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Islamic World News ( 7 Nov 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Hindu – Muslim unity lives with Ayyappa Swamy traditions

New Age Islam News Bureau

07 November 2022

Representational Image


• No Hindutva or RSS extremism involved in Leicester violence: Report

• Taliban reveal burial place of founder Mullah Omar, 9 years after death

• Imran Khan committing 'treason' against Pakistan: Interior minister Sanaullah

• Muslim preacher Kazim Elias says withdrew from Larut race because blood is thicker than water

• Looting Syrian oil, US forces smuggle over 40 tankers into Iraq

• Iran lawmakers demand severe punishment for ‘rioters’ as protests rage

• 5 killed in attack at Somali military training camp

• US backs two-state solution in call to Palestinian leader



• Krishna puja sees Muslim, Hindu youth join hands in Karnataka

• BJP’s Ashish Shelar accuses Uddhav Thackeray of religious appeasement



• Germany, other EU members plan to expand Iran sanctions: Media

• Pope Francis says church fighting child abuse ‘as best we can’

• 3 arrested in suspected far-right assault in Berlin

• Ukrainian, EU leaders discuss aid, grain deal, further sanctions against Iran

• UK police: Migrant center firebombing motivated by terrorist ideology


South Asia

• West is moving too slowly in engaging with Taliban: US Representative

• Hamid Karzai’s brother, Mahmood detained by Taliban at Kabul airport

• Afghanistan: Landslide hits Badakshan province, one killed

• Taliban: Moscow Meeting, ‘Incomplete’ Without Taliban Representatives

• Hamid Karzai’s brother, a key Afghan businessman detained by Taliban at Kabul airport

• Taliban Reports Nearly $1 Billion in Afghan Exports in Last 7 Months

• Afghanistan: Retired govt employees protest against Taliban for non-payment of pensions in Kabul



• Imran Khan-led march against Pakistan govt to resume Tuesday from the same point where he was attacked

• World powers must focus on human survival, security instead of wars; say leaders of faith

• Punjab IG Faisal Shahkar steps aside over Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s diatribe

• Shah Mahmood Qureshi to lead march until Imran recovers

• Imran endorses PM-suggested SC probe panel

• Fazl expresses ‘doubts’ about attack on Imran

• ‘Hakeem’ Sanaullah prepared effective remedy to deal with PTI marchers: Fazl

• 3,000 Sikh yatrees arrive in city through Wahga


Southeast Asia

• Over 80 Malaysia-bound Rohingya detained in Myanmar

• Bandar Tiram An Nur Mosque inspired by Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque architecture

• Once again, Malaysia’s Anwar bids to become prime minister

• PAS non-Muslim wing accepts the 4 seats offered by party


Arab World

• 6 killed as regime forces attack refugee camp in Syria’s Idlib

• Al Azhar Grand Imam meets Supreme Judicial Council Deputy President

• Russia: HTS militants, White Helmets preparing false-flag operations in Syria’s Idlib

• HM King bids farewell to HH Pope of Vatican and Grand Imam Shaikh of Al Azhar

• Activists Say Saudi Officials to Execute 8 Teenagers from over Trumped-Up Terror Allegations

• Pope urges Lebanon’s politicians to ‘put aside’ personal interests

• Six displaced Syrians, including two children, killed in regime rocket strike

• COP27 summit in Egypt to begin with plea to discuss climate compensation

• Bahrain will build on partnership with Israel: King’s adviser

• UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah, Turkey’s Cavusoglu discuss ties, energy at Abu Dhabi event

• Royal Saudi Air Force jet crashes during drills, crew unharmed: Defense ministry

• Iraq considers reinstating conscription

• Families of Bahraini political prisoners threatened, prevented from seeing Pope



• Sounds of Sufism combine with Persian music in Oud Festival

• Israeli settlers have high hopes after Netanyahu election win

• Hamas: Palestinian martyrs’ blood will haunt Israel across Palestine like a curse

• Amsterdam mosque hosts thousands of non-Muslims during Night of Museums

• Iran Unveils Advanced Home-Made Missile Defense System

• FM Underlines Failure US Plan B in Iran

• Iran Successfully Launches Qaem 100 Solid Fuel Suborbital Carrier

• Security Forces Arrest MKO Terrorists in Southern Iran

• IRGC Commander: Iran's Enemies Retreating to Defensive Shell

• Iran Slams US As Terrorists Godfather

• At least 304 people killed in Iran’s Mahsa Amini protests: Rights group

• Israeli army shoots dead Palestinian in West Bank: Health ministry

• Four injured in new mining accident following blast in northwest Turkey

• US, UK preparing for fresh escalation in Yemen: Ansarullah



• Morocco arrests 300 migrants trying to cross border into Spain

• Sudan warns Bashir loyalists against interfering in army’s affairs

• Opposition bloc calls for forming national salvation gov’t in Tunisia


North America

• Iran President Raisi says country thwarted US destabilization

• Arab and Muslim candidates key to outcome of US midterm elections

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Hindu – Muslim unity lives with Ayyappa Swamy traditions

Syed Ali Mujtaba

7th November 2022

Representational Image


Visakhapatnam: Setting an example of communal harmony, Andhra Pradesh’s Muslim Youth welfare and Minorities Protection Council members served food to Lord Ayappa devotees in Visakhapatnam on November 2, 2022.

Led by the council president, Shahrukh Shibli, and other members like Zaheer and Abu Nasar, the Muslim youth served food to Lord Ayyappa devotees at Ramalayam in Sitaramanagar in Visakhapatnam.

Muslim youth, as per the traditions served vegetarian food throughout the day and ensured they did not offend any of the Ayappa devotees’ rituals.

Commenting on the gesture shown by the Muslim youth, council president Shahrukh Shibli said our purpose is to show how doing good deeds religion can serve humanity and to negate the idea that religion is a barrier between human beings or a cause of distress to them.

The Ayyappa devotees, who are observing Ayyappa Deeksha appreciated the good work of the Muslim youth and commended their deeds as they set an example of communal harmony in the country.

Lord Ayyappa, is the presiding deity of the Sabarimala temple complex located at Sabarimala hill inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Perinad Village, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala is one of the largest annual pilgrimage sites in the world where over 10 to 15 million devotee’s visits every year.

The temple is open for worship only from the days of 15 November to 26 December. In preparation for the pilgrimage, all the Ayyappa devotees wear black dresses for 41 days.

As a part of the tradition Ayyappa devotees should lead a life of a hermit and avoid all worldly pleasure and avoid taking alcohol and non-vegetarian food, should not cut hair and nails a shave and their actions; thoughts should not hurt the feelings of others at any circumstances.

Males of any age can visit the Ayyappan temple but menstruating women are not allowed entry into the Sabarimala temple. This nonentry of the women into the temple sparked a huge protest and this case was heard in the Supreme Court that first ruled in favor of the women but later sent to a higher bench for reference.

The Ayyappan temple pilgrimage includes a unique tradition, that Hindu devotes first have to offer prayer at an Erumeli Mosque situated at the foot of the Sabrimala mountain. The mosque has the grave of Vavaru, a Muslim saint and a close friend of Ayappan.

At the mosque, the Muslim priests respectfully treat all the Ayyappa devotees by garlanding after that a procession out from the mosque to a nearby temple at Erumeli to pay respect to Ayyappa Swamy.

The relevance of the Ayyapan festival is that it promotes communal harmony. It also asserts that Hindus and Muslims are equal before God.

Source: Siasat Daily

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No Hindutva or RSS extremism involved in Leicester violence: Report

Nov 6, 2022

Leicester during the unrest.


LONDON: The first report into the cause of the recent Hindu-Muslim clashes in Leicester and Birmingham has found no evidence of any Hindutva or RSS extremism. Instead, the report by the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) UK think tank has concluded that a group of social media influencers, some with links to terrorism, peddled this fake narrative to stir up tensions and instigate the violence.

The report, published on the HJS website and written by Charlotte Littlewood, a research fellow at HJS and former counter-extremism coordinator, said that a fake narrative of “RSS terrorists” being behind the unrest was peddled by social media influencers to rally Muslims from across the UK to attend the protests. One influencer with over 800,000 followers posted a video of himself leading a group through Leicester captioned “Muslim patrol in Leicester” and called on Muslims to “defend themselves against Hindu fascism”.

Littlewood found that the unrest was the result of a “micro-community cohesion issue” between Muslim and Hindu youth in Leicester “holding prejudicial attitudes towards one another” which was “falsely presented as an issue of organised Hindutva extremism and terrorism”.

Another with 150,000 followers spread fake news at the time that Hindus had kidnapped a Muslim girl. He had earlier boasted on social media that he was involved with D Company in Pakistan and praised Dawood Ibrahim.

Another influencer — consistently afforded a platform by UK media to peddle the narrative that Hindutva played a role in Leicester — has previously offered prayers for the brother of an ISIS fighter and to the Taliban.

One of the lead agitators against LGBT teaching in schools, who led the protests against the screening of the Lady of Heaven film, played a key role in inciting the crowd that surrounded the Hindu temple in Birmingham, the report said.

Convicted hate preacher Anjem Choudary and the banned group Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose aim is to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate, also publicly linked the Leicester unrest to Hindutva.

For some time, there has been a territorial issue between recently arrived members of the Daman and Diu community, many of whom hold Portuguese passports, and the local Muslim community, she notes. The Daman and Diu community moved into a predominantly Muslim area of East Leicester and tend to hold boisterous and raucous celebrations of Hindu festivals with music and alcohol continuing late into the night, which upset some of their Muslim neighbours.

Police are investigating allegations of both sides engaging in name-calling, threats of violence and assaults. But there is “no evidence of involvement of any organised Hindu extremist or terrorist groups,” her report states.

But false allegations linking Hindus to “Hindutva” led to Hindu cars and properties being attacked, attacks on a Hindu festival and Hindu businesses being boycotted.

It was because of this that local Daman and Diu men organised a “Hindu neighbourhoods safety march” on September 17 to show they had a right to live safely in their neighbourhood. But that descended into violence when hundreds of Muslims showed up, spurred on by the influencers.

Many Hindus have since had to remove Hindu symbols from their cars and doors. Some were temporarily unable to return to their homes, Littlewood wrote.

The men who organised the Hindu march had their photos splashed across social media with the words “Hindutva terrorists” even though had no relation to the RSS or BJP and no understanding of Indian politics, the report said.

“False allegations of RSS terrorists and Hindutva extremist organisations active in the UK have put the wider Hindu community at risk from hate, assault and vandalism,” the report notes.

Source: Times Of India

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Taliban reveal burial place of founder Mullah Omar, 9 years after death

6 Nov 2022

The Taliban on Sunday revealed the final resting place of the movement's founder, Mullah Omar, whose death and burial they kept secret for years.

Rumours surrounding Omar's health and whereabouts abounded after the Taliban were kicked out of power in 2001 by a US-led invasion, and they only admitted in April 2015 that he had died two years earlier.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP on Sunday that senior leaders of the movement attended a ceremony at his gravesite earlier in the day near Omarzo, in Suri district of Zabul province.

The Taliban returned to power in August last year, routing government forces as the US-led military that propped up the regime ended a 20-year occupation.

"Since a lot of enemies were around and the country was occupied, to avoid damage to the tomb it was kept secret," Mujahid said.

"Only the close family members were aware of the place," he added.

Pictures released by officials showed Taliban leaders gathered around a simple white brick tomb, covered with what appears to be gravel and enclosed in a green metal cage.

"Now the decision has been made... there are no issues for the people to visit the tomb," Mujahid said.

Omar, who was aged around 55 when he died, founded the Taliban in 1993 as an antidote to the internecine civil war that erupted following the decade-long Soviet occupation.

Under his leadership the Taliban introduced an extremely austere version of Islamic rule, barring women from public life and introducing harsh public punishments -- including executions and floggings.

Omar's ceremony comes a day after provincial Taliban officials denied reports that the Panjshir Valley tomb of resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massoud had been vandalised, an act Mujahid said would be "punished" if true.

Massoud has a mixed legacy in the country, where he is hailed by ordinary Afghans for leading the resistance against the Soviet occupation, but loathed by the Taliban he also fought until his 2001 assassination by Al Qaida.

His tomb is in an imposing granite and marble mausoleum overlooking the picturesque Panjshir Valley, and guarded by Taliban fighters since their takeover of the country in August last year.

Local residents said a newly arrived contingent of fighters smashed the tombstone, and video of the desecrated grave -- which could not be verified -- was published by local media and circulating widely on social channels.

"It happened when the new forces entered Panjshir. The new forces from Helmand and Kandahar destroyed the tombstone of the national hero," one resident told AFP.

Nasrullah Malakzada, head of information and culture of Panjshir, province, denied the tomb had been damaged and issued a video purporting to show it intact.

The clip, however, pointedly did not display the entire structure -- particularly the part seen damaged in the original video.

Malakzada refused requests by journalists to visit or photograph the tomb for themselves.

Mujahid told reporters that nobody had the right to insult the dead.

"Previously we had punished those who committed such acts," he said, adding "this will be investigated as well and necessary action will be taken".

Islamic Emirate: Moscow Format Should Have Kabul Delegate

In response to TASS news agency's reporting that Kabul would be absent from the "Moscow Format" meeting on Afghanistan which will take place in Moscow in mid-November, the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Emirate said that this meeting would be incomplete without a representative from the current government.

"Fortunately, Afghanistan today has a free, accountable, and legitimate government that has been able to maintain security throughout the country, protect its borders, and engage positively with its neighbors and the world in the political, economic, and security spheres. Accordingly, the Afghan government's absence from such meetings can have a negative effect on interaction," said Zia Ahmad Takal, the deputy spokesman for the Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, political analysts believe that holding such meetings is in the best interest of the country and have requested that the Islamic Emirate representative be invited to such meetings.

"I don't think a meeting about Afghanistan where the Islamic Emirate is not present will be productive,” said Hassan Haqyar, political analyst.

Last week, some media reported that Russia's National Security Adviser Nikolay Patrushev attributed the formation of the Taliban Islamic Movement to the US.

