New Age Islam
Sat May 25 2024, 04:06 PM

Islamic World News ( 20 Apr 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Islamophobic Diatribe: Hindu Militant Priest, Yati Narsinghanand, Urges Followers To Attack Makkah And Seize Kaaba

New Age Islam News Bureau

20 April 2023

 

Yati Narsinghanand

----

Mob Attack On Two Women In Indonesia For Allegedly Eating In A Cafe During The Islamic Holy Month Of Ramadan

Tunisian Judge Orders Jail For Islamist Opposition Leader GhannouchiLeader Of Main Opposition Party Ennahda

Georgian PM Celebrates Country's Muslim Community On Iftar Observance

Archbishop Stephen Cottrell Visits York MosqueAnd Islamic Centre To Break The Fast

Compiled By New Age Islam News Bureau

 

India

“Fasting Can Also Promote Cellular Repair And Regeneration, Which Is Crucial For Maintaining Healthy, Youthful-Looking Skin”

Plaintiffs in Gyanvapi Case Refuse to Agree to Wuzu Arrangements Inside Mosque Complex

Madhya Pradesh Minister Asks MaaShardaTemple Body To Fire Muslim Staff

Unlike Pakistan’s minorities, every strand of the Muslim community is doing its business in India: Nirmala Sitharaman

--------

Southeast Asia

Sarawak Christians Send Eid ul Fitr Greetings To Muslim Community

Indonesia Recovers Bodies Of Four Troops Killed During Separatist Attack In Papua Province

Solar eclipse wows stargazers in Indonesia, Australia

Bali Considers Tougher Visa Regulations Amid Negative Tourist Behaviour

Malaysia’s Ramadan bazaars draw crowds, but some tighten belts

Malaysia's inflation eases to 3.4% in March

--------

Africa

“He Laid Out The Earth For All Living Creatures”: Islam’s Lessons For Climate

Sultan of Sokoto Felicitates Muslim Ummah

Islamic cleric urges Zamfara Govt to pay WAEC, NECO fees

Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan sides with the army

--------

Europe

Azerbaijani President, First Lady Attend Opening Of Juma Mosque In Narimanov District

Muslim students in Paris, far from their families, gather for iftar

Weekly says sorry over Muslim photo headline juxtaposition

--------

North America

US Congressional resolution introduced to recognise Ramadan and Eid

Judge orders Tunisian Islamist leader to stay in custody

--------

Arab World

Arab League Calls For Sudan Eid Ceasefire ‘In The Name Of Islam’

Saudi Arabia: Thousands Of Meals Handed To Diabetics At Islam’s Holiest Site

More than 20,000 mosques ready for Eid Al Fitr prayers in Saudi Arabia

Ministry directs not to perform Eid prayers at external mosques in areas that expect rain

Is Eid 2023 today? When the end of Ramadan is announced with Saudi Arabia predicting Eid al-Fitr on Friday

--------

Pakistan

CJP Urges MPs To Draft Laws ‘In Compliance With Constitution’

Imran can’t conceal his incompetence, corruption by covering face: Marriyum

PTI’s wrong policy blamed for wave of terrorism

‘Reign of terror’ controlled by another force, not PDM: Imran

No ‘Exclusive Suo Motu Powers’ For CJP: Justice Isa

--------

Mideast

'Worst Ramadan Season Ever' Because Of Israeli Restrictions, Says Hawara's Mayor

Former head of Sunni Endowment escapes from Baghdad's Green Zone prison

Scores Killed, Hundreds Injured At Ramadan Charity Event In Yemen

Ramadan in Abu Dhabi: ‘I welcome these social changes’

This Ramadan, Dubai’s property market did not take a time-out on deals

Night bus routes to mosques to operate in Tashkent on Eid al-Fitr

Israel issues stop work orders against 23 Palestinian homes, a mosque

---------

South Asia

Afghanistan is a”Safe Haven” For Terrorists with an Increasing Threat to the US, Experts Claim

Khalilzad Proposes ‘Measures’ For UN Chief’s Meeting on Afghanistan

Afghan Govt Could Not Survive After US Pullout: Sopko

Afghanistan IG report hammers Biden administration for 'dysfunction' days after White House blames Trump

US watchdog ‘cannot assure’ Afghanistan aid not going to Taliban

Uzbekistan Sends 185 Tons of Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

 

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/islamophobic-diatribe-hindu-militant-priest-yati-kaaba/d/129613

---------

 Islamophobic Diatribe: Hindu Militant Priest, Yati Narsinghanand, Urges Followers To Attack Makkah And Seize Kaaba

 

Yati Narsinghanand

----

By Muslim Mirror Staff

April 5, 202

Yati Narsinghanand, a well-known Hindu-right wing member, has given another hate speech targeting Muslims. In his speech, he has urged Hindus to rise up and fight Muslims and Islam.

He also urged Hindus to take a stance against Muslims and make efforts to capture “Makkah, where the alleged Mahadev temple” is situated. Narsinghanand, a Dasna temple priest in Ghaziabad, is well-known for making anti-Muslim comments.

“Hindu Rashtra is a dream, we will not only capture but also Makkah… Mahadev’s Ganga flows in the form of ZamZam there,” he said adding, “If you don’t capture the Makkeshwar Mandir (Kaaba), no power on earth can defeat Islam.”

Top BJP officials, particularly Kapil Mishra, who has a close relationship with Narsinghanand, are actively promoting the trends that support him. Kapil Mishra had previously launched a fundraising campaign for Narsinghanand’s goal to ” remove Islam and Muslims from the face of the Earth.”

In April of last year, he and other hate mongers were arrested for making hate speeches at a “Hindu Mahapanchayat” that “50 per cent of Hindus will convert” in 20 years if a Muslim becomes the country’s prime minister.

Source: muslimmirror.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://muslimmirror.com/eng/hindutva-priest-yati-narsinghanand-urges-hindus-to-take-over-makkah/

----

 Mob Attack On Two Women In Indonesia For Allegedly Eating In A Cafe During The Islamic Holy Month Of Ramadan

 

A video posted online shows a mob beating a woman for visiting a cafe during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in West Sumatra province of Indonesia on April 8.  (Photo: Screengrab)

------

 

April 20, 2023

Rights groups strongly condemned a Muslim mob attack on two women in Indonesia for allegedly eating in a cafe during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and criticized police for not arresting the suspected attackers.

A total of 89 organizations and 122 eminent citizens including Catholic youth groups signed a joint statement on April 19 to slam the incident saying that “persecuting women in the name of religious morality is an act that tramples humanity.”

“In fact, no religion teaches every human being to hurt others. This action occurred because of a shallow and misogynistic religious understanding, which views women as a source of disgrace and slander," the statement read.

The statement came days after a video circulated online showed two women aged 23 and 19 being assaulted by a mob in a cafe in Pesisir Selatan district of West Sumatra province on April 8.

The video was allegedly posted by the perpetrators. It showed two victims being intimidated, kicked, dragged, and thrown into the sea while being verbally abused and threatened with burning. The mob also stripped and sexually abused them.

NoviantoTaryono, Pasir Selatan police chief said on April 16 that they had named three suspects after questioning 13 witnesses.

He said the two women were attacked because the mob was angry because they visited the cafe during the holy month of Ramadan.

However, advocacy groups and activists criticized the police for not arresting the suspects and even brought them together with the victims at the police station for mediation.

"Mediation that brings perpetrators together with victims of sexual harassment and violence should not be carried out by the authorities because it will only exacerbate the victim's trauma," the statement said.

The activists demanded the perpetrators be immediately arrested, “because acts of persecution and sexual violence are the greatest forms of immorality, crimes that must be dealt with strictly by law enforcers.”

They also said that the two women were just cafe visitors and "without any fault, they were immediately attacked."

They have also launched a campaign on Change.org, urging the police to arrest the perpetrators immediately.

Such persecution is the result of the imposition of restrictions during the holy month of Ramadan in the Muslim-majority country, they said.

Activists say such rules, which are generally unwritten, increase persecution of minorities.

West Sumatra has seen moral policing and violence in the name of religion in the past.

In 2020, a woman in Pasaman Regency was accused of obscenity by a group of men in a village. The woman was  stripped naked and paraded around the village. The incident was videoed and shared on social media.

Such persecution signals that many parties still misunderstand religious teachings, says Petrus Selestinus, a Catholic lawyer and the chairman of a lawyer's forum seeking to protect the national secular ideology called Pancasila.

"Even though visiting entertainment places is prohibited in areas like West Sumatra during Ramadan, it cannot be solved by violence, taking the law into your own hands. There are other civilized ways," he told UCA News.

He emphasized that the constitutional rights of the victims, regardless of their identity, should be protected.

“The perpetrators must receive harsh punishment," he said.

Daniel Awigra, executive director of the Human Rights Working Group said that such persecution occurred because of increasing religious conservatism among Indonesians.

He cited a Pew Research Center survey in 2020 which found 96 percent of respondents in Indonesia saying that belief in God is necessary to be moral and have good values.

In an increasingly conservative Indonesian society, there is a desire to take over public space in the name of religion, he pointed out.

“We can see it through the many regional regulations on decency based on moral interpretation. This is an effort to encourage the public space to be regulated in the domain of sectarian religious interpretation," he said.

Source: ucanews.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.ucanews.com/news/ramadan-mob-attack-in-indonesia-sparks-outcry/101048

--------

 Tunisian Judge Orders Jail For Islamist Opposition Leader Ghannouchi Leader Of Main Opposition Party Ennahda

 

Rached Ghannouchi, the head of Islamist Ennahda party and former speaker of the parliament, during an interview with Reuters at his office in Tunis, Tunisia, July 15, 2022. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

------

 20/04/2023

A Tunisian investigative judge ordered on Thursday the imprisonment of Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of main opposition party Ennahda and a prominent critic of President Kais Saied, the politician's lawyer told Reuters.

Ghannouchi, who was arrested on Monday, is accused of plotting against internal state security and the decision to imprison him followed an investigation that lasted eight hours, she added.

Police have this year detained several leading political figures who have accused Saied of a coup for his moves to close parliament and rule by decree before rewriting the constitution.

"It was a ready decision to imprison Ghannouchi only because of Ghannouchi's expression of his opinion," lawyer MoniaBouali told Reuters.

Ghannouchi's official Facebook page published a comment by him after the judge's decision, which said: "I am optimistic about the future ... Tunisia is free".

The 81-year-old was the speaker of the elected parliament, which was shut down in 2021 by Saied when he seized all powers. Tunisian authorities on Tuesday banned meetings at all offices of Islamist party Ennahda and police closed the headquarters of the Salvation Front, the main opposition coalition.

Ennahda fears the move will pave the way for banning the party, the party said. The U.S. said Ghannouchi's arrest, the closure of Ennahda's headquarters and the banning of meetings by opposition groups represented a troubling escalation.

An interior ministry official said Ghannouchi had been arrested after "inciting statements". Ghannouchi said in an opposition meeting last week that "Tunisia without Ennahda, without political Islam, without the left, or any other component, is a project for civil war".

The influential leader, who was in exile in the 1990s and returned during Tunisia's 2011 revolution that brought democracy, said those who "celebrated the coup are extremists and terrorists".

Ghannouchi has faced repeated rounds of judicial questioning over the past year on charges relating to Ennahda's finances and to allegations it helped Islamists travel to Syria for jihad, charges he and the party both deny.

Source: france24.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.france24.com/en/middle-east/20230420-tunisian-judge-orders-jail-for-islamist-opposition-leader-ghannouchi

--------

 Georgian PM Celebrates Country's Muslim Community On Iftar Observance

 

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday hosted an event dedicated to Iftar. Photo: Government Press Office

------

20 Apr 2023

Georgian Prime Minister IrakliGaribashvili on Thursday celebrated the country’s Muslim community on the occasion of Iftar, an observance for the month-long fasting of Ramadan by followers of the religion, by saying it was “another proof of our unity, brotherhood and friendship”.

In an occasion hosted by the PM at Tbilisi’s hilltop Funicular Restaurant, the head of the Government congratulated the community on the holy month of Ramadan and described Georgia as a “centre of tolerance” with a heritage of seeing different religious confessions coexisting peacefully over the centuries.

The PM also emphasised Georgia was “unique” for the unity displayed within the country’s Muslim community itself, with Sunnis and Shiites, as well as Muslims  among ethnic Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Kists and Ingush “coexisting peacefully on this land”.

Pointing to his Government’s efforts to ensure necessary support for the country’s religious minorities and resolve issues related to them, the PM stressed 228 mosques had been handed over to the Muslim community across the country since the establishment of the State Agency For Religious Issues on his initiative in 2014, with plans for about 70 more to be handed over.

Source: agenda.ge

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://agenda.ge/en/news/2023/1541

--------

 Archbishop Stephen Cottrell Visits York MosqueA nd Islamic Centre To Break The Fast

 

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York visited York Mosque and Islamic Centre (Image: UGC)

-----

By Ed Horner

THE Archbishop of York visited York Mosque and Islamic Centre this week - where he was welcomed to break the fast.

The Archbishop, Stephen Cottrell and his wife Rebecca Cottrell were welcomed by Faizal Mohamudbuccus and NaserJasim, president of the Mosque, to break the fast at the Iftar meal after sunset as part of the Mosque's 'Experience Ramadan' events.

