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ICJ orders Myanmar to protect Rohingya

The Hague-based International Court of Justice has ordered Myanmar to take emergency measures to prevent genocide of the Rohingya.

In a unanimously-ruled order issued by a panel of 17 judges, and read by presiding Judge Abdulaqawi Ahmed Yusuf, the court upheld the provisions of the 1948 Genocide Convention – saying Myanmar had “caused irreparable damage to the rights of the Rohingya”.

According to the Statute of the ICJ, the court has the power to order provisional measures when “irreparable prejudice could be caused to rights which are the subject of judicial proceedings”. The court found that the condition of urgency had been met in this case.

In November the Gambia filed a suit against Myanmar alleging it was committing “an ongoing genocide against its minority Muslim Rohingya population” and violating the 1948 Genocide Convention.

Provisional measures are steps to take aimed at preventing further harm and comes as the first step in the legal case.

Judge Yusuf took care to emphasise the ordering of provisional measures did not “prejudge” the case. As Mike Becker, adjunct lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin and a former legal officer at the ICJ, emphasises: “This is a preliminary decision that is without prejudice to the merits of the case.”

Because of the gravity of the crimes of which Myanmar has been accused, Becker and other legal experts described the case as an “historic legal challenge”. 

Urgent measures requested and ordered

In its application to the court, the Gambia requested six provisional measures requiring Myanmar to act “with immediate effect” to prevent further genocide of the Rohingya group and to take steps not to destroy or render inaccessible any evidence already described in the application.

The Gambia also urged both sides not to take any action which might aggravate the dispute or render it more difficult to resolve, and to provide a report to the court on implementing such measures.

The Gambia later also requested Myanmar cooperate with United Nations bodies that seek to investigate the alleged acts.

Judge Yusuf said the court was not constrained to ordering the measures requested by the Gambia and that it had the power to order additional measures. Yusuf further said that, in ordering provisional measures in this case, it was not necessary to decide on the question of the presence of genocidal intent, as claimed by Myanmar. 

The court ordered Myanmar should take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of all acts within the scope of article two of the Genocide Convention. It particularly cited clause one – killing members of the group, clause two – causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, clause three – deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its destruction in whole or in part, and clause four – imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.

Myanmar must further ensure that its military does not commit genocide or attempts to commit genocide or conspires to commit genocide. Myanmar was also ordered to prevent the destruction of evidence and to ensure the preservation of evidence related to the alleged genocide.

In its application to the court, the Gambia asked for the measures to be implemented “with immediate effect”. In an unusual decision, the court requested the Gambia report to the court within four months after the order had been made, and every six months thereafter – until the final decision is made by the court.

Legal experts have applauded the court’s decision. Reed Brody, Commissioner at the International Commission of Jurists who was instrumental in the prosecution of Hissene Habre, said to Al Jazeera:  “This is a great day for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas who have been displaced, killed and raped. The UN’s highest court has recognised their suffering.” 

Brody added: “There is still a long way to go before this order becomes reality and we see actual improvements in the lives of the Rohingya, but today this persecuted people will have a first taste of justice. This is further a stunning rebuke of Aung San Suu Kyi, especially after she went personally to The Hague to defend the actions of the Myanmar military. There will now be huge pressure on the court to comply with the government’s ruling.” 

According to Gleider Hernandez, professor at Catholic University of Leuven, the ICJ has made clear that it intends to supervise the implementation of the judgement. He said “Though not unprecedented, the regularity with which Myanmar had to submit reports is striking.” 

The ICJ’s orders are legally binding. Brody says the fact that the decision was unanimous will give additional weight to the court’s measures.

Source : Al jazeera
Image : AP/PTI file

Iran MP offers $3m ‘to anyone who kills’ Donald Trump

An Iranian lawmaker offered a $3m (R43.4) reward to anyone who killed US President Donald Trump and said Iran could avoid threats if it had nuclear arms, ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday amid Tehran’s latest standoff with Washington.

US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood dismissed the reward as “ridiculous”, telling reporters in Geneva it showed the “terrorist underpinnings” of Iran’s establishment.

Tensions have steadily escalated since Trump pulled Washington out of Tehran’s nuclear agreement with world powers in 2018 and reimposed US sanctions. The standoff erupted into tit-for-tat military strikes this month.

“On behalf of the people of Kerman province, we will pay a $3-million reward in cash to whoever kills Trump,” lawmaker Ahmad Hamzeh told the 290-seat parliament, ISNA reported. He did not say if the reward had any official backing from Iran’s clerical rulers.

The city of Kerman, in the province south of the capital, is the hometown of Qassem Soleimani, a prominent Iranian commander whose killing in a drone strike ordered by Trump on January 3 in Baghdad prompted Iran to fire missiles at US targets in Iraq.

“If we had nuclear weapons today, we would be protected from threats … We should put the production of long-range missiles capable of carrying unconventional warheads on our agenda. This is our natural right,” he was quoted as saying by ISNA.

The United States and it Western allies have long accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons. Tehran insists it has never sought nuclear arms and never will, saying its nuclear work is for research and to master the process to generate electricity.

The 2015 nuclear agreement overall was designed to increase the time Iran would need to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb. Parties to the deal believed, at the time, Iran could produce enough material in two to three months if it wanted. Under the deal, known as the JCPOA, Iran received sanctions relief in return for curbing its nuclear activities.

In response to Washington’s withdrawal from the pact and pressure from US sanctions, Iran has rolled back its commitments to the deal. This month, Iran announced it was scrapping all limits on its uranium enrichment work, potentially shortening the so-called “breakout time” needed to build a nuclear weapon.

Reports issued by the UN nuclear watchdog have suggested Tehran is still far from sprinting ahead with its work.

