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Islamic World News ( 9 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Bangladesh Slams India’s Leaders for Blasphemy, Anti-Muslim Policies; Hefazat-e-Islam Held a Big Rally in Dhaka

New Age Islam News Bureau

10 June 2022

 

The speakers called for a boycott of Indian products until the country abandons its anti-Muslim stance. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

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• Islamists in Pakistan Hold Protest Rally against Controversial Remarks by Former BJP Spokespersons

• Bon Odori Festival Can Lead To Polytheism, Says Penang Mufti

• Don’t Jeopardise Jobs of Hindu Employees in Gulf in Reaction to the Controversial Remarks on Prophet Muhammad: Sunni Leader Aboobacker Musaliyar

• Stop Wasting Resources on Fidau Prayers, In Honour of Their Deceased, Lekki Central Mosque Imam Urges Muslims

 

South Asia

• Taliban to Act Against Pak LeT/JeM Terrorists in Afghanistan on Specific Intel

• Amnesty International Calls on the Taliban to “Immediately” Release the Afghan YouTuber and His Colleagues

• Islamic Emirate Reiterates Pledge of Safety for Returning Afghans

• Saudi Arabia Pledges a $30 Million Grant to the Afghan Humanitarian Trust Fund

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Pakistan

• Lahore ATC issues non-bailable arrest warrants for PTI leaders over long march vandalism

• Culprits 'will not escape justice': Pakistan rejects India's remarks on Karachi Hindu temple vandalism

• Imran Khan trying to reach out to establishment due to frustration: Pakistan Defence Minister

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Southeast Asia

• Onus on Malaysian companies to play by US rules, says Zuraida

• Indonesia and Qatar Collaborate on Afghanistan Relief Efforts

• Health Group Welcomes Code against Exploitation of Religion In Advertising

• Nearly 60 Rohingya found abandoned on Thai island while en route to Malaysia: Police

• Parti Bangsa Malaysia Accepts Zuraida Kamaruddin, Makes Her ‘President Designate’

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India

• Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha Seeks FIR against Muslim Cleric Shaher Qazi Hafiz Quddus Hadi of Kanpur

• Kanpur Violence: 'Muslims Being Picked Up Indiscriminately,' Say Families of Those Arrested

• 3 Muslim Men Forced To Do Sit-Ups, Chant 'Jai Shri Ram' In UP

• Hyderabad: Local Muslims protest against remarks on Prophet

• Tehseen Poonawalla Presses For FIR against Muslim Cleric, Ilyas Sharfuddin, For Making ‘Communal’ Remarks against Hinduism

• Case over "Threat" To Varanasi Judge Who Ordered Gyanvapi Mosque Filming

• 'Don't Block Roads': Bengal Muslim Body Calls For Peaceful Protests over Prophet Remarks Row

• Charge Those Who Instigated Islamic Nations against India with Treason: Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar

• Curfew imposed in J&K's Bhaderwah town after communal tension

• Prophet jibe: ‘Balancing’ charge after Delhi police's parallel FIR

• Sadhus organise Ganga puja to ‘free Shivalinga’ at Gyanvapi

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Africa

• Nigeria suspects Islamic State of killing 40 in Catholic Church

• Sudan’s main civilian opposition coalition to meet with ruling junta: Party leader

• Nigeria links church attack in Ondo state to ISWAP terror group

• South Africa’s president suspends anti-corruption czar

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Arab World

• Israeli Premier Arrives In Abu Dhabi to Meet UAE President

• Israel strikes southern Damascus: Syrian state media

• Iraq’s Sadr Warns MPs Could ‘Resign’ To Break Political Deadlock

• Turkey Hopes Allies ‘Respect’ Planned Syria Offensive

• YPG/PKK terror group kidnapped Syrian brothers, ages 9 and 10, to join terrorist ranks

• Turkish intel ‘neutralizes’ 3 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

• Lebanon’s Hezbollah can stop Israeli gas extraction from disputed field, chief says

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Mideast

• Israeli Court Upholds Sale of Jerusalem Church Land to Jewish Group

• Iran Proxies Engaged In 'Invisible Jihad' Against Christians in Middle East, Philos Project Report Warns

• Iranian, Russian Presidents Discuss Ties, Oppose IAEA Political Approach

• FM: West Fails to Force Iran into Recognition of Zionist Regime

• Spokesman: Iran to Give Firm Response to IAEA Resolution

• Envoy: Iran Staunch Supporter of Elimination of Nukes

• Iran, Nigeria Ink Several MoUs to Expand Cooperation

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North America

• US Lawmakers Call for Plan to Integrate Middle East Air Defences, Confront Iran

• US says Iran threatening fate of JCPOA talks, could become further isolated

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Europe

• Council of Europe Urges Denmark to Address Anti-Muslim Discrimination, Racism

• Serbia completes preparations for visa-free travel with Türkiye

• Russia welcomes normalization between Türkiye, Armenia

• Bosnian Serb leader demands deportation of high representative

• EU urges Algeria to reverse split with Spain

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/bangladesh-india-blasphemy-muslim-hefazat-dhaka/d/127217

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Bangladesh Slams India’s Leaders for Blasphemy, Anti-Muslim Policies; Hefazat-e-Islam Held a Big Rally in Dhaka

 

The speakers called for a boycott of Indian products until the country abandons its anti-Muslim stance. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

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June 10, 2022

Bangladesh’s biggest non-political Islamic platform, Hefazat-e-Islam, on Thursday held a big rally in the capital Dhaka in protest against defamatory comments about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by some officials of the Indian ruling party.

Leaders of the organisation called on the Bangladeshi government to send a formal condemnation message to the Indian authorities against disrespect to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

If the Indian government fails to punish the offenders, it would tarnish the constitutional image of the country as a secular state, Hefazat leader Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury said while addressing the rally.

The participants also chanted slogans against India’s oppressive state policy targeting Muslims for a long time and urged all Muslims across the world to be united against any oppression.

The speakers called for a boycott of Indian products until the country abandons its anti-Muslim stance.

Last week, the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, the BJP’s Delhi media head, made insulting remarks about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), triggering a wave of condemnation at home and from the Islamic world.

India, however, on Monday said the remarks do not reflect the views of the government, with the relevant bodies taking strong action against them.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also stressed that they “do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India.”—AP

Source: Pak Observer

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://pakobserver.net/bangladesh-slams-indias-leaders-for-blas-phemy-anti-muslim-policies/

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Islamists in Pakistan Hold Protest Rally against Controversial Remarks by Former BJP Spokespersons

 

People chant anti-India slogans to condemn the derogatory references to Prophet Muhammad in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday. (Photo | AP)

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Sajjad Hussain

09.06.22

Thousands of Islamists in Pakistan on Thursday rallied in capital Islamabad, protesting over controversial remarks by two former BJP spokespersons against Prophet Mohammad.

The demonstrators from a right wing party, Jamaat-e-Islami, briefly scuffled with police when they were stopped from marching towards the Indian High Commission located in the high security Diplomatic Enclave.

Police said that no one was hurt in the clash and no arrest was made, as the protestors dispersed after failing to break through the police cordon to enter the Diplomatic Enclave.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), have given a call for peaceful protests after Friday prayers on June 10.

The BJP has already suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled the party's Delhi unit media head Naveen Jindal for their controversial remarks following widespread anger in several Gulf countries.

India has said that the remarks do not reflect the views of the government.

India has categorically rejected criticism by the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over the issue.

MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India accords the "highest respect" to all religions and described the statement by the grouping as "motivated, misleading and mischievous" and that it exposed its "divisive agenda" which is being pursued at the behest of "vested interests."

Referring to Sharif's condemnation of the remarks by Sharma and Jindal, and the Pakistan Foreign Ministry's criticism, Bagchi said the "absurdity of a serial violator of minority rights commenting on the treatment of minorities in another nation is not lost on anyone."

Bagchi said the government "accords the highest respect to all religions. This is quite unlike Pakistan where fanatics are eulogized and monuments built in their honour".

Source: Telegraph India

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/islamists-in-pakistan-hold-protest-rally-against-controversial-remarks-by-former-bjp-spokespersons/cid/1869174

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Bon Odori Festival Can Lead To Polytheism, Says Penang Mufti

 

Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Nor said Muslims were advised to always preserve the purity of their Islamic faith by avoiding being involved in such festivals. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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June 7, 2022

GEORGE TOWN: Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor advised Muslims against being involved in the Bon Odori festival for fear it could lead to “syirik” (polytheism).

Wan Salim said Muslims should always preserve the purity of their Islamic faith by avoiding such festivals.

“Since the festival is linked to remembering the souls or spirits of ancestors, it is feared that it could lead to polytheism.

“Remembering the souls of the ancestors by dancing, worshipping their spirits and others is not encouraged in Islam,” he said in a statement here today.

Yesterday, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (religious affairs) Idris Ahmad was reported to have said that the Islamic development department (Jakim) found that the Bon Odori festival had elements of other religions.

As such, Muslims were advised against participating in the event which would be held at the Shah Alam National Sports Complex on July 16.

Meanwhile, Penang tourism and creative economy committee chairman, Yeoh Soon Hin in a separate event said the state government did not plan to cancel the event scheduled for July 30.

He said that, in the context of Penang, it did not contain elements of worship or certain religious rituals.

He said the festival had been held in Penang for the last 10 years, and it was to strengthen long-established ties between Malaysia and Japan. This, he said, could indirectly help spur the economy and tourism in the state.

According to Yeoh, the festival held in Penang before Covid-19 could attract over 10,000 visitors and the state government expected attendance this year to exceed 5,000 people.

Meanwhile, in Putrajaya, the Malaysian Islamic charity council (MAIM), under Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia, said Muslims should not be celebrating the festivals of other religions that involve matters of faith.

Its chairman, Najhan Shahir Halim, said the ban was based on the Quran and hadiths (narrative record of the sayings or customs of Prophet Muhammad and his companions) and the five maqasid shariah (objectives or purposes behind the Islamic rulings) principles which among others protected religion, life and the mind.

Nevertheless, he urged Muslims to respect the cultures and beliefs of other religions.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/07/bon-odori-festival-can-lead-to-polytheism-says-penang-mufti/

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Don’t Jeopardise Jobs of Hindu Employees in Gulf in Reaction to the Controversial Remarks on Prophet Muhammad: Sunni Leader Aboobacker Musaliyar

 

Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musaliyar

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10th June 2022

KOZHIKODE: Sunni leader Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musaliyar has said the reactions to the controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad should not lead to members of the Hindu community working in the Gulf countries and elsewhere losing their jobs.

In a statement issued from Cairo on Thursday, he said the Hindu community should not be blamed for the blasphemous remarks. “A large majority of the people in India maintains secular ideals,” he said.

Kanthapuram said believers are passing through great pains, and it is unjust to blame the Hindu community. The reaction to the remarks should not result in taking wrong positions against the Hindu believers. “It should not adversely affect our social fabric,” he said.

He added that the country should jointly fight the forces which are trying to capitalise on the situation.

“A majority of the people in India respect religious sentiments. It is the secular ideology of the country that won the respect of the Arab countries and those who try to malign the image should be reined in,” he said.

Source: New Indian Express

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2022/jun/10/dont-jeopardise-jobs-of-hindu-employees-in-gulf-sunni-leader-2463775.html

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Stop Wasting Resources on Fidau Prayers, In Honour of Their Deceased, Lekki Central Mosque Imam Urges Muslims

 

Photo: The Guardian

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By Shakirah Adunola

10 June 2022

The Chief Imam of Lekki Central Mosque, Sheikh Ridwanullahi Jamiu, has called on Muslims to stop the idea of flamboyant fidau prayers or ceremonies in honour of their deceased loved ones, saying the ceremonial gathering usually organised in most parts of the country is not acceptable in Islam.

The renowned scholar said that whatever Muslim will do regarding the religion must be strictly guided by the teachings and saying of Prophet Muhammed, saying that the usual gathering of people for prayers, celebration or ceremony in commemoration of a deceased Muslim must be strictly discouraged as it against the tenet of Islam.

Speaking at an event organised by the Lekki Muslim Ummah, LEMU, the Imam said that Islam enjoins Muslims to remember their loved ones who have passed on with prayers. He added that there is no proof that fidau prayers should be organised for them other than the janaza prayer, which is part of the burial rites.

Imam Jamiu said: “Anything you want to do as a Muslim must be guided by the teachings of our noble prophet Muhammed. There is no proof in the sunnah of the prophet that one can do any Fidau prayers for the deceased person. But it is the sunnah according to the Quran and sayings of the prophet, we should always remember our deceased person with prayers. Allah said we should always remember those who came before us in our prayers. That’s an individual thing. But when a person is just deceased, what is recommended in Islam is solatul jannazah. All scholars know this. Solatul janazah is the prayer where the imam stands and people stand behind him and the corpse is placed in the front of the imam who will say takbir for four times or thereabouts. That’s the only prayer that is recommended. But the coming together for a special ceremony or prayer after the funeral prayer is not found in Islam and the sunnah of the prophet. Therefore, we have to abstain from it so that we won’t end up wasting our resources on something that is not based on any evidence.”

