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Islamic Religious Centre Al Azhar Calls On all "Islamic And Arab Peoples And People Of Good Conscience To Renew The Boycott Of Swedish Products"

New Age Islam News Bureau

30 June 20123


The largest Sunni Islamic institution, Al Azhar



• Protesters Breach Sweden's Mission in Iraq as Muslim Nations Denounce Quran Burning

• Swedish envoy summoned to Iran Foreign Ministry over desecration of Islamic sanctities

• Kurdistan Region Presidency Condemns Qur'an Burning in Sweden

• Salvation Government spokesman renews his condemnation of continued burning copies of Holy Qur'an in Sweden

• Sunni Endowments Directorate implements charitable projects during Eid Al-Adha

• Derian: Actions Of Some Islam Haters Reflect Malicious Intentions To Ignite Sedition

• Druze Sheikh Akl Denounces Burning Of Holy Qur’an Copy: An Unacceptable Act That Fuels Sedition

• Political office of Ansar Allah condemns Sweden's permitting demonstrations to burn Qur'an


North America

• CAIR Welcomes Louisville, Ky., Government’s Offer of Interest-Free Small Business Loans to Muslims


Arab World

• How Mecca Is The Lynchpin For Saudi Arabia’s Hospitality And Tourism Drive

• Two Holy Mosques Presidency Organizes Nine Exhibitions during this Year’s Hajj Season

• Volunteer Health Teams Provide Services to Pilgrims in the Grand Mosque

• King, Crown Prince of Bahrain Congratulate the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on Hajj Success



• Police Watch As Muslim Truck Driver Lynched in Bihar’s Saran ahead of Eid-ul-Adha

• Mayawati Asks BJP To Implement Reservation For Muslims, Fill Recruitment Backlog

• UP Celebrates Eid-al-Adha In Peace, Prayers Offered in Idgahs, Mosques


Southeast Asia

• Anwar Calls On PAS Leaders To Answer “Allah Enemies” Allegation

• Fans swarm PM Anwar at Putrajaya mosque after Aidiladha prayers



• Sokoto: PDP Felicitates Muslims On Eid-El-Kabir, Urges More Trust In God

• Clerics Preach Peace, Love As Muslims Mark Idd-Ul-Adha

• Caution herdsmen from attacking farmers, Fubara charges Muslim clerics

• Eid ground clash: Islamic leaders chide Adeleke, Senate ex-spokesman

• Eid-El-Kabir: Agbolaya felicitates with Muslim faithful in Warri South

• The President of the Presidential Council performs the Eid al-Adha prayer at the Dawaa

• MWUN Felicitates Muslims On Eid-El-Kabir



• 'Eid Is The Best Time Of Year - But UK Muslims Have To Find Their Own Way Of Celebrating'

• Germany: Hostility toward Muslims is widespread

• 'I'm one of Britain's youngest Imams - one day I want to have my own TV show'


South Asia

• 'Afghanistan Again Ranks as Least Positive Country in the World': Gallup

• 36 Cases of Congo Fever in Afghanistan’s Herat in 2 Months

• Afghan Australians express their pain at hearing about Ben Roberts-Smith's alleged war crimes in Afghanistan

• World must unite to resolve Afghanistan crisis: Pakistan diplomat



• Pakistan Secures Critical $3bn Nod From IMF In Nick Of Time

• Two tribesmen killed in armed clash in Balochistan

• PM Shehbaz, President Erdogan exchange Eid greetings

• ‘Matrimonial dispute’: Women, kids among nine of same family shot dead in Batkhela

• TikToker Ayesha case: Prime suspect sent on physical remand

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



 Islamic Religious Centre Al Azhar Calls On all "Islamic And Arab Peoples And People Of Good Conscience To Renew The Boycott Of Swedish Products"


The largest Sunni Islamic institution, Al Azhar



Shafaq News / The largest Sunni Islamic institution, Al Azhar, invited all "Islamic and Arab peoples and people of good conscience to renew the boycott of Swedish products", to protest against the burning of the sacred book of Muslims, the Quran, which took place yesterday, June 28, in Sweden. This was reported by a press release from Al Azhar, which is based in Cairo, Egypt. Al Azhar denounced "the repetition of unacceptable violations of the Quran and the continuous provocations of the masses of Muslims from all over the world under the false banner of freedom of opinion and expression".

Al Azhar he also invited the governments of Islamic and Arab countries "to take serious and united positions towards those violations which cannot be accepted in any way, and which lead to crime and extremism towards Islamic sanctities". “Allowing the Swedish authorities to extremist terrorists to burn and tear up the Quran during the Muslim holiday is an explicit call for hostility, violence and the triggering of conflicts, and is not appropriate for any civilized or responsible country for its decisions,” he said Al Azhar.


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 US Condemns Burning Of Quran In Sweden But Adds Permit For The Demonstration Supported Freedom Of Expression Not An Endorsement Of The Action


Police officers intervene after people's reaction as demonstrators burn the Koran (not pictured) outside Stockholm's central mosque in Stockholm, Sweden June 28, 2023. TT News Agency/Caisa Rasmussen/via REUTERS/File Photo


June 30, 2023

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) –

The United States on Thursday said it condemned the burning of a Quran outside a mosque in Sweden, but added that issuing the permit for the demonstration supported freedom of expression and was not an endorsement of the action.

A man tore up and burned a Quran outside Stockholm's central mosque on Wednesday, the first day of Muslim Eid al Adha holidays, an action that angered Turkey whose backing Sweden needs to gain entry to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Speaking at a daily press briefing, State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said Washington believes the demonstration created "an environment of fear" that effectively curbs the ability of Muslims to practice their religion freely.

"I will say that we do condemn it," Miller said.

"We believe the demonstration created an environment of fear that will impact the ability of Muslims and members of other religious minority groups from freely exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief in Sweden," he added.

"We also believe that issuing the permit for this demonstration supports freedom of expression and is not an endorsement of the demonstration’s actions."

Swedish police had granted permission for the anti-Quran protest to take place. But after the burning, police charged the man who carried it out with agitation against an ethnic or national group.

Sweden sought NATO membership in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. But alliance member Turkey has held up the process, accusing Sweden of harboring people it considers terrorists and demanding their extradition.

Miller declined to say whether the demonstration and its fallout would have an impact on Turkey-Sweden ties and therefore the latter's NATO bid, but reiterated Washington's position that the Nordic country was ready to join the alliance.

"It is time to move to full accession to NATO for Sweden," he said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan slammed Sweden over the burning of a Quran in Stockholm and said Turkey would never bow down to a policy of provocation or threat.


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Organization Of Islamic Cooperation To Convene Emergency Meeting To Discuss Burning Of Holy Qur’an in Sweden


Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)


June 30, 2023

JEDDAH — Under invitation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the President of the Islamic Summit, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will convene next week an emergency open meeting for the Executive Committee to discuss the burning of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden.

The meeting will be held in its headquarters in Jeddah and will discuss the consequences of the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden on the first day of Eid Al-Adha.

The meeting next week is scheduled to discuss the measures to be taken against the heinous act and to adapt a collective position on the necessary course of action.

The OIC had earlier condemned the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an by an extremist at Stockholm Central Mosque in Sweden following the Eid Al-Adha prayer Wednesday.

In a press release Thursday, the General Secretariat condemned the recurrence of these despicable attacks and attempts to violate the sanctity of the Holy Qur’an and other Islamic values, symbols and sanctities.

The OIC reaffirmed the commitment that all states have assumed, under the Charter of the United Nations, to promote, encourage, respect and observe human rights and fundamental freedoms for all peoples universally and without any form of distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The Muslim World League (MWL) too strongly condemned the crime of burning a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Stockholm, Sweden, as the scenes of this disgraceful act provoke Muslims' sentiments, especially during the blessed Eid Al-Adha.

In a statement by the Secretariat-General of the Muslim World League, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the WML and the chairman of the Organization of Muslim Scholars, denounced this absurd and heinous crime, carried out under the protection of the police and under the claim of practicing freedom of expression.

The MWL chief added that the heinous act in reality abuses, among many things, the actual concept of freedom; which calls for respecting and not provoking others under any pretext.

Dr. Al-Issa warned against the dangers of these practices that promote hatred, provoke religious sentiments, and serve only the agendas of extremism.

In Riyadh, the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) has expressed strong condemnation of the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an by an extremist in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

In a statement, the KAICIID expressed its deep regret for the support given to the people who did this heinous act in terms of 'freedom of opinion and expression.’

It reiterated that respect for the beliefs and sanctities of others is a priority, especially as it relates to human rights as approved by UN conventions and recognized by international laws. — SPA


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FIR Filed Against Muslim Couple, by a 63-Year-Old Woman, Who Were Confronted By Crowd Ahead of Eid al-Adha


Illustration: Pariplab Chakraborty.


29 June 2023

New Delhi: A Muslim couple in Mumbai who were allegedly attacked by a crowd in their apartment complex for bringing goats to their flat ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival now have an FIR filed against them.

Police have registered a case against Mohsin and Yasmeen Khan based on a complaint by Suman Mehndiratta, a resident of the same complex, under four sections of the IPC including assault on women, insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace, criminal intimidation and criminal common intention, the Quint reported.

Mehndiratta alleges that Mohsin verbally abused her and pushed her on the chest. She also said that Yasmeen started “calling people” during a disagreement between the two parties.

Before this, the Khans had also filed police complaints following their altercation with the crowd on the evening of June 27, based on which an FIR was registered against 11 people on the four counts mentioned above as well as four others, the Quint‘s report said.

In her complaint, Yasmeen alleged that the crowd threatened to take away the couple’s goats when they arrived home on June 27.

“To this my husband reacted and they started manhandling us… During the scuffle, they also tore my clothes, forcing me to call police,” she said according to the Indian Express.

The Quint said that at a point of time, the crowd numbered approximately 200 people.

Mohsin also told a Quint reporter that the crowd chanted ‘Jai Shree Ram’ and the Hanuman Chalisa, called him a terrorist and threatened to slaughter a pig inside his home.

Yasmeen said that she even noticed some of her friends in the crowd and felt that they had been “brainwashed”.

Eid al-Adha is a Muslim festival that involves the ritual slaughter of livestock. It fell on June 28 and 29 this year.

