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Islamic World News ( 1 Jun 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Archaeological Survey of India: 1991 Act Mandates 1947 Status Quo at the 800-Year-Old Budaun Mosque

New Age Islam News Bureau

01 June 2023


800-year-old Jama Masjid in Budaun i



• Plea seeking excavation at Agra mosque to be heard on July 11

• Allahabad HC upholds maintainability of Hindus’ plea to worship inside Gyanvapi mosque

• BJP demands death penalty for Shahbad Dairy murder accused, alleges 'love jihad'

• Bihar Model Accuses Institute Owner Of Love Jihad, Forced Conversion; Case Filed

• Muslims seek 4% job quota in Meghalaya


Arab World

• Children of Imams, Muezzins Exempted From School Textbook, Transport ChargesIn Qatar

• Saudi Arabia eyes global Islamic finance hub status through new index

• Islamic Affairs Minister, Uganda Mufti Sign MoUon Highlighting Islam’s Relevance to Contemporary Issues

• Islamic Affairs Ministry Inaugurates Holy Quran Exhibition in Brazil

• Italian government lifts restrictions on export of military weapons to Saudi Arabia

• Saudi Arabia’s population passes 32m, census results show



• Civil Society Groups Protest “Islamophobic” Decision to Sanction Islamic Centreof England

• German Police Arrest Seven Suspected Islamic Terrorists

• Moroccan Islamic party turns down invite to Israel independence party

• Mosque Invite after Boston Councillor Ruled Out For Mayoral Role over Facebook Comments on Islam


South Asia

• Ministry of Finance rejects claims of closure of Islam Qala customs office

• 6 Killed, 9 Injured in Traffic Accident in Afghanistan’s Kapisa

• Iran’s Interior Minister Calls on Taliban to Keep Peace and Avoid Border Conflicts



• Balochistan Govt to Improve Facilities for Shia PilgrimsTraveling between Quetta and Taftan, On the Iran Border

• Finance Minister, UAE Ambassador discuss bilateral economic ties

• UK Chief of General Staff Acknowledges Achievements of Pakistan Armed Forces

• Graduation ceremony of Islamic Research Institute held

• Islam a religion of peace and harmony: Masood Khan

• Hajj Mission Taken Special Measures to Cater Differently Abled Pilgrims



• National Consensus Bloc Emerges With Five Sunni MPsKnown As Allies of Hezbollah

• SEWA, Sharjah Islamic Set Up Rationalising Tools in 494 Mosques

• Raeisi calls for further ties with Muslim, allied countries

• Islamic Jihad thugs are in the IRGC terrorist circle

• Israeli Settlers Invade Al-Aqsa Mosque

• Taliban rejects reports on closure of Islam Qala as false


Southeast Asia

• DAP Veteran Kit Siang: If I'm 'Anti-Islam' For Criticising Hadi, Then So Must Be Saudi for Putting Him on Terror List

• Six hurt after Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia’s roof collapses

• PAS president calls DAP a ‘nuisance’, warns non-Muslims not to ‘cross the line’

• Dr Mahathir says ready to rekindle ties with Muhyiddin for the sake of Malays, but not with Anwar


North America

• Muslim Community Centre in Sunset Park Becomes Temporary Home for Migrants

• In Syrian Prison Camps, Families of Islamic State Suspects Await Repatriation from Canada and Elsewhere

• Islamic state claims responsibility for attack on security post in Cameroon

• New York Times’ Raja Abdulrahim Continues To Whitewash Hamas, Islamic Jihad



• Alleged Blasphemy: Bauchi Shariah Court Orders Arrest Of Embattled Bauchi Imam, Abdul’aziz

• Nigerian Aircraft Carrying Muslim Pilgrims Makes Emergency Landing, Details Emerge

• ICPC partners imams, pastors to fight corruption

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



 Archaeological Survey of India: 1991 Act Mandates 1947 Status Quo at the 800-Year-Old Budaun Mosque


800-year-old Jama Masjid in Budaun i


Jun 1, 2023

BAREILLY: Responding to a petition filed by the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) on August 8 last year in a civil court of Budaun, in which they claimed that the 800-year-old Jama masjid in the district "was built after demolishing an ancient Shiva temple" and that the court should conduct a survey to confirm this, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) submitted that the mosque is protected under Places of Worship (special provisions) Act 1991, which mandates places of worship will stay as they stood on August 15, 1947.

The district government counsel (civil) Sanjeev Kumar Vaish, on behalf of the ASI and Centre, filed a reply in court. Kumar told TOI, "We have raised four objections and the court will decide whether the case is maintainable. First, the fact that the ASI Lucknow division was made a party in this case, while this mosque falls under the Meerut division of ASI. The second is that the mosque is protected under Places of Worship (special provisions) Act 1991. The third objection is that under sub section 3 of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act 1904, the government by notification in an official gazette had declared the mosque as a protected monument. The fourth objection was made under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958, which says the 'form' of protected monuments cannot be changed."

After hearing ABHM's petition, the court on September 2, 2021 ordered the registration of a civil case and had sought replies from the Intzamiya committee of Jama Masjid, UP Sunni Waqf Board, UP archaeology department, Union of India and UP government.

Advocate Vivek Kumar, representing ABHM, told TOI, "ASI submitted that the property belongs to them and that the petition deserves to be dismissed in the early stage, as per the provisions of section 7 and 11 of Civil Procedure Code (CPC). We say those sections are not applicable if the property has been acquired by ASI, as we only want permission to offer prayers inside the premises as per Hindu traditions. We will file our reply before next date of hearing."

Advocate Asrar Ahmad, who represented the Jama Masjid committee, said, "We are assessing the ASI's reply and will take steps soon."

The next date of hearing is July 30. The site is significant for Muslims as it is considered to be the birthplace of empress Razia Sultana and to Hindus as they believe the mosque was built after razing an ancient temple of Neelkanth.


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Bridging Gap between Islamic Sciences and Social Sciences Discussed At Qatar Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs


Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs H E Ghanem bin Shaheen Al Ghanem (centre) and Director of Ibn Khaldon Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences Dr. Nayef Nahar Al Shammari (right) during the workshop in Doha, yesterday.


01 Jun 2023

Doha, Qatar: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs yesterday held a scientific workshop to discuss the most prominent challenges that hinder communication between Islamic sciences and social sciences and to discuss ways to address and activate them.

The event which was held in cooperation with Ibn Khaldon Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences of Qatar University and focused on presenting practical initiatives to bridge the gap between the fields of Islamic sciences and social sciences.

The workshop was attended by Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs H E Ghanem bin Shaheen Al Ghanem, a group of scholars and experts.

The workshop aims mainly at understanding the reasons that led to the gap between Islamic sciences and social sciences, identifying the challenges that hinder communication between the two fields, and presenting practical initiatives to bridge the gap between the fields of Islamic sciences and social sciences.

The workshop, which relied on the mechanism of free association and group thinking between researchers from the two fields, lasted for four hours, divided into two sessions.

The first session discussed two important questions: Why do forensic researchers not interact with Islamic sciences? Why do social researchers not interact with forensic sciences? The second session discussed proposals for practical initiatives to bridge the gap between the two fields.

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs was represented by Sheikh Dr. Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Ghanem Al Thani, Director of the Department of Research and Islamic Studies; and a number of scholars of the ministry, including: Malallah Abdul Rahman Al Jaber, Dr. Jaber Salem Al Daiya, Muhammad Jassim Al Jassim, Jassim Abdullah Al Ali and Abdul Rahman Abdullah Al Ali.

Ibn Khaldon Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences was represented by Dr. NayefNahar Al Shammari, Director of the Center, and a number of researchers and thinkers.

They are Prof. Dr. Al Tijani Abdel-Qader, Head of the Department of Social Sciences at the Centre; Dr. Asma Malkawi, Assistant Research Professor in Sociology; Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar Al Shanqeeti, Associate Professor of International Relations at Qatar University; Prof Dr. Abdel-QaderBahoush, Head of the Department of Faith and Da’wah at Qatar University; Prof Dr. Hamid Abdel-Majid Qweissi, Adviser to the President of Qatar University and Professor of Political Science among many others.


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Historic Mayoral Role for Muslim Councillor Mohammed Asaduzzaman as Deputy Mayor of Brighton & Hove


Councillor Asaduzzaman


31 May 2023

The appointment of Councillor Mohammed Asaduzzaman as Deputy Mayor of Brighton & Hove at Annual Council marks a historic moment for the city. Councillor Asaduzzaman is the city’s first Muslim councillor in a mayoral role when he takes over the role in 2024.

Councillor Asaduzzaman was brought up in Bangladesh, where he worked with the State Minister for Irrigation and Water Development, until his move to Britain in 1995. He has been a Brighton resident for nearly 27 years.

Long before he became a councillor, Councillor Asaduzzaman was involved with many charities and cultural organisations across the city and was well known in the community.

Councillor Asaduzzaman said: “I am pleased and proud to have been asked to be Deputy Mayor of our wonderful city. I feel it is recognition of my passion for promoting tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness in Brighton & Hove.

“As deputy mayor, and later mayor, I will continue to be involved in and organise multicultural activities to which everyone is welcome.

“I was a founder member of Brighton & Hove Multicultural Group, which promotes diversity, equality, inclusion and social cohesion through events and hospitality.

“This has included social events, helping to commemorate local people with Blue Plaques and remembering those who lost their lives in WW1 with an annual commemoration at The Chattri Monument.”

Councillor Asaduzzaman has been involved in various race advisory and scrutiny roles with Sussex Police and has helped as an interpreter for those who need assistance with the English language in official, legal situations.

His contribution to the community has been recognised with many awards including a Home Office Respect Award, a Letter of Thanks from 10 Downing Street and an invitation to visit Buckingham Palace.

Councillor Asaduzzaman is a councillor in Hollingdean and Fiveways.

He added: “I am very much looking forward to supporting our new Mayor, Councillor Jackie O’Quinn, with her official duties this year and to taking up my role as Mayor next year. It is an honour to have been chosen to represent this inclusive and tolerant city.”


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Islamic Emirate Official Accuses Countries of Mistreating Afghan Refugees


The anti-extremism unit of the police has intensified its operations



The deputy Minister of Refugees and Repatriation, Mohammad Arslah Kharotai, accused countries that host Afghan refugees of mistreating refugees,  forced deportations, and violating international laws regarding refugees.

In an interview with TOLO news, Kharotai said that some countries are misusing the presence of Afghan refugees to put pressure on the Islamic Emirate.

“Whenever there are ups and downs in the political space between the governments or the countries, then the positive and negative impact on the situation of refugees is being felt,” he said.

Kharotai said that the political issues have had a negative impact on the situation of refugees.

He said that Pakistan, Iran and Turkey have not fulfilled their promises to provide help to Afghan refugees.

The laws “even in European countries, where they are saying that they are committed to the refugees, have not been taken into consideration nor have come into effect,” Kharotai said.