He added that the ceremony under the guise of helping the needy is not allowed in Islam, adding that Muslims must be strictly guided by the Sunnah of the holy prophet. “The prophet said that anyone who does anything or any act of worship which is not based on our teachings, is rejected. Why do we have to waste our time, resources on what will be rejected? So, we don’t need to waste any food for any person. Once someone dies, we don’t need to cook food for people. It is people who need to support the bereaved family with food, especially if the family is needy or poor.

“When Jafar died, the prophet urged people to support Jafar’s family with food because a great calamity had befallen them. So, we should always look at the bereaved to know if they are needy so that we can support them. So, they are not required to provide food for people whether for the first, 2nd or 3rd day, not even the 8th day or any other day in the name of the funerals.”

The Chief Imam, however, said that one of the first things the family of anyone left behind by the deceased needs to do is to embark on some project or charity, adding that the prophet said that the deceased would be rewarded based on some project he or she did while alive.

“He will continue to receive the reward from what he had initiated before his death for as long as people continue to benefit from that thing. Also, the knowledge the deceased had before he died for as long people benefit from it, he would receive the reward whether when he is alive or dead. The third one is righteous children, so whatever the children do in terms of personal prayers, establishment of a foundation or building of a mosque in order to remember the deceased, the dead ones will receive the reward. Even given charity for the poor but this must not be targeted at the third day, 8th day, 40th day, one year or so. You can feed the poor during Ramadan. This mustn’t be done ceremoniously or targeted at an anniversary.”

Source: Guardian Nigeria

Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:

https://guardian.ng/features/friday-worship/stop-wasting-resources-on-fidau-prayers-lekki-imam-urges-muslims/

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South Asia

 

Taliban to act against Pak LeT/JeM terrorists in Afghanistan on specific intel

Jun 10, 2022

By Shishir Gupta

During the bilateral meeting in Kabul last week, the Taliban top leadership assured India that it will not allow terrorism against third country from its soil but also act against terrorists of Pak-based groups on basis of pin-pointed intelligence.

It is learnt that India’s delegation leader and Af-Pak expert J P Singh met Defence Minister Mullah Yaqoob and Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani apart from Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi at Kabul on invitation from the Taliban government. The meeting came after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at a Regional Security Summit in Dushanbe asked fellow NSAs of Russia, China, Iran, and Central Asian Republics to enhance the capability of Afghanistan to counter terrorism and terrorists who pose a threat to regional peace and security.

According to information available from Kabul and New Delhi, the Taliban leadership not only promised action against India specific groups based in Pakistan like Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen but also terrorists from Al Qaeda in the Sub-Continent (AQIS) provided specific information was provided.

The Indian perception from the bilateral meeting is that relationship of the Taliban regime with Al Qaeda is not the same as during Osama bin Laden days in past decades but there is a question mark on the Taliban foot-soldiers commitment and capability to take on the Salafist terrorist group. The AQIS has been trying to take credit for terrorists attacks in the sub-continent with the objective of enhancing its foot-print in the region. On June 5-6, it threatened both Bangladesh and India with suicide bomb attacks for trying to defame Islam and the Prophet.

Intelligence inputs indicate that AQIS and the so-called Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) are also branded products of terror factories based in Pakistan with the involvement of its deep state. India has already informed stake-holders in the region and in the west that any terror attack in Indian hinterland would be met with strong retaliation.

While the top Taliban leadership is committed to act against terror against India, the Modi government has decided to continue with humanitarian aid and revival of infrastructure projects and power stations in the strife torn country. With New Delhi directly engaging the Taliban on shared interests and stability in Afghanistan, the salience of Central Asian republics like bordering Tajikistan in the context of Kabul has gone down a few notches below in priority. Fact is that India no longer needs to operate a hospital across Amu Darya or have a presence at a military base in Tajikistan, which is opposed to the Taliban regime and is virtually caught in a Chinese debt trap.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/taliban-to-act-against-pak-let-jem-terrorists-in-afghanistan-on-specific-indian-101654831818094.html

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Amnesty International Calls on the Taliban to “Immediately” Release the Afghan YouTuber and His Colleagues

By Saqalain Eqbal

09 Jun 2022

Amnesty International has called on the Taliban to release Afghan model and YouTuber Ajmal Haqiqi and his colleagues immediately.

Taliban forces have arrested Ajmal Haqiqi and three of his colleagues on blasphemy accusations. The Taliban’s intelligence agency confirmed the arrest of Haqiqi and his colleagues on Tuesday, June 7, with the release of a video of their confessions.

Four persons, including Ajmal Haqiqi, are handcuffed in a video shared on Twitter by the Taliban’s intelligence agency. Ajmal Haqiqi, model, and YouTube is among those who have coercively confessed to “promoting indecencies and insulting the verses of the Qur’an.”

However, this confession appears to be coerced as he read from a written script.

Amnesty International described the arrests as a “blatant attack on freedom of expression” and a flagrant breach of international law, according to the statement.

Amnesty International further stated that the Taliban should promptly release these individuals and not censor the ideas of those who choose to express themselves.

The Taliban must immediately and unconditionally release the YouTubers and end their continued censorship of those who wish to freely express their ideas. Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner

According to the statement, since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, they have been using “intimidation, harassment, violence,” and torturing people, according to Samira Hamidi, Amnesty International’s South Asia Campaigner.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/amnesty-international-calls-on-the-taliban-to-immediately-release-the-afghan-youtuber-and-his-colleagues-58495/

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Islamic Emirate Reiterates Pledge of Safety for Returning Afghans

Jun 10, 2022

The Islamic Emirate has reiterated its pledge to provide security to the individuals who want to return to the country.

The commission of “Return and Communications with Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures” said that the Islamic Emirate doesn’t seek revenge and that the individuals who left the country can return.

“Every time when one side wins they try to impose their ideology on the opponent side and this has become normal in Afghanistan. When one side came to power, it sought to pressure the other side. This will be a good opportunity for us to not pass on such experiences to the next generation,” said Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate.

"We have a 40 million population. Everyone cannot take a seat and have power but it doesn’t mean they should be distant from their home and country,” said Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Meanwhile, the individuals who returned to the country called on the government to take advantage of their experience in government institutions.

Amanullah Ghlib, former head of the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS); Ghulam Farooq Wardak, former Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs; and Hassan Mubarak Azizi, former deputy Minister of Transpiration and Civil Aviation, have recently returned to the country based on invitations of the commission of “Return and Communications With Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures."

“When the foreigners don’t find job, they go to a developing country to find a job. The Afghans are better to (work here) rather than the foreigners,” said Amanullah Ghlib, former head of the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS).

“The issues which are being discussed in Tashkent, Dushanbe, Ankara and Islamabad are better discussed in Afghanistan,” said Hassan Mubarak Azizi, former deputy Minister of Transpiration and Civil Aviation.

According to the commission “Return and Communications With Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures," more than 16 officials of the former government and academic figures have returned to the country.

“The work of the commission is going well. We have contacted some people and they filled out the forms of the commission to return to Afghanistan. We will see the return of some figures in the near future,” said Ahmadullah Waseeq, a spokesman for the commission.

Source: Tolo News

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-178403

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Saudi Arabia Pledges a $30 Million Grant to the Afghan Humanitarian Trust Fund

By Saqalain Eqbal

09 Jun 2022

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced a grant of USD 30 million to support the Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF), according to the Riyadh Daily.

The grant is part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian and relief efforts, as well as its effective and leading role in providing all forms of assistance to “brotherly and friendly” countries.

It has the goal of ameliorating Afghan people’s suffering and reducing the risks of deteriorating critical humanitarian situations and potential economic meltdown in Afghanistan, which could jeopardize regional and international peace and stability.

This grant is a continuation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s support for several projects in Afghanistan over the past decades, including humanitarian, health, educational, water, and food security projects totaling more than 1 billion Saudi Arabia Riyals, as part of its responsibility and role in bringing security and prosperity to Afghanistan and its people.

Since the Taliban took power in mid-August, Afghanistan has faced an impending humanitarian calamity, prompting the US and other donor countries to shut all financial support and isolate the country from the global financial system.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/saudi-arabia-pledges-a-30-million-grant-to-the-afghan-humanitarian-trust-fund-67598/

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Pakistan

 

Lahore ATC issues non-bailable arrest warrants for PTI leaders over long march vandalism

Rana Bilal Published

June 10, 2022

A Lahore anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Friday issued non-bailable arrest warrants for top leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in Punjab over multiple charges including alleged violations of Section 144 and attacks on law enforcement agencies on May 25 — the day PTI workers marched to Islamabad.

According to a ruling dated June 9, available with Dawn.com, the investigating officer in charge of the Shahdara police station, Muhammad Saleem, requested the court to issue non-bailable arrest warrants for Mian Akram Usman, Muhammad Zubair Khan Niazi, Imtiaz Mehmood Sheikh, Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed, Mian Shafqat Mehmood, Malik Nadeem Abbas, Murad Raas, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Yasir Gilani, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Hammad Azhar, Andleeb Abbas, and Ijaz Chaudhry.

It stated that the accused persons were "intentionally concealing themselves in order to avoid their arrest and their arrest is necessary for completion of the investigation".

The court of Judge Abher Gul Khan accepted the officer's request and issued the warrants.

Last month, the Punjab police had registered a total of 42 criminal cases against PTI’s senior leaders and workers for alleged agitation in the aftermath of the long march.

It said three police officials had been martyred in the line of duty while 100 others were injured, three of them seriously, in allegedly attacks by PTI workers. Of them, 34 personnel were injured in Lahore, 48 in Attock and nine in Sargodha, Mianwali, Rawal­pindi, Jhelum and other cities.

Earlier, a police official told Dawn that 12 cases were registered in Lahore, five in Sialkot, four each in Rawalpindi and Sargodha, three in Mianwali, and two each in Attock and Jhelum, while one FIR was lodged in Chakwal.

Azadi March

On the day of the Azadi March, May 25, clashes between PTI activists and police at Lahore’s Liberty Chowk were reported as the law enforcers resorted to tear gas shelling in an attempt to clear roads for traffic, which was blocked by the demonstrators on a fresh directive from the party chief to lodge protests in their respective areas, after the protesters threw stones on the police personnel while refusing to clear the roads.

When PTI’s Lahore chapter gathered its workers at Bhatti Chowk to remove barriers placed in the area to block their route to Islamabad, the police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse them and arrested over 10 PTI workers. Around 212 other party activists were picked up from other city areas.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1694080/lahore-atc-issues-non-bailable-arrest-warrants-for-pti-leaders-over-long-march-vandalism

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Culprits 'will not escape justice': Pakistan rejects India's remarks on Karachi Hindu temple vandalism

June 10, 2022

Pakistan has rejected remarks made by a spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) accusing Islamabad of "systemic persecution of religious minorities" after a Hindu temple was vandalised in Karachi.

"They (perpetrators) will not escape justice and the Government will deal with them with the full force of law," the Foreign Office said in a statement on Thursday night, adding that an FIR had already been registered against the assailants and efforts were underway to identify and arrest them.

On Wednesday, unidentified men attacked a Hindu temple in the Korangi area of Karachi, desecrating an idol. According to a first information report (FIR), the miscreants pelted stones at an idol and threatened workers at the site.

On Thursday, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab promised that the perpetrators would be brought to justice and the temple would be repaired.

Subsequently, at a press conference in Delhi on Thursday, Indian official Arindam Bagchi said: "We have noted the recent incident of vandalization of a Hindu temple in Karachi. We believe this is another act in the systemic persecution of religious minorities. We have conveyed our protest to the Government of Pakistan. Again urge it to ensure the safety, security and well being of the minority communities."

In its statement, the Foreign Office (FO) rejected Bagchi's remarks. "Unlike the violence against the Muslim community that is orchestrated by religious fanatics who enjoy full patronage of India’s state machinery, the Government of Pakistan is seized of this matter and action is being taken against the perpetrators."

The Government of India, the FO continued, would be well advised to introspect and ensure the protection of the fundamental rights, lives, and places of worship of minorities across India, particularly Muslims who were facing brutal attacks from the proponents of ‘Hindutva’ holding on to the reins of power in the country.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1694082/culprits-will-not-escape-justice-pakistan-rejects-indias-remarks-on-karachi-hindu-temple-vandalism

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Imran Khan trying to reach out to establishment due to frustration: Pakistan Defence Minister

10 June, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 9 (ANI): Pakistan Defense Minister Khwaja Asif on Wednesday said former Prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan was trying to reach out to the establishment due to confusion and frustration over his failure.

“Imran Khan is confused and bereft of senses as a result of frustration and failure. His rhetoric against the Pakistani army is still resonating in the air, but he is now seeking assistance from the establishment,” Geo News quoted Asif as saying.

This comes after PTI chief Imran Khan, during a recent rally said Pakistan could “break up into three parts” if the establishment did not take the right decisions.

Following his ouster from power, Khan has been holding several rallies, reiterating the foreign conspiracy allegations and his rebuke of the “selected government” against the Shehbaz Sharif government.

While indicating the regime of former prime minister Imran Khan as a failure for the country, Khawaja Asif said that the government is moving towards stability with each passing day.

