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Saffronization of history? DU's Sanskrit dept kickstarts project to prove Aryans were not foreigners

منگل, ستمبر 30, 2014

30 Sept, Tue. 2014
Saffronization of history? DU's Sanskrit dept kickstarts project to prove Aryans were not foreigners
New Delhi: Delhi University's Sanskrit department has thrown its weight behind a project that could possibly rewrite history to fit the Sangh Parivar's view of India's past — a move that's likely to gain political colour considering the resounding victory of the Modi-led BJP in the general election. Here's what most history books tell us — first there was the Indus Valley Civilization that flourished in places such as Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. Then, around 3,500 years ago, this went into decline as the Aryan nomadic tribes crossed the mountains and entered India. But the Hindu nationalist narrative, as espoused by the Sangh Parivar and its affiliates, disputes what they call a European-imposed narrative. They say the Aryans were an indigenous people — not migrants.The project was announced last week by Delhi University's Sanskrit department in the presence of OP Kohli -- a BJP leader recently appointed Gujarat governor -- and vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh at an event marking 60 years of Sanskrit research. Sanskrit department head Ramesh Bharadwaj strongly denied that this was an attempt to validate a particular party line and that he was only interested in putting forward a convincing academic argument. Singh for his part has come under intense criticism for implementing a 4-degree undergraduate programme that's been withdrawn after the new govt was formed. The project is unlikely to find the support of the university's history department. "This is a meaningless debate. We all now know that the entire human race can trace its ancestry back to Africa. So how does it matter whether Aryans were indigenous to our country or were outsiders? There are far more serious issues of archaeological and scientific research that need to addressed in our country," said Nayanjot Lahiri, a professor of archaeology in the history department at Delhi University. There's no evidence to back the claim, said renowned historian DN Jha, who specialises in ancient and medieval Indian history."This debate is not new, but I can say that at present there is no scientific evidence to prove that Indo-Aryans were indigenous to our subcontinent. But since the political ambience in the country has changed, there will be many such attempts to prove this," said Jha, who used to be a Delhi University professor. "I have no comment to offer except that a serious historian will only dismiss such research.Moreover, the Sanskrit department of Delhi University is not at all competent to go into such questions." The last NDA govt  had made an attempt to disprove the Aryan migration theory by changing the history textbooks in 2004, the year in which it lost the general election. The Sanskrit department will soon seek the help of YS Rao, recently appointed head of the Indian Council of Historical Research(ICHR) by the BJP govt, to collate historical evidence. Rao did not respond to ET's calls and emails. Rao is a controversial figure, having once written in support of the caste system besides blaming Muslim rule for India's social ills. His stand on a strongly divisive issue was made clear by his support for the contention that the Babri Masjid was built on the site of a temple.  Timesofindia /ET

Muslim localities have little amenities, face heavy surveillance: TISS study
Mumbai: Stating that spaces in the city like Mumbra, Shivaji Nagar and Bhendi Bazaar bear testimony to the “othering” processes in Mumbai, where there is heavy surveillance but scarce provision of basic services, a study by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) says that “demonisation of Muslims in the city is related to a global Islamophobic climate”, where Muslims are seen as terrorists, violent and bad citizens. “These spaces have become known as areas where many Muslims resettled in the wake of the riots of 1992-1993, an event which changed the socio-spatial fabric of the city through a process of segregation and ghettoisation,” says the paper by TISS’s Centre for Urban Policy and Governance, School of Habitat Studies, which is part of a 3-year research project titled “people, places and infrastructure: countering urban violence and promoting social justice in Mumbai, Durban and Rio de Janeiro”. It says that while after the riots, the pervasive feeling among Muslims was that they were not safe anywhere in Mumbai, a decade later, towns like Mumbra showed that Muslims have increasingly come to believe that it is better to live together. “The riots did not merely create physical boundaries, but also resulted in a conceptualisation of the other, which in this case were the Muslims,” it says. Talking of riots, from local to international terror links, the study stresses that the discourse on terror etched the Muslim youth as a figure prone to committing acts of violence and terror and contributed to the perpetuation of a cycle of multiple exclusions, including exclusion from jobs, buying and renting houses and lack of access to basic amenities. The study further says that privatisation of space and diminishing community spaces in Mumbai has increased the levels of insecurity. indianexpress

