• Intelligence Agency on Saturday Received A Specific Input About
A Possible Strike Being Planned by Islamic State, In Indian Capital Delhi
• No, Foreign Nationals from Italy, Iran Weren’t Hiding In Patna
Mosque To Avoid Coronavirus Testing
• Iraqi Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Says Same-Sex Marriage Caused
• Egypt’s Salafists Exploit Mosques Shutdown to Expand Influence
• Moroccans Reject Salafists’ ‘Irresponsible’ Attempt at Assailing
Closure of Mosques
• Old Video of Interfaith Service Viral as Donald Trump Offers
Islamic Prayers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
• Council of Muslim Theologians Urge South Africans To Take
• NZ Muslim Community Solidarity with Sikhs, Condolences
• Violating Ban on Friday Congregations: Religious Parties Condemn
Arrests, Cases Against Imams
• Iran, Russia Send Joint Letter to UN Chief to Push Lift of
• Northern Railway Makes the First Prototype of Hospital Isolation
Coach For Covid-19 Patients
• Police in Telangana chase away people, imam gathered to offer
• Coronavirus case in Uttar Pradesh: Youth returns from UAE, tests
• Imams of Grand Mosque and Prophet’s Mosque urge cooperation with
government health measures and precautions
• Saudi Arabia Intercepts Houthi Missiles Above Riyadh
• Bahrain Islamic Bank Offers Relief Measures to Retail and
Corporate Clients and Urges Utilisation of Digital Platforms to Ensure Personal
• Imam speaks out on viral photo of crowds outside Leeds mosque in
• Muslims in Britain should prepare for more COVID-19 deaths and
• 'Things will get worse before they get better': Boris Johnson
warns tougher lockdown may be needed in letter to every UK household
• U.K. coronavirus death toll under 20,000 would be ‘good result’:
• Disagreement over US presence throws Iraq’s Shia camp in
• Two Canadian human rights organizations protest to remind world
of Yemen tragedy
• Top US general warns Pentagon against plan to 'destroy' Iraq's
Kata'ib Hezbollah group
• US wrestling with how to respond to rising, bolder attacks on
Americans in Iraq
• US to send equipment to terrorists in Syrian refugee camp under
guise of medical aid: Report
• US beefs up security around Baghdad embassy amid Washington’s
plans to target PMU: Iraqi MP
• Coronavirus: Details of FCT Minister’s meeting with Christian,
Muslim leaders emerges
• Kaduna: Police arrest two Islamic clerics for flouting directive
on religious gatherings
• Cameroonian Muslims Defy Coronavirus Prayer Restrictions
• Gov. Umahi shuts down all Churches, Mosques in Ebonyi State
• Shehbaz Recommends Use of Marriage Halls, Schools, Colleges and
Mosques as Isolation Centres
• Govt distributes relief goods among deserving non-Muslims
• Law ministry endorses IHC order for release of over 700
• Mosque sealed in Hyderabad after Chinese man tests positive for
• Minister draws UNHCR attention to Afghan refugees’ problems
• Yemeni scholar: Jews, Israel and US made coronavirus to shut
• Palestinian groups in Gaza Strip cancel anti-Israel mass
protests over coronavirus concerns
• Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Society expresses solidarity with
Iran in fighting COVID-19
• By observing recommendations, we can take steps to eradication
• Taliban’s Reaction to Formation of Negotiation Team by Afghan
• Pompeo reacts to formation of negotiating team for the talks
• 4 members of a family killed as duck hunting turns deadly in
North of Afghanistan
• 365 days later: The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim
• Bank Islam refining details, to introduce iTekad programme by
• Coronavirus could stop millions of Indonesians returning to home
villages after Ramadan
• Jakarta Muslim Gathering Ends with 183 Placed in Quarantine
• Coronavirus: Muslim group in close contact with infected patients
moved to quarantine ward
• COVID-19: Singapore records one more death
• There might be no Ramadan bazaar in Kelantan this year - MB
Compiled by New Age Islam
Agency on Saturday Received A Specific Input About A Possible Strike Being
Planned by Islamic State, In Indian Capital Delhi
DELHI: The threat of a terror attack looms large over the capital. An
intelligence agency on Saturday received a specific input about a possible
strike being planned by Islamic State operatives in the coming days.
input, accessed by TOI, mentions human intelligence sources stating that two
Pakistani terrorists, who were operating in Shopian region of J&K till now,
had moved out to launch a terror attack somewhere in the mainland. “The
terrorists owe their allegiance to ISIS and are using Telegram to communicate,”
agency was given the tip-off that the two terrorists had left the Valley last
week by road and were going to reach Delhi in a couple of days.
has been stepped up in Delhi and efforts are on to disperse the crowd gathered
at various interstate bus terminals and at the UP border. Police of states like
Punjab and metros like Mumbai have also been alerted.
threat is being taken “very seriously” as IS magazines like al-Naba and Voice
of Hind have written cover-page articles urging Indian Jihadis to capitalise on
the “enemy’s preoccupation with novel coronavirus” and wage attacks.
editorial piece in al-Naba, Islamic State mentioned that jihadis could exploit
this opportunity as the security apparatus of all countries was busy fighting
the pandemic. The article elaborated on how the ability of the governments in
coordinating counter-terror operations was reduced as it was focusing on
dealing with casualties, price hike and product shortages.
are preparing for new attacks, which will be the last thing they want. The
military apparatus is also crippled because of restriction of movement. The
overburdened hospitals will have a nightmare if the mujahideens greet them in
the morning,” added the article, which was widely circulated on pro-ISIS
channels and chat platforms like Rocketchat, TamTam, Threema and Telegram.
sources said they were well aware of these communications and were closely
foreign nationals from Italy, Iran weren’t hiding in Patna mosque to avoid
March 27, over 900 people died due to novel coronavirus in Italy in a single
day. The state’s death toll has now crossed 9,000. Meanwhile, in Iran, the
virus has taken the lives of more than 2,000 people. In the midst of the
disturbing news, a video is viral on Facebook and Twitter which shows people
coming out of a building. It is being claimed that 50 people from Italy and
Iran came to Patna’s Kurji last month and have since been hiding in a mosque.
They were apprehended by Digha police, the claim furthers.
media outlets, in contrast to News 24 India’s report of 50 foreign nationals,
claimed that only 12 people were arrested. Meanwhile, News18 reported, “The
number of people who were kept hidden is being said to be 12. Everyone is said
to be from Turkestan. People living in the neighbourhood objected when they
came to know about them and started creating a ruckus. Local police were
informed about the ruckus, after which, the police took these 12 people into
their custody. Police are conducting raids in the area (translated).”
Bihar bureau chief Mukesh Singh also tweeted the video and questioned Bihar CM
Nitish Kumar, “At lane no. 74 of Patna’s Kurji area, 25-30 foreign nationals
said to be from Iran and Italy, suddenly got down from 2-3 cars. The locals
have informed the police and some of them were taken for interrogation. But why
website OpIndia went a step further and speculated that these people could be
‘Chinese Ughyur Muslims’. “Seeing their physique, the possibility, of them
being Chinese Uyghur, cannot be denied. For time being, the police are
interrogating them. (translated)”
stated above, the video was published with two different claims. One that these
people were hiding inside the mosque and the other that they are from Iran and
Italy. Accordingly, we have divided the fact-check into two different
the basis of the above details, we found a March 23 post by a Facebook page
‘Digha Samachar‘. The post says, “Please don’t spread any kind of rumour about
the foreign nationals in Kurji mosque. All of them have tested for COVID-19 and
found to be negative.”
reached out to the admin of this Facebook page. He said, “The issue is related
to a mosque located near gate 74 of Patna’s Kurji. These people had come from
Krygyzstan in the first week of January for ‘jamaat’. Some people saw them in
the mosque and quickly informed the [authorities]. The police came and took
them to AIIMS. The reports of these people have come negative.”
News was independently able to access the reports. Each of the men has tested
negative. You can see the results in the images posted below. It may be noted
that out of the 12 people, ten were foreign nationals and two were local
guides. Below are the medical reports of two of the tourists.
also spoke with Patna AIIMS which confirmed that these were foreign nationals
of Kyrgyzstan who were tested negative for coronavirus.
requested Digha Samachar’s Imad to share copies of the individuals’ passports
and visas. The travel documents carried details about their arrival in India.
Alt News is not attaching every person’s document in this article to protect
their privacy. However, to ascertain whether these men were foreign nationals
of Krygyzstan, or Iran/ Italy as claimed by the multiple media outlets, we are
posting the copies of the visa and passport of two people while blurring their
names and passport numbers. One of them arrived in India on December 19, 2019,
and other, on January 10, 2020. All of these individuals had arrived in India
before the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the country on January 30,
were also two local guides with these foreign nationals. We spoke to one of
them, Munawar Iqbal. “We had reached the Kurji mosque on the same day. ‘Jamaats’
have been coming to the mosque, but this [ruckus] has never happened before,
why now? Because there is a fear of the disease that’s why? The whole
neighbourhood had gathered at one spot. When the police came, they asked us
what is the problem. We said we have no issues, a jamaat has come. Police were
given this incorrect information that a jamaat has gathered here from last 2-4
days and one of our fellow travellers died due to coronavirus whom we would
bury later. Later, the police asked every one of us to move out. At the time,
when we were getting out of the mosque, some people who were standing outside
made inappropriate remarks and filmed videos of the incident. It was later made
viral by someone falsely claiming that people from Iran and Italy found at the
mosque. We all were taken to Patna AIIMS. There we were tested for coronavirus
and by the grace of God, the reports were negative.” Tablighi Jamaat is the
outreach society to preach Islam.
also informed, “They have come to India on a tourist visa and not as a group
for the Tablighi Jamaat. Everyone has their own individual visas. They have
come in pairs of two and three people. All of them don’t come together. For
instance, when a jamaat from here went to Malaysia, they did the same. Eight people
went separately and not in a group. Three jamaats had come to Patna. One from
Krygyzstan, one from Malaysia which is working in Buxar right now and one more
from Indonesia. Verification of all these three jamaats has [also] been done.”
did a video call to confirm that we were speaking to a person who was seen in
the viral video. He is highlighted in the image below.
News reached out to SHO Manoj Kumar Singh of Digha police station. He rubbished
the claims and reiterated that the individuals are not from Iran or Italy but
Krygyzstan. “This is fake news,” said the SHO and informed that they had jamaat
going on in the area. “These men preach information about Islam and have come
on tourist visas. They had come for a jamaat at the mosque,” said the policeman,
adding the group was in Patna since March 6.
section of the media misreported that people from the Muslim community were
hiding inside a mosque in Bihar during coronavirus pandemic. These outlets even
reported that these men were foreign nationals from Iran, Italy and China.
However, they were from Krygyzstan and had arrived in India before the first
coronavirus case was reported in the country. In all likelihood, Iran, Italy
and China were used to promote the misinformation owing to a large number of
COVID-19 cases in these countries.
YouTube search with keywords, “Patna Mosque Foreigners” reveals that the same
video has been uploaded by several channels with the identical false claim.
Some went a step further and called the incident ‘Corona Jihad’.
The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus in India exceeds 900.
This has caused the government to impose a complete restriction on movement
apart from essential services. Globally, more than 6 lakh confirmed cases and
over 28,000 deaths have been reported. There is a growing sense of panic among
citizens, causing them to fall for a variety of online misinformation –
misleading images and videos rousing fear or medical misinformation promoting
pseudoscience and invalid treatments. While your intentions may be pure,
misinformation, spread especially during a global pandemic, can take lives. We
request our readers to practice caution and not forward unverified messages on
WhatsApp and other social media platforms.
Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Says Same-Sex Marriage Caused Coronavirus
— The firebrand Iraqi Shi’ite cleric leader Muqtada al-Sadr on Saturday said
that legalization of same-sex marriage caused the outbreak of the coronavirus
of the most appalling things that have caused this epidemic is the legalization
of same-sex marriage,” Sadr tweeted, adding, “Hence, I call on all governments
to repeal this law immediately and without any hesitation.”
Tatchell, the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) activist and human
rights campaigner, told The Jerusalem Post:“The idea that the Coronavirus is
divine punishment for same-sex marriage is as absurd as it is bigoted. The
cleric is an ignorant, hateful fool who wants to impose religious tyranny on
added that “Muqtada al-Sadr is a dangerous pro-Iranian fanatic. He rejects
human rights and his militias have been accused of targeting LGBT+ people and
others for execution. Shamefully, sections of the UK Left and anti-war movement
gave representatives of this poisonous homophobe and opponent of democracy a
platform at rallies against the Iraq war."
