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Islamic World News ( 27 Dec 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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After Haridwar Hate Conclave, Yati to Organise Three Similar Events to Discuss the Topic “Shastra Meva Jayate” (Weapons Shall Prevail) Instead Of Original Indian Motto of 'Satya Meva Jayate (Truth Shall Prevail)

New Age Islam News Bureau

27 December 2021


Several Hindutva leaders addressing the conclave organised by Yati Narsinghanand in Haridwar. (Screengrabs


• Iran: Christian Prisoners Get Rare 10-Day Holiday Liberty to Mark the New Year 2022 and the Birth of Jesus Christ

• Minorities Are Completely Free To Practice Their Religious Rituals in Pakistan: State Minister

• Co-Education Reason behind Closure of Universities in Afghanistan, Says Taliban Minister

• Liverpool and Egypt Forward Mohamed Salah Triggers Angry Reactions with “Merry Christmas” Message


• Christmas Events Disrupted In Gurugram and Kurukshetra

• Those Who Underwent Religious Conversion Should Be Brought Back To Hinduism: MP Tejasvi Surya

• Case against Man for Giving ‘Triple Talaq’ To Wife on Social Media in Pune

• Islamic State terrorist, involved in killing of police inspector, gunned down in J&K’s Anantnag



• FM: Iran Only Favours Political Solutions to Regional Problems

• Official: Over 300 Documents Presented to Iraq on Assassination of Gen. Soleimani

• Source Blames France for Slow Pace of Vienna Talks

• Israel plans to double settlement in occupied Golan Heights: PM Bennett

• Iran says won't enrich uranium beyond 60 percent if nuclear talks fail

• Exhibition organized to mark 2008 Israeli offensive on Gaza

• The apartheid regime’s Christmas propaganda and oppression of Palestinian Christians



• Pakistanis rally to condemn Israeli threats against Muslim world

• PPP, other parties in contact for seat adjustment in Hazara

• Christians celebrate Christmas among friends



• French arrest man over chemical weapons parts in Syria

• UK accused of ‘trying to move on’ after hundreds of Afghans left trapped


South Asia

• Us Should Not Interfere In Afghan Affairs, Says Taliban Leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai

• Three French Radars arrive in Kabul, ready to be installed in three provinces

• Afghanistan universities yet to reopen, money just a reason listed by Taliban

• As Taliban face economic ruin, Afghans suffer malnutrition, sink further into poverty


North America

• The American Deal with the Popular Decline In Support Of Political Islam after Arab Spring Revolutions

• US calls for credible, rapid conclusion of Somali elections

• Venezuela’s President Maduro to visit Iran ‘very soon’

• The attempts of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in the process of polarization within the American society


Arab World

• Iraq Not ‘Launching Pad’ For Aggression against Other Countries: NSA

• Lebanon’s Hezbollah Trains Yemen’s Houthis to Target Saudi Arabia: Arab Coalition

• Egypt Unveils Plans of World’s Largest Museum of Egyptian Civilization

• French arrest man over chemical weapons parts in Syria

• Bodies of 16 killed in Channel boat disaster repatriated to Iraqi Kurdistan

• Lebanon's top Christian cleric issues elections plea

• Saudi Arabia denies importing Christmas trees


Southeast Asia

• China Replaces Xinjiang Party Chief amid Forced Labour Allegations

• Socialism a viable option for Malaysia, says academic

• Vote by class, not along racial lines, says expert

• Remembering an Indonesian Muslim's Christmas sacrifice



• Important Remarks By Sheikh Zakzaky After Six Years Of Illegal Imprisonment

• Senior security official among 4 killed in Somali capital blast

• UN urges Sudan to protect protesters, amid rallies for civilian rule

• Somali military kills 22 al-Shabaab terrorists: Officials

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



After Haridwar Hate Conclave, Yati to Organise Three Similar Events To Discuss The Topic “Shastra Meva Jayate” (Weapons Shall Prevail) Instead Of Original Indian Motto Of 'Satya Meva Jayate (Truth Shall Prevail)


Several Hindutva leaders addressing the conclave organised by Yati Narsinghanand in Haridwar. (Screengrabs


26th December 2021

Another shout for mass genocide titled “Dharam Sansad” was called out by the head priest of the Dasna temple Yati Narsinghanand and other Hindu regional leaders.

A total of three hate speech events are about to take place with one in Kurukshetra in Haryana, and two others in UP (Aligarh and Ghaziabad) to discuss the topic “Shastra meva jayate”.

Two days of mass genocide have been called out on January 1 and 2 in the coming year at Shiv Shakti Dham in Haryana. While there is no clarity on what these events will entail, the events are likely to be Hindutva and anti-Muslim in nature.

The call for “Dharam Sansad” comes mere days after a program was organised at Ved Niketan Dham at Bhopatwala in Haridwar between December 16 and 19. This event was also organized by Yati Narshinghanand where participants were seen making provocative and objectionable speeches against Muslims.

During his speech, Narsinghanand targeted Muslims and urged Hindus to take up weapons against them. He also called upon Hindus to ensure that a Muslim didn’t become the Prime Minister in the next elections.

A participant from Dharma Sansad, Anand Swaroop said, “We stand by our statements that are well thought out. If a person rapes our sister, won’t we kill him? Speakers talked about killing such persons, not ordinary Muslims who are our friends. No one can stop India from becoming Hindu Rashtra”.

The video of the Haridwar event came out later on social media. The Uttarakhand Police has filed an FIR under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups and acts prejudicial to harmony) against Waseem Rizvi aka Jitendra Tyagi and others who were speakers and participants of the event.

The case is being investigated by a sub-inspector rank police officer of Kotwali police station.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Iran: Christian Prisoners Get Rare 10-Day Holiday Liberty to Mark the New Year 2022 and the Birth of Jesus Christ


Most Christians in Iran are ethnic Armenians who celebrate Christmas on January 6.


December 26, 2021

TEHRAN: The head of Iran’s judiciary on Sunday granted Christian prisoners 10 days’ liberty to spend the holidays with families, in a rare move towards the minority community.

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei instructed authorities across the country to issue the dispensation, according to the judiciary’s Mizan Online website.

“The decision is to mark the New Year 2022 and the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ,” the website said.

Mizan Online did not say how many Christian prisoners will benefit from the furlough, or when the 10-day period starts.

It said, however, that inmates convicted for undermining security, organised crime, abductions, armed robberies and those sentenced to death would be exempted.

According to local media, Christians represent just 1% of Iran’s total population of 83 million, the majority of whom are Shiite Muslims.

Most Christians in Iran are Armenians who celebrate Christmas on Jan 6, the day of the Epiphany.

Around that time of year, some shops in Tehran and major cities put up decorations, including Christmas trees while people dressed up as Santa Claus stand outside stores.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei often grants amnesty to prisoners or reduces their sentences to mark Muslim holidays.

But it is rare for Iranian authorities to announce such measures concerning members of the Islamic republic’s Christian minority.

This year Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited the Tehran home of the family of a Christian Armenian “martyr” who died in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war on Christmas Eve, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Minorities Are Completely Free To Practice Their Religious Rituals In Pakistan: State Minister


Representative Photo: (Photo credit should read ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)


December 26, 2021

FAISALABAD: State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib on Sunday said that Christians are an integral part of Pakistan and minorities are completely right to practice their own religious rituals without interference of any element.

He was addressing a Christmas cake-cutting ceremony while inaugurating various development schemes at Khushhal Town.

He said that government was promoting religious harmony which would not only attract the foreigners to visit their religious holy sites in Pakistan but also enjoy the serenity, beauty and cultural harmony of our society.

He on the behalf of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistani nation congratulated Christian community on Christmas and said that all available resources were being utilised to provide basic amenities to minorities in addition to protect their rights.

Farrukh said that: “Khushhal Town is plagued by sewerage, dilapidated roads and other problems for the last 40 years. However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has started to fulfill its promises and various development schemes have been launched to improve life standard of the people.”

He said that 8,000 feet long sewerage line would be laid down in Khushhal Town area and the project would be completed in 4 to 5 months on war-footing. Similarly, public parks and playgrounds would also be constructed on government lands while Rs.100 million had so far been spent on water filtration plants in the area and added that more plants would also be arranged to provide clean drinking water to 100 per cent population of the locality.

He further said that construction work at Sitiana Road, Sammundri Road and Jhang Road had been started to facilitate the commuters and motorists while development of General Hospital Haseeb Shaheed Colony was also in full swing and the project would be completed by June 2022.

State Minister for Information said, “Provision of health cards has been started and the facility will be extended to each family in Punjab up to March 2022.”

He said people of Christian community and other minorities had also been included in this scheme and the card holder would be entitled to get free-treatment up to Rs.10 million per annum from the hospital of his own choice.

Farrukh said that Rs.120 billion had been allocated under Ehsaas Ration Programme to facilitate 20 million low-income families and under this programme, each family would get subsidy of Rs.1,000 per month on flour, pulses and ghee.

He said that the government had also made the banks bound to provide loans for 15 to 20 years for construction of houses and for this purpose Akhuwat Foundation are active to provide interest-free-loans to the people so that they could start their own businesses.

Later, the minister also cut Christmas cake and offered Dua for security of the country.

Provincial Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ejaz Alam Augustine, Minority Member Provincial Assembly Yudester Chauhan, former Punjab Assembly candidate Chaudhry Khalid Rafi Cheema, Mian Nabeel Arshad and Christian leader Habqooq Gill and a large number of area people were also present.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Co-Education Reason behind Closure of Universities In Afghanistan, Says Taliban Minister


Representative image: Photo/AP


Dec 27, 2021

KABUL: Minister of Higher Education of Afghanistan, Abdul Baqi Haqqani on Sunday said that the reason behind the closure of universities is co-education and economic crisis.

The Taliban minister said that they have to make separate classes for girls and hire extra lecturers that need more time and extra budget, reported Khaama Press.

Haqqani was on a visit to Pakistan recently discussed the problems of Afghan students with Islamabad officials and relevant administrations.

"We discussed the problems of Afghan students and we were given assurance by Pakistani officials. Pakistan increased yearly scholarships for Afghan students by 500. Afghanistan will be provided 1,500 scholarships every year," said Haqqani.

Meanwhile, Haqqani also said that no country will be allowed to grant scholarships directly to people and that the scholarships will be managed through the ministry of higher education, reported Khaama Press.

He had suggested building independent universities for Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

"Pakistan is an ideal country for Afghan students who seek higher education as the country is cheaper and has similarities with the Afghan people," Haqqani added.

It comes as public universities and high schools for girls are yet to be reopened.

The Taliban, after the siege, proposed a ban on coeducation. Group's officials had also ordered that girls will no longer be allowed to sit in the same classes as boys in universities, Khaama Press reported.