“Due to the inability to clean up the mess of the past four years, we took painful decisions with some delay, and more will be required I n the days to come. However, the outcome of our tough choices will be in the country’s best interest,” he added.

On being asked about the losing popularity of the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) party, as revealed by a survey by the Institute for Public Opinion Research (IPOR), a research firm that specializes in surveys and Social Science Research, Khawaja said that he urged the coalition partners of the incumbent government to contest the next general elections from the platform of Pakistan Democratic Movement, Geo News reported.

“I also urge that our coalition government allies contest the next general elections together,” he stated, adding, “not only will we win the general elections, but also the next by-elections,” Khawaja said.

He further said, “Though PML-popularity N’s might have declined, this might be reversed when the masses get the dividends of our policies,” Geo News reported.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s National Economic Council on Wednesday announced to close the markets across the country by 8:30 pm in order to save the electricity consumption in the country.

Defending the decision, Khawaja Asif said, “This decision will save electricity and the power shortage issue will be resolved in the next 20-25 days.”

Amid the political instability and worsening economic crisis, the Pakistan masses are burdened with severe power cuts and increased electricity tariffs. It was reported that Pakistan is facing an acute electricity crisis resulting in a power shortfall of 6,500 megawatts (MW) accompanied by long hours of load shedding, lasting up to 12 hours.

Against a demand of 26,000 megawatts, the power supply in the country remained at 19,500 megawatts, reported Ary News. Rural areas in Pakistan are experiencing power cuts for up to 12 hours.

Meanwhile, the recent report of the survey conducted in Pakistan by the Institute of Public Opinion and Research (IPOR), stated that a total of 43 per cent of respondents in Pakistan have held former Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government accountable for the country’s adverse economic conditions.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/imran-khan-trying-to-reach-out-to-establishment-due-to-frustration-pakistan-defence-minister/990687/

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Southeast Asia

 

Onus on Malaysian companies to play by US rules, says Zuraida

June 8, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian companies have been told to take note of a US border agency’s method of operations to avoid potential import bans in the future stemming over forced labour issues.

Plantation industries and commodities minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said this was following reports that US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) investigation methods derived information from third-party sources.

She said while Malaysia was not agreeable with CBP’s ways of relying on remote or third-party evidence in its probe of forced labour indicators, it was the agency’s prerogative to act based on what it deemed to be proprietary information.

“Nevertheless, CBP, in detailing the route and subsequent actions taken against companies, has reiterated that its investigations were done through reasonable information, analysis, investigations and assumptions.

“The onus is on industry players, especially those in the labour-intensive rubber gloves and plantation sector, to pay heed to CBP’s sensitivities, and work on a remedial action plan before being slapped with a withhold release order for an accusation of forced labour,” she said in a statement.

Zuraida said Malaysia’s palm oil industry, in particular, had to bear the brunt of being in direct competition with soybean oil, where the US was the world’s leading producer and second-largest exporter.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/08/onus-on-malaysian-companies-to-play-by-us-rules-says-zuraida/

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Indonesia and Qatar Collaborate on Afghanistan Relief Efforts

By Muhammad Zulfikar Rakhmat and Yeta Purnama

June 10, 2022

At the end of March, Indonesia and Qatar signed a Letter of Intent regarding humanitarian and development assistance for the people of Afghanistan. The agreement, which was signed by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Qatari Foreign Minister Muhammad bin Abdurrahman al-Thani, reflects the two nations’ concern and commitment regarding the humanitarian crisis currently unfolding in Afghanistan, especially as regards the status of women and children.

Retno also stated that the assistance involves long-term aid, including scholarships and vocational training programs tailored to the needs of the Afghan people, and plans to hold public dialogues about the role of women in Afghan society.

Alongside this, Indonesia continues to demonstrate its ability to seek to build relations with Afghanistan in overcoming the crisis prompted by the Taliban takeover last August, offering humanitarian aid and funding equivalent to $2.85 million in the period from 2022 to 2024.

Also in March, representatives from Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Qatar held a meeting in Doha to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, during which they addressed the dire humanitarian, economic, and educational situation in the country. In addition to providing humanitarian assistance, Indonesia and Qatar have also actively voiced the importance of the Taliban respecting women’s rights.

Doha and Jakarta have committed to oversee the transition period and brought the issue of humanitarian crises up in international forums. In her statement, Retno stated that the Indonesian and Qatari governments were ready to oversee the transition to a safe, just, and prosperous Afghanistan.

The emerging collaboration between Indonesia and Qatar on the Afghanistan issue is not surprising. Qatar’s efforts to establish close relations with the Taliban are based on the nation’s desire to strengthen its position as a regional mediator. This corresponds to one of Indonesia’s core foreign policy priorities under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration.

Upon taking office in 2014, Jokowi unveiled new policies that sought to enhance Indonesia’s standing on the global stage. The most important of these was the country’s “4+1” foreign policy outline, which refers to “strengthening economic diplomacy; protection diplomacy, sovereignty, and national diplomacy; and Indonesia’s role in the region and globally.” The “+1” refers to the strengthening of the infrastructure of diplomacy.

This common interest appears to have prompted the two countries to cooperate with each other to mediate the crisis in Afghanistan. Doha’s invitation to Indonesia to the recent meeting also reflects Indonesia’s success in building trust with the Taliban government. As the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia is seen as being able to mediate conflicts in the Muslim world, including the Afghanistan issue. Moreover, Qatar also saw Indonesia’s interest in mediating the Gulf crisis of 2017.

Indonesia’s Islamic identity is also augmented by its neutral position, resulting in Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership having more confidence in dealing with Indonesia than with other countries. This neutral position is of course in accordance with the mandate of the domestic constitution, which says that Indonesia’s aim is to foster world peace within the contours of Indonesia’s “free and active” foreign policy, which does not take sides in geopolitical disputes.

It is important to note that Indonesia was also recently invited by China to its first meeting of “Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan Plus Afghanistan.” This implies that Indonesia’s neutrality and prominence in the Muslim world have made other countries interested in collaborating with it on issues involving other Muslim nations.

Indonesia and Afghanistan have a long history of cooperation. Afghanistan was one of the first countries to recognize Indonesia’s independence, in 1947, two years after the beginning of the country’s struggle against Dutch rule. In addition, Indonesia and Afghanistan have cooperated in the fields of capacity building and counter-terrorism, and had modest but consistent economic relations. Indonesia is the 14th largest destination for Afghanistan’s exports, while Afghanistan is one of Indonesia’s largest export destinations in the Middle East.

In April 2017, Indonesia also became the first Southeast Asian country to be visited directly by then Afghan president, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, which resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding relating to education, agriculture, statistics, bureaucratic reform, and fiscal policy.

Lastly, Qatar-Indonesia cooperation on Afghanistan affairs is also related to the overall growing ties between the two. Doha and Jakarta often meet at various multilateral forums to discuss political issues at both regional and international levels. This takes place alongside the economic, cultural, and defense cooperation that have been increasingly pursued by the two countries.

Source: The Diplomat

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

https://thediplomat.com/2022/06/indonesia-and-qatar-collaborate-on-afghanistan-relief-efforts/

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Health group welcomes code against exploitation of religion in advertising

Danial Azhar

June 10, 2022

PETALING JAYA: A think tank has welcomed a move by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to prevent the use of elements associated with religious beliefs in the promotion of consumer products.

Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy CEO Azrul Mohd Khalib said the prohibition, which is included in MCMC’s 2022 Content Code, was overdue given the proliferation of products exploiting religious beliefs and scientific ignorance.

“We have products that clearly exploit a section of society which is susceptible to religious arguments when making decisions concerning their health and the health of their family members,” Azrul told FMT.

“There is a large number of people living with serious and chronic illnesses, such as cancer and diabetes, who need proper medical treatment but are instead lured away by unproven and baseless claims.”

On Wednesday, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Forum executive director Mediha Mahmood said the code would be enforced by the end of this year.

She said the prohibition applied to the use of religious elements of all faiths and that the objective was to prevent the use of religion as a marketing gimmick.

Azrul said the code was essential in preventing the sale of products claiming to cure cancer or diabetes through incantations.

He said such products often caused people to delay proper treatment and care.

But he also said he believed people would continue to purchase such products despite the restriction since religious belief was deeply rooted in Malaysian society.

The Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (Imam) has also welcomed MCMC’s move, saying in a statement that it would benefit Muslim consumers.

It said MCMC’s decision was timely because social media was being widely used to promote misconceptions and spread confusion.

It urged the relevant authorities to provide comprehensive guidelines and content evaluation to Muslim manufacturers and advertisers to prevent the spread of misinformation.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/10/health-group-welcomes-code-against-exploitation-of-religion-in-advertising/

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Nearly 60 Rohingya found abandoned on Thai island while en route to Malaysia: Police

05 June, 2022

Fifty-nine Rohingya people have been discovered on a Thai island, saying they were abandoned by traffickers en route to Malaysia, a senior police officer said on Sunday.

The group -- among them five children -- were found on Koh Dong island in the southern Satun province on Saturday, said lieutenant general Surachet Hakpan.

Each year, thousands of the mostly Muslim minority Rohingya people, heavily persecuted in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, risk their lives in months-long expensive journeys to reach Malaysia over Thailand’s seas.

Police said they had been charged with illegal entry and could face deportation to Myanmar following a court case.

“We are providing humanitarian assistance and will investigate whether they are victims of human trafficking or if they entered illegally,” Surachet said.

The group appeared “starving and was likely to have had no food for three to five days,” a police statement said.

Group members told officers their boat was among three vessels carrying 178 people that had left Myanmar and Bangladesh, having paid an agent around 5,000 ringgit ($1,300) for the journey.

The first two boats carrying 119 people were stopped and arrested by Malaysian authorities, according to the Thai police statement.

The boat’s crew then decided to abandon those onboard on Koh Dong island -- telling them that they had reached Malaysia, the group told officers.

The incident comes after the bodies of 14 Rohingya people, including children, were discovered washed up on a beach last month after they attempted to flee Myanmar.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people fled a military crackdown in the nation in 2017, bringing with them harrowing stories of murder, rape, and arson.

Those still in Myanmar are widely seen as interlopers from Bangladesh and are largely denied citizenship, many rights and access to healthcare and education.

Muslim-majority Malaysia is a key destination for Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar or refugee camps in Bangladesh.

In 2019, a Thai boat captain was charged with smuggling 65 Rohingya people from Myanmar after their vessel was shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Satun province.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/06/05/Nearly-60-Rohingya-found-abandoned-on-Thai-island-while-en-route-to-Malaysia-Police

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Parti Bangsa Malaysia Accepts Zuraida Kamaruddin, Makes Her ‘President Designate’

Anne Muhammad

June 9, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin has been named “president designate” of the newly formed Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM).

At a press conference today, PBM president Larry Sng said PBM’s political bureau and supreme council met after Zuraida sent in her application to join the party on May 26, and her membership was officially approved today.

“At the request of PBM’s grassroots, the political bureau and supreme council have unanimously agreed to appoint Zuraida as the ‘president designate’ to drive PBM’s development and progress,” said Sng.

The plantation industries and commodities minister quit Bersatu on May 26, and her future in the Cabinet is still uncertain.

Zuraida, who said she would continue to carry out her Cabinet duties, also said she was open to completing her term as minister.

She added that she had not met Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob yet to discuss her future in the Cabinet.

When asked to comment on PBM’s application to join Barisan Nasional, Sng said the two parties were still conducting verbal discussions.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/09/pbm-accepts-zuraida-makes-her-president-designate/

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India

 

Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha Seeks FIR against Muslim Cleric Shaher Qazi Hafiz Quddus Hadi of Kanpur

Jun 10, 2022

Kanpur: Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) general secretary, Pavan Kumar, lodged a complaint with the Kotwali police, seeking an FIR against Shaher Qazi Hafiz Quddus Hadi.

In the complaint Kumar has alleged that Hadi was trying to distrub the law and order with his statements.

To recall, Hadi while talking to a reporter of a news channel had said: “If bulldozers were used, it would be a do-or-die situation for Muslims”

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kanpur/bjym-seeks-fir-against-muslim-cleric/articleshow/92117750.cms

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Kanpur Violence: 'Muslims Being Picked Up Indiscriminately,' Say Families of Those Arrested

Sumedha Pal

Jun 10, 2022

Kanpur: By now, it is known that on June 3, violence broke out at Parade, the heart of Kanpur city.

A non-governmental organisation active for eight years, the MM Jauhar Fans Association, gave a call for shops to close so that a silent protest could be conducted against now axed Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments against Prophet Mohammed on TV.

This NGO’s founder and president, Zafar Hayat Hashmi, is now being seen by police as the “key conspirator” in the case. Realities on the ground offer a picture far more complicated than violence spearheaded by a single “conspirator”.

‘Key conspirator’

It has been reported that two sides – Muslims and Hindus – clashed at the Chandeshwar Hatha on Friday, June 3, after evening prayers. The clash saw stone pelting. Petrol bombs were also reportedly thrown. Several were injured.

Where was Zafar in this?

Zafar’s family says that the call to close shops was taken back after a meeting between police officials and Zafar. An announcement was also made on their Facebook page for the same at 12.30 am on June 3.