In preparation for the festival, some Muslim residents of a specific building within the apartment complex sought for permission from its administrative authority to place their goats at a designated area in the complex.

“We assure you that there will not be any slaughtering done, as this request is just to keep our goats safe and secure for four days as mentioned above. We also assure you that we will take care of security, hygiene and cleanliness,” their letter read according to the Quint.

It continued: “[The] allocation of such a place within the [society’s] jurisdiction will help us to avoid the hassle of bringing the goats to our respective flats.”

Their request was denied. Following this, they approached the police with an “application” to keep the goats in their flats, the Quint reported.

In response, the police met the society’s members and served notices “warning them not to indulge in any practice that affects peace”, the Indian Express‘ report said.

Ultimately, the Khans transported goats to their flat at around 4 pm on June 27, following which they were confronted by other residents who claimed that “there is a rule that no livestock is allowed in the complex”.

This confrontation escalated into the scuffle.

A Muslim resident of the complex who wished to remain anonymous told the Quint that such confrontations are not new. He recalled an incident from the month of Ramadan where Hindu residents of the complex called the police over an iftaar party hosted by Muslims in a common area of the complex, despite their receiving permission to do so.

Eid al-Adha has been a source of controversy in other parts of the country as well. Hours ahead of the festival this year, courts were swamped with last-minute pleas from parties seeking either a curb on animal slaughter or permission for it.

“We express our great displeasure that such applications are repeatedly made at the last minute. Bakri Eid [another name for Eid al-Adha] has been on the calendar for the better part of the year,” the Bombay high court said, according to Bar and Bench.


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In Penang, PM Anwar Says On Mission To Save Malaysia From Racial And Religious Extremism


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim delivers a speech during the Qurban Perdana Madani event in Permatang Pauh, June 30, 2023. — Bernama pic


By Opalyn Mok

Friday, 30 Jun 2023

SEBERANG PERAI, June 30 — The unity government is focused on saving the country from race and religious bigotry and not winning the upcoming state elections alone, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said the religious narrative spread among PAS leaders is dangerous for the country.

“Some really nonsensical issues have been brought up by PAS leaders, such as claims that Prophet Adam landed in GunungJerai (in Kedah), and no one questioned this, not even the PAS ulama,” he said in a brief press conference after a Qurban Perdana Madani event in PermatangPauh.

In Islam, Adam is considered the faith’s first prophet.

Today, Anwar said no PAS leader corrected the remarks even though the claim of the Islamic figure being in Kedah was “clear nonsense”.

“What is wrong with this country, notwithstanding whom you support, there are issues and facts that you must acknowledge,” he said.

He said when they countered what was said, they were instead accused of disrespecting the ulama.

“If you are really committed to the teachings of Islam, you will not tolerate this,” he said.

He said PAS leaders have even said those who do not support their party are enemies of Allah.

“This is not just a political narrative this is dangerous for the country,” he said.

When asked if there had been be a “green wave” in PermatangPauh during the general election, Anwar said he does not accept the narrative that a groundswell of support for religious conservatism was the reason his daughter, Nurul Izzah Anwar, lost in his traditional seat.

“It is also the failure to address some concerns and to effectively counter the incessant propaganda using the race card and religious bigotry,” he said.

He said he has already informed the PakatanHarapan and BarisanNasional leaders to deal with this race and religious propaganda spread by PAS.

When asked if the PH-BN coalition could win the three state seats in PermatangPauh in the state election, he expressed confidence they would.

“This is not a matter of winning the elections but a matter of saving the country from this crazy race and religious bigotry,” he said.

He added that the mosques should not be used as a place to spread hate.

“You cannot use mosque to incite racial and religious issues,” he said.


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Protesters Breach Sweden's Mission in Iraq as Muslim Nations Denounce Quran Burning

JUNE 30, 2023

Iraqi protesters breached Sweden’s embassy in Baghdad on Thursday, angered by a Quran burning outside a Stockholm mosque that sparked condemnation across the Muslim world.

A crowd of supporters of firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr stayed inside the compound for about 15 minutes, then left as security forces deployed, an AFP photographer said.

“Our constitution is the Quran," read a message on leaflets carried by the protesters, and a message sprayed on the compound’s gate said “Yes, yes to the Quran".

The protest came a day after an Iraqi citizen living in Sweden, SalwanMomika, 37, stomped on the Islamic holy book and set several pages alight in front of the capital’s largest mosque.

Swedish police had granted him a permit in line with free-speech protections, but authorities later said they had opened an investigation over “agitation".

“Within 10 days I will burn the Iraqi flag and the Quran in front of Iraq’s embassy in Stockholm," Momika told a Swedish newspaper late Thursday.

The Quran burning, coinciding with the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha and the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, sparked anger across and beyond the Middle East.

Iraq’s foreign ministry condemned Sweden’s decision to grant an “extremist" permission to burn the Quran and said such acts “inflame the feelings of Muslims around the world and represent a dangerous provocation".

Late Thursday, the Iraqi foreign ministry said it had summoned the Swedish ambassador to Baghdad to inform her of the country’s “strong protest" over the authorisation decision.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters Washington was “deeply concerned by the act" of the Quran burning which he said could threaten religious minorities in Sweden, but supported the decision to allow the demonstration.

“Issuing the permit… is not an endorsement of the demonstration’s actions," Miller said.

Saudi Arabia, which hosted around 1.8 million hajj pilgrims, denounced the Quran burning, with the foreign ministry calling it part of “hateful and repeated attacks" on Islam.


The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation said it would hold an “emergency meeting" to discuss the situation. An OIC official said the talks would most probably be held on Sunday in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah.

Iran joined in the condemnation, with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian saying the Quran burning was an “insult" against “religious sanctities".

“Calling these behaviours freedom and democracy only encourage terrorism and extremism," he warned in a tweet.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also denounced Sweden for allowing a protest, further clouding the Nordic nation’s chances of quickly joining NATO.

“We will eventually teach the arrogant Westerners that insulting Muslims is not freedom of thought," Erdogan said in televised remarks.

“We will show our reaction in the strongest possible terms, until a determined victory against terrorist organisations and Islamophobia is achieved."

Egypt called the Quran burning a “disgraceful act provoking the feelings of Muslims" as they mark Eid, while the Cairo-based Arab League branded it an “assault on the core of our Islamic faith".

The United Arab Emirates foreign ministry said it had summoned the Swedish ambassador and “stressed that Sweden disregarded its international responsibilities and demonstrated a lack of respect for social values".


Kuwait said perpetrators of “hostile acts" must be brought to justice and “prevented from using the principle of freedoms as a ploy to justify hostility against Islam or any holy faith".

Bahrain said that “insulting religions… generates hatred, extremism and violence", while Libya’s foreign ministry said such action “contradicts international efforts aimed at bolstering tolerance and moderation".

In neighbouring Tunisia, the foreign ministry denounced an “odious crime" while Morocco summoned Sweden’s charge d’affaires in Rabat and recalled its ambassador over “these repeated provocations, committed under the complacent gaze of the Swedish government".

The Palestinian foreign ministry denounced a “flagrant attack on human rights, values of tolerance, acceptance of others, democracy and peaceful coexistence".

Syria slammed a “disgraceful act" while the Iran-backed Hezbollah movement in neighbouring Lebanon said Swedish authorities were “complicit in the crime".

Further afield, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said it “strongly condemns the despicable act", while Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was “disgusted and appalled" by the Quran burning in front of a mosque.

“I have no words to adequately condemn this anti-Islam act, which is clearly meant to hurt the feelings of Muslims around the world," Sharif said.

Afghanistan’s Taliban government, which enforces a strict interpretation of Islamic law, also reacted angrily, labelling the Quran burning an act of “utter contempt towards this noble religion".

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - AFP)


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Swedish envoy summoned to Iran Foreign Ministry over desecration of Islamic sanctities

June 30, 2023

The Swedish diplomat was told that the Swedish government’s silence and passive behavior embolden violators of one of the basic and obvious principles of human rights, namely the principle of respect for religious and divine values.

While Muslims have been performing Hajj and honoring religious and Islamic rituals these days, insulting their sanctities solely serves to spread hatred and call for violence by abusing the principle of freedom of speech, he was further told.

In response, the Swedish chargé d’affaires emphasized the Swedish government’s opposition to any form of Islamophobia, and stated that he would convey the protest to Stockholm as soon as possible.

On Wednesday a man believed to be of Iraqi origin tore up and burned a copy of Holy Quran outside Stockholm’s central mosque following a police permission.


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Kurdistan Region Presidency Condemns Qur'an Burning in Sweden


Shafaq News/ The Presidency of the Kurdistan Region issued a statement on Thursday strongly condemning the burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden, emphasizing the need to prevent the exploitation of freedom that leads to disrespecting religious sanctities.

In the statement, the Kurdish Presidency described the act as "completely illegal" and warned that it "fuels hatred and animosity while posing a threat to coexistence and reconciliation."

The Presidency further emphasized respecting religious beliefs, sentiments, and sanctities of all religions and sects. It called for preventing any individual or group from exploiting "freedom to disrespect religious sanctities,” emphasizing the significance of “maintaining mutual respect in a diverse and harmonious society."

On Wednesday, Swedish police gave SalwanMomika, an Iraqi living in Sweden, a protest permit under free-speech laws. But later, police said the incident was being investigated for incitement of hatred.

Momika set fire to a copy of the Quran before Stockholm's central mosque.

The action sparked anger among Iraqi components.

The Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Swedish ambassador in Baghdad to express strong protest over the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur'an by a refugee of Iraqi origin in Stockholm, the Swedish capital.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Ahmed Al-Sahhaf, stated that the Swedish government had been requested to take "immediate and necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents that insult the Holy Quran."

Al-Sahhaf emphasized that while legal justifications and freedom of expression are respected, they "should not be used to justify insults to religious sanctities."

Swedish police had given SalwanMomika, an Iraqi living in Sweden, a protest permit under free-speech laws. But later, police said the incident was being investigated for incitement of hatred.


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Salvation Government spokesman renews his condemnation of continued burning copies of Holy Qur'an in Sweden


SANA'A June 29. 2023 (Saba)- The spokesman for the National Salvation Government - Minister of Information, Daif Allah Al-Shami, renewed his strong condemnation and denunciation of the Swedish government deliberately provoking one and a half billion Muslims by burning copies of the Holy Qur'an and insulting religious sanctities.

