Al-Azhar Sponsors Conference to Educate ‘Brainwashed’ Arab Militants

Kazakh nationals fighting in Syria as seen in an undated YouTube video

Arab World

Al-Azhar Sponsors Conference to Educate ‘Brainwashed’ Arab Militants

Sheikhs of Al-Jubour Clan Killed For Inspiring Anti-ISIS Ethos in Mosul

Four bombs kill 20 people in Baghdad

Iraqi Forces Kill, Injure 13 ISIL Terrorists in Salahuddin

Car bomb in Iraqi city of Kirkuk kills 15: health official

IS launches attack on Syrian air base, At least 19 Syrian soldiers and militiamen killed

Be wary of ‘misguiding channels’: Saudi Grand Mufti

Al-Azhar urges Christians not to flee Mideast radicals

New group of Iraqi Peshmergas enters Syrian Kurdish town

IS closes in on east Syria air base: monitor

Anti-Mubarak groups vow Friday protest in Cairo

India

Most Madrasas Don’t Teach Science, Maths, Social Studies: SIO of India

11 Security Men, 6 Militants Killed In Attack on Uri Army Camp

Top LeT commander killed in encounter with security forces

Ayodhya, Dec 6: BJP Plans ‘Saffron Day’

India: Pakistan govt. giving Saeed ‘legitimacy’ by helping rally

Europe

Kazakhstan Muftiate: ‘Kazakh Jihadis’ With IS In Syria ‘Acting against Islam’

Leading UK Muslim Group Assured Brotherhood Won’t Be Banned

France: ‘Major’ anti-ISIS raid taking place in Iraq

Why Birmingham MP Is Speaking Out Over Radicalisation

German man sentenced to 3 years, 9 months for joining ISIS

Rich nations’ failure to take Syria refugees ‘shocking’: Amnesty

‘I am fed up with the Bulgarians,’ Putin tells Erdoğan

Clashes erupt as Islamist militants attack Grozny, 20 dead

North America

Despite Beheadings, Americans against Paying Ransoms To Terrorists

US extends Coalition Support Fund for Pakistan with new restrictions

Pentagon confirms failed effort to rescue U.S. hostage in Yemen

Pakistan

Enemy ‘Lives within Us and Looks Like Us’, Says Army Chief

Blasts kill five in Bajaur, Khyber agencies

Recognising Afghan Taliban regime was Pak’s blunder: Parvez Musharraf

Lawyer defending 2 blasphemy accused receives threatening letter from Daish

One soldier killed, six injured during rocket attack in Orakzai

Islamabad, Kabul at one on fighting terror without discrimination: Nawaz

Pakistan’s ISI guns down US-educated Baloch school principal in Gwadar

Several IS militants arrested, Rehman Malik claims

Mideast

No Islamic State in Gaza, Says Hamas Despite Menacing Fliers

Hamas: Netanyahu Is Playing With Fire by Allowing Jews on Temple Mount

Religion courses for primary schools on agenda of Turkish education council

‘Post’ poll: 60% of Israelis don’t want Netanyahu anymore

Report: 75 Students Become Disabled Due to Israeli Aggression

Southeast Asia

Selangor Sultan Warns Muslims against Deviant Teachings

Ex-top cop warns of jihad against liberalism and Christian evangelism

Human rights body still wants Putrajaya to replace Sedition Act

Australia

Muslims Facing Discrimination in New Zealand

Islamic State’s terrorist capital is first area off limits for Australians

Africa

Kenya: Suspect Denies Recruiting Youth into Al-Shabaab

Kenyan military plane crashes in Somalia, rebels say shot down

Kenya arrests 77 Chinese in Internet hacking case

Sukuk for vaccine fund ushers Islamic finance into ethical sphere

UN condemns “in strongest terms” air strikes and military escalation

South Asia

Pakistan will never cooperate with the Afghan peace process: Afghan Minister

US, Britain pledge to support Afghanistan as combat troops withdraw

‘Malaysia to recruit 12,000 Bangladeshi workers’: Pm Sheikh Hasina

Jamaat’s Subhan awaits verdict in war crimes case

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/al-azhar-sponsors-conference-to-educate–brainwashed–arab-militants/d/100344

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Arab World

Al-Azhar Sponsors Conference to Educate ‘Brainwashed’ Arab Militants

Dec 5, 2014

Egypt’s most prestigious Sunni Islamic Institute, Al-Azhar called on clerics and religious men from 120 countries attending a terrorism-fighting conference Wednesday to educate the “brainwashed” Arab youth who join the extremist militant groups.

The two-day conference, sponsored by Al-Azhar and attended by 600 Muslim clerics and heads of Christian churches, comes as part of Egypt’s ongoing attempts to respond to the radical image of Islam exported through the rising militancy in the region.

Egypt is part of the international coalition to fight terrorism, with high expectations from the international community about the significance of its role in fighting radical religious thought and spreading moderate Islamic teachings through its Al-Azhar organisation.

Since the ouster of former islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, the country’s authorities have branded Al-Azhar as the advocate for moderate Islam, saving the country from the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has, on several occasions, blamed religious discourse for the extremism that Egypt and other countries in the region are suffering from.

In the second and final day of Al-Azhar’s conference, the renowned institution condemned militant groups as “sinful” and having nothing to do with Islam.

“Terrorising the peaceful, killing the innocent, assaulting property and sanctities are crimes against humanity that Islam totally condemns,” the final statement said.

It has called on the moderate clerics and institutions to hold training programs and learning sessions for the young Arab men who have been fed faulty interpretations of the Holy Quran and Islamic law, which led to terrorism.

A militant group calling itself the Islamic State, which has claimed control over large parts of Syria and Iraq, poses a real threat to the Arab countries and has been attracting thousands of fighters worldwide.

The group, establishing a self-proclaimed caliphate, drew support and allegiance from several militant groups including Egypt’s Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.

Al-Azhar said meanings of caliphate and Jihad should be set straight for the youths.

“All the recommendations (of the conference)…will be a clear agenda for fieldwork in the coming period in mosques, conferences with youth and training of Imams,” Ahmed El-Torki, head of religious preaching and research department said.

“When Al-azhar talks, everyone else stays silent,” El-Torki said. “It is the only institution qualified for taking that leading role in spreading moderate teachings of Islam.”

Al-Azhar stressed that Muslims and Christians have lived in harmony in the Middle East for many centuries and will continue doing so, criminalising any action of forced eviction to Christian residents in areas controlled by militant groups.

“Assaulting Christians and believers of other religions through false piety is a disobeyance of the correct teachings of Islam,” the statement said.

It has also called on “impartial thinkers and officials of the West” to correct Islam’s image and to rethink the negative stances.

Head of Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayyeb had blamed on Wednesday Western plots for “playing on the sectarian and racial tension.”

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/117193/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-AlAzhar-sponsors-conference-to-educate-brai.aspx

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Sheikhs of Al-Jubour Clan Killed For Inspiring Anti-ISIS Ethos in Mosul

5 December 2014

Three tribal heads, or sheikhs, from one of Iraq’s biggest clans – Al-Jubour – were killed by ISIS militants in front of a government building in the northern city of Mosul for trying to stir anti-ISIS sentiment, the country’s human rights ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The ministry said the sheikhs were killed in front of a government building in the city, which was captured by ISIS militants in June.

The statement also said that ISIS burned books of Islamic religious studies for high school students over the alleged blasphemous content.

ISIS, which is now in control of one third of the country, has established its own education committee, sidelining the Iraqi ministry of education and its curriculum is militant-held territory.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2014/12/05/French-lawmaker-rapid-ISIS-recruitment-done-online.html

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Four bombs kill 20 people in Baghdad

Dec 5, 2014

Four bombs struck across Baghdad on Thursday, mainly in Shi’ite Muslim districts of the Iraqi capital, killing 20 people, medical and police sources said.

Sunni militants from Islamic State, who control much of northern and western Iraq as well as a belt of territory around Baghdad, regularly target Shi’ite neighbourhoods of the city.

The deadliest explosions were two car bombs in the densely populated Sadr City in eastern Baghdad, which killed 15 people and wounded 51 others, the police and medics said.

A roadside bomb near a small restaurant in the northern Shi’ite neighbourhood of Shaab killed three people and wounded nine, police said.

Earlier a bomb killed two people near the Green Zone district which houses most government buildings, security and medical sources said.

The bomb struck 200 metres from the edge of the zone, they said. In response, security forces closed two nearby bridges that span the Tigris River, linking eastern and western Baghdad.

Bombings are frequent in the Iraqi capital but mostly strike neighbourhoods some distance from the central district, which houses the Iraqi parliament and the U.S. Embassy and is a base for many Iraqi politicians.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/117198/World/Region/UPDATE-Four-bombs-kill–people-in-Baghdad.aspx

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Iraqi Forces Kill, Injure 13 ISIL Terrorists in Salahuddin

Dec 5, 2014

Iraqi security forces on Thursday killed five terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and injured eight others in Aziz Balad area, South of Tikrit, Salahuddin province.

“Armed clashes broke out between the security forces, backed by the volunteers, and the ISIL terrorists in Aziz Balad area,” a security source said, adding that five terrorists were killed and eight others were injured during the clashes.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930913000853

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Car bomb in Iraqi city of Kirkuk kills 15: health official

Dec 5, 2014

A car bomb in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk killed 15 on Thursday, a health official was quoted by AFP as saying.

The car bomb ripped through a crowded street in a mainly Kurdish neighborhood of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

“It’s a busy street with restaurants and shops, there is great destruction,” a police colonel said. The explosion rocked the predominantly Kurdish northern neighborhood of Shorjah.

Both he and the head of the health directorate for Kirkuk province, Sabah Mohammed Amin, said the blast killed at least 15 people and wounded 20.

Earlier today, two car bombs in Baghdad’s densely populated eastern district of Sadr city also killed 15 people and wounded 47 people, AFP reported police and medical sources saying, hours after a bombing on the edge of the capital’s central Green Zone killed two others.

The car bombs went off within 20 minutes of each other on Thursday evening, the sources said. A total of 51 people were also wounded.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/04/Car-bombs-in-east-Baghdad-kill-15-after-Green-Zone-blast.html

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IS launches attack on Syrian air base, At least 19 Syrian soldiers and militiamen killed

Dec 5, 2014

At least 19 Syrian soldiers and militiamen were killed when Islamic State attacked one of the government’s last remaining strongholds in the country’s east, a monitoring group and a media activist said on Thursday.

The Islamic State has been gradually consolidating control of Syria’s oil-producing Deir al-Zour Province this year, but President Bashar Assad’s forces have held on to several areas including the local military air base.

Islamic State launched its attack on the base on Wednesday night after detonating a suicide car bomb at a nearby building where government fighters congregated, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Islamic State fighters shelled the air base and other areas under government control.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/islamic-state-launches-attack-on-syrian-air-base/article6662139.ece

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Be wary of ‘misguiding channels’: Saudi Grand Mufti

Dec 5, 2014

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh has urged people to be wary of misleading ideas and information broadcast by top satellite channels in the name of Islam that are aimed at fostering terrorism and extremist agendas.

He slammed extremist groups operating around the world for falsely claiming that they are abiding by Islamic law.

In his speech, Al-Asheikh said their actions show that they are continuing to defy religious precepts.

He was addressing students and staff members at Madinah Islamic University. He urged the students to arm themselves with the correct knowledge of Islam.

“The Islamic university was founded on the principles of moderation with regard to science and knowledge, and to seek a united Muslim world,” he said.

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/670041

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Al-Azhar Urges Christians Not To Flee Mideast Radicals

Dec 5, 2014

CAIRO: Al-Azhar, Islam’s most prestigious centre of learning, urged Christians in the Arab world to stand firm in the face of jihadi violence and not flee into exile.

The call, made at a Cairo conference organized by Al-Azhar, came just days after Pope Francis pressed the world’s Muslim leaders to condemn terrorism carried out in the name of Islam by groups such as the Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaeda, and called for an end to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

“We condemn the forced exile of Christians and other religious or ethnic groups,” the conference said in a final statement. “We urge Christians to stay rooted in their homelands and to weather this wave of terrorism we all are suffering.”

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/669836

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New group of Iraqi Peshmergas enters Syrian Kurdish town

5 December 2014

A second group of 150 Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces has entered the Syrian border town of Kobane from Turkey to replace a first group helping Kurdish forces fight off a siege by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, Peshmerga sources said on Thursday.

Despite having limited strategic significance, Kobane has become a powerful international symbol in the battle against hardline Sunni Muslim insurgents who have captured large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic ‘caliphate’. The majority of its inhabitants are Kurds.

“The first group has left Kobane and is en route to the airport right now,” one Peshmerga source told Reuters, referring to the 150 Iraqi Kurdish forces who arrived in the besieged town in early November.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/05/New-group-of-Iraqi-Peshmergas-enters-Syrian-Kurdish-town.html

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IS closes in on east Syria air base: monitor

Dec 5, 2014

Islamic State group jihadists are closing in on the government-held Deir Ezzor air base in eastern Syria, nearly surrounding its beleaguered garrison, a monitoring group said on Friday.

IS fighters seized the village of Al-Jaffrah, adjacent to the base, leaving it surrounded except for a narrow corridor to the west, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

IS forces control most of Deir Ezzor province, but half of its capital remains in government hands, along with the military airport.

The oil-rich province lies between IS-controlled Raqa province and the Iraqi border, and is a key prize for the jihadist group, which declared an Islamic “caliphate” straddling the two countries in June.

IS launched a renewed assault on the military airport earlier this week.

