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Islamic World News ( 20 Sept 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Maulvi Abdul Aziz Hoisted Taliban’s Flag over Lal Masjid in Islamabad, FIR Lodged

New Age Islam News Bureau

21 September 2021

  

The Lal Masjid in Islamabad in Pakistan, which is known for its support to the Taliban, is back in news. This time, several Taliban flags were again found to be hoisted on the roof of the mosque. It is notable that a women’s madrassa known as Jamia Hamsa is also located near the mosque which is supervised by a extremist Maulvi named Abdul Aziz.

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• Indian Man, Born Hindu and Converted To Islam, Buried As Per Islamic Customs after Hindu Rituals

• Dar Al Ifta of Egypt Issues Religious Decree About Writing Holy Quran with Latin Letters

• Over 150 Muslim Scholars From Across the World Demand an End to ‘War on Terror’

• US Lawmaker 'Ilhan Omar' Urges Probe into Two Decades Of Civilian Killings In Afghanistan

 

Pakistan

• Imran Khan to address UNGA virtually; raise Afghanistan issue

• Qureshi says no rush to recognise Taliban govt in Afghanistan

• Pakistan Satisfied With Security Assurances By Afghan Taliban: ISPR

• Allama Ahmed Iqbal: Punjab government nothing as compare to Banu Ummayah & Abbas in cruelty

• Pakistani scholars, poets call Ostad Shahriar as a reviver of classical poetry

• Pakistan: Tortured for getting water from mosque, Hindu family blames Imran Khan’s party

• Sindh lacks capacity, resources to accommodate more Afghan refugees, Sindh Assembly told

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India

• PM Modi to focus on counter-radicalisation at UNGA to fight extremist ideologies

• Christians at forefront of conversions, love jihad: NDA ally leader

• Narcotic Jihad: Religious Leaders Call for Steps to Strengthen Secular Fabric of Kerala Society

• India at forefront to push for joint, collective effort to combat terrorism, says Tirumurti

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Arab World

• Parents of Newly Engaged 11-Year-Old Bride, 12-Year-Old Groom Arrested In Egypt

• Kingdom will always provide 'good offices' to ease Pak-India ties: Saudi FM

• Two jihadist commanders killed in Syria drone strikes: monitor

• US kills ‘senior al-Qaeda leader’ in strike near Syria’s Idlib

• Saudi Arabia destroys two Houthi drones headed for Khamis Mushait: Arab Coalition

• Arab Coalition destroys two booby-trapped Houthi boats, thwarts attack

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South Asia

• Islamic State Bomb Attacks on Taliban Raise Spectre of Wider Conflict

• Taliban Leader Baradar's Message after Clash Looked Like Hostage Video: Report

• Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Changes Name of University in Kabul

• WHO chief meets Taliban’s premier and officials

• Witnesses say explosion targets Taliban, 2nd in as many days

• After Afghans fell from plane, families live with horror

• Taliban expand interim cabinet, double down on all-male team

• Afghan cricket lovers disappointed over Taliban ban on telecast of IPL on national media

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North America

• Pentagon chief orders new review of mistaken US drone strike in Kabul

• ‘We were them’: Vietnamese Americans help Afghan refugees

• Turkey's first lady attends screening of documentary 'Ottoman America'

• Turkish foreign minister meets Colombian, Venezuelan, Bahraini counterparts

• Turkish president cuts ribbon on landmark Turkevi Centre in New York

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Europe

• Four charged with ‘anti-Semitic abuse’ during pro-Palestinian protest in London

• UK reveals contacts of 250 Afghan interpreters in email

• UK, US discuss Iran, Afghanistan, security deal

• World powers to meet with Iran at UN to push for return to nuclear talks: France

• Turkey's parliament speaker criticizes EU over migration, Islamophobia

• German chancellor 'hopeful' vows to enhance ties with Turkey

• Turkish president meets British premier at Turkevi Center in New York

• Anti-Zionist Jew seeks UK asylum after refusing military service in Israel

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Africa

• France’s Macron asks ‘forgiveness’ for French treatment of Algerian Harki fighters

• 'Secessionist terrorists' kill 15 soldiers in Cameroon conflict zones

• Man who inspired ‘Hotel Rwanda’ gets 25 years for terrorism

• Sudan failed coup attempt: Situation under control, suspects arrested

• Libya’s upper house calls for elections to be delayed for a year

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Southeast Asia

• Indonesian G20 Presidency Promises To Put A ‘Battle For The Soul Of Islam’ On The Front Burner

• Indonesian Analysts: MIT Leader’s Killing May Bring about Militant Group’s Demise

• Malaysian transgender activist arrested in Thailand

• PBDS president urges Christian MPs from Sarawak to not support controversial RUU 355 in Parliament

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Mideast

• Iran’s Top Commander Asks US Soldiers Not to Turn into Infantries of Warmongering Rulers

• Iran Calls for UN's Active Role in Afghanistan

• Iran, IAEA Agree to Continue Cooperation

• IRGC Destroys 4 Bases of Anti-Revolutionary Groups in Northern Iraq

• Iran’s Top Commander: Besieged Israel Aware of Incapability to Survive War against Resistance Front

• Erdoğan receives representatives of Turkish, Muslim communities in US

• President Rayeesi: Iran No Longer Focuses Only on Ties with West

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/maulvi-abdul-aziz-lal-masjid-taliban/d/125408

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Maulvi Abdul Aziz Hoisted Taliban’s Flag over Lal Masjid in Islamabad, FIR Lodged

September 21, 2021

 

The Lal Masjid in Islamabad in Pakistan, which is known for its support to the Taliban, is back in news. This time, several Taliban flags were again found to be hoisted on the roof of the mosque. It is notable that a women’s madrassa known as Jamia Hamsa is also located near the mosque which is supervised by a extremist Maulvi named Abdul Aziz.

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The Lal Masjid in Islamabad in Pakistan, which is known for its support to the Taliban, is back in news. This time, several Taliban flags were again found to be hoisted on the roof of the mosque. It is notable that a women’s madrassa known as Jamia Hamsa is also located near the mosque which is supervised by a extremist Maulvi named Abdul Aziz.

Federal Capital Police has registered 2 different cases against notorious terrorists and is widely known as veiled absconder Maulvi Abdul Aziz in Police Station Aabpara on his attempt to occupy Lal Masjid and giving threats to Masjid Administration.

According to said FIRs lodged by Khateeb-e-Masjid, Maulvi Abdul Aziz forcefully entered Lal Masjid with 25 hooligans and hostage the administration.

The complainant added that accused Abdul Aziz trespass the Masjid and attacked him with modern weapons.

As per rules State should itself lodge a complaint against the accused Maulvi under the provisions of sedition and ATA to arrest him but, unfortunately, this time also State was seen hopeless to deal with the said terrorist with iron hands.

Extremist Maulvi Abdul Aziz threatened the police that reached there to remove the flags. Abdul Aziz, who is known to be an Islamic fundamentalist, was seen carrying a rifle and intimidated the Islamabad police in the name of the Pakistan Taliban. A large number of women belonging to the madrassa were also present at the spot. A video of the incident has gone viral on social media.

According to reports, Hamza Shafqat, the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad asserted that hoisting of the flags of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would not be tolerated and the culprit would be punished. Later the flags were removed from the roof of the mosque by the cops. Following the incident, the maulvi and his associates have been booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act and different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code by the police.

Source: ABNA

https://en.abna24.com/news//fir-lodged-against-extremist-maulvi-abdul-aziz-for-hoisting-taliban%e2%80%99s-flag-over-lal-masjid-in-islamabad_1181853.html

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 Indian Man, Born Hindu and Converted To Islam, Buried As Per Islamic Customs after Hindu Rituals

Sep 21, 2021

INDORE: The relatives of a dead man, who was born Hindu and converted to Islam after marriage, wrangled over his final rites for over 10 hours at a morgue in Indore, before the local administration and police negotiated an agreement.

Salim Khan, 48, who was born Prakash Malviya in Dewas, died in an Indore hospital on Sunday night. As his daughter Rani Sheikh waited for the release of his body, Salim’s mother and sister arrived to seek custody as well.

“While the man’s mother, Soram Bai, wanted him to be cremated as per Vedic rituals, his wife Harun Bi and daughter Rani Sheikh wanted him to be buried under Islamic customs,” tehsildar Rajesh Soni told TOI.

“Rani Sheikh said he had converted to Islam after marrying her mother around 15-years ago. She also presented his Aadhaar card and voter ID where his name is Salim Khan,” the tehsildar said. Administrative officials talked to the man’s relatives and settled the debate by sending the body to his paternal home for an hour for Hindu rituals and then burial as per Islamic customs.

Source: Times of India

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/indore/indore-muslim-man-born-hindu-gets-last-rites-of-both-worlds/articleshow/86387671.cms

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Dar Al Ifta of Egypt Issues Religious Decree About Writing Holy Quran with Latin Letters

September 21, 2021

  

Egypt’s Dar Al Ifta has strongly rejected the use of Latin letters for writing the Holy Quran, urging for maintaining the Arabic script.

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Egypt’s Dar Al Ifta has strongly rejected the use of Latin letters for writing the Holy Quran, urging for maintaining the Arabic script.

According to Egyptian daily El-Watan, an Egyptian engineer has devised a method so that all Muslims, regardless of their nationality and language, could read Quranic verses correctly.

The method uses Latin letters which match correct Arabic pronunciation of the noble verses verified by audio recordings of recitation that top readers of the Holy Book use.

After the announcement of the project, numerous questions were raised about the permissibility of this matter from the religious aspect.

The Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa put an end to the controversy by issuing a fatwa on its website. The body announced prohibition of writing or printing Quran in Latin letters. According to the Fatwa, no change should be introduced to the writing style of Quran and those responsible must put every effort to preserve the current Arabic script.

Source: ABNA

https://en.abna24.com/news//dar-al-ifta-of-egypt-issues-religious-decree-about-writing-holy-quran-with-latin-letters_1181861.html

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Over 150 Muslim Scholars From Across the World Demand an End to ‘War on Terror’

By Muhammad Khan

21 September, 2021

Over 150 Muslim scholars from across the world- including Morocco, Tunisia and Libya - have signed a statement denouncing the ‘War on Terror’ and calling for an immediate end to foreign wars and occupations.

The statement, published this weekend coincides with two decades to the day that George. W. Bush announced his authorisation of use of military force after 9/11, which paved the way for the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and the USA’s borderless ‘War on Terror’.

According to the statement by the scholars: “In 20 years, at least 800,000 Muslims have been killed, thousands have been imprisoned unlawfully and often tortured, 37 million people have been displaced. Muslim people everywhere are treated with suspicion and viewed as threats to the societies they live in.

“We extend our sympathy to the citizens of western countries who have had to suffer the social, economic and legal consequences of the disastrous decisions made by their leaders.

“We stand in solidarity with all oppressed people who fight for liberation from tyranny and welcome the victory of the Afghan people against their occupiers. We offer our condolences to all those that have died as a result of these wars.”

Across the world, Governments have co-opted the ‘War on Terror’ rhetoric for their own political goals whether by the Chinese against the Uyghur Muslims or by the Russians. Addressing this, the Scholars call for an end to all arbitrary and emergency powers which permit the violation of basic rights and legitimise torture and degrading treatment.

The statement calls for western leaders to replace their policy of war and animosity against Muslim people with one of respect and mutual cooperation.

They also want for Muslim minorities to be able to live a dignified life according to their faith, independent from government interference, and attempts to distort their beliefs and identity.

Commenting on the statement, CAGE Managing Director Muhammad Rabbani said: “It can be argued that it was September 18th, and not September 11th, that changed the world. Apart from Barbara Lee, every single member of the US congress supported this resolution which subsequently led to illegal invasions, war crimes, torture sites, targeted assassination programmes and mass curtailment of civil liberties across the world.

"It is therefore a poignant moment for Muslim scholars across the world to come together to strongly demand an end to the ‘War on Terror’ and call for accountability for all those who were responsible for its crimes. The international scope of the signatories demonstrates the global scholarly agreement on this issue.”

Source: Asian Image

https://www.asianimage.co.uk/news/19591460.muslim-scholars-demand-end-war-terror/

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US lawmaker 'Ilhan Omar' urges probe into two decades of civilian killings in Afghanistan

September 21, 2021

Ilhan Omar, US Muslim lawmaker has reacted to a recent confession by US army over mistaken drone attack on civilians in Kabul which led to death of ten civilians including seven children and called for international probe into the attack.

Omar slammed two decades of secret drone attacks by US army in Afghanistan which led to death of thousands of civilians urging for full investigation into the August drone attack on a vehicle in Kabul which left ten civilians including seven children dead.

Apology is not enough" said the US lawmaker Omar and added," We owe to the families of the victims, admit the crimes committed, compensate and allow international investigation into the crime."

Kayleigh McEnany, former White House press secretary also said," We found that the US drone attack on Kabul has not targeted Daesh terrorists but left 10 civilians including seven children dead. This is unbelievable" slamming the Biden administration over the shameful act in the international arena.

US General McKenzie admitted the army probe into a US drone attack against Kabul in August has shown ten civilians killed and that event the driver could not be counted a threat from ISIL-K.

Source: ABNA

https://en.abna24.com/news//us-lawmaker-ilhan-omar-urges-probe-into-two-decades-of-civilian-killings-in-afghanistan_1181857.html

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India

 

PM Modi to focus on counter-radicalisation at UNGA to fight extremist ideologies

By Shishir Gupta

SEP 21, 2021

Addressing the plenary session of the SCO Council of Heads of State on September 17, Prime Minister Modi called for SCO to develop a strong network between the moderate, tolerant, and inclusive institutions and traditions associated with Islam in India. He asked almost all SCO countries to address the challenge of increased radicalism in the region, which is at the root of the challenges of peace, security, and trust deficit.

With Taliban military occupation of Afghanistan and its extremist ideology set to dominate the UNGA this week, Prime Minister will talk about counter-radicalization and other tools to fight political Islam in his speech on September 25. It is the weaponization of religion with an aim to capture political power that has led to bloodshed in Af-Pak region.

This important statement came as the first SCO Summit met after the departure of American and NATO forces from Afghanistan and Taliban once again took complete control over the country. Concerns have once again risen about the fate of the Afghan people, impact on regional stability and security, and the likelihood of Afghanistan once again becoming a well spring of terrorism. At the very least, Taliban have already shown that their extremist ideology is not a thing of the past.

Prime Minister Modi has made five important points. One, he has pointed to the Islamic heritage of India, which is inclusive, tolerant, and moderate. Two, this version of Islam has been the prevalent one in the region for centuries. Three, as he has argued over the past several years, the fight against terrorism will succeed when terrorism is delinked from religion and when the more enlightened, progressive and inclusive vision of Islam prevails over the radical and extremist interpretation of Islam, for political purpose, in this contest of ideas. Four, he has once again, as he had done in Central Asia tour in 2015, reminded the world of the spiritual links between India and Central Asia. Five, he has rejected the idea of an inevitable clash of civilisations.