The Archbishop said: “This has been my first visit to the Mosque in York which has well established links with the local community and with York Minster.

"It has been lovely to share Iftar, an opportunity to catch up with old friends as well as build new friendships.”

York Mosque regularly hosts open door events and ‘Experience Ramadan’ is an invitational event shared by many UK Mosques. York Mosque offers five daily prayer congregations, the Madrassah Arabic school which has 140 students, including refugee children, Quran study groups, foodbank and a soup kitchen. The Mosque also regularly welcomes school visits and the local scouts group.

Source: yorkpress.co.uk

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23468387.archbishop-stephen-cottrell-visits-york-mosque-break-fast/

--------

 India

 

“Fasting Can Also Promote Cellular Repair And Regeneration, Which Is Crucial For Maintaining Healthy, Youthful-Looking Skin”

April 20, 2023

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims across the world fast to gain piety and closeness to god. This fasting — often likened to intermittent fasting, according to experts, comes with certain health benefits as well. But did you know it can have a positive effect on your skin as well? Turns out, it can particularly help those suffering from psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa. Sharing a video on the same, Dr Muneeb Shah, dermatologist, took to Instagram to inform that during the fasting period of Ramadan, “the levels of inflammation in the body, the cytokines in the body that cause inflammation, actually decreases and this has been studied and proven”.

Adding, she said that a lot of skin diseases are inflammatory in nature, like acne, psoriasis, and hidradenitis suppurativa. “By decreasing those levels of inflammation in the body, should improve your skin overall. Now does that translate actually to real clinical studies? Yes.” “There are clinical studies that show that psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa are improved during Ramadan by people who are partaking in fasting,” he concluded.

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that fasting during Ramadan improved symptoms of psoriasis in some participants. Another study published in the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery found that fasting improved symptoms of hidradenitis suppurativa in some patients.

Ramadan fasting is a form of intermittent fasting wherein one does not eat food for a certain number of hours in the day. Speaking with indianexpress.com, Dr Annie Flora, senior consultant Dermatologist, Apollo Spectra and Apollo Cosmetics Clinic, Chennai said, “Fasting can improve skin elasticity, reduce acne, and improve the overall appearance of the skin. This is likely due to the fact that fasting helps to regulate insulin levels, which can reduce inflammation and improve skin health. Additionally, fasting has been found to stimulate the production of collagen, which is a key component of healthy, youthful-looking skin. Collagen is a protein that helps to keep the skin firm, supple, and elastic. Production of collagen reduces with age, which may cause sagging and wrinkling of skin. Fasting has been found to stimulate the production of collagen, which can help to keep the skin looking youthful and healthy”.

She added that fasting has also been found to reduce oxidative stress, which can help to protect the skin from damage and keep it looking healthy.

Fasting can promote cellular repair and regeneration, which is crucial for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. (Pic source: Freepik) Fasting can promote cellular repair and regeneration, which is crucial for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. (Pic source: Freepik)

Dr DM Mahajan, senior consultant, Dermatology, Indraprastha Apollo hospitals agreed and said that one of the most significant benefits of fasting on the skin is its potential to reduce inflammation. “Inflammation is a key factor in many skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema. Studies have shown that fasting can lower levels of inflammatory markers in the body, which could help to improve these conditions,” he said.

“Fasting can also promote cellular repair and regeneration, which is crucial for maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin. During fasting, the body goes into a state of autophagy, where it breaks down and recycles old, damaged cells. This process helps to remove toxins and promote the growth of new, healthy cells, which can result in clearer, more radiant skin,” added Mahajan.

Things to keep in mind

While fasting can have positive effects on skin health, it is also important to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients during the non-fasting hours. “Consuming a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help to provide the nutrients your body needs to maintain healthy skin. Additionally, staying hydrated during the non-fasting hours is important to ensure your skin stays healthy and hydrated,” said Dr Flora.

She explained that “very high-calorie foods like milk and milk products, sweets, and very oily foods after breaking the fast can cause breakouts on the skin.”

Dr Mahajan also stated that it is vital to make sure to stay hydrated after breaking the fast and take proper nutritious food as lack of it can cause dehydration, which may not be nice for skin health.

Source: indianexpress.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/ramadan-fasting-skin-benefits-8561171/

--------

 

Plaintiffs in Gyanvapi Case Refuse to Agree to Wuzu Arrangements Inside Mosque Complex

New Delhi: At a meeting held by the district magistrate, the three plaintiffs in the Gyanvapi mosque case have said that they will oppose the mosque management’s suggestion that wuzu can be arranged in a separate spot within the mosque complex. The day before that, DM S. Rajalingam had met the mosque committee, The Times of India reported, which had put forward its alternative plan in line with the Supreme Court’s order.

According to the newspaper, the three plaintiffs said that any alternative which involves making other arrangements within the Gyanvapi complex will be strongly opposed. Instead, they insisted that worshippers at Gyanvapi go to the neighbouring Razia mosque for wuzu.

On Monday, the Supreme Court had directed the Varanasi administration to find a “congenial arrangement” on the mosque committee’s request, for arrangement for wuzu during Ramzan prayers near the section in the mosque complex where a Shivling was said to have been found during a survey last year.

Earlier, the court had rejected the Gyanvapi Masjid committee’s objection to a petition seeking the right to worship the Shivling claimed to have been found in the mosque complex.

Source: thewire.in

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://thewire.in/communalism/plaintiffs-in-gyanvapi-case-refuse-to-agree-to-wuzu-arrangements-inside-mosque-complex

--------

 

Madhya Pradesh minister asks MaaSharda temple body to fire Muslim staff

Apr 19, 2023

Ravish Pal Singh

By Ravish Pal Singh: Madhya Pradesh minister Usha Thakur allegedly asked the MaaSharda Temple Committee in Maihar, Satna district, to remove Muslim members from the committee. The incident has caused a stir, with the Congress slamming the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the state.

According to local reports, the minister sent a note sheet to the committee requesting the removal of the Muslim members.

The MaaSharda Temple committee operates under the administration and is an independent organization responsible for managing the Sharda Devi temple. At present, two Muslim employees are part of the committee.

Following the controversy, the Religious Trusts and Endowments Department forwarded the note sheet to the Satna Collector, Anurag Verma, for further action. However, the collector is yet to respond to it.

Speaking to India Today TV, Dr Rajesh Rajoura, Additional Secretary of the Religious Trusts and Endowments Department, confirmed that the note sheet, which has gone viral on social media, was indeed sent by the minister.

PC Sharma, who was a minister in the previous Kamal Nath government, said that on the one hand, the ruling BJP government in Madhya Pradesh talks about following in the footsteps of Dr Ambedkar; while, on the other hand, its own minister issues such a note sheet that is exactly the opposite of the idea of equality.

Source: indiatoday.in

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/madhya-pradesh-usha-thakur-minister-asks-maa-sharda-temple-body-to-fire-muslim-staff-2362122-2023-04-19

---------

 

Unlike Pakistan’s minorities, every strand of the Muslim community is doing its business in India: Nirmala Sitharaman

Those blaming India on minority issues have no clue about ground realities, says Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Washington.

April 11, 2023

India is home to the second largest Muslim population in the world and those blaming the country on minority issues have no clue about the ground realities, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.

Addressing a Washington DC audience during a fireside chat at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on Monday, April 10, 2023, Ms. Sitharaman said the Muslim population is only growing in numbers in India.

"If there is a perception or if there's, in reality, their lives are difficult or made difficult with the support of the State, which is what is implied in most of these write-ups, I would ask, will the Muslim population be growing from what it was in 1947... The contrast can be sharper as opposed to Pakistan, which was formed at the same time,” she said.

Foreign investments have kept coming to India. I would tell the prospective investors to come & look at what's happening in India rather than listening to perceptions being built by people who've not visited the ground but writing reports.

The Union Finance Minister said violence prevails against Muhajirs, Shias and other minority groups in Pakistan, whereas, in India, every strand of the Muslim community is doing its business.

"India was divided into two Pakistans. Pakistan declared itself an Islamic country but said minorities will be protected. Every minority has been dwindling in number, or decimated in Pakistan. Even some of the Muslim sects have also been decimated,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

She said law and order is a state subject in India and each province has its elected government that takes care of the law and order in those states.

Ms. Sitharaman said the notion that across the board in India, violence against Muslims is happening is a fallacy.

"It cannot be so. Each province and its police are different. They are run by the elected governments in those provinces. So, that itself tells you how these reports have no clue of the law and order systems in India,” the Finance Minister said.

"To say it's all the blame of the government of India. I would like to say then, between 2014 and today, has the population dwindled, has the debts been disproportionately high in any one particular community," she said.

"I would rather invite these people who write these reports to come to India. I'll host them, let them come and travel alone to India and prove their point,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

Around 62 per cent of the world's Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region (from Turkey to Indonesia), with over one billion adherents. The largest Muslim population in a country is in Indonesia, a country home to 12.7 per cent of the world's Muslims.

‘Focus on skilling and digitisation’

Meanwhile, Ms. Sitharaman talked about the facilities the Indian government is wanting to extend to the poor in the country.

Ms. Sitharaman said the approach of the government is to empower the poor people with at least the basic amenities.

“We are reaching near saturation in providing the basic facilities in India,” she said.

She noted that the discussions earlier used to be on poverty alleviation.

“Have we removed these many numbers of people from poverty and lifted them out,” she said.

“And that is to give them some good house to live in, which is made of concrete and not thatched roof with toilets in them, with drinking water reaching them through pipes, electricity, and a good road, not just to the village, but also to the streets in the village and then connect them to the nearest highway; connect them with good transport facility and so on and financial inclusion so that each member of the household has a bank account and they get every such benefit, which has to reach them, but directly into their bank account rather than through a middle agency,” she said.

‘Digitisation programme on full throttle’

“So, in each one of these, we are reaching saturation, which means if there are a hundred people today who are eligible to get them, they would get, we are near 98 points 99. And of course, newer people can get added as the population grows, we’ll keep attending to them,” Ms. Sitharaman added.

She said India was focusing very much on skilling people.

“We are now focusing very much on skilling people, each according to their level. Skilling centres are now spread all over the country. The gradation of the skilling varies according to individuals. Businesses and private sector entrepreneurs are also tied into it so that there is a link between the kind of training that businesses want and actually those who are getting the training so that immediately they can get recruited. There will be a lot of skilling emphasis,” the Finance Minister said.

“India’s digitisation programme will be going at full throttle and it’ll cover most aspects of our lives. Today, it covers health, education and also, and financial transactions. We expect it to move on to other areas as well so that there’s greater ease of living and transparency economy gets even more formal. And therefore, with that, you find the economy has its full strength coming on board rather than having a second layer, which remains in the grey area,” Ms. Sitharaman added.

Source: thehindu.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/unlike-pakistans-minorities-every-strand-of-the-muslim-community-is-doing-its-business-in-india-nirmala-sitharaman/article66723477.ece

--------

 

Southeast Asia

 

Sarawak Christians Send Eid ul FitrGreetings To Muslim Community

Thursday, 20 Apr 2023

KUCHING, April 20 — Christians in Sarawak have sent their warm greetings to the Muslim community for Hari Raya Eid ul Fitr.

In a press statement today, Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) chairman the Rt Revd Datuk Danald Jute said the greetings for the celebration were sent with joy.

“As you celebrate this auspicious feast, having observed the fasting month of Ramadan, we pray that this celebration will bring greater blessings of joy and happiness to all, especially as families, friends, and neighbours gather together from near and far, to celebrate, Malaysian style.

“Indeed, may this time of forgiveness and joyful celebration strengthen and enrich all familial bonds and relationships, and among friends and neighbours,” he said.

Danald said Malaysians are blessed for being able to celebrate the country’s various religious and cultural festivals together.

He also pointed out that the Christian community deeply appreciates the warm and meaningful greetings extended by Yang di-PertuanAgong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja PermaisuriAgongTunkuAzizahAminahMaimunahIskandariah, as well as Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari TunOpeng and Puan Sri Datuk Amar Juma’aniTunTuankuBujang, for the recent Good Friday and Easter celebrations.

“This indeed is what Malaysia is about — a celebration of colours and creeds!

“May we use this opportunity to resolve to walk and work together as fellow citizens of our beloved country to bring about greater understanding, respect, peace, justice, and harmony in our nation,” he added.

Danald is Bishop of Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam.

Besides the Anglican Church, other ACS members are the Roman Catholic Church, Methodist Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference, Methodist Sarawak Iban Annual Conference, Borneo Evangelical Mission, Seventh Day Adventist, and Salvation Army. — Borneo Post

Source: malaymail.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/04/20/sarawak-christians-send-Eid ul Fitr-greetings-to-muslim-community/65666

--------

 

Indonesia Recovers Bodies Of Four Troops Killed During Separatist Attack In Papua Province

Indonesian security forces recovered the bodies of four government soldiers who were killed in a separatist attack while searching for a New Zealand pilot taken hostage by the rebels in Indonesia’s restive Papua region, officials said Thursday.

The four elite army troops were killed on Saturday after attackers from the West Papua Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Free Papua Movement, ambushed 36 government soldiers in Nduga district in the mountainous Papua Highlands province.