Indian Muslims will fail al-Qaeda: Modi
New York: PM Narendra Modi has said that all terrorism in India is “exported” and are not “home-grown”, asserting it has “no borders”.Modi said this even as he rejected any distinction between good and bad terrorism and called for a collective fight to effectively tackle the global challenge. The PM dwelt at length on the challenges posed by terrorism while addressing the Council for Foreign Relations here yesterday on the fourth day of his five-day visit to the US. Asked by a questioner about the rise of Islamic State (IS) militants in West Asia and whether there was any danger that such unrest might spread to India, the PM ruled that out and said that all terrorism activities in our country “are exported and are not home-grown.” The PM also told the audience about his response that “Muslims of India will fail al-Qaeda” to a question by CNN about the al-Qaeda threat in India.Making a reference to the ISIS assassination of hostages, Modi said,” when I saw it on TV that a man has been beheaded it’s such a challenge in the 21st century for the mankind, a challenge that can shake up anyone... Terrorism is mankind’s enemy.” PTI
Netanyahu briefs Modi on IS
US troops withdrawal from Afghanistan should be gradual to prevent the return of Taliban: Modi
New York: Narendra Modi on Monday said that hasty withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan would once again plunge the country into instability and cautioned Washington not to repeat the mistakes it did in Iraq. India and the US can play a bigger role on world stage for peace and development like they collaborated in Afghanistan in recent years, Modi said during his address to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He said that India had told the US that the process of withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan should be slow to prevent the return of Taliban. "We want Afghanistan, which recently held the Presidential elections and formed a new government, to grow democratically," he said at the event ahead of his dinner with President Barack Obama. India Today
Afghan pullout by US must be measured: Modi
Modi meets Obama; gifts him Gita, Martin Luther King's memorabilia
India to join US-led anti-ISIS war: Subramanian Swamy
New Delhi: PM  Narendra Modi has committed to US President Obama that India would join the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State (IS), claimed BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday. Expressing happiness over the development, the BJP leader said the development would help the ties between India and the US reach new heights.However, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin rejected Swamy's claim, saying Obama and Modi did not discuss ISIS issue on Monday night but will do so on Tuesday.

40 Indians are still in captivity in Iraq. While India was able to secure the release of 46 nurses held captive, another 40 nationals, working on projects near Mosul in Iraq, were kidnapped by ISIS militants in early June. zeenews
ISIL on mind, India sends IB chief to Saudi: HT report
New Delhi: With an aim to forge a common front against ISIL and al Qaeda groups, India on Sunday has despatched Syed Asif Ibrahim, director, Intelligence Bureau, for a week-long trip to Saudi Arabia to discuss radicalisation of Muslim youth over the internet. Top govt sources said that during his trip, Ibrahim will be interacting with Saudi intelligence agency heads as well as the interior minister of the Kingdom to discuss ways to prevent Sunni youth from joining the so-called Caliphate of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi of ISIL. Under pressure from the global community, the Saudis this time are keeping a close watch on the Haj pilgrims to prevent the radicalisation in the name of religion. It is understood that central message from Mecca on Eid will be against terrorism. While joining the coalition in the fight against ISIS, Saudi Arabia has assured India that it will not allow any Haj pilgrim to stray into Syria or Iraq and a close vigil will be maintained on the borders. Although MK Narayanan, national security advisor to the then PM Manmohan Singh, this month has revealed a figure of 150 Indians fighting with ISIS, the internal estimates of the Union home ministry still stand at 22 youth from Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Hindustan Times 

Married women safer on street than in matrimonial homes: Delhi High Court
New Delhi:  Observing that "married women in India are safer on the street than in their matrimonial homes", the Delhi High Court on Monday upheld the life term awarded to a man for killing his wife in 2011. A bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Mukta Gupta made the observation while dismissing an appeal filed by Pradeep, who was convicted by the trial court for murdering his wife, on the ground that he was absconding from the spot of crime which was proof of his guilt."It is trite that where a wife is murdered in her matrimonial house and the presence of husband is established, law casts an obligation on the husband to explain how his wife died and if he does not do so an adverse inference can be drawn against the husband of being the assailant," the bench said.  NDTV
