• Muslim Leaders from All Schools of Thought Came Forward and Said
That the Tablighi Jamaat Issue Should Not Be Communalised
• Islamic State Threat During Coronavirus Outbreak: Delhi Police
Personnel on Target, Alert Issued
• Muslim Community Critical, Cautious After Tablighi Jamaat
Features as Covid-19 Hotbed in News Reports
• Video of Sufi Ritual Falsely Viral as Mass Sneezing in
Nizamuddin Mosque to Spread Coronavirus Infection
• Seven from Nizamuddin mosque named in FIR for March gathering
• First J&K Resident Who Died Of COVID-19 Attended Delhi
Mosque Event: Cops
• Jharkhand minister's son in home quarantine, father denies he
went to Delhi mosque event
• Gujarat High Court Seeks Details Of Delhi Mosque Event Attendees
• 16 mosques in Delhi that hosted members of Tablighi Jamaat
• Police case against two functionaries of a mosque in Ahmednagar,
administration identifies • 46 Tablighis who participated in Delhi meet
• Foreigners Who Attended Delhi Mosque Event Violated Visa Rules:
• 16 mosques in Delhi that hosted members of Tablighi Jamaat congregation
• Prime Minister Imran Khan Asks Youth to Join Corona Tiger Force
As ‘Jihad’ Against Pandemic
• Islamists Are Frustrating Pakistan’s Fight Against Coronavirus
• Govt continuously monitoring Covid-19 trends: PM
• Punjab has conducted nearly 15,000 Covid-19 tests but other
provinces are lagging behind
• PML-N wants parliamentary oversight of corona relief fund
• 14 More Test Positive At Raiwind Tableeghi Jamaat Headquarters
• NA, Senate panel on pandemic to meet on April 6
• Amid scarce handouts, anxiety grows among wage earners due to
• Muslim World League delivers medical supplies to Pakistan
• Iranian Youths and Resistance Units: Mullahs Want Us to Despair,
We Will Fight Against It
• Turkish Mosque Thanks Dutch Health Care Workers with Quran Verse
• Israel’s Ongoing Arrests Of Palestinians Amid Virus Outbreak
Reflect Regime’s Brutality, Criminality: Hamas
• Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman tests positive for
• Death in the Holy Land - Coronavirus changes burial for Jews,
• DİTİB launches aid campaign for mosques in Germany amid pandemic
• Al-Houthi arrives in Sana'a on-board armoured personnel carrier
• Calm restored at Syrian Kurdistan jail after Islamic State riot
• Taliban To Cease Fire in Areas Only Affected by Coronavirus:
• India’s NIA to launch its first investigation in a foreign soil
after Kabul attack
• 18 Nepali Muslims Who Attended Nizamuddin Congregation in Delhi,
Quarantined In Nepal
• 6 including 2 imams, 2 teachers fined for spreading rumours
• Kabul Police foil bid to kidnap Afghan Air Force pilot
• Pentagon announces $7.1 million to support the drone’s
operations of Afghan forces
• Muslim Doctors, Alfa Sa'adu; Amged el-Hawrani; Adil El Tayar and
Habib Zaidi, First to Die on Front Line of UK Pandemic
• British Islamic Medical Association Offers Free Training for All
For All Medical Students Joining The Frontline
• The Majority of Sexual Offenders Are White Men – There Is No
Muslim Problem With Sexual Grooming
• Blackburn mosque’s digital plan to support residents
• Birmingham mosques expand funeral service facilities
• British Muslims advised to delay bookings for Hajj pilgrimage
• Muslims advised to delay Hajj bookings
• 'We need your help' - Muslim charity feeding NHS workers and
elderly running out of stock
• Muslim charities working together to respond to coronavirus
• Muslim Paramedic Shaves Beard to Protect People During
• With Passover, Easter, And Ramadan Approaching, Washingtonians
Will Be Keeping The Faith Creatively
• Grassroots Muslim Volunteer Effort Delivers Food to Metro
• Getting An Accurate Census Count Is Vital. First, Muslim
Americans Need To Trust It's Safe.
• Islamic Waqf carries out Temple Mount digs, despite coronavirus
• US believes Iran was ‘directly involved’ in killing of Iranian
dissident in Turkey
• Worshippers Attack Govt Officials, Journalists, Police at Lagos
• Coronavirus: Fighting al-Shabab propaganda in Somalia
• How Coronavirus Challenges Muslims’ Faith and Changes Their
• Indonesian Religious Leaders Must Be More Active in
Communicating Messages About the Pandemic
• Maybank Islamic’s New Dubai Branch Sets Out To Attract Gulf
Investors To Southeast Asia
• Malaysia debates whether to hold Ramadan bazaars amid Covid-19
• Yala struggles to enforce ban on Friday prayer at mosques
• “If You Find Me, I’m Yours.”: Writer of Mystery Letters in
• Pakistan’s Consul General In Jeddah Urges Pakistani Community To
Follow Saudi Virus Safety Measures
• Saudi Arabia pumps 12m barrels of oil for the first time
• Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives phone call from President
• Yemeni Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hails Order of the Custodian
of the Two Holy Mosques for Providing Free Health Care to all People Infected
Compiled by New Age Islam
Leaders from All Schools of Thought Came Forward and Said That the Tablighi
Jamaat Issue Should Not Be Communalised
Cutting across the ideological divide, some Muslim religious scholars have
extended support to Tablighi Jamaat. Though initially many non-Tablighi groups
blamed it for the spread of the virus, Muslim leaders from all schools of
thought came forward and said that the issue should not be communalised.
for the first time, religious scholars from Barelvi, Deobandi and other schools
of thought, who otherwise do not see eye-to-eye with Tablighi Jamaat, supported
leader and Seerat-un-Nabi Academy chairman Moulana Syed Ghulam Samdani Ali
Quadri said though he was ideologically opposed to Tablighi Jamaat, he would
support it on principles. “The congregation in Delhi began on March 15. There
was no lockdown or ban on congregations. People in Markaz could not move out
due to sudden lockdown. There was no transport facility. It is wrong to blame
the Jamaat,” he said.
Arshad Madani of Jamiat Ulema Hind said people were stranded at the Markaz due
to sudden lockdown. He also found fault with the authorities for not granting
transport permission to shift people.
Khalid Saifullah Rahmani of Islamic Fiqh Academy, said the government should
have given sufficient time for lockdown.
Patel, president of the Islamic Information Centre, in his message said the
spike in number of Markaz visitors testing positive is due to a high percentage
of testing in a targeted group. He said similar results could come out if
people, who attended different political and religious congregations, were also
leaders argue that though 30,955 suspects are in quarantine in AP, the
government conducted tests on only 748 people. And all those, who attended the
Jamaat meeting are subjected to corona tests and this explains the high number
of positive percentage. All over the country only about 35,000 people were
tested, the lowest in the world. In other countries it is 100 to 500 times more
than those tested in India.
also cited several instances when large gatherings were held during the period
of Markaz meeting, and later during the lockdown.
State Threat During Coronavirus Outbreak: Delhi Police Personnel On Target,
Police personnel stationed at police barricades and pickets to maintain the law
and order during the lockdown in the national capital have come under the
Islamic State threat. The terrorist organisation is planning to launch a
lone-wolf attack on the security officers in Delhi during the novel coronavirus
to an advisory issued by the authorities, the Delhi policemen have been asked
to stay alert for a possible attack by the Islamic State.
attack could be in the form of a stabbing, firing, or running over the police
picket using a big vehicle.
Today TV has a copy of the advisory issued to the Delhi Police staff.
per assessment made at MAC platform by going through literature and magazines
published by ISIS [Islamic State], it has been suspected that police personnel
deployed upon duty at various pickets/barricades in Delhi in connection with
maintaining of law and order in Delhi regarding outbreak of the novel
coronavirus may be targeted by suspected ISIS [IS] operatives. Said attacks may
be in form of Lone Woolf attack, stabbing, firing or hitting by vehicles etc.
Field staff may please be briefed accordingly," the advisory said.
Community Critical, Cautious After Tablighi Jamaat Features as Covid-19 Hotbed
in News Reports
Delhi: Late on Monday evening, news broke that six people, among thousands from
India and other parts of the world, who attended a meeting of the Islamic preachers'
organisation Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi last month died after testing positive
for the Covid-19 infection, prompting alarm across the country.
the 21-day nationwide lockdown, there were murmurs among Muslims, mostly on
social media, that the Nizamuddin incident would be used to target the
through Monday night, Twitter and other sites were overrun by posts about
"corona jihad", and a counter-narrative about how other instances of
public gathering had not received much attention from authorities and Muslims
were being scapegoated.
resident of Delhi's Shaheen Bagh locality, who did not wish to be named, said,
“The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act had already built a
particular kind of image of Muslims. Now, an esteemed Muslim organisation like
the Tablighi Jamaat is being defamed.”
the Tablighi Jamaat did was irresponsible. But the government could have at
least scanned and stopped foreign delegates (through airport screening) coming
from infected countries to join the congregation,” said a 28-year-old, formerly
associated with the organisation, who wanted to remain anonymous,
added, "Despite Tablighi Jamaat explaining their situation to authorities
at the time, it now feels like the entire community is being portrayed as those
who did not understand the gravity of the situation and defied orders to gather
there on purpose.”
statuses carrying messages from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) and Students Islamic
Organisation of India (SIO) became rampant by Tuesday. They reflected similar
sentiments that “polarisation” amid such a severe health crisis was not needed
and the government was trying to “hide its own failures”.
Urdu Daily Inquilab, which carried a quarter-page report on the cover in its
March 31 Delhi edition about the identification of positive coronavirus
patients linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, went all out with a
full-page cover story on the subject in its Wednesday edition. It carried a
statement by the union health ministry which emphasised that “it was not the
time to find faults”.
Urdu daily Siasat, in one of its headlines, blamed media organisations for
fanning the incident as communal. While another daily, Kashmir Uzma, carried
Tablighi Jamaat’s clarification prominently, stating” the organisation was in
regular touch with the authorities”.
Urdu daily from Srinagar, Aftab, also carried a story where Tablighi Jamaat’s
“irresponsible” action was condemned by Muslim organisations.
Jamaat focuses on educating and encouraging Muslims to practise their religion
diligently. Its sermons mostly talk about how to prioritise religious
activities like offering namaz, etc.
organisation carries out missionary work in a somewhat 'pyramid sales scheme'
pattern. After learning and understanding sermons from the headquarters, based
in the Banglewali Masjid in Delhi's Nizamuddin area, the local leaders or imams
spread out to various mosques (globally), each leading a team of 10 or more.
reaching the ground, they further disperse into smaller groups of four or more.
Their campaign is always door-to-door and is mostly about inviting people for
namaz to the local mosque. Those who choose to follow them may get more sermons
and teachings about Islam and later are asked to become volunteers.
Minister Imran Khan Asks Youth To Join Corona Tiger Force As ‘Jihad’ Against
Apr 01 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday asked youth in the country
to join Corona Tiger Force meant as a’Jihad’ to help those facing the
challenges of Coronavirus.
want youth to play their role in helping our fight against the COVID 19 by
joining our Corona Tiger Force, which will be organised to do Jihad against the
suffering caused by this pandemic,” the prime minister wrote in a tweet.
Khan urged the citizens, particularly youth, to get themselves registered for
the Force via the Citizen Portal App – an integrated citizens grievance
redressal system connecting all government organizations both at federal and
Minister Imran Khan on Monday announced establishment of Corona Relief Tiger
Force, which will join hands with the government and the army to aid the people
of country amid the pandemic.
responsibilities of Corona Relief Tiger Force include delivering food and
essential commodities, awareness campaigns, identification of poor people,
quarantine management etc.
to Ministry of Youth Affairs, the Force will become operational under a
complete lockdown or emergency. The youth will be trained to supply ration to
the families in need.
are frustrating Pakistan’s fight against coronavirus
number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan currently sits at 2,042
alongside 26 deaths. With only limited healthcare facilities, the country is
facing a perilously delayed reaction.
of Pakistan’s initial cases were pilgrims returning from places like Iran and
Saudi Arabia. But the virus quickly spread thanks to a failure to screen and
so, almost a third of the infections in Pakistan are now being spread from
within the community. That figure is expected to rise owing to a combination of
appalling mismanagement and masochistic inaction.
failures can be gauged by the state’s refusal to shut down the mosques. Weeks
after reporting its first coronavirus cases, and over a month since Saudi
Arabia and Iran banned prayers in the holiest Islamic mosques, Pakistan has
continued allowing Islamic congregations to gather.
letting the Friday prayers go ahead on March 20, allowing millions across the
country to come into contact with one another, the government refused to shut
down mosques across the country last Friday as well.
local government announced the mosque closures in the provinces of Sindh and
Balochistan on Thursday, Pakistan’s most populous province of Punjab – with
over 110 million inhabitants — allowed mosques to remain open. Official orders
that the number of mosque attendants in Punjab and Islamabad be limited were
issued just after noon, less than an hour before scheduled Friday prayers.
potential pandemonium that can be caused by such congregations is revealed by
the fact that a 250,000 strong gathering at one Pakistani event earlier this month
led to potentially thousands of infections spreading across the Islamic world.
annual meeting of the Islamic missionary movement Tableeghi Jamaat in Lahore,
which hosts hundreds of thousands of Muslims from around the world, has led to
infections spreading to Palestinians, Kyrgyzstanis and across Pakistan.
550 worshipers belonging to the Tableeghi Jamaat, including members from
Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Nigeria and Tunisia, are currently in quarantine
after a Chinese citizen tested positive for COVID-19.
Minister Imran Khan and his government had already been criticized for allowing
the vast Tableeghi Jamaat crowds to continue congregating. However, weeks after
the event, the ongoing failure to unequivocally shut down mosques underlines a
menace that the government considers graver than the COVID-19 pandemic:
succumbing to Islamism isn’t exactly news. Over the years, the state has
allowed Islamists to take up violence over YouTube videos and cartoons. Mobs
have burned down Christian neighborhoods and razed places of worship belonging
to non-Muslims and the ‘wrong kind’ of Muslims. Even on days earmarked to show
‘peace and love’ they manage to kill and injure scores.
provided cover by the Islamism rammed into Pakistan’s constitution, whose
codification of Muslim supremacism, and gruesome constituents like the
blasphemy law, aggravate a lynching mindset.
all-powerful Pakistani army has found special utility in the Islamist militants
over the decades. In addition to backing cross-border militancy in Afghanistan
and India, the Islamist outfits and parties help the army keep check on elected
now Imran Khan, already indebted to the military establishment for his
ascension to power, is the latest civilian leader to be bogged down by
Islamists — with his government reeling under the pressure.
so, what pressure could possibly justify inaction over the greatest global
crisis for at least a generation; a pandemic that could completely alter the
shape of the world as we know it?
Pakistan, Islam isn’t just a way of life — it is the only way of life.
Pakistan’s creation owes much to the idea that believing in Islam is sufficient
ground to form a nation, and by extension, the institutions of a state. The
constant reaffirmation of this idea was then deemed necessary to keep this
multiethnic state from disintegrating.
then, Islamic exhibitionism has dominated everything from education to
workplaces, from film to sports. This Islamist usurpation, from originating in
the separatist movement for Pakistan, to its goriest manifestation under
military ruler Zia-ul-Haq, has rendered Islam and life inseparable — quite
literally in some cases, where the former can only be abandoned in conjunction
with the latter.
then, in the midst of a pandemic, does the government muster the courage to say
that religion isn’t quite the answer to everything?
a government that is led by a leader who has ‘flirted‘ with the Taliban and
whose aides include those who decide how human someone is based on faith.
Little wonder then that in his latest address to the nation, Imran Khan
announced that he plans to fight coronavirus ‘with faith’.
quite knows what the world will look like at the other end of the COVID-19
pandemic. But for Pakistan, the rebuilding will need to be led by those who
value this world — at least as much as their interpretation of the next.
youths and Resistance Units: Mullahs want us to despair, we will fight against
April 1, 2020—In recent weeks, the Iranian regime has launched a propaganda
campaign against the Iranian Resistance and the People’s Mojahedin Organization
of Iran (PMOI/MEK) to cover up the dimension of its crimes regarding secrecy
and negligence regarding coronavirus outbreak in the country.
the latest episode of his string of despicable lies, Iranian regime president
Hassan Rouhani claimed that “Iran has more than 20,000 empty hospital beds” and
“I don’t think any country (with regard to hospital beds) has the conditions of
regime calls the Iranian Resistance revelations and undeniable evidence
“rumors” while various groups of people, especially the medical staff, have
sent true statistics and information to the MEK. The MEK announced on March 30
that according to the information obtained by its internal network more than
14,200 people in 236 cities across Iran have died of coronavirus.
the people of Iran point out that “Coronavirus outbreak is the guilt of the
Iranian regime and the mullahs.”