Security forces found the bodies on Wednesday, including that of a soldier who fell into a 15-meter-deep (49-foot) ravine, and evacuated them to a hospital in Timika, a mining city in neighboring Central Papua province, said Papua military spokesperson Col. Herman Taryaman.

The troops were ambushed by the rebels while searching for Phillip Mark Mehrtens, a New Zealand pilot who was abducted by the rebels in February, Taryaman said. The rebels shot a soldier who fell into the ravine, and launched a second attack while troops were trying to get the body out, he added.

Taryaman said security forces are searching for a fifth soldier who is still missing, but bad weather conditions and steep forested terrain have impeded their search and evacuation operation.

Security forces retrieved the bodies of the four soldiers a day after Indonesia’s military chief on Tuesday dismissed the separatist group's claim that it had killed more than a dozen government soldiers in the attack.

Adm. YudoMargono confirmed only one fatality and said four other soldiers were missing. The rest returned to their post, he said. Five soldiers were wounded and in stable condition and evacuated to a hospital in Timika.

Rebel spokesperson SebbySambom said in a statement on Monday that his group’s fighters were holding the remains of 12 soldiers, including nine who he said “were arrested and executed.” The rebels offered no proof to back up their statement.

Sambom said earlier the rebels carried out the attack in retaliation for Indonesia’s “massive military operation” in Papua and the killings of two rebels in a shootout with security forces last month.

Margono rejected the rebel claims as “fake news” and said the military operations in Papua were launched with a view to keep casualties at a minimum. However, he said that authorities will increase pressure on the rebels around several separatist strongholds, including in Nduga.

The rebels in February stormed a single-engine plane shortly after it landed on a small runway in Paro and abducted its pilot. The plane initially was scheduled to pick up 15 construction workers from other Indonesian islands after the rebels threatened to kill them.

Authorities will continue to prioritize a peaceful approach for the release of Mehrtens, Margono said.

The kidnapping of the pilot was the second that independence fighters have committed since 1996, when the rebels abducted 26 members of a World Wildlife Fund research mission in Mapenduma. Two Indonesians in that group were killed by their abductors, but the remaining hostages were eventually freed within five months.

The pilot kidnapping reflects the deteriorating security situation in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua, a former Dutch colony in the western part of New Guinea that is ethnically and culturally distinct from much of Indonesia.

Papua was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969, after a U.N.-sponsored ballot that was widely seen as a sham. Since then, a low-level insurgency has simmered in the region, which was divided into five provinces last year to boost development in Indonesia’s poorest region.

Saturday’s fighting is the latest in a series of violent incidents in recent years in Papua where conflicts between indigenous Papuans and Indonesian security forces are common.

Rebels attacks have spiked considerably in recent years, as the government extended infrastructure and the controversial Trans-Papua Highway, a road being built into the heart of highland Papua that has inflamed resistance. Many indigenous Papuans believe the moves are a threat to their identity and traditional way of life, prompting attacks by separatist groups that have been followed by further Indonesian military deployments.

The military activities in Papua have raised concern among rights groups who say the security approach that had been implemented by Jakarta for decades has proven unable to resolve violence in the region.

Amnesty International Indonesia called for prioritizing dialogue with the separatists to prevent potential human rights violations and a larger humanitarian crisis. Data collected by the rights group showed at least 179 civilians, 35 Indonesian troops and nine police along with 23 independence fighters were killed in clashes between rebels and security forces between 2018 and 2022.

Source: republicworld.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/rest-of-the-world-news/indonesia-recovers-bodies-of-four-troops-killed-during-separatist-attack-in-papua-province-articleshow.html

--------

 

Solar eclipse wows stargazers in Indonesia, Australia

20 Apr 2023

Some 20,000 people gathered under a cloudless sky in the northwest Australian coastal town of Exmouth to enjoy a rare total solar eclipse that plunged the region into darkness for 58 seconds as the moon blocked out the sun.

The remote town with fewer than 3,000 residents was one of the best vantage points in Australia to see the eclipse that also crossed Indonesia and East Timor.

An international crowd had been gathering at Exmouth for days, camping in tents and trailers on a red, dusty plain on the edge of town with cameras and other viewing equipment pointed to the skies.

“Many people become addicted to that minute or so of eerie otherworldliness,” said John Lattanzio of the Astronomical Society of Australia.

“They become ‘eclipse chasers’ and they travel all over the world for repeat experiences.”

The totality occurred at 11:29:48 local time (03:29:48 GMT) on Thursday, bringing darkness and a spectral calm, according to those who were there.

Less than a minute later, the dusty outback was again bathed in light.

NASA astronomer Henry Throop was among those at Exmouth, loudly cheering the eclipse in the darkness.

“Isn’t it incredible? This is so fantastic. It was mind-blowing. It was so sharp and it was so bright. You could see the corona around the sun there,” the visibly excited Washington, DC resident told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

People in West Papua and East Timor were also able to witness the total eclipse.

In the Indonesian capital, hundreds flocked to the Jakarta Planetarium to watch the partial eclipse, which was obscured by clouds.

AzkaAzzahra, 21, came with her sister and friends to get a closer look by using the planetarium’s telescopes.

“I am still happy to come even though it is cloudy. It is happy to see how people with high enthusiasm come here to see the eclipse, because it is rare,” Azzahra said.

The call to prayer resounded from the city’s mosques when the eclipse phase began as Muslims said eclipse prayers as a reminder of God’s greatness.

The hybrid solar eclipse was mostly over water as it tracked from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. The few people in its path either saw the darkness of a total eclipse or a “ring of fire” as the sun peeked from behind the new moon.

The eclipse also gave scientists a chance to observe the sun’s corona, which is usually obscured by its bright rays.

Witnessing a similar eclipse once helped Albert Einstein hypothesise that light can bend.

Such events happen about once every decade: The last one was in 2013 and the next one is not until 2031.

Source: aljazeera.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/20/solar-eclipse-wows-stargazers-in-indonesia-australia

--------

 

Bali Considers Tougher Visa Regulations Amid Negative Tourist Behavior

April 19th, 2023

Bali is a tourism hotspot — with its beautiful beaches, tropical climate and lush scenery.

And ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the vacation paradise has seen an influx of Russians and Ukranians escaping the war.

“Why these two countries? Because they are at war so they flock here,” Bali Governor WayanKoster told a news conference in March, according to a CNN story.

Over 50,000 Russians arrived in Bali after its post-Covid-19 reopening in March 2022, and more than 22,000 more followed suit this January, along with more than 2,000 Ukranians.

In March, authorities in Bali, which is an Indonesian province, called for an end to Indonesia’s visa on arrival policy for Russian and Ukrainian citizens, emphasizing tourist misbehavior.

“Bali has long-since had a reputation for being a laid back destination where hedonistic tourism is tolerated,” Director of Check-in Asia Gary Bowerman said. “Bad tourism behavior has had a cumulative impact over the years. Local people are wary of tourists who make public shows of being disrespectful to local customs and communities, and it causes friction.”

Bowerman added that many of these issues in Bali right now had already existed long before the pandemic, but have been amplified after a few years of limited travel.

He cited instances of tourists disregarding mask regulations or riding vehicles such as motorbikes or scooters without helmets as among some of the other examples of misbehavior the Balinese government is cracking down on.

Instances of drunkenness, public nudity and disrespecting sacred Balinese sites have become repeated patterns of behavior on the island, even before 2023.

“The magnifying glass on Asian holiday destinations like Bali is stronger right now because of the developing context of a post-Covid recovery,” Bowerman said. “Bali’s authorities have responded with statements about scooter bans and a tourism tax and they have deported a few tourists as well but none of those actions seem to be deterring those who wish to behave poorly from doing so.”

Many Ukrainians in Bali have responded with consternation to the news that Indonesia will potentially end its visa-on-arrival policy for Russian and Ukrainian tourists, claiming the vast majority of incidents of tourists behaving poorly can be tied to some Russian tourists.

“(Bali is) a safe place for Ukrainians,” said one Ukrainian named Dmytro, according to the CNN story. “Ukrainians respect Balinese law and culture. Russians are the second largest tourist group in Bali and if you read the news, you’ll see how often it is Russians breaking local laws and disrespecting Balinese culture and traditions.”

Regardless of who is responsible, the Indonesian government appears prepared to implement rigid restrictions to combat these misconduct incidents.

Bowerman also said that one of the primary issues surrounding the situation in Bali is the reach and impact of social media in creating controversy to boost followers and engagement.

“The more that Balinese authorities respond with deterministic public statements and proposed strategies and the media continues to follow the trail, the more influencers will feel emboldened to further disrespect local norms, rules and culture,” Bowerman said. “It’s becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Source: skift.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://skift.com/2023/04/19/bali-considers-tougher-visa-regulations-amid-negative-tourist-behavior/

--------

 

Malaysia’s Ramadan bazaars draw crowds, but some tighten belts

By BhavyaVemulapalli

19 Apr 2023

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – It is late afternoon in Kuala Lumpur and despite the oppressive heat, a crowd of people is wandering along a street lined with food stalls.

The air is filled with the aroma of barbecued chicken and fried fish as buyers – most of them ethnic Malay Muslims looking for food with which to break their Ramadan fast – search out their favourite foods.

The mood is festive even though this year’s prices are higher than usual. The country’s central bank said in February that while inflation was likely to moderate, it was likely to remain “elevated”.

“The rising cost of living impacts the affordability of food and other items sold at the bazaar. We see a significant increase in the price which leads to people being careful with their spending,” AiedahKhalek, a senior lecturer at Monash University Malaysia and an expert in Muslim consumer behaviour, told Al Jazeera.

Ramadan bazaars can be found in almost every corner of Malaysia, which is mostly ethnic Malay but also has large minorities of ethnic Chinese, Indian and Indigenous people.

Many are drawn to the markets in the capital Kuala Lumpur, where they can also visit traditional shopping areas around JalanTuanku Abdul to buy new outfits in anticipation of Eid, known as Hari Raya Eid ul Fitr in Malaysia, which falls at the end of Ramadan.

The bazaars usually open in the early afternoon so people have time to buy their food ready for the breaking of fast at sunset.

Aiedah has been researching halal communal dining and its effect on the social cohesion of multi-religious communities.

“What makes the Ramadan bazaars special is that they offer different types of food, especially food that is rarely available outside the Ramadan month,” she said.

“Now we can see huge Ramadan bazaars, especially in the urban areas, unlike 20-25 years ago.”

Keeping prices down

With the high cost of living, this year some small traders have joined the government’s Rahmah Ramadan Bazaar initiative, which is designed to ensure food for bukapuasa (the breaking of fast) is sold at reasonable prices.

Nur Mastura has a Menu Rahmah sticker at her stall, which means the price of the 13 types of rice cake she sells is capped at 10 Malaysian ringgit ($2.26) each.

“Ramadan bazaars are a way to celebrate so many cultural cuisines. I’ve been selling putubambu, an Indonesian kueh (cake) at bazaars for four years now. People keep coming for the taste of it,” the 19-year-old told Al Jazeera.

She is studying for a diploma in banking but helps out on her family’s stall at the Masjid Jamek Ramadan bazaar in the centre of Kuala Lumpur.

Traditionally, Malaysians prefer to break their fast with dishes that will be gentle on their stomach following the long hours without food or water.

One such traditional dish is buburlambuk, which is made by cooking the ingredients together in a single pot, translated as scattered porridge.

At most mosques, the dish is given out free of charge during Ramadan. The porridge is usually made with meat, onions, garlic, coconut oil and several spices like cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, star anise, cloves and fenugreek.

“Everyone has their own secret recipe. It depends on the budget and ingredients,” said Saiful Azrul, as he and his brothers – all full-time hawkers – stir their porridge in large pots on the side of the road in preparation for the evening bazaars. “We enjoy cooking together and donating half of what we cook.”

They only sell bubur, which they start cooking in the morning, during Ramadan.

Malaysian food is often spicy and melds styles and flavours from across the world.

“I was surprised by the large variety of food options as there was also some food I had never seen before in Malaysia,” said Anne Hilbert, a 23-year-old exchange student visiting Malaysia from a Dutch university. “I felt a strong feeling of community among the people at the bazaars.”

They have been sampling the Thai-style skewers made by Adlin Ahmad and her sister at a Ramadan bazaar along the river in the centre of Kuala Lumpur.

“My elder sister and I sell grilled skewers and noodle soup. Everyone comes together during Ramadan to sell their specialities,” said 29-year-old Adlin, who graduated from university in 2015 and now sells snacks for a living.

“We pay 600 Malaysian ringgit ($135) for the month to put up our stall,” the Ahmad sisters told Al Jazeera. “Due to the increase in raw material prices after COVID-19, the food prices increased as well.”

The higher prices have meant slower sales for some, adding to food waste, which was rising even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As well as bazaars, Ramadan in Malaysia also sees hotels and restaurants putting on sometimes lavish bukapuasa buffets.

The amount of solid waste, including food, collected during Ramadan rose to 252,521 tonnes last year, compared with 208,143 tonnes in 2019, according to deputy local government development minister AkmalNasrullah Nasir.

“The amount increases every year and in the past five years, we have seen an increase of up to 21 percent,” he told reporters after launching a Hari Raya event on April 10. Food made up 44.5 percent of the waste, he added.

Local vendors say they try to donate the leftovers so they do not have to throw away large quantities of food on a slow day. They are also more careful about the amount they make in the first place.