After Iran’s latest step, Britain, France and Germany triggered a dispute mechanism in the nuclear pact, starting a diplomatic process that could lead to reimposing UN sanctions. Iran said on Monday that Tehran would pull out from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if international sanctions were reimposed.

The US envoy Wood said Iran’s threat to quit the treaty, the foundation of global nuclear arms control since the Cold War, would send a “very, very negative message”.

Source: Reuters
Image : Photo by Annie Spratt

OPINION: The Purpose Misrepresentation of the Shia on the Stance of Mufi AK Hussain and Their Ploy Laid Bare.

BY FIREBLADE BIN ISLAM

THE PLOT

The shias, as part of their memorandum to win over sunni muslims and turn them against their own scholors as was done in Iran during the Iranian revolution deceptively are portraying mufti Ak hussein as one who is canvassing politics and erroneously trying to give of the impression of him being a supporter of trump and quite rediculously even passing the accusation of being on the Saudi payroll.

For anyone who knows Mufti Ak Hussain this accusation is laughable as mufti Saab had condemned on more Than one occasion the antics of Muhammed bin salmaan, salafies and the Saudi regime

With regards to the matter at hand he quite emphatically made his stance clear that America vs Iran is “One shaytaan against another”

The stance was what was called for, for as much as shias would love to utilize this as a means of pulling the wool over the eyes of one and all to the fact that true Muslims do not and cannot support shias, not because they support America or trump, but merely because shias are an inner enemy Who, z very inception was based on destroying everything that Islam stands for from within.

THE ROLE OF THE ULAMA
IT is important to understand that our every vestige of existance on this planet is based on recognizing and pleasing Allah, besides this everything else is secondary, that is why the prophets( peace be upon them all) even though they may be making ends meet in terms of the worldly systems and knowledge, they are the best of creation for they directed mankind away from the distractions and the various situations that plague mankind at large and directing mankind to the source of success in both worlds which is based on faith and good works, thus we see the sahabah conquering two thirds of the known world, who considerd them albeit rightfully so as being backwards in terms of material and all that is linked to it.

Abu al-Darda’ (Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,

“Scholars are the inheritors of the prophets.” [Related byTirmidhi,]
Thus what should follow is the true inheritors of the ambiyah would keep redirecting mankind and channeling them to what would be beneficial to their imaan and away from the perils and dangers which seek to wreak havoc to their deen which would be a source of their eternal salvation.

This is exactly mufti AK HUSSAIN had done, we should not let our being emersed in politics cause us to curry favor of one who is the enemy to our deen.

THE REALITY
The reality of the situation is not on words, it is actions that betray the words of every treacherous lover, the shias time and time again throughout history despite having toungues of honey, when mattered most always betrayed the sunnis who they deceptively claim to want unity with

Starting from whom they profess the love as well
IT WAS THE SHIAS WHO BETRAYED HUSSAIN RADIALLAHU ANHU
Despite feigning love, shia scholors and sources admit that it was actually the cowardly shia who had betrayed him.

إن الحقيقة المفاجئة أننا نجد العديد من كتب الشيعة تقرر وتؤكد أن شيعة الحسين هم الذين قتلوا الحسين . فقد قال السيد محسن الأمين ” بايع الحسين عشرون ألفاً من أهل العراق ، غدروا به وخرجوا عليه وبيعته في أعناقهم وقتلوه ” { أعيان الشيعة 34:1 }.

Al Sayyed Muhsin al Ameen says: “20,000 from the people of Iraq gave Allegiance to Hussein, then they suddenly betrayed him and rebelled against him although they had given him an oath of allegiance”

source: A’ayan al Shia 1:34

  1. الحسين يناديهم قبل أن يقتلوه : ” ألم تكتبوا إلي أن قد أينعت الثمار ، و أنما تقدم على جند مجندة؟ تباً لكم أيها الجماعة حين على استصرختمونا والهين ، فشحذتم علينا سيفاً كان بأيدينا ، وحششتم ناراً أضرمناها على عدوكم وعدونا ، فأصبحتم ألباً أوليائكم و سحقاً ، و يداً على أعدائكم . استسرعتم إلى بيعتنا كطيرة الذباب ، و تهافتم إلينا كتهافت الفراش ثم نقضتموها سفهاً ، بعداً لطواغيت هذه الأمة ” { الاحتجاج للطبرسي }.

Al Hussein was calling them before they killed him: ” Didn’t you write to me that the fruits had become ripe? and That I would have an enormous army when I come? Damn you! You cried for us to come then you held a sword that was once in our hands against us! (…) you were hasty in giving us Baya’ah like flies and you gathered around us like a group of butterflies But you broke your oath…”

source: Al Ihtijaj for al Tabrasi.

  1. ثم ناداهم الحر بن يزيد ، أحد أصحاب الحسين وهو واقف في كربلاء فقال لهم ” أدعوتم هذا العبد الصالح ، حتى إذا جاءكم أسلمتموه ، ثم عدوتم عليه لتقتلوه فصار كالأسير في أيديكم ؟ لا سقاكم الله يوم الظمأ ” { الإرشاد للمفيد 234 ، إعلام الورى بأعلام الهدى 242}.

Al hurr bin Yazid one of the companions of Hussein told the people of Kufah while he stood in karbala: “did you call upon this pious servant(Hussein) so that you can attack him and try to kill him, it is as if he became like a prisoner in your hands? May Allah not give you a drink on that Day of thurst!

source:Al Irshad for Mufid 234, I’ilam al Wara bi A’alam al Huda 242.

