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Islamic World News ( 18 Nov 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Georgetown University Experts: Islamophobia In West Fuels Hatred Against Muslims In Other Regions

New Age Islam News Bureau

18 November 2022

 

"There are attacks on Muslims all over India. There are hijab bans in the southern state of Karnataka, which, again, literally takes their cues from Europe as well," says researcher Arsalan Iftikhar. (Reuters Archive)

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• Compensation For Labour Can’t Be Denied Under Islamic Law: Federal Shariat Court

• Saudi Arabia Increases Dissident Preacher Sheikh Khalid Rashid's’s Prison Sentence From 23 To 40 Years: NGO

• US Moves To Shield Saudi Crown Prince In Journalist Khashoggi Killing

• At Memorial For Shraddha Walkar In JNU, ABVP Speaks Of ‘Love Jihad’

 

Europe

• Qatar’s embassy in France organises workshop to mark day of Islamic art

• France shuts down 2 Islamic schools

• EU Eastern Partnership initiative needs to be modernized: Azerbaijan

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Pakistan

• Human Rights Violations Including Inclusivity, Human Rights, Particularly Women Rights And In Counter-Terrorism In Afghanistan Continue: Ex-Envoy

• Pakistan to pick new army chief: Why India, and the world, will be watching closely

• Lahore High Court rejects petition to appoint Pakistan’s next army chief based on seniority

• Imran paints bleak economic picture amid rising inflation

• Gen Bajwa lauds operational preparedness, high morale of troops

• KP IGP says US weapons left in Afghanistan being used in terror activities

• Dismissing plea against long march, SC asks JUI-F to approach Islamabad admin

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Arab World

• Lebanon’s Divided Parliament Fails For Sixth Time To Elect President

• Iraq’s Baghdad airport hit by second fire in three days

• President Erdogan could revisit strained ties with Syria after Turkish election

• Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Arrives In Thailand For ‘Historic’ Visit

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North America

• US sceptical of reports Iran has developed hypersonic missile – Pentagon

• US imposes new sanctions over Iran sanctions evasion, targets Chinese firms

• US says forces in Syria came under rocket attack, no casualties reported

• Canadian resident charged with terrorism in Haiti plot

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India

• Gyanvapi Case: Court Rejects Mosque Committee’s Objection to Plea Seeking Worship of ‘Shivling’

• After Reservation Trap, Minority Bandhu Scheme Introduced To Lure Muslims By The TRS Government

• MCD Polls: BJP Fields 4 Candidates From Pasmanda Muslim Community

• Amend laws for stricter punishment in 'love jihad' cases: BJP MLA to UP CM after Mehrauli killing

• NIA cites Navlakha-ISI links to oppose house arrest order

• Pakistan to skip global meet in Delhi on terror funding

• 2 Islamic teachers held for allegedly torturing student in Madrasa: Assam police

• Hamdard India welcomes ban on Amazon sale of Pakistani Rooh Afza

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South Asia

• Taliban Reaffirm Afghanistan Not a Threat to Other Nation: OIC Meeting

• Taliban Publicly Flogs a Boy and a Girl in Central Afghanistan

• UNAMA: Taliban Should Explain Reasons for ‘Continued Detention’ of Activists

• Afghanistan: Five ISIS members killed in clashes with Taliban forces

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Southeast Asia

• Singapore’s Fatwa Committee Receives Global Award In Recognition Of Covid-19 Efforts

• Islamists vs Islamists in GE15 — Hew Wai Weng

• Council Of Churches Denies Muhyiddin’s Claim Of Plot To ‘Christianise’ Malaysia

• Social media monitor finds ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ narrative on the rise ahead of GE15, PAS’ Hadi ‘key amplifier’ of hate speech

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Mideast

• Iran’s UN Deputy Envoy Blasts Western States for Unreal Support for Iranian Women

• Protesters Burn Home Of Iran’s Ex-Supreme Leader As Demonstrations Enter Third Month

• Interior Minister: French Intelligence Agents, Daesh Militants Captured by Iran

• FM: Israel, Western Spy Agencies Seeking Civil War in Iran

• In West Bank, Undercover Troops Nab Islamic Jihad Man Accused Of Planning Attacks

• At Least Ten Martyred in Separate Terror Attacks in Iran

• IRGC Commander: Enemies’ Dream of Disintegrating Iran Never Comes True

• Iranian FM Blasts US Hypocrisy over Talks

• Spokesman Describes Anti-Iran UN Resolution as Biased, Unrealistic

• At least 21 killed, several others hurt in Gaza Strip fire

• Israeli president Herzog plans first visit to Bahrain

• IAEA board passes resolution ordering Iran to cooperate with probe

• Turkey’s Erdogan tells Netanyahu relations should be maintained with mutual respect

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Africa

• Greek Foreign Minister Dendias Snubs Libya Counterpart In Spat Over Turkey Deal

• Police bust alleged Tunisia-Italy migrant traffickers

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/georgetown-islamophobia-west-hatred-muslims/d/128430

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Georgetown University Experts: Islamophobia In West Fuels Hatred Against Muslims In Other Regions

 

"There are attacks on Muslims all over India. There are hijab bans in the southern state of Karnataka, which, again, literally takes their cues from Europe as well," says researcher Arsalan Iftikhar. (Reuters Archive)

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NOVEMBER 18, 2022

Islamophobia in the US and Europe has spread and triggered hatred against Muslims in other parts of the world, including the Asia-Pacific region, according to experts.

"It is legitimate today to talk about the globalisation of Islamophobia," John Louis Esposito, a professor of international affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University, told the Anadolu Agency.

Esposito pointed out that Islamophobia first became a major global issue after the 1979 revolution in Iran and then the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, adding that while Islamophobia initially became prevalent in the US, Britain, and Germany, it later spread to other regions, "even in northern Europe where you don't even have that many Muslims."

"You have the issues of Myanmar, former Burma. You have the issues in China with regards to the Uighurs. In both cases, you even have international communities talking about genocide," he elaborated further.

"The really stunning thing is, even more than that, the extent to which it (Islamophobia) has become global," he stressed, suggesting that anti-Muslim sentiments were spreading across the political spectrum.

In France, for example, not just far-right politician Marine Le Pen, but President Emmanuel Macron, too, resorted to hostile rhetoric against Muslims during the election campaign season, Esposito said, adding that these political figures' attitude toward the Muslim community was one of cultural conflict.

Noting that Islamophobia was not met with a sufficient outcry, he said: "It is interesting that when you actually say how many Muslim governments have spoken out and major, international Muslim organisations have spoken out. There is a silence there."

According to researcher Arsalan Iftikhar, right-wing movements across the world were learning from movements in Europe and America.

"The right-wing movement around the world are taking their political cues from European and American right-wing movements, other global right-wing movements," he told Anadolu Agency.

Iftikhar, who penned "Fear of a Muslim Planet: Global Islamophobia in the New World Order," also said that these movements are trying to marginalise Muslims and other minorities within their lands.

"It is important to understand the context and the cues they take from one another," he went on to say, pointing to the example of hijab bans in European countries that started in France under then-president Jacques Chirac in 2004 and other nations which adopted Islamophobic policies.

"There are attacks on Muslims all over India. There are hijab bans in the southern state of Karnataka, which, again, literally takes their cues from Europe as well."

Source: TRT World

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

https://www.trtworld.com/life/experts-islamophobia-in-west-fuels-hatred-against-muslims-in-other-regions-62657

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Compensation For Labour Can’t Be Denied Under Islamic Law: Federal Shariat Court

 

Imprisoned Saudi preacher Sheikh Khalid Rashid (Photo via Twitter)

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November 18, 2022

ISLAMABAD   -    The Federal Shariat Court (FSC) on Thursday issued notices to Ministry of Law and Justice and to the Inspector General (Prisons) of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan in Anti-Terrorism Act 1997 amendment case. A bench comprising of Justice Dr Syed Muhammad Anwer, Chief Justice Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan heard a human right application (No. 13/I of 2021) wherein the applicant was aggrieved from the amendment inserted in section 21-F in the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997. The applicant submitted that no remission is being granted to him despite serving rigorous imprisonment and rendering services as per Jail Manual, while under the impugned section of the Act no remission in any sentence shall be allowed to a person, who is convicted and sentenced for any offence. During the course of hearing, the counsel for the applicant argued the matter that the impugned section is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam. He submitted that some remissions have already been allowed by the province of Sindh. The Chief Justice after hearing preliminary arguments, took serious notice that the case, in prima facie, is fit to be converted into Shariat petition as the compensation for the labour under any contract cannot be denied under the Islamic law. The case was fixed for next hearing in the first week of December 2022 before the available bench.

Source: Nation Pakistan

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

https://www.nation.com.pk/18-Nov-2022/compensation-for-labour-can-t-be-denied-under-islamic-law-fsc

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Saudi Arabia Increases Dissident Preacher Sheikh Khalid Rashid's’s Prison Sentence From 23 To 40 Years: NGO

 

Sheikh Khalid Rashid

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17 November 2022

Amid a crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against scholars, rights activists, pro-democracy campaigners and political opponents, Saudi judicial authorities have extended the prison sentence handed down to a prominent religious preacher.

The Prisoners of Conscience, an independent nongovernmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that the so-called Court Of Appeal in the capital Riyadh had increased the term of Sheikh Khalid Rashid's imprisonment for the second time, and extended it from 23 to 40 years.

Sheikh Rashid was the imam of a mosque in the Khobar city of Eastern Province for several years. He initially studied criminology in the United States, before he changed his field of activities and studied Sharia law.

The Saudi preacher was reportedly arrested in 2005, when he spoke out against the profane cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that were originally published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September that year. The drawings caused global Muslim outrage.

At the time, Sheikh Rashid demanded a sit-in in front of the Governor of Riyadh’s office, and asked for the closure of the Danish embassy. Saudi regime forces detained him after the protest call.

The Prisoners of Conscience, in a tweet, condemned the arbitrary sentence against Sheikh Rashid and urged his immediate and unconditional release.

“The issuance of harsh sentences against prisoners of conscience is a judicial violation. This is while Saudi Arabia’s judiciary is exercising the practice against defenseless inmates. The charges leveled against all those who have been handed down heavy sentences by the Court of Appeal are trumped-up and extracted under torture,” it wrote.

Human rights organizations argue that the harsh arbitrary sentences given by the Saudi judiciary to imprisoned dissidents manifest the extent of the kingdom’s disregard for international law, rampant injustice, as well as violations of human rights and civil liberties.

Some social media activists have, meanwhile, launched Arabic hashtags on Twitter, and asked Saudi authorities to release Sheikh Rashid unconditionally.

Since bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested hundreds of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others for their political activism, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnation of the crackdown.

Muslim scholars have been executed and women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured as freedom of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied by the kingdom's authorities.

Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/11/17/692904/Saudi-Arabia-extends-dissident-preacher%E2%80%99s-prison-sentence-from-23-to-4o-years--NGO-

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US Moves To Shield Saudi Crown Prince In Journalist Khashoggi Killing

 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia takes his seat ahead of a working lunch at the G20 Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.

Leon Neal/AP

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Nov 18, 2022

WASHINGTON: The Biden administration declared Thursday that the high office held by Saudi Arabia's crown prince should shield him from lawsuits for his role in the killing of a US-based journalist, a turnaround from Joe Biden's passionate campaign trail denunciations of Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal slaying.

The administration said the prince’s official standing should give him immunity in the lawsuit filed by the fiancée of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and by the rights group he founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.

The request is non-binding and a judge will ultimately decide whether to grant immunity. But it is bound to anger human rights activists and many US lawmakers, coming as Saudi Arabia has stepped up imprisonment and other retaliation against peaceful critics at home and abroad and has cut oil production, a move seen as undercutting efforts by the US and its allies to punish Russia for its war against Ukraine.

The State Department on Thursday called the administration's decision to try to protect the Saudi crown prince from US courts in Khashoggi's killing “purely a legal determination."

And despite backing up the crown prince in his bid to block the lawsuit against him, the State Department “takes no view on the merits of the present suit and reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” the administration's court filing late Thursday said.

Saudi officials killed Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. They are believed to have dismembered him, although his remains have never been found. The US intelligence community concluded Saudi Arabia’s crown prince had approved the killing of the widely known and respected journalist, who had written critically of Prince Mohammed’s harsh ways of silencing of those he considered rivals or critics.

The Biden administration statement Thursday noted visa restrictions and other penalties that it had meted out to lower-ranking Saudi officials in the death.

“From the earliest days of this Administration,?the United States Government has expressed its grave concerns regarding Saudi agents’ responsibility for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder,” the State Department said. Its statement did not mention the crown prince's own alleged role.

Biden as a candidate vowed to make a “pariah” out of Saudi rulers over the 2018 killing of Khashoggi.

“I think it was a flat-out murder,” Biden said in a 2019 CNN town hall, as a candidate. “And I think we should have nailed it as that. I publicly said at the time we should treat it that way and there should be consequences relating to how we deal with those — that power.”

But Biden as president has sought to ease tensions with the kingdom, including bumping fists with Prince Mohammed on a July trip to the kingdom, as the U.S. works to persuade Saudi Arabia to undo a series of cuts in oil production.

Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and DAWN sued the crown prince, his top aides and others in Washington federal court over their alleged roles in Khashoggi's killing. Saudi Arabia says the prince had no direct role in the slaying.

“It’s beyond ironic that President Biden has singlehandedly assured MBS can escape accountability when it was President Biden who promised the American people he would do everything to hold him accountable," the head of DAWN, Sarah Leah Whitson, said in a statement, using the prince's acronym.

Biden in February 2021 had ruled out the US government imposing punishment on Prince Mohammed himself in the killing of Khashoggi, a resident of the Washington area. Biden, speaking after he authorized release of a declassified version of the intelligence community's findings on Prince Mohammed's role in the killing, argued at the time there was no precedent for the US to move against the leader of a strategic partner.

The US military long has safeguarded Saudi Arabia from external enemies, in exchange for Saudi Arabia keeping global oil markets afloat.

“It’s impossible to read the Biden administration’s move today as anything more than a capitulation to Saudi pressure tactics, including slashing oil output to twist our arms to recognize MBS’s fake immunity ploy,” Whitson said.

A federal judge in Washington had given the US government until midnight Thursday to express an opinion on the claim by the crown prince's lawyers that Prince Mohammed's high official standing renders him legally immune in the case.

The Biden administration also had the option of not stating an opinion either way.

Sovereign immunity, a concept rooted in international law, holds that states and their officials are protected from some legal proceedings in other foreign states’ domestic courts.

Upholding the concept of “sovereign immunity” helps ensure that American leaders in turn don’t have to worry about being hauled into foreign courts to face lawsuits in other countries, the State Department said.