“Usually there aren’t a lot of leftovers as we got used to cooking correct quantities over the years. Snacks like ours stay fresh over a week. If not, I usually donate the rest at my brother’s school,” Adlin said.

By early evening, the bazaars are winding down as Malays head home to wait until the sunset prayer when they can start eating together.

The bazaars will operate until April 21, the eve of Hari Raya Eid ul Fitr.

Source: aljazeera.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/19/malaysias-ramadan-bazaars-draw-crowds-but-some-tighten-belts

--------

 

Malaysia's inflation eases to 3.4% in March

2023-04-20

Kuala Lumpur, April 20 (IANS) Malaysia's inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), eased to 3.4 per cent in March from 3.7 per cent in February, official data showed on Thursday.

The Department of Statistics said in a statement that the slower increase was mainly driven by the decrease in petrol price, which eased the inflation of the transport group to 2.4 per cent.

This was in line with the downward trend of Brent crude oil price, which was at $78.53 per barrel during March, as compared to $115.59 a year ago.

Nevertheless, inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages as well as that for restaurants and hotels remained high at 6.9 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively, even though it was lower than February's figure.

For the first quarter, the CPI rose 3.6 per cent as compared to the same quarter of the preceding year.

On a quarterly basis, CPI grew at 0.6 per cent at the same rate as recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Core inflation, which measures changes in the prices of all goods and services, excluding volatile prices of fresh food as well as administered prices of goods by the government, still registered a higher increase of 3.8 per cent as compared to 3.9 per cent in February.

Meanwhile, monthly headline inflation in March increased marginally at 0.1 per cent as compared to February.

Source: investing.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://in.investing.com/news/malaysias-inflation-eases-to-34-in-march-3607590

--------

 

Africa

 

“He laid out the earth for all living creatures”: Islam’s lessons for climate

BY HASNA SOUSSAN

APRIL 20, 2023

In recent years, Islamic scholars and environmental experts have gathered together on numerous occasions to discuss the relationship between Islam and the environment. At the recent “Islam and Climate Emergency” conference, organised by the High Atlas Foundation with the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University in Fes, Morocco, for instance, participants shared ideas of how the world’s second biggest religion – followed by around 2 billion people worldwide, including around 500 million in Africa – can serve as a model for environmental stewardship in a time of crisis.

Islamic teachings have a lot to tell Muslims about our relationship to nature. In fact, the very root of the word Islam, “Silm”, means peace, referring not just to peace among humankind but with all living creatures and the wider environment. Ahead of Eid, below is a collection of concepts in Islam that can guide us in our understanding of environmental degradation, climate change, and of Muslims’ role in responding to these challenges.

Preserving Allah’s blessings

The principles of Islam encourage humans to live in harmony with nature and to treat the environment with respect and reverence. This is evident in the teachings of the Quran and the Hadith, which contain numerous references to the environment and the responsibility of people to care for it. Both explain that humans were appointed as stewards of Allah’s creation and that the obligation of people as caliphs on earth is to maintain and take care of it as part of Amana (trust).

Verse 7 of Surah Al-Kahf states: “Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it that We may test them [as to] which of them is best in deeds.” This verse explains that Allah has created nature to beautify earth and make it a source of pleasure for our eyes and hearts. However, it also emphasises that this creation serves a higher purpose, which is to test humanity to show their good deeds and demonstrate their piety by leaving the environment as Allah created it. The verse expresses the importance of a wise and responsible handling of the environment, lest there be negative consequences for humanity and life on earth.

Extravagance and balance

In Islam, extravagance are considered one of the major sins and followers are urged to avoid waste. Instead, followers are actively called up to practice moderation and to preserve the blessings Allah has bestowed upon humans by using resources wisely. As Allah almighty says in Surah Al-Baqarah, 60: “Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.”

Relatedly, the Islamic notion of Mizan refers to the importance of balance. This concept is often linked to the idea of justice as it implies a state of equilibrium that is fair and just. Allah, we are told, created earth in perfect equilibrium. As stated in the Quran: “He raised the heaven and established the balance so that you would not transgress the balance. Give just weight – do not skimp in the balance. He laid out the earth for all living creatures” (Arrahman,  7-10).

These concepts of moderation, preservation, and balance call upon Muslims to respect planetary limits and the symbiotic ecosystems on which all creatures rely to survive.

Islamic law

Maqasid al-Sharia (the objectives of Islamic law) also relate to the environment. These concepts are the very essence of the religion as they facilitate the functioning of societies and enhance the public good.

In Islamic law, the preservation of the five necessities (known as al-daruriyyat al-khams) –  is considered a fundamental objective. These are: religion (al-din), life (al-nafs), intellect (al-aql), lineage (al-nasl), and property (al-mal). The maintenance of these goods are all closely related to the environment, which plays a critical role in sustaining human life and supporting human well-being.

Many Muslim religious practices, for instance, rely on the availability of natural resources, such as water, air, and food. The preservation of life requires the protection of the Earth’s climate and biodiversity. Intellectual development derives inspiration from the natural world, which is also important for mental and cognitive health. The maintenance of lineage requires good reproductive health and family stability, both of which are threatened by climate crises and environmental toxicity. And the preservation of property rests on the preservation and responsible use of natural resources.

Do no harm

Islam’s teaching on humanity’s relationship with the climate is further rooted in its fundamental moral principles. Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him, explained the necessity of preserving the environment in several hadiths, albeit indirectly. For example, the hadith “There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” indicates, in the broader sense, that humans should be responsible for their actions and refrain from causing harm to each other, whether directly or indirectly by disrupting the environment in which they live.

Another hadith calls on Muslims to plant trees, stating: “If the Resurrection were established upon one of you while he has in his hand a sapling, then let him plant it.”

Source: africanarguments.org

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://africanarguments.org/2023/04/he-laid-out-the-earth-for-all-living-creatures-islam-lessons-for-climate/

--------

 

Sultan of Sokoto Felicitates Muslim Ummah

The President-General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affair (NSCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has felicitated  Muslim Ummah on the occasion of ‘Idul Fitr.

Abubakar, in a statement signed by the Director of Administration of the NSCIA, ZubairuHaruna Usman-Ugwu, “enjoined Muslims to search for the crescent of Shawwal 1444 A.H. immediately after sunset on Thursday, 29th Ramadan 1444 A.H. which is equivalent to 20th April 2023.

“We beseech Allah to grant everyone the opportunity to witness many more of it. In the spirit of Ramadan, Muslims are reminded that Zakatul Fitr is a compulsory food-levy imposed on privileged Muslims, to be given to the less-privileged in the society.

“The Council, therefore, appeals to all concerned to ensure that they do not only comply but also comply on time. The stipulated practice is to give out the prescribed measurement to beneficiaries in the last two days of Ramadan and not later than before the ‘Id prayer.

“Consequent upon the advice of the National Moon-Sighting Committee (NMSC), the President-General enjoins the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to search for the crescent of Shawwal 1444 A.H. immediately after sunset on today, 29th Ramadan 1444 A.H. which is equivalent to 20th April 2023.

“If the crescent is sighted by Muslims in accordance with the moon sighting and verification standards, then His Eminence would declare Friday, 21st April 2023 as the 1st of Shawwal and the day of ‘Idul Fitr. However, if the crescent is not sighted that day, then Saturday, 22nd April 2023, automatically becomes the day of ‘Idul Fitr.

“In addition to the established and traditional Islamic leaders in each locality, the following members of the National Moon-Sighting Committee (NMSC) can be contacted to report any credible and positive sighting of the crescent of Shawwal 1444 AH:

“The Council encourages all Muslims to pray fervently to the Almighty Allah, especially during the concluding part of Ramadan, for the peace, security and development of Nigeria.

“While wishing us all happy ‘Idul Fitr, the Council enjoins Muslims all over the country to be on the lookout for the announcement to be made by His Eminence, the President-General of NSCIA on the night of Thursday 20th of April, 2023. ‘Id Mubarak in advance!”

Source: thisdaylive.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2023/04/20/sultan-of-sokoto-felicitates-muslim-ummah/

--------

 

Islamic cleric urges Zamfara Govt to pay WAEC, NECO fees

April 19, 2023

By IfeanyiNwannah

Dr Mohammed Bello Janbako, an Islamic cleric, has urged the Zamfara State Government to consider the possibility of paying NECO and WAEC fees for indigent students of the state.

The cleric made the call during the closure of this year’s Ramadan Tafsir at Imam Malik Jumuat Mosque in Damba district of Gusau, the state capital.

The cleric, who noted that Zamfara could not fill its quota in the country’s tertiary institutions, said:

“I am calling on the state government to, as a matter of fact, and urgency, settle the NECO and WAEC fees that have not been paid over the years.

“Our students have been stranded as they cannot proceed to higher institutions because of the none payment of NECO and WAEC fees.

“This has posed a serious problem to the society because those students who could not further their education would in the near future become serious threats to the society.”

The cleric also urged politicians and wealthy individuals in the state to always come to the rescue of the needy, particularly youths.

Source: dailypost.ng

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://dailypost.ng/2023/04/19/islamic-cleric-urges-zamfara-govt-to-pay-waec-neco-fees/

--------

 

Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan sides with the army

April 19, 2023

The Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan has taken the side of the Sudanese army led by General Abdul Fattah Al-Burhan in its fight against the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by General Mohamed HamdanDaglo.

Observer-General of Sudan's Muslim Brotherhood, Adel Ibrahim, said in a statement that the RSF "refused to obey the orders of the military leadership, and this is considered a rebellion against the state which has led to the war in the middle of the capital and other cities."

He added: "Sudan and its people will pay the price of this war from the blood, security and safety of its people, as well as from the sovereignty, unity and collapsed economy."

"This war imposed on the armed forces was planned slyly with malice and cunning from external and regional parties and internal agents to tear apart the country's unity, dismantle its army, and turn Sudan into a failed state. We have always warned of these external interferences that do not want good for Sudan," he added.

He also urged all the Sudanese people and political factions to stand beside the army "which is the symbol of sovereignty."

Previously, the National Congress Party, the former ruling party, declared its full support for the army "in its endeavour to impose stability and return life to its natural state."

It called for the RSF to obey the orders of the armed forces "in order to take the country out of the wicked wars and sedition that shed the blood of people."

"The small secularist parties had been seeking power through the support of the RSF which was involved in a battle with the armed forces in a foolish step and reckless behaviour that reflects ignorance," it said.

Source: middleeastmonitor.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20230419-muslim-brotherhood-in-sudan-sides-with-the-army/

--------

 

Europe

 

Azerbaijani President, First Lady attend opening of Juma Mosque in Narimanov district

20 April 2023

The Juma Mosque has been inaugurated in Narimanov district of Baku after major overhaul and reconstruction, which were carried out at the initiative of the President of Azerbaijan.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan IlhamAliyev and First Lady MehribanAliyeva attended the event.

Source: azernews.az

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.azernews.az/nation/208908.html

--------

 

Muslim students in Paris, far from their families, gather for iftar

20.04.2023

Muslim students living in Paris, far from their families, gathered *earlier this week* for iftar, the fast-breaking dinner.

The Pantheon-Sorbonne Association of Muslim Students in France (EMF) organized an iftar for those students, who study at various departments, including architecture, engineering, international relations and medicine.

Students coming from Algeria, Morocco, Türkiye, Iran, Cape Verde and other North African countries, had dinner and played games.

President of EMF Pantheon-Sorbonne Ines M. told Anadolu that their association regularly organizes iftar with Muslim students during the holy month, with the intention to unite students who are far from their families.

Ines said that the students come from various French cities, including Marseille and Lyon.

"It is their first time in Paris, for most of them, and they spend Ramadan alone for the first time in their lives," Ines added.

Algerian student in architecture, Maya Sebbah told Anadolu that the iftar was a wonderful experience.

"Eid is approaching," she said. "I hope it will be good for everyone."

Turkish engineering student who moved from Lyon to Paris two years ago, Mehmet Basagac said that it is better to spend Eid altogether, and invited everyone to gather during Eid.

Source: aa.com.tr

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/culture/muslim-students-in-paris-far-from-their-families-gather-for-iftar/2877270

--------

 

Weekly says sorry over Muslim photo headline juxtaposition

by David Sharman

20 Apr 2023

A weekly newspaper has apologised for a picture-headline juxtaposition after being criticised for splashing on a story about an explosion on the same front page as a photograph of Muslims.

The Bedford Times & Citizen said sorry following criticism from community group Islam Bedford for running a photo from a community Iftar event – the meal served at sunset during Ramadan to break the day’s fast – above a separate story with the headline “Arrest after ‘explosion'” on the cover.

The Times & Citizen has said in response that the articles were “clearly indicated as separate stories” and that its intention was to “counterbalance the negative lead story with a very positive story”, but apologised for any offence caused.

The front cover had prompted Islam Bedford to issue a statement expressing its “disappointment and frustration” at the front page design, pictured below, describing it as “deeply concerning and undeniably misleading”.

The group warned it could contribute towards “further prejudice and discrimination against Muslims” at a time when anti-Muslim hate crime is increasing.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Saturday, Islam Bedford said: “Islam Bedford, on behalf of Bedford’s Muslim community, express our disappointment and frustration regarding the recent front page of the Bedford Times & Citizen dated 13 April 2023.