However, the deputy spokesperson of the foreign ministry denies this claim of this Russian official.

"The Islamic Taliban movement was created by the people to defend their country's Islamic system after the former Soviet Union was defeated,” said Zia Ahmad Takal, deputy spokesman of the Foreign Ministry.

Previously, the Russian TASS news agency reported that the representatives of Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will participate in the "Moscow Format" meeting.

Source: ToloNews

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Imran Khan committing 'treason' against Pakistan: Interior minister Sanaullah

Nov 7, 2022

Imran Khan


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has accused Imran Khan of "committing the crime of treason against the state," and exhorted institutions like the judiciary to stand up against the former premier's "wretched agenda."

Speaking during Geo News' programme "Naya Pakistan" on Sunday, Sanaullah said, "Khan only has one demand: he wants to be adopted by the institutions to make him sit on the prime minister's chair."

"Institutions, government, Parliament, and the judiciary should stand against his wretched agenda," he said, adding that Khan will never be successful in his agenda against the country and the nation.

Sanaullah accused the 70-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chief of "committing the crime of treason against the state," the report said.

The minister said the cricketer-turned-politician should avoid talking about something if it isn't true, but he does so because it "strengthens his political agenda", it said.

Sanaullah reiterated that Khan wants to make the Pakistan Army chief's appointment controversial, while maintaining that Khan "doesn't even care about his self-respect," it said.

Responding to a question about the delay in lodging the FIR, the minister said there would be obstacles if you wanted to lodge a case against the state.

“The police have the right to refuse if a fraudster wants to register a case for his [certain] purposes,” he added.

Khan, who underwent surgery for bullet injuries, was discharged from the hospital on Sunday and moved to his private residence in the city, hospital officials said.

Khan suffered bullet injuries in the right leg on Thursday when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets at him and others mounting on a container-mounted truck in the Wazirabad area of Punjab province, where he was leading a protest march against the Shehbaz Sharif government.

He underwent surgery for bullet injuries at the Shaukat Khanum Hospital owned by his charitable organisation.

Addressing a press conference from the hospital on Sunday, Khan said the long march would resume on Tuesday from the point in Wazirabad where 11 people including himself were shot at.

Khan, who was ousted as prime minister in April this year after a no-confidence motion was passed in the National Assembly, is seeking fresh general elections in Pakistan.

However, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is opposed to holding elections now.

The term of the current National Assembly will end in August 2023.

Source: Times Of India

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Muslim preacher Kazim Elias says withdrew from Larut race because blood is thicker than water

By John Bunyan

06 Nov 2022

Islamic preacher Datuk Mohammad Kazim Elias speaks to the press at Kompleks Darul Barakah Kg Sg Tapah Ipoh November 6, 2022. — Picture by Farhan Najib


IPOH, Nov 6 — Datuk Mohammad Kazim Elias, who withdraw from contesting the Larut parliamentary seat hours after being named as the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, today clarified that it was due to a “family matter”.

The popular Islamic preacher said that he would stand firm on his principle to not contest in elections if family members are candidates in the same constituency.

“It is my late mother’s will (wasiat), who advised me to not contest if my brothers are standing as candidates in the same constituency,” he told a press conference at the Al Barakah Educational Centre here.

Kazim explained that he had accepted the offer from Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to contest as he wasn’t aware that his brother had also signed documents to contest the same constituency.

His brother Capt (R) Datuk Mohd Najmuddin Elias is contesting the Batu Kurau state seat under the Perikatan Nasional banner, which is also under the Larut constituency.

“I thought that my brother was not contesting, and he also thought the same. We had not communicated over the matter.

“I only knew on the day of the announcement that my brother was also contesting. After discussions, I decided to pull out.

“I have submitted a letter on the matter to Zahid to inform my withdrawal. However, he only received the letter after announcing the candidates,” he explained.

Kazim also said that he had previously informed Zahid, who is also Umno president, of his condition that he will not run for election against his brothers in the same constituency, to which Kazim said the matter was agreed on by both parties.

“So this is why they accepted my decision and fielded a new candidate. Maybe others and the public wouldn’t have known the agreement between me and the president,” he said.

Kazim also said that he did not join Umno to contest the seat, but was merely contesting under the banner of BN.

“I was never an Umno member nor did I join the party to contest this election. This is why when Ahmad Zahid offered me the chance to contest, I asked him whether I could without being an Umno member.

“The party president told me it was okay with me not being a member, as they wanted people of various professional and religious backgrounds to contribute their experience and expertise, and thus I was chosen,” said Kazim.

He also said Ahmad Zahid never forced him to join Umno.

On the allegation that he pulled out from contesting due to a “mysterious skin disease”, Kazim said he had sought alternative treatment at Medina.

“I was in Medina for four days in the beginning of September, where I was treated and cured.

“I am now well and have travelled to various states. If I was sick, then you would not have seen me going around. I would probably be lying in bed,” he said.

When asked if he would be supporting his brother or the new candidate from Umno, Mohd Shafiq Fhadly Mahmud, an engineer, who replaced him during the campaign, Mohammad Kazim said he will help as long as he was not seen as representing any political party.

“I will go anywhere to give religious talks on harmony, family ties, unity, and positive talks, but I will not represent any political parties.

“Anyone that wants to invite me, must make sure that no coalition or party flags are involved, the candidates should not campaign at the event, and I will not be siding with or campaigning for them either,” he said.

Kazim also said he is not affected by or worried about the backlash or criticism that he received after withdrawing as a candidate.

“There is no point hurling abusive words at one another, because at the end of the day, it is just politics.

“After GE15 is over, we are bound to meet at the market, mosque and so forth, so it is better to just use good words instead of abusive ones,” he said.

Kazim had in 2018 said he was offered to contest the 14th general election, but rejected the offer as he loved his tahfiz school more.

His brothers Datuk Mohd Najmuddin and Ahmad Hasbullah are both leaders in Perak Umno.

His school Tahfiz Darul Barakah in Manjoi was previously embroiled in a sexual abuse case involving its students, but police investigations stalled. The facility is now under new management.

Source: MalayMail

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Looting Syrian oil, US forces smuggle over 40 tankers into Iraq

06 November 2022

The United States has stolen more than 40 Syrian oil tankers and smuggled a new batch of stolen Syrian oil into Iraq.

“A convoy of the US occupation forces, consisting of 43 tankers loaded with stolen Syrian oil, left from the illegitimate Mahmoudiya crossing and entered Iraqi territory,” Syria's official SANA news agency cited local sources as saying on Sunday.

According to the sources, US forces have transferred the convoy to their bases in northern Iraq.

US military trucks and tankers frequently carry tons of grain and crude oil from the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah to the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq as part of Washington’s systematic smuggling of basic commodities out of Syria.

The US military has for long stationed its forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country’s natural resources. Former US President Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.

On September 21, China called on the United States to stop plundering Syria’s national resources and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin also said the US government has a duty to investigate robberies committed by intervening military forces, as well as to compensate for the damages caused.

Source: Press TV

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Iran lawmakers demand severe punishment for ‘rioters’ as protests rage

06 November, 2022

Hardline Iranian lawmakers urged the judiciary on Sunday to “deal decisively” with perpetrators of unrest, as the Islamic Republic struggles to suppress the biggest show of dissent in years.

Widespread anti-government demonstrations erupted in September after the death of young Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by morality police for allegedly flouting the strict dress code imposed on women.

“We ask the judiciary to deal decisively with the perpetrators of these crimes and with all those who assisted in the crimes and provoked rioters,” 227 lawmakers from Iran's 290-seat, hardline-led parliament said in a statement, according to state media.

The activist HRANA news agency said that 318 protesters had been killed in the unrest as of Saturday, including 49 minors. Thirty-eight members of the security forces had also been killed, it added.

State media said last month that more than 46 security forces, including police, had been killed. Government officials have not provided an estimate of any wider death count.

Iranian leaders have vowed tough action against protesters they have described as rioters, blaming enemies including the United States of fomenting the unrest.

Demonstrations continued in many cities on Sunday, from Tehran to central city of Yazd and northern city of Rasht, according to rights groups and videos on social media.

Reuters could not verify the rights groups' reports independently, or the social media posts and footage.

In the Kurdish city of Marivan, rights group Hengaw said security forces opened fire on crowds who had gathered after the funeral of another woman, Nasrin Ghaderi, to protest against her death.

Hengaw said Ghaderi died in a coma on Saturday after suffering severe blows to her head by the security forces while demonstrating in Tehran.

A prosecutor, cited by state media, said Ghaderi had a pre-existing heart issue and had died of “poisoning”, without going into further detail. There was no immediate official comment on the report of gunfire.

Weeks after Amini's death, a coroner's report denied Amini had died due to blows to the head while in custody, as claimed by her parents, and linked her death to past medical conditions.

Students in a dozen universities, including in the northern cities of Rasht and Amol, held protests on Sunday chanting “death to Dictator”, a reference to Iran's top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to the unverified videos on social media.

Source: Al Arabiya

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5 killed in attack at Somali military training camp

Nov 6, 2022

MOGADISHU: Military officers in Somalia say at least five people were killed and 11 others wounded when a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the front gate of a military training camp in Mogadishu on Saturday evening.

The al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack at the camp that has been targeted multiple times in the past.

General Odawa Yusuf, chief of Somalia's defence forces, told state media the bomber had been pretending to be a recruit at the General Dhaga-Badan military training camp in Wadajir district.

A military officer, Abdirahman Ali, told The Associated Press that “there were some fatalities for both the civilians walking along the street and the recruits.”

The camp is located near the large Turkish military base in Somalia.

Source: Times Of India

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US backs two-state solution in call to Palestinian leader

05 November, 2022

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the State Department said Saturday.

The move came as Israel’s hawkish former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has not endorsed the two-state idea, sealed his return to power following Tuesday’s election and launched negotiations on forming what could be the most right-wing government in Israel's history.

In a call with Abbas on Friday, Blinken “further reaffirmed our commitment to a two-state solution,” the State Department said in a statement.

Blinken and Abbas also discussed “joint efforts to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people and enhance their security and freedom.”

The election result came against the backdrop of soaring violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Israeli army said its fighter jets early Friday targeted a rocket manufacturing site in the blockaded Gaza Strip, in response to several rockets fired toward Israel.

On Thursday four Palestinians, including an assailant, were killed by Israeli forces in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Blinken “underscored his deep concern over the situation in the West Bank, including heightened tensions, violence, and loss of both Palestinian and Israeli lives, and emphasized the need for all parties to de-escalate the situation urgently,” according to the State Department.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Krishna puja sees Muslim, Hindu youth join hands in Karnataka

07th November 2022

By Subhash Chandra NS

KARWAR: A group of Hindu and Muslim friends has come together to install an idol of Lord Krishna and has been worshipping it for the last one month at Habbuwada in Karwar. The youth, who are daily wagers, are worshipping the idol as it is considered auspicious to perform pujas for Lord Krishna during Deepavali by the people of Karwar and surrounding areas.

“This is the first time that we have organised a Krishna puja in our Locality. Our friend Nagraj wanted to worship the idol, saying Krishna is the universal God and people from all communities will be blessed. We all pooled in money for the idol and brought it here. We have been performing pujas on our own, and once done, we will immerse the idol in the sea,” said Shahrukh.

The friends – Nagraj, Babu, Shahrukh, Hritik, Mohammed and Siddiqui – got the clay idol prepared, consecrated it and are now worshipping it. “We have been friends since childhood. We studied together and prayed together. We meet almost every day. We celebrate Muslim festivals and they join us during Hindu festivals,” said Babu.

Their other friends, including Praveen, Nagnath, Ramesh and Akram, contributed Rs 2,000 each and the group spent close to Rs 15,000 for the idol and daily decorations. “We need more money and people are helping us,” he said. Corporator Gajanan Kubde, seeing their enthusiasm, has helped them get the no-objection certificate from the Karwar City Municipality and the police.

Source: NewIndianExpress

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BJP’s Ashish Shelar accuses Uddhav Thackeray of religious appeasement

Nov 06, 2022

By Yogesh Naik

Mumbai: City BJP chief Ashish Shelar on Sunday accused the Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray of starting religious appeasement in Mumbai and said that this was being done to grab power in the city.

“We are confident that neither the Marathi manoos nor Muslims will vote for Uddhavji. You enjoyed control over the BMC for over 25 years. Then why don’t you ask for votes based on the works that you undertook,’’ said Shelar, while launching the ‘Jagar Mumbaicha’ campaign of his party at Government Colony in Bandra on Sunday.

With BMC polls approaching, the BJP organised a rally at PWD maidan in Bandra- the backyard of Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray’s house – Matoshree.

Mumbai North West MP Poonam Mahajan and Vile Parle MLA Parag Alavani were also present as the city BJP kickstarted the campaign.

Shelar referred to an edition of Sena mouthpiece Saamana dated October 22 and criticised Thackeray for meeting a delegation of Marathi-speaking Muslims.

“In Konkan, the Marathi Muslims are never detached. They live together, they enjoy being together. They participate in each other’s celebrations and sorrows. Then why are you trying to separate them?’’

Shelar alleged that a plan was being made to assess Marathi votes and Muslim votes in Mumbai. Instead of this, the Shiv Sena must talk about the developmental work done by Shiv Sena.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Germany, other EU members plan to expand Iran sanctions: Media

05 November, 2022

Germany and eight other EU member states are planning to expand sanctions on Iran to include individuals and organizations linked to violence against protesters in the Islamic Republic, magazine Der Spiegel reported, without disclosing its sources.

A package containing 31 proposals was introduced in Brussels on Wednesday targeting individuals and institutions in the security sector as well as companies responsible for suppression in Iran, the magazine reported.

Measures include the freezing of assets and travel bans, the magazine said, adding the package had a good chance of being approved by EU foreign ministers at their next meeting on November 14.

The German government had no immediate comment.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Pope Francis says church fighting child abuse ‘as best we can’

07 November, 2022

Pope Francis said Sunday that the Catholic church was working “as best we can” to fight clerical child abuse but admitted there were shortfalls.

