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Islamic World News ( 23 Apr 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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From Kalashnikov To Cooking Pan: If Jihad Is Not “Work,” Then What Is To Be Done?

New Age Islam News Bureau

23 April 2023

 

Photo: MEI@75

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• From Kalashnikov To Cooking Pan: If Jihad Is Not “Work,” Then What Is To Be Done?

• Pakistan Pashtuns Have Doubts About New Military Offensive Against Islamist Radicals

• No Eid Prayers At Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid: Mosque Body Slams ‘Unreasonable Conditions’

• Sarawak Belongs To All Races: Nothing Wrong With Setting Up Casino In Sarawak

• MSNBC Host Compares Supreme Court’s Justice Alito To Extremist ‘Mullahs’ For Abortion Drug Ruling Dissent

 

Arab world

• Saudi Arabia's Soft Power Beats Iran's in Muslim-Majority Countries: Gallup Poll

• Inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in Saudi Arabia extended until May

• Saudi national charity campaign receives $202m in Ramadan

• Biden thanks Saudi Arabia as Kingdom evacuates over 150 Saudis, foreign nationals from Sudan

• Social media points the way to creative, personalized Eid gifts

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Pakistan

• President Alvi, PM Shehbaz Ask People To Shun Differences, Assure Nation Of Good Days

• Initial figures of census put country’s population at 235m

• Sindh Health dept asks people to wear face masks in crowded areas

• Purpose of suo motu notice is public interest, not an individual’s: PM Shehbaz

• PM concerned for safety of citizens in Sudan

• Pakistan celebrates Eidul Fitr as economic woes dampen festive cheer

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India

• Poonch Killing Of Indian Soldiers Shows Jihad Will Increase India-Pakistan War Risk

• Anatomy Of A Rare Communal Flare-Up In Odisha: Hanuman Jayanti, A Rally Of Over 1,000 Bikes In Muslim Areas, Outside A Mosque

• Eyeing To Woo Muslim Voters On Eid, Top Politicians Throng Jalandhar Mosques

• Muslims Must Unite In 2024 To Oust BJP: Mamata At Eid Gathering

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Southeast Asia

• Eid ul Fitr Open House Platform To Meet Newly-Appointed State Leaders, Says Melaka CM

• Johor Sultan’s open house at Istana Besar sees throng of 18,000 visitors

• Johor Sultan receives two Singapore cabinet ministers in conjunction with Eid ul Fitr

• No matter who: next leader demanded to make stronger Indonesia

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North America

• Eid al-Fitr Celebrations Continue For Muslim Youth In St. John's — With Bouncy Castles

• Landmark exhibition of Asian and Islamic works opens at the Walters Art Museum

• Muslim for-hire drivers share challenges of praying at work

• Eid festivities at Lansdowne help mark the end of Ramadan for Ottawa Muslims

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Mideast

• Iran’s New Hijab Surveillance System Met with Internal Defiance, Derision

• Iran Leader Urges Muslim Nations To Reinforce Palestinian Groups

• Israeli Occupation Forces Storm, Sabotage Bab al-Rahma Chapel In Al-Aqsa Mosque

• IRGC powerful guardian of Islamic Revolution

• Bridging Saudi-Iran Gulf, How Crown Prince MBS’s ‘Islamic Revolution’ Is Changing The Dynamic Of Middle East

• Nearly 10 mn litres of diesel smuggled out of Iran per day: Deputy Minister

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South Asia

• Islamic Emirate Supreme Leader: Non-Islamic Laws Will Never Be Implemented in Country

• Will tourists thirst for trips to a Japanese green tea mecca?

• Islamic Emirate Pledges Security of Foreign Embassies

• Afghanistan has become a terrorism staging ground again, leak reveals

• UK Afghanistan whistle-blower slams govt over hearing ‘secrecy’

• Rana Plaza collapse: 10 years after Bangladesh's deadliest industrial disaster

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Europe

• Police Appeal After Reports Of Man Making Threats In Newport

• Extinction Rebellion activists mark Earth Day at central London climate protest

• SNP finances probe: Police reportedly hunt burner phone sim cards and luxury pens as fears remain over potential Nicola Sturgeon arrest

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Africa

• The Love Of Pastor Tobi Adegboyega … How Nigerians Turned His SPAC Nation To ‘New Mecca’ In London

• End of Ramadan should offer all Kenyans key lessons on empathy

• Philosophy of fasting in Islam

• APC’s Winning Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Victory For National Interest Over Personal Ambition

• Imbibe spirit of Ramadan, Ebonyi Govt. urges Muslim faithful

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kalashnikov-jihad-al-qaeda-pakistan-pashtuns/d/129627

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 From Kalashnikov To Cooking Pan: If Jihad Is Not “Work,” Then What Is To Be Done?

 

Photo: MEI@75

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Ammar Mamoun

23.04.2023

A foreign jihadist in Idlib wrote headlines by opening a sushi restaurant. How does that work? Where to buy wasabi? Is this a new phase for the Islamist-controlled region? From Kalashnikov to cooking pan? Is there life after jihad?

Abu al-Fida al-Dagestani arrived in Syria in 2015 “to wage holy war (jihad) and help the Syrian people.” He recently opened a sushi restaurant in Idlib in the northwest of Syria and has become a hot topic on news and social media sites.

When direct fighting ended in 2019, Abu al-Fida was left without work. We do not know how he survived until opening his restaurant, which reportedly is a result of Abu al-Fida’s previous experiences: he used to go a lot to Asian restaurants during his past “activities.”

Abu al-Fida said he “imports” everything he needs from Turkey in order to introduce Idlib’s residents to sushi. However, he stressed that having a restaurant does not mean he gave up on jihad.

Abu al-Fida’s use of words like import, activities and travels is rather vague and leaves a lot of room for interpretation. For example, we lack info about his past work, his role as a fighter, and the whole process of importing, trading or smuggling between Idlib and Turkey. 

It seems Abu al-Fida’s sushi restaurant is still a developing venture, yet headlines such as “From Jihadi to Wasabi” make it an intriguing, and quite ironic, topic.

Certainly as the tale is set in Idlib, capital of the province under the same name, a region controlled by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist islamist group formed in 2017 as a merger of several armed groups led by the Al Nusra Front, a former branch of Al Qaeda.

The HTS connection with Turkey goes beyond facilitating the passage of UN aid and importing wasabi and salmon. Sources suggest that HTS has numerous investments in southern Turkey, using cash to buy restaurants and real estate.

The establishment of a sushi restaurant in Idlib coincides with HTS Commander-in-Chief Abu Mohamed al-Julani’s efforts to offer the territory he rules a new perspective.

Al-Julani has launched a bit of a charm offensive of late. Not only has he stressed his pro-Western stance in the War in Ukraine, he also wishes to convey a positive message about Idlib and the governance system he has put in place.

Idlib offers opportunities to invest, as demonstrated by the inauguration of a vegetable market in the city of Sarmada in 2021, which was supported by Qatar. The ultimate goal of these efforts is arguably to refute claims that the region is home to “the international jet set of global jihad.”

HTS usd to attract recruits with salaries of some $100 to $300 a month. Yet, the status of jihadists today is ambiguous. For what exactly constitutes their “work” seeing the sharp decline in fighting?

