• Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind Has Moved the Supreme Court Over Spread Of
‘Fake News’ On Delhi Mosque Event
• Nizamuddin Cluster: Muslim Group Seeks Apology from Tablighi
• Ramadan In Solitude: Indonesia Urges Muslims To Scrap Joint
Iftar Plans, Mass Prayers Amid Coronavirus
• Praying in Time Of COVID-19: How World's Largest Mosques Adapted
• Covid-19: Mosque Converted into Mask Factory in Virus-Hit Iran
• Hifazat’s Shafi Supports Govt Call to Avoid Going to Mosques
Amid Virus Shutdown
• Coronavirus Crisis: Mosques Could Go Bankrupt in Germany As
Muslim Leaders Plead For State Aid
• At 27, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh Just Made History As New Jersey’s
First Muslim Woman To Run For Congress
• Tablighi Fallout: Fake Videos Across Social Media Affecting
Muslim Vendors In Hyderabad
• Shahi Imam of the Fatehpuri Masjid’s Plea: Stay Home on
Covid-19: Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray Warns Against Spreading
Fake News, Communal Hatred
• Police 'terrorising' north-east Delhi neighbourhoods in name of
• Delhi Cops probe ‘ban’ on entry of Muslims in Shastri Nagar Area
• Four held for attack on Muslims in Jind
• Mosques remain closed for another week
• Zakat payment can still be made in mosques
• 24-Hour Curfew in Riyadh, Jeddah And Other Cities
• Saudi Employers Given Green Light to Cut Wages, Hours
• Islamic finance body grants $850mn for combating coronavirus in
• Egypt to launch virtual tour of Old Cairo mosque complex
• Blockchain paves the way for genuine innovation in Islamic
• Emirates NBD and Emirates Islamic donate $1.1m to UAE Ministry
• Oil crisis puts 300m livelihoods at risk, says IEA chief
• Imam Khamenei agrees with withdrawal of €1bn from NDFI for
• Jordan: Muslim group hails Anadolu Agency's 100th year
• Turkey's COVID-19 Recovery Coming at Ramadan's End, Coronavirus
Task Force Says
• Instagram Model Exploiting Virus Measures in Istanbul Mosques
Removed By Police
• Pakistani speaker calls for lifting of anti-Iran sanctions
• Taliban warn deal with US in Afghanistan near breaking point
• Bangladesh bans more than 5 people in mosques over virus
• Taliban halts negotiations with Afghan government over release
• Taliban militants suffer heavy casualties as Afghan forces
repulse attack in Helmand
• Impact of COVID19 on Afghan Economy
• We Stopped EU “Imposing Foreign Culture of Islam On Us”, Says
Polish Minister Following ECJ Ruling
• 'School Closures Affect Muslims More Than Most'
• Coronavirus Is Changing How American Muslims Hold Funerals
• Coronavirus And Ramadan: How The Muslim Month Of Fasting Will
Differ This Year
• NJ car dealership discriminated against the disabled, women,
• Mali's Army Contains Attack with High Casualties
• CJP Bemoans Closure of OPDs For Non-Corona Patients
• President directs authorities to improve internet connectivity
• Second test suggests deceased Hyderabad patient was wrongly
declared Covid-19 positive
• NAB urged to act against those behind sugar, wheat crises
• Imran wants PPE given to health professionals
• Capital to remain under lockdown for another eight days until
• 19 relatives of 2 patients contract Covid-19 in Gujar Khan
PDMA to regulate philanthropy in Punjab
• Compiled by New Age
Islam News Bureau
Jamiat Ulema-E-Hind Has
Moved the Supreme Court Over Spread Of "Fake News" On Delhi Mosque
Delhi: Alleging that a section of the media is spreading communal hatred over
last month's Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has
moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Centre to stop dissemination
of "fake news" and take strict action against those responsible for
plea filed by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and the secretary of its legal cell, through
lawyer Ejaz Maqbool, contended that the unfortunate incident of the Tablighi
Jamaat was being used to "demonise" and blame the entire Muslim
least 9,000 people had participated in the religious gathering at Tablighi
Jamaat's headquarters in Nizamuddin West last month. The congregation became a
key source for the spread of COVID-19 in India as many of the participants
travelled to various parts of the country for missionary works.
of the over 4,000 cases of coronavirus in the country, at least 1,445 have been
found to be linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, the Union
health ministry said on Monday.
plea has sought directions to the Centre to stop dissemination of fake news and
take strict action against the section of the media spreading bigotry and
communal hatred in relation to the Nizamuddin Markaz issue.