PM Modi also sees Afghanistan in that context. In his address at the inauguration of the Afghan Parliament building in December 2015 or during the inauguration of the Salma Dam a few months later, he lauded the tradition of liberalism, the message of Sufi saints of Afghanistan and the achievements of the country in literature and poetry. At the SCO Summit, he was once again making the point that the Taliban way of life is not either natural or inevitable for the people of Afghanistan. This is an important message that we will carry to Washington DC and UNGA in New York.

With Taliban military occupation of Afghanistan and its extremist ideology set to dominate the UNGA this week, Prime Minister will talk about counter-radicalization and other tools to fight political Islam in his speech on September 25. It is the weaponization of religion with an aim to capture political power at the behest of an ambitious and unscrupulous neighbour Pakistan that has led to bloodshed in Af-Pak region

Beyond the state sponsorship of terrorism by Pakistan against India as a politico-military strategy, terrorism has also sprung from violent and extremist twists given to certain schools of Islamic thoughts. Some of it is framed against occupation and injustice by the western world or for political purpose. Often, though, it has also turned into a contest between different strains for domination, leading to spiralling level of violence.

Source: Hindustan Times

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pm-modi-to-focus-on-counter-radicalisation-at-unga-to-fight-extremist-ideologies-101632191284445.html

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Christians at forefront of conversions, love jihad: NDA ally leader

by Shaju Philip

September 21, 2021

Prominent Hindu Ezhava leader and Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan on Monday said that it was not the Muslim community but Christians who are at the “forefront” of conversions and “love jihad” in the country.

Natesan, who is the patron of NDA ally Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, was reacting to allegations raised by a Catholic priest that Christian women are being lured by Hindu Ezhava men. He also flayed the controversial “love jihad” and “narcotic jihad” remarks of Pala Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt, saying it was “not right to target Muslim community” on the issue.

“When a Christian woman goes to Muslim side, there are a hundred women from other communities getting married to Christians. Why is nobody speaking about that? Christians are marrying Ezhava women. Christians are the largest group in the country engaged in conversion. Muslims do not convert on that scale. In love jihad, only a Christian woman is taken to Muslim community. Whereas in conversion, an entire family is going to Christianity. When speaking about conversion and love jihad, no doubt Christians are at the forefront,’’ he said.

Source: Indian Express

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/thiruvananthapuram/christians-at-forefront-of-conversions-love-jihad-nda-ally-leader-7523518/

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Narcotic Jihad: Religious Leaders Call for Steps to Strengthen Secular Fabric of Kerala Society

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Ameeting of leaders of various religions on Monday called for steps to strengthen the secular fabric of Kerala society in the wake of controversial “narcotic jihad" remarks made by a Catholic Bishop, even as political parties continued to engage in a slugfest over the issue. The meeting, convened by Cardinal Baselios Cleemis of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, was attended by Muslim Youth League leader Panakkad Sayyid Munavvar Ali Shihab Thangal, Swami Gururethnam Jnana Thapaswi of the Santhigiri Ashram and representatives of other religious organisations.

However, representatives of the Syro-Malabar Church did not attend the meeting. Representatives of various other Muslim organisations also did not turn up for the meeting.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Cardinal Cleemis said they did not discuss the “narcotic jihad" issue, although they gathered together here in the context of Pala Bishop’s remarks.

He said the meeting deliberated on how to strengthen the harmony among various communities of the state and what they can contribute to achieve that goal.

Asked whether he supported the suggestion from various quarters to convene an all-party meeting to resolve the issue, the priest welcomed it and said if the Chief Minister convenes a meeting of all religious heads, that will be seen as a positive step. Thangal emphasised the need to fight against all forms of communalism and create a positive atmosphere in the state.

He said differences should be resolved through discussions and dialogue. Meanwhile, the political wrangling continued over the issue with CPI(M) acting state secretary A Vijayaraghavan accusing the Congress of creating a division among communities and KPCC chief K Sudhakaran hitting back at the Communist leader, calling him a communalist. Talking to reporters, Vijayaraghavan alleged that the Congress was engaged in creating divisions in society, “adopting the style of the BJP."

Source: News18

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.news18.com/news/india/narcotic-jihad-religious-leaders-call-for-steps-to-strengthen-secular-fabric-of-kerala-society-4225244.html

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India at forefront to push for joint, collective effort to combat terrorism, says Tirumurti

Sep 21, 2021

NEW YORK: India has played an active role in shaping global counter-terrorism strategy, said India's Permanent Representative to United Nations TS Tirumurti on Monday.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, Tirumurti said, "As regards terrorism, India has always been at the forefront to push for a joint and collective effort to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We by having played an active role in shaping global counter-terrorism strategy."

Tirumurti further reiterated that India has done so before and will continue to do in future.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 25.

The worsening situation in Afghanistan post-Taliban takeover has drawn global attention and as per Tirumurti, the issues relating to terrorism will be extremely important at UNGA.

"On Afghanistan, our Prime Minister has already made our stand very clear in his recent address to the SCO summit last week," said the Indian envoy.

Speaking at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)-Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Outreach Summit on Afghanistan, the Prime Minister drew attention to issues related to the developments in Afghanistan, noting that the power change in Afghanistan is not inclusive and has taken place without negotiations.

"Prime Minister dealt with some very specific issues relating to the non-inclusive non negotiated transition of power. He emphasized the presentation of all sections, including women and minorities," said Tirumurti.

Drawing the attention of SCO member countries towards the possibility of an increase in the uncontrolled flow of drugs, illegal arms and human trafficking, PM Modi had said that to monitor these flows and to increase information sharing, SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) mechanism can play a positive role.

"Afghanistan is facing a serious humanitarian crisis due to the impact of fundamentalism and instability on terrorism, extremist ideologies, increasing radicalization, uncontrolled flow of drugs, illegal weapons and human trafficking," said Tirumurti.

He also talked about Resolution 2593 that was passed by the UNSC under the presidency of India on August 30, 2021, with Russia and China abstaining from voting.

This resolution demands that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to finance terrorist acts.

"We have also had an important resolution, as you know, this was a resolution passed in the UN Security Council on August 30, under our presidency, and this in many ways it's the benchmark for the situation in Afghanistan. And we also see a central role for the United Nations in this context, even for the international community to come and address them jointly and effectively," added Tirumurti.

He further reiterated that India will stop all attempts to weaken the collective resolve of the member states to fight terrorism or to provide justification for terror.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-at-forefront-to-push-for-joint-collective-effort-to-combat-terrorism-says-tirumurti/articleshow/86385435.cms

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Arab World

 

Parents of newly engaged 11-year-old bride, 12-year-old groom arrested in Egypt

20 September ,2021

Security forces in Egypt’s Giza have arrested the parents of an 11-year-old bride-to-be and 12-year-old groom-to-be an hour after announcing their engagement in the village of Umm Khenan in the city of Hawamdiya, Al Arabiya reported on Sunday.

The engagement party for the two children took place in the village, just 30 kilometers from Cairo, on Friday.

The celebration held by the two families was cut short after the jewelry shop that the newlywed’s parents bought gold from posted photos on Facebook.

This led to security forces tracking down the details of the event. They then found the parents, arrested them and referred them to prosecution for investigation, according to Egypt’s National Council for Childhood and Motherhood.

Sahar al-Sunbati, secretary-general of the council, said in a statement that the Child Support System was notified about the incident on Saturday via their designated hotline, citing photos of the children in question being circulated on social media.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/20/Parents-of-newly-engaged-11-year-old-bride-12-year-old-groom-arrested-in-Egypt

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Kingdom will always provide 'good offices' to ease Pak-India ties: Saudi FM

September 21, 2021

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has said that the Kingdom will always provide its "good offices" when possible to resolve issues between Pakistan and India.

In an interview with The Hindu on Sunday during his three-day visit to India, he spoke on a myriad of topics including Afghanistan and Saudi-India ties.

Responding to a question about whether the Kingdom was disappointed with the fact that there aren't talks between India and Pakistan, he said: "We will always provide our good offices when we can, but it’s up to India and Pakistan to decide when the time is right."

The interviewer noted that one of the issues between India and the Kingdom were statements by the Saudi-led Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) regarding occupied Kashmir, the status of Indian Muslims and communal violence.

When asked whether he had discussed this in a meeting with his Indian counterpart, the Saudi minister said that these were "domestic issues".

"It is up to the people of India and to the government of India to address these concerns. And we would, of course, always support any initiatives in this regard that the Indian government takes, but from our perspective, it’s a domestic affair," he said.

Commenting on occupied Kashmir, he said that it was an issue that "continues to be a dispute" between the two countries.

"Therefore, what we would encourage is that there should be a focus on a path of dialogue and discussion among India and Pakistan to resolve these issues in a way that can settle these concerns permanently," he said.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1647596/kingdom-will-always-provide-good-offices-to-ease-pak-india-ties-saudi-fm

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Two jihadist commanders killed in Syria drone strikes: monitor

Sep 21, 2021

BEIRUT: Drone strikes Monday killed two jihadist commanders close to Al-Qaeda in the Idlib region of northwest Syria, a war monitor said.

The raids were carried out by the US-led international coalition battling jihadists in Syria and Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The US military acknowledged killing an Al-Qaeda official, shortly after the coalition told AFP it had not carried out any strikes in Idlib province on Monday.

"US forces conducted a kinetic counter-terrorism strike near Idlib, Syria, today, on a senior al-Qaeda leader," a US Central Command (CENTCOM) spokeswoman, Lieutenant Josie Lynne Lenny, said in a statement.

"Initial indications are that we struck the individual we were aiming for, and there are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike," she said.

The strikes targeted a vehicle on the road leading from Idlib city to Binnish further north, according to the Observatory.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that one of the commanders killed was Tunisian, while the other was from Yemen or Saudi Arabia, without identifying the group they belonged to.

The Idlib region is dominated by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, but rebels and other jihadists are also present.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/two-jihadist-commanders-killed-in-syria-drone-strikes-monitor/articleshow/86389056.cms

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US kills ‘senior al-Qaeda leader’ in strike near Syria’s Idlib

20 September ,2021

The US killed a “senior al-Qaeda leader” in an airstrike conducted near Idlib in Syria, Central Command said on Monday.

“US forces conducted a kinetic counterterrorism strike near Idlib, Syria, today, on a senior al-Qaeda leader. Initial indications are that we struck the individual we were aiming for, and there are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike,” Navy Lt. Josie Lynne Lenny said in a statement.

Earlier, Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported an unidentified drone targeted a vehicle carrying a commander of an extremist group on a road in Idlib’s countryside.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/21/US-kills-senior-al-Qaeda-leader-in-strike-near-Syria-s-Idlib

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Saudi Arabia destroys two Houthi drones headed for Khamis Mushait: Arab Coalition

21 September ,2021

The Arab Coalition said Saudi Arabian forces destroyed two booby-trapped drones launched by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis that were headed for Khamis Mushait on Tuesday, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The Coalition stated that it is taking measures to protect citizens and civilians in the area in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/09/21/Saudi-Arabia-destroys-Houthi-drone-headed-for-Khamis-Mushait-Arab-Coalition-

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Arab Coalition destroys two booby-trapped Houthi boats, thwarts attack

20 September ,2021

The Arab Coalition has destroyed two booby-trapped boats belonging to the Iran-backed Houthi militia near the coastal area of As-Salif, thwarting an imminent attack, according to state television report.

The Arab Coalition said in statements released that the Houthi continue to threaten to military and commercial naval trade routes in the Bab al-Mandab strait and the southern Red Sea.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/09/20/Arab-Coalition-destroys-two-booby-trapped-Houthi-boats-thwarts-attack

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South Asia

 

Islamic State Bomb Attacks On Taliban Raise Spectre Of Wider Conflict

September 21, 2021

The extremist Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly roadside bombs targeting Taliban fighters in eastern Afghanistan, raising the spectre of a wider conflict between the country's new Taliban rulers and their long-time rivals.

A string of explosions struck Taliban vehicles in Afghanistan's provincial city of Jalalabad over the weekend, killing eight people, among them Taliban fighters. On Monday, three more explosions were heard in the city, an IS stronghold, with unconfirmed reports of additional Taliban casualties.

The Taliban are under pressure to contain IS militants, in part to make good on a promise to the international community that they will prevent the staging of terror attacks from Afghan soil. There is also a widely held expectation among conflict-weary Afghans that — despite fears and misgivings about the Taliban — the new rulers will at least restore a measure of public safety.

"We thought that since the Taliban have come, peace will come," said Feda Mohammad, a brother of an 18-year-old rickshaw driver who was killed in one of Sunday's blasts, along with a 10-year-old cousin.

"But there's no peace, no security. You can't hear anything except the news of bomb blasts killing this one or that," Mohammad said, speaking at the family home where relatives and neighbours gathered for a memorial ceremony, drinking black tea and reciting verses from the Quran.

The latest IS bombings come as the Taliban face the daunting task of governing a country shredded by four decades of war. The economy is in free fall, the health system on the verge of collapse and thousands of members of the country's educated elite have fled. International aid groups predict worsening drought, hunger and poverty.

"Our misery has reached its peak," Abdullah, a shopkeeper in Jalalabad, said Monday, a day after IS claimed responsibility for the bombings that rocked the city the two days before.

"People have no jobs, people sell their carpets to buy flour ... still there are explosions and (IS) claims the attacks," said Abdullah, who like many Afghans goes by one name.

The weekend bomb blasts served as a reminder of the threat the militants pose. Just weeks ago, as American and foreign troops completed their withdrawal and frantic airlift from the country, IS suicide bombers targeted U.S. evacuation efforts outside Kabul international airport in one of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan in years. The blast killed 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.

The events have bolstered fears of more violence, as IS militants exploit the vulnerability of an overstretched Taliban government facing massive security challenges and an economic meltdown.

"They're making a very dramatic comeback," Ibraheem Bahiss, an International Crisis Group consultant and an independent research analyst said of Islamic State. "There could be a long-term struggle between the groups."

For now, the Afghan affiliate of IS has shied away from attacks against the West and maintained a local focus, but that could potentially change, Bahiss said.

The aims of the IS affiliate in Afghanistan are different from those of the Taliban, who seized control of the country days before the U.S. troop pullout last month. While the Taliban have fought to gain ground in Afghanistan, the IS chapter seeks to incorporate swaths of the country into a broader self-styled caliphate, or Islamic empire, across the Middle East.

The franchise, largely made up of Pakistani militants pushed across the border by military operations, first embraced the IS call for a worldwide jihad against non-Muslims in the months after the group's core fighters swept through Syria and Iraq in the summer of 2014.

While they share enmity toward American forces and a harsh interpretation of Sunni Islam, the Taliban and IS are sworn enemies. Just as the Taliban battled U.S. coalition troops in the long Afghan war, the group also waged a successful offensive to drive IS militants from their enclaves in the country's north and east — at times assisted by the U.S. and U.S.-backed Afghan government.