The deputy minister claimed that some countries are playing duel policies toward the refugees.

Meanwhile, some residents of Kabul voiced concerns about their situation, saying that they are forced to leave the country due to unemployment and economic hardships.

“The biggest challenge is that they have been deprived of education. The poverty has risen and it causes them to leave the country," said Ehsanullah Subhan, a resident of Kabul.

Economists said that job opportunities are important to prevent illegal migration by the citizens of the country.

“I think the humanitarian crisis, the drain of human resources, and economic issues, educational and cultural issues should be addressed,” said Mir Shikib Mir, an economist.

According to the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, nearly 3 million Afghans are living in Pakistan, nearly 3 million in Iran and another 1 million Afghans are living in other world countries.


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 Federal Investigation Agency Takes Down 106 Accounts For Spreading Hate Online

June 01, 2023


The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has only been able to suspend 106 of the 203 social media accounts on the recommendation of the Anti-Extremism Unit of Islamabad capital police for spreading religious, sectarian and linguistic hatred and maligning institutions.

The capital police authorities have requested the Director of FIA, Islamabad Zone to swiftly shut down all the social media accounts involved in similar activities.

Reports indicate that the capital police's Anti-Extremism Unit has launched widespread operations against those spreading religious, ethnic, and institutional hatred through social media platforms.

Under the supervision of Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan, the Anti-Extremism Unit has written a letter to the FIA, in which it called for the closure of 203 accounts responsible for promoting hatred and propagandising against institutions on social media.

Currently, 106 of these targeted accounts have already been shut down, with the remaining being addressed as a matter of priority, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The establishment of the Anti-Extremism Unit within the Islamabad capital police marks a significant step in combating extremism. The unit conducts visits to educational institutions and religious seminaries to counter radicalisation, while also monitoring sermons delivered in mosques.

Furthermore, the unit scrutinises political, linguistic, religious, and extremist content on social media platforms and websites, compiling reports and identifying extremist activities for necessary legal action.

Islamabad IGP emphasised that the prevention of extremism plays a crucial role in thwarting terrorism and enhancing the overall security of the city.


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Plea seeking excavation at Agra mosque to be heard on July 11

By HemendraChaturvedi

May 31, 2023

AGRA A fast-track court in Agra will on July 11 hear a Hindu outfit’s petition seeking excavation of the stairs of a mosque that stands on the Agra Fort premises, arguing that there were idols of Lord Krishna buried under the structure that needed to be recovered.

Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi SanrakshitSewa Trust, through its president Piyush Pandey of Agra and two others had filed the petition on May 11, 2023. The petitioners had already moved an application, seeking permission of court to have on-spot survey of the mosque.

It said that idols of Krishna were brought to Agra by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who allegedly demolished the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura in 1670. The Agra Fort – a Unesco world heritage site -- was built in 1565 and is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

“We have impleaded the intezamia (management) committee of the Shahi Masjid, Agra Fort, Agra; Chhoti Masjid Diwan-e-KhaasJahanara Begum Masjid, Agra Fort; UP Sunni Central Waqf Board and Sri Krishna JanmasthanSewaSansthan in the case and all were issued summons of the case for hearing on May 31,” informed Vinod Shukla, counsel for Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi SanrakshitSewa Trust.

“The matter was taken up on Wednesday. During proceedings of the case, service (receiving of summons) was found sufficient on UP Sunni Central Waqf Board having its office in Lucknow and Sri Krishna JanmasthanSewaSansthan, an organisation looking after day to day affairs at Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura,” stated Shukla.

“However, service (receiving of summons) is yet to be found sufficient on the intezamia (management) committee of Shahi Masjid, Agra Fort and Chhoti Masjid Diwan-e-KhaasJahanara Begum Masjid, Agra Fort. As such no hearing could take place in the matter on Wednesday and the court fixed July 11 for hearing in the case,” stated the counsel.

“We have already moved an application, numbered as 11C in court file, seeking appointment of ameen (court staff) who should visit the mosque located near Diwan-e-Khas in Agra Fort and submit an on-spot report. We would press for hearing on this application on the next date,” said Shukla.


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Allahabad HC upholds maintainability of Hindus’ plea to worship inside Gyanvapi mosque

May 31, 2023

The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed a revision plea challenging the maintainability of the petition filed by Hindu plaintiffs seeking permission to worship inside the Gyanvapi mosque, reported Live Law.

The revision plea had been filed the Anjuman Intazamia Committee, which manages the mosque.

Five Hindu women had last year filed a plea seeking rights to worship inside the mosque compound. They had claimed that an image of Hindu deity Shringar Gauri exists at the mosque.

The mosque committee had first filed an application against the maintainability of the Hindu plaintiffs’ plea before the Varanasi district court. The plea had been filed under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which says that a petition can be dismissed if it does not show a cause of action or is barred by law.

The petitioners before the district court had argued that the plea filed by the Hindu side is not maintainable as it violates the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which states that the religious character of a place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947 cannot be changed.

However, the Varanasi court had held in September that Hindu plaintiffs seeking the right to pray inside the Gyanvapi mosque premises is maintainable and can be heard further.

The court held the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, cannot bar the plaintiffs from worshipping at the disputed site as they said that they had been offering prayers even after August 15, 1947. The court had also noted that the plaintiffs have not demanded that the place of worship be converted from a mosque to a temple.

Following the district court’s order, the mosque committee had moved the High Court.


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BJP demands death penalty for Shahbad Dairy murder accused, alleges 'love jihad'

May 31, 2023

The BJP on Wednesday demanded death penalty for the Shahbad Dairy murder accused and alleged that the killing of the minor girl in northwest Delhi was a case of "love jihad". Sixteen-year-old Sakshi was stabbed over 20 times and then bludgeoned with a cement slab, killing her on the spot. She was found to have 34 injury marks on her body and her skull was smashed in.

"The killer in the Shahbad Dairy murder case should be hanged as soon as possible. A special team should be formed to deal with such cases under the supervision of the Lt Governor so that the Kejriwal government's appeasement policy does not affect court trials," BJP MP Manoj Tiwari said.

Virendra Sachdeva, the party's Delhi unit chief, said fast-track courts should be set up and special prosecutors appointed for cases of rape, murder or "love jihad" as there is already pressure on regular prosecutors.

"Love jihad" is a term often used by BJP leaders and right-wing activists to allege a ploy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into religious conversion through marriage.

Both Tiwari and Sachdeva demanded capital punishment for the accused, identified as Sahil (20). He was arrested from Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.

Tiwari said, "The soul of every person in the country has been shaken by the murder of the minor girl by SahilSarfaraz. The BJP demands that the murderer be hanged at the earliest."

He also alleged that the murder was an outcome of "love jihad" and added that it is necessary to find out whether any organisation is working to promote such incidents.

The BJP MP also demanded a transparent system for such cases in Delhi so that the city government's "appeasement policy" does not work in these matters.

"In such serious cases, a special team should be formed to work under the supervision of the Lt Governor so that justice can be done at earliest," Tiwari said.

Sachdeva also demanded a special prosecutor and claimed there are 108 vacancies for prosecutor roles in Delhi that the city government has not yet been able to fill.


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Bihar Model Accuses Institute Owner Of Love Jihad, Forced Conversion; Case Filed

May 31, 2023

A young woman aspiring to be a model has come forward with allegations of harassment and blackmail against the owner of a grooming institute in Ranchi. After enduring unbearable harassment, she relocated to Mumbai but was still subjected to further harassment, prompting her to file a complaint with the Versova Police, as reported by local sources.

The accused, identified as Tanveer Khan, allegedly befriended the woman during her modelling workshop in Ranchi, introducing himself as Yash. However, she later discovered his real name and claimed that he coerced her into marrying him and converting her religion to Islam, invoking the term love jihad in her complaint.

According to the victim, a native of Bhagalpur in Bihar, the harassment began in 2021 when Khan allegedly raped her, harassed her, and blackmailed her. She stated that he also issued threats, warning her of severe consequences if she dared to disclose their interactions to anyone.

In her complaint, the woman detailed her acquaintance with Tanveer Khan and how he allegedly drugged and took compromising photos of her during Holi celebrations. From there, the situation escalated to blackmail, physical abuse, and religious conversion pressure. Fearing for her safety, she finally decided to approach the police.

While Tanveer Khan admitted to his wrongdoing and attempted to coerce the victim into withdrawing her complaint, he submitted an affidavit to the court acknowledging his harassment but claiming that his intention was never to harm her. He argued that these tactics were employed to sustain their relationship and promised not to engage in such behavior in the future. However, his actions persisted despite his statement.

The victim took to Twitter, sharing a video in which she appealed for security to the Chief Minister of Jharkhand. Currently, the police are conducting a thorough investigation into the case, which has been transferred from Mumbai to Ranchi for further proceedings. However, substantial action has yet to be taken. The Versova Police had initially registered a case against Tanveer Khan under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the IT Act, including charges of rape, harassment, blackmail, and intimidation. Recently, the case was transferred to the Ranchi Police for further handling.

In response to the allegations, Tanveer Khan released a video denying the accusations and claiming that the victim had circulated his nude photos among her friends and family. He further alleged that she had conspired with her friends and boyfriend to steal his data, which reportedly contained information about over 60,000 international and Indian models.


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Muslims seek 4% job quota in Meghalaya

A largely community-based organisation wrote to Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on the day the government reconstituted a panel for discussing the implementation of a reservation roster system and reservation policy.

May 31, 2023


A largely community-based organisation has sought a 4% share of the quota in jobs for Muslims in Meghalaya.

The Anti-Corruption League (ACL), representing the ‘Desi’ Muslims inhabiting the plains belt of Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region, listed its request in a letter to Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma. The letter was submitted on May 30, the day when the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya government reconstituted a Committee for discussing the implementation of a reservation roster system and the State Reservation Policy.

The ACL said that the non-tribal population was 20% when Meghalaya was carved out of Assam in 1972. “Despite being a part of Assam and the Assamese culture for centuries, the Desi Muslims extended their support for a separate hill State with high hopes that their rights and socio-economic aspirations would be protected and accommodated in the new State,” it said.

“In the historic tripartite meeting among Central government representatives, non-tribal leadership led by the then MDC (member of district council) Akramuz Zaman and the tribal leadership led by Captain Williamson A. Sangma (Meghalaya’s first Chief Minister), the non-tribals were assured of equal opportunities and fair play by the tribal leaders,” the ACL said.

“It was also promised that our rights and aspirations, our growth and development will be given equal priority and importance as that of the tribal people of Meghalaya,” it added, lamenting that the assurances were never fulfilled.

“The basic idea of the reservation is an affirmative action by the State towards a group of people who were deprived of opportunities or suffered inequalities in the past,” the ACL said, pointing out that the present reservation system not only deprives the meritorious but has also created a group of people who are subjected to injustice and widespread inequalities.

