Canada: Muslim groups call for national day of action against hate

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More than 100 community groups across Canada have called on Justin Trudeau’s government to designate January 29 a National Day of Action against Hate and Intolerance, in memory of the victims of a deadly attack on a Canadian mosque on that date last year.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), which spearheaded an open letter sent to the Canadian government on Thursday, said the move would allow all Canadians “to join together in the fight against Islamophobia and hate of all kinds”.

Six Muslim men were shot and killed after a gunman opened fire at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on 29 January 2017.

“As we approach the second anniversary of the attack, we pause to recognise that the racism and hatred that underpinned this attack do not exist in isolation,” reads the open letter.

Addressed to Canada’s minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism, it was signed by dozens of Muslim, interfaith and other community groups across the country.

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UK parliament defines Islamophobia as a ‘type of racism’

Report was product of two years of consultations and submissions from academics, activists, and members of the UK Muslim community

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A British parliamentary committee has produced a working definition of Islamophobia and classified it as a “type of racism” with hate crimes against Muslims continuing to rise across Britain.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims published its report on Tuesday following two years of consultations and submissions from various groups and individuals.

In the “Islamophobia defined” report, the select committee defined Islamophobia as “rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

“Let us be clear, Islamophobia is rooted in racism, and its victims are not just Muslims but also those who are perceived to be Muslims,” the report’s authors, Anne Soubry and Wes Streeting noted.

“Its effects are seen in individual behaviours and institution processes.

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More than 100 Palestinians wounded in clashes at Gaza-Israel border

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More than 100 Palestinians were reported wounded in violent clashes on Friday afternoon as thousands of demonstrators protested close to the fence, burning tires and throwing rocks at Israeli military positions along the Gaza border, Times of Israel reported.

The violence came despite calls from Hamas leaders and warnings from the IDF to keep the Friday protests peaceful and to stay away from the border fence.

However, Israeli defense officials said it was the quietest protests since the “March of Return” began on March 30. According to their estimations, Hamas may have stationed armed men close to the fence to try to minimize the violence, the Ynet news site reported.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry said 130 Palestinians were hurt, including 77 hit by live fire.

The IDF said that protesters broke through the fence in three locations before immediately returning to the coastal enclave, with Israeli soldiers opening fire at the suspects in one case.

In addition, an IDF aircraft opened fire at a group of Palestinians launching incendiary balloons at Israel from the southern Gaza Strip, the army said. There were no immediate reports of injuries from the airstrike.

Mother, 5 children killed in Saudi-led airstrike in NW Yemen

A mother and her five children were killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah on Monday, local residents and medics said.

Three others from the same family were wounded in the air raid which hit their house in Yamanah village of Haradh district in the morning.

A day earlier, four people were killed and five others injured when a coalition airstrike hit a fuel station in Mastaba district in the same province, which borders Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the Houthi rebels forced him into exile and seized much of the country’s north, including the capital Sanaa.

The four-year-long war has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, displaced 3 million others and pushed the country to the brink of famine.

The UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths left Sanaa on Saturday after a visit, during which the rebels pledged to attend the upcoming peace talks in Sweden.

US-Led Coalition’s Airstrike On Syrian Province Of Deir Ez-Zor Kills 14 Civilians- Reports

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DAMASCUS An airstrike carried out by the US-led coalition in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor left 14 civilians killed, local media reported on Sunday.

According to the Ikhbariya broadcaster citing its sources in the area, 14 members of one family were killed in the village of Ash Sha’Fah.

The US-led coalition regularly carries out airstrikes in the Syrian eastern province of Deir ez-Zor. Syrian media often accuse the coalition of killing civilians and using weapons, prohibited by the international treaties, while the coalition refutes the accusations.

US investigating claims of civilian deaths from airstrike in Afghanistan

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KABUL, Afghanistan — The military is investigating claims that a U.S. airstrike in southern Afghanistan killed dozens of civilians, including children and elderly people, officials said Wednesday.

Military officials in Kabul confirmed that U.S. aircraft conducted a strike in Helmand province’s Garmsir district on Tuesday as Afghan special forces and their U.S. advisers battled Taliban fighters. Officials were still trying on Wednesday to determine whether civilians were among the dead, a military statement said.

If proven, the deaths would add to a spike in civilian casualties caused by airstrikes. A rise in civilian deaths documented by the United Nations this year has corresponded with a surge in U.S. bombings.

Tuesday’s fatalities included children and the elderly, said Abdul Wadoud, a Helmand lawmaker. “Some of the bodies are unrecognizable,” he said in a phone interview.

The strike was carried out against an insurgent position after Afghan and U.S. ground troops came under heavy machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire from a compound in the area, the military said.

“At the time of the strike, the ground force was unaware of any civilians in or around the compound,” the military statement said. “They only knew that the Taliban was using the building as a fighting position.”

Militants had stockpiled ammunition in the area, which the military said could have caused civilian casualties.

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Brexit party leader hires prominent anti-Muslim extremist as adviser

Tommy Robinson given role by populist UK Independence Party despite convictions for violence and fraud

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The right-wing extremist dubbed the loudest Islamophobic voice in Britain has been appointed an adviser to the leader of a British political party that championed the campaign to leave the European Union.

Tommy Robinson has been brought in by Gerard Batten of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) to give his views on so-called grooming gangs and prison reform despite having a history of criminality and leading violent demonstrations against Islam.

UKIP has no MPs and has shifted to the political side lines after its charismatic former leader Nigel Farage quit having played a prominent role in persuading Britons to vote to quit the EU.

Under new leadership, UKIP has lurched further to the right culminating in the appointment of Mr Robinson despite him being barred from holding membership under party rules.

Mr Farage said on Friday that he was appalled at the appointment of Mr Robinson and called for Mr Batten, to be dumped.

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