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Islamic World News ( 28 Apr 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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'Most Indian Hindu Religious Leaders Worried by Anti-Muslim Hate, but Silent for Fear of Hindutva Groups': US-Based Organisation Hindus For Human Rights

New Age Islam News Bureau

28 April 2023

 

Karan Thapar, Nikhil Mandalaparthy of Hindus for Human Rights/ Photo: The Wire

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India

‘Wikipedia Not Dependable’: Madras HC Sets Aside NIA Court Order on Muslim Preacher, Ziyavudeen Baqavi’s Discharge Plea

Ex-Minister K.S. Eshwarappa clarifies Muslim vote remark in line with sab ka saath, sab ka vikas slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

JD(S) Aims At The 123 Mark, Promises To Throw Out Amul, Restore Muslim Quota

Karnataka Assembly Election 2023: JD(S) promises to restore 4% reservation for Muslims in poll manifesto

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Southeast Asia

Malaysian Unity Govt Is Intact, Saifuddin Says In Dismissing Conspiracy Rumour

Madani Open House gives public chance to mingle with leaders, says PMO

Dakota aircraft a symbol of deep relationship between Indonesia and Odisha: Indonesia’s Ambassador to India

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North America

Russia: Khunar Agayev Jailed For Meetings ‘To Understand The Quran (And) Strengthen His Faith’

Defence attorney requests 2nd competency hearing for suspect in stabbing of Paterson imam

Indiana Congressman Praises Muslim Brotherhood Group He Once Rejected

Muslim lawmakers, community members urge action following escalating attacks on mosques

U.S. sanctions Russia, Iran entities for detaining Americans

Why the US evacuation from Sudan left Americans behind

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Europe

Huge Blackburn mosque makeover and extension plan submitted to council

Yusuf Islam reminds King Charles to be a 'servant of God' in 10-point manifesto

Britain adds two designations under its Islamic State sanctions regime

Wunderman Thompson Announces Partnership with Muslim Professional Network Emerald

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Arab World

Tensions Rise in Sinjar as Sunni Families Accused of ISIS Ties Return

UAE Issues $299.5m Worth Of Islamic Treasury Sukuk In Dirhams Nearly 3,000 people evacuated from

Saudi, German foreign ministers discuss Sudan situation

Denmark’s envoy keen to share energy know-how in Kingdom’s green transition

Newly appointed US ambassador to the Kingdom presents credentials to Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Pakistan

Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party Chief Demands India-Pakistan Talks

Pakistan Decides To Return Hajj Quota As Huge Cost Deprives People Of Performing Pilgrimage

Emaan Islamic Banking, TPL Insurance join hands to launch Emaan All-in-One Account

SCO: Pakistan attends defence ministers meet hosted by India

Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif secures vote of confidence in national assembly

Views of ex-COAS on army’s ‘combat worthiness’ quoted ‘out of context’: ISPR

Imran seeks bail in mutiny case, set to appear before IHC

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Africa

Sudan Crisis: WHO Warns Of Biological Hazard At Seized Lab

Ayra Starr Reveals How Her Muslim Math Teacher Predicted Her Joining Mavin: “I Was 14 Then”

Muslim Clerics, Leaders Commend Ikeji For Feeding Thousands Of Their Members

Global warming made Horn of Africa drought possible: WWA study

Intending Muslim pilgrims urged to complete payment

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Mideast

Israel’s Right-Wing Protest Draws 200,000 Attendees: 'We Are Tired Of Being Second Class'

Gun-toting, prayer-reciting protesters throng Jerusalem to back judicial overhaul

Sunni, Jaffari endowments to continue registering old endowments

President: Iran Relying on Domestic Potentials, Not Outsiders

Murderer of Senior Iranian Cleric Says to Have Shot Wrong Man

Senior Commander: Iran 'Absolute Power' in Air Defence Field in West Asia

Iran Blames Germany for Encouraging Terrorists, Promoting Terrorism

Two Palestinians killed by Israelis amid escalation in settler violence

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South Asia

Leader of National Resistance Front of Afghanistan Pleads with World Not to Abandon Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Security Council condemns Taliban’s ban on women working for UN

South Korea Discusses Seoul’s Afghanistan Support with UN Agencies

Shahabuddin Chuppu takes oath as Bangladesh’s 22nd president

How India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline enhances energy connectivity between the two nations?

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/hindu-religious-leaders-hate-hindutva-human-rights/d/129661

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 'Most Indian Hindu Religious Leaders Worried by Anti-Muslim Hate, but Silent for Fear of Hindutva Groups': US-Based Organisation Hindus For Human Rights

 

Karan Thapar, Nikhil Mandalaparthy of Hindus for Human Rights/ Photo: The Wire

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Karan Thapar

The US-based organisation Hindus for Human Rights, which has just completed what it calls a PremaYatra “searching for Hindu religious leaders who are concerned about the state of affairs in India today”, has concluded that the majority of the Hindu religious leaders they met are concerned about the deteriorating state of Hindu-Muslim relations and the way Muslims are often treated but are scared to speak out because of their fear of the response from Hindu nationalist groups.

The yatra was conducted in February-March this year and travelled across nine states, visiting 12 cities and several villages and met nearly 30 Hindu religious leaders. The organisation said these are significant and important leaders who have considerable influence in their local communities. The Yatra also visited major pilgrimage sites like Haridwar, Varanasi and Ayodhya as well as important metropolises such as Delhi, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. In a North-South sense, it was a pan-India yatra though not necessarily so in an East-West sense.

In a 31-minute interview with Karan Thapar for The Wire, the deputy executive director of Hindus for Human Rights, Nikhil Mandalaparthy, explained that the findings of the Yatra fall into two categories: “deeply concerning but also incredibly inspiring”.

Mandalaparthy first discusses the deeply concerning aspect. “We encountered a pervasive sense of victimhood or resentment among Indian Hindus deeply intertwined with hatred towards India’s Muslim minority … we saw the extent to which Indian Muslims have been dehumanised in the minds of many Indian Hindus and their religious leaders.”

He said: “One swami we met in Maharashtra, a leader of a prominent and wealthy Vaishnava sect, insisted that Indian Hindus face much more discrimination than Indian Muslims and Christians.”

Mandalaparthy said that a trustee of an ashram in Uttar Pradesh had told them that “the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has been trying to infiltrate ashrams and temples in rural communities, sending its members to spend a few days at a time to plant the seeds of polarisation.”

On the inspiring side, he made a point of saying that the majority of Hindu religious leaders do not agree with Hindutva. He said: “One temple priest in Varanasi told us that his idea of dharma is inseparable from humanity (manavta) which he said was the opposite of Hindu nationalism.”

Perhaps more significant was what the yatra was told by a Hindu religious leader in Haryana: “One swami in Haryana simply stated to us ‘India has never had only one religion. This is a pluralistic land’. Religious diversity, he said, was at the heart of what it means to be Indian.”

However, even though the majority of Hindu religious leaders fall into what  Mandalaparthy calls the inspiring side, because they are concerned about the deteriorating state of relations between Hindus and Muslims and the way Muslims are treated, nonetheless all of them were scared to speak out publicly. They were only prepared to voice their thoughts and concerns in private meetings behind closed doors.

Mandalaparthy said he was struck “by the pervasive sense of fear among the religious leaders (we) met, some of whom have faced violence from Hindu nationalists. Their ashrams and temples have been vandalised and attacked … they have faced accusations of being Naxalite Maoist rebels.”

Finally, Mandalaparthy said what is true of the majority of Hindu religious leaders they met seems also to be true of the majority of Hindu lay people they met during the yatra. He believes they are secular, though Hindu, and are concerned about the state of the country but they are hesitant or even scared to speak out for fear of the response of Hindu nationalist groups.

Source: thewire.in

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https://thewire.in/video/watch-hindu-religious-leaders-hindutva-karan-thapar

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200 Worshippers Booked In Kanpur, India, For Offering Eid Namaz On Road

 

FIRs have been registered against 200 worshippers in Jajmau police station, besides 40 to 50 in Babupurwa police station and nearly 1,500 in Bajaria police station

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Apr 28, 2023

KANPUR: The police have registered FIRs against more than 1,700 unknown persons at three police stations for offering Eid Namaz on the road. Police have alleged that despite the ban, Namaz was offered on the road outside Jajmau Eidgah, Babupurwa Eidgah and Badi Eidgah in Benajhabar in the city on April 22.FIRs have been registered against 200 worshippers in Jajmau police station, besides 40 to 50 in Babupurwa police station and nearly 1,500 in Bajaria police station.

Brijesh Kumar, in-charge of Begumpurwa police outpost, on Thursday said, "Peace committee meetings were held before Eid festival where committee members were asked to ensure that people do not offer Namaz on roads and offer the same inside the Eidgah and the locality mosques," he said.

"It was also said that if any Namazi misses the Namaz due to the crowd, then arrangements will be made by the police to get his Namaz re-offered in the second shift," he added.

"However, on the day of Eid on April 22, at around 8 am, just prior to the prayer, a crowd suddenly gathered on the road in front of the Eidgah. Despite the ban, everyone started offering namaz by spreading mats on the road. The police tried to stop them, but in vain."

Similarly, an FIR was registered at Bajaria police station against 1,500 people including the Eidgah Committee members for offering Namaz on the road despite the ban in Marqazi Eidgah in Benajhabar area. It was said that even after being prevented by the policemen, people offered namaz by sitting on the road causing traffic snarls in the area.

Senior sub-inspector of police of Bajaria police station Omveer Singh said, "A case has been filed against 1,500 unknown people, including Eidgah Committee members."

Similarly, Jajmau police outpost in charge Raj Bahadur Singh said a case was registered against Eidgah Jajmau Committee members and 200 to 300 unknown people for offering namaz on road.

Police said, "A case has been filed under sections 186 (obstructing government work), 188 (gathering crowd in violation of Section-144), 283 (blocking the way by gathering crowd), 341 (wrongful obstruction) of IPC against the namazis and Eidgah committee members. We are in the process of identifying the violators with the help of CCTV footage. Once their identification will be done, further action would be taken as per the law."

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/over-1700-booked-in-kanpur-for-offering-eid-namaz-on-road/articleshow/99829470.cms

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Most Uyghurs In Xinjiang Banned From Praying On Islamic Holiday, Even In Their Homes

 

A policeman gestures as Uyghur Muslims arrive at the Id Kah Mosque for prayer on Eid al-Fitr in the old town of Kashgar, northwestern China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, June 26, 2017.

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2023.04.27

Chinese authorities banned most Uyghurs praying in mosques – and even in their homes – during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in many parts of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, residents and police said.

People age 60 and older were allowed to pray in a local mosque under heavy police surveillance during Eid, which fell on April 20-21 this year, they sources said.

Since 2017, China has restricted or banned ethnic customs and religious rituals among the mostly Muslim Uyghurs in an effort to stamp out “religious extremism.”

During this year’s Eid, the most important Muslim holiday, authorities in Xinjiang patrolled city streets and searched houses to prevent people from secretly praying inside their homes, the sources said.

An administrative staffer from Yarkowruk town in Akesu Prefecture said one mosque there was open for Eid prayers.

“Our police officers went to the mosque to watch the people,” the employee said. “I don't know if people needed permission to go to the mosque because I did not go there.”

Likewise, only one mosque was open for Eid prayers in Bulung town, Bay county, an officer at the local police station said, though only residents over 60 years old were allowed to pray if they wanted.

The government issued a notice that people younger than 60 could not pray on the Eid holiday, he added.

Only a dozen Uyghur elders in Bulung attended Eid prayers in a mosque as three police officers and several auxiliary police staffers observed and wrote down the Uyghurs’ names, said the officer from the town’s police station.

“The mosque was open yesterday, and we went there to surveil people,” the police officer said, adding that he told residents under 60 not to go to the mosque.

One local resident, who like others in this report requested anonymity for safety reasons, told Radio Free Asia that authorities destroyed almost all the mosques in Nilka and Kunes counties, so that even if the government allowed people to pray during Eid, they could not go to a mosque to do so.

A staffer at the Aktope police station in Tokkuztara county told RFA that no permission was granted for residents, including senior citizens, to hold holiday prayer gatherings at their homes, and no exceptions were made.

A resident of Peyziwat county in Kashgar Prefecture told us that she did not visit anyone for the Eid celebration or prepare sangza, a special fried dough that Uyghurs eat during Eid celebrations.

A woman from a residential area in Maralbexi county in Kashgar Prefecture said none of her neighbors or relatives the held Eid prayers or celebrations

“The mosque was not open,” she told RFA. “My husband is a policeman, and he went to work on Eid. There was no Eid al-Fitr prayer here. It was quiet.”

Source: rfa.org

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https://www.rfa.org/english/news/uyghur/praying-ban-04272023170440.html

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Mosque, Sikh Temple Feature On Stamp Noting King Charles III, New Head Of Church Of England

 

A 'miniature sheet' displaying the four wood-engraved Royal Mail stamp designs due May 6 to commemorate King Charles III's Coronation. The illustrations emphasize the new monarch's interests more than present his image as a ruler, one expert said. Notable is the "Cultural Diversity" stamp showing a mosque, a Buddhist temple and a Sikh gurdwara, while Charles is to be anointed as head of the Church of England. (Photo courtesy of Royal Mail. Used with permission.)

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Thursday, April 27, 2023

King Charles III, who will be anointed as head of the Church of England on May 6, is being commemorated with a Royal Mail postage stamp depicting a wood engraving of a mosque, a Buddhist temple and a Sikh Gurdwaras among other houses of worship.

Captioned “Diversity and Community,” the stamp depicts a Jew, a Muslim, a Sikh, a Buddhist, a Hindu and a Christian, and “is representative of all faiths and none,” a news release states. Urban and rural Britain are shown in the background, along with the different houses of worship.

A silhouette of King Charles appears on four stamp designs, but the new monarch is shown only in profile on one — his crowning by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Another stamp depicts images representing the Commonwealth of Nations, of which Charles became the head when his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, died.

A fourth shows scenes of “Sustainability and Biodiversity,” reflecting his environmental interests. In 2020, the then-Prince of Wales began offering jars of honey grown on his Highgrove estate at £25 apiece, with the proceeds going to charity.

The new designs, released at 12:01 a.m. Friday London time, mark a radical departure from previous Royal Mail stamps marking a coronation. Those have depicted either the sovereign alone (Elizabeth II in 1953) or with their spouse (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in 1937).

The new stamps — from wood engravings by artist Andrew Davidson — shift the focus from Charles as ruler to the communities, nations and peoples the royal family serves.

“Oh, my God,” professor Alice Hunt said on seeing the designs. She is an associate professor at the University of Southampton and a researcher on the monarchy who has traced its rituals and ceremonies.

She said the theme of the new issues clearly reflects Charles’ ideas for his reign, some of which he has championed for years.

“This is him using the stamp to project not the image of kingship or him being recognizable as a person with the Crown — apart from the Coronation one,” Ms. Hunt said. “This is him using the stamps to promote his values … that I don’t think he’s been able to get into the coronation ceremony as much as he might have wanted.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson deflected a question about the level of the king’s input into the stamp design process.

Source: washingtontimes.com

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https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/apr/27/mosque-sikh-temple-feature-on-stamp-noting-king-ch/

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Trump Recommits To Banning Muslims From Entering US If He Is Re-Elected

 

Donald Trump

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28-04-23

Donald Trump has vowed to restore a travel ban on Islamic nations, prohibiting citizens of those countries from entering the US, if he is elected president in 2024.

"I will restore my travel ban to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country," the twice-impeached former president said in New Hampshire on Thursday.

"You saw what happened. Four years… You saw that right? We were very tough on that. We don't want our buildings blown up."

Mr Trump, during his first week in office in 2017, restricted travel from seven Muslim-majority nations – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

While the order was at first blocked by the courts and the White House scrambled to say it was not a ban on Muslims, the Supreme Court in 2018 upheld the final version of the measure.

The ban was overturned by president Joe Biden after he took office in 2021. White House said it will improve the screening of visitors by strengthening information sharing with foreign governments instead of retaining the blanket ban.

Mr Trump's appearance in New Hampshire marked his first return to an early voting state since his legal troubles increased with an indictment in New York.

He spoke on the same day that his former vice president, Mike Pence, testified before a federal grand jury investigating efforts by Mr Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election. Author E Jean Carroll testified as well in a civil rape case against Mr Trump over an encounter in the 1990s, an allegation he denies.

The former president announced that he is "retiring" the "Crooked" nickname for Hillary Clinton and will instead be using it going forward for President Biden.

“I will be retiring the name ‘Crooked’ from Hillary Clinton and her moniker, and I’m going to give her a new name, I don’t know, like maybe ‘Lovely Hillary’ or ‘Beautiful Hillary', but I’m going to retire the name ‘Crooked’ because he will be known from now on as ‘Crooked Joe Biden',” Mr Trump said.

As the crowd cheered and whistled, the former president launched a sizeable accusation at Mr Biden, the candidate who beat him handily in both the popular vote and the Electoral College in 2020.

“There’s never been anyone in the history of American politics so crooked or dishonest as Joe Biden, and the press absolutely refuses to report it – all that press back there – because, frankly, they’re just as crooked as he is, and they are,” Mr Trump said at a downtown Manchester hotel, a smaller venue than his typical, large-scale rallies.

“The choice in this election is now between strength and weakness, between success and failure, between safety and anarchy, between peace and conflict and prosperity or catastrophe,” he continued.

“We are a nation in serious decline, a nation that has lost its way,” Trump said, adding that the country is led by a "hopeless person".

