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Islamic World News ( 5 Sept 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Book Fair In MP: Ahmadiyya Muslim Missionary, Virak Saleem, assaulted by Durga Vahini Women for Seeking Contact Details, Booked

New Age Islam News Bureau

05 September 2023


Virak Saleem, a resident of Gurdaspur in Punjab, set up a book stall at the Ujjain book fair that began on September 1. (Twitter/@nbt_india)



·         Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Slams Bhagwat’s ‘All Indians Are Hindus’ Remark

·         Hideout of longest surviving Hizbul terrorist unearthed in J-K’s Kishtwar

·         Muslim Businessman alleges extortion, says police threatened to kill him, slap ‘jihadi link’; IPS officer among 5 cops held in Assam

·         Article 370 hearing | You cannot form a nation by force, win the hearts of the people: Senior advocate Zaffar Shah

·         Holiday declared for Milad un-Nabi in Telangana


Arab World

·         ‘X’ Accused of Helping Saudi Arabia Commit Rights Abuses

·         KSrelief, Ensan delegations to provide aid to orphans in Yemen’s Hadhramaut

·         Saudi guards save a Turkish seafarer aboard a ship in the Red Sea

·         Saudi Police carry out several drug-busting operations across the Kingdom

·         Saudi, Tunisian FMs chair meeting of political consultation committee



·         Wazir Gul, Muhammad Amin, Faizan Razak and Muhammad Rizwan to Hang for Blasphemy

·         Qaiser Shirazi

·         IHC suspends Parvez Elahi’s detention under MPO, orders his release

·         FIA directed to arrest policemen involved in illegal detentions

·         GB Home Minister warns troublemakers against creating law, order situation

·         Jealous husband plotted Jaranwala desecration: police


South Asia

·         Terrorism threat persists in Afghanistan after US withdrawal: Pakistani US ambassador warns

·         Macron to pay homage to Bangabandhu during Bangladesh visit

·         Dhaka-Washington bilateral security dialogue begins

·         Bangladesh President Shahabuddin joins ASEAN Summit in Indonesia

·         SC grants bail in a corruption case to Sabera, wife of BNP leader, no bar to her release

·         G20 Summit: Hasina-Modi meet on Sept 8



·         UN Experts Urge Forces Of Powerful Libyan Commander, Khalifa Haftar, To Stop Evicting Residents, Demolishing Homes

·         Libya’s chief prosecutor, Najla Mangoush, is seeks more details on minister’s meeting with Israel’s chief diplomat

·         Turkey’s president meets Russia’s Putin and aims to revive the wartime Ukraine grain export deal

·         UN ‘alarmed ‘by Eritrean protesters clash with Israeli riot police in Tel Aviv, Israel

·         Israel opens new embassy in Bahrain, agrees to boost trade relations

·         Palestinian killed by Israel forces in West Bank


North America

·         US Weapons, Abandoned During Washington’s Chaotic 2021 Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Falling into Hands of Militants – Pakistan

·         US betrays its own principles to preserve chaos in Syria

·         Jill Biden positive for COVID, President Biden tests negative



·         'Violent Riot' Lasts Through the Night in Sweden After Quran Burning

·         France Vigilant as Abaya Ban in Schools Begins

·         Organization of Islamic Cooperation delegation arrives in Azerbaijan's Ganja (PHOTO)

·         Russian Embassy warns citizens about Germans ‘seizing’ cars

·         Ukrainian armed infiltration attempt ends in failure – governor



·         Many Persons Injured as Nigerian Policemen Open Fire on Shiite Members in Kaduna

·         Labour strike: Reps adjourn probe on job racketeering

·         Uganda detains man suspected of planning bomb attack on church

·         Niger's post-coup PM hopes for 'agreement' with ECOWAS

·         Nigeria to attend G20 summit, plans to apply for membership


Southeast Asia

·         Pulai By-Election: Islamic Affairs Minister Calls for Stop to Campaigns That Exploit Religious, Racial Sentiments

·         Explain discontinuation of all 47 Yayasan Akalbudi charges against Zahid, DAP sec-gen tells AG

·         Zahid’s discharge from Yayasan Akalbudi trial a fillip for Perikatan, says its Pulai hopeful

·         Kelantan’s 45 state assemblymen sworn in today

·         Fadillah denies govt interference in Zahid’s case

·         Cops warn politicians against using ‘3R’ cards as Muhyiddin under probe over ‘fatwa’ remark

·         PM Anwar: Stop racial polemics, hadith module only for Muslim students

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



 Book Fair In MP: Ahmadiyya Muslim Missionary, Virak Saleem, Assaulted by Durga Vahini Women for Seeking Contact Details, Booked


Virak Saleem, a resident of Gurdaspur in Punjab, set up a book stall at the Ujjain book fair that began on September 1. (Twitter/@nbt_india)


 by Anand Mohan

Bhopal | September 5, 2023

A missionary from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community was assaulted by members of the Hindu right-wing group Durga Vahini for allegedly taking down the contacts of women during the Ujjain book fair in Madhya Pradesh and later booked by the police.

Virak Saleem, a resident of Gurdaspur in Punjab, set up a book stall at the Ujjain book fair that began on September 1. A few women associated with Durga Vahini accused him of seeking their mobile phone numbers and beat him up Monday.

A 29-second purported video of the assault shows Saleem being surrounded by a group of men and women. The women slap Saleem multiple times, accusing him of taking down their numbers. As he sits down on the ground, he is kicked by a man, the video shows.

The police said a case was registered at the Madhav Nagar police station against Saleem under sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

The VHP in Ujjain said a group of women from the Durga Vahini wing had turned up at the book fair on September 3 around 7.30 pm and spotted Saleem “selling some suspicious books”.

VHP district president (Ujjain) Ankit Chaubey said, “One Durga Vahini member spotted this man selling objectionable books. This was communicated to the VHP, and a delegation led by vice-president Ritu Kapoor visited the stall and intervened after confirming the allegations.”

The complainant, a 23-year-old woman, alleged that Saleem had asked her to become friends with him and “held her hand with a bad intention” when she met him at the book fair in her locality, the FIR stated.

“The complainant alleged that when she asked him to show some books, he asked her name and then asked her to be his friend, promising to give her some good books. He then caught hold of her hand, following which the complainant hit him and began shouting,” said a police officer.

“Hearing the commotion, some people gathered at the book stall. The accused allegedly threatened to kill the woman if she divulged what transpired before he fled,” FIR stated.

Saleem, however, has claimed that he was framed in this case. “I was at my stall. They came, I don’t know with what planning. They sought information on some books. Then, they asked me for a copy of the Hindi version of the Quran. I said I did not have a copy and told them they could order it online. They gave me their contacts, saying they were school teachers,” he said.

Saleem said his “aim is not to harass anyone”; instead, it is “love for all, hatred for none”.

“If you think otherwise, take me to the police station and do an investigation. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community does not think badly of anyone. We respect everyone. If my sisters may have thought otherwise, I apologise with folded hands,” Saleem said.


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Saudi Arabia Announces Establishment Of Global Water Organisation


Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.



September 5, 2023

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced the establishment of a Global Water Organisation, Emirates News Agency (WAM) quoted the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Sept 4, 2023.

The newly formed organisation will have its headquarters in Riyadh and is set to play a pivotal role in consolidating and enhancing global efforts to secure sustainable water resources.

The objectives of the organisation encompass the exchange of knowledge and expertise, the advancement of water technology, the stimulation of innovation, and the sharing of research and development experiences, SPA said.

Furthermore, the organisation will actively advocate for the initiation and funding of high-priority projects aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of water resources while ensuring access to water for all, it added.

The initiative underscores Saudi Arabia's commitment to addressing the challenges associated with global water supply, SPA noted.

The initiative also aligns with Saudi Arabia's broader dedication to environmental sustainability.

The Kingdom, in collaboration with all member countries of the organisation, aspires to contribute to the realisation of sustainable development goals related to water security. --BERNAMA-ANADOLU


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Ulema Delegation in Gilgit-Baltistan to Promote Harmony Among the People Belonging to Various Schools of Thought


A file photo/ Gilgit-Baluchistan


September 05, 2023

QUETTA: A delegation of leading Ulema from across the country arrived in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) region on Monday to strengthen the concept of Islamic brotherhood and promote dialogue and understanding among the people belonging to various schools of thought.

G-B Home Minister Shams Lone said they had invited the leading scholars from other parts of the country to sit with the local Ulema, and stressed that peace in the region could only be maintained if the people respected each other’s beliefs.

The delegation comprised Maulana Tayyab Panjpiri, Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, Allama Ziaullah Shah Bukhari, Allama Shabbir Mesmi, Nasir Abbas Shirazi, Allama Hussain Akbar and Allama Iqbal Beheshti. The visit aimed at strengthening the Islamic brotherhood.

“Peace can only be maintained if we respect each other’s beliefs and faiths, which will ultimately help realise the dream of development in the region,” he added. “The state wants all the issues to be resolved through understanding and efforts in this regard are being made at all levels,” he added.

Flanked by Adviser to Chief Minister on Information Iman Shan, Lone told a press conference the peaceful atmosphere of the region had been disturbed to some extent due to the speeches of religious scholars of different sects.

The minister appealed to the people to play their positive role in the current situation and not to fall prey to the enemy’s propaganda.

He warned that the Indian media had made a sinister attempt to misrepresent the current situation in G-B. “We strongly condemn the India propaganda,” he added.

Meanwhile, more than ,4,000 students organised rallies in different districts to express their unwavering commitment to a peaceful G-B, refute misunderstandings about the situation in G-B and to emphasise the peaceful and free status of the region from sectarian tensions.

The students, representing Gilgit, Ghazar, Hunza and Nagar districts, started the rally with a peaceful walk from the Boys High School No 1 Gilgit to the Civil Secretariat. The rally culminated ended in presenting a resolution to the chief secretary's office.

In the resolution, the students emphasised that education was paramount, and they needed a peaceful environment to achieve it. The rally was also a clear message that the people of G-B were determined to achieve education, development and harmony.

Meanwhile, the situation in G-B remained peaceful on Monday, with commercial centres and bazaars operating normally. The information department also issued a statement highlighting the the influx of thousands of tourists, both domestic and international.

Regrettably, certain elements with divisive agendas are using social media to cast a negative light on the peaceful protests held by some religious groups.

They were employing fake news and propaganda to manipulate public opinion. During these peaceful demonstrations, there had been no incidents of gunfire or damage to either private or government property.

The region’s government has engaged the army and other security forces to ensure comprehensive safety measures along the routes of Majlis and processions during the observances of the Chehlum Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS).


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Suggestions Of OIC Delegation Will Be Used In Govt Affairs: Islamic Emirate’s Spokesman


Photo: TOLO


By Naveed Samadi

4 September 2023

The Islamic Emirate’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said that the suggestion and views of the delegation of the Organizations of Islamic Cooperation will be used in running an Islamic system in Afghanistan.

Mujahid said that efforts are underway to address the concerns of the international community.

“They have been assured that we will continue all affairs of the country based on Islamic rules and that the consultation and views of the people will be used,” he said.

An OIC delegation is visiting Afghanistan to share the views of member nations with Islamic Emirate.