Regarding the foreigners among them, It is unclear if HTS will arrest them, send them back to home or use them as a bargaining chip in future negotiations. In 2021, al-Julani still referred to them as “immigrant brothers who came to help.”

Today, many of them have become part of society, as they established families and enjoy a “social life.” As the fighting has subsided, they must “make a living.”

Now, disregarding qualifications as terrorist or jihadist, and HTS arresting a large number of people it associates with ISIS or al-Qaeda, there are still many foreigners in Idlib. Some have been detained, yet many others remain under HTS control and need to “work.”

While opening a sushi restaurant may seem ironic, others have turned into “mercenaries.” One of them is Rustam Azhiev, who joined the Ukrainian forces as commander of The Caucasus Soldiers (Ajnad al-Kavkaz) to wage jihad against Russia.

Due to the current HTS restrictions on foreign fighters, it is thought that members of the islamist Jund al-Sham movement led by Muslim al-Shishani may also join the Ukrainian combatants, along with fighters from the Abu Qatada al-Albani group.

Herein lies the significance of the tale of the jihadist opening a sushi restaurant. Although the situation in the Idlib region remains unclear, it may be a first signal of stability and a presence that is no longer temporary.

Speaking of “work” and “restaurant” implies we are dealing with a civil life, not with jihadists from Al Qaeda hiding in mountains or those of ISIS squeezing through porous borders. It increasingly seems we are now dealing with a semi-political entity with international relations and a degree of local power.

The term “stability” implies having “sovereignty” over the flow of time. A growing number of the “immigrant brothers,” as al-Julani used to call them, have developed a sense of belonging.

Jihadi conduct is temporary, as it wagers on death rather than life. Working to earn a living and creating local relations are (more) permanent matters. Abu al-Fida’s profession has become “feeding” people, which creates relationships within the existing social fabric and earns him a livelihood away from the military formula.

In short, the bet here is on supply and demand, work and hard-earned money, not on fighting and bloodshed. Yet, assuming that the jihadists’ core beliefs have not changed, we still face the issue of the jihadists’ return to their own countries. A return that is fraught with danger, as they could face imprisonment or execution.

See the many foreign fighters, even European citizens, who have been left in prison to face their fate, alone, without any legal representation. In a way, political sovereignty has done away with these people under the excuse that reintegrating them into society is just too difficult.

Regarding the HTS members who were not arrested, they were left to engage in non-jihadi work and activities, which is exactly what constitutes the consolidation of the de facto authority in northern Syria and creates a demographic problem …

On the one hand there is the former landowner who lives in a refugee camp and is essentially jobless, and on the other hand there is the former foreign fighter who has a job and a permanent residence.

I recently interviewed someone who frequently travels to northern Syria. According to him, there are two types of foreigners there: Arabs and others.

The latter group is smaller yet the most problematic, as they are mostly stationed on the borders and, quite literally, “struggling” as their power is fading as a result of HTS restrictions.

Foreign fighters are becoming less and less relevant. Some people accuse HTS of facilitating the return of foreign fighters to Europe under the pretext of going to war with Russia. Others are arrested and executed, while again others are domesticated by working in a restaurant, serving “exotic” food to the locals.

It is a cynical approach to social inclusion, as the “immigrant jihadist” has only settled in his “host” country, since he cannot return to his homeland.

My source thought my hypothesis of job-related stability had some conceptual inconsistencies. In his opinion, jihad and warfare are more closely connected to the concept of “belonging” than the concept of “work.”

By focusing solely on the business component of his work, Abu Al-Fida, the owner of the sushi restaurant will be compelled to take advantage of every commercial opportunity that presents itself. The labor is only a passing phase. It does not signify an ideological shift.

Pushing back the notion of a jihadist becoming an entrepreneur, I dare recall the ironic notion of the “jihadi immigrant,” whose story is really rather similar to that of the conventional immigrant who, having offered his skills to  “host country,” cannot find a job or a way to settle down other than by working in a restaurant.

There is a certain sarcasm in contrasting these immigrants, jihadi vs. conventional, considering the fact that the sushi restaurant employs several former fighters as chefs.

So, perhaps the whole matter does not go beyond irony. It is an eye-catching story, which has allowed us to elaborate more than it deserves.  Or, perhaps, it is indeed the beginning of a new phase, in which Al-Julani pledges to domesticate the jihadists by turning them into sushi chefs.

Source: Daraj.Media

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

https://daraj.media/en/107639/

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Pakistan Pashtuns Have Doubts About New Military Offensive Against Islamist Radicals

 

FILE - Ali Wazir, member of parliament, helps lead a protest against the detention of the chief of the Pashtun Protection Movement in Islamabad, Jan. 28, 2020.

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April 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — Pakistan is bracing for a new military offensive that is expected to target militants in the northwest as ethnic Pashtuns in the area say they are still looking for accountability for the army's last offensives in the region, in 2014 and 2017.

The country's national security committee, comprising top civilian and military leaders, has not said when the operation will start. When announcing it earlier this month, the committee described it as a nationwide anti-militant operation to halt a rise in attacks on security forces by the Pakistani Taliban and other extremist groups.

Pakistan's government has said that previous operations led to a drop in terrorist attacks; however, Pashtun civil society members and peace activists say it came at a steep cost to many innocent people.

"The generals and those involved in bringing back armed men [militants] to the area haven't been arrested and have not [been] held accountable. … We will oppose any [new] operation," an elected member from South Waziristan, Ali Wazir, told Parliament on April 7 after the government disclosed its intentions for another offensive.

Rights activists say previous military-led operations in their region killed tens of thousands, displaced millions, destroyed towns and market centers, and led to the creation of a harsh security law that gives the armed forces sweeping powers in the whole province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the former federally administered tribal areas.

Wazir is a household name in Pakistan for his opposition to extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, illegal detentions, landmines and the Taliban's shadow rule in the Pashtun region. He was in jail for half of his 60-month term in Parliament, purportedly for his opposition to Pakistan's former chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Earlier this month, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif responded to Wazir's opposition by saying he would work to assuage local fears over the operation.

Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif also supported the stance of the Waziristan members of Parliament and told the house that "they [MPs] are right in saying that those people [involved in talks with militants] should be reckoned with."

Leaders and activists of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), a nonviolent Indigenous organization with serious reservations about the army's series of operations, are skeptical of the motive and timing of the announcement of the new operation, which could come during an election year and would be the military's first offensive since the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan.

"The announcement of yet another military operation has indeed spread fear among locals because what they saw in the past operations was they were the ones who suffered the most," said Idris Bacha, a civil rights activist from Swat and the leader of a local movement, the People's Resistance Against Militancy.

"Someone needs to tell us, what did they achieve in the previous campaigns? 80,000 people have been killed, whole villages destroyed, and their bazaars lay in ruins. They don't want to see that happen again," Bacha told VOA.

"I am very skeptical that there will be anything like a campaign they had in 2014, when they pushed them out of North and South Waziristan. I am skeptical of that in part because [of] the feelings in the tribal areas where they suffered terribly when that campaign was on its way. Many, many thousands were evicted from their homes. They became refugees."