"But we will win in 2024 and make America great again. We can do it. It’s not too late."

Source: independent.co.uk

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https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-election-muslim-travel-ban-b2328574.html

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India

 

‘Wikipedia Not Dependable’: Madras HC Sets Aside NIA Court Order on Muslim Preacher, Ziyavudeen Baqavi’s Discharge Plea

APRIL 27, 2023

The Madras High Court recently set aside an order passed by a Special NIA court refusing to discharge a UAPA-accused Muslim preacher while relying on Wikipedia for determining the objective and aim of the entity to which the preacher belonged.

The division bench of Justice M Sundar and Justice M Nirmal Kumar referred to the principle laid down by the Supreme Court that “Wikipedia is based on a crowd-sourced user-generated editing model and therefore is not completely dependable in terms of academic veracity and can promote misleading information”.

The high court observed that the SC has put in a caveat and caution against the use of sources such as Wikipedia in legal dispute resolution.

In view of the same, the HC held that the trial court had fallen in error in relying on Wikipedia in the present matter, and therefore, the matter had to go back to it to consider the matter afresh de hors Wikipedia.

The high court asked the Special Court to keep in mind this time the caveat put in place by the Top Court in the Acer India case [Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore Vs. M/s.Acer India Pvt. Ltd (2008) and the Hewlett Packard / Lenevo case [HP India Sales Pvt. Ltd., Vs. Commissioner of Customs (Import), Nhava Sheva/Lenevo (India) Pvt. Ltd., Vs. Commissioner of Customs (Import), Nhava Sheva (2023)].

The accused namely Ziyavudeen Baqavi had filed a criminal appeal before the high court challenging the order passed by the Sessions Court for the exclusive trial for bomb blast cases at Poonamallee, in Chennai.

The accused had alleged while rejecting his discharge petition, among other illegalities, the Special Court had relied on Wikipedia and arrived at a conclusion about the aim and objective of an entity to which he allegedly belonged.

The counsel for the accused contended that since relying on extraneous material is forbidden vide ratio laid down by the Supreme Court, therefore, the order of the Special Court was illegal.

Ziyavudeen Baqavi is allegedly a member of the extremist Islamic outfit Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), which is affiliated to ISIS. He was arrested in February last year, for allegedly being engaged in radicalising the members of the Muslim community to establish an Islamic State in Tamil Nadu.

The charges levelled against Baqavi are for alleged offences under Sections 120-B, 124-A, 153-A, 153-B, 505(1)(b), 505(1)(C) and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Section 13(1)(b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).

Source: news18.com

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https://www.news18.com/india/wikipedia-not-dependable-madras-hc-sets-aside-nia-court-order-on-muslim-preachers-discharge-plea-7655851.html

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Ex-Minister K.S. Eshwarappa clarifies Muslim vote remark in line with sab ka saath, sab ka vikas slogan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

April 28, 2023

Former Minister K.S. Eshwarappa clarified that his statement on Muslim votes does not contradict Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan — Sab ka saath, sab ka vikas.

Responding to a question at a media conference in Shivamogga on April 28, Mr. Eshwarappa said he had always reiterated that ‘nationalist Muslims’ are with the BJP. “I will make this clear — we don’t want votes of anti-nationals, those raising slogans favouring Pakistan and engaged in violence against Hindus.”

Hindutva activist Harsha was murdered in Shivamogga. “Whenever Hindutva is at risk, I cannot keep quiet,” he said.

On Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s statement likening Mr Modi to a venomous snake, Mr Eshwarappa said, “I had never anticipated that Mr Kharge would stoop so low. I used to respect Mr Kharge for his seniority. But, by making an immoral comment on Mr Modi, he has lost the respect he commanded.”

Mr Eshwarappa said BJP national organizing secretary B.L. Santosh would meet representatives of different communities in Shivamogga on April 30. Union Home Minister Amit Shah would lead a road show in Shivamogga on May 3.

Source: thehindu.com

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https://www.thehindu.com/elections/karnataka-assembly/shivamogga-mla-ks-eshwarappa-says-nationalist-muslims-are-with-bjp-dont-want-votes-of-anti-nationals/article66788369.ece

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JD(S) aims at the 123 mark, promises to throw out Amul, restore Muslim quota

Friday, April 28, 2023

The Muslim reservation issue has become a big one in the Karnataka elections. The BJP government had scrapped the four per cent reservation quota for the Muslims and divided it equally between the Vokkaligas and Lingayats, the two most dominant communities in the poll bound state of Karnataka. While the Congress has said that it would reverse this decision, if it comes to power, the Janata Dal (S) too has decided to make this an issue. The JD(S) released its "Janata Pranalike" (People's Manifesto) for the May 10 elections and promised to restore four per cent reservation for the Muslims. It has also assured that it would throw out Amul and save the Nandini brand.

The party went on to add that it would reserve jobs for the Kannadigas in the private sector and provide free-higher education for the economically-weaker students.

JioCinema to get exclusive shows from Warner Bros, HBO in India after major deal Both the Nandini and reservation issues have become a major poll plank in Karnataka. The Congress and JD(S) have been targeting the BJP over these issues. Furthermore the JD(S) which styles itself as the protectors of farmers in Karnataka has announced the 'Raita Bandhu' scheme, which promises to provide Rs 2,000 to agricultural labour families every month. It also said that girls who marry youths who are farmers will be given financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh.

The JD(S) has also promised in its manifesto Rs 6,000 for pregnant women for six months, a loan waiver for 'Stree Shakti' self-help groups, pension for Anganwadi workers, Rs 2,000 a month for auto drivers, Rs 2,000 for registered security guards and up to Rs 25 lakh for treatment of rare diseases under the CM relief fund. The party has said that it would launch a separate manifesto for Bengaluru city in the coming days. The party has set a target of winning 123 seats in the upcoming elections. The magic number to form the government is 113.

Source: oneindia.com

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https://www.oneindia.com/india/jds-aims-at-the-123-mark-promises-to-throw-out-amul-restore-muslim-quota-3553339.html

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Karnataka Assembly Election 2023: JD(S) promises to restore 4% reservation for Muslims in poll manifesto

Apr 28, 2023

The JD(S) on Thursday released its "Janata Pranalike" (People's Manifesto) for the May 10 Assembly polls in Karnataka promising to restore four per cent reservation for Muslims, to "throw out" Amul and to save Nandini brand calling it Kannadiga's identity, among various assurances.

The party led by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda has also assured to bring in a law reserving jobs for Kannadigas in the private sector, and has promised to provide free higher education for economically-weaker students.

Just ahead of the announcement of polls in Karnataka, the State Cabinet led by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had decided to scrap the four per cent reservation for Muslims under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota and to distribute it equally among the dominant Vokkaliga and Lingayat communities. The JD(S) in its manifesto has expressed its commitment to restore 4 per cent reservation for Muslims.

The promise to protect and strengthen Nandini brand in the manifesto, comes following a controversy that had erupted after the Gujarat-based dairy cooperative Amul’s announcement recently, to enter the Karnataka market to supply its milk and curd. A section including opposition Congress and JD(S) had expressed apprehension that Nandini, the brand from the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), could be merged with Amul, and had targeted the ruling BJP and Union Cooperative Minister Amit Shah for it. BJP had rejected the charge.

The manifesto was released by JD(S) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy, state president C M Ibrahim, and manifesto committee chief and MLC B M Farooq, among other leaders.

The JD(S), which positions itself as a party of farmers, has announced the "Raita Bandhu" scheme promising to provide ₹2,000 to agricultural labour families every month. Also, girls who marry youths who are farmers will be given financial assistance of ₹two lakh.

Among the various other assurances given in JD(S) manifesto are ₹6,000 for pregnant women for six months, loan waiver for 'Stree Shakti' self-help groups, pension for Anganwadi workers, ₹2,000 per month for auto drivers, ₹2,000 for registered private security guards, and up to ₹25 lakh for treatment of rare diseases under CM relief fund.

In the irrigation sector, the party has listed out its plans such as: increase funds for the Upper Bhadra Project from existing ₹2,000 crore to ₹5,000 crore and also complete the project in the next four years; it also promised to complete the 'Yettinahole' project in four years.

Reviewing the National Pension Scheme, re-introduction of free bicycles for school children, electric scooters for girls studying in higher education, housing scheme for 30 lakh homeless, encouraging green energy, are among the other takeaways from the manifesto.

Kumaraswamy has said that the party will launch a separate manifesto for Bengaluru in the coming days.

Aiming to come to power on its own, the JD(S) has set a target of winning 123 out of total 224 Assembly seats.

Source: hindustantimes.com

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hindustantimes.com/cities/bengaluru-news/karnataka-assembly-election-2023-jd-s-promises-to-restore-4-reservation-for-muslims-in-poll-manifesto-101682660502170.html

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Southeast Asia

 

Malaysian Unity Govt Is Intact, Saifuddin Says In Dismissing Conspiracy Rumour

Friday, 28 Apr 2023

GEORGE TOWN: The unity government is intact and functional, the Home Minister says in flatly dismissing a rumoured attempt to topple it and remove Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister.

"I also don't see the claim as a threat and have no plan to respond to it," Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail told reporters during a working visit on board the enforcement vessel KM Burau in Penang waters on Friday (April 28).

The Pakatan Harapan secretary-general said the unity government's focus was on reviving the country's economy and helping the people in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He was asked to comment about a news portal report claiming that 10 MPs, who previously supported Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for prime minister after GE15, were involved in a plot to overthrow the unity government by quitting their seats to force by-elections.

The portal said some Barisan Nasional MPs were being wooed by certain individuals and persuaded to take part in a “do-or-die mission” to sacrifice their seats and quit their respective parties.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong had earlier rubbished allegations by a news portal which said he and other Barisan MPs such as Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias and Datuk Seri M Saravanan were involved in the plot.

He had said the report was based on unfounded information from sources.

Dr Wee said he viewed the allegation seriously and told the portal to show proof of the claim and to only use verified information.

Source: thestar.com.my

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

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/04/28/unity-govt-is-intact-saifuddin-says-in-dismissing-conspiracy-rumour

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Madani Open House gives public chance to mingle with leaders, says PMO

Friday, 28 Apr 2023

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysia Madani Open House is to give the people a chance to meet and mingle with the Prime Minister and other leaders, says the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

The PMO said the open house events were also organised so that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet could meet and greet those who have never had the opportunity to celebrate Aidilfitri with government leaders.

The Malaysia Madani Open House will kick off in Raia Hotel, Kedah from 10am to 2pm on Saturday (April 29).

"In line with the Malaysia Madani concept, the organisation this time is also with the strategic cooperation of the state government in addition to the leading ministries appointed to assist.

"It is organised by the Federal Government only in three states namely Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu while in Penang, Negri Sembilan and Selangor, (the gatherings) would be organised by the respective state governments.

"The Federal Government aims to attract about 55,000 total visitors in Kedah and 25,000 in Kelantan, followed by 15,000 in Terengganu.

"Past (open houses) in Seri Perdana had recorded up to 100,000 visitors," the PMO said in a statement on Friday (April 28).

It added that the events would allow better time spent with a targeted audience through effective sharing of resources, manpower and skills with strategic collaborations between the Federal and state governments.

"It is also believed such joint efforts will strengthen relationships between the Federal and state governments," it added.

Source: thestar.com.my

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https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2023/04/28/madani-open-house-gives-public-chance-to-mingle-with-leaders-says-pmo

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Dakota aircraft a symbol of deep relationship between Indonesia and Odisha: Indonesia’s Ambassador to India

THURSDAY, 27 APRIL 2023

Indonesia’s Ambassador to India Ina H Krishnamurthy on Thursday was overwhelmed after taking a close look at the Dakota aircraft at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar.

In her reaction after seeing the plane, she said that it was a matter of great privilege for her to have a glimpse of the plane. She said she couldn’t stop herself from getting teary-eyed as Dakota reminds her of Biju Patnaik’s sacrifice for Indonesia.

“The plane itself shows the deep relationship between Indonesia and Odisha. It is a pleasure and honour for me. I can’t express my happiness to be here in Odisha. I am blessed that I have visited Odisha three times. I hope it is not going to be the last. I will visit Odisha again and again,” she said.

Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said, “Biju Patnaik's heroic mission completed 75 years. To make it big, she said she would participate in the Cuttack Bali Jatra in the coming year. She also hinted at how India and Indonesia can act jointly to protect mangroves.”

The Dakota aircraft, which was gathering rust at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, was brought to Odisha in parts. It was then re-assembled at the Biju Patnaik International Airport and kept for public display. Eventually, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled the aircraft on March 5, the birth anniversary of his father and former Chief Minister of Odisha, Biju Patnaik.

Source: odishatv.in

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https://odishatv.in/news/odisha/dakota-aircraft-a-symbol-of-deep-relationship-between-indonesia-and-odisha-indonesia-s-ambassador--202851

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North America

 

Russia: Khunar Agayev Jailed For Meetings ‘To Understand The Quran (And) Strengthen His Faith’

April 28, 2023

By Victoria Arnold

Khunar Agayev testified to Naberezhnyye Chelny City Court that he had read Muslim theologian Said Nursi’s books “to understand the Quran [and] strengthen his faith”. When others were interested, he explained Nursi’s works to them. The court in March jailed him and another Muslim who met others to study Nursi’s works for 2 and a half years for “organising the activities of a banned extremist organisation” and ordered their religious books destroyed. The court gave a third Muslim a suspended sentence. Elsewhere, a Kazan court handed suspended sentences to three Muslims who also met to study Nursi’s works.

In two trials which ended a month apart, six Muslims in Tatarstan have been found guilty of “extremism” offences for meeting to study the works of theologian Said Nursi. Judges handed two of the men prison terms of two and a half years, while the rest received suspended sentences. These are the first convictions for alleged involvement in “Nurdzhular” – an association Muslims in Russia deny has ever existed in Russia – since the August 2021 conviction of 63-year-old Nakiya Sharifullina, and the first prison terms imposed since the May 2018 eight-year jail sentence given to Ilgar Vagif ogly Aliyev.

On 13 March 2023, after a nine-month trial, Naberezhnyye Chelny City Court sentenced Khunar Agayev and Aydar Sageyev to 2 years and 6 months’ imprisonment for “organising the activities of a banned extremist organisation” (Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1). Their fellow defendant Amrakh Akhmedov, charged with “participation” in these activities, received a suspended sentence of 1 year and 6 months with 2 years’ probation (see below).

Agayev testified in court that he had read Nursi’s books “in order to understand the Quran [and] strengthen his faith”. When others were interested, he explained Nursi’s works to them and translated for those who did not understand Turkish (see below).

Sageyev told the court that he considers himself an “ordinary Muslim”. At the meetings in his flat, he said, they discussed both Nursi’s books and others, and did not talk about causing harm to people of other faiths, or positive perceptions of death or suicide – he views such things negatively (see below).

The judge also ordered a number of books by and about Said Nursi, seized from the men during the investigation, to be destroyed as they were all “used as the means of commission of a crime”. Courts in other cases have ordered religious literature to be destroyed. In January 2020, Nadezhdinsky District Court in Primorye ordered two Bibles seized from Jehovah’s Witnesses to be destroyed. The judge ordered the books by and about Nursi to be destroyed even though they have not been banned (see below).

By the time of the verdict, Agayev and Sageyev had been in pre-trial detention for nearly 16 months since their November 2021 arrest (see below).

Asked in May 2022 why the men were considered dangerous and who had been harmed by their actions, Tatarstan Investigative Committee refused to answer and referred all enquiries to the Federal Investigative Committee in Moscow. Forum 18 put the same questions to the Federal Investigative Committee in August 2022, but has received no reply (see below).

Forum 18 asked the Tatarstan Republic Prosecutor’s Office on 17 April 2023 why it had sought jail sentences for Agayev, Sageyev, and Akhmedov and whether it planned to challenge the punishments imposed. Forum 18 also asked why the three were considered dangerous and who had been harmed by their activities. Forum 18 has received no reply (see below).

On 14 April, Privolzhsky District Court in the Tatar capital Kazan handed down three suspended sentences:

– 6 years to Vladimir Katnov under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1, (“Organising a banned extremist organisation);

– 3 years to Rinat Yusupov under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2, (“Participating in a banned extremist organisation);

– and 2 years and 6 months to Aliakber Pashayev under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2, (“Participating in a banned extremist organisation).

Their probationary periods are not yet known (see below).

Forum 18 asked the Tatarstan Republic Prosecutor’s Office on 17 April why it had sought prison sentences for Katnov, Yusupov, and Pashayev and whether it planned to challenge the lesser punishments the District Court had imposed. Forum 18 also asked why the three were considered dangerous and who had been harmed by their activities. Forum 18 has received no reply (see below).

One other criminal trial involving Muslims who read Nursi’s works continues – that of six men in Moscow who have all been charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 for allegedly organising a “cell” of “Nurdzhular” in the capital. Their next hearing is due to take place at Moscow’s Kuzminsky District Court on 28 April. All six remain in detention.

Ban on meeting to study Nursi’s works

Muslims who meet to study Nursi’s works may be prosecuted under the Extremism Law for organising or participating in the activities of “Nurdzhular” (derived from the Turkish for “Nursi followers”). The Supreme Court banned this association as “extremist” in 2008, but Muslims in Russia deny any such formal organisation ever existed. No centralised or local religious organisation associated with Nursi’s teachings was registered in Russia before the ban.

In verdicts and court press statements, the banned alleged organisation “Nurdzhular”‘s goals are frequently described as being the creation of “cells” with “a positive perception of death” and “a willingness to sacrifice oneself in the the interests of the doctrine”, thus creating favourable conditions for “the formation of a resource base for other organisations of an extremist or terrorist orientation which use Islamic rhetoric”.

