23 Alarm 

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Alarm 24: 2013-05-06 Islamic Alarms

Introduction  
Are Muslims permitted to lie?

1 Saudi princesses kept hostages by king in their own palace
2 Egypt's Sisi: Brotherhood will not return
3 China: Knife attack wounds six in Guangzhou
4 Kosovo leaders agree early election after vote on army nixed
5 Yemen army enters militant stronghold in south: defense ministry

 


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Published on Mar 28, 2014 Tonight exclusively on Channel 4 News the daughters of the king of Saudi Arabia speak out about being locked away for years.

Introduction

Read here about True (Koranic) Muslims attacking Worldly (non-Koranic) Muslims. 

On February 16, 2012, Judge Nancy Edmunds of Federal District Court in Detroit sentenced Abdulmutallab to four consecutive life sentences plus 50 years.[11][144][145] He shouted, "Allahu akbar" five times during his sentencing, and said that Muslims were "proud to kill in the name of God, and that is what God told us to do in the Quran."[146]

Muslims need to see that they are victims of a theocratic murdering cult!

Koran (non-abrogated) Sura 9 The Immunity

 (Detail with References see 2-6-7-7 Sura 9 )

.1 (This is a declaration of) immunity by Allah and His Apostle towards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement.
.2 So go about in the land for four months and know that you cannot weaken Allah and that Allah will bring disgrace to the unbelievers.
.3 And an announcement from Allah and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve.
.4 Except those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely Allah loves those who are careful (of their duty).
.5 So when the sacred months have passed away,* then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate (extortion), leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
* {The three successive forbidden months mentioned by Muhammad (months in which battles are forbidden) are Dhu al-Qi'dah, Dhu al-Hijjah, and Muharram, months 11, 12, and 1. The single forbidden month is Rajab, month 7. These months were considered forbidden both within the new Islamic calendar and within the old pagan Meccan calendar, although whether they maintained their "forbidden" status after the conquest of Mecca has been disputed among Islamic scholars.}

Are Muslims permitted to lie?

TheReligionofPeace.com
Guide to Understanding Islam

 

 

What does the
Religion of Peace
Teach About...

Lying (Taqiyya and Kitman)

 
 

Question
:

Are Muslims permitted to lie?
 


Summary Answer
:

Muslim scholars teach that Muslims should generally be truthful to each other, unless the purpose of lying is to "smooth over differences."

There are two forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, taqiyya and kitman.  These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause Islam - in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability and defeat them. 
 


The Qur'an:

Qur'an (16:106) - Establishes that there are circumstances that can "compel" a Muslim to tell a lie.

Qur'an (3:28) - This verse tells Muslims not to take those outside the faith as friends, unless it is to "guard themselves." 

Qur'an (9:3) - "...Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters..."  The dissolution of oaths with the pagans who remained at Mecca following its capture.  They did nothing wrong, but were evicted anyway.

Qur'an (40:28) - A man is introduced as a believer, but one who must "hide his faith" among those who are not believers.

Qur'an (2:225) - "Allah will not call you to account for thoughtlessness in your oaths, but for the intention in your hearts"  The context of this remark is marriage, which explains why Sharia allows spouses to lie to each other for the greater good.

Qur'an (66:2) - "Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths"

Qur'an (3:54) - "And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers."  The Arabic word used here for scheme (or plot) is makara, which literally means deceit.  If Allah is deceitful toward unbelievers, then there is little basis for denying that Muslims are allowed to do the same. (See also 8:30 and 10:21)

Taken collectively these verses are interpreted to mean that there are circumstances when a Muslim may be "compelled" to deceive others for a greater purpose.
 


From the Hadith:

 

Bukhari (52:269) - "The Prophet said, 'War is deceit.'"  The context of this is thought to be the murder of Usayr ibn Zarim and his thirty unarmed men by Muhammad's men after he "guaranteed" them safe passage (see Additional Notes below).

 

Bukhari (49:857) - "He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar."  Lying is permitted when the end justifies the means.

