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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Amman conference calls for visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque; supporting Jerusalemites

Amman (IINA) � The three-day conference on Islam and contemporary challenges in the shadows of the Amman Message concluded its activities in Jordan's capital Amman on Saturday.

The conference discussed the challenges of terrorism, contemporary Muslim women's issues, globalization and Islamophobia, in addition to the problems of poverty and unemployment, and the achievement of comprehensive development, integration and Islamic solidarity in the face of occupation and persecution.

Participants in the conference recommended the visit of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque to support the Jerusalemites and their steadfastness. They also recommended that the issue of Palestine and Jerusalem to be considered as the core issue of Muslim Ummah.

They further lauded the role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in taking care of holy sites in Jerusalem and Palestine, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The final communique of the conference called for the adoption of an Islamic discourse that adheres to the original and legitimate rules and keeps pace with the methods and means adopted to spread moderation, mercy and tolerance in dealing with Muslims and non-Muslims.

It also called for clarifying the position, based on the essence of Islam and its Sharia, in rejection of hyperbolism, extremism and terrorism. This requires efforts to be made by Muslim scholars, with the view to correcting concepts and guiding the discourse to create generations through the moderation approach and purpose of mercy.

The communique also called for achieving the purposes of the Shariah in preserving the soul, mind, offspring and money for all people, as well as commitment to the Qur'anic method in the dawa work, pursuant to Allah's saying: "Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation."

The final communique underlined the need to preserve the family in all its components, especially the women whose rights should remain undiminished, and that they should have equal access to education and employment opportunities.

The communique pointed out that the distorted image of Muslims, which spread in the West and the world led to the emergence what is known as "Islamophobia". It stressed that it is the duty of Muslims to highlight the best image of Islam through the use of all means of communication available.

It maintained the importance of achieving comprehensive development in the infrastructures, services and investments to develop economic production sectors, and to address poverty, destitution and unemployment, so as to realize the citizen's reasons for a decent living.

The conference commended the efforts of the international Islamic universities in Pakistan, Malaysia and Africa, which spread the principles of true Islam, following the approach of moderation, steadfastness and tolerance.

The participants emphasized in their recommendations on the need to protect the young people through education and technical training, and inculcating moral values in them. They added that the youth should be provided with the inputs of competencies in the labor market to make them productive power that contributes to the development and renaissance.

They called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League to create Islamic and Arab markets to make way for each country to benefit from the successful experiences of others and to promote intra-regional trade in order to achieve comprehensive development.

The participants underscored the need to develop the dawa methods and means in line with sustained technical progress, using social networks and the Internet in a positive manner, and stopping the deviant exploitation of these means to transfer extremist propaganda and ideologies.

Thirty-five research papers and worksheets on the issues of terrorism, contemporary women's issues, globalization Islamophobia, comprehensive development and addressing poverty and unemployment were presented during the conference sessions.

The research papers also tackled the challenge of occupation and oppression that leaves threats and deadly effects on Muslims and non-Muslims, particularly the Zionist occupation and its racial crimes and acts of Judaization of the holy sites, aimed at Judaizing the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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A Look at Islamic State’s Operations in Afghanistan

So-called Islamic State has wreaked havoc in eastern Afghanistan since 2015, mostly through its loose affiliates � attacking government installations and villages, killing and abducting hundreds of people, and keeping schools shuttered and replacing them with IS religious seminaries. It also claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks in the country's capital, Kabul.

Here is a rundown in a question-and-answer format about how IS operates in Afghanistan:

When did IS emerge in Afghanistan?

Branching out from Iraq and Syria � and fueled by a growing militancy in Central Asia � IS launched its operations in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region two years ago, naming it IS's Khorasan province (IS-K) to cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other nearby lands. The name refers to a centuries-old description of Afghanistan and surrounding areas of Central Asia and Persia.

IS-K's founder, Hafiz Saeed Khan, a former Pakistani Taliban commander, appeared in a video in January 2015, along with 10 militant commanders � each representing a sub-region within the Afghan-Pak region � pledging allegiance to IS.