Speaking to The Wire, Zafar’s wife said the NGO is being targeted specifically because of its reach. She claimed that work done by the NGO ranged from food distribution during COVID-19 lockdowns to blood donation camps and even temple renovations.

“We have helped more Hindus than Muslims. Zafar was a big face. Many parties associated with him before June 3 and now he is a criminal to them?” she asked.

As the probe continues, the police have set up a Special Investigation Team, with four additional teams probing the case. Over 50 people have been arrested so far and FIRs have been filed against over 800 unnamed persons. The FIRs charge people with rioting, creating enmity and disturbing peace in the region. Police have also put up hoardings across town demanding the identification of 40 Muslim youth in connection with the violence.

Videos circulated on social media show young men being brutally thrashed and some being hauled up by police.

‘Beaten up badly’

The Wire reached out to the families of those being arrested. Many families said they did not know under which sections their members had been held and kept in jail. Some were still trying to access copies of relevant FIRs.

In one of the circulated video, 20-year-old student and labourer Hasib can be seen being hauled up by police. His sister Shaila told The Wire that Hasib was pushed to the “Bajrang Dal side” by police.

“He was bleeding and his face was almost disfigured, that’s how much he was beaten up. The police took him in in the name of giving him treatment, but arrested him instead,” Shaila said.

Many said the investigation was distinctly partisan, with Muslims being picked up even without cops verifying their identities.

Thirty-five-year-old Shahid, a daily wage worker, was arrested on the evening of June 3. His wife Tabassum, a domestic worker, said he had only stepped out to buy vegetables when he was picked up by police on suspicion of having engaged in the violence.

In a video widely shared on social media, Shahid can be seen being beaten on his legs. “I did not know where my husband was then. My neighbours and relatives called me after his videos were being circulated on social media. They beat him brutally on his legs, broke both of them. Men had to carry him inside the police station as he could no longer walk,” she said.

Shahid was taken to Anwarganj police station. Tabassum said when his family visited, they found out that he had been beaten up again, while in custody.

She is yet to get a copy of the FIR pertaining to his case. Securing legal help, too, has proven a hurdle.

‘Picked up indiscriminately’

The Parade, Nai Sadak, and Yateem Khana areas of Kanpur where the violence took place is a business hub, with temples and mosques dotting the streets. The area has a working class population.

“No one was forced to close their shops, those who wanted to had done it” says Rihana, the aunt of 20-year-old Sajid who had reportedly reached the Parade Chauraha to pick up his twin sister as she was being dropped off by her college bus at the time the violence broke out.

Rihana alleged that petrol bombs and stones were thrown at those who left mosques after namaz.

“Muslims are being punished in India every single day. This was an attempt to scare us, target us and show us our place yet again,” Rihana said.

Her niece, Sajid’s sister Shifa, said although Sajid had only stepped out to get her, he was arrested after the atmosphere had calmed.

“There is no evidence to show that he was a part of a mob pelting stones or creating violence, he was on the phone with me the entire time as we was worried whether I could manage to come back home safe,” Shifa said.

Sajid is a medical student. Shifa has been working towards a BA degree. Their father is a daily wager and their mother manages their house. Both youngsters had been keen to provide a better future for their parents. This dream is now interrupted.

“If it was a riot then why are people from just one side being targeted? We do not understand this investigation. What is the basis of the crackdown? All we know is our child is innocent,” said Rihana, who has helped raise the twins.

Twenty-year-old Israel was also picked up from his house late at night on June 3 in a similar fashion. His mother, a domestic worker, said, “The police came to our house stating that they are taking him away on charges of theft, but we found out that he is being investigated for the violence instead.”

His mother added that her salary is paltry and they could not afford a lawyer’s fee or fight the case in any other way. Israel is a worker in the leather business.

Arrests have been made in several localities including Beconganj, Anwarganj, and Moolgunj.

‘Bulldozers’

The Wire mentioned to Kanpur Police Commissioner Vijay Singh Meena the allegations being levelled by the families.

He stated, “Those who are innocent will be let off. The investigation is ongoing and we are identifying those who have participated in the violence.”

He did not say much when asked why arrests had been confined to Muslims.

Police later arrested former district secretary of the BJP Yuva Morcha Harshit Srivastava for posting inflammatory content on social media platforms.

However, no arrests have been made in the case pertaining to violence at Parade.

“It is because the truth is for everyone to see,” claimed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader D.K. Dubey, sitting at the entrance to Chandeshwar Hata. The area functions as a residential colony of sorts. At the entrance is a poster with the image of a Hindu deity that announces, “We will not flee but show bravery.”

Amit Batham, a BJP leader whose office is close to Chandeshwar Hata, where the violence transpired, said, “Hindus were being attacked, I have received threats too, we felt that they will destroy the Hata.”

“If we hadn’t retaliated, they would have created another Godhra here. We had to protect ourselves. After namaz they came in with stones, hurled petrol bombs at us and tried to enter the Hata,” another man at the Hata said, requesting anonymity.

Source: The Wire

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

https://thewire.in/communalism/kanpur-violence-ground-report-muslims-police

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3 Muslim men forced to do sit-ups, chant 'Jai Shri Ram' in UP

Anchal Shrivastava

Khargupur

June 9, 2022

A video of three Muslim men being made to do sit-ups and chant 'Jai Shri Ram' in a village in Uttar Pradesh has gone viral on social media.

Three Muslim men were allegedly made to do sit-ups, asked for their Aadhaar cards and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram' in a village in Uttar Pradesh's Khargupur district. The video of the incident has gone viral. The Muslim men were also warned to never enter the 'Pandit' village again.

In the video, one of the locals could be seen heckling the three Muslim fakirs and asking them for their identification details. He also warned the men to never enter the Pandit village again. The three Muslim men repeatedly apologised, as seen in the video.

Source: India Today

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/muslim-men-forced-to-chant-jai-shri-ram-in-up-1960441-2022-06-09

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Hyderabad: Local Muslims protest against remarks on Prophet

9th June 2022

Hyderabad: A massive protest rally was taken out in Hussainialam of old city demanding stringent action against former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for her derogatory comments against Prophet Mohammed.

A big group of youngsters under the banner ‘Youth of Hussainialam” took out a rally from the Barigalli Hussainialam to the Hussainailam police station. Holding banners with slogans condemning the statement of Nupur Sharma, the youngsters marched along the streets chanting ‘ ‘ Nupur Sharma down down” and ‘ Arrest Nupur Sharma immediately”.

The gathering reached the Hussainialam police station and met the local Inspector G Naresh Kumar. All of them demanded the police immediately book a case in various Sections of the Indian Penal Code against Nupur Sharma and arrest her.

Nupur Sharma had made derogatory comments against the Prophet during a television show debate last month. An FIR is lodged against her in Mumbai and Hyderabad for her remarks.

Following widespread condemnation and diplomatic level action by several Muslim countries including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Indonesia etc the Bhartiya Janata Party suspended her from the party. However, due to threat perception she was provided “protective security’ by the government.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/hyderabad-local-muslims-protest-against-remarks-on-prophet-2345594/

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Tehseen Poonawalla Presses For FIR Against Muslim Cleric, Ilyas Sharfuddin, For Making ‘Communal’ Remarks Against Hinduism

June 10, 2022

Political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla on Thursday took to Twitter to question why his complaint with Delhi Police against cleric Ilyas Sharfuddin for "instigating communal hate and spreading violence on a national television channel" has not been converted into an FIR.

The political analyst further asked if Delhi Police thought "Ilyas Sharfuddin was above the law."

Poonwalla on 8 June had filed a complaint with the Delhi Police, alleging that Ilyas Sharafuddin, who was invited to a recent debate show on a national TV news channel, joined the panelist "with intention of mocking a religious faith and instigating violence."

He further said that the Islamic cleric joined the debate to "disturb social and communal harmony of the country."

"He (Ilyas Sharafuddin) made baseless remarks on the Indian culture and the further made communal comments, sexist and racist statements against a particular religious community," Poonawalla said.

Poonawalla added that the remarks and comments by Ilyas Sharafuddin during a debate could further encourage "disharmony and hate" within the society.

Poonawalla also shared a clip where Ilyas Sharafuddin can be heard commenting on the Indian culture and mocking religious faith.

During the debate, Ilyas Sharafuddin can be heard comparing the Shivling to a male body part and said that the Hindu community has a habit of worshiping the idol and male private organ.

The comments come within days after Varanasi court-appointed videography survey team found Shivling inside the Gyanvapi mosque premises in Uttar Pradesh.

Poonawalla through his letter addressed to Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana requested the police to register a complaint under IPC sections 153 A, 153 B (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 298 (uttering words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person).

Source: Firstpost

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

https://www.firstpost.com/india/tehseen-poonawalla-presses-for-fir-against-muslim-cleric-for-making-communal-remarks-against-hinduism-10779401.html

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Case Over "Threat" To Varanasi Judge Who Ordered Gyanvapi Mosque Filming

June 10, 2022

Varanasi: A case has been registered over a "threat letter" received by the judge who ordered the filming of the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi, the police said.

Police have registered the case on the basis of a complaint by an orderly of Varanasi civil judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar who on Tuesday informed the Varanasi administration that he had received a "threat letter", purportedly written by Kashif Ahmed Siddiqui from an organisation called Islamic Aagaz Movement.

"A joint team of Varanasi police and the crime branch is investigating the matter," officials said. Police said they have upgraded the security for the judge and his family.

Citing a threat to his life, judge Diwakar had also written to top Uttar Pradesh officials -  the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), the Director-General of Police (DGP), and to the Varanasi Police Commissionerate, demanding appropriate action.

The letter refers to the filming of the mosque that the judge had ordered on April 26 in a case where five women petitioners have sought year-long access to a shrine behind the mosque. The women also claim that there are idols of Hindu gods and goddesses inside the mosque complex.

The letter was posted on June 4 and was written on a letterhead that carried a Delhi address, police had earlier said.

"You have made a statement that inspection of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex is a normal process. You are an idol worshipper, you will declare the mosque a temple. No Muslim can expect the right decision from a 'kafir, murtipujak' Hindu judge," the purported threat letter said.

In the filming report submitted to judge Diwakar on May 19, the lawyers for petitioners had claimed that the mosque houses a 'Shivling'.

The claim was disputed by the mosque committee members who said that the structure was part of a fountain in the wazookhana used by devotees to perform ritual ablutions before offering namaz.

Source: ND TV

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

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/gyanvapi-mosque-case-over-threat-to-varanasi-judge-who-ordered-gyanvapi-mosque-filming-3054436

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'Don't block roads': Bengal Muslim body calls for peaceful protests over Prophet remarks row

Anupam Mishra

Kolkata

June 9, 2022

The Bengal unit of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind on Thursday appealed to the Muslims to protest peacefully in the state against the comments made by Nupur Sharma - the now suspended BJP spokesperson - on Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate.

“We appeal to Muslims to protest in a democratic way. We don't want protests on roads. We want people to protest indoors - in houses, in mosques - but don't want people to protest by blocking roads,” Siddiqullah Chowdhury, the President of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind's West Bengal branch said.

Chowdhury also said that they were ‘extremely shocked’ and ‘sad’ over the remarks made by Sharma and that they ‘don’t’ feel the crime is pardonable’.

Chowdhury further said, “We are trying to be patient. That does not mean we are weak. Don't test us.”

The Manteswar MLA also asked the Central government and other state governments to take action against people who disrespected any religion.

Source: India Today

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/bengal-jamiat-ulama-e-hind-siddiqullah-chowdhury-peaceful-protests-prophet-remarks-row-1960444-2022-06-09

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Charge those who instigated Islamic nations against India with treason: Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar

JUNE 09, 2022

India should make a list of citizens who “instigated” Islamic nations against it and “charge them with treason,” Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar has said following outrage by Islamic countries over the remarks against Prophet Mohammad by the BJP’s now-sacked functionaries.

Mr. Mahurkar’s comments invited a strong response from Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who charged that statutory and constitutional bodies are being systematically destroyed by the government.

Mr. Mahurkar, a former journalist who was appointed at the transparency watchdog Central Information Commission, said in a tweet, “The Nation has taken measures on the Prophet controversy. Now time for India to make a list of Indian citizens who instigated Islamic nations against India & charge them with treason.” “Their’s is anti-national activity. Even their property could be attached by enacting a Law,” he tweeted.

In another tweet, he said, “Pan-Islamists & Leftists have questioned my tweet below. Did they ever condemn hate-preacher Zakir Naik & MF Hussain for their unparalleled blasphemy?”

“Beware, days of 1-sided secularism & Hindu-Muslim unity at Hindu cost are now gone in this new age of national reawakening,” he said.

Lashing out at the Information Commissioner, Mr. Bhushan said,”This gentleman calls himself a journalist who was para dropped from nowhere into the Central Information Commission. You can see how statutory and Constitutional bodies are being systematically destroyed by this govt.”

Reacting to it, Mr. Mahurkar said, “Don’t need advice from 1 one who has consistently taken ideological positions against national interest. As author, former journalist and patriotic citizen I retain right to air my views on national security & history. As IC I be judged by my orders which are without favour or fear.”