Congress asks govt to explain clashes in Vadodara
New Delhi: Congress on Monday asked the Centre to provide details about the communal violence in Vadodara, saying there was nothing in the public domain to inform the country about was happening in the Gujarat town. According to AICC spokesman Raj Babbar, Vadodara appeared completely cut off from the country. "We want the govt to inform about the incident and also give its comment on the issue," he said. TOI
Uneasy calm in Vadodara after days of communal riots, hundred arrested, locals accuse police of bias
Squabble over Rs. 50 triggers clash in Meerut village
Meerut: What would have been otherwise an innocuous petty fight between two youths, turned a sleepy Meerut village into a battlefield on Sunday evening. In an indication of heightened communal tempers in western UP, the fight over Rs. 50 between youngsters belonging to two different communities in Durveshpur village under Parikshitgarh police station in Meerut district flared into a full-fledged riot. 5 people sustained injuries in the clash between Dalits and Muslim communities during which they fired bullets and pelted stones. The clash also led to some panic and scare in the nearby villages. According to the local police, some 10 days back one Basit, a resident of the village, had borrowed Rs. 50 from one Neetu. On Sunday evening when Neetu’s brother Bittoo saw Basit near the local grocery store, he asked him to pay back the money. In response to this Basit, along with two other friends, allegedly beat him up. As news of Bittoo’s beating spread, members of both communities took to the streets equipped with stones, bricks and lathis. The situation in the village on Monday was reported to be “under control” but tense. Though the police has taken Basit, Bittoo, Neetu and their friends into custody no FIR has been registered yet. The hindu
Bihar massacre case finally decided after 40 years
New Delhi: Nearly 4 decades after an unlawful assembly of about 400 people attacked the members of a minority community, killing 14 people and leaving many injured as well as a number of houses burnt in 1974, the case attained finality with the Supreme Court upholding life imprisonment awarded to 3 accused. Upholding the life imprisonment, a bench of Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice N.V.Ramana rejected the convicts' contention that they were mere passive onlookers who joined the mob out of curiosity, had no common intention and did not share the common object of the unlawful assembly - to attack the members of the minority community who were largely from Bangladesh. The court was not persuaded there was an old enmity between the two groups and they (convicts) were sought to be implicated by the victims in the case. Rejecting their contention, Justice Ramana, speaking for the bench, said: "We have no hesitation to come to a conclusion that the appellants(accused) were part of the unlawful assembly sharing the common object of killing, rioting and looting the villagers." "Each one of the accused played an active role in furtherance of the common object of the assembly and the courts below were perfectly right in convicting the accused/appellants under Section 149, IPC," said the court in the judgment delivered recently. "Hence in our considered opinion, the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt." In 1974, Surang Lal Yadav of Santhala community, riding a horse and carrying a sword in his hand, led a mob of about 300 to 400 people armed with weapons such as bows, arrows, spears, axes, staffs as well as burning torches into Singhimari village where they went on a looting spree while setting houses on fire and injuring and killing innocent residents indiscriminately. The attack was rooted in a dispute over a piece of govt  land which was in unauthorized occupation of Santhalas but was encroached upon by victims - Badhyas. IANS
'Not against Muslims joining Garba': BJP's clarification cheers organisers in Indore
Indore:  Weeks after a BJP MLA in MP, Usha Thakur, urged Garba festival organisers to stop Muslim men from entering the venues, the party's state unit has clarified its stand. "Party workers were not against members of any community but proper checking of identity proofs of those entering the venue is a must from the security point of view. As many lumpen elements enter garba venues who create nuisance," BJP state President Nandkumar Singh Chauhan told reporters. NDTV
Telangana: Muslims seek 12% quota in education, jobs
Nizamabad: The Muslims under the banner of the Congress Minority wing staged dharna in front of the Collectorate here on Monday demanding the govt to implement 12% reservations for them in education and employment. Addressing the dharna camp, Minority wing president Sumeer Ahmed said that Muslims would feel happy and comfortable if Bill relating to the reservations was passed in the coming session of Assembly to be sent to the Centre for its approval. He also urged to enact the law providing budget for Muslim sub-plan and release scholarship amount to the students immediately.thehindu