“The visit of the OIC’s delegation reflects that there are serious concerns in the Islamic world about some of the policies of the Taliban,” said Wahid Faqiri, an international relations analyst.

Qatar Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al Khulaifi, on Sunday met with the Chinese special envoy for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The two sides discussed cooperation relations between the two countries and developments in the situation in Afghanistan,” the statement said. “Chinese Special Envoy for Afghan Affairs expressed his country’s appreciation for the State of Qatar’s constructive role in the Afghan file,” the statement said.

“The ruling environment across the region is so chaotic and that efforts of one or two countries cannot benefit Afghanistan neither internally nor abroad,” said Shakir Hayat, a political analyst.

According to Mujahid, the delegation of the OIC also met with the governor of Kandahar, in which the two sides discussed the enhancement of cooperation in the health and education sector.


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Israel Halts Gaza Imports Over ‘Attempt To Smuggle Explosives’


Palestinian trucks leaving the main commercial crossing between Gaza and Israel, Kerem Shalom, in the southern Gaza Strip in 2020 [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]


05 September 2023


JERUSALEM: Israel’s army chief on Monday ordered the suspension of all imports from Gaza after an alleged attempt to smuggle explosives, the army and defense ministry said in a statement.

Officers from the defense ministry, which controls crossings between Israel and the Palestinian enclave, “detected several kilograms of high quality explosives, hidden within a clothing delivery carried by three trucks” at the Kerem Shalom crossing, the statement said.

Army chief of staff Herzi Halevi, with approval from Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, ordered the halting of “commercial deliveries from Gaza to Israel, allowing security adjustments to be made at the crossing.”

“Deliveries will resume in accordance with subsequent situation assessments,” it added.

The statement said Israel “will not allow terror organizations to take advantage of civilian and humanitarian facilities for terror purposes.”

The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since the Islamist group Hamas seized power there in 2007.

The Kerem Shalom crossing is the only point of entry for goods between the enclave and Israel.

Monday’s development comes amid raging tensions in the occupied West Bank.

Violence from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has surged and claimed the lives of at least 225 Palestinians so far this year.

At least 32 Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian have also been killed, according to an AFP tally based on official sources on both sides.

They include, on the Palestinian side, combatants as well as civilians and, on the Israeli side, three members of the Arab minority.


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Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind slams Bhagwat’s ‘all Indians are Hindus’ remark

September 4, 2023

New Delhi : Prominent Muslim organisation Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind on Monday hit out at RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for his “all Indians are Hindus” remark, alleging that it was clear from such statements that Sangh leaders do not want communal harmony and were going back on their word on promoting mutual understanding.

He expressed his anger at the prevalent atmosphere of hatred in the country. He said Muslims are being targeted as has happened recently in Haryana’s Nuh and in other places.

The RSS, Arshad Madani said, has backtracked from its commitment to promote peace, harmony and love between Hindus and Muslims in India.

He said in his talks with Mohan Bhagwat it was given to understand that the RSS would promote mutual understanding and resolve misunderstandings in the country. “The RSS does not stick to any of the promises,” he said.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind also fully supports the INDIA alliance, Arshad Madani said adding that political change is necessary to end the atmosphere of hatred in the country. If opposition parties are not united, their very existence will be in danger, he said.

“The way communal forces were defeated in Karnataka, it is necessary to do it at the national level as well,” he said.

The Jamiat chief also issued relief checks of Rs 40 lakh for the 200 hawkers and street vendors affected by Nuh violence.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, he said, has been taking the lead in relief and welfare work from day one. “It has never done this work on the basis of religion but on the basis of humanity, and this process is still ongoing. Be it social issues, community issues, or national issues, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has offered its services on the basis of humanity at every step. Whether it is a case of natural calamities like earthquakes and floods, victims of communal riots, the legal battle of innocent people, or the issue of Assamese citizenship, we feel it our social responsibility to extend our hands and provide timely help to all, rehabilitate them, heal their wounds. This same tradition is also being maintained in Nuh, and the victims are being helped regardless of religion, caste, and creed.

Citing the example of peace during the Hindu yatra in Nuh on August 28, he said it proves once again that if the administration and the police perform their duty honestly, there can never be a riot.

Maulana Madani also condemned targeting of places of worship by miscreants during the riots, saying that this is not the teaching of any religion. “Those who use religion to incite hatred and violence cannot be true followers of their religion,” he said. ( With PTI inputs )


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Hideout of longest surviving Hizbul terrorist unearthed in J-K’s Kishtwar

September 05, 2023


Security forces on Tuesday unearthed a hideout being used by the longest surviving terrorist of banned Hizbul Mujahideen, Jehangir Saroori, in the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district, a police officer said.

The hideout was dismantled by police in collaboration with the troops of Rashtriya Rifles and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in a meticulously planned operation in Paribag area of Bhadat Saroor, Senior Superintendent of Police, Kishtwar, Khalil Poswal said.

Saroori joined militancy in the early 1990s and is believed to be hiding in the higher reaches of Kishtwar district. Saroori’s brother Abdul Karim Butt was detained under the stringent Public Safety Act for being a terrorist associate on August 3.

Terming the unearthing of the hideout as a “significant breakthrough” in anti-terrorist operations, he said Saroori was suspected to have been using the hideout and planning subversive activities.

During the search operation, the police recovered two blankets, some edibles and personal use items from the hideout, indicating the presence of the terrorist, the officer said, adding the recovery of these items underscores the importance of this operation in disrupting unlawful activities in the region.

The SSP said the entire area has been cordoned and searches are being conducted.

"Our mission is to ensure the safety and security of our citizens, and today's operation is a resounding success in our ongoing efforts to eradicate terrorism from the region," Poswal said.

The officer urged the citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or come forward with information that could aid in maintaining peace and thwarting the designs of anti-social elements.


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Muslim Businessman alleges extortion, says police threatened to kill him, slap ‘jihadi link’; IPS officer among 5 cops held in Assam

By Sukrita Baruah

Guwahati: September 5, 2023

Nine people, including senior police officers in Assam’s Bajali district, were arrested by the state crime investigation department (CID) after a local businessman alleged that he was being extorted by police.

Rabiul Islam, the businessman, alleged, among other things, that he was wrongfully detained by police and told to pay Rs 2.5 crore, failing which he would be killed in an encounter and his killing would be justified by concocting “links with Pakistani and Bangladeshi jihadi elements”. In his complaint, Islam said the threats were made by a man who claimed to be an “encounter specialist”.

On Monday, the Assam Police arrested Siddhartha Buragohan, a 2014 batch IPS officer who had been Bajali Superintendent of Police before being transferred two days ago to Assam Police Headquarters. Deputy Superintendent of Police (HQ) Pushkal Gogoi, Additional Superintendent of Police Gayatri Sonowal, her husband Subhas Chander, Sub-Inspector Debajit Giri, and constable Injamamul Hassan were also arrested. The three others arrested were one Kishore Baruah, and police drivers Nabir Ahmed and Dipjoy Kalita.

Assam DGP G P Singh said on Friday that after police received the complaint of money being demanded by Bajali police officers, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption “was directed to lay a trap but didn’t succeed since the police officers (accused) were careful”. However, he said that the FIR was registered because the complaint was found to be “prima facie true”.

“Lawful action is being taken. As always, we remain committed to relentless, ruthless action against corrupt practices,” he said.

On August 31, based on a complaint by Islam, the Assam CID registered an FIR under multiple IPC sections, including those pertaining to attempt to murder, causing fear of death for extortion, criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and criminal conspiracy. The six accused named in the FIR were Buragohain, Sonowal, Gogoi, Giri, and two other police personnel – Arnab Jyoti Patir, officer in charge of Patacharkuchi police station, and Sasanka Das, an ASI from Bhabanipur outpost.

In his complaint, Islam alleged that the intimidation began on July 16 when police personnel stormed into his family home at around 1.30 am, dragged him out and began asking him about “drugs and cash”, which he said he knew nothing about.

He said in the complaint that police officers then punched and kicked him “for at least two to three hours”, searched his house without a warrant, and took a number of belongings. Then, they took him and two of his relatives to the Bhabanipur police station where they were detained, he said.

Around noon the next day, he alleged, he was taken to the SP’s residence where the SP interrogated him on where he had kept the “illegal articles”. In the course of the interrogation, he was allegedly assaulted multiple times by the police officer. After that, he was taken back to the police station where he was assaulted multiple times again and told to “cooperate”, he alleged. Police also allegedly searched both his office and his father-in-law’s home that day.

Late that night, the officer in charge of Bhabanipur police station put him inside a vehicle in which there also were two persons in civilian clothes and one in police uniform, he said in the complaint, adding that he was then taken to a detergent factory.

“They asked me to run, and they told me that they are going to shoot me with their handguns as per directions of the Director General of Police, Assam,” he alleged in the complaint.

“At that time, another person who came down from another car, which was following us, came near me and told me in Hindi to accept that I have links with jihadi elements and I have illegally acquired all my properties,” he said.

When Dulquer Salmaan had to bring out his Porsche to get respect on a film’s set: ‘Suddenly they brought a chair for me’

When he refused to do that, he alleged, the person “took out one hand gun and tried to shoot me and demanded an amount of Rs 2.5 crore from me. He told me that he is an encounter specialist and if I do not pay the said amount, he will kill me and the police will show it is an encounter by showing that I have links with Pakistani and Bangladeshi jihadi elements,” he alleged in the complaint.

He alleged that he was taken to the police station when he agreed to the monetary demands. He claimed that he paid Rs 10 lakh in cash and that his mother issued 21 cheques for Rs 10 lakh each from her bank account. However, he alleged that he was still not released and that ASP Gayatri Sonowal demanded another Rs 2.5 crore from him. This demand, he said, was “made in the chamber of officer-in-charge of Bhabanipur outpost”. The inspector in charge of Bhabanipur outpost is Debojit Giri.

Assam's 'elephant doctor' awarded Padma Shri: 'This land belongs to the e...

He was then let go, but the threat of “encounter” if he did not pay the amount continued to loom over him, he said. From July 31 onwards, two people claiming to be close associates of the SP began calling his family members and demanding that the amount be sent to the SP directly, he alleged.


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Article 370 hearing | You cannot form a nation by force, win the hearts of the people: Senior advocate Zaffar Shah

September 05, 2023


The Supreme Court on Monday asked National Conference leader Mohammad Akbar Lone, the lead petitioner in the Article 370 abrogation challenge case, to file an affidavit affirming that he unconditionally accepts that J&K is an integral part of India and that he owes allegiance to the Constitution of India.

The Centre, J&K administration and other respondents accused Mr. Lone of raising slogans, including ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in 2018.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta demanded that Lone file an affidavit pledging his allegiance to the Constitution so as to not encourage others as it might affect the ‘efforts of the nation to bring normalcy which has been substantially successful’.

He further apprised the Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y Chandrachud that Lone would have been the lead petitioner, after the withdrawal of Shah Faesal, had the court not given the generic title ‘In Re Article 370 of the Constitution’ to the case.

On August 5, 2019, the Centre decided to strip the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir of special status and bifurcate it into two Union Territories. By abrogating Article 370, the Central Government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Several petitions challenging the abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, were referred to a Constitution Bench in 2019.


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Holiday declared for Milad un Nabi in Telangana

Sameer Khan: 4th September 2023

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has declared a holiday for Milad un Nabi, which is observed on the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammed.