The fighting has killed at least 30 government troops and militia, as well as 27 IS fighters, over the past 48 hours, the Observatory said.

Two of those killed on the government side were captured and beheaded, the Britain-based group said.

Further east, at least 15 jihadists were killed in a US-led coalition air strike on an IS convoy near the Albu Kamal crossing on the border with Iraq, it added.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/117223/World/Region/IS-closes-in-on-east-Syria-air-base-monitor.aspx

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Anti-Mubarak groups vow Friday protest in Cairo

5 December 2014

Groups dubbed “revolutionary” are vowing a protest on Friday after an Egypt court cleared charges against toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak, a local newspaper reported.

The groups include the April 6 Youth Movement, Revolutionary Socialists, Youth for Justice and Freedom, Constitution Party and Strong Egypt Party, Ahram Online reported Thursday.

“The corrupt and tyrannical regime that Egyptians revolted against is back, but the martyrs are not,” they said on a Facebook event launched to call for the demonstration.

While they called their planned demonstration: “The Martyr’s Right… A popular trial for the ousted president and his regime,” the venue for the protest is said to take place at the Cairo Opera, west of Tahrir Square.

The April 6 Youth Movement, which was one of the main forces behind toppling Mubarak in the 2011 uprising, urged other political factions to stay united.

In late November, clashes between police and angry protesters at the court’s verdict left one person killed and three others injured in Cairo.

The protest appears to have started with secular leaning activists but was joined by supporters of the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood movement.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/05/Anti-Mubarak-groups-vow-Friday-protest-in-Cairo-.html

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India

Most Madrasas Don’t Teach Science, Maths, Social Studies: SIO of India

TANU KULKARNI

Dec 5, 2014

The survey was conducted by Students’ Islamic Organisation of India

Playgrounds, computer labs, and quality education in science and mathematics — these are some of the features that make “model madrasas”. However, many madrasas in the State do not come close to this, according to a study by the Students’ Islamic Organisation of India, Karnataka chapter.

The study covered 55 madrasas across the State and found that 80 per cent of the students did not have access to science, mathematics and social science subjects, while over half of them did not have access to English.

Thouseef Ahmed M.Y., SIO State president, said there was a need to make mathematics, social studies and science subjects compulsory in madrasas.

“Those studying in madrasas are well-versed in Urdu, Arabic and Islamic texts, but this alone is not sufficient as we live in a pluralistic society. These institutions need to upgrade themselves and teach other subjects so that students are not isolated,” he said.

‘Students have low self-esteem’

The study also states that many students pursuing studies in madrasas had low self-esteem as they were not equipped with basic knowledge of other subjects. Some of the other recommendations of the study include setting up a committee to study the infrastructure requirements in madrasas, appointing physical education teachers and providing sports equipment, and setting up a non-governmental body to regulate madrasas.

The study assigned scores to the madrasas based on factors such as infrastructure, community participation, teaching environment, innovative activities, faculty, and integration of secular and religious education.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/most-madrasas-dont-teach-science-maths-social-studies-study/article6662441.ece

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11 security men, 6 militants killed in attack on Uri Army camp

Dec 5, 2014

In multiple attacks two days ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, militants stormed an Army camp in Uri in Baramulla district, killing 11 security personnel, including a Lt. Col., and targeted a police party in Shopian while a top LeT commander was killed in an encounter.

In a daring pre-dawn attack ahead of third phase of elections in Jammu and Kashmir on December 9, 2014, heavily armed militants killed 8 Army men and three policemen around 3 a.m. at the camp in Mohra in Uri tahsil of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Six militants were also killed in the attack at the Army camp which is 20 km from the Line of Control (LoC), official sources said.

A Lt. Colonel. and seven Army personnel were among the dead. While bodies of four Army personnel were charred, one had burn injuries and the other three had bullet injuries, the sources said.

Uri is about 100 km northwest of Srinagar, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to campaign on Monday.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/militants-attack-army-camp-at-mohra-near-uri-border-town-in-kashmir/article6664357.ece

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Top LeT commander killed in encounter with security forces

M Saleem Pandit,TNN | Dec 5, 2014

SRINAGAR: Top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander was killed in the outskirts of the city by security personnel when he was making attempts to enter into the city.

Giving details of the incident, police said at least two militants travelling in a car tried to run away from a check point at Ahmadnagar in Soura area this afternoon.

The policemen chased the car and in the ensuing gun battle, one militant identified as Qari Israr was gunned down. One AK-47 rifle was recovered from him.

The area has been cordoned off as another militant had taken refuge in a house in the same locality.

Director General of J&K police K Rajendra said that it was a “brilliant operation” by his men as the deceased militant was wanted in many cases. Israr is a Pakistani national and had been active in this area.

Police had intensified random search of vehicles following intelligence inputs that militants might carry out a suicide attack in the city ahead of the elections and the scheduled rally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

In another incident in Shopian, militants hurled a grenade at a police ambush party.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Top-LeT-commander-killed-in-encounter-with-security-forces/articleshow/45384440.cms

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Ayodhya, Dec 6: BJP plans ‘Saffron Day’

Dec 5, 2014

Using WhatsApp messages and pamphlets, BJP workers in Ayodhya and Faizabad are urging people to plant saffron flags atop temples and houses to mark Bhagwa Divas (saffron day) on December 6, the day the Babri Masjid was destroyed in 1992.

BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh are distancing themselves from the campaign, saying it’s not a party exercise but they “can’t stop local residents from celebrating” since “it comes naturally”.

While state unit Chief Laxmikant Bajpai has threatened action against BJP workers if they go ahead with the plan, Faizabad MP Lallu Singh maintains “Lord Ram is not interested in getting his own Makan (house) first. He would want homes for his devotees first.”

Yet Singh, a staunch RSS worker, admits that the “celebrations” this December 6 will be greater because “this is the first anniversary after the BJP came to power with such a clear majority”.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/ayodhya-dec-6-bjp-plans-saffron-day/#sthash.QNuYgDD2.dpuf

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India: Pakistan govt. giving Saeed ‘legitimacy’ by helping rally

SUHASINI HAIDAR

Accusing the Pakistan government of giving Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed “legitimacy,” government sources said a rally being held in Lahore by the group accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks was being viewed with “concern” in India. Home Ministry sources said the government was keeping an eye not only on the rally on Thursday and Friday, but also on the kind of facilitation the government in Pakistan was giving it.

Pakistan news agencies have quoted Saeed describing the elaborate arrangements for the two-day ‘Ijtima’ of the organisation, including setting up a “tent-city” at Pakistan’s national monument: the ‘Minaar-e-Pakistan, and commissioning two special trains to bring in supporters from the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Hyderabad. In addition, hundreds of buses are bringing in cadres of the group from other parts of the country, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. JuD leaders told the press that at least 70 tents had been erected across Lahore to house more than one lakh people at the rally. While the Indian government has made no official statement yet, officials called the assistance being provided by the Pakistan government to the JuD rally as “blatant disregard of the international norms of zero tolerance of terrorism.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-pakistan-govt-giving-saeed-legitimacy-by-helping-rally/article6662470.ece

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Europe

Kazakhstan Muftiate: ‘Kazakh Jihadis’ With IS In Syria ‘Acting Against Islam’

Dec 5, 2014

The Kazakh Muftiate, also known as the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Kazakhstan (SDMK), has published an appeal to Kazakh nationals who traveled to Syria to fight.

The plea, published on the muftiate’s website on December 3, slams those Kazakh nationals who “went [to Syria] on the grounds of phantom ideas and who now are inciting discord,” according to RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service, Radio Azattyq.

According to Kazakh intelligence, there are around 300 Kazakh nationals fighting in Syria with the Islamic State (IS) militant group. Of these, around around are women, the chairman of the Kazakh National Security Committee (KNB), Nurtai Abykaev, said in November.

According to the muftiate, Kazakh citizens who are fighting in Syria are acting against Islam and in a manner that is alien to humanity.

Why has the muftiate spoken out now against IS and Kazakh militants fighting for it? And who is this address really aimed at: Kazakh militants in Syria, or Kazakhs in Kazakhstan who might be considering joining IS?

IS ‘Kazakh Child Militant’ Video ‘Sickens Muslim Community’

The muftiate’s appeal comes in the wake of Kazakh government outrage against the recent publication and distribution by IS militants of a video showing Kazakh militants in Syria, including a group of children who were filmed undergoing military and ideological instruction in an IS camp.

Full report at:

http://www.rferl.org/content/kazakhstan-isis-syria-recruiting/26724862.html

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Leading UK Muslim group assured Brotherhood won’t be banned

Dec 5, 2014

The UK government will not ban the Muslim Brotherhood movement as a result of its review into the Islamist group, a leading British Muslim group has said.

The UK prime ministerial review was ordered by David Cameron in April into all activities, ideology and policies of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While the review team, led by Sir John Jenkins, UK ambassador to Saudi Arabia, completed the task and handed over its final report in July, the government has not yet published the results.

The British media has speculated that the results could be controversial.

“The government confirmed to us that it will not designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation,” Dr Omar Al-Hamdoon, president of Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), told Ahram Online.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/117128/World/International/Leading-UK-Muslim-group-assured-Brotherhood-wont-b.aspx

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France: ‘Major’ anti-ISIS raid taking place in Iraq

5 December 2014

France said Friday its fighter jets were conducting a “major” raid in Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition offensive against the Islamic State group, days after members said the strikes were having effect.

“At the moment, a major raid is taking place,” Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFMTV, refusing to detail the targets or the number of jets involved.

He said French planes based in the United Arab Emirates and more recently in Jordan had carried out “120 to 130 missions” since the start of the coalition offensive.

These include intelligence gathering missions. Compared to the United States, France has carried out only a handful of strikes on the militants.

The coalition of around 60 mainly Western and Arab states was formed several months after ISIS jihadists swept across northern Iraq, seizing swathes of territory and proclaiming a caliphate in parts of the country and neighboring Syria.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/05/France-major-anti-ISIS-raid-taking-place-in-Iraq.html

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Why Birmingham MP Is Speaking Out Over Radicalisation

Dec 5, 2014

A “generation of lost young people” are falling prey to an extremist ideology which goes against everything Islam stands for, Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood has warned.

Mr Mahmood, who became the first Muslim MP in an English constituency when he entered the Commons in 2001, spoke passionately about his fear that Britain isn’t doing enough to combat extremism as MPs debated new anti-terror legislation.

He also spoke of the opposition he encountered when he investigated claims that hard-line “religious” views were being promoted in Birmingham schools.

Mr Mahmood told MPs: “I had to deal with the ‘Trojan horse’ schools in Birmingham, and found myself in a very lonely place.”

But he insisted that the ideology promoted in some city schools – which included telling children it was a crime to have photographs of family members at home, and making girls sit at the back of the classroom – could indeed lead children into extremism when they were older.

Full report at:

http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/news-opinion/birmingham-mp-khalid-mahmood-speaking-8227313

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German man sentenced to 3 years, 9 months for joining ISIS

5 December 2014

A 20-year-old German man was sentenced to 3 years and 9 months in prison on Friday after he admitted joining Islamic State militants in Syria, in the first trial in Germany of a home-grown jihadi accused of membership of the insurgent group.

Judges decided to treat the man, known as Kreshnik B., who was born in Germany to Kosovan parents and spent six months in Syria last year, as a juvenile because of his lack of maturity.

They said there was no evidence he had participated directly in fighting.

“As a youth he was not able to resist the influence of his Islamist friends,” said chief judge Thomas Sagebiel.

Although he still displayed the attitudes of a radical Islamist, the judge expressed hope that a youth sentence would have the necessary educational effect.

In Germany, people between the age of 18-21 can be treated according to juvenile law if they are judged to lack an adult’s sense of responsibility.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2014/12/05/German-accused-of-fighting-for-ISIS-to-be-sentenced.html

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Rich nations’ failure to take Syria refugees ‘shocking’: Amnesty

Dec 5, 2014

Wealthy nations have only taken in a “pitiful” number of the millions of refugees uprooted by Syria’s war, placing the burden on the country’s ill-equipped neighbours, Amnesty International said Friday.

In a statement ahead of a 9 December donors’ conference in Geneva, the London-based rights group blasted as shocking the failure of rich nations to host more refugees.

“Around 3.8 million refugees from Syria are being hosted in five main countries within the region: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt,” said Amnesty.

“Only 1.7 percent of this number have been offered sanctuary by the rest of the world.”

Highlighting what it called “the pitiful numbers of resettlement places offered by the international community,” Amnesty noted that the Gulf States, Russia and China had not offered a single resettlement place.

Full report at:

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/rich-nations-failure-take-syria-refugees-shocking-amnesty-273796481#sthash.qRywADDu.dpuf

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‘I am fed up with the Bulgarians,’ Putin tells Erdoğan

Dec 5, 2014

Bulgarian authorities creating difficulties is the main reason why Russia scrapped the South Stream pipeline project, Russian President Vladimir Putin told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during their meeting on Dec. 1, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

“I am fed up with Bulgarians. Having the West and the European Union at their back, they are challenging and opposing us. They are delaying the project,” Putin reportedly told Erdoğan during the Turkey-Russia High-Level Cooperation Council meeting.

