#AceBreakingNews – Washington:June.10: More troops going to Iraq:
JERUSALEM (AP) – An expected White House decision to send several hundred more troops to Iraq to expand training of Iraqi forces in Anbar province is not a shift in U.S. strategy but is aimed at helping Iraq retake the provincial capital, Ramadi, and eventually blunt the Islamic State’s battlefield momentum.
The decision, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday, would increase the n…
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#AceBreakingNews – LIBYA:June.09: Islamic State militants have seized a power plant west of the Libyan city of Sirte, Reuters reported.
IS announced the seizure in a message on social media, adding that “now the city of Sirte has been freed completely.” Forces loyal to the self-declared government that controls the Libyan capital Tripoli pulled out of Sirte after the attack on the plant began.
Three soldiers were killed, according to a military source.
#AceNewsReport – Post Update:SAUDI ARABIA:June.08: There has been international outcry following news that a Saudi blogger – sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes on charges of insulting Islam – has had his punishment upheld, with criticism of the British government’s perceived soft touch in condemning officials in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia’s supreme court upheld the sentence against blogger Raif Badawi, according to his wife, meaning the decision and sentence cannot be overturned.
“This is a final decision that is irrevocable,” Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told AFP in an interview from Canada on Sunday, where she lives with the couple’s children.
“This decision has shocked me.”
Badawi received the first of his 1,000 lashes outside a mosque in the city of Jeddah in January, sparking international outrage and human rights concerns.
#AceBreakingNews – SYRIA:June.07: Muslims in the Syrian city of Tartous have inaugurated a mosque named after the Virgin Mary, the Syrian Arab News Agency has reported. Observers called the opening a symbol of peace and religious tolerance between the country’s multiethnic, multi-confessional society.
Speaking at the inauguration, Syrian Minister of Religious Endowments Mohammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed noted that this was the first time in the Muslim world when a mosque has been named after the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. He added that the mosque embodies calls for amenity and fraternity between Syrians of all faiths.
Al-Sayyed noted that Syria is one of the places where Islamic culture and architecture originated, adding that Syrians of all confessions deplore and condemn the barbarity with which ultra-extremists from ISIL and other terrorist groups operating inside Syria demolish and deface places of worship.
Tartous and Lattakia Maronite Patriarchate representative Antoine Deeb noted that the symbolic gesture of naming the Mosque after Mary shows that Islam and Christianity share the messages of peace and love.
#AceNewsReport – Post Update:SAUDI ARABIA:June.07; Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has upheld the sentence against blogger Raif Badawi saying it was a final decision, the blogger’s wife Ensaf Haidar told AFP in a telephone interview.
“This is a final decision that is irrevocable,” she said. Badawi, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes on charges of insulting Islam in January.
He has already received the first 50 lashes, but subsequent rounds of flogging had been postponed on medical grounds. Haidar said that the punishment “might resume next week.”
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#AceWorldNews – FRANCE:Jan.17: Prosecutors in the French city of Avignon confirmed charging a 28-year-old man with “murder, attempted murder and possession of drugs” after he stabbed a Moroccan man, Mohamed El Makouli, to death inside his house.
The assailant rushed into the house of El Makouli in the village of Beaucet on Wednesday shouting “I am your god, I am your Islam” before stabbing the man 17 times, the National Observatory Against Islamophobia said Friday.
The attacker has been committed to a psychiatric hospital in Montfavet. More than 50 anti-Muslim incidents have been recorded by the Central Council of Muslims in France since the Charlie Hebdo incident.
#AceWorldNews – TAJIKISTAN:Jan.12:Fundamentalist Islamic movement Salafia has been banned as an extremist organization by the republic of Tajikistan, the prosecutor general’s office told TASS on Monday.
The group opposes introduction into Islam of other religious and philosophical concepts. It joins more than 20 blacklisted parties and communities including Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tajikistan’s Supreme Court ruled to ban delivery and distribution of literature and other materials propagating Salafite ideas, including restricting access to the movement’s website.
“All those involved in this extremist movement will be criminally prosecuted,” the prosecutor’s office said.
#AceNewsServices – Featured Post:SYRIA:Jan.06: – Syria has complained to the United Nations after US Senator John McCain, former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and other prominent figures entered the country without visas.
Syria’s UN ambassador Bashar Jaafari said in a letter to the Security Council that countries must take “immediate measures” against nationals who travel to his country illegally.
Washington’s former ambassador to Croatia, David Galbraith, visited Syria in December, and a former Kuwaiti lawmaker, Walid al-Tabtaba’i, was cited for his 2013 trip, in the letter obtained by AFP on Monday.