"We are united against another war in our area. The military can force us to leave our houses again, but we won't leave them on our own will," South Waziristan writer and social activist Shehrayar Mehsud told VOA in a Twitter Spaces conversation.

"We have said it before that in the past whenever Pakistan needed money, they would launch an operation in Pashtun areas to get funds from abroad," said Mir Kalam Wazir, a former provincial legislator and PTM supporter from North Waziristan.

"Looks like it's the same this time, too. With Pakistan's difficult economic situation, they need funds, especially from the U.S.," Wazir continued.

The U.S. gave Pakistan billions of dollars during the height of the war on terrorism, but aid dropped off sharply during the Trump administration. Last year, the total reported U.S. aid to Pakistan was around $150 million.

That drop in aid and the departure of foreign troops from Afghanistan have led some to question whether Islamabad has the capacity to carry out an offensive while its economy is under severe strain.

Pakistan hopes the suspended IMF bailout package will resume so it can avoid defaulting on its debt obligations. The IMF has stalled its $6.5 billion program since November, while a bruising political battle rages between the sitting coalition government and former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

"We are talking of a campaign which is very expensive, at a time when Pakistan is struggling to read its bills, particularly its debt obligations," Weinbaum told VOA.

Source: Voa News

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

https://www.voanews.com/a/pakistan-pashtuns-have-doubts-about-new-military-offensive-against-islamist-radicals-/7061614.html

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No Eid Prayers At Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid: Mosque Body Slams ‘Unreasonable Conditions’

 

Jamia Masjid Srinagar

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by Bashaarat Masood

April 23, 2023

As the Jammu and Kashmir administration did not allow the congregational Eid prayers at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid for the fourth straight year since the abrogation of J&K’s special status, the management of the mosque has accused the administration of imposing “unreasonable conditions to thwart prayers”.

Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid has expressed its resentment against the decision of the administration saying it has caused “great hurt and sorrow” to the Muslims of J&K. “The police and civil authorities informed us on Friday evening that Eid prayers would only be allowed at Jamia Masjid, Srinagar, only before 7.30 am which was not possible for the Anjuman as it had already arranged the Eid prayers at 09:00 am as people from far-flung areas come to offer Eid prayer at the Jamia Masjid,” the Anjuman said in a statement.

Pointing out that prayers were allowed in other mosques in the valley after 10 am, Anjuman said it fails to understand why the prayers were not allowed at the grand mosque.

The Anjuman said the special night prayers and congregation on last Friday of Ramadan was allowed at the grand mosque and passed off peacefully.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/srinagar/no-eid-prayers-at-srinagars-jamia-masjid-mosque-body-slams-unreasonable-conditions-8570884/

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Sarawak Belongs To All Races: Nothing Wrong With Setting Up Casino In Sarawak

 

Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

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By Sulok Tawie

23 Apr 2023

KUCHING, April 23 — Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today told Muslims opposing the setting up of a casino at the Borneo Highland that Sarawak belongs to all races with different religious beliefs.

He was referring to the objection by Sarawak PAS commissioner Jofri Jaraiee that the opening of the proposed casino would do more harm than good to the people.

He had said that such consequences outweigh the economic returns premised on casinos being a major stimulus for tourism development, by way of attracting both domestic and international tourists.

Karim questioned the state PAS why it only opposed the setting up of the casino when there are gaming outlets, such as Magnum and Toto, that is also operating in the state.

“These are also haram for the Muslims. But when the casino was mooted, everybody gets excited without realising that casino is not the only thing to be set up at the Borneo Highland resort,” he said,

He said as a Muslim, he personally would not go to the casino but stressed that there is nothing wrong to have one because Sarawak is not just for Muslims.

Karim explained that it is not just a casino that has been proposed, but there will also be an amusement park for the family and a golf course.

“The Borneo Highland development will be an integrated resort, and a casino may be part of it,” he said.

Karim, however, explained that the decision to set up a casino in Borneo Highland is for Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg to make.

“Whether a casino will be part of the Borneo Highland resort, we will leave to the state government to decide,” he said.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/04/23/state-minister-tells-pas-nothing-wrong-with-setting-up-casino-in-sarawak/66069

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MSNBC Host Compares Supreme Court’s Justice Alito To Extremist ‘Mullahs’ For Abortion Drug Ruling Dissent

 

MSNBC

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By Gabriel Hays

MSNBC host Joy Reid slammed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night for his dissent in the court’s decision to allow the FDA to keep abortion drug mifepristone accessible to Americans.

During the Friday episode of her MSNBC show, "The ReidOut," Reid claimed that Alito was playing "mullah" in his dissent on Friday, likening him to an Islamic religious zealot.

The attack is unsurprising for Reid who often refers to pro-life political figures as religious extremists oppressing women’s rights to abortion.

MSNBC host Joy Reid claimed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alitos dissent in SCOTUS abortion bill case is him playing "mullah." (Screenshot/MSNBC)

Fox News Digital reported that "After delaying its decision earlier this week, the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that full access to the abortion pill mifepristone can continue as a lawsuit works its way through the lower federal courts."

The move was seen as a victory of the Biden administration and the pro-choice side who have been fighting to make the pill more available, especially since the end of Roe v. Wade with the Court’s decision in Dobbs last year.

Two justices, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented in the decision, though Reid chose to pick apart the former’s dissent during her broadcast Friday.

While discussing the ruling MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin and another panelist, Reid read an excerpt from Alito’s opinion and trashed it.

She said, "Lemme just skip to this part: ‘Here the government has not dispelled legitimate doubts that it would even obey an unfavorable order in these cases, much less that it would choose to take enforcement actions to which it has strong objections."

Addressing Rubin, she provided her interpretation of that excerpt. She said, "Lisa, this reads to me like him admitting, ‘We don’t have an army, we don’t have the ability to enforce our decisions, and we’re not sure the government would even obey.’"

She chuckled, adding, "That’s a pretty glaring admission of weakness and a pretty churlish thing to write down in your dissent. This guy seems to be all in his feelings that the American people oppose his attempts to play mullah instead of Supreme Court justice and ban abortion."

Rubin affirmed Reid’s take, saying, "There’s no indication on this record, as you noted, that the FDA wouldn’t follow a validly issued court order, and for him to insinuate that this administration and this independent FDA wouldn’t follow the law is, to use your words, absurdly churlish and not becoming of a justice of the Supreme Court."

Source: Fox News

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

https://www.foxnews.com/media/joy-reid-compares-supreme-courts-samuel-alito-extremist-mullahs-abortion-drug-ruling-dissent

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Arab World

Saudi Arabia's Soft Power Beats Iran's in Muslim-Majority Countries: Gallup Poll

2023-04-23

Shafaq News/ According to a Gallup poll, Saudi Arabia's "soft power" surpasses Iran's in all surveyed countries.

The poll covering 13 Muslim-majority countries showed that the average support for Saudi Arabia's leadership in 2022 was 39%, whereas Iran's approval rating was only 14%.

Pakistan had the highest level of support for Saudi leadership at 83%, followed by Kuwait (65%), Libya (54%), Jordan (48%), Afghanistan (40%), Iraq and Algeria (both 39%), Morocco (38%), and Lebanon (35%). Meanwhile, Iran received the lowest approval levels in countries with the most significant influence, such as Iraq, where 86% of those surveyed did not support the Iranian leadership.