Jerusalem Post reported last month that the influential radical Iranian
regime-linked cleric issued an anti-gay and anti-American diatribe against the
city of Chicago in his effort to stop Iraqi women from protesting gender
tweeted that he "will not allow Iraq to become a Kandahar of religious
extremists, nor a Chicago of immorality and homosexuality."
fanatical Shi’ite cleric was harbored by Iran’s regime from 2007 until 2011 and
studied in the religious city of Qom to advance his clerical resume.
September 2019, he was filmed seated with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei and then Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force head Maj.-Gen.
Qasem Soleimani. The US eliminated Soleimani during a January military strike.
Both the EU and the US classified Solemani as a foreign terrorist.
Post reported in March that anti-gay Shi'ite cleric Jawad Al-Khalisi called for
British and US ambassadors to be expelled from Iraq in response to a United
Kingdom embassy tweet recognizing the rights of the Iraqi lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender community.
British embassy tweeted on March 3 that "We recognize the significant work
IraQueer has done to advance the rights of homosexuals. We welcome the recent
recognition by the Iraqi government of the right of individuals to live,
regardless of their sexual orientation. Live and let others live.”
Salafists exploit mosques shutdown to expand influence
As Arab countries take exceptional measures to confront the coronavirus
pandemic, including closing mosques, the Salafist movement tried to exploit the
religious naivety of many people and presented itself as a substitute for
official institutions, dictating how people should connect with God and
offering “religious prescriptions” to combat the disease.
in Algeria, Morocco or Egypt, Salafists seem to have agreed on using the
epidemic to serve their political ambitions. They started spewing extremist
discourse, inciting people to rebel against closing of mosques and promoting
ideas claiming to confront the disease by refusing to observe government
actions under the pretext that they serve the goals of secularists.
Salafism seems to converge ideologically in some countries, it has taken a
different bent in Egypt. Egyptian Salafists are looking to regain control of
mosques, making them places of political activism and fundraising.
official Egyptian religious institution Dar al-Ifta intervened in the
confrontation between Salafists and official institutions regarding closing
places of worship to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Dar al-Ifta issued
a statement saying that “insisting on having collective prayers in mosques (in
the current circumstances) is forbidden in jurisprudence.”
leaders argued that closing mosques while urging people to pray at home is a
major sin. “Eliminating the scourge of the disease must take place within the
houses of Allah and not by closing them,” they said. They urged people to pray
in groups because “closing places of worship will bring forth a divine
punishment that humans will not be able to withstand.”
al-Ifta said Islamic jurisprudence gave priority to preventing calamities over
gaining blessings. It set out ways to protect oneself and the community from
contagious diseases and epidemics, urged people to adopt preventive measures,
including forbidding contact with those who have contagious
giving authorities responsibility to protect the community and power to decide
on necessary measures to that end and condemning disobeying authorities.
noted that Salafist strategy has been to grab major events to present the
Islamist project as the only model that can save society and immunise people
against calamities and epidemics because it is based on seeking Allah’s
also tell people it is the ordained duty of every Muslim to combat all attempts
to stop the project through illegal decisions and measures.
Salafists’ strategy of mobilising popular support is based on exploiting
society’s religiosity and deciding on red lines not to be crossed. They have
promoted the idea that government is seeking greater secularisation of society
by clamping down on Islamic voices. Their evidence includes government
decisions to close mosques instead of disinfecting them.
Eid, an expert on Islamist groups, said Salafists were taking advantage of
people’s religiosity to promote hard-line rhetoric and retaliate against the
government for excluding Salafists from the social and political scene and for
paying greater attention to the Christian community to protect them from harm.
have been several instances of flaunting governmental decisions by the
Salafists. Well-known movement figures began a campaign to impose themselves as
the only legitimate source of religious education. In addition to telling
people to defy the ban on group prayers, Salafist imams insisted on calling the
faithful to prayer and purposely using mosques’ external loudspeakers to
parallel campaign began on social media, which buzzed with Salafist sermons and
rants against the government’s decisions. There are also online sermons and
religious lectures to “participate in the religious and intellectual education
of the general public by urging people to use their confinement time at home to
get closer to Allah.”
is a repeat of the strategy used by the Salafist movement in the early 1990s before
widespread internet availability. At that time, Salafist scholars recorded
religious lessons and sermons on cassette tapes to spread their ideas. Later,
they had access to satellite television channels to achieve an even wider
spread. Now, they have turned to social media.
claim their opportunity has come to take back the mosques and religious affairs
from the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf after years of being excluded. They are
circulating religious discourse completely different from the one promoted by
official institutions, a discourse based on convincing people that Salafist
dogma is the foundation of protection from epidemics.
Salafist actions were directed at Egyptian Copts. The Coptic Church in Egypt
has been observing the government’s decision to close all houses of worship
Salafists could not ignite sectarian strife in Egypt, their insistence to keep
mosques open while churches are forced to close is seen as suggesting that
Egypt is an Islamic country where mosques and churches do not have the same
striking that the government appeared complacent in the face of Salafists’
efforts to return on the scene. No punitive measures have been taken against
imams who violated official decisions to close mosques or against those who
openly accuse official institutions of being against religion, which gives the
impression that the Salafist figures are above accountability.
said the Egyptian government is aware of the danger of using force to close
mosques, even when it knows they are run by Salafists. The government also
knows that Salafist figures have convinced some people that closing mosques is
antireligious. Still, it prefers to avoid clashing directly with those who
consider religion a red line.
said the solution lies in convincing people that the Salafist challenge to
government decisions is an attempt to exploit religion and public fear for
political gain. This is why it is necessary for the grand imam of al-Azhar to
declare the opening of mosques during epidemics unlawful because many citizens
are not convinced by the Ministry of Awqaf. A statement by al-Azhar would carry
more weight, Eid said.
reject Salafists’ ‘irresponsible’ attempt at assailing closure of mosques
Salafists tried to paint the closing of mosques, which was among measures taken
by Moroccan authorities to contain the coronavirus outbreak, as an assault on
faith and not as a precaution aimed at saving lives.
video on Facebook, Salafist Sheikh Abou Naim called on the High Council of
Ulemas and the Rabita Mohammedia for Ulemas to worry more about places of
gambling, selling alcohol and debauchery where deadly diseases spread instead
of talking about mosques.
is a scandal! Considering that the epidemic has not reached a dangerous level
that requires the closure of mosques. It is not necessary to close the mosques
and I warn the ministry and the institutions against this measure,” said Abou
country that closes its mosques renounces its religion. Do not despise the
mosque, otherwise God will punish you,” he warned authorities.
Naim’s remarks contained threats of committing dangerous acts that would lead
to disrupting general order,” a police statement said.
saw Abou Naim’s declarations as undermining governmental efforts at preventing
the spread of the coronavirus outbreak and seeking to sow discord regardless of
the public interest during a critical period.
Abdelouahab Rafiqui, a researcher in Islamic studies in Morocco, said Abou
Naim’s declaration was out of context and not warranted, even if motivated by
ignorance of facts about coronavirus
government took some drastic decisions for citizens’ safety, which is at the
forefront of its concerns, even at the expense of performing group prayers,”
should back all the decisions and precautionary measures that seek to protect
citizens. There is absolutely no place for such takfiri fatwas that are
jeopardising the state’s efforts to combat the pandemic,” he added.
al-Kettani, another Salafist advocate, referred to the opinion of Kuwaiti
Sheikh Hakem al-Mutairi, who criticised the closure of mosques and suspending
Friday prayers because of COVID-19.
would have been possible to take precautions against the disease by imposing a
curfew if necessary, and forcing people to stay home without closing mosques,”
claimed there was “no evidence from the Quran or the Sunnah to ban Friday and
group prayers as no one had dared before.” Kettani described Mutairi’s views,
which he posted on Facebook, as a “great fatwa.”
a request for a fatwa addressed to the Supreme Council by Amir al-Mu’minin, the
Scientific Authority for Fatwas of the Supreme Council advises to close the
mosques, whether with regard to the five daily prayers or the Friday prayers,”
said the Supreme Council of Ulemas in a statement, adding that the procedure
Benzine, a French-Moroccan Islamologist, said the state’s reasoning must
absolutely prevail during this critical time.
state saw an interest in closing the mosques, which is entirely commendable
considering the risks of contamination,” said Benzine.
came back to some kind of medieval theology, which thinks that diseases come
from God. This leads some people to think that the diseases are the fruit of
perversion in society, which undermines the scientific discourse.”
of people marched overnight March 22 in Tangier, Tetouan, Sale and Fez, to
plead for God to defeat the coronavirus pandemic. The march was in defiance of
a public health state of emergency declared March 20.
is great! God is great and alone to be able to help us defeat the coronavirus!”
the crowds chanted, prompting condemnations on social media and calls for
council of the government adopted two decree-laws that would increase current
penalties of up to three months in prison and a fine of up to 1,300 dirhams
($135) against anyone violating the state of emergency.
deployed armoured vehicles to enforce the state of emergency to contain the
spread of the COVID-19 disease. Images on social media showed heavy-handed
arrests and reprimands of those not abiding orders.
video of interfaith service viral as Donald Trump offers Islamic prayers amid
March 28 report in The Guardian states, “The US has become the first country to
exceed 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as Donald Trump signed into law the
largest economic stimulus package in US history, a $2.2tn bill designed to rush
federal assistance to workers and businesses.”
the US becomes the new epicentre for the coronavirus, a 3-minute video with the
claim “US President Trump joins Muslims prayers for respite from Coronavirus
after failing to tackle it” has gone viral. On the bottom right corner, the
viral video has a logo of ABC News. Alt News received several requests to
fact-check the viral video on WhatsApp (+91 76000 11160) and on our official
News performed a reverse image search on Yandex and found link which suggested
that the video could be from an interfaith service held in 2017.
that as a clue Alt News performed a keyword search on YouTube and found that
the viral video is a clip from the National Prayer Service for the 58th
presidential inauguration at the National Cathedral, Washington on January 21,
2017. According to a 2017 article in NPR, “The inaugural prayer service is a
tradition that began with President George Washington and was revived in 1933
by President Franklin Roosevelt, continuing ever since.”
guest list for the event is available on the National Cathedral‘s website.
Islam was represented by Imam Mohamed Magid, executive Imam, ADAMS Center,
Sterling, Virginia and Sajid Tarar, advisor, Medina Masjid, Baltimore, Maryland
at the event.
viral video begins with Magid’s address followed by a portion of Tarar’s
address. Alt News could not find the video uploaded by ABC News. However, we
found the same video by C-SPAN. The relevant section of the video begins from
the 36:58 mark. A video of the same event shot from a different angle was
uploaded by Fox News. The relevant section can be watched onward 35:40.
January 21, 2017 article by Washingon Post reported, “President Trump spent
more than an hour Saturday at an interfaith prayer service designed to appeal
for national unity as an expected 500,000 people streamed into the nation’s
capital to protest his fledgeling presidency.”
a video of an interfaith national prayer service from 2017 was shared as US
President Donald Trump offering Islamic prayers in the light of the coronavirus
Of Muslim Theologians Urge South Africans To Take Lockdown Seriously
Council of Muslim Theologians has urged South Africans to respect the 21-day
lockdown as the country battles to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
number of people in various areas around the country, including Lenasia, have
been defying the lockdown.
Africans have been told to stay at home for the next 21 days but some areas
have not been compliant.
Moulana Ebrahim Bham said that the national lockdown required each and every
South African to respect the measures taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa to
stop the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
spread of the coronavirus is a reality. It is happening around us, it is
happening in the world and as such, the president has called for a lockdown. We
encourage the people of South Africa not to take this lightly and to take the
necessary precautions. It is better to heed the advice than to be regretful
Muslim Community Solidarity With Sikhs, Condolences
Nawaz, International Muslim Association of New Zealand wishes to pass
condolences to the Sikh community following attacks by the Islamic State of
Iraq and Levant (ISIL) during the week. At least 25 people were killed in the
Sikh Gurdwara temple in Kabul on Wednesday, followed by an attack at the
funeral of the victims on Thursday.
temple was home to many as well as a place of worship, and during the attack up
to 200 people were trapped inside. ISIL has targeted the Sikh minority in
Afghanistan before, and the attack has been widely condemned in the country.
is terrible tragedy at any time, but for a country at the brink of a COVID-19
outbreak with 110 cases and 4 deaths to date, this crime is particularly
heinous,” Mr Nawaz said.
represents a wider crime against humanity as a war-ravaged society fights a
deadly contagion. The Muslim community here in New Zealand abhors this violence
and wishes to express our solidarity with our Sikh brothers and sisters at this
time” Mr Nawaz said.
ban on Friday congregations: Religious parties condemn arrests, cases against
Condemning the arrests and registering cases against pesh-e-imams for violating
the Sindh government's restriction on congregational prayers, religious parties
on Saturday demanded their immediate release and withdrawing cases against
Thursday, the provincial government backed by Fatwa by number of religious
scholars had announced that citizens would not be allowed to offer
congregational prayers — including Friday prayers — in mosques until April 5 to
contain the spread of coronavirus. However, a significant number of clerics
defied the government’s ban and held Friday congregations. Most of the clerics
who defied the government's ban belonged to the Barelvi school of thought who
were following the directions of Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Tehreek-e-Labbaik
Pakistan chief Khadim Husain Rizvi. Some of them were reported to have linked
with Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl. Police in Karachi and other cities of the
provinces registered dozens of cases and arrested a number of clerics for
violating a number of ban. Mufti Munib ur Rehman, who also heads the central
Ruet-Hilal Committee, on Saturday, condemned the arrest and registering of
cases against the imams and said that instead of containing coronavirus, the
entire police is harassing the religious scholars and imams.
alleged that provincial minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and advisor Murtaza
Wahab have intentionally sabotaged the March 25 joint declaration of religious
scholars by announcing the closure of mosques for Friday prayers on Thursday
night. “Shah and Wahab did not provide sufficient time to the religious
scholars to convince people of the need to reduce their attendance in the
congregational prayers,” Rehman said. He said that the Sindh government should
abandon the hypocrisy and announce a firm decision regarding the closures of
mosques. Pesh-e-imams and mosque neither will resist nor unlock the seal,” said
Rehman. “But the government will have to face its repercussions.” He said that
no one can guarantee that the campaign will end on April 5. “It seems that
coronavirus will only enter mosques, not in grocery stores and TV channels that
are open to the public,” he said.