Who are IS-K Members?

According to U.S. and Afghan officials, most IS-K fighters are former members of the Pakistani Taliban group (TTP), many of whom belong to the Orokzai tribe in Pakistan. A number of Central Asian militants in Afghanistan, who previously were associated with al-Qaida and Taliban, joined the IS cause. Some Afghan militants also have joined IS-K ranks for financial gains.

Where is IS-K based and what territory has it captured in Afghanistan?

Based in southern parts of eastern Nangarhar province, IS-K has taken root in mountainous areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year it had a presence in at least 12 Nangarhar districts. The group also expanded to neighboring Kunar province, but has had fewer activities there.

Is IS-K expanding to other parts of Afghanistan?

IS-K has been attempting to expand to other parts of the country. Central Asian fighters who have pledged allegiance to IS have a presence in southern Zabul province.

The group also claims to have a presence in northern Jouzjan and Faryab provinces, where some militants who were previously associated with the Taliban said they have have joined IS-K. The son of a fabled slain Uzbek militant commander, Tahir Yuldash � co-founder and former leader of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) � reportedly has been luring Uzbek men in northern provinces to join the group, according to Afghan officials.

What is the estimated number of IS-K members?

According to the U.S.-led Resolute Mission in Afghanistan, there were about 3,000 IS-K members in Afghanistan last year. The number, however, has been reduced to a few hundred fighters this year.

"In 2016, we believed that year began with about 3,000 or so ISIS-K members in about 12 districts in southern Nangarhar," U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Salvin, spokesperson for Resolute Support in Kabul told VOA last month. "Right now, we believe there are about 600 ISIS-K members in two or three districts in southern Nangarhar."

How are U.S.-Afghan forces fighting IS-K?

American and Afghan forces conduct counterterrorism operations together. U.S. forces pursue a two-way approach to combating IS-K.

"The first is the unilateral U.S. counterterrorism mission called Operation Freedom, and that is where we will conduct the operations against terrorist groups like ISIS-K on our own," Salvin said. "The other way that we are attacking ISIS-K is in partnered operations with the Afghan special forces."

Is IS-K losing in Afghanistan?

U.S.-led NATO officials and members of the Afghan government say their security operations in recent months have reduced IS-K's strength from several thousand to now under 1,000 fighters, and their territorial control from more than 10 districts to fewer than five.

Pentagon officials said Friday they suspected the Islamic State leader in Afghanistan, Abdul Haseeb, was killed in a three-hour firefight in the Mohmand Valley, in the Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province.

Officials said another 35 IS fighters also had been killed.

Haseeb is not the only IS commander to have been killed in U.S.-Afghan security operations in the region. Several top IS-K commanders recently have been killed in counterterrorism airstrikes, including its leader Saeed Khan, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in July 2016.

But despite the battlefield losses, IS-K has "shown an ability to conduct attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in the country," General John Nicholson, the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, recently told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

U.S. and Afghan forces say they are determined to defeat the extremist group in the country this year.

"Our goal in 2017 is to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan," Salvin said.

The U.S. Air Force this month dropped "the mother of all bombs" on IS-K's stronghold in Nangarhar's Achin district, killing at least 95 IS fighters, mostly foreign fighters.

Source: Voice of America

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Gemalto first quarter 2017 revenue

Revenue at €651 million, lower by (6%) at historical exchange rates and (8%) at constant exchange rates Slow start for Enterprise, Machine-to-Machine and Government Programs with acceleration expected in the second semester In response to recent market developments, the Company has launched a transition plan expected to contribute over €50 million to profit from operations […]

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“YPO Innovation Week” Gathers Innovators for Israel Innovation Experience in Tel Aviv, Israel

TEL AVIV, 26 APRIL 2017 – YPO, the world’s premier chief executive leadership organization, today announced that Tel Aviv, Israel, will host InnovNation: the Israel Innovation Experience as a part of YPO Innovation Week 2017, the world’s largest and most impactful global innovation initiative. YPO Innovation Week 2017 features more than 50 events around the […]

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