Source: Times of India

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Liverpool and Egypt Forward Mohamed Salah Triggers Angry Reactions with “Merry Christmas” Message


Liverpool star Mohamed Salah posted a Christmas message from his family. © Twitter @MoSalah


December 27, 2021

Liverpool and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah has triggered an angry reaction from some sections of social media after the Muslim star shared a Christmas Day message from his family.

Salah, who is one of the biggest Muslim sports personalities on the planet, posted a festive image to his millions of followers on Instagram and Twitter showing himself and his family sitting in front of a Christmas tree and dressed in matching outfits.

“Merry Christmas” read the message from the 29-year-old footballer.

Salah’s post racked up well over 2 million ‘likes’ within hours of being posted on Instagram and garnered more than 200,000 on Twitter.

But amidst the love for Salah and his family there were some who took issue with the forward supposedly celebrating Christmas.

Salah was bombarded with responses in Arabic, including many which saw the message as contradictory to the star’s Muslim principles and an affront to their religion.

“You prostrate to the one on Sunday if you score a goal and celebrate the one on Sunday that has a son,” read one reply, referencing the differences between Islamic and Christian beliefs and noting Salah’s celebration when he performs the ‘sujud’ act of prayer on the pitch after scoring.  

“You are a great player, a good human being, and God has blessed you with money, fame, and the love of people, but know that he who has provided you with all of this is capable of taking it from you in the blink of an eye,” began another response in Arabic which earned around 7,000 ‘likes’.

“Know that you celebrate a day in which they claim that God gives birth to the likes of us… do not be the seat and imprint of their actions, respect the one who provided you with sustenance and gave you your dreams and purified him from the accusations of the people.”

The backlash could have been predicted after a similar situation played out following a Christmas message from Salah last year.

Some fans couldn’t understand why Salah was being targeted with hate.

“I absolutely love this. Mo Salah is a great example of someone who creates bridges while not caring about the noise. The world needs more Mo Salahs,” read one popular reply in support of the forward.

The row seems unlikely to distract Salah on the pitch, where he has been in sensational form this season.

'The Egyptian King' has found the net 22 times in 24 appearances across all competitions for Liverpool as well as providing nine assists.

Salah and Liverpool saw their Boxing Day match with Leeds postponed due to Covid-19, but the forward will hope to continue his red-hot form against Leicester City on December 28, before a blockbuster Premier League clash with his former club Chelsea on January 2.

However, the Reds will lose Salah and key strike partner Sadio Mane when the pair depart for the Africa Cup of Nations, which runs from January 9 to February 6.

Salah will likely be integral to Egypt's chances of success in the continental showpiece.

Source: ABNA24

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Christmas Events Disrupted In Gurugram and Kurukshetra

Bagish Jha

Dec 26, 2021

GURUGRAM: A Christmas celebration at a private school in Pataudi was stopped on Saturday by a group of men who snatched the mic from a priest delivering a lecture and shouted "Jai Shri Ram" slogans.

The latest disruption follows protests organised by right-wing activists almost every week in the NCR district since October against the Muslim community's Namaz congregations.

At the Pataudi school, House of Hope had organised a "Christmas Milan", whose theme was to make people aware about the "real meaning of Christmas" through songs, dance and teachings of the Bible. A number of children and women from areas in the vicinity had gathered for the event.

A few minutes into the programme, the group of men, who identified themselves as members of the Dharam Jagriti Mission, barged into the hall and alleged that the programme had been organised to "brainwash children" and "prepare them for conversion".

RP Pandey, the president of the outfit, said though Christmas carols were being practised at the school for the past few days, they had no idea about the programme. But two days ago, invites were sent out to people from the neighbourhood to attend the Christmas programme. "It is through song and dance that they promote their religion and influence the minds of children," Pandey said.

He claimed that most of those who attended the event were from humble backgrounds. A pastor said a member of House of Hope had organised the event in his personal capacity. "We were also present when the unfortunate incident took place. They started shouting slogans and disrupted the programme," he said. The pastor termed "unfortunate" the series of disruptions of Friday prayers since October and requested this correspondent not to reveal his identity or the name of the school where the event was organised for fear of a backlash.

He, however, said they did not want to lodge a police complaint. "We believe in love. We are not going to file any complaint," he added.

A video being circulated on social media shows a man snatching the mike from the speaker and shouting slogans of "Jai Shri Ram" as others join in. Shailender Kumader, the SHO of Pataudi police station, said they had not received any complaint.

Source: Times of India

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Those who underwent religious conversion should be brought back to Hinduism: MP Tejasvi Surya

by Kiran Parashar

December 27, 2021

Karnataka BJP MP Tejasvi Surya on Sunday said Muslims or Christians, who have undergone religious conversion, should be brought back into the fold of Hinduism. He added that all mutts and temples should have “annual targets” for the completion of such religious re-conversions.

“There are people who belonged to Hinduism but were converted to Islam or Christianity. It is our duty to bring these people back into the fold of Hinduism. Also, Hindus in Pakistan who were converted to Islam should be brought back into the fold,” the BJP MP, who is also the Yuva Morcha national president, said at a valedictory event at Sri Krishna Mutt.

He added, “All the mutts and temples should have annual targets to bring back people to Hindu religion. For instance, there were people who had to undergo religious conversion because of Tipu Sultan. That is why it is important to bring these people back to the fold of Hinduism. That is the only way a renaissance can happen.”

Surya’s statements come at a time when the state has witnessed massive protests over The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, commonly referred to as the anti-conversion Bill, which has been passed in the Assembly. The bill prohibits conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, fraud, allurement or marriage.

Surya further said, “Our own brothers have converted from Hindu religion which is tolerant, scientific, progressive and forward-looking. It is our responsibility to bring them back to their original faith.”

During the anti-CAA protests, Surya had courted controversy saying that only the  “uneducated, illiterate, and puncture-wallahs” were protesting against the Act.

Further asserting that Hindus must enjoy political power as they enjoy numerical majority, he added, “There were many Muslim youths who want to celebrate Tipu Jayanthi. Why none of didn’t these people celebrate APJ Abdul Kalam’s birth anniversary? Kalam had visited mutts and played Hindu devotional music. That will be difficult to accept for a true Muslim.”

Source: Indian Express

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Case against man for giving ‘triple talaq’ to wife on social media in Pune

Dec 26, 2021

By Nadeem Inamdar

PUNE A 32-year-old woman from Pune registered a case against her husband for allegedly giving her ‘triple talaq’ or divorce by sending her a message on a social media platform, said police on Sunday.

According to the FIR, which was lodged on December 24, the woman stayed at her husbands residence from February 27, 2018 till December 11, 2021. During that time she was abused for her complexion by the husband who also told her that he got married against his wishes.

According to the complainant, her husband, identified as, Moin Ibrahim Mulani ( 32) sent a message to her on December 11, that stated ‘ talaq ’ thrice, on a social media platform, after which she decided to lodged a complaint against him.

The police have invoked Sections 498 A, 323, 504 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused along with Sections 3 and 4 of Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. Kondhwa police station incharge Sardar Patil said that a complaint under relevant sections was lodged as per the complaint.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Islamic State terrorist, involved in killing of police inspector, gunned down in J&K’s Anantnag

Dec 26, 2021

A terrorist affiliated with the regional Islamic State (IS) unit was gunned down by a joint force of the Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police on Sunday morning in the Anantnag district, officials said.

Vijay Kumar, the inspector-general (IGP) of Kashmir Zone police, said the terrorist has been identified as Faheem Bhat, who recently joined the Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK).

The ISJK is an affiliate outfit of the IS active in Jammu and Kashmir as part of its broader Khorasan (Islamic State – Khorasan Province or IS-K) branch in South Asia and Central Asia.

“Neutralised #terrorist identified as Faheem Bhat of Kadipora #Anantnag,” tweeted Kashmir Zone Police on Sunday morning, following the encounter. “He has recently joined #terror outfit ISJK and was involved in killing of Martyr ASI Mohd Ashraf, who was posted at PS Bijbehara.”

Officials of the Kashmir police said Faheem Bhat was involved in the killing of an on-duty assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Mohammad Ashraf Dar on December 22 outside the Bijbehara police station.

#AnantnagEncounterUpdate: Neutralised #terrorist identified as Faheem Bhat of Kadipora #Anantnag. He has recently joined #terror outfit ISJK and was involved in killing of Martyr ASI Mohd Ashraf, who was posted at PS Bijbehara: IGP Kashmir@JmuKmrPolice

— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) December 25, 2021

The ISJK terrorist was killed after an encounter broke out between the security forces and the terrorists in the K Kalan of Srigufwara in J&K's Anantnag district on Saturday night.

On Saturday, two Ansar Gazwat uL Hind (AuGH) and two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists were killed in two separate encounters.

Source: Hindustan Times

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FM: Iran Only Favours Political Solutions to Regional Problems


Amir Abollahian made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Omani Deputy Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalifa Al-Harthy, Oman's Diplomatic Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry in Tehran.

The Omani deputy foreign minister has traveled to Tehran to attend Iran-Oman Joint Committee on Strategic Consultations.

During the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister reiterated that the expansion of bilateral relations with neighbors is a top priority of President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi.

Amir Abdollahian also stressed the need for the two sides to work to enhance the volume of trade exchanges between the two countries.

The top Iranian diplomat also stressed Iran's readiness to hold talks with the countries of the region in order to improve bilateral relations.

He also pointed out that the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to dialogue and political solutions to resolve bilateral and regional problems.

In a relevant development on Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Baqeri Kani underlined the necessity for regional countries to resolve their problems through dialogue, cooperation, and coordination among themselves.

Baqeri Kani made the remarks in Tehran in the 8h meeting of the Joint Strategic Consultation Committee of Iran and Oman that was held in the presence of the Omani deputy foreign minister.

He also pointed to the 50th anniversary of the establishment of relations between the two countries, expressing satisfaction with the level of relations between Iran and Oman.

Baqeri Kani also expressed the hope that the existing problems would be resolved based on dialogue between the countries of the region.

Sheikh Khalifa al-Harthy, for his part, referred to the pivotal role of Iran in regional developments and said that his country, as in the past, is interested in developing bilateral and regional relations.

He added that Oman considers peaceful paths necessary for peace and tranquility in the region.]

Source: Fars News Agency

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Official: Over 300 Documents Presented to Iraq on Assassination of Gen. Soleimani


"We submitted more than 300 documents on the martyrdom of General Soleimani," Qaribabadi said.

He pointed out that almost two years since the terrorist act on General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their companions in Iraq; the Islamic Republic of Iran’s major defined priority in the legal and judiciary field is surveying the criminal case in Iranian and Iraqi judiciary courts.

“It was agreed that a joint Iranian-Iraqi committee will be established comprising the judiciary delegations of the two countries to begin their surveys,” he added.