 

Bukhari (84:64-65) - Speaking from a position of power at the time, Ali confirms that lying is permissible in order to deceive an "enemy."

 

Muslim (32:6303) - "...he did not hear that exemption was granted in anything what the people speak as lie but in three cases: in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them)."

 

Bukhari (50:369) - Recounts the murder of a poet, Ka'b bin al-Ashraf, at Muhammad's insistence.  The men who volunteered for the assassination used dishonesty to gain Ka'b's trust, pretending that they had turned against Muhammad.  This drew the victim out of his fortress, whereupon he was brutally slaughtered despite putting up a ferocious struggle for his life.

 

From Islamic Law:

Reliance of the Traveler (p. 746 - 8.2) -  "Speaking is a means to achieve objectives. If a praiseworthy aim is attainable through both telling the truth and lying, it is unlawful to accomplish through lying because there is no need for it.  When it is possible to achieve such an aim by lying but not by telling the truth, it is permissible to lie if attaining the goal is permissible (N:i.e. when the purpose of lying is to circumvent someone who is preventing one from doing something permissible), and obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory... it is religiously precautionary in all cases to employ words that give a misleading impression...

"One should compare the bad consequences entailed by lying to those entailed by telling the truth, and if the consequences of telling the truth are more damaging, one is entitled to lie.


Additional Notes:
 

Muslims are allowed to lie to unbelievers in order to defeat them.  The two forms are 

Taqiyya - Saying something that isn't true.

Kitman - Lying by omission.  An example would be when Muslim apologists quote only a fragment of verse 5:32 (that if anyone kills "it shall be as if he had killed all mankind") while neglecting to mention that the rest of the verse (and the next) mandate murder in undefined cases of "corruption" and "mischief."

Though not called Taqiyya by name, Muhammad clearly used deception when he signed a 10-year treaty with the Meccans that allowed him access to their city while he secretly prepared his own forces for a takeover.  The unsuspecting residents were conquered in easy fashion after he broke the treaty two years later, and some of the people in the city who had trusted him at his word were executed.

Another example of lying is when Muhammad used deception to trick his personal enemies into letting down their guard and exposing themselves to slaughter by pretending to seek peace.  This happened in the case of Ka'b bin al-Ashraf (as previously noted) and again later against Usayr ibn Zarim, a surviving leader of the Banu Nadir tribe, which had been evicted from their home in Medina by the Muslims.

At the time, Usayr ibn Zarim was attempting to gather an armed force against the Muslims from among a tribe allied with the Quraish (against which Muhammad had already declared war).  Muhammad's "emissaries" went to ibn Zarim and persuaded him to leave his safe haven on the pretext of meeting with the prophet of Islam in Medina to discuss peace.  Once vulnerable, the leader and his thirty companions were massacred by the Muslims with ease, belying the probability that they were mostly unarmed, having been given a guarantee of safe passage (Ibn Ishaq 981).

Such was the reputation of Muslims for lying and then killing that even those who "accepted Islam" did not feel entirely safe.  The fate of the Jadhima is tragic evidence for this.  When Muslim "missionaries" approached their tribe one of the members insisted that they would be slaughtered even though they had already "converted" to Islam to avoid just such a demise.  However, the others were convinced that they could trust the Muslim leader's promise that they would not be harmed if they simply offered no resistance.  (After convincing the skeptic to lay down his arms, the unarmed men of the tribe were quickly tied up and beheaded - Ibn Ishaq 834 & 837).

Today's Muslims often try to justify Muhammad's murder of poets and others who criticized him at Medina by saying that they broke a treaty by their actions.  Yet, these same apologists place little value on treaties broken by Muslims.  From Muhammad to Saddam Hussein, promises made to non-Muslim are distinctly non-binding in the Muslim mindset.

Leaders in the Arab world routinely say one thing to English-speaking audiences and then something entirely different to their own people in Arabic.  Yassir Arafat was famous for telling Western newspapers about his desire for peace with Israel, then turning right around and whipping Palestinians into a hateful and violent frenzy against Jews.