March 27 and March 30, defiant and brave youths and the members of the Iranian
Resistance Units, a network of People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran
(PMOI/MEK) activists across the country, carried out various activities to echo
the Iranian people’s desire for a free and democratic Iran.
March 30 in various cities such as Tehran, Kermanshah, Karaj, Shiraz, Gorgan,
Borujerd, Urumia, Takestan, Shahsavar, Isfahan, Mashhad and Arak, many Iranians
Played the forbidden National Anthem of
Iran in order to protest the ruling dictatorship.
on March 30, the brave and rebellious Iranian youths in Isfahan, Mashhad, Arak
and Tehran torched and set on fire the IRGC’s Basij Bases. Basij, a subsidiary
of the terrorist-designated Revolutionary Guards, is the Iranian regime’s paramilitary
force and the most hated suppressive group that is used to crack down on
protests and demonstrations such as the November nationwide uprising.
Tehran’s University of Medical Sciences, a handwritten poster was installed
quoting Maryam Rajavi “Iran is blazing. The Iranian people do not want corona
nor the mullahs”
of the Resistance Units of Tehran, Andimeshk, Aleshtar and Arak installed
posters and banners of Iranian Resistance leaders Maryam and Massoud Rajavi and
emphasized that “The new year is the year of victory and freedom.”
Tehran, the Resistance Units installed a poster of Maryam Rajavi that read:
“The sole solution to the coronavirus is overthrowing the mullahs’ dictatorship”
and “We’ll build a country where the rulers are not superior to people’s will.”
poster featured the picture of Massoud Rajavi and read: “We remember the
thousands of innocent lives fallen due to the coronavirus spread by the
Andimeshk, the Resistance Units chanted: “Down with Khamenei and hail to
Massoud Rajavi.” In Aleshtar and Arak they installed banners of Maryam Rajavi
with the slogan: “The mullahs sow the seeds of hopelessness and passivity. We
must rebel against it”.
March 28, the Resistance Units exposed the mullahs’ role in the coronavirus
outbreak. In Shiraz, Tehran, Karaj, Borujerd, Behbahan, Andimeshk and Isfahan
the Iranian people and members of the Resistance Units installed various
handwritten slogans saying “Coronavirus outbreak is the guilt of the Iranian
regime & mullahs” and “We’ll fight both the coronavirus and Khamenei the
monster.” In Andimeshk they chanted “Mullahs don’t care about Iran and the
Iranian people don’t want them. Down with Khamenei the virus” and Shiraz and
Isfahan they installed huge banners of Maryam and Massoud Rajavi with the
slogan “Iranian Resistance leader Massoud Rajavi: God bless victims of mullahs’
coronavirus” and “The Iranian people won’t surrender to the regime that has
spread the coronavirus.”
March 27, members of the MEK Resistance Units in Isfahan, Shahr-e Kord and
Nahavand visited the graves of the martyrs of the November 2019 nationwide
video from Nahavand, the recorder says, “I salute all my compatriots, both inside
and outside of Iran. I’ve visited today some martyrs’ graves who have
sacrificed their lives. They were killed by the regime of the Islamic Republic,
and it is so sad that in this country people get killed by these villains. The
first martyr I visited was Said Alidadi that many know. He was very young and
brave. There are many like him. May all of them rest in peace.”
various handwritten slogans, posters and banners were installed on the walls
against the regime in Hamedan, Mahshahr, Fassa (Fars Province), Shiraz,
Andimeshk, Tehran, Karaj, Qom and Mashhad.
Tehran Resistance Units were Installing posters and handwritten slogans:
“Maryam Rajavi: Despair is mullahs’ will, we must fight against it.”
to cease fire in areas only affected by coronavirus: Mujahid
Taliban group has said it would cease fire in areas which would be affected by
the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a bid to allow the medical teams provide
Mujahid, a Taliban spokesperson, said in a Twitter post that the Taliban group
would cease fire in the areas which are under the control of the group,
provided that those areas areas are affected by coronavirus.
in violence was among the main conditions included in the U.S.-Taliban peace
deal which was signed late in the month of February.
the latest trend shows that the Taliban group has not only reduced violence but
is attempting to carry out coordinated attacks in the remote areas of the country
despite the Afghan forces are in a full defense posture.
Doctors, Alfa Sa'adu; Amged el-Hawrani; Adil El Tayar and Habib Zaidi, First to
Die on Front Line of UK Pandemic
United Kingdom - The United Kingdom is paying tribute to the first doctors on
the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic who have died after contracting
four men - Alfa Sa'adu; Amged el-Hawrani; Adil El Tayar and Habib Zaidi - were
Muslim and had ancestry in regions including Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Salman Waqar, the general secretary of the British Islamic Medical Association,
said the contribution of these doctors was "immeasurable".
were devoted family men, committed senior doctors, and dedicated decades of
service to their communities and patients," he said.
gave the ultimate sacrifice while fighting this disease. We urge everyone to do
their part and stop further deaths from happening - stay at home, protect the
NHS, save lives."
the country fears a shortage of medical staff amid the pandemic, which has so
far killed 2,352 people and infected 29,474 according to government figures,
the loss of the doctors has highlighted the vital contribution of medics from
minority backgrounds to the UK's National Health Service (NHS).
NHS is the largest employer of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff in the UK
with 40.1 percent of medical workers from BME backgrounds.
Patel, the home secretary, announced on Tuesday that about 2,800 medical staff
whose visas expire before October 1, will have their visas extended for a year
"free of charge".
Sudan, the second of six brothers, Amged el-Hawrani was an ear, nose, and
throat consultant at university hospitals in the north of England.
youngest brother Amal paid tribute to his sibling who selflessly "took on
the burdens of others" and became a "father figure" following
the deaths of their eldest brother and father.
was someone who was very strong in character, both mentally and physically, but
in a calm and gentle way," he said. "His strength was one that was
always used as a force for good. He was a protector, a shielder, fighting for
people, fighting for his brothers."
before his death, el-Hawrani was concerned for his elderly mother who was ill
again after having recovered from pneumonia. El-Hawrani finished his night
shift and drove a long distance to see her in Bristol, in southwest England. At
the time, he had mild flu symptoms which he put down to being overworked.
general practitioner with Pakistani origins, Habib Zaidi moved to the UK almost
50 years ago and worked in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, southeast England.
Playle, 73, one of Zaidi's former patients on whom he performed minor surgery
less than three weeks before his death, said she was "shocked and
Zaidi was a very well-liked and respected doctor and was the embodiment of what
everyone looks for in their GP - kind, caring, friendly and jolly," she
told Al Jazeera.
accordance with distancing restrictions, only his immediate family attended his
funeral. His widow has now gone into self-isolation.
Tayar had been working at Hereford County Hospital in the west of England as a
volunteer in the emergency department amid the pandemic, where his family
believes he caught the virus.
British ambassador to Sudan, Irfan Siddiq, paid tribute to the father of four
on Twitter and thanked healthcare workers everywhere for showing
to hear of #Sudan-ese doctor Adel Altayar's death in the UK from Covid-19.
Health workers around the world have shown extraordinary courage. We cannot
thank them enough. In this fight we must listen to their advice. #coronavirus
#StayAtHome https://twitter.com/SUNA_AGENCY/status/1243076662360788993 …
Sa'adu, who was born in Nigeria, worked with the NHS for nearly 40 years. He
died on Tuesday aged 68 after a two-week battle with the virus.
in Nigeria, Sa'adu began his medical career as a consultant physician in
geriatric medicine when he came to London and graduated from the University
College Hospital Medical School in 1976.
Wa Ina Ilaehi rajiun. My condolences go to the family of late Dr. Alfa Sa'adu,
the people of Pategi and Kwara State on the death of the foremost medical
practitioner who passed away in London this morning.
son Dani told Al Jazeera: "He was a very passionate man, who cared about
saving people. As soon you spoke to him about medicine his face would light up.
He worked for the NHS for nearly 40 years in different hospitals across London.
loved to lecture people in the world of medicine, he did so in the UK and
Africa. My dad retired and was working part time at the Queen Victoria Memorial
Hospital in Welwyn, Hertfordshire until his passing. He was a massive family
man and we did everything together, family came first. He left two sons and a
wife, who is a retired doctor herself."
former president of the Nigerian Senate, Bukola Saraki, paid tribute to Sa'adu
on Twitter, saying he provided "leadership for our people in the
paramedic shaves beard to protect people during coronavirus pandemic
Muslim paramedic has been praised for shaving off his beard to protect people
during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rahman, who works for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), made the
difficult decision to go clean shaven to protect his patients, colleagues and
39-year-old added: “It is not a step I have taken lightly, my beard is not just
part of my identity but of my religion. I’ve had a beard for well over a decade
and I can’t remember the last time I shaved.
have consulted many Islamic scholars and teachers, locally and nationally,
sought advice from fellow Muslim healthcare professionals and the British
Islamic medical Association.
was not a simple yes or no answer, however these are exceptional circumstances,
totally unprecedented and a unique situation.
shaved off my beard to protect my patients, my colleagues and family. One of
the greatest acts is to save someone's life. This simple act may help to do
the news on Facebook, NEAS said: "One of our Muslim colleagues, Shumel,
has shaved his beard off to keep himself, his patients, his family and his
woman said: "Well done Shumel! I know that will have been a difficult
decision to make. Huge respect to you."
attack govt officials, journalists, police at Lagos Mosque
worshippers at Agege Central Mosque (Hausa Community) in Agege attacked a
combined team of Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, (LASEPA) and
Lagos State Safety Commission, journalists and police officers.
team had earlier visited and sealed off a warehouse of Jumia, an online
marketing store for contravening the lockdown order by the Federal government.
agencies also sealed off SPN Packaging Studio Press Nigeria Plc on Plot B,
Israel Adebajo Close, Ikeja and Supreme Hotel on 8, Omitola Panada, Agege.
their way back to Alausa, the team stopped to check if the worshippers were
adhering to the directive of the Lagos state government on the reduction of
were surprised by getting to the prayer section. The big mosque, popularly
known as Moshalashi Alhaja, was filled to the capacity.
some of the mosque’s leaders were trying to calm down, they became more
aggressive and manhandled some of the team members.
was obvious that the gathering did not comply with the directive of the state
government. The mosque was filled to capacity.
essence of social distancing is to contain the spread of Coronavirus. The
people are endangering their lives and those of their neighbours. The
government has a duty to protecting lives of the people,” she said.
promised to ensure that appropriate quarters take up the matter, adding that
such gathering must not be allowed to continue.
coronavirus challenges Muslims’ faith and changes their lives
the world faces the greatest disruption of our lifetimes, Muslims throughout the
world are also grappling with the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
have relatively large families and tend to maintain extended family relations.
Prophet Muhammad encouraged Muslims to keep strong family ties. The Quran
inspires Muslims to be generous to kin (16:90) and treat the elderly with
teachings have resulted in Muslims either living together as large families or
keeping regular weekly visits and gatherings of extended family members. Many
Muslims feel conflicted about the need to apply social distancing on one hand
and the need to be close to family and relatives for comfort and support.
Tighter restrictions on movement in some parts of Australia (NSW and Victoria)
mean Muslims, like everyone else, are not allowed to visit extended family anymore.
of the first changes brought about by social distancing has been to the Muslim
custom of shaking hands followed by hugging (same gender) friends and
acquaintances, especially in mosques and Muslim organisations. After a week or
two of hesitation in March, the hugging completely stopped, making Muslims feel
the sick is considered a good deed in Islam. However, in the case of COVID-19,
such visits are not possible. Checking up on those who are sick with phone
calls, messages and social media is still possible and encouraged.
aspect of coronavirus prevention that comes very naturally to Muslims is
personal hygiene. Health organisations and experts promote personal hygiene to
limit the spread of coronavirus, especially washing hands frequently for at
least 20 seconds.
has been encouraging personal hygiene for centuries. The Quran instructs
Muslims to keep their clothes clean in one of the earliest revelations (74:4),
remarking “God loves those who are clean” (2:222).
than 14 centuries ago, Prophet Muhammad emphasised “cleanliness is half of
faith” and encouraged Muslims to wash their hands before and after eating, bath
at least once a week (and after marital relations), brush their teeth daily,
and to groom their nails and private parts.
interesting detail is that Muslims are required to wash their genitals after
using the toilet. Even though Muslims use toilet paper, they are required to
finish cleaning with water. This requirement led to some Muslims installing
bidet sprayers in their bathrooms.
prayers in mosques are important for Muslims in instilling a sense of being in
the presence of the sacred, and a sense of being with other believers.
Accordingly, they line up in rows with shoulders touching. This arrangement is
extremely risky during a pandemic. Australian mosques are now closed because of
to skip optional daily congregational prayers was not too difficult for
Muslims, but stopping Friday prayers has been more challenging. Friday prayer
is the only Muslim prayer that has to be performed in a mosque. It consists of
a 30-60 minute sermon followed by a five-minute congregational prayer conducted
just after noon.
Friday prayers on a global scale has not occurred since it was introduced by
Prophet Muhammad in 622, after he migrated to the city of Medina from the
persecution he and his followers endured in Mecca.
was the first to ban Friday prayers on March 4. While countries like Turkey and
Indonesia tried to continue Friday prayers with social distancing, it did not
work, and soon the entire Muslim world closed mosques for prayer services.
for Muslims, the closure of mosques does not mean they stop daily prayers
altogether. In Islam, individual prayers and worship play a greater role than
communal ones. Muslims can pray five times a day wherever they are, and often
home is a place where most praying takes place.
is only three weeks away. It starts in the last week of April and goes for a
month. During this month, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and marital
relations from dawn to sunset on each day of the month. This part will not be
affected by COVID-19.
is affected are the evening breaking of fast dinners (iftar) and daily evening
congregational prayers (tarawih). Muslims generally invite their friends and
family members to these dinners. In Western countries, the invitations include
non-Muslim acquaintances as well. Islamic organisations have already announced
the cancellation of iftar dinners.
minor (and optional) Islamic pilgrimage (umrah) happens throughout the year,
intensifying near Ramadan. With Iran a hot spot for coronavirus, Saudi Arabia
suspended entry to Iranian and all other pilgrims as early as February 27.
main pilgrimage (hajj) season occurs in late July. Although there is the
possibility of the spread of the virus slowing by July, a pilgrimage involving
more than two million people from just about every country on earth would almost
certainly flame the virus into a second wave. Saudi Arabia is likely to cancel
the main pilgrimage for 2020.
the 14 centuries of Islamic history, pilgrimage has not been undertaken several
times because of war and roads not being safe. But this is the first time in
pilgrimage may be called off due to a pandemic.
pilgrims reserve their spot and pay the full fee months ahead, the cancellation
of hajj would result in losses of savings for millions of Muslims and cause
massive job losses in the pilgrimage industry.
early debate in Muslim circles around coronavirus has been a theological one.
Muslims believe God created the universe and continues to actively govern its
affairs. This would mean the emergence of the virus is an active creation of
like some other religious groups, some Muslims argue that coronavirus was
created by God to warn and punish humanity for consumerism, destruction of the
environment and personal excesses. This means fighting the pandemic is futile
and people should rely (tawakkul) on God to protect the righteous.
thinking may help in reducing the sense of fear and panic such a large-scale
pandemic poses, but it can also make people unnecessarily complacent.
vast majority of Muslims counter this fatalistic approach by arguing that while
the emergence of the virus was not in human control, the spread of disease
certainly is. They remind us that Prophet Muhammad advised a man who did not
tie his camel because he trusted in God: “tie the camel first and then trust in
Muhammad sought medical treatment and encouraged his followers to seek medical
treatment, saying “God has not made a disease without appointing a remedy for
it, with the exception of one disease—old age”.
you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; if the plague
outbreaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.
affliction inevitably comes our way. The Quran teaches Muslims to see life’s
difficult circumstances as a test — they are temporary hardships to strengthen
us (2:153-157). Such a perspective allows Muslims to show resilience in times
of hardship and tribulation, with sufficient strength to make it to the other
times like this, some people will inevitably lose their wealth, income and even
their lives. Prophet Muhammad advised the grieving that property lost during
tribulations will be considered charity, and those who die as a result of
pandemics will be considered martyrs of paradise.