According to the Telangana State Portal Calendar for 2023, the Milad un Nabi holiday in the state will be observed on Thursday, September 28. The day has been listed under ‘General Holidays.’

However, it is important to note that the holiday date in Telangana is subject to change based on the sighting of the Moon. Since the Islamic calendar relies on the sighting of the crescent to determine the beginning of each month, the start of Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar, depends on the sighting of the Moon.

In addition, this month, government holidays have been declared for Arbayeen, Sri Krishna Astami, and Vinayaka Chavithi in Telangana.

This year, Arbayeen falls on September 6, whereas Sri Krishna Astami and Vinayaka Chaturthi will be celebrated on September 7 and 18, respectively.

Milad un Nabi holiday in Telangana may change

Since the beginning of the month of Rabi’ al-awwal is subject to the sighting of the moon, the holiday for Milad un Nabi, which is celebrated on the 12th of the Islamic calendar, is also subject to change.

As the holiday calendar was declared earlier, as of now, the government holiday for Milad un Nabi is set for September 28, 2023.


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Arab World


‘X’ accused of helping Saudi Arabia commit rights abuses

September 5, 2023

THE social media company X, formerly known as Twitter, has been accused in a civil US lawsuit of helping Saudi Arabia commit grave human rights abuses against its users, The Guardian reported.

The report accuses the social media firm of, among other things, disclosing confidential user data at the request of Saudi authorities in July and December 2015 at a much higher rate than it has for the US, UK, or Canada.

The lawsuit was brought last May, by Areej al-Sadhan, the sister of a Saudi aid worker who was forcibly disappeared and then later sentenced to 20 years in jail.

It centres on the events surrounding the infiltration of the California company by three Saudi agents, two who were posing as Twitter employees in 2014 and 2015, which ultimately led to the arrest of al-Sadhan’s brother, Abdulrahman, and the exposure of the identity of thousands of anonymous Twitter users, some of whom were later reportedly detained and tortured as part of the government’s crackdown on dissent, the report said.

Lawyers for Al-Sadhan updated their claim last week to include new allegations about how Twitter, under the leadership of then-chief executive Jack Dorsey, willfully ignored or had knowledge of the Saudi government’s campaign to ferret out critics but — because of financial considerations and efforts to keep close ties to the Saudi government, a top investor in the company — provided assistance to the kingdom, The Guardian reported.

The convicted man, Muhammad al-Ghamdi, 54, is the brother of a Saudi scholar and government critic living in exile in the UK. Saudi court records examined by HRW showed that al-Ghamdi was accused of having two accounts, which had a total of 10 followers combined.

The Saudi crackdown can be traced back to December 2014, as Ahmad Abouammo — who was later convicted in the US for secretly acting as a Saudi agent and lying to the FBI — began accessing and sending confidential user data to Saudi Arabian officials.

In the new lawsuit, it is claimed that he sent a message to Saud al-Qahtani, a close aide to Mohammed bin Salman, via the social media company’s messaging system, saying “proactively and reactively we will delete evil, my brother”.

It was a reference, the lawsuit claims, to the identification and harming of perceived Saudi dissidents who were using the platform. Al-Qahtani was later accused by the US of being a mastermind behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

“Twitter was either aware of this message — brazenly sent on its own platform — or was deliberately ignorant to it,” the revised lawsuit states.

After Abouammo resigned in May 2015, he continued to contact Twitter to field requests he was receiving for the identity of confidential users. He made clear to the company, the lawsuit alleges, that the requests were on behalf of his “old partners in the Saudi government”.

The lawsuit also alleges that Twitter had “ample notice” of security risks to internal personal data, and that there was a threat of insiders illegally accessing it, based on public reporting at the time.

Twitter “did not simply ignore all these red flags … it was aware of the malign campaign”, the lawsuit claims.


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KSrelief, Ensan delegations to provide aid to orphans in Yemen’s Hadhramaut

September 05, 2023

RIYADH: Yemen’s governor of Hadhramaut governorate Mabkhout Mubarak bin Madi received Monday delegations representing the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) and Charity Society for Orphan Care in Riyadh (Ensan).

During the meeting, they discussed the implementation of joint projects to support and empower orphans in the governorate, based on a strategy and under the supervision of and follow-up by KSrelief.

KSrelief licensed Ensan last January to work in humanitarian and relief activities outside Saudi Arabia as part of its endeavor to support volunteer work abroad.

Governor Mabkhout Mubarak bin Madi received in Hadhramaut on Monday delegations representing the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) and Charity Society for Orphan Care in Riyadh (Ensan). (SPA)

Moreover, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi visited Saturday Aden General Hospital to oversee the humanitarian and relief operations, and the development projects operated by KSrelief in Yemen.

KSrelief team made a presentation displayed at the hospital's exhibition about the nature of relief and development projects implemented in Yemen, which amounted to a total of 828 projects.

GCC Secretary-General Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi visited Saturday Aden General Hospital to oversee the humanitarian and relief operations, and the development projects operated by KSrelief in Yemen. (SPA)

This week, KSrelief on Saturday distributed 120,800 tons of food parcels in Al-Mahrah Governorate in Yemen, benefitting 7,903 individuals.

The food aid is part of the efforts made by Saudi Arabia to reach the most vulnerable groups.


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Saudi guards save a Turkish seafarer aboard a ship in the Red Sea

September 05, 2023

JEDDAH: Saudi border guards on Monday rescued a Turkish sailor on board a ship in the Red Sea and transferred her to Yanbu General Hospital, reported SPA.

The woman had sustained a head injury and needed medical attention, said Colonel Misfer Al-Quraini, the official spokesman of Saudi Border Guards.

The report was received on Monday by the Jeddah Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (JMRCC).


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Saudi Police carry out several drug-busting operations across the Kingdom

September 05, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi border guards in the Jazan Region arrested a Yemeni national while trying to smuggle 20 kg of the narcotic qat.

The offender was handed over to the relevant authorities, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

Meanwhile in Riyadh police arrested several Ethiopian men who were found in possession of 17kg of hashish.

And in Taif, police arrested a Saudi for attempting to sell amphetamine pills.

The Saudi government has urged anyone with information related to suspected smuggling operations or customs violations to call the confidential hotline 1910, the international number 00 966 114208417, or email


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Saudi, Tunisian FMs chair meeting of political consultation committee

September 04, 2023

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met on Sunday in Riyadh with Tunisia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Tunisians Abroad,Nabil Ammar.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the solid relations between the two countries, and ways to develop and enhance them in all fields, in addition to discussing the most important developments in the regional and international arenas, and efforts made to tackle them.

The two ministers then chaired the 3rd meeting of the Follow-up and Political Consultation Committee between Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, where they stressed the importance of intensifying bilateral and multilateral coordination on many issues of common concern.

The two foreign ministers have also discussed the most prominent topics on the meeting's agenda aimed at consolidating relations between the Kingdom and Tunisia.

The meeting was attended by Assistant Minister of State for African Countries Affairs,Ambassador Dr. Sami bin Abdullah Al-Saleh, and Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Tunisia, Dr. Abdulaziz bin Ali Al-Saqr.


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Wazir Gul, Muhammad Amin, Faizan Razak and Muhammad Rizwanto Hang for Blasphemy

Qaiser Shirazi

September 05, 2023

RAWALPINDI:An additional district and sessions court of Rawalpindi awarded death penalty to four accused in a blasphemy case filed by the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cyber Crime Wing (CCW). A fifth accused was sentenced to seven years in jail by the court.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Ahsan Mahmood Malik passed the judgment in two separate cases.

He said in his ruling that blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and desecration of the Holy Quran were heinous and unforgivable crimes. The perpetrators of these crimes do not deserve any concession or leniency.

The judge convicted Wazir Gul, Muhammad Amin, Faizan Razak and Muhammad Rizwan, and sentenced them to death and a fine of Rs100,000 for the crime under the Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and life imprisonment and a fine of Rs100,000 under the Section 295-B of the PPC.

Besides, the judge also awarded seven-year jail term and a fine of Rs20,000 to the fifth accused, Usman Liaquat.

The CCW registered the case against the five convicts on September 12, 2022, based on a complaint filed by civilian Umair.

The CCW presented blasphemous videos and social media posts retrieved from the phones seized from the possession of the criminals to the court.


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IHC suspends Parvez Elahi’s detention under MPO, orders his release

Umer Burney

September 5, 2023

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday suspended the detention of PTI President Parvez Elahi under the Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) and ordered his release.

On Friday, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had ordered that the former Punjab chief minister be released along with a restraining order against his possible arrest by any agency or preventive detention.

However, hours after he was released from Adiala Jail, an Islamabad police team, assisted by the Punjab police, had intercepted a white SUV near the FCC underpass in which Elahi was travelling to his house along with lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa.

The police personnel had shifted Elahi into a white car with no licence plate. The car drove him to Islamabad. Visuals of the arrest drama had gone viral on social media.

According to the capital police, Elahi was taken into custody on orders of the district magistrate under Section 3 of the MPO.

Section 3 of MPO empowers the government to arrest and detain suspected persons. It states: “The government, if satisfied that with a view to preventing any person from acting in any manner prejudicial to public safety or the maintenance of public order, it is necessary to do, may, by an order in writing, direct the arrest and detention in such custody […] and [the] government, if satisfied that for the aforesaid reasons, it is necessary so to do, may extend from time to time the period of such detention, for a period not exceeding six months at a time.”

Subsequently, Elahi — who was moved to Attock jail — had approached the IHC against his detention, urging the court to declare it as “patently illegal, unlawful and without lawful authority”.

In the petition, Elahi had requested the IHC to set aside the detention order and issue directives for his release. He had cited the interior secretary, district magistrate, the Islamabad police chief and the Adiala Jail’s superintendent as respondents in the case.

On Tuesday, Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri took up Elahi’s plea. The court suspended the PTI leader’s detention order and also ordered his release. The court also issued a notice to the duty magistrate who ordered Elahi’s detention.

Further, the court also directed for Elahi to be presented at the next hearing and also ordered him to not issue any kind of statement until the next hearing. The hearing was subsequently adjourned till Tuesday (September 12).

During the hearing, Elahi’s lawyer, Sardar Abdul Raziq Khan, contended that his client had been in jail for the past three months and questioned how he could have caused harm to public order. He also read out the PTI leader’s detention order out loud in court.

“Parvez Elahi has not even issued any statement in four months,” the lawyer said. Khan pointed out that there was no case registered against Elahi in Islamabad and he had been discharged from a corruption case.

He said that Elahi was detained by Islamabad police hours after he was released by the LHC. At this point, Justice Jahangiri asked if Elahi had taken out any rallies or committed any violence, to which the lawyer responded in the negative.

The lawyer then pointed out that contempt of court proceedings were under way against the Islamabad deputy commissioner for issuing such an order against PTI’s Shehryar Afridi.

Justice Jahangiri then asked the lawyer when Elahi was first arrested, to which Khan said the PTI leader was first arrested on June 1. The judge observed that Elahi had been detained for more than three months.

Elahi rushed to PIMS after his condition deteriorates

A day earlier, Elahi underwent different tests at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) after his health deteriorated in Attock Jail.

