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Islamic World News ( 1 Nov 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Darul Uloom Deoband Refuses To Seek Recognition from Madrasa Board or Alter Its Teaching Methodology

New Age Islam News Bureau

01 November 2022


Darul Uloom Deoband does not want to alter its teaching methodology. (FILE PHOTO)


• Fatwas Notwithstanding, Saudi Arabia Celebrated Halloween with Fanfare

• US Democratic Senator, Chris Murphy, Urges Investigation into Saudi Arabia's Ownership of Twitter Shares

• 50 Countries Express 'Grave' Concern at Human Rights Violation in China, Urge To Free Detained Uyghurs

• Imran Promises Revolution, Through ‘Ballot’ or ‘Bloodshed’



• Move Of Uttarakhand and Gujarat Governments to Set Up Committees on a Uniform Civil Code Unacceptable To Muslims, All Minorities and Millions of Scheduled Tribes: AIMPLB

• Centre to Grant Citizenship To Minorities Of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan Under Citizenship Act, 1955

• Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq among 500 Most Influential Muslims Globally

• Mumbai: PIL Seeks Space for Sunni Cemetery in City’s Govandi Area

• Supreme Court to hear Gyanvapi mosque dispute case on November 10

• Mumbai: 5% of Islam Gymkhana booking to go in cancer fund


Arab World

• Rights Org.: Saudi Courts Hand Down Death Sentences to 15 Political Dissidents Based On Confessions under Torture

• Saudi passports directorate announces readiness to serve travellers heading to Qatar World Cup

• Damascus will never give in to anyone’s diktats despite bids to undermine its independent decisions: Top official


North America

• HuffPost omits Oz from report on surge of 'American Muslims in the midterms'

• Iran letter urges states to skip US meeting on protests at UN

• US envoy Malley apologizes for controversial tweet on Iran’s anti-government protests


Southeast Asia

• Malaysia Is Not A Playground For The Israel-Hamas, Or Any Other, Conflict

• Malaysia questions 18 people arrested at LGBT Halloween party

• I switched for a better cause, says Muda man under fire

• OSA preventing defence’s bid to impeach witness, court told

• At historic R20 gathering in Bali, religious leaders launch ‘Spiritual Ecology Movement’

• Philippines records over half of storm death toll in autonomous Muslim region



• Imran Khan to File Rs 10 bn Lawsuit against Election Commission Chief for Disqualifying Him

• Establishment should stop backing political parties, says JI chief Siraj

• Police directed to nab accused in Prophet’s Mosque incident

• Amid turmoil at home, Pakistan PM Sharif to visit China to felicitate Xi for his record win

• Two soldiers martyred as terrorists open fire on security forces in Balochistan: ISPR



• UK Prevent Programme 'Must Reach Big Mosques to Stop Radicalisation of Youngsters'

• Spain to Preserve Carpet Weaving Technique Inherited From Muslims

• Too Risky to Bring Home Islamic State Wives, Widows Say Australian Opposition Lawmakers

• Pope Francis’ First Visit to Bahrain to Cement Ties with Islam

• Germany condemns violence by Iranian security forces against protesters

• Armenia, Azerbaijan agree not to use force to settle their dispute over Karabakh region


South Asia

• International Criminal Court Allows Probe into Afghan War Crimes, Sparing US Role

• Pak Manipulating Mainstream Media In Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan: Report

• Taliban OKs Restoration of Historic Synagogue in Afghanistan's Herat

• Russia recruiting Afghan special forces who fought with US to fight in Ukraine

• Taliban Establish Committee to Control Coal Prices as Winter Approaches

• Afghanistan’s poppy cultivation spikes as prices soar: UN



• 'Germany, EU Considering Listing Iran's Revolutionary Guards as Terrorist Group'

• Iran Warns Europe against Blacklisting IRGC

• Palestine calls for elimination of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, end to its atomic program

• Israel to confiscate 616,000 square meters of Palestinian land for settlement expansion in West Bank

• Turkey: Officials deny arrest of 34 Muslim Brotherhood members

• Erdoğan condemns Daesh, FETÖ for using Islam for dirty aims

• President: Shiraz Terror Attack Proves Enemy Seeking to Incite Unrest in Iran

• Iran Lashes Out at Advocates of Human Rights for Keeping Mum on Shah Cheragh Terror Attack

• Military option is on the table if needed to prevent Iranian nuclear weapon: Malley

• Iran says 1,000 indicted over recent unrest, trials to be held in public

• Iran arrests ‘accomplice’ of ISIS-claimed shrine attack

• Palestinians strike in al-Quds village, slam Israeli murder of fighter



• Naira Redesign: Put Arabic on All Denominations – Islamic Group Tells CBN

• Miyetti Allah demands establishment of nomadic affairs ministry

• South Africa values relations with Türkiye: Deputy Minister

• Türkiye is a powerful partner for Uganda: President

• Türkiye, Guinea Bissau agree to enhance cooperation

• Libya to reopen border with Sudan

• Israel says it foiled attempt to smuggle in weapons from Jordan

• Moroccan king to skip Arab summit in Algeria

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Darul Uloom Deoband Refuses To Seek Recognition from Madrasa Board or Alter Its Teaching Methodology


Darul Uloom Deoband does not want to alter its teaching methodology. (FILE PHOTO)


Oct 31, 2022

By Manish Chandra Pandey and S Raju

The Uttar Pradesh government appeared to be treading cautiously, a day after the Darul Uloom Deoband, a renowned over 100-year-old Islamic seminary in Saharanpur, to which more than 4500 madrasas across the country are associated, refused to either seek recognition from the state-run madrasa board or alter its teaching methodology.

“The madrasa survey is merely aimed at collecting data. It isn’t connected to issues of affiliation or any of the issues that are being flagged. We want to better the quality of infrastructure, provide better facilities to students and staff. All this can’t be done without collecting details from all unrecognised madrasas,” U.P.’s junior minority welfare minister Danish Azad Ansari said.

An ongoing madrasa survey, originally a 46-day exercise that started on September 10 and subsequently extended by a week, has now concluded with government officials gathering details on 12 points, including source of funding of the unaided madrasas, infrastructure, staff and facilities.

“We are yet to get the report from the districts. But, basically, the survey is just to collect details from unrecognised madrasas about the quality of teaching and infrastructure at these madrasas. The government’s intent is pure and I fail to understand what the brouhaha is all about,” the minister said.

Despite the junior minority minister’s clarification, the government’s move, once the madrasa survey report is studied at the government level, is still not clear.

Around 7189 unaffiliated madrasas (not affiliated to the state madrasa board) have been found during the survey, government officials said. However, what the government intended to do with such madrasas is still unclear.

There are 16, 513 recognised madrasas with about 20 lakh students, according to the state’s madrasa education board. Of these, 560 are receiving grants from the state government.

“I think the issue to be asked is how many of those affiliated to madrasa board have been getting aid, how many teachers in such madrasas have got salaries and what has been the overall benefit of those affiliated madrasas,” Samajwadi Party spokesman Azeez Khan asked.

AIMIM spokesman Aseem Waqar also flagged a similar issue.

At its daylong conference of madrasa owners at Deoband, the officials of Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, set up in 1866, too, made it clear that they aren’t seeking any grants from the government and won’t be seeking recognition from the madrasa board or change its theology-based teaching syllabus.

Ashraf Usmani, Darul Uloom spokesperson, said madrasas provide ‘deeni taleem (religious education)’ and have been fulfilling the objectives for which they have been established.

“We give affiliation ourselves and hence we aren’t seeking any affiliation,” Usmani said while pointing at what he described as the “poor performance” of madrasa boards in UP, Bihar, Delhi and Assam.

“The state government should first work on upgrading affiliated madrasas, improve their infrastructure and quality of education instead of bringing more under the ambit of affiliation,” he added.

“Why should madrasas take affiliation when teachers appointed in board affiliated-madrasas have been deprived of honorarium for past five years as well as their due financial aid,” he asked.

Countering Usmani’s view, UP BJP spokesman Manish Shukla said: “What’s wrong if the government wants to ensure that along with deeni taleem (religious education), duniyavi taleem (modern education)’ is also provided to Muslim children?”

BSP’s Amroha MP Danish Ali said he had raised the issue of pending honorarium of teachers in UP madrasas in Parliament.

“However, I did not receive any reply,” he said and claimed funds allocated to state’s minority department have been slashed to 50 per cent in the past few years.

“Last year, only 9 per cent of the allocated funds were utilized,” Ali said and alleged that many teachers even committed suicide after being deprived of their honorarium for years. The BSP MP claimed that due to these reasons, the madrasa owners now appear more interested in running madrasas through community funding than rely on government aid.

Congress’ district chief in Saharanpur, Muzaffar Ali Gurjar, felt that while there was no harm in seeking affiliation from government if those madrasas affiliated to the government board were better treated.

Former BJP lawmaker from Deoband Shashibala Pundeer felt madrasa affiliation with the board will help its students widen their knowledge base.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Fatwas Notwithstanding, Saudi Arabia Celebrated Halloween with Fanfare


Image: Twitter/@Cool_Ustaz


By Monitor News Desk Oct. 31, 2022

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority had planned the first and largest public celebration of Halloween ever, as it opened the spooky weekend with people wearing terrifying costumes, walking down Riyadh Boulevard, two days before the Americans’ Halloween celebrations.

General Authority for Entertainment, Advisor to the Saudi Royal Court, Turki Al-Sheikh, said through his Facebook account that “the atmosphere in the weekend is terrifying.”

The manifestations of the Halloween celebration on the streets of Riyadh indicate the change taking place in Saudi Arabia, which used to arrest anyone who thought of reviving this “Western occasion”.

It is reported that in 2018, Saudi police raided a Halloween party and arrested people, and ordered women who were dressed in strange clothes to “cover themselves”.

Public Halloween celebrations began in the Saudi capital for the first time in 2021.

Halloween celebrations in Saudi Arabia, caused widespread controversy on social networking sites after pictures and videos of people dressed in costumes for Halloween surfaced.

People opined that a country that doesn’t allow Eid-e-Milad Un Nabi (Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday) celebrates Halloween on the roads, definitely requires a course correction. Similar criticism is being issued by Muslims around the world.

“Beloved Prophet had already said about Najd:`“There will appear earthquakes and Fitnah, and from there will come out the side of the head of Shaytan’,” said one user.

“May Allah save us from the trap of Da*jjal Ameen!,” said another

According to New York Times, the ‘frightening manifestations of the transformation that have taken place in the kingdom since the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, now heir to the throne and prime minister, began to rise to power in 2015 and began to get rid of social restrictions.

Source: The Kashmir Monitor

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US Democratic Senator, Chris Murphy, Urges Investigation into Saudi Arabia's Ownership of Twitter Shares


Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., at an Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on May 4.Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images file


01 November 2022

A US Democratic American senator has called for a full national security review of a Saudi Arabian company's successful acquisition of a massive share in Twitter.

Tweeting on Monday, Chris Murphy said he wanted the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) -- which reviews acquisitions of US businesses by foreign buyers -- "to conduct an investigation into the national security implications of Saudi Arabia's purchase of Twitter."

The call came after the Kingdom Holding Company, which is owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said in a statement that they will continue their ownership of Twitter shares valued at $1.89 billion even after purchase of the social media platform by the American billionaire, Elon Musk.

"The deal is in line with the long-term investment strategy which Kingdom Holding Company is known for," the statement added.

The sheer size of its share has made the Saudi company the second-largest owner of Twitter after Musk, who closed a $44-billion deal in April to take over the popular social media platform.

Alwaleed's company is 16.9% owned by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Ever since bin Salman became Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler in 2017, the kingdom has been implicated in a litany of human rights abuses. They include Riyadh arresting hundreds of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and other people for their political activism, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnation of the crackdown.

The Saudi royal is also accused of ordering the 2018 brutal murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a US-Saudi citizen, who used to be a vocal critic of the Saudi royalty. Khashoggi was dismembered during a visit to the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

"We should be concerned that the Saudis, who have a clear interest in repressing political speech and impacting US politics, are now the second-largest owner of a major social media platform," Murphy wrote on Twitter, adding, "There is a clear national security issue at stake and CFIUS should do a review."

Neither Saudi embassy in Washington, nor Twitter responded to a request for comment. A spokesman for U.S. Treasury, which leads CFIUS, also declined to comment.

Most foreigners seeking to take even non-controlling stakes in US companies must seek approval from CFIUS, which reviews transactions for national

security concerns and has the power to block them.

Musk's purchase of Twitter came under criticism over a sizable funding that the Saudi prince allocated to the platform.

“The SpaceX founder relied on equity from other investors to carry out the deal. Alwaleed, a Saudi prince, and CEO of the Kingdom Holding Company committed $1.89 billion—equating to nearly 35 million shares—in equity to help Musk purchase Twitter,” media reports underlined.

Musk's reliance on Saudi Arabia drew harsh criticism over Riyadh's stifling of free expression and human rights violations at home and aboard.

"There's not been enough scrutiny of the fact that Elon Musk's Twitter takeover has been propped up with cash from Qatar & Saudi Arabia," tweeted Business Insider's Ryan Gallagher.

He added, "Twitter was prev compromised by Saudi spies who used internal data to out dissidents & have them jailed. Surprising any new owner of Twitter - especially one professing to be a free-speech absolutist - would want Saudi influence anywhere near the platform."

Source: Press TV

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50 Countries Express 'Grave' Concern at Human Rights Violation in China, Urge To Free Detained Uyghurs


Photo: Hindustan Times


Nov 01, 2022

Fifty mainly Western countries urged China on Monday to fully implement all recommendations in a U.N. report accusing the country of possible “crimes against humanity" against Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups, including taking prompt steps to release all those “arbitrarily deprived of their liberty” in the far western province of Xinjiang.

Canada’s U.N. Ambassador Bob Rae read the statement at a meeting of the General Assembly’s human rights committee expressing grave concern at the human rights situation in China, and Beijing's failure so far to discuss the report's findings on the ongoing violations against the Uyghurs and other Muslim groups.

Human rights groups have accused China of sweeping a million or more people from the minority groups into detention camps where many have said they were tortured, sexually assaulted, and forced to abandon their language and religion. The camps were just one part of what the rights organizations have called a ruthless campaign against extremism in Xinjiang that also included draconian birth control policies and all-encompassing restrictions on people’s movement.