Muslims continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, they, like everyone
else, are wondering how their lives might be changed afterwards.
religious leaders must be more active in communicating messages about the
- The Conversation) The hashtag #KamiTidakTakut ('we are not afraid') became
popular on social media after a terrorist attack, involving multiple explosions
and gunfire on Jalan Thamrin in Jakarta's downtown area, in January 2016.
aim of the hashtag was to show fearlessness and counter the attackers' attempts
to spread terror among Indonesians. People posted selfies of themselves at the
scene of the attack, which became an attraction complete with food stalls.
in a country located in the Ring of Fire , Indonesians are also familiar with
various natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. In
contrast to their response to terrorist attacks, natural disasters usually
arouse vigilance among communities.
the public narrative around the COVID-19 pandemic tends to replicate the
sentiments of #KamiTidakTakut, instead of those towards natural disasters.
may be because the COVID-19 pandemic is still largely a mysterious disaster ,
unlike terrorist attacks which have been studied for much longer and addressed
with calculated measures.
religious nation, Indonesia could rely on its religious leaders to be more
involved in communicating messages to the public about the crisis.
religious leaders' role in Indonesia, for instance, proved to be critical in
the rubella vaccination program between 2017 and 2018. Religious authorities,
organisations and national leaders helped to promote the vaccine as many
Muslims questioned whether the vaccines were halal .
of the challenges in increasing public awareness of COVID-19 in Indonesia is
the perception it is a foreign disease and is far away from the local context.
on staying at home, social distancing, self-isolation and self-hygiene will be
easier to grasp by people at a grass-roots level if delivered by religious
activities also often involve mass gatherings . Religious leaders' decision to
adapt rituals to the current pandemic will be critical in minimising the spread
Indonesia, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has released an edict calling on
Muslims to pray at home and avoid congregating in areas where COVID-19 had
spread. Leaders of local mosques, however, still defy this call.
Jakarta Archdiocese has ordered the suspension of most on-site church services
in the city from March 20 to April 2. The weekly and daily services will
instead be offered via live-stream.
Hindu organisation Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia has also published a
guidance of funeral and death rites during the pandemic.
March 31, as many as 1,528 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Indonesia.
This is double the number of people five days before – with a total death of
have predicted that at the end of April, there could be up to 71,000 infected
people in Indonesia . The government also estimates between 600,000 and 700,000
Indonesian are at risk of infection.
government has failed to build a vigilant narrative. Until February, government
officials still promoted the image of Indonesia as a virus-free country .
the same time, the government's economic priorities, and lack of coordination
and transparency with regional governments, have created a murky public
narrative on the epidemic.
media and communication systems are also unreliable. National television has no
well-structured public agenda, while social media is rife with misinformation .
Indonesian health system, communication system, and leadership at the national
level might be wanting, but a religious narrative emphasising the balance of
hope and vigilance is vital in countering the misguided ideas of the crisis.
You Find Me, I’m Yours.”: Writer of Mystery Letters in Jeddah Revealed
Ever wondered what it is like to find an uplifting letter from a stranger? If
you are in Jeddah, then you are in luck as you might pass by and pick up a
letter in a public area titled: “If you find me, I’m yours.”
random acts of kindness were devised by an initiative called Garba’at Rasayl,
Hejazi slang for “a mess of letters.” The group was created by 23-year-old
Saudi freelance graphic designer Hadeel Felemban.
simple white envelopes are covered in stickers and magazine cutouts. Felemban
said letter-writing helps her express her thoughts and feelings while sharing it
with the world, one letter at a time.
happens every time I write paper letters, a mess of words and feelings, a mess
of scraps and colors used to decorate the envelope,” she told Arab News.
act of writing letters is special to her as it brings a sense of connection to
her father — who worked at the Saudi Post Office more than 20 years ago — and
revives the exchange of letters in a world filled with technology. The
initiative holds monthly meetings in different cities, where attendees gather
to write letters to strangers.
father passed away when I was two, and the only way I knew him was through the
stories my mother and his brothers share about him. I would write to him on my
phone’s notepad sometimes, but I wanted something other than our names to
discovery of her late father’s stamp collection from different periods in her
home two years ago prompted her to start the initiative.
was like finding a treasure. And ever since then, I’ve been looking for ways to
reuse them and revive paper mail. I realized that in a period different than
his, I became a mail carrier just like him.”
shared her interest in sending traditional mail on Instagram. She was able to
send letters to some who responded, but she did not receive any in return.
waiting was suffocating, I felt devastated and I blame that we are not used to
the mailing system and its hardship,” she said.
decorated the envelope of the message, and left it in a cafe in Jeddah without
any contact information. “Then I found myself monitoring the cafe’s account on
social media, and was disappointed yet again. I didn’t know what had happened
to the letter, was it thrown away, picked up or neglected?”
family gathering in early October, Felemban placed her stationery supplies and
envelopes on the dining table, ready to write a new letter. Her cousins and
mother were curious and joined her.
family members suggested creating a special tag for the letters so that
strangers who received the letters could reach out to her.
created the Arabic hashtag for ‘mess of letters’ and created a post for my
friends in Riyadh — where I was at the time — and asked them if they wanted to
gather to write letters together. I received a lot of positive responses and
then prepared for the event in one of the cafes in the city.”
hosted the first gathering on Oct. 25 and was happy to see how the simple
gesture of uplifting messages had an impact on her community.
exam week back when I was studying, it was such a mentally exhausting time, and
I used to write encouraging words and quotes for myself and the visitors of the
cafe I usually go to. I noticed they had a great impact on emotional
well-being. I held on to that idea by writing letters to strangers in public
Of Sufi Ritual Falsely Viral As Mass Sneezing In Nizamuddin Mosque To Spread
video is massively viral on social media with the claim that people mass
sneezed in Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin mosque to spread coronavirus infection.
Below is a Facebook post by one Anita Saxena which has drawn 24,000 views and
News found that the video was earlier circulating in the Pakistani social media
ecosystem with the coronavirus claim. This tweet is from January 30. A YouTube
channel from Pakistan uploaded it a day earlier on January 29. It’s likely that
the video is older because Alt News was unable to Trace the original. The first
case of coronavirus in India was reported on January 30.
further reverse-image search of keyframes of the video led us to a March 4
tweet in Urdu. The English translation of the text revealed the words “Sufi
on this and the above tweet, we performed a Google search with the keywords
‘Sufi breathing’ which led us to several videos mentioning the word ‘Zikr’.
website of Sufi organisation Ansari Qadiri Rifai Tariqa defines ‘zikr’ as a
practice where devotees remember God in unison. It can be performed in several
ways including “a traditional order in which Allah’s Names are mentioned in
zikr, and each one is repeated several, often hundreds of times in unison by
the group. Certain movements, such as swaying back and forth or turning from
right to left, are incorporated into the activity during the intonations, and
are likewise performed in unison. In some tariqas a prayerful rotation of the
whole body, arms extended while pivoting on one foot, is traditional.”
is a video where people can be seen bending back and forth in a similar manner
as in the viral video while chanting ‘Allah’.
in the video viral on social media, people are repeatedly taking Allah’s name.
Readers are advised to wear earphones and listen to the audio in loops, especially
post the first 40 seconds.
with Alt News, Dr Hamid Akbar, a professor of Urdu at KBN University in
Karnataka’s Gulbarga said, “In the main four silsila (orders) of Sufism such
zikr is performed but it’s more sophisticated than this [viral video]. The
sound you hear, is saas ka zikr or zikr e-anfas which basically means taking
Allah’s name with your breath. If you listen closely, you can hear that they
are chanting ‘Allahu’ [in the video].”
Akbar added that he has never seen any ritual, as witnessed in the viral video,
practised in Tablighi Jamaat congregations which focus mainly on the importance
of namaz (Islamic prayers) and roja (fasting). The Tablighi Jamaat meet is
organised in Nizamuddin mosque which is also known as Tablighi Markaz or Bangle
(Sufi devotional music) are sung in the courtyard of Nizamuddin Dargah which is
about half a kilometre away from the mosque. However, the Dargah had earlier
distanced itself from Tablighi Jamaat when Aaj Tak had falsely claimed that 33
people sent for quarantine attended a program at the Dargah. “It is clarified
that the News is about Nizamuddin Tablighi Markaz and not of Dargah,” read the
wrong new is being circulated on AajTak that 33 corona suspects sent for quarantine
who attended a programme at Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin. It is clarified that the
News is about Nizamuddin Tablighi Markaz and not of Dargah. Complaint has been
made at ‘Aajtak’ in this regard.
a video of people practising a ritual in Sufism was falsely shared as
intentional sneezing inside Delh’s Nizamuddin mosque to spread the coronavirus
infection. Earlier, a video of Bohra Muslims practising the ritual of licking
utensils to not waste leftover food was also shared with the same claim.
has been identified as a coronavirus hotspot after several preachers of
Tablighi Jamaat tested positive in three different locations across the
country. The organisation led a congregation at its headquarters (Markaz)
Banglewali Masjid in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area in mid-March, for which the Delhi
government has now filed an FIR against a mosque preacher. Tablighi Jamaat
maintains that its gathering was not illegal because it was held before Prime
Minister Modi announced the first lockdown (Janata curfew) on March 22.
However, the Delhi government claims that its order banning large gatherings,
issued on March 13, was violated. Ironically, this was the same day when the
Union Health Ministry declared that COVID-19 was not a health emergency. The
March 13 order, however, did not extend to religious gatherings and only a
subsequent order passed on March 16 did. If reports are to be believed, the
congregation was held between March 8 to 15.
The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in India is over 1,700
and more than 50 deaths have so far been reported. The government has imposed a
complete restriction on movement apart from essential services to tackle the
pandemic. Globally, more than 8 lakh confirmed cases and over to 44,000 deaths
have been reported. There is a growing sense of panic among citizens, causing
them to fall for a variety of online misinformation – misleading images and
videos rousing fear or medical misinformation promoting pseudoscience and
invalid treatments. While your intentions may be pure, misinformation, spread
especially during a pandemic, can take lives. We request our readers to
practice caution and not forward unverified messages on WhatsApp and other
social media platforms.
from Nizamuddin mosque named in FIR for March gathering
Mahender Singh Manral
FIR filed by the SHO of Nizamuddin police station has named seven people
associated with the management committee of the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid,
headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat outfit, for allegedly going ahead with a
gathering of around 2,000 people at the mosque in Nizamuddin West despite warnings
from agencies. The event has been linked to a spike in COVID-19 cases across
Delhi Police Crime Branch Wednesday also issued notices to agencies which had
“informed the (mosque’s) management about enforcement of Section 144 in the city”
at the time of the gathering.
Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Praveer Ranjan told The Indian Express
that they have registered an FIR naming seven people, including maulana Saad
have found an audio clip going viral on social media, and are now sending it to
forensic experts. We are gathering evidence to substantiate that they went
ahead with the event despite warnings by several agencies,” he said.
the purported clip, a man can be heard saying “there is no need for social distancing
as it is not written about in our religion”.
from Kandhalvi, others names mentioned in the FIR are management committee
members. “Police are also checking their bank accounts,” said an officer.
his complaint, SHO Mukesh Walia alleged, “We told them several times and also
called them to our police station, where we again informed them about the
directions. They were advised to vacate the Markaz headquarters, but they did
Shahid Ali, who represents the Tablighi Jamaat, said, “We have not received a
copy of the FIR, nor have we been approached by the Delhi Police. Maulana saab
is not absconding, he is at home. We are ready to join the investigation. We
approached the SHO of Hazrat Nizamuddin police station for a copy of the FIR
and were told to ask the Crime Branch. We have no idea about its contents.”
Tuesday, DCP (Southeast) R P Meena had said: “There are essentially two
buildings — one is a mosque and the other a markaz (centre) — with five-six
floors. Around 1,500-2,000 people live here. The last time a jamaat was held
here was on March 20-21. Since the lockdown was implemented, we have sent two
notices to them about enforcement of Section 144.”
J&K Resident Who Died Of COVID-19 Attended Delhi Mosque Event: Cops
and Kashmir: The first person who died due to COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir had
earlier attended the religious gathering at Markaz Nizamuddin in Delhi,
Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said.
received a list of 855 people. We have traced many of them and have sent them
to separate locations for quarantine" he said.
ten people who had returned from Delhi after participating in a Tablighi Jamaat
congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin area were put under quarantine in Poonch
Jamaat event has emerged as a hotspot for COVID-19 after several positive cases
across India were linked to the gathering, including deaths in Maharashtra,
Karnataka and Telangana.
total number of novel coronavirus cases in India climbed to 1637 on Tuesday.
The death toll due to the COVID-19 rose to 38 while 133 patients were cured or
discharged after treatment, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
minister's son in home quarantine, father denies he went to Delhi mosque event
Special Branch reported 37 persons from Jharkhand had attended the Nizamuddin
event where two of them were from Madhupur in Deoghar district.
of 37, 11 participants were tracked to Ranchi. They were brought Rajendra
Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.
the people from Jharkhand who had attended the event are now being traced and
High Court Seeks Details Of Delhi Mosque Event Attendees From State
The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday asked the government to furnish details of
those who arrived in the state after attending a congregation of
Tabligh-e-Jamaat in Delhi, and inform about the steps taken to prevent the
spread of coronavirus infection due to them.
division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Ashutosh Shastri also directed
the Central and state governments to inform what corrective or punitive
measures were being taken, or can be taken, if the participants in the
congregation in New Delhi were found to have traveled to India and within the
country in violation of visa rules.
passed the order, seeking replies by April 3, while hearing a "suo
motu" Public Interest Litigation about coronavirus pandemic.
observed that infections spreading from the religious congregation held in the
national capital last month posed an equally big challenge to the nation
"when it is already crippled with and is facing the challenge of dealing
with the pandemic of coronavirus."
in the day, the Gujarat government had stated that at least 1,500 people from
Gujarat were present in Nizamuddin area of Delhi when the congregation was
court took cognizance of the coronavirus outbreak "suo motu" (on its
own) on March 13 and sought response from the government about the measures it
was taking to check it.
matter was listed for hearing on April 4, but the hearing was advanced on the
Chief Justice's orders following media reports about the Nizamuddin event
taking place despite warnings about such gatherings, and many of the attendees
later traveling to other parts of India including Gujarat.
mosques in Delhi that hosted members of Tablighi Jamaat congregation
least 16 mosques, which were earlier identified by Delhi
Police for having housed around 150 foreign nationals and over 20 Indians who
were a part of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin earlier this
month, were sanitised on Wednesday.
Tablighi Jamaat headquarters has emerged as the biggest Covid-19 hot spot in
India so far, with at least 53 people from there testing positive for Covid-19
in the Capital alone, and more than 500 in hospital for showing Covid-like
16 mosques are located in areas such as Pul Prahladpur, Malviya Nagar, Shastri
Park, Chandni Mahal and Turkman Gate in Old Delhi. Several foreign nationals --
from countries including Indonesia, Malaysia and Kyrgyzstan — who visisted the
Jammat’s headquarters this month were staying in these mosques.
one of the mosques in Old Delhi’s Chandni Mahal, 15 pilgrims from the Jamaat’s
Markaz building — five couples from Indonesia, four men from Algeria, and an
Indian national from Hyderabad — have been quarantined on the third floor of
have been here since the lockdown was announced. They are in complete
isolation. They cook their own food on the third floor and even offer namaz
there. None of them have shown any symptoms. The health officials had come to
visit them on Wednesday and gave them a form that was to be filled, if anyone
fell sick,” said Shakeel Ahmed, president of the masjid committee.
Wednesday evening, the local police held a meeting with the heads (Imams) of all
mosques in the Walled City area at the Jama Masjid police station to discuss
measures that needed to be taken.
police have asked us to not let anyone come inside the mosque premises and
maintain hygiene. We had already shut the masjid and nobody is allowed to come
in, even for namaz. The police have also collected the passports of the
pilgrims and a letter has been sent to the respective embassies,” said Mohammad
Ali, imam of the Chandni Mahal mosque.
Mohammad Javed, a social worker and a representative of the masjid committee,
said that he had earlier advised the Markaz authorities of taking precautions
as well. “We had told them to take all precautionary measures. However, it was
only later that they realised that some people were feeling unwell,” said
least 12 Indonesia nationals arrived in south Delhi’s Hauz Rani and Malviya
Nagar areas on March 30, said Haji Kallu, the president of the masjid
committee. These people, Kallu added, have been quarantined at the mosque.
“They came to the mosque on March 30; we don’t know where they stayed before
that. We immediately informed the area sub-divisional magistrate and the police
about them. They came and checked their visa and passport details/”
than a kilometre away, 13 Kyrgyzstan nationals and one Indian, all members of
the Tablighi Jammat, moved to another mosque in the area on March 22.
Aslam, a member of Tablighi Jammat associated with the mosque, said, “Their
details were shared with the local authorities. The medical team visited the
mosque on March 30. We have kept these people on two separate floors of the
mosque as per directions of the medical team. We are not entering the mosque
and providing them food and other stuff from outside.”
the Shastri Park area, at least 35 people were shifted to a quarantine facility
from two mosques.In Wazirabad, 15 people, including 12 Indonesian nationals,
were quarantined inside the area’s Jama Masjid mosque, said an official.
Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid said: “I have informed
people in the community, especially in mosques, that wherever members of the
Jamaat are staying, they should inform the district administration and local
police and get those people tested. If someone is staying in their house, even
then you should get the person tested. The measures taken by the government are
for the welfare of the people. We had closed Jama Masjid for prayers for the
general public due to the disease on March 23, after which all other mosques in
the city had followed suit.”
case against two functionaries of a mosque in Ahmednagar, administration
identifies 46 Tablighis who participated in Delhi meet
police have filed a case against two functionaries of a mosque from Nevasa
taluka in the district for allegedly allowing 10 foreign nationals to stay at
its premises during the Covid-19 lockdown, police said on Wednesday.
to officials, these foreign nationals were found inside the mosque when the
police were on patrolling duty late on Monday. The foreign nationals, according
to Newasa police, were inside Bhaldar mosque also known as Markaz Masjid even
as the functionaries of the religious place failed to inform the
administration, despite instructions in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.
offence was registered against two trustees of the mosque under Section 188
(disobeying an order issued by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and
provisions of the Epidemics Diseases Act, 1897, the official said
action came against the background of two positive cases of Covid-19 in the
last week of March in the district. Those two Covid-19 positive are nationals
of Ivory Coast and France who along with 12 others had come for another
religious congregation in Ahmednagar city. On Tuesday, three more persons who
came in contact with the nationals of Ivory Cost and France, tested positive.
the latest case, the foreigners, who hail from Ghana, Dakar, Djibouti and
Benin, were staying at the Masjid since before the lockdown was imposed, said a
senior police official.
men were shifted to a nearby hospital and the administration and health
department has now collected their swab samples for testing.
the Ahmednagar district administration has traced 46 persons comprising 29
foreign preachers and 17 workers of Tablighi Jamaat who had attended the
religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz in New Delhi which is the world
headquarters of the Muslim missionary organisation.
collector Rahul Dwivedi, said, “The administration has identified 46 persons
who visited Delhi for the international meet and some of them who could be
traced so far have been quarantined with samples being tested.”
Who Attended Delhi Mosque Event Violated Visa Rules: Centre
Delhi: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Wednesday said that
foreigners who had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat had violated visa
conditions and concerned states have been asked to initiate action against them
and organizers of the event.
Ministry informed that Cabinet Secretary held a meeting today via
video-conferencing with all the Chief Secretaries/DGPs of states and they were
sensitized about the intensive contact tracing of Tablighi Jamaat participants
as this has increased the risk of containment efforts of COVID-19.
has been found that foreigners who had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat had
violated visa conditions. Concerned states were asked (in the meeting) to
initiate action for violation of visa condition against the foreigners and the
organizers of the event," said Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in
a press release.
were asked to implement the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana within the next
week. This will involve large cash transfer to beneficiaries. It should be
organized in a staggered manner to ensure social distance," it added.
was noted that lockdown is being implemented effectively all over the country.
The States were asked to ensure that intra-state movement of goods is allowed
without any hindrance while maintaining social distance, the Ministry added.
press release further read that the manufacturing of essential goods should be
ensured. It should also be ensured that the supply chains of such goods are
to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of COVID-19
positive cases have reached 1,637 in India, including 1,466 active cases, 133
cured/discharged/migrated people and 38 deaths
continuously monitoring Covid-19 trends: PM
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said the government was continuously
monitoring and analysing coronavirus (Covid-19) trends to determine accurate
rate of spike in coming days.
controlling coronavirus challenge in its country, China immediately came to
Pakistan with medical assistance. At present, we are receiving all equipment
from China,” he said.
prime minister said the demand of healthcare equipments had increased worldwide
after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
Minister Imran Khan assured doctors and paramedics that the government would
provide them protective equipment. He said the Command and Control Centre for
Coronavirus had set the priority to provide safety material to the front line
medical staff especially in emergency and intensive care unit (ICU).
have already dispatched the equipment to the hospitals and where it has not
reached as yet, it will be sent there in a day or two,” he said.
said there were few fatalities in Pakistan as compared to other parts of the
world but the government was working to save people’s lives.
said the government had started taking preventive measures ever since first
coronavirus case had surfaced in China in January, besides working on a
mechanism to deal with the looming challenge.
he said the healthcare system had been neglected in the past. He said that
before 70s, the healthcare system was the best. He said that he and his sisters
were born in government hospitals because at that time they were in a better
prime minister visited different sections of the hospital along with Railways
Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, former health minister Amir Mehmood Kiani,
Defence Secretary retired Lt-Gen Ikramul Haq, Military Lands and Cantonments
Director General Major General Hasnaat Aamir Gilani.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the project for upgradation of
Cantonment General Hospital was launched during the tenure of PML-N for which
an amount of Rs570 million was released.
prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had begun the project on the request of the
then PML-N MNA Malik Abrar, she said.
has conducted nearly 15,000 Covid-19 tests but other provinces are lagging
Pakistan, the number of coronavirus patients is rising rapidly. For a long
time, Sindh had the highest number of cases and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah
repeatedly said that the province has more positive cases than any other
because it is conducting more tests.
in the past week, Punjab surged past Sindh, not only in the number of positive
cases but also in the total number of tests conducted.
Chief Minister Shah's premise in view, Punjab's higher number of positive cases
can be attributed to the fact that they have conducted nearly 15,000 Covid-19
tests while Sindh, even with the second-highest number of cases, has conducted
nearly 7,000 tests.
infographic above shows the number of confirmed cases in each province and
region, and the tests carried out there until March 31. The data for this
information has been obtained from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for
Islamabad and situation reports released by the respective provincial health
provincial officials, when contacted, generally complained about lack of
testing kits and labs, federal Planning Minister Asad Umar had told a press
conference on Tuesday that the number of labs that could carry out tests for
coronavirus had increased from 13 to 30 and would increase to 32 in the coming
days. He added that the current testing capacity was 280,000 which was expected
to increase to 900,000 by April 15.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza had announced
that the government would acquire a synthesiser in a few weeks which would
enable the country to start producing testing kits on its own.
we look at the status of testing across the four provinces, Islamabad, Azad
Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.
province of Punjab receives between 500 and 1,000 testing kits on a daily basis
from the NIH, according to Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department
Secretary retired Capt Mohammad Usman.
are mainly carried out at the Provincial Public Health Reference Lab, Shaukat
Khanam Memorial Cancer Hospital (SKMCH) and Chughtai Lab. Tests are carried out
for free at the provincial lab and SKMCH, which are provided kits by the NIH,
while residents can pay to get tested at Chughtai Lab.
told Dawn that the department aims to establish eight additional labs across
the province by mid-April, which will increase its testing capacity to more
than 3,000 per day.
meanwhile, has the capacity to conduct 1,000 tests per day but around 350 tests
are currently being carried out daily, said Atif Vighio, spokesperson for the
provincial health department.
face no hurdles in terms of testing materials and labs; the only problem arises
when people try to hide or run away rather than get tested, like in the past
couple of days we have had to locate some Tableeghi Jamaat members who had gone
into hiding when they found out testing was being done on all Jamaat
members," he told Dawn.com.
health minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra said KP's current capacity is 250 tests
per day. It was 200 tests per day yesterday and will rise to up to 400 tests
per day by Thursday, he added.
are constantly working to increase the capacity. The procurement rules were
suspended to speed up procurement, including that of testing kits and equipment,"
revealed that the provincial government will now invite bids for testing from
the private sector, saying four institutions with a combined capacity of 350
tests/day have already shown interest.
expect to achieve 1,000 tests/day capacity by next week after increasing our
own capacity and including private sector labs."
on the hurdles in mass testing, the minister said the Provincial Public Health
Reference Lab, the only lab in the province for testing, is "a very new
lab" that came online recently. "They had a lack of kits and
machinery initially but now they have been provided with both which has led to
an increase in the capacity," he said.
he noted that Pakistan does not produce testing kits indigenously. "There
is a high demand for testing kits in the world and there is a shortage of
supply. We are working aggressively on procurement of kits, but it is taking
time due to global shortage," he said.
about the relatively low number of tests conducted in Balochistan, provincial
government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani told Dawn.com: "We don't have
Balochistan government also plans to establish 11 labs in the provinces
"but they won't be effective unless there are enough testing kits",
Executive Director Maj Gen Dr Aamer Ikram said they have "enough
kits" for testing in the capital and their quantity will further increase
in the next few days.
said 21 labs across the country are currently carrying out Covid-19 tests. Each
lab is equipped with at least one machine that can perform 200 tests per day,
Dr Ikram added.
whether there was a need for more aggressive testing, Dr Ikram said they have
been following the standard operating procedures in this regard — people with symptoms
or foreign travel history are being tested first and "no one who came from
public sector hospitals has been refused testing".
on the other hand, has a capacity to carry out 20-25 tests each day but the
number of samples collected from suspected Covid-19 patients is a lot higher,
according to GB health department focal person Dr Shah Zaman.
kits and other equipment are being provided by the GB government, however,
"we also have the cooperation of the NIH", Zaman said.
added that although the citizens are fully cooperating with authorities, the
setting up of additional laboratories will help provide timely treatment to
Covid-19 patients through increased testing.
Health Minister Dr Najeeb Naqi told Dawn.com that as of Tuesday evening,
hospitals in the region had collected 239 samples, most of which were sent to
the NIH in Islamabad for screening.
to Naqi, screening of samples had also begun at the Virology Lab of Abbas
Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) Muzaffarabad since late last week.
lab in AIMS has the capacity to conduct 40-50 tests in a day but it has been
conducting 8-10 tests daily because few symptomatic cases are being received.
now we will screen even the asymptomatic persons, mainly those who have
remained in contact with the positive cases or have returned from outside [of
AJK] for which lists are being prepared on a fast track basis,” he said.
minister revealed that two more testing labs in the towns of Mirpur and
Rawalakot will become operational “in a day or two” while a third lab in Kotli
will also be established within one week.
wants parliamentary oversight of corona relief fund
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif has written a letter
to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, asking the latter to constitute a
parliamentary committee to monitor public money and relief funds being used in
the fight against coronavirus in the country.
is fighting this war against the pandemic [Covid-19] with measured resources
and funds. Under such circumstances, it is imperative to ensure that these resources,
especially monetary, be utilised with clinical precision and utmost
transparency. The parliamentary oversight, therefore, is essential and
uncompromisable in this regard. Which is why, you must set up a parliamentary
monitoring committee to carry out this task,” writes the leader of the
opposition in the National Assembly in his letter, a copy of which was released
to the media by the PML-N here on Wednesday.
Sharif wrote the letter a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced setting
up of a coronavirus relief fund for collecting money from philanthropists and
overseas Pakistanis to generate resources to fight the disease that has
affected the whole world. Earlier, the government had also announced a Rs1,200
billion relief package to ameliorate the sufferings of the common people and
business community due to the spread of coronavirus and prolonged lockdown in
PML-N president, who had returned to the country from the UK last month, has
further asked the speaker to summon the meetings of the National Assembly and
Senate health committees to review the situation due to spread of Covid-19.
view of conflicting information being shared by the government officials on and
off the record, there is a direct need of briefing the people’s representatives
regarding the truth,” writes Mr Sharif while arguing in favour of his demand
for convening the meetings of the committees on health.
the beginning of the letter, Mr Sharif appreciated the speaker for his
initiative of calling the meeting of the parliamentary leaders last week,
stating that “it is unfortunate that the conduct of the prime minister did not
allow that effort to bear the desired fruit”.
Mr Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had boycotted
the parliamentary meeting when Prime Minister Imran Khan abruptly left the
meeting after delivering his opening speech.
speaking at a news conference here on Wednesday, former prime minister Shahid
Khaqan Abbasi, PML-N secretary general Ahsan Iqbal, party’s information
secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb and Senator Mussadiq Malik criticised the ruling
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) for its alleged poor handling of the situation
after the spread of coronavirus.
the government’s relief package “insufficient”, Mr Iqbal presented a number of
proposals in the form of demands to minimise the negative impact of coronavirus
on the country’s economy and people.
asked the government to announce a fresh economic package after consultation
with the business leadership, including the office-bearers of various chambers
of commerce and industry.
Iqbal, who had served as the planning and development minister in the previous
PML-N government, asked the government to bring the prices of petrol and diesel
to Rs70 per litre keeping in view that oil prices had almost crashed in the
international market. He urged the government to immediately announce at least
33 per cent reduction in electricity and gas tariffs, besides deferring the
payment of electricity and gas bills for the poor for one year. He also called
for a two-fold increase in the salaries of doctors, nurses and other paramedic
staff fighting coronavirus as frontline soldiers.
asked the government to arrange funds for the payment of six-month school fees
for the parents belonging to the poor and middle class families.
the PML-N leader urged the government to pay Rs15,000 per person to all those
placed in quarantines. He said that this amount would not only help the
families of the affected people in meeting their daily requirements, but this
step would also serve as an incentive to the people who were reluctant to
undergo testing for Covid-19. He also called for expanding the Benazir Income
Support Programme (BISP) and include 3.5 million more women whose data was
already available with the government. In this way, he said, some 8m women
would be able to get the BISP assistance.
Iqbal also asked the government to divert Rs30bn development funds earmarked
for the ruling party’s lawmakers to the coronavirus relief fund. He alleged
that the government had politicised the coronavirus relief measures through
distribution of forms to the needy people only by the PTI office-bearers.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi alleged that the government’s response to coronavirus was
very slow, adding that the steps being taken now should have been taken 10
weeks before. He said the prime minister was not fully aware of the term
‘lockdown’. He said there was a need for a countrywide lockdown of the same
More Test Positive At Raiwind Tableeghi Jamaat Headquarters
The number of confirmed coronavirus patients at the Raiwind Tableeghi Markaz
rose to 41 on Wednesday, after 14 more preachers tested positive, whereas 15
positive cases were reported in other parts of the provincial capital during
the last 24 hours.
to the daily situation report on coronavirus released by the Punjab health
authorities, an elderly virus patient died at the Benazir Bhutto Hospital,
Rawalpindi. The 83-year-old victim had arrived from England recently.
far total 10 patients have succumbed to the virus in Punjab, including four
each in Lahore and Rawalpindi and one each in Faisalabad and Rahim Yar Khan.
64 more people were confirmed as Covid-19 patients across the province, taking
the total number to 748, including 178 in Lahore.
Lahore, Gujrat has become a flashpoint for coronavirus as 24 new patients
tested positive for the virus in the district during the last 24 hours, taking
the tally of confirmed cases surfacing there to 86.
senior official said the Raiwind Tableeghi Markez was presently housing
approximately 600 preachers. The health teams have so far sent samples of
around 110 of them for lab analysis, he said, adding the reports later
confirmed 41 preachers as Covid-19 patients.
question, he said, the health teams, with the support of police, carried out
random tests of over 100 residents of Raiwind City which had been locked down
on Tuesday to prevent outbreak of the disease. He said their reports were awaited
to know the extent of the disease’s impact on the locals.
far, DG Khan has reported 207 confirmed cases, Multan 91, Rawalpindi 46, Jehlum
28, Gujranwala 12, Gujrat 86, Sargodha seven, while Faisalabad has nine
for the health department said tests of total 16,061 suspected and confirmed
patients had been carried out so far in Punjab. The tests were conducted at the
National Institute of Health (NIHS) Islamabad, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer
Hospital, Lahore, Nishtar Hospital, Multan, Chughati Lab and the health
department lab on Jail Road, Lahore.
the city administration says as many as 900 residents of Raiwind tehsil have
been quarantined at various centres for being Covid-19 suspects.
claims the teams led by Raiwind tehsil officers have started distributing food
and ration among the residents affected by complete lockdown in the area.
many as 900 people have been sent to quarantine centres. Minimum 10-day ration
has also been distributed among 1,000 families in Raiwind where a complete
lockdown is being observed strictly,” Lahore DC Danish Afzaal told a press release
DC said the Rawind’s exit and entry points were being monitored strictly, as
the mobility of people within or outside the town had completely been
restricted through deployment of police and personnel of security agencies.
Senate panel on pandemic to meet on April 6
The parliamentary committee on the coronavirus pandemic will hold its maiden
meeting on April 6.
by Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser, the meeting will be briefed by
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Adviser to
the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on economic
and business plans for the revival of the economy.
Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza and
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal
will brief the panel on the situation related to Covid-19, the disease caused
by the new coronavirus, and measures to respond to the challenge.
committee includes Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for
Information Technology Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Minister for Housing and
Works Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema, parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) Khawaja Asif, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader and
former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, Asad Mehmood of the Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), Khalid Magsi of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP),
Shahzain Bugti of the Jamhoori Watan Party, Amir Haider Hoti of the Awami
National Party (ANP), Akhtar Mengal of the Balochistan National Party (BNP-M)
and Ghous Bux Mahar of the Grand Democratic Alliance.
who have been nominated for the committee representing the Senate are Leader of
the House Syed Shibli Faraz, parliamentary leader of the PML-N Mushahidullah
Khan, PPP’s parliamentary leader Sherry Rehman, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif of
the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Aurangzeb Khan from the erstwhile Federally
Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), Mir Hasil Bizenjo of the National Party,
Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the JUI-F, Sirajul Haq (Jamaat-i-Islami),
Usman Kakar (Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party), Sitara Ayaz (ANP), Dr Jehanzeb
Jamaldini (BNP-Mengal), Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah (PML-F) and Anwarul Haq
Kakar of the BAP.
Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar,
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Swati and Adviser to the Prime Minister on
Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Special Assistant to the PM on Health Dr Zafar
Mirza are part of the committee as ex-officio members.
scarce handouts, anxiety grows among wage earners due to lockdown
Day 10 of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 saw increased anxiety
and uncertainty amongst the city’s poorest, who had been out of work for well
over a week and with no financial backup, as they hoped to get “free ration”.
news of extension in the lockdown for another week has forced thousands of
people out of homes — defying all advice on social distancing — risking their
lives to get supplies.
queues were seen in Saddar, Kharadar, Machhar Colony, Lyari, Quaidabad, Orangi
Town and other densely populated areas of Karachi as thousands of daily wage
earners — mostly men and some hapless women and children huddled on footpaths —
waited impatiently to receive ration supplies from camps set up by government
offices, forces, welfare organisations and philanthropists.
to estimates by government and charitable organisations, at least 2.5 million
families in the city need help. The much-coveted ration bag — with a price of
Rs1,200 the cost of which is borne by donors — includes 5-10 kg of flour,
lentils, ghee or oil, tea and sugar.
wage earners from port, aviation and textile industry — the sectors which were
the earliest victims of Covid-19 slowdown — are some of the worst hit.
group that faces strong food insecurity are rural migrants from south Punjab
and interior Sindh, many of whom worked as farm labourers, but moved to Karachi
to find work as rickshaw drivers, housemaids, masons, painters, waiters, towel
sellers, street vendors and car window cleaners — all currently out of work.
group of pensive-looking women stood at a petrol pump near Teen Talwar and
begged volunteers of a charity organisation for flour. “We came all the way
from Baldia to get ration. We even have our CNICs,” a woman said.
volunteers — sitting on an empty pickup — urged the women to send a message to
the charity’s number, stressing “rations will be supplied at their doorsteps”.
charity organisations are now demanding CNICs and list down numbers — an audit
requirement — before they hand over the supplies. This means those men and
women from Karachi and rural areas who do not have official IDs are left out.
have limited supply of goods. With each passing, more and more people are
coming out and there is a lot of panic,” one of the men said.
one bag of ration, there are 100 arms that reach out to grab it,” said a
visibly frustrated volunteer, who has been distributing food supplies in
various parts of the city for the past week.
to the 2017 census, Sindh has a population of around 47m and of them 10m
people, or 1.4m families, are daily wage earners who are outside the ambit of
any organisation such as Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) or
Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (Sessi).
unfortunate that we do not have any solid data on people. Our census data will
show religion but not the work one does. Seventy to 80pc of the workforce is in
the informal sector or has been informalised,” said Karamat Ali, executive
director of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research (Piler)
who is also a member of the Tripartite Labour Standing Committee.
bad news, according to aid workers, is there is not enough to go around. There
have been reports and videos of physical attacks and heated arguments as
volunteers struggled to keep themselves safe.
much-publicised UAN and mobile numbers of over a dozen charity organisations
and philanthropists in Karachi were either turned off or busy. “It is becoming
impossible to meet the demand at this point,” said an official of a charity
good thing is that people are donating like crazy. Local and international
donations are coming in,” said Rehan Bandukda, a Karachi-based businessman and
a former general manager of the World Memon Foundation.
business community and average Karachiites are contributing a great deal,” he
said. “People have already started to give zakat and that is sustaining the
current operation, just like they did during the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and
this time the disaster is bigger — a pandemic that is sweeping across the
globe. For the moneyed, businesses and jobs are at risk — which means ‘donor
fatigue’ will set in soon.
immediate relief, Mr Ali of Piler suggested immediate activation of union
committees in mazdoor bastis (localities around industrial areas). “At the UC
level, everyone knows who is who and it’s easier to manage things. Cash
transfers can be done using banks accounts and branchless banking.
government should look up Nadra [National Database and Registration Authority]
data and identify people. An example of a vulnerable household is where only
one family member has a primary level education,” he added.
Bandukda said: “The government must focus on quarantining suspected and
confirmed cases and ensuring ‘social distancing’ during relief distributions.
That’s the only area that NGOs and volunteers can’t cover.”
Sindh Relief Initiative app — the URL for which was announced by Chief Minister
Sindh Murad Ali Shah on March 29 — has been downloaded over 5,000 times till
the filing of this report but remains non-responsive.
Sindh government developed the app with the aim of “providing rations to daily
wage earners and needy people on their doorsteps”.
App Developer kindly clear, Is this App only for social welfare organizations
and NGOs. Where is the option for needy Daily wagers to register” and “I think
this app Sindh Relief Initiative is not launched officially, thats why not
register anyone or its a fake app” were just a few of the comments left by
reporter tried to register on the app for two consecutive days. Each attempt
led to the following message: ‘Login failed: Invalid username or password’ or
‘you are not authorised to use this app’.
contacted, Adviser to CM Sindh, Murtaza Wahab said he was not aware of the
problems with the app since the Provincial Disaster Managment Authority was
World League delivers medical supplies to Pakistan
regional office of the Muslim World League (MWL) in Islamabad on Wednesday
delivered medical supplies to Pakistan’s government to help fight the coronavirus
delivery was attended by Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister Noor-ul-Haq
Qadri, Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki and other officials.
expressed his appreciation for the initiative, hailing the MWL’s important role
in serving Islam and Muslims worldwide.
said the MWL is always proactive in providing aid, and has provided assistance
to help fight coronavirus as part of its religious, moral and humanitarian
Raja Amjad Mehmood, director general of the National Health Emergency
Preparedness and Response Network, thanked the MWL for this initiative and
stressed its importance.
bin Massoud Al-Harthi, the MWL’s regional director in Pakistan, said this
assistance package comprises protective masks and bags, detectors and
added that a large campaign has been launched across TV channels, newspapers
and social media to raise awareness and provide guidance on how to prevent
said these efforts come under the close guidance and supervision of MWL
Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa.
added that this initiative is one of many implemented by the MWL in Pakistan in
various relief, health and educational fields
mosque thanks Dutch health care workers with Quran verse
Turkish association that runs a mosque in the Netherlands hung a poster outside
a hospital in Amsterdam, thanking health care workers for their fight against
the coronavirus outbreak.
poster, which includes a verse from the Quran and expresses gratitude to
doctors and nurses, was hung up at a bus stop opposite the hospital. “Whoever
saves (a life), it is as if he had saved entire mankind,” the verse from the
Quran’s al-Maidah surah or chapter reads. “Thanks, health care personnel,” the
poster in English and Dutch facing Meander Hospital also says.
Yıldız, chairman of the association that runs Amersfoort Rahman Mosque, which
put up the poster, told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Tuesday that they wanted to
thank the health care personnel for their “efforts in these times."
work hard for public health and spend sleepless nights. They need motivation
and we wanted to motivate them with this verse and wanted to show that Muslim
community here also stands with them,” he said.
number of deaths in the Netherlands resulting from the new coronavirus has
risen by 134 to 1,173, health authorities said Wednesday. Confirmed cases
increased by 1,019 to 13,614, the Netherlands' National Institute for Health
ongoing arrests of Palestinians amid virus outbreak reflect regime’s brutality,
Palestinian Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has strongly condemned the
incessant Israeli arrest campaign against Palestinians, arguing that the move
clearly shows the brutality and criminality of the Tel Aviv regime, especially
as the cases of infection with a new coronavirus in the occupied territories
are on the rise.
Wednesday, member of the Hamas political bureau, Husam Badran, held the Israeli
regime fully responsible for the life of Sheikh Omar al-Barghouthi, after
Israeli troopers raided his home in the northern West Bank village of Kobar
near Ramallah early on Tuesday and arrested him.
noted that Israeli authorities’ attempts to take advantage of the emergency
situation as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic to impose new faits
accomplis on the ground are doomed to failure.
people, who have proven their efficiency in fighting the coronavirus with their
awareness and knowledge, will eventually win the battle against the virus of
Zionist occupation,” he pointed out.
General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat called on
the international community on Tuesday to pressure the Tel Aviv regime to
immediately release Palestinian prisoners from its jails amidst the new
PLO chief has called for the immediate release of Palestinian prisoners from
Israeli jails amid the new coronavirus outbreak.
stated that Palestinian detainees suffer from a lack of basic hygiene, and
Israel’s policy of deliberate medical neglect in the wake of the COVID-19
senior Palestinian official warned against the arbitrary measures recently
taken by Israeli authorities against Palestinian prisoners, stating that the
inmates have been deprived of cleaning materials and sanitizers.
practices could result in a catastrophe for more than 5,000 Palestinian
prisoners, especially those who are the most susceptible. This includes elderly
prisoners, those suffering from chronic diseases, inmates with weak immune
systems as well as minors, Erekat highlighted.
March 25, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates called on
the Israeli regime to immediately release Palestinian prisoners from its
detention centers amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
ministry announced in a statement that the Israeli Prisons Service (IPS) is not
providing proper health protection to Palestinian prisoners, as Israeli
authorities have demonstrated that they have no intention of easing apartheid
to make sure Palestinians are able to face the epidemic under better
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman tests positive for coronavirus
MAYTAL YASUR BEIT
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and his wife Chava have been diagnosed with
coronavirus and will go into quarantine, the country’s Health Ministry
confirmed on Thursday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been
informed that Litzman tested positive.
ministry said Litzman will continue to serve as health minister from home, in
accordance with medical recommendations. The 71-year-old leader of Ashkenazi
ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism is at high risk for developing
complications from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and is being
per the ministry’s orders, National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat,
Health Ministry Director Moshe Bar Siman-Tov and several other officials who
have been in daily contact with Litzman will be going into self-isolation as
Wednesday, 6,092 Israelis have been diagnosed with coronavirus, which has so
far claimed the lives of 26 patients. Ninety-five people are in serious
condition, 81 of whom are intubated. So far, 241 Israelis have recovered from
ministry said that 3,201 medical personnel, including 701 doctors and 1,138
nurses, are currently under quarantine. To boost ranks, the ministry has
licensed 900 new nurses in an expedited process.
in the Holy Land - Coronavirus changes burial for Jews, Muslims
(Reuters) - A rising death toll in the coronavirus crisis is forcing a change
in Jewish and Muslim burial and mourning traditions in the Holy Land.
Israel, Jewish dead are normally laid to rest in a cloth smock and shroud,
without a coffin. Now, the bodies of coronavirus victims are taken for ritual
washing - performed in full protective gear - wrapped in impermeable plastic.
are very much mixed,” said Yakov Kurtz, who works for Chevra Kadisha, the main
group overseeing Jewish burials in Israel. “We don’t know what to expect, we
don’t know how many dead we will have to tend to. There are many fears.”
decrees for handling the coronavirus dead have been given for Muslim burials,
said Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian
is a rule of necessity and necessities allow for prohibitions, therefore the
deceased is not washed, nor shrouded and is buried in a plastic body-bag,” Hussein
and mourning rituals have changed for everyone since Israeli and Palestinian
authorities imposed stay-at-home directives and restricted the size of public
gatherings to try to halt the spread of infection.
in Israel can be attended by no more than 20 people in an open space only.
Social distancing rules mean that embracing the bereaved is just not done.
has affected the Jewish tradition of Shiva - a seven-day period that begins
after a funeral, in which people come to the family home to offer condolences,
bring food and reminisce about the departed.
Nasseraldin lost his brother to cancer last week. His body was taken from the
hospital to the cemetery, and the family could not hold a service they had
planned at Jerusalem al-Aqsa’s mosque.
buried him and condolences were accepted at the burial site. We had already
requested everybody not to shake hands, no hugging or kissing, which is custom
here. This was uncomfortable,” said Nasseraldin.
were able to attend the funeral. Friends and relatives were told not to visit
the family home during the customary three-day mourning period.
truly feel sad that we were not able to pray at al-Aqsa over the body,” said
Nasseraldin. “But there is nothing we can do. May God accept this from us.”
launches aid campaign for mosques in Germany amid pandemic
DAILY SABAH WITH AA
Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) launched an aid campaign
for mosques in Germany with the call "Now It's Time to Support Our
Mosques." The campaign focuses on mosques in the country under
construction with a heavy debt burden and in need of help, especially during
the coronavirus outbreak.
to Anadolu Agency (AA), the campaign started in Cologne, where the DİTİB's
headquarters is located. The campaign intends to provide financial aid to the
mosques since their revenue stream has dried up as collective prayers have been
interrupted as part of the measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
on the campaign, the head of the DİTİB, Kazım Türkmen, said there are
approximately 50 mosques in Germany still under construction. He added that
there are also about 100-150 mosques carrying significant debt.
that so far the mosques have managed to survive financially thanks to several
events conducted within the mosques, Türkmen said due to the cancelation of
these events, some mosques have been struggling.
of worship survive under the patronage and responsibility of believers around
the world. Similarly, our mosques depend on the existence of sincere,
compassionate and devoted efforts of our fellow members," he emphasized.
interested in contributing to the campaign can send their donations via Paypal
to email@example.com or through bank transfer to the IBAN number DE95 3704 0044
0121 5177 19, which has been established under the name of Turkisch-Islamische
DİTİB is one of the biggest Islamic organizations in Germany. It was founded in
1984 as a branch of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB), Turkey's top
DİTİB currently runs 857 mosques in Germany with nearly 1,100 imams. Most of
these imams are appointed from Turkey by the DİB and eventually return to
Turkey after serving for four years in Germany. There are currently 110 imams
who were trained in Germany, but the program aims to increase this number.
many years, the DİTİB participated in many government-supported
counter-extremism and integration projects. In September 2018, the German
domestic intelligence agency, BfV, reportedly decided to scrutinize the
activities of the DİTİB and question whether to put the organization under
official surveillance or not.
arrives in Sana'a on-board armored personnel carrier
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power and crushing Ansarullah.
years after the launch of the military aggression, the Saudi-led coalition has
been bogged down in the war, which it had wished to end in a matter of “months.
recent act of retaliation against the Saudi war, the Yemeni army last week staged
drone and missile attacks over Riyadh and another Saudi city.
state media reported that at least one ballistic missile and a rocket had been
intercepted over Riyadh and the southwestern city of Jazan. However, a
spokesperson for Saudi Arabia’s civil defense said two people were wounded in
the strikes. The contradictory accounts were not explained by Saudi
Saudi war has killed tens of thousands of Yemenis and brought the entire nation
to the edge of famine
restored at Syrian Kurdistan jail after Islamic State riot
Syrian Kurdistan,— Kurdish-led security forces said they restored calm Monday at
a prison in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), northeast Syria, after a riot by Islamic
State group inmates.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four detainees believed to have broken
out of Ghourian prison in the town of Hasaks had been tracked down within the
5,000 IS suspects are held in the jail run by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF), according to the Observatory.
Sunday, prisoners managed to dismantle cell doors and pierce through dormitory
walls, overrunning the jail’s ground floor, the SDF said.
authorities called for foreign countries to repatriate their nationals accused
of belonging to IS, but these have been largely reluctant.
the Kurds are now urging the international community to help better secure
their jails and organise trials of IS-linked detainees on their own soil.
the end of their territorial control, IS fighters still maintain a presence in
SDF-held areas and continue to claim frequent attacks.
Kurdish Democratic Union Party PYD and its powerful military wing YPG/YPJ,
considered the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and U.S. has
provided them with arms. The YPG, which is the backbone of the Syrian
Democratic Forces SDF forces, has seized swathes of Syria from Islamic State.
Kurdish forces expelled the Islamic State from its last patch of territory in
the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz in March 2019.
Kurdish male and female fighters had been killed in five years of war to
eliminate the Islamic State “caliphate” that once covered an area the size of
Great Britain in Syria and Iraq.
Kurds have detained thousands of foreigners suspected of fighting for Islamic
State, as well as thousands of related women and children, during the battle
against IS in Syria and are being held in by Kurdish forces in Syrian
NIA to launch its first investigation in a foreign soil after Kabul attack
Investigation Agency of India (NIA) has filed a case to investigate the deadly
attack on Sikh in Kabul city, it has been reported.
bid to launch its first investigation regarding a terror attack on foreign
soil, the NIA registered its case under criminal conspiracy and terror charges,
according to Hindustan Times.