Despite years of U.S. airstrikes and other military setbacks that shrank IS ranks, the United Nations reported this year the group "remains active and dangerous," a threat to Afghanistan and the wider region. The affiliate has mounted some of the country's most brutal attacks in recent years on schools, mosques and even a maternity hospital, mainly targeting the Shiite Muslim minority.

The affiliate has increasingly drawn hard-line Taliban defectors and foreign militants disillusioned with what they see as the Taliban's overly moderate ways. The New York-based Soufan Center said in an analysis on Monday that the franchise poses "one of the most serious risks to future splintering of the Taliban ... at a time when the group is seeking to gather strength and play a major spoiler role in Afghanistan." As a power struggle between pragmatists and ideologues in the Taliban leadership intensifies, the IS branch has ramped up recruiting efforts.

For now, Taliban forces far outnumber IS militants and experts doubt the extremist group poses an existential threat to Afghanistan's new rulers. But if the bombings continue, said Franz Marty, a Kabul-based fellow at the Swiss Institute for Global Affairs, "it could become a large problem."

Source: India Today

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/islamic-state-bomb-attacks-on-taliban-1855080-2021-09-21

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Taliban leader Baradar's message after clash looked like hostage video: Report

SEP 21, 2021

A power struggle within the Taliban has badly hurt two key players - deputy prime minister Mullah Baradar and the group's spiritual leader Haibatullah Akhundzada - UK-based magazine The Spectator reported on Monday. It cited the recent clash during the government formation talks between Baradar faction and the Haqqani network to say that the former emerged as the "principal loser".

The chief of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also threw his weight behind the Haqqanis, ensuring that all of the key positions went to Pakistani loyalists, principally from the hardline Haqqani network, The Spectator reported.

The clashes in early September saw "furniture as well as large thermos flasks full of hot green thrown around", said The Spectator. At one point during the meeting, Haqqani network leader Khalil-ul-Rahman Haqqani rose from his chair and began punching Baradar, The Spectator report said. Baradar had pushed for an "inclusive" cabinet that included non-Taliban leaders and ethnic minorities, which would be more acceptable to the rest of the world.

He disappeared for a while after the clashes and resurfaced in Kandahar. He held a meeting of tribal leaders who are supporting him, but was also forced to release a video message on the state-run TV network controlled by the Taliban. The message "looked like a hostage video", The Spectator reported.

On Akhundzada, the publication reported that his whereabouts are not known. "He has not been seen or heard from for some time, and there are many rumours that he is dead," reported The Spectator.

This vacuum at the top has allowed for arguments between the Taliban factions - something which was not seen during their earlier rule two decades ago, the report further said.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/taliban-leader-mullah-baradar-held-hostage-haibatullah-akhundzada-dead-report-101632195007476.html

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Islamic Emirate Of Afghanistan Changes Name Of University In Kabul

20 Sep 2021

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan officially changed the name of a government university from University of Burhanuddin Rabbani-former Afghan President and founder of Afghanistan’s second-biggest political party- to Kabul Education University.

An official directive released by the ministry of higher education reads, universities are the intellectual assets of Afghanistan and should be named after political or ethnic leaders.

The previous name of the university was brought down on Monday, September 20, and will now be addressed by its first name- Kabul Educational University.

The directive reads that lingual, regional, and ethnic discrimination have prevailed in Afghanistan in the past two decades and national places were named based on those.

The university was named after Burhanuddin Rabbani after he was killed in a suicide attack in his home in 2009.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/taliban-changes-name-of-university-in-kabul-8685/

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WHO chief meets Taliban’s premier and officials

20 Sep 2021

Head of the world health organization Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus arrived in Kabul on Monday, September 20, and met with the prime minister of Afghanistan Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund in Presidential Palace (ARG).

The meeting was conducted between the head of WHO, his delegation, head of UNAMA Deborah Lyons, and the premier of Afghanistan, his deputy Mullah Baradar, acting foreign minister Amir Khan Motaqi.

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has not disclosed details of the meeting until.

Adhanom is said to have come to Afghanistan in order to build coordination among the health administrations and to support them.

Source: Khaama Press

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.khaama.com/who-chief-meets-talibans-premier-and-officials-87686/

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Witnesses say explosion targets Taliban, 2nd in as many days

September 20, 2021

Witnesses say an explosion targeted a Taliban vehicle in the provincial city of Jalalabad, the second such deadly blast in as many days in an Islamic State stronghold.

The Taliban and IS extremists are enemies, and fought each other even before the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last month.

Source: India Today

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/witnesses-say-explosion-targets-taliban-2nd-in-as-many-days-1854678-2021-09-20?utm_source=recengine&utm_medium=web&referral=yes&utm_content=footerstrip-4&t_source=recengine&t_medium=web&t_content=footerstrip-4&t_psl=True

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After Afghans fell from plane, families live with horror

Sep 21, 2021

KABUL: It's a scene that has come to symbolize the chaotic end to America's 20 years of war in Afghanistan: A lumbering US Air Force cargo plane takes off from Kabul airport, chased by hundreds of desperate Afghan men scrambling to get on the aircraft.

As the C-17 transporter gains altitude, shaky mobile phone video captures two tiny dots dropping from the plane. Footage from another angle shows many in the crowd on the tarmac stopping in their tracks and pointing.

The full extent of the horror becomes apparent only later. The dots, it turns out, were desperate Afghans hidden in the wheel well. As the wheels folded into the body of the plane, the stowaways faced the choice of being crushed to death or letting go and plunging to the ground.

More than a month later, much remains unclear about what happened in that tragic takeoff on Aug. 16, a day after the Taliban swept into Kabul, prompting a flood of Afghans trying to escape the country.

Even how many were killed remains unknown. Videos show two dots falling from the airborne plane, several seconds apart. But two bodies landed on the same rooftop at the same time, suggesting they fell together, so the other figure seen falling in the videos could be at least one other person. Also, the US military has said it found human remains still in the wheel well of the C-17 when it landed in Qatar but did not specify how many people. At least one person, a young soccer player, died on the tarmac, crushed under the C-17's wheels.

The US military says it has not completed its investigation into the day. It said the C-17 was bringing in supplies for the evacuation effort at the airport but was mobbed by Afghans on the tarmac as it landed. Fearing the plane would be overwhelmed, the crew decided to take off again without unloading the cargo. Videos taken by Afghans on the tarmac show hundreds running alongside it, and perhaps a dozen people sitting on top of the wheel well, though it is not known how many jumped off before the plane lifted off.

One of those tucked into the wheel well was Fida Mohammad, a 24-year-old dentist.

He had once been full of hope, his family said. He had married last year in an extravagant ceremony that cost his family $13,000. His dream of opening a dental clinic in Kabul had become a reality.

Then the Taliban seized Kabul, and all the possibilities for his future seemed to disappear, his father Painda Mohammed told The Associated Press.

The older man still struggles to understand what his son was thinking when he climbed into the wheel well. He's wracked with guilt, fearing that Fida took such an enormous risk because he wanted to help repay the large loan his father took out for the wedding.

Burying his head in his hands, Painda says he spends hours imagining his son's final minutes, the fear he must have felt as the earth below him began to disappear and the wheels swung in, knowing he had no choice but to let go.

On the ground, Abdullah Waiz was asleep in his home at the time and was awakened by a powerful noise. His first thought was an explosion. He rushed outside. His neighbors gestured toward his roof and told him of the bodies tumbling from the sky.

Two bodies hit in the same corner of his roof, Waiz said, pointing at the spot, where the concrete was still stained with blood. Waiz believes they were holding hands since they fell in the same location. He collected the remains on a cloth and carried it to a nearby mosque, he said.

"For 48 hours after that, I couldn't sleep or eat," he said.

They identified one body as Fida, as he had stuffed his father's name and number in his pocket. Local media said the second body was identified as a young man named Safiullah Hotak.

For two weeks at the end of August as the United States and its allies wrapped up their presence in Afghanistan, tens of thousands of Afghans surged toward the Kabul airport, frantic to escape a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. A 2-year-old child died in the stampede. An Islamic State group suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of the crowd, killing 169 Afghans and 13 US military personnel. Yet even after the explosion, thousands returned to the airport, hoping to make it inside.

The scenes were so traumatic that the US Air Force offered psychological counseling to the air force personnel who worked at Kabul airport, as well as the crew of the ill-fated C-17 flight after it landed at Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/after-afghans-fell-from-plane-families-live-with-horror/articleshow/86390167.cms

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Taliban expand interim cabinet, double down on all-male team

September 21, 2021

The Taliban expanded their interim cabinet by naming deputy ministers on Tuesday but failed to appoint any women, doubling down on a hardline course despite the international outcry that followed their initial presentation of an all-male cabinet lineup earlier this month.

The international community has warned that it will judge the Taliban by their actions, and that recognition of a Taliban-led government would be linked to the treatment of women and minorities. In their previous rule of Afghanistan in the late 1990s, the Taliban had barred girls and women from schools, work and public life.

Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid defended the latest additions to the cabinet at a news conference on Tuesday, saying it included members of ethnic minorities, such as Hazaras, and that women might be added later.

Mujahid bristled at international conditions for recognition, saying there was no reason for withholding it. “It is the responsibility of the United Nations to recognise our government [and] for other countries, including European, Asian and Islamic countries, to have diplomatic relations with us,” he said.

The Taliban have framed their current cabinet as an interim government, suggesting that change was still possible, but they have not said if there would ever be elections.

Mujahid was also asked about the recent restrictions imposed on girls and women, including a decision not to allow girls in grades six to 12 to return to classrooms for the time being.

He suggested this was a temporary decision, and that “soon it will be announced when they can go to school”. He said plans were being made to allow for their return but did not elaborate.

Boys in grades six to 12 resumed their studies over the weekend.

Mujahid also made no reference to the now-closed women's affairs ministry, which was shut down last week and replaced with a department that earned notoriety for enforcing religious doctrine during the previous Taliban regime.

“These positions are considered important for the functioning of the emirate,” he said, announcing the final cabinet appointments, which included additions to the health ministry.

The Taliban now face the colossal task of ruling Afghanistan, an aid-dependent country whose economic troubles have only deepened since the group seized power and outside funding was frozen.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1647593/taliban-expand-interim-cabinet-double-down-on-all-male-team

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Afghan cricket lovers disappointed over Taliban ban on telecast of IPL on national media

20.09.2021

After coming to power in Afghanistan the Taliban have imposed restrictions on many sports including most forms of entertainment. They have also banned sports for women. A Taliban leader had recently said that it was not necessary for women to play. So they will decide what is necessary for women and what is not. According to the Taliban leaders, the broadcasts were banned because girls are seen dancing with open hair which is anti-Islam.

Now they have banned the telecast and broadcast of the IPL matches in Afghanistan due to ‘anti-Islam content’. The IPL is underway in the UAE and most Afghans are very excited about the outcome of the matches as three star cricketers of Afghanistan have been playing IPL for the last few years. Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan and Mujib Zadran have been regular features of the IPL played in India. Their participation has created a lot of interest in cricket among Afghans and also promoted friendship and bonhomie between the two countries. Both Rashid and Nabi play for Hydrabad  Sunrisers.

But the report on the ban on the telecast of the IPL’S UAE leg, has caused a lot of disappointment among the cricket lovers of Afghanistan. They have expressed their disappointment over the issue on the social media.  A  tweet of a journalist gives the news:

Afghanistan national Radio and TV will not broadcast the

@IPL

as usual as it was reportedly banned to live the matches resumed tonight due to possible anti-islam contents, girls dancing & the attendence of barred hair women in the stadium by Islamic Emirates of the Taliban. #CSKvMI

With the ban on telecast of the UAE Leg of the IPL 2021, some Afghan women have expressed their disappointment and have reminisced the days when they had enjoyed cricket on TV and expressed their solidarity with the Aftghan cricket team in various wasys;

An Afghan woman Peymana Assad who enjoys cricket remembered the days when she wore clothes with colours of the Afghan flag.

Peymana Assad 

@Peymasad

8h

From the Afghanistan vs England cricket match in 2019. So glad I wore my Afghan flag coloured clothes that day   #NewProfilePic

An Aghan cricket fan Ziaul Haq Amarkhil wishes the Afghan cricketer Happy Birthday and wishes him success.

Ziaulhaq Amarkhil

@ZiaulhaqAmarkhi

16h

Happy Birthday  to the player who introduced and rose Afghanistan national flag in the cricket world and is an inspiration for many youths. Many many happy returns of the day

@rashidkhan_19

, May you dominate your cricket career for years.

The Afghan cricketers Muhammmad Nabi, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Zadran have also expressed their disappointment as they feel that the Aftghan people will now not been able to watch them play.

The Taliban have their own theology formed by their own ulema who have a rigid outlook and an intolerant attitude towards modern developments. They have taken away the freedom of its citizens. The citizens badly remember the days when they could move freely with their loved ones and enjoyed the life.

On the social media, Some Afghan citizens have reminisced the days before the ascent of Taliban when they enjoyed freedom. Ferdous Samim  has written:

Ferdous Samim

@AFSamim

21h

We need back the color of #Afghanistan! 2017 Eid in #Badakhshan. This was our lives that the world took from us. It was not perfect. It never will be. But it was us. Together! We are scattered now. Out of the country and within the country. We deserved to enrich this life.

Islam  does not oppose or condemn sports and modest modes of entertainment but Taliban have the view that sports promote immodesty and vulgarity. They also believe that women should not participate in sports though women of Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries are allowed to take part  in international sports. The ban on the telecast of IPL matches in Afghanistan show that the Taliban will also dictate Afghan people on what they should watch. They will not allow the Afghan cricket lovers only because girls will be seen dancing in the galleries and will be present in the stadium with open hair.  Taliban will take Afghanistan back to the 8th century despite their hollow claims that they want Afghanistan make progress along with the developing nations of the world.

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Pakistan

 

Imran Khan to address UNGA virtually; raise Afghanistan issue

Sep 20, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to address the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) virtually, on Friday.

Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram informed about PM Khan's UN address to US-state media, reports ARY news.

Akram said that Pakistan would draw the world's attention towards the urgency to stabilise Afghanistan.

On the Afghanistan issue, Khan on Saturday informed that his government has started negotiations with the Taliban to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan.

Khan's remarks came following the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting held in Dushanbe, where SCO members thoroughly discussed issues associated with Afghanistan.

"After long meetings in Dushanbe with leaders of Afghanistan's neighbours, especially with Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, I have begun negotiations with the Taliban for the inclusion of the Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek communities in the Afghan government for an inclusive government," Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a tweet.

Source: Times of India

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/imran-khan-to-address-unga-virtually-raise-afghanistan-issue/articleshow/86366592.cms

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Qureshi says no rush to recognise Taliban govt in Afghanistan

September 21, 2021

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers should understand that if they want recognition and assistance in rebuilding the war-battered country, they have to be more sensitive and more receptive to international opinion and norms.