The 9/11 hijackers practiced deception by going into bars and drinking alcohol, thus throwing off potential suspicion that they were fundamentalists plotting jihad.  This effort worked so well, in fact, that even weeks after 9/11, John Walsh, the host of a popular American television show, said that their bar trips were evidence of 'hypocrisy.'

The transmission from Flight 93 records the hijackers telling their doomed passengers that there is "a bomb on board" but that everyone will "be safe" as long as "their demands are met."  Obviously none of these things were true, but these men, who were so intensely devoted to Islam that they were willing to "slay and be slain for the cause of Allah" (as the Qur'an puts it) saw nothing wrong with employing Taqiyya in order to facilitate their mission of mass murder.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) insists that it "has not now or ever been involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, or supported any covert, illegal, or terrorist activity or organization."  In fact, it was created by the Muslim Brotherhood and has bankrolled Hamas.  At least nine founders or board members of ISNA have been accused by prosecutors of supporting terrorism.

Prior to engineering several deadly terror plots, such as the Fort Hood massacre and the attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner, American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was regularly sought out by NPR, PBS and even government leaders to expound on the peaceful nature of Islam.

The near absence of Qur'anic verse and reliable Hadith that encourage truthfulness is somewhat surprising, given that many Muslims are convinced that their religion teaches honesty.  In fact, it is because of this ingrained belief that many Muslims are quite honest.  When lying is addressed in the Qur'an, it is nearly always in reference to the "lies against Allah" - referring to the Jews and Christians who rejected Muhammad's claim to being a prophet.

Finally, the circumstances by which Muhammad allowed a believer to lie to a non-spouse are limited to those that either advance the cause of Islam or enable a Muslim to avoid harm to his well-being (and presumably that of other Muslims as well).  Although this should be kept very much in mind when dealing with matters of global security, such as Iran's nuclear intentions, it is not grounds for assuming that the Muslim one might personally encounter on the street or in the workplace is any less honest than anyone else.
 

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Saudi princesses kept hostages by king in their own palace

'We have no water, running out of food:' Saudi princesses kept hostages by king in their own palace

 


Click here to view a saved copy. mp4

Published on Mar 28, 2014 Tonight exclusively on Channel 4 News the daughters of the king of Saudi Arabia speak out about being locked away for years.


Click to view a saved copy.  mp4

The Saudi princesses who have been locked up by their father - the king of Saudi Arabia - for about 13 years for speaking out against the country's oppression of women, told RT they are on survival mode in their own palace.

“We are running out of food and out of water. We are on survival mode. We are eating some expired food. All that we can find,” Sahar and Jawaher Al Saud, the daughters of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, told RT.

The sisters are being kept, as they say, against their will in two mansions inside a royal compound in the city of Jeddah along with their two other sisters - Maha and Hala. They are between the ages of 38 and 42, with at least one said to be suffering from psychological problems.

“We’d like to know what we are being charged with. We’d like to know that. ... This is called captivity and captivity is illegal anywhere in the world. This is abuse,” Sahar and Jawaher added.

The sisters say they are waiting for international bodies to react to their situation.

“We are waiting to hear from some so-called international community, everyone who is defending human rights and obviously call human rights organizations to come out and actually hold the king and his sons to account,” Sahar and Jawaher told RT.

Earlier, in rare interviews to media outlets, the sisters said they don’t have any passports or ID and the king has also forbidden any man to seek his daughters’ hands in marriage.

In the interview to the New York Post in April, the sisters said they were suffering from dehydration and their rooms were full with bugs. Water and electricity were shut off at random, sometimes for days or even weeks, they added.

According to their mother, Alanoud Al-Fayez, who married king Abdullah back in 1970s when she was only 15, “her daughters’ case is a tip of the iceberg.”

“They speak about driving. It’s funny… women in Saudi Arabia need more than driving, they need their rights first,” Al-Fayez, a descendant of a well-to-do Jordanian family, told RT.