The Russian president announced the end of the much-anticipated South Stream pipeline project at a joint press conference with Erdoğan on Dec. 1. The project was planned to carry 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas to European markets via a pipeline under the Black Sea and Bulgaria.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/i-am-fed-up-with-the-bulgarians-putin-tells-erdogan-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=75182&NewsCatID=510

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Clashes erupt as Islamist militants attack Grozny, 20 dead

Dec 5, 2014

Police waged hours-long gunbattle with Islamic militants who attacked Chechnya’s capital on December 4, leaving at least 20 people dead and underscoring Russia’s vulnerability just as President Vladimir Putin used patriotic and religious imagery in his state-of-the-nation address to defend his standoff with the West.

The clashes in Grozny, the city’s biggest in years, dented a carefully nurtured image of stability created by Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed strongman after two separatist conflicts. The new violence raised fears of more attacks in Chechnya and widening unrest in the rest of Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region.

The Kavkaz Center website, a mouthpiece for Islamic militant groups operating in the North Caucasus, carried a link to a video message by an individual claiming responsibility for the attack. The man in the video said he was operating on orders from Emir Khamzat, reportedly a nom de guerre of Chechen warlord Aslan Byutukayev. The claim could not immediately be verified.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/europe/grozny-20-dead-in-hours-long-gunbattle-between-police-and-islamic-militants/99/#sthash.jRrwdYvg.dpuf

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North America

 

Despite Beheadings, Americans against Paying Ransoms To Terrorists

Dec 5, 2014

After the killing of three U.S. citizens by the militant group Islamic State this year, there has been a renewed debate in the United States about the logic of not paying ransoms to terrorists — although many other nations do pay up covertly.

That debate may well come into focus again this week, after al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — the terror network’s affiliate in Yemen — threatened to kill Luke Somers, an American kidnapped in Yemen, in a video released Wednesday.

In the past, the United States has used moral and tactical arguments to defend its policy, arguing that paying ransoms not only emboldens hostage-takers, but also helps finance terrorism. But there’s also a political factor for the U.S. government to keep in mind: According to polls, the U.S. public is overwhelmingly against paying ransoms to international terrorists who take Americans hostage.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/12/04/despite-beheadings-americans-are-still-overwhelmingly-against-paying-ransoms-to-terrorists/?tid=hpModule_04941f10-8a79-11e2-98d9-3012c1cd8d1e

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US extends Coalition Support Fund for Pakistan with new restrictions

Dec 5, 2014

WASHINGTON: The US Congress has extended the Coalition Support Fund for Pakistan for a year but has also included some new conditions in its final budget proposals.

The fund reimburses US allies for the efforts they make in the war against terror.

The final budget proposal, however, clarifies that Pakistan cannot receive more than a billion dollars in a year from this fund.

Pakistan received $370 million from this fund in October this year. The annual imbursements are made in four instalments.

The final text, issued by the US Senate Armed Services Committee, shows that the support fund for Pakistan has been extended till US fiscal year 2015. The text includes both old and new restrictions.

Of the total amount of reimbursements and support authorised for Pakistan during fiscal year 2015, $300 million shall not be eligible for the waiver unless the US Secretary of Defence certifies to the congressional defence committees that Pakistan has “undertaken military operations in North Waziristan that have contributed to significantly disrupting the safe haven and freedom of movement of the Haqqani network in Pakistan.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1148889/us-extends-csf-for-pakistan-with-new-restrictions

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Pentagon confirms failed effort to rescue U.S. hostage in Yemen

Dec 5, 2014

The Pentagon says a hostage rescue mission last month in Yemen failed to liberate American Luke Somers because he was not present at the targeted location.

The Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said in a brief written statement on Thursday that the U.S. government was acknowledging the attempted rescue of the 33-year-old Somers, the only American among the roughly dozen hostages held by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a Yemen-based al-Qaeda offshoot.

Mr. Kirby said the Pentagon wanted to “provide accurate information” in light of the fact that the rescue attempt has been widely reported. Eight hostages were rescued, as has been reported previously.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/pentagon-confirms-failed-effort-to-rescue-us-hostage-luke-somers-in-yemen/article6664250.ece

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Pakistan

Enemy ‘Lives within Us and Looks Like Us’, Says Army Chief

Dec 5, 2014

KARACHI: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif has said that security does not refer only to external threats but is a concern in terms of politics, human rights, economy, water security, terrorism and insurgency.

Gen Sharif, who was the chief guest at a conference (Industry Summit) organised by the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute in a hotel here on Thursday, also spoke about the Palestine and Kashmir issues and said there must be conflict resolution in these areas because security could not be achieved by securing borders alone, but also by protecting ways of life, culture, ideas and sensitivities.

The army chief, who earlier visited the Ideas-2014, said at the outset that he had been pleased by the success of the exhibition.

He said Pakistan’s current enemy “lives within us and looks like us”, adding that the definition of security had changed with the passage of time.

He said that because of increased polarisation, governments were unable to protect their people and national security.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1148898/enemy-lives-within-us-and-looks-like-us-says-army-chief

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Blasts kill five in Bajaur, Khyber agencies

Dec 5, 2014

KHAR: Five people, including two activists of a pro-government group, were killed in roadside blasts in Bajaur and Khyber tribal regions on Thursday.

In Bajaur, one man and two women were killed when a bomb went off in Karani area of Nawagai tehsil, some 40km northwest of the agency headquarters Khar.

Officials said that Siraj Khan, a member of village defence committee, his wife and daughter were on way to Nawagai bazaar when they met with the fatal IED blast.

“Gul Pari, wife of Siraj Khan, died on the spot. Siraj Khan and his daughter Laila suffered critical wounds and were taken to AHQ hospital in Khar,” the officials said, adding that Siraj succumbed to his injuries at the Khar hospital and Ms Laila was shifted to a Peshawar hospital where she died.

According to local people, Siraj Khan had no enmity with anyone in the area.

Two activists of the pro-government Tauheedul Islam group were killed in a blast in a remote area of Khyber Agency.

Sources said a vehicle of the group was targeted with an IED along a roadside in Nari Baba area of Bazaar Zakakhel. The blast killed two TI activists on the spot.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1148908/blasts-kill-five-in-bajaur-khyber-agencies

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Recognising Afghan Taliban regime was Pak’s blunder: Parvez Musharraf

Dec 5, 2014

Nearly two decades after Pakistan recognised the brutal Taliban regime in Afghanistan, former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has admitted that the move was a “blunder”.

Speaking at the Youth Parliament in Karachi on Thursday, Musharraf said that Pakistan was the only country that recognised the Taliban government in Afghanistan when it grabbed power in 1996 up to 2001 as Saudi Arabia and UAE later backed out.

He admitted that recognising its brutal rule in the late 1990s was a mistake by Pakistan.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 changed the political climate worldwide and “three blunders” were made by the US who left the region after withdrawal of the Soviets, said 71-year-old Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008.

The “first blunder was not to rehabilitate the 25,000 Afghan Mujahideen who fought in the war against USSR and they then came to Pakistan which led to the formation of al-Qaeda,” he said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/asia/recognising-afghan-taliban-regime-was-paks-blunder-parvez-musharraf/#sthash.d4RzYyVE.dpuf

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Lawyer defending 2 blasphemy accused receives threatening letter from Daish

Dec 5, 2014

MULTAN: A lawyer defending two blasphemy accused has received a letter from the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham or Daish’ militant group with a warning to withdraw from the cases.

Shahbaz Gurmani is representing Junaid Hafeez, a visiting lecturer at the Bahauddin Zakariya University, and Khalil Qadri who are facing blasphemy cases.

“I am also the counsel for Saleem Aslam who has filed a petition in the Multan bench of Lahore High Court seeking orders for registration of an FIR against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for committing blasphemy,” Mr Gurmani told Dawn.

The lawyer said he was in his office on Wednesday when at about 9.30pm his brother informed him that he had heard gunshots outside their residence.

“I did not take the matter seriously and asked my brother not to worry about. I returned home and was taking dinner at about 12.15am when there was a knock at the main gate,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1148920/lawyer-defending-2-blasphemy-accused-receives-threatening-letter-from-daish

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One soldier killed, six injured during rocket attack in Orakzai

Dec 5, 2014

PESHAWAR: One soldier was killed and six others were injured Friday in a rocket attack on Kalaya, the agency headquarters of the restive northwestern Orakzai tribal region.

Official sources said that two rockets were fired on the Kalaya Headquarters as a result of which seven soldiers sustained injuries. One of the injured soldiers died on his way to a hospital, while six others are receiving medical treatment.

Last month, 18 suspected militants and six soldiers were killed during a gun-battle in Orakzai Agency. The gun-battle was set off by an attack by militants before dawn, on a check-post in Shireen Dara area of Lower Orakzai.

Orakzai is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal regions in the northwest, where Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda-linked militants are said to have carved out strongholds.

It was a key abode of former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud before he was killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan in 2013.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1148981/one-soldier-killed-six-injured-during-rocket-attack-in-orakzai

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Islamabad, Kabul at one on fighting terror without discrimination: Nawaz

Dec 5, 2014

LONDON: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that Islamabad and Kabul are in agreement on fighting terrorism without discrimination.

While reiterating Pakistan’s strong solidarity with the people of Afghanistan he urged the international community to do more to help the Afghan leadership realize its vision. In his address at the London Conference on Afghanistan, the Prime Minister said Pakistan and Afghanistan were committed to advance their common goal of a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan. The Prime Minister is on a three-day visit to the United Kingdom to participate in the conference also attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and US Secretary of State John Kerry. The conference is being co-hosted by the governments of UK and Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/05-Dec-2014/islamabad-kabul-at-one-on-fighting-terror-without-discrimination-nawaz

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Pakistan’s ISI guns down US-educated Baloch school principal in Gwadar

Dec 5, 2014

A young U.S. educated Baloch school principal was Thursday morning gunned down by agents of Pakistan’s infamous Inter-Services Intelligence in the port city of Gwadar. Zahid Askani, who was educated in Appleton, Wisc., had returned to Balochistan to promote co-education and had established the Oasis School in Gwadar. Seven bullets were pumped into his body by what Pakistan media described as “unknown assailants.” It was clear that the slain principal, who was originally from Panjgur, believed in an independent homeland for the Baloch people as he was a member of the Baloch Students Organization Azad and Baloch Freedom Struggle groups on Facebook.

Jane E. Weisner, of Amherst, Mass., who is general secretary of the American Friends of Balochistan, told the Baltimore Examiner Thursday for a person to be Baloch was reason enough for him to be killed by the I.S.I. Weisner said she met Askani through the social media and was impressed with his fervent, impassioned dedication to freedom for Balochistan. “He was too young to die, but died for freedom as so many do before freedom is achieved,” Weisner said. A sad Erin Reardon, a friend of Askani’s from Appleton, said on Facebook, “Zahid Askani, thank you for being a beautiful person who has helped so many in the world.”

Full report at:

http://www.examiner.com/article/pakistan-s-isi-guns-down-us-educated-baloch-school-principal-gwadar

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Several IS militants arrested, Rehman Malik claims

Dec 5, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Former interior minister Rehman Malik said Friday that militant group Islamic State’s (IS) network is present in the country and that it is led by Yousuf Salfi.

Speaking to media representatives in Islamabad, where the former interior minister had arrived to attend a meeting of the missing persons commission, Malik claimed that security personnel had arrested several IS militants during raids conducted in different parts of the country.

He said that being a former interior minister, he had his own means of gathering information from sources which had provided him with information regarding the presence of IS militants in the country.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1148972/several-is-militants-arrested-rehman-malik-claims

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Mideast

No Islamic State in Gaza, says Hamas despite menacing fliers

Dec 5, 2014

Hamas denied the presence of the Islamic State terror group in the Gaza Strip Wednesday, after fliers signed by the jihadist organization have emerged in the Palestinian territory in recent weeks, threatening women and intellectuals

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the former name of the Islamic State, a jihadist offshoot of Al-Qaeda headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, which has succeeded in gaining control of large swaths of land in northeastern Syria and northern Iraq in recent months.

On Monday, reports of a flier signed by “ISIS – Gaza Province” emerged on social media websites, warning 18 Gaza-based writers to repent within three days “for offending the tenets of Islam” or face the death penalty for apostasy. The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority unity government of Rami Hamdallah rushed to condemn the communique, calling it “a dangerous precedent that must be stopped immediately.”

Another pamphlet, dated November 29 and titled “The hijab, the hijab” (the Islamic veil), instructed Gaza’s women to cover their heads “in accordance with Sharia” or face an Islamic trial.

Full report at:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-denies-existence-of-isis-in-gaza-following-menacing-pamphlets/#ixzz3L4OW6y2b

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Hamas: Netanyahu is playing with fire by allowing Jews on Temple Mount

Dec 5, 2014

Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas, railed against Jews being allowed to visit the Temple Mount and justified the recent wave in Palestinian terror attacks as a reaction to the handful of times prayer at the holy site was closed due to security concerns, in an interview with Sky News on Friday.

“Netanyahu is playing with fire when he allows members of his government and the extremists to repeatedly storm the al-Aksa mosque,” he said. “That’s dangerous. For every action, there’s a reaction.”

In relation to the Temple Mount being closed for Friday prayers on a number of recent occasions, Mashaal continued to lash out against the prime minister. “Our fight is a national fight. Netanyahu is turning it into a religious fight. He bears responsibility for the consequences of what’s happening,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Hamass-Khaled-Mashaal-Netanyahu-is-playing-with-fire-by-allowing-Jews-on-Temple-Mount-383755

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Religion courses for primary schools on agenda of Turkish education council

Dec 5, 2014

The national education council is set to discuss the introduction of religious courses to primary schools and kindergartens across Turkey, raising fresh concerns over the rise of religious conservatism in the country.