Qureshi, who is in New York to attend the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), said on Tuesday that countries are watching to see how things evolve in Afghanistan before considering recognition.

“I don't think anybody is in a rush to recognise at this stage and the Taliban should keep an eye on that,” he said.

If the Taliban want recognition, “they have to be more sensitive and more receptive to international opinion,” he said.

The minister said that Pakistan's objective was peace and stability in Afghanistan and to achieve that "we would suggest to Afghans that they should have an inclusive government".

He said their initial statements indicate they aren't averse to the idea, so "let's see".

Qureshi expressed the hope the Afghan Taliban would live up to their promise that girls and women would be allowed to go to school, college and university.

He also strongly urged the United States and other countries that have frozen money from the former Afghan government to release it because "that's Afghan money that should be spent on Afghan people".

He said the most urgent priority was averting an even deeper economic collapse of the neighboring nation that could trigger a humanitarian catastrophe.

“On one hand, you're raising fresh funds to avert a crisis and on the other hand money that is theirs — belongs to them — they cannot use,” Qureshi told reporters.

“I think freezing the assets is not helping the situation. I would strongly urge the powers that be that they should revisit that policy and think of an unfreeze,” he said.

“It will be a confidence-building measure as well and that could also incentivise positive behavior.”

The United States froze $9.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets and international lenders have stayed clear of Afghanistan, wary of providing money that could be used by the Taliban.

Qureshi reaches New York for five-day visit

Qureshi is currently in New York on a five-day visit during which he will attend the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from other countries participating in the summit.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the session via a video link and will outline Pakistan's perspective on key global and regional issues.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1647584/qureshi-says-no-rush-to-recognise-taliban-govt-in-afghanistan

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Pakistan satisfied with security assurances by Afghan Taliban: ISPR

September 21, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is maintaining a regular engagement with the Afghan Taliban for safeguarding the country’s security interests, said military spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Monday.

The Inter-Services Public Relations director general added that Pakistan was satisfied with the assurances extended by the Taliban regarding peace and security.

In an interview published by Urdu News, the DG ISPR said: “The Taliban have reiterated on several occasions that no group or terrorist organisation will be allowed to use Afghan territory for any terrorist activity against any country, including Pakistan. We have no reason to doubt their intentions, and that is why we are in constant touch with them to protect our national interest.”

One of the country’s major concerns has been the presence of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan.

We are in constant touch with the group to protect our national interests, says Maj Gen Babar

Although there has been no commitment so far by the Afghan Taliban about any action against the TTP present on their territory, the former had claimed it would not allow anyone to use their territory against any country.

There have also been discussions between the Pakistani authorities and the Afghan Taliban about new border control measures to prevent undesired elements from crossing the border into Pakistan. There has been a significant uptick in TTP attacks since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. However, Pakistani authorities are not ready to blame the Afghan Taliban for that and often say it is too early to expect them to establish their writ in the bordering areas and be in full control of the situation.

In his Urdu News interview, Gen Babar underscored the progress being made in fencing the 2,600-km-long border with Afghanistan.

Source: Dawn

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1647461/pakistan-satisfied-with-security-assurances-by-afghan-taliban-ispr

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Allama Ahmed Iqbal: Punjab government nothing as compare to Banu Ummayah & Abbas in cruelty

September 21, 2021

Central Deputy Secretary-General of MWM of Pakistan, Allama Ahmed Iqbal Rizvi, said that Fourteen Hundred years ago, when Banu Ummayah and Banu Abbas were ruling, they left no effort to subdue Azadari-e-Imam Hussain (AS) (mourning for Imam al-Hussain) but we kept continue said duty without any care and fear then how we would be frightened of Punjab government which had no comparison with cruel Malookiate of ancient Islamic History.

He further said that our leaders were brave and bold, and ready to face every challenge at any time for Azadari. Our stand is crystal clear in said regard and known to all that our motto was loyalty with the country and mourning of Imam Hussain (AS). We would never allow anyone to spread sectarian extremism in Pakistan.

He also condemned the attempt of making curriculum sectarian and vowed to unveil this high-level conspiracy.

He said that the omission of lessons about Hazrat Fatima Salamullah Alaiha and Imam Hussain (AS) as well as the addition of fake Hadith was highly deplorable and we would challenge all these changes in the syllabus because we were willing to keep Pakistan according to principles of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

Source: ABNA

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https://en.abna24.com/news//allama-ahmed-iqbal-punjab-government-nothing-as-compare-to-banu-ummayah-abbas-in-cruelty_1181852.html

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Pakistani scholars, poets call Ostad Shahriar as a reviver of classical poetry

September 21, 2021

Pakistani writers and poets taking part in a virtual meeting commemorating the "Persian Poetry and Literature Day", which was organized by the Cultural House of Iran Lahore said Ostad Shahriar was a reviver of classical poetry.

A virtual meeting commemorating the Day of Persian Poetry and Literature and commemorating Ostad Shahriar was held in Pakistani city of Lahore, with the participation of Persian language professors from Lahore University, poets and those interested in Iranian culture and Persian language.

participants in their comments examined the influence of Persian poetry and literature by explaining the position of Shahriar as the reviver of the classical poetry style in the contemporary era.

Iran"s Cultural Attaché to Pakistan, Jafar Ronas, expressing the privileged position of Ostad Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Behjat Tabrizi (1906 - September 18, 1988) , said Shahriar is the most important lyric poet of the classical style of Persian poetry among contemporary poets, despite the numerous Iranian poets and writers , naming the day of Persian poetry and literature as Master Shahriar shows the importance of the position of this contemporary poet.

Babar Nasim Asi, Head of the Iranology Room at Lahore State University, said that it is necessary to study and get acquainted with contemporary Iranian poets in the Pakistani literary community.

Expressing the role of poets in the flourishing of science in Iran, the head of the Department of Iranian Studies at Lahore State University said the reason why these poems never become obsolete and old fashion like other branches of science, because these beautiful texts originate from the knowledge of poets and lyricists.

Azami Zarrin Nazieh, a Persian language teacher, for his part said verses from Shahriar"s poetry which were composed with innate creativity, are very sweet, rich and pleasant.

He added: "Shahriar was not only patriotic but also humane, which is why his poems live in the hearts and souls of all human beings."

Source: ABNA

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https://en.abna24.com/news//pakistani-scholars-poets-call-ostad-shahriar-as-a-reviver-of-classical-poetry_1181846.html

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Pakistan: Tortured for getting water from mosque, Hindu family blames Imran Khan’s party

September 20, 2021

Fetching drinking water from a mosque in Pakistan's Punjab province landed a family of poor farmers from the minority Hindu community in trouble as some people tortured and held them hostage for “violating the sanctity” of their place of worship, a media report said on Monday.

The family alleged that the attackers to a politician relation to Imran Khan's ruling Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

Alam Ram Bheel, a resident of Punjab’s Rahimyar Khan city, was picking raw cotton along with his other family members, including his wife, in a field. Bheel said when the family went outside a nearby mosque to fetch drinking water from a tap, some local landlords beat them up, the Dawn newspaper reported.

When the family was returning home after unloading the picked cotton, the landlords held them hostage at their dera (outhouse) and tortured them again for “violating the sanctity” of the mosque, it said.

The police did not register a case as the attackers were related to a local parliamentarian of Prime Minister Imran Khan's ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Bheel said. Protesting the police apathy, Bheel held a sit-in outside the police station along with another clan member Peter John Bheel.

Peter, also a member of the district peace committee, said that they approached ruling PTI lawmaker Javed Warriach who helped them lodge a case on Friday.

Peter requested other members of the district peace committee to call an emergency meeting over the issue but they did not take the matter seriously, the report said.

PTI’s south Punjab minority wing secretary-general Yodhister Chohan said that incident was in his knowledge but due to the influence of a ruling party’s MP, he preferred to stay away.

District Police Officer Asad Sarfraz said that he was looking into the matter.

Deputy Commissioner Dr. Khuram Shehzad said he would meet Hindu minority elders on Monday before taking any action. Asked about the 'inactive' peace committee, the officer claimed it was “fully functional”.

Farooq Rind, a senior lawyer and former district bar president, said he also belonged to the Basti Kahoor area where the Bheels had been living for more than a century. He said that most of the clan members were farmworkers and extremely poor.

Source: India Today

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/pakistan-hindu-family-torture-drinking-water-mosque-imran-khan-1854857-2021-09-20

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Sindh lacks capacity, resources to accommodate more Afghan refugees, Sindh Assembly told

Tahir Siddiqui

September 21, 2021

KARACHI: Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh informed the Sindh Assembly on Monday that the province did not have any more capacity and resources to accommodate Afghan refugees, who might arrive here in the wake of recent events in Afghanistan.

Responding to a calling-attention notice given by Arif Mustafa Jatoi of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), he said that the province was already flooded with hundreds of thousands of Afghan nationals, demanding that the federal government take effective measures to stop any further influx of refugees in the province.

The GDA lawmaker through his calling-attention notice apprehended that the arrival of Afghan refugees could lead to spread of the coronavirus pandemic as most of them were not vaccinated.

“So far, Pakistan administered the first jab of Covid-19 to 70 million people while in Afghanistan, around 400,000, or only one per cent, got the first dose,” he said, adding that polio was also on the rise in Afghanistan.

Provincial govt is ready to hold LG polls if census issue is settled or ECP wants it, minister tells house

He asked what steps were being taken by the provincial government to look after them and to ensure that they did not get jobs in Sindh or spread polio or coronavirus in the province.

The provincial energy minister, replying on behalf of the chief minister who also held the portfolio of home, said that it would be very difficult to send the Afghan refugees back if they came to cities in the province. “Camps should be established at borders from where the refugees could be sent back to their country. The refugees can be accommodated at camps on humanitarian grounds,” he added.

Mr Shaikh also said that the GDA lawmaker raised the issue on a wrong platform as management of borders was a federal subject. “Nonetheless, we are making sure that there is no burden on Sindh.”

He said that the GDA, being a coalition partner of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government, should take up the matter with Islamabad.

‘Sindh govt doesn’t want to devolve powers’

While opposing an adjournment motion of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal’s Syed Abdul Rasheed, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that the local government elections had been delayed in the province due to the ‘controversial’ census 2017.

He said that Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was the only member who opposed the approval of the census in the meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI).

“As far as I know, the local government elections will be held as per the new census. We are ready to conduct the polls, if census issue is settled or the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) wants it,” he added.

The MMA member in his adjournment motion said that the provincial government did not want to devolve powers at the grassroots level, that’s why it was not holding the LG polls.

Referring to the appointment of Barrister Murtaza Wahab as the administrator of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), he said that a political figure was appointed to the post.

The MMA lawmaker said that the people were deprived of their local representatives. He said that the civic and municipal problems of people were not being resolved due to the delay in LG elections in all the districts of the province.

However, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani ruled the adjournment motion out of order.

Resolution on finality of prophethood

The house passed a unanimous resolution moved by Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan’s Mohammad Qasim for implementation of another resolution adopted last year asking the authorities to make it mandatory to write “Khatim-un-Nabiyyeen” (Last Prophet) along with the name of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) in official documents, books and wherever the holy name was used.

In the resolution, the lawmakers also demanded that Quranic verses and ahadith regarding the Last Prophet should also be written in the Sindh Assembly and other government offices.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chawla introduced The University of Mirpurkhas Bill, 2021 for establishment of a varsity at Mirpurkhas. The assembly sent the bill to the standing committee concerned for further deliberations.

The Sindh Mines and Minerals Governance Bill, 2021 was also introduced and sent to the standing committee concerned.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1647562/sindh-lacks-capacity-resources-to-accommodate-more-afghan-refugees-sindh-assembly-told

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North America

 

Pentagon chief orders new review of mistaken US drone strike in Kabul

21 September ,2021

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a senior-level review of the investigation that found that 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children, were killed in an Aug. 29 US drone strike in Kabul that the Pentagon initially said had killed an Islamic State fighter. The reviewer is to consider whether any military disciplinary action is warranted.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday that Austin told the Air Force to appoint an officer at three- or four-star rank to review the Central Command investigation, which examined in detail the chronology of events leading to the tragedy. The main findings were that only Afghan civilians were killed and that the US military had been mistaken in its belief that the white Toyota Corolla it tracked for hours and then struck with a Hellfire missile was a valid threat.

Discrepancies between the military’s initial claims about the strike and findings on the ground quickly emerged. The Associated Press and other news organizations reported that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at a US humanitarian organization. There were no signs of a large secondary blast, despite the Pentagon’s assertion that the vehicle contained explosives.

The head of Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie, announced Friday that his investigation had determined that the vehicle targeted by the drone had initially been spotted at a known Islamic State compound in Kabul and was tracked by US intelligence for eight hours. McKenzie said the intelligence about the vehicle turned out to be tragically mistaken.

The military initially asserted that at least one Islamic State fighter had been killed in the vehicle, but McKenzie’s investigation found that only innocent civilians were killed. McKenzie took blame for the mistake and apologized.

“This particular strike certainly was a terrible mistake, and we certainly regret that, and I’ve been very clear that we take full responsibility for it,” he told a Pentagon news conference.

Austin on Friday alluded to his request for a review, saying in a written statement that he wanted to be sure that Central Command had considered “all available context and information” about the mistaken attack and that accountability be fully considered.

The decision to require a review is a reflection of the seriousness of the mistakes made in the final hours of the US military withdrawal from Kabul, which included a hurried evacuation of more than 120,000 Afghans, Americans and others. The evacuation was carried out under the threat of attack by the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate, which had conducted a deadly suicide bombing outside the airport three days before the mistaken drone strike.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/21/Pentagon-chief-orders-new-review-of-mistaken-US-drone-strike-in-Kabul

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‘We were them’: Vietnamese Americans help Afghan refugees

21 September ,2021

In the faces of Afghans desperate to leave their country after US forces withdrew, Thuy Do sees her own family, decades earlier and thousands of miles away.

A 39-year-old doctor in Seattle, Washington, Do remembers hearing how her parents sought to leave Saigon after Vietnam fell to communist rule in 1975 and the American military airlifted out allies in the final hours. It took years for her family to finally get out of the country, after several failed attempts, and make their way to the United States, carrying two sets of clothes a piece and a combined $300. When they finally arrived, she was 9 years old.

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These stories and early memories drove Do and her husband Jesse Robbins to reach out to assist Afghans fleeing their country now. The couple has a vacant rental home and decided to offer it up to refugee resettlement groups, which furnished it for newly arriving Afghans in need of a place to stay.

“We were them 40 years ago,” Do said. “With the fall of Saigon in 1975, this was us.”

Television images of Afghans vying for spots on US military flights out of Kabul evoked memories for many Vietnamese Americans of their own attempts to escape a falling Saigon more than four decades ago. The crisis in Afghanistan has reopened painful wounds for many of the country’s 2 million Vietnamese Americans and driven some elders to open up about their harrowing departures to younger generations for the first time.