FURTHER BETRAYEL

1) Early in the 1st Century The second Khalifah was assasinated, as well as the third and the forth consecutively. The seeds for civil and sectarian wars were planted and the creation of the first reverted cryptic group took place, under the cover of the love of Ahl al-Bayt and the defense of their rights to government. This was accomplished due to the efforts of the hypocrite Jew Abdullah Bin Sabaa’ who claimed afterwards the Divinity of Ali, thus was the creation of the early Shiiat groups known as Saba’ism. These groups have played a dangerouse role in changing one reign with another and and forcing their creed on the people. They have pulled the carpet from under the Umayyads and stabed the Abbasites in the back and sat on the thrones of Allepo, Damascuss, Cairo and other Muslim cities and countries.

(2) In the 4th century (h), among them were numerouse grand consultants and secretaries. One of the foremost criminals was Abu Faraj Yaacob Bin Yousef Bin Killes (Jew), who had unlimited control over the people and the land during the reign of the Fatimis, al-Aziz Billah (365-385 h). This lasted until the people were fed up with the Jews’ & Christians’ control of the highest offices in the state, not to mention the intentional loss of battles with the Crusaders on the Mediterranean coasts. In fact, the governor of Askalan, who was one of them, gave up the city to the enemies with no justification, which resulted in his death when the soldiers and people revolted. This is exactly like when Syria gave up the Golan Hights to the Jews, with no justification either, in 1967. In 386 (h), al-Hakim Bi-Amrillah became the Khalifa over the Fatimis Khilafa and was extremely prejudiced to his Shii’sm and oppressive to people. His reign lasted until the year 411 (h) when he declared his divinity with the support of the jew Mustakeen al-Durzi, a group of Muslims then abducted and killed him. Durzi escaped and founded the sect Lebanon & Syria that bears his name now. The jews had and still have good relations with the Druze, and the Druze continued to offer the Israelis their services even now.

(3) In the 5th century Iraq was ruled by a Shiia government known as the Buwaihi State which also governed Persia. During their reign, the jews attained the highest positions whereby they controlled the financial revenues and the political affairs, which resulted in the revolt of the people against the authorities in Iraq and the burning of the Jews’ & Shiias’ houses in 422 (h). It is a historical fact that the Buwaihis supported the Kurmutis movement with finance and weapons, and the Jews played a significant role in distributing aid and assistance to the revolutionist Kurmutis due to their position in the state.
(4) In the 7th century (h), The Shiia played a significant role in the fall of Baghdad to Holaco king of Tatars, due to to the betrayal of the Ibn al-Alkami to his Master al-Musta’sim Billah, the last Khalifa of the A bbasites. Indeed, the Fall of Baghdad is far greater in tragedy than any illustration or description. Many Muslims back then thought the Judgement Day was at hand, about 2 millions muslims were killed.

(5) In the 8th century (h), some of the Tatar Kings converted to Islam and some embraced the Shiia Religion. Among those who embraced Shiia Religion was Ghyiathuddin Khuda Muhammad who was far harsher in treatment to Muslims than his ancestors. He allied himself with the Jews and the Crusaders against the Muslims, and during his reign the Jews assumed the highest positions in Baghdad, al-Moosel and Ibn Amr Island. In that they had all the authority to oppress the Muslims in any shape or manner. Furthermore, he (Ghyathuddin) allied himself with the Pope and Kings of England and France to fight the Muslims of Ahlul Sunnah. However when his son Abu Sa’eed Bahader Khan 716 (h) (who was following Ahlul Sunnah wal-Jamaa’a unlike his father) came to power he cut all relations with the Crusaders and removed all Jews from their positions and forced all Ahl-e-Kitaab to wear a special uniform to distinguish them from Muslims. Muslims were finally at ease; their joy did not last long due to the assasination of Abu Sa’eed by the Jews in 736 (h) may Allah bestow His mercy upon him.

(6) In the 10th century (h), the Shiias had a state known as the Safawi State. Again, the Jews had attained the highest ranking positions and took a good advantage of it by instigating the Safawis to declare war on the Sunni Ottoman State. They arranged a treaty with the Portuguese who at the time were controlling the Arabian ( Persian ) Gulf and colonized Hormuz Island for use as a base for their fleet during the reign of Ismael the 1st, in the year 930 (h). Under the reign of his successor Tamasif, the relations between the Safawis and the Portuguese became even stronger and he went further into negotiations with Rome and Queen Elizabeth of England (962 h.) to enter into a ‘defense alliance’ between the Safawis and the British to declare war against the Ottomans. During his reign Ismael the 1st (995 h.) brought British experts to train his army and sought assistance of the British Fleet to conquer Bahrain, a battle that ended with the victory of the Ottomans. At the end of the Battle, the Commander of the Ottoman forces wrote to the Khalifa a report in which he said in describing the battle and the Shiia : “They are a group of hideous idiots, athiests KUZULBASH.” Kuzulbash means that they wore a distinctive red turban which differentiated them from Ahlul Sunnah. The turban was made of 12 rounds in symbolism of their sect of 12 Imams. As to the red color, it was to symolise the bloody hatred they had in their chests towards the Sunnis.

THEY WILL ATTACK US AGAIN IN FUTURE WITH THEIR FALSE MESSAIAH AS WELL AS WAS PROVEN FROM THEIR BOOKS AND THE HADITH IN MY LAST POST

REASON WHY SHIAS ARE NOT MUSLIM

THE common trait of shias is concealment of their vile beliefs, when their books are exposed and their scholors with evidence they, without any proof state it to be weak or a lie which would render effectively no book authentic and 90%to be a lie which is a deception.

Their beliefs and Islam are like light and darkness which can never mix
A few would be quoted below from their authentic books and scholors

1.UTHMAAN RADIALLAHU ANHU KILLED THE PROPHETS DAUGHTERS
Al-‘Uqayli said: Ibrahim b. ‘Abdulaziz informed us, he said: Ibrahim b. Ziyad Sabalan informed us, he said: ‘Abbad b. ‘Abbad once told us:

I approached Yunus b. Habib while he was storytelling in Mina at Al-Mubarah, and I asked him about the hadith of the grave. He thus transmitted it to me and then said: “There is a clause[from the hadith] the vile Murji’ites (Sunnis) have concealed.”