The suggestion has been made by teachers’ union Eğitim Bir-Sen, which offered to discuss religious courses in primary schools during meetings for the 19th national education council in the southern province of Antalya. The council decided to discuss the proposal during its ongoing meetings, and if it is approved by the council, it will be included in non-binding recommendation letter submitted to the Education Ministry, Doğan News Agency reported.

Religious culture and moral knowledge courses are compulsory for every Turkish student from the fourth grade onward. Religious courses are currently not given to first, second and third graders.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/religion-courses-for-primary-schools-on-agenda-of-turkish-education-council.aspx?pageID=238&nID=75225&NewsCatID=338

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‘Post’ poll: 60% of Israelis don’t want Netanyahu anymore

Dec 5, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances of coasting to an easy victory in the March 17 election took a surprising hit on Thursday when a Panels Research poll taken for The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew sister newspaper, Ma’ariv Sof Hashavua, found that a hefty majority of Israelis want him to lose.

The poll, taken on Wednesday among 500 respondents representing a statistical sample of the adult population, indicated that the election could end up being close and assumptions that Netanyahu cannot be defeated may be incorrect.

It asked respondents whether they want Netanyahu to remain prime minister after the vote. Sixty percent said no, 34% said yes, and 6% did not know.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-Elections/Post-poll-60-percent-of-Israelis-dont-want-Netanyahu-anymore-383724

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Report: 75 Students Become Disabled Due to Israeli Aggression

Dec 5, 2014

Nearly 75 Palestinian students became disabled after being injured during the Israeli fierce offensive on Gaza last summer, an official report revealed.

Dr Ahmad El Hawajri, Director General of Educational Guidance and Counseling at the Ministry of Education, confirmed that 75 Palestinian students became disabled after sustaining different injuries during Israel’s aggression on Gaza, of whom there are 22 suffering from visual impairment, 25 from hearing impairment, and 28 from mobility impairment, PIC reported.

He pointed out that hundreds of students in Gaza still suffer from psychological and emotional traumas caused by the summer aggression. “Nearly 673 students suffer from underachievement due to the war effect on them.”

He stressed that his ministry will provide all the necessary and required material and psychological support for those students to enjoy their normal life.

On July 2014, Israel carried out a fierce and bloody aggression on Gaza that lasted for 50 days and led to the martyrdom of more than 2100 civilians mostly children and the injury of more than 11,000 others.

The General Federation for the Disabled in Gaza earlier said that more than 40% of the war-wounded are either visually impaired, or hearing impaired, or mobility impaired.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930913000779

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Southeast Asia

Selangor sultan warns Muslims against deviant teachings

Dec 5, 2014

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, today reminded Muslims in the state to be wary of deviant teachings which he said could disunity.

He said they should lodge reports on deviant teachings for these could evolve into something difficult to contain.

“Deviant teachings can confuse Muslims and distort their faith, leading to disunity and disputes among them and earn them the disrespect of other communities,” he said when opening the Ar-Ridhuan Mosque in Simpang Empat, Jeram, in Kuala Selangor.

The sultan said the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) should ensure that those who spoke on Islam held recognised credentials and adhered to guidelines.

Jais should also monitor all activities at mosques and suraus so as to be able to nip deviant teachings in the bud, he said.

“I wish to remind all mosque officials and Muslims in the state to monitor those trying to spread deviant teachings.

“Complaints can be registered with the mosque officials or committees to be forwarded to Jais,” he said.

The sultan advised Muslims in the state to make use of mosques and suraus as places to foster goodwill in society.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/selangor-sultan-warns-muslims-against-deviant-teachings-bernama#sthash.pTaYLNJ8.dpuf

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Ex-top cop warns of jihad against liberalism and Christian evangelism

Dec 5, 2014

“Liberalism” and Christian evangelism may become causes for returning Malaysian jihadists from the Middle East to launch a local crusade, former top cop Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar (pic) said.

“God forbid these two local developments are turned into a local crusade, it may destroy one of the last oasis of religious peace in the world,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an interview.

He specifically named Comango, or the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs, in the Universal Periodic Review Process, and “evangelical Jesuits” as “causes that may be seized upon by Malaysian jihadists as justification for a local crusade”.

Hanif, who was Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for 20 years, was interviewed recently in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Hatyai Peace Accord on December 2, 1989,  which ended the communist insurgency. The treaty was signed by the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and the Malaysian and Thai governments.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ex-top-cop-warns-of-jihad-against-liberalism-and-christian-evangelism1#sthash.jaKJzsrt.dpuf

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Human rights body still wants Putrajaya to replace Sedition Act

Dec 5, 2014

Putrajaya must fulfil its pledge to repeal the Sedition Act, a disappointed national human rights commission said, after witnessing the prime minister’s U-turn on law reform at the Umno general assembly.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) acting chairman Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee said the Sedition Act, which she termed as “repressive and obsolete”, was never designed to promote, nurture or maintain peace and harmony.

She said the decision to retain the colonial-era law did not reflect well on Malaysia given that the nation was due to assume two important high-profile international positions next year: membership at the United Nations Security Council and chairmanship of Asean.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced at the Umno general assembly last week that the act would stay, reneging on his promise made two years ago to repeal it.

He said the act would be fortified with additional provisions that would make it a crime to insult Islam and other faiths.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/human-rights-body-still-wants-putrajaya-replace-sedition-act#sthash.eks0Mmq5.dpuf

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Australia

 

Muslims Facing Discrimination in New Zealand

Dec 5, 2014

Muslim New Zealanders are facing increased discrimination in the wake of the political focus on the potential threat from Islamic State supporters in this country.

The tension is also being increased by continued fighting in Iraq and Syria involving ISIS forces.

Those gathering details about racist outbursts say they are mostly being directed at women and children wearing a Hijab or headscarf. But it’s not just those who have moved to New Zealand more recently who are bearing the brunt of such discrimination.

Musa Taukuri decided to follow Islam shortly before the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York and Washington DC in 2001.

He said the extra pressure and scrutiny of the Muslim community in New Zealand following those events strengthened his faith. But this time, his family have been the subject of verbal assaults.

Full report at:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/260967/muslims-facing-discrimination-in-nz

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Islamic State’s terrorist capital is first area off limits for Australians

Dec 5, 2014

A PROVINCE of Syria declared by the Islamic State terrorist group to be its capital is the first place designated by the Abbott government as a no-go area for Australians.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday formally “declared” ­Al-Raqqa province, making it an ­offence under Australian law to enter or remain there without a legitimate purpose.

Islamic State operations are mainly ­directed from Al-Raqqa and some of the group’s senior commanders are Australians.

Australian jihadists who have spent time in the city of Al-Raqqa include Khaled Sharrouf whose son was photographed holding the severed head of a Syrian ­soldier in the city square several months ago.

It is expected that more areas will be declared in the weeks to come.

Under section 119.2 of the Criminal Code, anyone visiting a declared area faces a jail term of up to 10 years unless they can demonstrate that they have a legitimate reason to be there.

Foreign fighters and supporters of foreign conflicts posed a significant threat to Australia and its way of life, Ms Bishop said.

Full report at:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/islamic-states-terrorist-capital-is-first-area-off-limits-for-australians/story-fnpdbcmu-1227145268937

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Africa

Kenya: Suspect Denies Recruiting Youth Into Al-Shabaab

5 December 2014

A close ally of slain Sheikh Sharif Abubakar alias Makaburi was yesterday charged with recruiting youths to al Shabaab.

Mohammed Ali denied that he recruited Abdalla Said, Swaleh Pesa, Swaleh Ahmed and Swaleh Juma at Masjid Musa, Mombasa county, on November 17.

Ali also denied robbery with violence charges and refuted allegations that on January 3 in the same mosque he robbed police officer Shemuro Athuman of a Sh10,000 spy pen.

Police accused Ali of being the new kingpin behind radicalisation of Muslim youths at the Coast, succeeding Makaburi in inspiring youths to fight against non-Muslims and security organs.

Ali was also denied harbouring youths with intent to commit a terrorist act and handling of stolen property.

On November 24, the police were given 10 days to conduct investigations against Ali.

His lawyer Gacue Gakuhi pleaded with the court to release him on bail pending determination of his case.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201412050706.html

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Kenyan military plane crashes in Somalia, rebels say shot down

Dec 5, 2014

A Kenyan warplane crashed in southern Somalia on Thursday, with the Kenyan military saying the crash was due to technical problems while Somali rebels said they had shot it down with a missile.

The aircraft, which had been on a combat mission, came down in the area of the southern port city of Kismayu, where Kenyan troops are deployed as part of an African Union peacekeeping force battling the Islamist rebel group al Shabaab.

A spokesman for the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) said the pilot reported a technical problem on returning from a combat mission at about 3 p.m. (1200 GMT) before he was forced to eject.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2014/12/04/Kenyan-military-plane-crashes-in-Somalia-rebels-say-shot-down.html

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Kenya arrests 77 Chinese in Internet hacking case

Dec 5, 2014

Police in Kenya are consulting technical experts to determine if 77 Chinese nationals arrested with advanced communications equipment in several houses in an upscale Nairobi neighborhood were committing espionage, an official on December 4.

The Chinese were arrested since the weekend with equipment that Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper said was capable of hacking into government servers.

“We have roped in experts to tell us if they were committing crimes of espionage,” said Ndegwa Muhoro, the head of criminal investigations for Kenya’s police. “These people seem to have been brought here specifically for a mission which we are investigating.”

The arrests began on Sunday, when computer equipment in one of the upscale houses the Chinese nationals had rented near the U.S. Embassy and U.N. headquarters caught fire, killing one person.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/middle-east-africa/kenya-arrests-77-chinese-in-internet-hacking-case/#sthash.bSuONxIv.dpuf

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Sukuk for vaccine fund ushers Islamic finance into ethical sphere

5 December 2014

The latest entrant into Islamic finance is leading the industry in the new direction of socially responsible investment – which could even include the fight against Ebola.

Last week an immunization program secured a $500 million issuance of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, in the largest debut issue ever by a global non-profit organization, under a broader trend to use bond markets to fund development and humanitarian projects.

The sukuk from the International Finance Facility for Immunization Co (IFFIm), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager, is a break from the predominantly commercial nature of most Islamic finance transactions.

The deal is part of World Bank efforts to adapt sukuk for use in a variety of ethical pursuits, including advising the Dubai government on a funding strategy for the emirate’s green investment program.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/business/2014/12/05/Sukuk-for-vaccine-fund-ushers-Islamic-finance-into-ethical-sphere.html

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UN condemns “in strongest terms” air strikes and military escalation

5 December 2014

The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has condemned “in the strongest terms” the recent air raids and escalation of violence in Libya.

“Those seeking to undermine the dialogue through these attacks will not achieve their objectives,” it has said in a statement.

UNSMIL warned that all those who threaten Libya’s peace, stability or security would face targeted sanctions.

Not only have the attacks, it said, had a disastrous impact on civilians, property and infrastructure, the military escalation on both sides is negatively impacting the process of political dialogue.

Nevertheless said UNSMIL,  it was confident that Libyans want this dialogue to succeed and would not be deterred from supporting and participating in it.

http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/12/05/un-condemns-in-strongest-terms-air-strikes-and-military-escalation/#ixzz3L4r4Udtj

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South Asia

Pakistan will never cooperate with the Afghan peace process: Afghan Minister

Dec 5, 2014

The former Afghan Minister of Interior Omar Daudzai has said Islamabad will not cooperate with the Afghan government in peace process with the anti-government militant groups.

Speaking during a press conference on Thursday, Daudzai said previous government has attempted on numerous occasions to persuade Islamabad to assist the government in peace process.

Daudzai further added that similar approach by the new government would be a waste of time.

He called on President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to undertake a new approach towards the peace process, insisting that Islamabad will never assist the Afghan government in this regard.

Daudzai also added that terrorism and extremism is now threatening the whole region and called for the formation of a regional coalition to fight the growing extremism.

According to Daudzai, decisions were taken last year to hand over a specific region within the Afghan soil to the Taliban control.

He accused the regional intelligence agencies for supporting the Taliban group in Afghanistan and insisted that the Taliban leadership is based outside Afghanistan, in Quetta city.

Daudzai warned that the conspiracies have not ended and new apporoaches will be undertaken by Taliban group and their supporters next year.

http://www.khaama.com/pakistan-will-never-cooperate-with-the-afghan-peace-process-daudzai-8825

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US, Britain pledge to support Afghanistan as combat troops withdraw

Dec 5, 2014

The United States and Britain pledged on Thursday to support Afghanistan’s new unity government even as foreign combat troops withdraw from the country after a 13-year war that ousted the Islamist Taliban.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said President Ashraf Ghani’s new government had already made moves to combat money laundering and corruption since taking office in September in the first democratic transfer of power in Afghan history.

Ghani, who with former presidential rival Abdullah Abdullah formed a power-sharing government after months of wrangling over election results, sought to reassure allies that he would tackle endemic corruption and stop the theft of aid money.

“We are confident that the policies outlined today by President Ghani and CEO Abdullah will result in a more stable and prosperous Afghanistan,” Kerry said at a conference on Afghanistan in London.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/117210/World/International/US,-Britain-pledge-to-support-Afghanistan-as-comba.aspx

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‘Malaysia to recruit 12,000 Bangladeshi workers’: Pm Sheikh Hasina

Dec 5, 2014

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has informed that Malaysia has agreed to recruit 12,000 more Bangladeshi workers to the country.

The premier made the remarks while briefing media on the outcome of her just-concluded official visits to Nepal and Malaysia.

