Saboor Nadem (front) walking in Macedonia during his journey from Afghanistan to Switzerland By SABOOR NADEM There are all too many reasons to escape from Afghanistan. Over the last four decades, Afghanistan has had more than 3 million people killed, wounded and displaced. The country was and still is plagued by hundreds of terrorist groups,
On this edition of the FreeManCast, Josh Friedman interviews Teresa, a Maasai woman who grew up living a traditional life in a Maasai village but opted to move to Kenya's second largest city, Mombasa. Teresa contrasts tribal village life with city life in Kenya and discusses how technology and urbanization are impacting Maasai life, families
Work in paradise Okay, it’s not exactly a hostel. It’s effectively a resort. But there is a hostel component to New Teddy’s On The Beach, located in beautiful Jambiani on the east coast of the the main island of Zanzibar, Tanzania. This beach resort of sorts has dorm beds placed inside big beach huts that
By JOSH FRIEDMAN UPDATE: MAY 24, 2018 - The Bilderberg Group's official website has confirmed the 2018 Bilderberg meeting will take place June 7-10 in Turin, Italy. SOFIA, Bulgaria - The 2018 Bilderberg Conference will take place in Turin Italy in June, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said when asked by a journalist on
Bitcoin has suddenly become all the rage at the time of writing at the beginning of 2018 and 5778. Although it is not something new, having been around since 2009, and far from the only cryptocurrency around Bitcoin has garnered a lot of attention in recent times. At the time of writing, there are
Josh Friedman reports from Kiev, Ukraine, where the president of the country is bound for a clash with a governor-turned-stateless person who just barged across the border. Also, war rages on in Ukraine's East, and in neighboring Belarus, Russia is conducting a major military drill that has surrounding countries worried.
Hungary's border fence and migrant housing/detention center at the Serbian-Hungarian border UPDATE: The European Union turned down Hungary's request. ORIGINAL: The Hungarian government is asking the European Union to cover 400 million euros of the approximately 800 million euros it spent on erecting fences along Hungary's borders with Serbia and Croatia, according to
Josh Friedman embarks upon a day of border hopping in Central Europe complete with a look inside and out of the microstate Liechtenstein and an examination of the complex web of borders or lack thereof in the region. Find out which Central European borders goods and/or people can traverse freely. When it comes to
Overtly false news published and packaged for profit. Government propaganda and information warfare. Highly questionable reporting that is accepted as fact and spread by mass media institutions. What exactly is fake news and how is it made? In a FreeManPost podcast, FMP publisher Josh Friedman and editor Brent Sanders look to the small Balkan
Donald Trump and Robert Mueller The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it appointed former FBI chief Robert Mueller as a special counsel to investigate Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election. A DOJ press release states Mueller will oversee an ongoing investigation into the Russian government’s alleged efforts to influence
Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin Editor’s note: For some background on the recent protests in Belarus and Russia, read interviews with demonstrators conducted by the Vilnius Students for Liberty and published by Freedom Today. By JOSH FRIEDMAN Russia and Belarus on Sunday marked 20 years of a supranational union between their two countries. While
Kosovo celebrated nine years of independence from Serbia on Friday. But, just how independent is Kosovo? The small Balkan state is currently prohibited by its own constitution from having a military. Nearly two decades after the Kosovo War, NATO forces still roam the streets of the former Serbian province, providing security. Also, key decisions about
By Josh Friedman The United States fell to 17th place in the Economic Freedom Index, an annual ranking of countries by economic liberty. Nations like the United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Lithuania now offer more economic freedom than the U.S., according to The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington, D.C.-based think tank. In the 2017 Economic
An asylum seeker from Iran who stitched his lips in protest of the Greek-Macedonian border closure By JOSH FRIEDMAN With controversy swirling over U.S. President Donald Trump's refugee admission policy, many people may take interest in discovering who the refugees arriving in the West actually are. Care for an up close look at
The United Kingdom Supreme Court ruled that British Prime Minister Theresa May must obtain parliamentary approval in order to begin exit negotiations with the European Union, the BBC reports. However, the court ruled approval from the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies is not necessary. The majority of voters in Scotland and Northern
The price of gold has increased nearly $100 over the past month. Over the past week, the precious metal has received a jolt from President Donald Trump, who is stating publicly that he believes the U.S. dollar is too strong. Gold is trading at slightly below $1,213 an ounce early Tuesday, according to Gold Price.