Minor tribes resent snub

Meghalaya’s 51-year-old job reservation policy entails an 80% quota for the three matrilineal communities – Garo, Khasi and Jaintia. The quota is divided equally between the Garos and the Khasi-Jaintia people together.  

Another 5% is reserved for ‘other minor tribes’ while 15% is for people in the unreserved categories.

Educationally more backward and numerically lower than the Khasi-Jaintia people, the Garos have hardly been able to utilise their 40% quota. This made one Z.R. Marak approach the High Court of Meghalaya, arguing that other communities were using up the quota meant for the Garo people in violation of the relevant laws.

On April 21, the court asked the Meghalaya government to introduce a roster system that would be relevant only for entry-level posts. Regional political parties, primarily the newly-formed Voice of the People Party (VPP) and some pressure groups saw in the roster system an advantage for the Garos.

A week ago, VPP president Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit went on an indefinite hunger strike demanding the review of the reservation policy and the implementation of the roster system prospectively, not retrospectively.

Under pressure, the government reconstituted a committee comprising 12 members to discuss the reservation policy and the roster system. Apart from two senior government officials, the Committee has a representative of each political party.

While the ACL sought the representation of the Desi Muslims in the Committee, the Meghalaya Indigenous Minority Tribes’ Forum (MIMTF) resented the exclusion of the representatives of the minor tribes from the panel. The MIMTF represents the Rabha, Bodo, Hajong, Koch and Mann tribes.

“We are surprised that no invitation or intimation was given to the indigenous minority tribes,” Pramod Koch, a member of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council said.


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Arab World


Children of Imams, Muezzins Exempted From School Textbook, Transport ChargesIn Qatar

MAY 31, 2023

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a draft decision of HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education amending some provisions of Decision No 42 of 2017 setting the price of textbooks and school transport fees for non-Qatari students who are not GCC nationals, and exempting them from these fees, the Qatar News Agency reported. In a statement on social media, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education later explained that the "non-Qatari students who are not GCC nationals", as stated in the above-mentioned decision, refers to the children of imams and muezzins affiliated to the Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf) and Islamic Affairs. Accordingly, this category of students would be added to other groups previously exempted from payment of the above-mentioned fees in accordance with the decision referred to, the ministry said.


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Saudi Arabia eyes global Islamic finance hub status through new index

 04 AUG 2022

London: Saudi Arabia is working to become a regional and global hub for Islamic finance. To achieve this, the kingdom is keen to develop the sector as well as attract investment from local and international Islamic investors and funds

In response to growing demand for Sharia-compliant tools and investment services, Tadawul, the country’s stock exchange, launched its first ever Islamic index

The TASI Islamic Index will track the performance of Sharia-compliant companies listed on the Saudi Exchange. The TASI Islamic Index is constructed from the Tadawul All Share Index “TASI” and will be screened for Sharia compliance, which are approved by the exchange’s Sharia Advisory Committee. The committee will be responsible for overseeing and approving the list of Sharia-compliant listed companies on a periodic basis. The proliferation of Sharia indices makes sense, according to Redha Al Ansari, Head of Islamic Finance Research, Data& Analytics at the London Stock Exchange Group.

“In the past two or three years so many retail and institutional investors started to invest,” he said. “And with Saudi being one of the largest Islamic finance markets globally, you need to actually provide more investment opportunities for Islamic financial institutions beyond sukuk and real estate.

Companies within the index are screened by an independent screening provider under the supervision of Tadawul’s recently formed Sharia Advisory Committee that include representatives from leading financial institutions.

Tadawul did not respond to a request by Salaam Gateway for further information about the methodology that will be adopted for the index.

The index will also act as a tool for investors and other stakeholders to guide and inform decisions when analysing investments. It will also help asset managers benchmark the performance of their Sharia-compliant portfolios.

One Riyadh-based portfolio manager said that the new Islamic index is a natural step given that a large proportion of companies on Tadawul are already inherently Sharia compliant.

“Most money managers were using the IdealRatings index for performance evaluation, now they can be measured vs a published index which most (retail) investors can track,” he said, requesting anonymity.

Monem Salam, executive vice president/portfolio manager at US-based Saturna Capital, said that any step that is taken towards Sharia compliance benefits the industry. “It is still a bit unclear as to which methodology they will be using,” he said. “They mention a panel of scholars from various institutions. My experience from Saudi Arabia is that the institutions have varying guidelines, so it will be interesting to see what consensus they

come up with. However, coming up with guidelines can be very beneficial for individual/retail investors and I applaud this move.” But a Dubai-based multi-asset portfolio manager said that whilst the TASI Islamic index is positive it is not a game changer given the

small number of global funds with a Sharia-only mandate as well as the small size of the Saudi stock exchange in comparison to other equity markets worldwide.

In addition to benchmarking, the new index can also serve as a base for financial instruments like derivatives and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Tariq Al Rifai, CEO of the Quorum Centre for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank, said that the Saudis establishing their own

benchmarks gives them a strategic advantage, since the country has the largest market cap in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. “This is because index providers may not know your objectives for a particular benchmark and more importantly, you own the data.

That’s where the money is,” he said.

Adding to Islamic index universe The TASI Islamic Index will join a growing number of Islamic indices that track regional and global equities as well as other asset classes. Providers like S&P, IdealRatings, MSCI and FTSE offer their own Sharia-compliant indices. The most notable global Islamic indices include Dow Jones Islamic Market index and the MSCI World Islamic Index. In addition, providers also offer regional indices such as the Dow Jones Islamic Market GCC index. FTSE also offers Sharia indices in other jurisdictions like Malaysia and Taiwan. “It is important to have Sharia-compliant indices as there is a big, growing market for Sharia-compliant investments and investors would need credible benchmarks to compare the returns,” explained Faisal Hasan, CIO and Head of Asset Management at Dubai-based Al Mal Capital. “This is a positive move that help in measuring the performance for Sharia-compliant investments. I’m sure there will be more Sharia

indices that will be coming in future as the market become more diverse and deeper,” he added. Becoming an Islamic finance hub The launch of the new TASI Islamic index is part of a wider drive by Riyadh to position the kingdom as the Islamic finance capital of the world by 2030.

Bashar Al Natoor, Global Head of Islamic finance at Fitch Ratings said that launch of the TASI Islamic index is not a surprise and was set out as one of the kingdom’s Financial Sector Development Programme (FSDP) initiatives relating to Islamic finance, part of its Vision 2030.

“This is part of the international positioning goals that aims to enhance Saudi Arabia’s international position as the leader in Islamic finance, along with other strategic goals and initiatives that aim to enhance and develop the Islamic finance industry’s governance, educational and research institutions to support growth of the sector,” he said. The launch of the TASI index follows the formation of Tadawul’s Sharia Advisory Committee in April. The Committee consists of representatives from the country’s largest financial institutions to ensure independency and transparency. Fitch’s Al Natoor reiterated that the progression and development of the kingdom’s Islamic finance industry is part of a wider objective of

economic diversification. “Beyond Islamic finance the FSDP aims to develop a diversified and effective financial sector to support the development of the national economy, diversify its sources of income, and stimulate savings, finances and investments,” he said.


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Islamic Affairs Minister, Uganda Mufti Sign MoUon Highlighting Islam’s Relevance to Contemporary Issues

31 May, 2023

The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Islamic affairs with the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council in Jeddah today.

The MoU was signed from the Ugandan side by the President of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council and Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Mubaje

The agreement focuses on promoting Islam and highlighting its relevance to contemporary issues through various collaborative initiatives. These include the exchange of visits by scholars and preachers, participation in events, conferences, and symposiums related to Islamic calls and guidance held in both countries. Additionally, the MoU emphasizes the exchange of expertise, information, books, research, publications, and news items in the field of Islamic call and guidance. It also encompasses the organization of joint conferences and training seminars for preachers and imams working in the field of Islamic affairs.

During the signing ceremony, Sheikh Mubaje acknowledged the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's leading role in the Islamic world and its significant efforts in serving Muslims. He expressed his belief that the agreement would have a positive impact on the Muslim community in Uganda, as they greatly appreciate the Kingdom's influential contributions.


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Islamic Affairs Ministry Inaugurates Holy Quran Exhibition in Brazil

31 May, 2023

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, represented by the General Secretariat of Exhibitions and Conferences, yesterday opened the one-week "Holy Quran" exhibition in the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguacu, organized by the ministry in cooperation with the Islamic Call Center for Latin America, in the presence of a number of political and religious figures.

Imam of Omar bin Al-Khattab Mosque Sheikh Osama Al-Zahid, during the ceremony, referred to the attention paid by the Saudi government to Islam and Muslims worldwide.

Acting Director of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Islamic Cultural Centre in Argentina, Ayedh Al-Rabie, reviewed the history of King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran in Madinah.

The Bishop of the Catholic Church in Brazil delivered a speech commending the efforts of the Saudi government in spreading the culture of coexistence among religions and denouncing radicalism.

The exhibition reflects the ministry's active role in spreading moderation and the culture of tolerance, rejecting extremism, and highlighting the Kingdom's efforts in serving Islam and Muslims.


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Italian government lifts restrictions on export of military weapons to Saudi Arabia

May 31, 2023

ROME: The Italian government on Wednesday lifted restrictions on the export of military weapons to Saudi Arabia, ending an embargo which began in 2019.

The move was announced in a communique at the end of a Council of Ministers presided over by Prime Minister GiorgiaMeloni.

The decision was made “in accordance with the foreign and defense policy of Italy,” the official communique said.

Restrictions on the export of weapons from Italy to Saudi Arabia were imposed by the Italian government to prevent their use in the conflict in Yemen.

The Italian government added: “Today there is no more reason to keep those restrictions standing any longer.

“The regional context in Yemen has changed, and since April 2022, partly thanks to the truce, military activities have been sensibly circumscribed.”

Italy now believes that the reduction in military operations “significantly also mitigates the risk of misuse of bombs and missiles, particularly against civilian targets.”

Rome also acknowledged that the Kingdom “has pursued intensive diplomatic activity in support of UN mediation and was also active in a decisive manner on the economic and humanitarian assistance front.”

The press release added that in the light of the “changed situation of the conflict, the Council of Ministers states that the export of bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia does not fall under the prohibitions of exports established by Italian laws, and is in accordance with the foreign and defense policy of Italy.”


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Saudi Arabia’s population passes 32m, census results show

May 31, 2023

RIYADH: The population of Saudi Arabia has reached 32.2 million, statistics from the 2022 census released by the General Authority for Statistics on Wednesday revealed.

Of the total number, Saudis made up 18.8 million people (58.4 percent), while non-Saudis accounted for 13.4 million, or 41.6 percent of the population.

The census results also revealed the Kingdom’s youthful population, with the median age being 29 and the proportion of Saudis aged under 30 reaching 63 percent of the population.

The number of males reached 19.7 million, 61 percent of the population, while the number of females reached 12.5 million, representing 39 percent.

Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning and General Authority for Statistics Chairman Faisal Al-Ibrahim said: “The Saudi census 2022 is an important national project, and its outputs will be a key pillar for planning and decision-making, developing economic and social policy, creating development plans for various sectors and services, and supporting the investment environment in the Kingdom and the achievement of Vision 2030 goals.”

General Authority for Statistics President Fahad Al-Dossari told Arab News that technological advancement allowed the authority to reach a confidence level of 95 percent for the 2022 census.

“Saudi census 2022 is the most accurate and comprehensive. It will be used as a foundation for the General Authority for Statistics’ projects, publications as well as numbers,” he added.

The 2022 census was conducted in line with the best international methodologies and by using satellite and self-enumeration technologies.

Error monitoring and automated data correction techniques were deployed to ensure the quality of the census data.

More than 1 million phone calls, 900,000 field visits, and advanced data analysis and statistics methods were used.

The comparisons included five different data sources, and more than 200 indicators reviewed data to confirm its accuracy.

Al-Dossari told Arab News: “For that reason, we decided to use 2022 as a base year for us to do the backcasting – an international practice whenever there is a new census – as an exercise to the previous census.

“We looked at 2022, and we backcasted based on the multiple sources of data that helped us estimate the changes and numbers of the census, especially from 2010 to today.”

The backcasted 2010 data shows that the total population of Saudi Arabia has increased by 8.2 million (34.2 percent) since 2010; the number of Saudis by 4.8 million (33.8 percent); and the number of non-Saudis by 3.5 million (34.7 percent).

The announcement of the Saudi census 2022 results included detailed data on three main categories: population, households and housing. Results on education, health, employment, income, migration and diversity will be announced over the next few months.

The authority will make the census results available on a dedicated website featuring interactive dashboards, easy-to-use interactive maps, reports, tables and charts. It will also host a livestreamed webinar covering the census methodology and key findings in the coming month.


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Civil Society Groups Protest “Islamophobic” Decision to Sanction Islamic Centreof England

May 31, 2023

Around 35 civil society organisations and individuals have protested to the Charity Commission over its decision to impose a non-Muslim manager to oversee the affairs of the Islamic Centre of England.

In a strongly worded letter to the Commission this week , the signatories accuse the charities watchdog of continuing a vendetta against Muslim charities that has seen dozens of them harassed in recent years.

Earlier this month the Commission imposed an interim manager to run the ICE following a politically motivated campaign against the centre by mainly secularist opponents of the Iranian government and hostile MP’s.

Their objections centre on activities and statements made by a trustee and attendees of the centre supporting the Islamic Republic and its policies.

This, say the signatories, is an unwarranted intrusion into the Centre’s affairs. They say that it is not the business of the Charity Commission or any other state body to tell religious communities what they can say or believe in their places of worship.

They accuse the Charity Commission of acting heavy-handedly and failing to ensure the best interests of the centre and its congregation.

“We believe that this decision is politically motivated and serves the interests of Islamophobes who have been targeting this diverse community centre and place of worship,” says the letter. “Rather than remaining a neutral arbitrator and serving to address any genuine shortcomings that may exist, you have shown a biased approach and used punitive measures that unfairly penalize Muslim charities.”

It goes on to say that the measures will result in the alienation of Muslims from their places of worship.

A vigil will be held tomorrow evening (Thurs 1 June) at centre to protest the Charity Commission’s decision.


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German police arrest seven suspected Islamic terrorists


German federal police are searching buildings and apartments across 12 federal states as part of an investigation into Islamist terrorist financing, the Bild newspaper reported on Wednesday.

They have arrested seven suspected supporters of the Islamic State terrorist group.

At the same time, authorities conducted 19 raids in Baden-Württemberg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as in one property in the Netherlands, the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.The individuals arrested are suspected of belonging to an international network that solicited financial donations for IS in Syria through platforms including Telegram and subsequently transferred them to the group or its intermediaries.

At least EUR 65,000 (USD 71,552.00) were transferred in this manner, prosecutors said, adding that the money was used to support IS members imprisoned in Syria, in some cases allowing them to escape from prison camps.

The seven suspects are to appear on Wednesday and Thursday before a magistrate who will decide whether they are to remain in pre-trial detention.


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Moroccan Islamic party turns down invite to Israel independence party

May 31, 2023

Morocco's Justice and Development Party (PJD) has turned down an invitation by an Israeli diplomatic envoy to Rabat to attend the celebration of Israel's independence, a statement said yesterday.

In a statement, the PJD stated that the date of the celebration symbolises the anniversary of the Nakba – the Palestinian Catastrophe, when Zionist Jewish gangs forcibly expelled over 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland and tens of thousands lost their lives.

The PJD also expressed its unequivocal rejection of the planned visit by Israeli Knesset Speaker, Amir Ohana, to the Moroccan Parliament.

Ohana, who is of Moroccan origin, is reportedly set to make his first official visit to Morocco in early June, marking his inaugural visit to Morocco since assuming the role of Speaker of the Israeli Knesset.

The PJD firmly stood against the formation of a "Moroccan-Israeli parliamentary friendship commission" and declared its disinterest in participating.

In response to the PJD's criticism, Morocco World News reported Morocco's Royal Cabinet describing the party's comments as "irresponsible excessive views and dangerous approximations."


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Mosque invite after Boston councillor ruled out for mayoral role over Facebook comments on Islam

31st May 2023

Councillor Mike Gilbert lost a vote for the mayoral role due to posts he made during the Qatar World Cup which have been described as hate speech.

The National Secular Society (NSS) has defended the councillor, arguing that describing his criticism of Islam as hate speech unfairly smeared him.

But the director of Boston mosque has told the Standard the Facebook comments on Islam were “selective and out-of-context” and is now inviting Coun Gilbert to come and speak to him and discuss his “assumptions”.

Coun Gilbert denies the posts were racist and says he was highlighting aspects of Islamic doctrine.

The issue arose at a council meeting on Monday last week where Blue Revolution councillor Gilbert was denied the role as mayor. During the discussion, Coun Anne Dorrian, who served as mayor at the time and chaired the meeting, entered the debate by expressing her concern about the increasing prevalence of hate speech.

Stephen Evans, the chief executive officer of the NSS, has now written to council leaders stressing that critical views on Islam or any ideology should not be automatically considered hateful.

“Free speech and social cohesion are harmed if this is considered beyond the bounds of reasonable public debate,” he said.

“By characterising councillor Gilbert’s legitimate criticism of Islamic doctrine as ‘hate speech’ the councillors have unfairly smeared a fellow councillor – and at the same made it more difficult to challenge religious-based suppression of women’s rights and LGBT equality.

“This assists religious fundamentalists by helping to shield Islam and even Islamic extremists from criticism.”

Responding to the NSS’ criticism, Coun Anne Dorrian said councillors from all sides had voted against Coun Gilbert’s appointment due to their concerns.

“A number of councillors spoke about the importance of working to improve inclusion in our community and related this to very recent public comments which had been posted on social media by Coun Gilbert,” she said. “We do not agree with Mr Evan’s view that this decision makes it more difficult to challenge women’s rights and LGBTQ+ equality, which is something all of us fully support.

“We believe the decision was entirely correct in the circumstances and in the light of our determination to show respect to the diverse population which lives in our borough.”

The council leader expressed hopes that Coun Gilbert would reflect on the impact of his words and “make genuine efforts to build bridges with the diverse communities in the borough of Boston.”

Speaking to the Standard on Friday, Coun Gilbert added: “What happened on Monday respected no one's rights. In November 2022, following a lot of press controversy about the Qatar World Cup, I put together a brief Facebook comment explaining why the choice of venue was controversial.

“The comments were factual and truthful. It was used on 22 May this year as the basis for a whole council administration to vote me down as mayor-elect.

“The issue of freedom of, and from, religion, was at the heart of the piece.

“However, as the NSS suggest, fettering freedom of speech in respect of religion only serves to empower extremists.

“This is something I believed all people who value democracy have understood since the 18th century enlightenment.

“Clearly freedom of speech and expression are principles no longer felt relevant to the newly elected Boston Independents Party who supported en-block the decision to reject me as mayor.”

During the meeting on May 22 Coun Gilbert said: “I guess I am being accused of Ismlaphobia around the time of the Qatar World Cup.”

Newly-elected Boston Independent councillor Dale Broughton criticised the remarks, saying: “The comments expressed on social media do little to bring about social integration in our town, which I believe is so badly needed to progress.”

However, Coun Richard Austin said: “I have looked at the comments on social media, and I saw them as a historical note. They were not personal.”

Coun Gilbert admitted making the posts during the Qatar World Cup: “at a time whenthere was a lot of speculation in the media that the choice of venue wasn’t appropriate for a number of different reasons.”

He added: “My intention was not to target any individual personally but to highlight that Islam, as a culture and ideology, intersects with certain issues in the West,” citing women’s rights and gay rights as examples.

“I hold no prejudice against anyone on any inappropriate basis, but I do have specific views on politics, ideology, and religion that I am not willing to suppress in my political position,” Coun Gilbert added.

“On Facebook, I have stated that I will respect the office of mayor and refrain from making any comments on controversial matters.

“Therefore, I am surprised by what is being said, to be honest with you.”

During the discussion, Coun Anne Dorrian said that hate speech is not only propagated by populist or extremist groups but is also being embraced by representative parties across the political spectrum.

“As politicians, we not only have a political obligation to refrain from using hate speech, but we also have a moral responsibility to avoid engaging in such rhetoric.”

She added: “Choosing to remain silent when hate speech is used can be interpreted as approval or support.

“Therefore, it is our duty to unambiguously condemn it whenever it is employed by others.”

Speaking to the Standard this week, CounDorrian confirmed where the initial complaint had come from: “Several councillors received an email from a local resident on 19/5/23 in which the resident complained about Coun Gilbert’s social media posts and given the nature of them, his suitability to become Boston’s next mayor.”

We approached Boston Mosque for their opinion on Coun Gilbert’s Facebook comments.

Abdul Hamid Qureshi, Imam and Director of UKIM Boston Mosque and Islamic Centre said: “My immediate understanding of the views expressed are that they are speculative and assumptive rather than factual. Secondly they are out of context and selective.

"I would love to sit with the person and would have asked where these realities exist. How did he reach to these conclusions. I can't comment on the political decision which the council has made but I could say that the views expressed are assumptions and selective with the most negative spin one could have.

"I would love to invite the person to visit the mosque and discuss the views expressed based on knowledge.”

• According to the council’s tradition, mayors are selected based on their length of service. And as a result, Conservative councillor David Brown was voted into the role since he was the next most senior eligible candidate.


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South Asia


Ministry of Finance rejects claims of closure of Islam Qala customs office

May 31, 2023

The ministry of finance has rejected claims that the Islam Qala customs office in Herat province has suspended operations.

According to officials, media reports indicated that their office closed on Wednesday.