In a statement to the Yemeni News Agency (Saba), Minister Al-Shami described the continued burning copies of Holy Qur'an as a disgraceful act, provocative to the feelings of Muslims around the world, in conjunction with the Muslims' performance of the Hajj.

He called on the peoples of the Arab and Islamic nation and scholars to take angry stances towards those who insult the Holy Book of God and to burn copies of it, as that is a crime affecting the true Islamic religion.

He once again called on governments to sever diplomatic relations with Sweden and to continue boycotting its goods and the products of countries that support such trends aimed at insulting Islam and Muslims.

The spokesman for the Salvation Government pointed out that the repetition of such actions and practices in Sweden aims to undermine the Islamic religion and fight its tolerant teachings, values, morals and behaviors that it brought.


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Sunni Endowments Directorate implements charitable projects during Eid Al-Adha

29 Jun 2023

Manama, June 29 (BNA): Chairman of the Sunni Endowments Council, Dr. Shaikh Rashid Mohammed bin Futtais Al-Hajeri, said that the Charitable Work section at the Sunni Endowments Directorate has implemented the Adhahi (sacrificed animals) project during Eid Al-Adha.

560 needy families benefited from the project, implemented in cooperation with charity societies and funds to promote social solidarity during the auspicious occasion of Eid Al-Adha.

The Sunni Endowments Directorate also implemented the Eid Kiswa (Clothing) project from which 410 families had benefited, he said, noting that the projects aim to fill the hearts of the needy with joy and happiness.

Al-Hajeri prayed to Allah the Almighty to bless those who had contributed to the charitable projects with heavenly rewards, wishing Bahrain and its people further progress and prosperity, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the support of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.


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NNA – Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, described "the actions of some haters of Islam and Muslims, such as tearing up or burning the Book of God Almighty,” as reflecting “malicious intentions to ignite the fire of sedition."

He said: "Condemnation is no longer sufficient with these people who provoke the feelings of Muslims and therefore, decisive action should be taken against all those who offend Islam and Muslims.”

Derian added, "The countries in which such reprehensible acts are held have a flimsy pretext, and if there is no accountability or punishment for the perpetrators, this abnormal phenomenon will not stop, and its consequences will not be benign nor sound."


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NNA – Druze Sheikh Al-Akl, Dr. Sami Abi Al-Muna, condemned in a statement this afternoon, the burning of a copy of the Holy Qur’an in Sweden, denouncing "this blatant racist encroachment on the heavenly religions, to fan hostility and fuel strife between sects and peoples and spread the spirit of division, hatred and discord."

He considered such an act as “totally unacceptable” and that “the concerned country that permitted the demonstration is held responsible for repeating these unacceptable violations, at a time when the world needs political, economic and social stability."


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Political office of Ansar Allah condemns Sweden's permitting demonstrations to burn Qur'an


SANA'A June 29. 2023 (Saba)- The Political office of Ansar Allah condemned Sweden for allowing demonstrations to burn the Holy Qur'an.

In a statement, a copy of which was received by the Yemeni News Agency (Saba), the Political office considered this an aggressive and criminal step against Islam, targeting the sanctities of Islam and a clear provocation to the feelings of Muslims, indicating that behind the crime is the Zionist lobby that controls Europe.

The statement said: "If the nation took the position of innocence and disapproval and fight against the enemies of God in the right way, the Zionists and the infidel West would not have dared to violate the sanctity of Islam and would have stopped the series of desecration of Islamic sanctities."

The statement affirmed that silence on the violation of the sanctity of God's book, the Holy Qur'an, is a great crime and a serious negligence that causes God Almighty's wrath calling on Islamic countries to sever diplomatic relations with Sweden, urging the people of the nation to boycott Swedish, American and Israeli goods.


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North America



CAIR Welcomes Louisville, Ky., Government’s Offer of Interest-Free Small Business Loans to Muslims

June 29, 2023

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/29/2023) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a new program instituted by the Louisville, Ky., government offering interest-free small business loans to Muslim business owners, whose religious beliefs forbid the taking or giving of interest. 

Recently, the Louisville Metro Government announced an optional modification to its small business loan program, in which recipients can pay a service fee over the life of their loan that equals what the interest would have been. Paying or taking interest is impermissible according to Islamic law. The modification comes after many Muslim-owned businesses shuttered their doors due to a lack of access to capital and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

SEE: Louisville Metro Government offers Sharia-compliant small business loans for Muslim residents

“We thank the Louisville Metro Government for taking action to help Muslim business owners and to strengthen the local economy,” said CAIR National Communications Manager Ismail Allison. “This should be a model for other cities on how to support Muslim communities and foster an environment of religious and economic freedom.”

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.             

La misión de CAIR esproteger las libertadesciviles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a losmusulmanesenlosEstadosUnidos.            

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Arab World


How Mecca is the lynchpin for Saudi Arabia’s hospitality and tourism drive

30, June 30, 2023

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Billboards line the Umm Al Qura highway leading to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, displaying manicured public spaces, glass-fronted stores and sleek towers. It’s part of a $26 billion project to bring more Muslims to the holy city’s high-end hotels, residences, retailers and restaurants.

As this year’s Hajj wraps up Friday, bringing the annual pilgrimage closer to its pre-pandemic size, Mecca is being rapidly pushed to an even grander scale. An ambitious plan to reshape the economy aims to bring in more than 30 million religious tourists a year by 2030, and for tourism to contribute up to $80 billion, or 10% of GDP, as the kingdom reduces its reliance on oil.

The government is homing in on religious tourism because the demand already exists. Saudi Arabia is home to Islam’s two most sacred cities, Mecca and Medina.


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Two Holy Mosques Presidency Organizes Nine Exhibitions during this Year’s Hajj Season

29 Jun, 2023

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque has organized nine field exhibitions during this year’s Hajj season with the aim of enhancing the cultural and cognitive experience of the annual pilgrimage.

Director of Exhibitions at the Saudi Conventions and Exhibitions General Authority, Mohammad Al-Ahmadi, said that the launch of nine exhibitions for the Hajj season 1444 AH was the result of cooperation among several government agencies with the aim of enriching pilgrims’ spiritual and cultural experiences of their Hajj journey.


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Volunteer Health Teams Provide Services to Pilgrims in the Grand Mosque

29 Jun, 2023

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, represented by the Agency for Social, Voluntary and Humanitarian Services, has prepared health teams to provide medical services, first aid, and health instructions to pilgrims through distributing volunteer teams to all sites of the Grand Mosque.

The Undersecretary of the President General for Social, Voluntary and Humanitarian Services, Khalid bin Fahd Al-Shalawi, stressed the importance of providing all the necessary services and facilities that help pilgrims perform their rituals with ease and comfort according to an integrated system of social, voluntary and humanitarian services.

The initiative comes as part of the Presidency’s “Serving pilgrims and visitors, a medal of pride for us” campaign, in its 11th year, which aims to provide high-quality services to visitors and pilgrims to facilitate their performance of the rituals.


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King, Crown Prince of Bahrain Congratulate the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on Hajj Success

29 Jun, 2023

ing Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain sent a cable of congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, on the success and immaculate organizing of this year's Hajj season 1444 AH.

The King of Bahrain praised the outstanding efforts led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his government to accommodate pilgrims and provide them with the best services to perform Hajj rituals with comfort, ease, and safety.

King Hamad also commended the ongoing expansion projects, the development of new services, and use of advanced technology throughout the Holy Sites to meet the needs of pilgrims.

The King of Bahrain congratulated the pilgrims on the completion of Hajj, and he extended his best wishes to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and to Saudi Arabia for further progress and prosperity under his leadership.

Also, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, sent today two cables of congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, on the success of this year’s Hajj season.


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Police watch as Muslim truck driver lynched in Bihar’s Saran ahead of Eid-ul-Adha

29th June 2023

PATNA: A truck driver was lynched by a mob in Bihar's Saran district late on Wednesday night after they found the vehicle was carrying bones of animals to a factory, police said.

Truck driver Jaharuddin, 55, of Majhwalia village under Gaura outpost was on the way to Nagara bone dust factory in the district.

While on the way to the factory, the vehicle developed a technical problem at KhoriPakad village under Jalalpur police station, and Jaharuddin and his helper and some labourers were trying to fix them.

"At the same time, some local residents assembled there and asked them about the materials laden on the truck. When they replied that the bones of animals are in the truck and it is going to the factory in Nagara, they started beating them,” said Haider, the owner of the bone factory.

"While the helper and other labourers managed to flee from the spot, Jaharuddin failed as he was having an iron rod installed in his leg and was unable to run. The mob brutally beat him until he died on the spot. The local police of Jalalpur also reached the spot but they did not intervene in the matter. The violent mob blamed the truck driver for being a Muslim and doing the business of bones and flesh ahead of Eid-ul-Adha," he added.

"The helper and other employees were frightened after the way Jaharudding was lynched. They have informed me about the incident," he said.


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Mayawati asks BJP to implement reservation for Muslims, fill recruitment backlog


BSP president Mayawati on Friday made a fresh appeal to state BJP governments for the implementation of reservation for Muslims, taking her cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stating in Bhopal that 80 per cent of Indian Muslims came from backward classes.

The Bahujan Samaj Party leader in a tweet asked the BJP to "honestly" implement reservation and fill the backlog.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly saying at a BJP programme in Bhopal that 80 per cent of Muslims living in India are 'Pasmanda, backwards, exploited' is accepting the bitter reality that supports the need for reservation for Muslims." She said the BJP should not only drop its opposition to reservation but must also "honestly implement reservation and fill the backlog in recruitment to prove that they are different from other parties." Pushing for Uniform Civil Code during a programme in Bhopal on June 27, Modi said that Pasmanda Muslims were never treated as equal because of vote bank politics.

'Pasmanda' is a term used for backward classes among Muslims.

"They have not got any benefit. They do not get equal rights. They are considered untouchables," he said.

Modi said that in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and south India, especially Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, and a number of other states, many castes were left behind from development because of the policy of appeasement.

Modi said BJP will not follow the path of appeasement and vote bank politics. He also alleged that the opposition was using the UCC issue to incite the Muslim community.