With major national elections less than two months away, prominent European nationalists gathered in Koblenz, Germany Saturday for a 2017 populism kick-off conference. The gathering was a meeting of Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), a European Parliament group that includes the likes of France’s National Front, Holland’s Party of Freedom and Germany’s Alternative for
By JOSH FRIEDMAN After soaring to above $1,150 in the first week of 2017, the price of the cryptocurrency bitcoin fell to around $750 Thursday. Bitcoin hit a low of $752.11 early in the day, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. China is by in large driving the volatility in the price. Beijing imposes
Afghan asylum seeker Rashid Noori, who reportedly worked as an interpreter for U.S. and UK troops in Afghanistan, says he suffered a severe beating earlier this month in Sofia, Bulgaria. Noori says he has lost half of his hearing in one of his ears, and he was nearly left for dead on the street. A
Fed Chair Janet Yellen announcing the rate hike The Federal Reserve increased its federal funds rate last week by a quarter point, boosting it to the target range of .5-.75. The federal funds rate is the United States' most significant interest rate. When the federal funds rate increases, borrowing money becomes more expensive.
Jan. 30, 2017: VMRO failed to meet its deadline on forming a coalition, and party leader Nikola Gruevski is returning the mandate to form a government to Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov. It is unclear if Zoran Zaev will get the next crack at trying to form a coalition. Update: A revote took place in one electoral
Footage from the protest in Lucerne, Switzerland (in Farsi) By SABOOR NADEM and JOSH FRIEDMAN Ethnic minority migrants from Iran protested the Iranian regime Friday outside the train station in Lucerne, Switzerland. The protesters hailed primarily from the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, which is located near Pakistan. The demonstrators accused the Iranian government
By JOSH FRIEDMAN If you are of the belief that a Trump presidency will be a catastrophe, now is an excellent time to search abroad for new opportunities. And if you are one of the people who threatened to move to a different country in the event of Trump winning the White House, put your
Reports from Sarajevo, Belgrade and Pristina:
A billboard in the heart of Banja Luka showing Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik urging Bosnian Serbs to vote in the state holiday referendum The following is the second post of a hopefully regularly published blog on the Balkans. Read the first post here. By JOSH FRIEDMAN More than a month into a
Antonio Guterres Despite there being calls for the next United Nations chief to be a woman and/or from Eastern Europe, Portugal's Antonio Guterres cruised to victory in the secretary-general race. Guterres, the former prime minister of Portugal and head of UN refugee agency UNHCR, emerged victorious in all six straw polls conducted prior
A billboard in the heart of Banja Luka showing Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik urging Bosnian Serbs to vote in the referendum By JOSH FRIEDMAN BANJA LUKA, Bosnia - An overwhelming 99.8 percent of voters declared their support for the Jan. 9 holiday of Republika Srpska Day during a referendum held Sunday in
Step inside a place that does exist but is not recognized as a country.