Karnataka temple appoints two Dalit widows as priests
Mangalore: Kudroli Gokarnanatheshwara Temple here is perhaps the first in the country to appoint two Dalit widows as priests to perform pujas and other rituals. Last year the temple appointed two other widows as priests who had been performing their duties since then. Chandravathi from Ranipur and Lakshmi from Chilimbi were appointed as priests in the century-old shrine on Monday, making them the first widows from SC-ST communities. The committee members claimed that this was the first temple in the country to have appointed two Dalit widows as priests. Indian Express
Indian Navy to buy Barak missile from Israel

The Indian Navy is buying 260 Barak-1 missiles for $143 million. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. will provide the Indian Navy with hundreds of Barak-1 missiles over the next 18 months in a deal worth $143 million. India's Ministry of Defense approved the procurement in recent days in part because naval commanders have warned of a grave shortage of such missiles in the Indian Navy's inventory. The Barak-1 is an anti-missile defense system, and the Indian Navy is reportedly down to its last 150 such missiles. The Indian govt  has decided to procure more than 260 Barak-1 missiles, which are manufactured by Rafael in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.  The Barak-1 missile was developed in the 1990s and with a range of 9-10 kilometers serves as the main defense missile for the Israel Navy. India is also a major partner of Israeli defense manufacturers in plans to develop a more advanced version of the Barak-1 missile the Barak-8. Globes.co.il
Suspended anti-Modi IAS officer Pradeep Sharma arrested
Gandhinagar: The Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau on Tuesday arrested suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma. Sharma, who made headlines back in 2013 when he spoke up against PM  Narendra Modi who was then the Gujarat CM  and his aide Amit Shah for their alleged role in the scoopgate scandal, has been taken into custody in connection with a land scam.He has been accused of allotting land to companies illegally during his tenure as the Kutch Collector. CNN-IBN
NIA unit to tackle ISIS and Al Qaeda: Asian Age report
In an attempt to counter the increasing threat from ISIS and Al Qaeda, NIA plans to set up a specialised unit to tackle these dreaded outfits. There are intelligence reports that both terror groups plan to increase their footprint in the Indian subcontinent. While Al Qaeda’s top commander Aymen Al Zawahiri recently issued a video threatening India, the ISIS has been targeting Indian youth working in West Asia, trying to recruit them. It is feared ISIS may use them later to develop local contacts within the country. The intelligence agencies are worried that these outfits will shift focus to India, particularly Kashmir, once US troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan next year. Asianage
Jailed for Maoist links, journalist claims he was wrongly convicted
Raipur: The boy stopped short. Tightly clutching his school bag, he stretched his hand and felt the old man’s face. “You look just like my father,” he said. Pragya Jha had just returned home from school and met the man his grandmother had often told him about. Pragya was only a year old when his grandfather Prafulla Jha was arrested in Jan.2008 and later convicted of sedition and having Maoist links — the first journalist in Chhattisgarh to be held guilty of the offence. After completing the 7-year term in Raipur jail, Jha was freed on Saturday only to find his city’s landscape having changed almost beyond recognition. “Are these the same roads? I asked my wife. She assured me that we are in Raipur,” he said with his wife Kavita blushing nearby and reminding that his release came a day after he turned 69. Jha was among 7 others, including his son Pratiek, arrested in January 2008 in what the police termed as “the biggest case of urban network of Maoists”. None of them, the court said, was a Maoist. There were alleged recoveries — a bag of weapons from Jha’s house among others — mostly before police witnesses that formed the basis of their conviction. Among the convicted were two cloth merchants and a tailor, who were held guilty of providing and stitching clothes for the Maoists. Indian express
Rajasthan bus blast case: 1 gets death, 6 to be in jail for life: indianexpress report
Jaipur: 18 years after 14 people were killed and 37 injured in a bomb blast in a bus headed to Bikaner from Agra, a Dausa court on Monday sentenced one person to death and 6 others to life imprisonment. The accused, associated with JKLF, were found guilty of murder, conspiracy, damage to public property and violation of the Explosives Act. The district and sessions court in Bandikui found six of the eight accused guilty of murder, damage to public property and violation of Explosives Act and one of them of conspiracy. Abdul Hamid, a resident of Ferozabad in Uttar Pradesh, was sentenced to death and an indemnity of Rs 1 lakh was slapped on him. 6 others — Javed Khan(Srinagar), Abdul Ghani (Jammu), Latif Ahmed (Srinagar), Mohammad Ali Bhatt, Mirza Nisar Hussain and Rahish Baig from Agra — were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Muzaffarnagar on terrorists’ radar, claims HT report