The assessment from the Geneva-based U.N. human rights office was released in the final minutes of High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s four-year term on Aug. 31. It largely corroborated earlier reporting by researchers, advocacy groups and the news media.

Also Read | Why India abstained on UNHRC resolution on rights situation in China’s Xinjiang

The report concluded that China has committed serious human rights violations under its anti-terrorism and anti-extremism policies and called for “urgent attention” from the U.N., the world community and China itself to address them.

The statement from the 50 countries calls the report “an independent, authoritative assessment that relies extensively on China’s own records” and “makes an important contribution to the existing evidence of serious and systematic human rights violations in China.” In light of “the gravity” of the report’s assessment, the countries expressed concern “that China has so far refused to discuss its findings” and urged the government “to fully implement the recommendations.”

In addition to calling for fulfillment of the recommendation to release of all those arbitrarily detained the 50 countries urged China to clarify “the fate and whereabouts of missing family members” and arrange safe contacts and reunions. In response to the statement, the Uyghur Human Rights Project tweeted that “A growing number of UN member states are pushing back on China’s treatment of Uyghurs.”

Britain’s Foreign Minister James Cleverly tweeted that the statement “supported by a record 50 countries across 6 continents, demonstrates growing breadth of international concern.”

The 50 countries that signed on to the statement were: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.

Last week, the U.S., UK and others organized a meeting following up on the former high commissioner’s report that included U.N. ambassadors, Uyghur human rights advocates, the U.N. special investigator on minority rights and Human Rights Watch. China’s U.N. Mission sent a letter to all U.N. member states expressing its “resolute opposition” to the meeting and strongly recommending that they boycott “this anti-China event.”

“It is a politically motivated event,” said the letter, obtained by The Associated Press. “The co-sponsors use human rights issues as a political tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs like Xinjiang, to create division and turbulence and disrupt China’s development.” Calling the event “disinformation propaganda,” the letter accused the sponsors of violating “the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter and norms of international relations.”

Source: Hindustan Times

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Imran Promises Revolution, Through ‘Ballot’ or ‘Bloodshed’


PTI’s ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ long march passing through Kamoki on Monday.—Arif Ali / White Star


Mansoor Malik

November 1, 2022

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan kicked off the fourth day of his ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ long march with an aggressive message, tweeting early on Monday that the sea of people on the roads with him indicated the dawn of a revolution, and asked “handlers and facilitators” if they would allow a soft revolution through the ballot or a destructive one through bloodshed.

Mr Khan posted: “The sea of people along our long march on the GT Road. I am witnessing a revolution taking over the country for six months. Only question is, will it be a soft one through the ballot box or a destructive one through bloodshed?”

On the other hand, former premier and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif taunted Mr Khan for ‘failing’ to gather even 2,000 people after claiming a million would support his demonstration.

In Monday’s address at the start of the march from Kamoke, the PTI chief warned the establishment to realise the pulse of the masses and remarked that “no establishment can stand against its people since their unity alone can guarantee a country’s stability and sovereignty”.

He further asked the establishment not to side with the corrupt and looters, as they too would be considered birds of the same feather. Reiterating that God didn’t allow anyone to be neutral, Mr Khan said the establishment would disgrace itself.

He also took on the Sharif and Zardari families for getting an “NRO” from former president Gen Pervez Musharraf. The “people of Pakistan ousted them by giving us [PTI] the mandate to rule in 2018, but the establishment again imposed those corrupt thieves on the masses — after dry-cleaning”, he stated.

Mr Khan said he wanted to send a message to the powerful quarters that held the real power that he would never hold talks with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, whom he called an establishment ‘tout’ who “polished boots”.

“If the people and institutions look in the opposite directions, no institution can work,” he commented, adding he was the only leader who had public support, as he won 75 per cent of the by-elections during the last six months and created a “world record” by winning seven out of eight National Assembly seats in one go.

The former premier addressed the long march participants at three points – Kamoke, Morr Aimenabad and the day’s culmination point of Chan Da Qila, some 12 kilometres short of Gujranwala. He announced that he would spend the entire Tuesday (today) in Gujranwala, claiming it would take some eight to nine more days to reach Islamabad owing to the slow pace of the march. He invited people from the lengths and breadths of the country to reach the capital.

The PTI chief said the entire country was watching the “revolution” heading towards Islamabad, even on their mobile phones, as the “imported government and its handlers” were trying to close their eyes and blacking out TV coverage.

Taking Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja to task after claiming that the Islamabad High Court had set aside his disqualification by the election commission, the former premier called the CEC dishonest and a servant of the Sharif family.

Since Mr Raja had questioned his integrity, he said he would send the CEC a Rs10 billion defamation notice. He also explained that people were giving Rs9bn donation to Shaukat Khanum Hospital as well as funding his Namal and Al-Qadir universities because of his “honesty and integrity”. “If I commit any illegality, I will not wait for a court decision, I’ll go home myself,” he maintained.

At Morr Aimenabad, Imran Khan called the long march a “jihad” to bring about ‘real independence’ where the powerful and weak were rewarded and punished on merit.

“Shehbaz Sharif should have been in jail, but was made the prime minister,” he said, adding the “mercenary” Rana Sanaullah was made the interior minister. Similarly, he said, Nawaz Sharif was convicted after two years of investigations by a JIT, adding the present, imposed rulers were looting the country for 30 years.

Mr Khan also took an oath from the march participants at the culmination of the day’s procession that they would continue struggling for ‘real independence’ and be ready to render any sacrifice.

No talks, face-saving for Imran

Meanwhile, PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif on Monday instructed his younger brother, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, against accepting the demands of PTI Chairman Khan. “Don’t listen to any demand of this fitna (rabble-rouser) nor give him any chance of face-saving,” he tweeted late on Monday evening.

Taking a jibe at Mr Khan and his long march, the former premier said the one who claimed to bring one million people out on the streets could not even manage to gather 2,000 people. In a series of tweets, Mr Sharif said he had asked the PM not to bow before Khan’s demands whether he brought 2,000 protesters or 20,000. The PTI chairman should also not be given any chance of face-saving. Instead, he said, Shehbaz should focus all his energies on serving the public.

Nawaz went on to state that ever since Khan’s lies had been exposed, the nation had become indifferent to his narrative. “He told one lie after another so brutally and brazenly that the ISI DG was forced to break his silence and tell the truth to the nation,” he said, adding Khan had failed to come up with any clarification since then.

“That is why his entire focus is limited to swearing as per routine,” he remarked.

Journalists harassed

Meanwhile, on the orders of the Punjab chief minister, five policemen, including City Station House Officer (SHO) Manzar Saeed, were suspended over alleged clashes with journalists covering the PTI’s long march.

Reportedly, policemen allegedly harassed reporters of a private TV channel over parking of DSNG vans that ended up in a scuffle at Kamoke City Chowk. City SHO Saeed and his team also reached the spot and allegedly tortured the journalists.

Punjab CM Chaudhry Parvez Elahi took notice of the police’s behaviour and suspended five officials, including the SHO.

`Countering disinformation'

In a separate development, the United States said that it would continue to counter disinformation with information.

While commenting on Imran Khan's persistent claim of a US conspiracy to topple his government, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said: "What we can do is counter disinformation, misinformation with information."

Mr Price, who was addressing a daily news briefing in Washington, said the State Department had rejected such claims "many times" from this podium as there's no truth to these allegations.

"We won't let propaganda, we won't let misinformation or disinformation get in the way of an important bilateral relation, including our valued bilateral partnership with Pakistan," he reiterated.

Responding to another question, Mr Price noted that general elections in Pakistan had not yet been announced, but "we support the peaceful holding of constitutional and democratic elections, not just in Pakistan but around the world. These are issues that we discuss with all of our partners around the world."
Source: Dawn

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Move Of Uttarakhand and Gujarat Governments to Set Up Committees on a Uniform Civil Code Unacceptable To Muslims, All Minorities and Millions of Scheduled Tribes: AIMPLB

Ziya Us Salam

NOVEMBER 01, 2022

The personal laws of various religious groups enjoy legal protection: Khalid Saifullah Rehmani, general secretary, AIMPLB

The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has criticised the move by the governments of Uttarakhand and Gujarat to set up committees on a Uniform Civil Code, calling it “unacceptable”. “The move of Uttarakhand and later Gujarat Government is unacceptable not just to Muslims but all minorities besides millions of Scheduled Tribes,” Khalid Saifullah Rehmani, general secretary, AIMPLB, said.

His response came following the government’s move to invite all stakeholders to send in their suggestions for a Uniform Civil Code. A Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by BJP leader Sushil Modi is examining the issue.

“The Constitution gives us the right to practice and propagate any religion. The personal laws of various religious groups enjoy legal protection. It doesn’t need reiteration that personal laws are the soul of the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution, keeping in mind the religious and cultural structure of the country, introduced this Article. It is necessary for the unity and stability of the nation,” Mr. Rehmani said.

The move sought to deprive minorities of their identity, he alleged. “Even before the British came here, various social denominations lived according to their respective social and religious norms. The British maintained that tradition. After Independence too, the law of the country respected the personal laws of communities. Nobody faced any problem due to this, “ Mr. Rehmani said, adding, “If the people had preferred a Uniform Civil Code then the Special Marriage Act would have been the most popular law of the country. But that is not the case.” The Special Marriage Act permits people to marry across barriers of caste or religion through a civil pact, but most marriages continue to be solemnised according to ones religion’s rituals and customs, Mr. Rehmani pointed out.

“Even today, all Indians, including Muslims, enjoy the freedom to marry under a secular law if they do not want to solemnise a nikaah (marriage) according to the Quran. Under such circumstances, Muslim personal law cannot be imposed on them,” he claimed.

“Many people refer to Article 44 when talking of a Uniform Civil Code. But it is not binding. It is not justiciable,“ Mr. Rehmani said.
Source: The Hindu

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Centre to grant citizenship to minorities of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan under Citizenship Act, 1955

Nov 1, 2022

NEW DELHI: The Centre has decided to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and currently living in two districts of Gujarat under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The move to grant citizenship under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and not the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) bears significance.

The CAA also provides for granting Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, but as the rules under the Act have not been framed by the government yet, no one so far could be granted citizenship under it.

According to a Union home ministry notification, those Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians residing in the districts of Anand and Mehsana in Gujarat will be allowed registration as a citizen of India under section 5 or will be granted certificate of naturalisation under section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and in accordance with the provisions of the Citizenship Rules, 2009.

Such people living in the two districts of Gujarat have to submit their applications online which will then be verified by the collector at the district level. The application and reports thereon shall be simultaneously made accessible online to the central government, the notification read.

The collector may make such inquiry as he considers necessary for ascertaining the suitability of the applicant and for that purpose forwards the application online to such agencies for verification and comments as may be required for completing such an inquiry, it said.

After completing the entire process, the collector, being satisfied with the suitability of the applicant, grants him or her the citizenship of India by registration or naturalisation and issues a certificate of registration or naturalisation, as the case may be, the notification said.

The Narendra Modi government wants to grant Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants -- Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians -- from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who had come to India till December 31, 2014.

There were massive protests in some parts of the country after the CAA was passed by Parliament in December 2019 and the subsequent presidential nod. Over a hundred people lost their lives during the protests.

However, the CAA has not been implemented so far as rules under it are yet to be framed.

According to the Manual on Parliamentary Work, the rules for any legislation should have been framed within six months of presidential assent or seek extension from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

In January 2020, the home ministry notified that the Act would come into force from January 10, 2020, but it later requested the parliamentary committees in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha to give it some more time to implement rules as the country was going through its worst ever health crisis due to the Covid pandemic.

Last fortnight, the Union home ministry had been granted yet another extension by the Parliamentary Committees on Subordinate Legislation in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha to frame the rules of the CAA.

Source: Times Of India

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Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq among 500 Most Influential Muslims Globally

Oct 31, 2022

SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference chairperson and Islamic scholar Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has figured in a list of 500 most influential Muslims globally along with former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The annual list was brought out by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC) in collaboration with Georgetown University and was published on Monday, the Hurriyat said in a statement.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran and King Abdullah of Jordan were also among those featured on the list, it said.

"He (Farooq) has been advocating dialogue with both India and Pakistan so that the aspirations of the Kashmiri people may be realised," the RISSC-Jordan has said about him, according to the statement.

Source: Times Of India

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Mumbai: PIL seeks space for Sunni cemetery in city’s Govandi area

November 1, 2022

A PIL has been recently moved by a lawyer and two others in the Bombay High Court seeking additional Sunni Muslim cemetery in the city’s Govandi area, citing shortage of space in existing cemeteries.

The petitioners informed that the HC in their earlier PIL had directed the BMC commissioner to decide the issues regarding shortfall of burial places in greater Mumbai including M-East ward comprising of Deonar-Govandi area. Instead in January this year the BMC’s public health department passed an order for closing down Deonar cemetery due to shortage of space.

The PIL sought from court to set aside the order and also to appoint a committee of experts to inspect the proposed Rafi Nagar cemetery in Deonar and file conclusive feasibility report and to remove encroachments among other reliefs. A division bench of Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice R N Laddha was hearing on October 21 the PIL by Shamsher Ahmed Shaikh and two other residents of Govandi area.

Source: Indian Express

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Supreme Court to hear Gyanvapi mosque dispute case on November 10

Oct 31, 2022

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a plea on a dispute involving the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi on November 10.

A bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and Hima Kohli was told by advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain that the matter requires an urgent hearing as the court's order to preserve the area of the mosque where a "Shivling" is said to be found during a survey expires on November 12.

"Our difficulty is that the court's interim order is coming to end on November 12," Jain submitted.

The bench then agreed to hear the matter on November 10.

On May 20, the top court had transferred a civil suit filed by Hindu devotees on the Gyanvapi mosque from the civil judge (senior division) to the district judge, Varanasi, saying looking at the "complexities" and the "sensitivity" of the issue, it is better if a senior judicial officer with more than 25-30 years of experience handles the case.

In an important observation, the apex court had also said a process to ascertain the religious character of a place of worship is not barred under the Places of Worship Act of 1991.