“We reject the false reports published in this regard and want to mention that Islam Qala Customs of Herat works normally and provides the necessary services,” officials said.


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6 Killed, 9 Injured in Traffic Accident in Afghanistan’s Kapisa

May 31, 2023

At least six people were killed, and nine others were injured in a traffic accident in Kapisa Province of Afghanistan on Wednesday, local officials said.

Six people were killed, and nine others were injured, including children and women, after a Mazda vehicle flipped and jumped into the valley on Wednesday morning in the Alasay district of Kapisa province, according to the provincial police office.

According to the police, the cause of the traffic incident was reckless driving and the narrow width of the road in the area.

The injured people were taken to the hospital while the authorities were sent to investigate the cause of the incident.

Several factors, such as careless driving, backed-up traffic, poorly built roads, a lack of the rule of law, and poorly maintained vehicles, contributed to increased traffic incidents in the country.

According to the World Health Organization, 6,033 fatalities from traffic accidents are expected to occur in Afghanistan in 2020, or 2.6% of all fatalities. As a result, the nation is ranked 76 globally regarding accidents.


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Iran’s Interior Minister Calls on Taliban to Keep Peace and Avoid Border Conflicts

May 31, 2023

Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s interior minister, asked the Taliban authorities to advise their security forces to maintain peace and security and avoid further border conflicts.

The Iranian Minister said on Wednesday that peace and security had been restored in the area following the recent incidents that occurred along the Iran-Afghanistan border, According to Tasnim News.

Vahidi blamed the Taliban forces for last week’s border clashes and claimed that the Iranian forces responded to them.

“The Afghans had begun shooting at the common border, and the Iranian forces naturally responded to the shots properly,” he said.

“We currently have direct interaction with Afghan rulers, and all misunderstandings and problems should be settled through dialogue and negotiation,” the interior minister concluded.

According to Iranian officials, during the border clashes with the Taliban that broke out last week, one Iranian border guard was killed, and two others were injured.

Meanwhile, the Afghan security forces claimed that one Taliban security force and two Iranian border guards were killed, and several others were injured during the skirmishes.

The incident occurred at the border crossing point between the southeastern province of Sistan and Balochistan and the Nimruz province of Afghanistan in areas around Sasouli, Hatam and Makaki villages.


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Balochistan Govt to Improve Facilities for Shia PilgrimsTraveling Between Quetta and Taftan, On the Iran Border

May 30, 2023

The government of Balochistan has decided to improve facilities for the Shia pilgrims traveling between Quetta and Taftan, the town on the Iran border. The provincial government has also decided to improve security measures for the pilgrims. In this connection, Balochistan Chief Secretary Abdul Aziz Uqaili chaired a high-level meeting on Monday to review arrangements for the pilgrims traveling to Iran via the Pak-Iran border, Taftan, on Monday.

A d di t i o n a l C h i e f Secretary (Home) Saleh Nasar, Quetta Division Commissioner Sohailur Rehman, Rakhshan Division Commissioner Tariqur Rehman, and other senior administration officials participated in the meeting. The meeting decided to improve security measures for the pilgrims traveling between Pakistan and Iran. Speaking on the occasion, the chief secretary directed the officials concerned to make sure provision of better facilities for the pilgrims. “Steps should be taken to ensure a peaceful journey for the Zaireen,” Uqaili directed the officials. Various proposals were given by commissioners and administration officials with regard to the improvement of facilities for the pilgrims. Every day, a large number of Shia pilgrims travel on the QuettaTaftan highway to reach Iran and visit holy places in Iran and Iraq. Pilgrims from Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi, Lahore and other parts of the country frequently travel through the QuettaTaftan highway. Militants have repeatedly attacked Shia pilgrims in Balochistan's Mastung and other districts of the province. Most of the attacks have taken place in Balochistan's restive Mastung district.


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Finance Minister, UAE Ambassador discuss bilateral economic ties

June 01, 2023

Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) HamadObaid Ibrahim Salim Al-Zaabi called on Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in Islamabad on Thursday.

During the meeting, they exchanged views on further promoting bilateral economic and financial relations between Pakistan and UAE.


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UK Chief of General Staff Acknowledges Achievements OfPakistan Armed Forces

May 31, 2023

Chief of General Staff of British Army, General Sir Patrick Nicholas Yardley Monrad Sanders called on Chief of Army Staff, General Syed Asim Munir in Rawalpindi on Wednesday and acknowledged sacrifices and achievements of Pakistan Army in fight against terrorism.

According to ISPR, Chief of General Staff of British Army also lauded Pakistan's efforts for bringing peace and stability in the region.

During the meeting, regional security issues and matters of mutual interest were discussed.

Upon arrival at the GHQ, British Army's Chief of General Staff, laid floral wreath at Yadgar-e-Shuhada. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Army presented the guard of honour to the visiting dignitary.

Earlier, he also called on Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Sahir Shamshad Mirza at Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi.


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Graduation ceremony of Islamic Research Institute held

JUNE 1, 2023

First Graduation Ceremony of Islamic Research Institute (IRI) of International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) was held at the Faisal Masjid Campus on Wednesday in which certificates were conferred upon over one hundred scholars of postdoctoral international fellowship. Scholars who were conferred awards hail from Pakistan Maldives, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. In the ceremony, certificates were also conferred in the categories of Postgraduate Training on Academic Research and Scientific Writing and Undergraduate Training on Research and Technical Writing.

Senator Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, Secretary General, World Muslim Congress was the Chief Guest of the graduation ceremony. Prof. Dr HathalHamoudAlotabi, President International Islamic University and Chairman Council of Islamic Research Institute was Chair of the ceremony.

The ceremony was attended by a galaxy of renowned Islamic researchers, scholars and intellectuals including Dr. S.M Zaman former Vice Chancellor AIOU, Former Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology & Former Vice President (A&F) of IIUI and Former Director General of Islamic Research Institute. It was also attended by Prof. Dr Ahmed Shujah Syed Vice President Research and Enterprises, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Khalid Masud, Former Chairman Council of Islamic Ideology and Former Director General of IRI, Prof. Dr. Sahibzada Sajid Ur Rehman Former Vice President IIUI/Former Director General of Dawah Academy, Former Professor of IRI and Director of Seerah Chair at AIOU, Directors General, Deans, Directors, professors, Present and former Scholars of IRI, Officers and officials of IRI & IIUI, IRI Postdoctoral Fellows, IRI Under Graduates and post Graduate research fellows.

The ceremony also witnessed awards and medals that were distributed in the various categories for the present and former scholars of IRI, authors of IRI Books and editors of IRI journals.


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Islam a religion of peace and harmony: Masood Khan

MAY 31, 2023

WASHINGTON DC: “Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has upheld spirituality, knowledge and values in its outreach and humanitarian work spanning decades,” said Masood Khan Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States while addressing ‘Scholars and Community Leaders Recognition Lunch’ hosted by ICNA.

ICNA’s yearly convention in Baltimore this year was attended by more than 25,000 people in which 160 speaking session were held addressed by more than 100 speakers. Muslim Americans from across the US and different parts of the world along with their families attended the convention.

Pak Senator Mushtaq Ahmed and Turkish Ambassador to the United States Hasan Murat Mercan also attended the luncheon.

Ambassador Masood Khan said that ICNA over the years has raised awareness about the tenets and practices of Islam anchored in humanitarianism. In doing so ICNA has contributed to individual self development and community connectivity.

He thanked ICNA and the Helping Hand for mobilizing humanitarian assistance for Pakistan during flood response and rehabilitation.

“Pakistan would always remember ICNA for generating $15 million to help victims of floods and its leaders for visiting flood areas during the height of the catastrophe,” he said.

The same spirit of humanitarianism drove ICNA’s campaign to raise funds to come to rescue of victims of catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria early this year raising more that $10 million, the Ambassador said.

Paying rich tribute to Dr. Mohsin Ansari, President ICNA, Ambassador Masood Khan said that this organization had advocated protection of rights of Muslims and non-Muslims alike to create a harmonious society.

The Ambassador said that all Muslims living in United States should be thankful to rich ambiance and integrative environment provided by its people which assimilates people of all faiths and diverse ethnic backgrounds.

“America has been a catalyst for growth and prosperity of Muslims living here,” the Ambassador said.

In his remarks, President ICNA Dr. Mohsin Ansari highlighted major achievements of the organization and briefed the participants about a range of humanitarian services that ICNA was rendering to the people regardless of any consideration whatsoever.

He said that ICNA in 2022 impacted lives of more than 10.5 million individuals and provided its services not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world which were affected by calamities. He said that the organization provided relief to 10 million people during recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria. It was informed that Helping Hand was taking care of 23000 orphan children.

During the convention, Turkish Ambassador Hasan Murat Mercan was awarded ‘Community Service Award’ by ICNA for his untiring efforts and leadership role in bringing the communities and philanthropic organizations together especially during difficult times of natural calamities.

In his remarks, Ambassador Hasan Mercan thanked ICNA for its humanitarian services during the earthquake in Turkey. He also thanked Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America for provision of much need medical assistance to the earthquake victims.

Ambassador Masood Khan, during the convention, also felicitated his Turkish counterpart on re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.


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Hajj Mission taken special measures to cater differently abled pilgrims

May 31, 2023

The Pakistan Hajj Mission has taken special measures this year to cater to the needs of differently abled intending pilgrims, ensuring their ease and comfort during their stay in Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

Radio Pakistan’s correspondent Javed Iqbal reports from Makkah that the Pakistan Hajj Mission has made all out arrangements to facilitate differently abled people in residential units.

Additionally, electric wheelchairs are available to facilitate convenient transportation between residential units and the Haram, with dedicated buses serving for this purpose.

The Mission has instructed its staff to prioritize the well-being of these individuals, offering extra vigilance and care throughout their pilgrimage stay.

In order to ensure the well being of these special individuals, the Director of Moavineen e Hujjaj, Sajjad Yildrim, has personally conveyed special instructions to the staff.

They have been directed to exercise extra vigilance and care towards the differently abled pilgrims, guaranteeing that their needs are met and they receive the necessary support throughout their journey.


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National Consensus Bloc Emerges With Five Sunni MPsKnown As Allies of Hezbollah


Five Sunni MPs, known as allies of Hezbollah and close to the Syrian regime, have formed a parliamentary bloc titled "National Consensus."

Faisal Karami represents the Sunni seat in the Tripoli-Minieh- Donnieh district, Adnan Traboulsi holds the Sunni seat in the Beirut Second district, Mohammad Yahya represents the Sunni seat in the Akkar district, TahaNaji has a Sunni seat in the Tripoli-Minieh-Donnieh district. Hassan Mourad represents the Sunni seat in the Western Bekaa and Rashaya districts.

A year after the parliamentary elections and with an attempt to limit Sunni representation in the Parliament to the National Moderation Bloc and some Change MPs, according to sources from the National Consensus bloc, the five MPs believed that it was time for the Bloc to voice another Sunni political faction.