“The coverage of our community Iftar event, Bedford Street Iftar, being positioned alongside the headline “Arrest after ‘explosion'” is deeply concerning, and undeniably misleading.

“As a community that strives for inclusivity and harmony, we are shocked that the placement of these two stories could very easily be seen and read as being the same story — a connection between a Muslim Iftar event and the explosion, which we firmly believe is both irresponsible and insensitive.

“In the current climate of heightened Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime on the rise, such an irresponsible editorial decision can contribute to further prejudice and discrimination against Muslims.

“We have sent the Times & Citizen an email expressing our disappointment and frustration and are awaiting a response.”

The Times & Citizen’s splash covered an explosion in the Bedfordshire village of Sharnbrook last week.

A man in his 40s was arrested following the incident, which was attended by counter-terrorism police, and was taken to hospital with life-changing injuries.

David Summers, editorial director for National World’s Central region, told HTFP: “The Times & Citizen values the community it serves and there was absolutely no intention to offend.

“The two articles were clearly indicated as separate stories but if anyone has taken offence we offer our sincere apologies.

“It is normal to run more than one story on the front – and the thinking at the time was to counterbalance the negative lead story with a very positive story at the top of the page to show that we are supportive of the community.

“We look forward to continuing to work with all groups in the community to further strengthen positive relations between them and the paper.”

Source: holdthefrontpage.co.uk

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2023/news/weekly-slammed-over-photo-of-muslims-on-explosion-front-page/

--------

 

North America

 

US Congressional resolution introduced to recognise Ramadan and EidBrooke Anderson

Washington, D.C.

20 April, 2023

A US congressional resolution has been introduced recognising the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Eid holiday.

The resolution was introduced this week by Representative Debbie Dingell in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and backed by several other progressive House members.

The initiative focuses on "Recognizing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, commending a month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and extending best wishes to Muslims in the United States and across the globe for a joyous and meaningful observance of Eid al-Fitr."

It notes that in the US there are around 1.2 million Muslim voters, around 200 Muslim elected officials and around 4,500 Muslims on active military duty.

It concludes that it is resolved "to demonstrate solidarity with and support for members of the community of Islam in the United States and throughout the world, the House of Representatives recognizes the importance of the Islamic faith."

It also resolves "in observance of and out of respect for Ramadan tradition, the Muslim holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, the House of Representatives offers its best wishes to all Muslims celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of Ramadan, while also expressing its deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and worldwide on this important occasion."

Source: newarab.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.newarab.com/news/us-congressional-resolution-recognises-ramadan-and-eid

--------

 

Judge orders Tunisian Islamist leader to stay in custody

April 20, 2023

TUNIS, Tunisia — A Tunisian investigative judge has ordered that influential Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi remain in custody, his party said Thursday on its official social media.

The Ennahdha party denounced in a statement on Facebook the “unjust imprisonment” of its leader, after Ghannouchi was arrested by police Monday. On its English-language Twitter account, the party said Ghannouchi has been charged with conspiracy against state security and ordered to be imprisoned pending trial.

Ghannouchi, 81, is the most prominent critic of President Kais Saied. He served as speaker of Tunisia’s parliament until Saied dissolved the body last July and seized most executive powers in the North African country — a move that Ghannouchi and other opponents call a coup.

He has been detained for questioning a number of times in the past, but the circumstances of his latest detention suggested that this time was more serious.

Tunisia’s official TAP news agency reported earlier this week that he was detained on a warrant by counterterrorism prosecutors as part of an investigation into recent “provocative” comments. It did not elaborate.

Other Tunisian media reported that Ghannouchi was to be questioned over a video circulating online in which he purportedly says that the president’s perceived efforts to “eradicate” Islamist opposition threaten to unleash civil war.

The move comes amid growing social tensions and deepening economic troubles in Tunisia, the birthplace of the Arab Spring pro-democracy movement more than a decade ago.

Source: washingtonpost.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/04/20/tunisia-islamist-opposition-leader-detained/d91fa252-df6b-11ed-a78e-9a7c2418b00c_story.html

--------

 

Arab World

 

Arab League calls for Sudan Eid ceasefire ‘in the name of Islam’

April 20, 2023

By Thursday, the total number of civilian casualties reached at least 198 as at least 1207 others were injured.

The Arab League has called on conflicting parties in Sudan on Wednesday to declare a ceasefire during Eid Al Fitr in adherence with “Islam, Arab values” as deadly clashes continued into the fifth day.

“I urge the Sudanese parties in the name of Islam, Arab values, and humanity to announce a ceasefire during the Eid holiday in order to enable civilians to respond to urgent humanitarian cases,” Ahmed AboulGheit, the bloc’s Secretary-General, said in a video message.

The official took the opportunity to remind the warring sides – the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – of the sanctity of Ramadan while urging them to halt fighting in order to avoid transforming Eid into a time of sadness.

Eid Al Fitr may fall on either Friday or Saturday, depending on the moon sightings in the region.

AboulGheit’s remarks came after a failed 24-hour armistice in Sudan on Wednesday as fighting continued.

Sudan’s deadliest violence in years broke out on Saturday in Khartoum between the Sudanese army, headed by General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, and the RSF, led by former militia leader General Mohamed HamdanDagalo, widely known as Hemedti.

By Thursday, the total number of civilian casualties reached at least 198 and at least 1,207 others were injured, per figures shared by the Sudanese doctors’ syndicate.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it is running out of much-needed medical supplies across its hospitals in the conflict-stricken country.

“MSF has been providing life-saving medical care but our team cannot move, we are stuck in the conflict,” Sabrina Sharmin, MSF’s deputy operations manager in Sudan, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the RSF has suspended all flights from Khartoum International Airport since the beginning of the clashes and reports said the paramilitary had also captured Meroe’s airport.

However, a source in the Sudanese army told Al-Jazeera on Tuesday that they managed to regain control of Meroe’s airport.

On Sunday, the Arab League held an emergency meeting on Sudan, during which it echoed global calls for an immediate cessation of fighting. AboulGheit is also meeting with chiefs of the United Nations, the African Union, and the European Union on Thursday in a bid to halt the fighting.

Qatar FM joins African Union to call for peace in Sudan as fighting intensifies

The latest round of violence in Sudan is widely seen by critics as yet another coup attempt by the RSF, similar to one which took place in 2021. At the time, the junta placed Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and various other officials on house arrest before later releasing them.

The RSF emerged in 2013 from Janjaweed militias that were found complicit in crimes during the Darfur genocide in 2003.

At least 300,000 people were killed and around 2.7 million were displaced during the genocide.

In 2011, Doha sponsored a negotiation process that resulted in the Darfur Peace Agreement, which brought together the government of Sudan and the armed movements to end the six-year-long Darfur conflict.

Sudan has grappled with a fragile path to democratic rule since the overthrow of Omar Al Bashir during the 2019 revolution, with the joint civilian and military government struggling to control a dire economic and political situation in the country.

Then in December last year, Sudanese political parties and the military signed a deal that aimed to pave the way for a two-year civilian transition period, though its fate remains in question as the fighting continues.

Source: dohanews.co

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://dohanews.co/arab-league-calls-for-sudan-eid-ceasefire-in-the-name-of-islam/

--------

 

Saudi Arabia: Thousands of meals handed to diabetics at Islam’s holiest site

April 20, 2023

Cairo: Thousands of healthy meals have been distributed to diabetic worshippers at the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site in the Saudi city of Mecca, since Ramadan started in late March, an official has said.

A unit in charge of iftar fast-ending banquets hosted for worshippers at the mosque has given away 50,000 meals to diabetics and old people, added the unit’s manager Ebrahim bin Abdullah.

“The unit follows up and organises the iftar process inside the Grand Mosque via an electronic system and has issued 2,300 related permits for sites designated for the iftar over a total area of 30,000 metres,” the official said.

“The unit has harnessed its human and technical resources for the iftar banquet organisation in line with a well-thought-out working plan including electronic registration, provision of permits to the service providers, field supervision of compliance with instructions and the provision of sterilisation and cleanliness,” he added.

Marked by intense worshipping and spiritual purity, Ramadan is the month during which Muslims observe fasting from dawn to dusk and perform nightly voluntary prayers known as Taraweeh.

Ramadan usually marks the peak of Umrah or lesser pilgrimage at the Grand Mosque, particularly in the last 10 days of the month.

The number of worshippers at the site reached more than 22 million in the first 20 days of Ramadan, according to official Saudi figures.

In recent months, the kingdom has unveiled a host of facilities for Muslims wishing to come to the country to perform Umrah.

Source: gulfnews.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/saudi-arabia-thousands-of-meals-handed-to-diabetics-at-islams-holiest-site-1.95242668

--------

 

More than 20,000 mosques ready for Eid Al Fitr prayers in Saudi Arabia

Apr 20, 2023

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Islamic Affairs declared 20,700 mosques and outdoor prayer areas in the country ready for Eid al-Fitr prayer. The announcement came after work to prepare the mosques, including safety measures, was completed.

More than 6,000 men and women have been assigned by the ministry to monitor the mosques and prayer areas.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs also announced that Eid is expected to coincide with Friday, April 21.

The Supreme Court called on Muslims in Saudi Arabia to look out for the crescent of the Shawwal moon on Thursday evening.

If the duration of Ramadan is decided at 30 days, workers will return to work on Tuesday, April 25, while if it is 29 days, the Eid holiday will last just four days, with workplaces reopening on Monday.

In an announcement on Tuesday, the kingdom’s Supreme Court called on “whoever sights the crescent moon”, through binoculars or otherwise, to immediately report to the nearest court and register their testimony.

Saudi Arabia's International Astronomy Centre on Sunday predicted that Eid Al Fitr would fall on Saturday, April 22 ― a day later than previously expected.

Meanwhile, all imams have been asked to perform the Friday prayer as usual, the ministry said.

Muslims traditionally go to the mosque to perform early morning Eid prayers, but those who wish to stay on after can perform the Friday prayer then, the ministry advised.

“On an occasion where Eid coincides with a Friday, whoever is up all night then attends the Eid prayers is not obliged to attend the Friday prayer in the mosque,” said Dr Zohair Ahmad, a British citizen living in Jeddah.

“But it's better if he prays it with people on Friday. Another exception is that the call to prayer is not prescribed in mosques where Friday prayers are held.”

As the holy month drew to a close, more than 2.5 million worshippers gathered at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Wednesday evening, the 29th night of Ramadan, to perform isha and taraweeh prayers and watch the completion of a Quran recitation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Source: thenationalnews.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.thenationalnews.com/gulf-news/2023/04/20/more-than-20000-mosques-ready-for-eid-al-fitr-prayers-in-saudi-arabia/

--------

 

Ministry directs not to perform Eid prayers at external mosques in areas that expect rain

Thursday April 20, 2023

RIYADH — The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance has directed to perform Eid Al-Fitr prayers in mosques, and not on the external prayer areas in the governorates and cities where rain is expected to fall.

The Ministry' direction came due to the forecasts of expected rainfall in most regions of Saudi Arabia on the day of Eid Al-Fitr.

It has asked its branches to follow up on weather forecasts that will be issued by the National Center of Meteorology (NCM).

In the same context, the Department of Mosques, Call and Guidance in Taif Governorate has announced the performance of Eid Al-Fitr prayer.

The Department of Mosques, Call and Guidance in Taif Governorate announced the holding of Eid prayers in mosques that it had previously announced, after it could not hold prayers in external prayer areas due to weather conditions.

It is worth mentioning that NCM had previously expected thunderstorms to continue in most regions of Saudi Arabia until the first days of Shawwal month.

Source: saudigazette.com.sa

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/631783/SAUDI-ARABIA/Ministry-nbspdirects-not-to-perform-Eid-prayers-at-external-mosques-in-areas-that-expect-rain

--------

 

Is Eid 2023 today? When the end of Ramadan is announced with Saudi Arabia predicting Eid al-Fitr on Friday

By Alex Finnis

April 20, 2023

Muslims around the world will be looking to the skies tonight, in search of the crescent moon that will signal the end of their Ramadan fast and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr.

The end of the holy month and the arrival of Eid will be marked with celebrations centred around a large feast.

Eid al-Fitr is one of two Eid festivals in the Islamic calendar – the other being Eid al-Adha in the summer – and gives worshippers the opportunity to gather and commemorate the completion of a month without eating or drinking during daylight hours.

Like Ramadan and other Muslim observances, the date of Eid is calculated by the sighting of the moon, which means it cannot be predicted with complete accuracy too far in advance, and there is still some uncertainty around when Eid is expected to fall in 2023. Here’s what we know.

When is Eid al-Fitr 2023?

Ramadan 2023 began on the evening of Wednesday 22 March in the UK, as per the moon sighting tradition that sets its start date.

The holy month lasts between 29 and 30 days, until the sighting of the next crescent moon marks the end of Ramadan and the arrival of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.

Initial moon sighting predictions suggested that Eid al-Fitr would likely be celebrated on Friday 21 April this year, with Saudi Arabia expected to sight the new crescent moon on Thursday night. The Kingdom has announced that public holidays will officially begin on Friday.

However, Saudi Arabia’s International Astronomy Centre has said the moon sighting may actually come on Friday, which would push Eid back to Saturday 22 April. This is now considered the most likely outcome, meaning Ramadan will end at sundown on Friday.