Human rights advocates had argued that the Biden administration would embolden Prince Mohammed and other authoritarian leaders around the world in more rights abuses if it supported the crown prince's claim that his high office shielded him from prosecution.

Prince Mohammed serves as Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler in the stead of his aged father, King Salman. The Saudi king in September also temporarily transferred his title of prime minister — a title normally held by the Saudi monarch — to Prince Mohammed. Critics called it a bid to strengthen Mohammed’s immunity claim.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/us-moves-to-shield-saudi-crown-prince-in-journalist-khashoggi-killing/articleshow/95593039.cms

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At Memorial For Shraddha Walkar In JNU, ABVP Speaks Of ‘Love Jihad’

 

Multiple ABVP members spoke at the memorial, calling the incident a cautionary tale against “love jihad”.

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November 18, 2022

Paying tribute to Shraddha Walkar (27) at Jawaharlal Nehru University, who was killed allegedly by her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala (28) in May, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad Thursday called for students to “rise against love jihad”.

Multiple ABVP members spoke at the memorial, calling the incident a cautionary tale against “love jihad”.

“It’s not a single incident in isolation. There has been a pattern which we observe in society in which girls are being trapped falsely in the name of love, which is obviously not love… We… want the judiciary and governments to take action against such culprits and book them in the harshest way possible,” said Shikha Swaraj, the ABVP girls’ coordinator in JNU.

“There is a pattern we see across the country in which men from a particular community trap and engage in violent activities with women from other communities. In this case, we see how far this barbaric act can go. We can only raise awareness and appeal to (women to) never break away from their families…,” said Arjun Anand, another member.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/at-memorial-for-shraddha-walkar-in-jnu-abvp-speaks-of-love-jihad-8274918/

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Europe

 

Qatar’s embassy in France organises workshop to mark day of Islamic art

NOVEMBER 18, 2022

The Qatari embassy in France organised an artistic workshop to mark the International Day of Islamic Art within the framework of the cultural co-operation between the Arab World Institute in Paris and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha.

The workshop was attended by ambassador of Qatar to France Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani and President of Arab World Institute Jack Lang. The exhibition — ‘A treasure of gold.. The dinar is in all countries’ was organised by the Arab World Institute.

Students of a Parisian school participated in the exhibition, and were shown a unique golden coin collection, which indicates the originality of coinage in the Arab and Islamic worlds, and the aspects it reflects in Islamic art, with its aesthetics, elegance, and the high craftsmanship of artists. During their tour in the exhibition, the students got familiarised with the steps of coinage and forms of artistic expression, both ancient and contemporary, in the field of Islamic art and human civilisation. In his remark on this occasion, Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani underlined the keenness of Qatar to mark this international day to promote the cultural diversity and equality among all cultures in pursuit of finding an exit for the Islamic art from the borders of the countries in which it was originated to be a bridge of communication between the peoples and civilisations.

Source: Gulf Times

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

https://www.gulf-times.com/article/650249/qatar/qatars-embassy-in-france-organises-workshop-to-mark-day-of-islamic-art

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France shuts down 2 Islamic schools

Alaattin Dogru  

17.11.2022

Two Islamic schools have been closed down in France’s southern city of Montpellier, according to local media reports.

Officials carried out unannounced checks at the two schools on Tuesday and ordered the administrations to shut them down, news outlet Actu.fr reported on Wednesday.

The raids were carried out on the directives of Hugues Moutouh, governor of the Herault region.

A small mosque in one of the schools will also be shut down.

According to Moutouh, the schools were “illegal” and the mosque was operating without permission, the report said.

A controversial new law introduced in France last year has been criticized for singling out Muslims, while some 25 mosques have been closed down in the country on various grounds.

The European Islamophobia Report 2021 released a few months ago said the new law “which is supposed to provide a strong response against ‘terrorism’ and ‘radical Islam’, has in fact provoked a violent crackdown on Muslim visibility and organization.”

The report identified France as one of “the main spots of anti-Muslim hatred and Islamophobic incidents” on the continent.

“Islamophobia in France is primarily the result of the state, which seeks to establish an ‘Islam of France’ which removes self-determination from French Muslims to make them ‘Muslims without Islam’,” read the report.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/france-shuts-down-2-islamic-schools/2741445

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EU Eastern Partnership initiative needs to be modernized: Azerbaijan

Burc Eruygur  

17.11.2022

Azerbaijan's president on Thursday pointed out the need to modernize the EU's Eastern Partnership initiative, launched in 2009 to foster ties between the bloc and several post-Soviet nations.

In a meeting with the EU's special envoy for the initiative, Ilham Aliyev said: "With respect to Eastern Partnership, you know that from the very beginning of this program Azerbaijan was very supportive and participated actively in different events, including summits."

"Now, I agree that it is time to modernize it, to review what has been done, because more than a decade has passed since the program was launched," he told Dirk Schuebel, according to a statement from Aliyev's office.

The Azerbaijani president received Schuebel to discuss the development of ties between his country and Brussels, as well as Baku's role in Europe's energy security and cooperation in transport and communication.

Highlighting that Azerbaijan is the only country in the Eastern Partnership, which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, not to have joined a political format under the program, Aliyev said his country needed to inspect new opportunities related to the Eastern Partnership.

"As far as we are concerned, we considered this platform not as a platform of cooperation between the member states but as an additional opportunity to enhance cooperation with the EU," Aliyev noted.

Baku ready to talk to Armenians living in Karabakh

Aliyev and Schuebel also exchanged views on the normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations and matters including a sought-after peace treaty between the two sides, border delimitation, and regional security.

Yerevan was "not sincere" in its messages of peace during the Armenian occupation of the Karabakh region that lasted nearly 30 years, Aliyev asserted.

He said Armenia's remarks on peace were "a kind of manipulation, because if they really wanted peace they would have responded to our proposal," referring to Azerbaijan's proposal for peace negotiations following the 44-day conflict in late 2020.

Aliyev stressed that Baku had offered peace despite the "devastation, destruction," and suffering that Armenians caused in Azerbaijan.

"We offered a kind of framework made up of five principles. It was us who advocated for establishing commissions on delimitation. It was us who were trying to find a ground for normalization of relations," he added.

Aliyev further indicated that his country has consistently pursued both normalization with Yerevan as well as efforts related to issues on Azerbaijan's Armenian minority.

Arguing that these two tracks should be kept separate from one another, Aliyev said Yerevan wanted to incorporate issues related to the Armenian minority into a peace agreement, which he said was "not possible."

"Armenia should openly declare what they want. If they want to talk about the rights and security of Armenians in Karabakh, it will not work. We are ready to talk about that with Armenians who live in Karabakh," he added.

Relations between the two ex-Soviet countries have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

A tripartite agreement was brokered by Russia to bring an end to the war in November 2020.

The cease-fire is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/eu-eastern-partnership-initiative-needs-to-be-modernized-azerbaijan/2741518

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Pakistan

 

Human Rights Violations Including Inclusivity, Human Rights, Particularly Women Rights And In Counter-Terrorism In Afghanistan Continue: Ex-Envoy of Pakistan to Afghanistan

November 18, 2022

ISLAMABAD: After more than a year of Taliban takeover, the expected progress has not been achieved in some vital areas, including inclusivity, human rights, particularly women rights and in counter-terrorism in Afghanistan.

These areas are vital for long-term peace and security.

This was stated by former ambassador of Pakistan to Afghanistan Mansoor Ahmed Khan at an event organised by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Pakistan.

The FES Pakistan has launched its new series “Afghanistan Monitor”. These regularly planned publications will display the current political, humanitarian and economic developments in Afghanistan.

“The focus in news and media has shifted greatly toward the Russia-Ukraine conflict. But we must not forget Afghanistan and the responsibility of the international community in the region,” said FES country director Niels Hegewisch in his opening remarks at the paper launch.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1721560/human-rights-violations-in-afghanistan-continue-ex-envoy

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Pakistan to pick new army chief: Why India, and the world, will be watching closely

Nov 17, 2022

NEW DELHI: Pakistan is likely to see a new army chief later this month when Gen QJ Bajwa retires.

Such a transition, in most countries of the world, would not hog news headlines for months. But in Pakistan, it is a big deal, with likely repercussions in the immediate neighbourhood and beyond.

Why is it a 'big deal'?

The army, often referred to as the "deep state" or "establishment" is Pakistan's most influential institution. It has ruled the country for about 36 of its 75 years of existence.

It is widely accepted that no civilian government in Pakistan has survived without the blessings of the army.

Top army officials are notorious for pulling the strings behind the scenes. The opinion and suggestions of the army brass carry massive weight in framing policies, including defence and foreign.

The new army chief could set the tone for the conduct of relations with India, the Taliban in Afghanistan, and determine whether Pakistan tilts more toward China or the United States.

Why it matters domestically

The military has long been accused of manipulating the democratic process to maintain its dominance. Nineteen of Pakistan's 30 prime ministers were elected, but not one of them completed their five year terms.

Having recently admitted to its past meddling in politics, the army has said it would no longer interfere. Whether the new chief stands by that commitment could be key to Pakistan's democratic evolution.

The incoming army chief could potentially play a key role in lowering the political temperature as Pakistan attempts to survive an economic crisis.

His approach towards religious hardliners, who wield considerable influence in the political sphere, will also be of interest.

Why it matters for India

The role of the Pakistan army chief could be telling in India-Pakistan relations, including in the most contentious issue between the two- Kashmir.

In early 2021, Gen Bajwa had sanctioned restoration of a ceasefire agreement with India along the LoC.

Under the new Pakistan army chief, will the international border and LoC be quiet, or disturbed? Will infiltration of terrorists from across the border see a spurt or a dip? Will Islamabad's attempts to foment trouble in the Valley continue?

How will India's engagements with Afghanistan's Taliban evolve, given Pakistan military and intelligence's perceived influence in that country?

The new boss in Rawalpindi will be factor in most of these.

How is the Pakistan army chief picked?

According to Article 243(3) of the Pakistan Constitution, the president appoints the services chiefs on the recommendation of the prime minister.

The tradition is that General Headquarters sends a list of the four to five senior-most lieutenant-generals, along with their personnel files, to the Ministry of Defence, which then forwards them to the PM to pick the officer he finds best suited to the role.

The credentials of the generals are then deliberated upon either at the PMO or in the cabinet. The matter comes down to the PM's ‘informal consultation’ with the outgoing army chief, his own perceptions and his discussions with his closest advisors.

Who could take over from Gen Bajwa?

Six names are believed to be in reckoning for suceeding Gen Bajwa: Lt-Gen Asim Munir, Lt-Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lt-Gen Azhar Abbas, Lt-Gen Nauman Mehmood, Lt-Gen Faiz Hamid and Lt-Gen Mohammad Amir.

PM Sharif and Imran, both want to have their ways

The Pakistan government is seeking to amend an Act of 1952 to have greater authority over the appointment and retention of the Army chief, reports in the country's media reported earlier this week.

The planned amendment would empower the prime minister to retain an incumbent Army chief with a simple notification rather than through a complex constitutional process which also requires the President's assent.

Imran too is not sitting idle. He had a proposal for Shehbaz Sharif, which the prime minister is learned to have rejected.

"Imran had suggested that we give him three names and he gives three names for the post of army chief and then we decide on the appointment of the new chief from those six names," The Express Tribune quoted the Pakistan PM as saying.

"If there is a common name in both the lists, then we will agree," Sharif said, adding, however: "I flatly refused Imran Khan's offer by saying thank you."

Why the world will be watching closely

Pakistan's army chief will play a key role in dealing with potential instability and friction with Afghanistan on its western frontier.

The safety of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, that includes long-range missiles, have often been questioned.

Pakistan and its military have dismissed foreigners' concerns over the command and control, and security of its nuclear weapons. Apprehensions of extremist elements infiltrating the ranks of its military and security apparatus has hardly been reassuring.

Gen Bajwa's successor will have to reassure the world again once he assumes office. The country exiting the FATF grey list recently might just make things somewhat easier.

Gen Bajwa's legacy

Appointed chief in 2016, Bajwa sought to balance ties with China and the United States. While Islamabad moved closer to Beijing, Bajwa also worked to thaw relations with Washington.

He made highly-publicised visits to Beijing and the Middle East - helping to secure financial assistance for Pakistan. He also lobbied Washington to help strike a deal with the International Monetary Fund.

He even summoned Pakistan's top industrialists to a meeting at army headquarters to encourage them to pay more tax.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-to-pick-new-army-chief-why-india-and-the-world-will-be-watching-closely/articleshow/95585525.cms

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Lahore High Court rejects petition to appoint Pakistan’s next army chief based on seniority

17 November, 2022

Lahore [Pakistan], November 17 (ANI): The Lahore High Court dismissed a petition seeking the appointment of the next army chief on a “seniority basis”, Geo News reported.

It is pertinent to mention that incumbent Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure is set to end on November 29 and Pakistan’s military will get a new Army chief later this month.

The petition submitted by Advocate Najma Ahmed prayed that the court directs the respondents to appoint the senior-most person as the next army chief,Geo News reported.

Lieutenant-Generals Asim Munir, the army’s quartermaster general and a former spy chief, Sahir Shamshad, commander of the Rawalpindi Corps, Azhar Abbas, the army’s chief of general staff, and Nauman Mahmood, chief of the National Defence University are the frontrunners to replace Bajwa.

Referring to Article 243 (4b) of the Constitution which lays down the procedure for the appointment of Chief of Army Staff, the petitioner claimed that the traditional procedure for appointing the new army chief is in conflict with Article 25 of the Constitution, and is illegal and unconstitutional.

The petitioner stated that according to the rules of business, the prime minister has been given the discretionary power to make one of the five military officials as the army chief.

The federal government, he said is bound to appoint the new army chief in accordance with the law. The petitioner implored the court to issue directions to appoint the senior-most officer as the army chief.

The petitioner said that senior lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan has also expressed reservations over the appointment of the army chief through the traditional procedure,Geo News reported.

However, the court observed that such a matter should be heard by a full court and suggested the petitioner approach the Supreme Court.

It may be noted that after crucial meetings between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in London, it was decided that the military’s senior-most officer will be appointed as the next army chief.

Prior to this Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif while addressing a press conference last month that anyone amongst five army personnel recommended by the Defence Ministry appointed as the new Army Chief and all three-star generals are eligible for the role.

The appointment of the next army chief has become a major issue and has taken the centre stage in the country’s politics,Geo News reported.

Earlier, Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan during his long march rally said “It is impossible to imagine that a convicted and fugitive person will now take important decisions in Pakistan,”. He also claimed that Shabaz has violated the country’s Official Secrecy Act by consulting his elder brother Nawaz Sharif in the appointment of the next army chief.