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UP celebrates Eid-al-Adha in peace, prayers offered in Idgahs, Mosques

Jun 30, 2023

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], June 30 (ANI): Following the instructions of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the festival of Eid-al-Adha was celebrated in peace and harmony in the state on Thursday and no religious activities like Namaz were held by obstructing road traffic in any district, officials said.

According to the Prashant Kumar, Spl DG Law & Order, to celebrate the festival in peace, sacrifice was done at the fixed and marked places in all the districts and the waste was also disposed of immediately.

On the instructions of the Chief Minister, the police remained alert in all the districts regarding the security arrangements on the occasion of Eid- al-Adha and prayers were offered in more than 33 thousand Idgahs and mosques in the state.

CM Yogi on Friday issued stringent instructions regarding the prohibition of offering sacrifices during Bakrid at disputed locations.

"The place for the sacrifice on Bakrid should be marked in advance. There should be no sacrifice at disputed places. Sacrifice should not be made anywhere other than the designated places," an official statement said.

Eid Al-Adha or Bakra Eid (/topic/bakra-eid), which was observed on June 29 this year, is a holy occasion also called the 'festival of sacrifice' and is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic or lunar calendar. It marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The festival is an occasion of joy and peace, where people celebrate with their families, let go of past grudges and make meaningful connections with one another. It is celebrated as a commemoration of Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice everything for God. (ANI)


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Southeast Asia


Anwar calls on PAS leaders to answer “Allah enemies” allegation

30-06- 2023

PERMATANG PAUH: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pix) has called on PAS leaders or Dewan Ulama to respond and rectify the ‘mistakes’ in the statements issued by independent preachers that had touched the sensitivities of Muslims in the country.

He said this includes the recent statement by former Kedah PAS Dewan Ulama deputy chief SyeikhMuhd Zainul AsriMohdRomli, which implied that only PAS and its partners in the PerikatanNasional coalition are on Allah’s side and that all other parties are the “enemies”.

“Is it true that those who are not with PAS are enemies of Allah? If that’s the case, why did the late Tok Guru (Tan Sri) Nik Abdul Aziz (Nik Mat) support me even though I am not a PAS member?

“They (PAS leaders/Dewan Ulama) have to answer this allegation,” he said at a tea reception with residents of Kampung Sama Gagah, near here today.

Prior to this, SyeikhMuhd Zainul in his speech during the Kedah Berselawat last Saturday prayed for divine intervention to protect Kedah from falling into the hands of “enemies”, ahead of the six state elections. Three days later, he apologised, saying that the remark was not directed at any political party and that his critics had misinterpreted it.

Anwar also urged PAS leadership to rectify some old allegations made by SyeikhMuhd Zainul, which include Prophet Adam being sent down to GunungJerai, Kedah, and that Saiyiddina Uthman bin Affan had also visited Kedah.

“They talk about dakwah, but allow falsehood. Is it really true? If not, why is it not rectified?” he added. – Bernama


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Fans swarm PM Anwar at Putrajaya mosque after Aidiladha prayers

By R. Loheswar

Thursday, 29 Jun 2023

PUTRAJAYA, June 29 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim drew a large crowd of people as he performed his Hari Raya Aidiladha prayers at Masjid Putra here today.

Anwar arrived around 8.30am to thousands of Muslims worshippers waiting, some of whom were already there as early as 7.30am.

He was greeted with shouts of “Selamat Hari Raya Datuk Seri”, “Reformasi” and “Hidup Anwar” as soon as he arrived at the mosque entrance, to which he reciprocated and this elicited louder calls from the masses.

After his prayers, which took about 40 minutes, Anwar mingled with the Muslim worshippers in the mosque.

He appeared in a jovial mood, smiling and chatting with old friends and other members of the public who went up to shake his hand.

He then walked slowly outside the mosque where thousands had gathered at the entrance, impeding the exit.

As he approached his car, many well-wishers shouted his name, hoping to get a picture with the MP for Tambun.

Anwar obliged some, and posed for pictures before leaving the mosque at around 9.20am.

Anwar was accompanied by his wife and former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Also spotted at the Putra Mosque today was fugitive Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is wanted in India for allegedly spreading religious hatred and money laundering.

The Mumbai-born was seen with a small entourage leaving the mosque just before Anwar.

Aidiladha or the Feast of Sacrifice, is celebrated by Muslims all over the world as a major holiday for a period of three to four days.

The majority of Muslims will attend the special prayers held at different major mosques and Islamic centres.


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Sokoto: PDP felicitates Muslims on Eid-el-Kabir, urges more trust in God

June 29, 2023

By Muhammad Nasir

The Peoples Democratic party (PDP) in Sokoto State has felicitated the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir.

The  party has also called on them to reinforce their patience, hope and trust in God in spite of the  challenges confronting them.

PDP, in a statement issued on Thursday by Hassan Sanyinnawal, its spokesman urged the faithful to sustain their fervent prayers for the nation.

The leading opposition party in the state also called on the Muslims to pray more for the triumph of justice and the will of the Almighty Allah in the affairs of the  state and the nation.

“We commend the good people of Sokoto State for their resilience and urge them to use the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir to reinforce their patience, hope and trust in God.

“Moreover,  we should not despair on our sacrifice but use the Eid-el-Kabir celebration to further unite in love, support and care for one another at this critical time,” it said. (NAN)


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Clerics preach peace, love as Muslims mark Idd-ul-Adha

Friday, June 30, 2023

Dar/upcountry. Muslims in the country celebrated Idd-ul-Adha yesterday, with political leaders emphasising peace, unity and solidarity as they condemned those who intend to divide Tanzanians.

Religious leaders also used the occasion to call upon Tanzanians to raise their children on the basis of religion. President SamiaSuluhu Hassan sent Idd-ul-Adha greetings with a special prayer asking Tanzanians to celebrate with peace, unity and love, encouraging Muslims to use the day to remember the needy.

“I wish you all a happy Idd-ul-Adha. Let’s celebrate this good day with peace, unity and love, remembering all those who are most in need.

“Let’s use this day to continue asking God to accept our worship, forgive us our mistakes, guide us in good, truth and justice, unite us and keep us away from everything that aims to divide us. Idd-ul-Adha Mubarak,” she wrote through her social media pages.

The President of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Mwinyi, stressed maintaining peace, unity and solidarity to ensure that no one disrupts the peace under the excuse of religious, political, or other movements.

He said that the country needed to be further developed with a sense of unity and solidarity, as that is the big secret to strengthening the existing peace, promoting economic prosperity, and promoting community development.

“Let’s promote the reputation of Tanzania as a country of peace by refraining from differences and disputes that have no benefit for our great nation.

“Hijjah is like a training institution for formation and knowledge for Muslims on the basis of ‘tawhid’ by glorifying Allah and starting with intention and sincerity. He noted that there is no doubt that the new knowledge the pilgrims get when they perform the jija worship will be more useful if they come to develop it when they return home.

Representing President Hassan in the national prayer for Idd-ul-Adha held at the King Mohammed VI of Morocco mosque in Dar es Salaam, Prime Minister KassimMajaliwa urged Tanzanians to maintain peace and stability.

He also touched on the issues of the fight against drugs, the control of moral erosion, and environmental protection. He asked the Muslims in the country to realise their responsibility to remember the poor and all those in need by giving alms to the poor as part of worship. Through his Twitter page, Chadema Chairman Freeman Mbowe said the Idd-ul-Adha holiday was a reminder of humility and dedication.

“These two things are important not only for the welfare of society but also for building closeness to Allah. I wish you all a happy Idd-ul Adha,” he said. In his remarks, AlhajMruma, secretary for Bakwata, said that Tanzania had suffered from a wave of moral erosion implanted by foreign cultures, saying the association would continue to condemn such actions and insisted on good education for young people.

“I ask parents to maintain strong foundations in their families, which is the source of good behaviour that comes from family formation. Islam has encouraged good behaviour and focused on a person’s faith based on his good deeds. If we implement these in practice, we believe we will have a good generation to build a strong nation with righteous people who are non-corrupt and care for the rights of their fellow men,” emphasised Mr Mruma.

Mbeya Region’s Sheikh, Mr MsafiriNjalambaha, said that in order to have a strong nation, parents and guardians should raise children on the basis of religion in order to prepare the child to grow in God-fearing values.

Giving his snippets in the regional prayer held at the Sokoine stadium in the city, Mr Njalambaha said that the erosion of morals was currently gaining momentum in various areas.

“If we start at the family level before other authorities, we will prepare the child to grow up on solid foundations and the nation will benefit,” he said.


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Caution herdsmen from attacking farmers, Fubara charges Muslim clerics

30th June 2023

Rivers State Governor, SiminalayiFubara, has charged Muslim clerics in the state to caution herdsmen against harassing residents of communities, killing farmers and damaging crops in the state.

Fubara gave this charge when he received the leadership of the Muslim community who paid him Sallah’s visit at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday.

The governor’s media aide, Boniface Onyedi, revealed in a statement that Fubara told his visitors that his administration was committed to protecting the lives and property of everyone in the state.

However, he said he could not be working hard to protect everyone while some errant members in their fold would be destroying the businesses and livelihoods of others.

Fubara said, “The local government areas are complaining; so I expect results in a couple of weeks by reining in these people who practise open grazing in Ikwerre, Etche, Ahoada East, Ahoada West and parts of Emohua local government areas.

“They shouldn’t be harassing the people and should stop killing them in their farms.”

Fubara assured them that he would keep the channel of communication between him and the Muslim community open because they are critical stakeholders in governance and should enjoy the benefit of the prevailing peace to do their business and worship without molestation.

In his address, the leader of the delegation, and Vice President General of Rivers State Council of Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Uhor, vowed that the Muslim community would not be involved in using religion to destabilise the state, while also pledging support for the policy and programmes of Fubara’s administration.


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Eid ground clash: Islamic leaders chide Adeleke, Senate ex-spokesman

30th June 2023

Islamic leaders in the South-West have condemned Wednesday’s clash between some aides of Osun State Governor, AdemolaAdeleke, and an ex-spokesperson for the Senate, Dr AjibolaBasiru, at the Osogbo Eid prayer ground.

The PUNCH reported that trouble started at the Osogbo Eid ground when an aide of the governor approached Basiru and told him to vacate the front seat said to have been reserved for the governor, who was on his way.