It had said the matter involves complexities and sensitivity and it would be better if a district judge handles the case and made it clear that it is not casting any aspersion on the civil judge, who was earlier dealing with the suit.

The top court had also directed the district judge to decide on the priority of the application under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure (on maintainability) filed by the mosque committee, which had said the civil suit is barred by a 1991 law of Parliament, upon the transfer of the papers of the suit from the civil judge.

It had said its earlier interim order of May 17, directing protection of the area where the "Shivling" is said to be found and allowing Muslims to offer namaz on the mosque premises, shall remain in operation till the maintainability of the suit is decided by the district judge and thereafter, for eight weeks to allow the aggrieved parties to approach a higher court.

"The interim order of this court dated May 17, 2022, shall continue to remain in operation pending the disposal of the application under Order 7 Rule 11 of the CPC and thereafter, for a period of eight weeks to enable the parties, which are aggrieved by the order of the district judge, to pursue rights and remedies in accordance with law," the apex court had said.

It had also directed the district magistrate to make adequate arrangements for "wazu" (ablution) for those coming to the mosque to offer namaz, in consultation with the parties involved in the dispute.

On May 17, the top court had directed the Varanasi district magistrate to ensure protection of the area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex, where the "Shivling" is said to be found, and allowed Muslims to offer namaz.

"Balancing the equity", the top court, while hearing a plea moved by the management committee of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque, passed the order and refused to stay the ongoing proceedings before the lower court.

The top court had said it needed to balance the rights of the contesting parties and clarified that the order of the civil judge would not restrict and impede the rights of Muslims to offer namaz and perform religious observances.

Source: Times Of India

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Mumbai: 5% of Islam Gymkhana booking to go in cancer fund

Oct 31, 2022

MUMBAI: The Islam Gymkhana at Marine Lines decided to donate 5% of income the caterers and decorators make from their bookings for the treatment of cancer patients, after city-based NGO Centre for Aid, Care & Cure of Cancer (CACCC) approached the Gymkhana management to add 5% voluntary donation for the Centre.

"The caterers and decorators will give 5% of the income on each booking to a cancer fund we have created. This amount will go to CACCC by cheque. This is to provide relief to the poor patients of the dreaded disease," said Islam Gymkhana's president Yusuf Abrahni.

Source: Times Of India

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Arab World


Rights org.: Saudi courts hand down death sentences to 15 political dissidents based on confessions under torture

31 October 2022

An international human rights organization says Saudi Arabia’s courts have convicted and sentenced more than a dozen anti-regime activists to death following unfair trials and based on confessions coerced through torture and ill-treatment.

The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights (ESOHR) said in a report that Saudi authorities have passed capital punishments against 15 more prisoners of conscience, bringing the number of people at the risk of immediate execution to 53, including at least eight minors.

Earlier this month, the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in the Arabian Peninsula (CDHRAP) warned about massive violations of human rights in Saudi Arabia as officials employ brutal forms of physical and mental torture against imprisoned political dissidents and activists, saying another mass execution could happen in the kingdom anytime soon.

The non-governmental organization (NGO) said in a statement that the so-called Specialized Criminal Court in the capital Riyadh has sentenced several more Saudi nationals to death, simply for the sake of expressing their opinions on social media platforms, participating in peaceful pro-democracy rallies or denouncing social discrimination.

The Beirut-based human rights organization went on to highlight that the issuance of such arbitrary rulings on numerous occasions proves the hollow nature of the House of Saud’s claims about respect for human rights.

CDHRAP said that Saudi Arabia is the kingdom of terror, and called on the international community and human rights institutions around the world to stop the looming mass execution, which could take place under false accusations and not based on legal criteria.

Since Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested hundreds of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others for their political activism, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnation of the crackdown.

Source: Press TV

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Saudi passports directorate announces readiness to serve travellers heading to Qatar World Cup

October 31, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports said on Monday that it is ready to serve travelers wishing to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18.

The directorate said that international ports have been equipped with personnel and modern technical devices in order to serve travelers from the moment they arrive until they depart, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The authority added that between Nov. 1 and Dec. 23, only Hayya Card holders will be able to travel from Saudi Arabia to Qatar by land or air using the passport they registered with on the Hayya portal.

Qatari citizens and residents who hold a Qatari ID card are exempt from the rule.

Citizens, residents, and tourists who have a Hayya card and wish to travel to Qatar to attend the World Cup can contact the Unified Security Operations Center (911) to find out more information.

Source: Arab News

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Damascus will never give in to anyone’s diktats despite bids to undermine its independent decisions: Top official

31 October 2022

A high-ranking aide to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the United States and its Western allies are waging a terrorist war on Syria, looting its natural resources and imposing economic sanctions on the Arab country, emphasizing that the Damascus government will never give in to anyone’s diktats.

Bouthaina Shaaban, Assad’s political and media adviser, made the remarks in an interview with the online Omani Arabic-language newspaper 'Atheer.

“Despite the illegal economic sanctions that the West has slapped against Syria to weaken the country and target its independent decision-making, Damascus continues to tread the path of resistance and steadfastness, scores back-to-back triumphs, and does not accept the diktats of anyone,” Shaaban noted.

She added, “The steadfastness of President Bashar al-Assad as well as Syrian army forces, and unity among various strata of the Syrian society are the main reasons behind Damascus’ perseverance in the face of Western conspiracies aimed at Syria's partition.”

Shaaban went on to hail the support provided by friends and allies, above all Russia and Iran, and the moral and diplomatic backing offered by the Sultanate of Oman to Syria.

She noted that the great victories achieved by Syrian government forces and liberation of vast areas of land from the grip of terrorism prompted the US and Turkey to directly intervene in the Syrian conflict.

“While the US military has occupied al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria as well as the northeastern parts of the country, Turkey has seized control over oil resources and wheat crops in the northwestern regions and is undermining coexistence among ethnic groups there,” the senior Syrian official pointed out.

She added that Syria, despite relentless efforts to undercut the country’s independent decision-making, will never accept what Westerners would dictate.

“The world today is becoming more multipolar because nations are interested in freedom as well as promotion of human values, and do not accept Western hegemony,” Shaaban said.

Source: Press TV

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North America


HuffPost omits Oz from report on surge of 'American Muslims in the midterms'

October 31, 2022

HuffPost published a story on Saturday highlighting the great strides Muslim Americans have made seeking elected office but with a glaring omission.

The piece, tiled "American Muslims In The Midterms Aren't Long-Shot Candidates Anymore," suggested that Muslims are more motivated than ever to run in offices across the country in spite of the "hateful rhetoric and policies" of former President Trump.

"A record 181 candidates who identify as Muslim were on 2020 ballots across 28 states and Washington, D.C., according to a report by Jetpac, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Mpower Change, a social justice organization," HuffPost reporter Rowaida Abdelaziz wrote. "The report, released Wednesday, analyzes the 2020 campaigns of Muslim American candidates, 80 of whom were ultimately elected to office. By contrast, 49 Muslim candidates were elected to public office in 2019, and 57 were elected in 2018."

Abdelaziz highlighted the political prospects of Abdelnasser Rashid, a Democrat who is running for Illinois state representative in this year's midterms after falling short in two previous bids for other positions.

Also mentioned was progressive activist-turned-Democratic candidate, Nabilah Islam, running in Georgia state senate.

"We definitely need more Muslim candidates to run for office up and down the ballot, especially when it comes to local governments, because so many of these issues affect our everyday lives," Islam told HuffPost. "It’s also about building a bench. Building that infrastructure is key."

However, not mentioned once in the piece is GOP Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, who could make history next Tuesday as the first Muslim to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Critics pointed out the glaring omission on social media.

"This story about Muslim candidates in 2022 misses the candidate who could become the highest ranking Muslim elected in American history: Mehmet Oz," journalist Zaid Jilani tweeted.

"SO STRANGE," conservative commentator Mary Katharine Ham sarcastically reacted.

"Weird huh," Versus Media Podcast host Stephen L. Miller similarly wrote.

A spokesperson for HuffPost declined to comment.

Oz has increasingly tightened polls against his Democratic rival, PA Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. According to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Fetterman only has a 1.5-point edge over Oz.

Source: Fox News

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Iran letter urges states to skip US meeting on protests at UN

01 November, 2022

Iran on Monday urged countries not to attend a US-organized meeting at the United Nations on protests in Iran sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody, according to a letter seen by Reuters that accused Washington of politicizing human rights.

The United States and Albania will hold an informal Security Council meeting on Wednesday, that can be attended by all UN members. Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Iranian-born actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi will brief.

“The US has no true and genuine concern about the human rights situation in Iran or elsewhere,” Iran’s UN Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani wrote in the letter to UN member states.

He described the protests as an internal issue and wrote that it would be “counterproductive to the promotion of human rights” if the UN Security Council discussed the issue.

“The United States lacks the political, moral, and legal qualifications to hold such a meeting, distorting the very basic principles of human rights,” Iravani wrote.

Iran has been gripped by protests since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in police custody last month. The unrest has turned into a popular revolt by Iranians from all layers of society, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.

Iran has blamed its foreign enemies and their agents for the unrest.

The meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday aims to “highlight the ongoing repression of women and girls and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in Iran” and identify ways to promote credible, independent investigations into rights abuses in Iran, the US mission to the United Nations said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US envoy Malley apologizes for controversial tweet on Iran’s anti-government protests

31 October, 2022

The top US diplomat for Iran apologized on Monday for a recent tweet he posted on the anti-government protests, which have spread across Iran for over a month now.

On Oct. 22, US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley said the protesters in Iran had been demonstrating for “respect” from the Iranian regime. He was quickly criticized for the tweet, seen as diminishing the protesters’ demands.

“It was a mistake, and I owned up to the mistake. It’s not something that I should do, particularly because it was viewed as diminishing the demands of the protesters,” he said during a webinar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank.

Many calls were made for Malley to step down following his tweet.

“It’s not up to us, it’s not up to me, to characterize what the people on the streets of Iran… want. They’re doing a very good job themselves expressing their demands and their aspirations,” Malley said on Monday.

Malley’s original tweet sparked a backlash from hundreds of Iranians who noted that Iranian protesters are calling for regime change, not for the current regime to respect their rights.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Southeast Asia


Malaysia is not a playground for the Israel-Hamas, or any other, conflict

October 31, 2022

Malaysia supports the Palestinian cause in the Middle East and opposes Israel's occupation of Palestinian land in the post-1948 era. The government in Putrajaya has never had diplomatic relations with Israel, but agreed to a peace plan based on the occupation state returning to the 1949 Armistice ("Green") Line in place in 1967 to achieve a two-state solution. This implies that the capital of the Palestinian state will be East Jerusalem, which Malaysia also supports. Such support for the Palestinians extends to international forums without regard to the political factions involved; Fatah and Hamas are treated fairly by the Malaysian government, even though Palestine's official diplomatic mission in Kuala Lumpur is under the Fatah-run authority in Ramallah.

The influence of Hamas has increased in Malaysia since the resistance movement was founded in the 1980s as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. There are a lot of Brotherhood supporters in Malaysia among the Muslim population, which makes the country a safe destination for Hamas and its supporters, as are Turkey, Iran and Qatar. The number of Palestinian students in Malaysia has increased, especially from Gaza.

The Malaysians will never forget the murder of a Palestinian lecturer in Kuala Lumpur in 2018. Fadi Mohammed Al-Batsh, an electrical engineer from Gaza, was shot dead by two motorcyclists. Has family alleges that Israeli spy agency Mossad was involved in the killing. Hamas acknowledged that Al-Batsh was a member of the movement, in whose military branch he was called "commander". Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's defence minister at the time, issued a routine denial of Israeli involvement in the killing, but claimed that the professor was the designer of Hamas missile systems.

On 28 September this year, a Palestinian from Gaza was rescued by Malaysian police officers in Selangor. According to the New Straits Times (NST), Mossad was behind the individual's abduction, which led the Royal Malaysian Police to call the editor, Farrah Naz Karim, for investigation. In a related, but unverified, report, it was stated that eleven Malaysians, including a woman, were recruited by Mossad and given training in Europe before kidnapping Omar ZM Albelbaisy Raeda. He is a computer programmer and believed to be a member of Hamas. Another Palestinian was apparently able to escape from the kidnappers and contact the police. Officers raided a chalet in Hulu Langat and the Palestinian kidnap victim was freed. Once again, Mossad and its agents in Malaysia were mentioned in the indictment.

The NST said that Raeda was interrogated about his computer experience, Hamas computer expertise and knowledge of known members of Al-Qassam Brigades, the movement's military wing. Haaretz in Israel reported that he is an Android software developer and moved to Turkiye before going to Malaysia.

The Malaysian Interior Ministry has launched an investigation into alleged Mossad involvement in the kidnapping. Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said that the government would act if the allegation that Mossad operatives are working in the country is true. At the time of writing, the Royal Malaysia Police Force has not been able to determine if Mossad was involved in the abduction of Palestinians. Officers have pointed out that the investigation is ongoing and asked the public to stop speculating and disturbing public order. Social media is awash with "news" about Mossad and its presence in Malaysia, and the agency's supposed connection with the political opposition. There is a lot of fake news about. Moreover, the news is politicised in Malaysia as the country moves towards its 15th General Election and, so far, there has been no verification of the News Straits Times reports about Mossad in Malaysia.

Nevertheless, the reports have been covered by media elsewhere, including Israel, even as the investigations are ongoing. Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri is waiting for a report from the police and National Security Council on the Mossad allegations, but has in any case given reassurances about the country's security.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera has claimed that a "well-informed" Malaysian source has confirmed that a "Mossad cell" has been uncovered in the country, apparently to spy on sensitive sites, including airports, and seeking to penetrate government-run electronics companies. Again, this has not been verified, although the Jerusalem Post has noted that it is Mossad's policy to target Hamas activists anywhere.

The alleged Mossad operation in Malaysia suggests strongly that intelligence agencies are operating around the world, which means that the Israel-Palestine conflict — and especially Israel's conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip — has the potential to spill over to other regions. Although Malaysia supports the Palestinians in their legitimate struggle for a viable, independent state, it does so in line with UN resolutions. This is Malaysia's official foreign policy regardless of any support for Fatah and Hamas. The government does not recognise the State of Israel in its foreign policy and Malaysians are not allowed to visit the occupation state; nor are Israeli citizens allowed into Malaysia. Nevertheless, Malaysia's foreign policy does not perceive Israelis as enemies or engender any hatred towards their country.