“How can the PM consult a fugitive [Nawaz] on a chief of army staff’s appointment,” he was quoted as saying by The News International while referring to Shehbaz’s recent visit to London. “It is impossible to imagine that a convicted and fugitive person will now take important decisions in Pakistan,” he said adding that the court of law would be moved against violation of the Secrecy Act.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan took a sharp dig at Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa over the arrest of Senator Azam Swati who blamed the general for legitimising corruption in the country.

Time and again, PTI chief Imran Khan and his party have openly bashed the military leadership in the country since they were ousted from power in April, leaving no chance for any negotiations with the security establishment, which is why the Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has clarified on various instances that he has distanced the military from the country’s politics, according to Islam Khabar.

Despite his controversial ousting in April this year, Khan continues to remain the most popular political leader in Pakistan. Moreover, PTI has won in the recently held by-elections in different parts of the country, especially in Punjab province.

However, another major issue for Khan taking a sharp dig at Pakistan Army is Azam Khan Swati’s arrest. In August this year, Shahbaz Gill, senior PTI leader and close aide of Imran Khan, was arrested for sedition and other charges for remarks made during a TV show.

Notably, direct clashes between Khan and the security establishment will create more

Source: The Print

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https://theprint.in/world/lahore-high-court-rejects-petition-to-appoint-pakistans-next-army-chief-based-on-seniority/1222198/

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Imran paints bleak economic picture amid rising inflation

November 18, 2022

GUJAR KHAN: Deploring the rising inflation, former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday warned that Pakistan’s default risk has soared to 80 per cent from the 75pc recorded on Wednesday and that global financial institutions will not trust the country for extending loans.

He further remarked that the rupee would continue to take a free fall in such a dire economic situation and people start hoarding dollars.

Mr Khan said this while addressing his party’s long march at Dina where for a change his speech also focused on the economy. He claimed 50 million people were on the verge of slipping below the poverty line if inflation continued to rise at the same pace.

Commenting on a report of the government’s Finance Committee on Agriculture, he said a significant drop was recorded in the consumption of diesel, fertiliser and purchase of tractors amid skyrocketing inflation in the country. As a result, crop yield was also expected to fall.

Presenting a picture of the industries, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief said the sector was booming when he was in power, but dropped to 1pc in the last seven months. He added the country’s wealth was decreasing drastically that would make it difficult to pay off the loans.

He also reiterated his corruption allegations against the ruling parties, and repeated he would take the legal route in the US, UK and UAE against the federal government, Geo News and businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor over their “propaganda” against him.

Furthermore, the PTI chief said he had already predicted the current economic situation of the country and the alleged risks to national security in an earlier interview.

He added he feared the current rulers would flee the country after getting their cases closed and failing to handle the economy.

He further claimed the government wanted to “eliminate” the opposition and appoint an army chief who ‘supported’ their agenda, but hastened to add that he didn’t doubt the intentions of any of the candidates for the all-important position, but didn’t trust the rulers.

The only way out of all the crises the country was faced with was free and fair early elections, Mr Khan said, claiming that through the ‘Haqeeqi Azadi’ march the nation wanted to convey the message that they did not trust the leaders.

He called for an investigation into how the witnesses and investigator of a money laundering case against the premier and his family died one after the other, and the case was eventually closed. He further said a nation that accepted injustice and was ruled by “thieves” had no future.

At the end, he claimed an ocean of people would reach Rawalpindi at the culmination of his party’s long march, adding he would reveal his plans for reaching the city on Saturday.

‘No truth’ to Imran’s allegations

Meanwhile, the US has stressed that there was never any truth to former premier Khan’s allegations of Washington orchestrating a regime change conspiracy against the PTI government, and reiterated its resolve not to let “misinformation” and “propaganda” come in the way of its bilateral ties with Pakistan.

“As we’ve previously said, there has — there is not and there has never been any truth to these allegations, but I don’t have anything additional to offer,” Dawn.com quoted US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel as saying during a press briefing on Wednesday when asked to comment on the PTI’s chief’s apparent backtracking on his allegations.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1721517/imran-paints-bleak-economic-picture-amid-rising-inflation

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Gen Bajwa lauds operational preparedness, high morale of troops

November 18, 2022

RAWALPINDI: General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on Thursday visited Bahawalpur and Okara as part of farewell visits.

The COAS laid floral wreath at Martyrs’ monument at Bahawalpur and interacted with officers and troops of Formations at Bahawalpur and Okara.

The COAS also witnessed Integrated Fire Power Manoeuvre Exercise at Khairpur Tamewali (KPT) where troops of Bahawalpur Corps along with PAF JF-17 thunder aircrafts, Cobra Gunship Helicopters and Mechanized elements displayed coordinated fire power in battlefield conditions.

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/11/18/gen-bajwa-lauds-operational-preparedness-high-morale-of-troops/

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KP IGP says US weapons left in Afghanistan being used in terror activities

November 17, 2022

PESHAWAR: Inspector General (IG) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Moazzam Jah Ansari on Thursday claimed weapons left by the US in Afghanistan are being used in KP.

Addressing a press conference in Peshawar, Moazzam Jah Ansari said weapons left by US after departure from Afghanistan are being used in terror activities in the province.

He reiterated the war against terror was not Pakistan’s but we have faced huge losses after it. the IG KP said terrorists attacked jawans in Bajaur yesterday.

Ansari vowed to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the province and went on to say that they are ready for ‘losses’.

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/11/17/kp-igp-says-us-weapons-left-in-afghanistan-being-used-in-terror-activities/

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Dismissing plea against long march, SC asks JUI-F to approach Islamabad admin

November 17, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition, moved by Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), seeking its order to stop the protestors of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) from entering Islamabad and advised the party, a member of the ruling alliance, to approach the capital administration to address the issue.

While hearing a petition seeking protection of the rights of the people of Islamabad amid the long march, the top court told Kamran Murtaza, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and JUI-F member of the Senate, the judiciary could only intervene in “extraordinary circumstances”.

Murtaza had contended that the protest could disrupt daily life in Islamabad and that the rights of the people must be protected.

It’s been two weeks since the long march kicked off, and according to Fawad Chaudhry, senior vice president of the party, it will reach Islamabad by this Friday, he told the court.

“Everyday life of people has been disrupted due to the long march. PTI reserves its right to hold a long march, but in no way is it allowed to disturb a commoner’s life,” he contended.

But Justice Athar Minallah, a member of the three-judge bench which took up the petition, wondered “why should the court interfere when the administration can control the situation?”

Justice Minallah, however, assured Murtaza that in unusual circumstances, the court could intervene.

“Prima facie, the court’s interference on the issue would be premature […] court will exercise judicial restraint in such political matters,” Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said.

The top judge further told the petitioner he had cited the violations of the previous long march, held in May, and asked the court to intervene in the matter. “But the long march is a political issue, there is a political solution to it as well,” he noted.

He told Murtaza that when the judiciary gets involved in political matters, it creates a “difficult situation” for the court.

Justice Ayesha Malik inquired whether the government had made any mechanism to regulate the protests.

Justice Ayesha Malik inquired that PTI’s long march has been going on for a long time, had he approached the administration? She asked what was haste in the case of long march and what was the negligence of the administration?

Senator Kamran Murtaza said that an entire province had been paralyzed due to the long march.

Justice Athar Minallah said that if someone violated the laws, the executive had wide powers. He asked would not the administration and parliament be weakened by the intervention of the judiciary?

Justice Ayesha Malik asked the petitioner to mobilize the administration to play its role. Every day there were protests in many places including Parliament in Islamabad, she said and asked had he ever approached the courts against other protests?

She asked why the intervention of the court was required only in the long march of a particular political party.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that the petitioner had mentioned past violations in the application. The Long March was a political issue that could be solved politically, he added.

He said that interference in such issues created a strange situation for the court.

Addressing the petitioner, the Chief Justice said that he (Kamran) had mentioned an audio in his application which mentioned bringing weapons. Audio was true or false but it could disturb the law and order situation, he added.

He asked did the people in the long march of May 25 had weapons? The right to protest was not unlimited but subject to constitutional limits, he added.

The Chief Justice said that the request for H-9 ground was given for PTI’s May 25 long march. When the administration refused to give H-9 ground, the Supreme Court intervened, he added.

He observed that despite the allocation of the H-9 ground, the crowd went to D-Chowk.

Addressing the petitioner, the Chief Justice said that he wanted the Supreme Court to play the role of Deputy Commissioner. Apparently, the court’s intervention in the case of Long March would be premature, he added.

Senator Kamran Murtaza said that it seemed that the administration could not control the situation. Justice Athar Minallah while talking to Kamran Murtaza said that he was a senator and he should strengthen the parliament but he had approached the court on the basis of assumption.

Kamran Murtaza said that he had approached the court in a personal capacity, on this Justice Athar Minallah said that how could he believe that he was also a part of the government and had come in a personal capacity.

The court asked Additional Attorney General Aamir Rehman whether the administration had taken any decision regarding the venue for PTI’s long march.

The Additional Attorney General said that a request has been received from PTI and pleaded the court to grant half an hour time as he would inform the court after receiving information from the relevant forum. He said that a similar case was also pending in the Islamabad High Court.

The Additional Attorney General informed the court that the administration had asked the PTI to hold a rally in Rawat. The administration sought an affidavit from the PTI, which had not yet been filed, he added.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial said that if there was a clear threat of constitutional violation, the judiciary would intervene. The other party could have its own position on the violations, he added.

He said that the matter became complicated for the court on violation of Supreme Court orders as court orders were for implementation.

When the hearing resumed after a break, Justice Athar Minallah said that petition had become ineffective.

Kamran Murtaza said that he wanted judicial intervention to maintain law and order in the country.

Justice Athar Minallah inquired if he was saying that the situation had gone beyond the control of the administration.

Justice Ayesha Malik asked whether the federal government did not know how to fulfill its responsibility. She questioned what could the Supreme Court do in administrative matters?

Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the state was powerful and empowered. The bench could understand that he was worried about the current situation. The government could stop the protest anywhere and every citizen was affected by such a situation, he added.

He said that today’s headline was about the attack in Bajaur and Lakki Marwat which affected the entire nation.

The Advocate General said that the Federation had also written a letter to Punjab under Article 149 on November 5. The administration had asked PTI about the date, time and place, which was not answered, he added.

He alleged that PTI talked about bloodshed before the Wazirabad incident and after the Wazirabad incident, the administration refused to allow PTI to enter Islamabad. The case on the permission of the rally in Islamabad was pending in the Islamabad High Court, he added.

Justice Athar Minallah remarked that the court wanted peace in the country, not chaos. The court did not want to give an order that was premature, he added.

He said that the letter of the Federation to the provinces under Article 149 was a very serious matter.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/11/17/jui-f-told-to-approach-islamabad-admin-against-pti-protest/

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Arab World

 

Lebanon’s divided parliament fails for sixth time to elect president

17 November ,2022

Lebanese lawmakers failed for a sixth time Thursday to elect a successor to former president Michel Aoun, whose mandate expired last month, highlighting deep divisions in the crisis-hit country.

Parliament is split between supporters of Iran-backed Hezbollah group and its opponents, neither of whom have a clear majority.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Lawmaker Michel Moawad, who is seen as close to the United States, won the support of 43 of parliament’s 128 MPs.

But his tally was outnumbered by the 45 blank ballots cast by pro-Hezbollah lawmakers and fell well short of the margin needed for victory.

“It’s a complete deadlock,” independent lawmaker Mark Daou told AFP. “We will not have a president before next year.”

In each of the six sessions convened to elect a new president so far, the pro-Hezbollah bloc has walked out before lawmakers could hold a second round of voting which would have reduced the number of ballots needed for victory from 86 to 65.

Lawmaker Ali Hassan Khalil of the Hezbollah-allied Amal movement said the bloc had adopted the tactic because it was “impossible to elect a president without a consensus among lawmakers.”

Moawad’s candidacy is opposed by Hezbollah, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah called last week for a president ready to stand up to the United States.

There have been delays in electing previous Lebanese presidents.

Aoun’s own election in 2016 followed a more than two-year vacancy at the presidential palace as lawmakers made 45 failed attempts before reaching a consensus on his candidacy.

But this year’s vacancy comes as Lebanon is mired in an economic crisis that the World Bank has dubbed one of the worst in recent history.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/17/Lebanon-s-divided-parliament-fails-for-sixth-time-to-elect-president

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Iraq’s Baghdad airport hit by second fire in three days

17 November ,2022

Iraq opened an investigation Thursday after a fire broke out in one of the terminals of Baghdad airport, the second in three days.

There were no casualties in the latest blaze, which damaged several airline offices in the two-storey Nineveh Terminal.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani travelled to the airport to be briefed on the probe launched by fire investigators, his office said.

“Civil defense teams were able to put out the fire,” it added.

It came after three people were lightly hurt on Tuesday when a fire broke out in a refreshments area in the departures lounge of one of the terminals.

Conflict, neglect and endemic corruption have left Iraq’s infrastructure in disrepair.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/17/Iraq-s-Baghdad-airport-hit-by-second-fire-in-three-days-

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President Erdogan could revisit strained ties with Syria after Turkish election

17 November ,2022

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could revisit relations with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad following the presidential and parliamentary elections set for June next year.

When asked about a possible meeting with the Syrian leader, Erdogan said, there was no eternal resentment or quarrelling in politics, according to a readout of comments he made during his flight back from Bali.

On Tuesday, a senior Turkish official said that his country plans to pursue targets in northern Syria after it completes a cross-border operation against outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in Iraq after a deadly weekend bomb in Istanbul.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/17/-President-Erdogan-could-revisit-strained-ties-with-Syria-after-Turkish-election

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince arrives in Thailand for ‘historic’ visit

18 November ,2022

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Thailand on Friday – the first such visit by the Saudi leadership in three decades, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Prime Minister and Thailand Defense Minister, General Prayuth Chan-ocha welcomed the crown prince upon his arrival at the Air Force Base airport in Bangkok.

The historic visit reflects Saudi Arabia and Thailand’s efforts to enhance their cooperation and strengthen relations, SPA said in a statement.

An official reception ceremony was held in honor of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to mark the visit, according to SPA.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Thailand Abdurrahman al-Suhaibani said that the Crown Prince’s presence in Bangkok also coincides with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum, where 23 countries – including the Kingdom – will participate.

The APEC Forum will take place on November 18-19 and will see the Crown Prince meet with many of the world’s most prominent leaders, who will also be taking part in meetings at the economic summit.