“An agreement was also signed regarding the manpower export to Malaysia,” said the prime minister.

She said positive progress was also marked in strengthening economic relations between Bangladesh and Malaysia.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2014/dec/05/pm-briefing-media#sthash.Vbpa2BTy.dpuf

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Jamaat’s Subhan awaits verdict in war crimes case

Dec 5, 2014

The International Crimes Tribunal 2 has completed the recording of closing arguments in the war crimes case against Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Maulana Abdus Subhan, and will deliver the verdict any day.

The three-member tribunal, led by Justice Obaidul Hassan with members Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Shahinur Islam, gave the order yesterday.

The other tribunal on Wednesday kept the war crimes case of Jatiya Party’s former lawmaker M Abdul Jabbar awaiting verdict.

Maulana Subhan, 77, is facing nine charges of crimes against humanity including genocide and murders of unarmed people, mainly Hindus, along with looting and setting houses on fire in Pabna during the 1971 Liberation War.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/crime/2014/dec/05/jamaat%E2%80%99s-subhan-awaits-verdict-war-crimes-case#sthash.nsXpBFM5.dpuf

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/al-azhar-sponsors-conference-to-educate–brainwashed–arab-militants/d/100344

Mass Death Sentence: Egypt Court Sentences 188 People to Death

New-Age-Islam-masdeath390Protests broke out in Cairo Tuesday against the court dropping its case against Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak. An Egyptian judge sentenced 188 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death Tuesday. Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Arab World

Mass Death Sentence: Egypt Court Sentences 188 People to Death

Kurdish Fighters Battle ISIL for Kobani ‘Until Last Drop of Blood’

After Joining IS, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis Expands In Egypt

Egypt’s army says it killed 7 militants in North Sinai

Gunmen kill 7 Lebanese soldiers in ambush near Syria

Saudi Arabia’s ‘former extremists’ to get business support

The West is to blame for Syrian conflict, says Saudi prince

Head of Egypt’s al-Azhar condemns ISIS ‘barbarity’

Bahrain to develop central Sharia board for Islamic banks

Move to UAE has increased knowledge of Islam, say expats

India

Shadowy Islamic Cult in Thane Probe Focus

J&K Elections: It’s ‘Mission Change’ For Kashmiri Youth

Sister of Indian IS militant appeals for his return

Five militants killed in Kupwara gunfight

Pak anti-terror court adjourns Mumbai 26/11 trial till Dec 10

Europe

French National Education Prompts Islamophobia

Nearly 50 Islamic State Recruits Arrested In Tajikistan

UNGA approves Arab-backed resolution, urges Israel, India, Pak to renounce nuclear arms

Conflict, militancy hit human rights in Middle East, African nations

Denmark’s rehab for deradicalisation: Homework, football and Islam

Britain First releases ‘Taliban Hunting Club’ hoodie ‘just in time for Christmas’

Africa

Militants Divide Kenya Miners by Religion, Then Begin Killing

Four killed in suicide attack on UN convoy in Somali capital

U.N. mission calls for new talks between Libyan groups

Tunisia holds first parliamentary session after revolution

Pakistan

Airstrikes Kill 15 Suspected Militants in North Waziristan

Pakistan Police Register Blasphemy Case against ‘Disco Mullah’

Pakistan Running Special Trains for Terror Mastermind Hafiz Saeed

Ready to talk if Imran shuns ‘double standards’: Nawaz

Won’t allow army in tribal areas if elected PM: Imran

Palestinian issue remains high on our agenda: Bokhari

South Asia

33 Taliban militants killed during clearing operations

Islamic minister dismisses rumour of President Yameen not performing Hajj

War crimes verdict on ex- Jatiya Party leader Abdul Jabbar any day now

North America

Us Congress Moves toward Ok for Financing War on IS Jihadists

Palestinian State Will Only Come Through Talks: US

Former al-Qaeda Hostage Recounts Nightmare – of Dealing with FBI

How the US Intervention against the IS Has Alienated Syria’s Sunni Arab Opposition

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Tulsa police captain’s lawsuit over Islamic event

U.S. diplomats to argue against new Iran sanctions

Islamic State: Kerry says group ‘significantly’ damaged

Mideast

Palestinians Urge France to Act on Parliament Vote to Recognise State

Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu raises concerns on Aleppo at NATO meeting

Israeli lawmakers to vote on dissolving parliament

At least one killed in car bomb attack on Iranian diplomat’s house in Yemen

Southeast Asia

Najib reneged on Sedition Act repeal for self-preservation, says PAS

Indonesian Police escort trafficking victims from Malaysia

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/mass-death-sentence–egypt-court-sentences-188-people-to-death/d/100310

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Arab World

Mass Death Sentence: Egypt Court Sentences 188 People to Death

December 3, 2014

An Egyptian court has sentenced 188 people to death for a violent attack on a police station in the restive town Giza after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi last year and the matter will now go before the country’s top religious authority.

The ruling which came yesterday found the defendants guilty of attacking the Kerdasa police station on August 14, 2013, the same day when Egyptian security forces dispersed two Brotherhood protest sit-in camps in Cairo and Giza, killing hundreds of people.

They were also found guilty of the attempted murder of 10 other police personnel, sabotaging the police station, torching a number of police vehicles and possessing heavy firearms. The ruling has now been referred to Egypt’s Grand Mufti, a requirement in Egyptian law before any execution can be carried out. The decision is legally non-binding to the court.

The court said that the sentences will be confirmed on January 24. Out of the 188, only 135 were present while the rest were tried in absentia. This is the latest mass death sentence handed down by the country’s judicial system despite widespread international criticism.

Defence lawyer Bahaa Abdel-Rahman told Ahram Online that among the defendants were two persons who died during the trial, but who weren’t dropped from the trial, along with a minor. The ruling came days after an Egyptian court dropped charges against former president Hosni Mubarak, his minister of interior and six aides over killing unarmed protesters in the 2011 revolution.

Since Morsi’s ouster last year, the Egyptian government has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters. In March, 529 Muslim Brotherhood members were sentenced to death for killing a police officer in last year.

Morsi is currently in prison over charges of murdering peaceful protesters, espionage, escaping from prison during the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and insulting the judiciary.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/middle-east-africa/egypt-court-sentences-188-to-death/#sthash.Y6LWecgZ.dpuf

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Kurdish fighters battle ISIL for Kobani ‘until last drop of blood’

December 3, 2014

KOBANI, SYRIA // On the front lines of the battle for Kobani, Kurdish female fighters have been playing a major role in helping defend the Syrian town from an onslaught by ISIL.

Pervin Kobani, the 19-year-old daughter of a farmer, is one of them.

She is part of a team holding an eastern front-line position that comes under regular attack from the extremist fighters, who have been trying to seize the town since mid-September.

The ISIL group has declared a self-styled caliphate in areas under its control in Iraq and Syria, governing it according to its violent interpretation of Shariah law.

The Kurdish men and women fighting in Kobani are determined not to lose the town to the extremists.

A report by the Associated Press last month offered a rare, in-depth glimpse of the destruction inside Kobani after more than two months of fighting in the Kurdish town by the Turkish border.

It also illustrated what life is like for fighters like Pervin, who says she does not really have dreams beyond the present.

“We must save our love for Apo, and Kurdistan and our martyrs,” she said, referring to Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, whose group has been fighting Turkey for Kurdish autonomy.

Nearby, one of Pervin’s comrades saw something moving amid the destroyed remains of central Kobani and opened fire.

Pervin left home and took up arms two years ago as the overstretched forces of Syrian president Bashar Assad withdrew from Kurdish areas in northern Syria. She joined the Syrian Kurdish women’s self-defence force, known by its Kurdish acronym YPJ. The female YPJ fighters are now integrated with the men’s units, the YPG.

“I didn’t really have any other ambitions. I just wanted to live a free life, as a woman, [to] be able to see our reality, and have our rights and just live,” she said.

Aided by a small Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga force and Syrian rebels, they have been defending the town since mid-September, helped by more than 280 airstrikes by the US-led coalition.

“We won’t allow the terrorist groups in until the last drop of our blood,” Pervin said.

After half a year serving away from her hometown, she returned to Kobani with Kurdish forces two months ago.

Most fighting happens at night. The fighters can only sleep during the day, with a rotating two-hour sentry watch.

Three weeks ago, Pervin bumped into her father on a street corner.

She was surprised to see him holding a gun. She did not know that he too had decided to fight.

Her mother is a refugee in Turkey, her only brother studying in Algeria.

“Honestly when I heard my father is fighting on the western front with the YPG I was so proud of him, and it made me want to fight more,” she said.

Her father, Farouk Kobani, joined the town’s defenders when ISIL launched their attack in September. He was delighted to see his daughter that day, after months without news about her.

Last week, Pervin went to the western front to see her father again.

She says he is now her comrade – but she hugs him like a father anyway.

* Associated Press

http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/kurdish-fighters-battle-isil-for-kobani-until-last-drop-of-blood

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After joining IS, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis expands in Egypt

December 3, 2014

EL-ARISH, Egypt — The war has become more complicated in the Sinai Peninsula in the past few weeks after the Islamic State (IS), namely Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in Sinai, began using traps and remote bombing in its confrontation with the Egyptian army. This has multiplied the difficulties facing the Egyptian army in fighting the terrorists who have mastered the art of hiding in the region’s arid environment.

According to field information gathered by Al-Monitor over the past 30 days, the terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis has planted 21 bombs almost daily along several routes taken by the army and security officials in north Sinai in the areas stretching from el-Arish to Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid.

The security apparatus has succeeded in discovering and dismantling seven bombs, while 14 others exploded. Six bombs targeted military vehicles, killing four security men and wounding 24 others, some of whom were in critical condition, mostly soldiers and officers. Eight bombs exploded without hitting their target.

A researcher specializing in security affairs and jihadist groups in Sinai spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity for security reasons, saying, “Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is increasingly using bombs because they are unable to face the Egyptian army, which is better equipped and larger. As a result, the army outdoes them in direct confrontations, which it is well trained for.”

The researcher said, “We cannot in any way monitor all roads to prevent planting bombs. The targeting and triggering of explosive devices are done remotely by relying on communications technology. The army tried to prevent these attacks by shutting down mobile networks during daily military movements, from 4 a.m. until 6 p.m. However, the terrorists recently relied on wireless networks and UHF radios, and equipped themselves with electronic intensifier technology to strengthen the signal for detonating bombs from a distance of up to one kilometer [0.6 mile].”

A source sympathetic to the jihadists spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity and warned that the bombing operations might move to the center of el-Arish, the capital of north Sinai. “With the noose being tightened on the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group and with the increasing daily military operations against the southern villages of Sheikh Zuweid, the members of the group headed to the center of el-Arish in an attempt to escape the security [operations]. It is likely that they are planting bombs along internal roads of the city, where security and military armored vehicles constantly move without taking any safety measures,” he said.

The jihadist source also warned of moving these operations outside north Sinai, especially to tourist cities in south Sinai, such as Sharm el-Sheikh and Dahab, in addition to other districts in the Nile Valley and in Cairo.

“Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis militants do not exceed 50 [people] inside Sinai, but the group has lately succeeded in opening fronts inside other Egyptian districts, especially after pledging allegiance to IS. Several people who had always dreamed of the jihadist caliphate joined the group, in addition to defecting members from the Muslim Brotherhood, notably those holding a grudge against the state due to the Rabia and al-Nahda massacres,” the source said.

Indications on the ground confirm the accuracy of the information relayed by the jihadist source. In the evening of Friday, Nov. 28, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis — or Wilayat Sinai as it is now called — claimed responsibility for the assassination of a colonel and two soldiers from the Egyptian army in the Suez bridge area in the heart of Cairo, and the killing of an officer and a soldier in Qalyubia governorate. The group declared in an online statement that the two attacks were carried out by a brigade affiliated to it and called the Martyr Abi Ubaidah al-Masri Brigade.

All the latest terrorist operations carried out by Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis confirm that the group relies on the remote targeting strategy in booby-trapping operations, assassinations or bombing of vital state infrastructure such as gas pipelines. This also confirms that the organization is avoiding direct confrontation with the Egyptian army, fearing the loss of its few members, according to sources close to the organization. Moreover, activists and observers in Sinai fear the increase in members of terrorist organizations in the future, if the state continues to fight terrorism with foul practices that harm civilians in the peninsula.

Regarding the bombing of the gas pipelines in Sinai, the jihadist source said that Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis will keep bombing gas pipelines for three reasons. “First, the organization wants to regain its media momentum to prove that it is facing the tough military campaigns in Sinai. Second, it wants to cause losses to the army’s economic structure — a structure that greatly relies on the huge profits from cement factories in the center of Sinai and uses gas in its work. Third, the organization wants to stop pumping gas exported to Jordan because the latter joined the anti-IS international alliance.”

The Egyptian army’s cement plants and other plants owned by businessmen close to the ruling regime in Cairo are suffering losses due to the suspension of production, which is described by one of the workers in these plants as a disaster. Meanwhile, the state is also suffering substantial losses. An officer at the Egyptian Natural Gas Co. (Gasco), the main operator in charge of gas repairs in Sinai, told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that every time a pipeline is blown up, the repairs cost millions of Egyptian pounds paid from the state budget.

The Gasco source said that the losses also affected Jordan, which depends on Egyptian gas to generate electricity, stressing that it is impossible to secure the gas lines that are exposed and stretch over 100 kilometers (62 miles) in the vast desert. “This violates the economic contracts signed with Jordan and exposes the two countries to significant economic losses,” he said.