Dr Mubashir Daha, a spokesperson for Pims, told Dawn that the former Punjab chief minister was examined by doctors of the hospital’s emergency ward and he was in good health.

“He was brought to the hospital for a routine check-up due to which blood pressure was checked and some lab tests were also conducted. He was in good health so no medical board was established,” he added.

After examination, the former chief minister was shifted back to the jail under strict security.

According to jail sources, Elahi had complained about his health condition to the jail authorities on Monday morning.

Subsequently, a three-member medical team, headed by medical superintendent of Attock District Hospital Dr Jawad Ellahi, examined the PTI leader and referred him to Pims for further examination and tests.


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FIA directed to arrest policemen involved in illegal detentions

Malik Asad

September 5, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday while hearing a petition on recovery of a “missing” politician directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to issue arrest warrants for police officials allegedly involved in illegal detention of citizens.

The IHC had summoned the senior superintendent of police (SSP) on the petition seeking recovery of former member of the National Assembly (MNA) Sadaqat Abbasi, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

IHC Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri also issued a notice to the inspector general of police (IGP) Islamabad and sought a report from him on the matter. The court directed the IGP to take up the matter with the interior and defence ministries and submit their responses in the report.

The habeas corpus petition had been filed by Usman Ghani Sadaqat, the brother of the ex-MNA. The petitioner stated before the court that unknown persons had “kidnapped” his brother from outside the Parliament Lodges and requested the court to direct the authorities to produce him. The court adjourned further hearing for this matter till Tuesday (today).

Meanwhile, IHC Justice Babar Sattar also directed the FIA to proceed against officials of Islamabad Police for illegally detaining the citizens.

He was hearing the case related to allegations against the police officials for detaining the citizens and seeking ransom for their release. The FIA informed the court that the accused police officials were not cooperating with the investigation team after which Justice Sattar directed the FIA to issue arrest warrants, if the suspects were not joining the investigation.

The legal adviser of the Islamabad Police Tahir Kazim informed the court that the IGP had already suspended four police personnel, including an assistant sub-inspector, who were involved in the crime, and proceedings against them were underway at three forums. He further told the court that the deputy inspector general (operations) is conducting an inquiry in this matter.


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GB Home Minister warns troublemakers against creating law, order situation

September 05, 2023

Gilgit Baltistan Home Minister Shams Lone has appealed all residents of Gilgit-Baltistan to play their positive role in the current situation and not to fall prey to the enemy's propaganda.

Addressing a news conference in Gilgit, he said the government wants all issues to be resolved through understanding and efforts are being made in this regard at all levels.

The Minister said there is peace all over Gilgit-Baltistan region now but warned the elements to desist from creating any law and order situation.

He also requested the religious scholars to preach the Holy Prophet's (SAWW) teachings of peace, brotherhood and unity from the pulpit.

He said peace can only be maintained if we respect each other's beliefs and faiths, which will ultimately help realize the dream of development in the region.

Shams Lone condemned the Indian media's propaganda and sinister attempt to misrepresent the current situation in Gilgit-Baltistan.


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Jealous husband plotted Jaranwala desecration: police

September 05, 2023

FAISALABAD:The desecration of the Holy Quran that sparked communal riots, burning of churches and Christians’ properties at Jaranwala tehsil of Punjab’s Faisalabad district on August 16 was part of a conspiracy hatched by a jealous husband to bring harm to his wife’s alleged lover.

Sharing details of the police investigation into the incident, Jaranwala Superintendent Police (SP) Bilal Silhari said P*, a Christian man, had discovered that his wife was cheating on him with one of his co-religionist Raja U*.

The SP said P first hired a contract killer, Allah Ditta, to eliminate his rival and gave him both money and a motorcycle.

However, when Ditta failed to kill U, he conceived a heinous plot together with his friends Dawood and Bobby to frame U in a blasphemy case, which carries a death sentence in the country.

As part of the plan, P first wrote a blasphemous letter and later desecrated pages from the Holy Quran that was left hanging from a rope in the middle of a lane. The official said the police have discovered the piece of rope on P’s indication and sent it for forensic examination.


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South Asia


Terrorism threat persists in Afghanistan after US withdrawal: Pakistani US ambassador warns

By Fidel Rahmati

September 4, 2023

Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, emphasized that despite the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, the threat of terrorism still exists in the country.

According to a report by Radio Pakistan on Monday,  Khan said that both the United States and Pakistan are responsible for directing Afghanistan towards stability.

He highlighted the collaboration between the United States and Pakistan in the fight against terrorism, though further details of this cooperation remain unspecified.

The Pakistani Ambassador said that regional security depends on Afghanistan’s stability. In the past two years, the United States and Pakistan have successfully maintained bilateral cooperation in the security domain.

Referring to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacks in Pakistan, Masood Khan added that over 1,500 citizens of his country have been killed with the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.

Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, the interim Prime Minister of Pakistan, said in his recent interview with a local media outlet that the situation has worsened with the rise of the Taliban caretaker government in Afghanistan.

Kakar added that Pakistan had hoped to see a “peaceful and improved” Afghanistan after establishing the Taliban government, but the situation has deteriorated.

According to the interim Prime Minister of Pakistan, the remaining NATO weapons in Afghanistan are now being used in attacks against Pakistan.

Meanwhile, despite efforts by the interim administration of Afghanistan over the past two years to broker a ceasefire between Pakistani government officials and Pakistani Taliban insurgents, these efforts have not yielded the desired outcome.


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Macron to pay homage to Bangabandhu during Bangladesh visit

UNB, Dhaka

Tue Sep 5, 2023

President of the Republic of France Emmanuel Macron will pay homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi 32 during his visit to Bangladesh, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He will arrive here on September 10 at the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

This is going to be the first visit to Bangladesh by any French president in the last three decades.

President Macron will hold a summit meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Prime Minister's Office and join a banquet to be hosted by her in honour of the French president.

The two leaders are expected to witness signing couple of bilateral instruments and hold a joint press briefing, the foreign ministry said.

The governments of Bangladesh and France sincerely hope that the visit of the French president to Bangladesh will further elevate the friendly relations between the two countries to a new height.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to receive the French president at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will see him off.

The French president will be accompanied by, among others, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna.

Sheikh Hasina visited France in November 2021 at the invitation of the French President Emmanuel Macron.

France is seeing the visit as an "opportunity to deepen" the bilateral relations between the two countries.

The French government confirmed the visit yesterday describing Bangladesh as a country that is experiencing "rapid economic growth and seeking to diversify" its partnerships.

"Bangladesh and France also show great convergence in the face of global challenges, particularly within the framework of the Paris Agenda for Peoples and the Planet, which Bangladesh actively supports," reads the announcement.

Since the country is particularly vulnerable to climate change, the President will recall France's determination to stand by Bangladesh on its humanitarian front, in particular in the face of regular floods.

Bangladesh is also an important contributor to international solidarity actions, whether through its contingents in peacekeeping operations or in hosting Rohingya refugees.

In Bangladesh, Macron will continue the concrete declination of the French strategy in the Indo-Pacific, after welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Paris this summer and visiting Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Sri Lanka.

The president of the French Republic will go to New Delhi to take part in the G20 Summit on September 9 and 10.

He will then come to Dhaka on September 10 for the bilateral visit.

Momen recently said Bangladesh and France would discuss ways to enhance trade and investment between the two countries apart from discussing issues like climate change and regulated migration.

"Women empowerment, enhancing trade and commerce and regulated migration – these are normal issues. Climate change is a big issue. The President of France has taken a leadership role," Momen said, adding that Bangladesh will raise the loss and damage issue and its making functional of its relevant fund in a big way.


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Dhaka-Washington bilateral security dialogue begins

UNB, Dhaka

Tue Sep 5, 2023

Bangladesh and the United States are holding the ninth annual bilateral security dialogue in Dhaka as part of the "comprehensive security relationship" between the two governments.

KhandkerMasudul Alam, director general (North America) is leading the Bangladesh delegation while the US Side is led by Mira Resnick, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

The dialogue began at 9:00am today at the Foreign Service Academy.

The security dialogue is an annual, civilian-led discussion that touches on all elements of the security relationship between the two countries.

Representatives from both sides will discuss Indo-Pacific regional issues, security and human rights, military cooperation, peacekeeping, security assistance, and counterterrorism, among other topics, said the US embassy in Dhaka in a media note.

The United States and Bangladesh have a strong security partnership and share many interests in the Indo-Pacific region, said the embassy.

Both countries share a vision to ensure the Indo-Pacific region is free, open, peaceful, and secure.

This year, the security dialogue closely follows the bilateral defence dialogue, which took place August 23 and 24 in Dhaka.

The bilateral defence dialogue featured senior officers and civilians from the US and Bangladeshi militaries.

They discussed a range of issues specific to the military-to-military relationship, including military education, peacekeeping and upcoming military exercises, including next year's Disaster Response Exercise & Exchange.

The security dialogue covers a wide range of issues related to partnership between the two countries including strategic priorities and regional security issues, defence cooperation, civilian security cooperation, UN peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, and countering violent extremism.


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Bangladesh President Shahabuddin joins ASEAN Summit in Indonesia

BSS, Indonesia

Tue Sep 5, 2023

President Mohammed Shahabuddin today joined the opening session of the 43rd Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Plenary Hall of Jakarta Convention Center (JCC).

With the theme of "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth", the three-day summit is being held on September 5-7 with Indonesian President Joko Widodo chairing it.

Shahabuddin along with his wife Rebecca Sultana reached the summit venue at about 9:50am (local time).

On arrival, they were welcomed by the Indonesian president after a formal state reception.

The Indonesian president along with his wife Iriana Joko Widodo also took part in a photo session with the Bangladesh president and his spouse.

Chairperson of Bangladesh National Advisory Committee on Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Saima Wazed and Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen are also accompanying the president at the opening ceremony.

Along with 10 organisational leaders from ASEAN countries, several heads of the state and the government and leaders of partner countries are participating in the opening session of the summit.

Host country Indonesia invited as many as 27 world leaders and concerned personalities of international bodies like executive directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank for the summit, said ASEAN secretary general.

The ASEAN summit will feature the issue of development and strengthening of the organisation's cooperation with external partners, several important themes such as the Code of Conduct regarding the South China Sea, the South East Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ), the ASEAN Maritime Outlook, the ASEAN Outlook in Indo Pacific (AOIP), and issues related to Myanmar.

It is also expected that the summit will also witness several important agreements related to ASEAN infrastructure strengthening, food security, blue economy, green economy, digital economy and payment ecosystem, according to ASEAN secretariat.

On the sidelines of the summit, the Bangladesh president will join the 18th "East Asia Summit (EAS)", where he will deliver his speech in its concluding session.

Ten ASEAN countries and the United States, the Russian Federation, New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and India will join the East Asia Summit.

According to programme schedule, the Head of the State will have separate bilateral meetings with his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo, Secretary General of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Salman Al Farisi and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on September 7.

The ASEAN summit is a biannual meeting as it serves as a prominent regional and international conference, with world leaders attending its related summits and meetings to discuss various problems and global issues.


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SC grants bail in a corruption case to Sabera, wife of BNP leader, no bar to her release

Star Digital Report

Tue Sep 5, 2023

The Supreme Court today granted bail to Sabera Aman, wife of BNP leader Aman Ullah Aman, in a corruption case, clearing her way to walk out of jail.