It has also spurred many Vietnamese Americans to donate money to refugee resettlement groups and raise their hands to help by providing housing, furniture and legal assistance to newly arriving Afghans. Less tangible but still essential, some also said they want to offer critical guidance they know refugees and new immigrants need: how to shop at a supermarket, enroll kids in school and drive a car in the United States.

Since the Vietnam War, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese have come to the United States, settling in communities from California to Virginia.

Today, Vietnamese Americans are the sixth-largest immigrant group in the United States. Many settled in California’s Orange County after arriving initially at the nearby Camp Pendleton military base and today have a strong voice in local politics.

“We lived through this and we can’t help but feel that we are brethren in our common experience,” Andrew Do, who fled Saigon with his family a day before it fell to communism and today chairs the county’s board of supervisors, said during a recent press conference in the area known as “Little Saigon.”

The US had long announced plans to withdraw from Afghanistan after a 20-year war. But the final exit was much more frantic, with more than 180 Afghans and 13 US service members killed in an attack on the Kabul airport.

In the last two weeks of August, the US evacuated 31,000 people from Afghanistan, three-quarters of them Afghans who supported American military efforts during the extensive operations. But many Afghan allies were left behind with no clear way out of the landlocked nation under strict Taliban control.

Similarly, many Vietnamese Americans recall how they couldn’t get out before the impending fall of Saigon to communism. They stayed behind and faced long spells in reeducation camps in retaliation for their allegiance to the Americans who had fought in their country. Once they were allowed to return to their families, many Vietnamese left and took small boats onto the seas, hoping to escape and survive.

For some families, the journey took years and many failed attempts, which is why many Vietnamese Americans view the departure of the US military from Afghanistan not as the end of the crisis, but the beginning.

“We have to remember now is the time to lay a foundation for a humanitarian crisis that may last long past the moment the last US help leaves the Afghan space,” said Thanh Tan, a Seattle filmmaker who started a group for Vietnamese Americans willing to house arriving Afghans. Her own family, she said, made the trip four years after the US left Vietnam. “We have to be prepared because people will do whatever it takes to survive.”

Afghans arriving in the United States may have a special status for those who supported US military operations, or may have been sponsored to come by relatives already here. Others are expected to arrive as refuges or seek permission to travel to the United States under a process known as humanitarian parole and apply for asylum or other legal protection once they are here.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/21/-We-were-them-Vietnamese-Americans-help-Afghan-refugees

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Turkey's first lady attends screening of documentary 'Ottoman America'

Esin Eşkinat Sayılgan  

21.09.2021

NEW YORK

Turkey's first lady Emine Erdogan on Monday attended the screening of a documentary film on Ottoman immigrants who went to the US in the early 1900s.

"Ottoman America" was produced in cooperation with Bay Atlantic University, the Bahcesehir University Civilization Studies Center (MEDAM) and the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).

It was promoted with the attendance of Turkey's first lady at the newly inaugurated Turkevi Center, or Turkish House, in Manhattan across from UN headquarters.

Speaking at the event, Erdogan said the documentary not only illuminates Turkish history in America but also makes a great contribution to the science of history.

"Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Jewish and Greek immigrants set out on this path together and stayed together in America. We see the multiculturalism of the Ottoman Empire in this migration adventure," she added.

Noting the importance of the historical basis presented by the documentary for Turks in America, she said she hopes the documentary will "be instrumental in establishing a museum that will record our migration history."

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkeys-first-lady-attends-screening-of-documentary-ottoman-america/2370104

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Turkish foreign minister meets Colombian, Venezuelan, Bahraini counterparts

Burak Bir 

20.09.2021

Turkey's foreign minister on Monday held separate meetings with his Colombian, Venezuelan, Bahraini counterparts in New York.

Meeting with Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez, Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the two countries will finalize agreements to encourage trade and investment.

"We will increase cooperation in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and irregular migration," he said on Twitter.

Following his meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Felix Plasencia, Cavusoglu said that the trade volume between the two countries doubled despite the pandemic and stressed that they will continue the momentum.

The Turkish foreign minister also met with his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani and underlined the positive developments between the two countries.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkish-foreign-minister-meets-colombian-venezuelan-bahraini-counterparts/2369989

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Turkish president cuts ribbon on landmark Turkevi Center in New York

Servet Gunerigok

20.09.2021

NEW YORK

Calling the landmark building "a masterpiece," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday has officially inaugurated the Turkevi Center, or Turkish House, in New York City.

Speaking at its opening ceremony, which also featured a music concert, Erdogan said the Turkevi Center will stand as a reflection of Turkey's place on the world stage ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, in 2023.

"We are proud" of the new center, said the president.

"Because for our nation and for our state, we have now bestowed a permanent work of art. We are proud because of we are adding to the silhouette of New York, with a sterling example of our historical and traditional architecture," said Erdogan.

"I would like to extend my special gratitude to each of you for being with us on this historic day," he added. He also said the Turkevi Center is a symbol of Turkey's faith in the United Nations, along with multilateralism, justice, and peace.

Bought from American tech giant IBM in 1977, the building served as Ankara's permanent mission to the UN and consulate general until 2013, when extensive renovations began.

The president said the building will serve for decades to come as a lasting symbol of Turkey’s diplomatic success.

Among the distinguished guests who attended the inauguration at 821 First Avenue in Manhattan – a stone’s throw from UN headquarters – was Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general.

Other guests included Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Ersin Tatar, Kosovar President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, as well as representatives of foreign missions.

Calling it an "enormous pleasure" to attend the inauguration of the new Turkevi Center, Guterres went on to laud Turkey’s unmatched record in hosting and helping refugees.

"I am personally familiar with the enormous generosity of Turkey and Turkish host communities towards refugees," said Guterres, adding: “I offer my sincere appreciation for your support to people in need of protection.”

'Turkey’s commitment to international solidarity'

In a pair of tweets, Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said that Erdogan paved the way for the new Turkevi Center, adding that its doors are open to the people of all nations.

"President Erdogan’s determined leadership is the most important factor in the creation of this incredible new building, Turkevi,” he wrote.

“It brings together Seljukid architectural style with modern technology and is situated right across from the United Nations.

"The building is a testament to Turkey’s commitment to international solidarity & cooperation for the sake of humanity.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkish-president-cuts-ribbon-on-landmark-turkevi-center-in-new-york/2369899

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Europe

 

Four charged with ‘anti-semitic abuse’ during pro-Palestinian protest in London

20 September ,2021

Four men in Britain have been charged for allegedly shouting anti-Semitic abuse and threats during a pro-Palestinian protest in north London earlier this year, police said on Monday.

London’s Metropolitan Police said the four, all from Blackburn, in northwest England, were charged with “using threatening, abusive or insulting words, or behavior, with intent, likely to stir up racial hatred.”

The men were arrested after video circulated on social media in May which appeared to show anti-Semitic abuse being shouted from a car travelling in a convoy decorated with Palestinian flags.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2021/09/20/Four-charged-with-anti-semitic-abuse-during-pro-Palestinian-protest-in-London

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UK reveals contacts of 250 Afghan interpreters in email

21 September ,2021

Britain’s defense ministry has apologized after it accidentally revealed the email addresses of more than 250 Afghan interpreters seeking to move to the UK.

The error came as the UK acknowledged it had left behind hundreds of Afghans eligible for relocation in the rushed evacuation following the Taliban takeover.

The BBC reported that an email sent by a defense ministry team promising help with relocation mistakenly copied in the addresses of more than 250 people, so they were visible to all recipients.

Many addresses also contained photographs.

The ministry reportedly sent another message 30 minutes later, advising the recipients to change their email addresses.

An interpreter told the broadcaster the mistake “could cost the life of interpreters, especially for those who are still in Afghanistan”.

A defense ministry spokesperson said late on Monday that an investigation had been launched into a “data breach of information from the Afghan Relocations Assistance Policy team”.

“We apologize to everyone impacted by this breach and are working hard to ensure it does not happen again,” said the spokesperson.

The data breach prompted anger from Conservative MP and former veterans minister Johnny Mercer, who called it a “criminally negligent performance”.

In August, The Times newspaper reported that it had found contact details of staff and job applicants left behind at the British embassy compound in Kabul, potentially endangering them.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2021/09/21/UK-reveals-contacts-of-250-Afghan-interpreters-in-email-

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UK, US discuss Iran, Afghanistan, security deal

21 September ,2021

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the UN General Assembly in New York and held discussions on Iran, Afghanistan and the trilateral security partnership between the US, Australia and the UK, Britain’s foreign office said.

Source: Al Arabiya

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2021/09/21/UK-US-discuss-Iran-Afghanistan-security-deal

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World powers to meet with Iran at UN to push for return to nuclear talks: France

21 September ,2021

Ministers from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia will meet with Iran at the United Nations later this week to try to give fresh momentum to stalled talks over reviving a 2015 nuclear deal, France’s foreign minister said on Monday.

A sixth round of indirect talks between Tehran and Washington was adjourned in June after hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected Iran’s president. Raisi took office on Aug. 5.

Since April, Iran and the world powers have tried to work out how Tehran and Washington can both return to compliance with the nuclear pact, which former US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions on Tehran.

“The negotiation must restart,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. “Time is playing against a potential accord. We need to take advantage of this week to restart these talks. Iran must accept to return as quickly as possible by appointing its representatives for the negotiations.”

New British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is due to meet with her Iranian counterpart Amir Abdollahian in New York on Monday as high-level officials meet at the annual UN General Assembly.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/21/World-powers-to-meet-with-Iran-at-UN-to-push-for-return-to-nuclear-talks-France

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Turkey's parliament speaker criticizes EU over migration, Islamophobia

Senhan Bolelli 

21.09.2021

MADRID

Turkey's parliament speaker on Tuesday criticized the EU for being inconsistent and unrealistic over the migration crisis, Islamophobia and Eastern Mediterranean crisis.

On the 3rd day of his visit to Spain, Mustafa Sentop also spoke on Turkey's ties with the European country, saying it wants to improve inter-parliamentary relations.

His visit to Spain is Turkey’s first at the parliament speaker level since 1994.

Reminding that Turkey sent protective equipment and other supplies to Spain when the coronavirus pandemic started last year, he said Spain was one of the first countries to send firefighting planes to Turkey as the forest fires spread across its southern provinces this summer.

"There is a friendship between Turkey and Spain that emerges in difficult times," he told reporters in Madrid, adding that Turkey's Trade Minister Mehmet Mus will visit Spain in the coming weeks, while Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will come to Turkey on Nov. 17.

Alliance of Civilizations

Emphasizing that rising Islamophobia in Europe "plays a very dangerous role," Sentop said the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, which was founded 16 years ago under the co-chairmanship of Turkey and Spain, is "much more needed in this period."

"It will undoubtedly take time for this project to become operational and effective," he said, adding that Turkey and Spain remain committed to the initiative. "We can make it happen."

The alliance aims to overcome fear and polarization between Muslim countries and Western societies.

Migration issue

Underlining that the EU did not fully comply with the 2016 migration agreement with Turkey, Sentop said: "What the EU has done in Turkey does not even make up one-tenth of its promises."

He stressed that every country has "responsibility and authority" over the migration crisis, and that only "Turkey does not have to bear the burden."

"Those who create it must also step in and take the burden," he said. "If this does not happen, the turmoil, economic imbalances, injustices in the world will lead to new waves of migration."

Eastern Mediterranean

Asked about the tension in Eastern Mediterranean, Sentop said: "It would be beneficial to leave the Eastern Mediterranean to the Eastern Mediterranean."

"Greece is not in the Eastern Mediterranean, France has nothing to do with it," he said. "Turkey will always protect and defend its rights within the international law."

He also criticized the EU for shaping its relations with Turkey based on the "whims of Greece and the Greek Cypriots."

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkeys-parliament-speaker-criticizes-eu-over-migration-islamophobia/2370448

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German chancellor 'hopeful' vows to enhance ties with Turkey

Cuneyt Karadag, Erbil Basay

21.09.2021

German conservative chancellor candidate Armin Laschet has promised to improve ties with Turkey if his party wins parliamentary elections on Sunday.

“I know how important Turkey is to us, as a NATO member, as a country closely linked to Europe, with many [areas of] cooperation,” Laschet said Monday in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.

"And as a friend of Turkey, I hope that with my chancellorship, relations will improve again. We have to work on that,” he stressed.

The 60-year-old experienced politician, who is the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), is hopeful that the conservative bloc will win the elections and he will succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Laschet praised the contributions of Germany’s Turkish community to the country and said the first generation of Turkish immigrants worked hard in rebuilding the economy and many from the second and third generations have successfully integrated into the society.

“One of my goals would be to ensure that German society recognizes this great potential,” he said, and promised to take steps to eradicate all forms of discrimination and achieve equal opportunities for all people with migrant backgrounds.

Laschet said if his party wins the election and forms the new government, economic growth, digitization and climate change would be their main priorities.

“The most important thing is that we should focus on economic growth again after the [coronavirus] pandemic,” he said, adding they will implement new programs to modernize the country, to achieve goals on digitalization, energy transition and climate protection.

He also promised an active foreign policy, stressing that Germany will continue to act in a responsible way.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/german-chancellor-hopeful-vows-to-enhance-ties-with-turkey/2370051

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Turkish president meets British premier at Turkevi Center in New York

Mehmet Tosun

21.09.2021

Turkey’s president and Britain’s prime minister held a closed-door meeting Monday in New York.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Boris Johnson at the Turkevi Center, or Turkish House, in Manhattan across from UN headquarters.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Trade Minister Mehmet Mus were also present during the meeting, which lasted 40 minutes.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-president-meets-british-premier-at-turkevi-center-in-new-york/2370079

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Anti-Zionist Jew seeks UK asylum after refusing military service in Israel

Zuhal Demirci  

20.09.2021

LONDON

An Orthodox Jewish young man, who fears for his life after refusing to take part in the Israeli army, is seeking asylum in the UK.

The man, whose name was not revealed at the instructions of the court, got his asylum application rejected in December 2020 in the UK. The court will decide on his appeal on Monday.

The 21-year-old man, who is pursuing formal training to become a rabbi, talked to Anadolu Agency about his views on Zionism and the legitimacy of the state of Israel, as well as his stance against the compulsory military service and the ordeal he went through.

Zionism is an affront to Judaism. According to Jewish scripture, the Jewish people are prohibited by God from assembling in masses in the Holy Land as a punishment for our sins and this punishment will only be lifted with the return of the Messiah,” he said, adding” “this was the overwhelming opinion of global Jewry for decades prior to the Holocaust.”

He said that Zionism is a political project that exploits Jewish suffering and the Jewish people in general for its own agenda.

“In the process, it has forcibly displaced the indigenous Palestinian people and stolen their land. The Zionists have engaged in theft and mass killing to create their Zionist state which racially discriminates against the Arabs. They have rebelled against God in the gravest way,” he added.