During a press conference on a plane while returning from Bahrain, where he had been promoting dialogue with Islam, the pontiff said child abuse inside the Church was a “tragic thing.”

“We are working as best we can, but there are people within the Church who don't see it clearly,” the 85-year-old Argentinian admitted on the return flight to Rome.

“It is an ongoing process that we are carrying out with courage,” he added.

The abuse scandal erupted in the second half of the 1980s, sparking an avalanche of allegations about paedophile priests around the world, from Australia to Chile, France and the United States.

Pope Francis has insisted the Church will adopt a “zero tolerance” approach to abuse, but critics say many countries have yet to seriously confront the issue.

While before “some things were hidden,” the pope insisted Sunday that now “everything is clear and we are moving forward.”

“The Church must be ashamed of the bad things, while thanking God for the good things.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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3 arrested in suspected far-right assault in Berlin

Oliver Towfigh Nia  



German police arrested three people in Berlin following a suspected far-right attack, a local daily reported Sunday.

Two suspects, aged 17 and 42, hit two teenagers in the leg with an iron bar and stole their mobile phones during the assault which took place Saturday afternoon in Berlin's Buch district, according to Berlin-based Tagesspiegel.

The victims flagged down a police vehicle that happened to be in the vicinity and reported the incident.

The two assailants as well as a 19-year-old onlooker showed the Hitler salute, police said.

The 19-year-old also racially insulted a police officer, police further said.

The three men were arrested as investigations into robbery, dangerous bodily harm, insult and the use of symbols belonging to unconstitutional organizations are ongoing.

The radicalization among right-wing extremists, and surge in violent attacks in recent months, have raised serious concerns among authorities.

“The far-right is the biggest threat to our democracy and the biggest extremist threat to people in our country,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser was quoted as saying earlier this year.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s center-left coalition government announced a new “action plan” in March to combat racism and pledged stronger measures to counter the growing threat posed by far-right groups.

The country has witnessed growing racism and xenophobia in recent years fueled by the propaganda of far-right, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim groups, including the main opposition party Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Far-right terror in Germany has claimed the lives of at least 218 innocent people since 1989, according to the Amadeu Antonio Foundation.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Ukrainian, EU leaders discuss aid, grain deal, further sanctions against Iran

Burc Eruygur  


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday held a phone conversation with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss financial assistance to Ukraine, the grain deal and strengthening sanctions against Iran.

“Discussed macro-financial aid to Ukraine for the current year & 2023 with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. Noted the importance of continuing the grain initiative for world food security. Discussed increasing sanctions & opposing actions of Iran, which supports aggression,” Zelenskyy said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, von der Leyen announced that the EU will propose a financial support package for Ukraine for 2023, without specifying a specific date.

“Good to stay in close touch with Zelenskyy. Positive developments: we will propose this week the financial support package for Ukraine in 2023. The EU will be at Ukraine’s side for as long as it takes,” von der Leyen said on Twitter.

Earlier this week, Türkiye and the UN managed to convince Russia to revert its decision to withdraw from the grain deal signed this summer, marking the end of a tense standoff that threatened to exacerbate the global food crisis.

With regards to Iran, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry pledged on Saturday "to take the toughest possible measures" to stop the use of Iranian weapons by Russia against Ukraine.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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UK police: Migrant center firebombing motivated by terrorist ideology

Karim El-Bar



British counterterror police said Saturday that the firebombing of a migrant center in Dover, southeast England, was motivated by terrorist ideology.

The man behind last Sunday's attack was previously identified as Andrew Leak, 66, who threw two or three incendiary devices at the center. Two people suffered minor injuries. Leak was later found dead, and it is speculated he killed himself.

Counter Terrorism Policing South East said they had recovered a number of items of interest and spoke to a number of witnesses.

"Evidence from examining these items suggests there was an extreme right wing motivation behind the attack," according to their statement.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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South Asia 

West is moving too slowly in engaging with Taliban: US Representative

6 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 6 (ANI): US Representative from Western Michigan, Peter Meijer said that the Western countries and America particularly are moving too slowly in engaging with the Afghanistan interim government.

During an interview with ToloNews, Meijer said, “My concern and my criticism of a lot of international engagement, especially from the American side, is it is too slow, this is a moment of change, this is a moment of opportunity, but it is also a moment that if we go down the pathways of the past if we fall back into those old habits and trends of mistrust, if we sacrifice and disregard a lot of the improvements and trust that have been built over the past year, the security cooperation we saw –I saw first hand–at Kabul airport during the US withdrawal.”

“I think we have a lot of strong foundations to start to build upon and we cannot wait for the two or three decades it took for the US–and to give an example: Vietnam– to build a strong relationship. We have to make sure we are not letting the future get hung up by the concerns of the past,” he added

Talking about Afghanistan politics, a US Representative said that the Islamic Emirate is the only government and America accepts and deals with that reality.

He further added that there are cultural differences between western countries and Afghanistan and one cannot impose their values, ToloNews reported.

“It also is important that the Islamic Emirate recognize the desires and the wishes of its own citizens to pursue what is best for their futures,” Meijer said.

Meijer also noted that there would be grave consequences if small differences get in the way and expectations on both sides are not met.

“Those nations who set conditions for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which it should accept, the Islamic Emirate is also looking for a way to do something to meet their conditions, which at least does not conflict with the Islamic laws and Afghan customs and traditions,” ToloNews quoted political analyst Mohammad Nasir Haqqani as saying.

“The world demands that an inclusive government should be created and girls should be allowed to go to school and also human rights should be upheld, these are also the demands that the Afghan people support them,” said Wahed Faqiri, international relations expert.

However, Zabiullah Mujahid, the Islamic Emirate’s spokesperson, denied that human rights were being violated in Afghanistan and he added that Kabul wants to interact with the international community.

Source: ThePrint

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Hamid Karzai’s brother, Mahmood detained by Taliban at Kabul airport

7 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 7 (ANI): Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother, Mahmood Karzai, a key Afghan businessman was detained by the Taliban at the Kabul airport on Sunday, sources told Khaama Press.

The former minister of Urban Development and Land, Mahmood Karzai, has been prohibited from travelling abroad due to legal issues, a spokesman for the Taliban said, reported Tolo News.

A source close to the Taliban’s prime minister’s office who does not want to be named in this report told Khaama Press that Mahmood Karzai was detained by the Taliban’s intelligence service from the Kabul airport as he was boarding an Ariana Airlines flight to Dubai.

Bilal Karimi, the Islamic Emirate’s deputy spokesperson, confirmed that Mahmood Karzai was prohibited from leaving Afghanistan due to a legal issue but denied the arrest of Mahmood Karzai.

The source who spoke to Khaama Press believes the motive behind the detention of Mahmood Karzai may be the political remarks of his brother Hamid Karzai.

Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah are the two high-level politicians who remained in Afghanistan even after Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Former President Hamid Karzai has been criticizing the Taliban government regarding curbing the rights of women and has been demanding the Taliban form an ‘inclusive’ government.

He slammed the Taliban for clashes in the Panjshir region between the National Resistant Forces (NRF) and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, amid rising killings in the country. He said that it is time that the bloodshed must stop.

He also expressed concern over the ban on girls’ education imposed by the Taliban and said such a step could further push the country backward. He also said the regime must ensure that all sections of the population feel represented by the government.

Since its ascent to power in Kabul, the Islamic group imposed policies severely restricting basic rights–particularly those of women and girls.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the Taliban dismissed all women from leadership posts in the civil service and prohibited girls in most provinces from attending secondary school.

Taliban decrees prohibit women from travelling unless accompanied by a male relative and require women’s faces to be covered in public–including women TV newscasters.

The Taliban have also carried out censorship, limited critical reporting, and beaten journalists. Taliban forces have carried out revenge killings and enforced disappearances of former government officials and security force personnel. They have summarily executed people deemed affiliated with the Islamic State.

Armed groups linked to the Afghan branch of the Islamic State have carried out bombings targeting ethnic Hazaras, Afghan Shias, Sufis, and others, killing and injuring hundreds.

Mahmood Karzai is a major shareholder in the modern commercial city of Aino Mina in the Southern Kandahar province. Former President, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had accused him of seizing government lands to build the Aino Mina city during the presidency of his brother, Hamid Karzai, reported Khaama Press.

Mahmood Karzai was appointed as minister of Urban Development and Land by former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani in June 2020 and was approved by the parliament in late December of the same year.

Source: ThePrint

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Afghanistan: Landslide hits Badakshan province, one killed

7 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 7 (ANI): At least one person died in the landslide that occurred in the Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan, Khaama Press reported on Sunday.

As per the Taliban officials, the natural catastrophe took place in a village in the Maimay district of Badakhshan on Saturday.

Other than the deceased body recovered, one more person has been injured while two more are reported to be missing, the officials informed.

The landslide in Badakhshan province has damaged dozens of acres of farmland, gardens, and several stores. The rescue teams were not able to reach the remote affected site because of the deteriorated roads in the district, Khaama Press reported citing the Taliban-run Bakhtar state news agency.

Badakshan province is considered very prone to earthquakes, as occasionally earthquakes and landslides cause damage and losses.

On the other hand, Afghanistan continues to struggle with a severe economic crisis since the Taliban took over, as US-led international forces withdrew following two decades of war.

As earthquakes are persistent in Afghanistan, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has decided to construct 1,000 “earthquake-resilient” houses for over 8,000 earthquake-stricken people of the Barmal district of Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan.

In a tweet, the UN refugee agency in Afghanistan wrote, “UNHCR Afghanistan is moving swiftly to provide 1000 earthquake-resilient houses to more than 8000 people in Barmal District before snows isolate the remote region.”

Source: ThePrint

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Taliban: Moscow Meeting, ‘Incomplete’ Without Taliban Representatives

By Saqalain Eqbal

November 6, 2022

The Taliban Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to not getting invited to the next meeting of the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan stated that the absence of Taliban government delegates renders the meeting “incomplete.”

The Taliban’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, stated in a tweet on Saturday, November 5, that their government’s absence from such gatherings “can have an adverse effect on engagement.”

The Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan, which will take place in the middle of November, will not involve any representation from the Taliban government, according to Zamir Kabulov, the Russian president’s special representative for Afghanistan.

Russia, China, India, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan representatives are expected to attend this meeting scheduled for mid-November.

The last Moscow consultative format meeting took place in October of the previous year. At that meeting, Abdul Salam Hanafi, Deputy Prime Minister of the Taliban government, chaired a Taliban delegation participating in the meeting.

At the same time, the spokesperson of the Taliban government Zabihullah Mujahid stated at a press conference that the Taliban hails the gatherings that will lead to improvements to the situation in Afghanistan.

Mujahid believes that previous gatherings in the region were favorable for Afghanistan because those who attended sought assistance and an improvement in Afghanistan’s current situation.

Any meeting that benefits Afghanistan, with or without the Taliban representation, he continued, “we welcome it and I support it because we need general cooperation at the regional level.”

The Russian National Security Council’s secretary, Nikolai Petroshev, claimed that the US created the Taliban, ISIS, and Al-Qaeda network in order to further its geopolitical objectives, which the Taliban government has dismissed the claim.

According to the foreign ministry, the Taliban were an incitement that “arose from among the people to rescue the nation that struggled for an Islamic system in the country by ending feudalism of the 90s.”

The spokesman for the Taliban’s foreign ministry asserts that the group has ultimately triumphed after a protracted struggle with feudalism in the 1990s and the subsequent eradication of foreign occupation.

Source: Khaama Press

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Hamid Karzai’s brother, a key Afghan businessman detained by Taliban at Kabul airport

November 6, 2022

Mahmood Karzai, a key Afghan businessman and brother of former President Hamid Karzai was detained at the Kabul airport, sources told Khaama Press.

A source close to the Taliban’s prime minister’s office who does not want to be named in this report told Khaama Press that Mahmood Karzai was detained by the Taliban’s intelligence service from the Kabul airport as he was boarding on an Ariana Airlines flight to Dubai.

This has Mahmood Karzai’s recent picture with long beard and traditional Afghan dressing went viral on social media last week. He usually used to be clean-shaved with suit and necktie.

The source who spoke to Khaama Press believes the motive behind the detention of Mahmood Karzai maybe the political remarks of his brother Hamid Karzai.

Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah are the two high level politicians who remained in Afghanistan during the rule of Taliban.

Karzai has continuously pushed the Taliban administration to reopen girl’s school and to form an inclusive government.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban Reports Nearly $1 Billion in Afghan Exports in Last 7 Months

By Saqalain Eqbal

November 6, 2022

The Taliban Ministry of Industry and Commerce has announced that the Afghan exports to Pakistan, India, and Tajikistan have earned nearly $1 billion in the past 7 months.

According to the Head of Information and Public Relations of the Taliban Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Jawad Dabeer, the exports of Afghanistan have generated almost $1 billion in the last 7 months.

The Afghan exports to Pakistan, India, and Tajikistan have surpassed $743 million, $207 million, and $23 million respectively, according to Dabeer’s tweet from Saturday, November 6.

The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) previously reported the surge in Afghanistan’s exports to Pakistan on Friday, November 4, in a report.

According to the SIGAR report, Afghanistan exported 796 million dollars to Pakistan between 2021 and 2022.

With a daily export of 10,000 tons, coal appears to be Afghanistan’s principal export product, and its price has climbed in response to the rise in energy costs brought on by the conflict in the Ukraine.

Each ton of coal now costs $280, up from $90 last year. Despite this, the price of coal in Afghanistan is currently $40 per ton less expensive than the price on the global market.

Source: Khaama Press

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Afghanistan: Retired govt employees protest against Taliban for non-payment of pensions in Kabul

6 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 6 (ANI): Retired employees of the Afghanistan Government on Saturday protested against the Taliban over the issue of non-payment of their pensions in Kabul.

They held a protest in Kabul and called on the Taliban government to pay their pensions, reported Tolo News.

The retirees said that they have not been paid for many months as of now.

Mohammad Daud, 68, who had worked for 30 years in the municipality department, said he is the breadwinner for a family of 13 members, reported Tolo News.

“We call on the Islamic Emirate to provide us with our rights. We have nothing, just honour our rights, we are about to die from starvation,” he said.