Source: Shafaq.Com

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

https://shafaq.com/en/World/Saudi-Arabia-s-Soft-Power-Beats-Iran-s-in-Muslim-Majority-Countries-Gallup-Poll

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Inaugural Islamic Arts Biennale in Saudi Arabia extended until May

Saeed Saeed

Apr 23, 2023

Saudi Arabia's Islamic Arts Biennale has been extended by another month.

It will allow more visitors to see about 280 Islamic cultural artefacts on display and the more than 50 new commissions and contemporary artworks by new and seasoned regional artists.

"The positive reception from our local, regional and international audiences and the popularity of the exhibition made an extension a natural step and we would like to take this opportunity to encourage those who have yet to visit to take this immersive, multi-sensory journey through the past, present and future of the Islamic Arts," said Aya Al-Bakree, chief executive of the organisers the Diriyah Biennale Foundation.

"For repeat visitors, there will be an engaging line-up of public programming during the additional month to discover newer dimensions associated with Islamic Arts.”

Source: The National News

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

https://www.thenationalnews.com/arts-culture/art-design/2023/04/23/inaugural-islamic-arts-biennale-in-saudi-arabia-extended-until-may/

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Saudi national charity campaign receives $202m in Ramadan

ARAB NEWS

April 22, 2023

RIYADH: Donations totalling more than SR757 million ($202 million) have been received by the National Campaign for Charitable Work in its third edition during Ramadan, according to the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence, which supervises the work of the platform.

Over 67 million donations have so far been made, benefitting more than 4.8 million beneficiaries in around 23 charitable fields, including educational, social, housing, religious, health and nutritional fields.

Over 1.1 million Zakat Al-Fitr have been collected over the past two days, bringing the total donations of the Ehsan platform so far to more than SR3.9 billion.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2291266/saudi-arabia

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Biden thanks Saudi Arabia as Kingdom evacuates over 150 Saudis, foreign nationals from Sudan

ARAB NEWS

April 22, 2023

JEDDAH: More than 150 people from various nations reached the safety of Saudi Arabia on Saturday in the first announced evacuation of civilians from Sudan, where fighting between the army and paramilitaries entered a second week following a brief lull.

Foreign nations have said they are preparing for the potential evacuation of thousands more of their nationals, even though Sudan’s main airport remains closed.

As the Kingdom’s naval forces transported the civilians, including diplomats and international officials, across the Red Sea from Port Sudan to Jeddah, fighting resumed in Sudan’s capital Khartoum after a temporary truce saw gunfire momentarily die down on Friday, the first day of Eid Al-Fitr.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry announced the “safe arrival” of 91 of its citizens along with nationals from Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Egypt, Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Canada and Burkina Faso.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2291151/saudi-arabia

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Social media points the way to creative, personalized Eid gifts

RAHAF JAMBI

April 22, 2023

RIYADH: Creative and personalized gifts have replaced money in an envelope as social media has played a big part in changing the nature of presents and how they are given to loved ones at this time of year.

Nada Al-Tamim told Arab News: “I have two kids, so I like to engage them with Eid activities so they can always remember it as a fun occasion, and we gather to do DIY Eid gifts.

“These kinds of gifts are an excellent way to add a personal touch to your gift-giving while also being cost-effective. With creativity and effort, you can create unique and personalized gifts that your loved ones will cherish.”

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2291311/saudi-arabia

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Pakistan

President Alvi, PM Shehbaz ask people to shun differences, assure nation of good days

Syed Irfan Raza

April 22, 2023

ISLAMABAD: While Presi­dent Arif Alvi on Friday appealed to the countrymen to shun their differences, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif assured the nation that his government would rid it of the unprecedented inflation and other problems.

In his Eid message, President Alvi urged the countrymen not to allow their sectarian, religious and political differences to become a source of strife and hatred during the Eid holidays.

The president said that in order to get out of the current situation facing the country, people needed to inculcate the habit of forgiving and follow the teachings of Allah and the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1748937/president-alvi-pm-shehbaz-ask-people-to-shun-differences-assure-nation-of-good-days

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Initial figures of census put country’s population at 235m

Mubarak Zeb Khan

April 22, 2023

ISLAMABAD: While halting the digital census for Eid, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) announced on Friday that so far 235 million people had been counted — a whopping increase of 27m, or 12.98 per cent, since 2017.

The digital census operations will resume after Eid holidays in the light of directives from the Census Monitoring Committee (CMC), said Sarwar Gondal, the PBS spokesperson.

According to an official announcement, more than 16.5m individuals had been counted in Karachi so far, while Lahore’s population had crossed 11.5m.

The real-time data progress monitoring dashboards, developed in partnership with NADRA and provided by PBS to the provincial and district governments, help provincial governments in identifying any abnormalities, any areas missed and other emerging anomalies on a daily basis.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1748939/initial-figures-of-census-put-countrys-population-at-235m

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Sindh Health dept asks people to wear face masks in crowded areas

April 22, 2023

KARACHI: The Sindh health department has urged people to follow safety guidelines issued by the WHO keeping in view of the emergence of new Covid variants, asymptomatic transmission of the contagion and increased human interaction expected on Eidul Fitr.

According to the standard operating procedures (SOPs), people should maintain social distance and wear a mask at all public and crowded areas including shopping areas.

“Larger Eid gatherings should ideally be avoided and hands regularly washed with soap. If you feel the onset of any symptoms related to flu, cough or experience difficulty in breathing you are advised to visit the nearest government hospital for due management and free of cost coronavirus testing,” stated the health department.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1748912/sindh-health-dept-asks-people-to-wear-face-masks-in-crowded-areas

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Purpose of suo motu notice is public interest, not an individual’s: PM Shehbaz

April 22, 2023

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said the “basic purpose” of the suo motu jurisdiction was for it to be exercised in the public interest instead of for an individual.

The Supreme Court is empowered to take suo motu notice — cognisance of a matter on its own — which it deems is in the public interest and commences proceedings on it.

Talking to the media outside Lahore’s Central Jail, known as Kot Lakhpat Jail, after visiting the facility and enquiring about the conditions of prisoners while talking with them, the prime minister questioned how many times the court took suo motu notice of the issues pertaining to prisons and their inmates.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1748999/purpose-of-suo-motu-notice-is-public-interest-not-an-individuals-pm-shehbaz

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PM concerned for safety of citizens in Sudan

Iftikhar A. Khan

April 22, 2023

ISLAMABAD: As deadly clashes between two rival generals in Sudan continued amidst calls for an Eid ceasefire, Pakistan has stepped up efforts to help its citizens trapped in the restive African state.

In a statement on Friday, PM Shehbaz Sharif said the government was keeping close eye on developments in Sudan and efforts to ensure the safety of Pakistani citizens there were being constantly monitored.

The statement said that there were about 1,500 Pakistanis currently in Sudan, adding that the Pakistani embassy was in contact with them and providing them with all possible support.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1748935/pm-concerned-for-safety-of-citizens-in-sudan

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Pakistan celebrates Eidul Fitr as economic woes dampen festive cheer

April 22, 2023

Pakistan is celebrating Eidul Fitr with religious zeal and fervour today, although the festivities have been lukewarm due to multiple crises facing the nation and a worsening economic turmoil.