Update: The UK voted 51.9 to 48.1 to leave the EU. Prime Minister David Cameron announced he would resign. Scotland is beginning preparations for another independence referendum. Watch a report on the Brexit results below. Josh Friedman reports from underneath the Arc de Triomphe on Brexit Day — June 23, 2016 — and discusses nationalism
European Commission VP Kristalina Georgieva walking to the Saturday night banquet at the 2016 Bilderberg conference in Dresden, Germany. Photo: Hannah Borno By JOSH FRIEDMAN At a conference attended by two prime ministers, the king of the Netherlands, the CEO of Shell and the chairman of Google, one would think a European Union
Josh Friedman reports from Dresden, Germany, the site of the 2016 Bilderberg conference. Who is in attendance? What is going on? Longtime Bilderberg correspondents Dan Dicks and Luke Rudkowski add their input: So does Charlie Skelton, who has been covering Bilderberg for The Guardian since 2009:
Kristalina Georgieva By JOSH FRIEDMAN The annual Bilderberg conference, which kicks off Thursday in Dresden, Germany, will have one Bulgarian participant. You would not know that, though, by looking at the nationalities on the participants list. Kristalina Georgieva, a high-ranking European Union bureaucrat whose name has been floated as a possible candidate for
By ARNOLD FRIEDMAN The animosity and glaring differences between two New Yorkers, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, will be on the line in the main event to succeed President Barack Obama. While Trump staggered through the worst week of his year-long, high drama Republican campaign, Democrat Clinton became the first woman in American history to
Welcome to Sumte, Germany:
Josh Friedman kicks off a trip around Germany in Frankfurt, the city of the euro. As the refugee crisis has taken center stage in Europe, many people have forgotten that all is not well with the currency that is supposed to be ensuring stability across the continent.
Saboor Nadem reports from the refugee camp at the Olympic baseball stadium in Athens, Greece. Watch asylum seekers throw chicken, rice, peas and potatoes in the garbage in protest of the quality of food they receive.
Liberland President Vít Jedlička speaking with a Croatian officer on the Danube River. Croatian officers have arrested Liberland settlers, including Jedlička. This week marks the first anniversary of the founding of Liberland, or does it? Liberland is a 1-year-old libertarian microstate located on previously unclaimed land along the Danube River between Serbia
Hotel de Bilderberg, site of the first conference The Bilderberg Group, an organization of European and North American elites from business and politics, has announced its 2016 meeting will take place June 9-12 in Dresden, Germany. Bilderberg meetings occur annually at hotels or resorts in Europe or North America. The meetings are closed
Brent Sanders showing off a jacket and a tent he grabbed in Idomeni. FreeManCast: Idomeni and Refugee Integration The podcast offers a critical look at the refugees arriving in Europe. Josh Friedman is joined by Brent Sanders to discuss a recent trip to Idomeni, Greece and the Greek-Macedonian border.
Basir Yousofy An asylum seeker currently stranded at the Greek-Macedonian border is a former Lithuanian interpreter who reportedly worked with Lithuania's military in Afghanistan. Basir Yousofy says the Taliban was hunting him in Afghanistan because he worked with foreigners, Americans and non-Muslims. Documents obtained by FreeManPost appear to corroborate Yousofy's story, though the authenticity of the
Watch interviews with asylum seekers from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan who are trapped outside Idomeni, Greece at the Greek-Macedonian border. Some have been camped at the border for a month. A video report on the situation at the border can be seen here.
By ARNOLD FRIEDMAN The night before the deadly terrorist attacks on Brussels, Donald Trump called for the United States to rethink its involvement in NATO. Then on the same day as bombs were set off at the Brussels airport and a metro station, the Republican frontrunner in the U.S. presidential race scored another decisive primary election victory
Bombings at an airport and metro station killed 30 people in Brussels on Monday, CNN reports. ISIS is claiming responsibility for the attacks.
Josh Friedman reports from outside Idomeni, Greece at the Greek-Macedonian border where 10,000 or more asylum seekers are stranded. Europe has shut down the Balkan refugee route, leaving the people at the border in limbo. Watch previous reports from the Greek-Macedonian border:
By ARNOLD FRIEDMAN Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump moved closer to a general election showdown, with both presidential candidates dominating Tuesday's primary vote in five well-populated states. Trump's strong showing in Florida, a key state, caused one of his main competitors to drop out of the race. Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced a halt
By JOSH FRIEDMAN Seven countries issue passports that provide more visa-free travel options than the U.S. passport, according to recently released rankings. German citizens have the world's top travel document. Henley & Partners (H&P), a residence and citizenship planning firm, ranks passports based on the number of countries and territories to which they provide visa-free access.