The visit is aims to improve economic and trade relations between Saudi Arabia and Thailand by exploring areas of investment and the available opportunities that are in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan and Bangkok’s development priorities, the ambassador said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/saudi-arabia/2022/11/18/Saudi-Arabia-s-Crown-Prince-arrives-in-Thailand-for-historic-visit
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North America

 

US sceptical of reports Iran has developed hypersonic missile – Pentagon

November 17, 2022

WASHINGTON: The United States is skeptical of reports suggesting Iran had developed a hypersonic missile, a Pentagon spokesperson said on Thursday.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency last week quoted the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace commander as saying Iran had built a hypersonic ballistic missile.

“We’ve seen the reports asserted and coming out of Iran, we remain skeptical of these reports,” Sabrina Singh told a news conference.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2201906/middle-east

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US imposes new sanctions over Iran sanctions evasion, targets Chinese firms

17 November ,2022

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on over a dozen companies based in China, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates that Washington accused of facilitating the sale of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products to buyers in East Asia.

The latest US move against Iranian oil smuggling comes as efforts to revive Iran's 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and ties between the Islamic Republic and the West are increasingly strained as Iranians keep up anti-government protests.

Washington has increasingly targeted Chinese companies over the export of Iran's petrochemicals as the prospects of reviving the nuclear pact have dimmed. Indirect talks on the accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have broken down.

The US Treasury Department in a statement said the 13 companies designated on Thursday facilitated the sales of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum products to buyers in East Asia on behalf of companies under US sanctions, including the National Iranian Oil Company and Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd.

“Today’s action further demonstrates the complex sanctions evasion methods Iran employs to illicitly sell petroleum and petrochemical products,” the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian Nelson, said in the statement.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/11/17/US-imposes-new-sanctions-over-Iran-sanctions-evasion-targets-Chinese-firms

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US says forces in Syria came under rocket attack, no casualties reported

Michael Hernandez  

18.11.2022

WASHINGTON

Coalition forces stationed at northeast Syria's Green Village base came under rocket attack, but no casualties were reported, US Central Command said Thursday.

Neither the base nor coalition property were damaged in the attack, according to the command.

"Attacks of this kind place coalition forces and the civilian populace at risk and undermine the hard-earned stability and security of Syria and the region,” Central Command spokesman Col. Joe Buccino said in a statement.

US forces in the region are investigating the incident.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-says-forces-in-syria-came-under-rocket-attack-no-casualties-reported/2741626

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Canadian resident charged with terrorism in Haiti plot

Barry Ellsworth  

17.11.2022

TRENTON, Canada

A resident in the Canadian province of Quebec was charged with terrorism for allegedly planning to overthrow the government of Haitian President Jovenel Moise, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) report on Thursday.

Gerald Nicolas, 51, will appear in court Dec. 1 to answer three terrorism-related charges.

The charges, which the RCMP said have nothing to do with Moise's assassination in July 2021, include traveling to Haiti to further terror activity, furthering that activity and providing property for terror purposes.

Moise allegedly left Canada and went to Haiti to arrange for individuals to stage a coup in the country, which has descended into chaos after Ariel Henry assumed the role of prime minister, leading Haiti after Moise's death.

Armed gangs rule about two-thirds of the capital of Port-au-Prince and the economy has come to a virtual standstill.

Hunger is killing Haitians and dozens of prisoners died after authorities ran out of food. Gangs have closed schools and markets. A cholera outbreak threatens the lives of 1.2 million children because healthcare services have been disrupted and rampant malnutrition has weakened children, according to UNICEF.

Gangs have also cut off Haiti's primary fuel terminal, which has led to power outages and unclean water, the Canadian Press reported earlier this month.

The US has attempted to get a country -- Canada was recently approached -- to lead a military intervention in Haiti. But no country has stepped forward to date.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in early November that many Haitians are uncomfortable with foreign military intervention, but added that something must be done "one way or another." He did not define what that meant.

The government of Canada said that since a massive earthquake in 2010, Canada has provided CAN$1.87 billion ($1.4 billion) to Haiti and is "the second-largest bilateral donor to Haiti after the United States."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/canadian-resident-charged-with-terrorism-in-haiti-plot/2741443

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India

 

Gyanvapi Case: Court Rejects Mosque Committee’s Objection to Plea Seeking Worship of ‘Shivling’

November 18, 2022

New Delhi: A Varanasi court on Thursday, November 17, rejected Gyanvapi Masjid committee’s objection to a petition seeking the right to worship ‘Shivling’ claimed to have been found in the mosque complex.

Chinese Construction of Waterfalls in the building 350, फीट ऊंची इमारत से बह निकला झरना - Travel Nfx

The court rejected the objection filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque, questioning the maintainability of the plea.

The mosque committee had objected to the plea citing the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. The Act states that the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947, must be maintained.

The court, however, ruled that an application filed by the Hindu plaintiffs seeking to bar Muslims from entering the mosque premises was maintainable, the Hindu reported.

It agreed to hear the petition, which was filed by Kiran Singh on May 24, seeking the possession of the entire Gyanvapi complex be handed over to the Hindu side.

The petition also said that the Hindu plaintiffs be allowed to worship the ‘Shivling’ reportedly found inside the mosque premises on May 16.

Source: The Wire

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

https://thewire.in/law/gyanvapi-case-court-rejects-mosque-committees-objection-to-plea-seeking-worship-of-shivling

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After Reservation Trap, Minority Bandhu Scheme Introduced To Lure Muslims By The TRS Government

Sameer Khan

18th November 2022

Hyderabad: After tricking Muslims into 12 percent reservation, the TRS government has once again playing with their sentiments by adopting an evasion policy in introducing the Muslim or Minority Bandhu Scheme. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had promised 12 percent reservation to Muslims within 4 months after coming to power in 2014 election campaign. However, a special session of the Assembly was convened and a resolution was passed to extend the ST reservation from 6% to 10% and the 4% Muslim reservation to 12%.

Eight years are passed and the promise to Muslims remains unfulfilled, while the GO was issued to increase the ST reservations from 6% to 10% in the Munugode by-election. Strict action orders have been issued and are being implemented by the authorities providing 10% reservations to ST classes in academic admissions and government jobs and also in development.

On September 17, 2022, Chief Minister KCR introduces the Gijiran Bandhu scheme on the lines of the Dalit Bandhu scheme. According to the sources, the Girijan Bandhu scheme will be approved as a pilot project in 12 assembly constituencies allocated for tribals. After that, it will be extended across the state. The plan is to give Rs 10 lakh to deserving ST families.

The population of SC category in the state is 56 lakh, for which a budget of Rs.17,000 crore has been provided. The population of minorities is 50 lakhs for which a budget of Rs.1400 crores has been allotted, while the population of STs is 43 lakhs and a budget of Rs.10,000 crores has been allotted for them. An alternate sub-plan is in place for SCs and STs , if by chance their budget is not spent, it will be shared through green channel next year budget. While even 50 percent of the minority budget is hardly spent. And what remains after spending the budget goes back to the treasury.

Meanwhile, the budgets of SC, ST and BC categories have been drastically increased. It is a pity that once the minority budget was raised to Rs 2000 crores, it was reduced to Rs 1400 crores from the next year.

Minority and BC Bandhu schemes have been all but forgotten. Muslims have not been given 12% representation in Telangana government’s welfare schemes, double bedroom houses, Asra pension, 12% budget provision and other schemes under the government’s control.

In the 20-year history of TRS, no Muslim has been made a member of the Rajya Sabha till date, nor has more than one been represented in a ministry. 18 leaders were elected as MLCs including late Muhammad Fariduddin, but no other Muslim was appointed as a member of the Council in his place.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/after-reservation-trap-muslims-lure-with-minority-bandhu-scheme-2459830/

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MCD Polls: BJP Fields 4 Candidates From Pasmanda Muslim Community

17 NOV 2022

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded four candidates, including three women, from the backward Pasmanda Muslim community in the upcoming Delhi civic body polls. Among these candidates is a social activist, a would-be lawyer, and a scrap dealer.

The Pasmanda community comprises 41 castes such as Ansari, Qureshi, Mansoori, Salmani and Siddiqui, in professions such as butchers and weavers, and are considered most backward in social, economic and political terms. The saffron party has fielded Irfan Maliq from Chandni Mahal, Samina Raja from Quraish Nagar, Saba Ghazi from Chauhan Bangar, and Shabnam Maliq from Mustfabad wards of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

"The mentality of Muslims is changing with time. People are now focused on the delivery of services and how can they get benefits from the government rather than sticking to the Hindu-Muslim cliche," says candidate Samina, on how she was convincing people to vote for her. Samina, whose family is associated with Delhi BJP, says she has been a social worker as well as an office-bearer in BJP's Mahila Morcha.

Delhi BJP spokesperson Yasir Gilani says although less number of Muslims have been fielded by the party, "our focus is to prove that the BJP can get votes of the minority community and win on seats dominated by them". Underlining the BJP's motto of “sabka saath, sabka vikas”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in July advised party workers to reach out to deprived and downtrodden sections among the minorities also.

The party had also recently promoted a Gujjar from the Pasmanda community in Jammu and Kashmir—Ghulam Ali Khatana—to the Rajya Sabha.

Chandni Mahal BJP candidate Irfan Maliq, a scrap dealer, says the party slogan of "sabka sath sabka vikas" is now also having an impact on Muslims. "I have been associated with the BJP's minority morcha for the last 10 years. In my ward, the people, including 95 per cent Muslims, are grabbling with the problem of drinking water. People are falling sick, losing their teeth and hair, and facing other problems due to the use of deep borewell water."

Party candidate Shabnam Maliq notes that it is time to remove the misgivings of Muslims about the BJP. "I meet people from my community every day and as a BJP candidate, I do not feel any negative vibes from them," the social worker says, adding that she has pinned her hope of victory on the dominance of Pasmanda Muslims in the Mustafabad area.

Source: Outlook India

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

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/mcd-polls-bjp-fields-4-candidates-from-pasmanda-muslim-community-news-238195

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Amend laws for stricter punishment in 'love jihad' cases: BJP MLA to UP CM after Mehrauli killing

17.11.22

BJP MLA Rajeshwar Singh on Thursday urged Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to amend the state laws dealing with heinous crimes and proposed stricter punishment for 'love jihad' in view of the gruesome killing of a woman by her inter-faith partner in Delhi recently. He also recommended changes, including fast-track trial, no bail to accused, automatic special protection to witnesses besides death penalty for rape and murder, and life imprisonment for rape in such (love jihad) cases.

Love jihad is a term used by right-wing groups and activists to allege a concerted effort by Muslim men to convert Hindu women to Islam through marriage.

Demanding amendments to the criminal procedural law, Singh said there is a need to broaden the definition of allurement in cases of 'love jihad' and it must include marriage, or a promise of marriage or conjugal relationship or live in relationship. 

A copy of the MLA's letter has also been marked to Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju. 

“The bone-chilling incident of a Muslim man brutally murdering and then chopping the body of the Hindu girl into 35 odd pieces, in the city of Delhi, is reminiscent of the 'love jihad' crimes that have been reported recently from across the nation,” the ruling party legislator stated in the letter. 

The police officer-turned-politician said a series of such similar events have led to a scenario of “perpetual fear and profound distrust bordering on a sense of alarm in the community” and is, therefore, definitely a “cause of great concern” for all legislators across the country.

“These hate crimes perpetuated by radicalised members of a certain community do not deserve to be treated as regular criminal acts, necessitating a fast-track approach to investigations, charge-sheet and trial, within the framework of our rule of law, thereby ensuring that the trust reposed by the common man on our criminal justice system is not impacted adversely,” Singh said.

He said he has personally engaged with different sections of the society and compiled their thoughts for the chief minister's consideration. 

The MLA said there is consensus amongst his constituents that it is necessary to carry out amendments to the statute through the state legislature, as has been done in the past “to ensure the safety of women and thereby maintain public order”. 

Singh was referring to the killing of Shraddha Walkar (27) allegedly by her partner Aftab Poonawala (28) in Delhi's Mehrauli area in May this year. 

Poonawala had allegedly strangled Walkar and sawed her body into 35 pieces which he kept in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence before dumping them across the city over several days past midnight, according to police.

In the proposed legislative amendments in the letter, the BJP MLA stated, “In order to ensure that such offences are not repeated in the future, it is necessary that we adopt a time-bound schedule for investigations and trial such that the investigation is completed within 60 days of the registration of the offence and the trial within 60 days thereafter.” 

“It is also necessary to consider stricter punishment for the offences relating to 'love jihad', including mandatory death penalty for offences of 'rape' and 'murder' and life imprisonment for those involving rape,” Singh said. 

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/amend-laws-for-stricter-punishment-in-love-jihad-cases-bharatiya-janata-party-mla-to-uttar-pradesh-chief-minister-after-mehrauli-killing/cid/1898640

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NIA cites Navlakha-ISI links to oppose house arrest order

Nov 18, 2022

NEW DELHI: National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking vacation of the November 11 order for keeping UAPA accused Gautam Navlakha under house-arrest by narrating three important aspects - the so-called house was “unsafe” being a library under Communist party of India, his health report suffered bias as it was prepared by a panel doctors that included his real brother-in-law, and that he had links with Pakistan’s nefarious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Navlakha’s counsel Nithya Ramakrishnan complained to CJI D Y Chandrachud-led bench that the accused has not yet been shifted to the house-arrest location in breach of the SC's November 11 directions and requested urgent listing of his application before a bench headed by Justice K M Joseph for expeditious implementation of the order.

When the bench was agreeing for a listing Navalakha’s application on Friday, solicitor general Tushar Mehta intervened and said the NIA has found several incidents of deliberate suppression by the accused to mislead the court into passing an order of house-arrest, even though his health conditions are such that it could be easily managed in Taloja Jail hospital.

The bench agreed to list applications of Navlakha and NIA together before a bench headed by Justice Joseph on Friday. NIA said that the house chosen by Navalakha for house-arrest purposes is a public library “in the name of secretary of Communist Party” and is unsafe from security-aspect, to house Navlakha and his companion Sabha Husain. It is neither a house nor a residential unit, as the cout was made to believe by the accused, NIA said, adding that he should be kept in jail.

The anti-terror agency alleged that Navlakha, an active member of banned CPI (Maoist), was “working in urban areas and was assigned to unite intellectuals against government forces to defeat them both physically and otherwise”. The agency said Navlakha had visited the USA thrice to address Kashmir American Council Conference organized by Ghulam Nabi Fai, who was arrested by FBI for failing to report receipt of funds from Pakistan’s ISI as required under US laws.

Navlakha had written a letter to a US court judge for grant of clemency to Fai. “It is established (from documents) that Navlakha was introduced to a Pakistani ISI general for his recruitment by Fai on the direction of the ISI, showing his nexus and complicity with Fai and ISI,” the NIA claimed.