New Delhi:The riot-torn and communally volatile Muzaffarnagar in UP is in jihadi crosshairs and has become a new reference point for motivating new recruits joining terror modules, multiple counter-terror sources told HT.“An accidental blast in a room in Muzaffarnagar’s neighbouring Bijnor town on Sept.12 revealed the presence of a suspected 6-member module of outlawed SIMI here. One member of the module got injured in the blast. Though, we have reasons to believe that the module was planning a terror strike in Muzaffarnagar. The members of the module are yet to be nabbed,” said a counter-terror official of UP police.Central counter-terror officials say it was not the first time a terror strike was planned in Muzaffarnagar.HT
ISIS 'just 1 mile from Baghdad' as Nusra Front fighters join forces against Syria air strikes
According to the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, ISIS was approaching the Iraqi capital on Monday morning. "The Islamic State are now less than 2 km away from entering Baghdad," a spokesperson said. The news comes amid reports of an emerging alliance between ISIS forces in Syria and Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Nusra Front. The group is the Syrian offshoot of al-Qaeda and has been fighting against the Assad regime in the civil war. Despite months of clashes between its forces and ISIS militants, the two groups appear to be forming a loose coalition in parts of the country to fight increasing attacks by the US and its allies. Al-Nusra and ISIS leaders are now holding war planning meetings together, a source told the Guardian, although no formal alliance has been confirmed. The reports follow growing defections from other Islamist groups to ISIS, which is seen as better organised and equipped to create an “Islamic State” straddling Iraq and Syria. A loyalty pledge was reportedly made by al-Nusra in June in the town of Al-Bukamal near the Iraqi border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, and the two groups have fought together against Govt forces. The report appeared to be confirmed on Twitter by a photograph showing an Egyptian al-Nusra Front commander shaking hands with an ISIS leader of Chechen origin.An al-Nusra source told Reuters: “There are hardline voices inside Nusra who are pushing for reconciliation with Islamic State.” The Independent
ISIL fighters advance to within 6 miles of Baghdad: Telegraph UK report
ISIS, Nusra Front could realign after US-led airstrikes: Daily Sabah report
Ground operations in Iraq kill 100 ISIL militants
Diyala, Iraq: Ground operations by Iraqi army and local militia forces have killed 100 ISIL militants in Iraq’s eastern Diyala province, the army has said. Some 16 villages have been cleared of militants by Iraqi army and tribal forces, Lieutenant General Abdulemir ez-Zadi, the commander of operations in Diyala, said. Anadolu Agency 

Obama blame of spy agencies over ISIL draws riposte
President Barack Obama's assertion that US intelligence agencies failed to predict the rapid rise of ISIL in Syria and Iraq drew a sharp riposte from several top congressmen and intelligence community members in Washington on Monday. "This was not an Intelligence Community failure, but a failure by policy makers to confront the threat," Mike Rogers, chairman of House of Representative Intelligence Committee said. Several current officials from the CIA and other agencies declined to publicly comment on the president's statement. But privately, officials cited many warnings, some made public in Congressional testimony, which had spelled out the growing threat over the last year. Ex-intelligence officials objected to Obama's statement. They suggested he was holding the spy agencies up as a scapegoat to mask what the president's critics say was his own slowness to react to the danger. In an interview on Sunday Obama quoted James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, as having "acknowledged that...(US agencies) underestimated what had been taking place in Syria."Clapper had told Washington Post columnist David Ignatius earlier this month that US agencies had underestimated the "will to fight" of ISIL and overestimated the fighting capability of the Iraqi army. Worldbulletin
ISIL closes in on border town with Turkey; Turkey deploys tanks; US-led coalition air raids kills several civilians 