The centre said in a tweet: “We note that the International Astronomy Centre is not an advertising agency, but rather a scientific centre that provides astronomical information. The original article contained many details showing the conditions of sighting the crescent in various countries of the world, and based on it, the beginning of the month can be determined by the concerned authorities. Note that the criteria adopted for the beginning of the month in the Islamic world are multiple, and the sighting of the crescent may depend on non-local places.”

 The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has called on Muslims to look out for the crescent moon on Thursday. “The Supreme Court expressed hope that those who are capable of sighting the crescent moon will join committees formed for that purpose in different regions,” it said.

In the UK the moon sighting is also expected to come on Friday. There is some debate as to whether the moon sighting should refer to you physically witnessing the moon in your region, which could be hampered by factors such as weather conditions, or whether to defer to sightings in Saudi Arabia or other predominantly Muslim countries like Morocco.

“Some Muslims strictly follow calculations, while others strictly follow moon sightings, and some follow a combination of both,” the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains on its Division of Student Life website. “What Muslims choose to follow can depend on their religious convictions, where they have lived in the world, and what their families practice.”

What is Eid al-Fitr?

Eid al-Fitr’s name comes from an Arabic term that translates as the “feast of breaking the fast” and, although not a standard public holiday in the UK (although, like last year, it can fall on a bank holiday), it is for many Muslim countries.

The celebrations begin with prayers at dawn, which usually take place at a mosque. Eid has its own special prayer, which is designed to be performed in a congregation.

It is traditional for Muslims to gather together in a park to celebrate, with large-scale events and festival food (particularly sweet treats), prayer and stalls.

After Eid, some Muslims decide to fast for the six days that follow. This stems from the Islamic belief that a good deed in Islam is rewarded 10 times, thus fasting for 30 days during Ramadan and six days during Shawwal creates a year’s worth of goodwill.

The second Eid festival in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha, falls later in the year. Its name literally translates as “feast of the sacrifice,” and it is considered the holier of the two Eids.

That honours the story of the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim – known in the Old Testament as Abraham – to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.

When greeting observers during both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha celebrations, it is traditional to wish them “Eid Mubarak”.

The Arabic word “mubarak” translates as “blessed,” while “Eid” means feast, festival or celebration, so “Eid Mubarak” can literally mean “blessed celebration” or “blessed feast”.

However, it is widely interpreted as simply wishing somebody a “Happy Eid”.

While you can specify “Eid al-Fitr Mubarak” or “Eid al-Adha Mubarak” to specify between the two festivals, “Eid Mubarak” alone is plenty.

Source: inews.co.uk

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/eid-2285426?ITO=newsnow

--------

 

Pakistan

 

CJP urges MPs to draft laws ‘in compliance with Constitution’

April 20, 2023

Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial has extended his prayers and good wishes for the Parliament to draft laws that “comply with the Constitution’s standards and lead the nation towards greater peace, prosperity, and progress.”

In a letter addressed to the National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf, Chief Justice Bandial offered his congratulations on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

He acknowledged the Constitution’s vital role in shaping the country’s future by setting social, political, and economic goals and making Parliament the highest repository of legislative power.

Chief Justice Bandial expressed his regret at not being able to attend the auspicious occasion held at the National Assembly hall on April 10 due to his judicial commitments at the court. However, he made it a point to convey his prayers and good wishes to the Parliament in drafting laws that align with the Constitution’s standards and pave the way for a more peaceful, prosperous, and progressive nation.

Source: pakobserver.net

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://pakobserver.net/cjp-urges-mps-to-draft-laws-in-compliance-with-constitution/

--------

 

Imran can’t conceal his incompetence, corruption by covering face: Marriyum

April 20, 2023

Minister for Information and Broadcasting MarriyumAurangeb on Wednesday said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan could not conceal his incompetence, inefficiency and corruption by “covering his face in public with a canister”.

“It may be a bucket or a canister or a ‘dustbin’, but rest assured nothing can help Imran Khan cover up his four years misrule which was marred by corruption, loot and plunder ,” the minister said while addressing a news conference.

Flanked by Coordinator to the Prime Minister on Economy and Energy Bilal Azhar Kayani, she said Imran Khan would have been visiting the public without any fear, had he not wreaked havoc with the economy.

“Imran Khan could cover his face with a bucket, a canister or a dustbin before going to the public, but nothing can help him cover his evil deeds and corruption,” the minister remarked.

Marriyum said a group of people was imposed on the country in

an unconstitutional way in 2018, but the coalition parties had not only ousted them from power in a democratic way, but also cleared the economic mess created by them. “We have not only fixed the economy but also continued to make efforts to bring further improvement,” she added.

Marriyum said Imran Khan had deprived the people of sugar and wheat, harmed Pakistan’s diplomatic relations with other countries, traded off Kashmir for foreign funds, and above all destroyed the economy which resulted in extreme inflation, poverty and unemployment.

She also played two video clips to substantiate her claim about the bad performance of Imran Khan’s government by comparing it with the one year of the present coalition government.

She said the videos gave a comparative analysis of the two governments’ performances and highlighted the initiatives taken by the coalition government to undo the missteps of the PTI’s regime.

“When the coalition parties came to power, everybody said that the country would soon default, but Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has a vision and roadmap for development, with the national economy on top priority,” she noted.

She said that during first eight months of the present coalition regime, the fiscal deficit in terms of GDP fell from 3.4 to 2.8 percent whereas the current account deficit reduced by 74 percent and trade deficit by 36 per cent.

Source: pakobserver.net

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://pakobserver.net/imran-cant-conceal-his-incompetence-corruption-by-covering-face-marriyum/

--------

 

PTI’s wrong policy blamed for wave of terrorism

April 20, 2023

Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazir Tarar on Wednesday blamed the recent wave of terror on the ‘wrong policy’ of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government to engage militants and allow them to resettle in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate, he said, sacrifices rendered by armed forces for the elimination of terrorism had been overshadowed by political issues in the country.

He said that it was unfortunate that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is responsible for the current political unrest and economic challenges.

The minister recalled that after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan, the in-camera- briefing was given to lawmakers regarding return of terrorists operating in the Afghanistan.

Tarar said that at that time the then opposition parties expressed reservations on the idea of negotiation and their settlement in Pakistan.

He said that Pakistan is going through very critical juncture and country’s armed forces and police is being targeted by the terrorists.

He said that Pakistan armed forces have been fighting courageously against the terrorists for the last 30 years. “It was the desire of the government to pass a unanimous resolution to address this issue,” he added.

Source: pakobserver.net

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://pakobserver.net/ptis-wrong-policy-blamed-for-wave-of-terrorism/

--------

 

‘Reign of terror’ controlled by another force, not PDM: Imran

April 20, 2023

PTI Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the “reign of terror” in the country was not controlled by “puppets” in the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), but by “another force”.

The former prime minister made these remarks in a series of tweets, wherein he recounted the arrests of several workers and leaders of his party in recent days.

”The way we have descended into becoming a banana republic where there is no rule of law and only law of the jungle, it is clear that this reign of terror is not controlled by PDM puppets, but by another force that sees itself totally above the law,” he said.

Imran further alleged, “Our people are abducted and afterwards sham FIRs (first information reports) are registered. As bail in one FIR is granted, another FIR pops up.

“I have over 145 FIRs against me. It’s a circus of FIRs.”

The PTI chief said those “abducted” in recent days included PTI leaders Azhar Mashwani and Amin Ali Gandapur.

Mashwani, former focal person for digital media in Punjab, was picked up on March 23, and Imran had accused authorities of abducting him at the time. He was picked up apparently on charges of criticising the Punjab police and the caretaker government for allegedly using high-handed tactics against party workers.

An FIR of his disappearance — registered on court directives two days after the incident — said he had gone missing from outside his house when he was going to Zaman Park in a cab.

Source: pakobserver.net

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://pakobserver.net/reign-of-terror-controlled-by-another-force-not-pdm-imran/

--------

 

No ‘exclusive suomotu powers’ for CJP: Justice Isa

April 20, 2023

Justice Qazi Faez Isa has declared that the suomotu powers rest only with the Supreme Court and not just the chief justice of Pakistan.

Justice Isa said the Constitution gave the top court as a whole the right to take suomotu notice, adding that this power did not exclusively lie with the chief justice of Pakistan.

Speaking on Wednesday, the apex judge said the word “suomotu” does not mention in the Constitution of Pakistan.

Addressing “Pakistan’s Constitution” seminar at a university in Islamabad on Wednesday, Supreme Court’s Justice Qazi Faez Isa said Article 184/3 of the Constitution was meant to protect the oppressed and should not be misused for personal gain.

He emphasized that the Supreme Court has the power to take up cases related to the public interest and the enforcement of fundamental rights under Article 184/3.

Justice Qazi Isa also stressed the importance of using this article carefully and not abusing it, as it cannot be used to benefit anyone. He noted that every law provides for at least one appeal right, except for a constitutional appeal against Article 184/3.

“The meaning of the SC in Article 184(3) is that all judges and the chief justice unanimously [take suomotu notice],” Justice Isa said. “My opinion is that when the court sits, you call it the SC and Article 184(3) starts with ‘Supreme Court’. It does not mention senior puisne judge or chief justice. So my opinion is that only the SC has this right.”

Source: pakobserver.net

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://pakobserver.net/no-exclusive-suo-motu-powers-for-cjp-justice-isa/

--------

 

Mideast

 

'Worst Ramadan season ever' because of Israeli restrictions, says Hawara's mayor

20 April, 2023

QassamMuaddi

This year's commercial Ramadan season is "the worst ever in Hawara", the mayor of the Palestinian town, south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, MuinDmeidi, said to The New Arab.

Mayor Dmeidi's comments came as Israeli forces continue to impose severe restrictions on accessing Hawara for the fourth week, severely damaging the town's commercial movement during the high season of the Muslim holy month, as local residents told TNA.

The town, located on the main road at the exact southern entrance of Nablus city, witnessed a recent wave of attacks by Israeli forces and settlers these past few months.

In late February, hundreds of Israeli settlers attack Hawara, in what Palestinian and Israeli commentators described as a "pogrom", torching 30 Palestinian homes and 90 cars, killing one Palestinian relief worker and injuring dozens.

The Israeli settlers' rampage followed a shooting attack in which two Israeli settlers were killed in Hawara. The shooting itself came hours after Israeli forces had killed 11 Palestinians, including an elderly man, in a military raid on Nablus city.

Israeli settlers' attacks on Hawara persist on a smaller scale in the weeks that followed, with the participation of far-right Israeli politicians, while Israeli forces continued to impose on-and-off curfews and military closure over the besieged town.

Meanwhile, Palestinian militants targeted Israeli forces and settlers while imposing a military curfew in Hawara with drive-through shootings, twice since February's attack, wounding two soldiers and two settlers.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's (PFLP) armed wing claimed both shootings.

"Hawara is located on a strategic point where all circulation between the north and the centre of the occupied West Bank crosses," said the mayor.

"Hawara's main street is a commercial hub, and the town's economy depends on it, so when the occupation restricts access to Hawara, it kills the economy," pointed out the mayor. "Ramadan is a high season for Hawara, and now the season is being choked out by the occupation."

"The occupation army installed some 15 military outposts in Hawara, mostly on the main street," Mahmoud Shehadeh, a business owner in Hawara, told TNA.

"Access to the town is restricted from the Zaatara checkpoint to the south, and most people who come into Hawara do it through small secondary streets through surrounding villages," he explained.

"On Monday, the occupation soldiers forced us to close the doors of our businesses on the main street during the morning," said Shehadeh.

"The result of all this is that the main street in Hawara is being emptied of Palestinians, and made available only for Israeli settlers," he added.

The northern occupied West Bank witnessed another wave of Israeli settler violence in recent weeks. Last week, settlers destroyed dozens of olive trees in the village of Kufl Hares, near Tulkarm.

In early March, Israeli finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, said that the town of Hawara "has to be wiped off the map and that the state of Israel, not the settlers, should do it", during a political event. Smotrich later withdrew his comments following a wave of international condemnation.

Source: newarab.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.newarab.com/news/ramadan-season-hawara-choked-israeli-closure-mayor

--------

 

Former head of Sunni Endowment escapes from Baghdad's Green Zone prison

20 April, 2023

Saad Qambash, the former head of Iraq's Sunni Endowment, who was sentenced to four years after being found guilty of corruption, escaped from a police station in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone late on Tuesday.

Qambash was arrested on 21 March and he was sentenced on 11 April to four years in jail according to Article 331 of the Iraqi penal code related to charges of financial and administrative corruption worth more than 45 billion Iraqi dinars (more than US$ 34 million).

 Major General Yahya Rasool, the spokesperson for the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, in a statement, said that Qambash was held at Karadat Maryam police station located inside Baghdad's Green Zone, which is also home of the government, parliament and senior Iraqi officials.

Rasool clarified that on 18 April, Iraqi lawmaker Asma Hamid Qambash, the sister of the escapee, visited the police station to meet with her brother during iftar.

"At 10:30 PM [Baghdad time] the convict fled from behind the police station with the help of three people and reached two cars that were waiting for him to guarantee his escape to an unknown destination," Rasool said, indicating that an investigation into the incident is ongoing. 