According to traders’ bodies, a massive slowdown was witnessed in sales prior to Eid due to skyrocketing inflation. Traders said that genuine buyers were, on average, 50 per cent less than last year due to eroding buying power of consumers caused by unprecedented increases in food, electricity and petroleum prices.

The first day of Eid began with congregations being held in mosques and Eidgahs in all major cities and towns, Radio Pakistan reported, adding that the main congregation in capital Islamabad was held at Faisal Mosque where top government officials and envoys of Muslim countries offered Eid prayers.

President Arif Alvi also joined the congregation at Faisal Mosque and prayed for the peace, progress and prosperity of the country, state media reported. He also prayed for the salvation of the people of occupied Kashmir from Indian suppression and atrocities.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1748984/pakistan-celebrates-eidul-fitr-as-economic-woes-dampen-festive-cheer

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India

Poonch killing of Indian soldiers shows jihad will increase India-Pakistan war risk

PRAVEEN SWAMI

23 April, 2023

Leaving behind his beloved four-year-old son, and the primary school students at the Falah-e-Aam primary school in Doda, Jammu and Kashmir, Tariq Ahmad Wani had begun his journey to the graveyard on the hill. Following his training in 1993, Wani returned across the Line of Control to take charge of building a jihadist presence in Rajouri, Poonch and Doda, the Pir Panjal range along Kashmir’s southern fringe. In the forests above the remote town of Gulabgarh, Wani began hosting the Lashkar-e-Taiba sent in to wage a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Following a firefight with Indian soldiers on 20 April 1996, Wani’s body was carried in procession to the Mazar-e-Shuhada, the so-called martyr’s graveyard, in Farrukhabad, on the outskirts of his home town, according to police records.

The lethal ambush, which claimed the lives of five Indian soldiers on the lonely road to Bhimber Gali in Poonch district last week, took place on the anniversary of Wani’s death, encrypted social media platforms linked to Lashkar recorded.

Source: The Print

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https://theprint.in/opinion/poonch-killing-of-indian-soldiers-shows-jihad-will-increase-india-pakistan-war-risk/1534078/

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Anatomy Of A Rare Communal Flare-Up In Odisha: Hanuman Jayanti, A Rally Of Over 1,000 Bikes In Muslim Areas, Outside A Mosque

by Sujit Bisoyi

April 23, 2023

Every morning, Tapan Kumar Dash opens his photo studio, takes a quick round inside and then rolls the shutters back down. The studio is barely 20 metres from the Sunni Noori Masjid at Motijharan and Dash has made it a point to check on it since that evening of April 12, when communal violence hit Sambalpur, two days before Hanuman Jayanti.

Source: Indian Express

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https://indianexpress.com/article/india/communal-flare-up-sambalpur-bike-rally-slogans-outside-mosque-8570339/

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Eyeing To Woo Muslim Voters On Eid, Top Politicians Throng Jalandhar Mosques

By Navrajdeep Singh

Apr 23, 2023

Eyeing to woo Muslim voters, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Singh Mann visited the main mosque in Jalandhar’s Durga colony accompanied by party candidate Sushil Kumar Rinku.

With campaigning for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha by-election getting intense, top politicians from all the main outfits thronged mosques in Jalandhar to celebrate Eid with the Muslim community on Saturday.

Eyeing to woo Muslim voters, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Singh Mann visited the main mosque in Jalandhar’s Durga colony accompanied by party candidate Sushil Kumar Rinku.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/top-politicians-throng-mosques-in-jalandhar-to-celebrate-eid-and-woo-muslim-voters-ahead-of-lok-sabha-byelection-on-may-10-101682191198635.html

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Muslims must unite in 2024 to oust BJP: Mamata at Eid gathering

Apr 22, 2023

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday urged all Muslims to unite and ensure that the BJP at the Centre is defeated in the Lok Sabha elections next year.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief, who was addressing Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations at Red Road in Kolkata, also claimed that some people are trying to divide the country through politics of hate and said she is ready to give her life but “will not allow a division of the country”.

“They are saying thok do, thok do. What thok do? If we get united, they will lose their chair. Next year, around this time, we would change the chair (at the Centre),” she said, in an apparent reference to the BJP.

“In one year’s time, elections will be held to decide who will come to power in our country. Let us promise that we will unite and fight against the divisive forces. We must ensure that all of us together vote them out in the next polls. If we fail to protect democracy, then everything will be finished,” she added.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mamata-banerjee-urges-muslims-to-unite-and-defeat-bjp-in-2019-lok-sabha-elections-101682187776903.html

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Southeast Asia

Eid ul Fitr open house platform to meet newly-appointed state leaders, says Melaka CM

23 Apr 2023

MELAKA, April 23 — The organising of the state-level Eid ul Fitr open house on April 29 can serve as a platform for the public to get to know the state leadership appointed on April 5.

Chief Minister Datuk Ab Rauf Yusoh said the open house, slated to be held at the Melaka International Trade Centre from 10am to 5pm, will also indirectly bridge the gap between the leaders and the people, thus overcoming any political prejudices as Melaka is now a Unity Government.

“The people will get to celebrate the excitement of Syawal and at the same time see their leaders up close and get to know each other,” he told reporters at the Eid ul Fitr gathering with Chief Minister at Seri Bendahara here late last night.

Source: Malay Mail

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/04/23/Eid ul Fitr-open-house-platform-to-meet-newly-appointed-state-leaders-says-melaka-cm/66025

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Johor Sultan’s open house at Istana Besar sees throng of 18,000 visitors

23 Apr 2023

JOHOR BAHRU, April 23 — About 18,000 people from all walks of life took the opportunity to celebrate the second day of Hari Raya Eid ul Fitr by attending the open house hosted by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar at Istana Besar here today.

The Johor Ruler was accompanied by Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, state secretary Tan Sri Dr Azmi Rohani and state police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat.

Also present were Permaisuri of Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah and their children, TunkuTemenggong of Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar Al-Haj, Tunku Panglima of Johor Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-Haj and Tunku Putera of Johor Tunku Abu Bakar Al-Haj.

“This is my first time here, and I am happy to be able to experience the excitement of attending the Johor Sultan’s open house,” he told reporters.

Source: Malay Mail

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/04/23/johor-sultans-open-house-at-istana-besar-sees-throng-of-18000-visitors/66071

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Johor Sultan receives two Singapore cabinet ministers in conjunction with Eid ul Fitr

22 Apr 2023

JOHOR BARU, April 22 — The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah received two Singapore cabinet ministers in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilftri at Istana Bukit Serene here today.

According to a post on His Majesty’s official Facebook page, the two ministers were Sustainability and Environment Minister Grace Fu, and Manpower Minister and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Tan See Leng.

Singapore’s Consul-General in Johor Baru, Jeevan Singh and his wife, Sima Aghazadeh accompanied the two ministers on their visit, which is part of the neighbouring republic’s longstanding tradition symbolising the continued warm ties between Singapore and Johor.