Explaining his reasons for opposing the existence of Israel, he said: “It is an affront to Judaism and has put in place a system that subjugates the indigenous Palestinian people by stealing their land, displacing the people, slaughtering them and denying them all rights.”

Immoral army’

Responding to a question on why he refused to serve in the military, he said: “It would have gone against everything that I stand for. I oppose Zionism and the legitimacy of the State of Israel and could not, therefore, participate in protecting the state. Furthermore, the State of Israel practices apartheid and is routinely involved in war crimes against the Palestinian people.”

I cannot serve in such an immoral army that carries out such atrocities on a daily basis,” he added.

He said that he was arrested in 2015 during a protest against compulsory military service, when he was 17.

I was arrested and taken into police custody. I was handcuffed and pushed to the floor and then dragged by my handcuffs. I was sworn at, spat upon, and beaten with a stick. It was a very humiliating and painful experience,” he said.

He said that he fears he will be persecuted if his asylum is rejected and has to return to Israel.

I have been persecuted by the State of Israel in the past for my religious beliefs and political opinions. I am unwilling to change those beliefs and opinions as they are a fundamental aspect of my identity,” he explained.

I will always actively oppose Zionism and fear that I will be persecuted as a result. I am afraid of being conscripted into an army that practices apartheid and engages in war crimes. As a military deserter, I fear that they will send me to prison for up to 15 years and torture me for refusing to serve,” he added.

‘He can be imprisoned for up to 15 years, tortured’

Also speaking to Anadolu Agency, the young man’s lawyer Fahad Ansari said his client can be imprisoned for up to 15 years and tortured in case of return to Israel.

He said that his client is a Rabbinical student and when he was in Israel, he was arrested for protesting against the forcible conscription of yeshiva students.

He was beaten, abused, spat upon, hit with a stick when he was in police custody, Ansari said, adding that his client then fled the country and came to the UK to seek asylum.

Ansari said that his client’s fear of going back to Israel is based on two premises.

Firstly, he's afraid that if he goes back, he's going to be treated like a military deserter. And as a result, go to prison for up to 15 years, during which time it is likely that he will be tortured as well,” he said.

And secondly, he feels that the fundamental aspect of his identity is that he has to protest against the state of Israel ... And if he does, so, he's likely to be picked up and tortured again,” he added.

Ansari said that the Home Office rejected his client’s application because he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and that he will be exempt from military service.

However, he said that his client will not be “automatically” exempted from the military service on mental health grounds and that since he has already left the country, he is going to be treated like a deserter.

Ansari said: “It’s an asylum case. Now, we believe that he will be persecuted on the basis of his religious and political opinions, religious opinions. Obviously, he's a Jew, and he's an Orthodox Jew. And according to his beliefs, the State of Israel should not even exist, and Zionism must be opposed at all costs.”

‘Role model’

The lawyer said that he has not had a case like this before or heard anything like this.

We haven't been able to find a precedent for it. And we think this is unprecedented,” he said, adding he is confident that they have enough evidence to convince the judge.

It would be quite incredible for the court to refuse his appeal and to dismiss his appeal. Of course, if that was to happen. We're ready to take this to the next stage and appeal it to further up,” he added.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/anti-zionist-jew-seeks-uk-asylum-after-refusing-military-service-in-israel/2369803

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Africa

 

France’s Macron asks ‘forgiveness’ for French treatment of Algerian Harki fighters

20 September ,2021

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday asked for “forgiveness” on behalf of his country for abandoning Algerians who fought alongside France in their country’s war of independence.

Tens of thousands of Algerians fought with the French army in the war that pitted Algerian independence fighters against their French colonial masters from 1954 to 1962.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2021/09/20/France-s-Macron-asks-forgiveness-for-French-treatment-of-Algerian-Harki-fighters

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'Secessionist terrorists' kill 15 soldiers in Cameroon conflict zones

Aurore Bonny

21.09.2021

Around 15 soldiers and several civilians died in two attacks in English-speaking areas of Cameroon plagued by a separatist crisis, the Ministry of Defense said Monday.

"On the evening of Thursday, September 16, 2021, a convoy of the 6th Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) on a reconnaissance mission was the target of an ambush by heavily armed terrorists" in the locality of Bamessing in the North West region, according to a note signed by Atonfack Nguemo Cyril Serge, the spokesman for the Cameroonian army.

He also cited a previous attack on Sept. 12 during which a military convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED) at Kumbo in the same region.

"The cumulative toll of these attacks is about 15 soldiers and several civilians killed, as well as three vehicles damaged," he said.

Those attacks were carried out "in defiance of international humanitarian law" and were "unspeakably barbaric" in terms of the use of civilians as "human shields" as well as the "camouflage" in the said populations and the "use of high explosives against the defense forces,” he added.

Cameroon's North West and South West regions are English-speaking areas that have been in the grip of a secessionist crisis since 2016.

"The secessionist terrorists," according to the Ministry of Defense, have established links with “exogenous violent fundamentalist groups.”

This bilingual country in Central Africa has a population of more than 27 million, with a 20% English-speaking minority that claims to be marginalized. Anglophone people are divided between those who want federalism and those who want secession as a form of independence.

This unresolved crisis has turned into a theater of criminality where the military deployed in the North West and South West are engaged in fighting against armed separatists.

There are several consistent reports of thousands of deaths as well as several hundred thousand externally displaced persons and over 700,000 internally displaced persons.

Several crimes against humanity such as killings, rapes and abductions have also been documented by human rights organizations.

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/secessionist-terrorists-kill-15-soldiers-in-cameroon-conflict-zones/2370141

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Man who inspired ‘Hotel Rwanda’ gets 25 years for terrorism

James Tasamba  

21.09.2021

A Rwandan dissident was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday on terrorism-related charges.

Paul Rusesabagina, who was portrayed as a hero in the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda, was convicted on eight of nine counts.

The conviction was related to acts of terrorism committed by the National Liberation Front (FLN) in 2018 which claimed the lives of nine civilians in Rwanda’s southwest.

The FLN is the armed wing of the political organization the Rwanda Movement for Democratic Change (MRCD), which operates out of various places in the region and abroad. Rusesabagina has acknowledged being a member of the MRCD, which is opposed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s rule.

The MRCD has denied responsibility for the violence carried out by the FLN and Rusesabagina has denied the charges against him.

Judges at the Rwandan High Court Special Chamber for International and Cross-border Crimes in the capital Kigali found Rusesabagina “guilty of creating and being a member of a terrorist organization but he is not guilty of forming an illegal armed group.”

“He is therefore sentenced to 25 years in prison,” Justice Antoine Muhima said after reading a lengthy verdict.

He was tried alongside 20 other defendants.

The court also sentenced Callixte Nsabimana, aka Sankara, who was a spokesman for the FLN, to 20 years in prison for his role in terrorist attacks on Rwanda and mobilization for terrorism activities.

In a statement, Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo said the lengthy trial “had exposed the terrorist activities of the FLN group.”

“The evidence against the accused was indisputable, and the people of Rwanda will feel safer now that justice has been delivered. The trial has been a long and painful ordeal for the victims of FLN attacks, particularly for those who were called upon to testify. Our thoughts today are with these brave witnesses and the family and friends of the victims,” she said.

However, Rusesabagina’s family in a statement dismissed the verdict, saying “an innocent man kidnapped and held as a political prisoner was wrongfully convicted after going through a show trial.”

Rusesabagina faced multiple charges including forming an illegal armed group, financing terror activities, murder, kidnap and arson in a trial he boycotted since March on claims of “unfairness and a lack of independence.”

“They should be found guilty for being part of this terror group,” Judge Beatrice Mukamurenzi had said earlier in the day.

“They attacked people in their homes, or even in their cars on the road travelling,” she added.

While Rusesabagina acknowledged membership in the MRCD, he has denied responsibility for the violence carried out by the FLN.

He was arrested in August 2020 when the Burundi-bound plane he boarded from the United Arab Emirates instead landed in the Rwandan capital, Kigali.

He objected to his trial in Rwanda, telling the court then that he is a Belgian citizen being held "hostage" and questioned its competence to try him.

On Feb. 11, the European Parliament in a resolution called for the release of Rusesabagina and expressed doubt that he would receive a fair trial in Rwanda.

But in a counter resolution, Rwandan lawmakers described the demand of the European Parliament as an attack on the country’s judicial system.

"The reported lack of fair trial guarantees calls into question the fairness of the verdict,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmes said that despite repeated appeals from Belgium, it must be concluded that Rusesabagina had “not been given a fair and equitable trial, in particular with regard to the rights of the defense.”

Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said “the Rwandan authorities undermined their case every step of the way starting with the manner in which they unlawfully detained Paul Rusesabagina through to multiple violations of the right to a fair trial.”

Source: Anadolu Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/man-who-inspired-hotel-rwanda-gets-25-years-for-terrorism/2370074

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Sudan failed coup attempt: Situation under control, suspects arrested

21 September ,2021

Sudanese authorities have foiled an attempted coup, the army said on Tuesday, warding off a challenge to a civilian-military council that has run the country since Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019.

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

A civilian member of the ruling council told Reuters the situation was under control after the attempted coup overnight had been contained. Interrogation of suspects was due to begin, the council member, spokesman Mohamed al-Faki Suleiman said.

The ruling body known as the Sovereign Council has run Sudan under a fragile power-sharing deal between the military and civilians following Bashir’s overthrow.

It plans to hold free elections in 2024.

“The military has defeated the coup attempt and the situation is completely under control,” the media adviser to Sovereign Council head, General Abdelfattah al-Burhan, told state news agency SUNA.

A government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the coup attempt had involved an effort to take control of state radio in Omdurman, across the River Nile from the capital Khartoum.

Measures were being taken to contain a limited number of people involved, the source said. All those implicated had been arrested, SUNA reported.

A witness said that military units loyal to the council had used tanks to close a bridge connecting Khartoum with Omdurman early on Tuesday morning.

It was not the first challenge to the transitional authorities, who say they have foiled or detected previous coup attempts linked to factions loyal to Bashir, who was deposed by the army after months of protests against his rule.

In 2020, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok survived an assassination attempt targeting his convoy as he headed to work in Khartoum.

Sudan after overthrow of Bashir

Sudan has gradually been welcomed into the international fold since the overthrow of Bashir, who ruled Sudan for almost 30 years and is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged atrocities committed in Darfur in the early 2000s.

Bashir is presently in prison in Khartoum, where he faces several trials.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor held talks with Sudanese officials last month on accelerating steps to hand over those wanted over Darfur.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/09/21/Failed-coup-attempt-in-Sudan-measures-being-taken-to-contain-it-Government-source

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Libya’s upper house calls for elections to be delayed for a year

20 September ,2021

The upper house of Libya’s parliament called Monday for presidential elections set for December to be postponed for a year following a controversy over an electoral law.

Under a UN-brokered deal between Libya’s rival eastern and western camps, the war-torn country is scheduled to hold legislative and presidential polls on December 24.

Earlier this month, eastern-based House of Representatives speaker Aguila Saleh ratified a law for the presidential vote, but he has come under fire for not presenting a final version to the assembly for a vote.

Critics charge that Saleh was trying to push through legislation favoring his eastern ally, military general Khalifa Haftar.

On Monday, the head of the Tripoli-based High Council of State (HCS), Khalid al-Mishri, rejected legislation which he said had been passed “without a legal vote or consensus.”

“We do not recognize the House of Representatives as having passed a presidential elections law,” Khalid al-Mishri told journalists.

Presidential elections “would not produce stability in Libya at the present time,” al-Mishri added.

He said the HCS proposed parliamentary elections on December 24 as agreed at the UN talks, but with another year to reach agreement on a new constitution before setting a date for presidential polls.

“Our hands reach out for dialogue, but the HoR (lower house) can’t simply pass laws on its own,” al-Mishri said.

Critics of Saleh’s move have pointed to a clause stipulating that military officials may stand in presidential polls on condition they withdraw from their posts three months beforehand.

Source: Al Arabiya

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2021/09/20/Libya-s-upper-house-calls-for-elections-to-be-delayed-for-a-year

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian G20 presidency promises to put a ‘battle for the soul of Islam’ on the front burner

September 20, 2021

By Dr. James M. Dorsey

Indonesian religious affairs minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas set the bar high for President Joko Widodo as well as Nahdlatul Ulama, the religious backbone of Mr. Widodo’s government when he laid out the agenda for his country’s presidency of the Group of 20. The G20 groups the world’s largest economies.

Speaking to the G20 Interfaith Forum in Bologna as Italy prepared to handover its presidency to Indonesia, Mr. Qoumas also threw down a gauntlet for Indonesia’s Middle Eastern competitors in a battle to define the degree to which Islam incorporates principles of tolerance, pluralism, gender equality, secularism and human rights as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The battle, which is likely to likewise determine which Muslim-majority country or countries will be recognized as leaders of the Islamic world, takes on added significance with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and concerns about Taliban policy towards militants on Afghan soil.

Meanwhile, uncertainty about US reliability as a security guarantor in the Gulf is prompting regional foes to contain their differences to ensure that they don’t spin out of control, increasing their emphasis on the projection of soft power.

Turkey’s 2022 budget appears to signal the shift and the importance President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attributes to this particular challenge.

The budget of the powerful Directorate of Religious Affairs or Diyanet is expected to increase by 20 per cent for fiscal 2022, giving it greater financial flexibility than the ministries of interior, foreign affairs, trade, industry and technology, environment and urbanization, energy and natural resources and culture and tourism.

These ministries are key for enabling Turkey to resolve its economic problems, compensate for the fallout of the pandemic and enhance its appeal as a potential leader of the Muslim world.

The Diyanet, in another sign of Mr. Erdogan’s emphasis on religious rather than national identity, recently urged Turks to use the religiously framed greeting Peace Be Upon (Selamün aleyküm) You rather than phrases like Good Morning (Gunaydin), prevalent in Turkey since its founding as a republic almost a century ago.

Diyanet president Ali Erbas argued in a recently published Turkish-language book, Human Religion and Religion in the Information Age, that the greeting ‘Good Morning’ traced its origins to the pre-Islamic era.

These latest moves suggest that Mr. Erdogan is taking his country, also a member of the G20, down a path diametrically opposed to what Mr. Qoumas was arguing in Bologna.

The minister contended in contrast to Mr. Erdogan’s policies that religion “has the potential to help block the political weaponization of identity; curtail the spread of communal hatred; promote solidarity and respect among the diverse people, cultures and nations of the world; and foster the emergence of a truly just and harmonious world order, founded upon respect for the equal rights and dignity of every human being. Yet to realize this potential, we must wisely manage the inevitable struggle between competing values, as globalization brings highly diverse peoples, cultures, and traditions into ever closer contact.”

Mr. Qoumas made his remarks as an Islamist journalist called on Mr. Erdogan to avoid the weaponization of religion.