The situation, which nearly degenerated into a free-for-all, forced the governor to leave the prayer ground without participating in the Eid prayers.

Reacting to the incident on Thursday, the Wakeel Muslimeen, South-West, Edo and Delta states, Sheikh Iskeel  Awwal, warned politicians against turning Eid prayer grounds and mosques into political battlefields.

Awwal, who spoke with newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State,  urged the Osun State Governor and other politicians in the state to respect religious leaders.

He said, “All Muslims in the South-West condemn what happened in Osogbo.

“We condemned the clash at the Eid prayer ground. They should not take politics into Eid prayer ground or mosque.

“Politicians should respect religious leaders and the religious leaders should respect political leaders.

“They should all fear Allah and know that Allah is above everybody; be it governor or senator.”

Meanwhile, Basiru has accused the spokesperson for the governor, Olawale Rasheed, of giving an incorrect account of the incident that occurred at the Eid praying ground on Wednesday.

Basiru was reacting to a claim by Rasheed that three busloads of hoodlums were seen at the Osogbo Eid ground before the arrival of the governor.

The ex-Senate spokesperson, who described the claim as untrue, said leaving the hoodlums in the area where they were reportedly seen, could mean a dereliction of duty by the governor, who has been empowered by the Constitution to provide security for the state he governs.

He said, “The CPS (spokesperson to the governor) said some hoodlums were seen in about three buses at Eid ground and up till today nothing has happened in terms of arresting and bringing them to books.

“The governor left the premises, leaving those thugs in the venue without arresting them up till now and he was supposed to be the Chief Security Officer? He swore to the constitution, Section 14, that security and welfare is the paramount responsibility of the governor. So, that statement by Olawale Rasheed is an indictment on the governor himself. Maybe he does know the implications on the office of the governor.

“Then to also say the governor arrived at a place to meet such a situation, means that the security around the governor is also porous because there is supposed to be an advance team that would have gone ahead to do security reconnaissance.

“Two things would have happened, either they are inefficient or outright liars.”

But while responding, Rasheed explained that, “There was an advance team, which had secured a space for the governor; Basiru hijacked the space and refused to vacate the space when approached by protocol officers first and later by Osogbo leaders.

“The handlers are smarter because SRJ agenda was to create violence and stampede, which he planned to blame on the governor. The presence of armed thugs was to kill and create a stampede, all of which will be blamed on the governor.

“But the team was smarter, hence, the governor leaving the venue and denying dark minds of their yearnings for blood.”


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Eid-El-Kabir: Agbolaya felicitates with Muslim faithful in Warri South

June 29, 2023

A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Warri South Local Government Area, Amb. Dr. ToyinAgbolaya has expressed his joy to the Muslim faithful in Warri South local government Area as they join their counterparts across the world to celebrate the 2023 Eid-el Kabir festival of sacrifice.

Agbolaya said the celebration is all about obedience to Almighty Allah’s commandment to Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael which he obeyed and God showed him mercy and gave him a ram in place of his son because He believed in God and His ways.

Agbolaya who’s a seasoned administrator and development strategist and also a leader in Warri South PDP in his goodwill terse made available to the press through his Media and Communication Strategist, urged all residents of Warri South and its environs to continue supporting the administration of Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori and his vision to develop Delta State.

He enjoined Deltans to be patient with the governor as he is poised to embark on massive development of Warri and the entire state in continuation of the previous administration with the completion of already awarded ongoing projects in the area.

“I congratulate my, friends, family, and all Muslim Ummah in Warri South and beyond on this year 2023 Eid-el-Kabir, which has pleased Almighty Allah for the Muslim faithful to be part of.

“Eid-el-Kabir is around to remind us, once again of how the Almighty God usually intervenes to turn a situation of hopelessness to that of hope and happiness.

“We should all use the opportunity of this year 2023 festive season to pray for continued peace and restoration of the values that place a high premium on human life in our dear Warri South, Delta State, and Nigeria, demonstrating the essence of unity among the various ethnic groups in our nation.


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The President of the Presidential Council performs the Eid al-Adha prayer at the Dawaa


Tripoli, June 29, 2023 (LANA) - Yesterday, Wednesday, the President of the Presidential Council, "Muhammad Al-Manfi", performed the blessed Eid Al-Adha prayer with crowds of worshipers at the Dawaa Islamia Mosque in Algiers Square in the capital, Tripoli.

After the prayer, Al-Manfi exchanged Eid greetings with the citizens inside the mosque and in front of its yard, and took souvenir photos with them.


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MWUN Felicitates Muslims On Eid-El-Kabir

Jun 29, 2023

LAGOS  – The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria ( MWUN   under the leadership of President-General, Comrade  ( Prince  Dr.) AdewaleAdeyanju, fnli, HFCPSP has

Felicitates Muslims across the world as they celebrated the Eid-El-Kabir festival.

Comrade Adeyanji said that in celebrating the Eid, Muslims in Nigeria and across all nations of the world must emulate the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad ( Peace be Unto Him ), who preached and practiced love, charity and forgiveness amongst all men of goodwill with total adherence to tolerance while serving Allah and mankind on planet earth.

Adeyanju admonished Muslims to be very faithful to Allah in service and to humanity across the board, irrespective of tribe, religion, colour or creed as this tenet was what made prophet Ibrahim the Father of Faith in Islam when he obeyed Allah to sacrifice his son Ismail for the Almighty in absolute obedience.

The number one Maritime leader and Deputy President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), urged Muslims to be very tolerant in all they do putting into cognisance the four tenets of Islam and reflecting on the obedience of Prophet Ibrahim, which is the symbol and significance of the Eid-El-Kabir Muslims all over the world celebrate.

“The Eid as it were gives us ( Muslims) hope in Islam, which is the more reason we should not deviate from the principles and practice of Islam in Nigeria nay the world. “Once more, we in the, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria do felicitate with every Muslim faithful in the country. Happy Eid-El-Kabir,” he said.


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'Eid Is The Best Time Of Year - But UK Muslims Have To Find Their Own Way Of Celebrating'

30 Jun 2023

Imagine the most wonderful time of the year. Now double that to twice a year and you’ll have Eid.

Muslims celebrate Eid-al-Adha at the end of the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, the holiest days in the Islamic calendar. (This Eid is not to be confused with the earlier Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan.)

This festival celebrates the achievement of Muslims who have completed Hajj (pilgrimage to the holy site Makkah).

Eid-al-Adha also signifies Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) sacrificing his son to God, which was substituted with cattle. Every Muslim household thus re-enacts this by feeding meat to the poor (a charitable act known as Qurbani).

Sacrifice also goes beyond the literal ritual, as we are spiritually encouraged to give up our worldly desires in pursuit of a higher purpose.

Since the religious holiday is calculated by the lunar calendar, it can be a bit tricky for everyone globally to agree on the exact date, no matter how accurate telescopes have become.

Hence one never-ending Eid tradition includes the nefarious crescent moon sighting debates.

What fascinates me as young Muslim born in Britain, is how my family in Pakistan (where my heritage lies) always celebrates Eid a day later than the rest of us.

Being a minority in a Western country, the working week doesn’t naturally leave Muslims a bank holiday break. Yet Islam encourages us not to work on Eid and many have argued that it advocates for a momentary break from the chains of capitalism.

Growing up, my school and university exams often coincided with Eid, which was rarely accommodated for.

Whilst Eid would normally be a national commotion in Pakistan, Muslims born here often must find our own ways to build community and celebrate.

My preparations always involve staying up late, frantically decorating the house with lights and adorning our hands with intricate mehndi (henna) the night before Eid (known as Chaandraat, ‘night of the moon’).

My family, like many, attend the Mosque to perform Eid prayer. Post-lockdown there’s been a surge of these prayers taking place in parks, usually accompanied by a funfair for the whole family to enjoy!

Praying outside is Sunnah (prophetically encouraged) as you are surrounded by the beauty of nature and in awe of Allah's (God’s) creations.

Islam is a religion that unites people from every corner of the globe (with Muslim-majority countries situated in Arabia, Asia, Africa and Europe) for one purpose – to worship Allah.

London, being a diversity hotspot, paints an exquisite sight of cultural clothes in an array of vibrant colours every Eid. I myself wear Pakistani embroidered ShalwarKaneez, bangles and a dupatta (shawl).

Not only are Eid clothes glamorous, but the aromas of fresh food flavours sifting through the air create a delightful fusion. I’ve enjoyed my mum’s mouth-wateringly famous Biryani, alongside various other cultures’ foods, ranging from the Somalis’ bur to the Arabs’ dolma.

While everyone celebrates Eid differently, I visit my cousins’ house for a good laugh over even more food (rice, kebabs, and various salans , curries). For dessert we devour delicious dishes from both sides of our identities - a Pakistani Keer (rice pudding) and an English trifle.

Following the inevitable food-coma, we gather in a huge circle for ‘present time’ or Eidi (gifting of money) which was always my favourite tradition growing up!

I treasure Eid for reminding me life is short, so we must make the most of our time with family and do good for the sake of Allah.


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Germany: Hostility toward Muslims is widespread

A hostile attitude toward Muslims is widespread in large sections of German society. Its manifestations are an everyday reality. One in two people in Germany agrees with anti-Muslim statements.

These are the findings published this Thursday (June 29) by the Independent Expert Panel on Hostility against Muslims (UEM) in its final report, "Islamophobia — A German Balance Sheet."

The expert council was appointed after the racist attack in Hanau in 2020 and commissioned to conduct the study.

In more than 400 pages, the nine authors describe society based on scientific studies, police crime statistics and documentation of anti-Muslim incidents by anti-discrimination agencies, counselingcenters and NGOs.

Discrimination to the point of violence

The UEM defines Islamophobia as "the attribution of sweeping, largely unchangeable, backward and threatening characteristics to Muslims and people perceived as Muslim." In this way, "consciously or unconsciously, a foreignness or even hostility" is constructed, which leads to multilayered social exclusion and discrimination processes, up to and including the use of violence.

Since 2017, explicitly Islamophobic crimes have been recorded separately in police crime statistics. Since then, 700 to 1,000 cases of insults, incitement and threats, damage to property and dangerous bodily harm have been recorded each year.

The report further indicated that across German society, Muslims are perceived [by non-Muslims] as "lacking the ability to integrate" and having tendency to consciously distance themselves and avoid contact with people of other faiths.