“My sons are working as labourers. Each of them has 10 children. One of them feeds me breakfast another feeds me dinner. I sold all of my appliances in the house to buy my medicine,” said Gul Jan, who came to take her husband’s pension.

“I request they give us our rights,” said Najibullah, a retiree.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) said that work on a plan has been shared with the Prime Minister’s Office to facilitate the payment of retirees’ pensions, reported Tolo News.

“The plan, which was formed about the retirees’ payments, was introduced in the 5th cabinet meeting. The Ministry of Finance now is waiting for the decree of the Prime Minister to act accordingly,” said Ahmad Wali Haqmal, a spokesman for the MoF.

The retirees have staged many demonstrations earlier as well, in which they called on the government to pay their pensions, reported Tolo News.

As Afghanistan witnessed a severe financial crisis, retired employees and veterans expressed their frustration over their economic problems and demanded the Taliban regime pay their pension payments.

These retired employees and military veterans of the former Afghan government led by Ashraf Ghani, who rely on their retirement pensions, said that they are struggling with economic difficulties, Tolo News reported.

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated drastically since the Taliban took control of Kabul.

Source: ThePrint

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Imran Khan-led march against Pakistan govt to resume Tuesday from the same point where he was attacked

Nov 6, 2022

LAHORE: Imran Khan on Sunday announced that his party will resume the march to Islamabad from the same spot where he survived an assassination attempt but sustained bullet injuries during a rally in Punjab province, saying he prefers "death instead of living the life of a slave".

The 70-year-old former prime minister and Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, who underwent surgery for bullet injuries on Thursday was addressing a press conference from the Shaukat Khanum Hospital owned by his charitable organisation.

“We have decided that our march will resume on Tuesday from the same [point] in Wazirabad where I and 11 others were shot, and where Moazzam was martyred,” Khan said.

Khan suffered bullet injuries in the right leg when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets at him and others mounting on a container-mounted truck in the Wazirabad area, where he was leading the march.

PTI worker Moazzam Gondal died due to bullet injuries during the attack on Khan. The rally was suspended after the attack.

“I will address the march from here (in Lahore), and our march, within the next 10 to 14 days, depending on the speed, will reach Rawalpindi," Khan said.

The PTI chief said once the march reaches Rawalpindi, he would then join it and lead it himself.

In a veiled reference to the powerful military establishment, Khan said: "They (military establishment) want to instill fear among us. But let me tell you...we will not budge from our stance and are ready to sacrifice our lives for real freedom. I prefer death instead of living the life of a slave."

A day after the attack on him, Khan alleged that three people -- Prime Minister Shehbaz, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer -- were behind the botched assassination attempt on his life.

The Army has rejected Khan's allegations as "baseless and irresponsible".

Questioning whether "some people" are above the law, the PTI chairman said, "I am facing problems in getting an FIR registered on the firing incident on my container. No Punjab police officer is ready to register an FIR on my complaint. If I, being a former prime minister of Pakistan, cannot get a case registered related to the attack on me, then think what will happen to the common man."

"I want a transparent investigation into the matter. There was a pattern in the attack on me. First, they labelled me a blasphemer and then tried to eliminate me like that of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

"The confessional statement of the suspect was recorded and released (to the media) to cover up the crime. Inspector General Police of Punjab lied that the video record of the suspect was hacked. In fact, they (police officers) are afraid to register FIR as they have orders from them (military establishment)," Khan alleged.

Prime Minister Shehbaz in a press conference in Lahore on Saturday said that Khan's party PTI is in power in the Punjab province and the provincial government should tell why the FIR of the assassination attempt has not been registered so far.

Khan also demanded constitution of a judicial commission to investigate the attack on him, the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif, the torture and circulation of obscene video of PTI Senator Azam Swati and the cypher controversy (about toppling of the PTI government at the behest of the United States).

"I wonder if an ISI officer is involved in such dirty acts no action is taken against him. I am surprised at the Director General (Major General Babar Iftikhar) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)'s statement that the institution is standing with its officers, including the one involved in the attack on me. I want to ask him whether there is no black sheep in any institution," Khan said and questioned the DG ISPR to tell why court martial is needed if army officers do not commit any wrong.

He also urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of all the issues he has raised as the nation is looking up to him for justice.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan's former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the protest march led by PTI has only been temporarily halted and not called off.

Source: Times Of India

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World powers must focus on human survival, security instead of wars; say leaders of faith

November 6, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The world powers must focus on the survival and security of human beings and resolve the issues with dialogues instead of opting the option of wars.

These views were expressed by the leaders of faith at a three-day global interfaith conference, titled ‘Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence’, hosted under the patronage of Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa at Al-Fida’ Square of Sakhir Royal Palace in Manama.

Besides the holy father Pope Francis, Sheikh Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb and other world-renowned religious leaders and scholars, Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakoor, Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Dr. Qibla Ayaz participated in the moot.

They were of the view that Russia and Ukraine should stop the war and initiate the process of negotiation to settle down all the issues for the survival and security of the humanity in the region. “Prosperity and development are possible only through inter-sects and inter-religious dialogues in the world,” they opined.

They said western countries must play their significant role in coping with climate change challenges and increasing poverty across the world. They believed that all religions on earth taught love and peace.

After the conclusion of global interfaith forum, Ashrafi who is also the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) told APP on Sunday that the leadership of Bahrain had taken the step in the right direction and it would help bring the people of various faith closer and remove their differences.

Expressing gratitude on the active participation of Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and religious scholars of other religion and sects in the forum, he said it had given a strong message of love, peace and brotherhood to the world.

He said the same great message was also delivered by the Haramain Sharifain, Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him adding that the endeavors of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other countries for the promotion religious pluralism were valuable.

Ashrafi said it was duty of the Ummah to raise the status of Muslims and protect their interests and rights worldwide.

“We appreciate the efforts of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and followers of other religions and civilizations to open the doors of dialogue as such initiatives would help expand the areas of dialogue, exchange ideas, discuss measures for joint strategy to deal with the persistent social menaces of violence and extremism and provide an ample opportunity to sit together at the same table,” he added.

He said the Muslim World League, Muslim World’s leadership and Pakistan’s Ulema had disseminated the message of Islam in its true context all over the world in the shape of Charter of Pakistan, Charter of Human Coexistence and Message of Pakistan documents.

He said the PUC and its affiliated organizations endorsed the decisions taken in the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue in its letter and spirit and reiterated the world powers to adopt the peaceful way of dialogue instead of wars to resolve their issues.

Source: Pakistan Today

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Punjab IG Faisal Shahkar steps aside over Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s diatribe

Asif Chaudhry

November 7, 2022

LAHORE: Punjab police chief Faisal Shahkar refused to work with the current political setup in the province led by Chief Minister Parvez Elahi after PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi passed ‘hateful and insulting’ remarks against him at a rally.

Faisal Shahkar decided to part ways with the provincial government after an ‘argument’ with CM Elahi in a meeting on Saturday night.

An official privy to the development said Mr Shahkar took the opportunity to share his grievances with the CM over the “frequent political interference” in the police department and the recent criticism of the PTI top leadership on the police.

Mr Shahkar said the provincial government was “directly making postings across the province and contacting the RPOs and DPOs to get decisions of [its] choice”.

Decries ‘frequent political interference’

According to the source, Faisal Shahkar conveyed to the CM that unwarranted criticism over the delay in the registration of FIR of the gun attack on PTI chief Imran Khan and subsequent ‘hateful’ remarks made by Mr Qureshi were “unacceptable” to the police department.

While addressing IG Punjab in a loud tone at a rally in Lahore, Mr Qureshi said, “IG Punjab, if you couldn’t gather courage to get the FIR lodged through your DPO and SHO, then I curse (laanat) on your uniform”.

Later, the IG submitted a request to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to withdraw his services, the official said.

While talking to Dawn, the police chief said that the difference of opinion between the chief minister and the IG police on the appointments/transfers of police officers was a routine matter.

“But the situation was different…the Punjab police have completely been politicised due to frequent interference by the current political setup in Punjab,” Mr Shahkar said.

“This was not acceptable at any cost for me as provincial police chief and I thought it better to refuse to work in the current circumstances,” he said.

‘Tug of war’

The official source said the volatile political situation deepened the crisis in the Punjab police when the PML-N and the Punjab government began to target the police officers, accusing them of being ‘loyal’ to rival parties.

It is evident from the recent action of the PML-N government in the Centre which suspended Lahore CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar from service for not complying with the earlier order of the Establishment Division to relinquish his charge.

Source: Dawn

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Shah Mahmood Qureshi to lead march until Imran recovers

November 7, 2022

TOBA TEK SINGH: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Central Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi says as soon as Imran Khan is able to stand and walk, he will join the long march, which will begin from Wazirabad on Tuesday.

Mr Qureshi told a large public gathering at Clock Tower Chowk in Faisalabad on Sunday night that Mr Khan had asked him to lead the march in his place. He said that even if he is not totally recovered, Mr Khan will participate in the long march in Rawalpindi.

He stated that the people of Faisalabad and the entire country demand that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan quit since they are the real planners of attack on Mr Khan in Wazirabad.

Farrukh Habib, former federal minister for communication and media, and other senior party leaders also spoke.

Source: Dawn

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Imran endorses PM-suggested SC probe panel

Mansoor Malik

November 7, 2022

LAHORE: The PTI’s long march, which came to a standstill after the assassination attempt on Imran Khan in Wazirabad, will resume its journey on Tuesday (tomorrow) from the same place where the party chairman was injured in the gun attack.

Mr Khan was discharged from Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and moved to his residence in Zaman Park in the evening.

Addressing his second presser from the hospital, the PTI chief welcomed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s call for a full court commission of the Supreme Court to investigate his allegations that senior government and military officials were behind the attack on him.

He revealed that while the march will start moving towards Islamabad under the leadership of party Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday, he would stay in Lahore to recuperate and join the march in Rawalpindi in 10- to 14 days — depending on the speed of the long march. He, however, will address participants of the long march through video link from Lahore.

FIR over gun attack

The former prime minister questioned the delay in the registration of FIR regarding the assassination attempt on him. He said the case should be registered against the prime minister, interior minister, and a senior intelligence official for “hatching a conspiracy to kill him”.

He added that despite the passage of three days, the case was not registered as the Punjab police were “rel­u­c­tant to register the FIR”. He expressed surprise that the police were adamant abo­ut not including the name of the military officer in the FIR but ready to nominate the prime minister and the interior minister in the case.

“Policemen concerned requested that they be transferred from the post…[and] some other officer may register the FIR nominating suspects mentioned by me,” he claimed.

Mr Khan raised questions over the credibility of the justice system and said even a former premier could not get a case registered. “There are people who consider themselves above the law, which unfortunately dismantles the whole edifice of the judicial system in the country,” he lamented.

He endorsed PM Sharif’s call for the SC’s full court probe commission, but expre­ssed reservations, saying how the commission would perform its duties independently if its members’ bosses who needed to be probed remained in the office.

“How can we have an impartial and fair investigation? It can’t happen. That’s why I asked them to resign so the investigation can be fair.”

Referring to the attack, Mr Khan said a suspect was interviewed by a policeman which was immediately leaked to the media to give the incident a “religious colour”. “

The police say there was pressure from “above, while the IG Police states the accused interview video was hacked,” he wondered.

Mr Khan also raised questions about people allegedly involved in the dissemination of a video that purportedly showed him “insulting religion”. “Since then I knew well, that the PML-N government functionaries with the connivance of army officers were hatching a conspiracy to eliminate me in the manner former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed,” he claimed and added that he exposed this plan in his public meeting speeches and interviews.

“The PTI-PML-Q government could get an FIR registered against the three PML-N leaders Maryam Nawaz, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Javed Latif after a ‘great effort’,” he said. Still, he said, no action was taken against the nominated accused.

Mr Khan proposed that the same SC commission probe the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif — tracking down who forced him to leave the country and eventually move from Dubai to Kenya.

‘Surprised over ISPR statement’

The PTI chairman expressed surprise over the statement by the ISPR DG Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar that allegations against one army officer were defaming the entire institution. Asserting that there was no logic to the army spokesperson’s statement, Mr Khan said that an allegation against one person did not mean accusing the entire institution. He asked if the army officers were considered infallible then what was the need for court martials.

Again commenting on the DG ISPR’s statement that the controversial cipher was a “drama”, the PTI chairman asked then why the cipher was not being investigated. He asked the Chief Justice of Pakistan to consider the issue a “serious matter” and investigate it. He added the copy of the cipher was already with the chief justice. “Maybe the cipher does not represent interference or conspiracy but it can only be ascertained after a thorough and fair investigation,” he added.

Imran Khan urged the CJP to investigate the kidnapping, torture, and release of an ‘obscene’ video of Azam Swati. Claiming that some “agencies were working to cover up” the issue, Mr Khan alleged that the video was not fake but recorded at Judicial Lodges in Quetta during Azam Swati’s visit along with his wife.
Source: Dawn

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Fazl expresses ‘doubts’ about attack on Imran

Syed Irfan Raza

November 7, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), said on Sunday he had his doubts over the attack on Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, terming the incident a “drama”.

At a press conference, he called the incident “an act”, saying that “Imran outclassed [Indian actors] Shahrukh and Salman Khan in acting”.

“Initially I had sympathised with Imran Khan upon hearing about the Wazirabad episode, but now it seems that it was a drama.”

The PDM chief called for a “thorough investigation” into the shooting during the PTI’s long march on Nov 3.

Says PTI chief wants nothing but appointment of new army chief of his choice

He said the confusion surrounding Imran Khan’s injuries was enough to raise eyebrows.

It was not clear whether “a single shot was fired at Imran or more” and whether the injury was “on one leg or on both”.

Furthermore, Maulana Fazl said, it was intriguing that Imran Khan “was taken to Lahore instead of being admitted to a nearby hospital (in Wazirabad)”.

He said Imran cannot be taken on his word after his party “violated court orders” during the march in May.

The JUI-F chief contested the PTI’s claim that Mr Khan was injured by “broken pieces” from bullets fired by a man during the long march at Gukkhar on Thursday.