addition to this, there are several fake reports and videos circulating on
social media, showing Muslims in bad light, the plea contended.
is submitted that such reporting has triggered communal antagonism and has also
perpetrated hatred, resulting in fissiparous tendencies gaining foothold,
undermining and affecting communal harmony," the plea said.
petition stated that this "demonisation" of the community has led to
serious "threat to life and liberty of Muslims", and has thus led to
the violation of their "right to life under Article 21" of the
petition has also sought direction to all sections of the media to strictly
comply with the Supreme Court directions asking them to maintain strong sense
of responsibility and ensure that unverified news is not disseminated.
cluster: Muslim group seeks apology from Tablighi Jamaat
Muslim organisation in Maharashtra has sought an apology from the Tablighi
Jamaat group, whose markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin area was the site of a
religious congregation now linked to a large cluster of coronavirus cases.
Tamboli, president of the Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal (MSM), said there was a
"feeling of insecurity" among Muslims in India, and called on the
Jamaat to apologise to the nation.
Shab-e-Barat will be observed on Wednesday. Ramzan is one month away. As per
tradition, people do pray at mosques and hug each other. This time, they should
avoid gathering in public for their own safety," he said.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has already banned all types of religious,
social and political gatherings until further notice.
this writing, Maharashtra has 748 confirmed coronavirus cases, the highest
caseload for any state or territory, according to central government data. As
many as 45 people have died.
in solitude: Indonesia urges Muslims to scrap joint iftar plans, mass prayers
(THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's Religious Affairs Ministry
has issued prayer and worship guidelines for the Muslim fasting month of
Ramadan, asking Muslims not to hold joint breakfast gatherings and pray at home
instead, as part of the country's physical distancing policy to curb the spread
expected to start on April 23 and end on May 23, traditionally includes
gatherings, such as breaking-of-the-fast dinners known as iftar and nightly
prayers known as tarawih, usually done at mosques.
Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi said in a statement on Monday (April 7) that
these worship guidelines can help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect
Muslims in Indonesia from the risks of contracting the disease.
guidelines, issued in the form of a circular, have been distributed to the
ministry's regional offices throughout the archipelago.
the Covid-19 pandemic ravages the globe, with more than 1.2 million infections
and 70,000 deaths, the ministry has advised Muslims to not hold joint iftars
and pray at home instead.
recorded 218 new coronavirus cases on Monday - its biggest daily increase -
bringing the total to 2,491 cases spread out in 32 out of the country's 34
provinces. The country has recorded 209 deaths from the virus so far.
circular also said halal bi halal gatherings, an Indonesian ritual held
following Ramadan as part of the Lebaran - or Hari Raya Aidilfitri - holidays,
can be held through video conference or social media platforms.
containing guidelines for Ramadan and Aidilfitri prayers, the circular also
gives directions on zakat (alms) collection and distribution," Mr Fachrul
in time of COVID-19: How world's largest mosques adapted
increasing number of countries announced lockdowns, so did mosques, with many
closing their door completely and others banning congregations and using their
speakers to remind people to stay at home.
the global death toll from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus,
exceeding 70,000 and more than 1.28 million cases of infection confirmed, many
mosques are trying to keep their communities engaged by using live-streams and
local stations to broadcast sermons and classes.
view of Kaaba at the Grand Mosque which is almost empty of worshippers, after Saudi
authority suspended umrah amid the fear of coronavirus outbreak, at Muslim holy
city of Mecca
remains unclear if this year's Hajj pilgrimage will be held as the threat of
the coronavirus continues [File: Ganoo Essa/Reuters]
have not been allowed to enter Mecca's Grand Mosque nor the Prophet's Mosque in
Medinah, the two main mosques for Muslims, since Saudi authorities suspended
prayers on March 19 in an effort to combat the spread of the virus.
ban followed a series of other measures in Mecca including: an initial ban on
worshippers praying near the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure in the centre of
the Grand Mosque's courtyard which Muslims across the world pray towards; and a
ban on the Umrah pilgrimage, which seven million Muslims perform every year.
remains unclear if the Hajj pilgrimage, which every able-bodied Muslim must
perform once in their lifetime, will be held this year.
several weeks, the call to prayer has included a line at the end asking people
to remain home," said Mecca resident Fuad Mohamed.
prayers nor Friday sermons are held at the Grand Mosque," added Muhamed,
noting that some of the city's smaller mosques live-stream their sermons
authorities imposed a 24-hour curfew in Mecca and Medina on April 2, forcing
residents to stay home at all times other than to buy food or access medical
more than 2,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths, Saudi Arabia is the
worst affected by the pandemic among Gulf Arab states.