Muslim women who wear a headscarf report that they are often the target of public hostility. And there is widespread prejudice against Muslim men, who are believed to have an affinity for violence, extremism and patriarchal values. The researchers say that the equation of Muslim piety with fundamentalism is particularly problematic. There is even a willingness to advocate restrictions on Muslims' fundamental rights in the area of religious freedom and to deny them the right to equal participation.

The failure of political parties

The study also looks at Germany's political parties. In the Bundestag, the far-right populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) has "a manifestly anti-Muslim program." In the biggest opposition block — the center-right bloc of Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and regional Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) — "latent hostility toward Muslims can be seen in the inconsistent recognition of Islam as part of the German nation or culture. The ruling center-left Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP) fail to fight institutional racism consistently. The post-communist Left Party is a notable exception.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) described the report's findings as "bitter." She pointed out that among the approximately 5.5 million people of the Muslim faith and culture, most are German citizens.

"Muslim life is a natural part of Germany. We want all people in our diverse society to have the same opportunities and rights," Faeser said.

The experts make numerous recommendations: First, that all people and organizations in the country show solidarity. They suggest the appointment of a federal commissioner for combating hostility toward Muslims and recommend that a permanent council of experts be set up. They also say there should be more investment in establishing and expanding institutions that register and document complaints.

Revising textbooks

The experts recommend that the German government develop a strategy to promote the participation of people "with Muslim identity references" in all state institutions — with binding targets, and an investment into targeted public relations campaigns. There should be further training for teachers, educators and police officers, as well as for employees in the judiciary, administration, media and cultural institutions.

According to the recommendations, schools should be required to address the issue of hostility toward Muslims. The Conference of Culture Ministers calls on experts to "revise curricula and textbooks across subjects" to remove anti-Muslim content.

The UEM also sees deficits in the arts and culture scene. A comprehensive analysis of the portrayal of Islam in German-language movies, for example, shows that nearly 90% of them show a negative bias.

"The focus is on stories about terrorist attacks, radicalization, wars and women's oppression, narrowing the cinematic range of Islam themes to a few conflict and crisis topics," the report says, while the diversity of Muslim lifestyles remains largely invisible in German-language productions.

The German Islam Conference, which financed the work of the UEM, will now consider the final report of the expert panel, and a specialist conference is planned for the fall.

This article was originally written in German.


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'I'm one of Britain's youngest Imams - one day I want to have my own TV show'

30 Jun 2023

One of the UK's youngest Imams has spoken of how he is challenging stereotypes through his Instagram - and would even like to have his own TV show one day.

Sabah Ahmedi, 29, spent seven years and thousands of hours of study training to be an Islamic worship leader before he graduated from London's Jamia Ahmadiyya institute in 2018.

Committed to spreading the word of his religion, he decided to take his message to social media for the first time the year after - where he now reaches thousands of people a week from all types of backgrounds.

Based at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in South London, Sabah says he enjoys being able to speak to Muslims and non-Muslims from around the world on his Instagram page, where he is known as the 'Young Imam' and has amassed some 11,500 followers.

It allows him to connect with people and challenge stereotypes about Islam, Muslim men and even what an imam 'should' look like.

Opening up on what he loves about his work online, he told the Mirror: "Being on social media allows people to see what life is like as a young, British Muslim.

"You can come to have a laugh - some of my content's quite funny, I'll post videos of my kids and whatever - but it also creates a safe space for conversation and dialogue for people to ask questions, and we really need a platform for people to just ask whatever they want.

"The stereotype of what an Imam should be like is a really old, super serious man with a long white beard - that misconception is still there, so I'm just trying to stay in shape and keep my dark hairs for as long as I can!"

Thursday marked Eid al-Adha, the second and largest of the two Eid festivals, with events held across the country until the weekend.

It's observed every year to mark a passage in the Quran where Allah commands the prophet Abraham to offer his son Ishmael as a sacrifice, before revealing it to be a test of his faith.

The story is one that also features in the Bible and the Torah. For Muslims, it's celebrated with gifts and the traditional slaughter of an animal, which is then usually distributed to members of the family and those in need as an act of kindness.

"Bearing in mind the cost of living crisis, a lot of people still donate the whole thing to people in need," he explained.

"I've paid £75 for an animal to be sacrificed in Africa, so that meal is then given to people who need it. There are stories of people who haven't had any meat in two years, so it really is about helping people."

Like millions of Muslims across the globe, Sabah will mark the occasion by starting the day with breakfast, holding prayers at his local mosque and then praying together with the community.

He'll then go and see family later in the day, and will then do something with his kids in the afternoon - "maybe trampolining or going for ice cream, because the kids love ice cream".

"The Eid prayer is special because it has to be done in congregation, so you can't offer that prayer on your own - and what's so good about that is the coming together, and the unity and bond you get across a community," he added.

"We live in a world of people finding faults in other communities, and what this congregational prayer does is bring people together from all walks of life to stand side-by-side and shoulder-to-shoulder to pray."

"Even growing up, it was always a really special time," he said. "You get new clothes, you exchange presents - it's like Christmas, and a big celebration for Muslims across the world.

Sabah wants people in Britain to know that this kind of festival is one that's symbolic of his faith, rather than the negative depictions he sees so often.

He said: "Muslims aren't scary you know - we're nice people, and a lot of people have just never met a Muslim, they have those misconceptions.

"And Muslims are really open to talk about their faith - we're open to having questions asked, and having people learn about what we do. Like going to prayers, and how we incorporate our faith into our everyday lives. 'I'm a Muslim - ask me anything!'."

In the future, Sabah wants to continue spreading the world of Islam to people of faith and those who are simply curious about what we do and our daily routine.

An avid "coffee lover" and food fanatic as well as a religious, he even hopes one day to take his mission to new places, and said: "I'd love to have my own TV show called a 'Kebab with an Imam'. Just having food with people, and having a chat about life. I'd love to do that."

But for now, he's happy to have been focusing on Eid celebrations and prepare for a busy day ahead of him - with a big shopping list for the family topping his priorities.


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South Asia


'Afghanistan Again Ranks as Least Positive Country in the World': Gallup

nearly one year after the Islamic Emirate returned to power in Afghanistan, "life was worse for Afghans than at any point in the past decade -- or for anyone else on the planet," according to a Gallup survey.

"Afghanistan has ranked as the least positive country in the world every year since 2017, apart from 2020 when Gallup could not survey the country because of the pandemic," the report said, adding that "after dropping to a global record low of 32 in 2021, the situation was not much different a year later. The country’s score of 34 in 2022 is the lowest in the world."

The Gallup surveys taken in July and August 2022 focused on five negative experiences and were conducted in 142 countries.

“Mental security requires stability, law enforcement, facilitating citizen freedoms and creating services such as employment, education and work that can bring the freedoms of citizens, and when the freedoms come, mental security can be maintained and expanded,” said HujatullahMerzae, a lecturer.

Kabul residents said that poverty and unemployment are the reasons for their challenges.

Even though I am an educated person, now I collect bottles. This should be considered by our elders -- those who are above us -- what will be the effect on a person's brain when an educated person collects bottles to make ends meet?" said Mohammad Nayeem, a street vendor. 

“We are totally crazy, I am mentally crazy, I don't understand where I am these days and where I am working, this is how it is, what else can we do, poverty and misery are everywhere,” said Ahmad Zia, a Kabul resident.

Rejecting the Gallup report, the Islamic Emirate said that the situation of the Afghan people has improved compared to the past.

"We reject this Gallup poll ... which is not valid. In the past, Gallup always made propaganda against Afghanistan,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

According to the Gallup report, a number of Afghans who participated in this survey said that they did not learn anything new in 2022 and did not feel good either. 


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36 Cases of Congo Fever in Afghanistan’s Herat in 2 Months

June 30, 202302

In the past two months, 36 instances of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever have been reported by doctors in the western province of Herat, Afghanistan, including five deaths.

The number of cases increased this year, according to Mohammad Asif Kabir, Deputy Public Health of Herat which has led to authorities’ concern about the spread of diseases, especially throughout Eid-ul-Adha.

People have been urged to take the required precautions before slaughtering animals the medical staff at the infectious disease department of the provincial hospital in Herat.

Earlier in Takhar province, three cases of Congo fever were reported, one of which resulted in patient death.

Officials said that 91 persons in Afghanistan had been infected with the disease the previous week, and seven people have passed away this summer.

 “We are fully prepared because this disease is not new, and we have better measures in Takhar provincial hospital than in the past,” said HayatullahEmami, director of Takhar Provincial Hospital.

A viral disease called Congo fever is frequently transmitted from animals to humans via ticks, especially during slaughter.

The disease’s primary symptoms are fever, heartburn, diarrhoea, internal and external bleeding, neck discomfort, and eye pain.

The virus can create epidemics, has a high case fatality rate (10–40%), can cause outbreaks in hospitals and other healthcare institutions, and is challenging to treat and prevent, making outbreaks of Congo fever a risk to public health services.

The US Centers for Disease Control advise people to butcher animals while wearing gloves and other protective equipment. The blood and bodily fluids of animals or people who exhibit illness symptoms should not be shared by individuals. Healthcare professionals must take the correct infection control procedures to avoid occupational exposure.


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Afghan Australians express their pain at hearing about Ben Roberts-Smith's alleged war crimes in Afghanistan

When a judge found "substantial truth" in alleged war crimes committed by veteran Ben Roberts-Smith in Afghanistan it brought a public reckoning for the defence force and the media.

Earlier this month a defamation case brought by Mr Roberts-Smith against three newspapers was dismissed after Nine successfully defended allegations of unlawful killings and bullying.

But some members of the Afghan community in Australia feel that their perspective on the acts has not been heard.

For Sydney tax agent TaheraNassrat, the Roberts-Smith case raised some painful emotions.

She sought refuge in Australia more than 20 years ago after the Taliban rose to power in Afghanistan the first time.

"I'm very disappointed, devastated, angry, and one question — why?" she said.

The Victoria Cross recipient's defamation case against three newspapers for reporting his alleged war crimes was dismissed on the basis they were substantially true.

The newspapers reported the disgraced former SAS soldier committed unlawful killings, including the alleged murder of an unarmed Afghan man, Ali Jan, who he kicked off a cliff and later ordered to be shot in 2012.