Our country views Israel's belligerent Zionism and apartheid against the Palestinians as unacceptable and clearly against international law. Malaysia's foreign policy may thus change direction when Israel shows its readiness to embrace the two state solution, follow UN resolutions and participate sincerely in the peace process to realise this goal. With two states existing side by side in peace, Israel will be more secure, and global Mossad operations can become a thing of the past.

Malaysia is a peace-loving nation and bids other nations to respect its sovereignty. It has a strict policy against foreign interference in its domestic affairs, or foreign involvement in illegal activities within its borders. No states or their citizens should use Malaysia as a playground for their own conflicts. It is the hope of the Malaysian people and their government that the Israel-Palestine conflict will end with lasting peace in the Middle East.

Source: Middle East Monitor

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Malaysia questions 18 people arrested at LGBT Halloween party

31 October, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia’s Islamic religious authorities on Monday questioned 18 people detained during a Halloween party attended by members of the LGBT community at the weekend, activists said.

The arrests come amid concern among human rights groups and activists over the state’s growing intolerance towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Malaysia in recent years.

Same-sex acts are illegal in Malaysia, although convictions are rare. The country has a dual-track legal system, with Islamic criminal and family laws applicable to Muslims running alongside civil laws.

Twenty people were arrested for offences under sharia, or Islamic law, during a raid on an event in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, district police said in a statement.

Numan Afifi, an LGBT rights activist who was among those arrested, said they were accused of violating Islamic laws on cross-dressing, encouraging vice, and indecent acts in public places.

“They (authorities) isolated the Muslim participants, and identified anyone that did not dress according to the gender that they thought them to be,” Numan told Reuters.

“But of course it’s Halloween, people were dressing in costumes, so not all of them were cross-dressing.”

Eighteen of those arrested were questioned by religious officers on Monday before being asked to return for further enquiries at a later date, Numan said.

“It’s outrageous state oppression,” he said.

The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Opposition lawmaker Charles Santiago condemned the arrests, describing the raid as harassment of a marginalised community.

“These targeted persecution against the LGBTQ+ community has the potential to trigger hate crimes… I urge authorities to cease hunting them down as if they are criminals,” he said in a Twitter post.

Source: The Print

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I switched for a better cause, says Muda man under fire

Joel Shasitiran

October 30, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Muda candidate Danial Abdul Majeed, who came under criticism over old tweets in support of Barisan Nasional, said today he had switched his support to Muda for “a better cause” and to fight for a better Malaysia.

He said he was shocked that “as soon as my candidacy for Kepala Batas was announced by Muda, people started to dig out my old tweets” which showed him supporting BN.

He came under the spotlight on social media after two of his tweets from nine years ago resurfaced.

Danial told FMT that he does not deny he was once a supporter of BN and he made those tweets in 2013.

His controversial tweets were posted on polling day in 2013 and the next day. One said he was “forever a voter for BN” and the other criticised PAS for working with DAP “which wants to destroy Islam and the Malays”.

He told FMT: “The question people should be asking is what made me want to change? The answer is, I changed for a better cause, and to fight for a better Malaysia. People should look at what (agenda) I am carrying now.”

Danial said he chose to support Muda after noticing that several leaders from BN were being charged in court for various alleged crimes. He had joined Muda in June 2020, when the party was still new and had not been registered.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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OSA preventing defence’s bid to impeach witness, court told

V Anbalagan

October 31, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence in Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s Yayasan Akalbudi corruption trial will not be able to take part in impeachment proceedings brought against a witness unless the prosecution declassifies a contentious statement, a lawyer told the High Court.

Lead counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told Justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah the statement given by contractor Jefri Jamil to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2018 has been classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

“We cannot have sight of the statement unless the prosecution declassifies it,” he said.

Hisyam said the defence was bound by the case of Lim Kit Siang v Public Prosecutor (1980) which held that official documents which come into the possession of an unauthorised party will violate the provisions of the OSA if the transmission was without lawful authorisation.

“By virtue of this case, we are unable to participate due to the prosecution’s refusal to declassify the statement,” he said.

However, citing the case of Muthusamy v Public Prosecutor (1948), deputy public prosecutor Raja Rozela Raja Toran argued that a judge and the affected witness can still take part in the proceedings.

She said the prosecution will tender the particular statement as an exhibit and a copy will be given to the defence.

Raja Rozela said Jefri would be given an opportunity to explain any contradictions between his previous statement and his evidence in court.

“It is then for the court to evaluate the statement,” she said.

In the alternative, she said, the prosecution could lift the privilege attached to the statement so that the defence can have sight of its contents.

In response, Hisyam said the position taken by the prosecution was unfair.

Even if the prosecution lifted the privilege, he said, the defence could still run foul of the law for being in possession of or for sighting classified information.

Sequerah then advised Raja Rozela to consider declassifying the three-page statement so that the defence could take part in the proceeding without reservations.

The judge then suspended the impeachment proceedings.

However, the trial could not proceed as the next defence witness is only scheduled to take the stand tomorrow.

On Sept 21, Sequerah allowed the prosecution’s bid to impeach Jefri, the third defence witness in Zahid’s trial.

Jefri’s evidence in court is said to have differed from that given to MACC.

Sequerah said the application made by the prosecution under Section 155(c) of the Evidence Act did not indicate whether the document containing the statement recorded by MACC was classified under the OSA or otherwise.

After examining a portion of the statement given by the prosecution, he went on to rule that there were material contradictions.

Jefri was listed as a prosecution witness but was not called by prosecutors to testify at the trial.

He was instead offered to Zahid as a potential defence witness after the former deputy prime minister and home minister was ordered to enter his defence.

Zahid is standing trial on charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust involving millions from Yayasan Akalbudi and for accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as the home minister.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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At historic R20 gathering in Bali, religious leaders launch ‘Spiritual Ecology Movement’

1 November, 2022

By Ayushi Agarwal

Bali [Indonesia], November 1 (ANI): Ahead of the Group of 20’s first-ever Religious Forum Summit (R20) in Indonesia, global religious leaders converged to launch a ‘Spiritual Ecology’ movement, aimed at fostering balance within nature and society.

The launch was held on Monday jointly by Lesbumi (the Institute of Indonesian Muslim Cultural Artists), an autonomous branch of Nahdlatul Ulama which is considered the world’s largest Muslim organization and which has spearheaded the concept of R20.

The launch ceremony began with a ritual purification ceremony and offerings made by Balinese Hindu priests prior to planting of 20 trees considered sacred within Hindu cosmology.

The event was held at the Puja Mandala, a religious complex consisting of five houses of worship built side-by-side, including a Hindu temple, a mosque, Protestant and Catholic churches, and a Buddhist vihara. Swami Bhadreshdas, an ordained Hindu monk of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) also attended the ceremony.

Following the Hindu ceremony, R20 co-chair Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdul Karim al-Issa, Secretary General of the Mecca-based Muslim World League was given an enthusiastic welcome by school children, local Muslim leaders, and traditional musicians who had gathered at the Puja Mandala’s mosque.

Accompanied by prominent Muslim leaders, Shaykh al-Issa led the gathering in an Arabic language prayer prior to planting, with his own hands, one of the 20 sacred trees upon the grounds of the mosque and then toured the Puja Mandala complex, and entered Jagatnatha temple to greet Balinese Hindu priests.

The G20 summit (Group of 20 leading economies, this year headed by Indonesia) includes an official main event called R20 (Religion Forum) will be held from November 2-3, this year for the “first time ever” in Bali, Indonesia. The R20 aims to mobilize global leaders to help ensure that religion functions as a genuine and dynamic source of solutions, rather than problems, in the 21st century.

The R20 has been recognized as an official G20 engagement group, and the R20 Summit in Bali is the main event in this year’s G20 program. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, is scheduled to address the opening session of this year’s R20 Summit on November 2.

The G20 consists of 19 countries plus the European Union, and India has been a member since its inception in 1999.

India will assume the Presidency of the G20 for one year from December 1 to November 30, 2023.

Source: The Print

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Philippines records over half of storm death toll in autonomous Muslim region

October 31, 2022

MANILA: Over 100 people have died in one of the most destructive storms to hit the Philippines this year, officials said on Monday, with more than half of the deaths recorded in the country’s southern autonomous Muslim region.

Tropical Storm Nalgae barreled across the Southeast Asian country over the weekend and set off flash floods and landslides, leaving behind a trail of destruction and flooding in one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

The worst storm impact was recorded in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which had been swamped by unusually heavy rains. At least 53 people were killed in its Maguindanao province, according to data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The region’s chief minister, however, said authorities are recovering more bodies from a huge mudslide in Maguindanao’s Datu Odin Sinsuat town.

“Retrieval operations are ongoing. So far more than 60 cadavers have been dug up,” BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Al-Haj Murad” Ebrahim told Arab News.

The mudslide laden with rocks, trees and debris reportedly buried dozens of houses in Kusiong village where authorities fear more casualties as rescue operations continued on Monday.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who flew on Monday over the flood-submerged districts to inspect the damage after Nalgae, said it was not necessary to declare a one-year national state of calamity, a day after the recommendation was proposed by the national disaster council.

“I don’t think it’s necessary,” Marcos said during a press briefing.

“I came to that conclusion in consultation with DENR,” he said, referring to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “They said (damage) wasn’t extensive; it was very highly localized.”

The president said Maguindanao, Quezon and Cavite were the country’s hardest hit provinces and have declared their own state of calamity.

Nearly 2 million people across over 5,100 villages in the Philippines were affected by Nalgae, according to official data, as floodwaters swamped many provinces and cities and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Typhoon Noru had damaged swaths of the country’s farmland only in September, causing damages of nearly $51 million.

The Philippines sees about 20 storms and typhoons every year. The archipelago nation of more than 7,600 islands also lies in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of faults around the Pacific Ocean where the majority of the world’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur, making it one of the most disaster-prone countries.

Source: Arab News

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Imran Khan to file Rs 10 bn lawsuit against election commission chief for disqualifying him

Oct 31, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan on Monday targeted the chief of the Election Commission of Pakistan and announced that he will file a Rs 10 billion defamation suit against him for destroying his reputation by disqualifying him, as the ousted premier addressed his supporters at the start of the fourth day of his long march.

Khan has announced that his objective was to gain Haqeeqi Azadi (real freedom) through the march to Islamabad which in his words was possible if free and fair elections are held immediately.

Khan, 70, was earlier this month disqualified from membership of the current National Assembly by a five-member panel of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which was headed by its chief Sikandar Sultan Raja.

“Sikandar Sultan, I will take you to court … so that in the future, you do not destroy anyone's reputation on someone else's instructions,” Khan said while addressing PTI supporters at Kamonki at the start of the fourth day of his long march.

He alleged that the ECP's decisions against him in Toshakhana and prohibited funding cases were given on the instructions of the incumbent “imported government”.

“You (Sikandar) are friends of thieves and action will be taken,” he said.

According to Pakistan's law, any gift received from dignitaries of a foreign state must be put in the state depository or the Toshakhana.

The former prime minister had earlier announced that he would file a defamation case against Raja. The former premier made the announcement while speaking to a private news channel.

“I will file a defamation lawsuit against CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja in Toshakhana reference and foreign funding case,” Khan said in an interview and reiterated his demand for free and fair elections in the country under the new ECP chief.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief also said he would back out himself if any allegations against him in the cases were to be proven true.

"Whenever courts against me prove that I have done an illegal thing, I will not wait for the court's decision to be issued and will back out on my own," Khan said.

He also targeted the powerful establishment, saying that a country's “establishment never stands against the nation”.

“To those who let this group of robbers (an obvious reference to the country's rulers) impose on us, I am giving a message with due respect: For God's sake, listen to the nation's voice,” he urged.

Talking about his criticism of the Pakistan Army, Khan said he criticised them as “a Pakistani who lives in and would die in Pakistan”.

Khan, who also won a national assembly seat in a by-election held on Sunday in Kurram district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, said: “See where the nation is standing”. He said the country would be strengthened when its institutions were strengthened.

He kept up his trademark vitriolic attack against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and alleged that his opponent "polished the boots of those who were powerful and oppressed those who were weak".

Earlier, he took to social media to say that he had witnessed a “revolution” taking over the country.

“The sea of people along our March on the GT Road. For 6 months, I have been witnessing a revolution taking over the country. The only question is will it be a soft one through the ballot box or a destructive one through bloodshed?” he tweeted.

Khan's convoy of vehicles was slowly moving towards Islamabad. The organisers have announced to stay at Gujranwala overnight to relaunch the march the next day.

Before Gujranwala, Khan is expected to make a brief stopover at More Eminabad and address his supporters.

Khan has been demanding early elections and he is leading the long march towards Islamabad to force his demands. The term of the National Assembly will end in August 2023 and fresh elections should be held within 60 days.

Source: Times Of India

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Establishment should stop backing political parties, says JI chief Siraj

November 1, 2022

LAHORE: The military establishment must stop providing backing to political parties to come to power and allow the masses to elect their representatives through free election, says Jamaat-i-Islami emir Sirajul Haq.

Addressing the Youth Leadership Convention at Greater Iqbal Park on Monday, he said the PTI, PML-N and PPP were the beneficiaries of the system, which the establishment controlled and both the sides (the ruling parties and the establishment) had caused irreparable damage to the country.

Later talking to Dawn, the JI chief said the youth, the real power and wealth of the country, had always been on the party radar as it formed 64pc of Pakistan now. “The Jamaat is a revolutionary party, which is striving for economic, educational and agricultural revolution. Only the youth are open to revolutionary ideas and the Jamaat has decided to attract it now.”

Mr Siraj disagreed with the question that the Jamaat had woken up to youth importance after Imran Khan attracted the young blood and created a committed following to win by-elections and to pressurize the establishment and the government to concede his demands.

“Most of the JI members join it in their college years. The Jamaat has always been active in schools and colleges where young minds agree to its agenda and become a life-time supporter of the party,” he argued. A party insider, however, thinks that the Jamaat has calculated that the PTI has disappointed youth in a big way.

