Dallas City Hall to an interfaith gathering inside a North Dallas church, hundreds of North Texans spent Sunday decrying terrorism — and denouncing those who blame the entire Islamic religion for the violent acts of an extremist few.

“Islam is a religion of peace,” said Shoeb Khan, one of more than 100 Muslims who celebrated the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad downtown Sunday. “There is no compulsion in Islam. If [terrorists] went by the teachings, they would not commit these acts.”

That parade and the Stand With Our Muslim Neighbors event at Northaven United Methodist Church came eight days after protesters picketed a Garland fundraiser for a center that would teach Muslims how to combat negative depictions of their faith.

The fundraiser came on the heels of Islamic militants’ brazen murders of 12 people at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Its protesters held signs that said “Insult those who behead” and instructed Muslims to “Go home.” Violent threats and safety concerns prompted organizers to increase security for the Garland event.

Full report at:

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20150125-north-texas-muslims-neighbors-gather-to-call-for-peace.ece

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US-Belgian initiative is blueprint for Muslim engagement

27 Jan, 2015

Belgium, a small country of 11 million that likes to refer to itself as the capital of Europe, stands at the intersection of a global struggle against extremism. As Belgian troops mobilize on public streets, and police raids continue against suspected terror sites, the world observes how this European nation deals with the problem of deepening radicalism facing many societies, including our own.

History reminds us that Belgium, with support from the United States, has experience with how to integrate Muslim communities into the fabric of its country. Over a decade ago, extensive U.S financial, intelligence, law enforcement, defense, diplomatic and other initiatives aimed at a growing Islamic extremism in Europe designed a model to mainstream Muslims across Europe to ease Muslim alienation and combat terrorism using public diplomacy — an effective tool for galvanizing citizens in pursuit of a common objective of tolerance. Public diplomacy is not “soft power” but sensible, purposeful engagement through communications, cross-cultural exchanges and education to leverage traditional diplomacy by creating dialogue and positive interaction amongst diverse communities, including Muslims living in Western Europe.

Full report at:

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/230605-us-belgian-counterterror-initiative-is-blueprint-for

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Americans still confusing Sikhs for Muslims: study

27 January 2015

WASHINGTON: More than a decade after 9/11, Americans who come across a turban-wearing Sikh are still prone to mistaking him for a Muslim, according to a study released Monday.

Sixty per cent of Americans who participated in the study by the non-profit National Sikh Campaign admitted to knowing nothing about the Sikhs who live, study and work in their midst.

When shown a photo of a smiling older Sikh male in a red turban, 28 per cent of respondents thought he was Middle Eastern and 20 per cent believed he was Muslim. Thirty-five per cent thought he might be from India, or of Indian descent. Only 11 per cent correctly identified him as Sikh.

Shown a fashionable young woman with knee-length hair — the Sikh faith discourages hair-cutting for either sex — 20 per cent described her as Middle Eastern. No one thought she was Sikh.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1159778/americans-still-confusing-sikhs-for-muslims-study

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Spielberg says Jews still face anti-Semitism 70 years after Holocaust

27 January 2015

Hollywood director Steven Spielberg said on Monday he hoped that the Holocaust commemorations taking place in Poland on Tuesday will be a warning for future generations, in light of a rising tide of anti-Semitism and intolerance against Jews.

Spielberg was talking to Holocaust survivors in the southern Polish city of Krakow, ahead of the main event marking 70 years since Soviet troops liberated the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp.

“If you are a Jew today, in fact if you are any person who believes in the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom in free expression, you know that like many other groups, we are once again facing the perennial demons of intolerance,” the Oscar-winning filmmaker said.

The director won an Academy Award for Best Director for “Schindler’s List,” his 1993 movie about a German who saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, warned of spreading anti-Semitism.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Spielberg-says-Jews-still-face-anti-Semitism-70-years-after-Holocaust-389080

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Southeast Asia

Stop using Sedition Act, Canada tells Putrajaya

Jan 27, 2015

Malaysia must not use the Sedition Act to curb the freedom of expression in the country, said Canada’s foreign minister John Baird.

In a brief statement, Baird said such freedom was essential to any democracy.

“Following the recent announcement that the Sedition Act will be strengthened rather than repealed, Canada urges the Government of Malaysia to ensure that enforcement of its laws does not run contrary to its democratic principles by selectively prosecuting individuals for expressing views critical of the government or its policies.”

About 25 opposition politicians, lawyers, academicians, students and other individuals have been either charged or investigated under the Sedition Act 1948.

The use of the colonial-era law by Putrajaya attracted criticism both locally and abroad.

Human rights lawyer and Lawyers for Liberty co-founder Eric Paulsen is the latest to have fallen afoul of the Sedition Act 1948.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/stop-using-sedition-act-canada-tells-putrajaya#sthash.QFHdSnNE.dpuf

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Philippine Special Forces chief fired after 44 commandos die

Jan 27, 2015

Philippine officials have removed the commander of a police special action force after at least 44 anti-terror commandos were killed in a clash with rebels.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said on Tuesday that police Director Getulio Napenas did not clear Sunday’s assault on a top terror suspect with him or the national police chief.

Mr. Roxas said the commandos may have killed one of their terror targets, but also became entangled in separate firefights with insurgents and members of the main rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. He said 44 commandos were killed and 12 others were wounded.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/philippine-special-forces-chief-fired-after-44-commandos-die/article6826183.ece

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KL Archbishop Urges Catholics to Stand Up For Rights of Minorities

Jan 27, 2015

Admitting that all legal means had been exhausted in the church’s case involving Catholic weekly Herald, the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur called on Catholics to take heed of Putrajaya’s word: that the Court of Appeal’s ban on the use of the word “Allah” is limited to the Herald weekly only.

In a letter published on the Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese website, Most Reverend Julian Leow said that as such, the “Allah” ban did not include a prohibition in the Alkitab or in praise and worship during mass and prayer sessions.

“The government has said that the decision of the Court of Appeal is only confined to the Herald’s case. We shall therefore take the government at its word.

“In no way does it include a prohibition in our holy scripture, the Alkitab, as well as in our praise and worship during our celebration of the Holy Mass and prayer sessions,” wrote Leow, who is also president of the Catholics Bishops Conference of Malaysia.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/allah-ban-only-for-herald-says-kl-archbishop#sthash.bPuJ98aG.dpuf

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-imam-says-killing-is-the-only-language-jews-and-christians-understand/d/101221

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One Comment

  1. The only problem with the Imam’s thinking about killing the Jewish and Christian “unbelievers” is that they are exercising their “Freedom of Speech” in a Non-Islamic nation. And, to appease 0.6% of the American population by depriving Americans of the Freedoms just isn’t going to happen anytime soon! What if it was our American policy to want to murder Saudi Arabians for breaching Christian and Jewish teachings in Saudi Arabia? The correlated co-efficient of the data indicates that this Imam has had a very sheltered life and is ignorant of the world which is not an Islamic majority.

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    Reply

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