One of the managers at the Sinai cement factory, in the industrial zone affected by the gas explosions in central Sinai, told Al-Monitor, “The citizens will incur the consequences of the losses and terrorist operations, including the bombing of the gas pipeline.”

“The repeated bombings prompted the departments in charge of the operation of the plants — whether private or military plants — to raise the sale price by 25% as a result of the increase in the production cost. This increase came in response to attempts to replace gas with diesel, which is more costly, especially in terms of transportation to central Sinai,” he added.

It is noteworthy that el-Arish’s gas pipeline has been bombed 25 times since the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak was toppled.

All information and analyses from the field indicate that the coming phase will be very tough for Egypt, with the potential shift of violence from Sinai to the core of Egypt.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/12/egypt-ansar-maqdis-sinai-spread.html#ixzz3KsiNgLnu

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Egypt’s army says it killed 7 militants in North Sinai

December 3, 2014

Egypt’s army says it killed seven militants and arrested 15 in North Sinai, as part of a campaign to purge the border area of an Islamic militant insurgency.

An army spokesman, Mohamed Samir, said the military conducted “a number of attacks” against “terrorist elements” in the last four days.

The 15 arrested had been involved in attacks on Egypt’s police and army, the spokesman said.

The army operations also resulted in destroying two tunnels, 16 militant headquarters and 10 militants’ vehicles, the army said.

A number of illegal migration and smuggling attempts were also aborted, through which the army seized 58 persons.

The army has stepped up its campaign on militants in North Sinai after an attack on a checkpoint in October left over 30 soldiers dead. A state of emergency was declared, and a one-kilometre buffer zone was established along the Gaza border, with locals evacuated and houses destroyed.

The Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which has claimed several key terrorist attacks since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, recently pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/117039/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-army-says-it-killed–militants-in-North-Sin.aspx

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Gunmen kill 7 Lebanese soldiers in ambush near Syria

December 3, 2014

Gunmen killed seven Lebanese soldiers in an ambush on their patrol Tuesday in the east of the country near the border with war-ravaged Syria, media and military sources said.

“Several Lebanese soldiers were martyred in an ambush by armed men on a Lebanese army patrol at Tallet al-Hamra, in the region of Ras Baalbek,” said the official NNA news agency.

A military source put the total number of dead at seven.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/117034/World/Region/Gunmen-kill–Lebanese-soldiers-in-ambush-near-Syri.aspx

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Saudi Arabia’s ‘former extremists’ to get business support

3 December 2014

The National Entrepreneurship Institute (Riyadah) has signed an agreement with the Muhammad Bin Naif Counseling and Care Center (MNCC) in Saudi Arabia that aims to provide support for former extremists to start up their own businesses and encourage them to continue rejecting their old ways.

The agreement aims to enable beneficiaries of the program to be aware of ways on how to establish their small business by utilizing the kingdom’s support for startups.

Riyadah, which was established as the result of a joint Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) and Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals initiative, focuses on enabling Saudis to start their small businesses, raising entrepreneurship cultural awareness, and providing needed support for current small businesses to flourish and overcome market obstacles.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2014/12/03/Saudi-Arabia-s-former-extremists-to-get-business-support-.html

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The West is to blame for Syrian conflict, says Saudi prince

December 3, 2014

The West’s failure to intervene in Syria’s civil war contributed to its descent into a bloodbath and not enough is being done, even now, to protect the battered population, according to a senior and influential member of the Saudi royal family.

The decision by western European states to restrict air strikes against Isis was “unacceptable” and “boggles one’s mind”, said Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former head of the kingdom’s intelligence service who served as ambassador to both Britain and the US.

While America and its Middle East allies bomb Isis in Syria and Iraq, Britain, France and other countries are limiting air strikes to Iraq. “How does this make sense, to bomb one place and not the other? It is like taking action against a thief stealing from one neighbour’s home, but not [doing] anything about the home next door. It boggles one’s mind and is unacceptable,” the Prince told the European Council on Foreign Relations in London.

The US and western Europe failed to act on Saudi recommendations in 2012 to arm the moderate Syrian rebels against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, he pointed out. “If that had been done, then there would have been no need to use our air force now. The difference between the good guys and the bad guys in the opposition was clear cut then. It was the dilly-dallying at the time that gave Jabhat al-Nusra [branch of] al-Qaeda [its] chance. Because of the time lost it has, of course, become much more difficult now between the good guys and the bad guys.”

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-west-is-to-blame-for-syrian-conflict-says-saudi-prince-9898975.html

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Head of Egypt’s al-Azhar condemns ISIS ‘barbarity’

3 December 2014

The head of al-Azhar, one of the most prestigious centers of Sunni Islam learning, on Wednesday condemned “barbaric crimes” committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Militants are acting “under the guise of this holy religion and have given themselves the name ‘Islamic State’ [ISIS] in an attempt to export their false Islam,” Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said at an international conference in Cairo on fighting extremism.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/03/Head-of-Egypt-s-al-Azhar-condemns-ISIS-barbarity-.html

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Bahrain to develop central Sharia board for Islamic banks

3 December 2014

Bahrain’s central bank is setting up a central sharia board to help oversee Islamic finance products in the Kingdom and will introduce new rules to strengthen governance in the sector, central bank governor Rasheed al-Maraj said.

Traditionally, Islamic banks have practiced self regulation to ensure the sharia-compliance of their products, but a centralized model is increasingly being favored across the global industry.

Sharia boards are groups of scholars who rule on whether financial instruments follow religious principles, such as bans on interest payments and pure monetary speculation.

The central bank will introduce new sharia governance rules to expand the internal sharia review and audit functions, while making it mandatory for banks to have an independent external sharia audit.

“Good governance is a pervasive theme of our times and for Islamic banks its importance cannot be over-emphasized,” Maraj said at an industry conference in the capital Manama on Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/business/banking-and-finance/2014/12/03/Bahrain-to-develop-central-Sharia-board-for-Islamic-banks.html

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Move to UAE has increased knowledge of Islam, say expats

December 3, 2014

ABU DHABI // Expatriates have embraced the UAE’s culture and traditions, and increased their understanding of Islam since they moved here.

Most western expatriates (94 per cent) say they have embraced the culture, followed by Arab expatriates (93 per cent) and Asian expatriates (89 per cent).

And 81 per cent of westerners say they have learnt more about Islam, as did 71 per cent of Asian expatriates.

Filipino Chai Medel says she has happily embraced the local culture.

Ms Medel, 26, an administrative worker, has lived in Abu Dhabi for six months and says has tried to understand much more about Islam.

“I have come to know so much about Islam,” she says.

“It is an eye-opening experience. I had certain perceptions about Islam but when I came here I learnt a lot.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/uae/heritage/move-to-uae-has-increased-knowledge-of-islam-say-expats

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India

Shadowy Islamic Cult in Thane Probe Focus

Written by Praveen Swami | New Delhi

December 3, 2014

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has begun questioning members of the shadowy Mumbai-based religious cult, Islamic Guidance Society, whose members are suspected to have funded and facilitated the travel of four men from the city’s suburbs to fight with the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East.

The widening investigation comes days after the arrest of Thane student turned IS jihadist Areeb Majeed, who returned home with bullet injuries. NIA sources said the agency on Tuesday questioned IGS activists Anil Dolare, Atif Inamdar and Sufian Sheikh, the last a lecturer who taught Anjuman-i-Islam Kalsekar Technical Campus, where Areeb Majeed was a final-year engineering college student.

The NIA’s investigation seeks to determine how Majeed and the three men he travelled with to Iraq obtained the Rs 60,000 each of them paid for their tickets. Majeed, the sources said, has told investigators he saved Rs 25,000 for the trip over six months, but has said nothing on how the group raised the remaining money, which they paid in cash to local tour operator Shaheen Travels.

Majeed, along with Shaheem Tanki, Fahad Sheikh and Aman Tandel flew to Iraq on May 23 as part of a pilgrims’ group. The four men then caught a taxi to Mosul, travelling through Fallujah.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/shadowy-islamic-cult-in-thane-probe-focus/99/#sthash.OnKLSoph.dpuf

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J&K Elections: It’s ‘Mission Change’ For Kashmiri Youth

ZAHID RAFIQ

December 3, 2014

The streets and markets in Handwara town wore a deserted look on Tuesday, but polling booths were abuzz with voters queuing up to cast the vote. Tea and kehwa were served inside the booths as children tagged along with parents.

Similar to the first phase of polling, youth came out on larges numbers to vote, a feature that was missing in elections for the past two decades. This time youngsters in Kupwara and Handwara came with a mission, to vote for “change”.

“Earlier, leaders made empty promises. They promised government jobs and other things. This time, we are voting for Sajjad Lone and we are sure he will bring change. He will bring factories and industries here and he will completely change this place,” said Khalid Ahmad Bhat, a 21-year-old voter from Handwara.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/elections/assembly2014/jammu-kashmir-assembly-elections-second-phase-voting/article6654123.ece

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Sister of Indian IS militant appeals for his return

PTI | Dec 3, 2014

LONDON: The sister of a suspected Islamic State militant of Indian-origin, who posted a picture of himself recently on Twitter holding his baby son in one hand and an AK-47 assault rifle in the other, has appealed to him to return home even if it means going to prison.

Abu Rumaysah, who was born as Siddhartha Dhar, reportedly fled the UK while on bail in September, the day after being arrested in London with radical cleric Anjem Choudary.

“My ‘kind and generous’ brother had changed beyond all recognition since converting to Islam and being radicalised, and laid much blame at Choudary’s door,” said Konika Dhar, sister of a 31 year-old British jihadi fighting with Islamic State in Syria.

“I believe that being in prison would be better than where he is now and I want him to realise that as well because his perception of the repercussion is slightly distorted and not accurate and things will be okay if he just speaks to us”, Konika was quoted as saying to ITV news.

Dhar was well-known in the UK for frequent television appearances declaring his wish to live with the so-called Islamic State terror group.

“I’m sorry if you think Choudary is your role model because he’s not,” she said, as a message to her brother whom she considers ‘kind and generous’.

Choudary was arrested in September with eight others, including Dhar, as part of an investigation into alleged support of the banned extremist group al-Muhajiroun.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sister-of-Indian-IS-militant-appeals-for-his-return/articleshow/45359519.cms

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Five militants killed in Kupwara gunfight

December 3, 2014

Five militants have been killed in an ongoing gunfight between a group of militants and the army in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district, authorities said on Wednesday.

“Two more terrorists have been killed in Nowgam infiltration bid that has been foiled by alert troops of the army,” a senior army officer told IANS.

“Yesterday, three terrorists had been killed. The total number of terrorists killed in this incident so far is five. Two of our soldiers have also been injured. Till last reports came in, the operation was on,” he added.

As people were voting in the state assembly elections in Kupwara Tuesday, alert troops foiled an infiltration bid from across the Line of Control in Nowgam sector by a group of heavily armed militants.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/militants-killed-in-kupwara-gunfight/article6657455.ece

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Pak anti-terror court adjourns Mumbai 26/11 trial till Dec 10

PTI | Dec 3, 2014

LAHORE: A Pakistani anti-terrorism court which is conducting the trial of seven accused allegedly involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks on Wednesday adjourned the hearing till December 10 as the judge went on leave.

“The hearing of the case could not be held today as Anti-Terrorism Court, Islamabad, Judge Kausar Abbas Zaidi did not turn up as ‘he was not well’. The court office adjourned the hearing till December 10,” a court official said.

In the last hearing on November 19, three witnesses had testified in connection with identification of two of the accused, bank transactions and a Jamaat-ud-Dawah centre in Sindh province.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-anti-terror-court-adjourns-Mumbai-26/11-trial-till-Dec-10/articleshow/45360591.cms

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Europe

French National Education Prompts Islamophobia

December 3, 2014

ISTANBUL — A new document entitled “Prevention of radicalization in schools” sent to the French school administration aims to prevent religious radicalization among French youths. However, it has provoked strong criticism from parents as the document signals growing Islamophobia in French society, and significant intolerance toward the Muslim community.

The document demands that teachers identify students who have a tendency toward radicalization. Teachers are also required to notify school administrators and the French government to keep those students on track. The criteria for suspicion include “an uncut mustache,” “Muslim clothing” and “weight loss due to intense fasting.” Apart from severe restrictions on appearances, it also includes a point on the “political rhetoric” that students develop in their homework on issues related to Palestine, Syria or Iraq, or religious issues.

The document was reportedly prepared by a team of education specialists and French police forces during the former Nicholas Sarkozy’s presidency in 2009 as a response to growing security and safety concerns towards Muslim communities in French society.

Full report at:

http://www.dailysabah.com/europe/2014/12/03/french-national-education-prompts-islamophobia

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Nearly 50 Islamic State recruits arrested in Tajikistan

DECEMBER 3, 2014

DOUSHANBEY, Dec 3 — Tajikistan’s prosecutors said today that nearly 50 young men from banned Islamist groups have been arrested on grounds they were preparing to join jihadists in Syria.

The men, aged between 20 and 30 and allegedly members of banned groups, were accused of “organising a criminal group for participating in armed conflicts or warfare in other countries,” a statement by the regional prosecutor’s office in northern Sogd region said.

They were arrested in northern Tajikistan and “were planning to leave to participate in the Syrian war on the side of the armed opposition,” it said, adding that they were suspected also of preparing to fight with Islamic State groups.

Authorities in Tajikistan, a mountainous Muslim country that is Central Asia’s most impoverished former Soviet republic, have said that 300 Tajik nationals have fought against the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Tajikistan, which has been led since 1992 by former Soviet apparatchik Emomali Rakhmon, has arrested scores of people on suspicion of extremist activities in recent months.