McCain paid a surprise visit to Syria in May 2013, meeting with rebels after crossing the border from Turkey.
Jaafari said the Republican Senator met with leaders of the Al-Nusra Front, which the Security Council has designated a terrorist organization.
Kouchner travelled to Kurdish areas in northern Syria in November last year.
Galbraith was accompanied by three US political and military officials during his visit last month while Walid al-Tabtaba’i brought money and weapons to the rebels, and took part in combat in September 2013, the envoy said.
“Such actions are a blatant violation of Syria’s sovereignty and the resolutions of the Security Council concerning Syria,” wrote Jaafari in the letter dated December 24.
Syria calls on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Security Council “to put pressure on those Governments to take immediately the necessary measures against their nationals who enter illegally into Syrian territory,” he added.
McCain dismissed the Syrian complaint while berating the international community for not acting to oust the Assad regime.“It is a sad but unsurprising truth that the Assad regime is less concerned with its massacre of more than 200,000 men, women and children than it is my visit with those brave Syrians fighting for their freedom and dignity,” McCain said in a statement.
“The fact that the international community has done virtually nothing to bring down this terrible regime despite its atrocities is a stain on our collective moral conscience.”
Sources: SOHR – THE DAILY MAIL – AFP – UN NEWS CENTRE
#AceNewsServices – Featured Update: MOSUL:Dec.13- Back in August Islamic State took control of Mosul and by September a number of Yazdi Women were captured and sold by ISIS.
The intention being to destroy the Aryan bloodline. Since then ISIS has bought and sold these same women multiple times and say having sex with unbelieving women and young girls is OK. At Friday prayers Islamic State handed out a pamphlet with the following questions and answers.
This is just a small extract of the questions asked:
Can you take non-Muslim women and children captive? Yes, says ISIS.
Can you have sex with them, even prepubescent girls? Yes, according to the Islamist extremist group.
Can you sell them or give them as gifts to others? The answer is yes, once again.
People in Mosul — the Iraqi city now under control of the group calling itself the Islamic State — got these and other messages loud and clear after sunset prayers Friday, when armed men handed out a color-printed pamphlet “Question and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom,” three residents told CNN.
The document was first printed in October or November, then later posted on an ISIS website. It has gotten more publicity recently because of the Middle East Media Research Institute, an independent Washington-based nonprofit whose advisory board includes former National Security Agency Director Michael V. Hayden, onetime CIA Director James Woolsey and ex-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The idea that ISIS is kidnapping, selling and raping women and children is hardly surprising. Many such accounts have surfaced since the group began its often brutal run through Syria and Iraq, including chilling stories from members of the Yazidi religious minority.
And these are on top of other horrific allegations, such as the killings and mistreatment of innocent civilians simply because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’ extreme take on Sharia law.
#AceBreakingNews – Nov.16 – Islamic State militants have beheaded US aid worker Peter Kassig even though he converted to Islam, a video posted on social media shows.
Kassig, 26, was captured on October 1, 2013, by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants on his way to the city of Deir Ezzour in eastern Syria.
After conversion during captivity, Kassig took the name Abdul-Rahman.
The footage reportedly shows Jihadi John murdering Kassig. This comes despite earlier reports that the extremist, who has executed other UK and US hostages, was wounded in an airstrike on a top-level extremists’ meeting in Iraq last week.
The video showing Kassig’s death is part of 15 minutes of footage, which depicts IS militants beheading several other men. The victims have been identified as officers serving under the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
In the video the extremists deliver warnings to the US, UK and other countries.
Islamic State militants first showed him in the video of the beheading of UK aid worker Alan Henning, who shared a prison cell with Kassig. After Jihadi John, an IS executioner with a London accent, killed Henning, he also threatened Kassig would be next.
Still from youtube video
US authorities are “working as quickly as possible to determine its [the video] authenticity,” spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan from the US National Security Council said in a statement.
“If confirmed, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American aid worker and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends,” she added.
The UK Foreign Office also said it is examining the video’s authenticity.
“We are aware of a further video and are analysing its contents. If true, this is a further disgusting murder,” the spokeswoman told Reuters.
UK PM David Cameron said he is “horrified” by the murder of Kassig.
“I’m horrified by the cold blooded murder of Abdul-Rahman Kassig. ISIL have again shown their depravity. My thoughts are with his family,” he said.
At same time reports that : ISIS executioner Jihadi John wounded in airstrike – reports
Kassig had served in Iraq in 2007 before becoming a medical technician. In May 2012, he travelled to Beirut, Lebanon where he volunteered in hospitals. He then helped in Palestinian refugee camps,“offering his services as a trauma medic to Syrian refugees wounded in the fighting in Syria.”