JUI-F Sindh’s secretary-general also Rashid Mehmood Soomro has condemned the
arrest of the clerics and said that it was the duty of law enforcement agencies
to stop worshippers from going to mosques. “Despite the ban and arranging
limited gatherings on the eve of Friday prayers, a large number of cases were
registered against the clerics across the province, including Karachi.
significant number of them have also been arrested, who will be bailed out from
courts on Monday,” Soomro told The News. He said that the JUI-F is supporting
the government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus. “Mosques are open and
clerics and religious scholars are not inviting people to come to pray there,”
he said. “It is the responsibility of law enforcement agencies to stop them.”
He demanded that the government should immediately release the clerics and
withdraw all cases against them. “Otherwise the party will be forced to
announce its strategy against the biased policy of the government” Soomro said.
Jamaat-e-Islami Sindh has also condemned the arrests and registering of cases
against the pesh-e-Imams and said that stopping the worshippers from mosques is
tantamount to inviting Allah’s wrath.
Hussain Mehanti, the JI Sindh chief, demanded the government to open mosques so
the people could pray to Allah to get rid of the pandemic. “We understand that
Pakistan and the entire world is passing through a critical time because of the
pandemic and religious parties are helping the people through mosques to make
them aware about precautionary measures,” said Mehanti, who is also a former
MNA from Karachi. “But without consultation with religious parties, the
government's announcement to ban the Friday prayers and putting the mosques
under lock is to invite Allah’s wrath.” He demanded the government to revise
its decision to ban the prayer congregations, release the pesh-e-imams and
withdraw cases against them.
Russia send joint letter to UN chief to push lift of unilateral sanctions
News Agency (ABNA): A group of countries including Iran, Russia, Venezuela,
China, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua and Syria, sent a joint letter to UN
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday urging him to push for waiving
the US unilateral sanctions on certain countries, according to a statement
issued by Russian Foreign Ministry.
letter calls for an immediate lift of unilateral sanctions which hinder efforts
of countries in effective fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, removing any obstacle on the way of
meeting emergency medical supplies is of special significance, the statement
UN Security Council has excluded humanitarian items from its sanctions
mechanisms, it added, noting that such mechanisms were expected to work and not
be ignored for political concerns of certain countries.
the only way to avoid harmful consequences of sanctions for ordinary people,
the statement said.
I am encouraging the waiving of sanctions imposed on countries to ensure access
to food, essential health supplies, and COVID-19 medical support. This is the
time for solidarity not exclusion,” said the UN secretary-general in a letter
to G20 on March 25.
Railway makes the first prototype of hospital isolation coach for Covid-19
In a bid to battle the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Northern Railway
has successfully made the first prototype of hospital isolation coach.
clearance, when the prototype will be finalised, 10 railway coaches per week
will be converted into isolation wards for Covid-19 patients by each zonal
railway and the same shall be placed all across India to fight against
order to construct an isolation cabin prototype for the patients, the middle
berth has been removed from one side of the coach while all three berths have
been removed in front of the patient berth.
ladders for climbing up the berths have also been removed. The bathrooms, aisle
areas and other areas have also been modified to prepare the isolation coach.
in Telangana chase away people, imam gathered to offer Friday prayer
police on Friday recieved information that people have gathered for a Friday
prayer at a mosque in Telangana.
video of the inicedent shows people are dangerously jumping from one roof to
another and the imam is running helter-skelter as the police chase them away.
alleged that the call given by ulemas (Muslim scholars) not to come to masjid
for Friday prayers in view of novel coronavirus outbreak could not reach many
Bachao Tahreeq (MBT) leader Amjadullah alleged that there was more confusion
after Telangana Waqf Board issued an order allowing imam to conduct Friday prayers
with five persons.
pointed out that Narayanpet police should have involved some elders and posted
a picket outside the mosque and convinced Muslims, but it did not take any
precautions and resorted to lathi charge.
strongly condemn the act of Narayanpet police of beating the imam and Muslims
and demand strong action against the said police officers for the cruel act or
else MBT will be forced to agitate against this police atrocity on Muslims of
Narayanpet," MBT spokesman Khan said.
Telangana govt, All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin
Owaisi had requested the community to perform namaz from home instead of
gathering at mosques.
case in Uttar Pradesh: Youth returns from UAE, tests positive
The second positive case of COVID-19 was detected in Varanasi on Saturday. The
patient, a 30-year-old youth, has been admitted to the isolation ward of DDU
magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said the youth, a resident of Chhatripur locality
in Shivpur area, was working at a call centre in Jabel Ali town of the UAE
since June 2019. He had returned to Varanasi through a direct flight from
Sharjah on March 20. From the airport he went to his home in a taxi.
to him, he remained quarantined in his home. He also did not visit the
hospital, where his wife gave birth to a baby three days ago. With cough
symptom he went to the hospital, where his same was taken on Friday and sent to
the microbiology lab of BHU for testing. He test report as found positive on
other members of his family include his wife, baby, parents and brother and
sister-in-law. They have been put in home quarantine. Their samples would be
sent for testing.
of Grand Mosque and Prophet’s Mosque urge cooperation with government health
measures and precautions
Imam of the Grand Mosque (Alharam) in Makkah and the Imam of the Prophet’s
Mosque in Madinah urged people in Friday Prayer’s Khutbah to cooperate with government
measures and precautions in the health field, praising the leadership and
government's efforts in this regard for both citizens and residents.
his Friday sermon delivered at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Sheikh Dr. Abdullah
bin Awad Al-Juhani said that Islam "urged protection and initiated rulings
to guarantee that."
stated that the measures and precautions taken by the government of the
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques are based on Sharia foundations before the
scientific ones, adding that the government made a great efforts and it is our
duty to be of assistance to the government by following the instructions for
the protection of all of us.
Madinah, Sheikh Ali Abdulrahman Al-Hudhaifi called in his Friday sermon on
people to cooperate with leadership to take precaution and to ensure prevention
and adherence to health guidelines.
praised the work and efforts made by the government and the wise leadership in
the interest of the health and safety of citizens and residents
Arabia Intercepts Houthi Missiles Above Riyadh
- Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile launched
by the Houthi militia in Yemen towards the kingdom.
reports said that the missile was launched toward Riyadh which resulted in
debris scattering on some residential areas. There were no deaths or injuries
Houthi attack comes only hours after a ceasefire was announced between the
Iranian-backed militias and Yemen's legitimate government due to coronavirus
launching of ballistic missiles by the terrorist Houthi militia and the Iranian
Revolutionary Guards at this time reflects the real threat to this terrorist
militia and the Iranian regime supporting it, as this barbaric attack does not
target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its citizens and residents on its lands,
but rather targets the world’s unity and its solidarity, especially in these
difficult time,” said the official Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore
Legitimacy in Yemen Col. Turki Al-Malki.
Islamic Bank Offers Relief Measures to Retail and Corporate Clients and Urges
Utilisation of Digital Platforms to Ensure Personal Safety
line with its commitment to provide ongoing support to its Retail and Corporate
clients during this difficult period, Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) has launched
a series of relief measures to help lessen the financial burden of companies
and individuals under its portfolio. The Bank has been duly complying with the
directives of wise leadership to unify all national efforts to avert the spread
of the virus and minimise impact on society and the economy. BisB is pushing
customers to take full advantage of its digital platforms and minimise visits
to the branches to reduce the risk of exposure.
an integral member of the community, BisB stands in solidarity with the
government and the industry in helping to support individuals and businesses
and limit the strain on society and the national economy. We applaud the energy
exerted by the wise leadership in containing the situation and safeguarding the
well-being of all citizens, residents and businesses. We consider it our
responsibility to play our part to further enhance these efforts,” explained
the Chief Executive Officer of BisB, Mr. Hassan Amin Jarrar.
the national directives, all Bahraini customers who have already applied for
personal, mortgage and auto-financing solutions by 19 March 2020 or before,
will automatically receive a six-month deferral of installments without any
fees, no profit on profit or increase in profit rate unless the borrower agrees
to a shorter period or does not wish to avail any deferral, in which case they
can request this by either emailing email@example.com, through BisB Digital
or by contacting BisB on 17515151 before 30 April 2020. Customers interested in
applying for new personal and auto financing solutions will be granted a
six-month grace period.
for credit card holders, the required minimum monthly payment will be set to
zero from March until August 2020 and late payment or over-limit fees will not
apply for this time period.
has also introduced support initiatives for its corporate customers. Existing
customers applying for any new drawdown will automatically receive up to six
months grace period and will also be offered the same on their existing
facilities. The Bank has been continuously engaging with its customers in an
effort to analyse and assess their liquidity status and Relationship Managers
are on standby to advise and guide clients through relief solutions suitable to
their cash flow. In addition, the Bank’s corporate mobile application, BisB
Corporate Digital, which is available to all existing customers, enables quick
and easy access to multiple functions, thus enabling customers to perform all
their banking transactions digitally, without visiting the branches.
main priority at this time is to ensure the health and safety of our employees,
customers and the community, and to continue to do everything we can to meet
the banking needs of our customers and offer much needed support to those
impacted by the situation, be it through advisory, solutions or our digital
platforms (BisB Digital and BisB Corporate Digital). We urge all of our
customers to make extensive use of our digital platforms to complete their banking
transactions from the comfort and safety of their homes, and avoid going out,
to reduce the risk of exposure to themselves and their families,” concluded Mr.
speaks out on viral photo of crowds outside Leeds mosque in 'coronavirus
have been slammed for using an old photograph to claim Muslims are flouting the
coronavirus lockdown rules and congregating at a Leeds mosque.
Leeds Life ran an article on people going to places of worship during the
pandemic and it included a photograph of men attending Friday prayer at Masjid
photograph was taken on Friday, March 20 – three days before the government
imposed lockdown rules, which banned public gatherings of more than two people
and stated that people should only to leave their homes under a list of “very
have been sharing the image on Twitter and accusing West Yorkshire Police of
failing to stop Muslims from congregating - but the force has repeatedly stated
it is "taken from a week-old news article about the mosque closing".