In a relevant development earlier this week, Iran and Iraq in a joint statement underlined their determination to identify, prosecute and punish the culprits behind the assassination of former IRGC Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and Deputy Head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

Iran and Iraq have issued a joint statement on an investigation into the “criminal and terrorist” assassination by the US of top anti-terror commanders of the two countries in Baghdad early last year, Iranian Judiciary Deputy Chief and Secretary-General of Iran's Human Rights Headquarters Kazzem Qaribabad said on Thursday.

He added that the statement was issued during the second session of a joint Iran-Iraq committee investigating the murder of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis.

Qaribabadi said that in the statement, Iran and Iraq stressed that the assassinations were a “violation of the rules of international law, including relevant international conventions on the fight against terrorism”.

“In addition, the two countries reaffirmed their serious and firm determination to identify, prosecute and punish all those involved in deciding, planning and implementing this criminal act,” he emphasized.

Qaribabadi noted that the two countries have exchanged documents and reports about the case.

“Documents and information related to the role and interference of the American defendants were presented by the Iranian delegation to the Iraqi side, and it was decided that complementary investigations would be carried out by the judiciaries of the two countries in this regard,” the senior Iranian human rights official said.

He added that Iran and Iraq also agreed to continue the exchange of documents and information in the investigation process.

“In the joint statement, the two sides also emphasized that they would use legal and judicial capacities at national and international levels to deliver justice and prevent the occurrence of such criminal acts,” Qaribabadi pointed out.

They also agreed to continue bilateral cooperation to gather information about all defendants and ways to hold them accountable.

The third round of the joint committee will be held in Baghdad within the next 45 days.

General Soleimani, al-Muhandis and ten of their deputies were martyred by an armed drone strike as their convoy left Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020. The attack was ordered by then US President Donald Trump.

To date, Iran’s chief civilian prosecutor has indicted 36 individuals in connection with the assassination, among them former president Trump, the head of US Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie Jr., and former US Secretaries of State and Defense Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper.

The file remains open to the further addition of individuals that Tehran determines to have played a role in the killing.

“Based on the statements of the prosecutor-general the list of 36 names is open, as is the role of nine others including German military personnel under investigation. The German military personnel are suspected of facilitating the assassination. Their number and exact role is not known and although I suspect, I am still not sure if they are the ones operating at Ramstein (Airbase),” a source was quoted by al-Mayadeen as saying in October, asking to remain unnamed.

Ramstein Airbase in Germany is one of the largest American military installations in the world, functioning as a command center for NATO, the US air force’s European and African commands as well as a primary hub for drone operations throughout the Greater Middle East and North Africa.

“G4S that is in charge of Baghdad International Airport security also stands accused of involvement in Lt. General Haj Qassem Soleimani’s assassination,” the source added.

G4S is a British multinational private security company that is among the world’s largest private employers with a workforce of over 500,000 as of 2020.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Source Blames France for Slow Pace of Vienna Talks


An informed source said that the French negotiating team in Vienna talks played an obstructive role, saying that works on Vienna drafts was progressing during the two-day absence of the French delegation.

The source said that the French delegation played no constructive role in the latest round of talks and even slowed down the process of negotiations.

The source added that after the French team returned to the negotiations and showed opposition to the drafts, the negotiations process was disturbed.

In relevant remarks on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian had said that his country will not accept the western sides' excessive demands in the Vienna talks, blasting France for unconstructive behavior.

"In the last round of the Vienna talks, after two stages of negotiations, we reached a single document and agenda, and there was a significant progress in the previous two rounds of talks. In the negotiations, in general, I did not see the position of certain European countries, specially France, as constructive. We hope that the French side will play a constructive role and the Iranian people's rights will be restored realistically," Amir Abdollahian said in a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein in Tehran.

"The second problem with the three European countries is that in practice they did not show any new initiative in the negotiations.

He described the coordinator role played by EU Deputy Foreign Policy Chief Enrique Mora Mora and EU Foreign Policy Chief Joseph as positive, and said in the previous rounds of talks the American side sent some unwritten messages to the meeting and received the necessary answers.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Israel plans to double settlement in occupied Golan Heights: PM Bennett

26 December ,2021

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Sunday the country intends to double the amount of settlers living in the occupied Golan Heights with a multimillion-dollar plan meant to further consolidate Israel’s hold on the territory it captured from Syria more than five decades ago.

Speaking at a special Cabinet session being held in the Golan Heights, Bennett said the recognition by the Trump administration of Israeli sovereignty over the swath of land, and the Biden administration’s indication that it will not at this point walk that decision back, prompted the new investment in the region.

“This is our moment. This is the moment of the Golan Heights,” Bennett said. “After long and static years in terms of the scope of settlement, our goal today is to double settlement in the Golan Heights.”

Entrenching Israeli control over the territory would complicate any future attempt to forge peace with Syria, which claims the Golan Heights.

Israel occupied the Golan Heights in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed the territory, promoting settlement and agriculture there as well as creating a thriving local tourism industry.

The US was the first country to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan, which the rest of the international community regards as Israeli-occupied.

Bennett said the war in Syria made the idea of Israeli control of the territory more acceptable to its international allies, saying the alternative would be much worse.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran says won't enrich uranium beyond 60 percent if nuclear talks fail

25 December ,2021

Iran has no plans to enrich uranium beyond 60 percent if nuclear talks in Vienna fail, the head of the country's atomic agency said on Saturday.

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran director Mohammad Eslami said the enrichment levels were related to the needs of the country, in remarks published by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

“Our targets related to enriching uranium are meeting our industrial and production needs... and those of our people,” he was quoted as saying.

Asked whether Iran plans to enrich beyond 60 percent purity if the talks fail, he said “No”.

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Eslami was speaking ahead of the resumption on Monday of talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Iran's arch-rival Israel, which staunchly opposes the nuclear deal, had reportedly warned in November that the Islamic republic had taken the technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to military-grade levels of around 90 percent.

Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

The 2015 deal offered Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program, but was derailed in 2018 when the US unilaterally withdrew under then president Donald Trump.

Other parties to the deal have taken part in the talks, but the United States has only engaged indirectly.

While the US and its Western allies have repeatedly called on Iran to offer assurances on its nuclear program, Tehran has insisted sanctions must be lifted first.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Exhibition organized to mark 2008 Israeli offensive on Gaza

Nour Abu Eisha


GAZA CITY, Palestine

Palestinian artists in Gaza on Sunday opened an exhibition that documents the crimes committed by the Israeli army in its large offensive on Gaza in 2008.

The exhibition, organized on the 13th anniversary of the Israeli offensive, was participated by artists from Arab and European countries.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ahmed al-Sahhar, the exhibition coordinator, said the exhibition explains the Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinian people and "the oppression on the Palestinians due to the continued occupation and aggression."

The exhibition includes paintings that reflect the Palestinian tradition as well as some of the artillery and shrapnel fired by the Israeli forces during the 2008 offensive.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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The apartheid regime’s Christmas propaganda and oppression of Palestinian Christians

26 December 2021

By Denijal Jegic

As people around the world are celebrating Christmas, occupied Palestine, the birthplace of Christianity, remains under brutal Israeli apartheid. Meanwhile, the Israeli regime targets Western Christians with Zionist propaganda.

Zionist propaganda

The Israeli propaganda apparatus “Hasbara” has long invested large amounts of money and significant PR efforts in legitimizing the Zionist settler-colony in the eyes of its international audiences. In portraying the colony as a democracy with alleged human rights and co-existence between various religions, the Israeli regime has attempted to whitewash its genocidal oppression of Palestinians in the eyes of the West. The propaganda attempts have been successful to a large degree, as many Christians in the West either ignore the Palestinian plight, or provide outright support to the apartheid regime.

Evangelical Zionists in the United States have been amongst the most radical supporters of Israel. Christian tourism has contributed to the colony’s economy. This year again, Zionist politicians and officials have extended their holiday greetings to “Christian friends” around the world.

Such greetings are packed with colonial propaganda and appropriation of history. Israeli PM Naftali Bennett published a video on Christmas Eve this year from occupied Jerusalem, connecting the “ancient land” and the Bible to the current colony in his address to Christians. Bennett, who previously bragged about how many Arabs he killed in his life, lied that the colony provided “religious freedom, tolerance, and prosperity in a region where Christians are routinely persecuted.” The illusion that Israel offered religious freedom and that Christians outside of the colony are persecuted is widespread in the West. Bennett claimed that Israel is the “only one place” that “protects Christian life” and thanked his audience for “fighting for the state of Israel.”

While such proclamations further add to the positive image of the colony in the West, they stand in stark contrast to the reality on the ground.

The plight of Palestinian Christians

In fact, the world’s oldest Christian communities are victims of Israel’s genocidal settler-colonialism.

As a result of Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign, the Christian population in Palestine has sharply declined throughout the decades. Places of significant importance for Christians are cut off from the outside world. The town of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is surrounded by the apartheid wall.

Besides suffering under the structures of the apartheid regime, Palestinian Christians are also oftentimes prevented from exercising their religion. While foreign visitors may access Palestinian churches, the Palestinian right to worship is tightly controlled by the apartheid regime. Depending on where they live, Palestinians require permits issued by the apartheid authorities to attend Mass in churches. This year again, Palestinian Christians from Gaza applied for permits to travel to Bethlehem to attend prayers. Their requests were either rejected or outright ignored.

Palestinians are harassed by apartheid authorities on holy days, such as Easter and Christmas. This year on Easter, apartheid authorities escalated their ethnic cleansing campaign by expelling Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah (East al-Quds) from their homes. This Christmas again, hundreds of Palestinians were injured by occupation forces when they protested against settlement expansion in the West Bank.

Israeli violence has always extended beyond the borders of historic Palestine. The Israeli colonial regime has a history of targeting indigenous Christians in the region. It has done so during its military occupation and numerous wars in Lebanon and its continuous attacks on Syria. During last year’s Christmas celebrations, the Israeli regime invaded the Lebanese airspace to conduct airstrikes on Syria from there, killing several people.

The fallacy of a religious war

The Israeli regime is terrorizing Palestinians of all religions, but has been trying to portray the settler-colonial conquest as a “conflict” that is allegedly religious in its nature. Exploiting traditional Orientalism and anti-Muslim sentiments that are prevalent in Western cultures, the Israeli rhetoric has long focused not only on portraying Palestinian resistance - and oftentimes the very Palestinian existence as such - as anti-Jewish, but the regime has also tried to identify all Palestinians as Muslims to better advance its Islamophobic dichotomy and to frame the Palestinian struggle for freedom and liberation as a religious movement. It is the religious frame and the anti-Muslim prejudice amongst Israel’s backers that allows the apartheid regime to advance its goals. It is thus not surprising that the Israeli project is highly popular among the far-right and fascists around the world.

Of course the Palestinian struggle was never a sectarian one and many leading figures of Palestinian resistance have been Christians. Nor should the religion of colonized people determine the solidarity and support they receive from the outside world.