The remarks made by the BJP leaders Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal on Prophet Mohammad have drawn international condemnation with some Islamic countries demanding an apology.

The Congress has asked why the country should apologise and face the consequences of the “misdeeds” of BJP leaders.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/charge-those-who-instigated-islamic-nations-against-india-with-treason-information-commissioner-uday-mahurkar/article65510554.ece

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Curfew imposed in J&K's Bhaderwah town after communal tension

10.06.22

Curfew was imposed and the Army called in to conduct a flag march in Bhaderwah of Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir as tension spread in the area Thursday evening after alleged inflammatory speeches were delivered from a mosque, officials said.

Police have registered a case over the alleged inflammatory speeches and warned people against taking the law into their own hands.

"Curfew has been imposed as a precautionary measure in view of communal tension," an official said, adding that additional security personnel have been deployed in the area to ensure peace.

According to officials, inflammatory speeches were made during a protest against derogatory remarks made against Prophet Mohammad by now-suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Purported video clips of the inflammatory speeches went viral on social media.

"Action has been taken (over inflammatory speeches). A case has been registered under IPC sections 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) at Police Station Bhaderwah," the official said.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/curfew-imposed-in-jks-bhaderwah-town-after-communal-tension/cid/1869253

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Prophet jibe: ‘Balancing’ charge after Delhi police's parallel FIR

Imran Ahmed Siddiqui 

10.06.22

Delhi police have booked Nupur Sharma for hate speech but simultaneously charged AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, monk Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati and a host of Muslim social media users in a parallel FIR, attracting allegations of “balance-waad to assuage BJP supporters”.

Owaisi slammed the police for “both-sideism or balance-waad”, alleging the force lacked the courage to pursue cases against the likes of Sharma and Narasinghanand — accused of advocating genocide against Muslims — without implicating a group of Muslims as well.

“One side has openly insulted our Prophet while the other side” has merely made “random posts on social media” and “has been named to assuage BJP supporters & make it look like there was hate speech on both sides,” the Hyderabad MP tweeted.

A police statement on Thursday said a hate-speech case had been registered on Wednesday against Sharma – suspended as BJP national spokesperson after making derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed on TV – but did not cite specifics.

It added that a second case had been registered against certain social media users “for inciting people on divisive lines”.

Those named are Owaisi, the expelled Delhi BJP spokesperson Navin Kumar Jindal --- who had denigrated the Prophet on social media --- Narasinghanand, journalist Saba Naqvi, Hindu Mahasabha office-bearer Pooja Shakun Pandey, Maulana Mufti Nadeem from Rajasthan, Shadab Chauhan, Abdur Rehman, Gulzar Ansari and Anil Kumar Meena.

The specific posts that brought on the bookings have not been mentioned -– a point underlined by Owaisi. Most of the accused are not public figures.

There have been calls for the arrest of Sharma, who was suspended by the BJP 10 days after her remarks following a backlash from West Asia. But neither the police statement nor senior officers said anything about possible arrests on the basis of the FIRs.

Earlier this week, the Delhi police provided security to Sharma and her family and registered an FIR on a complaint that she had received death threats over her remarks on Prophet Mohammed.

The Delhi police, who report to the Union home ministry, have often been accused of bias in dealing with cases of communal violence or hate speech.

The force had in April told the Supreme Court that no calls for genocide had been sounded against Muslims at a “Hindu Vahini” event in December --- where a video purportedly shows participants pledging to “fight, die for and kill” to establish a “Hindu Rashtra”.

The Delhi minorities commission has accused the police of arresting Muslim victims of the February 2020 riots rather than those they had accused of violence.

Owaisi on Thursday said that “hate speeches” of “dharam gurus with close links to ruling party” were being “equated to random posts on social media with no social or political standing”.

“Delhi police were probably trying to think of a way of registering an FIR against these people without offending Hindutvadi fanboy/ girls,” he added.

Sharing a screenshot of excerpts from what he claimed was a copy of the FIR, he tweeted: “This is the first FIR I’ve seen that’s not specifying what the crime is…. I don’t know which specific remarks of mine have attracted the FIR.”

He added: “It appears Delhi police lacks the courage to pursue cases against Yati, Nupur Sharma & Navin Jindal etc. This is why the delayed & weak response. In fact Yati has violated his bail conditions repeatedly by inciting genocide against Muslims & insulting Islam.

Narasinghanand, addressing a Dharma Sansad in Haridwar last December, had allegedly urged Hindus to take up weapons against Muslims to establish a “Hindu Rashtra”.

While Uttarakhand police booked several of the speakers at the event on hate-speech charges, acting belatedly under public and media pressure, Narasinghanand was charged with the less punitive offence of insulting Muslim women.

Out on bail, the monk in April participated in a Hindu Mahapanchayat in Delhi where hate speeches were made against Muslims. He was booked but not arrested.

A recent social media video purportedly shows Narasinghanand announcing he would go to the Jama Masjid in Delhi and defend Sharma’s comments. This is likely to be the basis for his booking in Wednesday’s second FIR.

A Delhi police tweet said: “We have registered 2 FIRs under appropriate sections on the basis of social media analysis against those trying to disrupt public tranquillity & inciting people on divisive lines. One pertains to Ms Nupur Sharma & other against multiple social media entities (users).”

The police said notices would be sent to the social media intermediaries (companies) for details.

Both cases have been registered under penal sections 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief).

Deputy commissioner (cyber cell) K.P.S. Malhotra said: “The FIR is against multiple individuals from different religions. We are investigating the role of various social media entities in promoting false and wrong information with an intention to create unrest.”

Owaisi said people like Narasinghanand, Sharma and Jindal had delivered hate speeches with impunity, with “weak action” taken only in the face of “international condemnation or when courts pulled up the police”.

In contrast, he said, Muslim students, journalists and activists had been put behind bars merely for being Muslim.

Owaisi said he would not be intimidated, and went on to castigate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

“Hindutva organisations have a culture where hate speech & extremism is rewarded with promotions. Yogi’s hate was rewarded with Lok Sabha seats and CMship…. Modi’s hate speeches were similarly rewarded,” he said.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/balancing-charge-after-delhi-police-parallel-fir/cid/1869227

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Sadhus organise Ganga puja to ‘free Shivalinga’ at Gyanvapi

Piyush Srivastava 

10.06.22

Over two dozen sadhus organised a Ganga puja on Thursday seeking “freedom of the Shivalinga at Gyanvapi”, days after the mahant of the Kashi Vishwanath temple announced a “boat procession” of sadhus on the Ganga after June 15 on the same issue.

The programmes appear part of a concerted move to pressure the government and the Muslim community to come to a negotiated settlement if the outcomes of the court cases filed on the Gyanvapi controversy don’t favour the Hindu side.

“According to Hindu belief, the Ganga originated on this day. We call it Ganga Dussehra and worship the holy river every year on this occasion,” said Jitendranand Saraswati, general secretary of the Ganga Mahasabha and the Akhil Bharatiya Sant Samiti, two organisations of sadhus with their head offices at Assi Ghat.

“But this year, the occasion is more important because Lord Shiva (Shivalinga) has appeared in the Gyanvapi. While the Ganga is free, we want freedom for the Shivalinga so that Hindus can worship it.”

Jitendranand added: “We performed Shodopchar Pujan of the Ganga and prayed that Lord Shiva is liberated from the clutches of the Gyanvapi mosque.”

A civil court-appointed commission had during a survey of the Gyanvapi premises last month found a cylindrical structure inside a shallow tank that some of its Hindu members claim is a Shivalinga. The mosque management committee says the structure is part of a defunct fountain.

“We shall organise programmes like today’s more frequently in the next few months,” Jitendranand said.

Sangh parivar supporters have filed petitions in several courts seeking worshipping rights for Hindus on the Gyanvapi premises — or a handover of the entire compound on the ground that the mosque was built after demolishing a temple.

Three such cases are pending while the court of the special chief judicial magistrate in Varanasi, Sarvottama Nagesh Sharma, on Wednesday threw out a related petition from local lawyer Raja Anand Jyoti Singh.

Singh had sought the registration of a case against S.M. Yasin, joint secretary of the mosque committee, and another unidentified 1,000 people for doing wuzu (a cleansing ritual) near the purported Shivalinga.

“It appears that the applicant moved this petition in the court for personal gain and to stay in limelight, which can’t be called appropriate. This application is not maintainable and it qualifies (as) rejection,” the court order said.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/sadhus-organise-ganga-puja-to-free-shivalinga-at-gyanvapi/cid/1869187

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Africa

 

Nigeria suspects Islamic State of killing 40 in Catholic church

June 9, 2022

ABUJA, June 9 (Reuters) - Nigerian authorities suspect the insurgent group Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) carried out a massacre in a Catholic church on Sunday in which 40 people were killed, Interior Minister Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said on Thursday.

Assailants wielding AK-47 rifles and explosives attacked the congregation at St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, in southwestern Ondo State, during Pentecost mass on Sunday, leaving behind a scene of carnage as they escaped. read more

"We have been able to see the footprint of ISWAP in the horrendous attack in Owo and we are after them. Our security agencies are on their trail and we will bring them to justice," Aregbesola told reporters in the capital Abuja.

The authorities had not previously made any comment about the identity or motive of the killers.

ISWAP, predominantly active in northeastern Nigeria and neighbouring Chad, is one of two major Islamist insurgent groups that have been fighting each other and the Nigerian military for years. Hundreds of thousands have died and millions have been displaced.

Ondo State is far from ISWAP's usual area of operations.

The state governor, Arakunrin Akeredolu, gave new casualty figures on Thursday. He said a total of 127 people had been affected by the attack in the church, of whom 40 had died, 61 were still in hospital and 26 had been discharged.

Previously, an official from the National Emergency Management Agency had given a death toll of 22. Akeredolu said the new casualty figures had been compiled from reports from multiple hospitals including private ones.

He said the state government would provide land for a mass burial of the victims, but did not say when that would take place.

Source: Reuters

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

https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/nigeria-says-suspects-islamic-state-carrying-out-church-massacre-2022-06-09/

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Sudan’s main civilian opposition coalition to meet with ruling junta: Party leader

09 June, 2022

Sudan’s main civilian opposition coalition, the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC) will hold an “unofficial” meeting with the military mediated by the United States, Sudan’s Umma party leader told Reuters on Thursday.

United Nations and African Union-sponsored talks aiming to restore political order in post-coup Sudan began on Wednesday with military leaders at the table and the main civilian groups boycotting.

On Wednesday, Sudan began the UN-facilitated direct talks without the participation of a critical civilian bloc.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/09/Sudan-s-main-civilian-opposition-coalition-to-meet-with-ruling-junta-Party-leader

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Nigeria links church attack in Ondo state to ISWAP terror group

Timothy Olanrewaju  

10.06.2022

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria

The Nigerian government said Thursday that the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorist group was responsible for an attack on a church in the town of Owo in Ondo state that left over 30 worshippers dead.

Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola revealed at the Presidential Villa that the country's security agencies have linked the terrorists with Sunday’s attack.

"ISWAP, wanting attention, are suspected to be behind the attack at the church in Owo," he disclosed at a joint press conference with the Inspector General of Police.

He said the government has directed security forces to go after the attackers.

Aregbesola insisted that the attack was not targeted at any religion.

Police Inspector-General Alkali Baba Usman also announced that the police have launched an investigation into the incident

"The investigation will, in the nearest future, tell us what the situation will be,” he said.

It marked the first official response by the authorities since the incident occurred.

Over a dozen masked gunmen with assault rifles invaded St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo during Sunday mass, killing around 35 worshippers.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/nigeria-links-church-attack-in-ondo-state-to-iswap-terror-group/2610173

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South Africa’s president suspends anti-corruption czar

Hassan Isilow  

09.06.2022

JOHANNESBURG

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended the country’s anti-corruption chief Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Thursday with immediate effect.

“The Constitution provides that the President may suspend the Public Protector (or any member of a Chapter 9 institution) at any time after the start of proceedings by a committee of the National Assembly for (their) removal,” the presidency said in a statement.

Mkhwebane had been accused of being politically biased in her investigations.

A court ruled four years ago that she had acted inappropriately while conducting some of her investigations.

Mkhwebane’s suspension comes barely one day after she announced she would investigate claims of money laundering against Ramaphosa.

“The timing of the suspension of the Public Protector by the President is not right. Why does he do that after she is going to investigate the Farm gate issue?,” political commentator Mustapha Mheta told Anadolu Agency.

Mheta said Ramaphosa is slowly losing his democratic credentials. “Does he have anything to hide,” he asked.

The country’s former spy boss, Arthur Fraser, filed a criminal complaint against the president earlier this week, accusing him of money laundering and not reporting a robbery at his farm where $4 million was allegedly stolen.

The robbery has created outrage among South Africans who question why there was so much foreign currency at the president’s farm.

Ramaphosa said the money was the proceeds from the sale of the game at his farm and not from taxpayers.

