NEW DELHI (AP) - An uneasy calm prevailed in Indian-administered Kashmir on Monday (Aug 12) as people celebrated a major Islamic festival during an unprecedented crackdown after India moved to strip the disputed region of its constitutional autonomy and imposed an indefinite curfew. Troops allowed Muslims to walk to local mosques alone or in pairs and pray for the Eid al-Adha festival although streets were deserted, with authorities not allowing any large congregations to avoid anti-India protests. All communications and the Internet remained cut off for an eighth day. "Our hearts are on fire," said Mr Habibullah Bhat, 75, who said he came to offer prayers despite his failing health. "India has thrown us into dark ages, but God is on our side and our resistance will win." Hundreds of worshippers hit a street in a neighborhood in Srinagar after the prayers and chanted: "We want freedom" and "Go India, Go back," eyewitnesses said. Officials said the protest ended peacefully. A tweet … [Read more...] about Uneasy calm in Indian Kashmir on Islamic festival day
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KUALA LUMPUR: It was the largest migration of foreign fighters seen in history.Today, with the defeat of the Islamic State group, some experts believe that one of the biggest threats the world is facing is the return of the fighters.Of the 41,000 people believed to have travelled to join the self-declared caliphate, an estimated 1,000 people were from Southeast Asia, some of whom have already returned to plot attacks in their home countries.“If you see the fall of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and say that we’re going to enter a peacetime period, (you’d be) wrong,” warned Ahmad El-Muhammady, a counter-terrorism analyst at the International Islamic University Malaysia.People often make the mistake of thinking that once a terrorist organisation has been crushed, “it’s dead”. But its members would spread globally and could remain “hidden from the government radar”.“We’re going through the hibernation period. … [Read more...] about Islamic State fighters heading home: Is Southeast Asia ready?
SINGAPORE: Singapore's Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA) will be updated to deal with new threats arising from the ubiquity of the Internet, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam on Wednesday (Jul 24).Mr Shanmugam, who was speaking at a forum on religion, extremism and identity politics, said that the MRHA, which was passed in Parliament in 1990 and came into force in 1992, needs to be refreshed."The world has become a very different place, we now have Facebook, Twitter, Google. Hate can go viral in seconds," he said at the forum organised by the Institute of Policy Studies and the Ministry of Home Affairs. "We are going to need to relook the MRHA, (and) need a more robust set of tools to make sure we can stop the spreading of hate and discord."He added that the update needs to be done with the agreement of various stakeholders and the Government has been in discussions with different religious leaders and groups."They are all in sync, … [Read more...] about Singapore’s religious harmony law to be updated: Shanmugam
Islamic State group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who purportedly appeared for the first time in five years in an IS propaganda video released Monday, remains the world's most wanted man, despite the jihadists' "caliphate" imploding weeks ago. After declaring himself caliph in 2014, Baghdadi held sway over seven million people across swathes of Syria and Iraq, where IS implemented its brutal version of Islamic law. But that land has been whittled down to disjointed sleeper cells by years of fighting, including a ferocious bombing campaign by a US-led coalition. It is unclear when the footage was filmed, but the man said to be Baghdadi referred to last week's deadly attack in Sri Lanka and to the months-long fight for IS's final bastion Baghouz, which ended in late March. "The battle for Baghouz is over," he said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces have been blurred. "God ordered us to wage 'jihad.' He did not order us to win," he … [Read more...] about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State group’s elusive leader
By Louis Keene Jennifer Medina and Elizabeth Dias, The New York Times Mon., April 29, 2019 POWAY, CALIF.—The rabbi had just finished comforting a congregant as she prepared to say the traditional prayer for the dead in honour of her mother when a loud crack rang out in his synagogue. It was about halfway through the Sabbath service on Saturday when a gunman turned what was supposed to be a time of solace into a day of horror. The rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, turned quickly to see the body of the woman, Lori Gilbert Kaye, 60, slumped on the floor. He began to rush toward her when he caught sight of several small children watching as the gunman unleashed the attack on Chabad of Poway. “My instinct was to go to her, but I turned toward a doorway and these little kids were there, so scared,” he said. By then, Goldstein had been shot in both hands. “I just grabbed them with my bloody fingers. They were screaming and I was shouting.” As Goldstein … [Read more...] about Synagogue shooting keeps religious leaders on edge: ‘No one should be gunned down in worship’