In her reaction to the decision, Ms Nassrat said Mr Roberts-Smith broke the trust of both Australians and Afghans.

"He was awarded previously, he was the father of the year," she said. "And looking at that recognition, which was done by the government, and with that belief and trust, he was sent to Afghanistan to secure life — and he has taken it.

During her time living in an Afghanistan ravaged by war and under the Taliban, Ms Nassrat said she always put her faith in soldiers no matter which country they hailed from.

"Their job and their responsibility there is to give safety to locals and to the public, so now that we're talking about Australian soldiers or American soldiers or other countries' soldiers, those families will run to them for safety," she said.

A Melbourne man who did not want to be named also said he felt betrayed.

The 28-year-old moved to Australia from Kabul at the age of three.

"It just frustrates me because there's a complete and total mistrust of almost Western societies intervening with countries like Afghanistan," he said.

He said he felt that voices like his that criticised the military were silenced for being too "un-Australian".

Sociologist Samantha Crompvoets was commissioned by the defence force to investigate possible cultural problems in Australia's special forces in 2016.

Her investigation sparked the Brereton Inquiry which unveiled reports of at least 39 suspected murders of Afghans, none of which occurred in combat.

The victims of these killings have not been at the forefront of the national conversation, according to Dr Crompvoets.

"They are completely invisible … I mean you'd think that the real victims are the soldiers who might potentially lose their medals," she said.

She says the root of the problem in the Australian special forces is lack of oversight.

"For them, the rules were different and really no thought to what the implications of that was, so I think now they're realising that they shouldn't perhaps have different roles and that they need a lot more oversight."

The ABC sought a response from Australia's Department of Defence, but is yet to hear back.


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World must unite to resolve Afghanistan crisis: Pakistan diplomat

June 30, 2023

TOKYO -- The world shares a "common responsibility" to tackle the problems facing Afghanistan through dialogue, instead of trying to isolate the Taliban-controlled nation, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed Khan told Nikkei in an interview.

"It becomes the common responsibility of the international community to come together, to see this as a challenge," Khan said during a recent visit to Tokyo. The foreign secretary is the top career diplomat at Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.

As countries pulled back aid after the Taliban takeover in August 2021, Afghanistan has struggled with food shortages, with the U.N. World Food Programme warning that millions face the risk of famine. Violence has continued in the country as well, killing more than 1,000 civilians and wounding over 2,600 since the takeover, according to a U.N. report.

Pakistan, which neighbors Afghanistan to the east, has maintained diplomatic relations with Kabul. Foreign ministers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and China met in May to discuss solutions to the humanitarian crisis, Khan said.

"If there is an economic or a political or a security meltdown, it affects every country, particularly in the immediate neighborhood," Khan said. "We have no other option but to engage, because whatever happens in Afghanistan doesn't stay in Afghanistan only. We are closely engaged, to see that the situation doesn't get any worse."

Western nations and other like-minded countries have essentially cut off diplomatic ties with Kabul, refusing to recognize the Taliban-controlled state. The Afghan interim government is pushing through rules based on an extreme interpretation of Islam, curtailing the rights of women to work and receive an education.

Khan said Pakistan shares Western concerns over the rights of women in Afghanistan, but added that isolating the country would invite greater instability.

"Stability is a common priority for all the countries," he said. "We need to come together, to engage with them."

But Khan dismissed the idea of engaging with the Pakistani Taliban, a group of militants also known as the TTP who are closely connected with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"I think that we have spoken quite clearly on numbers of occasions that negotiation is not an option," Khan said. "We will not negotiate with TTP."

The TTP has been linked to terrorist activities inside Pakistan aimed at overthrowing the government. A cease-fire agreement struck between the government and the TTP fell apart last year.

There are reports that the Taliban in Afghanistan has called for the two sides to resume dialogue, but Pakistan brushed aside the appeal.

Pakistan's foreign secretary also touched on the country's tenuous economic situation during the interview.

"We are in negotiations" with the International Monetary Fund regarding assistance, he said.


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Pakistan secures critical $3bn nod from IMF in nick of time

June 30, 2023

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a staff-level pact with Pakistan on a $3 billion stand-by arrangement, the lender said, a decision long awaited by Pakistan, which is teetering on the brink of default.

The deal — subject to approval by the IMF board in July — comes after an eight-month delay and offers some respite to Pakistan, which is battling an acute balance of payments crisis and falling foreign exchange reserves.

The $3bn funding, spread over nine months, is higher than expected for Pakistan. The country was awaiting the release of the remaining $2.5bn from a $6.5bn bailout package agreed in 2019, which expired on Friday (today).

The new stand-by arrangement builds on the 2019 programme, IMF official Nathan Porter said in a statement on Thursday, adding that Pakistan’s economy had faced several challenges in recent times, including devastating floods last year and commodity price hikes following the war in Ukraine.

“As a result of these shocks as well as some policy missteps — including shortages from constraints on the functioning of the FX market — economic growth has stalled. Inflation, including for essential items, is very high,” he added.

“Despite the authorities’ efforts to reduce imports and the trade deficit, reserves have declined to very low levels. Liquidity conditions in the power sector also remain acute,” Porter said in a statement.

“Given these challenges, the new arrangement would provide a policy anchor and a framework for financial support from multilateral and bilateral partners in the period ahead,” he said.

Meanwhile, the IMF’s press release states, “The IMF staff and the Pakistani authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on policies to be supported by a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).”

It added that the new SBA will “support the authorities’ immediate efforts to stabilise the economy from recent external shocks, preserve macroeconomic stability and provide a framework for financing from multilateral and bilateral partners”.

“The new SBA will also create space for social and development spending through improved domestic revenue mobilization and careful spending execution to help address the needs of the Pakistani people,” the IMF said.

It further said, “Steadfast policy implementation is key for Pakistan to overcome its current challenges, including through greater fiscal discipline, a market-determined exchange rate to absorb external pressures, and further progress on reforms, particularly in the energy sector, to promote climate resilience, and to help improve the business climate.”

The IMF noted that the parliament had approved the FY24 budget “in line with the goals of supporting fiscal sustainability and mobilising revenue, which will enable greater social and development spending”.

It added that the budget “advances a primary surplus of around 0.4 per cent of GDP by taking some steps to broaden the tax base and increase tax collection from undertaxed sectors, as well as improving progressivity, while ensuring space to strengthen support for the vulnerable through the BISP (Benazir Income Support Program)”.

“It will be important that the budget is executed as planned, and the authorities resist pressures for unbudgeted spending or tax exemptions in the period ahead,” the lender emphasised.

It went on to note that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has “withdrawn the guidance on import prioritisation and is committed to ensuring the full market determination of the exchange rate”.

“Going forward, the SBP should remain proactive to reduce inflation, which particularly affects the most vulnerable, and maintain a foreign exchange framework free of restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions and multiple currency practices,” the IMF highlighted.

The press release added: “In addition to generous climate-related pledges from the January 2023 Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan held in Geneva, the authorities’ efforts have focused on obtaining new financing and securing the rollover of debt falling due.

“This will support near-term policy efforts and replenish gross reserves, with the aim of bringing them to more comfortable levels,” it asserted.

The IMF noted that the “authorities’ program also includes ongoing efforts to strengthen the viability of the energy sector (including through a timely FY24 annual rebasing), improving SOE (state-owned enterprise) governance and strengthening the public investment management framework, including for projects needed to build resilience to climate change”.

The international lender emphasised, “The full and timely implementation of the program will be critical for its success in light of the difficult challenges.”

Last night, Dar had said that a staff-level agreement for a crucial bailout deal with the IMF was “very close” and expected in the next 24 hours.

A total of $4bn had already been released. Dar had earlier told media the government was working on a mechanism to try to unlock the full $2.5bn pending under the IMF programme.

Following the deal’s securement today, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also announced the same on his Twitter account, highlighting its positive outcomes for Pakistan.

He appreciated the “efforts and hard work” of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and the finance ministry for reaching the agreement.

The premier further thanked IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and her team for their “cooperation and collaboration, especially during the course of last week”.

Dar also shared the IMF’s press release while thanking God.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said the prime minister and Dar would hold an “important press conference” today at 4pm regarding the IMF deal and “take the nation into confidence through the media”.

He said in a tweet, “Let’s resolve to implement Turn Around Pakistan 5E framework to make our economy strong & sustainable by developing it to its full potential.”

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif congratulated the finance minister and in an apparent reference to the PTI — which had been saying that Pakistan to default soon — said, “The hopes of many ‘well-wishers’ have been dashed, including friends and enemies.”

He also expressed his hope that those eligible to pay taxes would do so as “tax evasion is the worst kind of anti-nationalism and is equivalent to the economic murder of the poor people”, he added.

Asif remarked, “The IMF agreement only gives us a chance to get rid of economic diseases — we have to do the complete treatment ourselves.”

‘Short-term bridging operation’

Commenting on the IMF deal, former SBP deputy governor Murtaza Syed told Reuters, “The SBA provides Pakistan with much-needed short-term cover, in the lead up to and immediate aftermath of the upcoming elections.”

He remarked that “as long as Pakistan remains on track under the SBA’s reviews, it should catalyse additional financing from bilateral and other multilateral sources”.

“In this way, we should be able to meet the external debt repayments coming due in the next few months. Terming the SBA a “short-term bridging operation”, Syed noted that it was not the “end of our relationship with the IMF”.

“The new government will “almost definitely need to negotiate another long-term EFF (external fund facility) programme with the IMF after the elections, as our balance of payments and external debt repayment problems are of a more protracted nature,” he said.

Separately, Bloomberg quoted Brendan McKenna, strategist at Wells Fargo & Co. in New York, as saying, “IMF support lifts the immediate risk of default and provides much-needed liquidity to support an aggressive reform agenda.”

“I would expect Pakistan debt to rally in the short term and potentially have long-term value if the government demonstrates commitment to the IMF’s program targets,” she added.

Michael Kugelman, South Asia Institute Director at The Wilson Centre, noted that “Islamabad waited until the very final hour to take the (politically risky) fiscal policy steps”, adding that if taken earlier, “much of the drama and fraught negotiations of recent months likely wouldn’t have had to play out”.

He further surmised, “In all likelihood, when PM Sharif met the IMF director in Paris last week, she delivered a ‘now or never’ warning to him.”