Fighters from the ISIL have closed in on a key Kurdish town in Syria, right next to the border with Turkey, prompting the govt in Ankara to deploy tanks to protect its territory. The news comes as activists reported early on Tuesday that US jets attacked ISIL in Syria overnight, killing at least two civilians as well as an unknown number of rebel fighters. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes hit mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in an area controlled by ISIL. Strikes on a building on a road leading out of the town also killed a number of ISIL fighters, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the observatory, which gathers information from sources in Syria.Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from Suruc close to Turkey's southern border, said ISIL forces had moved within 2km of the western side of Kobane. Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from the Turkish border, said mortar shells have landed in Turkey, but the Turkish military has so far refrained from responding, even as more tanks have been deployed. Meanwhile, US-led coalition air raids targeted towns and villages in northern and eastern Syria controlled by ISIL. The observatory reported that 10 air raids targeted various parts of the province of Idlib, killing at least one child and six others, including five members of the same family.The purported civilian casualties would add to the 19 civilians that the Observatory says have already been killed in raids against the group. According to ouir correspondent in Beirut, Zeina Khodr, anti-West sentiments are increasing as more civilians are killed.An activist in an ISIL-held town, who asked not to be named, told Al Jazeera: "These air strikes are causing an economic crisis. Winter is around the corner and people need heating oil. Most of the oil facilities are not operational - even those which haven't been hit because people are scared." HRW said that it had confirmed the deaths of at least 7 civilians - 2 women and 5 children - from apparent US missile strikes on Sept.23 in the village of Kafr Derian in Idlib province. aljazeera
Main goal of US-led war is to "redraw map of the region by expanding Iran's role in it: Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan

The Islamic Action Front, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, has said that the main goal of the US-led war on terrorism is to "redraw the map of the region by expanding Iran's role to become [America's] gatekeeper," Anadolu Agency reported. "The international coalition started its attacks on the Syrian opposition while keeping silent on the Syrian regime's crimes, including the killing of civilians using chemical weapons," AA quoted a statement issued by the Action Front as saying. It added that, "This represents an attack on Islam and the hopes of Arabs seeking freedom." The Islamist party renewed its objection to the participation of Jordan in the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition as it is against foreign interference in the affairs of any of the Arab countries.  "It is not in the interest of the country that our army takes part in wars outside of Jordan's borders," the statement said. The party described the latest US-led war as against Arabs' interests. middleeastmonitor
Iran admits military backing of Iraqis
The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Gholam Ali Rashid, has admitted that Iran is currently providing military advice to the Iraqi army, as well as to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the resistance movement in Palestine. While addressing a conference in Tehran on Saturday attended by a group of senior military commanders, Iran's official Fars news agency quoted Rashid as saying that: "Some of our commanders are in the field to give military advice to the Iraqi army, Lebanon's Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance movement." Previously, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marziyeh Afkham had rejected claims about the presence of Iranian forces in Iraq to help the country's Shiite-led govt in its fight against the Islamic State organisation and its allies. Middleeastmonitor
Davutoglu: Failure to support democracy led to ISIL
Istanbul: The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is caused by the world's failure to support democracy in the Middle East, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu has said. AA
Hamas,ISIL ‘branches of same poisonous tree': Netanyahu
UN: In a blistering speech to the UN, Israeli PM  Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Monday that Hamas and the Islamic State group are “branches of the same poisonous tree,” both bent on world domination through terror, just as the Nazis were. Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, said Netanyahu’s speech was “a blatant manipulation of facts” aimed at misleading world leaders “through a combination of hate language, slander and argument of obfuscation.”Hamas official Izzat al-Rishiq told the AP:“We are not terrorists, we are victims of the Israeli occupation who took our land and expelled our people. We are fighting for freedom and independence. Israel is the one that targets civilians.” AP
Syria backs fight against ISIL, minister tells UN
Syria stands with a worldwide effort to combat ISIL, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said on Monday, in a statement to the UN that appeared to give tacit approval of US and Arab air strikes in Syria targeting the militants. Moualem told the United Nations General Assembly that military action to tackle ISIL, Nusra Front, and other groups should coincide with cutting off their flow of funds, weapons, fighters and training.WorldBulletin
US-Afghan sign pact to keep troops post- 2014; Taliban calls it US "sinister" plot to control Afghanistan: Reuters