“I have never stolen taxpayers’ money. I want to reaffirm that I was not involved in any criminal conduct and once again I pledge my full cooperation with any form of investigation,” said Ramaphosa, who is known for his tough stance on corruption.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/south-africa-s-president-suspends-anti-corruption-czar/2610130

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Arab World

 

Israeli premier arrives in Abu Dhabi to meet UAE president

Abdelraouf Arna'out  

09.06.2022

JERUSALEM

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday arrived in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) capital Abu Dhabi to meet with the country's President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Bennett is on a “snap visit” to the UAE at the invitation of the UAE president, an Israeli government statement said.

“Today, together, we will take to the special bond that has been woven between our countries to the next level — for the growth and security of both our peoples,” the statement quoted Bennett as saying.

In September 2020, the UAE and Israel signed a US-sponsored deal to normalize their relations. Since then, the two countries exchanged official visits by senior officials and have signed dozens of bilateral agreements in various fields, including investment, banking services, and tourism.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israeli-premier-arrives-in-abu-dhabi-to-meet-uae-president/2609602

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Israel strikes southern Damascus: Syrian state media

10 June, 2022

An Israeli missile attack early Friday hit several targets south of the Syrian capital Damascus, wounding at least one civilian, state media said.

“At 4:20 a.m. (0120 GMT)... the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression by firing a volley of missiles from the occupied Golan Heights,” SANA reported.

Syrian air defenses intercepted most of the missiles but those that reached their target left at least one civilian wounded and caused material damage, SANA said.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Israeli raids hit arms depots belonging to the Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah, as well as other Iran-backed groups near Damascus airport.

The monitor, which relies on a wide network of sources across Syria, said that at least three such positions were hit, leaving a number of people wounded.

Since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against its neighbor, targeting government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and Hezbollah fighters.

While Israel rarely comments on individual strikes, it has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of them.

The Israeli military says the strikes are necessary to prevent its arch-foe Iran from gaining a foothold on its doorstep.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/10/Israel-strikes-southern-Damascus-Syrian-state-media

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Iraq’s Sadr warns MPs could ‘resign’ to break political deadlock

09 June, 2022

Populist Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr made a high-stakes protest Thursday by calling on the 73 lawmakers loyal to him to ready resignation papers to end an eight-month parliamentary paralysis.

Parliament in Baghdad has been in turmoil since October’s general election, and intense negotiations among political factions have failed to forge a majority in support of a new prime minister to succeed Mustafa al-Kadhemi.

The two Shia groupings – a coalition led by al-Sadr, and its powerful rival, the Coordination Framework – each claim to hold a parliamentary majority, and with it the right to appoint the prime minister.

Iraqi lawmakers have already exceeded all deadlines for setting up a new government set down in the constitution, prolonging the war-scarred country’s political crisis.

“If the survival of the Sadrist bloc is an obstacle to the formation of the government, then all representatives of the bloc are ready to resign from parliament,” al- Sadr said in a televised statement.

Al-Sadr called on his lawmakers to “write their resignation,” warning that “they won’t disobey me.”

“Iraq needs a government backed by a majority that serves the people,” al-Sadr said.

The 47-year-old cleric once led an anti-US militia following the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, and he maintains a large and dedicated following.

Al-Sadr has said he wants all Shia forces to be involved in a “consensus government.”

While al-Sadr counts on the direct loyalty of 73 lawmakers, his wider bloc also includes Sunni lawmakers from the party of parliamentary speaker Mohammed Halbusi and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

But the grand total of al-Sadr’s bloc of 155 still falls short of the absolute majority needed in the 329-member parliament.

Al-Sadr’s move puts the onus for forming a government on the 83 lawmakers of the rival Coordination Framework, which draws lawmakers from former premier Nuri al-Maliki’s party and the pro-Iran Fatah Alliance, the political arm of the former paramilitary group the Popular Mobilization Unit (PMU), (Hashed-al-Shaabi).

Lawmakers have already failed three times to elect a new national president, the first key stage before naming a prime minister and the subsequent establishment of a government.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/09/Iraq-s-Sadr-warns-MPs-could-resign-to-break-political-deadlock

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Turkey hopes allies ‘respect’ planned Syria offensive

09 June, 2022

Turkey’s president said Thursday he hoped Ankara’s allies would “understand and respect” its announced operation against Kurdish militants in northern Syria, after Washington denounced the planned offensive.

Ankara has for weeks threatened to target the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, deemed a “terrorist group” by Turkey.

At the beginning of June, Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed the pledge, sparking warnings from the US and Russia to refrain.

On Thursday, Erdogan said he hoped his allies would support the country’s ambition.

“We hope that none of our real allies will object to our legitimate concerns,” he said in a televised address.

“We expect our allies and friends to understand and respect our legitimate concerns.”

He repeated Turkey’s determination to create a “safe zone” inside Syria near the Turkish border.

The comments come a day after Turkey’s NATO ally the US renewed warnings against the operation, which it believes risks destabilizing the region.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/09/Turkey-hopes-allies-respect-planned-Syria-offensive

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YPG/PKK terror group kidnapped Syrian brothers, ages 9 and 10, to join terrorist ranks

Esref Musa and Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu  

09.06.2022

TAL ABYAD, Syria

Near northern Syria, a region where YPG/PKK terror group has large areas of control and oppresses local populations, this week the group kidnapped two brothers, ages 9 and 10, to join its armed ranks.

Ibrahim, just 9 years old, Muhammed Sevki Yusuf, 10, – both born in Afrin, northern Syria – were kidnapped last Sunday by YPG/PKK terrorists in the city center of Aleppo, some 42 kilometers (26 miles) away, local sources said.

The terror group usually takes the children it kidnapped or detained to terror camps for armed training. The use of children as armed combatants is expressly forbidden under international humanitarian law and is defined as a war crime by the International Criminal Court.

YPG/PKK terrorists also do not allow forcibly recruited children to contact their families.

‘Abductions of children under age 10 by terrorist YPG/PKK on the rise’

Abdulaziz Temmo, the head of Syria’s Independent Kurdish Association, told Anadolu Agency that the abduction of children under age 10 by YPG/PKK terrorists has risen over the last six months.

By kidnapping them, the terror group aims to tear the children away from their schools, families, and social life, he said.

“These children are taken to Mount Qandil (northern Iraq). Since their ties with their families were severed at an early age, their new family became the terror group. Cases of 10-year-olds being kidnapped started to increase. We have always condemned this,” said Temmo.

Qandil is the base of PKK terror group, while the YPG/PKK is the group’s Syrian branch.

While recognizing the PKK as a terror group, some Western countries have refused to recognize its link to the YPG/PKK, but its child recruits being taken from northern Syria to the PKK base in northern Iraq is yet another piece of evidence that the two terror groups are in fact the same.

This February, YPG/PKK terrorists kidnapped four children, age 14-16, from the Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) region, Syria, an area the terror group occupies.

This March, a 14-year-old was kidnapped by YPG/PKK terrorists, and two girls, ages 16 and 17, were kidnapped by the terror group from Aleppo, adjacent to northern Syria.

The terror group also kidnapped four children from Aleppo in April, according to local sources.

YPG/PKK terror group keeps recruiting, using children in Syria

Since 2016, Türkiye has launched several military operations across its border to free northern Syria from YPG/PKK terror group's domination, secure the border region, and make the area safe for locals.

After suffering heavy losses from these Turkish counter-terrorist operations, including similar ones into northern Iraq, YPG/PKK terror group is forcing minors to serve in combat zones, in flagrant violation of both the laws of war and human rights agreements.

The terror group declared mobilization in response to Turkish counter-terrorist cross-border operations, and it uses its proxies in Syria to recruit children.

The terror group's practice of abducting children and pushing them into combat zones is nothing new, as seen in the US State Department’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report.

According to the report, YPG/PKK terror group forcibly recruited girls as young as 12 from refugee camps located in northwestern Syria.

Moreover, a January 2020 UN human rights office (OHCHR) report said its findings suggest YPG/PKK is using children as fighters in Syria.

In July 2019, Virginia Gamba, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for children and armed conflict, signed an action plan with the SDF – the label YPG/PKK terror group uses in Syria – to end and prevent the recruitment and use of minors under 18, but the terror group has violated the plan.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/ypg-pkk-terror-group-kidnapped-syrian-brothers-ages-9-and-10-to-join-terrorist-ranks/2609621

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Turkish intel ‘neutralizes’ 3 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

Harun Kutbe  

09.06.2022

Türkiye “neutralized” three members of the PKK terrorist group in northern Iraq, near the Turkish border, according to Turkish defense sources on Thursday.

The terrorists were targeted in the Gara region by Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) during counter-terror operations, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

PKK terrorists often use northern Iraq, across the Turkish border, to hide out and plan attacks on Türkiye.

Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

Mehmet Erdogan, code-named Ahmet Rubar, a senior ringleader of the organization's so-called military wing HPG in Iraq's Makhmour-Kirkuk-Sulaymaniyah region, among others was also neutralized in the operations recently intensified by the MIT in northern Iraq and Syria.

Last week, Dilbirin Kacar, code-named Rojda, who was determined to have participated in various terror acts as the assassin of the PKK/YPG terror group, was also brought to Türkiye in an operation in Syria.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-intel-neutralizes-3-pkk-terrorists-in-northern-iraq/2609319

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Lebanon’s Hezbollah can stop Israeli gas extraction from disputed field, chief says

09 June, 2022

The head of Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Thursday that his group could stop Israel from extracting gas from a maritime field that Beirut says lies in disputed waters, adding Hezbollah is “not afraid of war.”

Lebanon warned Israel on Sunday against any “aggressive action” in disputed waters where both states hope to develop offshore energy, after a vessel operated by London-based Energean arrived off the coast to produce gas for Israel.

Hezbollah “has the capacity to prevent the enemy from beginning to extract from Karish, and all the enemy’s actions will not be able to protect this ship,” Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

Nasrallah said that “the Greek company,” referring to Energean, “is a partner in this attack on Lebanon,” for which it will face “consequences.”

Energean was not immediately available for comment.

Energean has said that its floating production storage and offloading vessel is due to start production at Karish in the third quarter.

Israel says that the field in question, which is about 80 km (50 miles) west of the city of Haifa, is within its exclusive economic zone, not in disputed waters.

The United States began mediating indirect talks between the sides in 2000 to settle a long-running dispute that has obstructed energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

Lebanon has yet to respond to an undisclosed proposal a US envoy made early this year to revive the stalled talks.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/09/Lebanon-s-Hezbollah-says-has-capacity-to-prevent-Israel-from-extracting-Karish-gas

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Mideast

 

Israeli court upholds sale of Jerusalem church land to Jewish group

June 10, 2022

JERUSALEM: Israel’s top court ruled on Thursday that a Jewish settler group legally purchased an east Jerusalem property from the Greek Orthodox Church, ending a nearly two-decade battle over the old city property.

The Ateret Cohanim organisation, which seeks to “Judaise” Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, bought three buildings from the church in a controversial deal struck in secret in 2004.

The sale triggered Palestinian anger and led to the dismissal of Patriarch Irineos I the following year.

The church brought charges against Ateret Cohanim, claiming the properties were acquired illegally and without its permission.

In a decision released late on Wednesday, Israel’s supreme court dismissed the church’s appeal, noting that the “harsh allegations” of misconduct by the parties involved in the original sale were “not proven to be true” in earlier proceedings. The church blasted that ruling as “unfair” and without “any legal logical basis”.

It condemned Ateret Cohanim as a “radical organisation” that had used “crooked and illegal methods to acquire Christian real estate” at a crucial Jerusalem site.

The church’s lawyer, Asaad Mazawi, said the ruling marked “a very sad day”.

“We are talking about a group of extremists that want to take the properties from the churches, want to change the character of (Jerusalem’s) old city and want to invade the Christian areas,” he said. Backed by Israel, “unfortunately they are succeeding”, he said.

The Greek Orthodox Church is the largest and wealthiest church in Jerusalem with extensive land holdings there dating back centuries.

It has faced repeated accusations of corruption and facilitating Israeli settlement expansion on its properties.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1694036/israeli-court-upholds-sale-of-jerusalem-church-land-to-jewish-group

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Iran Proxies Engaged In 'Invisible Jihad' Against Christians In Middle East, Philos Project Report Warns

June 10, 2022

FIRST ON FOX: Iran’s proxy militias are engaged in an "invisible jihad" against Christians in the Middle East and are having success in their efforts to push out and reduce the numbers of Christians, according to a new report.

The report by the Philos Project, a non-profit organization and community that promotes Christian engagement in the region, says that the Iranian regime envisions Muslim demographic purity and that its militias have "labored to create conditions that forced Christians out."

"Iran’s proxy militias in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen have played a significant, though largely unrecognized, role in the dramatic decline of Christians in the region," the report outlines.

"Invisible Jihad -- demographic reduction through coerced emigration -- these militias use extant conflicts to manufacture conditions behind the massive exodus," report author Farhad Rezaei said.

In Lebanon, where the pro-Iran Hezbollah is seen as "particularly culpable" for the reduction of Christians to just 33.7% of the population in 2020, down from 54% in the 1950s. The report details how Hezbollah has targeted missionaries, impeded conversions all while imposing strict dress codes, alcohol bans and limits of mixes sexes in public -- in what have been dubbed "mini-Tehrans"

Ownership of Christian land has also shrunk: "While some of the lands were legally sold by emigrants, a sizable part was lost through eviction and expulsion coordinated by Hezbollah."