He founded his own aid organization, SERA (Special Emergency Response and Assistance), a non-governmental group intended to provide relief to Syrian refugees.
— Paula Kassig (@PaulaKassig) October 8, 2014
His parents, Ed and Paula Kassig from Indiana, had been appealing for their son’s release.
They tried to reach the IS leader by writing messages on Twitter.
“We have tried to contact you directly to plea for the life of our only son, Abdul Rahman Kassig, and have not received any response. Please tell us what more we can do so that Abdul Rahman may continue to serve and live his life in accordance with the teachings of Islam,” she wrote on Twitter.
The Kassig family released a letter from their son written on October 13, which was delivered to them by a hostage, who had been released. In the letter Kassig thanks his parents “for everything they have both done” for him. He describes his captivity, saying that he and the other hostages “share dreams and stories of home and loved ones.”
“I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all,” he wrote. “If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.”
Freedom Outpost: Europe is known for its soccer fan clubs who are widely called “soccer hooligans.” These call themselves the GnuHonnters, a take on the English term “new hunters.” Their motto is: “Comrades in spirit. Many colors, but one entity.” It refers to the fact that they support different soccer clubs.
Now they are united under the banner “hooligans against [Islamic] Salafists” (HoGeSa) and they are fed up with the Muslim supremacy in Europe so on Sunday they decided to unite forces and demonstrate in Cologne Germany.
Clashes soon erupted between police forces and HoGeSa protesters were at least 13 officers were injured, the German news agency DPA reported.
#AceNewsServices – Post Date: October 30 2014
“The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism… have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam,” the kingdom’s top cleric said.
“Muslims are the main victims of this extremism, as shown by crimes committed by the so-called ISIL, Al-Qaeda and groups linked to them,” the mufti said, quoting a verse in the Quran urging the “killing” of people who do deeds harmful to Islam.
“In the circumstances the Islamic nation is living through, several countries have been destabilized” by extremists, who “divide Muslims” in the name of religion, the mufti said.
He warned: “In Islam, after heresy, dividing Muslims is the greatest crime.”The mufti urged “tolerance, which was at the origin of Islam’s growth and longevity.”
The ISIL had pronounced its “caliphate” last June. The Takfiri group has been widely known for its brutal crimes against civilians in Iraq and Syria.
Damascus has repeatedly accused the Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states of destabilizing Syria through funding and arming Takfiri groups like ISIL and Nusra Front.
Last Week, Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned that several countries, including Saudi Arabia fear the threat of ISIL.
During an interview with Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, the resistance leader highlighted that some countries know what they have created and raised, and that’s why their diagnosis of ISIL risk is the most accurate of others because they know what they have had, speaking about the “real horror” inside the Gulf countries and the Saudi Arabia because this thought have been taught for decades for people, schools and in the curriculum.
#AceBreakingNews – KABUL (Reuters) – June 06 – Abdullah Abdullah, front-runner in Afghanistan’s presidential election, escaped assassination on Friday when two bombs blew up outside a hotel where he had just staged a rally, killing six people.
The midday blasts, one caused by a suicide bomber, destroyed a car in Abdullah’s convoy, police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said. One of the dead was a bodyguard.
Twenty-two people were injured.
Television images showed the charred remains of the car alongside shattered shop fronts in a densely populated western district of Kabul.
#AceNewsServices – SUDAN – June 06 – The alleged brother of the Sudanese woman on death row for being a Christian says she deserves to die if she won’t renounce her faith.
Al-Samani al-Hadi told CNN that he is one of three brothers to Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, a 27-year-old who was sentenced to death last month for abandoning Islam. In Sudan, converting religions is a crime.
Ibrahim, who gave birth in jail shortly after her sentencing, has appealed her execution, the Associated Press reported.
Al-Hadi claimed his sister was a Muslim until she met her future husband. He said she went missing last July, and when the family found her 45 days later, “she was bewitched.”
The Muslim man said he believes Daniel Wani gave his sister “potions” and coerced her into converting religions.
Ibrahim has a different story.
She said she was raised a Christian after her Muslim father deserted her mother.
She met Wani, a Sudanese refugee and U.S. citizen who lives in New Hampshire, in 2009 and married him in 2011.
But the 27-year-old was jailed in February because, under Sudanese law, children must follow their father’s religion — making Ibrahim legally a Muslim and her Christian faith punishable by death.
Al-Hadi told CNN that if his sister did not recant her Christian faith, he would accept the court’s sentence.
“If she refuses, she should be executed,” he said. “If she dies, we will have enforced God‘s word.”