Typically, such Muslims meet in homes to study Islam, with one or more expounding on the writings of the late Turkish theologian Said Nursi. They also pray, eat, and drink tea together, and do not seek state permission to meet.

Many Russian translations of Nursi’s books have been banned as “extremist”, both before and after the ban on “Nurdzhular”, despite their not calling for violence or the violation of human rights. They were added to the Justice Ministry’s Federal List of Extremist Materials.

On 28 August 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg found that Russian bans on Nursi’s works violated Article 10 (“Freedom of expression”) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Application Nos. 1413/08 and 28621/11).

All ECtHR judgments require states to take steps to prevent similar violations from happening – for example, by changing laws and state practices. This process is supervised by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. In March 2022, Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe and the ECtHR after its renewed invasion of Ukraine. In June 2022, Russia passed legal amendments under which ECtHR judgments are no longer enforced in Russia.

Prosecutions, possible punishments

After the 2008 ban on the alleged Russian Muslim organisation “Nurdzhular”, Muslims who have met to study Nursi’s books have been prosecuted under Criminal Code Article 282.2 for either “organising” (Part 1), or “participating in” (Part 2), “the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity”. This normally happens after they have been kept under Federal Security Service (FSB) or ordinary police surveillance for some months.

Jehovah’s Witnesses also continue to be prosecuted for alleged “extremist activity” under the same Article, as well as, in some cases, Criminal Code Article 282.3, Part 1 (“Financing extremist activity”). The manifestations of freedom of religion and belief for which Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims are prosecuted under both these parts of Criminal Code Article 282.2 are similar. They include meeting in each other’s homes to pray and sing together, study sacred texts, and to discuss shared beliefs.

There is a wide range of compulsory and discretionary punishments – including post-imprisonment punishments – for convictions under Criminal Code Article 282.2. Some Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims have also faced charges under Criminal Code Article 282.3, Part 1 (“Financing extremist activity”), as well as under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1.1 (“Inclination, recruitment or other involvement of a person in an extremist organisation”), for which there is a similarly wide range of compulsory and discretionary punishments.

These punishments vary depending on the articles under which a conviction takes place, and whether a sentence is a prison sentence, suspended prison sentence, fine, or assigned work sentence. Such punishments include bans on holding certain positions and/or carrying out certain activities, restrictions on freedom, and administrative supervision.

The state of “sudimost” (having an active criminal record, the state of being a convicted person) also brings with it formal penalties and informal obstacles to life, as does being on the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) “List of Terrorists and Extremists” which among many other financial consequences blocks their access to any bank accounts they might have. Almost everyone investigated or convicted on extremism-related charges is placed on the Rosfinmonitoring List, even if no trial ever takes place.

People convicted on extremism-related charges are also barred from a wide range of occupations and activities. These include standing for election (this ban also covers people employed by or otherwise involved in “extremist” organisations, even if never prosecuted), and working in the aviation industry.

According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, more than 650 people have gone on trial or remain under investigation on charges of “continuing the activities” of the Jehovah’s Witness Administrative Centre and its subsidiary organisations, which the Supreme Court liquidated as “extremist” in 2017. Of these, 102 have so far received prison sentences, 173 suspended sentences, and 33 fines. For example, eight of nine Jehovah’s Witnesses convicted on “extremism”-related charges in two trials in Russia’s Far East in December 2022 received jail terms of 6 to 7 years. An Amur Region Prosecutor’s Office official justified the jailings: “Any missionary activity of members of a religious organisation liquidated by a court in connection with repeated violations of the law on countering extremist activity will be illegal in nature and subject to liability established by law.” The nine were among 124 Jehovah’s Witnesses criminally convicted in 2022.

Among recent 2023 sentences, on 17 April, Akhtubinsk City Court in Astrakhan Region sentenced Sergey Korolyov, Rinat Kiramov, and Sergey Kosyanenko to 7 years’ imprisonment each under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1, (“Organising a banned extremist organisation”) and Criminal Code Article 282.3, Part 1 (“Financing extremist activity”).

Has October 2021 Supreme Court guidance made any difference?

The Supreme Court’s guidelines for “extremism”-related cases were updated in October 2021. They now direct judges to ascertain a defendant’s “specific actions”, their motivation, and “the significance [of these actions] for the continuation or resumption of a [banned organisation]’s activities”. The amendments also note that a person’s actions “consisting solely of the exercise of their right to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion .. do not in themselves constitute a crime under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2, [“Participating in a banned extremist organisation”], if they do not contain signs of extremism”. This has only had a limited impact, and Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to be convicted for meeting for prayer, hymn singing, and Bible study.

It appears that one of these provisions did have an effect on the release in November 2022 of the only still-jailed Muslim who met other Muslims to study Nursi’s works – Ilgar Vagif ogly Aliyev, who received an eight-year sentence in May 2018. An appeal judge at the 5th Cassational Court in Pyatigorsk agreed, firstly, that his charge under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1.1 should be dropped, because such actions are already covered under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 (under which Aliyev was also convicted); and secondly, that ogly Aliyev’s original sentence had been miscalculated.

In Naberezhnyye Chelny, it appears that the amended guidelines did not have an effect. In Kazan, this remains unclear, as no written verdict is yet available.

Naberezhnyye Chelny: Two prison terms, one suspended sentence

On 13 March, after 13 hearings over nine months, Judge Rustam Khakimov of Naberezhnyye Chelny City Court found three Muslims guilty of “continuing the activities of a banned extremist organisation” for meeting to study the writings of Said Nursi.

Khunar Alyar ogly Agayev (born 17 February 1982) and Aydar Ilkhamovich Sageyev (born 12 April 1993) “organised a cell of [“Nurdzhular”] in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny in 2020-21, attracted new members to it, and stored relevant literature”, according to a 13 March statement by the Tatarstan Investigative Committee. Amrakh Elnur ogly Akhmedov (born 16 May 1999) “took an active part in the activities of the cell”, it added.

Agayev and Sageyev both received prison sentences of two years and six months under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1, (“Organising a banned extremist organisation”), to be served in a general-regime labour camp. The judge handed Akhmedov, charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2, (“Participating in a banned extremist organisation”), a suspended sentence of one year and six months with two years’ probation (during which he must register regularly with probation authorities and cannot change his place of residence, work, or study without notifying them).

Prosecutors had sought prison sentences of 8 years for Agayev, 7 years for Sageyev, and 5 years for Akhmedov.

The judge decided not to sentence any of the three to an additional period of restrictions on freedom or any bans on particular occupations or activities. Should the verdict enter legal force, however, Agayev and Sageyev will have an active criminal record (sudimost) for eight years after they are released, during which they will be under administrative supervision. Akhmedov’s sudimost will be the same length as his probationary period.

The judge also ordered to be destroyed a number of books by and about Said Nursi, seized from the men in the course of the investigation. Although these books are not themselves on the Justice Ministry’s Federal List of Extremist Materials, the Russian translations of some of them are, and the judge decided that all of them had been “used as the means of commission of a crime”. Other books, papers, and phones are to be returned.

Courts in other cases have ordered religious literature to be destroyed. In January 2020, Nadezhdinsky District Court in Primorye ordered two Bibles seized from Jehovah’s Witnesses to be destroyed.

Two of the Naberezhnyye Chelny defendants – it is unclear which – lodged appeals against their convictions on 30 March, according to the city court website. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Tatarstan has not yet listed any appeal hearings on its site.

Agayev and Sageyev will remain in a pre-trial detention centre until the verdict comes into force. They have been in custody since their arrest on 23 November 2021. Akhmedov was also in detention between 23 November and 30 December 2021, then under house arrest until 13 September 2022, when he was placed under travel restrictions and a good behaviour agreement. These measures will also remain in place until the verdict enters legal force. Time spent in detention will be subtracted from Agayev and Sageyev’s prison sentences at a rate of one day’s detention to a day and a half in prison.

Investigators and prosecutors have not added any of the men to the Rosfinmonitoring “List of Terrorists and Extremists”, which brings many financial consequences including the freezing of bank accounts.

Forum 18 asked the Tatarstan Investigative Committee in May 2022 why the men were considered dangerous, and who had been harmed by their actions. Press spokesperson Andrey Sheptitsky responded on 1 June 2022, declining to answer any questions and referring all enquiries to the Federal Investigative Committee in Moscow. Forum 18 put the same questions to the Federal Investigative Committee on 22 August 2022, but has received no reply.

Forum 18 asked the Tatarstan Republic Prosecutor’s Office in writing on 17 April 2023 why it had sought jail sentences for Agayev, Sageyev, and Akhmedov and whether it planned to challenge the punishments imposed. Forum 18 also asked why the three were considered dangerous and who had been harmed by their activities. Forum 18 had received no reply by the end of the working day in Kazan of 26 April.

Naberezhnyye Chelny: “Serious crimes”

Forum 18 asked Naberezhnyye Chelny City Court in writing on 18 April whether the judge had taken into account the Supreme Court’s October 2021 guidance for “extremism” cases, why Agayev, Sageyev, and Akhmedov were considered dangerous, and who had been harmed by their actions. Forum 18 had received no reply by the end of the working day in Naberezhnyye Chelny of 26 April.

A court statement on the day of sentencing said that the men had “committed serious crimes against the basis of the constitutional order and the security of the state”, and had been aware that the activities of “Nurdzhular” are banned and that its activities “threaten interethnic and interfaith stability [and] the territorial integrity of the state”.

Agayev and Sageyev, the statement went on, stood accused of organising “a safe house (‘madrassah’) in order to educate citizens of the Russian Federation and foreign citizens about the collected works of “Risale-i Nur” by Said Nursi .. under the guise of classes on religious topic”. In this “madrassah”, they stored “extremist” literature and “conducted regular meetings with young people”, in which they involved Akhmedov.

The written verdict of 13 March, seen by Forum 18, gives no explicit indication that Judge Khakimov took into account the Supreme Court’s October 2021 guidance for “extremism” cases in considering the charges against the three men.

Agayev and Sageyev both pleaded not guilty. They acknowledged that they had read and discussed Nursi’s writings with friends and acquaintances at the flat Sageyev shared with some Turkmen students, but denied exercising any control or influence over anyone who attended, discussing political topics, or calling for “extremist” actions. Sageyev insisted that he had found out about the banned alleged Russian Muslim organisation “Nurdzhular” only after his arrest. Agayev admitted to having heard of it, but denied any connection.

Agayev testified that he had read Nursi’s books “in order to understand the Quran [and] strengthen his faith”. When others were interested, he explained Nursi’s works to them and translated for those who did not understand Turkish.

Sageyev stated that he considers himself an “ordinary Muslim”. At the meetings in his flat, he said, they discussed both Nursi’s books and others, and did not talk about causing harm to people of other faiths, or positive perceptions of death or suicide – he views such things negatively. “Nurdzhular” was never mentioned.

Akhmedov admitted to attending the meetings at Sageyev’s home, and to buying Russian versions of Nursi’s books in Turkey after Agayev had shown him one of them in Turkish. According to the verdict, he told the court that he had read an (unspecified) article about “Nurdzhular” online, but that Agayev had explained that it was an organisation outside Russia led by Fethullah Gulen, that they themselves were doing nothing illegal, and that they were reading Nursi’s books in their original Turkish because these versions were not banned in Russia.

Akhmedov stated that, when he bought his own copies, he did not know that they were banned in Russia, and that when he learned this, he “put them in the back of a cupboard and forgot about them”. When he found out on the internet that people had been convicted for being associated with the banned alleged Russian Muslim organisation “Nurdzhular”, and that prosecutors were trying to have Nursi’s books in Turkish banned, he started to distance himself from the meetings.

Akhmedov testified that neither Agayev nor Sageyev had presented themselves as members of Nurdzhular. He also corroborated their statements that, during meetings, there were no calls to commit any illegal actions, no conspiracy, no discussion of suicide, and no “positive perception of death” – they drank tea, prayed, and read religious literature, including the Quran, hadiths, and tafsir (exegesis). He noted that there was no difference between what was said in the mosque and at the meetings in the flat.

Judge Khakimov decided that the defendants were “well-acquainted with the works of Said Nursi” and the fact that some of them are banned in Russia, that Agayev occupied a “dominant position”, and that attendees of the meetings understood that the books they were studying “were related to Nurdzhular”.

“The court considers that the activity of Agayev, Sageyev, and Akhmedov went beyond simple profession of faith and involved the organisation and carrying out, in a flat specially equipped with the relevant literature, meetings with the aim of continuing and renewing the activities of a banned organisation, by means of studying with others the original sources of the writings of Said Nursi which have been prohibited in Russia, which constitute the ideological basis of the Nurdzhular association”, the judge concluded.

“The defence argument that the defendants are innocent because they did not commit any extremist actions, but only continued to profess their religion, which is not prohibited, is without validity, since it represents a deliberate conflation of concepts: a person’s individual faith and the organisation of and participation in the activities of [“Nurdzhular”], which is banned by law.”

The defence also pointed to the European Court of Human Rights ruling of 28 August 2018 (Application Nos. 1413/08 and 28621/11), which found that Russian bans on Nursi’s works violated Article 10 (“Freedom of expression”) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Judge Khakimov, however, refused to take this into account, “since at present, rulings of the ECtHR are not obliged to be enforced on the territory of the Russian Federation”.

In June 2022, Russia passed legal amendments under which ECtHR judgments are no longer enforced in Russia.

Naberezhnyye Chelny: “Mitigating factors”

The minimum prison term under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1, (“Organising a banned extremist organisation”) is 6 years, followed by up to 2 years of restrictions on freedom and prohibition of particular occupations or activities for up to 10 years. Under Part 2 (“Participating in the activities of a banned extremist organisation”), the minimum jail term is 2 years, followed by up to a year’s restrictions on freedom and a discretionary ban on particular occupations or activities for up to 5 years.

According to the verdict, Judge Khakimov deemed it necessary to send Agayev and Sageyev to prison (rather than suspend their sentences or give them fines), “considering the circumstances of the case and the severity of what was done”. He decided, however, to impose lighter punishments than the minimum provided for in the Criminal Code, with no additional restrictive measures or bans for them or Akhmedov, given mitigating factors.

The judge noted that none of the three defendants had any previous criminal or administrative convictions, all had relatives with chronic illnesses, as well as health problems of their own, and all had good character references (including, in Akhmedov’s case, from the director of the Rodnik House of Friendship of the Peoples, a cultural centre promoting good inter-ethnic relations in Naberezhnyye Chelny). Akhmedov also partially “recognised his guilt and repented”.

Judge Khakimov also in August 2021 convicted Nakiya Sharifullina, the last Muslim to be found guilty for meeting with others to study Nursi’s works under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1, (“Organising a banned extremist organisation”). Sharifullina was 63 at the time, and she too received a sentence of less than the minimum – a two-year suspended sentence with 18 months’ probation and no additional restrictions.

Judge Khakimov also convicted and handed suspended sentences in December 2021 to four Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ilkham Karimov, Konstantin Matrashov, Vladimir Myakushin and Aydar Yulmetyev.

Kazan: Three suspended sentences

On 14 April, three more Muslims who met to study Nursi’s writings received suspended sentences after a five-month trial in Kazan, Tatarstan’s capital.

Judge Ilnur Garifullin of the city’s Privolzhsky District Court found Vladimir Yevgenyevich Katnov (born 1 June 1985) guilty under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1, (“Organising a banned extremist organisation”). The Judge also found Aliakber Idayaddin ogly Pashayev (born 5 September 1966) and Rinat Asgatovich Yusupov (born 30 May 1976) guilty under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2, (“Participating in a banned extremist organisation”), according to the court website.

No written verdict is available, but local news website Kazanfirst.ru reported on 15 April that all three had pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors requested prison terms for all three men, Kazanfirst.ru noted on 7 April – 6 years for Katnov, plus deprivation of the right to teach; 5 years and 6 months for Yusupov, and 4 years for Pashayev.

The judge handed Katnov a 6-year suspended sentence with 1 year of restrictions on freedom and a 3-year ban on holding positions in religious organisations. Yusupov and Pashayev received suspended sentences of 3 years and 2 years and 6 months respectively, both also with bans on holding positions in religious organisations (Kazanfirst.ru did not specify how long these bans would last or whether Yusupov and Pashayev would also be under restrictions on freedom).

The three men’s probationary periods – during which time conviction for any other offence would send them to prison – remain unknown. Sudimost (the state of having an active criminal record) for people with suspended sentences expires at the same time as probation, unless the judge has imposed a period of restrictions on freedomwhich ends later, in which case sudimost will expire one year after that date.

Investigators had all three men added on 29 November 2021 to the Rosfinmonitoring “List of Terrorists and Extremists”, which brings many financial consequences including the freezing of bank accounts. The men will remain on the List for the duration of their sudimost periods, should their sentences come into force.

It is unknown whether any of the defendants will appeal to Tatarstan’s Supreme Court. They have 15 days to do so, as the appeal period was extended from 10 days in December 2022. Yusupov and Pashayev remain in detention until the verdict enters legal force, while Katnov has been under travel restrictions since March 2022.

Forum 18 wrote to Privolzhsky District Court on 18 April to seek clarification of their probationary periods and ask if the judge had taken into account the Supreme Court’s October 2021 guidance for “extremism” cases. Forum 18 had received no reply by the end of the working day in Kazan of 26 April.

Vladimir Katnov is a chemistry lecturer at Kazan National Research Technological University. “Colleagues cannot report anything bad about the detainee”, the university’s press service commented to the Business Online news website on 12 November 2021, shortly after his initial arrest. “Katnov did not conduct illegal activities on the territory of the university.”