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/world/article/nearly-50-islamic-state-recruits-arrested-in-tajikistan#sthash.RLcXXiBV.dpuf

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UNGA approves Arab-backed resolution, urges Israel, India, Pak to renounce nuclear arms

December 3, 2014

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved an Arab-backed resolution on December 2 calling on Israel to renounce possession of nuclear weapons and put its nuclear facilities under international oversight.

The resolution, adopted in a 161-5 vote, noted that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that is not party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. It called on Israel to “accede to that treaty without further delay, not to develop, produce test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, to renounce possession of nuclear weapons” and put its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

It also urged India and Pakistan to accede to it as non-nuclear-weapon States promptly and without conditions and to place all their nuclear facilities under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-others/unga-approves-arab-backed-resolution-urges-israel-to-renounce-nuclear-arms/#sthash.zgTo3KaF.dpuf

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Conflict, militancy hit human rights in Middle East, African nations

December 3, 2014

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Syria was bottom and Ukraine had the biggest slide in a human rights index published on Wednesday, as countries suffering from conflict grappled with human trafficking and other rights violations.

The worsening situation in Syria and Iraq, two of the three worst performing countries, increased the likelihood of human trafficking, forced labor and child marriage taking place.

“Displaced populations, especially women and children, are exceptionally vulnerable to exploitation through trafficking and modern day slavery,” Lizabeth Campbell, director of human rights at Maplecroft, which compiled the index, said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch reported in October that women and girls from the Yazidi sect were being forced to marry fighters of the militant Sunni group Islamic State in Iraq or sent to Syria to be sold.

The Syrian civil war has had a ‘spillover’ effect on refugees, especially in Lebanon and Jordan where a child under 18 was involved in nearly one third of refugee marriages, the U.N. children’s agency (UNICEF) reported in July.

Ukraine, battling Moscow-backed separatists in the east, suffered the biggest deterioration in human rights, with almost 500,000 displaced people open to labor exploitation as they struggled to find a job.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/03/us-rights-index-syria-idUSKCN0JH00720141203

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Denmark’s rehab for deradicalisation: Homework, football and Islam

December 3, 2014

AARHUS: How do you turn around a young man who is determined to destroy the West? In the Danish city of Aarhus, you take him to a cafe or a public library and talk about football.

This is the softly-softly approach of Mads, a mentor in an innovative programme to deradicalise young Muslim men who might otherwise turn to violence.

“The guy I’m working with now really wanted to go to Syria,” said Mads, who is in his early thirties but asked not to be identified any further for fear of compromising his work.

“My aim is not to disconnect the religion, because I think it’s fine that he’s religious. But it’s about obtaining a balance,” he added.

Belying its reputation as a harmonious, wealthy country, Denmark has the second largest number of foreign fighters in Syria relative to its size among Western nations, behind only Belgium, according to an estimate by The Economist magazine.

The young men Mads works with grew up in places like the sprawling Gellerupparken, a dreary housing estate where four out of five are from immigrant homes.

With its graffiti, crumbling concrete and broken glass it is a far cry from Denmark’s wealthy image — and only a short walk from Grimhoej mosque, which has gained notoriety for refusing to denounce the ultra-radical Islamic State (IS).

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1148494/denmarks-rehab-for-deradicalisation-homework-football-and-islam

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Britain First releases ‘Taliban Hunting Club’ hoodie ‘just in time for Christmas’

December 3, 2014

The far-right group Britain First has released a new hoodie “just in time for Christmas”.

Dubbed the “Taliban Hunting Club” hoodie, the sweater is aimed at those wishing to “display [their] patriotism in a simple yet effective way”.

The “limited edition” black garment features the Britain First symbol topped with a crown on the left breast and a skull and weapons encircled with the slogan “Taliban Hunting Club” on the right breast.

Advertised on the group’s official Facebook page, it is available on a website called Patriot Store, which also sells other Britain First garb, including polo shirts, baseball caps and even fragrances. It costs £29.95 excluding VAT.

The latest sales pitch comes just weeks after police officers charged with protecting the Queen launched an investigation into the leader of Britain First over whether the group had made unauthorised use of an image of the monarch’s crown.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Operations directorate are looking into whether the group has breached royal copyright by using an image of St Edward’s Crown on its clothing.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-first-releases-taliban-hunting-club-hoodie-just-in-time-for-christmas-9898396.html

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Africa

Militants Divide Kenya Miners by Religion, Then Begin Killing

December 3, 2014

The Kenyan miners were marched off in the predawn dark on Tuesday, some barefoot, others shirtless.

The Somali militants methodically separated the Christian workers from the Muslims and took the Christians to the side of a hill, near a gravel pit. Then they ordered the disbelievers to lie face down.

According to the Kenyan authorities, the militants killed 36 people, most of them young men. Many were shot in the back of the head, at close range, and some were decapitated. It appeared all the Muslims had been spared.

The killings, which followed a similar sequence on a passenger bus less than two weeks earlier, unnerved the Kenyan public and led to the ouster of Kenya’s top security chiefs.

“Innocent Kenyan lives have been lost, in a most harrowing manner, to these animals,” said Kenya’s president, Uhuru Kenyatta.

But, he said, “We will not flinch.”

Kenya has been severely hampered by Somali militants next door, a problem that never seems to go away. It started in the 1960s and became acute in the early 1990s, when Somalia’s government collapsed and hundreds of thousands of refugees, and waves of gunmen called shiftas, fled into Kenya.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/03/world/africa/mandera-kenya-quarry-shabab-killing.html?_r=0

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Four killed in suicide attack on UN convoy in Somali capital

December 3, 2014

MOGADISHU: At least four people were killed Wednesday when a suicide bomber in the Somali capital rammed a car packed with explosives into a UN convoy, police said.

“The bomber drove in between the security escort and the UN armoured vehicles and detonated the car, ramming into one of the escort vehicles,” police officer Mohamed Liban told, adding he had seen four dead bodies but feared more may have been killed.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-167556-Four-killed-in-suicide-attack-on-UN-convoy-in-Somali-capital

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U.N. mission calls for new talks between Libyan groups

3 December 2014

The U.N.’s mission in Libya will call for a new round of talks to start on Tuesday between Libya’s warring parties, it said in a statement on Wednesday, to try to end a conflict threatening to tear apart the oil producing nation.

Libya has two governments and parliaments vying for power since a group called Libya Dawn seized the capital Tripoli in August after a month-long battle with a rival group and set up its own cabinet.

Internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been forced to work from the east of the country where the elected House of Representatives is also based.

The U.N. mission said it “will call a new round of political dialogue” on Dec. 9, without saying where talks would be held nor who would participate.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2014/12/03/U-N-mission-calls-for-new-talks-between-Libyan-groups-.html

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Tunisia holds first parliamentary session after revolution

December 3, 2014

TUNIS // Tunisia’s first full elected parliament held its opening session with a challenge to implement the democracy its people sought when they marched in the 2011 revolt against autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The country that saw the first of the Arab Spring revolts chose a temporary national assembly in 2011 to draw up the new constitution approved early this year. The full parliament will sit for the next five years.

The constitution has been hailed as one of the most progressive in the Arab world and an example of Tunisia being a model for transition in a regional in turmoil.

“We have achieved the theoretical side by approving a progressive constitution but today we face the toughest stage, which is how we apply this constitution,” Mustapha Ben Jaafar, president of the former transitional assembly, told the new members of parliament.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/tunisia-holds-first-parliamentary-session-after-revolution

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Pakistan

Airstrikes kill 15 suspected militants in North Waziristan

December 3, 2014

PESHAWAR: At least 15 suspected militants were killed on Wednesday during airstrikes conducted by military fighter jets in the Dattakhel area of North Waziristan tribal Agency.

According to military sources, at least 15 suspected militants, including two key commanders belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were killed in precision airstrikes carried out by the military.

Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a handout that hideouts and ammunition depots were also destroyed during the airstrikes. However, these claims could not be independently verified as journalists have limited access to the restive tribal agency.

Khyber and North Waziristan are included in Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous regions governed by tribal laws and lies near the Afghan border. The Taliban and other Al Qaeda-linked groups who stage attacks in both Pakistan and Afghanistan are also known to have strongholds in the zone.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1148507/airstrikes-kill-15-suspected-militants-in-north-waziristan

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Pakistan Police Register Blasphemy Case against ‘Disco Mullah’

December 3, 2014

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan police said on Wednesday they were investigating blasphemy allegations against a man dubbed the “disco mullah” who quit a career in pop music to become a preacher.

The case against Junaid Jamshed, a member of the deeply conservative Tableeghi Jamaat organisation, was brought by Mobeen Qadri, a member of the religious political party Sunni Tehreek.

Blasphemy is punishable by death in Muslim-majority Pakistan. But the law does not define what is blasphemous – anyone can file a case alleging their religious feelings were hurt for any reason.

Qadri filed the case against Jamshed after he used the example of one of Prophet Muhammad’s wives to illustrate an argument about the failings of women in a video.

“Now the case is with the investigators,” said Mehmood Ahmed, a police officer in Karachi. “We will have to arrest Junaid Jamshed and it is up to him if he moves bail and goes to court against this.”

Full report at:

http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFKCN0JH0FO20141203?sp=true

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Pakistan running special trains for terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed

December 3, 2014

LAHORE: In a sign of official patronage to Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led JuD, Pakistan government is running two special trains to transport people to Lahore for the terror group’s two-day congregation here.

The chief of Jamaat-ud-Dawah, a front for terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Saeed told reporters here on Tuesday that thousands of people would participate in the congregation starting on December 4 at the ground of Minar-i-Pakist ..

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/45352489.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

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Ready to talk if Imran shuns ‘double standards’: Nawaz

December 3, 2014

LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday that the government is ready to hold talks with Imran Khan “if he shuns double standards”.

The prime minister said there should be no double standards as on the side of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), noting that on the one hand the party was talking about resumption of talks while on the other hand its politics of sit-ins was going on. Nawaz Sharif regretted that the threats about the closure of the whole country were unfortunate. The prime minister said that he as leader of the House, and the leader of opposition in the National Assembly were “creating an ideal democratic rapport” by consulting on vital issues leaving behind the politics of 90s dominated by political vendetta.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/03-Dec-2014/ready-to-talk-if-imran-shuns-double-standards-nawaz

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Won’t allow army in tribal areas if elected PM: Imran

December 3, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Tuesday that if he were in power, army would not have entered the tribal areas.

Addressing his sit-in, which has shrunk, Khan said that if he was elected prime minister, he would not allow army to enter in tribal areas, instead the tribal men would become soldiers. Khan said that “tribal people are our army” and a time will come “when we will establish peace in the entire region without fighting”. Imran said he knows that closing down the country would increase the problems faced by the people but he also knows that “only sacrifices could pave the way to freedom”. He said that all the political parties have joined together against the PTI, “but the government leaders do not know that PTI has many more plans in the pipeline”.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/national/03-Dec-2014/won-t-allow-army-in-tribal-areas-if-elected-pm-imran

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Palestinian issue remains high on our agenda: Bokhari

December 3, 2014

LAHORE: Senate Chairman and Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) President Senator Nayyer Hussain Bokhari on Tuesday said that with political will power, Asia can create a great paradigm shift in the world and that the issue of Palestine remains high in the agenda of the 7th plenary session of the APA.

He was addressing the inaugural session of the APA and formally declared the 7th annual plenary session of the assembly open. It may be noted that the 7th plenary session of the APA is being held in Lahore from December 1-3.

Senator Bokhari said that the Asian parliament and consequently the Asian people have commonly cherished ideals of development, stability and prosperity and with the creation of an Asian Parliament “we would be able to go beyond our expressions of desire and move towards their application”.

Senator Bokhari, after being elected as the APA president last year, is very committed towards using this platform for regional cooperation and enhancing regional integration.

“I am confident that the commitments we make here will usher in a new era of prosperity, peace and sustainable development for our people,” he said.

He termed raging regional conflicts a matter of great concern and an impediment to Asia’s forward march.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/punjab/03-Dec-2014/palestinian-issue-remains-high-on-our-agenda-bokhari

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South Asia

33 Taliban militants killed during clearing operations

Dec 03 2014

At least 33 Taliban militants were killed and 6 others were injured during military operations by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.

The operations were jointly conducted by Afghan national police, Afghan national army and Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) operatives.

Interior ministry following a statement said Wednesday that the militants were killed or injured in Zabul, Kandahar, Paktia, Maidan Wardak, Uruzgan, Khost, Jawzjan, Nangarhar, Baghlan, Ghazni, Balkh, Laghman and Paktika provinces.

Afghan security forces confiscated various types of light and heavy weapons along with explosives during the operations, interior ministry said.

The statement by interior ministry also added that Afghan national security forces discovered and seized 9 rounds of improvised explosive device (IED) during the operations in Nangarhar, Laghman, Kandahar and Helmand provinces.

Interior ministry said the improvised explosive device (IEDs) were recently planted by Taliban militants for insurgency attacks in Paktika, Khost, Ghazni and Laghman provinces.

Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the report so far.

https://www.khaama.com/moi-33-taliban-militants-killed-during-clearing-operations-9090

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Islamic minister dismisses rumour of President Yameen not performing Hajj

By Ahmed Naish | December 3rd, 2014

Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has dismissed rumours of President Abdulla Yameen not performing the Hajj pilgrimage despite traveling to Saudi Arabia in September.