I asked him: “What is it?”

He said: “[The servant is then asked in his grave]: ‘who are those individuals?’ and he replies: ‘Ali is my Wali.”

I (‘Abbad) thus said: “I have never heard of that.”

He (Yunus) asked me: “Where are you from?”

I said: “I am from the people of Basrah.”

He said: “You love ‘Uthman, the murderer of the Prophet’s daughters!”

I thus said: “You claimed that [Uthman] killed one of them, so why would [the Prophet] allow him to marry the other daughter?!”

He then told me: “You are a filthy Uthmanite!”

….

Al-‘Uqayli 4:458

2.
ROLE OF IMAAM MAHDI

When Imam Mahdi (the 12th Shia Imam) comes, he will bring Prophet Mohammad’s wife, Aisha, back to life, whip her as a punishment to avenge Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima. (Al-Shafi, Vol. 2, p. 108), (Haq-ul-Yaqeen, p. 139 & 347) & (Hayat-ul-Quloob, Vol. 2, p. 901)

3.BELIEVING QURAN TO BE ALTERED
Shias deceptively say that they read the same Quran as us thus do not belive so yet it is their tafseer which gives the reality, many tafseer contain the verses that are “missing” and highlight their view regarding the Quran that they read

Mir’aat al-`Uqoul comments:

فالخبر صحيح ولا يخفى أن هذا الخبر وكثير من الأخبار الصحيحة صريحة في نقص القرآن وتغييره، وعندي أن الأخبار في هذا الباب متواتر المعنى
[The narration is authentic, and it is clear that this narration and many of the authentic narrations are clear that the Qur’an has been shortened and changed, and I hold that the narrations of this meaning are Mutawatir in meaning.]

Al-Shaykh al-Mufid writes in Awa’il al-Maqalaat page 80:

إن الأخبار قد جاءت مستفيضة عن أئمة الهدى من آل محمد (ص)، باختلاف القرآن وما أحدثه بعض الظالمين فيه من الحذف والنقصان
[A huge amount of narrations have reached us from the Imams of guidance from Aal-Muhammad (saws), about the difference in the Qur’an and what some of the oppressors did to it from deletions and additions.]

These are just a few of their beliefs, however the shias are forbidden to declare so openly and glean reward for lying
Nine tenths (90%) of religion (Shiism) is Taqiyya (dissimulation), hence one who does not dissimulate has no religion.” (Al-Kafi vol.9 p.110)

“He who conceals his religion has saved it, and he who makes it public has destroyed it.”

“A believer who does not practice Taqiyya is like a body without a head.” (Tafseer al-Askari)

“Mix with them (i.e. non-Shia) externally, but oppose them internally.” (Al-Kafi vol.9 p.116)

Below a link will be posted once and for all exposing their lies and how they operate

May Allah safeguard mufti Ak hussein and save us from falling into their net of deception

US lawmakers urge action on ‘crimes against humanity’ in China

US lawmakers called on Wednesday for President Donald Trump’s administration to impose sanctions over rights abuses in China as they released a report describing “crimes against humanity” towards the Uighur minority.

In a wide-ranging annual report, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, which tracks human rights in the Asian power, voiced alarm at Beijing’s incarceration of more than one million Uighurs and other Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.

“The Commission believes Chinese authorities may be committing crimes against humanity against the Uighur people and other Turkic Muslims,” it said.

Representative Chris Smith, a member of the commission, pointed to Uighur witnesses who said they were targeted for their Muslim faith.

“We are talking about crimes against humanity on a massive scale,” Smith told a news conference.

“We are talking, with regards to what is being done to the Uighurs, something we have not seen since World War II. And the Chinese government, particularly (President) Xi Jinping, needs to be held accountable for this egregious behaviour,” he said.

China’s foreign ministry on Thursday dismissed the commission’s report and accused US lawmakers of making “unwarranted accusations against China.”

“This so-called committee is blind from its prejudices,” said spokesperson Geng Shuang at a regular press briefing in Beijing.

“It has no credibility,” he said.

Senator Marco Rubio, a close ally of President Donald Trump and co-chair of the commission, vowed that Congress would soon pass an act that seeks sanctions on officials over abuses and restricts exports of surveillance and other equipment seen as assisting in repression in Xinjiang.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives and Republican-led Senate need to reconcile similar acts they approved last year.

“The House and Senate agree on what we’re trying to do. Just the language has to be identical,” Rubio said, without promising a date.

Lawmakers said it was crucial that the Trump administration implement the Uighur rights law – as well as a separate act on Hong Kong and an upcoming initiative on Tibet.

Congress last year nearly unanimously approved an act that ties US favourable trading status for Hong Kong to certification that Beijing has preserved the semi-autonomous status of the city, which has seen massive pro-democracy protests.

Trump signed the law after musing on how it could jeopardise his efforts to press China in an intense trade war.

Rubio said lawmakers across the partisan divide wanted to prioritise human rights but acknowledged that the administration was also concerned about trade.

“I do think that, by and large, they are supportive of what we are saying but, again, the proof will be in the implementation” of the act, Rubio said.

Source: AFP
Image :

Palestine flag

Israel killed 149 Palestinians, including 33 children, in 2019

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA): Israeli forces kill 149 Palestinians during the year 2019 in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian group said Tuesday. Israel detained more that 5,500 Palestinians , including 889 children, in 2019

The National Gathering of Palestinian Martyrs’ Families said the martyrs include 33 children and 12 women.

According to the group, the Israeli authorities continue detaining the bodies of 306 Palestinians including 15 from this year.