doors of the mosque and of the adjoining Dome of the Rock were shut a week
before implementation of the full ban, allowing worshippers to only gather for
prayers in the open areas of the compound.
compound is where the al-Haram al-Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary is located. It
is the third most sacred site for Muslims and the site they believe Prophet
Muhammad began his night journey to heaven.
to Zeinat Abusbeih, who heads security at Al-Aqsa's female quarters, the
compound has been completely shut, with the exception of employees at the
has been painful but necessary," Abusbeih told Al Jazeera, adding that a
line calling on people to pray at home was added to the end of athaan (call to
said that while worshippers are not allowed to attend the Friday sermon, it is
still held by the imam with employees at the mosque joining in.
keep people around the world feeling connected to Al-Aqsa, security personnel
have been live-streaming the Friday sermon and prayer," she said.
are more than 8,600 coronavirus cases in Israel and at least 50 deaths. In the
occupied Palestinian territories, the ministry of health has confirmed more
than 200 infections.
Mosque, one of Istanbul largest and most historic mosques has banned
congregational prayers to curb the spread of the virus [File: Chris
mosques have since added a few lines to the end of the athaan, notifying people
of the decision and calling on them to pray at home.
Fatih Mosque, one of Istanbul's largest and most historic mosques built after
the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, has kept its doors open,
congregational prayers are banned.
group prayers are strictly prohibited, but many activities, including classes
and Quran reading, are still conducted online," said Bunyamin Topcu, an
imam at the mosque which is also considered a centre for Islamic studies across
the Middle East.
athaan continues to be called out without additions or omissions. We do not,
however, hold Friday sermons nor prayers," said Topcu, explaining that a
single mosque in the capital, Ankara, does that on behalf of the whole country.
in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, the site is the
country's largest mosque and the principal place of worship for daily, Friday
and Eid prayers.
about 1,800 cases and 10 deaths so far, the UAE has the second-highest number
of COVID-19 infections in the Arab Gulf region.
prays inside the closed Moussawi Grand Mosque in Basra on April 3, 2020. - Iraq
has confirmed more than 500 COVID-19 cases and 42 deaths from the respiratory
disease, but the real numbers are li
one of Basra's largest and busiest mosques, the Moussawi Grand Mosque continues
to broadcast its Friday sermon through al local channel [Hussein Faleh/AFP]
top Shia leader Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has issued several edicts calling on
citizens to social distance and avoid religious gatherings in order to curb the
spread of the coronavirus.
other mosques across the country, the doors of Mousawi Grand Mosque in Iraq's
southern city of Basra have been shut to worshippers and visitors.
athaan hasn't changed since the onset of the pandemic. But before the athaan or
at the end of the day, the mosques always issues a reminder through its
speakers that mosques are closed," Hussein Faleh, a Basra-based
photojournalist and resident, told Al Jazeera.
one of its biggest and busiest mosques in the oil-rich city, the mosque has
used a local channel to broadcast the Friday sermon and prayers for Imam
Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and a central religious figure
for Shia Muslims.
all mosques do this, but because Mousawi Mosque is a central one, the broadcast
has been an attempt to keep members of the community feeling connected to their
place of worship and their spirits high," Faleh said.
Muslim Imam leads a prayer inside empty National Mosque, after all mosques in
the country suspended Friday prayers during the movement control order [File:
Lim Huey Teng/Reuters]
to Siti Syuhada, a Kuala Lumpur resident, the directive has meant that all
mosques are closed off to the public, with only the imam and staff members
allowed to enter.
Malaysia's National Mosque, a tourist attraction and key religious hub in the
capital, the mosque has continued to make the five daily calls to prayer.
the end of the call, the muezzin [caller to prayer] reminds people in Malay to
perform their prayers at home," explained Syuhada, adding that many
classes are being conducted online via Facebook, YouTube and Zoom.
prayers are not being held, and as per the movement of control order, people
pray at home with their families," she added.