NIA said in fairness it had on September 29 agreed before the SC for a health check of Navlakha from his chosen Jaslok Hospital at Mumbai. It accused Navlakha of not disclosing to the SC that Dr S Kothari, his real brother-in-law, has been associated with Jaslok Hospital for the last 43 years.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nia-cites-navlakha-isi-links-to-oppose-house-arrest-order/articleshow/95590876.cms

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Pakistan to skip global meet in Delhi on terror funding

Nov 18, 2022

NEW DELHI: Lack of universal consensus on laws regarding cybercrimes, weak control mechanisms of social media platforms and their misuse by terrorist and extremist groups, dark web and the threats posed by crypto-currency will be among the issues taken up during a two-day international ministerial conference on countering terror financing, beginning here on Friday.

PM Narendra Modi will deliver the inaugural address at the third 'No Money for Terror' conference, hosted by the home ministry, which will focus on latest global trends in terror financing, especially the use of formal and informal channels of funds for terrorism and emerging technologies.

Addressing a presser on the eve of the meeting, NIA DG Dinkar Gupta said social media is being used to raise financing, funding or as crowdfunding platforms. "We do have evidence of this kind of thing happening. This is an issue that needs to be discussed because such platforms are being used for raising finances which are being used in terror activities."

He said while Pakistan and Afghanistan are not participating at the event, a confirmation from China is awaited. Around 78 countries and multilateral organisations are set to participate.

Gupta said terror activities have declined in India during the last eight years in all "theatres of conflicts", be it J&K, Punjab, the Northeast, or the areas affected by Left Wing Extremism.

Crowdfunding and anonymous, decentralised and untraceable nature of terror financing; effective multilateral and multi-stakeholder approach in identification and mitigation of threats of emerging terror-financing mechanisms; and misuse of non-profit and non-government organisations as front structures for financing terror will also be part of the agenda, officials said.

Gupta made it clear that no country-specific discussion is part of the agenda.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-to-skip-global-meet-in-delhi-on-terror-funding/articleshow/95590523.cms

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2 Islamic teachers held for allegedly torturing student in Madrasa: Assam police

Nov 17, 2022

Assam’s Cachar police arrested two Islamic religious teachers for allegedly torturing a 14-yr-old student who accused them of teaching Jihad in a Madrasa, officials said.

According to the police, two teachers from Swadhin Bazar Islamia Madrassa Ethim Khana, both from Sonai town in Assam were arrested on Wednesday night and an FIR was registered against them after a student’s complaint.

A case under various sections of the IPC was registered against them at the Sonai police station.

Joseph Keivom, an official from Sonai police station, said the arrested accused have been identified as Abdul Hussain Laskar (51) and Dilowar Hussain Mazumder (28).

Speaking to the media, the student alleged, “the teachers used to tell them if they destroy Hindus, they’ll get special blessings from Allah.”

The FIR mentions that the teachers used to threaten to kill those who refuse to attend the post 11pm special classes.

The boy said he was facing some health issues and refused to join the special class but they threatened to kill him.

“They came to my room, burnt my medicines and beat me mercilessly and locked me in a room,” the student said. The boy was taken home by his father after the alleged incident.

The Madrasa authority, however, denied the allegations and said that the student was involved in some wrongdoings.

“He learnt many criminal activities . The teachers were trying to bring him back from his bad company and they used sticks to beat him. This much a teacher can do I think,” said Fakrul Islam Laskar of Swadhin Bazar Islamia Madrassa Ethim Khana.

Fakrul further alleged that the boy’s father demanded money from the Madrasa as compensation and threatened to lodge FIR if they refuse to pay.

“He took his son back home on October 20. We gave ten thousand rupees as compensation but he demanded more (one lakh). He is trying to put pressure with this false allegation,” he said.

Meanwhile, the superintendent of police of Cachar district, Numal Mahatta said that the police are investigating the matter.

Source: Hindustan Times

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/others/2-islamic-teachers-held-for-allegedly-torturing-student-in-madrasa-assam-police-101668683814829.html

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Hamdard India welcomes ban on Amazon sale of Pakistani Rooh Afza

SANJAY KUMAR & AAMIR SAEED

November 17, 2022

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD: The CEO of Hamdard Laboratories in India on Thursday welcomed a decision by the Delhi High Court to “permanently restrain” retailers on Amazon India from selling Rooh Afza that is made in Pakistan.

The concentrated fruit squash was first sold in Delhi by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed in 1907. After the partition of British India in 1947, one of his sons set up Hamdard National Foundation, India and another Hamdard Laboratories, Pakistan. They each manufactured Rooh Afza and the trademark was registered in both countries.

The high court issued its verdict in September after the product’s owner in India filed a lawsuit claiming products listed as Rooh Afza on Amazon.in were not manufactured in the country.

Hamdard India CEO Hamid Ahmed told Arab News that the ruling would “safeguard local business” and protect against illegal imports.

“Basically, whoever has got the trademark in a particular country Amazon can sell only those products,” he said.

A representative for Hamdard Pakistan said on Wednesday that the company was “never involved” in any business with India as “that is neither our domain nor do we sell our products in that country.”

“Hamdard Pakistan has got nothing to do with the ban on Rooh Afza in India as the company does not export its product to that country,” Faiz Ullah Jawad, the company’s marketing and business development director, told Arab News.

“Some individuals sell our product on different e-commerce platforms … We don’t even know who these sellers are who have been banned from selling Rooh Afza in India.”

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2201631/world

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South Asia

 

Taliban Reaffirm Afghanistan Not a Threat to Other Nation: OIC Meeting

By Arif Ahmadi

November 17, 2022

KABUL, Afghanistan – In a meeting with representatives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second deputy prime minister Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi reaffirmed Afghanistan soil will not be a threat against other countries.

Previously, the Taliban leadership has multiple times exclaimed that Afghanistan is not and will not be used as a threat against any country, including the United States, saying its government has proven that claim since its rule in August 2021. 

In a meeting with the OIC secretary-general’s envoy to Afghanistan Tarig Ali Bakheet, the acting defense minister Mawlawi Yaqoob Mujahid emphasized that Kabul adheres to the Doha Agreement.

“In this meeting, the acting minister of defense said that the Islamic Emirate is adhering to the Doha agreement and said that Afghanistan soil will never be used against other countries,” said Enayatullah Khwarazmi, spokesman of the Defense Ministry.

However, the world leaders – including international community – have repeatedly denied that the Taliban leadership has violated Doha agreement, depriving Afghan people of their basic rights,  including  right to education, work and freedom of expression.

“Islamic countries are concerned about the economic and human situation in Afghanistan, and they want to recognize the Islamic Emirate, but they cannot take this step until girls’ schools are opened,” said Tariq Farhadi, political expert, as TOLOnews quoted.

In July, the Acting Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani during his visit to the southeastern province of Khost asked the international community to recognize the Islamic Emirate rule, saying its government has proven not be a threat against any country.

“Based on international principles and our Islamic and national traditions they (the world leaders and international community) should recognize the Islamic Emirate, but if they don’t recognize it, I assure our people that Afghans are not without resolve,” he said, as TOLOnews quoted.

Praising Afghans strength and resistance during the war, Haqqani said people can still fight economic challenges and similar crisis by themselves if the world refuses to provide any resources.

“They (Afghans) have fought for 20 years without foreign resources, and with their faith and zeal, they will fight against the economic situation with the strength of their arms,” he added.

Emphasizing on joint-venture and mutual interest, the Acting Interior Minister said Afghanistan’s relations with the world with benefit both sides, asking on what basis the world will approach Afghan leaders if they won’t recognize their government officially.

“I want to say that it is in their best interest to create diplomatic relations with Afghanistan, they need us and we need them, if tomorrow they need us in any matter, then based on what principles they will talk to me,” he exclaimed.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-reaffirm-afghanistan-not-a-threat-to-other-nation-oic-meeting/

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Taliban Publicly Flogs a Boy and a Girl in Central Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

November 17, 2022

A boy and a girl who were allegedly in love with one another were ruled guilty of having premarital affairs by a Taliban court in the central Afghan province of Bamyan and were sentenced to receive lashes in public.

The Taliban local court in Bamyan province sentenced a young boy and girl to 39 flogging on Thursday, November 17, on the basis of having a premarital relationship, the sources said.

Arezoo and Mohammad Essa reportedly traveled to Bamyan province for fun when they were detained by Taliban forces, according to domestic media.

About a thousand people are alleged to have witnessed the Taliban’s execution of the punishment as it was carried out in public.

The Taliban local officials have yet to respond to the situation and the implementation of the punishment given publicly.

The Taliban have previously lashed people accused of committing adultery in various parts of the country.

This comes as the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, in a meeting with judges told them to not hesitate in applying Hadd and Qisas punishments.

The Taliban official told them that it is a religious obligation, Wajib, to apply the Hadd and Qisas punishments as well as obeying his orders as the Amir al-Mu’minin (Commander of the Faithful), a title given to the supreme leader of an Islamic community.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-publicly-flogs-a-boy-and-a-girl-in-central-afghanistan-46476/

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UNAMA: Taliban Should Explain Reasons for ‘Continued Detention’ of Activists

By Saqalain Eqbal

November 17, 2022

Following the unjustified detention of several women activists in Kabul, the Afghan capital, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) demanded that the Taliban provide an explanation for its actions.

The UNAMA demanded “reasons” for Zarifa Yaqoubi and other activists’ “continued” detention on Wednesday, November 16, in a statement on its social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

“The rights of [Zarifa Yaqoubi] & other activists must be respected. Reasons for their continued detention should be made public,” UNAMA wrote.

The UN agency in Afghanistan further added that it is seeking to contact and access the detainees and learn their whereabouts.

The Taliban’s approach of concealment and secret courts was criticized by UNAMA, which also argued for the detainees’ access to legal counsel and the revelation of the reasons for their detention.

UNAMA has emphasized that the detainees should be able to contact family members, even though the Taliban has detained the women activists in unidentified locations.

Following the detention of Zarifa Yaqoubi and her four colleagues from the west of Kabul, several others have disappeared or been arrested by the Taliban.

Less than a week after Zarifa Yaqoubi and her colleagues were taken into custody, the Taliban Intelligence Agency detained another female activist, Farhat Popalzai, sparking outrage on social media.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/unama-taliban-should-explain-reasons-for-continued-detention-of-activists-36564/

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Afghanistan: Five ISIS members killed in clashes with Taliban forces

18 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 17 (ANI): Five ISIS members were killed following clashes with Taliban forces in the Herat province of Afghanistan, Khaama Press reported on Wednesday.

The clashes took place in the Haji Abbass area of Herat province’s police district 12, the report stated.

Meanwhile, the Taliban also allegedly killed 5 members of ISIS in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar in a “special operation.”

Previously in a meeting with European Union’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Tomas Niklasson, the Taliban said ISIS has been defeated and is no longer capable of carrying out attacks However, blasts and attacks continue to be carried out with impunity in Afghanistan.

According to Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who spoke with an EU official, ISIS and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan “have now been struck, they lost their ability to resist and attack”, Khaama Press reported.

The international community is concerned about the return of global terrorist organisations in the aftermath of the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri by the US in Afghanistan.

A key 9/11 plotter, al-Zawahiri was killed in Kabul by a US drone on the morning of July 31.

US President Joe Biden had said that justice had been delivered, adding, “No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the US will find you and take you out.”

Following the statement by the US president, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed the strike saying, “An air strike was carried out on a residential house in the Sherpur area of Kabul city on July 31.”

“The nature of the incident was not apparent at first but the security and intelligence services of the Islamic Emirate investigated the incident and initial findings determined that the strike was carried out by an American drone,” he had said.

Mujahid said the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan “strongly condemns this attack on any pretext and calls it a clear violation of international principles and the Doha Agreement.”

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/afghanistan-five-isis-members-killed-in-clashes-with-taliban-forces/1222568/

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Southeast Asia

 

Singapore’s Fatwa Committee receives global award in recognition of Covid-19 efforts

Aqil Hamzah

NOV 17, 2022

SINGAPORE - The Republic’s Fatwa Committee, chaired by Singapore’s Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, has been conferred an award by a global Islamic authority for its contributions in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and other contemporary issues affecting Muslims.

The committee, which issues religious guidance to Muslims in Singapore, is the second recipient of the Imam Al-Qarafi Award for Distinction in Fatwa. The award is presented by the General Secretariat for Fatwa Authorities Worldwide, led by Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta or fatwa authority, and the Fatwa Committee is its first recipient from a minority Muslim community.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said in a statement on Thursday that Dar al-Ifta “recognises that the religious guidance and positions issued by the Fatwa Committee... placed emphasis on peaceful coexistence and social cohesion”.

“It also believes that the Muslim community in Singapore is a model for others to emulate in how communities can coexist peacefully and harmoniously whilst preserving their religious identities and teachings,” added Muis.

The Fatwa Committee comprises a group of senior Islamic scholars that provides religious rulings to Muslims. At the height of the pandemic, when gatherings were restricted, the committee issued a ruling that allowed congregational Friday prayers at mosques to be substituted with midday prayers that could be performed anywhere. This was to help contain the spread of the virus. And when restrictions were eased, it continued to allow this dispensation for those who were at higher risk of contracting the virus, and those who could not secure a prayer slot at mosques.

Muis said Dar al-Ifta had also commended the committee’s efforts in providing reliable and practical solutions to new issues and challenges, as well as its use of digital technologies to connect with the public.

“The Fatwa Committee not only preserves the authenticity of the Islamic tradition but also effectively engages with contemporary issues in various fields, such as in sociology, economics and health. This has allowed the Singapore Muslim community to continue to practise its religious life and deal with contemporary challenges with confidence,” it said.

Dr Nazirudin highlighted the importance of religious leadership in dealing with current issues. “The pandemic is one of the most difficult and gruelling challenges we have faced. Fatwas today require an accurate understanding of our context and challenges, as well as a progressive and forward-thinking approach,” he said.

Source: Straits Times

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

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-s-fatwa-committee-receives-global-award-in-recognition-of-covid-19-efforts

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Islamists vs Islamists in GE15 — Hew Wai Weng

17 Nov 2022

NOVEMBER 17 — In Malaysia’s 15th general election (GE15), the political Islam landscape is becoming more complex and fluid. Many candidates with Islamist backgrounds are competing with each other in multiple constituencies.

In the last few decades, much attention has been on the “Islamisation race” between Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (Malaysian Islamic Party – PAS) and United Malays National Organisation (Umno). However, with the entry of Parti Amanah Negara (National Trust Party – Amanah), a splinter party of PAS, in the last GE, the focus shifted to how PAS and Amanah competed to gain the support of pious Muslim voters. In this election, multi-cornered fights between coalitions are expected.