After all, destroying the cultural diversity of the region and dividing the population according to sectarian and ethnic lines have been long established practices of imperialist and colonialist forces.

Numerous Palestinian Christian leaders have appealed to Christians around the world to not turn a blind eye toward the continuous oppression and exploitation of Palestine. The Palestinian Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in al-Quds, Atallah Hanna, himself a crucial figure in the Palestinian resistance, has repeatedly affirmed that al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the holy sites will remain Palestinian. The Archbishop reminded Christians around the world that while streets and squares in Western cities are decorated with lights and Christmas trees, there would be no point in celebrating Christmas if they do not pay attention to what is happening in Palestine. He called upon all churches to urgently defend Palestine. The archbishop has reportedly been poisoned by Israeli authorities, but survived the attack.

Source: Press TV

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Pakistanis rally to condemn Israeli threats against Muslim world

27 December 2021

Muhammad Toori

Protesters again took to the streets of Karachi, reaffirming their support and solidarity with the people of Palestine and warning the United States and the Israeli regime against adventurism in the Muslim world.

The ongoing demonstrations seek to build pressure on the international community to take note of the Israeli brutalities in the occupied territories of Palestine. The demonstrators are also calling for unity among Muslims across the world.

Large number of women and children took part in the latest rally in the port city of Karachi.

The participants also condemned the British and Australian governments' recent move to declare the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah as terrorist organizations.

Source: Press TV

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PPP, other parties in contact for seat adjustment in Hazara

December 27, 2021

MANSEHRA: The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and opposition parties have established contact with Pakistan Peoples Party for seat adjustment for the slots of tehsil chairmen across Hazara division.

“Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl and even PTI are in contact with us for seat adjustment in Hazara division’s eight districts,” Hazara division PPP president Malik Abdul Waheed told mediapersons here on Sunday.

Mr Waheed, who is part of the three-member PPP committee to award tickets for the LG elections in Hazara division, said the political parties contacted the party’s provincial general secretary Shujah Salam Khan and members of their selection committee for the seat adjustment and they would go for it after setting all the modalities.

Peoples Party leader says tickets only to be issued to tehsil candidates

“We will only award tickets to the aspirants contesting elections for the tehsil chairmen offices across the division,” he said.

The divisional president said his party would award tickets for the tehsil chairmen’s offices in Mansehra, Haripur, Abbottabad, Torghar, Battagram, Kolai-Palas, Upper Kohistan and Lower Kohistan districts.

“We don’t want to create rifts among the workers by awarding tickets to a handful of them for the village and neighbourhood councils,” he said.

Mr Waheed claimed that in the current situation no single party could secure majority of the tehsil offices in Hazara and it would be better for them to go for the seat adjustment. He said that the PPP committee would start issuing tickets to the aspirants from next week.

“We would first award tickets to the tehsil aspirants in Upper Kohistan, Lower Kohistan, Kolai-Palas and Torghar,” he said.

LITERARY SESSION: Female writers and storytellers have highlighted the core issues being faced by women and other segments of society through their fiction writings.

“I am impressed by the fiction narrated by the female writers highlighting stereotypes and excesses committed against women in our society,” Shahla Umar, a social activist, told the fiction storytelling session organised by Saibaan Afsana Forum here on Sunday.

Source: Dawn

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Christians celebrate Christmas among friends

December 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD: There is a festive mood in Islamabad.

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,” sings Rimsha Kausar, as she decorates her Christmas tree with fairy lights, baubles and tinsel. She loves her red knitted sweater with its cheery Nordic reindeer.

“I am so happy today. I can’t wait to visit everyone and give them their presents. We’ll have a small barbeque at home in the evening. I am very excited to show off my Christmas decorations,” Rimsha told Xinhua.

For the 12-year-old girl, Christmas is a very special time of year when she gets to go on a shopping spree, buying new dresses, shoes and gifts, not for herself only, but for her friends and family as well.

Although Pakistan is a Muslim-majority country, small Christian communities there celebrate the Christmas season as joyously as anywhere else.

“We share the happiness of the occasion with everyone, regardless of their faith,” said Arshad Wilson after saying his prayers at a church in Rawalpindi.

“The festive feeling is everywhere. We see happiness everywhere in the faces of the people, brightly-lit trees, and decoration in streets, houses and churches. The markets are buzzing with shoppers. The nation is in a celebratory mood. The winter cheer raises everyone’s spirits,” he told Xinhua.

Wilson explained how his Muslim colleagues had hosted a Christmas dinner for his family and sent gifts and cake. “The love and warmth of my co-workers filled my heart with real joy,” he said.

Extending seasonal greetings to the Christian community, Prime Minister Imran Khan said service rendered by Christians in the fields of defence, education, health and the economy have always been invaluable.

“The festivities of Christmas teach us universal love, brotherhood, tolerance and self-sacrifice which play a pivotal role in moving any society on the path of development,” Khan said in his Christmas message on Saturday.

The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the nerve centre of Covid-19 response, has issued guidelines on mass events in an attempt to mitigate any potential disruption to the pandemic response.

Indoor gatherings must be well-ventilated and guest lists should be kept short. Only vaccinated individuals may attend congregations and gatherings, and masks are mandatory at all Christmas events which must be socially distanced.

Muhammad Israr Madani, president of the International Research Council for Religious Affairs, an Islamabad-based NGO, said festivals, whether social, cultural or religious, help to build tranquillity, unity and harmony in any community.

“We should use every opportunity to rejoice on these special occasions and spread the message of peace and interfaith harmony,” he said.

Source: Pakistan Today

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French arrest man over chemical weapons parts in Syria

27 December ,2021

A French-Syrian man has been detained by French police on suspicion of supplying components for the manufacture of chemical weapons in Syria through his shipping company, sources briefed on the case told AFP Sunday.

The man, who was born in 1962 and lives abroad, was arrested Saturday in the south of France according to one of the sources.

He has been held on suspicion of “conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity, accessory to crimes against humanity and accessory to war crimes,” a judicial source told AFP.

The war in Syria has killed close to half a million people and spurred the largest conflict-induced displacement since World War II.

Syria denies the use of chemical weapons. It insists it handed over its weapons stockpiles under a 2013 agreement with the US and Russia, prompted by a suspected sarin gas attack that killed 1,400 in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UK accused of ‘trying to move on’ after hundreds of Afghans left trapped

December 26, 2021

LONDON: More than half of the 311 Afghans known to have been left behind by British forces during the withdrawal from Afghanistan, but who were promised sanctuary in the UK, are still in trapped in the war-torn country — with some claiming that the true number could be in the thousands.

Many of the interpreters and other Afghans who worked with Britain during its mission in the country, as well as their families who were pledged safe haven under the UK’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, now say they live in fear of Taliban reprisals after the militant group captured Kabul in August.

Ministers have been accused of “trying to move on” from the crisis, despite a recent Human Rights Watch Report claiming that Taliban forces were hunting down and killing hundreds of ex-Afghan government and military figures.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted in September that Afghans had been left behind by Operation Pitting, the UK’s mission to evacuate people from the capital Kabul in August, adding that the government would “do absolutely everything” it could to “ensure that those people get the safe passage that they deserve.”

Earlier this month, James Cleverly MP, minister of state for the Middle East and North Africa, confirmed that 167 Afghans eligible for the ARAP scheme were still in Afghanistan, with others eligible for refuge in the UK still in designated third countries.

“Helping all those who want to leave Afghanistan and who are eligible to come to the UK remains a priority. The government has made clear to the Taliban the need to ensure safe passage of those entitled to go to another country,” Cleverly said, adding: “The ARAP scheme remains open.”

On Thursday, the UK Home Office revealed that the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, which was meant to aid 20,000 people fleeing Afghanistan from August, would not be up and running until January 2022.

Multiple former interpreters told The Independent newspaper they are living in hiding with their families. One said his ARAP application had been approved, but that he and his family were instructed to go to Pakistan, which they were unable to do without passports.

“We’re staying with relatives in Helmand,” he said. “There is high risk. It’s very dangerous here. Every day we’re threatened by the Taliban. They’re searching for us. We’re hiding. We’re not going out. It’s a bad situation.

“I don’t know why the ARAP team is working so slowly. Why are they not paying attention to us? We are eligible, we are waiting. There is no good chance of life. It is clear that our lives are in danger. We will die, we will be killed.”

Johnny Mercer MP, the former UK defense minister, told the paper he believed that the numbers could be much higher than reported.

“We have left thousands behind, not 167,” he said. “Those (167) are simply the ones who had a response to the ARAP program. Those figures are simply the number who were called forward but didn’t make it to the airport.

“The point is the ARAP program was so ineffective that thousands of people who we should have rescued didn’t even get a response from them, and consequently we have left the vast majority of people that we owed extraction to behind.

“Many are now fearing for their lives. All the ministers know this, but they are determined to move on from our commitments to these people,” he added.

Earlier this month, a former UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office employee, Raphael Marshall, revealed that during Operation Pitting, a breakdown in communication and weaknesses in the system had led to thousands of requests for assistance from within Afghanistan being ignored by overworked FCDO staffers, with some of those asking for help later killed by the Taliban.

Dr Sara de Jong, co-founder of the Sulha Alliance, told The Independent she was in touch with hundreds of Afghans eligible for relocation.

Source: Arab News

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South Asia


Us Should Not Interfere In Afghan Affairs, Says Taliban Leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai

Dec 26, 2021

KABUL: Senior member of Taliban-appointed Afghanistan government on Sunday warned the United States not to interfere in the country's internal affairs, stating that "it is an independent country and it is making decisions independently."

Tolo News reported that the deputy minister of foreign affairs for political affairs, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai pointed out the withdrawal of US forces from Bagram Airfield in August and said that "American soldiers fled from Afghanistan in the dark of the night."

He said that the country is independent now and that the last four months have been the first time in four decades for Afghanistan in which Afghans are making their decisions independently, as per the local media outlet.

After the fall of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan led by Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban taking control of the country in mid-August, most Afghans want to leave the war-torn nation as they fear repercussions from the group as well as dread the previous regime of the Taliban.

As the Taliban took control of Afghanistan once again after 20 years, experts also believe that Afghan women are most likely to face an uncertain future under the terrorist group regime.

The Afghan economy going from bad to worse since the Taliban's takeover of Kabul, and it could shrink by 30 per cent or more in the coming months, International Monetary Fund (IMF) had warned.

Source: Times of India

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Three French Radars arrive in Kabul, ready to be installed in three provinces

26 Dec 2021

Ministry of Transportation and Civil Aviation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on Sunday, December 26 announced that three French Radars arrived in Kabul and were submitted to the ministry.

The three Radars will be installed in the Afghan capital Kabul, Balkh, and Herat province.

The statement of the ministry reads that the French Company Thales will provide Afghanistan with these Radars by the end of 2023 and enable Afghanistan to gain full control of its aerial space.