#AceNewsServices – GENEVA (15 May 2014) PRESS RELEASE – A group of UN human rights experts today expressed alarm at the conviction to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes, and a 1 million Saudi riyal fine against Saudi on-line activist and blogger, Raef Badawi.
“This outrageous conviction should be overturned and Mr. Badawi immediately released,” said the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion, Heiner Bielefeldt, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue, the Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez and the Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Mads Andenas.
“Mr. Badawi is a prisoner of conscience, who has been convicted for peacefully expressing his views on religious and other issues,” they added.
The UN experts also urged the Government of Saudi Arabia to “embark on more comprehensive reforms to bring their judicial system in compliance with international standards.”
The human rights experts stressed that “Mr. Badawi was imprisoned for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression” and recalled the right of all people to “freely manifest their views in matters of religion or belief and to write, issue and disseminate information and ideas in these areas through any media without interference.”
They expressed further concern that “the detention and charges brought against Mr. Badawi appear to be part of an ongoing practice of prosecution against people who publicly express dissenting religious views in Saudi Arabia.”
Mr. Badawi, the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, was detained in June 2012 on charges of “founding a liberal website,” “adopting liberal thought” and for “insulting Islam”, after publishing a number of articles on his blog site and social media.
He was convicted in July 2013 to seven years in prison and 600 lashes. At the time, his lawyer claimed that his trial was marred by irregularities and contested the impartiality of the judicial process in the case.
In December 2013, an appeals court overturned his conviction and sent the case to Jeddah’s Criminal Court for review. However, last week, the Criminal Court dramatically toughened the sentence imposed to Mr. Badawi.
The UN experts reminded the Government of Saudi Arabia of the international standards concerning the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of belief, and the obligation to ensure that prisoners are treated humanely. “Corporal punishment, such as flogging, violates international law, which prohibits torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” said the experts.
The UN experts condemned the cruelty of the punishment and recalled that such attacks against the physical and psychological integrity of a person represent an affront to the dignity inherent to all human beings.
Mr. Badawi plans to appeal this new Court decision. However, his attorney may not be present at the trial as he was recently detained and prosecuted for “undermining the image of the kingdom” and “breaking allegiance with the King.”
Ace News Services Posts
Hello Ace News. Latest post from the feature series “Listen to my Voice” bringing Yemeni women’s voices, a great collaboration with amazing Yemeni activist Najla Al Shami and myself at http://saadiahaq.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/challenging-health-concerns-of-poor-yemenis/
Ace News, I will really appreciate to share the second part of the story of a courageous American convert Theresa Corbin’s journey into her faith Islam and how she’s fighting against the prevailing racial discrimination, Islamophobia and Muslim bigots at http://saadiahaq.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/in-conversation-with-an-american-convert-to-islam-part-ii/
( A phenomenal woman rights activist in her own might) Thanks.
#AceNewsServices – ISLAMABAD – May 13 – Pakistani police have registered a case of blasphemy against 68 lawyers who made a public protest after a police officer detained one of their colleagues, officials said on Tuesday, the latest in a tidal wave of such accusations flooding the country.
Analysts say the surge in accusations is a worrying sign the nuclear-armed nation of 180 million people is becoming less tolerant as militant ideas enter mainstream politics.
The colonial-era law does not define blasphemy, but the charge carries the death penalty. Presenting evidence can be considered a new infringement, so judges are reluctant to hear cases.
Judges who free those accused of blasphemy have been attacked and two politicians who suggested reforming the law were shot dead.
Those acquitted have often been lynched.
“Lawyers were protesting against police, using foul language and the name of the inspector,” the district’s police officer, Zeeshan Asghar, told Reuters.
One of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad, founder of the Islamic religion, was called Hazrat Umar.
A member of a far-right sectarian party complained his religious feelings were offended because the lawyers used the name “Umar” in their protest, and lodged charges with police.
Blasphemy accusations have spiked in Pakistan recently, a 2012 study by the Islamabad-based think tank, the Center for Research and Security Studies, showed, with 80 complaints in 2011, up from a single case in 2001.
More recent figures are not available.
BBC News Reported: Q and A Pakistan – Blasphemy Laws
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws carry a potential death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. Critics say they have been used to persecute minority faiths.
What are the recent controversies?
The laws have been contentious since the formation of Pakistan in 1947, but attention in recent months has been focused on a teenage girl with learning difficulties, known as Rimsha, who was accused of desecrating the Koran. An imam was later arrested for allegedly planting evidence.
Another prominent case is that of Christian mother-of-five Asia Bibi, sentenced to death in November 2010 for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
The following January Punjab Governor Salman Taseer – a prominent critic of the law – was assassinated by his bodyguard. The assassination divided Pakistan, with some hailing his killer as a hero.