Israeli authorities arrested more than 5,500 Palestinians during 2019, including 889 children and 128 women, several Palestinian advocacy groups announced Monday.

The figures were released through a statement issued on Monday by a number of Palestinian prisoners’ affairs groups including the Palestinian Prisoners Society.

Israeli forces arrest Palestinians on a nearly daily basis, with some released after short investigations and others referred to Israeli courts.

According to the statement, detainees currently languishing in prison have reached 5,000, including 50 women and 200 children while the number of detainees under “administrative detention” without trial or accusation have stands at 450.

The statement added that about 700 prisoners suffer from various illnesses, including 10 cancer patients and 200 others of chronic diseases.

“In 2019, Israeli authorities intensified arbitrary arrest campaigns against children and women, who suffered different forms of torture both during arrest and after,” the joint statement underlined.

It added that during 2019, five Palestinian detainees died in Israeli prisons due to lack of proper medical treatment and deliberate medical negligence.

By Qais Abu Samra

Source : Muslim News
*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

Protesters storm US embassy compound in Baghdad

Dozens of protesters broke into the US embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday, smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area, prompting tear gas and sounds of gunfire.

Witnesses reported rising from inside the compound and said they saw at least three US soldiers on the roof of the main building inside embassy.

It was not clear what caused the fire at the reception area near the parking lot.

A man on a loudspeaker urged the protesters not to enter the compound, saying: “The message was delivered.”

The US ambassador to Iraq and other staff were evacuated from the embassy.

Earlier, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the embassy to decry US air attacks in Iraq and Syria that killed 25 fighters from an Iran-backed Shia group.

Shouting “Down, Down USA!” the crowd hurled water bottles and smashed security cameras outside the embassy grounds.

Iraq’s caretaker prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called on the protesters to leave the compound “immediately.”

“We recall that any aggression or harassment of foreign embassies will be firmly prohibited by the security forces,” Abdel Mahdi’s office said several hours after the attack began.

The US military carried out the strikes on Sunday against the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah. Washington claimed it was acting in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that it blamed on the group.

The protesters raised flags of the powerful paramilitary group Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces), of which Kataib Hezbollah is part, and several people climbed over the wall of the embassy and chanted “death to America” and “no, no America”, witnesses said.

Tuesday’s attempted embassy storming took place after mourners held funerals for fighters killed in a Baghdad neighbourhood, after which they marched on to the heavily fortified Green Zone and kept walking until they reached the embassy. 

Security guards were seen retreating to the inside of the embassy. Protesters were also seen hanging yellow flags belonging to the Kataib Hezbollah on the walls of the embassy.

Reporting from Baghdad, Al Jazeera’s Simona Foltyn said there was no indication of an armed confrontation.

“This entire funeral procession, consisting mostly of PMF members and their followers, has entered through these gates without any resistance whatsoever from the Iraqi security forces that are supposed to guard the Green Zone,” she said, speaking outside the US embassy.

“We’ve seen in the past when anti-government protesters were able to enter the Green Zone but I don’t believe we’ve seen such a large number of people come this close to the US embassy,” she continued, calling the development “significant”.

“It remains to be seen how the authorities will react and more importantly, how the US will react,” Foltyn added.

The US raids – the largest attack targeting an Iraqi state-sanctioned group in recent years – and the calls for retaliation represent a new escalation in the proxy war between the US and Iran playing out in the Middle East.

The US military said “precision defensive strikes” were conducted against five sites belonging to Kataib Hezbollah, which is a separate force from the Lebanese group Hezbollah, in Iraq and Syria.

Rejecting US influence

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, said that the embassy storming is indicative of Iraqis’ rejection of US influence in their country.

“In terms of the United States, here is a country that has spent trillions of dollars in Iraq 16 years after its invasion and occupation to wins the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, and ends up having its embassy surrounded the way it is,” he said.

The “surreal” events on the ground have forced the US to go “on the defensive”, Bishara added, where it “doesn’t have much of an alliance either on the street or government institutions within Iraq.”

He said on the other hand, Iraqis have also been protesting against Iranian influence over the past few months.

“Countless people have demonstrated against Iranian presence and influence in the country, burning Iranian consulates,” Bishara said.

“But there are others who are with the PMF and Kataib Hezbollah that remain loyal to Iran and are more than happy to deflect pressure on Iran by attacking the US embassy.

“So all in all, the tensions between Iran and the US continue, Iraq suffers in the process but Iran has a far easier win against the US because of its religious and ethnic influence within certian groups in the country,” he said.

Source : Al Jazeera
Feature Image : Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters

‘More like a cover-up’: Critics of Saudi Arabia decry ‘sham’ Khashoggi trials

If the aim of sentencing five people to death over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was to quell the outrage over the killing, the announcement by the Saudi public prosecutor on Monday had the opposite effect.

A “sham trial”, a “show”, a “travesty”, the “antithesis of justice”. That’s how some observers and US legislators described the Saudi verdicts, which also cleared top officials in the kingdom of responsibility for killing and dismembering the Washington Post journalist.

Critics were particularly incensed that the verdicts cleared Saud al-Qahtani, former top aide of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Ahmed al-Assiri, former deputy intelligence chief – who are believed to have played a major role in the killing.

Moreover, the Saudi judicial system never looked into the involvement of royal family members in the murder. Last year, the CIA concluded that bin Salman ordered the assassination.

The Washington Post editorial board was quick to call Monday’s sentences a “travesty of justice”.

“The result is an insult to Khashoggi’s family and to all those, including a bipartisan congressional majority, who have demanded genuine accountability in the case,” the board wrote in an op-ed.

It also warned world governments against welcoming the results of the Saudi trials.

