Thursday, January 26, 2017

Darmstadt release Anis Ben-Hatira over link to Salafism

    Thursday, January 26, 2017   No comments
ISR comment: Should membership in Salafism be criminalized? The release of a soccer player in Europe seem to suggest that there is a basis for criminalizing a religious sect simply because all members of actual terrorist groups, like ISIL and al-Qaeda, are derived from such a sect. It is true that all ISIL armed terrorists come from Salafist groups, but that does not make all Salafists terrorists or members of ISIL. Salafism is a broad sect that consists of many schools of thought that are at times contradictory to one another. Therefore, the generalization is not warranted. It is also wrong to persecute or prosecute persons on ideological or belief basis. These problems are what allowed groups like ISIL to thrive because ISIL made the point that all of Islam, or Sunnism, is being targeted by the West, not just those who carry out cruel and criminal acts. A new strategy is needed to confront the problems that extremism poses, not tired simplistic logic.

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Bundesliga club Darmstadt have released Tunisian midfielder Anis Ben-Hatira by mutual consent following criticism of his ties with an Islamic charity.

Ansaar International has been criticised in Germany with media reports alleging it was linked to the controversial Islamic Salafist sect.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Full text of Astana Statement on Syrian Settlement

    Tuesday, January 24, 2017   No comments
Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey issued a statement at the conclusion of the Astana international meeting on the Syrian settlement, January 23-24, 2017, stressing the following:
  •     Support launching the talks between the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the armed opposition groups in Astana on January 23‑24, 2017;
  •     Appreciate the participation in and facilitation of the above-mentioned talks by the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy on Syria;
  •     Reaffirm their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic as a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, non-sectarian and democratic State, as confirmed by the UN Security Council;
  •     Express their conviction that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it can only be solved through a political process based on the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2254 in its entirety;
  •     Will seek, through concrete steps and using their influence over the parties, consolidation of the ceasefire regime established pursuant to the arrangements signed on December 29, 2016 and supported by the UN Security Council resolution 2336 (2016), contribution to minimizing violations, reducing violence, building confidence, ensuring unhindered humanitarian access swiftly and smoothly in line with the UN Security Council resolution 2165 (2014) and protection and free movement of civilians in Syria;
  •     Decide to establish a trilateral mechanism to observe and ensure full compliance with the ceasefire, prevent any provocations and determine all modalities of the ceasefire;
  •     Reiterate their determination to fight jointly against ISIL/DAESH and Al-Nusra and to separate from them
    armed opposition groups;
  •     Express their conviction that there is an urgent necessity to step up efforts to jumpstart the negotiation process in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 2254;
  •     Emphasize that the International Meeting on Syria in Astana is an effective platform for a direct dialogue between the government and the opposition as required by the UN Security Council resolution 2254;
  •     Support the willingness of the armed opposition groups to participate in the next round of negotiations to be held between the government and the opposition under the UN auspices in Geneva as of February 8, 2017;
  •     Urge all members of the international community to support the political process with a view to swiftly implementing all steps agreed on the UN Security Council resolution 2254;
  •     Decide to actively cooperate on the Astana platform on specific issues of the UN-facilitated Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process so as to contribute to global efforts to implement the UN Security Council resolution 2254;
  •     Express gratitude to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev, and to the Kazakh side in general, for hosting the International Meeting on Syria in Astana.

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Text of UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015)


 



Text of UN Security Council resolution 2336 (2016)

  


Friday, January 20, 2017

Turkey no longer insists on Assad's ouster

    Friday, January 20, 2017   No comments
Turkey can no longer insist on a resolution of the conflict in Syria without the involvement of President Bashar al-Assad, as the situation on the ground has changed dramatically, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Friday.

Turkey has long insisted that Assad must go for sustainable peace to be achieved in Syria. But it has become less insistent on his immediate departure since its recent rapprochement with Russia, which backs the Syrian leader, and ahead of peace talks planned in Kazakhstan next week.

“As far as our position on Assad is concerned, we think that the suffering of (the) Syrian people and the tragedies, clearly the blame is squarely on Assad. But we have to be pragmatic, realistic,” Simsek told a panel on Syria and Iraq at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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