Sabera was jailed for three years in 2007 in the case.

On September 3 this year, a Dhaka court sent Sabera to jail after rejecting her bail petition in the case.

Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division of the SC Justice M Enayetur Rahim today granted the bail following another bail petition filed by Sabera.

Following the apex court chamber judge's order, there is no legal bar to Sabera to get released from jail, court sources said.

Senior lawyer AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon, lawyers Kayser Kamal and Md Nazmul Huda appeared for Sabera while senior lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan represented the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) during the hearing.

On September 3, Judge Abul Kashem of Dhaka's Special Judge Court-1 passed the order after she surrendered before it and submitted a bail petition through her lawyer in the case.

On August 7, the High Court released a full text verdict against Aman and his wife dismissing their jail sentences.

In the full text of the verdict, the HC asked the couple to surrender before the trial court within 15 days after receiving the judgment copy.

After receiving the copy, the trial court on August 27 asked the couple to surrender before it within 15 days.

The same HC bench on May 30 this year upheld the trial court verdict that jailed Aman and Sabera in the corruption case filed during the caretaker government rule from 2007-08.

On June 21, 2007, the trial court sentenced Aman to 13 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement.

His wife Sabera was also sentenced to three years' imprisonment by the same court as she was found guilty of abetting the offence.

Following an appeal filed by the couple, the HC on August 16, 2010 acquitted them of the graft charges.

The Appellate Division on May 26, 2014 cancelled the HC verdict and asked it to hold a fresh hearing on their appeals.


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G20 Summit: Hasina-Modi meet on Sept 8

Star Digital Report

Tue Sep 5, 2023

The much-anticipated bilateral meeting between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi will take place in New Delhi on September 8, on the eve of the two-day G20 Summit.

The meeting will take place at the official residence of the Indian PM, hours after Hasina's arrival in New Delhi to attend the summit as a special invitee of host India, reports our New Delhi correspondent citing diplomatic sources in both countries yesterday.

Bangladesh is expected to raise the Teesta and Ganges water-sharing issues along with other issues of mutual interest during the meeting, said Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Sunday.

Hasina is expected to land in New Delhi at around 1:30pm (local time) and her meeting with Modi is scheduled for around 4:00pm (local time).

Hasina will return to Dhaka on the morning of September 10, the day the summit of the leaders of the world's most powerful economies ends.

Hasina and Modi held a brief informal conversation in Johannesburg, South Africa where they attended the BRICS summit recently.

The meeting between Hasina and Modi in New Delhi is viewed with considerable significance as it comes ahead of the general election in Bangladesh.

Hasina, during her stay in Delhi, will also have some other bilateral meetings including with the Saudi crown prince.


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UN experts urge forces of powerful Libyan commander,  Khalifa Haftar, to stop evicting residents, demolishing homes


September 05, 2023

CAIRO: United Nations-commissioned experts on Monday called for forces of a powerful Libyan military commander to stop evicting residents and demolishing their homes in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

The experts said in a statement that the Libyan National Army, commanded by Khalifa Haftar, has since March removed more than 20,000 residents from their homes “at a very short notice.”

They also said the destruction in the city center “is spreading in an alarmed manner,” with residents expelled and forced to give up their property or their ownership documents.

The demolition is part of a development project in the city, according to local reports.

“The intentional demolitions, including of historic neighborhoods, protected heritage sites and many residential units, have already caused irreparable harm to the urban architecture and living heritage of the city,” the experts said.

A spokesman for Haftar’s forces didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The experts said authorities in eastern Libya didn’t provide “any assistance” including compensations for affected residents, and that those who protested their removal were pressured or silenced through power cuts, harassment, and violence.

The impacted areas remained closed to the public, they said. Al-Wasat, a Libyan news website, reported earlier this year that the demolished buildings included Italian-style houses built during the Italian occupation of Libya in the first half of the 20th century.

Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, was the epicenter of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising which toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi who was later killed.

The city has become the stronghold for Haftar’s forces in 2014, when the powerful commander launched a major military operation against militant groups and other armed factions. Much of the city had been destroyed in the fighting.

Oil-rich Libya has plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising and is now ruled by rival administrations in the east and the west. Each is backed by armed groups and foreign governments.


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Libya’s chief prosecutor, Najla Mangoush, is seeks more details on minister’s meeting with Israel’s chief diplomat


September 03, 2023

CAIRO: Libya’s chief prosecutor said Saturday he would establish a fact-finding mission to investigate a meeting last month between the foreign minister of one of the country’s rival governments and Israel’s chief diplomat.

The Aug. 22 meeting caused an uproar across the North African nation. Najla Mangoush, the foreign minister of the Tripoli-based government, and Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met in Rome in the first-ever between top diplomats of Libya and Israel.

Libya criminalizes establishing ties with Israel under a 1957 law. The oil-rich country has long been hostile toward Israel and supportive of the Palestinians.

In a terse statement Saturday, General Prosecutor Al-Sediq Al-Sour said the fact-finding mission would probe violations of Libya’s rules of boycotting Israel and “investigate the extent of damage to Libya’s interests” because of the Mangoush-Cohen meeting.

Libya slid into chaos after a NATO-backed uprising toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. For years, the country has split between the Western-backed government in Tripoli and a rival administration in the country’s east. Each side has been backed by armed groups and foreign governments.


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Turkey’s president meets Russia’s Putin and aims to revive the wartime Ukraine grain export deal

04th September 2023

By Associated Press

ISTANBUL: Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began on Monday with the Turkish leader seeking to persuade Russia to revive an agreement that allowed Ukraine to export grain and other commodities from three Black Sea ports.

Putin in July refused to extend the agreement, which was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations a year earlier.

Russia complained that a parallel deal promising to remove obstacles to Russian exports of food and fertilizer hadn’t been honored. It said restrictions on shipping and insurance hampered its agricultural trade even though it has shipped record amounts of wheat since last year.

Opening the talks, Putin said he was open to discussing the grain deal, among other issues.

The two leaders met in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, where the Russian president has a residence. A lot is riding on the talks for the world food supply.

The meeting takes place against a backdrop of more than 18 months of war and Ukraine's recent counteroffensive.

In the latest development, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Sunday that Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov would be replaced this week. The job requires “new approaches,” Zelenskyy said, without elaborating. Reznikov on Monday published a photo of his resignation letter.

Since Putin withdrew from the grain initiative, Erdogan has repeatedly pledged to renew arrangements that helped avoid a food crisis in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Ukraine and Russia are major suppliers of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and other goods that developing nations rely on.

“My gut feeling is that Putin recognizes the leverage he has by using food as an economic weapon, and thus will fight for all he can get in terms of concessions on his wish-list,” said Tim Benton, a food security expert at the Chatham House think tank.

Those may include Russia’s grains, or fertilizer exports, or wider issues, he said.

Data from the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, which organized the Ukraine shipments, shows that 57% of the grain from Ukraine went to developing nations, with the top destination being China, which received nearly a quarter of the food.

Russia has repeatedly attacked the Odesa region, Ukraine's main Black Sea port area. On Monday, the Ukrainian air force said it intercepted 23 of 32 drones that targeted the Odea and Dnipropetrovsk regions, but did not specify damage caused by the drones that got through.

The Turkish president has maintained close ties to Putin during the 18-month war in Ukraine. Turkey hasn’t joined Western sanctions against Russia following its invasion, emerging as a main trading partner and logistical hub for Russia’s overseas trade.

NATO member Turkey, however, has also supported Ukraine, sending arms, meeting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and backing Kyiv’s bid to join NATO.

Erdogan angered Moscow in July when he allowed five Ukrainian commanders to return home. The soldiers had been captured by Russia and handed over to Turkey on condition they remain there for the duration of the war.

Putin and Erdogan — authoritarian leaders who have both been in power for more than two decades — are said to have a close rapport, fostered in the wake of a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016 when Putin was the first major leader to offer his support.

The Sochi summit follows talks between the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers on Thursday, during which Russia handed over a list of actions that the West would have to take in order for Ukraine’s Black Sea exports to resume.

Erdogan has indicated sympathy with Putin’s position. In July, he said Putin had “certain expectations from Western countries” over the Black Sea deal and that it was “crucial for these countries to take action in this regard.”

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres recently sent Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov “concrete proposals” aimed at getting Russian exports to global markets and allowing the resumption of the Black Sea initiative. But Lavrov said Moscow wasn’t satisfied with the letter.

Describing Turkey’s “intense” efforts to revive the agreement, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said it was a “process that tries to better understand Russia’s position and requests, and to meet them.”


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UN ‘alarmed’by Eritrean protesters clash with Israeli riot police in Tel Aviv, Israel

 05 September 2023


September 05, 2023

GENEVA: The United Nations’ rights chief said Monday he was “alarmed” by the high number of injuries during recent clashes in Israel involving Eritrean protesters.

Trouble erupted on Saturday when a demonstration against an Eritrean government event turned violent, injuring nearly 140 people, including a dozen Eritrean asylum seekers who were hit by Israeli police gunfire.

“Alarmed at high number of injuries during protests involving opposing Eritrean protesters, particularly in Israel,” UN human rights chief Volker Turk said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Crucial that investigations take place, hate speech is avoided — especially by authorities — and principle of non-refoulement is fully respected,” he added.

The clashes began outside a south Tel Aviv venue that was set to host a pro-regime event organized by the Eritrean embassy in Israel.

Hundreds of anti-government Eritreans came to prevent the event from taking place. Israeli police declared their gathering an illegal demonstration and ordered the street to be emptied.

But demonstrators clashed with police who “used live fire against rioters,” Israeli police said in a statement, adding that at least 49 of their personnel were wounded.

While police and Eritrean demonstrators clashed at the event site, there were also confrontations between supporters and opponents of Eritrea’s government elsewhere in Tel Aviv.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel was considering deporting 1,000 Eritreans who took part in “riots” in Tel Aviv over the weekend .

According to June statistics, there are 17,850 Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel.


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Israel opens new embassy in Bahrain, agrees to boost trade relations

4 Sep 2023

Israel’s foreign minister has agreed with his Bahraini counterpart to boost trade relations, during his first visit to one of the two Gulf Arab states to establish ties with Israel.

“The foreign minister and I agreed that we should work together to increase the number of direct flights, the tourism, the trade volume, the investment,” Eli Cohen said during a ceremony to inaugurate Israel’s new embassy in Bahrain on Monday.

The embassy in the capital Manama will replace the first embassy Israel opened in 2021, a year after it established diplomatic relations with Bahrain as part of the United States-brokered Abraham Accords.

Under the accords, Israel also established ties with the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

Monday’s ceremony was attended by Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani, who said the “new embassy assumes a pivotal role” in growing collaboration between the two countries.

Zayani said his talks with Cohen on Monday resulted in an agreement on advancing “relations across the broadest range of fields, including, economic, investment, trade and other areas”.

Cohen arrived in Bahrain on Sunday, accompanied by a business delegation of more than 30 companies working in high-tech, logistics and real estate.

“We look forward to expanding the circle of peace and normalisation to other states in the area,” he said.

Despite now having steady ties with Israel, Bahrain and the UAE have joined other Gulf Arab states in issuing a series of condemnations against it this year.

Raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank were among Israeli moves that sparked criticism from the Gulf.

However, Cohen’s trip coincides with growing speculation about an impending normalisation deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which is not a signatory to the Abraham Accords.

Riyadh and Washington have held talks on Saudi conditions for progress on normalisation with Israel, according to people briefed on the meetings.

“There are more Arab and Muslim countries that have shown interest in taking a step forward in joining the peace circle,” Cohen told a news conference in Manama, without naming them.

Cohen was at the centre of controversy at the end of August, after he revealed that he had secretly met his Libyan counterpart in Rome to discuss normalisation.

The revelation led to protests in Libya, where pro-Palestinian sentiment is strong, the dismissal of the Libyan foreign minister Najla al-Mangoush, and censure for Cohen from within Israel, where he was attacked by the opposition for revealing the details of such a sensitive meeting.


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Palestinian killed by Israel forces in West Bank


September 05, 2023

TULKAREM: Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in night-time clashes at a West Bank refugee camp, the Palestinian health ministry said Tuesday, as violence in the occupied territory shows no letup.

“Ayed Samih Khaled was shot by live occupation (Israeli) bullets fired to the head,” the ministry said.

The Israeli army did not offer any immediate comment.

Residents of Nur Shams camp near the town of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank said Israeli forces entered the camp around midnight (2100 GMT Monday).

“Soon after they entered the camp, clashes erupted between some militants and soldiers,” a resident told AFP on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

“The army had come with bulldozers to destroy some roads inside the camp.”

A sports center in the camp was heavily damaged in the raid, an AFP journalist reported.

Violence linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has surged in the West Bank since early last year.

At least 226 Palestinians, 32 Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian have been killed so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official sources on both sides.

They include, on the Palestinian side, combatants as well as civilians and, on the Israeli side, three members of the Arab minority.


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North America


US Weapons, Abandoned During Washington’s Chaotic 2021 Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Falling into Hands of Militants – Pakistan

4 Sep, 2023

Much of the American weaponry abandoned during Washington’s chaotic 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan has fallen into the hands of Islamist fighters, including the Pakistani Taliban, Pakistan’s prime minister has warned.

The US weapons have boosted the firepower of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), “emerging as a new challenge” for Islamabad, Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar told reporters on Monday. American military equipment has enhanced the capabilities of TTP fighters, contributing to increasingly fierce attacks on Pakistan’s security forces in recent months, he said.

The TTP is allied with the Afghan Taliban, which seized Kabul and returned to power as US forces were evacuating from the war-torn country in August 2021. Kakar did not provide details on how the abandoned US weapons had wound up in the hands of Pakistani militants.

More than $7 billion worth of US military equipment was left behind in Afghanistan, according to a Pentagon assessment released last year. The gear, which had been given to the US-backed government in Kabul during Washington’s 20-year occupation of the country, included aircraft, military vehicles, communications equipment and firearms. Government forces surrendered or lost their US-supplied weapons as they were overrun and routed by the Taliban.

Pakistan threatens Afghanistan with counterterrorism operation

Critics of US President Joe Biden’s administration have pegged the value of abandoned equipment much higher. For example, former President Donald Trump claimed that US forces had left $85 billion worth of weaponry and equipment to the Taliban. US troops also jettisoned some of their own equipment, such as helicopters and Humvees, but the Pentagon said much of that gear was destroyed or “retrograded.”

Kakar called for a “coordinated approach” to dealing with the leftover weapons. US equipment, such as guns with laser sighting systems, have reportedly enabled TTP fighters to target Pakistani security forces from greater distances. Those government forces are charged with defending “our home, children, mosques and places of worship,” the prime minister said.

Kakar was installed as Pakistan’s caretaker PM last month, bridging the leadership gap until the country’s next parliamentary elections are held, possibly early next year.


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US betrays its own principles to preserve chaos in Syria

4 Sep, 2023

Washington has a history of using sanctions as a stick to prod its pet terrorists into doing its dirty work.

Back in America’s good old days, when few of its citizens bothered to care about US-backed proxy wars half a world away, the scapegoat du jour was Syrian President Bashar Assad. Every few days, we’d hear from some Western leader about how Assad had to go, as Washington spent billions of dollars in cash and weapons in an effort to oust him – and failed, thanks in a large part to the Russian military assistance granted at Assad’s request.

Having remained in power, Assad fell off the West’s radar. Until now – just as Syria is on the verge of normalizing relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors, including a resumption of basic ties with Saudi Arabia, which used to back US regime-change efforts by funding and arming the ‘Free Syrian Army’ jihadist opposition groups alongside the CIA and the Pentagon. So now that peace is on the verge of breaking out in the Middle East, there’s movement afoot again by Washington on Syria.

The Biden administration has just sanctioned “Syrian armed opposition groups” operating in northern Syria, where all of America’s proxy pals hang out, including the Kurds and the militant groups formerly known as the “Syrian rebels.” On August 17, the US Treasury Department concern-trolled Damascus in the sanctions announcement, citing the need to protect the “peace, security, stability, or territorial integrity of Syria.” Or at least the part where the oil is, and over which the actual president of Syria has so little control that the government has repeatedly accused Washington of stealing the oil by hauling it across the border into Iraq, with the protection of US military vehicles.

When former US President Donald Trump realized that all that really mattered for the US in Syria was the oil, he tossed the Syrian conflict into Turkey’s lap, and stopped talking about ISIS (anyone remember them?) Today, Turkey controls the “Syrian rebel” groups newly sanctioned by Washington: the Suleiman Shah Brigade and the Hamza Division. It makes sense, considering that the US used NATO ally Turkey as a staging area for training those same jihadists, back when they were Western-backed. 

Some Washington officials were worried about the impact of Trump delegating the Syrian conflict to Turkey on the fate of US-allied Kurds (whom Ankara considers enemies of the state), who had been holding down the fort for the US in that same strategic oil-rich region. And now both sets of US proxies are hanging out there and fighting with each other, with the US Treasury Department citing “human rights abuses.”

It seems that the only time Washington cares about Syrians – or considers them a single people – is when it’s suitable for the purposes of economic exploitation. “The United States is committed to supporting the Syrian people’s ability to live without fear of exploitation from armed groups and without fear of violent repression,” said the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson. If that was truly the case, then Washington wouldn’t have exploited armed groups in an attempt to overthrow the country’s president and impose a decade-long war on the Syrian people.

Just a few days after the US sanctions were imposed, a group of Republican congressmen arrived in Syria. Given Washington’s respect for national sovereignty, surely they had permission from the Syrian government to enter – which must be why they came in through the backdoor from Turkey, on the US and ‘rebel’-controlled side of the country, and only reportedly stayed for 30 minutes. But they did have time to meet with members of the White Helmets, an NGO founded by former British MI6 officer James Le Mesurier, which had an uncanny knack for operating freely in Al-Qaeda-held territory throughout the war, while making an Oscar-winning documentary. The trio of congressmen, Ben Cline (R-VA), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), and French Hill (R-AR), also met with “opposition figures” – it’s unclear which ones, but most of the “opposition” groups operating in the region are at least linked to someone on Washington’s naughty lists – from the designated terrorists of the Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), to Turkish-controlled and formerly US-backed Syrian militias.

Maybe the Congressmen were just really confused. After all, when was the last time you heard a Western official refer to the PKK as a terrorist organization, to which Ankara attributes tens of thousands of deaths? Despite also being sanctioned by the EU, the group has nonetheless been operating with impunity inside Sweden since 1986, after some of its members were suspected to have played a role in the assassination of a Swedish prime minister who opposed using the Nordic country as a sort of operating base for the group’s anti-Turkish operations. After that, Swedish politicians apparently just figured that it would be best to pretend that the group didn’t exist rather than deal with the headache of it all, and have since turned a blind eye to the various criminal activities used to fund their operations.

The sudden appearance of the Republican officials in Syria is reminiscent of the various neocon Republican bigwigs from previous administrations, who took significant speaking fees to address the Iranian opposition rallies of the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) near Paris, just before that group was conveniently delisted from the State Department’s terrorist list, and subsequently normalized and leveraged by the West to advocate in favor of regime change in Iran as a sort of opposition-in-waiting. Who can blame American lawmakers for losing track of who the terrorists are and who the freedom fighters are these days?

“What I believe Syria needs, and the same thing the US needs, is American leadership,” Hill said, blaming Biden for failing to stop illegal drugs coming out of Syria and making Assad rich, while clearly having no problem with the Syrian oil from terrorist-held territory making the US rich. As in: “wake up and start doing what America wants you to do against Assad again.” Because “American leadership” means successfully buying or bullying others to do your dirty work for you.

Now that the US needs more proxies to prevent an imminent Syrian rapprochement with its neighbors, how soon can we expect an announcement about a lifting of terrorist designations – or of these new sanctions for one or more of these groups – in exchange for them agreeing to do Washington’s bidding again, against Assad? The fact that Syria is even back on the radar, to the point of warranting a visit from the first high-level US delegation since warmonger Senator John McCain visited in 2017, strongly suggests that Washington is getting worried about the potential for Middle Eastern unity – particularly among allies of Russia.


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Jill Biden positive for COVID, President Biden tests negative

September 05, 2023

WASHINGTON: US first lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 just days before President Joe Biden, who tested negative for the virus, is due to travel to a Group of 20 summit in India, the White House said on Monday.

Biden’s 72-year-old wife, whose symptoms were described as mild, last had COVID in August of last year. The president, now 80, last tested positive in July 2022.

“This evening, the First Lady tested positive for COVID-19,” her communications director, Elizabeth Alexander, said in a statement. “She will remain at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.”

Biden flew back alone from Delaware on Monday evening.

“Following the First Lady’s positive test for COVID-19, President Biden was administered a COVID test this evening,” the White House said. “The President tested negative. The President will test at a regular cadence this week and monitor for symptoms.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether Biden’s foreign travel could be affected.

But Biden’s official week-ahead schedule, released shortly after the announcement of the first lady’s diagnosis, showed him traveling to New Delhi on Thursday to attend the G20 summit. Biden is scheduled to fly to Hanoi on Sunday.

Biden is running for re-election in 2024 in a campaign in which the question about his age has loomed as a key issue for voters.

He is the oldest president to seek a second term, and some Republicans have said he is too old to be given another four years in the White House.

Biden’s allies say he remains fit to serve as president.


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'Violent riot' lasts through the night in Sweden after Koran burning

4 September 2023

Clashes described by police as a "violent riot" erupted in Sweden's third-largest city after an anti-Islam protester set fire to the Koran.

Police in Malmo said they were pelted with rocks and dozens of cars were set on fire, including in an underground garage, in clashes that started on Sunday and lasted overnight.

It started after an angry mob tried to stop anti-Islam activist Salwan Momika after he burned a copy of the Koran.

A string of Koran burning incidents in both Sweden and neighbouring Denmark have sparked angry protests in recent months - and threatened a diplomatic crisis between the two countries and Muslim nations.

A person runs as cars burn during a riot in Malmo, Sweden

Early on Monday, an angry crowd set fire to tyres and debris and some were seen throwing electric scooters, bicycles and barriers in Malmo's Rosengard neighbourhood - which has seen similar violence in the past.

At least three people have been detained, police said.