Forum 18 wrote to the Tatarstan Republic Prosecutor’s Office on 17 April to ask why it had sought prison sentences for Katnov, Yusupov, and Pashayev and whether it planned to challenge the lesser punishments Judge Garifullin had imposed. Forum 18 also asked why the three were considered dangerous and who had been harmed by their activities. Forum 18 had received no reply by the end of the working day in Kazan of 26 April.

Prosecutors accused Katnov, Yusupov, and Pashayev of “disseminating a banned ideology among young people from Muslim families”, according to Kazanfirst.ru. All three insisted that they had meant no harm.

“There is no clear idea of what ‘Nurdzhular’ is, even among experts. And how am I, as a simple believer, to decide who is who? I did not know that I could be prosecuted for extremism for reading books and [offering] hospitality,” Katnov said in his final statement to the court on 7 April. “Now I have realised and understood it. Many of the witnesses do not speak Russian well, and for them these meetings were more educational in nature and gave them more practice communicating in Russian. Despite this, from the first interrogation I realised my guilt and confessed. I repent and will not do such things in the future.”

“I confirm that I read these books [and] attended meetings, but there was no malicious intent”, Yusupov told the court in his own final statement on the same day. Despite his guilty plea, he too questioned the existence of “Nurdzhular”: “I taught management. I know that an organisation has its own structure: there is a boss, there are salaries, everyone has their own responsibilities, and so on. None of that was present here.”

Source: eurasiareview.com

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

https://www.eurasiareview.com/28042023-russia-jailed-for-meetings-to-understand-the-Quran-and-strengthen-his-faith/

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Defense attorney requests 2nd competency hearing for suspect in stabbing of Paterson imam

Apr 28, 2023

By: Matt Trapani and Chris Keating

The man accused of stabbing a Paterson imam faced a court hearing Thursday afternoon.

Serif Zorba is accused of stabbing Imam Sayed Elnakib inside the Omar Mosque on April 9.

The imam’s son attended the hearing. He also provided an update on his father’s condition.

“He’s recovering it’s been a long and painful recovery for him due to the severity of his injuries and his age as well,” says Bilal Elnakib.

Sayed Elnakib served his congregation for 30 years. He is out of the hospital and is recovering at home.

Bilal Elnakib says that his father suffered a collapsed lung in the attack.

Surveillance video appears to show Zorba, 32, walking over to other members of the mosque during prayer and stabbing the imam.

“We don’t know anything about this guy or his motive or what happened,” says Bilal Elnakib.

Zorba appeared in court virtually before Judge Scott Rumana. The judge explained why the suspect’s attorney was not allowing the defendant to speak.

“We are keeping Mr. Zorba’s microphone on mute for his own protection under the circumstances,” Rumana said.

There was a concern that because of his mental health and volatility, he may incriminate himself. The defense requested a second mental health evaluation. The first evaluation was not completed due to a language barrier. Zorba only speaks Turkish.

“We find it necessary to request for a more in-depth competency evaluation of Mr. Zorba,” Zorba’s defense attorney said.

Zorba is facing charges of attempted murder and weapons possession charges. He has already entered a not guilty plea to the charges. Another update in the case is expected in May.

The Elnakib family has set up a GoFundMe page and LaunchGood page to help in the imam’s recovery.

Source: newjersey.news12.com

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https://newjersey.news12.com/defense-attorney-requests-2nd-competency-hearing-for-suspect-in-stabbing-of-paterson-imam

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Indiana Congressman Praises Muslim Brotherhood Group He Once Rejected

by Benjamin Baird

Focus on Western Islamism

April 25, 2023

Back in 2015, U.S. Rep. André Carson's (D-IN) was forced to drop out of a panel and renounce ties to an Islamist organization that federal prosecutors once dubbed "the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America." Today, an American public once wary of Islamic extremism is even more leery of attracting allegations of "Islamophobia," thus granting Carson the social currency to heap praise on the same, previously reviled Islamist group.

Carson first became acquainted with the Muslim American Society in 2015, when journalists reported that he planned to speak at an MAS panel that featured Mazen Mokhtar, whom federal investigators accused of operating a website that solicited donations for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and encouraged attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. He subsequently denied his scheduled attendance, and his name was stricken from the convention's list of speakers.

Yet, Carson had no qualms with attending MAS's thirtieth anniversary gala, where the congressman commended the group for its "fundraising" capacity and "building the next generation of leaders." This time, Carson's fellow panelists were only slightly less interesting than Mokhtar. For instance, attendees heard from Yasir Qadhi, a prominent pseudo-Salafist imam who has matured from a past filled with antisemitic and anti-gay tirades to more recently deploring "Zionist greed" and supporting mandatory hijab laws.

Eight years after his embarrassing withdrawal from an MAS convention, Carson and his fellow Muslim American legislators openly and defiantly associate with Islamists, because they can. This makes lawful, non-violent Islamists more dangerous than ever.

Source: meforum.org

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https://www.meforum.org/64373/indiana-congressman-praises-muslim-brotherhood

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Muslim lawmakers, community members urge action following escalating attacks on mosques

By Mohamed Ibrahim

April 27, 2023

Days after Muslims around the globe celebrated as the holy month of Ramadan came to a close, festiveness turned into uneasiness and fear for the Twin Cities Islamic community.

An attempted arson at a Minneapolis mosque Sunday evening was followed the next night by a fire at another mosque in the same neighborhood, prompting the Minneapolis Police Department to team up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to determine whether the incidents were motivated by bias.

The back-to-back incidents are the latest in a troubling increase in attacks on the houses of worship in Minnesota, keeping Muslim communities in a state of unease.

Against the backdrop of the recent attacks and with less than four weeks left in the legislative session, members of Minnesota’s Muslim communities and advocates asked lawmakers to pass legislation that would expand reporting for bias-motivated crimes.

The attacks

On Sunday night, a man entered Masjid Omar Islamic Center inside Mall 24 with a brown bag thought to contain a gas can used to light a fire in the mosque’s bathroom. Worshippers quickly put the fire out but the man believed to have lit the fire, caught on surveillance footage, is still at-large.

The next day and just blocks away, another fire was ignited at Masjid Al-Rahma, with fire crews contending with flames on the building’s third floor and evacuating men, women and children.

No injuries were sustained in either incident.

The fires come two weeks after surveillance footage showed a man smashing the windows of Ummatul Islam, another mosque in south Minneapolis, and months after two more mosques were vandalized and robbed days apart last fall.

Minnesota saw nine attacks on mosques across the state last year, which is the most of any state in the nation, according to Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. According to a fact sheet compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice, recorded religious hate crimes in Minnesota went up from 20 incidents in 2019 to 30 in 2020 then again in 2021 to 44 incidents. FBI data show 11 recorded hate crimes categorized as anti-Muslim in 2021.

Dozens of DFL lawmakers, along with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carver, joined their Muslim colleagues Reps. Hodan Hassan, Mohamud Noor and Samakab Hussein, as well as Sens. Zaynab Mohamed and Omar Fateh, for a Tuesday news conference to denounce the attacks and highlight efforts to combat increasing attacks on mosques statewide.

“This is the Minnesota that we want – in this room, is the real Minnesota, but out there, there is some notion that we don’t belong,” said Hassan, who represents the district containing both mosques, referring to her colleagues’ show of support. “I belong in Minnesota, but I’m also a Muslim Minnesotan and I’m also Somali American. I’m proud of all of my layers, very proud of them, and no one should be afraid to go and pray at their most sacred space.”

The aftermath

The recent uptick in attacks has brought back painful memories for Mohamed Omar, the imam and executive director of Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. In 2017, the Bloomington mosque was firebombed by members of a white supremacist group as worshippers were preparing for early morning prayers.

“We thought we moved away from this and that chapter had become closed, but it’s very clear that in Minnesota, those who are behind the hate, they have not moved on and those who want to hurt us are still around,” he said in an interview. “For us, this is between life and death — I was in the next room when the bomb landed and God gave me a second chance — but today, seeing this right after Ramadan. It’s actually more painful.”

Emily Claire Hari masterminded the attack, driving up from Illinois with co-conspirators Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris and convincing them to throw a pipe bomb through a window of the mosque.

Omar said that a few days ago, the Bloomington Police Department reached out to him to tell him the mosque is on “high alert.” He fears that since the mosque was in the public eye due to the previous attack and Hari’s trial, they may become a target, he said.

“Imagine the police are telling you to stay alert, how safe can you feel?” Omar said. “We have to make sure that you are not going to die while you are worshiping and praying — it’s absolutely getting worse with what happened in the past.”

DFL lawmakers Rep. Samantha Vang and Sen. Zaynab Mohamed are chief authors of House File 181. The bill would expand bias-motivated crimes to include gender identity or expression, and require the Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to train officers on how to recognize bias-motivated crimes. It would also direct the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to solicit bias-motivated crimes from community organizations, schools and individuals.

Mohamed highlighted the role of the community in helping to craft the bill, but also emphasized the community’s role in helping to prevent more bias-motivated crimes from happening by being more active in reporting them.

“When communities can be able to report accurately, then we know what’s happening and how things are happening, then we can do something about it,” she said.

Source: minnpost.com

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https://www.minnpost.com/public-safety/2023/04/muslim-lawmakers-community-members-urge-action-following-escalating-attacks-on-mosques/

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U.S. sanctions Russia, Iran entities for detaining Americans

Russia and Iran, two U.S. adversaries, hold a number of American citizens in their prisons

April 28, 2023

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Russia's domestic security service FSB and the intelligence unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) accusing them of being responsible or complicit in the wrongful detention of Americans overseas.

The sanctions also targeted four senior commanders within IRGC's IO, although among them were at least one individual who had been already been subject to previous U.S. sanctions. FSB, which was targeted because officials said it was involved in the detention of at least one U.S. citizen whose name was not disclosed, was also subject to previous U.S. sanctions.

Speaking to reporters in a briefing call on the condition of anonymity, senior Biden administration officials said Thursday's move aimed to show that there would be consequences for those who tried to use U.S. citizens for political leverage or seek concessions from Washington.

"Our actions are a clear and direct warning to those around the world who wrongfully detain U.S. nationals of the potential consequences of their actions," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

The move, the U.S. officials said, aimed to promote accountability, and by doing so prevent and deter further politically motivated detentions of Americans abroad. He added Thursday's sanctions were just the beginning and that there was possibly more to come.

Russia and Iran, two U.S. adversaries, hold a number of American citizens in their prisons, detentions Washington says are wrongful and politically charged.

Last month, Russia's FSB arrested Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. reporter working for the Wall Street Journal and accused him of espionage, a charge he has denied. Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, has also been serving a 16-year jail sentence in a Russian penal colony over spying accusations. He denies any wrongdoing.

Ties between the United States and Russia have sunk to their worst in decades following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, however, the two former Cold War foes have managed to carry out compartmentalized diplomacy which resulted in two prisoner swaps last year.

In one, Washington has secured the release of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner who was held in Russia on drug charges, by commuting the sentence of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

The plight of Americans detained by foreign governments has moved into the spotlight with Griner's case. Although the U.S. government does not provide figures, there are more than 60 such detainees, according to the James Foley Foundation, named after an American journalist abducted and killed in Syria.

Source: thehindu.com

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https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/us-sanctions-russia-iran-entities-for-detaining-americans/article66787011.ece

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Why the US evacuation from Sudan left Americans behind

April 28, 2023

But over the past week there have been dramatically different responses by various governments as they try to get their citizens and embassy personnel to safety. The US has come under scrutiny for evacuating roughly 70 embassy staff in a helicopter mission by elite SEAL commandos over the weekend, while warning thousands of private American citizens in Sudan there would be no similar evacuation for them.

The State Department, which has advised US citizens for years not to travel to Sudan, continues to advise Americans to shelter in place. Most of the estimated 16,000 Americans believed to be in Sudan right now are dual US-Sudanese nationals and only a fraction of them have expressed a desire to leave.

But at least some of those who want to leave have managed to get to Port Sudan where they can take a ferry to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, or have gotten seats on flights operated by other countries. A look at the situation

What’s happening in Sudan

It all boils down to a struggle for power between two powerful generals and their armies: Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, who leads the Sudanese armed forces, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, the head of a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces.

Four years ago, a popular uprising in Sudan helped depose long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir. But in 2021, the two generals — Burhan and Dagalo — jointly orchestrated a coup that derailed efforts to develop a civilian government. Both men have a history of human rights abuses, and their forces have cracked down on pro-democracy activists.

Under international pressure, Burhan and Dagalo recently agreed to a framework agreement with political parties and pro-democracy groups. But the signing was repeatedly delayed as tensions rose over the integration of the RSF into the armed forces and the future chain of command. Tensions exploded into violence on April 15.

Each side has tens of thousands of troops in and around Khartoum and the city of Omdurman on the opposite bank of the Nile River. On Wednesday, the second day of the latest fragile ceasefire, sporadic fighting continued.

How the US got its embassy staff out

As security conditions worsened late last week, including damage to the civilian airport and an attack on a US diplomatic convoy in Khartoum, the State Department concluded that “the only way we could do this safely for all of our diplomatic personnel was to rely on the capabilities of our military colleagues,” said Ambassador John Bass, State Department undersecretary for management.

On Saturday, the US Embassy in Khartoum suspended its operations and ordered staff to leave the country.

The Department of Defense had begun moving resources to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti to prepare for a possible evacuation. On Saturday, three MH-47 Chinook helicopters carrying elite SEAL commandos took off from Djibouti enroute to Ethiopia, where they refueled and then made the three-hour flight to Khartoum.“The operation was fast and clean, with service members spending less than an hour on the ground in Khartoum,” said Lt. Gen DA Sims, director of operations at the Joint Staff. The helicopters flew in and out of Khartoum without taking any fire.

Americans still in Sudan

While embassy staff was airlifted out, there were no plans to provide similar evacuations for potentially thousands of Americans still in Sudan.

In a security alert Tuesday, the State Department reiterated that “due to the uncertain security situation in Khartoum and closure of the airport, it is not currently safe to undertake a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of private US citizens.”

Instead, it provided details on border crossings that are available and the requirements needed at each location. It cautioned that fighting continues and that many routes are dangerous and unpredictable.

American citizens who get to Port Sudan overland and can take a ferry to Jeddah will be assisted by the US consulate there. Right now, the US assistance for Americans is largely limited to phone and virtual help.

The U.S. could send Navy vessels to Port Sudan to ferry Americans to Jeddah or another location where they could get transportation back to the United States. However, officials say this would depend on the security situation and whether it is safe for ships to dock. The U.S. has developed other options, such as opening a temporary consulate in Port Sudan, beefing up its consulate in Jeddah to assist Americans as they arrive, or using a nearby airfield that other European countries have used to fly citizens out. US officials believe the security situation in Port Sudan is better than in the capital, but remain concerned about the potential for an escalation of violence.

What other countries are doing

While the U.S. says it’s too dangerous to get its citizens out, other countries are proceeding with evacuations of their nationals.

France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Holland, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Jordan, South Africa, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are among the countries that have evacuated their citizens and those of other countries.

Germany’s defense ministry said in a tweet Tuesday it had ended its evacuation flights after flying more than 700 people out of Sudan including 200 Germans and hundreds more from more than 20 other nations. France said it had evacuated more than 500 people from 41 countries, and would keep a Navy frigate at Sudan’s main Red Sea port to continue assisting rescue operations for foreigners. The United Kingdom was continuing its military evacuations of civilians from an airport outside Khartoum. Brig. Dan Reeve told reporters Wednesday the situation was “calm” and that Sudan’s armed forces were maintaining good security around the airport.

Saudi Arabia’s state run news service said Tuesday it had evacuated about 2,150 people by ship from Sudan, including 114 Saudi citizens and more than 2,000 evacuees from 62 other nations. And Egypt, which had evacuated more than 1,500 of its citizens, said its diplomatic mission won’t leave Sudan until it ensures the evacuation of all those who want to leave. An administrator with the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum was shot dead Monday, the Foreign Ministry said.

Is the US response unusual?

While many Americans may recall the dramatic 2021 evacuation of diplomats and private citizens alike from Afghanistan, those circumstances were far different. In most cases, the U.S. does not evacuate private citizens when it closes an embassy.

The situation in Afghanistan was different because the US was ending a 20-year military presence in the country. It was trying to extricate the residual American presence there, much of which was directly tied to Washington’s role in propping up the Afghan government. No such situation existed or exists in Sudan.

More typical has been the practice in places like Yemen, Syria and Venezuela, where the US suspended diplomatic operations and removed personnel because of turmoil, but did not evacuate private citizens. The US also briefly shuttered the embassy in Kyiv because of the Russia invasion, but there was no military evacuation for either diplomats or private citizens, and the embassy has since re-opened.

In contrast with the situation in Afghanistan, the U.S. was not involved militarily in the Sudan conflict and had no military presence on the ground apart from the small number of Marine guards at the Khartoum embassy.

Source: indianexpress.com

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https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-global/us-evacuation-sudan-8579459/

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Europe

 

Huge Blackburn mosque makeover and extension plan submitted to council

 28 APR 2023

Plans to extend and give a Blackburn mosque a huge makeover have been submitted to the council.

The Jamia Syeda Fatima Al-zahra in Bank Lane, Intack, is seeking planning permission for an extension to enlarge its prayer hall, create new assembly room and facelift the building’s facade. Pirzada Sajjad Hussain Syed from the mosque has applied to Blackburn with Darwen Council for approval for a proposed single-storey extension to the side and double-storey extension to the front, rear and side of the property with elevational and internal alterations.