Source: Malay Mail

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https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/04/22/johor-sultan-receives-two-singapore-cabinet-ministers-in-conjunction-with-Eid ul Fitr/65985

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No matter who: next leader demanded to make stronger Indonesia

23-04-2023

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) has officially announced Ganjar Pranowo, incumbent governor of Central Java Province, will run for president in 2024.

The announcement was made by the ruling party's leader, Megawati Soekarnoputri, on April 21 or a day before majority of Indonesian Muslims celebrated the Idul Fitri which marked the end of holy month of Ramadhan.

For Indonesian women that reportedly contribute 102,474,462 voters to some 204,656,053 potential voters for next year's general elections, the date the PDIP chose to announce Pranowo's candidacy is a special day.

Source: En.Antara News

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https://en.antaranews.com/news/279522/no-matter-who-next-leader-demanded-to-make-stronger-indonesia

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North America

Eid al-Fitr celebrations continue for Muslim youth in St. John's — with bouncy castles

William Ping

Apr 22, 2023

For children in the St. John's Muslim community, Saturday was the day they've been waiting since the beginning of Ramadan.

"We get a reward because we fast the whole month of Ramadan," said 12-year-old Mehak Afahan, who has been looking forward to the Eid al-Fitr celebration.

While thousands of members of Newfoundland and Labrador's Muslim community gathered for prayers and celebrations at the Techniplex in St. John's on Friday, Saturday was a day for Muslim kids to have fun bouncing around at École des Grands-Vents in St. John's.

"They can't wait to go on to the bouncy castles, jump, and get that energy out there, happily," said Ayse Akinturk, a volunteer executive with MANAL who helped organize the activities.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/eid-youth-celebrations-nl-2023-1.6819513

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Landmark exhibition of Asian and Islamic works opens at the Walters Art Museum

23-04-2023

BALTIMORE, MD.- This spring, the Walters Art Museum debuts Across Asia: Arts of Asia and the Islamic World. The exhibition features over 600 works of art spanning 5,000 years and marks the first time in the museum’s history that its core Asian and Islamic art collections are on view together. Across Asia highlights the connections among art, cultures, religions, and ideas across the vast geography of Asia, and includes examples of architecture, calligraphy, ceramics, cloisonné, enamelwork, lacquerware, manuscripts, metalwork, painting, sculpture, and textiles.

“Arts from the Asian continent and the Islamic world have held places of pride at the Walters since the earliest days of its opening to the public. Across Asia: Arts of Asia and the Islamic World uses the unique breadth of the Walters collection to tell stories that are as distinctive as they are compelling,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director. “After a multi-year renovation project, Across Asia showcases the continent’s artistic and cultural exchanges with Europe, Africa, and beyond, and, in turn, creates a holistic view of the collections.”

Visitors will see some of the most popular works in the museum, as well as many works which have previously not been on view, including a 19th-century Buddhist pulpit (thammat) from Thailand. One of the only known Thai pulpits in a U.S. museum, the thammat will be on view for the first time after undergoing extensive treatment in the Walters’ conservation lab, supported by a grant from the Carter Foundation.

“One thing that was very important for us in this exhibition was to highlight how each of these cultures has forms and styles of art that may differ from their neighbors,” said Adriana Proser, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art. “At the same time, ours has been a conscious effort to break down some long-standing misconceptions of the artistic traditions of Asia and the Islamic world and to tell stories that are more culturally nuanced than the Euro-centric binary of ‘the East’ and ‘the West.’ Over time none of the cultures represented in the galleries existed in a vacuum. Intense periods of trade, geographic expansion, and spread of religion long developed within this vast region and many works of art in the galleries carry past interactions in their aesthetic DNA.”

Source: Art Daily

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https://artdaily.cc/index.asp?int_new=156587&int_sec=11#.ZEUF6HZBzIU

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Muslim for-hire drivers share challenges of praying at work

By Tat Bellamy-Walker

April 23, 2023

SEATTLE – Ahmed Mohamed drives a little over a mile from the Uber and Lyft parking lot near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Abubakr Islamic Center in Tukwila to wash ahead of his prayers every ...Thank you for visiting Spokesman.com. To continue reading this story and enjoying our local journalism please subscribe or log in...

Source: Spokesman

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https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2023/apr/23/muslim-for-hire-drivers-share-challenges-of-prayin/

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Eid festivities at Lansdowne help mark the end of Ramadan for Ottawa Muslims

Apr 22, 2023

In a quiet spot in the Aberdeen Pavilion, henna artist Sarah Eid focused on the intricate lines of a design she was creating on a client’s hand.

Her table was an oasis of calm in the bustling pavilion as Ottawa’s largest Eid festival drew a sold-out crowd of Muslim families celebrating the end of Ramadan. A total of about 4,000 people were expected to attend the festival’s daytime and evening events on Saturday.

Not far from the henna station, children squealed as they bounced on the oversize inflatables in an indoor playground while their parents shopped the bazaar area for rare perfumes, vibrantly coloured clothing, fine jewelry and more. Cultural performances took place on a stage in the centre of the building, and food vendors offered everything from kebabs and chicken tandoori to cotton candy and doughnuts.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/eid-festivities-at-lansdowne-help-mark-the-end-of-ramandan-for-ottawa-muslims

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Mideast

Iran’s New Hijab Surveillance System Met with Internal Defiance, Derision

April 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — Iran’s new domestic surveillance program for enforcing its mandatory hijab law is having a shaky start, with many women appearing to ignore it, lawyers sharply criticizing it and activists observed to be plotting to subvert it.

Iranian state media said the program went into effect April 15. A week earlier, Iran’s national police chief, Ahmad Reza Radan, said it would employ advanced surveillance capabilities, including street cameras, to identify women violating the law requiring them to wear a hijab to cover their hair in public in accordance with an Islamist dress code reviled by secular Iranians.

A video posted Monday on the state-run Tasnim news site used animation to show how part of the program works. It said women caught on camera not wearing a hijab inside vehicles would receive text message warnings from police and could see their vehicles impounded if they ignore those warnings.

It was not immediately clear how many new cameras were installed for the surveillance program and where. Iran had been using street cameras to record traffic violations.

Source: Voa News

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https://www.voanews.com/a/iran-s-new-hijab-surveillance-system-met-with-internal-defiance-derision-/7062443.html

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Iran Leader Urges Muslim Nations To Reinforce Palestinian Groups

23-04-2023

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says the strategy of the Muslim world should be reinforcing the militant groups in the Palestinian territories.

Khamenei said in a Saturday meeting with regime officials and ambassadors of Muslim countries that Israel is gradually collapsing, and the Muslim nations must focus on supporting the militant elements in and around Israel.

While renewing his support for jihadists in Palestinian territories, Khamenei alleged that “The downfall [of Israel] which started a few years ago, has now accelerated and the Muslim world must take advantage of this great opportunity.”

Source: Iran Intl

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https://www.iranintl.com/en/202304225716

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Israeli Occupation Forces Storm, Sabotage Bab al-Rahma chapel in Al-Aqsa Mosque

23 April, 2023

The  Israeli occupation forces IOF stormed Saturday 23 April 2023  Bab al-Rahma chapel  in the eastern side of the holy mosque of  Al-Aqsa.