“My daughters were mistreated psychologically, some are physically abused, sometimes by their brothers, father, yes my daughters’ plight is highlighting this,” she added.

Abdullah who has had over 30 wives, and has fathered more than 40 children, divorced AlFayez in the 1980s. In 2001 she left for London.

In 2002, less than one year after Al-Fayez escaped, Abdullah began tormenting his daughters. The girls told their mother that he drugged their food and water to keep them docile when the sisters openly spoke in opposition to women being illegally detained and placed in mental wards.

In March, Al-Fayez asked Barack Obama, who visited Riyadh, the Saudi capital, to help release her daughters.

“They need to be saved and released immediately. Mr Obama should take this opportunity to address these grave violations committed against my daughters,” she said, reported AFP.

The Saudi Arabia authorities, however, rejected the allegations, saying the princesses are allowed to freely move about Jeddah, as long as they are accompanied by bodyguards.

Meanwhile, in April Sahar urged there should be a popular revolution against her father in her video message.

“Greetings to martyrs and to free men in jail! It is an honor for me to learn the meaning of freedom, rights and dignity from you revolutionary people … God’s hand will be above us,” she said.

Women in SA can’t go to school, travel, open any business or get medical treatment without male permission. It is the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving.

Attempts to resist the rules are few and rarely successful. The latest protest against the ban on woman driving in October 2013 saw some 60 activists taking to the wheel At least 16 women were stopped by police during this protest; they were fined and forced to obey state laws. Many Saudi clerics condemned the act.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah (Reuters / Kevin Lamarque)

'No real reform in Saudi Arabia'

According to Naseer Alomari, writer and political commentator, “the crescendo of the criticism” towards SA has increased judging from social media.

“The legal system in Saudi Arabia is not even written down. There is no real reform going on in Saudi Arabia and the Saudis understand this more than at any time in their history,” Alomari told RT.

Alomari added that the Obama administration “turned a blind eye” to these human rights violations that have gone on for so long in the country.

“You can never have an American official on record as saying that ‘we do not accept human rights violations.’ … Arabs in the Middle East can see the hypocrisy and the double talk when it comes to human violations in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world,” he added.

In March, during Obama’s visit to the kingdom, the subject on the new controversial anti-terrorist law wasn’t raised, according to a US official despite mounting concern over human rights abuses in the country. Earlier, human rights groups urged Obama to mention a controversial new anti-terror law in the Saudi kingdom that any act that undermines the security of the state may be treated as an act of terrorism.

Rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have been extremely vocal in their demands that Saudi Arabia soften its clampdown on human rights activists in the country.

Comments (13)

 

David Meikle 05.05.2014 23:43

Why are people blaming merika. It is the king and his puppets who are to blame here. It is these clowns in power taking the koran and twisting it around for their own personal means. Just like happens with all religion and how many centuries have the ignorant and weak willed been lead along by these travesties called leaders. People need to wake up and stand up world wide. These small minorities of elitist prix do not have the right to harvest the worlds resources for their own personal gain. How much longer will we let them do this to us and OUR PLANET.

 

Anna Charles 05.05.2014 22:19

This King has got 2 beautiful, educated daughters. That's puts him in an awkward position. He spent money educating his daughters in Western ways and standards meanwhile espousing a different set of expectations for every other woman in his Kingdom. Inconsistent practices.
Now he has created a legacy to be proud of; his daughters have more courage and decency in their souls than any son he could have hoped and prayed for. IMHO

 

Homer the Homie 05.05.2014 21:46

This dude Abdullah is Musloid !

 

Anton Antonsson 05.05.2014 17:56

Why is it an issue now?. this is nothing new, all well educated countries in the world know this. And while they are friends of U.S. then nothing happens, the people there will remain spiritual slaves. Women there will continue to be furniture.

 

Arturo Campos 05.05.2014 17:54

Saudy Arabia is the China of the middle east for the U.S., who cares about human rights, as long as it works for the interest of the bureaucrats in Washington DC.