A design and access statement submitted with the application says: “The application site comprises two-storey building uses as Place of Worship and educational/community centre. The building comprise of lower ground floor to prayer hall and single storey with toilet facilities to rear.

“The first floor has a library, computer, office and resting room. The building is sited at the junction of Bank Lane and Shadsworth Road, with its own car parking facility to the side.

“The surrounding area is prominently residential, including a small block of terraced houses directly opposite the application site, which also includes a hair and beauty salon. The proposal is for a two-storey side extension to increase of prayer hall at lower ground floor and Assembly Hall to first floor.

“The proposal also includes a single-storey extension to rear for a mortuary room, ablution and male, female and disabled toilets. The proposed extension has been designed as to reflect the similar design of the existing building with a dual pitched roof, and finished in a smooth render finish.

“All windows and doors will be installed in upvc dark grey finish, with all windows at ground floor level to be obscured glazed. The new entrance of building will be from existing car park.

“The existing door to Bank Lane will be retained. It is proposed that the centre will be operated by my client Mr Sajjad Hussain who is an Islamic teacher and scholar.

“The site is accessed via the existing door off Bank Lane. The current site has the provision for 15 car parking spaces, and in order to provide adequate parking and manoeuvrability the proposal is to reduce this to 12 inclusive of two disabled parking bays.

“Please note that two car parking spaces will be designated for staff, and the rest for visitors and users of the building. Parents will be requested to drop their children off within the car park.

“Children using the Madrassah live locally with a walking distance of a maximum five to eight minutes.”

Source: lancs.live

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https://www.lancs.live/news/lancashire-news/huge-blackburn-mosque-makeover-extension-26795427

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Yusuf Islam reminds King Charles to be a 'servant of God' in 10-point manifesto

27 April, 2023

British singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam has issued a message to King Charles III ahead of the monarch’s official coronation in May, including a 10-point manifesto on how to be a conscientious ruler.

The folk artist, formerly known as Cat Stevens, shared his advice in a list entitled 'Manifesto for a Good King'.

"Even if you are a King, you are still a servant of God," reads the first point on the list, which also encourages Charles to "remove hatred through education" and to "help the sick and homeless".

"One of the privileges of being an artist is to express what seems unimaginable, and then hang it up there for people to ponder; we can say things that others can’t. Sure, I know full well music can’t necessarily solve the world’s problems, but it can help to direct the narrative," Islam said in a statement on his website.

Alongside the manifesto, Islam also released a track entitled 'King of a Land', which is also the title of his upcoming album.

"The major message of the song – and this applies to all those in positions of leadership – is, don't forget that there's One above you, and be careful to look out for those who are below you," Islam said.

The manifesto and song convey messages of world peace and faith that have defined his art since he converted to Islam in 1977.

His conversion came after more than a decade of success in the pop and folk circuits, during which he released 11 studio albums.

When he performed under the name Cat Stephens, his songs reflecting on change and spirituality, including 'Father and Son' (1970) and 'Peace Train' (1974), won him acclaim.

But in 1979, Islam stopped making music with instruments, believing it to be at odds with his faith. Instead, he focused on educational and humanitarian work.

After a long hiatus, he picked his guitar back up in 2006 and returned to mainstream music under the name 'Yusuf'.

Source: newarab.com

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https://www.newarab.com/news/yusuf-islam-issues-10-point-manifesto-king-charles-iii

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Britain adds two designations under its Islamic State sanctions regime

Thu, 27 April 2023

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government said on Thursday it had imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on two Afghan individuals under its Islamic State and Al Qaeda sanctions regime.

It described Maulawi Rajab as a senior leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and Sultan Aziz Azam as a spokesperson of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

(Reporting by Muvija M and Farouq Suleiman, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)

Source: uk.news.yahoo.com

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https://uk.news.yahoo.com/britain-adds-two-designations-under-135352906.html

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Wunderman Thompson Announces Partnership with Muslim Professional Network Emerald

28-04-23

Wunderman Thompson UK and Muslim professional social network EmeraldNetwork (Emerald) have joined forces, with the partnership inaugurated with a celebratory event for Eid.

Wunderman Thompson’s initiative marks the first time the UK advertising industry has run a dedicated event for Eid, which symbolises the end of Ramadan, the month-long fasting for Muslims. Emerald is the longest-running and leading Muslim professional network of its kind, with membership spanning diverse professions and locations, both within the United Kingdom and beyond.

The event, called CREATEID, will take place on May 11th at Greater London House, the site of Wunderman Thompson’s London office. It will include a Quran recitation and reflection by Qari Is’haaq Jasat, a curated contemporary Islamic architecture photography exhibition, live Arabic calligraphy (by Samir Malik) and cultural cuisine. Guests will also can learn more about the respective organisations and the importance of commitment to diversity and faith in the workplace.

The aim is to create a space for Wunderman Thompson’s people and the wider industry to broaden their network, establish meaningful connections and embrace the spirit of unity and inclusivity in an engaging and immersive experience. If you work in the advertising industry and wish to attend the event you can join the waitlist to be notified if any additional tickets become available.

Ewen Sturgeon, CEO EMEA and global president at Wunderman Thompson said, “We are committed to creating a culture of belonging and inclusion at the agency, connecting communities both within and from outside our business and fostering a sense of togetherness. Our partnership with Emerald and our launch event - CREATEID, underlines this thinking. We are committed to attracting diverse talent and clients and building a profile of excellence, inspiration and diversity within the digital marketing and creative industries.”

Sufia Hussain, inclusion equity and diversity EMEA director at Wunderman Thompson, said, “It’s great to host an Eid celebration in collaboration with Emerald - it’s the first of its kind between an advertising agency and a community of diverse Muslim professionals from all sectors.”

Rooful Ali, founder of Emerald said, “Since its inception, being a volunteer-led organisation, Emerald has prided itself on delivering unique and innovative events through the spirit of collaboration. We are excited to be part of this first-of-a-kind Eid networking event with a global leading agency like Wunderman Thompson. Their creative space will help guests connect diverse communities and cultures together.”

Emerald has developed an extensive portfolio of events with a range of collaborations including Clifford Chance, City of London Corporation, Deloitte, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Joe & The Juice, Muslim Aid and WaterAid.

Source: lbbonline.com

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https://www.lbbonline.com/news/wunderman-thompson-announces-partnership-with-muslim-professional-network-emerald

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Arab World

 

Tensions Rise in Sinjar as Sunni Families Accused of ISIS Ties Return

2023-04-27

Shafaq News / A leading Yazidi figure in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan disclosed today that unnamed political factions are behind escalating tensions in Sinjar by resettling Sunni families in the district. The returnees have reportedly provoked the Yazidis, some of whom are suspected of belonging to ISIS.

Dawood Jundi told Shafaq News Agency, "We support the return of Arabs and all residents to Sinjar, but unfortunately, among the returnees were infiltrators who had a plan to gather in front of the district's mosque and behave in a provocative manner towards the Yazidis."

Jundi further explained that the security screening for the returnees was inadequate, as infiltrators were present, and that their return was part of a political scheme to provoke the Yazidis and destabilize the currently stable conditions in the district.

Jundi, a Yazidi and former member of the Nineveh Provincial Council, stated, "There was a plan to roam the alleys of Sinjar, and we tried to avoid this scheme." He continued, "One of the suspects was recognized by a survivor when he was part of the ISIS organization, and he should have been scrutinized by security agencies."

Dozens of Yazidis demonstrated in the Sinjar district today, protesting the resettlement of 25 Sunni families accused of having members that were part of the ISIS organization. In response, families prevented from returning to Sinjar held a protest in front of the Nineveh Governorate building, objecting to being barred from returning to their residential areas in Sinjar.

ISIS invaded Sinjar and its affiliated areas, predominantly inhabited by Yazidis, on August 3, 2014. The terrorist organization committed massacres against the male population, while more than 5,000 children and women were abducted and used as "slaves." Over time, some of these victims have been rescued from the grip of the organization.

Source: shafaq.com

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https://shafaq.com/en/Kurdistan/Tensions-Rise-in-Sinjar-as-Sunni-Families-Accused-of-ISIS-Ties-Return

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UAE Issues $299.5m Worth Of Islamic Treasury Sukuk In Dirhams Nearly 3,000 people evacuated from

April 28, 2023

The UAE has announced launching an Islamic treasury sukuk, also known as T-sukuk, with a benchmark auction size of 1.1 billion dirhams ($299.5 million), as it eyes developing a local currency bond market.

Issued by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Central Bank of the UAE, the dirham-denominated T-sukuk will help the emirate diversify its financing resources and strengthen the local financial and banking industry, the Emirates News Agency, WAM, reported.

The ministry said this will also help to provide safe investment options for both domestic and foreign investors.

The T-sukuk will be issued initially in two-, three-, and five-year tenures, followed by a 10-year tenure later.

Mohamed bin Hadi Al-Hussain, minister of state for financial affairs, emphasized the UAE’s aim to build a pioneering investment infrastructure to boost the Islamic economy as one of the fundamental foundations of the national financial system.

“The T-sukuk are Shariah-compliant financial certificates, and they will be traded to reflect the local return on investment, support economic diversification and financial inclusion, and contribute to achieving comprehensive and sustainable economic and social development goals,” Al-Hussaini said.

Additionally, he pointed out that this issuance will aid in the development of the yield curve for debt in the UAE, which will strengthen the regional financial system and improve the investment environment.

The ministry and CBUAE collaborate with key government organizations and international financial bodies to ensure that best practices are followed while constructing T-sukuk, the report added.

The ministry said it has published a robust “Primary Dealers” code and has onboarded eight banks to participate in the T-sukuk primary market auction while actively developing the secondary market. These banks include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, as well as Emirates NBD, First Abu Dhabi Bank, HSBC, Mashreq, and Standard Chartered.

Khaled Mohamed Balama, governor of CBUAE, also emphasized the importance of issuing Islamic treasury sukuk in developing local sukuk markets, diversifying financing resources, and strengthening infrastructure.

The move is part of the UAE’s goal to support investment options and alternatives that are compatible with Islamic Shariah provisions. It wants to develop the Islamic financial sector, improve the investment environment, and solidify the emirate’s position as a leading global hub in the area.

“It will enhance the competitiveness of the local financial markets and enable market participants in the UAE to maintain a single, transparent, diversified, and sustainable liquidity pool in dirhams,” Balama said. —AN

Source: pakobserver.net

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https://pakobserver.net/uae-issues-299-5m-worth-of-islamic-treasury-sukuk-in-dirhams/

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Saudi, German foreign ministers discuss Sudan situation

April 27, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan discussed the rapid development of events in Sudan with his German counterpart on Thursday.

During a phone call, Prince Faisal and Annalena Baerbock discussed the conditions of foreigners stranded in the country and stressed the importance of stopping the military escalation.

They also highlighted the importance of providing the necessary protection to Sudanese civilians and residents and safe humanitarian corridors for those wishing to leave Sudanese territory.

The ministers also discussed regional and international issues and developments and efforts made by their countries to lay the foundations for peace in the region and the world.

The Sudanese army pounded paramilitaries in the capital Khartoum with air strikes Thursday while deadly fighting flared in Darfur, as the clock ticked down on a fragile US-brokered ceasefire now in its final full day.

Ahead of the expiry of a three-day truce at midnight (2200 GMT), the army said late Wednesday it had agreed to talks in Juba, capital of neighbouring South Sudan, on extending it “at the initiative of IGAD,” the East African regional bloc.

Source: arabnews.com

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2293916/saudi-arabia

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Denmark’s envoy keen to share energy know-how in Kingdom’s green transition

April 27, 2023

RIYADH: Denmark’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Liselotte Plesner aims to focus on sharing her country’s know-how and strengthening Saudi-Danish cooperation in the green energy transition during her tenure in the Kingdom.

The ambassador said that she sees potential in further strengthening energy cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Denmark, especially in sharing knowledge and technology.

Plesner told Arab News: “We have been on this journey for many years so we do have many technologies and solutions for protecting the environment and combating climate change.

“We of course made mistakes on the road but why does Saudi have to make the same mistakes? You can learn from our mistakes.”

The envoy has been searching for areas on which to concentrate following her arrival as ambassador.

She said that she has witnessed the “drive” and “ambition” of the Saudi Green Initiative and the goals of Vision 2030, and their potential for Danish interests and cooperation.

She added: “When we think about the transition to sustainable economies and living, we think a lot about the energy sector, rightly so, but we also need to think about health, our food, our water, our tourism. All of those are areas where we need to transition to a different way of life if we want to preserve this planet for future generations.”

One of the major drivers of the SGI is to improve the quality of life and protect future generations. It also focuses on increasing the Kingdom’s reliance on clean energy while offsetting emissions.

The ambassador said: “We are all talking about a transition in our economies, societies, and our living to a more sustainable future.”

Plesner highlighted Denmark’s successes in water resource and wastewater management.

She said: “Denmark is down to 6 percent in water loss in the whole water system, and in many countries you will see 30 percent to 40 percent is just wasted as they transport out to the consumers and big businesses that need water.

“If that is where you [Saudi Arabia] want to go, sustainable, cost-comparative, zero liquid waste, you will look to Denmark.”

Plesner also aims to help in strengthening Danish-Saudi cooperation in climate initiatives through sharing strategies.

She said: “It’s about having the strategies in place, so how do you protect your environment in terms of water, in terms of waste, for example where we [Denmark] are excellent.

“We started early. For example, in 1976 we made the first national wastewater plant.”

The ambassador believes both Saudi and Denmark can benefit in the transition to clean energy, with the Kingdom learning from Danish practices.

She added: “We are No. 1 in the world in climate change action. Because we are years and years ahead, just take our experience, talk to our companies and see what they can offer.”

The envoy has noted the shared interests, way of operating, and chemistry between Danes and Saudis.

She said: “This is something I noticed here, that there is a good energy-wise chemistry connection between me as Dane and the Saudis I meet. It gives me energy also to think that I can actually do something and that I can work with these people.

“I think we thrive on feeling connections also in business. If you do not relate to your business partner, I think you will be less successful. I see good prospects; I think I am here at the right moment.”

Source: arabnews.com

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2293816/saudi-arabia

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Newly appointed US ambassador to the Kingdom presents credentials to Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs

April 27, 2023

RIYADH: The Undersecretary for Protocol Affairs Abdulmajeed Al-Smari received a copy of the credentials of the new US Ambassador to the Kingdom Michael Ratney on Thursday.

Al-Smari received the credentials on behalf of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

Ratney was nominated by US President Joe Biden, and the US Senate confirmed him as the ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a voice vote on March 14.

At the time of his nomination in March, Ratney said he was committed to a “strong and sustainable US-Saudi partnership that advances US interests and reflects US values.”

Before taking on his position as ambassador to the Kingdom, Ratney served as acting deputy director at the US Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute.

Prior to that, he served as the chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the State Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary for the Levant and Israel and Palestinian Affairs. He was also the US special envoy for Syria.

Earlier in his career, Ratney served as the US consul general in Jerusalem and the deputy assistant secretary for international media at the State Department’s Bureau of Public Affairs.

Previous US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John P. Abizaid was nominated by former President Donald Trump in November 2018 and took on the position in April 2019.

Abizaid completed his mission in 2021, and Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires Martina Strong served until the end of her mission in April 2023.

Source: arabnews.com

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Pakistan

 

Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party Chief Demands India-Pakistan Talks

Syed Ali Shah

April 26, 2023

QUETTA:

Chief of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Mehmood Khan Achakzai termed improvement in Saudi-Iran relations a good omen for peace in the region and said that India and Pakistan should also follow suit.

Addressing a public rally in Pishin on Tuesday, the senior parliamentarian urged India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to also follow the precedent set by the two arch rivals of the past.

Good relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia will have positive political, social, and economic impact on our region and largely on the Middle East as well as on the Muslim world, he elaborated.

It would also contain sectarian issues.

Achakzai urged Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan that without wasting time they should also initiate such a move immediately for normalizing their bilateral relationship.

Regarding the current political and economic crises in the country, Achakzai said that judges, generals, and politicians all should follow and obey the constitution.

“We would not allow anyone, whether judge, general or politician, to impose their dictatorship and we will resist judicial marshal law,” the PkMAP chairman warned.

Achakzai called upon the judges to administer justice as per the law and constitution, not on the basis of personal and political affiliations.

He maintained that no democratic person can oppose elections, but at the same time, Achakzai warned that without national consensus and normalizing the current polarized political atmosphere, holding elections can produce fatal results like the 1970s elections.

First, we should ensure that the constitution and parliament are supreme and make a mechanism to ensure that in the future no general or judge can dare interfere in politics.

To ensure the meaningful representation of small provinces and protect their rights and interests, Achakzai demanded equal status and power for the upper house.

The Senate should also have the power to introduce money bills like the National Assembly, he maintained.

In Balochistan, Pakhtuns and Baloch should have equal representation and rights on the basis of a fifty-fifty formula.

Regarding Afghanistan, Achakzai demanded that the international community immediately release the frozen assets of Afghanistan to mitigate the suffering of Afghans.

He called upon the Taliban to lift ban on girls’ education and respect human rights but also warned that no one has the right to destabilize Afghanistan or threaten its integrity on the pretext of women or human rights violations.

Besides, he also demanded that Pakistani authorities should open the crossing points with Afghansitan including Chaman, Badinai, Qamardin, Kadanai, Ghazni, Khost, Torkham and Nawa Pass on the Durand Line and establish customs houses to facilitate border trade.