“The JI is now trying to attract the disgruntled youth, which was disappointed by the PTI and can neither join the PPP nor the PML-N. The JI is offering itself as an alternative and this was the reason for it to arrange the first youth convention of its kind and invite only young people rather than its old members,” he said.

Addressing the convention, Siraj said the youth should take a stand to get rid of the status quo and launch a struggle for the rule of law, asking the participants to spread the JI message among the masses.

“The JI would fight against the ruling elite, ruling political parties and their supporters.”

He regretted that the establishment had a history of providing support to political parties, making selections in the name of election.

Source: Dawn

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Police directed to nab accused in Prophet’s Mosque incident

November 01, 2022

RAWALPINDI - Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench Justice Abdul Aziz has directed the police to arrest within four days all the accused involved in violating the sanctity of the Masjid-e-Nabvi (PBUH) in Madinah during visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia.

The court also expressed its resentment over the release of the convicted accused of violation of the sanctity of Masjid-e-Nabvi (SAW) from Saudi prisons by the prime minister of Pakistan. “Who is the PM of Pakistan to do so and under which capacity he is intervening into matters of a serious nature,” Justice Abdul Aziz remarked while hearing a petition filed by   former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed for cancellation of an FIR against them lodged by Attock police.

Police Station New Airport Fateh Jang had registered a case against Awami Muslim League president and former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, his nephew MNA Sheikh Rashid Shafique and others on charges of violating the sanctity of Masjid-e-Nabvi (SAW), chanting blasphemous slogans and harassing the volunteers and devotes in Masjid-e-Nabvi.

Source: Nation Pakistan

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Amid turmoil at home, Pakistan PM Sharif to visit China to felicitate Xi for his record win

Oct 31, 2022

BEIJING: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will arrive here on Tuesday on his maiden two-day visit to China to felicitate President Xi Jinping on his re-election, amid turmoil at home and Beijing's increasing concerns over recurring attacks against the Chinese workers in the country.

Sharif will be the first head of the government to felicitate 69-year-old Xi in person for securing an unprecedented third five-year term at the recently held Communist Party Congress, becoming the first leader after party founder Mao Zedong to continue in power after 10-year tenure.

All of Xi's predecessors retired after 10 years in office and considering his firming grip on the party and military, Xi like Mao is widely expected to continue in power for life.

"I would like to express my heartiest felicitations to my brother General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China for starting a New Era of China's progress; and I say with complete confidence that it heralds the dawn of a brighter era of China-Pakistan friendship," Sharif said in an article published in the state-run Global Times here on Monday.

Sharif along with some of the world leaders is visiting Beijing to greet Xi.

Vietnam's Communist Party leader Phu Trong is the first guest honour invited by Xi.

On Monday, Trong held talks with Xi who has announced plans to make China a modern socialist state.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will arrive in China on November 4 to meet Xi while Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania, will come ahead of him on November 2 to felicitate the Chinese President.

Besides Xi, Sharif will meet Premier Li Keqiang and Li Zhanshu, the Chairman of China's Parliament - the National People's Congress, to discuss the all-weather ties.

Both Li Keqiang and Li Zhanshu are set to retire after March next year as a new set of leaders and officials will take over the party and government headed by Xi in his third five-year term.

Ahead of Sharif's visit, Pakistan's Foreign Office said that the trip is also "expected to advance the wide-ranging bilateral cooperation agenda with the conclusion of a number of MoUs/Agreements in diverse areas, and consolidate the momentum of CPEC cooperation in the wake of the 11th meeting of the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on October 27, 2022."

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian lauded Sharif's praise for the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of Xi's pet initiative of the multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

India has objected to the CPEC as it is being laid through the Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"We highly appreciate Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's remarks. We believe they show the importance he attaches to the visit to China," Zhao said.

He also referred to the Kashmir issue in his article.

"We seek friendly relations with our neighbouring countries on the basis of mutual respect and spirit of cooperation, and desire peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes including Kashmir issue through dialogue and diplomacy based on UN charter and resolutions," he said.

This will be Sharif's second meeting with Xi after he assumed office in April 2022. He met Xi last month on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Uzbekistan.

Sharif's visit is taking place amid political impasse in his country as former prime minister Imran Khan queered the pitch to press for elections with Long March and the deepening economic crisis.

His trip to China comes at a time when cash-strapped Pakistan is making all efforts to arrange billions of dollars for payment of debts and bridge trade deficit. Pakistan owes Paris Club countries a combined sum of around USD 10.7 billion.

Sharif is expected to make a case for Beijing to provide more help for his government to shore up the balance of payments position to avert a crisis similar to Sri Lanka.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Pakistan's total non-Paris Club bilateral debt currently stands at about USD 27 billion, of which Chinese debt is about USD 23 billion.

Besides routine platitudes by Chinese officials like "all-weather friends" and "iron brothers", recent reports spoke of Beijing's increasing dissatisfaction over Pakistan's failure to deliver on a number of fronts including its failure to stop the recurring attacks on Chinese personnel by the militant groups.

In his Samarkand meeting with Sharif, Xi had called for providing solid protection for hundreds of Chinese working on the CPEC projects.

With recurring attacks on its workers, China is reportedly pressing Pakistan to permit the Chinese security agencies to provide security for their personnel which, according to press reports, Islamabad is resisting as it meant boots on the ground for Chinese armed forces.

The issue is expected to figure again during Sharif's meeting here with Xi.

China is also unhappy over the delays in the projects of the CPEC, which is the flagship scheme of Xi's multibillion-dollar pet project BRI, resulting in cost overruns and discontentment among Chinese investors.

Last month, Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa held talks with Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe in a surprise visit to China ahead of his retirement amid reports that China is also concerned over Pakistan warming up to the US, the reported use of Pakistan air bases by American drones to conduct attack in Afghanistan.

Chinese observers say that China is also increasingly worried about the continued political turmoil in Pakistan resulting in the weakening of its public institutions, especially the erosion of the influence of its military, over which Beijing banked on to sustain the close ties.

About concerns over recurring attacks on Chinese in Pakistan, Sharif in the article said their protection is his top priority.

"Safety and security of Chinese personnel and projects in Pakistan remains our top priority. The loss of precious Chinese lives in Pakistan is our loss. We would not let anyone damage our close friendship and strong economic partnership. My government would spare no effort to bring to justice the perpetrators of these reprehensible acts," he said.

He also praised the CPEC, saying it is a "game changer."

Source: Times Of India

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Two soldiers martyred as terrorists open fire on security forces in Balochistan: ISPR

Naveed Siddiqui

October 31, 2022

Two Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred on Monday when terrorists opened fire on security forces near Balochistan's Shahrig area, according to a press release issued by the military's media wing.

According to a press release issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), an intelligence-based operation was underway in the general area near Kaman Pass since Sunday to clear a terrorist hideout.

"Security forces were heli-dropped near the suspected location of terrorists to cut the escape routes and clear the hideout.

"However, during the establishment of blocking positions, terrorists opened fire on the security forces," the press release reads, adding that resultantly, Sepoy Shafi Ullah and Sepoy Muhammad Qaiser were martyred.

The ISPR said four terrorists were killed in the ensuing exchange of fire while a cache of arms and ammunition, including improvised explosive devices, was recovered.

"The clearance operation, however, continues to apprehend other terrorists in the area," the press release added.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed regret over the incident and lauded the martyrs as "brave sons of the land".

Source: Dawn

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UK Prevent programme 'must reach big mosques to stop radicalisation of youngsters'

Laura O'Callaghan

Nov 01, 2022

British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been urged to bring mosques into greater focus in her review of the government’s flagship counter-terrorism programme in order to to reach more people who may be at risk of radicalisation.

Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said a strategy of outreach to smaller faith groups over larger ones means officials have a limited reach in their efforts to educate parents whose teenagers have been groomed online by extremists.

In an interview with The National, the opposition politician said a shake-up of the Prevent programme is long overdue, particularly to address the scourge of young Muslims across the UK who are being “alienated” from their families.

Officials in the Home Office are in the process of reviewing the framework of counter-extremism. The flagship Prevent programme aims to safeguard and support people vulnerable to radicalisation. It forms one of four elements of Contest, the government’s counter-terrorism strategy which has foiled more than 30 terror plots in the past five years.

An official report by William Shawcross recently concluded that in its existing form Prevent is protecting the malign activities of some potential terrorists rather than shielding the British public from violence.

'Young people are told to question their parents'

Mr Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, said that having spoken to Muslim parents, he believes there is a huge demand for information from officials on what signs to look out for in youngsters falling prey to the clutches of extremist individuals or entities.

“There’s a big issue with young people disconnecting from their parents,” he said. “There’s an element of people who are doing it who have extremist views, [although] most of it’s maybe non-violent extremism.

“[Prevent] has got to be much more oriented towards the mainstream Muslim community. The more we deal with smaller organisations the more difficult and isolated it becomes. Smaller organisations may do some very good work but they don’t have the spread.

“We also need to get schools to engage with local mosques.”

Mr Shawcross, who previously headed the Charity Commission, found that the programme was focused on “protecting those referred into Prevent from harm” instead of “protecting the public”.

In her update of the strategy, Ms Braverman will take into account the second volume of the Manchester Arena Inquiry, set to be published next week. Twenty-three people were killed in the May 2017 attack carried out by an Islamist extremist suicide bomber.

“The government will now review the recommendations in their entirety and publish the Independent Reviewer's report and the government’s response in due course,” a Home Office spokesman told The National.

“Prevent will remain a vital tool for safeguarding against radicalisation. It has already changed and saved the lives of individuals from all walks of life, with more than 3,000 people supported through the Channel programme, and will continue to build on this success going forwards.

Alongside the Home Office review, the government is also poised to shelve a plan to establish an official definition of Islamophobia. Having announced the launch of a process to establish a working definition of Islamophobia in May 2019, campaigners have expressed dismay at the lack of action three years later.

Yet many in government argue that previous attempts by different bodies to define Muslim hatred have lacked a widespread consensus.

'Severe lack of effort to eradicate Islamophobia'

The All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims defines Islamophobia as being “rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

But the government has not recognised this, or any other, definition of hatred towards Muslims.

“We remain committed to stamping out anti-Muslim hatred and all forms of religious prejudice and we will outline our next steps in due course,” a representative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said.

Mr Mahmood said a clear definition should be adopted that would strengthen efforts to tackle hatred of Muslims.

He cited Boris Johnson’s 2018 article in the Telegraph in which he compared Muslim women wearing the niqab to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers” as an example of how people are given free rein to express questionable views towards the Islamic community with impunity.

In the three weeks after his comments were published instances of Islamophobia soared by 375 per cent, according to Tell Mama. The group which supports victims of anti-Muslim hatred said 42 per cent of offline Islamophobic incident reported in the three weeks after the article was published “directly referenced Boris Johnson and/or the language used in his column”.

“I think there should be a clear term of Muslim hatred and that term should be based on purely if somebody who’s Muslim is disadvantaged in terms of services, in terms of employment or directly experiences discrimination. That should be dealt with by the law,” Mr Mahmood said.

Source: The National News

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Spain to preserve carpet weaving technique inherited from Muslims

OCT 31, 2022

The Spanish government has applied to UNESCO to preserve the Spanish knot, a technique that was inherited from the Muslims during the Andalusian Islamic period.

Carrying the carpet weaving technique to the present day with the name "Spanish knot," Spain aims to have the technique included in UNESCO's "Intangible Cultural Heritage List."

The Royal Carpet Weaving Factory, which was established in the Spanish capital Madrid on the instruction of King Felipe V in 1721, stands out as the only carpet production center that ensures the survival of the Spanish knot technique inherited from the Muslims who ruled the lands for a while.

The technique was first developed in Egypt and came to the Iberian Peninsula during the Islamic period of Andalusia.

The knot differs from the most well-known and applied Turkish knot technique in carpet weaving. As this technique cannot be applied in curved drawings and is symmetrical, it is only used on linen, silk and fine wool yarn. The zigzag patterned technique includes more than 72,500 yarn knots per square meter, while it is about twice as long and expensive to complete as a Turkish knot in terms of time and cost.

Alejandro Klecker de Elizade is the general director of the Royal Carpet Weaving Factory in Madrid, one of the rare places that use both the Turkish knot and Spanish knot techniques in carpet and rug weaving.

Klecker de Elizade explained that the Spanish knot was barely used for a long time after the Muslim domination of the Iberian Peninsula ended in 1492 and the Catholic kings attempted to completely erase the Islamic cultural history from the region, however, initiatives emerged in the 20th century that tried to keep the weaving tradition alive.

"Although there was a great deal of carpet production in Spain in the 15th and 16th centuries, these were always made with Turkish knots. The Spanish knot is much more complex and expensive. It was a technique that was almost in danger of disappearing in the 17th century. In the 20th century, especially in some Spanish cities in the south, such as Cadiz, some weaving workshops were established yet, there was not much success in carpet production because there was not much demand," Klecker de Elizade said in a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA).

He also stated that the commercial sales of carpets made with Spanish knots are very limited due to their special and expensive nature, emphasizing that their biggest advantage is the Middle East market at the moment.

Turkish carpets adorn Spanish palaces

Explaining that the Turkish knot and Turkish carpets are world-renowned and that they combine the Spanish and Turkish weaving techniques, Klecker de Elizade said: "Everyone recognizes Turkish carpets because the palaces in Spain, the Parliament, the Senate, the Bank of Spain and many of the houses of noble Spanish families are decorated with Turkish carpets. Only one out of every 30 carpets we make is with Spanish knots."

He also noted that, as the Royal Carpet Weaving Factory, there were initiatives for cooperation between Turkish and Spanish carpet weaving artists, such as restoration techniques and drawing, through the Turkish Embassy in Madrid a few years ago, but they have not been able to implement them yet.

The director also highlighted that it would be very valuable to research the historical changes in Turkish and Spanish carpet art, rediscovering the periods and finding the common points in both cultural practices.

"In the carpet weaving culture, Spain is the heir of the Middle East world in Türkiye's Ottoman history," Klecker de Elizade said, mentioning that Spain got its turquoise blue color from the Ottomans, and that silk and wool are completely based on Spanish-Muslim roots.