All officers and policemen in charge of the police station have been arrested as per orders from Interior Minister Abdul Amir Al Shammari, who also launched an investigation and intelligence efforts to re-arrest Qambash.

"There is corruption in Al-Karkh police station, and the criminal could escape with the help of some officers at the police station," SagvanYousif, deputy head of the security and defence committee in the Iraqi parliament, said to The New Arab. He also said that the committee would form a sub-committee to investigate how the former official ran away.

Footages from CCTV cameras documenting the runaway process have been posted online.

According to Transparency International's corruption perception index, Iraq has been one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Corrupt officials often escape accountability because of Iraq's ethno-sectarian political power-sharing among the Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs and the Kurds.

Iraq's judiciary early last month issued arrest warrants for four former officials who are accused of facilitating the theft of US$2.5 billion in public funds in one of the country's biggest-ever corruption scandals.

The country's current Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has vowed to crack down on corruption since his appointment in late October.

Source: newarab.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.newarab.com/news/ex-head-iraqs-sunni-endowment-escapes-jail-baghdad

--------

 

Scores Killed, Hundreds Injured At Ramadan Charity Event In Yemen

April 20, 2023

April 20, (THEWILL) – Over 80 people were killed and hundreds injured in a stampede at a charity distribution event in Yemen, on Thursday, Houthi officials said.

This is coming a few days before Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday celebrated around the world by feasting to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Hundreds of people in the war-torn country had gathered at a school in the capital, Sanaa to receive cash handouts of 5,000 Yemeni Rials (around $8).

At least “85 were killed and more than 322 were injured” in the stampede in the Bab al-Yemen district of the capital. Women and children were among the dead,” a Houthi security official said.

The Houthi-run Interior Ministry said the dead and injured have been evacuated to hospitals, and those responsible for the event arrested.

According to the head of the Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohamed Ali al-Huthi, “overcrowding” caused the stampede.

People were packed in a narrow street leading to the school’s back entrance, he said.

Once the gates opened, the crowd streamed into a tight staircase leading to the courtyard where the distribution was taking place.

A video broadcast by Al Masirah TV channel showed a cluster of bodies packed together, with people climbing on top of each other to try to make their way through.

Armed men in military garb and distribution workers screamed at the crowd to turn back as they tried to pull people out of the crush.

Eyewitnesses, however, said that gunfire caused people to rush in a panic.

After the stampede, families converged on hospitals but many were not allowed to enter as top officials were also visiting the dead and wounded.

Source: thewillnews.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://thewillnews.com/scores-killed-hundreds-injured-at-ramadan-charity-event-in-yemen/

--------

 

Ramadan in Abu Dhabi: ‘I welcome these social changes’

Tamara Clarke

April 20, 2023

When I moved to Abu Dhabi back in December of 2012, I sought counsel from established expats about settling in and navigating life in the capital, all the cultural and religious norms.

Naturally, ahead of experiencing my first Ramadan in the country, my trusted confidants prepared me for the Holy Month. I was encouraged to dress modestly, limit jubilation and avoid eating and drinking in public spaces during fasting hours. The risk and possible consequences of committing social offenses during this time was not lost on me, and the importance of respecting those observing Ramadan was of the utmost importance.

For years to come, I complied with what I had been taught – paying more attention to my attire, lowering the volume of the radio in my car and refraining from eating and drinking in public during fasting hours – a feat that came easily as most, if not all, eateries remained closed. I remember quietness – a calming ambiance – in neighborhoods, malls and retail spaces. News of restaurants that remained operational during fasting hours was hushed, spreading only by word of mouth to those who might be interested in knowing, as opposed to articles emblazoned with headlines such as 20 Restaurants Open All Day During Ramadan published by prominent media outlets.

Ramadan used to be a more restrictive time in Abu Dhabi, however a lot has changed over the last decade and I was reminded just how much as I stroll through malls in the capital in 2023. It’s business as usual; hustle and bustle as ladies whizz by me wearing shorts and crop tops baring midriffs and shoulders. In 2021 the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi dropped its requirement for restaurants to hang curtains over their facades during fasting hours so now people can be seen cheerfully gathering for meals while the sun is up. I understand that change is the mark of any progressive society, but I do miss the old days of Ramadan – the quiet, stillness of it all – and I feel public sentiment seems to be split on the matter. Some agree with me while others welcome the changes.

A marketing professional I know, who was born and raised in Abu Dhabi, misses the old days. “Spending Ramadan here was different – unlike anywhere else in the world,” she says.

Keeping restaurants open during fasting times, made her sad.

“It really has nothing to do with me being a fasting Muslim at all… There was just a different feel to it everywhere in the city, and despite this being a small change, it did affect the overall vibes of the month. Again, this has nothing to do with me being a fasting Muslim, because in any other country in the world nothing would have changed for fasting Muslims, making these small gestures even more special.”

She has also noticed the impact of these changes on non-Muslims. “Non-Muslims can go about their lives like it’s any other day. There was something different about the old days when people were intrigued and wanted to know more about why Muslims fast during this time,” she said.

This sentiment rings true for me. As a non-Muslim, I used to lean into the spirit of Ramadan by choosing a personal goal to achieve throughout the month. For example, in 2018 I participated in a Ramadan Write In with eight other women. We met every week to work on individual writing goals as a collective. I credit this time with helping me make headway on my first children’s book, which was published in 2019. I reflected on this effort as Ramadan approached this year but unfortunately fell short of asserting myself to set and reach another goal in the Holy Month.

On the other hand, Ameerah Abdullah, an Abu Dhabi resident of nine years, says the changes in the capital have had no effect on her.

“As a fasting Muslim who grew up in a country such as Singapore, where the majority of the population does not observe Ramadan, I’m used to fasting while others don’t observe. I feel that whether we are fasting or not, we should not expect others to pander to our states of being,” she says.

“In my opinion, it shows that Abu Dhabi is progressing to emulate other capital cities. Ramadan or not, the world still spins. In fact, because it is Ramadan, having a city that doesn’t ‘shut down’ gives me the motivation I need to power through my fasting days. It tells me it’s okay, life is normal – there are others who don’t fast and this reminds me of the beauty of a metropolis with various ethnicities and religious beliefs.”

“I welcome these social changes because it tells me that while Abu Dhabi wants to stay true to its character, it is also committed to progress and developing further as an exemplary capital city in the Middle East,” said Abdullah.

RashaKambal, who’s lived in Abu Dhabi for 24 years agrees with Ameerah, and believes wholeheartedly that the spirit of Ramadan is within.

“The holy month feels the same. Ramadan is about looking inwards and working on your religious goals. If done right, you barely notice the rest of the things.”

Source: livehealthymag.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.livehealthymag.com/ramadan-in-abu-dhabi-i-welcome-these-social-changes/

--------

 

This Ramadan, Dubai’s property market did not take a time-out on deals

April 20, 2023

In Dubai, Ramadan is generally seen as a time when this buzzing city pauses to take a breath. This collective slowdown affects every aspect of the city, including its real estate.

Transactions tend to slow down, there are far fewer viewings (especially with Muslim clients who won’t be as active during the day), and there is an overall sense that the market is waiting to ramp up once the Holy Month has concluded.

Not so in 2023 – this has been the busiest Ramadan in Dubai’s real estate sector. Looking back 5 years ago, there were only 509 transactions during the first 20 days of Ramadan. By contrast, we have seen 2,222 transactions during that same period this year – an increase of 336 per cent.

Even compared to the same period last year, there has been a 51.4 per cent increase in transactions.

What makes this Ramadan so different from the previous ones? One of the key factors, I believe, is the changing demographic of buyers in the market.

Traditionally, the market has been dominated by buyers from across Asia, particularly South Asia – India, Pakistan, and GCC nations such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have been among the top buying nationalities. A large percentage of those buyers would be observing Ramadan and as such, there would be a decrease in their activity during this period, only to pick up again after Eid Al Fitr.

In recent years, the buying demographic has become increasingly European. In fact, if we look at the statistic for 2022, India was the only nation to feature in The top 5 buying nationalities. With a larger number of European investors entering the market, it’s reasonable to say – without painting everyone with too broad a brush – that there will be fewer among them that observe the Ramadan period.

For them, it’s just another month and another opportunity to buy real estate.

A drastic transformation

On a larger scale, Ramadan in Dubai has changed over the years. The city that once used to shut itself off for a month now continues to be on the move. Many aspects of life in Dubai during Ramadan have changed as the city continues to position itself as a global hub, welcoming of people from all over the world and all walks of life.

Aside from reduced working hours, one might not notice a difference in the city’s operations.

For most industries, this has meant that Ramadan is now business as usual. It’s similar to what happened with summer – pre-pandemic, the summer months were seen as incredibly quiet. Most people would travel to get away from the Dubai heat and the real estate market all but ground to a halt until September.

Since 2020, that graph has changed considerably and now summer is just as busy as any other season.

A changing work cycle too

In some respects, this can be a negative. Real estate agents in particular always had a pre-Ramadan rush where they were motivated to work even harder to close deals so they could slow down a bit during the Ramadan period.

Now, they no longer have that luxury. What this does mean, however, is an increase in the number of opportunities that are available to keep doing business during this time and to maintain a steady flow of work (and income).

With Dubai increasingly becoming a city that people from around the world want to call home, a busty Ramadan period only underscores the positive sentiment In the real estate market and is a good indicator of what we can expect from the remainder of the year.

Source: gulfnews.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://gulfnews.com/business/analysis/this-ramadan-dubais-property-market-did-not-take-a-time-out-on-deals-1.95238634

--------

 

Night bus routes to mosques to operate in Tashkent on Eid al-Fitr

AKIPRESS.COM - Special night bus routes to mosques will be launched in Tashkent on the day of the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, Podrobno.uz reports.

These bus routes will operate from 4 am to 7 am. They will be available to people planning to attend morning prayers. This decision, according to the Ministry of Transport, will allow to avoid traffic jams and provide passengers with quality and safe service.

The metro on the holiday will also start working at 4 am.

Source: akipress.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://akipress.com/news:703766:Night_bus_routes_to_mosques_to_operate_in_Tashkent_on_Eid_al-Fitr/

--------

 

Israel issues stop work orders against 23 Palestinian homes, a mosque

April 19, 2023

Israeli occupation forces yesterday distributed stop work orders against 23 Palestinian facilities in the northern West Bank, including a mosque and houses, under the pretext that they were built without permits.

Azmi Shuqair, head of public relations in the municipality of Zawiya, west of Salfit, told Anadolu that the notified facilities include a mosque where prayers are held and a four-storey building, inhabited homes and some that are ready to move into and others which are under construction.

Shuqair indicated that 14 similar notices were distributed to agricultural facilities and rooms about a month ago, noting that all the facilities are located in Area C of the town, where any change is prohibited without the Israeli occupation's approval.

For his part, the Governor of Salfit, Abdullah Kamil, described the Israeli occupation army's actions as "unjust policies" against Palestinian citizens, adding that the far-right government in Israel has crossed all lines and is even persecuting places of worship, and is practising organised state terrorism against Palestinians and their property.

According to data from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Israel has demolished 278 Palestinian homes and facilities, most of which are in Area C, during the first three months of this year.

Palestinians are prohibited from making any change or building in Area C without an Israeli permit, which is almost impossible to obtain, according to local and international organisations.

Source: middleeastmonitor.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20230419-israel-issues-stop-work-orders-against-23-palestinian-homes-a-mosque/

--------

 

South Asia

 

Afghanistan is a”Safe Haven” For Terrorists with an Increasing Threat to the US, Experts Claim

By

Fidel Rahmati

April 19, 2023

“The terrorist threat environment in Afghanistan has deteriorated dramatically since August 2021 – and it is getting worse,” Tuesday, Nathan Sales, a former State Department counterterrorism coordinator, made a statement reported by Just the News.

He further elaborated that due to the various groups and the lack of capability to fight terrorism on the one hand and the absence of US pressure, Afghanistan has become a breeding ground for growing terrorism.

“Due to a combination of Taliban-provided safe haven, the Taliban’s lack of counterterrorism capability, and the absence of sustained counterterrorism pressure from the United States, Afghanistan has become hospitable terrain for various terrorist groups,” he added.

Earlier last month, Army General Michael Kurilla told the US Senate Armed Services Committee that ISSI-K is rapidly growing in Afghanistan, potentially launching “overseas operations” in Europe and Asia.

He warned that the Islamic State could carry out operations against the US or West interests within six months or so.

Meanwhile, the experts expressed their concerns over the capability of the militant groups, mainly ISIS-K and al Qaeda, after the withdrawal of the US left behind nearly $7.2 billion worth of equipment.

However, the de facto authorities claim they can prevent any attack from Afghanistan against other countries.

Source: www.khaama.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-is-asafe-haven-for-terrorists-with-an-increasing-threat-to-the-us-experts-claim/

--------

 

Khalilzad Proposes ‘Measures’ For UN Chief’s Meeting on Afghanistan

By Fidel Rahmati

April 20, 2023

 Khalilzad welcomed the meeting, which will be held in the first week of May and proposed four key measures.

He recommended that the “full implementation of the Doha Agreement should be embraced as the common goal.”

He added, “Major figures from the previous Afghan government embrace the agreement as the best framework for dealing with Afghanistan’s challenges. The agreement has not been fully implemented, and no alternative has comparable broad support among Afghans and the international community.”