Afghanistan currently has a contract worth 112 million Euros with the French Company Thales.

The Radars are supposed to be installed in 12 sites in Afghanistan.

It is worth mentioning that the contract was initially signed between Thales and the relevant administrations of the previous Afghan government.

The First consignment of independent Radar had arrived in Kabul in July this year and the Radars were installed in Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif.

Source: Khaama Press

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Afghanistan universities yet to reopen, money just a reason listed by Taliban

Dec 27, 2021

The Taliban have said universities in Afghanistan are yet to open because of the economic crisis facing the country and also over the issue of co-education.

Taliban minister of higher education Abdul Baqi Haqqani said on Sunday they will need more time and extra budget to make separate classes for girls and hire extra lecturers, reported Khaama Press.

Public universities and high schools for girls are yet to be reopened in Afghanistan, which was recaptured by the Taliban on August 15 this year. After they sieged the country, the Taliban placed a ban on coeducation.

The Taliban also ordered girls will no longer be allowed to sit in the same classes as boys in universities.

Separately, the Taliban said women have to be accompanied by a close male relative if they want to travel long distances.

The ministry for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice in its guidance also called on vehicle owners to refuse rides to women not wearing headscarves, drawing condemnation from rights activists.

"Women travelling for more than 45 miles (72 kilometres) should not be offered a ride if they are not accompanied by a close family member," ministry spokesperson Sadeq Akif Muhajir told AFP on Sunday, specifying that the escort must be a close male relative.

Source: Hindustan Times

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As Taliban face economic ruin, Afghans suffer malnutrition, sink further into poverty

27 December ,2021

The bitter cold of Afghanistan’s winter has small children huddled beneath blankets in makeshift camps. Sick babies in hospitals lie wrapped in their mothers all-enveloping burqas. Long lines at food distribution centers have become overwhelming as Afghanistan sinks deeper into desperate times.

Since the chaotic Aug. 15 Taliban takeover of Kabul, an already war-devastated economy once kept alive by international donations alone is now on the verge of collapse. There isn’t enough money for hospitals.

Saliha, who like many Afghans uses just one name, took her infant son to the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in the capital, Kabul. Weak and fragile, 4-month-old Najeeb was badly malnourished.

The World Health Organization is warning of millions of children suffering malnutrition, and the United Nations says 97 percent of Afghans will soon be living below the poverty line.

For millions living in camps for the displaced or sitting outside government ministries seeking help, the only source of warmth is to huddle around open wood-burning fires.

Nearly 80 percent of Afghanistan’s previous government’s budget came from the international community. That money, now cut off, financed hospitals, schools, factories, and government ministries.

In the Taliban’s Afghanistan there is no money. Sanctions have crippled banks while the UN, the United States and others struggle to figure out how to get hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to Afghans while bypassing the Taliban, even as there are no immediate signs of the widespread corruption that characterized the previous administration.

For many of Afghanistan’s poorest, bread is their only staple. Women line up outside bakeries in the city, young children arrive before dawn to get bread. The majority scramble to find food, and fuel.

The statistics provided by the UN are grim: Almost 24 million people in Afghanistan, around 60 percent of the population, suffer from acute hunger. As many as 8.7 million Afghans are coping with famine.

School for girls under the Taliban is erratic, and in many provinces they are not allowed to attend school after grade 6, but in more than 10 provinces schools are open. The international community is working on ways to help the schools that are open while encouraging the Taliban to open the rest.

In some areas, such as the western Herat province, teachers and parents together cajole local Taliban leaders to open schools.

Source: Al Arabiya

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North America


The American deal with the popular decline in support of political Islam after Arab Spring revolutions

December 23, 2021

By Dr.Nadia Helmy

Before answering this question, it is necessary to understand (the Brotherhood’s grand strategy), which is based on the role of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood inside the United States of America, in Europe and around the world, through a strategy based on (the Brotherhood’s penetration into the United States of America with its manifold relations over the course of  Seven decades), the Muslim Brotherhood in the American interior has succeeded in strengthening their presence and their associations under many curtains and slogans, and has also worked to establish many civil or human rights associations, and others have raised the slogan of civil action within the American society itself. The goal was clear in the eyes of the makers and developers of that strategy for the Muslim Brotherhood, with the aim of influencing American political decisions through the circles of influence and American decision-making, and helping some personalities who belong to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood in reaching high and sensitive positions in the American political circle and supporting them in that  And the most distant grand strategy in the ideology of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood remains (a future planning to reach the rule of the United States of America and influence the world through it).

In my personal opinion, (the pragmatic ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood) may be one of the most effective methods and means that the Muslim Brotherhood enjoys, and gives it the ability to move permanently, through its (adaptation ability and flexibility to overcome challenges and rapprochement with the American administration and the circles of making  political decision in the West).

Here we will find that the popular retreat of the Muslim Brotherhood in the American interior and the West after the failure of the Arab Spring revolutions, will make the Muslim Brotherhood reorganize its international efforts through its globally spread institutions, and here the Muslim Brotherhood will work flexibly, according to (the great distant strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood between ideology  and pragmatism), by attempts of the Muslim Brotherhood and its international arms to follow different political methods and means that enjoy flexibility and practicality according to the context or the new emergency circumstances in which it is taking place, and related to the search for new goals for the Muslim Brotherhood to rapprochement with the American administration and American political decision-making circles.

Perhaps we find that the success of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates in (convincing the Democratic administration of US President “Joe Biden” not to invite Egypt and the countries of the region to the Conference of American Democracies in December 2021) is evidence of the return of groups and currents of political Islam in the American interior, especially the Muslim Brotherhood organization  Its goals and arranging its agenda towards the Arab world and the Middle East by rapprochement with the new US administration of President “Joe Biden” and creating new and common goals towards the region. Therefore, we find the constant keenness of the Muslim Brotherhood to convince the West that it is (the moderate spokesperson for Islam) that the authorities in the West and Washington should listen to them in their time of need, and here increasingly we find that (Washington’s approach to the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam more broadly is governed chiefly by political imperatives).

On the other hand, (the success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan in obtaining seats in the Jordanian parliament and the Jordanian government, allows the Muslim Brotherhood to play that dangerous and important point), and related to the ability of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan to work to (guarantee the security of Israel and the Israeli peace agreements with  Jordan and countries in the region). Accordingly, there are still many methods and means of political action for the international Brotherhood leaders and the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in (circumventing American and Western decisions for rapprochement and polarization and working together to influence the security of the Middle East and develop strategies to ensure the security of Israel).

Perhaps one of the (the distant American and Israeli goals of rapprochement with the Muslim Brotherhood, despite its decline in popularity after the failure of the Arab Spring revolutions), is that the Muslim Brotherhood’s access to power in a number of countries in the region, as is the case in Jordan, by controlling the government and parliament, and the control of Hamas, which is close to the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine itself has many sectors and the reins of major political matters. This will allow the Muslim Brotherhood to regain its popularity with American help in controlling many decisions related to the interests of the United States of America and Israel in the Middle East. Perhaps it will be (the only solution to Israel’s problems by giving  Citizenship of the Palestinians and their settlement in the countries neighboring Palestine and Sinai, and thus emptying the West Bank of its Palestinian people and canceling the right of return, and this will be the most important gain of Israel and the American administration at all).

Bearing in mind, that the American and Western recognition of the Muslim Brotherhood did not come as an acceptance of their right, but rather, despite the decline in the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood and its popular failure and overthrow after (the June 30 revolution in Egypt), and later in Tunisia, Sudan and Libya, as well as (it came in response to the advice of a number of orientalists to employ the Muslim Brotherhood in fueling and igniting strife in the Arab and Islamic world, and causing chaos, disorder, and religious and sectarian conflict between Sunnis and Shiites with the help of Brotherhood organizations  Muslims scattered throughout the Arab world decline) of their popularity and influence in the Arab Gulf increasingly, and here we can analyze  That the Muslim Brotherhood’s planning for the American and Western recognition of their legitimacy, did not give them enough opportunity to study the reasons for their recognition, given that (reaching the circle of power and influence is the farthest goal that the Muslim Brotherhood aspires to considering without any  other considerations).

Source: Modern Diplomacy.

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US calls for credible, rapid conclusion of Somali elections

Burak Bir 


The US on Sunday called for the credible and rapid conclusion of elections in Somalia, saying it is "deeply concerned" by the continuing delays.

"It is imperative that Somalia’s national and Federal Member State leaders swiftly conclude credible, transparent and inclusive parliamentary and presidential elections and address concerns in an open and acceptable manner," State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Venezuela’s President Maduro to visit Iran ‘very soon’

December 27, 2021

CARACAS: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday he will soon visit Iran to finalize new agreements on cooperation with the Middle Eastern country, which has become Venezuela’s top ally in boosting oil output amid US sanctions.

Venezuela and Iran have strengthened their ties since last year.

Maduro’s government has received vital equipment for its oil industry from Iran, which in return has received crude and other primary resources from the South American country. Iran has been crucial for Venezuela’s rising oil production in 2021.

“I am going to Teheran very soon, for a visit that President (Ebrahim) Raisi offered me, so that we meet in person, to hold conversations and sign new agreements ... and speed up processes of cooperation,” Maduro said during an interview with satellite news broadcaster Al Mayadeen in Spanish, which was later broadcast on Venezuelan state television.

Maduro said he has had two telephone conversations with Iran’s president, adding that they have agreed to work on new plans, without providing details. He also did not give a date for the visit but described the two countries as “fighters.”

In 2022, Venezuela will also look to reactivate means of cooperation with Arab countries, Maduro added, saying that “they love us in the Arab world, I know that Arab governments and peoples love Venezuela.”

Source: Arab News

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The attempts of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in the process of polarization within the American society

December 26, 2021

By Dr.Nadia Helmy

All indicators within the American society indicate that (the Organization of American Islamic Relations “CARE”) is considered a complex and intertwined organization, and it surpasses many civil work organizations inside the United States, as it has become to talk about (the huge funding network enjoyed by the “CARE” organization and the presence of more than 35 organisations). In addition to the intertwining of the institution’s relations with a network of American intellectual centers and official and human rights institutions at the national level at home, in addition to its well-known international network of extended international relations, especially in the British capital London, and its relationship with more than 40 British institutions, accused and suspected of their ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  The Organization of American Islamic Relations, or its acronym internationally, known as: CARE, was also known to be rooted and extended in all American institutions, including American decision-making circles. It is the first place that all American Muslims communicate with, especially when they face any crises.