“How is it possible that a bullet broke into pieces. We have heard about a piece from a bomb, but not a bullet.”

The PDM chief said former prime minister Imran Khan was trying to create confusion about the Nov 3 incident. “There are contradictions in the medical report [of Imran] and baseless allegations are being levelled against important personalities.”

He said the Punjab government was responsible for security of the PTI’s long march. “The march has failed,” Maulana Fazl claimed.

Source: Dawn

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‘Hakeem’ Sanaullah prepared effective remedy to deal with PTI marchers: Fazl

November 7, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) head who also chairman of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), Maulana Fazlur Rehman said Sunday that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) marchers would never be allowed reach the federal capital.

“Hakeem Sanaullah has prepared an effective tonic for the marchers and they would be treated accordingly”, JUI-F Chief Fazlur Rehman while addressing a presser here on Sunday. He termed the PTI long march a complete flop show and made it clear that nobody would be allowed to play with Pakistan at all costs.

He said Pakistan was being pushed towards difficulties, which made it lag behind in the comity of nations economically.

Taking jibe at the PTI chief, Fazl said that a joint investigation team (JIT) should be constituted against Imran Khan, saying the PTI chairman’s bullet injuries in the Wazirabad firing incident was a ‘drama’.

The JUI-F chief equated Imran Khan with Indian top stars Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, saying the PTI chief had surpassed the Bollywood’s actors in the field of acting.

He, expressing his astonishment, said the PTI chief’s bullet injuries were being treated in a cancer hospital, adding that there were contradictions in his medical reports. “We have heard bomb fragments but heard of bullet fragments for the first time.”

He urged the federal government not to show leniency to Imran Khan as he was trying to create chaos in the country under the guise of firing accident and making false accusations against the most important personalities, including the prime minister, interior minister and an officer of the national security institution that was not acceptable at all.

He asked the quarters concerned to launch a thorough probe on the matter so that Imran’s heinous face could be unmasked before the public.

Condemning Azam Swati’s incident, he said, “We wanted peace and harmony in the country and the citizens should lead their lives as per law and the Constitution with respect and dignity.”

The JUI-F chief said in case of Arshad Sharif, the commission should also investigate the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government that issued life threat alert to the senior journalist.

He said during the PTI government, restrictions were imposed on media.

Source: Pakistan Today

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3,000 Sikh yatrees arrive in city through Wahga

November 6, 2022

LAHORE: About 3,000 Sikh yatrees from India arrived here on Sunday via Wahga Border to participate in the 553rd birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak at Nankana Sahib.

Additional Secretary (Shrines) Rana Shahid Saleem along with Pradhan Sardar Amir Singh, Sardar Satwant Singh and others received the pilgrims.

Speaking on the occasion, Sikh leaders including Sardar Preet Singh, Sardar Diljeet Singh, Sardar Manjeet Singh and Sardar Jagjeet Sing expressed their happiness after reaching in Pakistan. They said that they had received special love from the land of their ‘Gurus’.

Additional Secretary Shrines Rana Shahid told the media that Janumasthan had been decorated tastefully. The ETPB had made foolproof security arrangements besides accommodation and travelling facilities for Sikh yatrees. Special marquees have also been installed for them, he added.

On the directions of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Abdul Rehman Ghilani, the officers and employees of the Board would remain busy day and night to serve the guests.

Pradhan Sardar Amir Singh and Sardar Satwant Singh said the Trust Board had completed all the arrangements in consultation with the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC).

Source: Pakistan Today

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Southeast Asia

Over 80 Malaysia-bound Rohingya detained in Myanmar

November 5, 2022

YANGON: More than 80 Rohingya people seeking to travel by boat to Malaysia have been detained in Myanmar’s southeast after traffickers abandoned them, a security source told AFP today.

Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state are widely regarded as illegal immigrants in the Buddhist-majority country and have long faced discrimination, been denied citizenship, healthcare and education.

The group, which included women and children, had been detained by authorities yesterday near Thanbyuzayat town in Mon state, a security source who didn’t want to be named told AFP.

“They were hiding near rubber farms after the boats which they took from Rakhine state left them,” the source said, adding that traffickers had promised to take them to Malaysia.

Muslim-majority Malaysia is a key destination for Rohingya fleeing persecution.

An investigation is ongoing, and it is unclear whether the group will face criminal charges for leaving Rakhine state.

Rohingya people convicted of violating immigration laws can face two years jail in Myanmar.

The anti-human trafficking department in Yangon and Naypyidaw declined to comment on the case.

There are also reports that a Myanmar navy vessel had found 120 Rohingya people on a boat near Mudon township in Mon state, the source said.

A Myanmar military crackdown in 2017 forced some 750,000 Rohingya to flee Rakhine state for Bangladesh following widespread accounts of murder, arson and rape.

Amnesty International likens their living conditions in Rakhine state to “apartheid”.

Following the mass exodus, Myanmar is facing genocide accusations at the United Nations’ top court.

Source:Free Malaysia Today

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Bandar Tiram An Nur Mosque inspired by Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque architecture

06-11- 2022

JOHOR BAHRU: The Bandar Tiram An-Nur Mosque which will be built in December at a cost of RM12 million is inspired by the architectural design of the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque here.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi (pix) said the mosque, which would be built on a 0.79 hectare- site, is expected to be fully completed in 2024 and is capable of accommodating 1,500 congregants at any one time.

He said the construction and design of the mosque received the consent of the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

“I understand that in terms of the design, it was the Johor Sultan’s idea that the architecture is a reflection or almost similar to the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, that's why it is costly.

“However, I am confident that it would be of great benefit to the people in Bandar Tiram, the community here is very lucky and this would not have been possible without the assistance of the federal government’s contribution of RM5 million from the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU),“ he said at the launch of the fund raising and groundbreaking ceremony of the Bandar Tiram An-Nur Mosque here today.

Also present were Johor Corporation (JCorp) president and chief executive officer Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim, Johor Islamic Religious Affairs Committee chairman Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid and Johor State mufti Datuk Yahya Ahmad

Meanwhile, Syed Mohamed said JCorp through Waqaf An-Nur Corporation Berhad, was given the responsibility to build the mosque and Johor Land Berhad as the real estate and infrastructure development agent for JCorp was appointed to manage the project.

He said the construction of the mosque was from funds and contributions from the ICU, the Prime Minister's Department, JCorp group of companies such as Kulim (Malaysia) Bhd, Johor Land Bhd, Waqaf An-Nur, Bandar Tiram Residents' Committee, the public and local mosques.


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Once again, Malaysia’s Anwar bids to become prime minister


7 November, 2022

By A. Ananthalakshmi and Rozanna Latiff

TAMBUN, Malaysia (Reuters) – After two decades as opposition leader, Malaysia’s Anwar Ibrahim was poised to finally become prime minister in 2020. But his alliance collapsed from infighting, leaving him as far away as ever from the top job.

Now, Anwar, 75, is hitting the national campaign trail again, trying to convince Malaysians to vote for him in the Nov. 19 election as he looks to finally fulfil his long-held dream of becoming prime minister.

He was in his element on the stump: joking with supporters as he peppered his speech with Quranic verses and Malay folklore to condemn his rivals and burnish his leadership credentials.

“I’m optimistic,” Anwar told Reuters late on Friday after a packed day of campaigning at his constituency Tambun in west Malaysia, referring to his coalition’s chances of victory and changing the political landscape in multi-ethnic, Muslim-majority Malaysia.

“We are here to emphasize governance and anti-corruption, and rid this country of racism and religious bigotry,” he said.

Anwar’s alliance faces two other coalitions in the election – one led by incumbent Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the other by former premier Muhyiddin Yassin. There are several other parties in the running, including one founded by another former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, a factor that is expected to split the votes more than ever before.

Opinion polls predict a tight race with no single party or coalition being able to win a simple majority needed to form the government.

Anwar has support from the ethnic-Chinese and Indian minorities, who form a third of the electorate, and from voters in urban areas. In Tambun town, he attracted hundreds at a campaign stop, with crowds spilling onto the road and the driver of a passing ambulance flashing Anwar a thumbs-up sign.

But he lacks widespread appeal among majority Malays due to his opposition to affirmative action favouring them and past allegations of sodomy, a crime in Malaysia. Anwar has spent around a decade in jail on sodomy and corruption charges.

A survey by independent pollster Merdeka Center showed that Anwar lags behind his two rivals in popularity by 8 to 12 percentage points despite a recent uptick.

However, his multi-ethnic coalition was the most favoured by voters at 26%, although nearly 31% were yet to decide who to vote for, Merdeka said. Ismail’s Barisan Nasional coalition came in second at 24%.


Anwar said he will not work with Ismail’s or Muhyiddin’s coalitions due to “fundamental differences”, despite polls saying that alliances would be necessary to form the next government.

“Any form of coalition will be a major setback because you are having a coalition with essentially racist or Muslim fanatics,” said Anwar. He also ruled out working with friend-turned-foe Mahathir.

Barisan is led by a Malay nationalist party. Muhyiddin’s coalition also prioritises ethnic Malay interests and includes an Islamist party that has touted shariah law.

Anwar, who was deputy to Mahathir when he was prime minister in his first term, came close to the premiership after the opposition defeated Barisan for the first time in Malaysia’s history in the 2018 election. His party had joined hands with Mahathir amid widespread anger against the government over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal.

Anwar was in prison during the 2018 election on what he says were politically-motivated sodomy charges, and later pardoned.

Mahathir became prime minister and promised to hand over power to Anwar in two years. Anwar’s wife took over as deputy prime minister, but the coalition collapsed in 22 months due to infighting over the transition.

Muhyiddin briefly became prime minister but Barisan came back to power in 2021 with Ismail at the helm as part of another alliance.

Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow with Singapore’s Institute of International Affairs, said Anwar was not likely to get enough Malay support to reach the finish line.

“More of the rural Malay voters will flow back to (Barisan) in particular and Malay parties in general,” he said.

Anwar is also facing pressure from some in his own coalition to step down and make way for new leadership after over two decades at the helm.

Asked if this election would be his last, Anwar said he knew his limits.


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PAS non-Muslim wing accepts the 4 seats offered by party

November 5, 2022

PETALING JAYA: PAS non-Muslim supporters’ wing has been given one parliamentary and three state seats to contest in the general election (GE15).

This was way below the three parliamentary and 13 state seats it had requested earlier.

The wing’s chief, N Balasubramaniam, said that its candidates were contesting in the Bukit Mertajam parliamentary constituency and three state seats in Perak — Jelapang, Sungkai and Pasir Bedamar.

He said the wing accepted the decision in the spirit of camaraderie and was being realistic about its chances.

“We understand the party’s constraints, especially with the demands from its Perikatan Nasional coalition partners. Bersatu and Gerakan also have many non-Muslim candidates.

“So, we accepted the decision wholeheartedly and will continue to campaign for PAS in GE15,” he told FMT.

He said the wing did not demand for seats but only requested for certain seats.

Balasubramaniam said since GE15 had turned out to be an election like no other with the demand for seats from all reaching a record high, the wing decided to accept the seats offered and work on them despite them being “extremely tough seats”.

Their candidate in Bukit Mertajam is Koh Tien Yew, who will face Steven Sim (PH-DAP) and Tan Yang Pang (BN-MCA).

In the Perak state seat of Sungkai, its candidate, G Thilak Raj, will face A Sivanesan (PH-DAP), Mahhadee Ramlee (independent) and V Elango (BN-MIC).

In Jelapang, its candidate S Navinten will take on Hamidah Muhamad (BN-Makkal Sakthi) and Cheah Pou Hian (PH-DAP). Cheah had won the seat in GE14.

In Pasir Bedamar, S Surianarayanan will face Woo Kah Leong (PH-DAP) and Kong Sun Chin (BN-MCA).

Source:Free Malaysia Today

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Arab World 

6 killed as regime forces attack refugee camp in Syria’s Idlib

Beraa Gokturk


IDLIB, Syria

Six civilians were killed and 75 others injured when Syrian regime forces shelled a refugee camp in northeastern Syria, according to civil defense sources on Sunday.

The sources with the White Helmets civil defense agency said regime forces attacked the Maram refugee camp north of Idlib with cluster bombs.

The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals for medical attention, the sources said.

Idlib falls within a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited under a 2018 deal between Türkiye and Russia. The area has been the subject of multiple cease-fire understandings, which have frequently been violated by the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies.

Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Al Azhar Grand Imam meets Supreme Judicial Council Deputy President

06 Nov 2022

Manama, Nov. 6 (BNA): His Eminence Sheikh of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, received today at his residence in the Kingdom of Bahrain Deputy President of the Supreme Judicial Council, President of the Court of Cassation, Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa.

HE Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb underlined the role of the judiciary in promoting justice as one of the pillars of protecting rights, backing the international efforts and achieving sustainable development. He stressed the significant role of the Supreme Judicial Council in protecting rights and liberties as well as public and private properties.

Source: BNA

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Russia: HTS militants, White Helmets preparing false-flag operations in Syria’s Idlib

06 November 2022

Russia’s Defense Ministry has warned that members of the Takfiri Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) terrorist outfit together with the so-called civil defense group White Helmets are planning to stage false flag operations against civilians in the northwestern province of Idlib to implicate Russian military forces in strikes against refugee camps.

“The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria has received information that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham terrorists together with members of the pseudo-humanitarian organization White Helmets are preparing to record staged videos in Kafr Dariyan and Kafr Jales villages of the province to accuse the Russian Aerospace Forces and Syrian government troops of indiscriminate strikes on civilian infrastructure and camps for internally displaced people,” Deputy head of the center, Major General Oleg Yegorov, said.

The White Helmets group, which claims to be a humanitarian NGO, is known for its coordination with terror outfits in Syria to carry out staged chemical attacks in order to falsely incriminate Syrian government forces and fabricate pretexts for military strikes by a US-led military coalition present in Syria since 2014.

On April 14, 2018, the United States, Britain, and France carried out a string of airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical weapons attack on the city of Douma, located about 10 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus.

That alleged attack was reported by the White Helmets group, which published videos showing them purportedly treating survivors.

Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the Douma attack, an allegation strongly rejected by the Syrian government.

The western media and governments have repeatedly accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its own citizens in the war against terrorists.

This is while Syria surrendered its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2014 to a joint mission led by the United States and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which oversaw the destruction of the weaponry. It has also consistently denied using chemical weapons.

Russia has been providing Syrian forces with crucial military assistance in the ongoing battles across the conflict-plagued Arab country.

Source: Press TV

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HM King bids farewell to HH Pope of Vatican and Grand Imam Shaikh of Al Azhar

06 Nov 2022

Manama, Nov. 6 (BNA): His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa bid farewell to His Holiness Pope Francis and the accompanying delegation upon his departure from Bahrain today, concluding a historic four-day official visit to the Kingdom at the invitation of HM the King.

The Pope has participated in the Bahrain Dialogue Forum: "East and West for Human Coexistence" in its first session held under the patronage of HM King Hamad.

HM the King also bid farewell to His Eminence Sheikh of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb upon his departure today, concluding a visit to the Kingdom at the invitation of HM the King.

The Grand Imam has participated in the Bahrain Dialogue Forum: "East and West for Human Coexistence."

Source: BNA

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Activists Say Saudi Officials to Execute 8 Teenagers from over Trumped-Up Terror Allegations


The activists have mounted a campaign under the Arabic hashtag “Stop the Slaughter” to demand the abolition of death penalties handed down to minors, presstv reported.

They identified the defendants as Abdullah Al-Howaiti, Abdullah Al-Derazi, Ali Al-Sabiti, Hasan Zaki Al-Faraj, Jalal Al Labad, Mahdi Al-Mohsen, Javad Qariris, and Yousef Al-Manasif.

The activists pointed out that the General Prosecutor's Office has sentenced Manasif, and at least five others, including a teenager named Sajjad Al Yassin, to death for apostasy – abandoning their Muslim faith, according to trial documents.

They went on to note that these six people are under trial in Saudi Arabia's Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) since September 2019.

Manasif was violently attacked and arrested back in April 2017, near the so-called Qatif Court of Justice. He was walking in the street when Saudi forces opened fire and detained him, without providing an arrest warrant or any reason for the measure.

Saudi authorities allowed Manasif's family to meet him only six months after his detention, and he was kept in solitary confinement during that time. He was tortured several times by Saudi officers, beaten unconscious, and then taken to hospital.

Among the charges leveled against him are participation in the funerals of political opponents, taking part in anti-regime demonstrations and chanting slogans against the Riyadh regime, attempts to incite sedition and disturb national security, encouragement of sit-ins, protests and gatherings with the intent to harm the country’s stability, affiliation to terrorist outfits and shooting at security forces.

Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime. Security forces have increased security measures across the province.

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.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Pope urges Lebanon’s politicians to ‘put aside’ personal interests

06 November, 2022

Pope Francis urged Lebanese politicians Sunday to “put aside... personal interests” and come to an agreement on filling a power vacuum in the crisis-hit country, which currently has no president.

“I call on Lebanese politicians to put aside your personal interests, look at the country and come to an agreement,” the pontiff said at a press conference during his return journey from a trip to Bahrain.

Already mired in political and economic crises, Lebanon is now also without a president after Michel Aoun's mandate expired at the start of the week without a successor.

Now, headed by a caretaker government, Lebanon is unable to enact the major reforms needed to access billions of dollars from international lenders to help save an economy in freefall since late 2019.

Lebanese lawmakers vote in parliament for the president. But parliament has held four rounds of voting since September, with no candidate garnering enough support to succeed Aoun.

“I don't want to say 'save' Lebanon, because we are not saviours,” Francis said.

“But please: support Lebanon, help it to get out of this bad situation. Let Lebanon regain its greatness,” he said.

For three years Lebanon has been in the throes of one of the worst economic crises in recent history according to the World Bank.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Six displaced Syrians, including two children, killed in regime rocket strike

06 November, 2022

Syrian regime rocket fire killed six civilians including two children at makeshift camps for displaced people in the country's last major rebel-held bastion early Sunday, a war monitor said.

The victims had all been uprooted from their homes during Syria’s years of war, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a broad network of sources on the ground.

It said more than 30 rockets exploded in several areas, including the camps, west of the city of Idlib in Syria's northwest.

The shelling wounded in excess of 20 people in addition to those killed, the Observatory said.

An AFP correspondent saw flimsy tents destroyed and burned, blood stains and rocket debris at the scene.

At a nearby hospital, the correspondent saw the bodies of two young girls.

The last pocket of armed opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime includes large swathes of Idlib province and parts of the neighboring Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), headed by ex-members of Syria's former Al-Qaeda franchise, is the dominant group in the area but other rebel groups are also active.

According to the Observatory, the rocket fire came the day after five Syrian forces members died in shelling by a group affiliated with HTS.

The Idlib region is home to about three million people, around half of them displaced.

They are among the millions displaced internally and abroad by the war in Syria since 2011. Nearly half a million people have been killed.

With Russian and Iranian support, Damascus clawed back much of the ground lost in the early stages of Syria’s conflict, which erupted in 2011 when the government brutally repressed pro-democracy protests.

Source: Al Arabiya

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COP27 summit in Egypt to begin with plea to discuss climate compensation

06 November, 2022

The UN climate summit, COP27, opens in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on Sunday amid growing calls for rich countries to compensate poorer nations most vulnerable to climate change.

Much of the tension surrounding COP27 is expected to relate to loss and damage -- compensation funds provided by wealthy nations to vulnerable lower-income countries that bear little responsibility for climate-warming emissions.

Delegates will begin the two-week negotiation process by approving the conference agenda during the opening plenary session, with all eyes on whether wealthier nations agree to have the compensation listed formally on the agenda.

Diplomats from more than 130 countries are expected to push for the creation of a dedicated loss and damage finance facility at COP27.

At COP26 last year in Glasgow, high-income nations blocked a proposal for a loss and damage financing body, instead supporting a new three-year dialogue for funding discussions.

Currently, a session to address loss and damage is on the provisional agenda, but policymakers will decide today whether to adopt it onto the official agenda.

“I’m hopeful that it will get on the agenda,” Matthew Samuda, a minister in Jamaica’s economic growth ministry, told Reuters. “There has been a softening of positions from many nations who a year ago or two years ago would not have been willing to support it.”

Others expressed concern about potential holdouts.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Bahrain will build on partnership with Israel: King’s adviser

06 November, 2022

Bahrain will continue to build its relationship with Israel after former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing allies triumphed in Israel’s general election, the diplomatic adviser to Bahrain’s king said on Saturday.

Arab leaders have largely been silent about the victory of Netanyahu, whose record of hardline opposition to Shia Muslim power Iran has helped forge ties with Sunni Muslim Gulf leaders.

Israel, under Netanyahu’s government in 2020, normalized ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain - where concern over Iran’s regional sway dominates security strategy - under US-brokered pacts called the Abraham Accords.

The diplomatic adviser, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, said Netanyahu’s win was “normal and always expected.”

“We have an agreement with Israel, part of the Abraham Accords, and we will stick to our agreement and we expect it to continue in the same line and continue building our partnership together,” he told reporters.

“We will want to make an example and succeed together and face all the threats,” he said, responding to a question about a multilateral regional approach to security that includes Israel.

US and Israeli officials raised the idea of an integrated Middle East air defense system during a trip by US President Joe Biden in July to Israel and Saudi Arabia, which blessed the Abraham Accords but has yet to formally recognize Israel.

“We would like to make sure that we don’t have to reach a day that we will face some deterioration of security in the region of any sort,” said Sheikh Khalid, whose country is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

“We do want to have the region come to terms between all the countries and agree against any belligerency from any side to any other.”

The Gulf and Israel share concern over Iran’s nuclear and missile programs and network of regional proxies. Gulf states rely on the US for their security but have questioned US commitment to the region.

Source: Al Arabiya

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UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah, Turkey’s Cavusoglu discuss ties, energy at Abu Dhabi event

05 November, 2022

The UAE’s foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed discussed regional matters and energy in a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Saturday.

The meeting, in which the diplomats reportedly discussed bilateral relations, took place on the sidelines of the Sir Baniyas Forum, which Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is also expected to attend.

Sheikh Abdullah congratulated Cavusoglu on the resumption of the grain-export deal through the Black Sea, “commending the significant efforts made by the Republic of Türkiye to continue the implementation of this deal…,” WAM reported.

The UAE diplomat also reportedly affirmed the UAE's interest to invest in Turkey.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Royal Saudi Air Force jet crashes during drills, crew unharmed: Defense ministry

07 November, 2022

A Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S fighter jet crashed at the King Abdulaziz Air Base training area due to a technical malfunction, the Saudi Ministry of Defense’s official spokesperson Brigadier General Turki al-Malki said on Monday.

The aircrew, which consisted of two officers, survived the crash after using their ejector seats, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited the spokesperson as saying.

“An investigation committee has commenced its tasks to uncover the details and reasons behind this incident,” SPA quoted al-Maliki as saying.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iraq considers reinstating conscription

06 November, 2022

Iraqi lawmakers were due to examine on Sunday a bill seeking to reestablish military conscription in the country, nearly 20 years after its abolition.

Service in the armed forces was mandatory in Iraq from 1935 up until 2003, when a US-led invasion toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein.

The bill would pave the way for the conscription of young men aged 18 to 35, for terms between three and 18 months depending on their education level, MP Yasser Iskander Watout told AFP.

They would receive allowances ranging from 600,000 to 700,000 Iraqi dinars (more than $400), added Watout, who serves on the legislature’s defense committee.

It would take two years after the passing of the law to fully restore conscription, Watout said, adding that only-sons and breadwinners would be exempted.

Since Saddam’s overthrow Iraq has suffered sectarian conflict and ISIS’ takeover of large swathes of territory, before the extremists’ defeat in late 2017 by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led military coalition.

That anti-ISIS coalition continued a combat role in Iraq until last December, but roughly 2,500 American soldiers remain in Iraq to offer training, advice and assistance to national forces.

The bill was initially submitted by the defense ministry in August 2021, under the government of then-prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi.

Iraq later that year elected a new parliament, which only last month swore in a government led by Mohammed Shia al-Sudani after a year of political paralysis.

Despite the declared victory over ISIS, members of the group continue to stage intermittent attacks on government forces and the former paramilitary Hashed al-Shaabi, now integrated into the regular forces.

This persistent “terrorist threat” prompted MP Sikfan Sindi to call, in a recent interview with state news agency INA, for the reinstatement of military service.

Though it is unclear whether the bill would receive much backing in parliament, it has already drawn a backlash within the legislature and beyond.

“The militarization of society will not create patriotism,” lawmaker Saeb Khidr of the minority Yazidi community, which was brutalized by ISIS, told AFP.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Families of Bahraini political prisoners threatened, prevented from seeing Pope

06 November 2022

Bahrain’s security forces have threatened the families of political prisoners with arrest and prevented them from seeing Pope Francis, in an attempt to blackout one of the most controversial topics of human rights in the tiny Persian Gulf state.

The Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society published a video via its twitter account, showing the families of freedom of speech prisoners and victims of torture in Bahraini prisons, as well as those sentenced to death by the Bahraini regime as they were trying to meet Pope Francis on Saturday.

Nevertheless, their attempt was unsuccessful as they were prevented to do so by the police. Activists said the protesters were taken away from the protest site in a police vehicle and later released.

The video of Saturday’s protest, which included several women and children, was also posted online by the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD).

Hajer Mansoor, the mother of jailed activist Sayed Nizar al-Wadaei, held a placard reading: “Tolerance does not exist for us here in Bahrain.”

One of the placards read “Tolerance, Coexistence is a practice not just slogan. #Free Hassan Mushaima #Free Political Prisoners #End Sectarianism”.

Hassan Mushaima is a former Bahraini MP, whom the regime has accused of subversive activities. He was handed a life sentence back in 2011, when the country's population rose up en masse against Manama's decades-long policy of sidelining and tyrannizing the Shia majority.

The families of jailed dissidents had appealed to Pope Francis to speak out against human rights abuses perpetrated by the ruling Al-Khalifa regime during his upcoming trip to the tiny Persian Gulf country.

The appeal was made in a letter written by the families of 12 prisoners sitting on death row, and released by the BIRD last week.

"Our family members remain behind bars and at risk of execution despite the clear injustice of their convictions. Many of them were targeted because they took part in pro-democracy protests during the 'Arab Spring'," read the letter.

"During your visit to Bahrain, we hope you can repeat your call to abolish the death penalty and for the sentences of our family members to be commuted."

Late in October, a group of incarcerated Bahraini Shia Muslim clerics urged Pope Francis to condemn the injustice and repressive policies of the ruling Al Khalifah regime and push for reforms in the Persian Gulf kingdom ahead of his visit.

In a statement, the scholars said in Bahrain "the motto of tolerance and coexistence is raised for everyone except for its own people," reminding Pope Francis that he is visiting a country "where justice and charity are widely prescribed; but injustice and aggression are practiced in reality.”

Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis since the popular uprising began in the Arab country in mid-February 2011.

People demand that the Al Khalifah regime relinquish power and allow a just system representing all Bahrainis to be established. Manama, however, has gone to great lengths to clamp down on any form of dissent.

Source: Press TV

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Sounds of Sufism combine with Persian music in Oud Festival


6 November 2022

When Persian ethnic wind musician Amir Shahsar performs with Turkish Sufi musician Isa Nasim and Turkish vocalist Selçukhan Yılma on Monday night, it will mark a rare encounter between the Persian and Turkish artists in Israel.

The three are performing as part of the Oud Festival, which is running from November 3 to 12, hosted at Jerusalem’s Confederation House and directed by Effie Benaya.

The three artists, accompanied by other musicians, will trace a musical journey of Sufi mystic Jalal al-Din Rumi, who left Persia in the 13th century on a journey to Turkey via Kurdistan and Armenia. It’s a performance that includes vocals in Turkish, Persian, Arabic and Hebrew.