Source: tribune.com.pk

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https://tribune.com.pk/story/2413589/pkmap-chief-demands-india-pakistan-talks

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Pakistan decides to return Hajj quota as huge cost deprives people of performing pilgrimage

April 27, 2023

ISLAMABAD – The mounting economic crisis in Pakistan has hampered the annual Islamic pilgrimage as exorbitant costs have deprived people of the South Asian nation of fulfilling their religious obligation.

People’s inability to perform Hajj this year now prompted the government to return quota of Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia due to a shortfall of applications because of soaring inflation.

Kingdom increased Hajj quota for this year for South Asian country and nearly half quota for pilgrimage was available but unprecedented inflation stopped people from applying for Hajj.

Meanwhile, the final decision to surrender the Hajj quota will be made by the federal cabinet. Some reports also claimed that the authorities considering official Hajj quota to the private operators in the wake of low turnout for the state-run scheme.

In comparison to previous years, the expense of Hajj was around Rs1.2 million, which was not able to afford for many people who decided against deferring the plan for next year.

Amid the dollar crunch, the government makes desperate attempts as the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony even allocate a special quota for the Hajj pilgrims who will pay in USD.

Data shared by the government suggest that at least 72,869 applicants applied under the regular scheme and only 8,000 applications were received under the sponsorship scheme.

Hajj flight operations from Pakistan

Pakistan is to start the Hajj flight operation as the first batch of pilgrims will take off from the country’s federal capital on May 20.

Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood briefed that the first Hajj flight would take off in the third week of May. Briefing the minister and other officials, the Secretary of Religious Affairs informed that the Hajj fight operation would be concluded after mid-June.

As per the procedure, the biometrics of pilgrims would be completed by coming Friday (April 28), as the ministry had sought valid passports of pilgrims till the same date.

Source: pakobserver.net

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https://pakobserver.net/pakistan-decides-to-return-hajj-quota-as-huge-cost-deprives-people-of-performing-pilgrimage/

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Emaan Islamic Banking, TPL Insurance join hands to launch Emaan All-in-One Account

April 28, 2023

Emaan Islamic Banking, a division of Silk Bank Limited, and TPL Insurance Limited – Window Takaful Operation, have announced the launch of their latest offering, the Emaan All-in-One Account. The account is tailored to cater to the needs of new-to-bank customers and existing Emaan account holders.

The Emaan All-in-One Account is the ultimate power bundle for clients because of its abundance of features, advantages, and free safeguards. Due to the numerous value-added services it provides to its customers, this account distinguishes apart from most retail-based banks. Customers of Emaan Islamic Banking who maintain an average balance of at least Rs. 100,000 can benefit from complimentary value-added services from TPL Insurance – WTO, including health, life, and travel takaful. TPL Insurance – Window Takaful Operation is pleased to be collaborating with Emaan Islamic Banking, as a Takaful solution provider for their All-in-One Account. Through this partnership, TPL Insurance – WTO aims to provide Emaan Islamic Banking customers with the experience of real-time and hassle-free coverages and claim-to-service. Speaking on the occasion, Aurangzeb J. Siddiqui – Head of FIG, TPL Insurance said, “Through our collaboration with Emaan Islamic Banking – (A division of Silk Bank Limited), our focus is to reach large audiences to build awareness and usage of our innovative takaful solutions. Moreover, through its Insurtech platforms, TPL Insurance – Window Takaful Operation intends to provide Emaan Islamic Banking customers with the experience of real-time and hassle-free coverages and claim servicing.’’

This collaboration between Emaan Islamic Banking and TPL Insurance – WTO will enable customers to opt for complimentary takaful coverages while enjoying several free-of-charge transactional benefits. The account is digitized, making it the first of its kind in Pakistan to offer the fastest claim processing.

“We are excited to start this new journey with TPL Insurance – WTO by adding innovative and rewarding solutions for our customers. This collaboration will enable our customers to opt for complimentary takaful coverage while enjoying several free-of-charge transactional benefits. Silkbank Limited is committed to continuously strengthening its retail product suit with a laser-sharp focus on service delivery and innovative products,” said Naveed Mushtaq, Head of Consumer Banking, Marketing & Phone Banking at Emaan Islamic Banking.

Adding to the conversation, Syed Fahim Hassan, Head of Emaan Islamic Banking, said, “Emaan All-in-One Account is tailored to be an ultimate power-packed account that provides various complimentary protections and transactional benefits for their customers. Unlike most retail-based banks which are not offering many value-added features to their customers, this alliance will allow individuals to maintain an average balance of Rs. 100,000 and above with Emaan Islamic Banking (A division of Silk Bank Limited) to avail FOC value-added features such as health, life, and travel takaful via TPL Insurance – WTO. Being digitized, it would be the first of its kind on accounts with the fastest claim processing.”

Source: pakobserver.net

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https://pakobserver.net/emaan-islamic-banking-tpl-insurance-join-hands-to-launch-emaan-all-in-one-account/

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SCO: Pakistan attends defence ministers meet hosted by India

April 28, 2023

Pakistan attended the conclave of the defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Delhi on Friday in virtual mode.

Defence Ministers of India, Russia, China and other member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Friday deliberated on pressing regional security challenges and related issues.

“India views SCO as an important organisation to promote defence cooperation among member states. We, as a nation, wish to further strengthen the spirit of trust and cooperation among the members of the SCO,” Singh said in his opening remarks.

It was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

India and Pakistan became permanent members in 2017. India was made an observer at the SCO in 2005 and has generally participated in the ministerial-level meetings of the grouping, which focus mainly on security and economic cooperation in the Eurasian region.

India has shown a keen interest in deepening its security-related cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals with issues relating to security and defence.

With inputs from agencies.

Source: firstpost.com

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https://www.firstpost.com/world/pakistan-attends-sco-defence-ministers-meet-in-india-12519222.html

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Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif secures vote of confidence in national assembly

Apr 27, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday secured a vote of confidence from the National Assembly, with 180 lawmakers expressing "full confidence" in his leadership, in a surprise development amidst an increasing confrontation between the government and the top judiciary.

Foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, the chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, tabled a resolution in the lower house stating that the National Assembly of Pakistan "reposes its full confidence in the leadership of" Prime Minister Sharif.

The National Assembly Speaker, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, ordered voting which was conducted with lawmakers rising from their seats in favour of adopting the resolution. The resolution was supported by 180 lawmakers in the 342-member National Assembly. The prime minister needed 172 votes to become the leader of the house.

When Sharif was elected as the prime minister in April last year, he had secured the support of 174 lawmakers.

"Consequently, Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has obtained the vote of confidence from the National Assembly and commands the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly as prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," Speaker Ashraf announced, amid thumping of desks by lawmakers.

Later, Prime Minister Sharif addressed the House and thanked the lawmakers for reposing confidence in him and assured them that he would "always maintain their trust in his leadership".

He also assailed the 2018 elections which he said were rigged to assure the success of Imran Khan. He asked the speaker to probe those elections so that the facts are brought before the nation.

The symbolic vote of confidence is an indication that the prime minister enjoys the full confidence of the lawmakers when it is feared that a three-member bench of the Supreme Court may target the prime minister for allegedly not implementing the directives to provide Rs 21 billion for provincial elections.

The development comes after the Supreme Court observed that it would not force political parties to hold parleys to end the impasse on the issue of elections.

In a related development, the government and Khan's party indicated to hold talks for which Chairman Senate, Sadiq Sanjrani, invited them. Prime Minister Sharif in his address said that talks were expected to begin in the evening.

"The talks will be held on holding the election in the entire country on the same day," he said.

The latest developments show that the prevailing political instability may continue to haunt the country and its economy and a ruling against the government will increase the chaos.

On Monday, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb rejected reports that Prime Minister Sharif would seek a vote of confidence from Parliament in the middle of a tussle with the top judiciary.

Marriyum took to Twitter to dispel the impression of the vulnerability of the premier and the need to seek a vote to show that he enjoyed the trust of the majority. She said that no consultation had taken place on the topic, adding that there was no need for it.

Her tweet followed after several media channels reported that Prime Minister Sharif had decided to go to the Parliament and seek a fresh mandate.

The speculation came after the National Assembly rejected a money bill tabled by the government for providing funds to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for holding polls in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The rejection echoed in the Supreme Court which observed on April 19 while hearing a plea that the premier always must hold the majority in the National Assembly.

The court already ordered an election in the Punjab province on May 14 but the government is dragging its foot to postpone the poll citing economic constraints and security reasons.

The same bench is hearing a government petition to hold elections on the same fate and during its hearing on Thursday, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said the bench cannot force political parties to hold negotiations.

"We are not pushing anyone but only finding out a way for the enforcement of the Constitution," he said.

The bench after hearing the arguments from both sides completed the proceedings for the day. "A written order will be issued for this case," the chief justice said, adding that "the court will issue appropriate orders".

Khan has been pushing for snap elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the provinces where his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party ruled till recently.

The PTI dissolved the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies on January 14 and 18, respectively, in a bid to force the ruling coalition in Islamabad to hold early general elections in the country.

Parliament and the judiciary have also locked horns over the holding of elections in the two provinces, as the cash-strapped government has refused to authorise the funds to meet the expenditures amidst the economic crisis facing the country.

The PTI is determined to press for polls in the provincial legislatures, but the government maintains its stance on simultaneous elections across the country.

The National Assembly will complete its five-year term in August this year. According to the Constitution, elections shall be held within 90 days after the dissolution of the lower house. This means that the election must be held by mid-October. The last general election was held in July 2018.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-pm-shehbaz-sharif-secures-vote-of-confidence-in-national-assembly/articleshow/99819691.cms

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Views of ex-COAS on army’s ‘combat worthiness’ quoted ‘out of context’: ISPR

April 28, 2023

The Inter-Services Public Relations said on Friday that discussion in the media regarding Pakistan Army’s combat worthiness and the former army chief’s views to this end on the “future threat to Pakistan” have been “quoted out of context”.

In a statement issued today, the military’s media wing said: “Recently, there have been discussions in the media on the Pakistan Army’s combat worthiness in view of the condition of certain weapon systems on its inventory.

“To this end, views of the former army chief on the future threats to Pakistan, which he shared with media persons in an off-the-record interactive session, have been quoted out of context,” it said.

“The army assures the people of Pakistan that we always took and will continue to take pride in our operational preparedness and utmost combat worthiness,” the ISPR went on to say.

It added that Pakistan’s armed forces would continue to keep their weapons, equipment and “battle-hardened human resource ever ready for the defence of the motherland”.

The ISPR statement comes days after journalist Hamid Mir, in an interview with a local television channel, claimed that “[former COAS] Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa told 20-25 journalists in 2021 that the Pakistan Army was not capable of combat”.

Recalling the events after the 2021 ceasefire between Pakistan and India at the Line of Control, Mir alleged that Gen Bajwa had “made a deal on [occupied] Kashmir” — the details of which, he added, have yet not been made public.

He claimed that immediately after the ceasefire, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had to visit Pakistan but the then-foreign minister and premier [Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Imran Khan] weren’t aware of it.

Mir went on to say that the then-PM had demanded that details regarding Modi’s visit should be given to Foreign Office after which “Bajwa came to the FO with his entire convoy and gave a lecture”.

“This was the same lecture that he gave in front of us once too … that [Pakistan Army] tanks were not capable of running and there was no diesel for the movement of troops,” the journalist alleged.

“In front of 20-25 journalists, you are saying that the Pakistan Army is not capable of combat. But even at that time, we didn’t believe him,” he claimed, adding that the entire incident took place at the General Headquarters.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1749753/views-of-ex-coas-on-armys-combat-worthiness-quoted-out-of-context-ispr

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Imran seeks bail in mutiny case, set to appear before IHC

Umer Burney

April 28, 2023

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan is set to appear before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday seeking protective bail in a mutiny case registered against him at the capital’s Ramna police station.

The PTI chief filed a plea through his counsels seeking pre-arrest bail in the case today. However, the registrar’s office marked a few objections to the plea, one of which was regarding the lack of biometric verification.

The Lahore High Court had on April 14 granted the ex-PM protective bail in the case until April 26.

On April 6, Manzoor Ahmed Khan, a magistrate, filed a first information report (FIR) at the city’s Ramna police station against Imran for “spreading hatred between the institutions and the public” and for “trying to cause unforgivable damage to the institutions and their top officers”.

On April 10, the former premier approached the Islamabad High Court, requesting that the mutiny case against him be quashed. Imran’s counsel for that hearing, Faisal Chaudhry, had raised an objection on the jurisdiction that the incident had occurred in Lahore but an FIR was filed in Islamabad.

In a tweet today, the PTI said that Imran has reached the capital with his convoy in connection to the petition his party has filed on his behalf.

The petition, filed by the PTI chief’s legal team, contended that the incumbent government had lodged the case against Imran for political reasons and to tarnish his reputation.

According to the petition, the government has failed to find an iota of corruption against Imran and therefore, it is now dragging him into frivolous cases to blackmail him.

The petition urged the court to quash the FIR.

The FIR

The FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, was registered under sections 138 (abetment of act of insubordination by soldier, sailor or airman), 500 (punishment for defamation) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

According to the FIR, in a speech from Zaman Park Lahore on March 19 that was aired on BOL News, Imran made several allegations against a senior officer of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and allegedly conducted a “character assassination”.

The FIR mentioned the PTI chief’s speeches on November 4 and 11, 2022 and October 28 and 29, 2022, in which he allegedly used inappropriate words for the ISI and army officials. It said Imran had used offensive language and had threatened the families of senior officers.

It also alleged he provoked extremists and put the lives of the family members of a senior officer under constant threat, it added.

The complainant further alleged the former prime minister damaged the army’s reputation through his statements, as a result of which foreign agencies took advantage of the situation and attacked Imran and tried to create a rift between the public and the army.

He claimed that the purpose of Imran’s speeches was to “make the soldiers revolt against their oath and the officers through a conspiracy”, for which it also uses Twitter and other social media platforms.

The FIR further said that through these speeches, the former premier “tried to create such an atmosphere among the top army officers and other soldiers that they do not listen to their officer’s commands”.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1749755/imran-seeks-bail-in-mutiny-case-set-to-appear-before-ihc

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Africa

 

Sudan crisis: WHO warns of biological hazard at seized lab

By Jake Horton

BBC News

The World Health Organization (WHO) says there's a "high risk of biological hazard" at a laboratory caught up in the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

Officials said it was unclear who was behind the occupation of the National Public Health Laboratory in the capital Khartoum.

The city has been ravaged by fighting between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The WHO told the BBC on Tuesday that workers can no longer access the lab.

And it warned that power cuts were making it impossible to properly manage material at the lab.

Officials said that a broad range of biological and chemical materials are stored in the lab. The facility holds measles and cholera pathogens, as well as other hazardous materials.

A lack of power is also putting depleting stocks of blood bags stored at the lab at risk of spoiling.

In a press conference on Wednesday, WHO officials said it is conducting an "extensive" risk assessment of the potential public health threat following the seizure of the lab.

Fillipa Lentzos, Associate Professor in Science and International Security at King's College London, said: "It could create a risky situation, but it's a regular health lab, not a high containment facility.

"The agents which are in the lab are all diseases which are endemic in the region anyway, so they wouldn't really be classified as high risk," she told us.

Where is the lab?

The lab is near the centre of Khartoum and not far from city's main airport.

It lies just outside the area where Sudan's military headquarters are located, and where a lot of the fighting has been taking place.

The particular geography of Khartoum means key strategic sites which are being targeted, such as military buildings, are close to critical infrastructure.

Both the military headquarters and the airport are right next to a residential area, with several schools and hospitals nearby.

Only a fraction of health facilities in Khartoum are providing services due to a lack of staff, medicine and other supply shortages, power outages, or attacks.

The Federal Ministry of Health in Sudan has reported that 36% of health facilities in Khartoum city are non-functional and another 25% are unresponsive.

Source: bbc.com

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-65390285

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Ayra Starr Reveals How Her Muslim Math Teacher Predicted Her Joining Mavin: “I Was 14 Then”

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Nigerian fast-rising singer Ayra Starr has stated that her math instructor foresaw her career in music when she was just 14 years old. She discussed this on the most recent edition of "Afrobeats Intelligence" with Joey Akan, claiming that her Muslim teacher was impressed by her curiosity and love of music.

Ayra Starr claimed that the instructor motivated her to join the choir and improve her singing.

According to her, he expressly assured her she would get signed to Mavin, where she is already signed, and he encouraged her to share her videos online for people to see.

Ayra Starr trends as she links her new song to Man UTD star, fans react Meanwhile, Legit.ng recalls reporting that young Nigerian singer Ayra Starr got people talking online with her actions to push her new song Sability.

Ayra Starr, famous for having coined the phrase 'Sabi Girl/Sability', recently changed her Twitter profile photo to the image of the Man United star, Marcel Sabitizer. The singer changing her profile image to the image of the Man Utd star has sparked reactions online as some fans have queried if both public figures are dating. Ayra Starr sparks reactions with message to non-fans Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Ayra Starr put herself up for dragging over a tweet she shared via her official Twitter handle while referring to those who aren’t her fans. Ayra Starr had hinted she was working on a new anthem for her fans but went on to include a dig at those who are not lovers of her music.

Source: legit.ng

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https://www.legit.ng/entertainment/celebrities/1532154-ayra-starr-reveals-how-muslim-math-teacher-predicted-joining-mavin-i-14/

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Muslim Clerics, Leaders Commend Ikeji For Feeding Thousands Of Their Members

By Sunday Apah

Apr 27, 2023

Founder of Nzube Ikeji Foundation and Chief Executive Officer of Zube Sunstar Group, Ambassador Nzubechukwu Ikeji, has been commended by Muslim clerics for feeding thousands of Muslims recently.