It is known in the United States of America that (the Organization of American Islamic Relations or “CARE”) is a complex organization in terms of political and structural, as well as the ongoing questions about its sources of income and funding, especially if we know according to the principle of American disclosure of funding sources and budgets for all American institutions and organizations. Through this disclosure of the size of the income and private activity of the Organization of American Islamic Relations, it became clear that its main office in Washington, DC, is managed with an annual budget of four million dollars. It appears through those local branches affiliated with it, which are spread in 20 American states, all of which follow the rules, principles of work and guidelines of the parent organization in Washington, DC, and all branches of the organization and its main branch in Washington are active in collecting donations in millions from various sources, including non-Muslim American personalities. Basically, the (Organization of American Islamic Relations or “CARE”) has human rights, political and legal activities, and enjoys great independence within American society. Employees within (the Organization of American Islamic Relations or “CARE”) also joked that the organization is similar to (McDonald’s) fast food restaurants, in reference to the many daily, continuous and surprising activities of the organization.

And we cannot talk about the main role of “CAIR” within the American society, without constantly talking about his confrontations with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, known as the “FBI”, on this one hand. But, on the other hand, the Organization of American-Islamic Relations or “CAIR Commission” was known for its relations with the American administration itself and the White House in Washington, and the famous public meetings between the leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations inside the White House itself with American presidents, and its constant invitation within the corridors of political decision-making.  American.  The beginning of the council’s relations with American presidents, mainly since the events of September 11, 2011, indicates the necessity of (the Organization of American Islamic Relations or “CARE Commission”) to represent the Muslim American community among Muslim leaders with former President “George W. Bush” in the White House, especially with the increase of racism  And the anti-Muslim rhetoric in all American states after the well-known September events, and from here, the “CAIR” commission has the opportunity to hold several meetings with former President “George W. Bush” in order to draw clear lines between moderate American Muslims, and to differentiate between them and the radical extremists who destroyed the World Trade Center in Washington.

The Organization of American Islamic Relations or “CAIR” has faced several problems and disturbances, and complaints and reports against it have been submitted to federal prosecutors, and the Federal Investigation Agency, known as the (FBI).  The US Department of Justice has also opened a previous investigation into the council’s foreign relations, especially with the Islamic movement (Hamas) in Palestine, and its classification as a terrorist in the United States of America, accusing it of adopting a number of suicide operations against the Israelis. The remarkable thing here is the exclusion of the (US Department of Justice) of CARE from the list of accusations of secret, ambiguous or secret relations with the Palestinian Hamas movement, at a time when (the US Department of Justice) condemned and made explicit and public accusations against the largest Islamic charitable organization in the United States of America, known as (The Holy Land Society), or as it is known in the United States, as the (Holy Land Foundation), accusing it of transferring funds to Hamas in Palestine.  While no accusing finger was ever directed at “CAIR”, despite the existence of previous suspicions around it in this context, especially with the increasing severity of previous federal statements about the activity of the work of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its foreign relations with Hamas.

Although the US Department of Justice acquitted “CAIR” about its suspicious and secret relations with Hamas, the Anti-Defamation League published a public memo, describing the Organization of American Islamic Relations, or “CAIR”, as having an anti-Israel agenda, and provided details of CAIR’s relationship with extremist groups. After that, former US Attorney General “Michael Mukasey” published an article in public, accusing the “CAIR” Foundation of concealing internal extremism and its foreign relations with Hamas and extremists.  However, the response of the Council of Islamic Relations came with indifference and indifference to that.

The most dangerous thing for me, and worthy of discussion, analysis and study here, is what was leaked in several American reports, that the Federal Investigation Agency “FBI” has an official policy not to deal with “CAIR” except in certain cases, although there are suspicions about it in other files are dangerous, but nothing is directed at them.  Most notably, all other federal agencies, including the White House at the present time, are all dealing with “CAIR” openly, and coordinating with it their policies regarding Muslims inside and outside American society.  Knowing that there are intense and ongoing discussions so far within the US White House about the mechanism of dealing with or ignoring “CAIR”.

Source: Modern Diplomacy

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Arab World


Iraq Not ‘Launching Pad’ For Aggression against Other Countries: NSA

26 December 2021

Iraq needs to be steered clear of any regional war, says Iraq’s national security advisor, emphasizing that the Arab country’s territory won’t be used to attack other countries.

Qasim al-A'raji made the remarks in a meeting with the commander of NATO mission in Iraq, Lieutenant General Michael Anker Lollesgaard, on Sunday, al-Sumaria news channel reported.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the support provided by the NATO mission to Iraq as well as ways to strengthen security and stability in the region.

“Our duty is to support Iraq and keep it away from any regional war ... Therefore, we do not accept the use of Iraqi land, air, and water as launching pad for any aggression against any country,” al-A'raji said.

On January 3, 2020, the Iraq-based US forces assassinated Iran’s top anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, near the Baghdad International Airport. Soleimani’s companions, including the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were also killed in the operation.

Two days later, the Iraqi parliament passed a law requiring the Iraqi government to end the presence of the US-led foreign forces in the Arab country.

Since the assassination, Iraqi resistance forces have ramped up pressure on the US military to leave their country, targeting American bases and forces on numerous occasions, at one point pushing the Americans to ask them to “just leave us alone.”

Earlier this year, Baghdad and Washington reached an agreement on ending the presence of all US combat troops in Iraq by the end of the year.

The US military declared the end of its combat mission in Iraq this month, but resistance forces remain bent on expelling all American forces, including those who have stayed in the country on the pretext of training Iraqi forces or playing an advisory role.

The Fatah (Conquest) Alliance in the Iraqi Parliament has called for a meaningful withdrawal of American forces from Iraqi soil, saying the political party is opposed to the presence of American soldiers in the Arab country under any pretext.

Hadi al-Ameri, the head of the political coalition, said on Saturday that the withdrawal of all American combat forces from Iraq was “a goal that cannot be negotiated,” Shafaq news agency reported.

He rejected as unacceptable the stay of American soldiers in Iraq under the guise of training or advisory missions and said, “Our sovereignty is a red line.”

“My message is clear to the US forces and the Iraqi government,” he said. “You should implement what was agreed. We do not accept any manipulation, fraud, or changes to missions,” he added.

Source: Press TV

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Lebanon’s Hezbollah Trains Yemen’s Houthis to Target Saudi Arabia: Arab Coalition

26 December, 2021

The Arab Coalition revealed on Sunday evidence proving the involvement of Lebanon’s Shia Hezbollah militia in Yemen and in using the country’s airport to target Saudi Arabia.

The Coalition showed pictures of Hezbollah members training the Houthi militia to launch explosive-laden drones.

Coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Malki said in a press conference: “The Houthis do not have the ability to make the decision to be part of the political solution in Yemen.”

“The terrorist organization Hezbollah has spread destruction in the region and the world, and it bears the responsibility for targeting civilians in Saudi Arabia and Yemen,” he added.

Malki stressed that “the Iranian regime sponsors its proxies in the region to carry out destruction and devastation”, adding that “the Houthi militia adopted its sectarian ideology from Iran.”

The Coalition said that the Houthis had fired 430 ballistic missiles and 851 explosive laden drones at Saudi Arabia since the Yemen war began in 2015, leading to the deaths of 59 Saudi civilians.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Egypt Unveils Plans of World’s Largest Museum of Egyptian Civilization

27 December, 2021

Egypt is set to open what is billed as the world’s largest museum of Egyptian civilization near the iconic Giza Pyramids in 2022.

The opening of the Grand Museum, which is spread across 117 acres, was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will now open in the second half of next year, according to Mostafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt.

Speaking at the Egypt Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Sunday, Waziri said construction work was now complete and work on the display areas was ongoing.

Waziri added: “We can confirm that we have completed work on the exhibits that will be displayed at the Grand Museum. We are on track to open the museum in the second half of 2022.”

During the symposium on excavations in Egypt, Waziri reviewed recent discoveries and revealed more projects to excavate ancient Egyptian treasures.

He said: “What we see above the surface of the earth in Egypt does not exceed 40 per cent of the antiquities contained below the ground. There are more than 50 Egyptian missions working at various sites, and discoveries in Luxor, Minya, Sohag, Saqqara, Cairo and the Lower Egypt region have surprised the world.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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French arrest man over chemical weapons parts in Syria

December 26, 2021

PARIS: A French-Syrian man has been detained by French police on suspicion of supplying components for the manufacture of chemical weapons in Syria through his shipping company, sources briefed on the case told AFP Sunday.

The man, who was born in 1962 and lives abroad, was arrested Saturday in the south of France according to one of the sources.

He has been held on suspicion of “conspiracy to commit crimes against humanity, accessory to crimes against humanity and accessory to war crimes,” a judicial source told AFP.

The war in Syria has killed close to half a million people and spurred the largest conflict-induced displacement since World War II.

Syria denies the use of chemical weapons. It insists it handed over its weapons stockpiles under a 2013 agreement with the US and Russia, prompted by a suspected sarin gas attack that killed 1,400 in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta.

But Syria was stripped of its Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) voting rights in April after a probe blamed it for further poison gas attacks.

Source: Arab News

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Bodies of 16 killed in Channel boat disaster repatriated to Iraqi Kurdistan

26 December ,2021

The bodies of 16 people killed when their boat sank in the Channel while trying to reach England were repatriated early Sunday to Iraqi Kurdistan where their families were awaiting them, an AFP photographer saw.

The plane carrying them arrived around 2:00 am at Arbil, capital of the autonomous region in northern Iraq.

The remains were transferred to ambulances to transport them to their hometowns of Darbandikhan, Ranya, Soran, and Qadrawa.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

At least 27 people perished in the November 24 tragedy, the deadliest disaster since the Channel became a hub for clandestine migrant crossings from France to England.

At the terminal at Arbil airport, emotional families waited for the arrival of the remains of their loved ones, some hugging each other or showing photos of their late relatives.

Originally scheduled for Friday, the repatriation had been postponed twice.

The 27 victims were mostly men but also included seven women, a 16-year-old and a seven-year-old child.

Besides the 16 Iraqi Kurds, the 26 identified included an Iranian Kurd, four Afghan men, three Ethiopians, a Somali and an Egyptian.

Only two people were rescued after their inflatable boat capsized, an Iraqi Kurd and a Sudanese national, according to the French interior ministry.

According to the Iraqi survivor there had been a total of 33 people aboard.

French investigators are still trying to establish a clearer picture of what happened during the disaster.

They have been investigating reports the passengers had telephoned both French and British emergency services, appealing for help when the vessel began sinking.

The disaster also caused major diplomatic tensions between London and Paris.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Lebanon's top Christian cleric issues elections plea

25 December ,2021

Lebanon's top Christian cleric, Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, stressed the importance of the country holding legislative elections next year as he delivered his Christmas sermon on Saturday.

Al-Rai also called for the government to convene, saying that failing to do so sets a precedent that may hinder the function of future governments.

Lebanon's cabinet, which is focused on restarting talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to unlock much-needed foreign aid, has not met since Oct. 12, due to a dispute over a probe into last year's deadly Beirut port blast.

“We support your commitment to holding the legislative elections,” said Al-Rai, directing his speech to President Michel Aoun who was attending the sermon. “The elections are the guarantee that presidential elections will be held on time and it is an opportunity for change.”