Highlighting that the Council of Ministers in Spain decided to apply for the Spanish knot to be included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, Klecker de Elizade noted that there was a lot of demand from different parts of the world regarding the presentation of handicrafts to UNESCO, but that this particular technique will be included in this list after understanding its historical and cultural characteristics.

Source: Daily Sabah

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Too Risky to Bring Home Islamic State Wives, Widows Say Australian Opposition Lawmakers

October 31, 2022

Phil Mercer


Opposition lawmakers have condemned the repatriation to Australia of 17 women and children from the al-Roj refugee camp in Northern Syria.

They are the wives, sons and daughters of dead or jailed Islamic State militants. They have spent several years in detention camps in northern Syria. Each of the women has been assessed by Australian intelligence agencies and some could face terrorism-related charges. The women are expected to agree to control orders, which limit the movements and activities of individuals.

Opposition lawmakers in Australia have argued the women could pose a national security threat.

Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Monday that the repatriation was a mistake and that, "It was too risky to send Australian personnel into the camps to bring these women and children out."

Kamalle Dabboussy, the father and grandfather of some of those who flew into Sydney at the weekend, told reporters on Saturday that his daughter Mariam was tricked into travelling to Syria by her husband and has no links to extremism.

"Men went and took the women with them," Dabboussy said. "The men have either died, are in jail and the women were then left behind. There is no evidence to say that my daughter joined any such organization."

Another 40 Australian women and children could be brought home from Kurdish-controlled camps in Syria within a few months.

It follows similar moves by the United States, Britain and Canada, which have repatriated citizens from Syria, along with other countries including France, Germany and Russia.

Source: VOA News

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Pope Francis’ first visit to Bahrain to cement ties with Islam

November 1, 2022

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis will become the first pontiff in history to visit Bahrain, in a trip this week that is hoped to cement ties with Islam, but is also marked by accusations of human rights abuses in the Gulf state.

The Thursday-to-Sunday visit — the 39th international trip of Francis’ papacy — comes three years after his historic trip to the UAE in 2019, where he signed a Muslim-Christian manifesto for peace.

But some human rights groups now hope Francis will press Bahrain’s Sunni leader, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, to halt repression against Shiite Muslims in the country, even as the rights record of neighbour Qatar has drawn more attention in recent months ahead of the World Cup.

The Argentine pontiff, 85, has made outreach to Muslim communities a priority during his papacy, visiting Middle Eastern countries including Egypt in 2017 and Iraq last year while pledging interfaith dialogue with leading Muslim clerics.

On Friday, Francis plans to meet with Sunni Islam’s highest authority, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Cairo’s prestigious Al-Azhar mosque and centre of Islamic learning, at Sakhir Palace in the centre of the country.

The two religious leaders signed a joint document in Abu Dhabi in February 2019 pledging interfaith co-existence between Christians and Muslims. That visit marked the first ever by a pope to the Gulf region, where Islam was born.

Francis will also meet with the Abu Dhabi-based Muslim Council of Elders for an “East and West” forum, with Muslim communities in the West, humanitarian crises, climate issues and Muslim-Christian relations on the agenda.

Religious tolerance?

Also on Friday, the leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics — expected to be confined to a wheelchair during his trip due to persistent knee pain — will lead an ecumenical prayer in Awali’s cavernous Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral, which opened its doors December.

The cathedral that seats over 2,000 people was built to serve Bahrain’s approximately 80,000 Catholics, mainly workers from southern Asia, including India and the Philippines.

Bahrain, like the UAE, is considered a relatively more tolerant Arab nation, in comparison with ultra-conservative Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia — repeatedly cited by human rights groups for abuses — whose absolute monarchy does not recognise freedom of religion and which bans all non-Muslim places of worship.

Still, NGOs continue to cite discrimination, repression and harassment in Bahrain by the Sunni elite against Shiites, crackdowns on opposition figures and activists, and other abuses.

The non-profit Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain wrote this month that the country’s religious freedom laws were “only an act of subterfuge, printed on paper as a means for the Bahraini ruling family to access the benefits of friendship with more powerful world leaders and obscure the misery of their human rights abuses”.

The group urged the pope — who has made standing up for marginalised people a hallmark of his papacy — to draw attention to the “rampant discrimination” against Bahrain’s Shiites.

Yesterday, Human Rights Watch issued a report documenting Bahrain’s “targeted marginalisation of opposition figures” in the decade since pro-democracy protests erupted in 2011.

Bahrain’s annual Formula One race has also frequently attracted criticism over the country’s human rights record. In 2011, the Grand Prix was cancelled amid the harsh crackdown in the wake of the protests.

Looming over Francis’ visit is the World Cup later this month in nearby Qatar, which has shone a spotlight on its human rights record, particularly treatment of its low-income migrant workers, women and the LBGTQ community.

Flocking to mass

On Saturday, the pope will celebrate a mass in a stadium in Bahrain’s second-largest city Riffa before an expected 28,000 faithful, according to priest Charbel Fayad.

“We are happy to see many Christians from the region,” he told AFP, saying he expected worshippers from other Gulf countries.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Germany condemns violence by Iranian security forces against protesters

31 October, 2022

Germany condemns “in the strongest terms” a violent crackdown by Iranian security forces against protesters and the state repression of journalists there, a German government spokesperson said on Monday.

Germany welcomed further sanctions by the European Union against Iran, and Berlin is looking at further measures, the spokesperson added, without giving a timeline for them.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Armenia, Azerbaijan agree not to use force to settle their dispute over Karabakh region

31 October 2022

Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed not to use force to settle their dispute over the Nagorno-Karabkh region, following a tripartite meeting hosted by Russia in the coastal city of Sochi.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced the agreement on Monday following talks, which was also attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We agreed to refrain from the use of force or threatening force, to discuss and resolve all problematic questions solely on the basis of mutual recognition of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the inviolability of borders," Russia's RIA news agency reported, citing a joint statement.

The agreement came against the backdrop of a bubbling and periodically deadly dispute between the two ex-Soviet republics over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has been populated by ethnic Armenians.

Last month, simmering tensions between the estranged neighbors caused a fresh escalation over the region, leaving nearly 286 people dead on both sides.

The clashes took place despite agreements in both 2020 and 2021 to find a peaceful solution and ended with a US-brokered ceasefire, after earlier failed attempts to negotiate a truce.

This was the most recent conflict between the countries since more than 6,500 were killed during a six-week war in autumn 2020. The war ended with a Russian-brokered deal that saw Yerevan cede swathes of territory that it had been controlling for several decades.

Earlier this month the two sides agreed a civilian European Union mission should head to the border to assess the situation.

Moscow, which has a defense pact with Armenia and a military base there, deployed thousands of peacekeepers to the region after the 2020 warfare.

The two countries' foreign ministers held their first talks following the deadly war in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi in mid-July.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov "discussed a wide range of issues related to normalizing relations between the two countries," the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, for its part, said Bayramov demanded "the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan," referring to the parts of Karabakh still under Armenian separatists' control.

Putin: Talks useful, but no deal struck yet

Following the meeting, Putin said trilateral talks among the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were useful, but that no deal had been struck in their bid to kick-start peace negotiations between the two neighbors.

Source: Press TV

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South Asia


International Criminal Court Allows Probe into Afghan War Crimes, Sparing US Role

November 1, 2022

THE HAGUE: The International Criminal Court on Monday gave its chief prosecutor the green light to continue a probe into atrocities committed in Afghanistan, saying Kabul “showed no interest” in a domestic investigation.

The now-deposed Afghan government in early 2020 asked the Hague-based ICC to pause its investigation to give Kabul a chance to carry out its own inquiries.

But the Taliban returned to power in August last year as the Afghan government, backed by the United States and its allies for two decades, crumbled amid chaotic scenes.

“Judges considered that Afghanistan is not presently carrying out genuine investigations in a manner that would justify a deferral of the Court’s investigations,” the ICC said in a statement.

“Afghanistan authorities are not showing an interest to pursue the deferral request it sub­mitted on 26 March 2020,” the world’s only permanent independent war crimes court said.

Prosecutors in September last year asked the court’s judges for permission to resume their probe. The request was transmitted “to the authorities currently representing Afghanistan” for its observations.

“When no observations were received” prosecutors transferred previous materials sent by the former Kabul government to the judges, the ICC said.

The judges however on Monday decided that “the material transmitted by Afghan­istan does not show that Afghanistan has investigated, or was investigating, in any manner... that would justify even a partial deferral of the court’s investigations.” It therefore “authorised the prosecution to resume investigation.” The ICC in 2006 launched an initial probe into war crimes in Afghanistan.

In 2020 it authorised a full-blown investigation with former ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda saying there was rea-sonable suspicion of war crimes by the Taliban, as well as by US forces in the country, and the CIA in secret detention centres abroad.

Source: Dawn

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Pak Manipulating Mainstream Media In Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan: Report

November 01, 2022

Kabul: The mainstream media in Afghanistan that had just started to get on its feet was shaken by the disruptions of 2021 - the takeover of the war-ravaged country by the Taliban.

A survey conducted by Reporters Without Borders and the Afghan Independent Journalist Association in December 2021 reported the closure of more than 200 media outlets; rendering about 6,400 journalists jobless after the regime change, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

The transfer of power from a west-supported government to the Taliban saw many changes in the way institutions were working for the past twenty years.

Not accustomed to working within the framework of the Taliban regime, several media personalities moved to neighbouring or western countries, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

Though it remains to be seen what the future holds for popular media in the country, the upheaval has surely distressed it in the short term.

While most of the media is attempting to adapt to the new environment, the turbulent times have come as an opportunity for Pakistan, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

Drawing flak from all around for fomenting trouble and interfering in the governance of Afghanistan, Islamabad has now resorted to manipulating Afghan media to improve its public image, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

According to some Afghan journalists, the efforts are part of a well-coordinated strategy focused on exploiting the media vacuum in the country to implant favourable coverage of Pakistan.

Though common Afghan journalists working on the ground are not aware of the full plan, they suspect it to be backed by Pakistani agencies. Afghan journalists facing distress are being roped in for positive coverage about Pakistan and its possible role in rebuilding Afghanistan reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

Fully funded training courses are being offered to Afghan media persons with a special focus on female journalists. Some local media houses are said to have been contacted with offers of monetary assistance.

A few of them facing financial duress are vulnerable to this strategy. Pakistani private media companies are also being encouraged to set up their outlets in Kabul to counter any negative perception about the Pakistani government/Army.

Separately, Islamabad is stepping up engagement with local Afghan NGOs/civil society and efforts are being made to rope in some foreign media houses, and western outlets focused on Afg-Pak region are being approached for establishing offices in Islamabad for better coordination.

Source: ND TV

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Taliban OKs restoration of historic synagogue in Afghanistan's Herat

OCT 31, 2022

The Taliban administration in Afghanistan approved the restoration of a historic synagogue in the western Herat province, even though the last Jewish person living in the country left a month after their takeover last year.

Restoration of the Yu Aw Synagogue will start in two months and will take nearly 18 months, Zalmay Safa, the director of Herat's department for the safeguarding of historic monuments, told Anadolu Agency.

According to Safa, there are currently four synagogues, a Turkish bath, and a cemetery in Herat, but only the Yu Aw Synagogue has so far gotten protected status, while one synagogue was converted into a mosque, another into a school, and a third was heavily damaged due to conflicts.

Yu Av has been closed to visitors for the last two years to avoid any damage.

The restoration of the historic synagogue will be funded by a local nongovernmental organization with foreign funding, Safa said.

Source: Daily Sabah

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Russia recruiting Afghan special forces who fought with US to fight in Ukraine

31 Oct 2022

Afghan special forces soldiers who fought alongside American troops and then fled to Iran after the chaotic US withdrawal last year are now being recruited by the Russian military to fight in Ukraine, three former Afghan generals have told the Associated Press.

They said the Russians want to attract thousands of the former elite Afghan commandos into a “foreign legion” with offers of steady, $1,500-a-month payments and promises of safe havens for themselves and their families so they can avoid deportation home to what many assume would be death at the hands of the Taliban.

“They don’t want to go fight – but they have no choice,” said one of the generals, Abdul Raof Arghandiwal, adding that the dozen or so commandos in Iran with whom he has texted fear deportation most. “They ask me, ‘Give me a solution? What should we do? If we go back to Afghanistan, the Taliban will kill us.’”

Arghandiwal said the recruiting was led by the Russian mercenary force Wagner Group. Another general, Hibatullah Alizai, the last Afghan army chief before the Taliban took over, said the effort was also being helped by a former Afghan special forces commander who lived in Russia and speaks the language.

The Russian recruitment follows months of warnings from US soldiers who fought with Afghan special forces that the Taliban was intent on killing them and that they might join with US enemies to stay alive or out of anger with their former ally.

“We didn’t get these individuals out as we promised, and now it’s coming home to roost,” said Michael Mulroy, a retired CIA officer who served in Afghanistan, adding that the Afghan commandos were highly skilled, fierce fighters. “I don’t want to see them in any battlefield, frankly, but certainly not fighting the Ukrainians.”

Details of the effort were first reported by Foreign Policy magazine last week based on unnamed Afghan military and security sources. The recruitment comes as Russian forces reel from Ukrainian military advances and Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, pursues a sputtering mobilization effort, which has prompted nearly 200,000 Russian men to flee the country to escape service.

Russia’s defense ministry did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Yevgeny Prigozhin, who recently acknowledged being the founder of the Wagner Group, dismissed the idea of an ongoing effort to recruit former Afghan soldiers as “crazy nonsense”.

The US defense department also did not reply to a request for comment, but a senior official suggested the recruiting was not surprising given that Wagner has been trying to sign up soldiers in several other countries.

It is unclear how many Afghan special forces members who fled to Iran have been courted by the Russians, but one told the AP he was communicating through the WhatsApp chat service with about 400 other commandos who are considering offers.

The commando said his offer included Russian visas for himself as well as his three children and wife who are still in Afghanistan. Others have been offered extensions of their visas in Iran. He said he was waiting to see what others in the WhatsApp groups decide but thought many would take the deal.

US veterans who fought with Afghan special forces have described to the AP nearly a dozen cases, none confirmed independently, of the Taliban going house to house looking for commandos still in the country, torturing or killing them, or doing the same to family members.