Writing in Karar, a Turkish publication believed to be close to Mr. Erdogan’s erstwhile prime and foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, who left the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to found a party of his own, journalist Ahmet Tasgetiren, warned that the president appeared to be politicizing the Diyanet.

Drawing a comparison to Mr. Erdogan’ politicization of Turkey’s judiciary, Mr. Tasgetiren noted that it “weakens people’s confidence in it.” Pleading with Mr. Erdogan, Mr. Tasgetiren cautioned that “the politicization of the religion and the Diyanet ruins people’s relationship with religion… I think you would never want this for the religion. For the religion’s sake, please.”

Mr. Qoumas, the scion of an influential Nahdlatul Ulama family and the former head of the group’s powerful youth wing, GP Ansor, went on to say in his speech that “one major task that lies before us is to identify, and conscientiously observe, those universal values that a majority of the world’s inhabitants already acknowledge, such as the virtues of honesty, truth-seeking, compassion and justice. Another parallel task is to develop a global consensus regarding shared values that the world’s diverse cultures will need to embrace if we are to co-exist peacefully.”

Implicitly, the minister noted that in contrast to its competitors – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Iran – in the battle to reshape mainstream Islam, Nahdlatul Ulama, one of, if not the world’s largest Muslim civil society organization, has put its money where its mouth is.

Mr. Qoumas noted that a gathering in 2019 of more than 20,000 Muslim religious scholars associated with Nahdlatul Ulama ruled that the legal category of infidel was “neither relevant to nor applicable within, the context of a modern nation-state.” In doing so, Nahdlatul Ulama became the world’s first major contemporary Sunni Muslim religious entity to seek to update and modernize Islamic jurisprudence.

Mr. Qoumas stopped short of laying out an agenda for dealing with other concepts in Islamic law that Nahdlatul Ulama clerics have identified as either problematic or obsolete such as blasphemy.  Nahdlatul Ulama has argued that concepts like the dhimmi or people of the book who are recognized in classical Islamic jurisprudence but not granted equal status before the law, and apostasy, had been invalidated by the ruling on infidels.

Source: Modern Diplomacy

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2021/09/20/indonesian-g20-presidency-promises-to-put-a-battle-for-the-soul-of-islam-on-the-front-burner/

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Indonesian Analysts: MIT Leader’s Killing May Bring about Militant Group’s Demise

2021-09-20

The killing of an Indonesian militant leader during a shootout with police in Central Sulawesi province may spell the demise of his pro-Islamic State group because he had no apparent successor, terrorism analysts said. 

Security forces gunned down Ali Kalora, the top commander of the Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), and one of his followers who was identified as Jaka Ramadhan, in the jungles of Parigi Moutong regency on Saturday. The deaths reduced MIT’s members to four, with police vowing to capture the remnants “dead or alive.”

“MIT was already very weak and only survived on stealing farmers’ crops at the foot of the mountain,” said Ridlwan Habib, a security expert and researcher at the University of Indonesia.

“I believe these four people will be caught soon or turn themselves in,” Ridlwan told BenarNews.

None of the surviving MIT militants could potentially replace Ali, analysts said.

Ali’s likely successor, Muhammad Busra (also known as Qatar), was killed by security forces in July, said Muh Taufiqurrohman, a researcher at the Center for Radicalism and Deradicalization Studies (PAKAR) in Jakarta.

“Now the four who are on the run are leaderless and sooner or later they will be caught or killed,” Taufiqurrohman told BenarNews. “MIT is militarily coming to an end.”

Police said they were able to identify Ali’s remains through his family.

“Ali Kalora’s wife and two children came from Poso on Sunday afternoon and we immediately took DNA samples and matched them,” police spokesman Bronto Budiyono said.

After the identification, Ali’s body was buried in the provincial capital, Palu. Bronto said Ali’s widow approved the burial about 200 km (125 miles) from Poso regency, where MIT is based, to avoid a gathering of his supporters.

“Ali must have a lot of sympathizers in Poso. We don’t want his sympathizers to gather in Poso and cause security disturbances,” he said.

Jaka’s body was buried in Palu as well without the presence of family members who live in Banten province near Jakarta.

The MIT insurgency is concentrated in Indonesia’s Sulawesi region and is rooted in a Muslim-Christian conflict, which left more than 1,000 people dead between 1998 and 2001.

Many in Poso remain hostile toward the other side over land rights, Taufiqurrohman said.

“If this is not resolved, it could have serious consequences,” Taufiqurrohman said.

Another analyst, Harits Abu Ulya, a researcher at the Community of Analysts on Ideological Islam think-tank, said Ali’s death should reduce the threat of terrorism in Poso, Parigi Moutong, and Sigi – three Central Sulawesi areas where MIT has been active.

“I expect that those who remain in the jungles will be demoralized,” Harits told BenarNews, adding that they hardly had few weapons.

“They may have one homemade revolver and a few homemade bombs, but nothing else,” he said.

Even if all are captured or killed, the ideology of MIT could survive because the group enjoyed support among people in Poso, Taufiqurrohman warned.

“In terms of security, it’s good as Poso will be safer, but if the government and the community don’t work together to build the economy and promote harmony in Poso, other Ali Kaloras and Santosos will emerge,” he said.

Ali succeeded MIT founder Santoso who was killed by police in July 2016. Santoso was the first Indonesian militant to publicly pledge allegiance to the so-called Islamic State militant group.

Authorities said MIT members have been responsible for several killings, including of civilians and police, in Poso and its surroundings since 2012. In its latest attack, police said the group beheaded a farmer and killed three others in Poso on May 11.

Madago Raya

Police and soldiers taking part in a manhunt code-named Madago Raya – the latest iteration of years-long efforts to destroy MIT – will continue to search for the group’s remaining members, said Inspector Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi, the Central Sulawesi police chief who leads the operation.

“Our goal is to rid Central Sulawesi of acts of terrorism. The remaining four fugitives will be caught dead or alive,” Rudy told reporters.

Indonesian authorities have made similar pronouncements in the past but have not yet eliminated the MIT threat although the number of members dwindled to no more than 20 after Santoso was killed. The group operates in rugged and mountainous terrain.

“If they turn themselves in, they will be prosecuted. If they don’t surrender, the task force will continue to pursue them,” Rudy said.

Source: Benar News

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/indonesian/no-scuccessor-09202021150257.html

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Malaysian transgender activist arrested in Thailand

September 21, 2021

Thai authorities have caused controversy by arresting a transgender activist from Malaysia who is wanted in Thailand’s Muslim-majority neighbor for allegedly insulting Islam.

Nur Sajat Kamaruzzaman, a 36-year-old transgender woman who is a social media personality and runs a cosmetics business in her homeland, is facing the prospect of being deported back to Malaysia where she could be sentenced to years in prison.

“Efforts are being made to bring the suspect back,” a Malaysian police officer was quoted as saying on Sept. 20.

Nur Sajat, whose birth name is Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman, has been charged with violating Islamic Sharia law in Malaysia by showing up in a woman’s dress at a religious event in 2018.

If convicted, Nur Sajat could be sentenced to three years in prison in the conservative Muslim nation where transgender people and members of the LGBTQ community face regular discrimination and harassment by authorities.

The Muslim transgender woman, who is an outspoken advocate for transgender rights in Malaysia, failed to show up for a court hearing in February and went missing, which prompted Malaysian authorities to issue an arrest warrant for her.

Her arrest in Thailand has caused concern about her well-being among the Buddhist country’s transgender activists.

“Transgender people can live openly in Thailand but they cannot do that in Malaysia,” a Bangkok-based Muslim transgender woman from Thailand’s Muslim-majority Pattani province told UCA News on condition of anonymity.

“I fear for her safety if she is sent back to Malaysia and sentenced to prison there.”

Malaysian transgender activists have expressed similar sentiments in the wake of Nur Sajat’s arrest.

In an interview with AFP news agency, Thilaga Sulathireh, co-founder of Malaysian transgender activist group Justice for Sisters, decried what she called “continuous persecution against Nur Sajat [which] represents the climate of repression against LGBT persons in Malaysia.”

The activist called on Malaysian police to “immediately drop all investigations and harassment against Sajat.”

Over the years international rights groups have repeatedly called on Malaysian authorities to respect the rights of transgender people.

“The Islamic authorities should abandon their preoccupation with transpeople’s attire, an obsession that in recent years has prompted dozens if not hundreds of arrests of transwomen under state [Sharia] laws, which criminalize a male person posing as a female,” said Neela Ghoshal, associate director of Human Rights Watch’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program.

Source: UC News

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.ucanews.com/news/malaysian-transgender-activist-arrested-in-thailand/94223#

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PBDS president urges Christian MPs from Sarawak to not support controversial RUU 355 in Parliament

20 Sep 2021

BY SULOK TAWIE

KUCHING, Sept 20 — Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) president Bobby William today urged Christian Members of Parliament from Sarawak to reject a Bill to Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act to increase the criminal powers of Shariah Courts if it seeks to control and restrict the propagation of non-Islamic faiths in the state.

He said Sarawakian Christians will be watching them closely if they will vote according to their conscience when the Bill is tabled in Parliament this year.

“PBDS is of the opinion that supporting this RUU355 is against our religion and as Christians, we must stand up for our faith,” he said when responding to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Yaakob’s recent statement that the federal government was currently in the midst of drafting the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) (Amendment) Act to increase the criminal powers of Shariah Courts.

The Act is known by its number 355, and the proposal for the amendment is commonly known by the Malay initials for Rang Undang-undang, as RUU355.

Bobby asked if Saratok Member of Parliament Datuk Ali Biju and Puncak Borneo Member of Parliament Datuk Willie Mongin, both Christians, would vote against the Bill since they are now Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

He said the Christian-majority Sarawak does not have any religious issue, adding that the people of different ethnic backgrounds have the freedom to practise their faiths.

Bobby asked what is the objective of the “Malaysian Family”’ concept if RUU355 is to be enforced nationwide, controlling and restricting the propagation of other faiths.

“Where is the harmony and democracy of a multiracial nation if it is being imposed as part of the integration with the civic law?” he asked.

Bobby urged all Sarawakians, especially the non-Muslims to voice out their opposition to any attempts to control the propagation of their faiths.

“Let our voices be heard so that we can get true equality and justice for the betterment of Malaysia and Sarawak,” he said.

In a statement on September 16, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in a parliamentary reply to Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad, had said that the government, through the Islamic and Civil Law technical committee, under the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs, had held a series of meetings to discuss RUU 355, since 2020.

“This is to look into various aspects, especially the constitution and syarak law so that RUU 355 is more comprehensive and further strengthens the criminal jurisdiction of the Shariah courts,” Ismail Sabri said in the written reply posted on the Parliament website.

The PM said the government Bill will be presented to the states for discussion once it was finalised. Islamic law falls under state jurisdiction in Malaysia.

The controversy over the proposal to strengthen the Shariah courts first erupted when it was linked to hudud, and was seen as a way to impose harsh punishments against Muslims perceived to run afoul of Islamic laws, including those in the LGBT community.

RUU355 was tabled by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat on May 26, 2016 as a private member’s Bill.

The Bill as proposed by Hadi sought to raise the Shariah courts’ maximum sentencing limits to 30 years’ jail, RM100,000 fine and 100 strokes of the cane.

Source: Malay Mail

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/09/20/pbds-president-urges-christian-mps-from-sarawak-to-not-support-controversia/2006931

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Mideast

 

Iran’s Top Commander Asks US Soldiers Not to Turn into Infantries of Warmongering Rulers

2021-September-21

“I would like to talk to the freethinking soldiers and military personnel of the United States, that is the cause of war, turmoil and insecurity and the leader of anti-peace front in the international arena, and ask them some questions,” General Baqeri wrote in a message on the occasion of the Holy Defense Week (invasion of Iraq against Iran in 1980s) and The World Peace Day 2021. 

“By the way, have you ever thought of the question what the US army is looking for in other countries by mongering wars and occupation tens of thousands of kilometers away from home,” he added.

“Has their presence in the countries under invasion, occupation and war such as Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. actually brought peace, security and tranquility? Truly, should it be believed that the hasty withdrawal from the main military base in Afghanistan was for the sake of peace, tranquility and democracy in Afghanistan,” General Baqeri asked.

“Think a little about the realities and events these days in Yemen to see what the support and proximity of the US army along with the Saudi coalition has done to the oppressed and defenseless people of Yemen,” he added.

“Do not allow the absurd rulers of the US and the criminal and blood-thirsty terrorists sitting in command rooms of that country’s army make distance between you and international facts and realities by fictitious and mean image-making and make you the spelled infantry of their domination policies and war mongering,” General Baqeri said.

“They try to frighten you not to think about some of the obvious and undeniable bitter issues and realities of the world that are the products of the planning of the Zionist lobby.”

“Common sense requires that you find your share in the list of oppression, crime, war, violence and insecurity and displacing hundreds of thousands of people across the world who are eager to live with dignity, security and tranquility yet being deprived of them and judge on them based on your nature and conscience,” he added.

“I rest assured that your inquisitive minds can find a brave and responsible-making response to these questions and then depict your role toward them,” General Baqeri said.

“While peace means non-existence of war and violence, and entails mutual respect for the rights of nations under the Charter of the United Nations, America and the Zionist regime and their global and regional allies and like-minded rulers in their deceptive discourse and operation have in full pretended to be so philanthropist that it is they who are the true harbinger of peace!! While dictating a special definition of peace to the world, they have been the cause of wars, challenges and military tensions as well as insecurity, homelessness, misery, displacement of the nations of West Asia, especially in recent decades,” he added.

“The Zionist-Western peace-seeking circus and the criminal acts of America across the world, depicts the disaster depth of threat to peace and the investment and also providing military finance by the world powers never show peace-seeking in the world.”

“By looking at the war in Yemen and the crime that the brave yet oppressed people of this country suffer, displays this reality that beyond the peace-seeking motto of the West, a large portion of weapons used by Saudi Arabia and its criminal coalition against the people of Yemen is supplied by the rulers of the so-called peace-seeking and humanitarian countries, especially America,” General Baqeri said.

“Stable and persistent peace is possible and accessible provided that it is followed in the light of justice and outside of the domination of American discourse and definition. From the Islamic Republic of Iran’s point of view, a just peace whose outcome is a true peace and friendship is the very discourse that has been stipulated in all divine religions and Islamic Iran has always been its harbinger and considers it a missing link of today’s world.”

“In the meantime, it is a source of hope that the goals and covetousness of American and western neo-colonial movements have been revealed to the nations of the world who are returning to their divine and clean nature,” he added. 

His comments came after Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami said on Sunday that the US has lost its power and is a defeated, fugitive and depressed state which has been forced to withdraw its forces from the region.

“Today we no longer see a dangerous US, but we witness a failed, fleeing and depressed US,” General Salami said.

General Salami also expressed delight that the Iranian nation’s resistance too had helped them weather all pressures.

“Inside our own country, despite all natural or imposed pressures, the Iranian nation has been engaged in resistance [too]. And now, these obstacles are being removed, the adversities are giving way to easier times, and the roads are being paved,” he said.