However, the first real challenge for the National Consensus Bloc lies in the upcoming presidential elections.

Although the Bloc's MPs have not officially declared their support for the Hezbollah-backed candidate, SleimanFrangieh, all indications point towards it. This raises the question of who the Bloc will nominate for the position of Prime Minister after the presidential elections and whether Faisal Karami will face other Sunni candidates.

Will the Bloc be an extension of the consultative gathering, whose members were allies of Hezbollah and close to the Syrian regime and Iran, mainly since the new Bloc includes several former members of the previous consultative gathering, such as Faisal Karami, Adnan Traboulsi, and the father of MP Hassan Mourad, Abdul Rahim Mourad?

The National Consensus Bloc, consisting of five MPs, has failed to attract MP Jihad Samad, who refuses to abide by the decisions of any bloc, and it has not succeeded in expanding its sectarian base by including the Alawite MP Haidar Nasser, considering the Bloc to be of a single sect.


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SEWA, Sharjah Islamic set up rationalising tools in 494 mosques

Wed 31-05-2023

SHARJAH, 31st May, 2023 (WAM) -- Sharjah Electricity, Water, and Gas Authority (SEWA) is continuing to rationalise energy and water consumption in the emirate’s various buildings and facilities, with new water-saving tools installed in 494 mosques in Sharjah. The tools contributed to reducing water consumption by around 69 percent, by circulating a flow rate of two litres per minute for all mosques, as per the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology specifications.

Rashid Al Marzouqi, Deputy Director of the Conservation Department, explained that SEWA finds it essential to provide water and electricity for mosques and set up conservation programmes. As a result, the total consumption rates per day before installation were 148,667 gallons, while the total consumption rates per day after installation were 45,993 gallons.

He explained that SEWA integrates with all parties to raise awareness of the importance of rationalisation, which benefits citizens, residents, and future generations.

The department obliges contractors and consultants to follow all the requirements for rationalisation with new mosques. The authority is keen on going on with its cooperation with the Sharjah Islamic Affairs Department to review the best international practices in water rationalisation.


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Raeisi calls for further ties with Muslim, allied countries

May 31, 2023

TEHRAN, May 31 (MNA) – President Raeisi has stressed the need for further bolstering relations with Muslim, neighbor, allied, and friendly countries.

Raeisi made the remarks in the gathering of heads of Iran's missions abroad ambassadors and other diplomats in Tehran on Wednesday, calling on the Iranian diplomats to play a role in the regional and international organizations.

He called on the official to maximize the use of the capacity of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Eurasian Economic Union and BRICS.

The president described those regional and international organizations as emerging powers, urging the Iranian diplomats to play a more active role and increase cooperation with those entities.

President urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomats to take care of the legal and consular issues and demands of Iranians abroad and also use their capacities nad potential to continue the progress of the country.

The Iranian president also called on the authorities to prioritize pursuing the previously-inked agreements and MoUs.

Raeisi said that holding meetings of the joint economic commission between Iran and other countries must be on the main work schedule.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said that the policy of the Islamic Republic is to cooperate with all countries that deal with Iran in good faith.

“If any country shows enmity to Iran, the focus of our policy is resistance ,” he further noted.


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Islamic Jihad thugs are in the IRGC terrorist circle

May 31, 2023

Ideologically and factually, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is one of the most central Palestinian Arab terrorist factions grown in the Gaza Strip. From its origin in the early 1980’s to today, Palestinian Islamic Jihad is part of the IRGC’s terrorist network. Factually, it is established and developed based on Islamic terrorism and depends on the destructive ideology of Khomeinism. It is heavily influenced by the 1979 revolt of terrorists in Iran.

PIJ was founded as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and was influenced by Khomeinism, which is an ally of Muslim Brotherhood and has a mutual ally, Hamas. In the recent decade, since 2014, the internationally recognized terrorist organization PIJ was strengthened and expanded by supporting Iranian regime.

In doing so, with its own functions and missions, PIJ is in parallel with the terrorists of Hamas. And both terrorist groups have moved closer to the criminal mullahs in Tehran.

Incontestably, Iranian mullah’s regime remains a key source of turmoil in the region and funding for the terrorist military confrontation with Israel to this day. The dream of these thugs is eliminating Israel through aggression and terrorism, while the main aim of this notorious Palestinian Arab terrorist group is pleasing the mullahs in Tehran.

Recently, Salami, the chief commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) terrorists in Tehran stated that “Big Events are just around the corner”. He praised the Palestinian Arab terror attacks and said repeatedly: “We are witnessing America and Israel’s collapse”. Concurrently, the message is clear, another part of the terrorist Shiite Movement is in the region as the Iranian regime’s version of fundamentalist Islam tries to make a headway. Clandestinely IRGC and the Ministry of Intelligence of Iran (MOIS) made strenuous efforts to widen their influence and circle of players to the Palestinian Arab scene.

IRGC and PIJ are the two sides of the same coin in Islamic terrorist (Jihad), antisemitism and enmity toward Israel, but their type of Islamism is different. From that point onward, IRGC is a Shiite and an oppressive instrument in the hand of the mullah octopus, but PIJ is an icon of the Sunni terrorist group.

Since the 1979 revolt in Iran, the terrorist connection among IRGC and its affiliated transnational terrorist network is a subject of research for my colleagues in Counterterrorism in the Mossad and CIA. In many cases, the FBI and CIA in the US tracked terrorists related to PIJ. Thus, the political aspect of the cooperation between IRGC and the PIJ, cannot be considered a marginal matter.

There remains the ideological impact and mullah’s influence on the Palestinian Arab terrorist militia which has become more and more noticeable.

With regard to this political and ideological outlook, PIJ, as a fundamentalist group, is a mirror of the Iranian regime’s terrorism, the so-called Islamic Jihad. This point should add parenthetically here that IRGC and MOIS are behind all Islamic Jihad terror operations, transferring money and military equipment.

Logistically, the organic connections among Hezbollah, Hamas, PIJ and PKK are under the radar of the IRGC Quds Force for suicidal terror attack missions. What is known is that regular working meetings among these ferocious terrorist network partners continue to take place. For instance, on 4 May 2023 in Damascus, Iran’s Raisi – the butcher of Tehran- meets with top Hamas and PIJ officials with this specious prophecy ”the collapse of the Zionist regime very close”. It means that in any diplomatic meetings, Iranian mullah’s regime has been a main supporter of terrorist groups, supplying them with weapons, financial assistance, and income.

Israel Defense Force (IDF), met PIJ's hundreds of missile attacks on Israel by pinpointing and eliminating leaders until a ceasefire was declared. PIJ, as a terror proxy of IRGC, has no faith in any peaceful solution. In essence, PIJ wants to continue raining missiles and carrying out suicide bombings, firing rockets and digging offensive terror tunnels, increasing terror center in the 'West Bank', and killing innocent Israelis. PIJ planned various suicide bombings in Israel and assassinated innocent Israeli civilians.These are the main missions of this terrorist organization which has intense ties with the thugs of IRGC.

Actually, there is no rational relation between the Palestinian Arab issue and the sovereignty and destiny of the Iranian people. At the same time, the mullah’s Islamic republic is not the representative of the Iranian people, instead it is the supporter of terror organizations around the globe. PIJ seeks Israel’s destruction, but rememer that the cat dreams of mice.

Based on geostrategic and ideological factors, the recent attacks on Israel can be illuminated as PIJ partnered with IRGC’s terrorist network to carry out joint operations against Israel. The root of this chaos and crisis is the mullah’s regime in Iran.

PIJ is a rotten fruit of Khomeinism, and it is time to let criminal PIJ fade into the dustbin of history where it belongs. Thanks go to Israel for a courageous step in that direction.


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Israeli Settlers Invade Al-Aqsa Mosque

 1 June, 2023

Israeli settlers invaded on Thursday, 1 June 2023 Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards and performed provocative Talmudic rituals.

Local Palestinian sources reported dozens of Israeli settlers broke into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa and performed provocative Talmudic rituals in some of its yards under the Israeli occupation forces’ protection.

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces are widely spread across the compound of the Al-Aqsa Mosque to protect the colonial settlers, prohibiting the presence of Palestinians.

Colonial settlers’ backed by the Israeli occupation forces repeatedly invade Muslims and holy places in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem in a flagrant violation of all international conventions and laws, guaranteeing Palestinian people’s right to worship in their sacred sites.

Israeli settlers and other non-Muslims are allowed to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque compound at certain times but are forbidden to pray or display any religious or national symbols under a long-standing agreement with the Muslim authority which administers the compound.

The site is known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and contains the al-Aqsa (Qibli) mosque, the third holiest place in Islam.

Illegal settlers repeated violations of Muslim, as well as Christian, symbols as a deliberate attempt to Judaise the occupied Jerusalem, with the progressive expulsion of the local population; the Palestinians.

In 2022, 56670 colonial settlers invaded Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards and performed Talmudic provocative rituals in its squares, according to Palestinian figures.


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Taliban rejects reports on closure of Islam Qala as false

May 31, 2023

TEHRAN, May 31 (MNA) – The Taliban's Ministry of Industry and Trade rejected the news of the closure of the shared Islam Qala border crossing with Iran, saying that normal business and trade operation is underway there.

The Ministry of Industry of the Taliban announced on Twitter the reports by some media on the closure of Islam Qala in Herat province is strongly rejected.

According to the ministry, normal operations at Herat Islam Qala Customs is underway and the necessary services are underway there as usual.

Maulvi Mohammad Abdullah, head of Herat Customs, also said in that regard that there is no problem at Islam Qala Customs and all operations are going on normally there.

Islam Qala border crossing is located on Afghan side of the border while the same crossing is called Dogharoun on the Iranian side of the border. It is located at the border areas of the Razavi Khorasan Province in Iran.

Previously, official sources in Herat Province and Razavi Khorasan Province had rejected the reports on the border closure and any problems at  IslamQala/Dogharoun and announced that the situation on the border was calm.


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Southeast Asia


DAP Veteran Kit Siang: If I'm 'Anti-Islam' For Criticising Hadi, Then So Must Be Saudi for Putting Him on Terror List

By ShathanaKasinathan

Thursday, 01 Jun 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today denied allegations made by PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang of him being “anti-Islam” and “promoting Islamophobia”.

Comparing himself to Saudi Arabia which had once listed Hadi in its terror list, Lim asserted that criticising the Marang MP does not equate to being “anti-Islam”.

“I may be anti-Hadi unless he changes his ways but to call me anti-Islam and promoting Islamophobia is like calling Saudi Arabia anti-Islam and promoting Islamophobia for banning Hadi and describing him as akin to a terrorist.

“I still remember Hadi slamming Saudi Arabia five years ago as among the Gulf states like Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain, for believing more in Zionists than in Allah and Islam when the quartet of Gulf States added the IUMS, the International Islamic Council, to its terror list,” he said in a statement here.