At a rehearsal last week, several days before Nasim and Yılma arrived in Israel, Shahsar rehearsed with sitar player Gilad Weiss, daf drummer Ruhama Carmel and santur player Noam Shemesh, with Prof. Haviva Pedaya, who translated the poetry and readings being performed.

The Iranian-born Shahsar, who lives in Israel, placed the ney, an ancient Iranian flute, on his upper lip and his cellphone on his leg, rehearsing the ancient Turkish tune that speaks of Sufi love and friendship.

Shahsar is the “master of Persian music,” said Pedaya of the Iranian-born musician. She described him as the only person who could weave together the evening of Turkish and Persian music from the period of the 1300s, when much of Persia and Turkey were merged in one empire.

“The concept just made sense,” said Pedaya. “Persian and Turkish together — that’s Amir, it’s these two shades together. He’s a cantor and a muezzin, he’s Jewish and Arab, he’s multilingual.”

Shahsar performs original compositions that are tinged with his background of Persian, Turkish, Armenian and Middle Eastern influences. His music is known for combining the contemporary and traditional, sacred and folk sounds.

The 58-year-old musician was born in Iran and played the flute and Persian ney from a young age. When he was 24 he left for Turkey, where he learned traditional Turkish and Sufi music, and the Turkish clarinet, before immigrating to Israel in 1989, where he added the oud to his repertoire.

It was Shahsar who suggested including the Turkish musicians, but he also needed fellow local artists “who could really play anything,” he said.

His fellow band members include former students and musical colleagues. Carmel learned to play the daf, a wide, light drum with Shehsi, while Weiss, who usually plays the fretless guitar, picked up the Persian sitar a couple of months ago.

During the rehearsal, Shemesh drew out piano-like notes from the santur, a biblical-era instrument that is played with slim metal hammers that touch the keys — a kind of hammered dulcimer.

The song they were rehearsing was a lengthy, singsong poem about love and relationships, of spiritual awakening and mystical concepts, said Shahsar, offering an impromptu freestyle translation into Hebrew afterwards.

“It’s happy music, but the words are a little painful,” laughed Pedaya. “It goes on and on and as it goes, the saddest things can be laughed at through the music.”

The annual Oud Festival is celebrating its 23rd year with a full schedule of performances by visiting and local artists, including Mira Awad, Palestinian hip-hop and electronic music for younger fans at the Mazkeka bar, and a night celebrating Riff Cohen’s new album.

Source: TimesOfIsrael

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Israeli settlers have high hopes after Netanyahu election win

Nov 7, 2022

HILLTOP, West Bank: High atop a rocky hill in the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers exhilarated by a resounding right-wing election triumph surveyed a landscape dotted with Palestinian villages, scouting new spots to put down roots.

The Nov. 1 ballot saw Religious Zionism, a hard-line settler party, soar to third place in parliament, positioning it as a potential powerful partner in Benjamin Netanyahu's likely coalition. Negotiations started on Sunday and could take weeks.

But among ideological settlers who see themselves as pioneers redeeming Biblical heartland promised by God, hopes are already high for budgets, construction and infrastructure to keep their enterprise thriving.

"Our expectations are great," said Daniella Weiss, a veteran settler who led the tiny scouting mission. "This government is better for the Jews than it is for the Arabs. That's the name of the game."

Weiss described the election results as a revolution. "As a person heading a settlement movement, it's a victory," she said. "I have no doubt there will be acceleration in development of the settlements."

Most world powers deem settlements built in the territory Israel seized in the 1967 war as illegal under international law and their expansion as an obstacle to peace, since they eat away at land the Palestinians claim for a future state.

With peace talks establishing for such state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem dormant since 2014, and with no sign of their revival, Netanyahu's likely government has simply darkened an already bleak Palestinian view.

"There will be an increase in settlement activity and that will close the door for any political solution," said Wasel Abu Youssef of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).


Israel disputes the illegality of the settlements and cites Biblical and historical ties to the West Bank, which it calls by its Biblical name - Judea and Samaria.

"I sense a chill down my spine coming back to the very places where my ancestors lived," said Baruch Gordon from the settlement of Bet El, where Religious Zionism election banners dot the streets.

"It's our ancestral rightful homeland," said Gordon, who hopes to see Israel extending sovereignty to the territory, which would be a de-facto annexation.

More than 450,000 people, or less than 5% of Israel's population, are Jewish settlers in the West Bank, home to about 3 million Palestinians who exercise limited self-rule there.

Settlers driven ideologically to the smaller enclaves, deep in the territory, are a minority of the settler population. But they are nonetheless a powerful political force, in Netanyahu's Likud party too.

At the Bet El religious seminary, where Gordon works as development director, the male students broke out in song and dance on election night, when the results came through.

About 80% of Bet El's votes went to Religious Zionism, data from the Knesset's election committee showed, and almost 10% to Netanyahu's Likud.

Set for a record sixth term in office, Netanyahu has allied himself with Religious Zionism, which advocates annexation of settlements, a pledge he made in 2020 before dropping it in return for normalising ties with the United Arab Emirates.

That deal, extended soon after to Bahrain, was mediated by former U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration saw Netanyahu's 2015-2019 solid right-wing government increasing investment in settlement development.

With the Biden administration, which has been far sharper in its stance against settlements, Netanyahu will have to walk a tightrope between his own emerging coalition and the White House.

But settlers are unfazed. Yigal Dilmoni, chief executive of the settlers' main umbrella organisation, said he expected Netanyahu to step up settlement development while cracking down on Palestinian construction carried out without Israeli permits.

Netanyahu, said Dilmoni, was an astute statesman capable of sorting out any related diplomatic rift, adding that in any case, annexation was merely a matter of time.

Source: Times Of India

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Hamas: Palestinian martyrs’ blood will haunt Israel across Palestine like a curse

06 November 2022

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has denounced the most recent killing of a Palestinian teenager who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian martyrs’ blood will be “a curse that haunts the Israeli occupying forces across Palestine,” Hamas said in a statement released on Sunday, adding that the Palestinian people will never rest until they have avenged their martyrs.

Hamas also paid tribute to the Palestinian youth for courageously facing the barbarism of the Israeli regime forces.

The slain Palestinian was identified as 18-year-old Musab Mohammad Nafal, who was targeted with a live bullet to the heart near the town of Sinjil on Saturday.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said, "Nafal had been critically injured by a live Israeli bullet in the heart" and "was rushed to Palestine Medical Complex in [the city of] Ramallah where he was pronounced dead of his wound."

On Thursday alone, Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in the West Bank, including a fighter with the Islamic Jihad resistance movement.

Late October, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, warned "2022 is on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs began systematically tracking Palestinian fatalities in 2005.”

"Near-daily instances of violence, [are] unfolding against a backdrop of unabated Israeli settlement expansion, evictions of Palestinians, and home demolitions,” Wennesland said at the time.

Source: Press TV

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Amsterdam mosque hosts thousands of non-Muslims during Night of Museums

06 NOVEMBER 2022

The Fatih Mosque in Amsterdam opened its doors to more than 1,000 non-Muslim visitors this year during the annual Night of Museums.

Visitors to the mosque, which is affiliated with the Turkish Diyanet Foundation, received information about Islam, mosques and Islamic arts.

“The Dutch are very curious about the religion of Islam and the internal structure of our mosque,” said Kemal Gozutok of the Fatih Mosque.

“They want to learn everything from shoe cabinet to minbar, from mihrab to tiles,” he told Anadolu Agency.

A visitor who gave his name as Charn from the US, said that although he lived very close to the mosque he came for the first time. “I liked the interior of the mosque very much. The voices of the imams were great.”

Another visitor, Jaap Kapteyn, cited the importance of participating in the Night of Museums as a mosque and promoting Islam with art activities and works. “This affects the perspective of the Dutch -- who value art very much -- about Islam.”

“It is a very good way to combat Islamophobia in the Netherlands,” he added.

The Fatih Mosque, built in 1920 and converted from a church that was closed due to a lack of worshippers, was purchased by Turkish workers who came to Amsterdam in 1980 to meet the need for places of worship.

Source: Yenisafak

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Iran Unveils Advanced Home-Made Missile Defense System


The Sayyad 4B guided missile production line was inaugurated on Sunday.

Iranian engineers have increased the range of the Bavar-373 long-range road-mobile surface-to-air missile system to 300 km.

Bavar 373, as the first Iranian indigenous long-range defense system which was unveiled in August 2019, is a mobile missile defense system designed to intercept and destroy incoming hostile targets.

The Bavar-373 air defense missile system is a product of creativity and reliance on internal capabilities in terms of design, development, and deployment of a strategic missile system.

According to official media, the Sayyad 4B guided missiles can be launched using vertical take-off systems , which, due to their square shape, are similar to those of the MIM-104 Patriot -Anti-aircraft missile system. The effective range of the missile should be 200 km and the service ceiling 27 km.

Source: Fars News Agency

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FM Underlines Failure US Plan B in Iran


"During the past 43 years, the United States has uselessly been after regime change in Iran," Amir Abdollahian told reporters on Saturday.

He pointed out that over the past 40 days, they have been after implementing Plan B in Iran; meanwhile, they were defeated due to Iranian people's vigilance and guidelines of Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Referring to the recent remarks made by the US President Joe Biden to support the unrest in Iran under the claim of freedom, the foreign minister said Mr. Biden received a response from the address delivered by Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi on Friday (November 4).

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Successfully Launches Qaem 100 Solid Fuel Suborbital Carrier


Qaem 100, the first of its kind manufactured by Iranian scientists, is capable of putting satellites weighing up to 80 kilograms into orbit 500 kilometers from the earth's surface.

The launch vehicle’s solid-fueled first-stage engine, which had been subjected to ground tests early this year, successfully completed its first suborbital spaceflight on Saturday.

That means, according to IRGC officials, that Qaem 100 is now ready to launch Nahid, a satellite manufactured by Iran's Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, into orbit in the near future.

Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh and other senior military officials supervised the flight test of the satellite carrier.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ceremony, General Hajizadeh said arrogant countries, led by the United States, are doing all they can to hinder Iran's progress, adding, "They cannot stand the impressive achievements of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

He emphasized that the Iranian youths are making such great achievements at a time when the country is facing the "heaviest" sanctions in history.

Iran would not hesitate to continue down the path of progress and modern technologies, the IRGC commander insisted.

Iran has over the past years succeeded in manufacturing and putting into space different satellites as well as launching various carriers.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Security Forces Arrest MKO Terrorists in Southern Iran


"The agents were responsible for designing and directing propaganda projects in favor of the MKO terrorist group and its criminal head,” Head of the Fars Judiciary  Department Kazzem Mousavi said.

The arrested individuals were active not only in Shiraz but also in several other cities across the country, he said, noting that the arrests were made with the cooperation of several intelligence bodies.

“This active terrorist group was recently involved in planning an act of sabotage,” said the judiciary official, adding that explosive and incendiary materials have also been seized from them.

After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the MKO terrorist group began its enmity against Iran by killing thousands of Iranians and terrorist activities. Several members of the terrorist group and its leaders are living in European countries now, freely conducting terrorist activities.

The MKO terrorist group has martyred 17,161 Iranian citizens and officials, including late president Mohammad Ali Rajayee, former Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, late Head of Supreme Judicial Council Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, late Deputy Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff Ali Sayyad Shirazi, and 27 legislators, as well as four nuclear scientists, some on itself and some others through collusion with Israeli Mossad and other notorious spy agencies like CIA.

The MKO terrorist group has publicly specified targets as martyred Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who commanded the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi.

The terrorist organization said it would “welcome” their assassination, adding that it desired for the ranking officials to “join” Asadollah Lajevardi, Tehran’s former chief prosecutor, and Ali Sayyad-Shirazi, a former commander of the Iranian Army’s Ground Forces during Iraq’s 1980-88 war against Iran, who have both been assassinated by the terror outfit.

The MKO is currently based in Albania, where it enjoys freedom of activity after being delisted by the European Union and the United States in 2009 and 2012, respectively.

The terror group regularly hosts big events in which top US and European officials make speeches in support of the group. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and former Vice President Mike Pence met with the terror group’s leader several times, voiced their support for the notorious cult.

A heavily-armed terrorist assaulted the revered shrine of Shah Cheragh at approximately 5:45 p.m. local time (1415 GMT) on October 26, just before the evening prayers, heinously killing more than a dozen pilgrims, including a lady and two children, and injuring at least 40 others.

The attacker opened fire indiscriminately on visitors within the shrine, according to the police commander of Fars province. He was wounded and taken into custody by security personnel, and later succumbed to his wounds.

Shortly afterward, the Daesh Takfiri terror group claimed responsibility for the attack.

n October 28, Shiraz Governor Lotfollah Sheibani said security forces had defused a bomb in Shiraz that was set to detonate concurrent with the shooting at the shrine. He said an individual had placed “explosives with high destructive power in a bag and sought to detonate it in one of the busiest areas of Shiraz” where riots were held. The forces at the scene, he said, arrested the individual and defused the bomb in the shortest time possible.

Riots broke out in Iran last month after a young Iranian woman, identified as Mahsa Amini, died. The 22-year-old fainted at a police station in the capital Tehran and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization said that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged “blows to the head” or other vital body organs.

Source: Fars News Agency

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IRGC Commander: Iran's Enemies Retreating to Defensive Shell


"The enemies have become frustrated with their anti-Iran policies," General Salami said.

The IRGC commander, meantime, pointed out that the Iranian people are demanding a strong response to the crimes of the Shah Cheragh terrorist attack in Southern Iranian city of Shiraz, and said, "Iran will respond to the enemies' interference and evil actions at the right time."

A terrorist gunman opened fire on the worshippers at Shah Cheragh holy shrine in Shiraz, Southern Iran, on October 26, killing 13, including two children, and wounding 30 others.

The attacker was injured and arrested but succumbed to injuries shortly after being taken to the hospital.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran Slams US As Terrorists Godfather


"Wherever the US stepped in, it brought about killing, looting, and insecurity," Kana'ani tweeted in reaction to recent remarks by US President Joe Biden.

He said that  US has been an occupier in its history and never been a liberator, adding that Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and so on are in front of the eyes of the nations around the region and the whole world.