Morton, editor of South Leeds Life, said: "I'm appalled. It's a very
fast-changing situation and that story is from a week ago when the lockdown
wasn't in place.
weren't criticising anyone, it was just a report about how mosques and churches
were coping with people wanting to worship in an unsafe environment."
religious leadership has religious and social responsibility to protect lives
and act in the interest of people's health and wellbeing."
lockdown measures have been imposed to try and curb the spread of Covid-19,
which has infected 95 people in Leeds and 17,089 people across the country.
today, Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said that if
the UK can keep the number of deaths below 20,000 during this epidemic, the
country will have "done very well".
in Britain should prepare for more COVID-19 deaths and emergency rule
is the most depressing article I have written on a UK issue, but it has to be
done so Muslims can plan and deal with the reality ahead.
three weeks of debating whether we should heed medical advice and stop
congregational prayers at mosques, and most likely having spread coronavirus in
the community via the mosques, the stark reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and
the increasing death toll has finally hit home.
communities were alerted to this reality by the UK government’s Coronavirus
Emergency Powers Bill, which sought to disapply a section of the Public Health
(Control of Diseases) Act 1984 to allow cremation of a dead body against
people’s wishes, as a last resort. The thought of deceased Muslims being
cremated served as a great wakeup call. That power has now been granted along
with many others and the Coronavirus Act 2020 is in now in force. Muslims will
hopefully not be cremated as long as their wish is expressed, and we should
encourage all Muslims to maintain a written record of their wish not to be
the country, as Muslims started dying from contracting COVID-19, local
communities and mosques committees eventually got their acts together, started
planning for large number of deaths and burials.
began engaging with their local authorities and health agencies. These are
difficult and unprecedented times for Muslims in the UK, it is the first time
that we have had to deal with large numbers of deaths on our own shores.
far, the local responses have been encouraging, local attempts at co-ordinated
efforts are taking place. People are looking at streamlining procedures for
burials, giving advice to communities, creating extra storage and burial space,
and getting the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in place to carry out
burials. There are also hotlines and contacts for communities in some of the
response, within a week, is heartening to see, and probably the first time
Muslim communities across sectarian differences have started to work together
locally. While some differences of
religious opinions exist over issues of whether the dead body of someone who
contracted COVID-19 requires washing or not, such differences will inevitably
disappear as the reality of numbers of deaths and pressure of washing or lack
of volunteers kicks in.
some in the community, the number of expected deaths and their consequence,
both during this period and the economic difficulties after, have not yet fully
sunk in. Whilst a scientific method of calculating the expected number of
deaths, especially for Muslims, is likely to prove difficult, there are some
estimates, and it is possible to project from this what level of Muslim deaths
we should plan for.
worst case scenario of deaths for the UK is that there will be 250,000 deaths
up to 2021. It could be more if the pandemic enters a second year, or the virus
mutates. The best outcome for the UK is predicted to be 20,000 deaths for the
make up around 6.3% of the UK’s total population. All other things being equal,
we would expect the Muslim death toll to be proportionate to that of the rest
of the UK. That would mean a worst-case scenario of 15,750 deaths out of the
250,000 could be Muslims. A best-case
scenario would be of 1,260 Muslim deaths out of 20,000.
many factors would mitigate against deaths being proportion to the general population as a whole. We know that the death
rate among the elderly and those with heart disease and diabetes are the
biggest categories globally for death from coronavirus.
Muslim population profile is younger than the indigenous non-Muslim population,
which has a greater proportion of elderly (across Europe). Therefore, we should
expect that population to have a higher death rate, than that of the Muslim and
immigrant descent community. This may well still be the case.
other factors in the Muslim community may even out those differences. The
Muslim population in Britain, specifically South Asians who make up the
demographic majority, have much higher rates of heart disease and diabetes than
the indigenous population.
non -Muslim elderly tend to live more in isolation while Muslim elderly tend to
live in larger extended families and households. In some communities, the
average family size is five, excluding elders and siblings. A larger proportion
of Muslim communities also tend to live in densely populated areas
(particularly in the Midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire in outdated terraced
housing, in close proximities with each other). In these areas, young children
often act as carers for elders and siblings who are ill.
can also add to this to the fact that most Muslim men across the country attend
Friday prayers every week, and most children attend madrassah or Quran classes
after school, which would enhance the rate of spread. Within Muslim
communities, some have a larger elderly population and family size. This means
social distancing has been much more difficult to achieve in practice.
factors would tend to cancel out any the difference in age of population of the
indigenous community, so an expected death rate is in line with the percentage
of population or a slightly higher rate above 6.3% of the population, perhaps
around 8% would not be unrealistic.
on this we, could be looking at a best outcome of 1,260 -1,600 Muslim deaths,
and a worst-case scenario of 15,750 – 20,000 Muslim deaths. The highest
concentrations could be in some Muslim cluster areas in London, the Midlands,
Lancashire and Yorkshire. We should of course ask Muslim funeral directors to
record the number of burials they perform related to COVID-19.
26th of March 2020, the British state, police, army and local authorities were
granted temporary powers of an emergency state. This introduced powers to
disapply rights that existed under a plethora of existing laws. Despite this,
some Muslims do not appear to have accepted this new reality, or have
disregarded it, and tried to continue as normal. The odd mosque has also
reportedly continued to hold congregational prayers. The police and local
authorities now have an extended range of powers to apprehend, spot fine,
arrest and detain individuals who disobey government guidelines and advice on
social distancing and mitigating public health risks. The powers also allow the
police to stop events and gatherings and close or takeover mosques, and
individual or organisation should be engaging in activities and behaviours
outside of the guidelines issued by the government or try to circumvent them.
If the Muslim community believes some of those restrictions or powers need
easing or amending, they need to make a responsible and reasonable case for
their review, not attempt to justify their own wishes. The government will be
reviewing guidelines on a regular basis.
very likely that mosques will not be allowed to hold congregational prayers
this Ramadan. There will most likely be no charity events or community iftars
and street collections. Whilst this will be a challenge for many mosques and
charities, adversity also presents opportunities and a chance for creativity. I
know that many mosques and charities have been taken out of their comfort zones
and are thinking of and planning interesting initiatives.
will tell whether they can meet the challenges of the future. The next two
months also offers Muslim families the chance to rethink and re-orient their
lives and relationships in a much more positive and constructive God-conscious
of hardship and adversity should be treated as a learning curve, and a blessing
and mercy from Allah. Despite the
reality of deaths and burials, I am optimistic that Muslim communities and
wider society will meet these challenges with great resolve and renewal.
will get worse before they get better': Boris Johnson warns tougher lockdown
may be needed in letter to every UK household
Johnson is to write to every household in the UK urging people to remain at
home “at this moment of national emergency” and warning that tougher lockdown
measures may be needed to stop the spread of coronavirus.
his letter to the nation, the prime minister urges the public to obey social
distancing restrictions to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed by patients.
Johnson, who began self-isolating in Downing Street on Friday after testing
positive for Covid-19, warns that “things will get worse before they get
the start, we have sought to put in the right measures at the right time,” the
prime minister writes. “We will not hesitate to go further if that is what the
scientific and medical advice tells us we must do
we are making the right preparations, and the more we all follow the rules, the
fewer lives will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal.
of retired doctors and nurses are returning to the NHS – and hundreds of
thousands of citizens are volunteering to help the most vulnerable.
Johnson adds that the lockdown, while disruptive to daily life, is “absolutely
necessary” to save as many lives as possible.
know many of you will be deeply worried about the financial impact on you and
your family,” he writes. “The government will do whatever it takes to help you
make ends meet and put food on the table.”
letter will be accompanied by a leaflet attempting to reduce confusion about
the rules on leaving the house. Guidance will also be given about the symptoms
of the virus, the shielding of the vulnerable and the merits of hand washing.
coronavirus death toll under 20,000 would be ‘good result’: health chief
United Kingdom will do well if it manages to keep the coronavirus death toll
below 20,000, a senior health official said on Saturday after the deadliest day
so far of the outbreak saw the number of fatalities rise to more than 1,000.
Powis, the medical director of National Health Service England, warned the
public against complacency and said everyone had to play their part in
hindering the spread of the virus.
number of confirmed cases stood at 17,089 on Saturday morning. The death toll
rose by 260 in a day to 1,019, the seventh highest toll in the world behind
Italy, Spain, China, Iran, France and the United States.
asked if Britain was on the same trajectory as Italy, where the death toll has
passed 9,000, Powis said that if the public adhered to the nationwide lockdown
the total toll could be kept below 20,000.
it is less than 20,000… that would be a good result though every death is a
tragedy, but we should not be complacent about that,” he said at a news
conference in Downing Street.
Minister Boris Johnson became the first leader of a major power to announce a
positive test result for coronavirus on Friday. He is self-isolating in Downing
Street but still leading the UK response to the crisis.
is bracing for the epidemic to peak in the coming weeks, and is building field
hospitals in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff to bolster its
state-run National Health Service (NHS).
government, which had been criticised by some doctors and nurses for not
providing them with enough protective gear and testing kits, said on Friday it
was introducing a much bigger testing regime, with checks for health workers in
the British government urged the public to stay indoors, the virus struck at
Downing Street itself. Besides Johnson, health minister Matt Hancock has also
tested positive and chief medical adviser Chris Whitty is self-isolating with
minister for Scotland, Alister Jack, said on Saturday he had developed a
temperature and a cough in the past 24 hours and was now working from home in
isolation. He has not been tested for coronavirus.
spoke in the House of Commons on Wednesday, immediately before Johnson appeared
at the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session, during which Jack was seated
on the government bench behind Johnson.
have been rushing to increase intensive care capacity, including by turning
operating theatres and recovery areas into beds for critically ill patients.
drive-through coronavirus testing facility for health workers has begun
operating in the car park of the Chessington World of Adventures theme park
workers, who remain in their cars, are tested by nurses who carry out swabs in
the nose and mouth through the windows.
over US presence throws Iraq’s Shia camp in disarray
walls are closing in on Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adnan al-Zurfi, whose
task of forming the new Iraqi government remains fiercely contested by pro-Iran
factions that accuse him of being “America’s man in Iraq.”
pushing back against Zurfi are the same actors who, 17 years ago, toed the line
of a controversial pro-US fatwa issued by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
ordering Iraqis not to resist occupying forces.
trade-off paved the way for members of Iraq’s Islamist political class, who
have safeguarded very little other than the powers they were granted, to be
rewarded for allowing occupiers to trespass their country. The groundwork this
laid is crumbling 17 years on.
path to political legitimacy today relies on the formula’s reversal — a
commitment to expel US coalition troops, who, before the coronavirus outbreak,
numbered approximately 7,500. An exemplar of this trend are pro-Iran factions
that in the past month spearheaded three attacks on military bases housing US
March 19, which coincidentally marked the 17th anniversary of the war on Iraq,
US troops withdrew from positions along the Iraqi-Syrian border as part of
plans drawn up prior to the global spread of COVID-19.
practical terms, a US exit would do little to alter bilateral ties between the
two countries. Those cheerleading for the full departure of coalition troops
are setting their sights elsewhere — the status quo, Iraq’s leadership ranks,
to protect their place within it while fending off figures whose allegiance,
they claim, lies with America.
of the Islamic Resistance, whose existence is not constitutionally recognised,
have consistently called on Zurfi to step down since his nomination was
announced March 17.
March 19, Hadi al-Amiri’s Fattah Alliance fired more criticism at Zurfi,
dubbing him an American joker, a term popularised since protests erupted last
October to refer to “bad seedlings” — men whose guns were hired to exterminate
peaceful protesters and their demands for a US- and Iran-free Iraq.
Zurfi’s appointment, former Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi was
ushered in to satisfy not only popular demands for a new government but to
reassure those in power that their seats would not be lost. Unable to satisfy
their ambitions, Allawi’s cabinet was denied the vote of confidence. He
resigned on March 1.
anti-Zurfi chorus that Fattah and others espouse is keen to see the
reinstatement of former Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who resigned in late
November 2019 amid calls for his ouster throughout the country.
was one of several names cited in a cable leak last year for their “special
relationship” to Iran. Abdul-Mahdi and Zurfi both have long-standing ties to
Iran and the United States but the pro-Iran Shia camp has a single target —
the threat of COVID-19 in Iraq makes the balancing act Zurfi is tasked with
ever more difficult, the former Najafi mayor has not defended himself against
allegations of serving American interests.
prominent figures who faced similar allegations are involved in efforts to
firewall Zurfi’s cabinet choices for the sake of the status quo. Former Prime
Minister Nuri al-Maliki, known for his corrosive sectarian-motivated rule and
collaboration with various US administrations, is staging a comeback having
descended into the shadows after agreeing to relinquish power in late 2014.
and members of factions of the Islamic Resistance who have been meeting at his
home represent a united front against Zurfi but Maliki for years accepted the
United States’ presence in Iraq and hand and hand with their officials.
2014, Maliki’s growing leverage casts minds back to the ways in which, as prime
minister, he took advantage of security flaws to nurture paramilitaries that
grew into the Popular Mobilisation Forces. As COVID-19 forces a critical pause
in Iraq’s National Protest Movement, Maliki is behind the scenes trying to
exploit this strategic window.
inability to sway Iraqi politics in the direction that safeguards its foothold
has only raised the stakes and explains Maliki’s latest role as conductor of
the Islamic Resistance orchestra.
early March, Iranian Admiral Ali Shamkhani travelled to Baghdad to unite all
strands of Iraq’s Shia leadership, especially over the choice of who should
steer the country.
whom pro-Iran actors seek to restore to power, was the horse that Tehran backed
and sought to protect from being ousted. The man behind those moves, the late
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Major-General Qassem Soleimani, the
executioner of Tehran’s ambitions in Iraq, made this possible but his
assassination left the Shia camp in greater disarray.
quislings in Iraq are anxious to preserve powers that the United States handed
to them in 2003 but many forget that those actors shared a waltz with America,
welcomed its officials into their homes and toured the palaces of Saddam
Canadian human rights organizations protest to remind world of Yemen tragedy
News Agency (ABNA): Despite the Coronavirus crisis that has spread in Canada
and around the world, the Canadian Defender for Human Rights CD4HR, in
cooperation with another human rights organization, organized a protest to
remind the Canadian government of the Yemeni people's misery, in light of the
aggression against Yemen.
two organizations said, in a statement: “With all the preventive measures that
are taken to reduce the infection by Coronavirus, we went out on the
anniversary of the beginning of the Saudi aggression against Yemen, which
entered its sixth year, to express rejection of this brutal aggression that
targets the besieged Yemeni people.
two organizations renewed their request to the Canadian government to stop
selling arms to Saudi Arabia, which are used to target Yemeni infrastructure
and the defenseless Yemeni people, especially women and children.