In 2017, Saudi and the three countries listed IUMS — of which Hadi was its president — in its terror list for allegedly “working to promote terrorism through the exploitation of Islamic discourse”.

Despite that, Lim said he does not consider Hadi a terrorist but merely believed that the PAS politician may suffer from "intellectual inadequacies" for misconstruing his suggestion for state-federal cooperation for an official invite to join the Anwar administration.

“His silence to the three proposals I put to him shows that he is not prepared to be a responsible, honest and respected Islamic leader, the conditions I had laid down for PAS to join the Anwar unity government,” he said.

In response to Hadi's recent attack accusing the DAP of advocating secularism through the “Malaysian Malaysia” concept, Lim pointed out that Malaysia's first and third prime ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn, had emphasised that Malaysia should not be transformed into an Islamic state.

He reiterated that his position is aligned with the views of these respected leaders.

“I do not want to be a person who makes wild and preposterous allegations and, when challenged, was unable to present an iota of evidence to substantiate the allegations or self-invite to join a government,” he said.

Yesterday, Hadi continued his constant attack against DAP, claiming that non-Muslims’ well-being will be threatened if they “cross the line” in their behaviour towards Muslims in Malaysia.

He also said that DAP has been nothing but a nuisance to the country ever since the party was founded and has “gone too far”.


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Six hurt after Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia’s roof collapses

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Six staff members of the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) sustained minor injuries after the roof of the Ikim main hall in Block B, at LanggakTunku, JalanTuanku Abdul Halim here, collapsed at 11.55am.

A Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department spokesperson said the department received an emergency call regarding the incident at 11.56am, and a total of 15 firefighters from the Sri Hartamas Fire and Rescue Station (BBP) and the Hang Tuah BBP were dispatched to the location.

“Upon arriving at the scene of the incident at 12.13pm, it was found that the entire roof of the hall had collapsed, and a total of six female staff, aged 30 to 50, who were in the area, sustained minor injuries,” he said in a statement today.

He said all victims were then sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) for further treatment.

The operation ended at 12.51pm and the cause of the collapse is still under investigation, he added.

Meanwhile, Ikim director-general Prof Dr Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil, in a statement, said that the incident occurred when some of the staff were conducting a rehearsal for the upcoming Tan Sri Mohd Kamal Hassan Tribute programme, scheduled for June 2, at the hall.

He said following the incident, Ikim requested the Public Works Department (JKR) to conduct further investigations to find out the cause of the roof collapse.

He added that the hall was built in 1993, and until now minor maintenance has always been carried out on the premises, such as changing the leaky roof. — Bernama


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PAS president calls DAP a ‘nuisance’, warns non-Muslims not to ‘cross the line’

By Chan Wai Kit

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang said that non-Muslims’ wellbeing will be threatened if they “cross the line” in their behaviour towards Muslims in Malaysia.

In a Facebook post today, he said that DAP has been nothing but a nuisance to a country ever since the party was founded and has “gone too far”.

Hadi once again painted DAP as the purveyor of secularism through the “Malaysian Malaysia” concept.

“They are trying to bring the agenda of secularism and ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ which revises the country’s principles and seeks to dilute the Malay-Muslim race with the non-Muslim community in a liberal way by marginalising the national language, defending apostates, taking measures against new brothers who converted to Islam and extreme measures through the statement of its leaders,” he said.

Hadi said that the events of May 13, 1969 should serve as a lesson, adding that DAP’s bad influence will ruin the country’s peace and stability.

He also criticised Malays who espouse DAP’s ideology and accused those who champion the Malay agenda as racist.

“Now, they are trying to push through a cunning political and economic agenda, but they are also open and extreme towards Malay Muslims and Islamist parties with accusations that together they bring Islamophobia which is spread among non-Muslims.

“Believe me, they will definitely lose and ruin their own peaceful and free position now,” he added.


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Dr Mahathir says ready to rekindle ties with Muhyiddin for the sake of Malays, but not with Anwar

By ShathanaKasinathan

Thursday, 01 Jun 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Former prime ministerTun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he is willing to work with political ally-turned-enemy Tan Sri MuhyiddinYassin if they can reach a consensus on mutual goals, indicating a potential reconciliation between the two leaders after their previous alliance in his 2018 administration.

New portal Malaysia Now reported Dr Mahathir stressing the importance of championing Malay causes while rejecting those who are involved in corruption and criminal misconduct.

“We want to work together, but the end goals must be set out,” he was quoted saying.

In the report, Dr Mahathir said the Malays have divided themselves into various political power, which he claimed has weakened their collective strength and hindered efforts to address their concerns.

He also said that unity among Malays is crucial to rectify the prevailing circumstances that are detrimental to their community.

“We have split into many parties, and we have lost power. When we lose power, we cannot correct the circumstances which are detrimental to the Malays. This is why we need to unite,” he reportedly added.

Dr Mahathir formed PartiPribumiBersatu Malaysia alongside Muhyiddin in 2016, with him as chairman and the latter as president. The party was then part of the PakatanHarapan (PH) coalition which successfully ended BarisanNasional (BN)’s six-decade rule in the 14th general election in 2018.

However, Dr Mahathir was subsequently removed from Bersatu following the Sheraton Move, which caused the collapse of the PH administration and led to the formation of the Muhyiddin administration.

Dr Mahathir then formed PartiPejuangTanahair and the Gerakan Tanah Air coalition, but discarded them after their dismal performance in the 15th general election last year.

In the report, the former Langkawi MP expressed doubts over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's commitment to Malay rights.

“Even when it comes to religion, it seems as if his views are not accepted by the Malays. This is why I cannot work with him. I am ready to work with people who understand the problems faced by the Malays,” he said, referring to Anwar whom he had imprisoned in 1998 — leading to the Reformasi movement.

He also added that Malays no longer support Umno — Dr Mahathir's first party, which is now part of the ruling coalition — since they have allegedly lost confidence in the party's ability to address their concerns, citing Umno's poor performance in the GE15.

“This is why we need to unite. But who is in favour of unity? Not those who are involved in corruption or who have been sentenced to prison and so on.

“The Malay voters are thinking about the problems they face. They want someone who cares about their plight and who can do something to fix their issues,” he reportedly said.


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North America


Muslim Community Center in Sunset Park becomes temporary home for migrants

Jun 01, 2023

Migrants seeking asylum in New York City have been welcomed with open arms by one house of worship in Brooklyn.

The Muslim Community Center in Sunset Park has become home for over a dozen migrants.

The center has transformed a room used for prayer into a place for the migrants to sleep at night.

The room has beds, sheets, blankets and pillows that have been donated by the center.

Soniya Ali, who has been working closely with migrants at the center, says the place has become a home for so many people.

News 12 was told there are 17 men using the room and there are still two beds open for anyone who needs a place to stay.

The Muslim Community Center says their mission is to be able to help as many people as possible get acclimated to the area and not trying to turn anyone away.


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In Syrian prison camps, families of Islamic State suspects await repatriation from Canada and elsewhere

Al Roj and Al Hol have long been home to foreigners, including Canadians, seized from the last stronghold of an extremist group. Now, mothers and children are pressing for a way out


MAY 31, 2023

At Al Roj prison camp in northeast Syria, children walk through dusty rows of tents as aggressive dogs bark and bare their teeth. The children are of different nationalities, but are all here for the same reason: Their parents are among thousands of detained people suspected of having ties to the Islamic State.

It is the same at the larger, sprawling Al Hol prison camp, where conditions are crowded and dire. An estimated 60,000 people are living in the two prison camps, with women and children making up the majority.

These are the camps where foreigners, including Canadians, who lived among Islamic State terrorists have been held for years. In 2019, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces detained thousands of people from around the world when the Islamic State’s final holdout in the town of Baghouz fell. They were taken to these camps, as well as prisons in northeast Syria.

Open this photo in gallery:

Children walk with dogs in Al Roj, one of two camps in northeast Syria where Islamic State suspects and their families are detained.

Since then, the federal government has largely refused to repatriate its citizens except for a handful of cases. Global Affairs Canada had maintained for years that because of the security situation on the ground, the government’s ability to provide consular assistance was extremely limited. In 2020, when the government repatriated an orphan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa had no plans to help others detained there.

At the time, critics pointed out that bringing the orphan to Canada showed the obstacles for repatriating Canadian citizens were not insurmountable, but that Ottawa lacked the political will to do so.

It is only recently that the federal government brought home a group of Canadians, marking the largest repatriation to date. In January, Ottawa agreed to repatriate six Canadian women and 13 children who are part of what’s known as the Bring Our Loved Ones Home litigation.

In April, 14 Canadian women and children who had been detained in the camps were repatriated as a result of an agreement the group’s lawyer Lawrence Greenspon reached on their behalf with Global Affairs. But five people were missing, because they failed to show up to a designated meeting spot.

Mr. Greenspon told The Globe in a recent interview that Global Affairs has confirmed they have been in contact with the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, the region’s governing body, and obtained assurances that Kurdish officials will facilitate the repatriation of the five Canadians. “It’s potentially very good news: It’s just really a matter of when and how soon,” Mr. Greenspon said.

Grantly Franklin, a spokesperson for Global Affairs, said it has received credible information about the location of the remaining women and children and Canada has taken steps to repatriate them. “Canadian consular officials remain actively engaged with Syrian Kurdish authorities and international organizations operating in the region for information on, and assistance to, Canadian citizens,” he said.

“As long as conditions allow, we will continue this work,” he said, adding the government is aware of additional Canadian citizens in Syria and is particularly concerned with the cases of children.

At Al Hol, wives and daughters of Islamic State members go to a market. Many people came here after Kurdish-led forces captured thousands in the insurgent group's last stand at Baghouz.

At least 34 countries have repatriated or allowed to return home more than 6,000 foreigners, which includes nearly 4,000 to Iraq, since 2019, according to Human Rights Watch, which reported on the figures from the Administration of North and East Syria. In 2022, repatriations increased, with more than 3,100 people taken home as of Dec. 12. That number includes 17 to Australia, 58 to France, 12 to Germany and 40 to the Netherlands.

Still, more than a dozen other Canadians remain, including four men who are the subject of a court challenge. The Federal Court ordered the four to be repatriated in January, but that was overruled by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, which said the federal government is not obligated under the law to repatriate the men.

Mr. Greenspon is also representing a Quebec woman and her six children who are not part of the Bring Our Loved Ones Home case. He said the woman’s security assessment still hasn’t been completed. A security assessment is necessary before being repatriated to Canada.

He said that the Crown is seeking peace bonds for four of the five women who have already been repatriated as part of the agreement.

Separately, OumaimaChouay, who federal officials brought back last October, is facing charges. Ms.Chouay returned with two children who were born abroad and was arrested at the Montreal airport. She’s been charged with leaving Canada to participate in terrorist group activity, participating in such activity, conspiracy and providing services for terrorist purposes.