Thanks RT, for showing the true face of the U.S. and its controlled media, cherry picking news is what all the citizens in that country see........seeing reality as it is, is not their forte. But brainwashing is.

 

Impulse 05.05.2014 16:38

Obama was the wrong person to ask the help with her daughters. The people of the US of today has no clue what a Human Right feels like, so how on earth can they help give it to other people? In America you have as much rights as the money you have to your name and since 99% of the population are living on 3 paychecks into the future if not in abject debt, no one in the US have rights accept the Super Rich.

 

Arun Verma 05.05.2014 16:19

It is clear case of Human Rights violation I am shocked to know it. What is the use of United Nations if it cannot take active action against such kind of heinous crime. King is guardian of whole nation unfortunately his own daughters are not safe in his regime. It clearly speaks about lot of things which is going on there. World countries should immediately impose strict sanctions against Saudi Arabia. India is against king of saudi arabia. Respect, dignity and freedom is like air that gives life to us.

 

Patrick Thomas Notestine 05.05.2014 16:00

I wrote about those two girls in my book, "Paramedic to the Prince". Although I never saw the girls. It was widely known around the palace that they were kept in seclusion. The former wife of the King is so right when she states this is only the tip of the iceberg. I now work in Iraq and what you never see on the news is that most of the foreign fighters killing and bombing Iraqi's and were killing American troops are from Saudi Arabia. Anbar province and the towns and cities within that province are now controlled by these terrorist.

 

squillaempusa 05.05.2014 15:13

why aren't we putting sanctions on "them"? where are the drones? where's Kerry?

 

Hansel 05.05.2014 15:03

 

Guru 05.05.2014 14:10

Hard to believe this, according to State Department's Human's Right report Saudi Arabia is model of democracy and human rights!

  


Well, we know that "Democracy" ; as it should be, doesn't exist anymore....the Saudis have a large track record of human rights infringement. They should be tried in international courts for them..

 

Sashka26FW 05.05.2014 14:46

where is obama, where is cameron, where is LGBT?! where are human rights? they are hiding and waiting where US sends them.. they care nothing about human rights, democracy.. just tools, nothing but oppressive regime tools for washington corrupt regime..

 

Guru 05.05.2014 14:10

Hard to believe this, according to State Department's Human's Right report Saudi Arabia is model of democracy and human rights!

 

John Stroncheck 05.05.2014 14:09

I lived in Saudi Arabia for three months. Everyone I met (only men) were very nice and loved family. The House of Saud's action against their daughters doesn't reflect the will of the people of Saudi Arabia. But then again, with factions of the princes supporting the US' war of terror in order to effect a sectarian divide in the Muslim religion, I am not surprised that they would think that psychologically abusing their own family members make sense.

View all comments (13)

 

Egypt's Sisi: Brotherhood will not return 

Leading presidential candidate Abdel Fattah el-Sisi says Muslim Brotherhood is "finished" in Egypt if he is elected.

Last updated: 06 May 2014


Sisi told Egyptian TV that the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology was based on "arrogance in religion" [AP]

Egypt's former-army chief and leading presidential candidate Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has said that the Muslim Brotherhood movement of deposed leader Mohamed Morsi was "finished" in Egypt and would not return if he was elected.

Sisi spoke in the first TV interview of his campaign, aired on Monday, vowing that restoring stability and bringing development were his priorities.


The comments were a seemingly unequivocal rejection of any political reconciliation with the Brotherhood, which was Egypt's most powerful political force until Sisi removed Morsi last summer.

Since ousting Morsi, Sisi has been riding an overwhelming media frenzy lauding him as Egypt's saviour, and his status as the country's strongest figure all but guarantees him a victory in the May 26-27 election.

Sisi's only opponent in the race is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, the third-place finisher in the 2012 election won by Morsi.

Brotherhood crackdown

Sisi, who retired from the military in March with the rank of field marshal to launch his candidacy, heads toward office at a time of deepened polarisation.

Morsi's supporters have continued protests against the new government, often met by fierce and lethal clashes with security forces.