The entire world is now envying this nation that has been successfully standing up to great powers for more than four decades, the commander said.

“Iran’s name is identified with grandeur, compassion, advancement, integrity, and unity,” he stated, and also hailed the Iranian people’s strong emotional bond with Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000630000395/Iran%E2%80%99s-Tp-Cmmander-Asks-US-Sldiers-N-Trn-in-Infanries-f-Warmngering

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Iran Calls for UN's Active Role in Afghanistan

2021-September-21

Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in New York on Tuesday.

The Iranian foreign minister pointed to Iran's hosting of millions of Afghan refugees, and called for more active UNHCR role to address the critical humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

Filippo Grandi, for his part, appreciated Iran for being host to Afghan refugees, and recalled the UN's commitment to the situation of refugees, including in Afghanistan.

In  relevant remarks last week, Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi said that members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are in a consensus that Afghanistan needs an inclusive government consisting of all ethnic groups.

During a security meeting on Afghanistan, which was held on the sidelines of the SCO Summit, Iran’s stances were explained and the participants reached a consensus on the situation in the war-ravaged country, Rayeesi said on Saturday upon returning from a three-day visit to Tajikistan, where he attended the 21st SCO summit.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000630000279/Iran-Calls-fr-UN's-Acive-Rle-in-Afghanisan

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Iran, IAEA Agree to Continue Cooperation

2021-September-21

The AEOI Chief Mohammad Eslami and IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi reached the agreement during their talks in Austrian capital of Vienna on Monday evening.

During the meeting, the two sides stressed the need to establish ties based on mutual respect and good faith.

In addition, AEOI chief and IAEA director general exchanged their views on mutual cooperation in various areas and issues of mutual interests.

Earlier, AEOI Chief Mohammad Eslami, who is in Vienna to take part in the 65th General Conference of IAEA, met and held talks with his Russian counterpart, the Director-General of Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) Alexey Likhachev.

The 65th General Conference of the IAEA was underway with the participation of representatives of 171 countries.

In relevant remarks earlier on Monday, Eslami called on the UN nuclear watchdog to refrain from making politically-tainted decisions, and stressed the need for US to remove sanctions against Tehran in a verifiable manner.

"The so called maximum pressure policy was doomed to fail and the US administration should abandon its addiction to unilateral sanctions and respect international law. Now, it is the time to rectify the wrong policies and initially remove all sanctions in a practical, effective and verifiable manner," Eslami said, addressing the IAEA's 65th General Conference in Vienna on Monday.

He also referred to Iran's long-term cooperation with the IAEA, and said, "Although, Iran has always cooperated with the Agency, at the same time, it is necessary that the IAEA avoids politicization and maintains its independence, impartiality and professionalism."

"Iran’s experience in nuclear field dates back to mid-1950s and in 1958 Iran has joined the IAEA. Since 1960s, Iran has begun working on nuclear R&D and its first nuclear research center was established in the mid-1960. In early 1970s, Iran has planned to build nuclear power reactors, and for this many experts and technicians were trained in highly qualified research and training centers around the world. Bushehr Power Plant is the first operationalized nuclear power plant in Iran."

"The inevitable trend of rising demand for energy, along with the similar rising preference for increased reliance on clean and safe sources, as well as other rising demands in areas such as health, medicine, water, food and agriculture, and the manufacturing industry in general, are all facts of our life; however, the challenges are outpacing the partnership to address them by utilizing the technological advances. There is a dire need for the international community to collectively take steps in addressing the emerging challenges. Turning blind eyes to the challenging issues is not a viable option and such an ignorance policy would progressively backfire on all of us in the long run," Eslami said.

"The Agency, as per its Statute, is mandated to assist Member States in developing the peaceful use of nuclear energy indiscriminately. The Agency is also entitled to strengthen the area of technical cooperation with due consideration for member states’ needs and priorities, and as such, to help them achieve their Sustainable Development Goals through sharing of knowledge and experience and transfer of technology and equipment without any types of discrimination and political objectives. The areas within the realm of peaceful nuclear activities, falling under the IAEA’s umbrella, can certainly be strengthened by our collective efforts and cooperation."

"The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was concluded in order to remove the impediments of Iran’s progress, is a clear example of Iran’s goodwill which the United States not only violated with complete disregard, but also through its unilateral policies, violated provisions of the JCPOA and UNSC resolution 2231 and withdrew from the Deal. The so called maximum pressure policy was doomed to fail and the U.S administration should abandon its addiction to unilateral sanctions and respect international law. As a result of the unilateral policies, the US violated the text and spirit of the JCPOA and UNSC resolution 2231 and withdrew from the Deal," he added.

"Unfortunately, the US has not sufficed to re-imposing its previously lifted unilateral sanctions, but also exerted and continues to exert pressures on the others, be it public or private, to follow suit, in defiance of the UNSC Resolution 2231 (2015). These pressures and sanctions are not necessarily restricted to trade related matters, but also extended to the peaceful and humanitarian applications of the nuclear science and technology, even by imposing sanctions on radiopharmaceutical production facilitates and Iran’s Nuclear Regulatory Body, in contradiction with the letters and spirit of the IAEA Statute. Such an irresponsible and inhuman behavior by the US is endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients in dire need of those radiopharmaceuticals.

Despite all difficulties, the Islamic Republic of Iran, promised and assured by the remaining parties of implementation of their commitments, decided to remain in the deal and continue to constructively and closely work with the Agency, while not benefiting from the deal. This fact has been verified by the IAEA for 15 consecutive times."

"Although, Iran has always cooperated with the Agency, at the same time, it is necessary that the IAEA avoids politicization and maintains its independence, impartiality and professionalism," Eslami underlined.

"In this context, only after about two and a half years of continued proliferation of inclusive economic sanctions against different sectors of Iran’s economy by the U.S and lack of practical actions by the E3/EU in meeting their commitments, on 2nd December 2020, Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran passed a law, which required the Government to stop the implementation of all verification and monitoring activities beyond Iran’s Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, in case of the continuation of non-compliance of the participants of the deal within two months after the entry into force of the law. The so called maximum pressure policy was doomed to fail and the US administration should abandon its addiction to unilateral sanctions and respect international law."

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000629000604/Iran-IAEA-Agree-Cnine-Cperain

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IRGC Destroys 4 Bases of Anti-Revolutionary Groups in Northern Iraq

2021-September-20

“Anti-revolutionary groups have been organized by the intelligence services of hostile and foreign countries, and even certain Arab states, in Northern Iraq to be used in line with their goals and create obstacles on the way of the Islamic Republic,” Deputy Commander of the IRGC Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada base in Northwestern Iran Brigadier General Majid Arjmandfar told reporters.

"These anti-revolutionary groups were stationed in a short distance from the Iranian borders, and necessary warnings were given to the Iraqi government, officials and managers in the Northern parts of the neighboring country."

"We had said and warned that if the slightest mistake is seen from these hostile groups, they will receive a harsh response, which led to the destruction of the four bases of these anti-revolutionary groups," General Arjmandfar said.

He underlined that anywhere these counter-revolutionary groups are stationed is considered as enemy territory by Iran, and said, “We proved this in the recent attack and we targeted all positions, command centers and the ammunition dumps they had."

Earlier today, the IRGC had said in a statement that their forces had targeted and destroyed terrorist hideouts in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

A statement by the IRGC's Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada Base in West Azerbaijan Province in Northwestern Iran said on Monday that "four bases of the anti-revolutionary groups were targeted and destroyed by precision-striking weapons in response to their movements on the border of our country with Northern Iraq".

The statement added that anti-Iran groups have been organized and sponsored in the Northern region of Iraq by the foreign and hostile intelligence services and some Arab states to use them in line with their goals and create obstacles on the way of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In relevant remarks on Monday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri warned of the country’s continued attacks against the hideouts of anti-revolutionary groups in the region, specially the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

General Baqeri made the remarks, referring to the recent IRGC operations against the terrorist and anti-revolutionary groups in the Iraqi Kurdistan region,

“The officials of this region and the Iraqi government should take action to confront these groups," he added.

General Baqeri warned the Americans that their bases in the region should also be abolished and not be used as an anti-revolutionary center, and said, "We will continue our operations against the anti-revolutionary groups and we will not tolerate any mischiefs at these borders."

"Confronting these groups is our right based on the UN Charter," he stressed.

General Baqeri said that the Iraqi Kurdistan region officials should not allow the armed anti-revolutionary groups which are affiliated to the US and Israel to have military bases and TV and radio stations and attack the Iranian borders, and warned, “The (Iranian) Armed Forces will annihilate these groups.”

Earlier this month, the IRGC attacked the positions of terrorists in the Iraqi Kurdistan region with artillery fire, missiles and drones.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000629000647/IRGC-Desrys-4-Bases-f-Ani-Revlinary-Grps-in-Nrhern-Ira

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Iran’s Top Commander: Besieged Israel Aware of Incapability to Survive War against Resistance Front

2021-September-20

“By usurping the Palestinian lands, the Zionist regime thought that it can pave the path of growth and gain more power by reliance on the US power and it was pleased to be in contact with a number of despicable and mercenary countries in the region but the incidents in Afghanistan and other events in the axis of resistance and the successive defeats of the child-killing regime showed that a happy ending is not waiting for it,” General Baqeri said.

"These days, we've been witnessing that the Zionist regime officials have been going to the US one after another, asking the US to take a more serious approach towards Iran and the axis of resistance, but they were said that they have to find a way themselves,” he added.

“Whenever the Zionist regime officials raises threats, they know very well that any attack on the territory and interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran will face a decisive and crushing response from Iran and they are not capable of resistance in confrontation against the resistance front and under the siege of the resistance groups, including Hamas and (Islamic) Jihad,” General Baqeri said.

In relevant remarks earlier today, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani warned Zionist officials against any “unwise” act against Iran, underlining that any hostile move will receive Tehran's crushing response.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000629000617/Iran%E2%80%99s-Tp-Cmmander-Besieged-Israel-Aware-f-Incapabiliy-Srvive-War

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Erdoğan receives representatives of Turkish, Muslim communities in US

SEP 20, 2021

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday met with Turkish citizens and representatives of the Muslim community in the United States during his visit to the country to attend the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The reception at the Manhattan Center was closed to the press and was organized in cooperation with the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) and the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC).

“From here, through you, I send my greetings to all the oppressed and victims whose hearts beat with us. I send my greetings to all my brothers and sisters who are struggling to hold on to life as Muslims in different corners of the world,” Erdoğan said at the opening.

Stating that they came together again this year in good health and well-being after a two-year obligatory break, Erdoğan said: "I am very happy to be among our brothers. I bring you the greetings of your relatives, friends and brothers from Turkey. We missed you very much, we see that our brothers in America missed us too."

Expressing that he is pleased with the aid campaigns organized by the American Islamic community by foundations and associations, Erdoğan said that both Turkish citizens and Muslims have carried out valuable works and that they have shown the beauty of being a Muslim to American society with their lives, stances and generosity.

Erdoğan stated that he sees the fight against Islamophobia both through nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and individually and that he is pleased with this. "With this vast experience you have, it is very important that you contribute more to the fight against hate crimes and cultural racism. As Turkey, we take a leading role in the fight against Islamophobia and intolerance on international platforms."

Using the phrase "The achievements you have achieved in America make us and our nation proud as much as you do," Erdoğan said that he believes the number of successful businesspersons and scientists in the U.S. will increase even more.

"I hope that you will assume a greater role in the political field in parallel with the successes you have achieved in the commercial, scientific, social and cultural fields. In the coming period, I expect you to raise many more political representatives, both at the federal and state level. This is what suits this powerful community where the number of people of only Turkish descent exceeds 300,000," he added.

Emphasizing that the contributions of Turkish society to American society have had extremely positive reflections on Turkish-American relations, Erdoğan stated that he especially follows the efforts of NGOs established by Turkish citizens and compatriots living in the United States to promote Turkey, its culture and history to Americans.

Pointing out that the Turkish-American society has reached a certain level of maturity, Erdoğan said he believes Turkish society will make greater contributions to Turkey-U.S. relations by acting in unity and solidarity.

The U.S. launch of the book "A Fairer World Is Possible" written by Erdoğan was also held in New York.

The book, in which Erdoğan describes in detail Turkey's pursuit of justice for all humanity, was introduced at the event organized by the TASC at The Manhattan Center.

The book, which was translated into English and Arabic, was given as a gift to the guests attending the event.

Erdoğan on Sunday departed for New York to attend the 76th session of UNGA. During his visit to the United States, Erdoğan is expected to reiterate his message calling for global justice and hold bilateral contacts with world leaders. Among the most important issues on the president's agenda are U.N. reforms, the fight against irregular migration, global climate change, Islamophobia and sharing knowledge and experience to control the pandemic.

More than 130 heads of state and government, foreign ministers and delegates will attend the 76th U.N. summit, which will be held in New York this year and begins Tuesday, with some leaders sending video messages. Afghanistan, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change will come to the fore at the General Assembly meetings, which will bring world leaders together in a hybrid format this year.

Erdoğan, who, like all world leaders, sent a video message to the U.N. summit last year, departed to New York on Sunday to attend the General Assembly meetings this year. Erdogan will address the General Assembly on Tuesday. Addressing world leaders at the summit, Erdoğan will call for global justice. It is noted that Erdogan will express his views on the restructuring of the U.N., and in his General Assembly speech, he will repeat his call for everyone to take responsibility for the global migrations crisis.

Addressing reporters in Istanbul ahead of his trip to the U.S., Erdoğan said: "I will emphasize Turkey's strong support for multilateralism and the goal of establishing a fairer world order."

Source: Daily Sabah

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/erdogan-receives-representatives-of-turkish-muslim-communities-in-us

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President Rayeesi: Iran No Longer Focuses Only on Ties with West

2021-September-21

Rayeesi made the remarks in a meeting with a group of families of martyrs in Tehran on Monday.

He underscored that overcoming many challenging tasks would be made possible by tapping into domestic capabilities.

"Unfortunately, we witnessed that certain people had stopped importing vaccines or even tied joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to the approval of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force), and even insisted on their position in official meetings," Rayeesi said.

He added that during the short time since the inauguration of the 13th government in August, nothing special has happened to have led to an increase in the import of vaccines or the country's membership in the SCO.

“But our neighboring and friendly countries saw that we no longer focus only on the West and that (improving) relations with neighbors and regional countries has become a priority of Iran's foreign policy,” Rayeesi stated.

In the path towards development, he emphasized, Iran sets no limitation to make use of various countries’ experience “but we will be very careful to choose an appropriate version of progress that is in full compliance with the situation of the Islamic Iran”.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) officially admitted Iran as a new member of the Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance at its 21st summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Friday.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following url to read the full text of the original story:

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000630000222/Presiden-Rayeesi-Iran-N-Lnger-Fcses-Only-n-Ties-wih-Wes

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