The Israeli forces sabotaged the chapel , cut off the electricity lines, removed the gates, and vandalized the contents of the chapel.

Source: Days Of Palestine

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https://daysofpalestine.ps/israeli-occupation-forces-storm-sabotage-bab-al-rahma-chapel-in-al-aqsa-mosque/

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IRGC powerful guardian of Islamic Revolution

Apr 23, 2023

In a tweet on Saturday night, Nasser Kan'ani cited that the IRGC is the protector of the nation and national security, as well as a source of honor and authority for Iran, and this is the reason for the anger of the sworn enemies of the (Islamic) Revolution against the IRGC.

He also congratulated the anniversary of the founding of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on April 22 and commemorated the memory of thousands of martyrs who served in IRGC.

Source: En.Mehr News

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https://en.mehrnews.com/news/199795/IRGC-powerful-guardian-of-Islamic-Revolution

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Bridging Saudi-Iran Gulf, How Crown Prince MBS’s ‘Islamic Revolution’ Is Changing The Dynamic Of Middle East

By KN Pandita

April 23, 2023

It is a tricky question even for many veteran journalists who have been keeping close track of old bellicosity that has marred relations between the two countries – Iran and Saudi Arabia.

It is not the first time that the two belligerent countries of the Gulf region have accepted the mediation of a third country. But all earlier attempts have invariably ended in smoke.

The first thing differentiating mediation from previous attempts is that the mediator is not a small or nondescript country. China today is an economic and military power. Apart from that, China is the largest oil importer from the Gulf region’s two oil-rich countries.

If we are to speak the language of international relations, it will be said that after US’s declining clout in the Middle East, China moved shrewdly to fill the vacuum. Various complicated issues bedeviling smooth relations between some of the region’s states looked straight into the eyes of actors engaged in mediation — Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and the chronic Palestinian issue beggar no description.

Source: Eurasian Times

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https://eurasiantimes.com/how-bin-salmans-islamic-revolution-is-bridging-saudi-ira/

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Nearly 10 mn litres of diesel smuggled out of Iran per day: Deputy Minister

2023-04-23

Tehran, April 23 (IANS) Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Jalil Salari has said that an average of nearly 10 million litres of diesel are smuggled out of the Islamic republic per day due to its competitive price.

Salari, who is also the managing director of the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), made the remarks in an interview with Iran's official news agency IRNA, which was published on Saturday.

The price for one litre of diesel in Iran is around $0.8 less than that of its surrounding countries, he said, adding that the differences in diesel prices between Iran and its neighbours have made smuggling an alluring activity, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the IRNA interview.

Source: In.Investing

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https://in.investing.com/news/nearly-10-mn-litres-of-diesel-smuggled-out-of-iran-per-day-deputy-minister-3610798

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South Asia

Islamic Emirate Supreme Leader: Non-Islamic Laws Will Never Be Implemented in Country

23-04-2023

Audio reportedly of the Islamic Emirate's supreme leader, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, published on Twitter by the Islamic Emirate's spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, included the leader saying that he would not allow the implementation of non-Islamic laws in the country.

In his speech at the Kandahar Grand Mosque for the Eid al-Fitr prayer, the leader of the Islamic Emirate noted that one of the obligations of the Islamic Emirate is not to allow interference in the internal affairs of the current system.

"We pledged to Allah that no infidel laws would be allowed to take root in Afghanistan. We will definitely refrain from taking any action that endangers, undermines Islam or is against Islamic principles,” Akhundzada said.

Source: Tolo News

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-183067

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Will tourists thirst for trips to a Japanese green tea mecca?

BY KATHRYN WORTLEY

Apr 23, 2023

URESHINO, SAGA PREF. – For domestic tourists, Ureshino, Saga Prefecture, is synonymous with onsen (hot springs), ceramics and green tea.

Every year, the city attracts tens of thousands of visitors from across the country. Most join a tour or workshop at one of the kiln halls or museums to learn about the local Hizen-Yoshida pottery, which dates back 400 years, before taking a soak in the area’s onsen with waters considered among the top three nationwide for beautifying skin. Still more try tea picking, explore tea factories or go shopping for tea and tea-related souvenirs.

However, Ureshino has long missed out on the same level of interest from overseas visitors. Outside Japan, few people are aware of the vital role this city of 25,000 people has played in shaping the country’s green tea culture.

Source: Japan Times

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https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2023/04/23/food/ureshino-green-tea-tourism-saga/

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Islamic Emirate Pledges Security of Foreign Embassies

By Banafsha Binesh

22-04-2023

The Islamic Emirate's spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that security has been maintained throughout the nation and that diplomats from nations like Saudi Arabia could resume their diplomatic missions in Kabul without fear.

"Our message to Saudi Arabia is that complete security is provided. Do not hesitate. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's forces are putting in their final effort to ensure the security of the diplomatic centers in Kabul. They have stayed secure up to now," Mujahid told TOLOnews.

"We provide a better atmosphere. The security and stability for the embassies is great here and the environment is favorable, and we want no one to be afraid. They should activate their embassies as before and continue their consular activities and provide services,” the Islamic Emirate's spokesperson added.

Source: Tolo News

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-183069

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Afghanistan has become a terrorism staging ground again, leak reveals

By Dan Lamothe

April 22, 2023

Less than two years after President Biden withdrew U.S. personnel from Afghanistan, the country has become a significant coordination site for the Islamic State as the terrorist group plans attacks across Europe and Asia, and conducts “aspirational plotting” against the United States, according to a classified Pentagon assessment that portrays the threat as a growing security concern.

The attack planning, detailed in U.S. intelligence findings leaked on the Discord messaging platform and obtained by The Washington Post, reveal specific efforts to target embassies, churches, business centers and the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, which drew more than 2 million spectators last summer in Qatar. Pentagon officials were aware in December of nine such plots coordinated by ISIS leaders in Afghanistan, and the number rose to 15 by February, says the assessment, which has not been disclosed previously.

“ISIS has been developing a cost-effective model for external operations that relies on resources from outside Afghanistan, operatives in target countries, and extensive facilitation networks,” says the assessment, which is labeled top-secret and bears the logos of several Defense Department organizations. “The model will likely enable ISIS to overcome obstacles — such as competent security services — and reduce some plot timelines, minimizing disruption opportunities.”

Source: Washington Post

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

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2023/04/22/afghanistan-terrorism-leaked-documents/

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UK Afghanistan whistleblower slams govt over hearing ‘secrecy’

ARAB NEWS

April 22, 2023

LONDON: A whistleblower in the UK who was sacked after drawing attention to the failures of the Afghanistan withdrawal has criticized attempts by the government to make her legal challenge private, The Guardian reported on Saturday.

Josie Stewart, a former senior official of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, was sacked after providing the BBC with anonymous comments criticizing the government’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal in 2021.

She launched a legal challenge over the sacking, taking her case to an employment tribunal in an attempt to test the legal protection of whistleblowers in Britain.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2291181/world

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Rana Plaza collapse: 10 years after Bangladesh's deadliest industrial disaster

Md. Kamruzzaman

23.04.2023

Moshammat Bulbuli slowly walked back to her single room in a house in the poor neighborhood of Savar in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, where she has been living for many years.