Hammad Azhar, finance minister during the previous PTI government, said the delay of almost a year in securing the deal “caused immense economic damage”.

“The last tranche of this extended IMF facility should be seen as nothing more than a breather for a few weeks,” he cautioned while asserting that a new IMF programme was needed to be negotiated “as soon as possible”.

Stating the possibility of the incumbent government “painting [the deal] as a solution to all problems”, Azhar said the economy was still in a “deep pit” and voiced the need for reforms.

Bank of Punjab Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Zafar Masud told Reuters: “It’s important to see how much of the 3bn is being disbursed upfront and what conditionalities are attached to the remaining tranches.

“Our target shall be that the next IMF programme should be the last one and it would be a great opportunity to correct our fiscal account once and for all.”

Arif Habib Ltd CEO Shahid Habib termed the development as a “major positive” and said it will “reduce risks and uncertainties and serve as a source of comfort to investors and lenders”.

“It will also allow access to funding from other multilateral and bilateral partners which is essential given Pakistan has about $9bn of debt repayments including $4bn of sovereign rollovers until December,” he added.

Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industries Chief Executive and General Secretary Abdul Aleem said, “We see it as a significant supportive move which was long awaited to remove the perpetual uncertainty in the economic landscape of the country.

“While the State Bank had managed the delicate situation remarkably well but certainly the hard measures dented the confidence of investors and reputation of the country as a destination for new foreign direct investment.”

Topline Securities CEO Mohammed Sohail commented, “This new programme is far better than our expectations. There were a lot of uncertainties on what will happen after June 2023 as there will be a new government coming to power.”

Noting that the funding will “definitely help restore some investor confidence”, he said, “The newly elected government, likely by Nov/Dec, will have some time to evaluate the economic situation and decide on the way forward (bigger IMF loan with or without debt restructuring/reprofiling).”

SakibSherani, Macro Economic Insights founder and chief executive, told Reuters, “It’s clear the EFF has ended unsuccessfully. The SBA gives a temporary lifeline to this government and the new one post-elections.

“The successor government will have to negotiate a fresh, longer-term arrangement with the Fund.”

Gareth Leather, a senior Asia economist at Capital Economics in London, told Reuters: “The agreement of a loan deal between Pakistan and the IMF should put the economy back on a more secure footing and limit the biggest downside risks.

“However, past experience suggests that the government will struggle to stick to the tough spending promises it has agreed to. There is a strong risk that Pakistan reneges on the deal once the immediate crisis has passed.”

He termed the upcoming general elections as “one obvious trigger”, cautioning that even if Shehbaz is “committed to a deal, he could be out of office by the end of the year and replaced by someone less committed to the agreement”.

Former Pakistani ambassador to the US Maleeha Lodhi tweeted, “At last… a relief.”

Dr Asma Hyder, Dean of the School of Economics and Social Sciences at the Institute of Business Administration said, “Going to the IMF program was the only option to prevent Pakistan from defaulting, and we had been anxiously waiting for this opportunity.

“At this moment, all we can say is ‘thanks’ for the privilege to keep receiving this opportunity without achieving anything and with empty promises from our side. The measures outlined in the agreement appear superficial and short-sighted, potentially exacerbating future economic instability.”

She further said, “Given the magnitude of our financial mismanagement and fiscal chaos, reflected in substantial external debt, BoP crisis, and circular debt in the energy sector, these $3bn for nine months are a pinch of salt even if considered with other financiers.”

Dr Hyder pointed out the agreement cannot address challenges like “fostering inclusive growth, promoting social justice, implementing structural reforms, addressing inefficient governance, bringing better curriculum that can help to improve productivity [and] an ever-increasing defence budget”.

“These are the issues that every level of government whether vertically or horizontally, must be considering. Unfortunately, no such intentions are visible at any level.”

She added the deal represented “yet another sad episode in Pakistan’s economic history” and that the country should be preparing for an inevitable economic crisis looming not too far ahead“ instead of celebrating the deal.

Ali Hasnain, a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, noted that now Pakistan will be able to pay external debts coming due over the next few months.

“It thus reduces the short-term risk of default, gives us time to hold elections in a stable economic environment and design and build support for a long-term reform plan,” he said.

He further pointed out that “our authorities failed to complete the Extended Fund Facility, adding it to the long line of uncompleted IMF programs littering our past”.

“Will we now reform taxation and the energy sector? Will we fix the anti-export bias in the way we have shaped investor incentives, without relying on unsustainable ‘special initiatives’ that strangle some sectors to lift others? Or reverse discretionary MNA budgets and Senator perks?” the economist asked.

Citing the SBP’s hike in policy rates, the tax collection target being missed and the revising of the budget, Hasnain said, “Our balance of payments crisis and external debt are unsustainable. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data is losing credibility.”

“True change will likely come when the country’s economic team is held responsible for missteps, and will be built on a different politics from the one we are seeing today. For now, we live quite literally on more borrowed time.”


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Two tribesmen killed in armed clash in Balochistan

June 29, 2023

DERA MURAD JAMALI: Two people were killed and two others were injured in an armed clash between tribesmen of two tribes in JhalMagsi area on Tuesday night.

Levies officials said that armed people of Khanjani and Judhani tribes took positions against each other and opened fire using automatic weapons in Seed Form area of JhalMagsi.

In the exchange of fire, two people of Khanjani tribe were killed and two others were injured.

Those killed were identified as Muhammad Usman Lashari and Ai Asghar. Two other people, Suleman and Qadeer Hussian, suffered injuries and were admitted to district hospital.

Police have registered a case against people of Judhani tribe.


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PM Shehbaz, President Erdogan exchange Eid greetings

June 28, 2023

LAHORE: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday spoke to the President of the Republic of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan and felicitated the government and the people of Turkiye on the auspicious occasion of Eidul Azha.

Reciprocating the prime minister’s sentiments, President Erdogan extended warm Eid greetings to the people of Pakistan, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

The two leaders also reviewed bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkiye.

They agreed that the 7th Session of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) to be held in Islamabad, would provide a leadership driven and forward oriented impetus to further strengthen the close fraternal relations between the two countries, especially in the economic domain.

“Pakistan-Turkiye relationship is underpinned by abiding bonds of religion, culture and history. Regular leadership level contact remains a defining feature of this strategic partnership,” it was further added.

Eidul Azha symbolizes spirit of sacrifice, equality & compassion

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that Eidul Azha symbolises the spirit of sacrifice, equality & compassion.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said it fosters unity by reducing socio-economic inequalities and creates the feelings of empathy and complete surrender before Allah Almighty. He said a true observance of the ritual demands of us to adopt a life of piety and cleanliness.

On the blessed occasion of Eidul Azha, extended greetings to Muslims in general & our overseas Pakistanis in particular who are celebrating this festival today.


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‘Matrimonial dispute’: Women, kids among nine of same family shot dead in Batkhela

June 28, 2023

SWAT: Nine members of a family were gunned down over “what seems to be a matrimonial dispute” in Bagardara area of Batkhela Tehsil in Malakand, police said Wednesday.

All the family members were asleep when they were fired upon and killed by some “unknown assailants” after barging into the house, the police informed after initial investigation.

Among the dead are four women, two children and three men. Local Levies officials rushed to the crime scene after receiving alert and shifted the bodies to Batkhela hospital for autopsy and medico-legal formalities.

According to police and rescue officials, the suspects broke into the house at around 2am and opened indiscriminate fire on the sleeping family, killing men, women and children of the house allegedly over a marital dispute.

Based on information collected thus far, officials of the Malakand Levies force suspect that the murders were committed by a son-in-law of the house.

The suspect’s wife was reportedly staying in her maiden home after a dispute with him. When the suspect failed to resolve the quarrel with his wife, he barged into her home and murdered the family before fleeing.

The police believe that the suspect hails from Swat.

The deceased were identified as Hasan Shah, Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Bilal, Zohran, Zehran, Rabia, Ruqqaya Bibi and Habiba, wife of Hasan Shah.

A case was registered against the killings and further investigation is underway, claim officials.

Residents of the area and aggrieved family members staged a protest against the horrifying murders and called for justice.

Assistant Commissioner Batkhela Shakeel Ahmad Khan said that the incident appeared to be a matrimonial dispute.

The Malakand Levies has started investigation and arrested three suspects. The suspects have confessed to the crime during investigation.

KP CM takes notice of nine people’s killing

Meanwhile, Caretaker Chief Minister (CM) of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Muhammad Azam Khan on Wednesday while taking notice of the killing of nine people inside a house in Batkhela tehsil of Malakand division, directed the police officers to immediately investigate the incident and take necessary action for arresting the culprits.

Muhammad Azam Khan in his condolence message, expressed deep grief and sorrow over the loss of lives, prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed souls in peace and give their bereaved families strength to bear the loss with fortitude.

He said, “The act is shameful, brutal, and condemnable.”

“The elements involved in the incident cannot escape from the grip of the law under any circumstances and all possible efforts will be made to provide complete justice to the victim’s family,” he added.


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TikToker Ayesha case: Prime suspect sent on physical remand

June 28, 2023

KARACHI:  The prime suspect who abandoned Tiktoker Ayesha’s body at Jinnah Hospital was sent on two-day physical remand.

As per details, the prime suspect Jibran was presented in the city court in the TikToker Ayesha case. In his statement, the prime suspect told the court that he lifted an abandoned girl’s body which has made him a criminal now.

The court asked why didn’t the accused called an ambulance or 15. At this, his lawyer said that he is not literate enough to call the ambulance or contact the police.

Furthermore, the court sent him on two-day physical remand and ordered the investigation officer to present the accused before the court on June 30 along with the progress report.

Earlier, police registered the First Information Report (FIR) in the abandoned girl’s body case over the complaint of her father and also recorded his statement.

Police recorded the statement of deceased Ayesha’s father Sultan today. Sultan stated “I had received information from police that they found my daughter’s body. My daughter went to a party with Jibran and a woman namely Pinki. My daughter’s death was caused due to drug overdose and he came to the police station to register a case against the accused.”

It is worth mentioning here that some individuals left Ayesha – a TikToker girl’s body – at Jinnah Hospital on Friday and fled in a white car. The suspects left the vehicle at the corner of Saba Street, a few yards away from the bungalow.


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