NIA official, who didn’t wish to be named, told The Hindustan Times “We will
first seek all the documents from Afghanistan authorities through official
channels to see what kind of evidence they have collected so far. A team will
later visit Kabul”.
to Hindustan Times, the Narendra Modi government last year amended the NIA Act,
empowering the agency to investigate terror activities against Indians and
Indian interests abroad apart from cyber crimes and human trafficking.
comes as a group of terrorists attacked the Sikh temple in Kabul city last
week, killing at least 27 people including an Indian national and wounding many
Nepali Muslims who attended Nizamuddin congregation in Delhi, quarantined in
Nepali Muslims, who recently returned from India after participating in a
Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin area in New Delhi, have been
identified and kept in a quarantine facility in southern Nepal’s Saptari
district, authorities said on Wednesday.
for the shrine of the 14h century Sufi mystic Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya, the
Nizamuddin area of New Delhi has emerged as an epicentre for the spread of
coronavirus in different parts of India after thousands of people took part in
a Tablighi Jamaat congregation from March 1-15.
authorities have launched a nationwide search for participants of the huge
religious gathering amid fears that thousands present there could have carried
the infection to the length and breadth of the country.
nationals, particularly from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan come for Tabligh activities in Delhi.
authorities on Wednesday said that 18 local Muslims, who recently returned from
the Indian capital after participating in the religious gathering, have been
quarantined in Saptari district in Southern Nepal. According to spokesperson of
Kanchanpur municipality, Raj Kumar Shah, the India-returnees have been
quarantined at a newly-constructed building of Lakshmi Naryan Secondary School.
around 400 Indian nationals, who gathered from different parts of Nepal to
return to India, have been stranded in Birgunj area in Parsa due to the closure
of the India-Nepal border.
to Parsa’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Ganga Panta, the huge mass of Indian
citizens heading towards India via border in Parsa have been kept in an
education faculty building.
returned to Birgunj Tuesday morning after finding that the border was closed in
the Indian side. They were provided meal by Nepal Police on Wednesday morning
and necessary arrangements were being made for their temporary stay.
two Indian men who travelled to Gaur of Rautahat district from Kathmandu riding
on bicycles crossing a distance of more than 200 km during the lockdown reached
Sitamarhi border only to find that the border was closed.
Kishore Sah and Sanjaya Sah, permanent residents of Betauna in Motihari
district in Bihar, left Kathmandu on Sunday and reached Gaur on Wednesday, a
town in Rautahat bordering Sitamarhi of Bihar.
of 993 samples so far tested in the government hospitals for coronavirus, only
five are found to be positive. Over 80 people have been kept in isolation in
different hospitals across the country.
including 2 imams, 2 teachers fined for spreading rumours
people, including two imams, have been fined in Gournadi upazila of Barishal
for spreading rumors, said police.
were picked up from different spots of the upazila today, said Golam Sarwar,
officer-in-charge of Gournadi Police Station.
mobile court led by Upazila Nirbahi Officer Ishrat Jahan fined each Tk 25,000
or one month's jail in default, for using loud speakers of a mosque and social
media to spread rumours.
four hours until 3:00am today, they propagated rumours that the armed forces
were about to spray medicine so people should stay home -- locking doors and
windows, triggering panic in the area, said OC Golam Sarwar.
them, two are school teachers -- Rafiqul Islam of Gournadi Government Model
Primary School and Salma Akhter of Barthi School and College -- and two are
imams -- Hasan Al Mamun of North Bijoypur Moqsue and Abdul Quader of Baniajuri
rest have been identified as Sirajul Islam, a retired sergeant of Bangladesh
Army, and Dipali Debnath, a former teacher of Gournadi Government Model Primary
Police foil bid to kidnap Afghan Air Force pilot
Kabul Police foiled a bid to kidnap a pilot of the Afghan Air Force and arrested
two people in connection with the abduction bid, the Ministry of Interior (MoI)
to a statement released by MoI, the police forces arrested the suspects during
a raid which they conducted in the 10th district of Kabul city.
statement further added that the two suspects attempted to abduct the Air Force
pilot from the 3rd district of the city on Tuesday evening.
the interior ministry said the suspects failed to kidnap the pilot and escaped
from the area but the police forces later arrested the duo from 10th district
of the city.
Ministry of Interior also added that the police forces confiscated a Hummer
vehicle, an Ak-47 assault rifle, 3 ammunition magazines of Ak-47 and some
announces $7.1 million to support the drones operations of Afghan forces
Department of Defense, Pentagon, announced $7.1 million in fresh aid to support
the operations of the unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) of the Afghan National
Defense and Security Forces.
Inc., Bingen, Washington, is awarded $7,187,794 for a modification to a
firm-fixed-price delivery order N68335-19-F-0434 against previously issued basic
ordering agreement N68335-16-G-0046,” the defense departmetn said in a
also added “This order procures field service representatives and instructors
to provide technical services, training, and program management needed to
sustain and support ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles in Afghanistan in
support of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”
ISLAMIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OFFERS FREE TRAINING FOR ALL FOR ALL MEDICAL
STUDENTS JOINING THE FRONTLINE
week, the British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has announced a free
webinar for all final year medical students that are being recruited to work in
the NHS amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical students are being called upon to
practice, which can feel difficult and overwhelming. To play its part in the
national effort during this unprecedented emergency, BIMA, an affiliate of the
MCB, is offering its services and guidance to all who need, not just its
in the form of a webinar will cover practical and clinical guidance, including
dealing with emergencies and ward rounds, but also spiritual and self-care
advice relating to sick leave, prayer and much more. This support is being
offered to all final year medical students, regardless of membership, faith or
background in order to best support those working to help others in need.
more than ever, medical and Muslim communities need to come together and
support each in any way that we can. BIMA has a long history of supporting
Muslims in healthcare professions, but in this crisis, we wish to support all
medics in any way we can.
called to the frontline in such unpredictable and trying circumstances is a
difficult position for any one person to be in, and it takes an immense
physical, emotional, and spiritual toll.
we are working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of our communities
and our loved ones deserve the utmost respect and support, and we hope that we
are able to provide guidance to our newest colleagues.”
these testing times, we must all pitch in to support the national effort in
combating the Coronavirus and keeping our communities safe. BIMA have a long
history of supporting Muslim healthcare workers, and this initiative to support
all new healthcare workers – regardless of faith – is one that I am sure will
be appreciated by many for years to come.
have seen an outpouring of community initiatives, from raising funds for
personal protective equipment, opening mosque doors to make space for
hospitals, and donating food to NHS workers. It is the responsibility of each
and every one of us to do whatever we can to support others, and it is
collective efforts like these which will help Britain overcome this crisis.”
Majority of Sexual Offenders Are White Men – There Is No Muslim Problem with
series The State of Racism has been running over the past six weeks to
illuminate just how prevalent racism is in the UK. We’ve also been highlighting
the unique dilemmas faced by certain groups, from black mums, to South Asian
Muslims. But every time I have written about Muslims, I have received one
recurring comment, on my Facebook, Twitter, emails and in the article comments
– ‘what about the grooming gangs?’.
Why is this bought up every time I mention an
obstacle faced by Muslims? Do the crimes of a few speak for all Muslims?
has fallen for Lunchbox – the 24lb cat who wants to be a Cadbury bunny
Obviously not, but it seems this constant bleating about ‘Muslim grooming
gangs’ is specifically being used to shut down important discussions about
islamophobia. And while it’s difficult to measure the ethnicity of sexual
offenders, there is clear evidence in many reports that the majority have been
white men, not Asian Muslims. Almost 85 per cent of offenders found guilty of
sexual activity with a minor in England and Wales in 2011 were white while four
per cent were Asian. Some have reported even higher figures, claiming that the
number for white male offenders is 90 per cent. To say it’s an intrinsically
Muslim problem is a lazy, transparent tactic – and the inaccuracies behind
these claims need to be dismantled in order to move the conversation on.
Grooming gangs are only depicted to be an Asian or ‘Muslim’ problem because of
a few high-profile cases and the media’s penchant to overreport certain types
reasons people seem to be so consistently hung up on this issue is twofold;
first because it reinforces already-held racist stereotypes of Muslim men as threatening
and regressive. And secondly, because the most oft-cited cases of sexual
grooming involve white, working-class girls and women. Stop bringing up
‘Muslim’ grooming gangs when discussions of islamophobia rise (Picture: Ella Byworth
for Metro.co.uk) In the sexual exploitation cases of Rochdale and Rotherham in
Yorskhire, there was extraordinary neglect against the, mostly white, victims
aged 12-16. How they were treated was largely due to classism and misogyny. The
girls were from working-class backgrounds, which is often thought to signify
laziness or fecklessness. And they suffered misogyny – thought to be
‘available’ – a kind of oppression assigned to anyone who looks like a girl or
woman and wears anything ‘suggestive’.
this – had the victims also been of Asian and/or Muslim descent, would the
uproar be the same? There are actually Muslim victims of sexual exploitation
but they’re often missed because of the focus on white victims. We can also
ask: if the perpetrators were also white – would their race be mentioned? In
this case, one of the most reported aspects was the commonality of the gangs –
in terms of their ethnic and religious background.
fact that whiteness so often goes unchecked and becomes an invisible default is
one of the reasons we launched The State of Racism. Granted, sexual abuse
should always be taken seriously. But there is only one thing in common with
sexual predators – the crimes they’ve committed. But their background is oft
mentioned because there’s an appetite to be fed about how backward Muslims are.
We see the same thing happen in cases of terrorism where attacks by Muslims
receive 357 per cent more press attention then when white people do it. These
grooming gang cases are complex and there are racial elements to it – the
perpetrators saw the girls as ‘easy meat’ because they were white and thought
to be sexually loose. This is, unquestionably, appalling and discriminatory
behaviour from these Asian men.
mosque’s digital plan to support residents
volunteer committee at Masjid Norul Islam, on Audley Range, are using Whatsapp,
Google Hangouts, Facebook and other online tools to get their message across to
member Yusaf Patel, who runs local web design company YP solutions, has been at
the forefront of the mosque’s digital strategy.
said: “We started it off a few weeks ago when things came into perspective and
we realised it was going to become serious.
committee as a whole we decided we’d set up a scheme to help the community so
from there we created a Whatsapp group and people then forwarded it onto other
groups and before you know it we had 250 members.”
digital strategy has also been key to coordinating relief measures across the
Audley Range and Queens Park areas where the committee aims to provide support
to any residents who are in need.
Patel said: “We thought to ourselves, how are we going to get the word out? So
we used a Google Hangouts to organise ourselves and we’ve now got 12 in the
team talking to each other and making sure everything gets done.”
efforts are supported by 60 active volunteers and by help from local businesses
including SDP Media which supplies high-vis jackets and Audley Range based PTA
Foods which has supplied food at reduced prices..
Patel said: “You’ll see people who are struggling to get medical advice because
English isn’t their first language so we’ll be there to help them out.”
added: “When we’re experiencing a few more weeks of lockdown people, especially
elderly people, will struggle with loneliness, anxiety and depression so we’ve
got people on hand who can help with that.”
mosques expand funeral service facilities
Lane Masjid has installed an additional cold storage facility and said it aims
to be able to store 100 bodies.
Khan, from the Green Lane mosque in Small Heath, said about 40 volunteers were
based there, with dozens more on stand by, and safety standards were "the
gold standard of what's required".
had been donated and there had been health and safety training, with the
"need to mitigate risks" over Covid-19, related to those driving two
private ambulances and two hearses.
said: "All drivers wear full hazmat suits... They all wear masks, gloves,
shoe covers... We've spent a long time working on the health and safety side.
norms, including being with family members, washing them, shrouding them and
putting them in a casket, had currently been "stripped away", he
added: "This is the most important thing [volunteers have] ever had to do,
to ensure loved ones are buried with the honour and dignity they deserve."
Muslims advised to delay bookings for Hajj pilgrimage
Muslims planning to take part in the Hajj pilgrimage are being advised to delay
their bookings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said pilgrims hoping to travel to the holy
cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia should “wait and see” how the
two million people from across the world were expected to undertake the
pilgrimage, which begins in late July.
these unprecedented times, it is imperative that public health is put
firstHarun Khan, Muslim Council of Britain secretary general
MCB’s statement comes after a Saudi official said people should “hold on to
signing any agreements” to travel to the kingdom.
Khan, the MCB’s secretary general, said: “Going for Hajj is one of the biggest
events in a Muslim’s life, and there is no doubt that many will have been
making plans to go this year.
these unprecedented times, it is imperative that public health is put first,
and with millions of people from across the world coming to one place to
perform the pilgrimage in close proximity to one another, it is sensible that
we exercise a degree of caution and wait and see what the situation is closer
to the time.”
Khan urged UK-based Hajj tour operators to reassure existing customers that
their bookings are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority’s Atol
has since imposed a night-time curfew across the country and suspended all
inbound and outbound flights as it grapples with more than 1,500 confirmed
Tuesday, the kingdom’s Hajj minister, Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Banten, told
state television: “The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is prepared to secure the safety
of all Muslims and nationals.
why we have requested from all Muslims around the world to hold on to signing
any agreements until we have a clear vision.”
advised to delay Hajj bookings
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said pilgrims hoping to travel to the holy
cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia should "wait and see" how
the situation develops.
MCB's statement comes after a Saudi official said people should "hold on
to signing any agreements" to travel to the kingdom.
Khan, the MCB's secretary general, said: "Going for Hajj is one of the
biggest events in a Muslim's life, and there is no doubt that many will have
been making plans to go this year.
these unprecedented times, it is imperative that public health is put first,
and with millions of people from across the world coming to one place to
perform the pilgrimage in close proximity to one another, it is sensible that
we exercise a degree of caution and wait and see what the situation is closer
to the time."
Khan urged UK-based Hajj tour operators to reassure existing customers that
their bookings are financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority's Atol
Tuesday, the kingdom's Hajj minister, Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Banten, told
state television: "The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is prepared to secure the
safety of all Muslims and nationals.
why we have requested from all Muslims around the world to hold on to signing
any agreements until we have a clear vision."
need your help' - Muslim charity feeding NHS workers and elderly running out of
Muslim charity which distributes food to the elderly, vulnerable and NHS
workers has made an urgent appeal after fearing it will run out of much needed
group has been taking food donations from generous members of the public, as
well as cash donations to buy even more stock.
with 285 volunteers, the faith-based organisation has recently been finding it
hard to maintain a steady flow of supplies.
are a faith-based organisation. Looking after the vulnerable members of your
community is the best thing to do," says Tabraz Khan, 38, head of support
organisation has put call-outs on social media for help. It is aiming to rally
up more support to sustain its current outreach.
stuff is being donated and some stuff we're purchasing off the money we've been
donated. A quarter has been donated as normal. "
the next few days the As-Suffa Institute is planning on running a listening
service, a HR service and a legal service.
listening service will offer the opportunity for any members of the public to
talk about their concerns and pressures during the growing Coronavirus
used to have a domestic violence service running for the past two years, but
this general service is new," says Tabraz.
you're isolating, food is often a worry, especially if you're elderly and
vulnerable. But at the same time that can have a negative mental health
As-Suffa Institute believes it is helping to become a vital source of help for
those vulnerable and self-isolating who need access to food nearby their own
organisation has been flooded with messages on social media, calls, and even
voicenotes from those who have witnessed others being helped.
charities working together to respond to coronavirus crisis
Campaign for National Solidarity includes an emergency fundraising appeal is
being launched to assist in the delivery of a nationwide response to the COVID-19
emergency, in order to serve the vital needs of communities across the UK who
have been affected.
includes providing grants for those facing financial strife during this period,
as well as supporting local organisations requiring greater resources to provide
an effective response.
funds raised will go towards helping families and individuals facing
significant financial hardship as well as giving community organisations the
help they need to provide essentials to their community.
collective response aims to pool the resources, skills and expertise of leading
British Muslim charities, ensuring we can effectively and efficiently reach and
provide support where needed.