Parliament had voted for the legislative election to take place on March 27 but Aoun has said he would only sign a decree for them to take place in May.

Al-Rai also offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the port blast which killed more than 200 people in August last year.

“Our thoughts today are with the families of the port blast victims who are in pain because the judiciary is hindered and the fate of investigation is uncertain,” he said.

The explosion was caused by a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely for years, but more than a year on, no one has been held accountable.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Saudi Arabia denies importing Christmas trees

Ibrahim al-Khazen  


Saudi Arabia has denied media reports about importing Christmas trees and Santa Claus outfits.

The Saudi Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority said that it is prohibited to import Christmas trees or any religious signs other than Islam.

The statement came in response to a question by a Twitter user on whether Christmas trees are now allowed into the kingdom.

Foreign media reports earlier said that Christmas trees, decorations and Santa Claus outfits were now being sold at stores in the oil-rich kingdom.

Christian foreigners working in Saudi Arabia, mainly from Lebanon and the Philippines, are used to celebrating Christmas behind closed doors.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Southeast Asia


China Replaces Xinjiang Party Chief amid Forced Labour Allegations

Dec 25, 2021

The ruling Communist party has replaced its chief in the volatile northwest region of Xinjiang Chen Quanguo who was last year sanctioned by the US for alleged human rights abuses against the minority Uighur Muslims in the remote region.

Ma Xingrui, who was the governor of Guangdong province, has been appointed as new party chief for Xinjiang.

“The CPC Central Committee has appointed Ma Xingrui as new party chief for Xinjiang. Chen Quanguo, who no longer serves as secretary of the Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC, will be given another appointment, according to a decision by the CPC Central Committee,” a statement published by the Xinhua news agency said on Saturday.

The move to replace Chen, who has earlier served as the party chief of Tibet, comes a day after US President Joe Biden signed a bill banning goods from Xinjiang unless companies can prove they aren’t made with forced local labour.

Rights groups have alleged oppression of Uighur Muslims in a region that holds a major place in global supply chains.

China has consistently denied such allegations.

Xinjiang is a source for cotton used in clothing and is a key location for producing polysilicon used in solar panels, seen as crucial in the global shift away from fossil fuels.

Chen has been accused by the US, the UK and the European Union of widespread human rights abuses against Uighurs, but he is tipped for a promotion, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on the development.

The three Chinese officials sanctioned by the US last year were Chen, Zhu Hailun, the then party secretary of the Xinjiang Political and Legal Committee and Wang Mingshan, the party secretary of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau.

China is battling allegations of human rights violations against Uighur Muslims in the last few years from the West.

The allegations include incarceration of around 1mn people from minority Muslim communities in detention camps, forced labour in manufacturing units of the resource-rich Xinjiang, forced abortions, and mass indoctrination.

Denying these allegations, Beijing says its security crackdown in Xinjiang is aimed at the separatist East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is accused of fuelling terrorism and separatism in the region.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Socialism a viable option for Malaysia, says academic

Danial Azhar

December 25, 2021

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is seeing many social problems – rising food prices, a widening income gap, home ownership issues and the lack of basic minimum wages.

And the answer to all these problems could be socialism, says an academic.

Shaharuddin Maaruf says the many problems have made socialism a relevant and viable alternative political and economic system for the country.

Speaking at a forum titled “Islam, Capitalism and Socialism” today, Shaharuddin, a former senior research fellow at Universiti Malaya’s sociocultural department, said socialism emphasised the public, or shared ownership of resources and means of production.

A socialist system, he said, would not allow a hike in food prices as public ownership of food production and distribution would not be as affected by inflation as privately-owned businesses.

“Socialism believes in the intervention in society’s issues, in contrast to a capitalist system,” he said.

“Contrary to capitalism, socialism does believe in a certain amount of intervention. It does not leave everything to market forces but advocates for planning amongst all related parties,” he added.

Shaharuddin said socialism was relevant to Malaysia as it encouraged equality and avoided excessive differences in wealth.

“We have the problem of a large income gap.

“There are people who earn RM10 million a year or RM1 million a month. This goes back to the problem of capitalism favouring the elite.”

He pointed out that the 5G single wholesale model under Digital Nasional Bhd was evidence that the country had “tendencies towards capitalism”, favouring monopoly in businesses and services.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Vote by class, not along racial lines, says expert

Danial Azhar

December 25, 2021

PETALING JAYA: If the public are to vote intelligently at the next elections, they must vote along class rather than ethnic or racial lines, says sociologist Syed Farid Alatas.

Speaking at a forum titled “Islam, Capitalism and Socialism” today, he said the people have to realise that many of the country’s issues stem from class divides and not racial or religious differences.

“The public must think along class lines to see that wealth inequality and the divide between low, middle and high-income groups have nothing to do with race or ethnicity,” he said.

He added that the majority of voters are from the low to middle-income groups while the ruling elite are a minority, which should be an important consideration when voting.

“The people must vote for politicians who understand their needs and who will address the class divide and wealth inequality.”

He said that currently, politics in the country is played along racial and ethnic lines.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Remembering an Indonesian Muslim's Christmas sacrifice

Siktus Harson

December 24, 2021

The death of a young Muslim man while guarding a church on Christmas Eve two decades ago has become a binding force that unites Indonesian Muslims and Christians, particularly during the yuletide season.

Riyanto, a member of a youth movement affiliated with the country’s largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, was 25 when he was killed by a bomb blast meant for Christians.

He and other members of his organization had been asked to help provide security at the Eben Haezer Church in East Java’s Mojokerto district on Christmas Eve in 2000.

Things went wrong when two suspicious packages were spotted, one on a pew and another at the church’s entrance.

Riyanto promptly removed one of the packages and attempted to give it to a policeman, who suspecting it was a bomb told everyone to run.

However, Riyanto did not want it to explode near the congregation, so attempted to move it to a safe place. Unfortunately, it went off and killed him.

Muslims helping guard churches and Christians guarding mosques during religious events is common in Indonesia.

In the case of Riyanto’s group, thousands of its members often work with police or military in maintaining security at events at various locations, including houses of worship during Christmas and other religious festivals.

Today, when Christmas comes, Christians and Muslims honor Riyanto for his heroic sacrifice by visiting his tomb and occasionally holding interfaith discussions to praise him.

The Reverand Rudi Sanusi Wijaya, the pastor at Eben Haezer Church, says his congregation remembers Riyanto's sacrifice, which saved many lives, by offering support to his family.

For Muslims, particularly those in the Ansor Youth Movement, Riyanto is an inspiration and a role model.

Many Indonesians attach a great deal of importance to Riyanto’s sacrifice, mainly for two reasons.

First, in a country with many religious backgrounds where intolerant acts are still common, people are hungry for unifying symbols. Remembering his death sends a strong message that everyone is called to be peacemakers, not troublemakers.  It also tells people that Christmas is a celebration of peace.

Second, commemorating his death also aims to bring people together in the fight against extremism and terrorism.

The Eben Haezer Church bombing was one of many that the Jemaah Islamiyah terror group committed against churches in Java, Sumatra and Lombok that Christmas Eve. St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral Church in Jakarta was also among them.

They were the precursor of a surge in terrorism in Indonesia.

The Christmas Eve attacks were the brainchild of Malaysia-born Dr. Azahari Husin and Nurdin Muhammad Top and several local Jemaah Islamiyah leaders including Umar Patek, a bomb expert trained in Afghanistan. Later they were joined by Imam Samudra and Ali Gufron, who orchestrated the 2002 Bali bombings.

Other groups such as Jamaah Ansharut Daulah and the East Indonesia Mujahideen sprang up later and started to attack Christians.

Radicalism and terrorism today have taken on a new dimension with a shift to infiltrating the very fabric of government in Indonesia. This was evidenced in the arrest of Faridh Okbah, the founder of the Indonesian People's Da'wah Party, in November.

The police claimed the party is the political wing of Jemaah Islamiyah, once Southeast Asia’s most feared terror group. Party officials denied the accusations.

However, the police claim was not far-fetched. Experts warned earlier that Jemaah Islamiyah jihadists were changing tactics from committing deadly violence to wielding political influence.

In a 2017 report, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict said the change started when Para Wijayanto was appointed the group’s leader in 2008. Under his leadership, the group has taken a non-violent path and now pursues political activism to attract Muslims into their fold.

The report also suggested that he was behind the massive demonstration on Dec. 12, 2016, against the then Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama that kickstarted efforts to prevent the Christian politician from being re-elected and which led to him eventually being tried and jailed for blasphemy.

Unceasing efforts to revive the 212 Alumni Brotherhood, a hardline group named after the protest date, has turned political and saw police banning its members from taking to the streets last week.

Source: UCA News

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Important remarks by Sheikh Zakzaky after six years of illegal imprisonment

December 26, 2021

The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, speaks with FRIDAY OLOKOR about his ordeal and that of his wife in detention and the refusal of government agencies to release their passports, among other issues

What were the major issues during your detention?

Let me start by thanking journalists for being with us all through. They have undergone a lot of tribulations. And, in fact, one of them was killed in action in July 2019 in front of the federal secretariat. So, we thank them very much for standing by us. And when we came out I did not immediately give a chance to journalists to interact with us, because we were hoping that (after our release from detention) it would take only a little time for us to be allowed to go out (of the country) for medical attention. That was what we were hoping for, because we came out with health issues.

My wife and myself, we still have fragments of bullets in our body. My wife have a full bullet (lodged in her body) which they (doctors) have been unable to remove here (in Nigeria). They say they could not remove it; but experts from outside (the country) promise that they can do it. In addition to that, she has for the past five years, since July 2016, been chair-bounded; she can only walk using a wheelchair and she prays while sitting on a chair. And they know very well that she needs a knee replacement, which, of course, if done in this county it may take the patient about three months to be able to walk again. But elsewhere it may take less than a week.

Myself, I have fragments of a bullet scattered all over my body and these fragments are secreting poisonous substances – lead, cadmium and others. And with the recommendation of doctors here, including government doctors, I need what they call ‘Chelation theraphy,’ which will remove the poisons. The fragments also have to be removed, which they (doctors here) say they cannot remove because they are very tiny and are moving around my body.

So, we were hoping at that time (we were released) that it would be a matter of weeks before we would be given the chance to go out for medical attention; but up till now, they (government) have not allowed us to do that. I have to apologise to you (journalists) for not giving you this chance at the very beginning.

What were the circumstances that led to the killing of your people in Zaria in December 2015?

This is an occasion when we remember the Zaria massacre, which happened six years ago. It happened on December 12, 13 and 14, 2015 – three consecutive days. Soldiers in the Nigerian Army had cordoned off Zaria town, all the roads leading to the town; and they carried out systematic killing of people they considered unwanted. Whatever name they gave us at that time, they were said to be clearing people they called “Shi’ites”. In fact, in Gyallesu (my residence in Zaria), when they found someone they wanted to shoot, they would ask if he was a Shiíte and once the crowd said yes, they would just fire the person! And if the crowd said, “No!” they would allow the person to go. So, clearly, they were saying that they were destroying Shia once and for all.