In response to new United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his military to be ready to launch nuclear strikes at anytime, CNN reports. "Under the extreme situation that the U.S. imperialist is misusing its military influence and is pressuring other countries and people to start war and catastrophe, the
The frontrunners in the presidential race for Republicans and Democrats were big winners again as voters in 12 U.S. states made their selections on Super Tuesday. In the biggest day of the primary election and caucus season, both Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton swept to victories in seven states, primarily in the Deep
President Hassan Rouhani casting his ballot. Rouhani can now count on more support for improving Iran's ties with the West. By JOSH FRIEDMAN Iranians voted in a national election on Friday. The results are still not entirely clear, but western media are naming Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as the big winner. Iran’s presidency was
A 28-year-old man in Saudi Arabia must serve 10 years in prison and endure 2,000 lashes for expressing atheism on social social media, The Independent reports. Saudi religious police, which monitor social media, determined the man posted more than 600 tweets denying the existence of god, ridiculing Quranic verses, accusing all prophets of lies and
Frontrunner Hillary Clinton claimed nearly 75 percent of the vote in South Carolina's Democratic presidential primary on Saturday. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton received 73.5 percent of the vote and Senator Bernie Sanders received 26 percent.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who recently dropped out of the U.S. presidential race, endorsed leading Republican candidate Donald Trump on Friday. Christie became the first prominent, currently-seated U.S. politician to endorse Trump’s campaign for president.
Donald Trump rolled to a third straight win in his campaign to become the next president of the United States, swamping his Republican rivals in the Western U.S. state of Nevada. With 95% of Nevada's caucus vote counted, the billionaire hotel developer and former reality TV host held a 22-point lead over his nearest competitor.
David Cameron UK Prime Minister David Cameron has set June 23 as the date voters will decide whether or not Britain will stay in the European Union. The UK has been a member of the EU and its predecessor agencies since 1973. Voters approved membership in 1975 when the UK was a member
Jeb Bush Update: With 100% of the vote recorded, 32.5% went to Trump, giving the celebrity businessman a 10-point victory. Rubio held on to second place with 22.5% and Cruz was right behind him at 22.3%. Bush finished with just 7.8% of the vote. In a big day of American voting on Saturday, the early
Two female Boko Haram (WTF is Boko Haram?) suicide bombers blew themselves up Tuesday morning at a refugee camp in Northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 58 people, CNN reports. Some of the refugees targeted in the attack were former Boko Haram sex slaves, whom African troops freed last week. On Tuesday, a third woman was supposed
By ARNOLD FRIEDMAN Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, two staunch critics of America's political establishment on the right and left, scored decisive victories in the first national primary election of this year's contest for president of the United States. Trump's 19-point win over his nearest challenger in the New England state of New Hampshire removed
Secretary General of the European Parliament Kluass Welle is instructing parliament members to slow down while they speak and to talk in their mother tongues, EU Observer reports. MEPs must do so to prevent interpreters from going crazy, Welle said.
A 20-year-old Iraqi migrant raped a 10-year-old boy in the bathroom of a Vienna swimming pool. When questioned by Austrian police, the Iraqi man said it was a "sexual emergency," The Telegraph reports. The migrant said he had not had sex in four months, and he "followed his desires." He also told investigators that he
North Korea fired a missile into space Saturday using ballistic missile technology, according to the U.S. State Department. Pyongyang disputes the claim, saying it launched an earth observation satellite on a rocket named Kwangmyongsong-4. The U.S., as well as North Korea's regional enemies, Japan and South Korea, condemned the launch, which came one month after Pyongyang conducted
Court of Public Opinion Fails to hold “American Sniper” Accountable for Fatal Blunder By ARNOLD FRIEDMAN Most Americans recognize the need to keep guns away from dangerously troubled people. Chris Kyle, however, was different than most Americans. As a member of the elite Navy SEALs, Kyle survived four combat tours in Iraq while amassing a
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's job approval fell from 58 percent to 46 percent in the monthly "Deutschlandtrend" polls commissioned by public broadcaster ARD, Deutsche Welle reports. Also, 81 percent of those polled said the German government does not have the refugee situation under control.