Asked to address the speculation during minister’s question time at yesterday’s sitting of parliament by opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ibrahim Shareef, Shaheem suggested the rumours were being spread by former President Mohamed Nasheed, who he said was unable to make the pilgrimage while in office.

“The president of the Maldives made the Hajj [pilgrimage]. As you know, he was supposed to go the UN assembly but went to Hajj after cancelling it,” he said.

He claimed that former President Nasheed declined an opportunity to perform the pilgrimage during his tenure and had sent the first lady instead.

Shaheem was state minister for Islamic affairs under the Nasheed administration.

Nasheed’s remarks concerning President Yameen’s Hajj pilgrimage “opens the door for others to talk further about the things they have done,” Shaheem said.

“So I think it would be better to stay quiet without going around talking about such personal matters,” he said.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/islamic-minister-dismisses-rumour-of-president-yameen-not-performing-hajj-91409

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War crimes verdict on ex- Jatiya Party leader Abdul Jabbar any day now

December 3, 2014

The verdict on ex-Jatiya Party MP Abdul Jabbar in a war crimes case is expected any day.

The International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)-1 led by Justice Enayetur Rahim finished the trial proceedings in absentia on Wednesday and kept its verdict pending.

The tribunal had declared Jabbar an absconder earlier and appointed Supreme Court lawyer Abul Hasan as his counsel.

On May 11, the prosecution pressed charges against the former Jatiya Party lawmaker.

He is charged with five types of crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh’s Liberation War.

Full report at:

http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2014/12/03/war-crimes-verdict-on-ex-jp-leader-abdul-jabbar-any-day-now

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North America

US Congress moves toward OK for financing war on IS jihadists

December 3, 2014

US congressional negotiators late Tuesday approved an emergency funding package to pay for military operations against the Islamic State jihadist group in Iraq and Syria, and a vote is expected in the coming days.

A plan to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels, proposed by President Barack Obama, is also expected to be extended. Lawmakers in September had approved it to last only until December 11.

The armed services committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate late Tuesday released the final text of the defense authorization act for the 2015 budget year, which runs from October 2014 to September 2015, after months of negotiations.

The House should adopt the bill by the end of the week, said Democratic Senator Carl Levin and his Republican counterpart James Inhofe. It then goes to the Senate.

The text includes $3.4 billion for the deployment of US forces as part of operation “Absolute Determination” and $1.6 billion for a program to equip and train Iraqi Kurd forces for two years.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/117054/World/Region/US-Congress-moves-toward-OK-for-financing-war-on-I.aspx

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Palestinian state will only come through talks: US

December 3, 2014

Washington Tuesday reaffirmed its “crystal clear” stand that Palestinians will only realize their dream of statehood through direct talks with Israel, just hours after a controversial vote by French lawmakers.

“The US position is clear, that we support Palestinian statehood but believe it can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties that resolve the final status issues,” said deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

French lawmakers voted Tuesday in favor of recognizing Palestine as a state, sparking an immediate angry reaction from Israel which said such “unilateral measures” would harm efforts towards Middle East peace.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/117051/World/Region/Palestinian-state-will-only-come-through-talks-US.aspx

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Former al-Qaeda Hostage Recounts Nightmare – of Dealing With FBI

December 3, 2014

Washington – The only thing as bad as being tortured for months as a captive of jihadists in Syria was dealing with the U.S. government afterward, according to one former American hostage.

Matt Schrier, 36, a freelance photographer held by extremists for seven months in 2013 until he escaped, has told McClatchy that the bureaucracy he endured upon his return home was a second kind of nightmare following the months of abuse he suffered while he was a hostage.

“I never thought it would get this bad,” Schrier said.

The FBI never told his father that he had been kidnapped. It waited six months into his capture to produce a wanted poster, and only after his mother prodded. It allowed jihadist forces to empty his bank account – $17,000 – with purchases on eBay, even as the government warned hostage families not to pay ransom so as not to run afoul of anti-terrorism laws.

After his escape, the government made him reimburse the State Department $1,605 for his ticket home just weeks after he arrived in the United States. The psychiatrist assigned to help him readjust canceled five appointments in the first two months. And when he had no means to rent an apartment, FBI victims services recommended New York City homeless shelters.

The FBI declined to comment on the specifics of Schrier’s complaints but said in a statement that “When an American is detained illegally overseas, the FBI’s top priority is ensuring the safe return of that individual.”

Full report at:

http://truth-out.org/news/item/27752-former-al-qaida-hostage-recounts-nightmare-of-dealing-with-fbi

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How the US Intervention against the IS Has Alienated Syria’s Sunni Arab Opposition

December 3, 2014

Gaziantep and Suruc, Turkey – A dozen men huddle around a campfire in the Turkish village of Ma’sariya, 700 meters north of the Syrian border. They are a fraction of more than 120,000 Kurds who have fled an attack by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Kobani, the strategic town just across the border in Syria.

It’s too cloudy to see the US jets flying above, but they make plenty of noise. Applause breaks out at the sound of explosions from the bombs they drop, and the occasional fires they trigger in Kobani. The sound of gunfire that punctuates the damp night prompts worried frowns around the campfire: Many here are fighters with the People’s Protection Units – YPG, by its Kurdish acronym – on leave for a few days from the battle across the frontier.

More than a thousand people have been killed in the months-long battle to defend the town, including hundreds of ISIS fighters in airstrikes by US and Arab warplanes.

YPG commanders in Kobani say the airstrikes have turned the tide in their favor, allowing them to capture several hills and cut off ISIS supply routes, making it only a matter of time before the fighters are forced to abandon their siege.

Full report at:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/27768-how-the-us-intervention-against-the-islamic-state-has-alienated-syria-s-sunni-arab-opposition

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U.S. Supreme Court rejects Tulsa police captain’s lawsuit over Islamic event

December 3, 2014

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a Tulsa police officer who sued the city over orders to attend an event at an Islamic mosque.

Without comment, the high court declined to review the case of Paul Campbell Fields, effectively ending his three-year-old lawsuit, which failed at three federal court levels. Fields still serves as a captain on the Tulsa police force.

Fields sued the city and top police department officials in 2011 after he was punished for not attending or requiring any of his subordinates to attend a law enforcement appreciation day held by the Islamic Society in Tulsa.

In an email after the directive came down, he told about a dozen department personnel, “It is my opinion and that of my legal counsel that forcing me to enter a Mosque when it is not directly related to a police call for service is a violation of my Civil Rights.

“Please consider this email my official notification to the Tulsa Police Department and the City of Tulsa that I intend not to follow this directive, nor require any of my subordinates to do so if they share similar religious convictions.”

Full report at:

http://newsok.com/u.s.-supreme-court-rejects-tulsa-police-captains-lawsuit-over-islamic-event/article/5371907

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U.S. diplomats to argue against new Iran sanctions

3 December 2014

Top U.S. diplomats will this week make a “strong case” to lawmakers to hold off on fresh Iran sanctions, hoping to avoid an ugly political showdown which could scupper nuclear talks.

Acting Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman, who has led the tense, secretive negotiations for months, will be at the vanguard of an administration drive to persuade Congress not to push ahead with draft legislation which would slap even more punitive sanctions on Iran.

Hawkish lawmakers are eager to pass new sanctions through Congress aiming to prod the Islamic republic into a lasting deal that prevents Iranian leaders from developing a nuclear weapon.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/03/U-S-diplomats-to-argue-against-new-Iran-sanctions.html

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Islamic State: Kerry says group ‘significantly’ damaged

3 December 2014

Air strikes carried out by the US-led collation on Islamic State (IS) have inflicted “significant” damage on the group’s capabilities, US Secretary of State John Kerry says.

Mr Kerry said the campaign against the militant group could take years, but that the coalition would remain engaged “as long as it takes”.

The US said earlier that Iran, not a coalition member, had carried out air strikes against IS in Iraq.

However, Iran has denied this.

The US said there had been no coordination with the Iranians on any air strikes.

IS controls large areas of Syria and Iraq, imposing a rigid version of Sunni Islam and persecuting or killing non-believers.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30306106

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Mideast

Palestinians urge France to act on parliament vote to recognise state

December 3, 2014

The Palestinian leadership urged France to act on a parliamentary vote Dec. 2 in favour of recognising Palestine as a state, expressing its “gratitude” to the French lawmakers.

“We call on the French government to translate its parliament’s vote into action,” Hanan Ashrawi, a senior leader in the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said in a statement.

“We wish to express our gratitude to the members of the French parliament for adopting a resolution on the side of justice and human dignity,” she said.

“For peace to prevail, support for the two-state solution must be more than lip service.

“If members of the international community are serious about the creation of the independent Palestinian state… they must undertake serious and concrete measures to end the occupation and to recognise the State of Palestine.”

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/palestinians-urge-france-to-act-on-parliament-vote-to-recognise-state.aspx?pageID=238&nID=75133&NewsCatID=352

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Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu raises concerns on Aleppo at NATO meeting

December 3, 2014

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has reiterated Turkey’s concerns about the Syrian province of Aleppo, which is under pressure after having been split roughly in half between opposition groups and government troops that have slowly encircled rebel positions, trying to cut supply routes.

Meeting with his British and Canadian counterparts late Dec. 2 on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting, Çavuşoğlu discussed the situation in Aleppo and urged for an “integrated strategy” to solve the Syrian crisis, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

Ankara says that if Aleppo was to fall, Turkey would be confronted with an even more serious refugee crisis. Turkey therefore has been pushing the international coalition to set up a no-fly zone and a safe zone inside Syria, as it already hosts 1.6 million Syrian refugees.

Ankara also urges the coalition to broaden its campaign to tackle Bashar al-Assad, in addition to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), arguing that there can be no peace in Syria if al-Assad remains in power.

Çavuşoğlu also had a tête-à-tête meeting on Dec. 2 with Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard. Copenhagen has been pressuring Ankara for an explanation regarding the release of the suspected shooter of a Danish writer in Turkey and has recently brought the issue to the European Union.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-fm-cavusoglu-raises-concerns-on-aleppo-at-nato-meeting.aspx?pageID=238&nID=75141&NewsCatID=510

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Israeli lawmakers to vote on dissolving parliament

December 3, 2014

Israeli lawmakers are set to vote on a motion that will pave the way for early elections.

December 3 vote in the Knesset is a preliminary one and is likely to pass. Further votes expected next week will officially dissolve Israel’s parliament, ushering in new polls two years ahead of schedule.

The current government took office in early 2013 and has been riven by divisions from the beginning over the major issues facing the country.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired two rebellious Cabinet ministers and said elections would be held “as soon as possible.”

The election, expected to be held early next year, would come at a time of growing violence between Palestinians and Jews and deepening despair over the prospects for peace.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/middle-east-africa/israeli-lawmakers-to-vote-on-dissolving-parliament/#sthash.XWVmklxY.dpuf

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At least one killed in car bomb attack on Iranian diplomat’s house in Yemen

December 3, 2014

SANAA, Dec 3 — A car bomb struck the residence of Iran’s ambassador in the Yemeni capital Sanaa today, killing at least one person and wounding 17 others, security officials and witnesses said.

Ambassador Hassan Sayed Nam was not in the house when the attack took place in the diplomatic district of Hada, according to a security official.

One guard was killed, according to officials who said two of the 17 wounded were guards and the rest passers-by.

The blast left a hole in the outer wall of the house. Nearby homes and cars were also damaged.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/world/article/at-least-one-killed-in-car-bomb-attack-on-iranian-diplomats-house-in-yemen#sthash.AHFQtDYG.dpuf

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Southeast Asia

Najib reneged on Sedition Act repeal for self-preservation, says PAS

December 3, 2014

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s move to retain and strengthen the Sedition Act 1948 is not to protect Islam and the Malays but to secure his position as head of Umno, PAS said today.

Party information chief Datuk Mahfuz Omar said the position of Islam and the special privileges for Malays were already enshrined in the Federal Constitution, while issues like Malay reserve land were not necessarily safeguarded even with the Sedition Act.

“There is enough evidence that the Sedition Act cannot protect the sanctity of Islam and the Malays… Malay reserve lands have been reduced a lot even when the Sedition Act is in place,” Mahfuz said at a press conference today.

He said PAS and its allies in Pakatan Rakyat have never disputed the constitutional provisions on the position of Islam, the Malay rulers and Malay special privileges and that the act would be abused on the pretext of guarding these matters.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-reneged-on-sedition-act-repeal-for-self-preservation-says-pas#sthash.ss1Gkk3t.dpuf

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Indonesian Police escort trafficking victims from Malaysia

December 03 2014

Indonesian police have brought home 39 Indonesian migrant workers who are alleged victims of human trafficking in Malaysia.

The workers, all women, were taken to the National Police headquarters for further questioning before being sent home.

“They were being temporarily housed in Malaysia before being sent to Middle Eastern countries and various addresses in Malaysia,” National Police detective agency human trafficking unit head Adj. Sr. Comr. Adhe Darmantho said on Wednesday.

He said the police had also arrested one man who was allegedly involved in the trafficking.

Earlier, he added, the police had been informed that there were 44 migrant workers but it turned out that there were only 39 people in the compound.

Adhe said most of the victims had been promised work in various countries as domestic assistants, but it turned out they were being sold to the highest bidder.

According to Titin, one of the victims, she was told she would be sent to Malaysia as a domestic assistant but she was kept in an apartment for a month without pay.

The police promised that they would investigate the case and reveal the trafficking syndicate.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/12/03/police-escort-trafficking-victims-malaysia.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/mass-death-sentence–egypt-court-sentences-188-people-to-death/d/100310