Notably, each coalition includes Islamist representation – PAS in Perikatan Nasional (National Alliance – PN) led by Muhyiddin Yassin, Amanah in Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope – PH) led by Anwar Ibrahim and Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Pan-Malaysian Islamic Front – Berjasa) in Gerakan Tanah Air (Homeland Movement – GTA), led by Mahathir Mohammad.

The Islamists in the above-mentioned coalitions claim to oppose the corrupted Umno yet differ in their political strategies and social attitudes. Overall, the Islamists in PH are relatively moderate and willing to work with non-Muslims; the Islamists in PN are more conservative and advocate for “Malay Muslim leadership”, and; the Islamists in GTA take a hardline position and exclude non-Muslims in the alliance. Comparatively speaking, while Umno appears to have the least Islamist element, it also fields candidates with Islamic backgrounds, such as its youth chief Asyraf Wajdi and a Salafi preacher, Fathul Bari.

Collectively, this sets the scene for Islamists versus Islamists in GE15. To provide context to this competition, this article focuses on five political parties with significant Islamist presence (PAS, Amanah, Parti Bahtera Sejahtera [Prosperous Ark Party – Bahtera], Berjasa and Partai Keadilan Rakyat [People’s Justice Party – PKR]) and three politically-active Islamist organisations (Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia [Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia – Abim], Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia [Ikram] and Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia [Malaysian Muslim Solidarity – Isma). By looking at these parties and organisations, it would demonstrate their complex and entangled relationships, including competitions and collaborations between them.

PAS

Being the oldest Islamist party, PAS has undergone numerous changes in its strategy over the decades. For example, PAS leaders appeared to be more moderate and inclusive when the party was in Pakatan Rakyat (the People’s Pact – PR) together with PKR and Democratic Action Party (DAP), touting “PAS for all”. However, the party took a more exclusivist position with an emphasis on “Islamic leadership” and “Malay unity” upon its departure from PR. Instead of working with multi-ethnic parties, PAS preferred to cooperate with Malay nationalist parties in the name of “Muslim unity”. Recent statements by its president Hadi Awang have also become increasingly right-leaning such as blaming non-Muslims as the root cause of corruption in Malaysia.

For GE15, PAS seems to take a pragmatic approach but that does not mean it has abandoned its conservative stance. As PAS leaders were unsuccessful in fostering cooperation between Umno and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Malaysian United Indigenous Party – Bersatu), the party chose to form an electoral alliance with Bersatu and Gerakan under PN. By working with multi-ethnic Gerakan, it is indicative of PAS’ pragmatism and willingness to work with non-Muslims.

However, PAS continues to espouse conservative narratives. On its social media campaign, PAS has attacked both Barisan Nasional (National Front – BN) and PH. On one hand, it criticises Umno for corruption and, on the other, it accuses PH of supporting the “liberals”, the “communists” and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) group. By doing so, it positions itself as a clean party and “defender of Islam”, appealing to anti-corruption conservative voters.

Amanah

PKR, DAP and Amanah are the backbone of multi-ethnic PH. By promoting the idea of a “compassionate Islam”, Amanah positions itself as a moderate and inclusive Islamist party. However, in recent years, there has been a lack of youth and female representations in the party leadership.

Based on the author’s observations, Amanah leaders have also been less effective in promoting progressive Islamic discourses and expanding its grassroots base. During the PH administration, the party has been accused of being a “DAP puppet” and “unable to defend Islam”, an accusation that the party leaders failed to address.

After PH downfall as government, some of Amanah’s leaders and supporters have been continuously trolling PAS for not being able to implement Islamic policies such as blanket ban of alcohol and the implementation of Hudud laws. To attack PAS, Amanah machinery used race-baiting narratives peddled by right-wing and conservative elements on the “Timah” issue, a whisky brand in Malaysia. For example, Malaysia Dateline – a portal closely linked to Amanah – published an article claiming that the name Timah was a derivative of Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah and questioning PAS’ silence on the issue.

Despite going on the offensive against PAS, the party is encountering infighting for the upcoming GE15. Tensions are further escalated when several grassroot leaders have expressed unhappiness after perceiving that the party were at the losing end in GE15 seat negotiations with DAP and Muda. Such an environment has led several former Amanah leaders to contest under PKR (Husam Musa in Pasir MAS) and DAP (Ahmad Tarmizi) in GE15. One positive development for the party in GE15 is the fielding of more youth and female candidates such as Razak Ridzuan and Aiman Athirah Sabu.

Bahtera

Besides former PAS leaders, leaders and activists of various Islamist organisations, especially Ikram (formerly Jamaah Islah Malaysia – JIM), played an essential role in forming Amanah. Key Amanah leaders closely-linked to Ikram include the former Minister of Religious Affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the former Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad, Amanah’s Vice President Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus and the former JIM chairperson Saari Sungib.

In the last election, many Ikram members actively campaigned for Amanah candidates. In the lead-up to GE15, however, the tension between Ikram activists and ex-PAS members in Amanah has surfaced. Based on the author’s research, this tension stemmed from Ikram activists perceiving to have been sidelined in Amanah, while ex-PAS members in the party believed some Ikram activists were out of touch with the grassroots.

Such tension has led a few disgruntled former young Ikram activists to form another new party, Bahtera. However, as the party has not unsuccessfully registered itself in GE15, its activists will run as independent candidates in five parliament seats. It is important to note that Ikram leadership does not endorse the establishment of Bahtera and that the party’s activists, formerly from Ikram, downplay their relationship with Ikram. Currently, Bahtera activists are also running another youth movement called Gelora whose name is simlar to Partai Gelora Indonesia, a splinter of Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (Prosperous Justice Party – PKS), an Islamist party in Indonesia. This similarity in names may highlight how Islamist parties in Malaysia and Indonesia take references with each other.

Berjasa and Isma

Another small Islamist party in Malaysia is Berjasa, which takes a more exclusive and hardline stand than PAS. Berjasa is a splinter party of PAS and now linked to Isma, an Islamist organisation. During the GE13, Berjasa disagreed with the cooperation between PAS and DAP under PR. Therefore, it contested in several Malay-majority urban seats to provide a “more Islamic” option.

However, in GE14, after PAS left PR, Berjasa worked with PAS as an electoral pact under Gagasan Sejahtera (Ideas of Prosperity). Under the slogan “Vote Muslim First”, Berjasa has always proposed that Malay voters support “credible Muslim candidates” and reject candidates who were non-Muslim and Muslims perceived to be “liberal.”

In GE15, Berjasa is part of Mahathir-led GTA (together with Pejuang, the National Indian Muslim Alliance Party [Iman] and Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia [Malaysia Mighty Bumiputera Party – Putra]), a Muslim-only political coalition. Berjasa has often lost its deposits in past elections and it hopes that by working with Mahathir, the party might gain more votes to expand its influence. Some Berjasa leaders have proposed that PN and GTA cooperate in the election to consolidate anti-corruption and conservative Malay votes. However, such an attempt was unsuccessful.

PKR and Abim

Unlike the four aforementioned Muslim-majority parties, PKR is a multi-ethnic centrist party with members of various ethnic, religious and ideological backgrounds. However, moderate Islamists, especially those with Abim and Ikram backgrounds, have played an essential role in the party’s leadership since its establishment.

Urban pious middle-class Muslims are one of the PKR’s key vote bases. In GE15, PKR candidates include at least five Abim activists and nine Ikram-linked figures. Abim candidates include: 1) Anwar Ibrahim, former Abim president; 2) Fadhlina Sidek, a female ABIM leader and; 3) Jufitri Joha, former Abim vice president.

Meanwhile, Ikram-linked candidates include: 1) Hassan Basri, former deputy president of Ikram; 2) Fuziah Salleh, former JIM’s women chief; 3) Rodziah Ismail, a Selangor State Executive Council member; 4) Maszlee Malik, former education minister during the PH administration and; 5) Nik Omar, the eldest son of well-respected Nik Aziz, the former PAS spiritual leader.

When PH was in power, its rivals and right-wing groups accused the coalition of being “unable to uphold Islam.” Thus, by including Nik Omar and other Islamist figures, PKR attempts to demonstrate its Islamic credentials to convince pious Muslim voters that PH can safeguard their interests.

Same ideology but different outcomes

Though Islamists, Abim, Ikram and Isma are not monolithic. These three tarbiyah and dakwah organisations have, in different ways, been influenced by the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. This explains their shared conservative views on numerous religious, moral and gender issues. They also hold similar positions on certain international issues, such as Palestinian, Uyghur and Rohingya rights.

However, these three organisations have different views on domestic politics, multicultural engagement and democratic participation. As of today, Abim and Ikram are pro-PH, endorsing multiculturalism and cooperating with non-Muslims. In line with such positions, Abim recently promoted the agenda of “cosmopolitan Islam” while Ikram endorses the vision of “compassionate Islam”. In contrast, Isma is anti-PH, advocating the closure of vernacular schools and viewing non-Muslim politicians as a threat to the Malay agenda. The current slogan of Isma is Melayu Sepakat, Islam Berdaulat (Malay Unity, Islamic Sovereignty) and its support towards Muslim-only GTA reflects its ultra-nationalist and Islamist stand.

Notably, these three groups are both civil society actors and political players. As civil groups, both Ikram and Abim have developed close relationships with non-Muslims in various social movements such as Bersih 2.0, the electoral reform group. Currently, Ikram is also a key player in Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (Malaysian Action Coalition – GBM), a multi-ethnic NGO coalition, and has supported the campaign of Manifesto Rakyat (People’s Manifesto). It also actively participates in Rasuah Buster, an anti-corruption campaign led by Sinar Harian, a Malay daily.

During this election, Abim and Ikram initiate a cross-religion declaration by various religious leaders and NGOs, to call for institutional and political reforms. In contrast, Isma takes an exclusivist position in socio-political participation.

During the PH administration, Isma played an active role in popularising perceptions of Malay insecurity and Islam being under threat. In the last election, Isma launched Gerakan Pengundi Sedar (Voter Awareness Movement – GPS), a campaign that urged Muslims to vote for calon Muslim berwibawa (credible Muslim candidates) who uphold the Malay-Muslim agenda. In the aftermath of GE14, GPS has become an active Facebook fan page that posts messages almost daily “revealing” incidents which prove that “Islam is under threat”.

During the Johor and Melaka state elections, GPS criticised BN for fielding non-Malay candidates in Malay-majority constituencies. This shows that being a far-right group, Isma holds a much more exclusivist stand as compared to PAS and U which are both currently against DAP yet still willing to work with other non-Malay parties such as Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) and Gerakan. In this election, GPS continues its efforts in “revealing” and attacking candidates who are perceived as “anti-Islam”, “liberal” and “pro-LGBT”. While Isma and its activists have relative success in shaping opinions, Isma-linked Berjasa does not perform well in elections.

In terms of political participation, Abim and Ikram members are more successful in their political careers. Most of Abim politically-active members are with PKR such as Anwar Ibrahim, Fadhlina Sidek and Shamsul Iskandar, while others such as Asyraf Wajdi and Saifuddin Abdullar are in Umno and Bersatu respectively.

For Ikram members who are contesting in elections, PKR and Amanah are their preferred choices. Interestingly, there are also three candidates with Ikram backgrounds in Mahathir-led Pejuang – Ikram's former women chief Che Asmah Ibrahim, Hidayah (a preaching unit under Ikram) former Chairperson Nicholas Sylvester and former Deputy Finance Minister Amiruddin Hamzah.

In this election, most Isma activists run as Berjasa candidates by using the logo of Pejuang, as the GTA coalition has not yet secured official registration. The list of Berjasa candidates includes its president and a former Seremban Isma chief Zamani Ibrahim, its deputy president and the former chairman of Studio Kembara (which produced the hit film Mat Kilau) Rosli Ramli, ex-Hulu Langat ISMA chief Annuar Salleh and ex-Seberang Perai Isma chief Hamidi Abu Hassan.

However, instead of joining Berjasa, another outspoken Isma activist Aminuddin Yahaya joined GTA as part of the Malay Muslim civil societies coalition called Gagasan Bangsa (Ideas of the Nation). He was most recently the president of Malay-Islamist pressure group Pertubuhan-Pertubuhan Pembela Islam (Defenders of Islam – Pembela) and was the president of Isma.

Combining both conservative Islamism and exclusivist Malay nationalism, Aminuddin Yahya is a right-wing figure has made numerous controversial statements, racist remarks and hate speeches. He was one of the key leaders of the December 2018 rally opposing the ratification of the United Nations’ International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). He has also filed a lawsuit to challenge against vernacular schools in Malaysia. In his election manifestation, he outlines his aims of struggles which include the establishment of an Islamic State, promoting Buy Muslim First campaign, protesting against the ratification of ICERD and Rome Statute, defending Malay reserve lands, and objecting non-Muslim from using the term “Allah”.

Currently, he is appointed as GTA’s Pahang chairperson and national deputy chairperson. He is also the GTA parliamentary candidate for Temerloh, marking his first political debut in national politics. He will face a four-corner fight, including Umno’s Mohd Sharkar, PAS’s Ustazah Salamiah and Amanah’s youth chief Hasbie Muda. Hence, we witness a competition between three Islamist parties or figures– PAS, Amanah and Aminuddin Yahaya in Temerloh.

Conclusion

Most Islamists in Malaysia recognise that they could not win the election alone due to the country’s first-past-the-poll electoral system, multireligious demography and diverse political realities. Therefore, they engage with various social and political players, as well as infiltrate both state and non-state spheres to expand their influence.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/what-you-think/2022/11/17/islamists-vs-islamists-in-ge15-hew-wai-weng/40280

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Council of Churches denies Muhyiddin’s claim of plot to ‘Christianise’ Malaysia

By Ashley Yeong

18 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — The Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) today rejected any covert agenda to “Christianise” the country as alleged by Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in the run-up to the 15th general election taking place tomorrow.

CCM general secretary Reverend Jonathan Jesudas said the former prime minister’s remarks that Christians were conspiring with a group of Jews to convert Muslim-majority Malaysia was not only untrue but also irresponsible for an influential person of his standing and wants the authorities to take action.

“We live in a multireligious and multiracial country and the sensitivity of each community must be taken into account when addressing public forums.

“Such statements, carelessly uttered, have a tendency to create racial and religious tension and strife,” Jonathan said in a statement.

“It must be addressed by the authorities to ensure that such a blatant disregard of the truth and of the sensitivities of the various religions are not condoned or repeated,” he added.

Videos of Muhyiddin delivering a speech in which he made controversial remarks have been circulating on social media.