KABUL: Officials from Afghanistan and the US on Tuesday signed a long-delayed security agreement to allow American troops to stay in the country after the end of the year, filling a campaign promise by new President Ashraf Ghani.National security adviser Hanif Atmar and US ambassador James Cunningham signed the bilateral security agreement in a televised ceremony at the presidential palace, one day after Ghani was inaugurated. Ghani's predecessor, Hamid Karzai, had long refused to agree to the deal, souring his ties with the US. Karzai cited his anger over civilian deaths and his belief that the war was not fought in the interests of his country. "It is a choice by the USto continue cooperating with our Afghan partners on two important security missions: training and equipping Afghan forces and supporting cooperation against terrorism," Cunningham said. Minutes after the security pact was signed, a similar agreement with Nato was ratified to allow the alliance's European members to contribute to a residual foreign force. Under the agreement, 12,000 foreign military personnel are expected to stay after 2014, when the combat mission of Afghanistan's US-led Nato force ends. The force is expected to be made up of 9,800 US troops with the rest from other Nato members. They will train and assist Afghan security forces in the war against the Taliban and its radical Islamist allies. The US has the right to keep bases in Afghanistan as long as the security pact is in force, and in return it promises to raise funds to train and equip the Afghan security forces, which now number 350,000. The Taliban have denounced the pact with the US and repeated that on Tuesday, calling it a "sinister" plot by the US to control Afghanistan and restore its international credibility as a military super power. "Under the name of the security agreement, today Americans want to prepare themselves for another non-obvious and very dangerous fight," the Taliban said in a statement emailed to the media. "With their bulk of artifices and deceptions they want to hoodwink the people. They think that the Afghan people do not know about their conspiracies and their sinister goals." Reuters

Israel to build 'smart fence' around Gaza Belt
Jerusalem: Israel's Defense Ministry will build a "smart" fence enclosing settlements near the Gaza Strip, military sources said Monday.The planned fence will be equipped with an alarm system designed to alert Gaza Belt regional councils with any infiltration attempts, one of the sources was quoted as saying by the Walla news portal. "Work has already begun in [Gaza Belt] communities," the source said. Anadolu Agency 
Jewish settlers seize East Jerusalem buildings
Jerusalem: Jewish settlers seized seven residential buildings in the south of occupied East Jerusalem under the protection of Israeli police, a Palestinian official confirmed Tuesday."A group of Jewish settlers seized the seven buildings in Silwan neighborhood in the early hours of Tuesday," Ahmed al-Ruweidi, the advisor on Jerusalem affairs to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office, told Anadolu Agency.Al-Ruweidi, who lives in Silwan, said that the Israeli forces arrived in the neighborhood in the early hours of Tuesday and enabled the settlers to take over the seven buildings, which contained 22 residential units."This is a grave Israeli violation of Jerusalem," he said. "The seized buildings are located in a very sensitive area as it is only 300 meters away from Al-Aqsa Mosque compound." Anadolu Agency 
Egypt court sends 63 Brotherhood members to jail for protest against military coup

 Cairo: An Egyptian court Tuesday sentenced 63 members of the Muslim Brotherhood to 15 years in prison on charges of violence during last year's protests in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. The defendants were convicted of committing violent acts, sabotage, attempted murder, damaging public property and possession of weapons. The court also fined them 20,000 Egyptian pounds. Another 5 Morsi supporters were sentenced to 10 years in jail and a fine of 10,000 Egyptian pounds over the same charges in a case known as the "Asbakyah riots," which took place near Ramsis square in Cairo. The court also ordered placing all the 68 convicts under security supervision for 5 years after the prison term. Hundreds of Morsi supporters have been handed lengthy jail terms and death sentences after speedy trials, since the army's coup in July last year overthrew Morsi.IANS 
Myanmar confirms controversial Rohingya plan at UN
Myanmar has confirmed to the United Nations it is finalising a plan that will offer minority Rohingya Muslims citizenship if they change their ethnicity to suggest Bangladeshi origin, a move rights groups say could force thousands into detention camps. Most of Myanmar's 1.1 million Rohingya are stateless and live in apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine state on the western coast of the predominantly Buddhist country. World bulletin
Media Dept. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind
Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq

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