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Mainstream Muslim Voices Against Violence

IRAQ: Tribal chiefs force surrender of AQ affiliates

Major General Muhammad al-Askari, spokesman for the Iraqi Defence Ministry, has announced that 21 wanted Al-Qa’idah member, among them a number of leaders, have voluntarily and collectively surrendered. He added that this step came after the security situation in their areas improved and they became afraid of being pursued and arrested, “The great cooperation by the chiefs of tribes and the awakening men in the Al-Sharqat area of the Governorate of Ninawa with the Iraqi Army, and the high level of coordination in this regard, 21 persons surrendered with the help of tribal chiefs. The majority of those are wanted for their affiliation to Al-Qa’idah and other organizations, such as Ansar al-Sunnah or the Islamic Army, which is affiliated with Al-Qa’idah. Actually, some of them are wanted and we, as security bodies, identify and know them very well; the others are not known.”

Source: Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai, in Arabic 1901 gmt 13 Feb 10

PAKISTAN: Balochistan residents participate in peace rally against terrorism

Citizens of Saabatpur, including religious leaders, youngsters, and shopkeepers, have demonstrated on the streets to condemn terrorist activities.  Holding the Qu`ran, the peace rally portrayed how Islam does not condone the killing of innocent humans.

SOURCE: Nawa-i-Waqt, 1 Feb 10 p12

SOMALIA: Sufi clerics provide stiff opposition to Al Shabaab

Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a (ASWJ), an organisation of traditional Sufi clerics that practise a traditional and moderate interpretation of Islam, are proving a thorn in the side of Al Shabaab whose violent interpretation of Islam is alien to Somalis.  ASWJ’s message is resonating with Somali people, and bridging the gap amongst Somali clans, with its ideology based on shared historical, religious and cultural experiences of Somalis.  Its coalition building is in direct contrast to Al Shabaab who have resorted to coercion, threats and bribery.

SOURCE: Garoweonline, 14 Jan 10

YEMEN: National strategy to counter AQ

Following the Detroit airline bomb attempt on Christmas day, which led to international media coverage portraying Yemen as a stronghold for AQ, a national strategy has been drawn up to increase respect for the Qu`ran and the Sunna; promote moderation and tolerance; and reinforce patriotism among Yemen’s youth.

SOURCE: Yemen Times website, Sanaa, in English 11 Feb 10


About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at


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