US general warns Pentagon against plan to 'destroy' Iraq's Kata'ib Hezbollah
News Agency (ABNA): A top US general in Iraq has warned over a Pentagon’s
secret directive, which called on US military commanders to prepare a campaign
against Iraq's pro-government anti-terror Kata'ib Hezbollah group.
American officials, who saw the directive or were briefed on it, told The New
York Times on Friday that the Pentagon had last week ordered planners at the US
military's Central Command and in Iraq to draw up a strategy to dismantle
Kata'ib Hezbollah, which is part of the anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units
(PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi.
response, the officials said, US army lieutenant general Robert P. White had
written a memorandum warning about the costs and risks of any such attack,
saying it could be "bloody and counterproductive."
added that General White had also cautioned that a new military action would
require thousands more American troops be deployed to Iraq and divert resources
from existing missions there.
officials further said the memo had pointed out that a possible Iraq campaign
might run afoul of the current agreement with the Baghdad government that
allows American troops to operate in the country.
has blamed Kata'ib Hezbollah for about a dozen rocket attacks against American
troops based in Iraq over the past few months. It claims that the group is
backed by Iran.
US has also conducted a string of deadly airstrikes on Iraqi military bases,
which are denounced by Baghdad as a violation of its sovereign and targeted
aggression against its official armed forces.
officials said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert C. O’Brien, the
national security adviser, have been pushing for an aggressive action against
Iraqi resistance groups, while Pentagon chief Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A.
Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been wary of a sharp
during an Oval Office meeting on March 19, US President Donald Trump did not
make a decision about whether he might authorize the new campaign in Iraq, but
allowed the planning to continue, they emphasized.
this week, Kata’ib Hezbollah held a military drill, dubbed Hunting the Crow, in
the town of Jurf al-Nasr near Baghdad, to prepare itself for battling occupying
US troops after suspicious American activities.
spokesman Jaafar al-Husseini said sophisticated weapons with live ammunition
were used in the exercises, which simulated a number of engagement patterns,
including confronting airstrikes and land exposure, and fighting in a forest
January 5, the Iraqi parliament obliged the government "to work towards
ending the presence of all foreign troops," including some 5,200 American
vote came two days after the US military - acting on Trump’s order - launched a
fatal drone strike on Iran's prominent anti-terror commander Lieutenant General
Qassem Soleimani upon his arrival in the Iraqi capital at the invitation of the
attack also claimed the lives of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the PMU's
second-in-command, along with eight other Iranian and Iraqi people.
by the Iraqi parliament's vote, Trump threatened sanctions should US troops be
expelled from the country.
wrestling with how to respond to rising, bolder attacks on Americans in Iraq
official are expressing serious concerns about persisting attacks on American
military and diplomatic compounds in Iraq and receiving “near-daily reports” of
“imminent” attacks on such facilities, a report has unveiled.
are becoming more audacious in attacking US personnel in Iraq, with rocket
strikes against military bases occurring more frequently and, for the first
time, in broad daylight,” The Washington Post reported Saturday quoting
American officials that spoke on the condition of anonymity, alleging -- without any evidence -- that the attacks
have been perpetrated by “Iran-backed” groups.
then points out that the question of how to deter future attacks against US
targets in the war-torn country without putting troops at greater risk
“highlights how much American security and influence have evaporated in Iraq.”
to the daily, in the two weeks since US forces conducted bombing raids against
Iraqi army’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) just outside the nation’s capital
of Baghdad to avenge a rocket attack on the US-occupied Taji military base that
killed a Briton and two Americans, “the Trump administration has been wrestling
with what additional steps to take to confront the militias without sparking
report then goes on to underline Washington’s inability to make Iraqi
authorities to track down and prosecute those responsible for the rocket
attacks against US facilities in the country, pointing out that American air
raids on PMU forces were instead censured by the Iraqi army as “treacherous” as
militia groups opposing US military presence in Iraq vowed further attacks on
American installations in their nation.
Iraqi lawmaker says the US has fortified security in and around its embassy in
Baghdad amid reported plans to target Hashd al-Sha’abi.
the US strikes, there have been at least four more rocket attacks around
American military and diplomatic compounds as officials in Washington express
concerns that it is only a matter of time before more US troops are killed or
the daily further points to what one military official described as “a lot of
chatter about” further militia attacks that indicates the Trump administration
is struggling to calibrate its potential response.
then lists potential US strike targets as bases of Iran’s Islamic Revolution
Guard Corps inside Iran and in Syria, noting however that such targets “were
swiftly dismissed as likely to prompt greater escalation,” citing two
individuals familiar with the decision-making in Washington that spoke on the
condition of anonymity.
another US consideration may be the level of confidence it has in identifying
who is behind a particular attack, according to the daily, which emphasized
that after the rocket attack on Camp Taji Britain refused to join the American
retaliatory bombing raids “because it did not believe the evidence provided by
the Americans met the legal threshold to justify a strike” against Iraq’s PMU
anti-terror Iraqi resistance group Kata’ib Hezbollah holds a maneuver to
prepare itself for a possible battle against occupying American troops in the
prospect of more militia violence is already influencing the US posture in
Iraq,” the report further underlined, quoting officials as adding that more US
air defense equipment and personnel have been deployed to Iraq, including new
air defenses such as C-RAMs and Patriot missile batteries, expected to be in
place in the next week or two.
with the growing militia threats to US-allied foreign troops in Iraq, hundreds
of coalition personnel have shifted out of smaller military outposts in recent
weeks, relocating to larger facilities in Iraq or heading to Syria and Kuwait,
according to the paper.
the same time, the Iraqi government’s suspension of joint training due to the
covid-19 crisis has prompted the US to withdraw some military trainers from
send equipment to terrorists in Syrian refugee camp under guise of medical aid:
United States plans to transport equipment to terrorists in a refugee camp in
war-ravaged Syria under the guise of providing refugees with medical and
humanitarian aid, Syrian and Russian officials warn.
Russian and Syrian coordination committees on the Return of Syrian Refugees
said in a joint statement on Saturday that Washington was exploiting
humanitarian situation in the al-Rukban Camp near the Jordanian and Iraqi
frontier and planned to provide terrorists with necessary equipment.
US side seeks to make use of coronavirus spread and tries to exert pressure on
the UN to pass shipments and equipment to the terrorists under the guise of
diagnostic tools and humanitarian aid to the besieged refugees in the camp,”
said the statement, which was carried by Syria's official news agency SANA.
camp, which has already been described by the committee as the "death
camp" in the Homs province, is home to some 25,000 internally-displaced
Syrians, who have been taken "hostage" by US-controlled militants
July, the committee said that US-backed armed groups demanded up to $1,500 per
family for leaving the camp, which lies within a 55-kilometer zone occupied by
the US around its unauthorized military base in the Syrian town of At-Tanf.
also urged the US command in the area to stop "the criminal activities of
the gangs" under its control and ensure "the unimpeded exit" of
the camp residents.
is necessary to intensify the evacuation of Syrian citizens, since every day of
delay in disbanding the camp only prolongs the suffering of its
inhabitants," the statement stressed at the time.
al-Rukban Camp was established by US forces a few years ago, purportedly for
the sake of the Syrian refugees. However, Moscow and Damascus have repeatedly
stated that it is being used by US forces as a training base and a hideout for
militants in Syria.
in September, the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation reported that the
so-called "camp administration, controlled by illegal armed units"
refused to let UN buses inside to evacuate some refugees, with an intention of
keeping them and the rest at the camp as a human shield.
at the time, a large part of cargo delivered by the UN and the Syrian Arab Red
Crescent to al-Rukban Camp was also seized by US-backed militants and moved to
the north of the camp.
has now become evident that Washington is providing financial and military
support for anti-Damascus militants in Syria.
beefs up security around Baghdad embassy amid Washington’s plans to target PMU:
senior Iraqi lawmaker says the United States has tightened security around its
embassy in the capital Baghdad, emphasizing that any attack against the
positions of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic
name Hashd al-Sha’abi, as well as affiliated field commanders will not go
in and around the American embassy in the Iraqi capital has been fortified,
because these forces (US troops) have a plan to carry out strikes against the
PMU, resistance factions and their leaders. They want to keep their soldiers
away from any reaction that their actions might trigger off,” Karim Alawi, a
member of the Iraqi parliament's security and defense committee, told the
London-based and Arabic-language al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper on Saturday.
noted, “This is why US soldiers have been moved from some sites in Iraq to
major military bases, where the forces can be protected. They fear their
presence in small bases would expose them to rocket fire from Hashd al-Sha’abi
groups. As a result, they have gathered their forces in major bases, so that
they are protected.”
are well aware of the fact that any attack against resistance fighters or Hashd
al-Sha’abi will not go unanswered, therefore, they want to protect their forces
against any potential missile attack by resistance factions,” Alawi said.
Iraqi legislator highlighted that “there is no withdrawal of US forces from
Iraq, and what happened is simply redeployment of the troops in main bases like
Ain al-Assad and Harir,” which lie in Iraq’s western province of Anbar and the
semi-autonomous Kurdistan region respectively.
New York Times reported on Friday that the Pentagon had last week ordered a
secret directive, which called on US military commanders to prepare a campaign
against Kata'ib Hezbollah, which is part of Hashd al-Sha’abi.
General Robert P. White wrote in a blunt memo that a new military campaign
would also require that thousands more American troops be sent to Iraq and
divert resources from the so-called fight against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist
lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of
all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country following
the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the
Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis,
the deputy head of Hashd al-Sha’abi, and their companions in a US airstrike
authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport two
on January 9, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the former Iraqi prime minister, called on the
United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a
mechanism for the move.
to a statement released by his office at the time, Abdul-Mahdi “requested that
delegates be sent to Iraq to set the mechanisms to implement the parliament's
decision for the secure withdrawal of (foreign) forces from Iraq” in a phone
call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
78-year-old politician said Iraq rejects any violation of its sovereignty,
particularly the US military's violation of Iraqi airspace in the assassination
in and around the American embassy in the Iraqi capital has been fortified,
because these forces (US troops) have a plan to carry out strikes against the
PMU, resistance factions and their leaders. They want to keep their soldiers
away from any reaction that their actions might trigger off,” Karim Alawi, a
member of the Iraqi parliament's security and defense committee, told the London-based
and Arabic-language al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper on Saturday.
lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of
all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country following
the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the
Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, along with Abu Mahdi
al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Hashd al-Sha’abi, and their companions in a US
airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International
Airport two days earlier.
Details of FCT Minister’s meeting with Christian, Muslim leaders emerges
Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja will work closely with religious
organisations in the provision of humanitarian assistance to the most
vulnerable members of the society should the need arise following the outbreak
of Coronavirus in Abuja.
FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, disclosed this following a meeting he
held with the leaders of the Christian and Muslim faithful in Abuja and was
contained in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye.
meeting had in attendance, former AMAC Chairman, Hon. Zephaniah Jisalo, FCT
Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria Rev. Samson Jonah, the Chairman,
FCT League of Imams Dr. Tajudeen Adigun, and other religious leaders, as well
as senior members of the FCTA management.
Bello said: “Religious organizations should be at the forefront for
humanitarian activities, particularly if the situation escalates to a point
where there is a need for massive support for the poor and the vulnerable
members of the society.
also stated that the traditional institutions and religious leaders had
organized structures that can be used and mobilized towards providing
palliatives that will ease the problems of the weaker members of the
Minister also disclosed that as part of resolutions reached during the meeting,
religious, traditional and political leaders would galvanize and mobilize
individuals of means within the communities “so that we can create an extensive
structure of safety net for our poor people.”
said, “for us to fight this pandemic, every person has to be disciplined to
comply with the regulations of periodic and constant handwashing with soap and
water and alternatively, hand sanitizers.”
to Malam Bello, the religious leaders agreed that it was imperative in these
uncertain times to intensify prayers for divine intervention in the face of the
Minister said: “we’ve also agreed that in times like this, prayers are
paramount. So, we are appealing to all residents and citizens of the FCT to
continue to pray to God Almighty for us to get over this pandemic.
leaders of both religious groups have assured us that they ‘ll use their internal
network to encourage individual prayers by their followers wherever they are,
based on the already established protocol for such prayers by all the religious
the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, had disclosed on Saturday that
the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria now stands at 97.