In March 2011 Religious Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who spoke out against the laws, was shot dead in Islamabad.
When do the laws date from?
The offences relating to religion were first codified by India’s British rulers in 1860, and were expanded in 1927. Pakistan inherited these laws after the partition of India in 1947.
Between 1980 and 1986, a number of clauses were added to the laws by the military government of General Zia-ul Haq.
He wanted to “Islamicise” them and also legally to separate the Ahmadi community, declared non-Muslim in 1973, from the main body of Pakistan’s overwhelmingly Muslim population.
What do the laws say?
The law enacted by the British was general in nature, prescribing punishments for intentionally destroying or defiling a place or an object of worship or disturbing a religious assembly. They also made it unlawful to trespass on burial grounds or insult religious beliefs through the spoken or written word or by innuendo or visible representation.
The maximum punishment under these laws ranges from one year to 10 years in jail, with or without a fine.
Beginning in 1980, a slew of clauses was added to the chapter of religious offences in the Pakistan Penal Code. These clauses can be grouped into two categories – the anti-Ahmadi laws and the blasphemy laws.
The anti-Ahmadi laws were included in 1984. They bar the Ahmadis from calling themselves or behaving as Muslims, preaching their faith and using Islamic terms for their places of worship and religious rituals.
The blasphemy laws were created and expanded in several instalments.
In 1980, a clause was added to the law, making derogatory remarks against Islamic personages an offence, carrying a maximum punishment of three years in jail.
In 1982, another clause prescribed life imprisonment for “wilful” desecration of the Koran, the Muslim holy book. In 1986, a separate clause was inserted to punish blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad and the penalty recommended was “death, or imprisonment for life”, in that order.
Who is affected by the laws?
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) – a voluntary organisation – has been documenting blasphemy cases. It says that Muslims constitute the majority of those booked under these laws, followed by the Ahmadi community. According to the HRCP, since 1988 around 1,000 cases have been lodged for desecration of the Koran, while nearly 50 cases have been lodged for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
Lower courts have handed down hundreds of convictions in these cases, but nearly all of them have been reversed by the higher courts due to lack of evidence, faults in due process or obvious wrongful motives on the part of the complainants. Hundreds of Christians are among the accused – at least 12 of them were given the death sentence for blaspheming against the Prophet.
Are they fairly applied?
At the level of the lower judiciary, there is often considerable pressure on the judges to order convictions, especially in cases relating to Ahmadis and blasphemy. But most decisions fail the test of the law at the higher judicial level, where offenders are often acquitted.
One reason is that organised religious groups are able to influence lower judges more easily than judges of the higher courts, although their influence there is growing too. Second, rights groups say most cases are motivated by local rivalries which are more easily exposed by the higher judiciary than the lower courts.
Legal experts say convictions under the law regulating blasphemy against the Prophet are easier to obtain because it does not establish a link between an offence and the intention, so that even an unintentional act can also be treated as a wilful offence.
Do most Pakistanis support the laws?
A large majority of Pakistani people support the idea that blasphemers should be punished, but there is a little understanding of what the religious scripture says as opposed to how the modern-day law is codified.
The response to recent events suggests that they largely believe the law, as codified by the military regime of General Zia-ul Haq back in the 1980s, is in fact straight out of the Koran and therefore is not man-made.
The organised religious groups are promoting this view and have been able to mobilise mass support in their favour. Their highest point came when the assassin of Governor Salman Taseer in 2011 was hailed as a hero by a large section of people across the country.
Why do the authorities appear reluctant to amend them?
Amending the blasphemy laws has been on the agenda of nearly all the popular secular parties. But none of them has made much progress – principally because of the sensitivities over the issue, but also because no major party wants to antagonise the religious parties which have on numerous occasions proved capable of bringing large numbers of protesters on to the streets.
In 2010, a member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Sherry Rehman, introduced a private bill to amend the blasphemy law. Her bill sought to change procedures of religious offences in such a way that these offences would be reported to a higher police official rather than the usual police station chief. In addition the cases would be heard directly by the higher courts instead of going through the local courts first.
The bill was passed on to a parliamentary committee for vetting. It was withdrawn in February 2011 under pressure from religious forces as well as some opposition political groups. Given the growing religious conservatism in Pakistan, the government is wary about losing public support over the issue, correspondents say.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites
- Blasphemy case against lawyers(dawn.com)
- Mentally ill Scot Mohammed Asghar sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy(dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Pakistan legal fraternity protests killing of human rights lawyer(thehindu.com)
- Lawyer defending academic in blasphemy case is killed(universityworldnews.com)