He also suggested that a road map for implementation be drawn up, considering the current conditions in Afghanistan.

He continued, “To develop the road map, the Secretary-General and the Envoys should have a session with the Taliban during their deliberations.”

“This is needed to determine whether the Islamic Emirate remains committed to the Doha Agreement and to communicate the international community’s commitment to work with them and others on a roadmap for implementation.

“This includes a sequence of steps by the Islamic Emirate and the international community. The roadmap must address the issue of women’s education and employment,” Khalilzad said.

Finally, he recommended a follow-up to the meeting. He said, “The Secretary-General should appoint a personal Envoy to work with Afghans and the relevant internationals in developing and implementing the roadmap.”

Meanwhile, SIGAR said in a report earlier that the Doha agreement paved the way for the collapse of the previous government while strengthening the Taliban then.

In this regard, Khalilzad was the builder and initiative of the Doha agreement, which was a complete failure. Meanwhile, several Afghan experts believe Khalilzad has been hired “to lobby the Taliban group.”

Khalilzad remarks a day after the UN deputy Chief, Amina Mohammad, that the organization plans to arrange a conference in the coming days to discuss granting recognition to Afghanistan’s Taliban.

Mohammed meanwhile said: “We have amazing envoys that work on Afghanistan, and we have Afghan women too, and what we are hoping is that we will gather them now in another two weeks in the region, and they will have that first meeting of envoys across the board, the region and internationally with the secretary general for the first time.”

She continued by saying that it would be “a principle recognition” and “in other words, there are conditions.”

Source: www.khaama.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.khaama.com/khalilzad-proposes-measures-for-un-chiefs-meeting-on-afghanistan/

--------

 

Afghan Govt Could Not Survive After US Pullout: Sopko

“You could not believe the Afghan government was going to survive, particularly when we withdrew our troops, particularly when we withdrew our air support and particularly when we withdrew the contractors,” he told the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform. “I don’t really know who would actually have thought the Afghan government was going to survive.”

Speaking at the same event, the acting Inspector general of the US Department of State, Diana Shaw, said that while the embassy’s emergency evacuation-planning activities in the lead-up to the evacuation generally complied with applicable standards, the department simply was not fully prepared for the full range of challenges they encountered.

According to Shaw, there were several contributing factors.

She said that the embassy’s leadership operated on an understanding that diplomatic operations would continue in Afghanistan after the military withdrawal. 

She also said communication with embassy personnel was unclear. 

A US representative from California, Barbara Jean Lee, said that the US is responsible for a lot of the “harm caused” in Afghanistan and the US must work to repair that harm. 

“We have an obligation to aid our allies who support our American forces as well as their families,” she said. 

Source: tolonews.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-183039

--------

 

Afghanistan IG report hammers Biden administration for 'dysfunction' days after White House blames Trump

By Chris Pandolfo , Liz Friden

Efforts by President Biden to keep America's commitment to rescue and resettle tens of thousands of Afghan allies left behind in the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan is being undermined by "bureaucratic dysfunction and understaffing," according to a government watchdog.

"The U.S. promised to resettle its allies in safety, but the United States is failing," a stark assessment from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) read. SIGAR released its 2023 High-Risk List report Wednesday, which identifies the serious risks posed to more than $8 billion the U.S. has sent to the Afghan people since withdrawal in August 2021.

The report comes as Afghanistan faces a "humanitarian catastrophe" caused by the brutal Taliban regime that assumed control after U.S. withdrawal. Inspector General John Sopko and watchdogs for the Defense and State Departments, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development are testifying to Congress Wednesday in a hearing entitled, "The Biden Administration’s Disastrous Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Part I: Review by the Inspectors General."

They are updating lawmakers on their respective reviews of the Biden administration's handling of withdrawal, during which 13 American service members died and hundreds of Americans and thousands more Afghan allies were left behind.

Republicans have long sought to hold Biden accountable for the crisis. "This Administration not only continues to provide excuses for the self-inflicted humanitarian and national security catastrophe, but senior officials are actively obstructing meaningful congressional oversight," House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., said in a statement announcing Wednesday's hearing.

The White House has called GOP-led attacks on its handling of Afghanistan "politically motivated" and accused Congress of neglecting to advance legislation that would expand eligibility for special immigrant visas to resettle Afghan nationals.

"When President Biden made the decision to finally bring our troops home and end the 20-year war that cost us countless lives and tens of billions of dollars a year with no end in sight, he also committed to safely evacuating tens of thousands of Americans and to welcoming Afghan allies who worked alongside the U.S. throughout the war, including by surging resources to improve the processing of special visas that had been all but stopped by the Trump Administration," White House Spokesman Ian Sams said ahead of the oversight hearing.

"Instead of supporting these successful efforts to evacuate Americans and give Afghan allies safe harbor, MAGA House Republicans are refusing to acknowledge their own history of opposing efforts to aid Afghan allies and are turning their backs on those who risked their lives alongside American service members for two decades in Afghanistan by opposing and delaying legislation like the Afghan Adjustment Act, revealing that these hearings are nothing more than political stunts solely aimed at attacking the President," he added. 

The SIGAR report notes that just one month before the Afghan government collapsed, Biden assured U.S. allies that they would not be left behind. "There is a home for you in the United States if you so choose, and we will stand with you, just as you stood with us," Biden promised on July 8, 2021.

"However, the United States has left most of its allies behind, and it will take a year, on average, until each family reaches safety," the report states.

The most up-to-date figures show there are still about 175,000 Afghans waiting for the U.S. government to process their Special Immigration Visas (SIVs) or refugee applications. As of late September 2022, the U.S. has only issued visas to approximately 20% of SIV applicants, according to SIGAR. The report estimates it could take more than three decades to relocate and resettle all SIV applicants.

SIGAR identified a host of problems with the SIV program including, "chronic understaffing, reliance on antiquated IT systems, and inadequate interagency coordination."

The report stressed the need for the government to balance "expeditious processing" for refugees with vetting for national security threats. "The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General documented problems with vetting Afghans admitted to the United States in the fall of 2021, including two Afghans who were later determined to be national security threats and put into removal proceedings," the report states.

Additionally, the report reveals two Americans pled guilty to falsifying required documentation for Afghans to apply for visas and said a third has been charged.

SIGAR also identifies various risks of waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement or mission failure to more than $8 billion in U.S. aid to the Afghan people. Taliban interference with non-governmental organizations and United Nations operations has placed this funding "at greater risk than ever before," the report states.

This is SIGAR's 5th High Risk List, with previous reports released in 2014, 2017, 2019 and March 2021. It is the first report released since the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, the White House released its own assessment of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which mostly blamed former President Trump's administration for constraining the conditions of evacuation.

"President Biden’s choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor," the White House review said.

The document accused Trump of emboldening the Taliban by engaging in peace talks without consulting U.S. allies and partners in the region. It also emphasized that at the same time, Trump was decreasing the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan with a series of drawdowns throughout 2020.

By the time Biden assumed office, according to the White House, "the Taliban were in the strongest military position that they had been in since 2001, controlling or contesting nearly half of the country."

"While it was always the president's intent to end that war, it is also undeniable that decisions made and the lack of planning done by the previous administration significantly limited options available to him," White House national security spokesman John Kirby said.

Source: foxnews.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/afghanistan-ig-report-hammers-biden-administration-dysfunction-days-white-house-blames-trump

--------

 

US watchdog ‘cannot assure’ Afghanistan aid not going to Taliban

19 Apr 2023

The head of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has decried a lack of transparency from United States agencies that he said has made it impossible to determine if aid allocated to the people of Afghanistan is instead “currently funding the Taliban”.

During a fiery testimony on Wednesday to the US House Oversight Committee, Special Inspector John Sopko accused the State Department and other agencies of failing to provide legally mandated information that would allow the watchdog to perform its oversight duties.

SIGAR is charged with overseeing about $8bn that the US has “provided or otherwise made available” to the Afghan people.

Those funds, US officials have said, are meant to circumvent the Taliban, which Washington still considers a “terrorist organisation”. The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan weeks before the US completed a full troop withdrawal in August 2021.

“I cannot report to this Committee or the American people on the extent to which our government may be funding the Taliban and other nefarious groups with US taxpayer dollars,” Sopko said in a prepared opening statement.

“We simply do not know since the Department of State, USAID, the UN and other agencies are refusing to give us basic information that we or any other oversight body would need to ensure safe stewardship of tax dollars.”

He further accused the State Department of “obfuscation and delay”, calling the lack of cooperation “unprecedented” in his 12 years in the role.

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre pushed back on the claims.

The administration of President Joe Biden has “consistently provided updates and information” about the spending, she said.

That includes “thousands of pages of documents, analysis, spreadsheets and written responses to questions”, as well as congressional testimony and “hundreds of briefings to bipartisan members and also their staff”, Jean-Pierre explained.

The hearing comes a day after Ramiz Alakbarov, the United Nations Deputy Special Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, said the country “remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis in 2023”, with 28 million people now depending on aid to survive.

He added the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined by up to 35 percent in the last 18 months, with the cost of a basic food basket increasing by 30 percent and unemployment by 40 percent.

UN chief António Guterres has said he will convene a meeting of special envoys to Afghanistan on May 1 and 2 in Doha, Qatar, which is meant to “reinvigorate international engagement” on Afghanistan.

UN officials have also suggested the meeting could include “baby steps” towards the international community formally recognising the Taliban, albeit with conditions attached.

US aid to Afghanistan included $3.5bn transferred from otherwise frozen Afghan central banks funds to an international fund aimed at stabilising the country’s economy, Sopko said.

He also noted $2bn in humanitarian and development aid and another $2.8bn from the Department of Defense to support the transport, housing and food needs of Afghan allies evacuated from the country.

He added it was “clear” from the SIGAR’s work that the Taliban were benefitting from the aid, including by imposing customs and vendor charges on aid shipments coming into the country.

Sopko also accused the Taliban of diverting funds away from groups it “considers hostile”, such as the Hazaras ethnic minority, “and toward groups they favour”.

Those findings were detailed in the latest SIGAR report also released on Wednesday.

Later in the hearing, Sopko added: “I haven’t seen a starving Taliban fighter on TV. They all seem to be fat, dumb and happy. I see a lot of starving Afghan children on TV. So I’m wondering where all this funding is going.”

Still, he stressed, the full benefits the Taliban were taking from foreign aid remain unknown.

“When SIGAR asked State how much revenue the Taliban is collecting from the UN, NGOs or other groups delivering international aid, shockingly State’s response was that it didn’t know,” he said.

“Similarly, the UN does not provide State or SIGAR detailed accounts of its expenditures, nor that of its partners. We believe this lack of information makes it impossible to make informed decisions about programme effectiveness.”

The watchdog’s latest report also painted a grim picture of the status of pledges to relocate the tens of thousands of Afghans who worked with the US during its two-decade occupation of the country.

The latest figures show 175,000 Afghans are waiting for the US government to process their Special Immigration Visa (SIV) or US refugee applications. With only about 20 percent of SIV applications already processed, the watchdog noted it could take decades to complete the relocation.

“According to one estimate, at the current pace, it will take 31 years to relocate and resettle all SIV applicants,” the report said.

“The US government’s failure to create a database of eligible Afghans has created almost insurmountable burdens on applicants to obtain evidence of their service, requiring they track down their supervisors from years before to obtain referral and human resource letters from now-defunct companies,” the report added.

On April 7, the Biden administration released a summary report of the Afghanistan withdrawal, in which the administration defended its decision to pull out of the country.

The agencies involved in the pullout largely placed the blame for its chaotic execution on decisions made by the administration of former President Donald Trump, including an overall lack of planning.

“Indeed, there were no such plans in place when President Biden came into office, even with the agreed upon full withdrawal just over three months away,” the summary report said.

Source: aljazeera.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/19/us-watchdog-cannot-assure-afghanistan-aid-not-going-to-taliban

--------

 

Uzbekistan Sends 185 Tons of Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan

By

Fidel Rahmati

April 20, 2023

The humanitarian aid of 185 tons included food comprising flour, wheat, vegetable oil, pasta, canned goods, sugar, and instant food items, said an official statement reported by Gazeta. UZ.

The humanitarian aid was dispatched to Hairatan and transferred by the Uzbek special representatives IsmatullaIrgashev, First Deputy Head of Surkhandarya region AnvarOripov to the acting minister of Economy of Afghanistan, Deen Mohammad Hanif.

Meanwhile, the Uzbek delegation discussed enhancing bilateral trade between both countries.

Since the Taliban took over the country, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated.

According to a recent study released by the UNDP on Monday in Kabul, Afghanistan remains among the world’s most impoverished countries due to the “unparalleled shock.”

The study added that due to the Taliban’s repressive policies, particularly about women, the long-term prospects for economic development are still dim and inadequate.

Impoverished people increase dramatically from 19 million in 2020 to 34 million in 2022, the

“If foreign aid is reduced this year, Afghanistan may fall from the cliff edge into the abyss,” warned Abdullah Al Dardari, the UNDP Resident Representative in Afghanistan.

Source: khaama.com

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original

https://www.khaama.com/uzbekistan-sends-185-tons-of-humanitarian-aid-to-afghanistan/

--------

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/islamophobic-diatribe-hindu-militant-priest-yati-kaaba/d/129613

 

New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Loading..

Loading..