Police arrest two Islamic clerics for flouting directive on religious
Kaduna State government said Saturday that two Islamic clerics have been
arrested for flouting the directive on religious gatherings in the state.
government said in a tweet that the clerics – Aminu Umar Usman and Umar Shangel
– were arrested for conducting congregational prayers in defiance of the ban on
religious gatherings in the state.
government had on Thursday invoked the quarantine act of 1926 and the Kaduna
State public health law, to impose a curfew in the state, in its bid to curb
the spread of coronavirus in the state.
tweet read: “KADUNA UPDATE: Two clerics have been arrested for conducting
congregational prayers in violation of Kaduna State public health preventive
Muslims Defy Coronavirus Prayer Restrictions
CAMEROON - Muslims in Cameroon have defied and are protesting government
restrictions on prayer attendance at mosques, imposed to reduce the spread of
COVID-19, which has so far been confirmed in 92 people in less than a month.
Muslims say the government order defies God’s teachings. Hundreds of Muslim
faithful attended their Friday worship sessions in mosques throughout Cameroon
despite the government order for prayers to be said at home and for numbers in
worship houses to be limited.
government said most of those defying the order were on the central African
state’s northern border with Nigeria. Student Koulanya Abo, 23, said he went to
the mosque in the town of Maroua in the Far North region of Cameroon to pray
for Allah to rid the world of the disease.
is a time people have to go to the mosque and pray ceaselessly. Anything out of
that will not be tolerated by Allah, because this is a period where people are
facing a lot of difficulties due to the outbreak of the pandemic
COVID-19," Abo said.
Far North region has been an epicenter of Boko Haram terrorist attacks for 10
years. The Nigerian Islamist militants want to create an Islamist caliphate.
They have not made a statement on their stand on COVID-19.
Bouba Bakary, the traditional leader and Muslim spiritual guide of Maroua, said
that when he noticed resistance to the government order, he directed clerics
under him to keep an eye on extremists.
said he told the 1,200 imams and clerics under his authority that the measures
taken by the government were aimed at saving their lives and protecting their
communities from a deadly disease that has killed thousands of people all over
the world. He said there was a surprising amount of resistance, and he wanted
the government to take further measures that would force the faithful to obey the instructions
and at the same time maintain peace.
said he was also asking the government to use such local languages as Fulfulde
and Haoussa to inform both clerics and the faithful who may not understand
French that COVID-19 kills, and that the decision that people should stop
crowding into mosques was made to save their lives.
Minister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education Monouna Foutsou said the
situation was very worrying. He has sent youths not only to the regions where
there is resistance but all over Cameroon to inform civilians that they should
abide by the measures or they will be punished.
said President Paul Biya had instructed him to advise Cameroonians to be
socially responsible, and he has dispatched youths to towns and villages with
loudspeakers, flyers and banners to try to persuade the population to adhere to
the lifesaving measures directed by the government. He said the government
would not spare anyone who exhibited irresponsibility after the two-day
crisis meeting was held at the Defense Ministry on Friday, where it was decided
that the military would be deployed to areas where there is resistance.
first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Cameroon on February 6. Health officials
said Saturday that the number of confirmed cases had increased to 92. Two
people have died.
effort to stop the spread of the virus, Cameroon on March 18 closed its borders
and suspended issuance of visas into the country until further notice. The
central African state also closed all schools and asked Christians and Muslims
to limit worship attendance and pray at home.
Umahi shuts down all Churches, Mosques in Ebonyi State
Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi has ordered the immediate shutdown of all
religious gatherings in the state following the discovery of two COVID-19 cases
in neighbouring Enugu State.
in a statement signed by Ugbala Kenneth Igwe, the secretary to the state
government, revealed that despite several warnings, some religious institutions
in the state were still flouting/disregarding the ban on social gatherings. The
Ebonyi State Government observed with dismay that some religious organizations
have been disobeying Government’s directives on public gathering, by mounting
loud crusades, conducting wedding and burial ceremonies as well as other
gatherings outside their worship centres.”
Ebonyi State Government hereby shut down all religious gatherings in the State
effective from 30th March 2020 to 14th April 2020, in other to protect the
lives of our people from the scourge of COVID-19; since Government will not
like to cause embarrassment to our religious leaders.”
Government, therefore, requests Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Ebonyi
State, Chapter and leadership of other religious organizations in the State to
ensure that this directive is fully obeyed by every religious group in the
State, as Christians, as well as other religious groups, are encouraged to pray
from their homes.”
State Government is concerned that with 2 cases of COVID-19 having been
confirmed in Enugu State, Government cannot in any way afford to risk the lives
of Ebonyians, hence these directives.”
are hereby advised to take the fight against COVID-19 very seriously by
observing the government’s directives on the dos and don’ts of COVID-19 preventive
Ebonyi State Government directs that with effect from Monday, 30th March 2020,
all market and shops that are not dealing on essential commodities be shutdown.
In like manner, all drinking joints, sports and sporting activities, as well as
other forms of public events, are hereby shutdown.”
means that the shops that will be allowed to remain open are: Vegetable,
foodstuff and fruits market, meat market, building materials, medical shops,
hotels, hospitals, pharmaceutical stores, spare parts dealers and other allied
government further called on farmers, especially the rice millers and other
food processing industries to expedite action on food production, to ensure
availability of food to the general public, in case there is need for total
lockdown of activities in the State.”
is also considering inter-senatorial partial movement restriction in the state
from Monday, 30th March, 2020.”
State Government has prepared quarantine, isolation and treatments centres at
the border between Enugu and Ebonyi State as well as Unity Square, with one
holding area at Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FETHA)
where suspected cases will stay, if the test result is positive, he/she will be
moved to any of the isolation/treatment centres.”
of the public are enjoined to supply information about the returnees from
outside the country or from other parts of Nigeria. Also, Government has made
available hotel accommodation for all the medical personnel that will be
involved in carrying out test/treatment on patients with suspected cases, and
also, to ensure that they are fully isolated from associating with families and
the public, as the government does not want to risk their lives or that of
their family members.”
the foregoing, Ebonyi State Government is calling on medical workers, who wish
to volunteer in the handling and treatment of suspected COVID-19 patients and
confirmed cases to report to the office of Hon. Commissioner for Health, Dr.
Daniel Umezurike or Dr. Emeka Onwe Ogah, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of
Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FETHA) and register
these actions taken by the State Government are to ensure the protection of
lives of Ebonyians which government swore to, under the oath of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.”
the grace of God, there is no record of COVID-19, so far in Ebonyi State, and
there shall be none in Jesus name, amen; provided we do our own part and God
will do his part.”
recommends use of marriage halls, schools, colleges and mosques as isolation
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has demanded isolating coronavirus
patients outside hospital premises to save medical staff, patients and visitors
from the pandemic.
at a consultative session with medical experts through video link on Saturday,
Shehbaz Sharif demanded setting up makeshift quarantine facilities in marriage
halls, mosques, schools and colleges for COVID19 patients.
President demanded free of cost test for COVID-19 and urged the government to
immediately complete the mapping of those, who had come from abroad and issue
comprehensive data of their screening, testing and treatment in a transparent
manner. “Hiding of facts will not help solve the problem,” he added. He called
for conducting training of doctors, nurses and medical staff as well as police
to properly handle COVID-19 patients. “The doctors, nurses and paramedical
staff must be properly equipped with protective gears and other essential
medical supplies,” he said.
suggested seeking support of China for providing specialized training to
medical staff. “In the first phase, Chinese must train master trainers, who
will then impart training to the staff in their respective categories in the
second phase”, he said. The bio-technicians, bio-medical equipment operators
and maintainers must be trained, which was of paramount importance to operate
bio-medical equipment on a large scale in case of any emergency.
communiqué issued after the consultative session demanded of the government to
issue details of daily screening of people, the new cases surfacing every day
and the number of casualties on a daily basis in a transparent manner. It demanded to start Life and Health
Insurance of medical staff engaged in provision of healthcare services to the
patients round the clock, and the insurance premium must be paid by the
government. “The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) should be restored
immediately,” it demanded.
distributes relief goods among deserving non-Muslims
Punjab Minister for Human Rights & Minorities Affairs (HR&MA) Ijaz Alam
Augustine, along with the Youth Development Foundation (YDF), on Saturday
distributed relief goods among the minority families, who had lost their
sources of livelihood due to coronavirus pandemic.
to a handout issued here, volunteers of YDF distributed food items among almost
100 deserving families of Christian, Sikh and Hindu community, while Ijaz Alam
Augustine, Secretary HR&MA Dr Shoaib and Executive Director YDF Shahid
Rehmat attended the event.
standard operating procedures (SOPs) recommended by the Punjab government
regarding coronavirus care, were ensured as precautionary measures during the
distribution ceremony. People were called for items delivery at different times
to avoid a large gathering, a distance of 3 to 4 feet was also ensured while
each person was made to wear mask and gloves after using hand sanitizers.
minister appreciated the YDF efforts for helping the ailing humanity and said
that the YDF youth were always found ready for any welfare work without any
discrimination. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister
Sardar Usman Bazdar were monitoring day-to-day activities to deal with the
coronavirus situation, and all provincial ministers were busy in their
respective constituencies to serve the nation.
minister said that every possible step was being taken to control coronavirus
and the Punjab government was trying to facilitate the poor by maintaining
supplies at utility stores. Organisations like the YDF could help reach out to
the people at the grassroots level,” he said. He urged people to take special care
of cleanliness and most times stay at their homes. He appealed to people having
resources to come forward for the help of the needy families.
representative Shahid Rehmat said the initiative was aimed at helping at least
100 poor families, especially transporters and daily-wagers, who were facing a
lot of difficulties as shopping malls, markets, parks, restaurants and tourist
spots would remain closed till April 6.
ministry endorses IHC order for release of over 700 under-trial prisoners
The law ministry endorsed the recent order of the Islamabad High Court (IHC)
for the release of over 700 under-trial prisoners (UTPs) on bail.
hearing a petition seeking implementation of the order, IHC Chief Justice Athar
Minallah observed that “under-trial prisoners who are involved in cases pending
before the courts within the jurisdiction of this court are incarcerated in the
Central Prison, Rawalpindi. The said prison is overcrowded and the living
condition therein is intolerable.
of the prisoners do not have access to the courts because they cannot afford to
engage professional services of enrolled counsel. Many in the first place
should not have been incarcerated. It is a constitutional obligation of this
court to ensure that fundamental rights are safeguarded. There are serious
concerns regarding welfare of the prisoners, particularly their right to life”.
high court, however, deferred the implementation of its order when it was
apprised that the Supreme Court had constituted a five-member larger bench to
hear a petition filed against the release orders of the UTPs.
Justice Minallah, while referring to a news item published in an English daily
which claimed that the government was not happy with the release of UTPs by the
IHC, inquired from law secretary Khashihur Rehman about the authenticity of the
Rehman said that the government has no reservations on the release of UTPs from
the overcrowded jail. He, however, did not give any plausible reason as to why
the law ministry, which otherwise promptly contradicted even routine news
reports, did not issue a clarification about the above-mentioned report. He
sought some time to look into the matter.