On the 14th of the same month, they reached me and opened fire on us –  myself and my family, instantly killing three of my sons in front of me, and injuring both my wife and me and some others who were with us. Luckily enough, for the wisdom of God, we don’t know why, but He so designed that my wife and I would survive the shootings that nobody could have survived at all! God is able to do anything He wishes.

On December 15, they brought us to Abuja, first to the military hospital, and later at 12am midnight, they changed hospital from military hospital to DSS (Department of State Services) hospital. And then, they (DSS) kept us in their custody for some years, and then they took us back to Kaduna (still in their custody); and finally, they took us to prison. And as you all know, at the end of the day, the court found us innocent, discharged and acquitted us in the same way three other different courts have discharged and acquitted so many others who were arraigned on the same or similar charges (as ours).

But it was alleged that there was a clash between your followers and soldiers.

I find that up till today, they still say, “El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested following a clash between his followers and the Nigerian Army when his people blocked the road on the day the Chief of Army Staff was passing.” This matter was taken to court, where they accused some people of blocking the road. They claimed we instigated the blockage. Based on the same allegation about 153 others were also arraigned before different courts. The charged included murder of a soldier.

But the first court, which gave its verdict sometime in July 2018, not only said that those arraigned before it (77 of them) did not commit the crime they were accused of. In fact, the court pronounced that no such crime was committed. This is very important. There was no blockage of road whatsoever and nobody killed anybody! The army cordoned off everywhere and killed everybody they could identify as Shia. Whatever you might be, because at a place we call Husseiniyyah (an Islamic centre) near Unity Bank, they thought that Shi’ites wear black clothes, and because the uniform of workers in that bank is black they shot all of them.

My house is situated about three kilometers away from the area where the said road was blocked. I don’t know whether my house also blocked the road against the Chief of Army Staff. They went and cordoned off the road and killed everybody they could find, including our neighbours. A lot of students in the Congo Campus of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria were also killed. Some students of the Federal College of Education, which is in our neighborhood, were also killed; some of them are not even Muslims, so they killed everybody they could find.

And then, very importantly, the first court said the road was not blocked; nobody blocked any road. The second court gave similar verdict. And the third court, in fact, brought up part of my speech in its verdict.  I had said, “If the soldiers come to attack us in our territory don’t block their way.” That was very clear and the judge even continued to mention this particularly. So, where was blockage of road here? Simple, they could not say why they attacked us; it was very clear that this was a premeditated attack in order to destroy all of us.

Tell us briefly about IMN.

 Another thing that I have to make very clear is the idea of calling us IMN (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) and calling me the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. I know we use the word ‘Islamic movement’ but to our understanding, Islamic movement is not a name, it is an idea, similar to Islamic awareness, Islamic ideology, Islamic education, Islamic philosophy. It is a sort of concept we never use as a name! And there is nothing like ‘members of the Islamic movement,’ they don’t exist; there are only activists (not members). We don’t have membership card, you don’t register to become a part of us. Once you are active, that is all! The movement is open to all people, not only Muslims. You may not know that there is a Christian forum of the Islamic movement, among the fora that we have. We have many for a, such as Academic forum, Sisters forum, Media forum, and so many others. One of these fora is the Christian forum of the Islamic movement under the leadership of Pastor Yohanna Buru.

So, (the Islamic movement) is a sort of an idea which everyone can belong to; the idea of movement towards a change. The reason we call it Islamic is because we agree to give our lives to do it because it is the teaching of Islam. According to the teaching of Islam, you are supposed to do everything for the sake of your creator, the Almighty. So, whoever identifies himself with the idea is part of the movement, not a member.

And similarly, the Islamic movement does not own a single property, movable or unmovable.  There is no building belonging to the Islamic movement. It doesn’t exist! All the buildings are either private property or owned according to religious institution. In Shia, they believe that they have a leader every time, and that leader can own some properties. Only the Shia can know this. Every Shia man is duty-bound to give one-fifth of the booty he gets to the Imam of his time, and some people have been given the custody of the collection, to manage it. So, it is religious.

When they attacked us, they called us “Shi’ites” and they continue to give us different names. In the late 70s, they were calling us “students” because then we were students.  And in 1980, they were calling us students. And in 1982 they changed our name and started calling us “Shi’ites” with different spellings and pronunciations. Sometimes they would say “sha-yits,’ whatever that is. I know the last time I was in court before this time (during Abacha regime), I was asked in court, “Are you not the leader of “Shi’ites?” And I asked, “What is “Shi’ites”? Is it tea or coffee?” And then some newspapers wrote: “El-Zakzaky denies Shi’ites, he says he is not a Shi’ite!” So, I don’t know what “Shiites’ are.

But they continue to call us “Shi’ites” up till the time they attacked us in 2015.

The government said IMN has been banned and proscribed…

I don’t know whether in the constitution of Nigeria, courts are supposed to make laws. What I know is that court is not a ‘law-making’ body; it rather interprets the law. We have three arms of government: the legislature, which makes the law; the judiciary, which interprets the law; and the executive, which implements the law. This government, instead of taking the matter to the National Assembly to debate whether they can ban a movement or not, they brought the law and gave it to the court to rubber stamp and they say they have proscribed the Islamic movement. We say that you have to understand that the Islamic movement cannot be proscribed, it cannot be banned; it is impossible! This is an idea. It is like saying that you won’t allow people to practise their religion; that you won’t even allow them to believe what they believe. But you can’t stop me from believing in what I believe. No way! Islamic movement does not own a property, we don’t have any property; all the properties they destroyed were either religious or personal properties, like my house which they burnt to ashes and even the house in which I buried my mother, they went and destroyed it. Even our horses, cows, camels and sheep, they killed them. They became meat for me. I don’t know whether they ate the horses, but they ate the camels and cows. These are not properties of any institution, they belong to me.

During your detention, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said government spent N3.5m on a monthly basis to feed you. What kind of meals were you fed in detention?

Actually, we were not given the opportunity to tell the real story while we were in detention because the people who were detaining us made things difficult for us. The real truth is that all through our detention we fed ourselves. Since the time we reached Kaduna, after we were released, nobody gave us a single bottle of water! We were feeding ourselves. Even during our stay in Abuja, we were feeding ourselves. But this is something that cannot be disclosed because it was illegal. Legally, they were supposed to feed us. But they didn’t want anybody to hear that we were feeding ourselves. For the entire five years, seven months that we were in detention, we fed ourselves; nobody gave us a bottle of water!

We were even paying electricity and water bills, while in detention. We were paying also for the fuel to power the generator. We bought our own generator in Abuja, even when we were in detention and we were buying fuel to run it.

So how did Lai Mohammed come about the N3.5m monthly feeding figure?

He was actually not lying. The DSS told him so. But what I learnt was that about N4m was taken out of the FIRS coffers for our feeding every month. But that money was going to their pocket; not a single kobo was given to or spent on us. It is true that they were taking the money out of the treasury but they did not spend it on our feeding.  It is a lie that they were feeding us with this money!

He mentioned N3.5m; that was what they quoted him to have said. But from my own source, I learnt that it was N4m every month.

Some people have insinuated that you and the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), have personal scores to settle. It is true?

I don’t know whether there is any personal issue, maybe Buhari should be asked but I don’t know. All I know is that there is nothing like personal issue, maybe he was given that as a condition for being in office. But I know Buhari may not say because you will never see Buhari and talk to him because he doesn’t speak; he only reads.

With the way things are going, are you confident of getting justice from the court?

Whatever the outcome, our main aim is to let the general public know that we took our matter to court. The first time we took government to court, we were able to win. You know Justice Gabriel Kolawole ruled that our detention was illegal and that we should be released unconditionally and that compensation should be paid to us; that a house should be provided for us at a place of our choice. But all these years they haven’t obeyed that court order. This is a case in our favour and against them.

Source: ABNA24

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Senior security official among 4 killed in Somali capital blast

Mohammed Dhaysane 



At least four soldiers, including a district security chief, were killed and three others wounded in a bomb blast in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu late on Saturday night.

A vehicle carrying security personnel was targeted with a remote-controlled improvised explosive device in Mogadishu’s Daynile district, a police officer told Anadolu Agency.

The blast took place in front of the district’s main police station and the dead include Abdisamad Ugas Fara'ade, the top security official in Daynile.

The attack was claimed by the al-Shabaab terrorist group.

It was the second bomb blast in the Horn of African country in less than 24 hours.

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, al-Shabaab claimed to have killed a senior security official in a bombing in the port city of Kismayo in Jubaland State.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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UN urges Sudan to protect protesters, amid rallies for civilian rule

Adel Abdel Rahim  



The United Nations on Saturday called on the Sudanese authorities to protect demonstrators, amid planned rallies to demand civilian rule.

“I urge the Sudanese authorities and the security forces to protect today’s planned demonstrations,” Volker Perthes, the head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission Sudan (UNITAMS), said on Twitter.

Perthes urged the Sudanese authorities to restore the internet service. “Freedom of expression is a human right. This includes full access to the internet”.

Telecommunications companies in Sudan disrupted internet service across the country since early morning on Saturday, according to Sudanese activists.

Sudan has been in turmoil since Oct. 25 when the Sudanese military dismissed Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok's transitional government and declared a state of emergency.

Hamdok, however, was reinstated on Nov. 21 under an agreement with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Sudanese army chief, in a move that aimed to resolve a political crisis that threatened to undermine Sudan's transition to democracy.

While countries and regional and international organizations, including the United Nations, welcomed the agreement, Sudanese political and civil forces rejected it, considering it an "attempt to legitimize the coup."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Somali military kills 22 al-Shabaab terrorists: Officials

Mohammed Dhaysane


BAIDOA, Somalia

The Somali military killed 22 terrorists in operations against terrorist group al-Shabaab in southern Somalia, according to local media and officials.

Some 17 of the terrorists were killed and a main base of al-Shabaab was destroyed in an operation in the middle Shabelle region, Somali National Television reported.

Confirming the operation to Anadolu Agency, a military official in the region said: “The terrorists in there were responsible for terror acts and illegal taxation on the civilian population in the area."

Meanwhile, another military official in the lower Shabelle region told Anadolu Agency that the military liberated three villages from al-Shabaab.

"We liberated Gaamgare, Mubarak, and Jowhar Yare villages on the outskirts of the Awdheegle town where our forces encountered resistance from al-Shabaab terrorists", the military official said, adding five terrorists were killed in the operation.

Col. Dayah Abdi Abdulle, a military commander who was leading the operation, told media that al-Shabaab terrorists in the area were harassing the civilian population.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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