“International acceptance of the result would not only be morally wrong but dangerous, too: It would send the reckless Saudi ruler the message that his murderous adventurism will be tolerated,” the article reads.

Several Democratic members of Congress also voiced strong opposition to the verdicts.

“The CIA concluded that the Saudi crown prince ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. This sham trial, carried out by a despotic and lawless regime, looks more like a cover-up,” Senator Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, wrote on Twitter.

“Maybe Donald Trump might want to stop proclaiming his love and affection for the Saudi dictatorship.”

‘Trump is also culpable’

Trump has emerged as a fierce defender of Saudi Arabia over the past three years. After the murder of Khashoggi, he shielded bin Salman from the blame, repeatedly emphasising Riyadh’s arms deals with Washington. 

Khashoggi, who also wrote for Middle East Eye, was killed by Saudi government agents at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. He was a frequent critic of bin Salman’s policy. 

Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat who represents Virginia where Khashoggi lived, also cited the CIA’s assessment that bin Salman was behind the murder, urging the Trump administration to seek justice for the slain US resident.

“Senior Saudi officials continue to escape accountability for the state-sponsored murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” Kaine said. 

“The Trump Administration should be demanding justice for the brutal killing of a journalist and VA resident instead of ignoring the CIA’s assessment of who killed him.”

For his part, Senator Richard Blumenthal directly blamed Trump.

“After a sham trail, the masterminds behind Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder walk away scot-free,” Blumenthal said. 

“Trump is also culpable – having done next to nothing to hold the Crown Prince accountable for murdering a brave, truth-seeking journalist.”

‘Premeditated murder’

Congressman Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, rejected the Saudi prosecutor’s assertion that the killing of Khashoggi was not planned.

“This sentence is a continuation of the Kingdom’s effort to distance Saudi leadership, including the Crown Prince, from the brutal assassination of a journalist and US resident, Jamal Khashoggi,” Schiff wrote on Twitter.

“This was a premeditated murder, not a ‘snap decision’ or rogue operation.”

It took Saudi Arabia 17 days to admit that Khashoggi was killed. Initially, top Saudi officials kept insisting that the journalist had left the building alive. After eventually coming around to acknowledging the murder, the kingdom said it was an unauthorised operation that the crown prince and other top officials took no part in. 

“I don’t think that the international community is going to forget this. I think that the Khashoggi affair will continue to be a problem for Saudi Arabia in conducting its foreign policy,” said Imad Harb, director of research and analysis at the Arab Center Washington DC.

He added that the trials allowed the powerful officials who orchestrated and ordered the killing to get away with murder while punishing “small operatives” for the crime. 

Even those sentenced to death, Harb predicted, may eventually be pardoned after some form of state-brokered reconciliation is reached with Khashoggi’s family.

As for the US role, Harb said the Trump administration will likely be satisfied with the verdict, but Congress, including some members of the president’s own Republican party will continue to push against the kingdom.

“Maybe Congress will do some things to try to punish [Saudi Arabia],” Harb told MEE. “But at the same time when it comes to the president’s desk, it’s going to be vetoed whatever decision Congress will arrive at.”

Trump has used his presidential veto powers twice this year to protect the kingdom from congressional efforts to end US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen and withhold weapon sales to Riyadh.

A senior State Department official welcomed the Saudi verdicts on Monday. US report on Khashoggi murder must reveal individuals involved: UN’s Callamard

“Today’s verdicts were an important step in holding those responsible for the terrible crime accountable,” the official said. 

“We’ve encouraged Saudi Arabia to undertake a fair and transparent judicial process, and we will continue to do so. We’ve urged for the full accountability for Khashoggi’s murder since day one.”

But UN expert Agnes Callamard, who has investigated the killing, said the sentences represent the opposite of accountability. 

“Bottom line: the hit-men are guilty, sentenced to death,” Callamard wrote in a Twitter thread detailing the flaws of the verdicts.

“The masterminds not only walk free. They have barely been touched by the investigation and the trial. That is the antithesis of Justice. It is a mockery.”

Source : MEE, By Ali Harb , Umar A Farooq
Feature Image : [Win McNamee/Getty Images]

Ayodhya verdict: India top court rejects review pleas by Muslims

India’s Supreme Court has dismissed petitions seeking a review of its recent ruling in favour of building a Hindu temple on a disputed site in northern India where a 16th-century mosque was torn down by a Hindu mob in 1992.

The petitioners, representing the Muslim litigants, had said they were aggrieved by the court’s decision and sought reconsideration of the verdict. A total of 18 petitions were heard by the court.

“We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers filed therewith. We do not find any ground, whatsoever, to entertain the same. The review petitions are, accordingly, dismissed,” a five-member bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said. READ MORE

Muslim petitioners who pressed for a review said they found the verdict unfair and a majority of India’s Muslim population was against the ruling.

The petitioners still have a last legal recourse of filing a curative petition in the Supreme Court, asking it to “cure” perceived defects in the verdict.

Ayodhya dispute

On November 9, the court held that the site in Ayodhya will be given to a government-run trust for the building of a Hindu temple, while Muslims were allotted five acres (two hectares) of land at an alternative site to construct a mosque there.

The ruling was seen as a major victory for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which has promised to build a Hindu temple at the demolished site as part of its election strategy for decades.

The dispute over the site of the Babri mosque in the town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state has lasted for more than 70 years.

Hindus believe what they call Lord Ram, which they believe is a warrior diety, was born at the site and that a Mughal Muslim ruler built a mosque on top of a temple there.

A December 1992 riot following the destruction of the mosque sparked communal violence in which about 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.

Source: Al Jazeera
Image: deccanherald.com

India: Citizenship bill for all minorities except Muslims, clears parliament

India’s lower house of parliament passed the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill on Monday, with 311 voting in support and 80 against.