Justice Minallah directed the law secretary to submit a report regarding steps
taken to ensure observance of law. He pointed out that Pakistan has slipped
from 117 to 120 out of 128 countries on the Rule of Law Index prepared by World
Justice Project that is acknowledged as the leading sources for original and
independent data on the rule of law.
ought to raise serious concerns,” he observed, adding that the framework of the
Rule of Law Index is based on eight factors, including constraints of
government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights,
order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and lastly criminal
criminal justice component includes prison i.e. questioning whether the
correctional system is effective in reducing criminal behaviours. Most of these
components are within exclusive domain of the executive authorities and the
courts are dependent on its effective implementation/performance,” states the
court also inquired whether the constitutional requirement of submitting a
report by the President before the Parliament on the observance and
implementation of the Principles of Policy to ensure inexpensive and
expeditious justice was fulfilled? The law secretary again sought time to file
chief justice observed that since most of incarcerated UTPs cannot access the
courts because of financial constraints it is the duty of the executive under
various laws to take action so that inmates are not unnecessarily kept in
the duty of the prosecution and executive authorities to ensure that every
prisoner has access to the courts and such duty is an integral part of the
constitutional obligation to ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice, he
the court asked Additional Attorney General Tariq Mehmood Khokhar and Advocate
General Niazullah Khan Niazi to assist it regarding powers of the constitutional
courts having regard to the constitutional obligation of the state of ensuring
inexpensive and expeditious justice. “They are also expected to suggest a
mechanism in this regard.”
sealed in Hyderabad after Chinese man tests positive for virus
Officials of civil administration and police sealed off Noor Masjid in Wahdat
Colony, local headquarters of Tableeghi Jamaat, on Saturday after a member of
the Jamaat, a 19-year-old Chinese-origin man tested positive for coronavirus a
day before and was admitted to hospital for treatment.
officials shifted 19 suspected cases who might have remained in contact with
the coronavirus-positive man to Kohsar Latifabad quarantine facility and sent
samples of eight of them to laboratory before sealing off the worship place.
of Rangers and police were deployed outside the mosque where 210 faithful, some
of them foreign nationals, were staying during the exercise. The measure had
been taken for ‘quarantine’ purposes so that nobody could enter or leave the
place, contended Hyderabad SSP Adeel Chandio.
hospital in-charge Dr Suresh said that a total of 28 people were under
observation at the quarantine centre under strict surveillance. The infected
Chinese man’s brother and eight other persons were shifted to hospital from
Noor Masjid on Friday and of them the eight were asymptomatic while the Chinese
national had already tested negative.
than two dozen people including prayer leaders were picked up in the city on
Saturday for offering congregational prayers in different mosques in violation
of an official ban on such gatherings inside masjids.
of them were picked up from inside Ibrahim Khalilullah and Sarfaraz Baba
mosques and two from outside the Fruit Market mosque after Zuhar prayers.
Cantonment police booked Maulana Asad Ali under sections 269 and 188 PPC vide
crime No. 24/20 and picked him up from Sohna Sain mosque located behind the SSP
unidentified persons were also nominated in the FIR. Maulana Ali was later
released on personal bond to enable him to seek bail from court.
case was registered at the Hali Road police station against Qari Naveed of
Jamia Masjid Choothi while Baldia police booked Ghulam Yamin of Qadri Mosque
located in Baldia Colony under sections 269 and 188 of the PPC for similar
persons, who had travel history and recently stayed with an influential figure
of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), tested positive for coronavirus here on
Saturday, raising number of the virus-infected persons of the district to
the three confirmed cases were disclosed by the health department, Dawn made
inquiries and found that they were guests or friends of the PPP figure and were
not residents of Hyderabad though their samples were obtained in Hyderabad a
couple of days back.
government’s focal person for coronavirus situation in Hyderabad, Sharjeel Inam
Memon, said that he did not have details on the new cases released by the
health department. Possibly there might be some confusion about the new cases
within the health department, he said.
of suspected patients were being awaited on Saturday but none came. Among the
suspected patients was a Tando Moha¬mmad Khan resident admitted to isolation
ward of Liaquat University Hospital and eight persons whose samples were
obtained at Noor Masjid yesterday.
draws UNHCR attention to Afghan refugees’ problems
Amid the coronavirus epidemic, Minister for States and Frontier Regions
(Safron) Shehryar Khan Afridi drew the attention of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) towards Afghan refugees, urging the world
body in a letter to accelerate its relief efforts and provide food rations to
the Afghan refugees living across Pakistan.
is among the countries that are hosting large numbers of refugees. According to
estimates, there are around 3.5 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan,
about 1.8m of whom are registered and 0.8m hold Proof of Registration cards.
minister along with cricket superstar Shahid Afridi visited an Afghan refugee
camp in the city of Kohat, 150km southwest of Islamabad, where they oversaw the
distribution of ration, provided by the cricket star’s eponymous charity organisation,
to nearly one thousand refugee families impacted by the ongoing lockdown.
Afghan refugees are our brothers and Pakistanis stand side by side with Afghan
families in these testing times. The Afghan brothers should not be forgotten in
these difficult times,” Mr Shahid tweeted in Urdu from his Twitter account.
to a press release by the UNHCR, it has started dispatching core relief items
to support Pakistan government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
necessary relief items include “medical supplies and sanitation products such
as sanitary clothes, soap and disinfectants”. These items “will be provided to
health facilities in support of refugees and host communities in Balochistan,
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab”, said the statement.
trucks carrying some of the many items left from UNHCR’s central warehouse in
Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and some destined to Balochistan. More items are
scheduled to be delivered next week.
is committed to supporting the government’s Covid-19 prevention and response
measures,” said Iain Hall, UNHCR Deputy Representative in Pakistan.
UNHCR’s priority is to contribute to the overall effort to minimise the spread
and impact of the virus,” he added further.
agency committed to provide medical supplies and consumables including personal
protective equipment (PPE), which “will be delivered to support the people of
Pakistan and the Afghan refugees that they have so generously hosted for forty
years”, he said.
Commissionerate of Afghan Refugees (Ministry of Safron) and UNHCR’s NGO
partners are amplifying the government’s messages and reminders based on WHO
guidance on Covid-19 infection prevention and control, including self-hygiene
and social distancing, according to a statement.
Refugee Rights Network Pakistan (RRN) has also appreciated the efforts by
Minister Safron Mr Shehryar and Mr Shahid’s foundation for helping the Afghan
refugees in testing times.
Pakistan extends its gratitude to the minister and federal government for all
its commitment for care and protection of Afghan refugees in Pakistan,” the
scholar: Jews, Israel and US made coronavirus to shut down Mecca
scholar Ibrahim Al-Ubeidi delivered a sermon on Friday in which he claimed that
Jews and Americans created COVID-19 with the intention of closing down the
Islamic holy sites of Mecca and Medina.
went on to say that not only is the pandemic because of this secret plot, but
the Saudi Royal family is secretly Jewish and that they are all descendants of
a Jew called Mordechai who lived in Iraq, the Middle East Media Research
Institute (MEMRI) reported in a tweet on Sunday.
went on to praise the late Hussein Badreddin Al-Houti for allegedly being “the
only one in the Islamic world” to warn of the possibility that Jews and
Americans could use viruses and germs to shut down holy sites.
authorities ordered an end to mass events across the kingdom in an attempt to
curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The same step has been taken by other
religious leaders and organizations around the world, including the Vatican in
Rome and the Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel.
sight of the Kaaba in Mecca being almost empty is painful for many Muslims,
leading some to feel as if God had rejected them.
went on to ridicule the Saudi policies of seeking better ties with Israel and
the US, which include a new openness to some aspects of Western culture, by
cynically asking if the virus is not present in dance halls where women and men
dance together and only in holy sites of religious worship.
Kaaba in Mecca and the Mosque built by the Prophet of Islam, Muhamad, in Medina
are the two holiest sites in Islam, the third being the Al-Aqsa mosque in
Jerusalem. Saudi Arabia views itself as the guardian of these two holy sites,
Jordan sees itself as the guardian of the third.
groups in Gaza Strip cancel anti-Israel mass protests over coronavirus concerns
groups have cancelled mass anti-occupation rallies scheduled to be held next
week along the fence separating besieged Gaza strip from the Israeli-occupied
territories over coronavirus pandemic concerns.
March 30, 2018 onward, Palestinians in the blockaded enclave have held weekly
“Great March of Return” protest rallies against the Israeli occupation of their
lands, demanding the return of those driven out of their homeland by Israel
aggression during the past decades.
to the Palestinian Information center, Israeli forces have killed some 350
protesters during the weekly demonstrations. Nearly 31,000 others have been
injured in the rallies.
in the year, Palestinian groups had called for holding mass rallies along the
border with the Israeli regime to mark the second anniversary of the
"Great March of Return", but on Saturday they announced that the
planned rallies were cancelled over the pandemic.
call upon our people not to go to the Return encampments on March 30 and to
stay home in order to maintain the safety of our people in the face of this lethal
pandemic,” said Khaled al-Batsh, a senior member of the Palestinian resistance
group the Islamic Jihad.
instead called upon Gazans to mark the day by raising Palestinian flags on
their rooftops and burning those of the Israeli regime.
COVID-19 disease, caused by a new coronavirus, jumped from wildlife to people
in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and is currently affecting 199
countries and territories across the globe. It has so far affected more than
621,590 people and killed over 28,790.
Palestinian government issued an order confining Palestinians in the
Israeli-occupied West Bank to their homes for two weeks as a precaution against
the spread of coronavirus.
to figures by Palestine's health ministry, as of Saturday, the infectious
disease has affected 97 Palestinians and killed one. Nine of the infected
people are in Gaza Strip and the rest are in the occupied West Bank.
Thursday, the health ministry called on the international and relief
institutions to "urgently" provide the Gaza Strip, which is home to
some two million people, with "$23 million."
health ministry is deeply concerned over the severe shortages of essential
medicines, medical consumables, laboratory supplies and blood banks, in
addition to the limited equipment used to carry out coronavirus examinations,”
added spokesman for the health ministry Ashraf Qudra during a press conference.
also blamed the Israeli regime for systematically undermining the health and
humanitarian services in Gaza over long years of siege, holding it fully
responsible for the lives of the population.
warplanes have conducted new airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip in response
to a purported rocket attack from the Palestinian coastal enclave.
has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a
decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of
unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Israeli regime denies Gazans their basic rights, such as freedom of movement,
jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare and education.
2008, Israel has waged three wars against Gaza, where two million Palestinians
live under a 12-year Israeli blockade. Thousands of Gazans have been killed in
each of these deadly wars.
Islamic Society expresses solidarity with Iran in fighting COVID-19
News Agency (ABNA): Head of Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Society Husein Kavazovic
in a message to Iran's Ambassador in Sarajevo Mahmoud Heydari on Friday
expressed solidarity with the Iranian nation in battling coronavirus.
we are grappling with the disease, we, concerned and hopeful, are pursuing the
situation in the brotherly and friendly state of Iran and are praying for
them," the message said.
of faith, resolve and self-care are of high significance in the fight against
the invisible enemy, he said, noting that the Iranian nation will surely over
the challenge, as it did previously, he said.
am willing to announce Your Excellency and Iran's religious and political
institutes that Iran is not alone against coronavirus and we pray for you, as
praying is the most valuable thing a believer can donate to the other
person," he said.
Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Šefik Džaferović in a
message expressed solidarity with the Iranian nation in the fight against
his message to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Džaferović condoled with the
bereaved families of the coronavirus victims and wished immediate recovery for
observing recommendations, we can take steps to eradication Coronavirus
News Agency (ABNA): The revered source of emulation offered his appreciation
for the efforts of doctors and nurses and emphasized the importance observing
the health and hygiene advice given by the officials.
statement released by his office, Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Alavi Gorgani
praised the efforts of doctors and nurses caring for those suffering from
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and for those observing the health and hygiene advice
given by the officials.
there have been more than 471,410 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and 21,295
deaths. Europe has turned into the new epicentre of the virus, with Italy being
the hardest hit country.
Iran, the respiratory disease has so far killed 2,234 people and infected
29,406 others. A total of 10,457 people have also recovered.
outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic over the past several weeks has disrupted
the natural order of the lives of the people’s in Iran. In these circumstances,
what is most noteworthy is the struggles and efforts of the doctors, nurses,
managers and colleagues. They are also jihadi and popular forces who spent
their Norouz holidays assisting the ill in the hospital.
give many thanks to the officials and hardworking people of Golestan province,
especially the Public Health Advocates Camp, the head of the Golestan
University of Medical Sciences and Health Services and all the doctors and
nurses, the honourable governor and his colleagues, the honourable mayor of
Gorgan and other cities of the province and their colleagues, the Ninava
Brigades of the IRGC and Basij and other organs and all jihadi and popular
forces who are sincerely and tirelessly seeking to assist the people of the
general public needs to heed the advice of physicians better than ever before
and by observing personal and social hygiene and the instructions of the
authorities, they can help to eradicate this tribulation.
it is hoped that resorting to the Ahl al-Bayt, praying to the Lord and constant
obeyance and humility toward God during the month of Sha’ban which will make it
possible for this tribulation to be ended and for the reappearance of Imam
al-Mahdi for the Islamic ummah as soon as possible will not be forgotten.
reaction to formation of negotiation team by Afghan government
Taliban group rejected the team formed by the Afghan government to participate
in the talks with the group as efforts are underway to kick start the
intra-Afghan talks following the signing of U.S.-Taliban peace deal last month.
had committed in the peace accord reached with the US on February 29 in Doha
that we would join the intra Afghan dialogue but made it clear that all Afghan
factions would participate in the peace process,” a Taliban leader was quoted
as saying in a report by The News.
Taliban leader further added “Today we were surprised when came to know about
the team constituted by the Afghan government. It would be a total negation of
our earlier stance if we started talks with the Afghan government now, which
obviously not possible.”
we rejected the team formed by the Afghan government. There should be a broad
based team and needed to be comprised all Afghan factions,” he said.