Itani, CEO of Muslim Charities Forum said, “We are facing an unprecedented crisis,
and there has never been a more urgent time to work together for the betterment
of all those in the UK facing difficulties and increased risk during this
emergency. Before this is over, millions of people across the UK are wondering
where they will find the money to pay their rent, their bills, and purchase the
essentials for themselves and their families.
announcements by the government there is still a great immediate need amongst
the British population. Through working together, we can overcome this current
crisis and ensure all communities are supported throughout the coming weeks and
Easter, And Ramadan Approaching, Washingtonians Will Be Keeping The Faith
which begins next Wednesday night, was supposed to be an especially big holiday
for Eliana Golding and Yael Shafritz. The couple have been together for three
and a half years, but their parents haven’t met in person, because Shafritz’s
parents live in London and Golding’s parents are in Massachusetts. The couple
planned to host the entire clan at their house for the Jewish holiday in the
16th Street Heights neighborhood.
then, the UK went into lockdown and Yael’s family’s flights got cancelled,”
says Golding. “And my dad works at a hospital. He’s a doctor.” They are bummed
out, but the two of them are going to prepare their own (vegetarian) Seder and
Zoom with both sets of parents. Just maybe not at the same time. “The time
difference makes it a bit tricky,” Golding says.
the city, Reverend Amanda Hendler-Voss is also dealing with best-laid plans
being pushed aside due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Just over two
weeks ago, Hendler-Voss began her new position as the designated senior
minister at First Congregational United Church of Christ on G and 10th Streets
in NW. But by then, the region and the world were already in the midst of rapid-fire
restrictions, escalating guidelines, and social distancing measures.
have not even had a chance to meet the congregation in person,” she says. Over
the last two Sundays, she’s been preaching and conducting services to an empty
sanctuary while broadcasting to congregates’ homes via Zoom. For Easter, the
plan is for her to broadcast from her Prince William County home where she
lives with her husband and two sons.
been a learning curve that Hendler-Voss certainly didn’t expect. “We are
figuring out these technologies … that they don’t teach you in theological
school,” she says.
five miles west in Sterling, Va., Hurunnessa Fariad wants this year’s Ramadan
and Eid al-Fitr to be like any other for her four daughters when it begins
later this month. Fariad is the outreach director at Sterling’s ADAMS Center,
the second-largest mosque in the US. She says while there are somber aspects to
the holiday, this year she’s going to concentrate on making it joyous for her
family. That means more cooking, playing games, gift-giving, and dresses.
year, we buy new clothes for Ramadan,” says Fariad. “This year, I’m still going
to try to do that. Whatever we can do, we will do. I want to make life as
normal as possible.”
the novel coronavirus continues its gradual and deadly spread, similar scenes
are unfolding throughout the country and region as three of the world’s major
religions prepare to celebrate some of their most important holidays. Passover,
commemorating the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt, begins on the evening of
April 8 and continues for eight days. Easter, marking Jesus Christ’s
resurrection from the dead, is on April 12 this year. Ramadan, which lasts a
whole month, is a holiday of self and spiritual reflection with sunrise-to-sunset
fasting. It begins in the evening of April 23 and concludes with Eid al-Fitr, a
celebratory feast, on May 24.
the season would be marked by family meals, religious services, and joyous
gatherings. But not this year. With stay-at-home orders in place and social
distancing guidelines heeded, it’s requiring religious leaders, clergy, and
everyone who is looking to practice their own faith rituals to adjust in a
major way. In their efforts, the region’s religious leaders are finding hope,
gratitude, and innovation.
National Cathedral, for example, is using newly installed technology to bring
Easter services home. The cathedral expects that more than 50,000 people will
attend Easter Services virtually, about 10 times as many as those who typically
attend in person.
invested in quite a bit of money last year upgrading our video capabilities, so
now we have this wonderful system of 10 cameras that one person can run,” Dean
Randy Hollerith tells DCist. “[I] never imagined it would serve in this sort of
situation. It’s a little bit of God’s grace that we have it.”
current plan is for Easter week to have “a skeleton crew of clergy and
musicians” in the sanctuary conducting the service, in accordance with the
local regulations banning gatherings of 10 or more people. Then, with the tech
set-up, they will broadcast it via YouTube, Facebook, and the cathedral’s
website to viewers watching at home with their families.
course, plans and circumstances can change rapidly, as has happened over the
last month. Dean Hollerith says the National Cathedral has had discussions on
making Easter services work even if no one can be in the sanctuary. “If the
situation changes, we’ll do something from home. We are adapting on a daily
basis just like everyone else.”
Passover is celebrated in the home, not in a synagogue, Washington Hebrew
Congregation near McLean Gardens is working on resources to assist those who
might want some help for the holiday. Senior Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig says that he
and his colleagues have been hustling to put together a “virtual Seder guide”
with spiritual guidance and music with the hope that will make people feel more
connected to the community even if they can’t be physically together.
ask the question [on Passover] ‘Ma nishtana halailah hazeh’—why is this night
different than any other night?” Lustig says. “Well, this Seder is going to be
different than any other we’ve experienced.”
Governor Northam’s stay-at-home orders in effect until June 10, the ADAMS
Center will be closed for the entirety of Ramadan. There were to be prayer
services throughout the holiday and a nightly free meal that attracted hundreds
of people in years past.
many prayers can be performed at home, Fariad says, there are several that do
ask for a congregation and being in-person at the mosque. Some in the community
thought the mosque should stay open, but Fariad says that it’s important that
it remains closed.
faith teaches us that when lives are at stake, that takes precedent over the
mosque,” she says. Instead, sermons are being posted on the center’s site every
day and clergy are asking everyone to follow the stay-at-home orders. “The
mosque doesn’t make Ramadan,” says Fariad. “[The holiday] will come
says whenever everyone is able to gather again, First UCC is going to throw a
big celebration with the brass band that was originally scheduled to play on
Easter Sunday. They want to call it “Resurrection Sunday.”
says that while she’s disappointed that no one can partake in the festive,
often crowded evening meals that are typical during Ramadan, she knows this is
a chance to more fully understand the nature of the holiday season. “This is
bringing families together,” he says. “That’s the essence of Ramadan and Eid.”
Lustig of Washington Hebrew Congregation sees similarities between the message
of Passover and what we are experiencing today.
a better tomorrow and a new horizon. We’ve traveled through deserts before and
made it to the promised land,” says Lustig, “Imagine what the world will be
like if our concern coming out of this … is that we have greater empathy and
greater compassion for other human beings?
Muslim Volunteer Effort Delivers Food to Metro Detroiters Doorsteps
Albaugh just picked up two boxes of chicken sandwiches and snacks from a meal
pick-up site, to deliver it to a family with five children.
has never met the family. He’s helping them out because he signed up to be a
volunteer for the Michigan Muslim Community Grocery Service, a grassroots
project started by Riyah Basha and Sumaiya Ahmed Sheikh.
just started a new job and we’re not able to work. A lot of good things were
happening and then it kind of just stopped with the virus.” — Amy Stewart,
I honestly started with just posting a Facebook status to see what was going on
in the community,” Sheikh says. “Very quickly, Riyah reached out and said,
‘Hey, I think it would be really great to start something locally in the Troy
and Rochester area at our local mosque.’”
the project is called the Michigan Muslim Community Grocery Service, the
volunteers and community members served come from a variety of faith, beliefs
and backgrounds. Sheikh says in just their first week and a half of operation
more than 300 volunteers signed up to be a part of the project and 40 people
have received food.
how it works: Anyone in the metro Detroit area who would like food delivered to
their doorstep can call the Michigan Muslim Community Grocery Service hotline
at (734) 210-0316.
the client needs groceries, they can pay online or by leaving a cash envelope
on their doorstep. If they can’t pay there is a fund from people who’ve donated
since the project launched. Either way there’s no delivery fee.
an order is in, it’s sent to a group on the popular messaging service What’s
App, where volunteers like Albaugh see it (more information on volunteering
says he decided to help out with the Michigan Muslim Community Grocery Service
because he’s young and healthy and can’t go into the Detroit museum where he
works because it’s closed right now.
still fortunate enough to be able to get paid at my job. There’s not much I can
do at home. So, in order to get that paycheck guilt-free, I still need to put
in a nine-to five-effort wherever I can.”
pulls up to the Detroit home where he’ll be dropping off the chicken
sandwiches. To limit the spread of the virus, he’s just supposed to leave the
food on the doorstep and then call the family, but there are kids out in the
front yard playing with a cat.
just started a new job and we’re not able to work. A lot of good things were
happening and then it kind of just stopped with the virus going on.”
don’t have the means to get out and go, and I have all the kids with me, so
it’s not exactly the best time to be running out with all your children,” she
says. That’s why Stewart is grateful for the doorstep food service. “It’s just
a blessing. It’s very helpful and I’m so appreciative for it.”
be Muslim, you have to serve those that need the help. And I know that’s not
[just] a Muslim thing… it’s a Jewish thing, it’s a Christian thing, it’s being
a human thing,” she says. “It’s really nice that we all, regardless of race or
background, can get together and help all Michiganders that need the help.”
An Accurate Census Count Is Vital. First, Muslim Americans Need To Trust It's
many Muslim Americans, Hidaya Assaf, a 27-year-old mother of two, was initially
skeptical of the census. She’s Palestinian American, and many of her friends on
Facebook were discussing whether it was worth filling out the 2020 survey. She
could understand their reasons for concern.
think, OK, why do they want to know so much about us? Do they just want to spy
on us or do they just want to see if we’re terrorists?” Assaf told HuffPost.
did some digging online, though, and learned more about the census survey ― how
it’s conducted to get an accurate count of the population, why it’s important
for allocating government resources and how vital it is for determining
congressional maps so communities can be properly represented. She felt
reassured. So she went ahead and filled out the survey.
across the country started receiving invitations in March to respond to the
census either by phone or (for the first time ever) online and will continue to
do so as the country marks Census Day on April 1.
people are making the same calculations Assaf did. Populations that have
historically been profiled or targeted by the government are understandably
wary of turning over information to the government. That could be doubly true
this year, given President Donald Trump’s failed push to get a citizenship
question added to the census and his administration’s targeting of immigrant
and Muslim communities.
there’s a new challenge: The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic delayed
efforts to reach out to marginalized communities, which could make it even
tougher to get an accurate count of minority populations. But given the
importance of the census, experts are urging all people to fill out their
surveys and hoping that if they learn more, they’ll follow through.
law, a respondent’s personal information from the census cannot be used against
them by any government agency or in court. But advocates are still up against
fear and concern.
is a lot of mythology and confusion around what the census actually collects
data-wise, and what the government does with that data,” said Basem Hassan, the
strategy director focused on engaging people of Middle Eastern and North
African (MENA) heritage in the 2020 census campaign.
combine all of these together in a pot and mix it around and that was our
challenge. To educate the community and then to motivate them to participate.”
the creation of the census in 1970, minority populations have often been
undercounted, which means the places where they live wind up with fewer
resources. This year, Muslims from Middle Eastern, South Asian and Black
communities were already hesitant in participating in the census because of
fear their information would be used to target them for deportations, kick them
out of their housing or place them on or a special registry, which
then-candidate Donald Trump once floated. Some immigrants from countries with
authoritarian governments are particularly dubious that the U.S. won’t use
their info for ill.
the U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect private information, it’s not
unreasonable that Muslim Americans would be concerned. In 2011, the New York
City Police Department used census data to place undercover informants in
predominately Muslim communities under a controversial and condemned
surveillance program that tracked Muslim worshippers, students and business
the Trump administration, any remaining trust in the government was demolished
amid the president’s rhetoric against Muslims and minorities and the
institution of the anti-Muslim travel ban.
Haylee Goranson, a Muslim American resident of Sarasota, Florida, said that
while the census is for the public good, she fears that it would be too easy
for Trump to mishandle it for political purposes.
the question of whether to answer the survey at all, many Muslims and Middle
Easterners who are not Muslim may struggle with a specific question: What to
list as their race. Approximately 3 million people of Southwest Asian, Middle
Eastern or North African descent live in the United States, according to a Los
Angeles Times analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. But for decades, Middle
Eastern and North African communities have been defined as “white” in the
categorization, which has been in place since the census was created, erases
Middle Easterners and North Africans and their unique challenges as a minority
group, according to critics. It also contributes to the lack of funds allocated
to programs and services catering to Middle Eastern and North African
needs to be counted regardless of citizenship status, regardless of age and
regardless of whether you trust the current administration or not, because it
goes well beyond that and it really impacts how and to what extent the
community is represented.
Obama administration considered adding a Middle Eastern and North African
category in the 2020 census, based on the Census Bureau’s recommendation, but
the Trump administration has rejected the idea, claiming more research is
2018, the Arab American Institute initiated a lawsuit against the Office of
Management and Budget ― which sets the standards for how the Census Bureau and
other federal agencies collect race and ethnicity data ― for failing to
disclose records relating to its decision not to include a Middle Eastern and
North African category despite the Census Bureau’s recommendations to do so.
Arab American Institute also launched a YallaCountMeIn toolkit, a compilation
of census-related resources and frequently asked questions in both Arabic and
English to encourage Arab Americans to partake in the census.
a MENA category would make the data better and would make Arab - Americans and
other Middle Eastern communities feel more included [and] represented on the
census,” said Ryan Suto, the policy counsel at AAI.
for now, Suto said, “everyone needs to be counted regardless of citizenship
status, regardless of age and regardless of whether you trust the current
administration or not, because it goes well beyond that and it really impacts
how and to what extent the community is represented.”
Census Bureau announced plans to reach out to communities, including in
languages other than English, to get the most accurate count it can. The agency
works with community partners and plans to spend more than $500 million in
public education and outreach campaigns to reach “99 percent of all U.S.
households,” according to the bureau. It has released ads in 13 languages,
including Arabic, Tagalog and Haitian Creole. The questionnaire can also be
completed by phone in those same languages.
many speakers of South Asian languages might not be reached. In 2010, the
Census Bureau advertised in several languages including Hindi/English, Bangla
and Urdu, but in 2020, the bureau dropped those options. Despite the fact there
are over 5 million South Asians in the U.S., there has never been a translated
form in any of the South Asian languages for any census. Asian Americans as a
whole are the least likely group to fill out the census.
Census Bureau’s efforts alone aren’t enough to make marginalized communities
feel comfortable with the survey, said Howard Shih, the director of research
and policy at the Asian American Federation, which is the only designated
census information center for Asian communities in the Northeast.
feel that the bureau isn’t necessarily the best messenger,” said Shih. “I feel
that if the message comes from the people that are involved from that community
to other members of that community, that’s the most effective way to get those
hard-to-reach communities counted.”
course, the coronavirus pandemic makes that tougher ― with so many people
confined to their homes, it’s difficult to ensure they can meet someone from
their community or who speaks their language to assist with census
are other challenges to contend with as outreach efforts go digital, such as
people who do not have access to a computer or the internet, or those who struggle
to understand the online census form.
with extended deadlines in place, advocates are hoping they are able to rally
members of hard-to-count communities despite the onslaught of challenges. An
inaccurate count would have profound effects on undercounted populations,
including minorities, children and those living in poverty. The data from the
2020 census will determine where and how more than $1.5 trillion in federal
funding will be spent.
Virginia, Assaf realized the importance of the census triumphed her concerns.
She checked off “white” on her census form. but wrote in “Palestinian” for
herself and “Jordanian” for her husband and two kids. She hopes to have a MENA
category in 2030.
however, still has the mailer on her to-do list in her Florida home. She knows
she’ll do it eventually, but for now, she’ll wait a bit longer, hoping to feel
better about her decision to partake sooner rather than later.
Waqf carries out Temple Mount digs, despite coronavirus lockdown
Jerusalem Islamic Waqf on Tuesday uploaded pictures to its official Facebook
page showing Waqf employees carrying out unauthorized digs on the Temple Mount.
the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Haram esh-Sharif [the Temple Mount] due to
coronavirus, the staff, workers and guards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque are continuing
their hard work,” wrote the Jordanian-backed Waqf, which administers the Temple
Arab Desk of the Zionist watchdog Im Tirtzu, which first reported the
unauthorized dig, accused the Waqf of taking advantage of the nationwide
lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic to carry out illegal work at the site
aimed at “destroying Jewish artifacts and history.”
for the Temple Mount, a student-based organization promoting religious equality
and freedom on the Temple Mount, also blasted the digs.
fact that the Waqf had the gall to publicly publish pictures of this illegal
digging just emphasizes Israel’s lack of sovereignty on the Temple Mount,” said
Nisani, head of Im Tirtzu’s Arab Desk, said: “What is even more disturbing are
the things that the Waqf doesn’t make public. The time has come for Israel to
once and for all assert its sovereignty over the Temple Mount. It’s absurd that
the Temple Mount—Judaism’s holiest site—is the only place in the Western world
where Jews can’t pray.”
added: “The longer the Temple Mount stays closed, the greater the chances are
that the Waqf will destroy more Jewish history.”
believes Iran was ‘directly involved’ in killing of Iranian dissident in Turkey
The United States believes Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security was directly
involved in the killing of an Iranian dissident last November in Turkey, a
senior administration official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Molavi Vardanjani was shot dead on an Istanbul street on Nov. 14, 2019. Citing
Turkish officials, Reuters last week reported that two intelligence officers in
Iran’s consulate in Istanbul had instigated his killing.
Iran’s history of targeted assassinations of Iranian dissidents and the methods
used in Turkey, the United States government believes that Iran’s Ministry of
Intelligence and Security (MOIS) was directly involved in Vardanjani’s
killing,” a senior administration official told Reuters.
United States had not previously disclosed its assessment on who might have
been behind the incident.
week after the killing, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had described it as
“another tragic example in a long string of suspected Iran-backed assassination
attempts” of Iranian dissidents. He had not elaborated further.
on Wednesday, Pompeo in a tweet said he found disturbing the reports that
Iranian diplomats were involved in the killing of the dissident, but that they
were “fully consistent” with their assignments.