The bill was cleared after nearly 12 hours of debate and will now be presented in the upper house.

Under the bill, citizenship would be granted to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and others who have fled from religious persecution in mainly Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan provided they can prove who they are and show evidence that they have resided in India for six years. But Muslims in the same position would be deported or jailed.

“The Citizenship Amendment Bill does not include Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan only because they are not minorities there,” Home Minister Amit Shah said while rejecting allegations that the bill was anti-Muslim.

He also told the house that Rohingya refugees will never be accepted as citizens.

“Rohingya will never be accepted as citizens of India. They infiltrated India through Bangladesh. The came from Myanmar,” Shah said.

Badruddin Ajmal, leader of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), said his party will go to the Supreme Court if the bill is passed in both the houses.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi also opposed the bill, saying it violates people’s fundamental rights.

Owaisi created a stir by tearing up a copy of the bill, saying it intends to make Muslim migrants stateless.

“This law is worse than Hitler’s law. The Muslims are getting dominated,” he added.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress party said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to turn India into a Hindu Rashtra, or Hindu nation.

Meanwhile, Northeastern states witnessed widespread protest against the bill.

Various organizations have called for a strike in Assam and several other parts of the northeast on Dec. 9 and 10.

The bill, which endorses citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from neighboring countries, has been vehemently opposed in the northeast region, which has already been plagued by infiltrators from Bangladesh.

The North East Students’ Organization (NESO), an umbrella body of the region’s major students’ associations, has also called for an 11-hour strike on Dec. 10.

On Sunday, prominent personalities from the fields of art, culture, literature and film took to the streets to express their opposition to the bill.

The All Assam Students Union (AASU) — one of the most influential organizations in the region, which spearheaded a six-year long movement known as the Assam Agitation to drive out illegal migrants from Assam in the 1980s — also announced a separate series of protests across the state.

Under the Assam Accord, which was signed after the Assam Agitation, the cutoff date to detect illegal citizens was March 24, 1971, irrespective of their religion, caste or creed.

But the Citizenship Amendment Bill, if passed, will help non-Muslim migrants who entered the country before Dec. 31, 2014 obtain citizenship.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs meanwhile condemned the legislation in a statement, saying it is in complete contravention of various bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India, particularly one concerning security and the rights of minorities in the respective countries.

“The latest legislation is another major step towards the realization of the concept of ‘Hindu Rashtra,’ idealized and relentlessly pursued by the right-wing Hindu leaders for several decades. It is driven by a toxic mix of an extremist ‘Hindutva’ ideology and hegemonic ambitions in the region.

“The continuing persecution of 8 million unarmed and innocent Kashmiris, collectively incarcerated and penalized by 900,000 Indian occupation forces, goes to further illustrate this blatantly extremist mindset,” it said.

Source : Muslim News

Idlib facing harsh winter as Syrian offensive chokes off fuel supplies

Badr could drive the 500km stretch of rolling desert between the oil wells in Hasakah province and rebel-held Idlib in his sleep. 

Each month, for the past six years, he’s hauled crude oil by the truckload to oil refineries in northwestern Syria. Then came the Turkish operation. 

Since routing Islamic State from northeast Syria in 2017, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia has controlled the country’s main oil fields. 

But the arrival of Syrian government forces in the city of Manbij – the result of an October deal between Damascus and the SDF to fend off Turkish troops – has severed the section of the M4 highway previously used to deliver fuel supplies to Idlib province. 

“If the Syrian or Russian regime forces are on the road, no one can cross. You’ll be arrested or killed,” said Badr, who requested Middle East Eye use his first name only due to security concerns. 

Unable to continue his work transporting fuel to Idlib, Badr is borrowing money from relatives and hoping to sell his tanker truck for spare cash.  
 
Since he and his fellow drivers stopped delivering crude oil to Idlib province in October, the price of fuel has skyrocketed, putting additional strain on a part of Syria already plagued with rampant poverty and unemployment. 

Plunging oil production

According to oil analyst Abu Amin al-Shami, the price of refined fuels has increased by about 140 percent since Turkey launched its operation against Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters, who comprise the main part of the SDF, on 9 October. 

The price of one litre of gasoline in Idlib has risen from an average 500 Syrian lira per litre to as much as 800, said Shami, who is based in Aleppo and runs an oil news channel on the messenger service Telegram. 

“For more than five years, Idlib had been content with domestic oil. Compared to Syrian regime areas, it experienced excellent oil stability,” said Shami. “Now, Idlib faces a humanitarian crisis.” 

In the past eight-plus years of war, Syrian oil production has plunged. 

Whereas in 2008, the country was putting out 406,000 barrels per day (bpd), the oil fields in Kurdish areas east of the Euphrates River are currently producing a modest 30,000 to 60,000 bpd, estimates Chatham House associate fellow David Butter. 

“In terms of the needs within Syria, especially for people like those in rebel areas who don’t have access to outside markets, those relatively small quantities are actually a lifesaver,” Butter said. 

Without fuel supplies coming from northeastern Syria, Abdulhakim Mansour, a gasoline and diesel seller in the town of Haas, has resorted to selling firewood instead. 

According to Mansour, the only sellers still making a significant profit are those working for Watad Petroleum Company, which holds a monopoly on fuel in Idlib and is believed to be affiliated with the militant group in control of the area, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). 

“Fuel now only comes from Turkey, but the quantity is not enough to meet the needs of the region here.”

Burning clothes to keep warm

Idlib province is home to roughly three million civilians, more than half of whom are displaced from battles elsewhere in Syria. 

A Russian-backed bombing campaign launched this summer in Idlib has further strained the local economy. 

Hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes since late April, and the Syrian government is now threatening a renewed offensive on the opposition stronghold. 