Human Rights Watch has said more than 100 former Afghan soldiers, intelligence officers and police were killed or forcibly “disappeared” just three months after the Taliban took over despite promises of amnesty.

The brother of an Afghan commando in Iran who has accepted the Russian offer said Taliban threats make it difficult to refuse. He said his brother had to hide for three months after the fall of Kabul, shuttling between relatives’ houses while the Taliban searched his home.

“My brother had no other choice other than accepting the offer,” said the commando’s brother, Murad, who would only give his first name because of fear the Taliban might track him down. “This was not an easy decision for him.”

Source: The Guardian

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Taliban Establish Committee to Control Coal Prices as Winter Approaches

By Arif Ahmadi

31 Oct 2022

Kabul, Afghanistan – The Islamic Emirate officials have appointed a special committee to monitor and manage the country’s coal prices, as winter approaches with millions of people without proper shelter.

According to reports, the committee is under the leadership of First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

The Kabul Municipality, who also represents the committee, said that around 400,000 tons of coal will be pre-positioned in four zones of the capital to provide residents with their winter needs.

“The responsibility of monitoring and the control of prices was given to the Kabul municipality,” said Niamatullah Barakzai, a spokesman for the Kabul Municipality, as TOLOnews quoted. “We are having daily meetings and will work on certain mechanisms.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) said that currently, one ton of coal “price in the market is over 16,000 Afs”, exclaiming such will be lowered to 9,000 Afs per ton.

“To facilitate our people’s access to heating materials, the Islamic Emirate capped the price of each ton of coal around 9,000 Afs,” said Akhunzada Abdul Salam, a spokesman for the MoCI

The decision came at a time Kabul residents expressed concern over the high price of heating materials, mainly coal, which is widely used to warm living spaces during winter seasons.

Earlier this month, Afghanistan witnessed a significant increase in coal exports to neighboring Pakistan amidst a rise in fuel prices in the international market, according to Afghanistan Chamber of Industries and Mines (ACIM).

While the increase on coal export seems promising as far as trade is concern, majority predicts an unprecedent price hike within the local market that could cost resident a lot more money than it did a few months ago.

Coal in Afghanistan is one of its largest natural resources, where most of its mines are located in northern provinces, including Badakhshan, Takhar, Kuduz, Baghlan, Samangan, Balk, and Sar-e-Pul; as well as in central provinces, including Bamyan, Daikundi, Jawzjan, Badghis and Herat.

Afghanistan holds 73 million tons (MMst) of proven coal reserves as of 2016, ranking 62nd in the world and accounting for about 0% of the world’s total coal reserves of 1,139,471 million tons (MMst), according to Worldometers statistics.

Source: Khaama Press

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Afghanistan’s poppy cultivation spikes as prices soar: UN

01 November, 2022

Afghanistan’s opium poppy cultivation this year is up by a third, the UN’s drugs agency said Tuesday, in its first report on the issue since the hardline Taliban took power in 2021.

The country is the world’s biggest producer of poppies, the source of sap that is refined into heroin, and in recent years production and exports have boomed.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said prices have soared after the Taliban’s ban in April on poppy cultivation.

This year’s harvest was largely exempted from the decree, UNODC said.

The UN drugs agency said cultivation in Afghanistan rose by 32 percent to 233,000 hectares (580,000 acres) over the previous year, making the 2022 crop the third largest area cultivated since monitoring began in 1994.

The only years that had a higher cultivation area were 2018 and 2019.

The 2022 poppy crop was also “the most profitable in years”, according to the Vienna-based UNODC.

The income made by farmers from opium sales more than tripled from $425 million in 2021 to $1.4 billion in 2022, the report said.

Afghan farmers will now decide around early November whether to plant opium poppy for next year and how much to grow despite the ban, the agency said, adding they are “trapped in the illicit opiate economy”.

“The current high opium prices provide an additional incentive for farmers to risk cultivating opium poppy, despite the ban by the de facto authorities,” the report said.

The harvest however declined to 6,200 tons, or 10 percent less than in 2021, after a drought at the start of the year decreased opium yields.

Afghanistan has a near monopoly on opium and heroin, accounting for 80 to 90 percent of global output, according to the UN.

The Taliban previously banned production in 2000, just before the group was overthrown by US-led forces in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

The US and NATO forces tried to curb poppy cultivation during their two decades in Afghanistan by paying farmers to grow alternative crops such as wheat or saffron.

Source: Al Arabiya

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'Germany, EU considering listing Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorist group'

Oliver Towfigh Nia  



Germany and the EU are considering designating Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, according to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.

“As I made clear last week, we will launch a further sanctions package. We are also examining how we can list the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization,” Baerbock told German public broadcaster ARD.

Andrea Sasse, deputy spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry, told journalists in Berlin that Germany is in talks with EU partners on the issue.

She said Germany remains “open to all options” for further sanctions on Iran.

Steffen Hebestreit, the chancellor’s spokesperson, separately said Germany was “very much concerned” over the ongoing security crackdown in Iran.

Iran has been rocked by protests since mid-September after the custodial death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the country’s morality police for allegedly violating the Islamic dress code.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Iran Warns Europe Against Blacklisting IRGC


Kana'ani said in his weekly news briefing on Monday that Berlin’s possible move over classifing the IRGC as a “terrorist organization” and imposing sanctions on the elite forces is a result of the “wrong” approach of the German government.

"The IRGC is an official military organization of Iran and targeting it with sanctions is unlawful," the spokesperson noted.

"If such an action is taken, it will continue the non-constructive and irresponsible moves of these countries in relation to Iran and due to the continuation of their wrong approach in relation to the government and people of Iran," Kana'ani added.

The Iranian diplomat expressed hope that the German and other governments are aware of the result of their “unconstructive and irresponsible” measures and do not sacrifice their mutual interests for “short-term political benefits".

His comments came after German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated on Sunday that her country and the European Union were examining whether to classify the IRGC as a “terrorist organization”.

Germany last week announced it was tightening entry restrictions on Iran beyond an already announced EU sanctions package.

Her reamrks come after Commander of the IRGC Major General Hossein Salami advised the rioting students to return to the nation and "don’t play into the hands of enemies”.

"Do not come to the streets! Today is the last day of the riots," he stated on Saturday.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

In recent days, Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Palestine calls for elimination of Israel’s nuclear arsenal, end to its atomic program

01 November 2022

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki says Israel must join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and eliminate its stockpile of nuclear weapons in order for a nuclear-weapon-free zone to be established in the Middle East.

Maliki made the appeal on Monday following the adoption of a resolution, submitted by Egypt, at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly that called on Israel to get rid of its atomic armaments.

He welcomed the adoption of the resolution, saying, “Israel is obliged to set its programs to be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as it is the only party in the Middle East that possesses weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons.”

It is essential that Israel has to abide by the relevant rules of international law, the Palestinian foreign minister said.

Earlier in the day, the First Committee decided via a 152-5 vote that Israel should destroy its nuclear weapons.

The resolution, supported by Jordan, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority and Bahrain, also urged the Tel Aviv regime to place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the IAEA.

The committee also called on Israel to join the NPT without delay, not to develop, manufacture, test, or otherwise obtain nuclear weapons, and to desist from acquiring nuclear munitions.

Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to possess 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, making it the sole possessor of non-conventional arms in West Asia.

The illegitimate entity has, however, refused to either allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.

What has emboldened Tel Aviv to accelerate its nuclear activities, according to observers, is the support from the United States and Europe, the two parties most critical of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

Over the years, the regime has assassinated at least seven Iranian nuclear scientists and conducted a series of sabotage operations against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kan’ani in July warned that the Israeli regime’s advanced atomic military program poses a serious threat to international security and the NPT, urging the UN nuclear agency to fulfill its responsibility in this regard.

Source: Press TV

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Israel to confiscate 616,000 square meters of Palestinian land for settlement expansion in West Bank

31 October 2022

Israeli authorities are going to confiscate thousands of square meters of private Palestinian land in the northern West Bank to expand a settlement in violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions condemning the Tel Aviv regime’s land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in the occupied territories.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian activist who monitors Israeli settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said on Monday that Israeli officials had issued a military order aimed at confiscation of some 616 dunams (616,000 square meters) of Palestinian-owned land in the villages of Qaryout and al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya, and as-Sawiya town to make room for the expansion of the nearby illegal Eli settlement.

He added that Eli settlement started as a cluster of mobile homes built on a hill in the area back in 1984, and has ever since continued to expand at the expense of expropriation of Palestinian lands to become one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, the so-called al-Quds Planning and Building Committee has announced plans for the construction of more than a hundred settler units in the occupied East al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, as the Tel Aviv regime is pressing ahead with its attempts to further Judaize the contested holy city and destroy its Islamic and Christian identities.

The committee on Monday gave the green light to Israeli officials to build 135 settler units in Ma'alot Dafna settlement.

Under the new project, a 5-story building with 26 residential units will be demolished and a 12-story building with 135 units will be built in its place.

Emboldened by former US president Donald Trump’s all-out support, Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”

Much of the international community regards the Israeli settler units in the occupied lands as illegal.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East al-Quds as its capital.

Source: Press TV

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Turkey: Officials deny arrest of 34 Muslim Brotherhood members

By Ragip Soylu in Ankara

31 October 2022

Multiple Turkish officials denied on Monday reports that Ankara had arrested 34 Muslim Brotherhood members who called for protests in Egypt during the UN Climate Change Conference, Cop27, set to start in Sharm El-Sheikh later this week.

Saudi-funded newspaper Asharq Al-Aswat reported on Sunday that Ankara arrested dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members after they prepared to launch a new Telegram channel to "incite protests, acts of violence and chaos in Egypt" on 11 November.

Citing pages and outlets linked with the Muslim Brotherhood, Asharq Al-Aswat added the supposed detainees were also included on a deportation list.

Two senior Turkish officials told Middle East Eye no such arrests were made.

A separate Turkish source told MEE that Arab media regularly publish similar allegations to stir up trouble and make Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Turkey feel uncomfortable.

"We only detained an Egyptian journalist who was later released," one senior Turkish official told MEE.

Egyptian journalist Hossam al-Ghamry revealed on Twitter on Sunday that he was detained by Turkish police and later released following an outcry on social media.

"I am back home, thanks to God. This experience helped me understand the feeling of my son Yusef who has been forcibly disappeared, without a crime except being my son," Ghamry said.

The journalist's son Yusef al-Ghamry, 24, was taken from his home in Sharqia Governorate by Egyptian security forces on 25 October to an unknown location, and his whereabouts remain undisclosed, according to Egyptian human rights organisation Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).

The engineering student was detained after his Istanbul-based father joined other exiled Egytian dissidents in calling for mass anti-government protests in Egypt on 11 November, which have gained some traction online.

Media shut down

Since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ascended to power following a military coup in 2013, the Egyptian government has carried out a large-scale crackdown on dissent. All political opposition and independent media have been banned in the country, with many journalists fleeing and going into exile and launching channels abroad, mainly in Turkey.

MEE reported last year that Turkish authorities requested Egyptian opposition channels based in the country to soften their criticism of the Sisi government as the two regional powers began improving ties following years of diplomatic hostility.

As a result, several Egyptian opposition journalists who used to work from Turkey relocated to London and launched their own social media platforms.

Earlier this year, opposition TV channel Mekameleen announced that it had shut down its Turkey offices and would be broadcasting from other locations.

However, several Turkish officials previously told MEE that Ankara does not plan on deporting Brotherhood members unless they are directly involved in violent crimes.

Turkey and Egypt have sought to mend relations that were fractured after Ankara refused to recognise Sisi as the country's legitimate leader following the 2013 military coup that ousted his predecessor Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also a vocal critic of Sisi's human rights abuses against the leaders and members of the Muslim Brotherhood in a post-coup crackdown.

In an attempt to mend relations, the Turkish government lifted a veto against Egypt's partnership activities with Nato last year ahead of two rounds of preliminary talks held between officials.

Reconciliation on hold

Another issue in the Egyptian-Turkish rift was their support of opposite sides in the Libyan conflict which has resurfaced recently.

On Friday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Al Arabiya that dialogue with Ankara has stopped since Turkey didn’t change its policies in Libya.

"The two exploratory meetings allowed the chance to express our concerns about the regional situations. This path has not resumed, as there have been no changes in terms of Turkey's practices in Libya," Shoukry said.

Turkey signed a comprehensive energy deal with Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Unity (GNU) earlier this month for land and sea exploration. The move was interpreted as Ankara throwing its weight behind Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, whose legitimacy is questioned by the Libyan parliament, known as the House of Representatives.

Egypt claims that Dbeibah’s mandate has expired since the House of Representatives elected Fathi Bashagha as the new prime minister in February. Dbeibah has refused to give up his post until a new general election is held.

Source: Middle East Eye

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Erdoğan condemns Daesh, FETÖ for using Islam for dirty aims

OCT 31, 2022

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday condemned terrorist groups that used Islam as a pretext for their "dirty aims."

"Whether they are called Daesh, Boko Haram or FETÖ (Gülenist Terror Group), all of these organizations are deviant and perverted structures that use our religion for their dirty purposes," Erdoğan said at a consultation meeting of district Muftis in the capital Ankara.

Erdoğan also wished condolences to Somalia for the devastating car bombings at the weekend that claimed the lives of 100 people.

Saturday's attack, which also wounded more than 300 people, was claimed by the al-Shabab terrorist group and was the deadliest in the fragile Horn of Africa nation in five years.

Türkiye has frequently called for increased global cooperation against the threat of terrorism.

Source: Daily Sabah

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President: Shiraz Terror Attack Proves Enemy Seeking to Incite Unrest in Iran


Speaking during the Sunday session of his cabinet, President Rayeesi condoled the martyrdom of a number of Iranians in the terrorist attack committed in the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh in Shiraz.

"The bitter Shiraz event was the materialization of a part of the enemy's objectives in fomenting unrest and disturbance in the lives of the people through strife, sedition and terror, and referred to the increased hatred of the public against both the terrorists and the violators of pubic unrest," he stressed.

"Security is a red line for the government and nation of the Islamic Republic of Iran and we will never allow the enemy’s scheme to undermine this national and valuable asset to be realized,” Iran's president added.