Alhaji Isah Abubakar, one of the clerics who gave the commendation on behalf of Muslim leaders in Dona Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, when they paid a thank you visit to Ambassador Ikeji in Abuja,

He said, “we came to say thank you for celebrating the breaking of the Ramada fast with us, and how you fed thousands of our Muslim brothers and sisters.

“We have seen the show of love which you have shown us, alongside your team, and we do not take it for granted. We want to assure you, that we love you, and will always support you to succeed in your endeavours”, the Cleric concluded.

In his response, Ambassador Ikeji, expressed joy in the outpouring of love appreciation for the good deed.

Ambassador Ikeji said, he was tongue tied by the showers of love, and expressed delight on the visit to his residence.

Source: independent.ng

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https://independent.ng/muslim-clerics-leaders-commend-ikeji-for-feeding-thousands-of-their-members/

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Global warming made Horn of Africa drought possible: WWA study

27 Apr 2023

The drought that has left some 4.35 million people in the Horn of Africa in dire need of humanitarian aid – with 43,000 in Somalia estimated to have died last year – would not have been possible without climate change, according to an analysis released on Thursday.

Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia have endured five failed consecutive rainy seasons since October 2020, with aid groups labelling it “the worst drought in 40 years”.

But while the drivers behind the drought are complex, a team of international climate scientists with the World Weather Attribution (WWA) group found rising greenhouse gas emissions made it at least 100 times more likely.

“Climate change has made this drought exceptional,” said Joyce Kimutai, a climate scientist with the Kenya Meteorological Department who worked with WWA to tease out climate change’s role. She and her team found that in a 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler world, the combination of low rainfall and evapotranspiration “would not have led to drought at all”.

Unlike with extreme heat and heavy rainfall, scientists have a harder time pinning down climate change’s contribution to droughts around the world.

Using computer models and climate observations, the WWA team determined climate change had made the Horn of Africa’s long rains from March through May twice as likely to underdeliver, and the short rains from October through December wetter.

But the nearly three-year drought has also coincided with La Nina, an ocean phenomenon resulting from unusually cold water in the equatorial Pacific known to cause below-average short rains in East Africa. This ultimately counteracted the excess moisture added by climate change.

“If you have a doubling of the chance of a severe drought, that really sets the stage for these sequential shocks that have devastated the region,” said climatologist Chris Funk at the University of California, Santa Barbara who was not involved in the analysis.

In addition to less rainfall in the Horn of Africa, a warming climate means more water is evaporating from the soil and transpiring from plants into the atmosphere. Many people affected across the region are pastoralists or farmers who have watched crops wither and water sources run dry.

“This drought is primarily due to the strong increase in evaporative demand caused by high temperatures,” said Kimutai.

Despite initial predictions of a sixth failed rainy season, the region is now receiving some rain, she added.

Although it will take far more rain to help farmers and pastoralists recover, “it’s really positive that we’re seeing rainfall in the region at the moment”, Kimutai said.

The war in Ukraine has affected the humanitarian response, as traditional donors in Europe divert funding for the crisis closer to home.

Source: aljazeera.com

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https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/27/global-warming-made-horn-of-africa-drought-possible-wwa-study

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Intending Muslim pilgrims urged to complete payment

28th April 2023By

Segun Adewole

The Lagos State Government has urged intending pilgrims for the 2023 Hajj to complete payment for the trip before May 2.

The Secretary, Lagos State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mr Saheed Onipede, made the appeal as contained in a statement issued by the state government on Thursday.

According to Onipede, the directive is based on the instruction from the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria which requires all state Muslim pilgrims welfare boards to remit Hajj fares paid by intending pilgrims by April 21, 2023.

He said, “The 2023 Hajj operation is very much around the corner and in order for us to meet the timeline set by NAHCON for remittances, every intending pilgrim must play their parts. The affected intending pilgrims are those who initially paid N1,300,000.00 and N2,640,000.00 since 2019 till date and are yet to pay the balance, to meet up with the approved current Hajj fare of N3,200,000.00.”

While appealing to those affected to ensure that they pay up the Hajj fare on or before the deadline, he emphasised that failure to do so would jeopardise their chances of going on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia with the current batches.

He further stated that without remittance to NAHCON, the state might not be able to secure comfortable and decent accommodation, as well as other necessary amenities for better welfare of pilgrims in Makkah, Madinah, Muna and Arafah.

The statement added that the board had fixed April 29 for the commencement of weekend lectures for all the intending pilgrims which would be held simultaneously in all the local government areas of the state and facilitated by the league of Ulamah (Islamic Scholars/Clerics) accredited by the board.

Source: punchng.com

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https://punchng.com/intending-muslim-pilgrims-urged-to-complete-payment/

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Mideast

 

Israel’s Right-Wing Protest Draws 200,000 Attendees: 'We Are Tired Of Being Second Class'

APRIL 27, 2023

As many as 200,000 people gathered Thursday evening outside the Knesset in support of the judicial overhaul, with various government ministers and coalition MKs, including Justice Minister Yariv Levin, in attendance.

Other officials in attendance included Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, MK Israel Katz (Likud), Levin, who is leading the reforms, Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chair MK Simcha Rothman, among others.

“The people demand judicial reform," was the slogan under which the protest was organized, and attendees picked it up, chanting it throughout the night.

Protesters expressed mixed opinions about the judicial reform negotiations. Some, like Elbaz from Hebron, were happy about them, telling the Post that “we aren’t alone. We need to talk.”

Others, like Kobby, a hi-tech worker from Beersheba, said that “The negotiations are okay; but I don’t favor them too much. After the election, we are the majority, and the government has to go with our wishes. We don’t need to wait for the other side... In the past, they didn’t ask our opinions.”

The crowd, enthusiastic and eager to make their voices heard, were mostly calm as the speakers gathered - and no confrontations with the police were reported.

"The High Court doesn’t represent me," said Kobby. "It doesn’t represent the majority.”

The protest seemed to be made up of a predominantly religious crowd – from the naked eye it appeared that almost every male was donning a kippah - and the Israeli flag was displayed prominently alongside the yellow and blue Moshiach flag popular with the Chabad movement.

Also of note perhaps, was the large number of children accompanying their parents as they protested.

Elbaz, with his children, said that he brought them with “to teach them about civil service... How to be citizens.”

Despite the majority being so, not all of those participating were religious. To this end, Meir and Ilana from Netanya told the Post that the cause isn’t about whether you are religious or not, but rather that it’s about “not being second-class citizens.

"We aren’t second-class citizens," Ilana said. “We feel we have the mandate to make change. And the High Court acts without anyone's input.”

The sounds of the protest were varied, switching between the blasting of Israeli music and the sounds of selichot and other Jewish prayers, with many prayer groups popping up along the sides of the blocked-off streets.

"Look how many we are. We are the people," said Smotrich to the listening crowd. "The people want the reforms. They will get them.”

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Levin was greeted with great fanfare, with music and chanting in support of the reform that he is spearheading, drowning out his words in parts.

He spoke disparagingly about the High Court, saying that the government has the mandate to make a change.

“We want a court for everyone… not for half the public," he said, adding that "over two million people voted for reform half a year ago.”

When he addressed Attorney-General Gali Baharav Miara, her name was met with a shower of boos, and he vowed to end her control, demanding that someone “show me a democracy where the legal advisers decide instead of the government.”

On the current negotiations, he told the crowd that “we have the chance to reach an agreement. Agreement means real negotiations and also a willingness to accept large parts of the reform and not to hold discussions for over a month and say ‘no’ to every proposal.”

Missing from the protest, however, was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and protesters noticed his absence, chanting “Where is Bibi?” at various points throughout the event.

Despite the success of the event, some voiced complaints about the way in which it was organized with one attendee from Jerusalem, Yehezkiel, saying that it was extremely crowded, and "very poorly managed. There’s only one exit and entrance, creating a bottleneck to get in.”

He told the Post that he believes in the reforms and thinks it is “ridiculous that people that had the plurality in the vote have to come out and protest to have their voice heard."

Despite the many sectors of Israeli society participated in the protest, members of the haredi population were far and few. This may be due to an editorial in Yated Ne’eman, a leading haredi newspaper, in which they called on members of the community not to join, going as far as saying those that do are “not part of our community… his citizenship in the house of God is revoked.”

Protest organizer MK Avihai Boaran (Likud) spoke to Maariv ahead of the protests, explaining that “an entire [political] camp cannot live with the knowledge that it is worth less. If there is no [judicial] reform, it means that our vote in the ballot box is worthless. We are the majority at the ballot box but we cannot really run the country.

“This reality must change. The national camp is also allowed to have a share in the management of state affairs. We are tired of being second class.”

Source: jpost.com

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

https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-741466

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Gun-toting, prayer-reciting protesters throng Jerusalem to back judicial overhaul

Thu 27 Apr 2023

About 100,000 Israelis in favour of the government’s divisive judicial overhaul have taken part in a demonstration outside the Knesset in Jerusalem, in the biggest rightwing protest in the country in nearly two decades.

Protesters from all over Israel, as well as settlers who travelled in buses from the occupied West Bank, chanted “the people demand judicial reform” and danced and sang as the rally got under way at sunset on Thursday, sending a message before the beginning of the Knesset’s summer session next week.

From a distance, the demonstration resembled those that have been held against the judicial changes since the start of the year – some of which have drawn upwards of 120,000 people, making it the largest protest movement in Israeli history.

Pop music blasted over a sea of blue and white flags, and Thursday’s attenders, like those at the protests against the overhaul, also said they had come to “say no to dictatorship”.

But Thursday’s rare event, organised and funded by rightwing political parties and activists, had a more religious flavour, with people praying and reciting blessings.

Many men carried guns, and there were far more children than at the anti-reform protests. One group of young men brandished the rattlesnake Gadsden flag now associated with the Capitol riot in Washington DC on 6 January 2021.

“To all my friends who are sitting here, see how much power we have,” the far-right finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, said in a speech. “They have the media and they have tycoons who will fund the protests, but we have the nation.”

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, did not attend, but used Twitter to thank the protesters, writing that “your passion and patriotism moves me deeply”.

Noham, a 30-year-old from the illegal settlement of Geva Binjamin in the West Bank, attended the protest with his wife, Elia, 25, and their two small daughters. He called the atmosphere “powerful”.

“We are praying for the reforms to happen. We can’t let a minority on the left impose themselves on everyone else,” he said.

After a brief stint in opposition, Netanyahu was re-elected in November 2022 at the head of a coalition of ultra-Orthodox and extremist rightwing parties.

The new administration’s planned reforms will limit the powerful supreme court’s ability to overturn laws, and give politicians more control over judicial appointments. Critics have denounced it as a transparent power grab.

A February poll commissioned by the Jewish People Policy Institute found that while 84% of Israelis believe the judicial system is in need of change, only one in four support the government’s proposals in their current form.

Many of those opposed to the overhaul say the public was jaded by five elections in less than four years triggered by Netanyahu’s corruption trial, and that they did not wake up to the prospect of the far-right in government until it was too late.

“I have many leftwing friends, and they say they are scared. They think the reforms will amount to a dictatorship,” said a 67-year-old woman from the affluent Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan, who gave her name as Tzipi.

“There are some elements out there that think our votes don’t count. Israel is a very young country and I guess there is still a feeling that we are still in tribes of ashkenazi, mizrahi, religious, secular.

“At the end of the day we are one people. We unite in hours of trouble and war. We have to figure it out.”

Netanyahu was forced to announce a freeze to the judicial overhaul in late March, after wildcat protests and strikes in response to his decision to fire Yoav Gallant, his dissenting defence minister, almost completely shut down the country.

During the month-long Passover recess, Israel’s figurehead president, Isaac Herzog, has mediated negotiations between the government and the opposition in hopes of arriving at a compromise.

The Knesset is set to reconvene on Sunday, but it is still not clear how much, if any, progress has been made.

With budget deliberations pending and the question of how to deal with a spike in violence with the Palestinians and Lebanon on the government’s agenda, some supporters of the changes fear the legislation could be kicked into the long grass.

“The supreme court has been an issue for a long time, it is corrupt and biased and makes us [rightwingers] second-class citizens,” said Mikhael, a 19-year-old yeshiva student from the settlement of Eli.

“The left wing have the right to protest; I think they still support the country. But they are living in an illusion if they think they are the majority.”

Source: theguardian.com

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/apr/27/gun-toting-prayer-reciting-protesters-throng-jerusalem-to-back-judicial-overhaul

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Sunni, Jaffari endowments to continue registering old endowments

27 Apr 2023

Manama, Apr. 27 (BNA): The boards of directors of the Sunni and Jaffari endowments have affirmed their keenness to develop endowments and achieve their noble goals, in a way that preserves them and ensures maximum benefits from them.

In a joint statement, they expressed pride in the long history of Islamic Waqf (endowment) in Bahrain, as it embodies one of the aspects of the Bahrain's peoples deep-rooted features of righteousness, benevolence, goodness and solidarity.

They highlighted the completion of the registration of many old endowment properties after proving the identities of their owners, being the legitimate and legal basis for exploiting them.

They emphasised that the priority is to continue developing the endowments by adopting modern practices in a way that contributes to increasing their investment returns, ensuring their long-term sustainability and raising the level of their contributions to social development.

They stressed the need to adhere to the regulatory procedures for registering endowments, foremost of which is that the in-kind property to be endowed should be owned by the endower as a necessary and obligatory legal and religious requirement, as well as to make sure that the property or money endowed has no dispute over it.

They affirmed the role and responsibility of the endower in transferring the ownership of the property to the relevant endowment directorate and to register it in its and registering it in its official records.

The Board of Directors of the Sunni Endowment affirmed its keenness to continue registering old endowments, based on the record of old Sharia magistrates, according to procedures and regulations in force.

The Board of Directors of the Jaffari Endowment also expressed its keenness to continue registering old endowments, based on the record of Adnan Al-Musawi, in accordance with procedures and regulations in force.

Source: bna.bh

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https://www.bna.bh/en/news?cms=q8FmFJgiscL2fwIzON1%2bDnYXwNlpF9h83xOq5iY%2fDZA%3d

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President: Iran Relying on Domestic Potentials, Not Outsiders

2023-April-27

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi said on Thursday that his administration is paying attention to the solution of internal problems based on domestic capabilities rather than pinning hope on foreigners.

Rayeesi made the remarks while addressing crowds of people in the city of Andimeshk in the Southwestern province of Khuzestan.

He stated that Iran is making progress despite foreign threats, stressing that the existing problems will certainly be resolved by the Iranian people themselves not foreigners.

The president added that the government, in cooperation with the people, is making efforts to advance the country’s progress in economic, social and cultural fields, despite foreign pressures.

Iran's president said that measures are underway to both nullify and lift sanctions against Tehran.

"Iran has a bright future ahead and that the enemy would not be successful in its attempts to create hopelessness and pessimism," Rayeesi stressed.

The Rayeesi administration emphasizes that Tehran does not tie ordinary life of people to external factors. The president stresses that Iran never left the negotiating table with world powers, but his administration will not tie the country’s economy to its fate.

"Iran’s progress and economy would never be kept back on account of other people’s smiles and scowls," he stated in mid-August.

"We will not tie people's livelihood with any external factor and will diligently pursue solving the problems of the country and people," Rayeesi continued.

The president stressed that the government will continue the work seriously despite the harsh sanctions.

Source: farsnews.ir

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020207000515/Presiden-Iran-Relying-n-Dmesic-Penials-N-Osiders

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Murderer of Senior Iranian Cleric Says to Have Shot Wrong Man

2023-April-27

TEHRAN (FNA)- The man who shot dead senior Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Abass Ali Soleimani at a bank in the city of Babolsar in Mazandaran province in Northern Iran claims that he has mistaken the victim for brother of the bank's deputy director.

The assailant, who was a guard at the bank, said in a first series of confessions that he had personal disagreements with the deputy director of the bank branch and thought mistakenly that Ayatollah Soleimani was his brother.

Ayatollah Soleimani, the former Friday prayers of Zahedan, was at the time of the incident sitting at a chair in front of the deputy director’s desk and was waiting for him to arrive.

The assailant added that he had known that the bank official had a brother and thought Ayatollah Soleimani was that person.

He stated that he was economically struggling and he wanted to take revenge from the deputy director of the bank by killing the victim.

Ayatollah Soleimani, a member of the Assembly of Experts, died in hospital on Wednesday after being shot. The gunman was arrested at the scene.

Source: farsnews.ir

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020207000544/Mrderer-f-Senir-Iranian-Cleric-Says-Have-Sh-Wrng-Man

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Senior Commander: Iran 'Absolute Power' in Air Defense Field in West Asia

2023-April-27

TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of the Iranian Army Air Defense Force Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard underscored the high capabilities and full preparedness of the country's air defense units to foil any possible aggression by enemies, and said that Iran has become an "absolute power" in this field in West Asia.

Brig. Gen. Sabahifard made the reamrks in an interview with Arabic-language Al-Alam News Network on Wednesday.

Lauding the “technological progress” in the country’s air defense, he underlined that his forces are an “absolute power” in the region, citing their self-reliance in producing military equipment and exporting them.

“The powerful Islamic Republic of Iran Air Defense Force is the absolute air defense power in the region, and this is an undeniable fact. The equipment that we currently use in the country’s air defense is 100% indigenous and is the most equipped and state-of the-art on the edge of global technology,” the top commande stressed.