"I understand that a public gathering like this arouses strong emotions, but we cannot tolerate disturbances and violent expressions like those we saw on Sunday afternoon," senior police officer Petra Stenkula said.

"It is extremely regrettable to once again see violence and vandalism at Rosengard," she said.

Cars burn during a riot in Malmo

Mr Momika, a refugee from Iraq, has desecrated the Koran in a number of anti-Islam protests mostly in Stockholm that have caused anger in many Muslim countries.

Muslim leaders in Sweden have called on the government to find ways to stop the Koran burnings, but police have allowed Mr Momika's actions, citing freedom of speech.

As Koran burning protests surge, Denmark considers clampdown

There is no law in Sweden specifically prohibiting the burning or desecration of the Koran or other religious texts, as it dropped blasphemy laws in 1970.

Police have to cite specific grounds to deny a permit for a demonstration or public gathering, but the government has announced an inquiry into legal possibilities for enabling police to reject permits over national security concerns.

Last month, Sweden and Denmark, which are among the most liberal countries in the world, tightened border controls in fear of revenge attacks.

The Swedish security service also increased its terror threat from three to four - with five being the maximum - meaning there is a "high threat" of an attack.


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France vigilant as abaya ban in schools begins

September 5, 2023

PARIS: French authorities are watching over 500 schools for signs pupils could be violating a newly announced ban on the abaya Muslim dress for women, as children across the country return to class, the education minister said on Monday.

The government announced last month that it was banning the abaya in schools, saying it broke the rules on secularism in education that have already seen Muslim headscarves banned.

The move gladdened the political right but the left argued it represented an affront to civil liberties.

“There are 513 establishments that we have identified as potentially concerned by this question at the start of the school year,” Education Minister Gabriel Attal told RTL radio.

He said work had been done ahead of the start of the school year to see in which schools this could present a problem, adding that trained school inspectors would be placed in certain schools.

There are around 45,000 schools in France, with 12 million pupils going back to school on Monday.

The hard-left has accused the government of centrist President Emmanuel Macron of trying with the abaya ban to compete with Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally and shifting further to the right.

Attal however said he was against imposing a ban on parents wearing clothes that had religious significance when they accompanied their children on school outings.

“There is a difference between what happens in school and what happens outside school. What matters to me is what happens in school,” he said.

A law introduced in March 2004 banned “the wearing of signs or outfits by which students ostensibly show a religious affiliation” in schools. This includes large crosses, Jewish kippas, and Islamic headscarves.

Unlike headscarves, abayas occupied a grey area and had faced no outright ban until now.


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Organization of Islamic Cooperation delegation arrives in Azerbaijan's Ganja (PHOTO)

Farid Zohrabov

4 September 2023

BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 4. A delegation of the Independent Permanent Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has arrived in Ganja, Trend reports.

The members of the delegation visited the neighborhoods destroyed by the Armenian armed forces' rocket fire on Ganja and were informed about the war crimes committed against civilians during the 44-day war.

The Armenian armed forces violated the norms and principles of international law and the Geneva Convention of 1949 by deliberately targeting the peaceful population of Azerbaijan by shelling residential houses with heavy artillery.

Yesterday the guests visited Aghdam and Fuzuli districts liberated from occupation.

The main purpose of the trip is to investigate on the spot the destruction of religious-cultural monuments and cemeteries belonging to Azerbaijanis by Armenia, to collect information on Azerbaijanis who suffered as a result of occupation and rocket attacks, as well as to prepare a report and present it to the international community.


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Russian Embassy warns citizens about Germans ‘seizing’ cars

5 Sep, 2023

The Russian Embassy in Berlin has warned its citizens against bringing their cars into Germany, citing the instances of confiscation of vehicles with Russian license plates. 

“We continue to note that German customs authorities are occasionally seizing private vehicles that were registered as property of Russian nationals and temporarily imported into Germany for personal use or transit purposes,” the embassy wrote in a statement on Telegram on Monday. It added that Moscow had repeatedly lodged protests over the measure, but to no avail.

“Until the situation is clarified, Russian nationals are strongly advised against importing vehicles with Russian license plates into Germany,” the embassy wrote.

The German authorities previously told local media that the cars were confiscated as part of sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 and expanded after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. According to a July report by national broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), more than 10 cars with Russian license plates were confiscated over the course of just a few weeks.

The broadcaster told the story of Ivan Koval, a Russian IT manager who relocated with his wife to Hamburg last May and was “shocked” to discover that his car was seized by German customs agents in accordance with a law that punishes Moscow’s “destabilization” efforts in Ukraine. “I told them that I wasn’t destabilizing anything, that I simply came here with my wife. But, in the end, I still had to give my car away,” the man told DW.

NATO countries first imposed sanctions on Moscow in 2014, when Crimea voted to leave Ukraine and become part of Russia in the wake of the Western-backed in Kiev that year. Moscow has insisted that trade restrictions and the seizure of assets and other Russian property were illegal and tantamount to theft.


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Ukrainian armed infiltration attempt ends in failure – governor

4 Sep, 2023

Russian military and security personnel have thwarted a Ukrainian plan to infiltrate the country’s western Bryansk Region, Governor Aleksandr Bogomaz said on Monday.

A Ukrainian “reconnaissance and sabotage group” attempted to cross into Russia in Sevsky District, Bogomaz wrote on Telegram. He added that intruders were met by units from the Defense Ministry and Federal Security Service (FSB).

The governor posted photos of shoulder-fired missiles, grenades, and ammunition, which he said were left by the enemy. Some of the equipment was “foreign-made,” he wrote.

The FSB said earlier that a different Ukrainian group was discovered and neutralized in Bryansk Region last Wednesday. According to Russian officials, two Ukrainian fighters were killed and five were captured.

Ukraine has launched several cross-border raids this year, notably in March, May and June. In early June, an incursion into Belgorod Region by the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK), a Kiev-aligned unit made up of Russian citizens, was repelled after heavy fighting near the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka.

Kiev has also stepped up drone and missile attacks on Russian territory in recent months, as its much-anticipated ground offensive, launched in early June, had failed to win any significant ground.


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BREAKING: Many Persons Injured As Nigerian Policemen Open Fire On Shiite Members In Kaduna

September 4, 2023

Armed Nigeria Police personnel in Kaduna State have opened fire on protesting members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria popularly known as Shiites, injuring many of them in the process.

The group members had on Monday embarked on their annual Arbaeen symbolic trek along the Pambegua- Zaria road.

The policemen, who appeared to have an ambush on the IMN members, fired live ammunition and teargas canisters to disperse the crowd.

As at the time of this report, there was pandemonium in the area as passersby were seen scampering for safety.

This was not the first time that policemen would be attacking IMN members during peaceful demonstrations.

The law enforcement personnel have opened fire on them several times in recent months.

Arbaeen Trek is a Shiite annual religious practice usually conducted on 20th Safar of Islamic calendar to mark the 40th day of the murder of Imam Hussein Ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammed who was killed on 10th Muharram.


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Labour strike: Reps adjourn probe on job racketeering

Kehinde Akintola

 September 4, 2023

The ad-hoc committee investigating job racketeering among Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on Monday adjourned sitting to Thursday, 7th September, 2023.

This was due to the planned industrial action by the organised labour scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 5th and Wednesday, 6th September 2023.

The ad-hoc committee was mandated to investigate the alleged mismanagement of personnel recruitment, employment racketeering and gross mismanagement of the IPPIS.

Speaking upon resumption of the hearing, Chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi (APC-Plateau) explained that the hearing was postponed to enable all the MDAs invited to make their presentations.

Recall that the ad-hoc committee during last Friday’s hearing, vowed to resist any attempt to distract the ad-hoc committee from carrying out its mandates.

While frowning at the level of impunity being perpetuated by some public officials involved in the alleged job racketeering, Gagdi assured Nigerians of the 10th Assembly’s resolve to end the practice going forward.

Gagdi who noted that the ad-hoc committee will make far-reaching recommendations in its report, pledged that the issue bothering on indiscriminate waiver being granted to MDAs would be abolished forthwith.

Some of the officials invited by the ad-hoc committee so far include Chairman, Secretary and Commissioners as well as officials of Federal Character Commission (FCC); Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) and the Head of Service of the Federation (HoS).

Others are officials of federal parastatals, tertiary institutions; Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), and Registrars of Federal Polytechnics, among others.


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Uganda detains man suspected of planning bomb attack on church

4 Sep, 2023

Police in Uganda said on Sunday they had foiled a bomb attack on a cathedral in the capital Kampala and arrested the man suspected of trying to activate the explosive device among worshippers.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Rubaga Miracle Centre cathedral after the man tried to enter with an explosive device, said police spokesman Patrick Onyango.

"We carried out a controlled detonation of the improvised explosive device consisting of nails, a motorbike battery, a charger and a telephone handset that was to be used in the attack," he told reporters outside the cathedral.

He said police had tracked the 28-year-old after receiving a tip-off about a possible attack on a place of worship, and found a bomb in his rucksack when he was arrested.

Police are looking for three other men, the suspect having indicated that he may have had accomplices.

The perimeter of the cathedral was cordoned off; sniffer dogs and members of bomb squads inspected the area but no threat was detected.

"The terrorist was a few metres from the entrance but the security forces intervened and he was arrested before he could enter the church and detonate the bomb", evangelical pastor Robert Kayanja told AFP. The pastor is a public supporter of President Yoweri Museveni.

According to a police note seen by AFP, the police had been warned of a possible attack in busy places, including churches and shopping centres.

In June, jihadists from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) militia, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, killed 42 people, including 37 pupils, in a secondary school in western Uganda close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It was the deadliest attack in Uganda since the double bombing in Kampala in 2010, which killed 76 people in a raid claimed by the Somali-based Islamist group Shebab.


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Niger's post-coup PM hopes for 'agreement' with ECOWAS

5 Sep, 2023

Niger's military-appointed prime minister on Monday said he saw hopes of a deal with the West African bloc ECOWAS, which has threatened to use force to restore civilian rule after a coup in July.

"We have not stopped contacts with ECOWAS, we are continuing contacts. We have good hopes of reaching an agreement in the coming days," Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine told a press conference in Niamey.

ECOWAS -- the Economic Community of West African States -- has imposed hefty sanctions against Niger after rebel soldiers on July 26 overthrew Mohamed Bazoum, the country's democratically-elected president.

It has also warned several times of intervening militarily to reinstate Bazoum, but only if peaceful attempts to resolve the crisis fail.

"We are bracing to be attacked at any time. Every preparation has been taken. It would be an unjust war. We are determined to defend ourselves if there is an attack," Zeine told reporters.

A key question in the crisis is a timeline for returning to civilian rule.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu -- who is also the current chairman of ECOWAS -- last Thursday suggested a nine-month period such as his country underwent in the late 1990s.

"The president sees no reason why such cannot be replicated in Niger, if Niger's military authorities are sincere," the Nigerian presidency said in a statement.

Algeria, Niger's influential northern neighbour, has proposed a six-month transition.

The military rulers so far have not responded to the suggestions, having previously spoken of a three-year handback period.

ECOWAS has taken a hard line with regard to Niger following a cascade of coups in its region since 2020.

The military have taken power in Mali and Burkina Faso, where like Niger, losses among the armed forces are surging in the face of a long-running jihadist insurgency.