He noted that the main message of people’s presence on the streets in Shiraz and other Iranian cities was not only to condemn the terrorist attack on the Shah Cheragh holy shrine, but also to highlight the need to decisively confront the terrorists in order to safeguard the country’s security.

A Gunman killed 15 people and wounded 19 others in an attack on Shah Cheragh on Wednesday, as pilgrims were visiting the holy site. The assailant opened fire with Kalashnikov rifles after entering the courtyard of the shrine.

Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the fatal attack.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Lashes Out at Advocates of Human Rights for Keeping Mum on Shah Cheragh Terror Attack


"Those who claim to be in the garden and consider others to be forest dwellers have caught their tongues and have forgotten the protection of women's rights, human rights and children's rights, and they state things with double standards and simply pass them by, and they forget their role in fomenting violence and disturbance and inciting and creating grounds for such terrorist and bitter actions and ignore their responsibility in this regard," Kana'ani said in his weekly press conference on Monday.

A heavily-armed assailant killed 15 people and wounded 19 others in an attack on Shah Cheragh on Wednesday, as pilgrims were visiting the holy site. Iranian officials have stressed Tehran's resolve to punish the perpetrators and masterminds of the bloody attack.

Asked to comment on Western countries’ interference in Iran’s internal affairs, including in the recent nationwide unrest, the spokesperson slammed their “unconstructive, and irresponsible measures” and “meddlesome statements” which, he noted, turned peaceful protests into riots.

"Due to the current state of riots, the voice of those who wanted to peacefully express their criticisms could not be heard," the diplomat added.

They provided the ground for violence-seekers and rioters to wreak havoc and based their meddlesome actions on standing up for women’s rights and the rights of minorities, he continued.

"Why didn't those who talk about women's rights pay attention to the unilateral sanctions of the US administration and the support of Europe. Where did the European authorities point out that Iranian women and children are also subject to these sanctions without discrimination?" the top official asked.

"Their claims are hypocritical and their statements about Iranian women and ethnic groups are unrealistic and do not match the facts of Iran," he stressed.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

In recent days, Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Military option is on the table if needed to prevent Iranian nuclear weapon: Malley

31 October, 2022

US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley said Monday that the military option was still on the table if diplomacy failed in trying to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

“As the President has said, if all other means fail, as a last resort, he would keep the military option, very clearly on the table, if that’s what it would take to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” Malley said.

But Malley reiterated the Biden administration’s preference for diplomatic efforts to succeed and defended the administration’s continued willingness to engage in indirect talks with Iran.

“We make no apology for having tried and still trying to do everything we can to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” he said during a webinar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank.

Malley added: “Again, preference for diplomacy if that can work with tools of pressure, sanctions in particular, but also keeping very much all options on the table in case diplomacy were to fail.”

As for the status of the nuclear deal talks, Malley said there has been “no movement” since early September.

Therefore, he said, the deal is not a focus of the administration right now. “We’re not going to focus on something that is inert, when other things are happening,” Malley said, pointing to the anti-government protests in Iran and Tehran’s decision to transfer drones to Russia.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran says 1,000 indicted over recent unrest, trials to be held in public

31 October, 2022

About 1,000 people have been indicted in Tehran over rioting and the trials will be held in public this week, the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted the head of the judiciary in the Iranian capital as saying on Monday.

Iran has been gripped by protests since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police last month, posing one of the boldest challenges to the clerical leadership since the 1979 revolution.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran arrests ‘accomplice’ of ISIS-claimed shrine attack

31 October, 2022

Iran announced Monday a suspected accomplice of the shooter who carried out a deadly attack on a Shia Muslim shrine in Shiraz has been arrested, state news agency IRNA reported.

At least 13 people were killed last Wednesday in the Shah Cheragh mausoleum in the southern city, according to a revised official toll, in an attack claimed by ISIS.

State media had initially given a death toll of 15.

“The second person involved in the terrorist operation at the sacred sanctuary, who provided support, has been arrested,” said local deputy governor Esmail Mohebipour, quoted by IRNA.

The suspect, arrested Sunday evening in Shiraz, had not entered the shrine, and his alleged role was not clear.

The perpetrator of the attack in Shiraz, identified by local media as Hamed Badakhshan, died of wounds sustained while he was being arrested, a local official said Saturday.

The shooting at the shrine came on the same day that thousands of people across Iran paid tribute to Mahsa Amini, 40 days after her death in police custody.

Amini, 22, died on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly breaching the country’s dress code for women.

Remarks made Thursday by President Ebrahim Raisi appeared to link the Shiraz attack, one of the country’s deadliest in years, with the protests and “riots” following Amini’s death.

In funeral processions for victims in Shiraz on Saturday, crowds chanted slogans condemning the US, Israel, and Britain for allegedly being “behind the riots.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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Palestinians strike in al-Quds village, slam Israeli murder of fighter

31 October 2022

Palestinians in a village east of the occupied al-Quds have held a strike in protest against Israel’s killing of a man following a car-ramming operation.

Shops, businesses, institutions and schools remained closed in the town of al-Ezariya and much of nearby areas on Monday, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

On Sunday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian who allegedly left five settlers injured near the city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank. The regime’s forces fatally shot the man who was driving the car south of Jericho. Later in the day, the Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man as Barakat Moussa Odeh, 49, from the village of al-Ezariya.

Israeli media said the driver first rammed some Israelis near Nabi Musa village and then continued driving and plowed into a bus stop at Almog Junction.

Following the incident, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement, hailing “the heroic operation” in the West Bank. The front said the episode “renewed the emphasis on the need to confront the occupation and its continuing crimes.”

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas also welcomed the operation. It said six Israeli soldiers and settlers had been wounded.

The reported attack came amid increasingly intensified Israeli raids throughout the West Bank in search of armed Palestinian resistance fighters responsible for a spate of deadly attacks on Israeli forces, which began in March.

More than 100 Palestinians have so far been killed during the Israeli regime’s brutal crackdown on the West Bank’s native residents over the past few months.

Palestinians say Israelis must be held accountable for their atrocities.

The Israeli regime occupied and annexed the West Bank, including East al-Quds, in a Western-backed war of aggression in 1967. Ever since, it has dotted the territory with hundreds of settlements that have come to house hundreds of thousands of Zionist settlers that immigrated to occupied Palestine – mostly from Europe and the United States.

Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state with East al-Quds as its capital.

Israel guards storm Palestinian prisoners’ cells

Separately on Monday, Israeli prison forces violently stormed the notorious Ofer jail and attacked Palestinian prisoners while conducting ‘search operations’, Palestinian media reported.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said Israeli forces assaulted several prisoners in section 14 of the jail. Eighty-five newly-detained Palestinian prisoners are held in the section, the PPS said.

Overall, more than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in Israeli jails. The prisoners are kept under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. They have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.

Source: Press TV

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Naira redesign: Put Arabic on all denominations – Islamic group tells CBN

November 1, 2022

By Don Silas

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has supported the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the naira.

However, the Islamic human rights organization gave the condition that Arabic Ajami must be inscribed on all naira denominations.

MURIC stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday by the group’s director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

The statement reads in part: “The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, announced on October 26 2022, the plan by the CBN to redesign the naira.

“MURIC hereby expresses its support for the project with the proviso that all the denominations must contain Arabic inscriptions just as they had been before Arabic Ajami was conspiratorially and unjustly removed from some denominations.”

MURIC insisted that the removal of Arabic Ajami from naira notes in the past provoked Muslims and caused division within the country, adding that only its return to all denominations can heal the wound.

According to the Islamic group, in 2005, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo fired the first salvo against the naira note during his eight-year rule as a civilian president (1999–2007). Obasanjo removed the Arabic Ajami from 5, 10, 20 and 50 naira denominations.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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Miyetti Allah demands establishment of nomadic affairs ministry

October 31, 2022

By Yemi Balogun

Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani Association has called for the establishment of the Federal Ministry of Nomadic Affairs, with a mandate to broaden educational opportunities and address pastoralist challenges.

The group also called for the overhauling of Nigeria’s security and justice systems to address cases of injustice and access to justice by pastoralists because many of their youths are languishing in detention centres across the country.

Miyetti Allah stated this in a communique issued Monday and jointly signed by its National President, Abdullahi Bodejo, and its National Secretary, Mr. Saleh Alhassan, at the end of the expanded National Executive Meeting with State Chairmen of the association held in Abuja.

It also demanded the immediate designation, gazetting and development of all the 415 grazing reserves across the country.

It said: “The meeting called for the immediate Designation, gazetting and Development of all the 415 grazing reserves across the states of the Federation as the only first strategic step in addressing the challenges confronting Fulani Herders in Nigeria.

“This will include building of earth dams and solar boreholes. Building of veterinary clinics. Development of Diary (milk) collection centres.”

The group noted with dismay the recent massacre of Fulani pastoralists in Taraba State and called on the Inspector General of Police to set up a high power panel to unmasked those responsible for the dastardly acts and ensure justice is done to the victims’ families to avoid people resorting to self help.

“The meeting dismissed the consistent claims of farmers- herders conflicts as a major setback of instability and insecurity in Nigeria. But rather the conflicts are exacerbated by activities of states sponsored vigilantes and tribal hordes who willfully continue to carry out extra-judicial killings of Fulani pastoralists.”

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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South Africa values relations with Türkiye: Deputy minister

Hassan Isilow 


PRETORIA, South Africa

South Africa attaches great importance to its relations with Türkiye and hopes to strengthen ties even further, the country’s deputy minister for water and sanitation said Monday.

“On behalf of the South African government, it’s a pleasure to come and pay homage in celebrations with the people of Türkiye,” Dikeledi Phillistus Magadzi told guests at an event marking Türkiye’s 99th Republic Day celebrations held at the ambassador’s residence in the capital Pretoria.

Magadzi said her government is encouraged by recent visits by officials from both countries, giving the example of the visit by South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor to Türkiye early this year.

Pandor visited Türkiye for the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, an annual conference on international diplomacy. She held bilateral talks with her Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu during her visit.

Magadzi also extended her condolences to Türkiye following the recent tragic coal mine explosion in northern Türkiye which claimed over 40 lives.

She said her country can benefit by tapping into Türkiye’s 99 years of experience by working together to address the challenges they face.

The South African government designated Magadzi as well as the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, to represent the country at the Republic Day event.

Relations blossoming

Addressing guests, Türkiye’s ambassador to South Africa Aysegul Kandas said she was happy that relations between the two countries are flourishing at all levels, from politics to trade and investment and person-to-person relations.

Kandas said that next year they expect Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to visit South Africa, which will pave the way for the inaugural session of the Bi-National Commission later in the year to enhance relations further.

They also hope South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa will visit Türkiye next year.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited South Africa in 2018 to attend the BRICS summit. The grouping comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, countries that share over 20% of the global economy.

This year’s Republic Day celebrations were the largest since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted gatherings for the past two years.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Türkiye is a powerful partner for Uganda: President

Hamza Kyeyune  



Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said on Monday that Türkiye has become one of the most powerful partners for Uganda.

In a message to Türkiye's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Museveni said Turkish-Ugandan relations have gained momentum in every field.

Museveni also congratulated Erdogan and the Turkish people on the 99th anniversary of the republic.

At an event hosted by the Turkish Embassy in Uganda to mark the Oct. 29 Republic Day, Uganda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Henry Okello Oryem said both countries enjoy diplomatic relations established over 50 years ago, as well as cooperation in military, education, economy, culture, and technology fields.

“I wish to acknowledge the involvement of the government of Türkiye and its private sector in Uganda's development process.

"The two countries signed a bilateral trade agreement that has formalized the business traffic between the two countries. Other cooperation frameworks signed during President Erdogan’s visit to Uganda have facilitated implementation of several joint projects in the field of education, agro-processing and value addition, infrastructural development, and ICT, among others,” Oryem said.

“Uganda is a peace-loving country and cherishes an environment of stability, peace, and security, for the country, the region, and entire world as a peaceful resolution of conflicts, and condemn all forms of terrorist attacks wherever they occur.

"We will never allow Uganda to be used as a base for terrorists nor to undermine the democracy and sovereignty of any other country,” he stressed.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Türkiye, Guinea Bissau agree to enhance cooperation

Diyar Guldogan 


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of Guinea Bissau Umaro Sissoco Embalo on Monday agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation in the areas of economy, trade, and defense.

Erdogan and Embalo discussed steps to improve Türkiye-Guinea-Bissau relations and regional issues in a phone call, Türkiye's Communications Directorate said in a statement.

During the phone call, Erdogan expressed his pleasure over Bissau's allocation of land in Guinea-Bissau for Türkiye's Maarif Foundation to build a school.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Libya to reopen border with Sudan

Moataz Wanees  



Head of Libya’s Tripoli-based unity government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, on Monday announced the reopening of border with Sudan.

Addressing an economic forum in the Libyan capital, Dbeibeh said the move will help resume the movement of goods and people between the two countries.

"The closure of the border between Libya and Sudan was something strange, and a move that we don't accept,” Dbeibeh said.

Libya’s border with Sudan was shut in January by orders from Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar, citing threats from Sudanese militias active in the border area between the two countries.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Israel says it foiled attempt to smuggle in weapons from Jordan

Zain Khalil 


Israel said Monday it had thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons into the country from Jordan.

A military statement said a suspect was arrested near the border fence with Jordan with 25 handguns in his possession.

Another person was arrested in connection with the smuggling attempt, the statement said.

No details were provided about the nationality of the two people.

There was no comment from Jordanian authorities on the report.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Moroccan king to skip Arab summit in Algeria

Ahmed Asmar  


RABAT, Morocco

Morocco said Monday King Mohammed VI will not attend the annual Arab summit, due to open on Tuesday in neighboring Algeria.

Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita did not provide any reasons for the monarch’s absence from the two-day summit.

“The Moroccan king has given instructions to our delegation to continue their constructive work in spite of his absence,” Bourita told the Saudi channel Al-Arabiya.

Tension reignited between the two North African countries on Saturday after a state Algerian channel used a map seen as “wrong” by Morocco during an Arab ministerial meeting to prepare for the summit. The Algerian channel called the use of the map a “technical error” and apologized.

Bourita, however, said the Algerian clarification “was not convincing" to Morocco.

Algeria and Morocco are regional rivals, with their ties strained over the disputed Western Sahara region.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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