By ARNOLD FRIEDMAN Trump's humility lasted one day. He dramatically returned to form by accusing the Cruz campaign of committing voter fraud to steal the Iowa caucus vote. IOWA RECAP: TRUMP LOSES HIS HEARTLAND GAMBLE The State of Iowa should disqualify Ted Cruz from the most recent election on the basis that he cheated- a
U.S. presidential candidates Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee have dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination. Santorum has endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who finished third in the Iowa Caucus and has the backing of major Republican donors. So thankful & grateful for your support. Just not our year. So today
Only gets prison and lashes for leaving Islam A Saudi court has ruled that a Palestinian poet is allowed to live, even if he left the faith of Islam. The man must serve eight years in prison and endure 800 lashes, though. CNN reports a court in Saudi Arabia overturned the death sentence of Ashraf
By ARNOLD FRIEDMAN Donald Trump figured he could have it both ways with the American news media in the preliminary round's first vote for president of the United States. It didn't work. Trump's novice campaign has dominated the presidential news coverage, but his risky decision to skip last week's debate with other Republican party candidates
As Syrian government and opposition leaders prepared for peace talks, Islamic State militants detonated three bombs in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Syria's capital Damascus, killing at least 50 people. Syrian state news agency SANA reported the attack began with a car bombing in the al-Sayyeda Zainab area on Sunday. Then two suicide bombers blew themselves
A trio of female Boko Haram (WTF is Boko Haram?) suicide bombers teaming up with other militants from the Islamist group killed at least 86 people Saturday night in northeastern Nigeria. Witnesses who survived heard screams of children burning to death, AP reports. The Islamists militants attacked Dalori, a Nigerian village, as well as two nearby
A gang of up to 100 masked men dressed in black attacked migrants in central Stockholm Friday evening, the BBC reports. Witnesses said the men physically attacked people thought to be foreigners. One man punched an officer in the face and was arrested, according to a statement released by Swedish police. The Swedish Aftonbladet newspaper reported
Suicide bombers killed 28 people and wounded 65 in an attack on a market in Cameroon, Reuters reports. Nigerian-based terror group Boko Haram (WTF is Boko Haram?) is suspected of being behind the attack. The bombing took place in the town of Bodo, which borders Boko Haram strongholds in northeastern Nigeria. Suicide attacks have become
A Saudi-led coalition airstrike has killed the judge who prosecuted Saudi-backed and now-exiled Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, CNN reports. The airstrike hit the home of Yemeni Judge Yahya Rubaid, killing him, as well as his wife, son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. Five other family members and two guards suffered injuries. "We do not target homes," Saudi coalition
A 15-year-old asylum seeker stabbed to death a 22-year-old woman who was working at a Swedish refugee center, CNN reports. The fatal stabbing occurred Monday at a home for asylum seekers who are younger than 18. The refugee center is located in the town Mölndal in Western Sweden. AFP reports Swedish police arrested the 15-year-old on a
Abdul Fattah al-Sisi Monday marks the five-year anniversary of the protests in Egypt that led to the toppling of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Five years following Egypt's Arab Spring uprising, police are raiding thousands of homes in search of people who may protest against current President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the BBC reports. Sisi
Aided by Russian air strikes, Syrian government troops and "popular defense" forces seized the town of Rabia, BBC reports. Rabia was the last major town rebels controlled in Syria's western Latakia province. The town had been in rebel hands for the past four years.
Several hundred migrants stormed the French port of Calais on Saturday, and about 50 of them boarded a UK-bound ship, CNN reports. Police arrested 35 people, 24 of whom were migrants and 11 of whom were pro-migrant demonstrators.
Five year's following Tunisia's Arab Spring revolution, unrest has returned to the North African nation. Protests over rising unemployment have spread across the country, and violence has broken out between police and protesters, The Guardian reports. The government has responded by imposing a nationwide overnight curfew.
Relive the 2015 edition of the European refugee crisis in a series of video reports from the Balkans and beyond. More than 1 million asylum seekers arrived in Europe in 2015, the majority of whom beached in Greece and traveled across the Western Balkans to reach more prosperous European Union states. Interviews with asylum seekers from
Josh Friedman interviews Iranian refugees who are protesting the Macedonian government's decision to refuse them passage.