The rise in fuel prices coincides with the depreciation of the Syrian lira, which has plummeted due in part to the financial crisis next door in Lebanon. 

Its value, which stood at 47 lira to the US dollar before the uprising in 2011, this week was traded at more than 900 lira. 

Meanwhile, falling temperatures have increased demand for mazout, a heavy fuel widely used to heat homes. 

Unable to afford this fuel or the cost of firewood, some Idlib residents have taken to burning clothes and other household items to keep warm this winter. 

In the town of Saraqeb, Hussein Ahmed and his family are heating their house using a special oven that burns discarded pistachio shells, which costs about them $150 per month. 

“It’s still so expensive because you can’t recycle the shells or use them again,” Ahmed says. 

‘At any moment we could stop working’

Hospitals in the northwestern enclave – still reeling from a Russian-backed government assault on healthcare infrastructure – are also feeling the effects of the fuel shortages. 

The Idlib Health Directorate has warned that a lack of available and affordable fuel for generators threatens to put Idlib’s last remaining hospitals out of service.  

The surge in fuel prices comes as the self-proclaimed Salvation Government has raised taxes on goods and services, and introduced new austerity measures, which prompted days of protests by fed-up residents last month. 

The HTS-affiliated government has reduced the amount of available electricity from eight hours per day to three. 

Meanwhile, a bag of bread, a staple in every household, costs more and weighs less than it did two months ago. 

For Jamil Dughaim, a taxi driver in northern Idlib countryside, the increase in fuel prices, combined with the devalued lira, has nearly cost him his job. 
 
Dughaim says he is spending twice as much to fill up his car with gas and is charging customers more to compensate. 

As gas stations increasingly run out of petrol, Dughaim worries he and Idlib’s other taxi drivers will have no choice but to suspend their services.  

“If the fuel runs out, at any moment we could stop working,” he said.

By Elizabeth Hagedorn
Source: MEE
Feature Image: AFP

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar accuses Egyptian regime of oppression

Egypt’s Grand Imam of Al- Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said the country’s largest religious establishment is subjected to an unprecedented campaign of persecution and media blockade by the country’s state-run newspapers and media outlets.

Al-Tayeb explained during a pre-recorded interview broadcasted on Channel One, on Saturday that it is only with great difficulty that the al- Azhar is allowed to publish an article in response to an article that insults it.

“It is very difficult for us to get only one second to speak in the media. There is a campaign against al-Azhar and this campaign would only serve the philosophy of the Islamic State and Daesh” he warned.

Al- Tayeb had previously criticised the rule of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, indirectly, when he warned of the severe repercussions of injustice.

Over the past few years, the number of civilians appearing before military courts have significantly increased, as well as the number of death sentences handed down by military courts.

Under the rule of President, Abdul Fattah al- Sisi, the Egyptian authorities have executed at least 179 people from 2014 to May 2019.

Source : MEMO

Jammu & Kashmir: Indian diplomat’s Israeli-type settlement idea for Kashmir draws ire

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir, India (AA): Because of an internet ban, not many Kashmiris are aware of an Indian diplomat’s comments that settlements modelled after Israel’s illegal settlements could be built to settle Kashmiri Hindus — who had migrated to various parts of India when insurgency erupted in the region in 1990.

A video of a private event held on Saturday in New York is doing the rounds on social media where the Indian Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty can be seen as saying: “It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it.”

He was referring the illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian lands.

His comments drew the ire of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan who in a tweet on Wednesday said: “Shows the fascist mindset of the Indian govt’s RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] ideology that has continued the siege of IOJK [Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir] for over 100 days.”

Pakistan, which holds part of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir and claims it in full, has voiced concern over brutal lockdown which persists in the region since early August, in the aftermath of the scrapping of special status granted to the state.

The change in status among many other things did away with a law which prohibited non-Kashmiris from buying property in the scenic Himalayan state, raising fears that the Indian government will attempt to change demographics of its only Muslim majority state.

Kashmiri Hindus react

The diplomat’s remarks have also evoked responses that are reflective of the positions various groups have on the return of between 150,000 and 200,000 Kashmiri Hindus, also called Pandits, to the valley.

Sanjay Tickoo, chairman of the Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, is a community leader who continued to live in Kashmir even after the exodus of his fellow Pandits. He said the idea of Israeli-type settlements was “crazy”.

“Do they think that with the abrogation of Article 370 they can do anything? We won’t allow such settlements. It is unfortunate that some people in our community who live in the West are not willing to live with their Muslim neighbors here. But whatever their plans, these settlements will not materialize,” Tickoo said.

He said such statements will endanger the lives of more than 4,000 Kashmiri Hindus who live and work in Kashmir Valley at present.

Satish Mahaldar, a Kashmiri Pandit leader who migrated to New Delhi in 1990, said: “I condemn his remarks because they go against the very grain of our secular constitution. Miscreants are trying to divide us along communal lines. My Kashmir is not a place for such ideas.”

“We can’t let anyone exploit people in the name of religion. These people are not aware of the fact that death rate in the community is three times higher than the birth rate. We are becoming extinct and they are playing politics on our plight,” he said.

However, Ashok Kaul, a ruling right wing nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) representative in Kashmir, denied any plans of initiating Israel-style settlements.

“We have always maintained that Kashmiri Pandits should return to their homeland with honor, dignity and with full security so that the previous (mass exodus) things should not happen again,” he said.

Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir has been facing severe lockdown since Aug. 5, 2019, when the Indian government scrapped the special status, which allowed citizens to enact their own laws, of the region.

The provisions also protected the region’s citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in or owning land in the territory.

Tensions have since been high in the region with key leaders put in prison or under house arrest. Internet services have also been clamped down in the Himalayan state.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

*Islamuddin Sajid contributed to this report from Islamabad

Source : Muslimnews.co.uk

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