“We are standing on our own feet and do not have any need or dependence on other countries regarding air defense equipment in the fields of detection and identification, along with engaging systems and those of information and communications technology,” he added.

Sabahifard also noted that all of the country’s air defense equipment is “indigenous” as it is manufactured by Iranian youth.

“Previously, the air defense equipment was very limited and completely dependent on foreigners. Now, we have reached a level of technological progress and knowledge in the field of producing air defense equipment that enables us to export it,” he added.

The general further said that the most advanced equipment have been stationed in the air defense zone covering the country’s Southeast, including the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the islands.

Sanctions, he emphasized, have failed to hamper the achievements reached in the field of the equipment used by the Iranian Armed Forces.

Touching on the threats made by the Israeli regime against Iran, Sabahifard warned that Iranian missiles are ready to hit the heart of the usurping entity or any country that has a greedy eye on Iran’s airspace.

The Israelis “should not even think about invading and attacking the sacred sky of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Of course, they know that if they opt to do such an action, they will face a crushing response, which will make them regret it”, he added.

The military official stated that Iran’s sky is the safest compared to those of regional states, noting that this fact is acknowledged by other countries as well.

Iran has in recent years made major breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.

Iranian military officials have hailed the country’s major progress in stretching its air defense network, and stated Iran's forces are at the highest level of readiness to defend the country against any hostile action.

They underlined that the country's deterrence power has made the enemies more cautious in their moves, underscoring that all their interests and equipment are within range of Tehran's weapons. They warned Iran is capable of targeting the enemy’s vital and sensitive interests all over the place in case it has ill intentions. Officials assured that areas even far from the bordering regions are monitored by Iran's air defense units to confront any possible threat.

Back in August, Sabahifard announced the country's high military capabilities and deterrence power, and said that the country's air defense force is able to monitor even the slightest movements of enemies within the range of 3,000km.

“The Air Defense Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken important measures in recent years to increase national security,” Brigadier General Sabahifard stated.

“Today, the Air Defense Force is equipped with detection and identification systems such as radars with a range of 3,000 kilometers, which is rare in the world," he noted.

“Now we have reached a point where we proudly announce that all the equipment and systems used in the Air Defense Force of the Islamic Iranian Army are made by genius Iranian youths and we do not use any foreign equipment,” the top commander added.

He warned the enemies any violation of Iranian airspace will be met with a ‘tough and destructive response’, adding the enemies could never imagine our deterrence power would reach this level.

“If the enemies could hit us, they would make the Islamic Republic of Iran’s airspace unsafe, whereas they never can, and this is due to the deterrence power of the armed forces and the existing military equipment,” Sabahifard stressed.

Source: farsnews.ir

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020207000348/Senir-Cmmander-Iran-'Absle-Pwer'-in-Air-Defense-Field-in-Wes-Asia

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Iran Blames Germany for Encouraging Terrorists, Promoting Terrorism

2023-April-27

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani rejected Germany's meddlesome stance on the death sentence issued for a terrorist ringleader by an Iranian court, and further warned that such positions not only hinder the implementation of justice but “encourage terrorists” and “promote terrorism” across the globe.

Iran’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the death penalty for Jamshid Sharmahd, ringleader of a terrorist group, after it found “no reason or evidence” to reverse the ruling. In response, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged Tehran to “immediately” reverse the verdict, calling it “completely unacceptable".

Reacting to the interventionist positions repeatedly adopted by some German authorities following the confirmation of the judicial and legal verdict issued at the Iranian court against a terrorist and leader of a terror group, Kana'ani stressed on Thursday that Tehran will never ask anyone for permission to deliver justice vis-à-vis terrorists.

“Such positions are not only an attempt at preventing the delivery of justice but they practically encourage terrorists and spread terrorism across the world; therefore, this group of German officials are expected to immediately stop the operations to encourage the terrorists and the sinister phenomenon of terrorism,” he said.

“Those who claim to be fighting terrorism are, at least, expected not to seek to award the child-killing terrorists with their behavior and conduct if they do not cooperate with Iran in serving justice in the case of terrorists,” the senior official added.

“The people of Iran expect the German government to speak about its actions in the past fifteen years to execute justice against a criminal who, in just one of his crimes, killed a large number of people, including two teenage brothers in Shiraz,” the spokesperson stated.

“Attempting to block the path of justice against child-killing terrorists is one of the remarkable examples of human rights violations, and human rights violators cannot claim to be advocates of human rights,” Kana'ani said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not seek permission from anyone on the path of confronting terrorism and executing justice against terrorists, and it believes that the interventionist and authoritarian statements of some German officials regarding the verdict issued in an Iranian court against a marked terrorist, is a clear example of supporting terrorism and interference in Iran’s domestic affairs. The Islamic Republic of Iran does not, of course, tolerate such meddling,” the top diplomat continued.

The spokesman advised Berlin to adhere to the principle of sovereign equality, mutual respect and avoid emotional behavior.

In mid-February, a court in Iran announced that Sharmahd has been convicted of “corruption on earth” through directing terrorist activities and has been sentenced to death. The Iranian court ruled that the 67 year-old Iranian national has been involved in plots to carry out 23 terrorist attacks and had managed to implement five cases.

Back in August 2020, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry announced that the country's security agents have captured Sharmahd, the ringleader of Tondar terrorist group.

The ministry said it has dealt a heavy blow to the Tondar group that planned and carried out a deadly terrorist attack on Seyyed Al-Shohada mosque in the Southern city of Shiraz, Fars Province, in 2008, which killed 14 people and wounded 215 others.

Sharmahd, who holds German citizenship and used to reside in the US, personally planned and directed the terror attack.

It added that the terrorist group had also planned to carry out other large-scale operations, like blowing up several places, including Sivand Dam in Shiraz, Mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini in Southern Tehran and Tehran International Book Fair, which were all foiled.

Tehran says Washington must be held accountable for "supporting this terrorist grouplet (Tondar) and other [terrorist] outfits as well as criminals that lead sabotage, armed and terrorist operations from within the United States against the Iranian people" and shed the blood of Iranians.

Source: farsnews.ir

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020207000422/Iran-Blames-Germany-fr-Encraging-Terrriss-Prming-Terrrism

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Two Palestinians killed by Israelis amid escalation in settler violence

April 27, 2023

RAMALLAH: Two Palestinians were killed by Israelis in the West Bank and Israel on Thursday, according to official Palestinian sources.

The Israeli army shot dead Ahmed Taha, 39, close to the Ariel settlement near Salfit. He was suspected of attempting to carry out a stabbing attack. And Palestinian sources said Amin Warda, a resident of Nuseirat in central Gaza, died after being assaulted by Israelis while working inside Israel.

Their deaths coincided with an unprecedented escalation in attacks by settlers against Palestinians and their property throughout the West Bank.

On Wednesday night, settlers led by extremist Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and other far-right members of the Knesset, stormed the site of the evacuated Homesh settlement, near the town of Silat Al-Dhahr, south of Jenin, and performed Talmudic prayers there, protected by Israeli army forces. They used stones to attack vehicles belonging to Palestinians living by the entrance to the settlement, near Bazariya, northwest of Nablus, breaking some windows.

It came about a month after the Israeli parliament approved a bill granting settlers permission to return to four settlements in occupied Palestinian territories that were dismantled in 2005: Homesh, Ganim, Kadim and Sanor.

Meanwhile settlers cut down more than 160 olive trees in Qaryut village, south of Nablus. And on Thursday, armed settlers attacked cars and properties belonging to Palestinians near the entrance to the village of Ein Shibli, east of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian official in the northern West Bank in charge of issues relating to settlements, told Arab News that 25 armed settlers had targeted vehicles, homes and greenhouses.

“The current period is witnessing a significant escalation of settler attacks, which requires caution and the activation of guard committees to confront these attacks,” he said.

Also on Thursday, settlers uprooted dozens of vine and olive saplings, destroyed crops of eggplant, tomatoes and peppers, and damaged an irrigation system on agricultural land next to Husan village, west of Bethlehem, according to the head of village council, Rami Hamamreh.

Palestinians depend on this land, which contains about 12 water springs, and the crops that grow there for their livelihoods. It has been the target of repeated attacks by settlers.

Elsewhere, four Palestinian farmers and shepherds were injured during an attack by settlers in Khirbet Al-Sakot, in the northern Jordan Valley. It has been targeted by continual attacks since Wednesday.

Tensions in the area began to rise when a group of settlers built a cowshed there a few days ago and destroyed parts of irrigated crops, sparking fears that it was the first step toward establishing a pastoral outpost.

Moataz Bisharat, the official in charge of the Jordan Valley file in Tubas Governorate, told Arab News that a group of settlers had been chasing shepherds in the Sakot area since Thursday morning and also seized a herd of cows.

He said the settlers’ activities indicated they had been tracking shepherds in the area for days, pursuing them on an almost daily basis in many parts of the northern Jordan Valley and forcing them to leave their pastures. Pastoral outposts are reportedly spreading in the region and settlers have seized large areas of pastoral land.

The Israeli army used tear gas to suppress a demonstration on Thursday by residents of the village of Ain Al-Bayda, in the northern Jordan Valley not far from Sakot,.

Also on Thursday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh discussed the situation in Jericho with the local governor and other officials. The city has been under a tight siege, imposed by the Israeli army, for more than six days.

Shtayyeh condemned the continual incursions into the city and its camps, and said the Palestinian government doing all it can to ensure the siege is lifted. He also stressed the need to halt the incursions into Aqbat Jaber camp and to provide all possible support for the Palestinians living there.

Source: arabnews.com

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2294036/middle-east

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South Asia

 

Leader of National Resistance Front of Afghanistan Pleads with World Not to Abandon Afghanistan

April 28, 2023

Ahmad Massoud warned against engaging with the Taliban in an interview with The National while he was in Vienna for a conference of anti-Taliban figures, human rights activists and academicians. “If you think you can co-opt the Taliban with money and diplomatic ties, then you are gravely mistaken,” he warned.

“Afghanistan has become an epic prison for its people and a safe haven for terrorist groups” and was also a country that could revisit the “catastrophic” events of the past, he added.

Massoud claimed that the NRF is a diverse coalition of Afghans representing a more palatable alternative government. He said the group is committed to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

“We want freedom, liberty, democracy, and justice,” he said.

While the NRF “do not have any support from anywhere,” Kabul already receives $40 million per week in help, much of it indirectly from the West, notably the US, he said.

In his opinion, the Taliban must be pressured by the West to respect human rights and allow the Afghan people to determine their future.

“We must not abandon Afghanistan,” Massoud said. “The country is at a crossroads, and it is up to the international community to decide whether it will go down the path of democracy and freedom or be ruled by a brutal and repressive regime.”

Source: khaama.com

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https://www.khaama.com/ahmad-massoud-pleads-with-world-not-to-abandon-afghanistan/

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Afghanistan: Security Council condemns Taliban’s ban on women working for UN

27 April 2023

The resolution passed unanimously by the 15-member body in New York, calls for the “full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women and girls in Afghanistan”, and urges all countries and organisations with influence on the fundamentalist rulers of the country, “to promote an urgent reversal” of policies which have in effect erased women from public life.

Since the Taliban takeover of July 2021, when its forces toppled the democratically-elected Government, it has rolled back a wide range of human rights of women and girls, including a ban on attending high school and university, restrictions on movement and work, and in December, a decree banning female nationals from working from most NGOs.

Earlier this month the Taliban extended their ban to women working for the United Nations.

The UN underlined its “unequivocal condemnation” of the move in early April, noting that it contravenes international law, including the UN Charter. All UN staff have been told not to report to the office, except for some critical tasks, while an operational review is carried out, concluding on 5 May.

A record 28.3 million people in Afghanistan are in need of assistance this year, making Afghanistan the world’s largest aid operation, with the UN asking for $4.6 billion to fully fund relief efforts this year. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator warned this month that Afghanistan was also the world’s least well-funded operation, with less than five per cent funding pledged so far.

‘Deep concern’

The Security Council resolution lays out ambassadors’ “deep concern” over the ban on women working at the UN, saying that – along with the other erosions of basic rights – “will negatively and severely impact” the UN aid operations throughout the country, “including the delivery of life-saving assistance and basic services to the most vulnerable”.

Security Council Meets on Situation in Afghanistan

UN Photo/Manuel Elías Security Council Meets on Situation in Afghanistan

It stresses that the UN Assistance Mission in the country, UNAMA, will also be unable to implement its humanitarian mandate until the ban ends. The resolution emphasizes that the ban “is unprecedented in the history of the United Nations.”

‘Dire’ economic and humanitarian conditions

The resolution also stresses the urgent need to keep addressing Afghanistan’s “dire economic and humanitarian situation” and help the country restore self-reliance, recognizing the importance of allowing the Central Bank to use assets which are currently frozen outside the country, “for the benefit of the Afghan people.”

The Council backed the continued work of UNAMA reiterating its “full support”, and called on all with a stake in Afghanistan, including Taliban authorities, “to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of the United Nations and associated personnel throughout the country.”

Source: news.un.org

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https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/04/1136162

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South Korea Discusses Seoul’s Afghanistan Support with UN Agencies

April 28, 2023

 On Thursday, Lee Kyung-chul, South Korea’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, met with officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme, and other organizations, Yonhap News Agency reported.

According to the representatives, South Korean efforts have significantly improved the humanitarian situation for the Afghan people.

The meeting came amid a dire humanitarian situation in the country and the need for 16 million people to receive humanitarian aid, according to Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

Meanwhile, the ban on U.N. female aid workers has disrupted the country’s humanitarian assistance process.

The Taliban authorities extended the ban on U.N. female aid workers earlier this month, which was criticized globally.

In response to recent Taliban actions, such as the prohibition on Afghan women working for U.N. organizations operating in the country, the U.N. is reportedly now reconsidering its operations in Afghanistan.

Source: khaama.com

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https://www.khaama.com/south-korea-discusses-seouls-afghanistan-support-with-un-agencies/

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Shahabuddin Chuppu takes oath as Bangladesh’s 22nd president

April 26th, 2023

Mohammed Shahabuddin Chuppu has become the 22nd president of Bangladesh, taking over from Abdul Hamid, in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, politicians, judges, and senior officials. The event was held at the historic Durbar Hall of Bangabhaban, where Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury administered the oath to Shahabuddin. He was elected unopposed in February this year as the candidate of the ruling party, and after the ceremony, he signed the documents for the office of the president.

There are growing disputes between the ruling Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) regarding the electoral system as Bangladesh prepares for general elections. The elections are scheduled for December or January next year.

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About the Mohammed Shahabuddin Chuppu

Mohammed Shahabuddin, who was born in 1949 in the northwestern Pabna district, has had a varied career. He started out as a district judge and later served as a commissioner of the independent Anti-Corruption Commission. He then entered politics and became a member of the Awami League Advisory Council, which is made up of senior party leaders and technocrats. However, to take on the role of president, he had to resign from his party position.

In his younger years, Shahabuddin was active in the Awami League’s student and youth wings and played a role in the 1971 Liberation War. He was imprisoned after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, who was the father of the current Prime Minister Hasina. Later, in 1982, he joined the country’s judicial service.

Source: currentaffairs.adda247.com

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https://currentaffairs.adda247.com/shahabuddin-chuppu-takes-oath-as-bangladeshs-22nd-president/

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How India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline enhances energy connectivity between the two nations?

28-04-23

The India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline (IBFP) is a joint effort to transport high-speed diesel from the Numaligarh Refinery Limited in Assam, India to 16 districts in northern Bangladesh's Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions, with the aid of Bangladesh Petroleum Limited.

As per a report by ORF, the Numaligarh refinery has been providing petroleum products to Bangladesh since 2015, and currently, Bangladesh imports 60,000 to 80,000 metric tonnes of diesel from India via railway networks.

The IBFP will lower the transportation costs of each imported diesel barrel from the port cities of Chattogram and Mongla, decreasing it from US$ 8 to US$ 5.

The new cross-border pipeline, the first of its kind, stretches from Siliguri in West Bengal, India to the oil depot in Parbatipur upazila in the Dinajpur district of Bangladesh. It covers a distance of approximately 132 km, with only 5 km located in India, and the remaining 127 km situated in Bangladesh.

The pipeline has the capacity to transport 1 million metric tonnes of diesel per year, but initially, it will only provide Bangladesh with 250,000 tonnes of diesel annually, with plans to increase it to 450,000 tonnes.

Describing the pipeline as a new chapter in bilateral relations, PM Modi had stressed bilateral petroleum trade has crossed the $1-billion mark. “Reliable and cost-effective diesel supply will be especially beneficial for the agriculture sector. Local industries will also benefit," he said.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had informed that at present, the country imports 1,160 MW of electricity from India.

Since 2015, the Numaligarh Refinery has been providing petroleum products to Bangladesh. Presently, Bangladesh imports 60,000 to 80,000 metric tonnes of diesel from India through rail transportation. This is the second energy pipeline connecting India with its neighbouring countries.

The APJL unit located in Godda, Jharkhand, India provides 748MW of electricity to the nearby country. Another thermal power plant with a capacity of 800MW is expected to become operational soon, which will increase the amount of power being supplied.

Bangladesh has registered Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. as an official government-to-government supplier of refined petroleum products. Additionally, the Power Development Board of Bangladesh has signed an agreement with Adani Power Jharkhand Limited (APJL), a subsidiary of Adani Power Limited, to purchase 1,496MW of net capacity power from them.

The India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline project is noteworthy as it provides a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective means of transporting High-Speed Diesel.

Source: livemint.com

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https://www.livemint.com/

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