Refugees, or economic migrants, have poured into Europe from all over Africa and as far east as Bangladesh. Many are now stuck in no man's land at the Greek-Macedonian border. Josh Friedman reports.
Josh Friedman reports from Istanbul on Turkey's second election day of the year. Watch the video reports below:
FMP's Josh Friedman returns to Turkey two months following Turkish parliamentary elections. Turkey still has not formed a new government, but it does have a new war or two. Friedman reports from Istanbul, where a day prior, not one, but two terror attacks occurred. Might the chaos have a political purpose? Watch the previous reports
By ARNOLD FRIEDMAN For years Donald Trump flirted with running for president of the United States. In mid-June, the billionaire real estate tycoon and former reality TV host decided that the time had come. Trump joined the overcrowded field for the 2016 Republican Party nomination. Far from entering the presidential race cautiously, the former boss
Greek banks are preparing a contingency plan in which they would confiscate at least 30 percent of deposits above €8,000, Financial Times reports. The process of distressed banks raiding deposits is called a "bail-in." In 2013, a bail-in took place in Cyprus, during which funds were seized from uninsured deposits of more than €100,000. If a
FMP's Josh Friedman covers the Turkish elections from Istanbul. Watch the video reports below:
A day before a nationwide vote in Greece that could decide the country's future in the eurozone and European Union, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis accused Greece's creditors of terrorism, BBC reports. "Why did they force us to close the banks? To instil fear in people. And spreading fear is called terrorism," Varoufakis said. Greece's
Every day we come across inspirational and amazing stories. None can be more inspirational than going from having only a single rat as a friend to not only leading a nation, but setting an example for world leaders across the globe. This story is that of the former president of Uruguay, José Mujica. Mr. Mujica
Before starting, as a quick disclaimer, I am not sexist, but as a man, I am obliged to objectify women. If this is not logical to you, then come back and get a sense of humour or whatever. At any rate, read on and laugh. 5 - Sheila Simon Watch out for that gargantuan set
By James E. Carlisle With the World Cup behind us and the Olympics on the horizon, Brazil takes a break from the spotlight, but I find myself here in the northern state of Pará, immersed in a vibrant culture which keeps on shining. Brazilian culture is renowned for being an exciting fusion of European, African
The European Central Bank, also known as the ECB was struck by protests today. The whole affair involved the arrest of nearly 400 anti capitalists with one agenda. They seek to try to make Mario Draghi and their colleagues go back on opening the new ECB headquarters in Frankfurt. Once again the Occupy Movement shows its
Josh and Daniel made a short trip to Macedonia's capital. Find out what we thought of the Balkan Vegas
China is the most populous country in the world. Also known as the People's Republic of China, is it never, ever, to be confused with the Republic of China. The latter corresponds to the island of Taiwan, which is considered an independent country by most countries. The notable exception being China, which does not recognise
North Korea is one of the world's few remaining dictatorships, and a source of endless fascination from the outside. Officially known as the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), it occupies the upper half of the Korean Peninsula. The name is somewhat of a misnomer, as the country is neither democratic, nor is it a
Boko Haram translates roughly to “Western Education is Forbidden." Boko Haram is an Islamist terrorist group based primarily in northern Nigeria. Founded in 2002, it is one of the largest and most high-profile terrorist organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa. Like other such groups, its activities are not confined within the borders of a signle nation. It
The North Korean regime is allowing farmers to exercise a little more control over their farming operations and even keep more of what they produce. Reports indicate that yields are increasing as a result of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un giving farmers limited power to make business decisions. Kim should now accept that agriculture is more productive when
China's monthly trade surplus reached a record high of $60.6 billion in February, the BBC reports. A country's trade surplus is the difference in price between its exports and imports. Find out WTF China is here
Nigerian Islamist terror group Boko Haram has reportedly sworn allegiance to the Islamic State, the world's foremost Muslim militant group that currently occupies much of Syria and Iraq. Boko Harma Abubakar Shekau purportedly released a video in which he says that he is announcing his organization's "allegiance to the Caliph of Muslims."