In Iraq, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force was able to create several Shia militia groups after the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States.

The report details how Christians were chased out of Baghdad with selective killings, robbery and sexual harassment that created a "climate of panic." It also accuses militias of engaging in human trafficking, rape and forced marriage as leaders tried to make Baghdad and elsewhere "Christian-free."

Just as in Lebanon, militias engaged in forced buyouts as well as evictions, expulsions and destruction of private property -- including the burning of acres of crops. Militias have also sought to impose an Islamic lifestyle on residents -- including forced veiling, closing of liquor stores and limiting of Christian worship.

Meanwhile, in Syria, the report details about how the IRGC created several militias within the Shia Liberation Army after the popular uprising against the Assad regime in 2011. In the 10 years that followed, the report says that the Christian community in Syria has shrunk by 70%.

The crimes which the report links Shia militias to include the killing of dozens of Christians, the use of kidnappings for ransoms, torture and confiscation of private property. It cites reports of 124 assaults on churches between 2011 and 2019, with 75 acts of violence including acts of destruction.

"Bombing these churches had no tactical value; it was a deliberate policy to scare the Christians into fleeing," the report says.

The report calls for the State Department to sanction Iran and the commanders of the IRGC for expelling and persecuting Christians, while also urging the United Nations to appoint a special rapporteur to report on the effort by Iran to remove Christians out of the region.

The report comes as talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal have stalled in Vienna and the Iranian regime has been resorting to increasingly provocative tactics.

The Trump administration left the deal in 2018, and Iran left soon after. The Biden administration has pledged to re-enter the deal and has considered major concessions, but it has not prevented talks from stalling.

Source: Fox News

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

https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-proxies-invisible-jihad-christians-middle-east-report-warns

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Iranian, Russian Presidents Discuss Ties, Oppose IAEA Political Approach

2022-June-9

Rayeesi and Putin in a phone conversation on Wednesday discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues, and reaffirmed their commitment to boost ties.

During phone talks, Rayeesi stressed that “cooperation and coordination between independent countries in pursuit of collective interests at the regional and international levels will neutralize the pressures and movements of other international actors”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, regardless of international developments, seeks to deepen and stabilize its comprehensive relations with independent countries,” he added.

Rayeesi said despite the US-led pressures against Tehran over its peaceful nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has on many occasions confirmed that there had been no deviations in Iran’s nuclear activities.

“We have fulfilled our commitments under the [Iran] deal, and now is the time for the United States to make a decision,” he noted.

Putin, for his part, hinted at an anti-Iran move led by the US and its European allies at the IAEA Board of Governors, saying that his country opposes such moves.

“We believe that their actions will not help resolve the current issues, and Russia’s position is to oppose such actions,” he said.

The two leaders also discussed the need to continue diplomatic efforts to reach an agreement in the Austrian capital, according to the Kremlin’s readout of the call.

They underlined the need for the full implementation of the JCPOA and UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the deal, by all original signatories.

Meanwhile, Putin also expressed his condolences over the train accident in Eastern Iran’s Tabas city on Wednesday.

At least 22 people were killed and dozens injured after a train carrying over 300 passengers derailed from the track after colliding with an excavator.

Further investigation is underway to find out the exact cause of the accident.

Elsewhere in their conversation, Rayeesi expressed the hope that the conflict in Ukraine would end as soon as possible.

He placed great emphasis on a diplomatic solution to the conflict, adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to use its capacities to help end the war.

The IAEA approved a resolution, proposed by the US, Germany, France and Britain, against Iran late Wednesday with 30 votes in favor, two against and three abstentions.

The Iranian foreign ministry denounced the "non-constructive approach" of the IAEA, saying the Islamic Republic "has taken practical quid pro quo steps which include installation of advanced centrifuges and deactivation of cameras operating outside the Safeguards Agreement".

"The adoption of this resolution, which is based on the hasty and unbalanced report of the Director General of the IAEA and on false and fabricated information of the Zionist regime, will only weaken the process of cooperation and interaction of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the IAEA," it said.

The statement said the IAEA appeared to have resurrected issues which had been settled between the two sides seven years ago, despite the Islamic Republic having "always cooperated constructively" with the agency in recent years.

Iran, it said, had showed its good faith in cooperation with the IAEA by providing accurate technical information as confirmed by their joint statement issued in March when IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited Tehran.

"Likewise, the Agency was expected to take an independent, impartial and professional approach, taking constructive and realistic steps to normalize safeguards issues that according to the Agency own admission did not bear proliferation concerns," the statement said.

"It seems some have forgotten that all past issues were closed once and for all on December 15, 2015 by the Board of Governors," it added.

The foreign ministry statement denounced the resolution as a "political, wrongful and unconstructive act" against a country which "currently has one of the most transparent peaceful nuclear programs among the IAEA members".

Iran announced on Wednesday that it has removed two IAEA cameras which had been installed beyond the country's undertakings under the safeguards agreement after the UN Agency's chief started escalating tensions against Tehran.

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) made the announcement.

The AEOI said the UN atomic body has not appreciated Iran's good-will gesture and has instead viewed Tehran’s voluntary move as part of its undertakings.

The AEOI noted that for these reasons, it orders the Online Enrichment Monitor and the flow meter to be taken offline.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010319000331/Iranian-Rssian-Presidens-Discss-Ties-Oppse-IAEA-Pliical-Apprach

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FM: West Fails to Force Iran into Recognition of Zionist Regime

2022-June-9

The West, during the negotiations with Iran in the past, had been pushing for the country’s recognition of Israel in return for resolving issues related to Tehran’s nuclear program, Amir Abdollahian said, addressing top Indian Muslim figures in India on Wednesday.

Of course, the western states, including the US, know that nuclear bombs have no place in Iran’s religious beliefs and the country is not after these weapons, he said, adding that with such allegations, they sought to pressure Tehran into recognizing the Zionist regime and achieve their goals, but they failed.

The top Iranian diplomat said that his country considers it a duty to make efforts for the liberation of the Holy Quds from Israeli occupation.

Amir Abdollahian also highlighted the need for efforts to identify plots against the Islamic values.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has on many occasions said the Islamic Republic considers the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons "a grave sin" from every logical, religious and theoretical standpoint. On April 17, 2010 Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa declaring that the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are all haram (religiously banned).

"Iran is not after a nuclear bomb. Why would Iran want a nuclear bomb? Moreover, when an atomic bomb is detonated, it does not just kill enemies. Rather, it kills innocent people as well, and this goes against Islamic beliefs and the principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran. An atomic bomb does not discriminate between good and bad people, and it is not something that the Islamic Republic would use. The Islamic Republic is relying on something that is not affected by bombs, foreign invasions and other such things. Such things only strengthen what the Islamic republic is relying on. The Islamic republic is relying on the people," a part of the fatwa said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010319000468/FM-Wes-Fails-Frce-Iran-in-Recgniin-f-Zinis-Regime

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Spokesman: Iran to Give Firm Response to IAEA Resolution

2022-June-9

“US-E3 put their shortsighted agenda ahead of IAEA's credibility by pushing a miscalculated and ill-advised resolution against a country with the world's most transparent peaceful nuclear program,” Khatibzadeh wrote on his twitter page.

“The initiators are responsible for the consequences. Iran's response is firm and proportionate,” he added.

A Foreign Ministry statement also denounced the "non-constructive approach" of the IAEA, saying the Islamic Republic "has taken practical quid pro quo steps which include installation of advanced centrifuges and deactivation of cameras operating outside the Safeguards Agreement".

"The adoption of this resolution, which is based on the hasty and unbalanced report of the Director General of the IAEA and on false and fabricated information of the Zionist regime, will only weaken the process of cooperation and interaction of the Islamic Republic of Iran with the IAEA," it said.

The statement said the IAEA appeared to have resurrected issues which had been settled between the two sides seven years ago, despite the Islamic Republic having "always cooperated constructively" with the agency in recent years.

Iran, it said, had showed its good faith in cooperation with the IAEA by providing accurate technical information as confirmed by their joint statement issued in March when IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi visited Tehran.

"Likewise, the Agency was expected to take an independent, impartial and professional approach, taking constructive and realistic steps to normalize safeguards issues that according to the Agency own admission did not bear proliferation concerns," the statement said.

"It seems some have forgotten that all past issues were closed once and for all on December 15, 2015 by the Board of Governors," it added.

The foreign ministry statement denounced the resolution as a "political, wrongful and unconstructive act" against a country which "currently has one of the most transparent peaceful nuclear programs among the IAEA members".

The resolution, proposed by the US, Germany, France and Britain, was approved late Wednesday with 30 votes in favor, two against and three abstentions.

The trigger for the latest Western move was a report issued by the IAEA after Grossi made a controversial visit to Israel and met the regime's leaders late last month. The agency has been on the receiving end of documents supplied by Israel about Iran's nuclear program, which Tehran has rejected as fake and fabricated by MKO terrorists.

Iran announced on Wednesday that it has removed two IAEA cameras which had been installed beyond the country's undertakings under the safeguards agreement after the UN Agency's chief started escalating tensions against Tehran.

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) made the announcement, saying that the UN atomic body has not appreciated Iran's good-will gesture and has instead viewed Tehran’s voluntary move as part of its undertakings.

The AEOI noted that for these reasons, it orders the Online Enrichment Monitor and the flow meter to be taken offline.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010319000208/Spkesman-Iran-Give-Firm-Respnse-IAEA-Reslin

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Envoy: Iran Staunch Supporter of Elimination of Nukes

2022-June-9

As one of the original signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been and continues to be a staunch supporter of the total elimination of nuclear weapons, Ershadi said on Wednesday, addressing the UN General Assembly meeting on Wednesday that discussed a new set of sanctions pushed by the US against North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program.

"In 1974, Iran proposed the idea of establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and since then, has worked hard to realize this noble initiative. Furthermore, as the major victim of the most systematic use of chemical weapons in the contemporary history, Iran has demonstrated its full commitment to the total elimination of all weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons," she added.

"The Security Council has not taken a balanced approach to the North Korea's nuclear issue as it has solely focused on the concerns of Western countries. The Council has imposed the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea without duly considering the detrimental implications of its decisions on political, humanitarian, and international security issues."

"The imposition of sanctions against the DPRK has not only failed to serve international peace and security, but has also exacerbated and complicated the security arrangements in the Korean Peninsula," Ershadi said.

She added that such measures have stymied the delivery of life-saving humanitarian supplies where it is needed most, wreaking havoc on vulnerable populations.

"It is deeply regrettable that the authority and powers of the Security Council have been abused repeatedly by certain States who, in pursuance of their illegitimate and political objectives, particularly against developing countries, regard sanctions as their preferred tool to exert maximum pressure on targeted countries."

"As a country that has been negatively affected by illegal unilateral coercive measures, the Islamic Republic of Iran is well aware of the devastating humanitarian consequences of such sanctions on ordinary people. Specifically, we would like to highlight the destructive impacts of sanctions on the effective and timely procurement of medical equipment and supplies particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the sanctions have detrimental effects on, among other things, basic human rights including the rights to life, health, and food," Ershadi said.

"We believe that imposition of new sanctions on the DPRK by the Security Council will not help resolve the current situation in the Korean Peninsula. To the contrary, it will have harmful implications on the people and escalate tensions in the region. We emphasize on the resolution of the issues through dialogue and to that end, we stand ready to engage in any initiative that could fairly lead to a peaceful resolution of the ongoing situation in the Korean Peninsula," she concluded.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has on many occasions said the Islamic Republic considers the pursuit and possession of nuclear weapons "a grave sin" from every logical, religious and theoretical standpoint. On April 17, 2010 Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa declaring that the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are all haram (religiously banned).

"Iran is not after a nuclear bomb. Why would Iran want a nuclear bomb? Moreover, when an atomic bomb is detonated, it does not just kill enemies. Rather, it kills innocent people as well, and this goes against Islamic beliefs and the principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran. An atomic bomb does not discriminate between good and bad people, and it is not something that the Islamic Republic would use. The Islamic Republic is relying on something that is not affected by bombs, foreign invasions and other such things. Such things only strengthen what the Islamic republic is relying on. The Islamic republic is relying on the people," a part of the fatwa said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010319000575/Envy-Iran-Sanch-Spprer-f-Eliminain-f-Nkes

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Iran, Nigeria Ink Several MoUs to Expand Cooperation

2022-June-9

The MoUs were inked on Wednesday in the presence of Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Fatemi Amin and Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zubairu Dada.

Local media reports said that the MoUs covered various fields, including culture, tourism, petroleum, agriculture, sports and trade.

They said that the agreements had been reached as part of a sixth round of intergovernmental committee meetings held between officials of Iran and Nigeria.

Dada leads a trade and political delegation in his trip to Tehran. He met senior Iranian government officials earlier on Wednesday, including Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber.

The Nigerian official hailed the resumption of intergovernmental committee meetings between Iran and Nigeria after more than eight years.