A YouTube video uploaded by Malay news outlet Agenda Daily yesterday showed Muhyiddin urging voters to reject Pakatan Harapan (PH) while on stump at the PNBest ceramah in Muar, Johor on November 16.

The Pagoh defender claimed that PH was being backed by a group of Jews and Christians pushing their religious agenda in Malaysia.

“Pakatan Harapan is a huge danger.

“I saw a video where a group of Jews was talking about Malaysia, and they were praying for the country to fall into the hands of the Opposition, which has been sponsoring these groups of Jews and Christians.

“For me this is dangerous. Is it a process of Christianisation happening?

“You can see it in Kuala Lumpur, in Petaling Jaya. If there are churches, there are Malays and it looks like they have already converted to being Christians,” Muhyiddin said in his speech at Padang Bukit Mor in Muar.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/11/18/council-of-churches-denies-muhyiddins-claim-of-plot-to-christianise-malaysia/40427

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Social media monitor finds ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ narrative on the rise ahead of GE15, PAS’ Hadi ‘key amplifier’ of hate speech

By Zurairi A.R.

17 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — An initiative to monitor hate speech on social media during campaigning said it found that race-based narratives especially espousing “Ketuanan Melayu” or Malay supremacy have ramped up ahead of the 15th general election (GE15).

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)’s Social Media Monitoring Initiative said its interim findings for the campaigning period between October 20 and November 15 also pointed to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang as what it called “one of the key amplifiers of divisive, racist, intolerant and hate-based narratives”.

“Race and religion-based hate speech have been weaponised to create fear and antagonism against the Chinese, thus attempting to influence Malay-Muslim voters to vote against Pakatan Harapan (PH) if they want their Malay and religious rights not to be eroded and influenced by non-Muslims.

“It continues to narrow the space for more inclusive politics in our democracy,” said Universiti Sains Malaysia’s communications expert Mahyuddin Ahmad in a statement.

It pointed to a remark by Hadi, who is contesting in Marang under Perikatan Nasional (PN), for using a dog-whistle remark calling for violence against certain ethnic groups, with an anti-DAP social media post invoking God’s power in punishing certain ethnic groups by eliminating them.

This remark was also flagged by #KamiNampak another initiative to monitor the use of racial and religious rhetoric in the 15th general election, which yesterday categorised it as “public incitement to genocide” as it contains elements that justify the erasure of individuals based on identity-based characteristics.

CIJ also highlighted other PAS campaigners such as Sik PAS Youth chief Mohd Shahiful Nasir Mhd Nasir, as well as celebrity supporters like Jamal Abdillah and Zul Huzaimy for using inflammatory narratives and resorting to trigger fear among Muslim voters, inciting violence against “infidels”, and calling for Malays to unite and fight against the ethnic Chinese and Indians.

The initiative highlighted how Hadi and PAS have used a tactic it called “red-tagging” by continuing to accuse rivals DAP of being Communists, citing alleged atheism and “promotion” of the queer community.

It also flagged Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA) for emphasising that the fate of the Malays here only rests with it, and PH’s use of race card by saying PN will rule the country like the Taliban.

The initiative monitors the severity of hate speech during the election period, with partners from USM, University of Nottingham Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

It reviewed 52,012 unique posts during the interim period, and found that race-based narratives topped the chart with 32,066 posts.

This was followed by religion (13,338), gender and comments targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community (5,161), royalty (3,968), and comments targeting migrants and refugees (2,246).

It said was prevalent across the four major platforms monitored: Facebook at 31,969 posts, Twitter (18,165), TikTok (1,803 posts) and YouTube (75).

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2022/11/17/social-media-monitor-finds-ketuanan-melayu-narrative-on-the-rise-ahead-of-ge15-pas-hadi-key-amplifier-of-hate-speech/40286

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Mideast

 

Iran’s UN Deputy Envoy Blasts Western States for Unreal Support for Iranian Women

2022-November-17

Ershadi made the remarks at the Wednesday meeting of the UN in New York, noting that the Iranian women are "intelligent, educated, selfless and patriotic"; so, there is no need that the Western countries play the role of supporters for the Iranian women.

"The countries, which pursue an anti-Iran human rights resolution, promote dissemination of fake information, provocation of public opinion, training of sabotage, as well as financial and military support for terrorist groups under the guise of backing the rights of the Iranian women," she noted.

The Iranian ambassador addressed the UN General Assembly Third Committee, saying that the Islamic Republic categorically rejects and condemns the draft resolution against Iran, which has been prepared based on "unfounded data and biased treatment of a special rapporteur".

The General Assembly’s Third Committee on Wednesday approved the draft resolution titled “Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran” by a vote of 80 in favor to 28 against, with 68 abstentions.

The draft resolution was proposed by the Canadian government over claims of a "violent crackdown” of protests in Iran.

Tehran’s delegate called the draft an “insincere political move” that exposes a deliberate policy of incitement to “Iranophobia”.

She denounced that the cosponsors — Canada, the United States and “the child killer Israeli regime”, the main proponents of racism, occupation and abhorrent treatment of indigenous peoples — have come together to lecture others on human rights.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010826000293/UN-Depy-Envy-Blass-Wesern-Saes-fr-Unreal-Sppr-fr-Iranian-Wmen

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Protesters burn home of Iran’s ex-supreme leader as demonstrations enter third month

18 November ,2022

Protesters in Iran set fire to the old home of the country’s former supreme leader and regime founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on Thursday, footage circulating on social media showed, as anti-regime protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini entered their third month.

Protesters took to the streets in at least 23 cities across Iran on Thursday, according to videos posted by the activist group 1500tasvir on Twitter.

In the city of Khomein, birthplace of Khomeini, protesters set fire to the home-turned-museum of the Islamic Republic’s founder, footage circulating on social media showed.

Other videos from Khomein showed protesters shouting slogans against Iran’s clerical leaders.

“This year is the year of blood, [Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei] will be toppled,” chanted protesters in the capital Tehran, a video posted by 1500tasvir showed.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said five members of the security forces were killed during Thursday’s protests.

Protests have swept across Iran since September 16 when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Amini died three days after collapsing in police custody. She had been detained by Tehran’s morality police for allegedly not complying with the regime’s strict hijab rules.

Demonstrators have been calling for regime change in the protests which have become one of the boldest challenges to the regime since its establishment in 1979.

More than 300 people have been killed by security forces and thousands have been detained, according to rights groups.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/18/Protesters-burn-home-of-Iran-s-ex-supreme-leader-as-demonstrations-enter-third-month

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Interior Minister: French Intelligence Agents, Daesh Militants Captured by Iran

2022-November-17

“People of other nationalities were arrested in the riots, some of whom played a big role," Vahidi told reporters on the sidelines of the cabinet session on Wednesday.

"There were elements from the French intelligence agency. They are in custody and Iran’s Judiciary will deal with them under the law,” he added.

Last week, France’s Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna stated a total of seven French nationals were detained in Iran.

The official also confirmed that some individuals from other nationalities were arrested in the turmoil.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the minister said that the enemy tried to create insecurity and instability and impede the country’s scientific path.

"It could not achieve its aim because Islamic Republic’s intelligence and security bodies faced them with might," he stressed.

Last week, Vahidi revealed that some organizers of the riots have received training in eight different states.

"In the course of the recent plot, in addition to the United States, which in shortest possible time voiced its support for the rioters, such countries as Germany and Britain, too, alongside Saudi Arabia and the Zionist regime, had openly established a headquarters and were busy supporting the rioters," he noted.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010826000239/Inerir-Miniser-French-Inelligence-Agens-Daesh-Milians-Capred-by-Iran

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FM: Israel, Western Spy Agencies Seeking Civil War in Iran

2022-November-17

Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in a Twitter post a day after ten people, including civilians and security forces, were martyred in two separate terror attacks in Southwestern and Central Iran.

The foreign minister accused the Tel Aviv regime and Western intelligence agencies of planning to divide Iran and start a civil war.

“Security services, the fake Israeli regime and certain Western politicians that have hatched conspiracies to trigger a civil war in Iran to destroy and disintegrate the country should know that Iran is neither Libya nor Sudan," the top diplomat tweeted.

He added that the enemies have taken aim at Iran’s territorial integrity and identity, emphasizing that people’s prudence disappointed them.

At least seven people were martyred after terrorists opened fire at civilians and security forces at a crowded market in Izeh in the Southwestern province of Khuzestan on Wednesday. Later, three Basij members were martyred in the Central province of Isfahan.

Last Thursday, President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi stressed that the enemies have failed to destroy security and stability of Iran.

He said that sanctioning and destabilization are two strategic blunders of the foes about the Iranians that have always failed, adding, "The enemy's sanction policy has failed and the policy of destabilizing Iran has also failed."

The incidents came just three weeks after 15 pilgrims, including a woman and two children, were martyred and 19 others wounded in a terrorist attack on Shah Cheragh holy shrine in the city of Shiraz in Fars province.

Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement on their telegram channel.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010826000418/FM-Israel-Wesern-Spy-Agencies-Seeking-Civil-War-in-Iran

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In West Bank, undercover troops nab Islamic Jihad man accused of planning attacks

By EMANUEL FABIAN

17 November 2022

Undercover Border Police officers arrested a wanted Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror operative in a village near the West Bank city of Jenin on Thursday, a police spokesman said.

The spokesman said the suspect, Abdullah Loubani, was in contact with members of the PIJ in the Gaza Strip and was involved in planning terror attacks in Israel on behalf of the terror group.

There were no clashes during the daytime raid in the village of Bir al-Basha, some 15 kilometers southwest of Jenin.

Loubani was transferred to the Shin Bet security agency for further questioning, the spokesman added.

On Saturday, troops arrested another PIJ member in the town of Qabatiya, south of Jenin, during a daytime raid.

Officials said Muhammad Abu Zina had been conducting “significant terror activity,” which included work to finance and arm PIJ operatives in the northern West Bank.

This spring, the military launched a major anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that have left 29 people in Israel and the West Bank dead since the start of the year.

The operation has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left over 130 Palestinians dead, many of them — though not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

In arrests raids early Thursday, troops arrested 13 wanted Palestinians.

In recent months, Palestinian gunmen have repeatedly targeted troops operating in the West Bank, as well as military posts, troops operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements, and civilians on the roads.

Source: Times Of Israel

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

https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-west-bank-undercover-troops-nab-islamic-jihad-man-accused-of-planning-attacks/

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At Least Ten Martyred in Separate Terror Attacks in Iran

2022-November-17

“Unfortunately, at 17:30 local time (14:00 GMT), riders of two motorcycles in a act of terrorism opened fire on people and security forces using military weapons,” deputy director of security affairs at Khuzestan provincial governor's office Valiollah Hayati said on Wednesday night.

Seven citizens, including a child and a woman, have so far been martyred, medical officials have confirmed. At least 10 other people were also wounded.

Hayati informed that some of the injured had been admitted to hospitals in critical condition, noting that calm has been restored in the city in Southwestern Iran.

Iran's security forces have captured three people involved in the deadly attack at a crowded market in Izeh.

"Three of the main elements of the incidents and unrest in [Khuzestan's] Izeh County have been placed under arrest," director-general of the Justice Administration Department of Khuzestan Ali Dehqani confirmed.

"[Further] efforts are on the agenda for identification and apprehension of other elements connected to the incidents," he continued.

Later on Wednesday night, three Basij volunteer force members were martyred in an armed attack in the Central province of Isfahan.

An informed source said that one wounded was taken to the hospital, adding that the incident took place in the Northern part of Isfahan city.

It comes just three weeks after 15 pilgrims, including a woman and two children, were martyred and 19 others wounded in a terrorist attack on Shah Cheragh holy shrine in the city of Shiraz in Fars province.

Daesh (also known as ISIL or ISIS) terror group has claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement on their telegram channel.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010826000074/A-Leas-Ten-Maryred-in-Separae-Terrr-Aacks-in-Iran

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IRGC Commander: Enemies’ Dream of Disintegrating Iran Never Comes True

2022-November-17

Maj. Gen. Salami made the remark at the final session of the Second National Congress for Martyrs of Qom province on Thursday, which was held at Jamkaran Mosque on the outskirts of the provincial capital Qom.

"The United States is seeking to create division in Iranian society and disintegrate the country, but the satanic dream will never come true, because the Iranians are strong and remain steadfast," he said.

The senior commander noted that the US wants unrest in Iran where people are gripped by poverty and disappointment while they lack access to medicine and basic supplies.

But, the military official stressed, Washington will fail to make its dream come true, because Iranians including women safeguard their values.

In addition, Maj. Gen. Salami stated, "Iran will keep its regional influence, continue to boost its defense power and overcome the economic problems it is facing."  

The IRGC top commander further said that enemies have hatched plots against the Iranian nation, from the 1980s imposed war to other attempts over the past years, because they are angry with the nation over its support for Islam.

"The US and the UK even created Takfirism with the aim of spreading a fake Islam to stop the increasing influence of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, but that project failed in light of the leadership of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and efforts by Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani who was martyred by the US," he added.

He noted that the enemies also impose sanctions on Iran to hinder its progress, but the country foiled that plot as well and made progress in every field including nuclear energy due to the leadership of the Supreme Leader who turned sanctions into opportunities for growth.

His remarks came a day after ten people, including civilians and security forces, were martyred and several others wounded in two provinces of Khuzestan and Isfahan. Also in late November, 15 pilgrims, including a woman and two children, were martyred and 19 others wounded in a terrorist attack on Shah Cheragh holy shrine in Shiraz.

The officials caution that the bloodshed proved enemies are after disintegration of Iran.

During a meeting with students from across Iran ahead of the national Student Day and the National Day of Fight against Global Arrogance, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei noted that "this day is the embodiment of the evil of the United States and its defeat".

"So, for those who think that the US is an unwavering power, it becomes evident that it is not the case when we look at the events that took place on this day," he stated.

"The US is completely vulnerable," he affirmed.

"In its propaganda, the US says the overtaking of the Spy Den was the start of the conflict between the Iranian nation and the US. They lie. The conflicts between Iran and the US started with the 1953 coup. Why did you overthrow a national government elected by popular vote?" the Leader added.

He recounted atrocities committed by the Americans against the Iranian nation over the last 70 years, saying that the nation, to the Americans’ chagrin, has thwarted all their enmities.

"The US today is the same US of August 1953, but with 2 key differences. First, the ways it shows its hostility have become more complicated. Second, the US was the dominant power at the time of the 1953 coup. It is not today. The US's power is diminishing little by little," the Supreme Leader added.

"One can see a trace of the US in most of the events that take place against Iran. Then they claim they care about the Iranian nation! You have imposed the most severe sanctions - the like of which they admit have never been imposed on any nation in history - against Iran," Ayatollah Khamenei declared.