Mr. Greenspon said the moves to charge and seek peace bonds bolster the argument that the government should bring Canadians home and deal with them through this country’s legal system.

Since 2013, it has been an offence to leave or attempt to leave Canada to join terrorists. The RCMP said Ms.Chouay has been under investigation since 2014, and that she had been detained in Syria since 2017.

But perhaps more complicated is the case of four non-Canadian mothers of Canadian children. Ottawa has offered to repatriate Canadian children held in detention camps in northeast Syria, but their foreign mothers have been told they can’t come to Canada because they are not citizens.

Asiya Hirji, the supervising lawyer of the refugee and immigration division at Downtown Legal Services, the University of Toronto’s legal-aid clinic, is representing two of the mothers. She filed for temporary resident permits in February, which would allow them a time-limited pass into Canada to accompany their children. The government has not yet decided on the applications.

Meanwhile, the remaining Canadians continue to wait in “dire and life-threatening” conditions, said Farida Deif, the Canada director for Human Rights Watch.

“All countries should be repatriating their nationals from Northeast Syria,” she said. “It’s complicated because many of these nationals are dual nationals which creates an added incentive by governments who don’t want to repatriate – to leave them behind,” she said.

Ms.Deif said in the cases of dual nationals, when there are Canadian children who have a surviving parent who is not Canadian, the government should put steps in place to resettle the children “ideally with their mothers.”


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Islamic state claims responsibility for attack on security post in Cameroon

May 31, 2023

CAIRO, May 31 (Reuters) - Islamic state on Wednesday claimed responsibility for an attack on a security post in northern Cameroon, the group said in a statement on telegram.

Two customs officers, a policeman and a civilian, were killed in the attack that took place on Tuesday at the entrance to the town of Mora in Cameroon's far north region, about 30 km (20 miles) from the border with Nigeria.


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New York Times’ Raja Abdulrahim Continues To Whitewash Hamas, Islamic Jihad

MAY 31, 2023

While in college, Raja Abdulrahim brashly defended Hamas and Hezbollah.

While working for the New York Times, she defends Hamas and Islamic Jihad with a touch more subtlety.

As we noted earlier this month, Abdulrahim’s May 8 overview of Islamic Jihad absurdly stated that the terror group was created “to fight the Israeli occupation” rather than to fight Israel’s existence; concealed the fact that Israel’s strike on Islamic Jihad leaders came a week after the group fired barrages of rockets and Israel—and that Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for those rockets; and ignored the fact that those rockets are war crimes.

Today, the Times reporter continued apace with a follow up piece on the recent fighting.

Yet again, Abdulrahim deceives readers by casting Islamic Jihad, which is sworn to the destruction of Israel and its replacement with an Islamic state, as merely opposed to Israel’s occupation: “The groups have wide support among Palestinians for their resistance to the Israeli occupation,” she writes in reference to what she calls Gaza’s “armed groups.”

Yet again — in a story specifically about the impact of Israel’s retaliation after Islamic Jihad rocket barrages — Abdulrahim never straightforwardly acknowledges that the group fired those rockets.

Instead, she cultivates doubt by referencing the rockets as mere Israeli claims: “Six senior leaders of the armed group that Israel said had been responsible for rocket attacks on Israel were killed before a cease-fire was reached on May 13,” she wrote, ignoring both that Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attacks, and that those attacks, which prompted Israel’s operation, happened just a week earlier. (Indeed, every one of the piece’s references to Palestinian rockets referenced the rockets as an Israeli allegation.)

And yet again, a New York Times piece discussing Palestinian rockets avoids telling readers that those indiscriminate rocket attacks violate international law.

It’s not that Abdulrahim entirely avoids mentioning the laws of war. She cites a two-year old statement by the anti-Israel NGO Amnesty International to suggest Israel might be guilty of war crimes in this round of fighting. It’s just that she shields Gaza’s terror organizations from such accusations — even though the same Amnesty statement she cites also admits, without equivocation, that “The rockets fired from Gaza into Israel are imprecise and their use violates international humanitarian law.”

Seems the college student who wanted Palestinian terror groups not to be viewed as terror groups, though they are, has turned into the New York Times reporter who wants Palestinian terror groups not to be viewed as war criminals, though they are. 


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Alleged Blasphemy: BauchiShariah Court Orders Arrest Of Embattled Bauchi Imam, Abdul’aziz

May 31, 2023

The Upper Shariah Court of Appeal No 1 sitting in Bauchi on Wednesday issued a warrant of arrest against the embattled Imam of Dutsen-TanshiJumma’at Mosque in Bauchi, Idris Abdul’aziz, over his failure to appear before the court.

The embattled cleric was initially arraigned before the Bauchi Magistrate Court 1 by the state Commissioner of Police for alleged incitement to public disturbance of peace and blasphemy.

Upon his arraignment, he was remanded at the Bauchi correctional centre before he was eventually granted bail.

The police had arraigned him before the court following a petition written against him, alleging that during one of his Tafsir sessions during this year’s holy month of Ramadan he made blasphemous comments against Prophet Mohammed and some notable Sufi clerics.

However, the case was transferred to the Upper Shariah Court of Appeal 1 Bauchi for trial.

When the case was called during the court’s sitting on Wednesday, the cleric was absent in court, with the prosecuting counsel, AliyuBn Idris, saying that the defendant’s absence was deliberate.

The defence counsel, however, Barrister Sadiq Abubakar Ilelah, however, informed the court that the cleric was not in court due to his sickness and pleaded for an adjournment to enable Idris to come to court.

In a bench ruling, the presiding judge, HussainiTuraki, held that Idris’ failure to come to court despite being issued with a summon to that effect amounts to contempt of court.

He subsequently issued a bench warrant for the cleric’s arrest with a view to forcing him to appear before court at the next adjourned date.

Turaki then adjourned the case to Monday, June 5, 2023.

Speaking with journalists after the adjournment of the case, counsel to Idris, Barrister Ilellah attributed his absence in court to an undisclosed ailment, saying that, “The Imam was sick. That is why he could not attend the court sitting.”

Ilelah informed the defence had filed a motion, seeking an adjournment to enable the cleric to appear on the next adjourned date.

According to him, “the judge refused our plea that our client be given another opportunity to appear before the court, arguing that he disrespected the summons of the court.”

The prosecuting counsel, Idris explained to journalists that the case was transferred from Magistrate Court 1 to the Upper Shariah Court of Appeal in order to start afresh and lamented that the cleric was not in court for the commencement of trial.

“Unfortunately, the defendant could not come to court, but they have filed a notice of preliminary objection, challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

“However, we argue that he is supposed to appear before the court before they move their motion.

“We applied for a bench warrant to be issued against him since he has refused to come to court, and the court ruled in that favour,” the prosecutor said.


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Nigerian Aircraft Carrying Muslim Pilgrims Makes Emergency Landing, Details Emerge

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Jigawa, Dutse - A Saudi Arabia-bound aircraft belonging to Max Air carrying 559 Muslim pilgrims from Jigawa State has made an emergency landing at the Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano. According to Premium Times, the Aircraft was forced to land after lightning struck on Wednesday, May 31. The Max Air aeroplane was carrying 559 Muslim pilgrims from Jigawa state to Saudi Arabia. Photo Credit: NAHCON Source: Facebook It was gathered that the Muslim pilgrims, who were on their way to observe the 2023 Hajj exercise, jetted out of the Duste Airport at 4:45 p.m. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU "He should handle it way better": Video as Davido shows off N1.4bn watches... Speaking on the development, the manager of Max Air Kano, Bello Ramadan, confirmed that the situation was less critical than explained. PAY ATTENTION: Сheck out news that is picked exactly for YOU find the “Recommended for you” block on the home page and enjoy! Ramadan noted that all passengers were fine and nobody was hurt during the emergency landing. He said: “The problem is not as much as the passengers are reporting, some of them are panicking and reporting what did not happen, the airplane’s engine and tires are in perfect condition. “We have provided an alternative plane to continue the journey, the plane is about fueling, and the passengers are okay, even though some of them are panicking, but there is no cause for alarm." Ramadan also confirmed that lightning did strike and affect the left screen of the aircraft, but it did not pose any threat. He also noted that the emergency landing was for precautionary measures. RECOMMENDED FOR YOU Video of lady in basket top goes viral, leaves social media users amused: "... He, however, revealed that an alternative had been provided for the passengers to continue their journey. Ramadan said: "... thank God it was mere scratch and not broken and the pilot decided to return. Very soon they will continue with the journey.” Meanwhile, the executive secretary of the Jigawa Pilgrims Board, Umar Labbo, revealed that the first batch of pilgrims was drawn from 16 out of 27 local government areas of the state. Bus conveying Nasarawa Hajj-bound pilgrims crashes on its way to Abuja In another similar development, an 18-seater bus conveying intending pilgrims was involved in an accident on Wednesday in Nasarawa state. The Hajj-bound pilgrims were said to be on their way to Abuja for airlifting to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, May 25. Details of the accident, which occurred around Kara, Keffi Local Government Area in Nasarawa state, are still sketchy.


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ICPC partners imams, pastors to fight corruption

May 31, 2023

Shina Abubakar, Osogbo

The Independent Corrupt Practises and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has urged religious leaders to partner with the commission in spreading anti-corruption messages at mosques and churches.

Speaking at a one-day workshop organised for Muslim and Christian clerics at the commission office in Osogbo on Wednesday, Osun State Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner, DemolaBakare said the society respects imams and pastors as spiritual leaders, hence the decision to partner with them in tackling the menace.

He stressed further that, the fora was aimed at “gingering religion institutions to assist in mainstreaming behavioural change/value of integrity and anti-corruption into the society”, adding that leaders of religion should speak more about the impacts and consequences of corruption to their congregations.

His words, “Because of the respect given to pastors and imams by members of their respective congregation, it was important for them to be part of the Anti-corruption campaign.

“As spiritual leaders, you should use the opportunity of the constant interface with the masses in churches and mosques to preach behavioural change that would entrench the practice of integrity in the society, resulting in a better Nigeria”.

Meanwhile in his lecture, titled, “Expected Role of Religious Leaders in the Fight against Corruption”, ICPC’s SulymanLaaro, said the commission recognised clerics as a major shareholder in the crusade against corruption and believes that they are an important channel of spreading the anti-corruption messages to the grassroots, as most Nigerians professed either the Islamic or Christian faith”.

“You are to speak the truth and disassociate yourselves from being used by the political class at the expense of the poor in the society. As religious leaders, you must spearhead a moral revolution and ethical reorientation for the nation. You are the embodiment of godly virtues and should lead by example”, he added.

Speaking on behalf of other participants, The Imam of Alekwuodo central mosque, OsogboAlhaji Hafeez Adediran commended ICPC for organising the lectures for leaders of religion, adding that the lecture was timely and expository because it gave participants the opportunity to learn more about the anti-corruption-campaign as pursued by ICPC

Also, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, Pastor Amos Ogunrinde, promised to further spree


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