Is Saudi Arabia to blame for Islamic State?

Is Saudi Arabia to blame for the rise of the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIL)? It is commonly claimed that Wahhabism, the strict form of Islam originating in the Kingdom – and the Saudi state’s aggressive promotion of it – has fuelled terrorism.

Saudi Arabia is also accused of funding IS, either directly or by failing to prevent private donors from sending money to the group.

But Saudi Arabia rejects both accusations, and has announced the formation of a new Islamic anti-terrorism coalition.

Five experts share their views.

Professor Bernard Haykel: IS theology directly linked to Wahhabism

Professor Bernard Haykel is director of the Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia at Princeton University.

“The Islamic State’s religious genealogy comes from ‘Jihadi Salafism’, a theological current that is very old in Islam that is quite literalist.

“[Followers are] extremely rigorous, and condemn other Muslims who don’t share their theology. That gives them the hard edge when it comes to violence, because they can justify it theologically.

“Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab is in that Salafist tradition. He was a religious reformer in Arabia who was able to create a religious movement that ended up creating a state.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35101612

Six U.S. troops killed by suicide bomber in Afghanistan

BY MIRWAIS HAROONI AND PHIL STEWART

KABUL/WASHINGTON – Six American troops were killed in Afghanistan on Monday when a suicide bomber on a motorbike struck their patrol near Bagram air base, a U.S. official said, in the latest high-profile attack claimed by Taliban insurgents.

Just days ago, the Pentagon warned of deteriorating security in Afghanistan in the second half of 2015 and a rise in the number of effective strikes by Taliban insurgents.

NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Kabul said that the attack killed six Resolute Support troops and wounded three others but declined to provide the nationalities of casualties.

A U.S. official said all six killed were Americans. More than 2,300 U.S. troops have died in the Afghan war since the 2001 invasion.

The police chief of Parwan province said three Afghan police had been wounded in the bombing, which was carried out just days after other suicide attacks on Kandahar air base in southern Afghanistan and on a Spanish embassy guesthouse in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Bagram, around 40 km (25 miles) to the north of Kabul, is one of the main bases for the 9,800 U.S. troops left in Afghanistan after international troops ended combat operations last year.

District Governor Abdul Shukur Qudusi said the suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol.

The attack underlined the Taliban’s ability to hit high-profile targets linked to the U.S.-backed government, which wants to reopen the peace process aimed at ending the 14-year-long insurgency.

On Monday, Taliban forces in Helmand closed in on the district of Sangin as they tightened their grip on the volatile southern province.

Read more » Reuters
See more » http://uk.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-attack-idUKKBN0U418520151221

Toshiba To Axe 7000 Jobs; Exit PC, TV Business

Toshiba has announced that as part of its restructuring plan, it will lay off 7,000 employees and sell its Indonesian TV plant

By Martin Blanc

Toshiba Corp. (USA) (OTCMKTS:TOSYY) has announced that it will lay off almost 7,000 employees, in a bid to make up for losses and streamline its business in the chip industry, and nuclear energy space.

Furthermore, the company reported that it will sell its television manufacturing plant in Indonesia, further adding to the planned job cuts in its PC-to-nuclear transition. Around 10,000 employees are expected to lose their jobs at the company.

Read more » BDNESS
See more » http://www.bidnessetc.com/59709-toshiba-to-axe-7000-jobs-exit-pc-tv-business/

Shelter for abandoned animals opens in Karachi

BY SHAZIA HASAN

KARACHI: A three-legged dog greets you at the bright red gate of the newly-opened ACF Animal Shelter in Mujahid Colony, Dalmia, and hops alongside you as if it wants to show you around the facility.

There is a donkey inside the fenced lawn, munching away at marigolds. Just like a toddler, a puppy inside his pen drags along a big teddy bear. At the shelter’s launch on Sunday the once abandoned animals are learning to trust humans again as they receive gentle pats and lots of love from the guests.

One of the guests, well-known veterinarian Dr Abrar Pirzada, who appreciated the efforts of the lady behind the good work, Ayesha Chundrigar, and her team of volunteers, also had some suggestions.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1227696/

Envoys from 13 countries visit Ancient Sindhi civilization site of Moej-Jo-Daro.

13 envoys visit Moenjodaro

LARKANO: Ambassadors of 13 countries and high commissioners (HCs) along with their families visited Moenjodaro on Sunday in a delegation.

Officials of India, Japan, Russia, Germany, Austria, Sri Lanka, Australia, Argentina, Portugal, Afghanistan and other countries accompanied Sharmila Farooqi, adviser to the chief minister on culture, at the site. They went round the giant archaeological site where archeology director general Qasim Ali Qasim briefed them.

He told them that it was a bigger civilisation which could be compared with Egypt and Iraq civilisations.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1227736/