Afghan government announced last week that it has formed a negotiating team led
by former intelligence chief Masoom Stanikzai to hold talks with the Taliban
State Ministry in Peace Affairs said the negotiating team consists of 21
members including Masoom Stanikzai, Nader Naderi, Abdul Mateen Baig, Zerar
Ahmad Muqbil, Fatema Gilani, Fawzia Koofi, Mohammad Rasool Talib, Abdul Hadi
Arghandiwal, Habiba Sarabi, Dr. Ghairat Baheer, Mohammad Hafeez Mansoor, Ghulam
Farooq Majrooh, Mawlavi Enayatullah Baligh, Kalimullah Naqeebi, Mohammad Nateqi,
Batur Dostum, Gern. Ayoub Ansari, Shahla Fareed, Sharifa Zurmati, Dr. Ameen
Ahmadi and Khalid Noor.
reacts to formation of negotiating team for the talks with Taliban
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the formation of negotiating team by
the Afghan side for the talks with the Taliban group.
to my Afghan counterparts for preparing an inclusive negotiating team to make
intra-Afghan negotiations successful. I also applaud your commitment to begin
releasing prisoners and your commendable effort to set conditions for peace and
reconciliation,” Pompeo said in a Twitter post.
State Ministry in Peace Affairs said the negotiating team consists of 21
members including Masoom Stanikzai, Nader Naderi, Abdul Mateen Baig, Zerar
Ahmad Muqbil, Fatema Gilani, Fawzia Koofi, Mohammad Rasool Talib, Abdul Hadi
Arghandiwal, Habiba Sarabi, Dr. Ghairat Baheer, Mohammad Hafeez Mansoor, Ghulam
Farooq Majrooh, Mawlavi Enayatullah Baligh, Kalimullah Naqeebi, Mohammad
Nateqi, Batur Dostum, Gern. Ayoub Ansari, Shahla Fareed, Sharifa Zurmati, Dr.
Ameen Ahmadi and Khalid Noor.
members of a family killed as duck hunting turns deadly in North of Afghanistan
authorities in North of Afghanistan confirmed that four members of a single
family lost their lives in a brawl which turned into an armed clash over the
hunting of ducks.
Farooq, the Director of the Crimianl Investigation Department of Parwan,
confirmed to Salaam Watandar that the incident and said four members of a
family lost their lives and another was wounded during the clash.
further added that the incident took place before noon on Saturday, at around
10:00 am, in Balto Khel area of the provincial capital of Parwan.
also added that the police forces arrested two people in connection with the
deadly clash and an investigation is underway.
Balto Khel Village and Sayad are the main hunting places for the birds in
northern Parwan province of Afghanistan.
days later: The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Phillippines
the country joins the rest of the world in combatting an outbreak that has
taken countless lives, the journey towards lasting peace in its southern region
of seemingly endless conflict, the government of the Philippines and the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front finally closed a monumental chapter with the passage
and ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, paving the way for the creation
of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). On March 29,
2019, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the interim regional
parliament, marked its first inaugural session, launching the next chapter of
the peace process in Mindanao.
important to look back on what's described as one of the most important peace
agreements in this lifetime, and to revisit how far the BARMM has gone – 365
mandate, the BTA is expected to produce priority bills which will serve as the
hallmarks of the new bureaucracy.
writing, the education and local government codes are now in its final stages
while the administrative, internal revenue, electoral, civil service and
Indigenous People’s codes are also in the works. There is a need, however, to
mainstream these codes for the locals, who are probably still unaware that the
crafting of these laws is the heart of the transition period. (READ: [OPINION]
Building social capital with the Bangsamoro is a must)
the Parliament can deliver all codes before 2022 or not remains to be seen, but
the hope remains intact, especially with the incredible support of the
different Members of Parliament.
Moro Islamic Liberation Front which currently leads the Government of the Day
has also rallied behind the “moral governance” advocacy, signaling a new dawn
of bureaucratic accountability inspired by the shared faith of the Muslims in
the South. In fact, this might be the most important legacy of this interim
government: to redefine public service and governance to its core, to portray
BARMM as a new system that rejects corruption, and to reimagine the future of
the Bangsamoro with all stakeholders involved.
talks to Zia Alonto Adiong, a member of the Bangsamoro Parliament, on controversies,
challenges, and milestones of the fledgling Bangsamoro region in its first year
Hashim's appointment to the Bangamoro Transition Authority completes the
interim government's required 80 members nearly a year after it was formed in
terror groups pose a challenge to the newly established regional government of
the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which marks its first
anniversary this month
Chief Minister Ahod Balawah Ebrahim, Al Hadj who currently leads the new
bureaucracy has also introduced social services to provide for the immediate
needs of the once conflict-stricken region, which includes Project TABANG
(Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan), a special initiative that brings
major government services to the people, and the AMBAG (Ayudang Medikal Mula sa
Bangsamoro Government) Program, which provides medical assistance to needy
constituents of the region should they be confined in 12 partner hospitals of
the BARMM Government.
fairness, the appreciation from the grassroots is overwhelming, especially
those who rallied behind the “YES” campaign last year.
course, the region is currently on its feet to see how the new government will
utilize and safeguard the unprecedented P65 billion block grant, and how it
will address the socio-economic conditions of the Bangsamoro.
first year of the Bangsamoro Government has seen its share of challenges. For
example, the pressing issues on the separation pay of some employees from the
defunct ARMM, the heated discussions on the inclusion of Cotabato City, the
rehabilitation of Marawi City, and the entry of the new members of the
bureaucracy through the Job Portal, among many others, are valid concerns that
will contribute to the lasting legacy of this transition period.
important to acknowledge that the MILF is also undergoing its normalization
track, as prescribed in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. So, the
transition phase is truly wholistic by nature through the bureaucracy and
through social interventions on the ground.
skepticism will remain, the Bangsamoro needs to pull everyone together,
regardless of affiliation, ethno-linguistic group, or ideology, because at the
end of the day, we will be the ones who will collectively redefine what it
means to be Bangsamoro and redirect its future towards progress, development,
and most importantly, self-determination
Islam refining details, to introduce iTekad programme by May 2020
LUMPUR, March 29 — Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd is currently refining the details of
the iTekad programme announced by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and expects to
introduce it by May 2020 to ensure its efficient implementation and execution.
iTekad programme by BNM aimed to support sustainable income generation and
financial resilience of B40-owned micro-enterprises affected with Covid-19
the first participating Islamic bank to introduce the programme, Bank Islam
will utilise Zakat contributions for the micro-financing arrangement during the
first phase of its implementation.
Islam chief executive officer Mohd Muazzam Mohamed said the bank has been
doubling its effort to ensure service deliverables at its level best and
achieve sustainable prosperity for the community, customers and the bank.
implementation of iTekad programme enables Bank Islam to play our part in
providing financial assistance to the most vulnerable segment which consists of
the B40 individuals and B40-owned micro-enterprises.”
programme will involve collaborations with selected State Islamic Religious
Councils including Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan and implementation
partners such as SME Corporation Malaysia.
could stop millions of Indonesians returning to home villages after Ramadan
capital Jakarta has announced a two-week extension of its state of emergency
following a surge in coronavirus cases across the country, its governor says.
Baswedan told reporters on a video conference call that the state of emergency,
imposed on March 20 to try to slow the spread of the virus in Indonesia's
biggest city, would be extended until April 19.
chief security minister Mahfud MD said on Friday that the government was
considering a plan to ban "mudik" - the tradition in which millions
of Indonesians leave towns and cities for their native villages at the end of
the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in May.
confirmed 109 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, taking the total cases in
the country to 1155, a health ministry official said.
airline AirAsia Indonesia said in a statement posted on its website on Saturday
that it would suspend flights starting on April 1.
must stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people. Indoors, there must be a
density of no more than one person per four square metres of floor space.
you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit)
or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest
COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at
Muslim Gathering Ends with 183 Placed in Quarantine
West Jakarta authorities began to evacuate 183 people from a mosque and send
them to the isolation facility on Saturday evening after three of them tested
positive for coronavirus during a Muslim gathering.
participants include 78 foreign citizens who made a pilgrimage to the
century-old Jammi Mosque in Taman Sari subdistrict.
the participants have been kept inside the mosque since Thursday after three of
them, reportedly from Sumatra, tested positive for the virus.
Jakarta Mayor Rustam Effendi said all the people inside the mosque were
evacuated in stages and transported to the makeshift hospital at the athletes’
village in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.
the first batch, 39 people were transported to the Kemayoran Athletes’ Village.
The rest will follow in stages," Rustam said.
foreigners included 48 from India, 10 from Bangladesh, four from Sri Lanka, 10
from Thailand, five from Palestine and one from Pakistan.
news about confirmed Covid-19 carriers among the participants stirred a
widespread panic in the neighborhood and prompted authorities to deploy
policemen and soldiers to prevent anyone in the mosque from leaving.
Jakarta government has announced an emergency and imposed restrictions on
travels and public gatherings amid the rapidly growing Covid-19 cases in the
places are told to halt religious congregations, including the Friday
congregational prayer for Muslims, until the outbreak is over.
is the epicenter of the outbreak in Indonesia with 627 confirmed cases and 62
deaths as of Saturday. At the national level, there are 1,155 positive cases
and 102 fatalities, according to the government data.
Muslim group in close contact with infected patients moved to quarantine ward
- Indonesian armed forces were progressively moving more than 200 Muslim
worshippers - half of them are foreigners - from a mosque in West Jakarta to
the country's largest quarantine centre the Wisma Atlet in North Jakarta, in a
pre-emptive move to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
more than 200 Muslim worshippers were in close contact with three fellow
Muslims during Friday prayers on March 20 who later tested positive for
coronavirus. Authorities began moving the group of more than 200 Muslims on
Saturday night (March 28). The group has been in isolation at the West Jakarta
mosque since March 26.
106 were Indonesian nationals and 102 foreigners, they were part of a group
that had travelled to attended a large Muslim Tabligh gathering, state news
agency Antara reported, citing chief of Jakarta military command Brig-Gen M.
Saleh on Saturday night.
is formally known as Tablighi Jama'at, a global movement of evangelical Muslims
that promotes proselytising, known as dakwah. Two weeks ago (March 18), more
than 8,000 Tabligh members arrived in Gowa in Indonesian province of South
Sulawesi to attend the gathering that had been slated to take place the
following day (March 19).
than 400 of them were from the region and countries as far as Saudi Arabia, and
among the largest groups of foreign Muslims were those from Thailand, Malaysia
and Pakistan. None of them was from Singapore, according to the authorities.
gathering was cancelled at the last minute following appeals from the
authorities, amid fears of the spread of coronavirus. The pilgrims then made
their way home via the airport and seaports in Makassar on March 19, through
of the Muslims - one from North Sumatra and two from Aceh province - who joined
Friday prayers on March 20 tested positive for coronavirus and were rushed to
the Wisma Atlet quarantine centre earlier, Antara reported without giving a
date. The 10-tower Wisma Atlet was built for participating athletes in the 2018
Asian Games, which Jakarta co-hosted with Palembang, South Sumatra.
of the towers have been converted into quarantine wards for patients with mild
to moderate coronavirus symptoms as well as for people who might have been in
close contact with infected patients.
of the 102 foreign nationals went back to their home territory, Palestine,
Antara cited Brig-Gen Saleh as saying, who did not elaborate.
has appealed to its citizens to avoid crowds and to work, study and pray at
home. On March 19, Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan appealed to Muslims to
cancel Friday prayers for two weeks but many mosques disregarded the appeal.
world's fourth-most populous country announced its first two cases of
coronavirus infections on March 2, and the number has risen to 1,155 as of
Saturday. Its Covid-19 fatalities have reached 102, the highest in South-east
Jakarta has continued to deploy drones and trucks to spray disinfectants across
parts of the capital on Sunday (March 29). The spraying teams are covering 11
points across Jakarta on Sunday, working from 7am to 3pm local time.
Singapore records one more death
March 29 – Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed that a patient
has passed away from complications due to COVID-19 infection today.
statement here, MOH said he was a 70 year-old male Singaporean with no recent
travel history to affected countries and regions.
elderly who had a history of hypertension and hyperlipidaemia, was admitted to
Singapore General Hospital on Feb 29, and was confirmed to have COVID-19
infection on March 2.
might be no Ramadan bazaar in Kelantan this year - MB
BHARU, March 29 -- Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob today said
that there might be no Ramadan bazaar in
the state this year.
said the state government had yet to decide definitively on the matter and any
decision would be based on the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak.
state government has not finalised the matter but for now, no Ramadan bazaar
will be held," he told reporters after chairing the Kelantan-level
National Security Council (MKN) meeting at the Kota Darul Naim Complex here.
Ahmad said the state government would conduct mass clean-up operations at wet
markets in Kota Bharu town starting tomorrow in line with the recommendation of
the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
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