Hundreds have been killed and more than 16,000 members of the Brotherhood and other Islamists have been arrested. Clashes have waned, but the government has branded the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation.

At the same time, armed groups have claimed responsibility for a string of bombings and shootings against police and the military in retaliation for Morsi's removal.

In the joint interview with two private Egyptian TV stations, Sisi directly accused the Brotherhood of being behind the campaign of bombings and shootings.

He said the movement is using Islamic armed groups as a "cover, to fight from behind this or that group".

Asked whether the Brotherhood will no longer exist under his presidency, Sisi replied, "Yes. Just like that."

"It's not me that finished it, the Egyptians have. The problem is not with me," he said.


He said the Brotherhood's ideology was based on "arrogance in religion" - and the presence of that strain of thought had destabilised Egyptian society for decades.

"The thought structure of these groups says that we are not true Muslims, and they believed conflict was inevitable because we are non-believers," he said.

"It will not work for there to be such thinking again."

His election campaign is likely to largely be made up of TV and media interviews and private meetings, with few street appearances, mainly because of security concerns, given the fierce emotions surrounding his candidacy and the threat of assassination.

In the interview, Sisi said there have already been two assassination plots against him uncovered, without giving details.

478

Source:
AP

 

China: Knife attack wounds six in Guangzhou 

Six wounded in knife attack at southern China rail station

By Ben Blanchard

Armed policemen stand guard at a railway station after a knife attack in Guangzhou, Guangdong province May 6, 2014. REUTERS-Alex Lee   A policeman stands guard at a railway station after a knife attack in Guangzhou, Guangdong province May 6, 2014. REUTERS-Alex Lee
Armed policemen stand guard at a railway station after a knife attack in Guangzhou, Guangdong province May 6, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Alex Lee

 

(Reuters) - A single knife-wielding assailant wounded six people on Tuesday in an attack at a railway station in China's southern city of Guangzhou, police and state media said, the latest of a series of assaults to raise jitters around the country.

Police gave no reason for the attack, but China has grown increasingly nervous about Islamic militancy since a car burst into flames on the edge of Beijing's Tiananmen Square in October and 29 people were stabbed to death in March in the southwestern city of Kunming.

The government blamed militants from the restive far western region of Xinjiang for both those attacks. Resource-rich and strategically located Xinjiang, on the borders of central Asia, has for years been beset by violence blamed by the Chinese government on Islamist militants.

Despite earlier reports on state media that up to four assailants may have been involved, Guangzhou police said on their official microblog that their initial probe found there was just a single suspect. He had been shot and wounded.

"After verbal warnings were ineffective, police fired, hitting one male suspect holding a knife, and subdued him," Guangzhou police said.

They did not identify the attacker.

Xinhua news agency said that the attacker had been hospitalized, and that police were not immediately able to identify him as he had no documents on him.

State television said that reports police had picked up another suspect near the station were also wrong, and that a person who had been detained had nothing to do with the case.

Provincial television showed pictures of what it said was an apparently injured suspect being pressed to the ground by police and plainclothes security officials, as they removed a bloodied white t-shirt.

It was not possible to see the person's face.

Speaking while on a visit to Hong Kong, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel expressed "horror, outrage and sympathy" at the attack.

"We oppose terrorism in all forms, and in those instances where the available information or the information shared by the Chinese authorities pointed to terrorism by a group or individual, we have condemned it as terrorism," he said.

China last week reacted angrily to U.S. criticism of the level of cooperation from Beijing on fighting terrorism.

China blamed religious extremists for a bomb and knife attack last Wednesday at a train station in Urumqi, the regional capital of Xinjiang, that killed one bystander and wounded 79.

The government called the attackers "terrorists", a term it uses to describe Islamist militants and separatists in Xinjiang who have waged a sometimes violent campaign for an independent East Turkestan state.

Exiles and rights groups say the real cause of the unrest in Xinjiang is China's heavy-handed policies, including curbs on Islam and the culture and language of the Muslim Uighur people.