Bulbuli, 34, now works as a domestic servant but was a garment factory worker and one of the survivors of Bangladesh's deadliest industrial disaster in 2013, which has left her traumatized even after 10 years.

"I still have pains in different parts of my body, and doctors have prescribed me some medicine that I will have to take for the rest of my life," Bulbuli told Anadolu.

Source: Aa.Com.Tr

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/rana-plaza-collapse-10-years-after-bangladeshs-deadliest-industrial-disaster/2879149#

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Europe

Police appeal after reports of man making threats in Newport

By Iwan Gabe Davies

23-04-2023

A man approached four people on Hereford Street close to the Shah Poran Bangladeshi Jame mosque and reportedly acted aggressively between 5am and 5.15am.

A Gwent Police spokesperson said: “Officers were called to the scene but following a search of the area, the man was not located.

“Investigating officers would like to speak to this man who was seen in the area at the time and could assist their enquiries.”

Source: Southwalesargus

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https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/23474247.police-appeal-reports-man-making-threats-newport/

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Extinction Rebellion activists mark Earth Day at central London climate protest

22 April 2023

Thousands of climate activists took part in a demonstration in central London on Saturday as part of a mass protest organised by Extinction Rebellion (XR).

Crowds of people gathered in Parliament Square to hear speakers at The Big One event, which is running from 21-24 April and is expected to attract up to 50,000 people.

Many in the good-natured crowds wore fancy dress, including the distinctive red-robed army of XR protesters, while others wore masks depicting the King and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Source: News.Sky.Com

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https://news.sky.com/story/extinction-rebellion-activists-mark-earth-day-at-central-london-climate-protest-12863943

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SNP finances probe: Police reportedly hunt burner phone sim cards and luxury pens as fears remain over potential Nicola Sturgeon arrest

By Dale Miller

23rd Apr 2023

The purchase of luxury pens, a fridge freezer and even designer pots and pans are being investigated, according to reports in the Sunday Mail.

The details have emerged just days after Colin Beattie quit as SNP treasurer in the wake of his arrest and subsequent release by police.

Concerns also continue to swirl around the potential for former first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s arrest in connection to the finances probe. Ms Sturgeon, who has vowed to “fully co-operate” with police, is one of the three names alongside her husband Peter Murrell and Mr Beattie believed to be on party accounts.

Source: Scotsman

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

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/snp-finances-probe-police-reportedly-hunt-burner-phone-sim-cards-and-luxury-pens-as-fears-remain-over-potential-nicola-sturgeon-arrest-4115303

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Africa

The Love of Pastor Tobi Adegboyega … How Nigerians Turned His SPAC Nation to ‘New Mecca’ in London

23-04-2023

Clergy in Nigeria has always enjoyed the love of the people. After all, the thought is that the individuals that make up this group have the ears of God. But Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, the founder of the Salvation Proclaimers Anointed Church (SPAC Nation) is different. People love him, it seems, because he knows how to have a good time and is a magnet for celebrities. Thus, Adegboyega has remained an oddity; an oddity that has the ears of very powerful and influential people across the country.

Adegboyega’s name is SPACNation, and that already says something about him. One, it says that he is not like the others who live outside the limelight of society and are so afraid of offending God that they remain within rank. Adegboyega is bolder and has shown his interest in high society, earning himself many friends as a result. Should any of the people running to meet up with Adegboyega in London come to a regular church in Nigeria, it would make strong waves. But, in Adegboyega’s SPACNation, such things are normal.

Among the celebrities that are five and six with Adegboyega is Davido. The singer has always loved Adegboyega and received the latter’s love in return. Adegboyega even postponed a concert after the death of Davido’s son as a way of honouring the singer. That struck many chords with people.

Source: This Day Live

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

https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2023/04/23/861598/

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End of Ramadan should offer all Kenyans key lessons on empathy

By Isaac Kalua

23-04-2023

The Holy Month of Ramadan is graciously over. And lessons of the month should remain ingrained in us. This applies even to non-Muslims like myself.

By fasting during the month of Ramadan, Muslims intentionally step into the shoes of those who endure hunger on a daily basis. When you can feel some of the pinch of the wearer of shoes, you are able to empathise with them and truly help them.

In light of this, we should all ask ourselves whether we can feel the pain of fellow Kenyans, especially the millions who live below the poverty line. To some of us, the poverty line is an abstract concept. But to millions of Kenyans, the poverty line is a daily reality. They live below roughly Sh290 or much less a day. According to the World Bank some 19 million Kenyans live below the poverty line.

Please pause for a moment and imagine what exactly Sh290 can do in a day. It’s not enough even for someone who stays alone. How are you supposed to pay rent, pay transport, buy food and sustain your healthcare on Sh290? It’s impossible.

Source: Standardmedia.Co

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

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/opinion/article/2001471455/end-of-ramadan-should-offer-all-kenyans-key-lessons-on-empathy

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APC’s Winning Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Victory For National Interest Over Personal Ambition

By Dapo Okubanjo

23 Apr 2023

The 2023 general elections have come and gone. In spite of all the post-election noise and desperate machinations of the opposition, we have a president-elect and vice president-elect in the persons of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima who will be sworn-in come May 29, 2023.

This election season was very instructive in a number of ways as it threw up a number of issues which had gnawed at our political national consciousness and proven to be leverage points for mischievous politicians to drive their personal ambitions and benefits. Two of these are PDP legacy issues of power distribution between the Northern and Southern regions and the two most popular religions, Christianity, and Islam. Thus, if the presidency is zoned to the North, the vice presidency is zoned to the South. Also, if the presidential candidate is Christian, the vice-presidential candidate would then be Muslim and vice versa.

The intention of this arrangement is purportedly in keeping with a desire to balance national character. This arrangement seeks to pacify the two broad regions and religions. However, it is instructive to recall that the freest and fairest election thus far in our national history, the MKO Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe ticket in 1993, only agreed in principle to the arrangement of the North and South spread but differed on the religion spread tenet with a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

A quick recall of the events leading to the selection of Senator Kashim Shettima might be instructive. APC Northern governors and stalwarts had agreed to a Southern presidential candidate for the party and this led to the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the party’s presidential candidate. The next hurdle became the choice of a vice presidential candidate. The expected norm, as stated above, is to find a Northern, Christian candidate as the running mate. This was when the political drama and intrigues began.

Source: Daily Trust

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

https://dailytrust.com/apcs-winning-muslim-muslim-ticket-victory-for-national-interest-over-personal-ambition/

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Imbibe spirit of Ramadan, Ebonyi Govt. urges Muslim faithful

April 22, 2023

Ebonyi Government on Saturday charged the Muslim faithful to imbibe the spirit of Ramadan, which encourages the renewal of faith, hope and peace.

Gov. David Umahi gave the charge when a delegation of the Muslim Community in the state paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Abakaliki.

Umahi, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Kenneth Ugbala, urged them to pray more for the nation, especially in this turbulent time.

Source: Vanguardngr

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

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2023/04/imbibe-spirit-of-ramadan-ebonyi-govt-urges-muslim-faithful/

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URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kalashnikov-jihad-al-qaeda-pakistan-pashtuns/d/129627

 

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