He said the presence of the Nigerian trade delegation in Iran is a sign the African country is committed to implement bilateral agreements and contracts.

Iran’s trade minister Fatemi Amin also said Iran and Nigeria are seeking to rebuild their ties, adding that trade between the two countries had increased three-fold over the past nine months.

Fatemi Amin said, however, that an annual bilateral trade figure of $125 million does not match the position of Iran and Nigeria as two major economies in their respective regions.

He said launching direct flight routes between Iran and Nigeria will be a first step in facilitating trade between the two countries.

Director-General of the African Bureau of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Mohammad Sadeq Qannadzadeh said on Tuesday that his country considers Africa, specially Nigeria, as a precious economic partner.

Qannadzadeh made the remarks in the Sixth Iran-Nigeria Joint Commission meeting.

During the meeting, the Nigerian and Iranian officials have discussed exchange of trade delegations, participation in exhibitions and facilitation of trade interactions, an Iranian official said.

He pointed out that both countries enjoy economic, political and cultural commonalities and are both member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Qnnadzadeh added that both nations are also members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), possess rich oil and gas reservoirs, and have more than 15 percent of shares of the Islamic Development Bank, but their bilateral economic and trade exchanges is not satisfactory. 

The Iranian official went on to say that statistics indicate that the volume of trade exchanges between Nigeria and Iran stood at about 125 million dollars in last year, which seems to be a tiny figure in comparison with each country’s foreign trade of around 100 billion dollars per annum.

All necessary efforts to promote bilateral economic relations have been put on agenda, including activation of joint commissions, so the Sixth Iran-Nigeria Joint Commission is held today after eight years of pause, he noted.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010319000438/Iran-Nigeria-Ink-Several-MUs-Expand-Cperain

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North America

 

US Lawmakers Call for Plan to Integrate Middle East Air Defences, Confront Iran

09 June, 2022

A bipartisan and bicameral effort by US lawmakers was announced Thursday to counter Iran as Washington hopes to integrate the air defenses of six Gulf countries, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Israel.

The legislation, put forth by Republican Senator Joni Ernst and Democrat Senator Jacky Rosen, looks to get the Pentagon to coordinate with allies and partners “to identify an architecture and acquisition approach to an integrated air and missile defense system.”

Introducing the “Deterring Enemy Forces and Enabling National Defenses Act of 2022,” or DEFEND Act, Senator Ernst said this would be to counter Iran and its continued attacks in the region. “These attacks compromise the security of our partners, US service members stationed in and around the region, and pose a persistent threat to our homeland,” said Ernst, speaking outside the US Capitol.

Ernst said countering radical Islamist and terrorist acts could only be deterred if the US enabled its allies in the Middle East to take on the threat posed by Israel and “its violent extremist proxies.”

She cited the Abraham Accords brokered by former US President Donald Trump as the “turnkey” to energy, economic, travel and cultural cooperation between Israel and Washington’s Middle Eastern partners.

“Our bipartisan, bicameral legislation highlights the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and other countries identified by the Secretary of Defense,” Ernst said. “This bill also requires [the Pentagon] to build a strategy to implement the security cooperation and craft and assessment of the current threat environment.”

The bill would also require a study of a fund, including money from the US and other potential stakeholders, to support an integrated defense architecture. “We ultimately believe that Congress will adopt the intent for our national security leaders to address the threat from Iran and its proxies by laying the groundwork for security cooperation with our allies and our partners in the region,” Ernst said.

For her part, Senator Rosen said the bill would improve collective security in the Middle East. She pointed out Iranian and Iran-backed proxies attacking and killing “countless” American servicemembers and civilians, adding that Tehran’s armed drone capabilities “are rapidly progressing.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/09/Bipartisan-legislation-calls-for-US-support-to-integrate-Middle-East-air-defense-syst

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US says Iran threatening fate of JCPOA talks, could become further isolated

09 June, 2022

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday warned Iran that it could become further isolated politically and economically if it did not cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog agency.

“Iran must cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and provide technically credible information in response to the IAEA’s questions, which is the only way to remove these safeguards issues from the Board’s agenda,” Blinken said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the IAEA approved a resolution put forth by the US and European allies calling on Iran to take action on an “urgent basis” to fulfill its legal obligations toward the agency. The resolution to censure Iran was approved overwhelmingly. China and Russia were the only countries to vote against the move, which calls for Tehran to answer questions about traces of nuclear material found at three different sites across the country.

But Blinken said the IAEA issue was separate from Washington’s efforts to revive the now-defunct 2015 nuclear deal, which the US withdrew from under former President Donald Trump.

Blinken said the US remained committed to a mutual return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “Such a deal has been available since March, but we can only conclude negotiations and implement it if Iran drops its additional demands that are extraneous to the JCPOA,” he said.

Tehran demanded that the US remove the IRGC from its terror blacklist if it wanted to re-enter the 2015 deal. Despite reported openness to this proposal from the US special envoy for Iran, Rob Malley, President Joe Biden struck down these efforts.

Following Wednesday’s decision at the IAEA, Iran said it would disconnect over 20 surveillance cameras inside the country. Blinken said this signaled a threat to further nuclear provocations from Iran and would complicate efforts to return to the JCPOA.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/09/US-says-Iran-must-cooperate-with-IAEA-drop-extraneous-demands

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Europe

 

Council of Europe urges Denmark to address anti-Muslim discrimination, racism

Shweta Desai  

09.06.2022

PARIS

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on Thursday called on Denmark to urgently address anti-Muslim discrimination and racism against minorities and stop forced evictions of immigrant families.

In a monitoring report, the commission urged Danish authorities to introduce a national action plan against racism on a priority basis to address the discrimination against Muslims and minorities.

The plan, it stated, should include actions in the areas of education, public awareness, promotion of counterspeech, training of law enforcement officials and teachers, and recruitment of staff from Muslim and other minority groups in these professions.

The commission is the Council of Europe's independent human rights body that monitors the situation in each of the member states related to racism, discrimination, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and intolerance.

It commended Denmark for positive developments like free Danish language lessons for all immigrants and foreigners, and action to prevent hate speech and anti-Semitism.

However, the commission raised concerns about several shortcomings, including hate speech by Danish political parties that actively portray Muslims, including legal foreign workers and migrants, “as a threat to Danish values and culture” and the government’s “ghetto” to segregate migrants into “Westerners” and “non-Westerners.”

It also noted that the policies of “parallel society” causing forced evictions of migrant families and the Act on Social Housing requiring mandatory day care for 25 hours per week for small children are problematic.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/council-of-europe-urges-denmark-to-address-anti-muslim-discrimination-racism/2609924

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Serbia completes preparations for visa-free travel with Türkiye

Talha Ozturk  

09.06.2022

BELGRADE, Serbia

Serbia announced Thursday that it had completed preparations to lift visa requirements for travel with Türkiye.

An expected agreement between Belgrade and Ankara will enable citizens of the two countries to "cross state borders with a valid biometric ID card to improve and facilitate the movement of people and goods," said a statement from the government.

The measure will also facilitate a large number of mutual tourist visits, the statement added.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on the development, Hami Aksoy, Türkiye’s Ambassador to Serbia, said that following the Serbian government’s move, the two sides will sign a protocol soon to enable visa-free travel.

As a result of the friendly bilateral relations that Türkiye and Serbia enjoy, tourists and businesspeople frequently travel between the two countries.

Türkiye's AnadoluJet recently began flights from Ankara to Serbia's capital Belgrade, while Turkish Airlines increased its flights from Istanbul to the Balkan city to three per day.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/serbia-completes-preparations-for-visa-free-travel-with-turkiye/2610077

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Russia welcomes normalization between Türkiye, Armenia

Elena Teslova

09.06.2022

MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed normalization between Türkiye and Armenia on Thursday, saying it will lead to the general improvement in the region.

He also expressed certainty that Armenia will finally settle relations with its another neighbor, Azerbaijan.

"We have a common understanding that the process is moving forward. Maybe a faster pace would be preferred, but nevertheless, the process is underway, and significant positive results are being achieved, so far it is an interim (result). But there is no doubt that there will be final agreements. We are doing our best to contribute to this," he said at a news conference in Yerevan, following a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan.

Baku and Yerevan have their own "specific vision" regarding how to interact at the current stage, but both sides have "the same understanding" that the latest peace agreements remain a "very clear roadmap" to follow, he said.

Lavrov noted that the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani commissions on the delimitation of the border was already held and the next meeting will be in Moscow in the near future.

Also, the trilateral working group under the leadership of the deputy prime ministers on unblocking transport and economic ties has made significant progress, he said.

"The (opening of a) railway route (connecting Armenia and Azerbaijan) has been agreed, now the coordination of an automobile route is close to an end," he said

Russia is ready to help conclude a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan and, in general, solve the humanitarian problems that persist in this region, said Lavrov.

Mirzoyan also praised Türkiye's readiness to normalization.

"We are glad to hear the statements of the Turkish top leadership that they are ready to normalize relations and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, as well as open borders," he said.

Asked about protests against the course of the Armenian authorities, Mirzoyan said people express their right for public gatherings and there is no political crisis in Armenia.

Clearing mines in Ukraine's sea ports

Lavrov said the Russian military has been opening safe corridors from Ukraine's ports for more than a month every day, in reference to grain export from Ukraine.

The sea shore is under Ukraine's control and the main obstacle for the passage of the ships are Ukraine's mines on the exits from the ports, he said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/russia-welcomes-normalization-between-turkiye-armenia/2609882

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Bosnian Serb leader demands deportation of high representative

Talha Ozturk

09.06.2022

BELGRADE, Serbia

A Serb member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Council on Thursday demanded the deportation of a German politician serving as a high representative in the country, accusing him of meddling in the runup to October's general elections.

During a Presidency Council meeting, Milorad Dodik accused Christian Schmidt of abusing his "Bonn powers" by influencing general elections through his funds and undermining the country's constitutional order.

The high representative has broad powers known as "Bonn powers," which allow him to report to the UN on developments and challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina on an annual basis.

"I thought that the members of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Council would approve that there is no high representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina because Schmidt was not appointed by a United Nations Security Council decision.

“All his actions are null and void and (he) must be expelled in according with the procedure for foreigners violating the constitutional order in Bosnia and Herzegovina,'' Dodik said.

The Bosniak member and the council’s Chairman, Sefik Dzaferovic, and the Croat member, Zeljko Komsic, both rejected Dodik’s request, who also demanded that the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in the country should also be closed.

Schmidt used his "Bonn powers" to finance the country’s general elections on Oct. 2, Dodik alleged, citing his announcement of allocating €6.5 million (approximately $6.97 million) for the Central Election Commission.

The new scenario arose after Schmidt stated during a press conference in Sarajevo on Tuesday that the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) had to utilize extraordinary powers due to challenges in distributing the necessary funds for the country's elections.

He said this decision will come into effect as soon as it is published in the Official Gazette, and he emphasized that with the legal regulation made under the Bonn authority, the finance problem will be resolved not only for this year's elections but also for all future elections.

The OHR was established with the Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The office oversees the implementation of the peace agreement in the country on behalf of the international community. The High Representative also coordinates the activities of international institutions operating in the country.

The High Representative has the authority to dismiss anyone who interferes with the implementation of peace in the country, including members of the Presidential Council, and to pass laws as necessary.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/bosnian-serb-leader-demands-deportation-of-high-representative/2609836

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EU urges Algeria to reverse split with Spain

09 June, 2022

The European Union on Thursday urged Algeria to reverse a decision to suspend its cooperation treaty with EU member Spain, urging dialogue to resolve the dispute.

Algeria has long backed the Polisario movement which is seeking independence for the Western Sahara region, claimed by Algiers’ neighbor and rival Morocco.

In March, Spain publicly recognized Morocco’s plan to grant the region autonomy rather than full independence, resolving a spat with Rabat but angering Algeria in turn.

On Wednesday, Algeria suspended its 2002 friendship treaty with Spain, threatening trade ties, including supplies of Algerian natural gas.

This in turn could complicate broader EU ties with Algeria, and EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said Brussels was “extremely concerned.”

“We would ask the Algerian party to take another look at that decision,” she said, urging Algiers and Madrid to work through diplomatic channels to resolve the dispute.

Morocco controls 80 percent of the Western Sahara.

The rest is held by Polisario, which fought a 15-year war with Morocco after Spanish forces withdrew in 1975 and wants a referendum on independence.

Morocco has offered limited autonomy but insists the phosphate and fisheries-rich enclave must remain under its sovereignty.

Spain officially endorsed that position in March to help resolve a year-long diplomatic dispute sparked by a visit by Polisario leader Brahim Ghali to Spain for treatment for COVID-19.

Weeks after his hospitalization, Moroccan border forces looked the other way as more than 10,000 migrants surged into Spain’s tiny North African enclave of Ceuta.

In April, Sanchez made an official visit to Morocco to patch up ties after his government backed Rabat’s 2007 autonomy plan.

Algiers said Wednesday that Madrid had thereby “given its full support to an illegal and illegitimate formula ... advocated by the occupying power.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/06/09/EU-urges-Algeria-to-reverse-split-with-Spain

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