"The world is approaching a new order in which the US will be isolated and Asia will rise to power," he stressed.

"The signs of the US decline are obvious. They have economic, social, and moral problems inside the US. There are discords and bloody divisions. These are their domestic problems. And there are their miscalculations in global affairs," the Leader noted.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010826000498/IRGC-Cmmander-Enemies%E2%80%99-Dream-f-Disinegraing-Iran-Never-Cmes-Tre

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Iranian FM Blasts US Hypocrisy over Talks

2022-November-17

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of a cabinet session in Tehran, Amir Abdollahian pointed to the latest developments in the stalled talks on reviving the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and lifting sanctions.

"Messages with the American side are constantly being exchanged," he asserted, adding that the last message was conveyed "in the past 72 hours".

“Americans are sending messages through some foreign ministers that they are in hurry for [returning to] the JCPOA, but when [US Special Iran Envoy] Rob Malley speaks to media, he hypocritically says the JCPOA ‘is not our focus right now’ and points to provocations that they seek to have about riots … in Iran,” the top diplomat stated.

Americans are pursuing a “completely clear” objective and that is to “exert pressure on us so that we would cross our redlines”, the foreign minister noted.

“What is important for us in the negotiations is the national interests of people,” Amir Abdollahian continued, saying, “However, we will strongly continue our efforts for removal of sanctions through negotiations."

The remarks come as Malley reiterated on Monday Washington’s contradictory stance vis-à-vis Iran and stated his country would leave the door open to resume diplomacy “when and if” the time came, but for now it would continue a policy of sanctions and pressure in dealing with Tehran.

He blamed Iran for the nuclear talks' failure to bear fruit.

Late last month, the US envoy for Iran noted that nuclear negotiations with Iran were not currently a priority for the Joe Biden administration.

Iran stresses it has not quit the negotiating table with the world powers, but will not put all its eggs in the negotiation basket and will not wait for the United States to return to its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian officials stress Tehran has maintained its constructive attitude towards a good, strong and lasting agreement on the revival of the 2015 accord and arriving at a deal requires the US pragmatic attitude.

Tehran says it will not be able to trust Washington as long as President Joe Biden continues the wrong policy of maximum pressure and sanctions practiced by Donald Trump against Iran. Iranian officials say the Biden administration has yet done nothing but hollow promises to lift sanctions against Tehran. They blast the US addiction to sanctions, and slammed the POTUS for continuing his predecessor's policy on Iran.

Tehran and the five remaining parties to the nuclear deal have held several rounds of negotiations since April last year to restore the agreement, which was unilaterally abandoned by Trump in May 2018.

The talks remain stalled since August, as Washington continues to insist on its hard-nosed position of not removing all sanctions that were slapped on Tehran by the previous US administration.

In quitting the agreement, Trump restored sanctions on Iran as part of what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign against the country. Those sanctions are being enforced to this day by the Biden administration, even though it has repeatedly acknowledged that the policy has been a mistake and a failure.

Iranian officials say the ball is in the US' court, and the Biden administration should assure Tehran that it will not repeat Trump's past mistakes.

Diplomats have also criticized Washington for raising excessive demands from Tehran during the nuclear talks, and blocking efforts to reach an agreement on the JCPOA. They emphasized the Tehran's will to reach a good, strong and lasting agreement, and stressed that the US should lift unilateral sanctions, and assure Iran that it will not repeat its past mistakes.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010826000130/Iranian-FM-Blass-US-Hypcrisy-ver-Talks

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Spokesman Describes Anti-Iran UN Resolution as Biased, Unrealistic

2022-November-17

Kan’ani on Thursday said the resolution, which was drafted by Canada with the backing of some Western countries, was a mere repetition of “baseless accusations” leveled against Iran based on “misinformation” and “dishonest generalizations".

The “one-sided” and “unrealistic” resolution thus lacks legitimacy and is categorically rejected, he added.

“The move by the Canadian government and other supporters of the resolution is a clear example of misusing sublime concepts and values of human rights in order to advance short-sighted political goals,” the diplomat stated.

“Such unconstructive measures will not only fail to help improve the human rights situation at a global level, but will lead to constant recourse to negative stereotyping and political labeling against independent countries,” the spokesperson contnied.

Pointing to the Western countries’ attempts to spread Iranophobia and defame Iran, Kana'ani said such states, which have a long record of systematic human rights violations, are not in a position to make recommendations on human rights to the Iranian government and nation.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is based on religious democracy and has always been very serious about promoting human rights and fulfilling its [relevant] international obligations,” the official added, expressing Tehran’s readiness to “engage in dialog and constructive cooperation based on its lofty principles in order to improve the human rights position in the world.”

Such dialog should be based on “mutual respect, equality, justice and fairness,” free from political purposes, and within the framework of all legitimate international mechanisms aimed at improving and supporting human rights, the Iranian spokesperson continued.

The General Assembly’s Third Committee on Wednesday approved the draft resolution titled “Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran” by a vote of 80 in favor to 28 against, with 68 abstentions.

The draft resolution was proposed by the Canadian government over claims of a "violent crackdown” of protests in Iran.

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010826000200/Spkesman-Describes-Ani-Iran-UN-Reslin-as-Biased-Unrealisic

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At least 21 killed, several others hurt in Gaza Strip fire

17 November ,2022

A large fire that ripped through a home north of Gaza City killed at least 21 people including seven children on Thursday, official and medical sources said.

Hamas members, who control the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave, said that firefighters had managed to contain the blaze in Jabalia.

Gaza's civil defense unit confirmed in a statement that 21 people had been killed.

The head of the Indonesian Hospital in Jabalia, Saleh abu Laila, told AFP that the facility had received the bodies of at least seven children killed.

While the cause of the fire remained unknown, a spokesman for the civil defence unit told AFP that supplies of fuel were being stored in the house.

The Palestinian Authority, based in Israeli-occupied West Bank -- a separate Palestinian territory -- offered to send help.

President Mahmud Abbas “gave instructions to send all forms of medical and other urgently needed assistance,” senior PA official Hussein Al Sheikh said on Twitter.

He also urged Israel to open the Erez crossing that connects Gaza with southern Israel and is normally closed at night.

“We called on the Israeli side to open the Erez crossing to transport dangerous cases in order to treat them outside the Gaza Strip if necessary,” Al Sheikh said.

A spokesman for COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry unit that manages the Erez crossing, told AFP that Israel “will provide help... as needed” through the transit point.

A large crowd of onlookers gathered on the street outside the multi-story home as the blaze raged, sending plumes of smoke billowing out the top of the building.

Jabalia is a refugee camp, but like many such Palestinians camps, now includes large buildings and in many respects resembles a city.

Gaza, densely populated with 2.3 million people, has been under Israeli blockade since 2007, a measure Israel says is necessary to contain threats from armed groups in the strip.

With electricity supply sparse in the impoverished territory, domestic blazes are common, as Gazans seek alternative sources for cooking and light, including kerosene lamps.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/17/At-least-21-killed-several-others-hurt-in-Gaza-Strip-fire

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Israeli president Herzog plans first visit to Bahrain

17 November ,2022

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said on Thursday he would be the first Israeli head of state to travel to Bahrain with a visit to the kingdom planned during a tour of the Gulf next month.

Israel normalized diplomatic relations with Bahrain and its Gulf neighbor the United Arab Emirates (UAE) two years ago under US sponsorship.

Bahrain already hosted an Israeli prime minister earlier this year when Naftali Bennett made a two-day visit to Manama, highlighting an increasing Israeli presence in the Gulf amid tensions with regional power Iran.

The presidency in Israel is largely a ceremonial post, but Herzog has assumed a more prominent role since there has not been a stable government for several years.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came out on top in a parliamentary election earlier this month, the country's fifth in less than four years, but he has yet to form a government.

Herzog, according to his office, will make a state visit to Bahrain at the invitation of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. He will then travel to the UAE where he will meet President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/11/17/Israeli-president-Herzog-plans-first-visit-to-Bahrain

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IAEA board passes resolution ordering Iran to cooperate with probe

17 November ,2022

The UN atomic watchdog's 35-nation Board of Governors passed a resolution on Thursday ordering Iran to cooperate urgently with the agency's investigation into uranium traces found at three undeclared sites, diplomats at the closed-door vote said.

The resolution drafted by the United States, Britain, France and Germany says the board “decides it is essential and urgent” that Iran explain the origin of the uranium particles and more generally give the International Atomic Energy Agency all the answers it requires.

While it is not the first resolution the board has passed against Iran on the issue - another was adopted in June - its wording is stronger and hints at a diplomatic escalation down the line - possibly referring Iran to the UN Security Council for not complying with its nuclear obligations.

“Iran must now provide the necessary cooperation, no more empty promises,” the United States said in its statement to the board shortly before the resolution was adopted with 26 votes in favor, five abstentions and two countries absent, according to diplomats in the meeting. Only Russia and China voted against.

“Iran must know that if it fails to provide the cooperation necessary to resolve these matters, the Board will have to be prepared to take further action, including under Article XII.C of the Agency's Statute,” it added, referring to a clause that lays out options including referral to the Security Council.

More immediately, Iran tends to bristle at such resolutions and it remained to be seen what action it would take. In June Iran removed additional IAEA monitoring equipment including surveillance cameras installed under its 2015 deal with world powers to curb its disputed uranium enrichment program.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/17/IAEA-board-passes-resolution-ordering-Iran-to-cooperate-with-probe

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Turkey’s Erdogan tells Netanyahu relations should be maintained with mutual respect

17 November ,2022

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Israel’s former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who won an election this month, that it is important to maintain relations on a basis of respect for mutual interests, the Turkish presidency said on Thursday.

In a phone call, Erdogan told Netanyahu he was saddened by “events two days ago in the West Bank.” Netanyahu offered his condolences for those who died in a bomb attack in Istanbul on Sunday, the presidency said.

“The two leaders agreed to work together to create a new era in relations between Turkey and Israel,” Netanyahu’s Likud Party said in a statement, adding that they discussed how to strengthen economic and diplomatic ties.

The call comes amid a thaw in long-strained ties between Turkey and Israel. Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Ankara this year in the first visit to Turkey by an Israeli leader since 2008.

Relations between Israel and Turkey have been strained for more than a decade, with Ankara having expelled Israel’s ambassador following a 2010 Israeli raid on an aid ship to Gaza, which killed ten Turkish citizens.

Diplomatic relations were restored in 2016, but two years later Turkey recalled its diplomats from Israel and expelled Israeli envoys when Israeli forces killed a number of Palestinians who had taken part in protests in the Gaza Strip.

The two countries mutually appointed ambassadors this year.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/11/17/Turkey-s-Erdogan-tells-Netanyahu-relations-should-be-maintained-with-mutual-respect-

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Africa


Greek Foreign Minister Dendias snubs Libya counterpart in spat over Turkey deal

17 November ,2022

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias snubbed his Libyan counterpart on Thursday, abandoning a planned visit to Tripoli to avoid being welcomed by the top diplomat of a government allied with arch rival Turkey.

Libyan Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush was left waiting on the tarmac at Tripoli airport when Dendias refused to disembark from his plane and instead flew on to second city Benghazi, where a rival administration holds sway.

Athens blamed the incident on Tripoli, where Dendias had been scheduled to meet the head of Libya’s Presidential Council, Mohamed el-Manfi, without meeting members of the executive, according to the Greek foreign ministry.

Dendias’s visit to the politically divided North African nation comes after Libya’s Tripoli-based government signed a memorandum of understanding with Ankara over exploration for Mediterranean oil and gas that is bitterly contested by Athens.

Mangoush had been waiting on the tarmac to welcome Dendias “in keeping with diplomatic norms,” a statement from her ministry said.

But “in a surprising and insulting move, the Greek minister refused to disembark from his plane and left without any clarifications,” it added.

Mangoush’s ministry said it would take “appropriate diplomatic measures” in response.

Shortly afterwards, it recalled its ambassador from Athens and summoned his Greek counterpart in Tripoli, government spokesman Mohamad Hamouda told Al-Ahrar, a satellite news channel.

Built on a 2019 border deal between Tripoli and Ankara, the energy exploration agreement signed last month angered Greece, Egypt and Cyprus which argue that neither side has a right to drill in those areas.

The rival administration which holds sway in Benghazi also condemned the deal, insisting the Tripoli-based government of Abdulhamid Dbeibah no longer has a mandate to rule or sign international agreements.

The Libyan ministry said Dendias had been invited in response to a request from Athens, “despite (him) taking offensive positions... and making unbalanced statements about Libya’s sovereignty and its right to establish relations that meet the hopes of its people.”

After the signing of the hydrocarbons memorandum in October, Dendias had said it “threatens stability and security” in the region.

“Ms Mangoush tried to impose on me by her presence at the airport to meet with her. As a result I interrupted the visit in Tripoli and we flew to Benghazi, where the schedule was followed,” the Greek minister said in the eastern city of Benghazi.

There, he delivered three small boxes of coronavirus vaccines and a 550,000-euro ($568,000)donation towards a World Food Program reconstruction of the port.

He also met members of the eastern-based parliament, tweeting that he had thanked them for “their clear stance on condemning the Turkish-Libyan ‘memorandum’ in 2019 and the one signed in October.”

Later, Dendias met military strongman Khalifa Haftar, for talks he said focused “on the need for #Libya stabilization & promoting peace and stability in the wider region,” according to his Twitter account.

Libya has been plagued by violence since the overthrow of President Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in a 2011 NATO-backed uprising.

Dbeibah was appointed as part of a United Nations-guided peace process following the last major battle in Libya in 2020.

Tripoli’s troops, backed by Turkey, pushed back Haftar’s forces – backed by Egypt and others – after their year-long attempt to capture the city.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/11/17/Greek-Foreign-Minister-Dendias-snubs-Libya-counterpart-in-spat-over-Turkey-deal

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Police bust alleged Tunisia-Italy migrant traffickers

17 November ,2022

Police in Italy said Thursday they had arrested 12 people allegedly involved in a ring that transported migrants from Tunisia to Sicily, with six suspects still unaccounted for.

The suspects, 11 Tunisians and seven Italians, allegedly used small boats with powerful engines to transport between 10 to 30 migrants at a time from various towns on the Tunisian coast to Sicily off Italy.

The journey took under four hours, police said in a statement.

The migrants were “subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment,” and the trip put their lives in “serious danger,” police said.

The ring was run by a Tunisian man and woman from the Sicilian town of Niscemi – despite both being under house arrest at the time.

They relied on the help of a series of other people tasked with logistics such as money collection and putting up newly-arrived migrants.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/11/17/Police-bust-alleged-Tunisia-Italy-migrant-traffickers-

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