‘diplomats’ are agents of terror and have conducted multiple assassinations and
bomb plots in Europe over the past decade,” Pompeo said.
police report by the Turkish authorities into the killing, published two weeks
ago, said Vardanjani had an “unusual profile.” It said he had worked in
cybersecurity at Iran’s Defense Ministry and had become a vocal critic of the
authorities did not publicly accuse the Iranian government of involvement at
the time, but the Turkish officials last week told Reuters that Ankara would
now raise Vardanjani’s killing with Iran.
US assessment comes amid its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran,
through which President Donald Trump aims to force Iran to limit its missile
program and curb its use of proxy forces in Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
between Washington and Tehran have remained high since Trump in 2018
unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.
weeks, the United States has repeatedly tightened sanctions on Iran, despite
calls from Iranian authorities, the United Nations and China asking it to ease
them as the Islamic Republic became the hardest-hit nation in the Middle East
by the coronavirus pandemic.
Fighting al-Shabab propaganda in Somalia
al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group has warned Muslims to beware of infectious
diseases such as coronavirus, which it says are spread "by the crusader
forces who have invaded the country and the disbelieving countries that support
there have only been a handful of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Somalia so
far, the authorities are deeply worried that if the disease takes hold they
will be unable to cope.
30 years of conflict have devastated health facilities. Hundreds of thousands
of displaced people are crowded into camps, with limited access to soap and
water, and no way of practising social distancing.
message from al-Shabab only adds to the government's concerns, especially as it
could oppose medical help from international aid agencies just as it resisted
most food aid during the 2010-2012 famine, when more than 250,000 people were
estimated to have died.
schools - known as madrassas, which nearly every child in Somalia attends -
have been closed to help stop the spread of the virus.
ministries of religious affairs, health and information have been working with
Muslim leaders to transform teachers and mosque Imams into what has been dubbed
as an "anti-corona army".
will stand with loudspeakers at every crossroads, every gathering place, to
spread the word on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19," says Koshin
Abdi Hashi, deputy co-ordinator for the prevention and countering of violent
extremism in the office of the prime minister.
Ali Ibrahim, a university professor and senior adviser in the ministry of
religious affairs, says the messages will include religious elements.
will talk about hand-washing and social distancing, but also speak of how Islam
encourages cleanliness, including ablutions before prayers, and how there were
dangerous diseases at the time of the Prophet Muhammad."
"anti-corona army" will monitor people, making sure they wash their
hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water, and maintain a safe distance
from one another.
facilities have been set up in some of the camps, but as Mr Hashi says:
"Social distancing is an abstract issue."
Aden Dubow, deputy minister of religious affairs, says: "We have to use
the sheikhs [religious leaders] and koranic teachers to fight this disease as
they are the most respected community in Somalia.
that it has taken hold in the US, some say Americans are being punished because
they oppress Muslims. Others simply believe that if one is a good Muslim, one
cannot catch the disease.
most senior sheikh, Ali Dheere, is adamant that the involvement of the
religious community will help bust myths and encourage Somalis to do the right
have been encouraged to pray at home and either not attend burials or to
maintain social distance during the funeral service.
Islam, anything that causes harm is not permissible. Prayers have even been
suspended at the holy mosques in Mecca and Medina," Sheikh Dheere notes.
a person dies from coronavirus and it is not safe to wash the body, our
religion allows someone to be buried without being washed," he adds.
could step up their campaign to blame "infidel" foreign lands for
bringing the virus to Somalia, as those initially infected with Covid-19 came
some believe al-Shabab might lose support if coronavirus takes hold in the
regions it controls, as it has even more basic health facilities than those in
many government-controlled areas.
warring parties in Yemen have agreed to stop fighting; separatists in mainly
English-speaking Cameroon have declared a temporary ceasefire.
diplomats doubt that al-Shabab will lay down its arms, as the group has
continued to carry out attacks since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared
coronavirus a global pandemic.
discussions have previously taken place during humanitarian crises to enable
the delivery of some food aid and other assistance.
believe similar talks to help contain the spread of the virus could take place,
and develop into more substantial negotiations, perhaps eventually leading to
compromise and an end to the long years of conflict.
Islamic’s new Dubai branch sets out to attract Gulf investors to Southeast Asia
LUMPUR - Maybank Islamic’s move into branch banking in the Middle East aims to
give investors there a first taste of investment in the ten member countries of
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Malaysian bank opened its first overseas branch at Dubai International
Financial Centre (DIFC) in February with a portfolio of services including
wholesale banking, sukuk, syndicated financing and trade finance.
normal market situation, not what we are seeing at the moment, some people in
the Gulf are looking to diversify their investor base,” country manager Nik
Joharris Nik Ahmad told Salaam Gateway.
have been enjoying the European and American markets, but market strength has
been shifting to Asia, starting with Greater China. We are trying to open them
up to ASEAN and other markets where Maybank Group is very strong.”
will take some effort, though. Most investors in the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) are not familiar with the different risks investments in ASEAN.
have assets over here that we want to show to them, but the problem is we don’t
know exactly how much appetite GCC investors have for the ASEAN region. What we
know is we have to keep showing them more opportunities until they find
something they want to buy into,” Nik Joharris added.
terms for some of the Maybank Group assets being sold to Gulf investors through
the Dubai branch are “probably better than the credit they have seen before”.
what we are trying to sell to GCC investors. Now it is more of an education for
us about their risk appetite. They haven’t done a lot in ASEAN before,” said
Islamic deputy chief executive Nor Shahrizan Sulaiman told Salaam Gateway that
the new Dubai branch will serve as a the bank’s “gateway” not just to the UAE
but to the wider GCC.
provide Maybank Islamic’s base of operations in the Middle East while the bank
pursues further growth in Singapore and Indonesia, which it sees as “home
markets" outside of Malaysia.
international business expansion is not new, as it has always been one of the
focus areas of Maybank Islamic from early on,” said Nor Shahrizan, who is in
charge of Maybank Islamic’s overseas strategy.
strategy intensified further in 2016 when Maybank announced its ambition to
become “global leader in Islamic finance by 2020” through a strategy centred
partly on growing its global presence.
Singapore, we have been quite successful in promoting Islamic finance and will
continue to offer both retail and wholesale Shariah-based solutions to our
customers, with greater emphasis being given to trade finance and wealth
management solutions this year.”
addition to intensifying business in these new markets, the bank will also
continue to pursue opportunities in other non-core markets where it does not
have a physical presence.
too early to reveal Maybank Islamic’s plans for the Middle East, though the
first target will be success for its new Dubai branch.
want to establish a firm foothold first before we use this outlet to move
beyond, to the Middle East, Africa and CIS countries for that matter. Everybody
is talking about it but we want to be a bit realistic in making sure that the
branch works first over here,” said Nik Joharris.
to Maybank beforehand, the timing of the branch opening has proven to be
dreadful, just weeks before the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak in Dubai, which
has seen curfews imposed across the city.
definitely been a setback for us, and for everybody for that matter. From the
borrower’s side, they are not willing to pay more. On the lender’s side, we are
not willing to lend at a rate that was in place just two weeks ago. As long as
we can’t find a middle ground, nobody is lending, nobody is borrowing.”
the crisis dies down bankers like Nik Joharris will hope the market returns to
something approaching how it was just a few weeks ago. On the measure of back
then, it was highly competitive, especially surrounding sukuk.
lot has changed in the Middle East since I first arrived there in 2007.
Everybody is looking at doing sukuk currently, so bidding is very fierce,” he
Islamic was granted a full Islamic banking licence from the Dubai Financial
Services Authority last July, allowing it to open the DIFC branch. It replaces
Maybank Islamic’s office in Bahrain, which has closed down.
debates whether to hold Ramadan bazaars amid Covid-19 threat
LUMPUR • Malaysia's medical experts are against the government allowing the
popular Ramadan bazaars to be held this year, fearing a spike in new
coronavirus cases, even as officials seem torn over the issue.
annual bazaars feature makeshift stalls selling freshly cooked food that are
set up on roads and open-air carparks all over the country, packed with hungry
Muslims looking to break their day-long fast.
fasting month starts on April 23 this year, nine days after the last day of
Malaysia's movement control order on April 14.
too, has announced that its Ramadan bazaars - usually held in Geylang Serai and
in the void decks of Housing Board blocks in many places - will not be held
yesterday announced 142 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 2,908 - the
highest in South-east Asia. It also recorded two more deaths, reaching a total
federal Malaysian government seems to be torn over the bazaars, which are
popular among the Malay-Muslim majority. Also, tens of thousands of traders
across the country's 13 states and three Federal Territories (Kuala Lumpur,
Putrajaya and Labuan) depend on the makeshift stalls to make big bucks for one
Territories Minister Annuar Musa yesterday indicated that the bazaars might be
modified, and the human traffic managed, to prevent congestion.
have to do away with the old ways of large crowds in compact spaces," he
said, as quoted in The Star newspaper. "For example, the local authorities
can look into reducing the number of bazaars and designate special areas as
bazaar locations. Traders can pre-pack food to ensure there is less human
Health Ministry's director-general, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, said proper
crowd-control measures would be required if the bazaars were to proceed.
strongly disagrees with any plan to hold Ramadan bazaars this year, given the
ongoing threat of Covid-19," said Professor Rosmawati Mohamed in a
statement yesterday that was signed by all 11 AMM colleges, as cited by The
academy is a registered body representing all medical specialists in Malaysia,
with 11 colleges focusing on various medical specialities.
contact will inevitably occur in parking areas, en-route and between customers
and vendors," Prof Rosmawati said. "The premature easing of social
distancing may potentially lead to a third wave of infections."
struggles to enforce ban on Friday prayer at mosques
authorities are hard-put trying to convince local Muslim leaders of the need to
obey the Chularatchamontri's order suspending Friday prayers at all mosques,
amid worries that mass gatherings spread the coronavirus disease.
governor Chaiyasit Panitpong has meanwhile called on residents to contact
health personnel if they suspect people in their neighbourhood are infected
with the virus.
is the southern border province hit hardest by the pandemic. The Centre for
Covid-19 Situation Administration on Wednesday reported the number of
infections at 35, one more than neighbouring Pattani.
the Provincial Public Health Office in Yala posted on Wednesday that there were
41 cases. Officials in Yala could not be reached for comment.
There have been 12 deaths nationwide attributed to
Covid-19 -- and two of them occurred in Yala during a three-day span, between
Sunday and Tuesday. Both victims had visited Kelantan state in northern
Malaysia on separate occasions, and developed symptoms after returning to the
Chularatchamontri on March 25 announced the suspension of Friday prayers at all
mosques and advised all Muslims to instead pray at home, to help curb the
spread of the virus.
prayer at the local mosque is the most important prayer of the week for
Muslims. Authorities are worried that large gatherings could worsen the spread
of the disease. They have locked down Yala province since Sunday, when
infections rose suddenly, telling people to stay in their homes.
province has 514 mosques, both big and small, and they are in all districts.
And 30 of them in Betong, Yaha, Bannang Sata and Than To districts defied the
Chularatchamontri call and called the faithful to prayer at the local mosque
last Friday. (continues below)
officials check all vehicles entering Yala after the lockdown ordered on
Sunday. (Photo: Yala Public Relations Office)
provincial governor Nima Makaje called a meeting with Muslim leaders on Monday,
asking that they cooperate.
copy of the order has been posted outside each of the defiant mosques, he said,
and warned that authorities will shut their doors this Friday, preventing
people entering the mosques for prayer.
Bako, the deputy chairman of the Provincial Islamic Committee in Yala, said
that not all mosques had received the call from the religious leader to suspend
Friday prayers. The provincial panel would
again tell local leaders to suspend Friday prayers, he said.
Consul General In Jeddah Urges Pakistani Community To Follow Saudi Virus Safety
Pakistan’s consul general in Jeddah has urged the Pakistani community in western
Saudi Arabia to abide by the “proactive and effective measures” brought in to
combat the spread of the killer coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
message, Khalid Majid also praised key frontline medical and security workers
for their brave efforts to protect the public and thanked the Saudi leadership
for helping to fly home almost 40,000 Pakistani Umrah pilgrims from the
his best wishes to Pakistanis residing in the western region of the Kingdom,
the diplomat said: “I would also like to extend my deep appreciation and
complete support to the Saudi government’s proactive and effective measures
being undertaken to ensure the safety and protection of its citizens and
residents against the COVID-19 threat.
the same time, our sincere gratitude also goes to the doctors and paramedics,
personnel of law enforcement agencies and officials of all other relevant
departments who are fighting on the frontline, at the risk of their own lives,
to protect the public against this deadly threat.”
pointed out that the special preventive measures were necessitated by special
circumstances. “I therefore advise and request the Pakistani community to strictly
comply with these precautionary measures and to cooperate fully with the Saudi
authorities to strengthen their hands in this regard.”
consul general noted the safe and timely return of a large number of Pakistani
Umrah pilgrims from the Kingdom.
the beginning of the current situation, there were around 40,000 Pakistani
Umrah pilgrims in the Kingdom. However, with the active cooperation and close
support of the Saudi authorities, in particular the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah
and the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), almost all of these
pilgrims have successfully been flown back to Pakistan through special flight
operations of Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and Pakistan International
Consulate General of Pakistan is to scale down its routine consular services as
part of efforts to slow the spread of the virus. However, cases requiring
immediate attention would continue to be dealt with in the usual way.
Arabia pumps 12m barrels of oil for the first time
Saudi Arabia pumped more than 12 million barrels of oil on Wednesday for the
first time in its history.
Kingdom has vowed to ramp up production as an oil “price war” shakes the global
energy industry following the end of a supply agreement with other producers.
at Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, and the Saudi Ministry of
Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources told Arab News that crude output on the
first day of April — when the OPEC+ agreement to limit supply lapsed — was more
than 12 million barrels. Some reports put it at 12.3 million.
had pledged to increase its maximum sustainable capacity (MSC) — the level at
which it can safely maintain long-term output — to 12.3 million in the coming
months; that it has already hit this level is regarded as a measure of its
operational efficiency and the Kingdom’s determination to win the battle for
company released a short video showing laden oil tankers sailing away from
Saudi ports. It said it had loaded 18.8 million barrels onto 15 tankers, which
would have taken about three days.
goes beyond performance indicators. It is a culture that ensures a sustainable
delivery of energy to the world. We are proud to have loaded 15 oil tankers
with 18.8 million barrels.
strategy of large output increases and significant discounts to customers —
labeled a “shock and awe” play by energy experts — has transformed the oil
industry. The price of crude oil plunged as demand for energy was hit by the
coronavirus pandemic. Some producers, especially in the US where extraction
costs are high, are facing financial disaster.
Saudi Arabia sustains this, it would be an unprecedented demonstration of their
MSC,” said Robin Mills, chief executive of the Qamar energy consultancy.
“Assuming that it is production, and not just drawing down on storage, it’s an
impressively quick ramp-up.”
was also notable that production was unaffected by any lingering issues from
terrorist attacks last September on Aramco facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais,
the flood of oil onto global markets, the Brent crude global benchmark price
rose by about 10 per cent toward $25 per barrel after US President Donald Trump
said he thought the price was too low, and offered talks with Saudi Arabia and
Russia about the global oil glut.
of the Two Holy Mosques receives phone call from President of Tunisia
of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has received a phone
call from President Qais Saeed of the Republic of Tunisia.
the call, they reviewed the current developments taking place in the world due
to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, and discussed aspects of
cooperation and coordination between the two brotherly countries to combat its
president praised the results of the extraordinary G20 summit chaired by the
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, in order to coordinate global efforts to
combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
Tunisian president also expressed his country's condemnation of the
Iranian-backed Houthi militia launching of two ballistic missiles on the
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hails Order of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
for Providing Free Health Care to all People Infected with Coronavirus
Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dr. Shaya'e bin Mohsen Al-Zindani has
hailed the order of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud to provide free health care to all citizens, residents, and
violators of residency and border security regulations who are infected with
novel Coronavirus in all government and private health facilities.
statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Ambassador Al-Zindani said: “the directives
of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques are a generous gesture that carries
humanitarian dimensions and acquires profound indications in this exceptional
circumstance that all humanity is going through”.
praised the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the Government of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from the beginning to confront this epidemic and
follow-up of all developments by the concerned sectors, expressing the Yemeni
Government's appreciation for the efforts exerted by the Government of the
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to take care of the Yemeni residents and
visitors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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Some Muslim leaders from all schools of thought came forward but did not listen to the conflicting videos of Maulvi Saad the Head of Tablighi Jamaat.
Wrong is wrong and they should first consider it wrong and move forward to reformation rather than using the narrative of communal-ism. If we concentrate on reformation, we can succeed in this process but if we hide it by blaming others for communal work, we can't succeed.