(Additional reporting by Li Hui and Michael Martina, and Greg Torode in HONG KONG; Editing by Nick Macfie)

 

Kosovo leaders agree early election after vote on army nixed 

By Fatos Bytyci

Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci speaks to Reuters during an interview in Pristina March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Hazir Reka
Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci speaks to Reuters during an interview in Pristina March 27, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Hazir Reka

Related Topics

PRISTINA (Reuters) - Leaders of Kosovo's main parties agreed on Tuesday to dissolve parliament this week and hold an early election on June 8 after Serb minority lawmakers nixed a vote on creating a national army by failing to show up.

Kosovo's Western backers, who recognized it as independent in 2008, had been reluctant to see the immediate creation of an army for fear of the message it might send to the more than 100,000 ethnic Serbs who live in the country and to Serbia itself.

Parliament was supposed to hold the vote on Monday, but Kosovo's constitution states that two thirds of lawmakers had to vote, as well as two thirds of minority deputies.

Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said that the leaders of the biggest political parties had agreed in principle to hold the June 8 vote instead of an election planned for November, and that parliament would be dissolved on Wednesday.

Isa Mustafa, the leader of the main opposition party, the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), said after meeting the president: "Parliament is not functioning any more... The best way out is to hold elections in the first part of June, after dissolving the parliament."

Thaci had said publicly before the meeting with President Atifete Jahjaga that a parliament that "cannot vote on the army of its country makes a nonsense of any further proceedings".

His proposal was for the landlocked country of 1.8 million, which borders Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, to have an army of 5,000 active soldiers and 3,000 reservists.

Kosovo already has the nucleus of a future army in the lightly armed, 2,500-strong Kosovo Security Force, tasked with crisis response, civil protection and ordnance disposal.

Any new army would have to work alongside a NATO peace force of 5,000 soldiers still deployed in Kosovo. NATO's attempts to further cut back its presence have been thwarted by continuing ethnic tensions and violence in the north.

Serbia has agreed to cede its de facto control in that area in return for guaranteed rights for ethnic Serbs living there and the start of EU membership talks for Belgrade.

Kosovo has been unable to join the United Nations due to opposition from Russia - a Serbian ally and U.N. veto-holder.

Although Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as sovereign, relations between the two have improved over the past year, after the two sides reached a landmark EU-brokered accord.

(Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and Louise Ireland)

Yemen army enters militant stronghold in south: defense ministry 

ADEN, Yemen Tue May 6, 2014 7:55am EDT

Military vehicles drive on a mountainous road on the frontline of fighting against al Qaeda militants in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa May 5, 2014, in this photo provided by Yemen's defence ministry. REUTERS/Yemen's Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters

Military vehicles drive on a mountainous road on the frontline of fighting against al Qaeda militants in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa May 5, 2014, in this photo provided by Yemen's defence ministry.

Credit: Reuters/Yemen's Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Yemeni government forces waging an offensive against al Qaeda pushed into a militant stronghold in the south after insurgents blew up a government building there with some then withdrawing, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

Since 2012, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's main Yemen base has been in the mountainous al-Mahfad area of Abyan province where militants had fled after the army, with U.S. help, drove them from towns they seized during a chaotic national uprising in 2011.

Major powers are keen on Yemen curbing Islamist insurgents and restoring order in the south to prevent threats to No. 1 oil exporter Saudi Arabia next door and the risk of Yemen being used as a springboard for attacks on Western targets.

The Defense Ministry's website quoted an official military source as saying soldiers and allied tribal militias known as popular committees had crossed into al-Mahfad.

"The source said al Qaeda elements blew up the government building in al-Mahfad," the defense ministry cited the source as saying, and some militants had fled the area afterwards.

The Yemeni army is waging a concerted offensive against insurgents in some of the most impenetrable regions of the Arabian Peninsula state.

The offensive follows a series of air strikes, including by U.S. drones, against insurgent bastions that killed some 65 fighters. Last week a Yemeni official and tribal source confirmed the killing of the head of the AQAP cell in al-Mahfad.

(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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