"Daesh-style liberation comes from Daesh's godfather; nothing else," the spokesman continued.

On Thursday, President Biden while addressing an election campaign claimed "don't worry, we're gonna free Iran".

“They’re gonna free themselves pretty soon,” Biden alleged in the West Coast campaign speech.

Source: Fars News Agency

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At least 304 people killed in Iran’s Mahsa Amini protests: Rights group

06 November, 2022

At least 304 people have been killed during anti-regime protests in Iran sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a rights group said on Saturday.

“At least 304 people, including 41 children and 24 women, have been killed in the ongoing nationwide protests,” the Oslo-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said.

Security forces killed at least 16 people with live bullets during protests in the city of Khash in Sistan-Baluchestan province on Friday, the group said.

With 118 people killed, Sistan-Baluchestan has been the region with the highest number of deaths since the unrest erupted mid-September, IHR said.

Tehran has blamed the violence in Sistan-Baluchestan on armed militants. Iran’s military has in the past clashed with Sunni militants in Sistan-Baluchestan, which is mostly populated by Sunni ethnic Baluchis, a minority in predominantly Shia Iran.

Baluchi activists have long complained of ethnic and religious discrimination and accuse the regime of deliberately neglecting their region, one of Iran’s poorest according to official figures.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Israeli army shoots dead Palestinian in West Bank: Health ministry

06 November, 2022

Israeli forces shot dead an 18-year-old Palestinian on Saturday near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Musaab Nafal died “from severe wounds sustained by occupation (Israeli) bullets near the village of Sinjil,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Israeli army said soldiers responded to “a report about stone hurling toward a highway” that had caused damage “to a number of cars.”

Soldiers “responded with fire toward the perpetrators. Hits were identified,” it said in a statement.

The incident came four days after Israelis went to the polls for general elections.

Violence has soared between Israel and the Palestinians in recent months, with near daily West Bank raids by Israeli forces following a rise in anti-Israeli attacks.

On Thursday, Israeli forces killed four Palestinians, including an alleged attacker in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Four injured in new mining accident following blast in northwest Turkey

06 November, 2022

Four miners were injured, two of them seriously, after an explosion at a mine in northwest Turkey, media reported on Sunday, three weeks after a blast at another pit in the area killed 42.

The blast occurred overnight at a privately-owned mine in the Kilimli district, the DHA news agency reported.

The two seriously injured miners have been transported to a hospital in the capital Ankara for treatment, DHA said.

On October 14, a blast that ripped through a state-owned mine near the small coal town of Amasra, 50 kilometers (just over 30 miles) away from this weekend’s blast, ended up killing 42 people.

Twenty-five people, including the director of the mine, have been detained.

The opposition has accused the government of failing to take the necessary measures to prevent the disaster.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US, UK preparing for fresh escalation in Yemen: Ansarullah

06 November 2022

Yemen's popular resistance Ansarullah movement warns about the United States and the UK's fresh malicious intentions in the war-ravaged country.

Ali al-Qahoum, a member of Ansarullah's Political Bureau, raised the alarm during an exclusive interview with Lebanon's al-Mayadeen television network on Sunday.

There is "a direct US military presence in Yemen, and an influx of US forces, specifically in Hadhramaut," he said, referring to Yemen's biggest province, which spans from the country's center towards its eastern areas.

"There is also an influx of British forces into al-Mahrah," he added, referring to Yemen's second-largest province that neighbors Hadharamaut to the east.

The US and the UK were preparing for a fresh round of escalation in Yemen, he further warned without elaborating.

The Western countries have been contributing heavily and unabatedly to a war of aggression that a Saudi Arabia-led coalition has been waging against Yemen since 2015.

The coalition has been seeking, unsuccessfully though, to restore Yemen's power to the country's former Western- and Riyadh-aligned officials. The war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Washington and London have been providing the coalition with direct arms, logistical, and political support, including through outfitting it with precision-guided ammunitions that the Saudi-led forces have been using amply against Yemen's civilian population.

Al-Qahoum said new US and British military delegations had arrived in Yemen earlier this week.

Reporting on Wednesday, Yemen Press Agency cited informed local sources as saying that Hadhramaut's Provincial Governor, Mabkhout bin Madi, had held a face-to-face meeting with the US delegation in his office.

The Ansarullah official, however, asserted that despite the Western states' apparent preparations for a new flare-up in Yemen, "the Yemenis are ready to defend their dignity and every inch of their country."

Source: Press TV

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Morocco arrests 300 migrants trying to cross border into Spain

Khalid Mejdoup 


RABAT, Morocco

Moroccan security forces thwarted an attempt by hundreds of migrants to cross border into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, according to local media on Sunday.

The local Al-Omq Al-Maghrebi website, citing local sources, said more than 300 migrants were arrested.

Moroccan authorities have launched a manhunt for other irregular migrants in the northern town of Fnideq and nearby forests, the sources said.

Injuries were reported among migrants and security forces, the sources said.

In June, hundreds of migrants tried to scale the iron border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, but were stopped by Moroccan and Spanish forces, leaving at least 23 migrants dead.

For years, North African countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and Mauritania have witnessed attempts by migrants – mainly from sub-Saharan Africa – to reach Europe, hoping for a better life. While some of the migrants manage to reach their destination, others often die during the journey.

According to Moroccan authorities, at least 14,746 attempts to illegally cross border into Spain were foiled in the first quarter of 2022.

In 2021, Moroccan authorities prevented 49 coordinated illegal migration operations, including 47 in the direction of Melilla.

Melilla and Ceuta are Europe’s only territory on the African mainland and have been under Spanish rule since the 17th century.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Sudan warns Bashir loyalists against interfering in army’s affairs

Buhram Abdel-Men'em



The head of Sudan’s ruling Sovereign Military Council, Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, warned loyalists of former President Omar al-Bashir against interfering in the army’s affairs.

“The military institution does not support any faction or party,” Al-Burhan said in a speech aired by state television.

“Stay away from the armed forces,” he said in a stern warning to al-Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) and the Islamist Movement.

Al-Burhan stressed that the army will not allow the NCP or Islamists to return to power.

There was no comment from the NCP on al-Burhan’s speech.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Opposition bloc calls for forming national salvation gov’t in Tunisia

Adel Thabeti 


TUNIS, Tunisia

A main opposition bloc has called for the formation of a national salvation government to address Tunisia’s economic and social problems.

In a statement on Sunday, the National Salvation Front accused the government of failing to provide basic commodities to the citizens.

“The coup regime does not have any economic policy but to hike prices and freeze employment,” the front said.

The opposition bloc accused Tunisian President Kais Saied “of seeking to accumulate powers under his authority.”

The National Salvation Front consists of five parties: Ennahda Movement, Heart of Tunisia Party, the Dignity Coalition, the Movement Party and Al-Amal Party.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that aggravated the country's economic conditions since last year, when Saied ousted the government and dissolved parliament.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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North America 

Iran President Raisi says country thwarted US destabilization

05 November, 2022

President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran’s cities were “safe and sound” after what he called a failed attempt by the United States to repeat the 2011 Arab uprisings in the Islamic Republic, Iranian media reported on Saturday as protests continued for a 50th day.

Iran’s leadership has struggled to suppress the demonstrations which erupted in September after the death of young Kurdish Iranian woman who had been detained by morality police for flouting strict laws on women’s dress.

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Hundreds of people, mostly protesters, have been killed according to activists in one of the most serious waves of unrest to sweep the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution which overthrew the US-backed Shah.

As Iranian authorities marked the anniversary this week of the seizure of the US embassy in Tehran by radical students, President Joe Biden backed the protesters, saying: “We’re gonna free Iran. They’re gonna free themselves pretty soon.”

Students and women have led many of the current protests, with women throwing off and burning veils in defiance of the strict dress codes and students chanting down officials in university campuses, according to unverified video footage.

“The Americans and other enemies sought to destabilize Iran by implementing the same plans as in Libya and Syria, but they failed,” Raisi was quoted by Iranian news agencies as telling a group of students during a four-hour meeting on Friday.

A popular uprising in Libya led to NATO intervention in 2011 and the overthrow and killing of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi by rebel fighters. In Syria, mass demonstrations against Iran’s ally President Bashar al-Assad were confronted with force and the country spiraled into conflict which continues 11 years on.

By contrast, Iranian cities were now “safe and sound, Raisi said, promising retribution for the unrest the country had seen.

"Riots and attempts to disrupt the country are different from protesting. Riots and those who create insecurity must be dealt with,” Raisi said.

Slogans, crackdown

The activist HRANA news agency said 314 protesters had been killed in the unrest as of Friday, including 47 minors. Some 38 members of the security forces were also killed. At least 14,170 people have been arrested, including 392 students, in protests in 136 cities and towns, and 134 universities, it said.

Some of the worst bloodshed has been in Iran’s restive southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, where many of the predominantly Shia Muslim country’s Sunni minority live.

Senior Sunni cleric Molavi Abdolhamid said the tough crackdown against protesters in the southeastern city of Khash on Friday was an example of government discrimination towards the minority Baluch who live in the impoverished region on the borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Should live ammunition be the response to slogans and stone throwing? One wonders why the treatment of protesters in Sistan-Baluchistan is different from other regions of the country and why protesting people of this province are mercilessly massacred?,” Abdolhamid said in a statement on his website.

Amnesty International said up to 10 people may have been killed after security forces opened fire on protesters who threw stones and were reported to have attacked a government building.

Students in a dozen universities in Tehran and in Karaj, west of the capital, in the northern cities of Rasht, and Mashhad in the northeast held protests on Saturday, chanting slogans such as “Woman, Life, Freedom,” according to videos posted by HRANA.

Reuters could not independently authenticate the footage.

The crisis has dragged Iran’s currency to new historic lows. The US dollar was selling for as much as 362,100 rials on the unofficial market on Saturday, after losing nearly 12 percent of its value since the protests started, according to foreign exchange website

In an apparent effort to curb the fall of Iran’s troubled currency, the government on Saturday authorized online sales by currency dealers, to make it easier for people to buy hard currency.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Arab and Muslim candidates key to outcome of US midterm elections


November 06, 2022

CHICAGO: For President Joe Biden, a Democrat, the midterm elections are crucial and challenging. Traditionally, the party that controls the White House at this stage usually loses control of the House and the Senate. Now the Republicans are perched to take both from the Democrats in Tuesday’s elections.

Arab and Muslim Americans will play an important role in helping to define the outcome, reinforcing congressional seats they now control while expanding their community’s role in local state and municipal offices.

Here is an overview of some of the important contests to watch:

In Pennsylvania’s US Senate race, Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Muslim TV medical personality of Turkish heritage, is the Republican candidate. He faces Democrat John Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor since 2019. Polling shows Oz leading Fetterman in the election, although Fetterman this week received an endorsement from TV powerhouse Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey originally helped Oz launch his own career as a TV personality when he first appeared on her show in 2004. Oz began hosting “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2009.

If Oz wins, he will become the first Muslim US senator. Five Arab Americans have served in the US Senate. All five are of Lebanese heritage although one was part Palestinian, and three Republicans.

According to the US Census, there are at least 84,472 residents who identify as Arab who come from Egypt, Iraq and Morocco, and 83,817 who identify as Muslim from the Arab world and Asia. Pennsylvania is one of six states including Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin and Nebraska that Donald Trump won in 2016 but that flipped for Biden in 2020.

Arab and Muslim Americans will have a strong say in Tuesday’s elections in races for Congress, state legislator and local municipal contests.

Since the 1950s, there have been 28 Arab Americans who have or continue to serve in the US House of Representatives. The majority have been Lebanese.

In California’s new 48th District, Republican incumbent Congressman Darrell Issa faces a challenge from newcomer Democrat Stephen Houlahan. Issa is expected to retain his seat. Issa served from 2001 until 2019 but came out of retirement to win the office, defeating fellow Arab American Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar in 2020.

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, a Democrat who is Christian Assyrian, is seeking reelection in California’s new 16th District. She faces a challenge from Republican Rishi Kumar.

In Michigan, Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, elected in 2019, is facing a minor challenge in the newly drawn 12th District from Republican Steven Elliot and Working Class Party candidate Gary Walkowicz. Tlaib is Palestinian.

As Michigan has the second-largest concentration of Arab Americans, voter excitement will be focused on local state legislative and municipal contests. They include several candidates running for the Michigan State House including several Democrats, Alabas Farhat in the 3rd District, Ghassan (Gus) Tarraf in the 4th District, Bilal Hammoud in the 15th District, Abraham Aiyash in the 9th District and Aisha Farooqi in the 57th District. The 3rd, 4th and 15th districts include parts of Dearborn. Aiyash is seeking reelection and is the first American of Yemeni origin to hold a legislative seat there.

Pollster and political consultant Dennis Denno is running with the backing of the Democratic Party for a vacancy on the eight-member Michigan State University board of trustees. There are also many school board candidates including Nadia Berry and Hassan Beydoun for full terms, and Danielle Elzayat and Hassan Nasser for partial terms on the Crestwood school board.

In Illinois, Republican Congressman Darin LaHood, who is Lebanese American, is expected to easily hold his seat in the new 16th District against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Haderlein.

Harvard graduate Abdelnasser Rashid defeated a veteran Democratic incumbent to win the party nomination for the 21st House District which covers the influential southwest suburban region of Chicago, which has one of the largest concentrations of Palestinian Americans. Democrat Nabeela Syed is running for the Illinois House 51st District legislative seat and is being challenged by Republican Chris Bos.

In Iowa, Democrat Sami Scheetz is running to become the state’s first Arab American state representative, in the 78th District.

In Minnesota, Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar in the 5th District and Betty McCollum in the 4th District, some of the most effective voices in championing Arab and Muslim American issues in Congress, are not expected to easily defeat their challengers. Omar is being challenged by Republican Cicely Davis, and McCollum is being challenged by Republican May Lor Xiong.

However, recent polling shows Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison may lose his reelection bid to his Republican challenger Jim Schultz. Ellison is the state’s first Muslim attorney general and first to win a statewide office there.

Source: ArabNews

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