A putsch also took place in Guinea in 2021 after the country's octogenarian president, Alpha Conde, ran for a third term in office, a move that opponents said breached constitutional limits.


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Nigeria to attend G20 summit, plans to apply for membership

4 Sep, 2023

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, will attend the G20 summit in New Delhi next weekend and is considering applying to become a member of this group of countries, the presidency has announced.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who took office in May, intends to attend the summit in India, where trade, the global economy, climate change and the war in Ukraine will be on the agenda.

In a statement on Sunday, Nigerian presidency spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said the country wanted to join the G20 but that discussions were underway within the government to assess the benefits to the country.

"When the consultations are completed, the government will decide whether or not it is appropriate for the country to apply," the spokesman said. "The President's participation in the G20 summit in India is part of this objective".

Bola Tinubu will be attending the 18th G20 summit at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will also take part in a round-table discussion with Indian and Nigerian business leaders and industrialists.

The Nigerian President and ministers will also hold bilateral talks to attract more foreign investment to Nigeria, one of the continent's leading oil-producing countries.

Since taking office, Bola Tinubu has launched a series of reforms to revive the economy and attract more investment.

The G20 brings together the world's largest economies - 19 countries and the European Union - which together account for 85% of global GDP and two-thirds of the world's population.


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Southeast Asia


Pulai by-election: Islamic affairs minister calls for stop to campaigns that exploit religious, racial sentiments

04 Sep 2023

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 4 — Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar advised those involved in the Pulai parliamentary by-election (PRK) to refrain from engaging in campaigns that manipulate religious and racial sentiments.

As an institution responsible for protecting the sanctity of Islam in the country, he said the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) is very concerned about certain groups issuing statements condemning those with differing beliefs.

“This situation will sow the seeds of even more serious divisions and threaten the security of the nation,” he said in a statement today, following a statement by a political leader declaring it ‘haram’ (forbidden) to vote for a candidate contesting in the by-election.

“This matter can lead to misunderstandings within the community and tarnish the sanctity of Islamic teachings,” he said, expressing concern about the tendency of those who issue Syariah-related rulings arbitrarily without the necessary discipline.

According to media reports, Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported to have declared it haram for those who vote for Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidate Suhaizan Kayat in the Pulai parliamentary by-election.

Mohd Na’im said the term haram, according to the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka dictionary, can be defined in six meanings, which are the prohibition law (in Islam); prohibited; cannot be done with uncertain matters; truly; even a little; and none at all.

“However, the people of this country associate the use of the term haram with Syariah law, which is the law of prohibition (in Islam) that promises rewards for those who obey it and punishment for those who violate it.

“I hereby call upon all parties to be responsible in respecting the sanctity of Islam, preserving the unity and peace of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious society in this beloved country,” he said.

The Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections are being held following the death of their incumbent Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, who was also the Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living, on July 23.

The Election Commission has set September 9 as polling day for both by-elections, with early voting on September 5. — Bernama


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Explain discontinuation of all 47 Yayasan Akalbudi charges against Zahid, DAP sec-gen tells AG

By John Bunyan

 05 Sep 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 5 — DAP secretary general Anthony Loke today called on Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun to explain the prosecution’s application for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at a late stage in his Yayasan Akalbudi trial.

Loke said that while the DAP respects the court’s process and decision, an open explanation is needed for the sake of justice and accountability.

“This explanation is important to ensure the confidence of the public and the international community in the country's legal system is always preserved.

“DAP will also always uphold the principle of separation of power between judicial, executive and legislative branches and ensure there is no executive intervention in any court case,” he said in a statement posted on his Facebook account.

He pointed out that the issue is of great public interest and that many people had aired their views openly on the Umno president’s case since yesterday.

Zahid had been accused of dishonestly misappropriating RM31 million from the charitable organisation he founded, Yayasan Akalbudi.

He had been hit with 47 charges comprising 27 counts of money laundering, 12 counts of criminal breach of trust, and eight counts of bribery charges of over RM21.25 million in alleged bribes.

The High Court granted the DNAA order for Zahid after the prosecution applied for it yesterday, saying it would not continue the Yayasan Akalbudi trial.

A DNAA means an accused person can face trial for the same charges in the future if the prosecution decides to reinstate them.

The defence had pushed for a full acquittal, but was refused by the High Court.


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Zahid’s discharge from Yayasan Akalbudi trial a fillip for Perikatan, says its Pulai hopeful

By Ben Tan

05 Sep 2023

JOHOR BARU, Sept 5 — With four days to go, Perikatan Nasional (PN) contestant Zulkifli Jaafar believes he has gained an unexpected advantage over his Pakatan Harapan (PH) rival Suhaizan Kaiat and an independent candidate for the Pulai parliamentary by-election this Saturday.

Zulkifli was referring to the much talked about the High Court discharge of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from all 47 charges of dishonestly misappropriating RM31 million belonging to charitable organisation Yayasan Akalbudi, which happened hundreds of kilometres away in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“I was smiling when the news broke yesterday that the Umno president was granted a DNAA on his 47 graft charges.

“The people, particularly voters in Pulai, will evaluate this decision. I believe this will give me more support from the people,” he was quoted by The Star as telling reporters while visiting the early voting centre at the Region II Marine Police Force headquarters in Tampoi here today.

Zahid had been hit with 47 charges comprising 27 counts of money laundering, 12 counts of criminal breach of trust, and eight counts of bribery charges of over RM21.25 million in alleged bribes.

Trial judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah granted an order to discharge Zahid without acquitting the latter after the prosecution applied for it yesterday, saying it would not continue the Yayasan Akalbudi trial.

The order means Zahid could still be charged in court for the same charges in the future if the prosecution decides to reinstate them.

The defence had pushed for a full acquittal, but was declined by the High Court.

Pulai is one of two ongoing by-elections in Johor, the other being the Simpang Jeram state seat.

Both were called following the July 23 death of its elected representative Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, who was also domestic trade and living cost minister.

Apart from Zulkifli and Suhaizan, the third Pulai hopeful is independent candidate Samsudin Mohamad Fauzi.

For Simpang Jeram, the candidates are Nazri Abdul Rahman (PH), Mohd Mazri Yahya (PN), and independent S. Jegananthan.


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Kelantan’s 45 state assemblymen sworn in today

05 Sep 2023

KOTA BARU, Sept 5 ? All 45 Kelantan state assemblymen took their oath of office at the First Meeting of the First Session of the 15th Kelantan State Assembly at Kota Darulnaim here today.

Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Nassuruddin Daud (PAS-Meranti) was the first to be sworn in before newly appointed Speaker Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, followed by nine state executive councillors.

Former Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob (PAS-Pasir Pekan) then took his oath, followed by former state executive councillor Wan Roslan Wan Hamat (PAS-Pengkalan Kubor).

Earlier, Mohd Nassuruddin proposed Mohd Amar (PAS-Panchor) as the Speaker and Datuk Mohamed Farid Mohamed Zawawi (Bersatu-Kok Lanas) as Deputy Speaker, and his nominations were supported by Datuk Dr Mohamed Fadzli Hassan (PAS-Temangan), who is also deputy menteri besar.

In the recent state elections in Kelantan, PAS and its Perikatan Nasional (PN) partner Bersatu won 43 of the 45 seats contested to form the state government. ? Bernama


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Fadillah denies govt interference in Zahid’s case

04 Sep 2023

SUBANG – The government did not interfere in the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision to grant a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) to Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in his Yayasan Akalbudi (YAB) case, said Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

The deputy prime minister said the government respects the legal process and the separation of powers between the judiciary, the executive and the legislative arms.

Fadillah added that he believes the court had come to the decision based on firm facts.

“So to me, let the legal process take place and we shall respect it.

“We will never interfere…it is up to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to evaluate what the next course of action would be,” Fadillah said when met by reporters at the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport here.

Judge Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah today granted Zahid a DNAA on all 47 of his criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering charges in relation to YAB funds after the prosecution decided to halt proceedings on the grounds that it intends to conduct a more in-depth investigation into the case. – Bernama, September 4, 2023


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Cops warn politicians against using ‘3R’ cards as Muhyiddin under probe over ‘fatwa’ remark

By R. Loheswar

 04 Sep 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay announced today that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is under investigation over his remark declaring voting Pakatan Harapan (PH) as “haram”, or forbidden for Muslims.

Ayob Khan said a “fatwa”, or a religious decree as such, can only be declared by a religious scholar or the national and state Islamic bodies.

“Yes, reports have been made and we are investigating the matter. A fatwa can only be issued by the national or state Islamic authorities or if you’re a mufti. So if anyone is abusing the 3R issues and there are police reports made we will haul them up.

“It doesn’t matter who it is, be it Muhyiddin Yassin or Tuan Guru Hadi,” he told reporters at Bukit Aman here, referring to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman and his deputy, PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Ayob Khan said the police have repeatedly advised politicians against playing up issues dubbed “3R” — race, religion, and royalty — but are still seeing such remarks from them.

“So do not think just because you’re a politician and have status you can make any statement you like, especially those related to the 3R issues.

“The police will not compromise,” he added.

In a rally in Taman Kempas, Johor Baru on Saturday, Muhyiddin claimed it is "haram" to vote for Pakatan Harapan's (PH) candidate for the Pulai Parliamentary seat Suhaizan Kayat.

Muhyiddin's comments drew condemnation from all corners including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Suhaizan who during a campaign speech yesterday said Muhyiddin’s fatwa was dangerous as the latter was abusing Islamic law for politics.

In Malaysia, a state mufti or the Fatwa Committee of the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs — also known as the Fatwa Council — would usually produce fatwa on certain matters.

However, the fatwa counts only as a religious opinion and is not legally binding on Muslims until it is gazetted.

The Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state by-elections are being held following the July 23 death of its incumbent Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, who was also the domestic trade and cost of living minister.


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PM Anwar: Stop racial polemics, hadith module only for Muslim students

04 Sep 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants all quarters to stop indulging in racial polemics as all Malaysians are guaranteed equitable rights and justice.

Referring to the Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith Appreciation Module launched by the Education Ministry last August 19, Anwar said it was only targeted at Muslim students and there was no compulsion for non-Muslims to study it.

“This subject is only for Muslim children as part of Islamic education. Ask first instead of getting angry.

“Today I am in Little India, extremists would say Anwar is looking after Indians only. When it concerns Malays, including text (module) for Muslim children to study the hadith, they say Anwar only cares for Islam. Everything I do seems to be wrong,” said Anwar.

He said this when launching the Lestari Niaga@Kuala Lumpur D’Medan Selera Madani Programme at Kompleks Tun Sambanthan today. Also present were Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar and Deputy Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Saraswathy Kandasami.

Anwar said it was his responsibility as a leader to ensure that Islam was properly learnt and appreciated.

The hadith module is aimed at inculcating an appreciation of the hadith starting from the school level, among other things, to instil the spirit of love and promote religious understanding, especially among Muslim students and teachers.

The pilot programme will be implemented at 61 Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama (SMKA) and 228 Sekolah Agama Bantuan Kerajaan (SABK) throughout the country.

Certain quarters including the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, had disputed the implementation of the module, claiming that it was against the Federal Constitution and violated the right to freedom of religion.

However, the Education Ministry has explained that the module is only for teaching Muslim students. — Bernama


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