For NZ Shooting Victims Held At East London MosqueThe UK's largest mosque, the
East London Mosque has banned the entry of all members of the public as a
measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus [File: Jack Taylor/Getty Images]
taking an initially restrained approach to curbing the spread of the virus, UK
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a nationwide shutdown on March 24,
closing public spaces and banning people from leaving their homes unless for
the move, Muslim associations including the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB),
called on leaders of UK mosques to prepare for a suspension of communal prayers
by setting up video links to live-stream sermons and activities.
the UK's largest mosque in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the East London
Mosque (ELM) has banned the entry of all members of the public.
the ELM, one of the largest mosques in Europe, still broadcasts the five daily
prayers, as well as the Friday prayer and sermon via its Adhan Radio and
YouTube and Facebook pages, according to Abdallah Faliq, a member of the
the athaan, we've replaced hayaa ala al-salah [come to prayer] with the words
sallu fi buytutikim (pray in your homes)," said Faliq, adding that ELM is
the only mosque in London allowed to broadcast the call to prayer from its
Islamic Cultural Center of New York after the Christchurch mosque attack in New
Zealand in New York City, New York, U.S. March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasii
President Donald Trump issued a travel warning for the hard-hit New York area
to limit the spread of the virus [File: Rashid Umar Abbasii/Reuters]
March 20, the Islamic Cultural Centre of New York, which is one of the largest
mosques in the US city, banned all congregation including Friday prayers as
well as weekly and weekend classes, according to its website.
the building housing New York University's Islamic Centre, which acts as a busy
community and student hub for Muslims in New York City, has also been closed.
to the centre's website, Friday prayers have been suspended, but regular
classes and activities are being conducted virtually via Zoom and Facebook
President Donald Trump issued a travel warning from March 28 for the hard-hit
New York area to limit the spread of the virus.
the list of countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases at more than 330,000 cases,
the United States has also reported more than 1,500 deaths.
Mosque converted into mask factory in virus-hit Iran
At a Tehran mosque converted into a factory, women volunteers who would
normally attend to visitors to the old battlefields of the Iran-Iraq war have
joined the fight against coronavirus.
up like factory workers, around 15 women have taken up positions in front of
table-top sewing machines to produce face masks.
instead of overalls they are clad in black chadors, for they are members of the
Basij, a volunteer militia loyal to Iran's Islamic establishment.
in a sign of the times for Iran, one of the countries worst-hit by the COVID-19
pandemic, almost all of the women are wearing masks. "Our group used to go
to the battlefields of the Iran-Iraq war every year to serve visitors,"
Fatemeh Saidi, a 27-year-old woman involved in the Basij with her husband, told
Shafi supports govt call to avoid going to mosques amid virus shutdown
Muslim-majority countries of the world have closed down mosques. Bangladesh,
however, is yet to take a decision in such measures.
Ministry of Religious Affairs, however, curbed congregation at mosques on
Monday and asked people to say their prayers at home. People have been
instructed to pray Zuhr at home on Fridays, rather than praying Jumma in
prayers in mosques must be restricted to 10 devotees, including mosque khatib,
imam, muezzin, and khadem, and regular prayers in mosques must be limited to
five devotees, including four of them, according to a press release.
Shafi said in a statement on Tuesday that the government instruction was
accurate as per the Islamic law.
government’s instruction to prevent big gatherings, maintaining social
distance, restricting the presence in Jumma and regular congregations… is
appropriate according to Islamic laws,” he said. “It is our duty to value and
properly follow the instruction issued by the government.”
crisis: Mosques could go bankrupt in Germany as Muslim leaders plead for state
to the coronavirus crisis, the Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of
Germany has requested financial aid for the mosques, many which now allegedly
face bankruptcy, according to Junge Freiheit.
German government's strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus,
including a ban on gatherings of more than two people, have also brought
traditional religious services in the country to a complete halt, including for
Christians, Muslims and Jews.
to the loss of daily prayers and Friday prayers, a considerable proportion of
the donations were canceled and no suitable replacement has been found,"
Burhan Kesici, the chairman of the Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of
Germany, said in the statement.
also fear that coronavirus preventative measures will also be in place during
the fasting month of Ramadan, which takes place between April 23 and May 24.
Donations during that period make up a significant portion of the annual
budgets for many mosques.
there are signs that the restrictions will indeed be in place during that
period, which means many mosques would no longer be solvent, according to
this background, we call on the federal and state governments to take measures
to protect and preserve the mosque communities," he wrote.
says mosque communities now need urgent financial help and argues that mosques
make an important contribution to society.
vast majority of Islamrat mosques can look back on decades of tradition. They
were built with great effort and with the own resources of the former guest
workers. Leaving them and their communities alone in this difficult time would
be inappropriate and would not do justice to the life's work of the founding
fathers of these mosque communities,"warned Kesici.
also expressed understanding for preventative measures, saying the Islamic
religious community fully supports the measures.
Kesici's claims, not all members of the Muslim community appear to support the
ban on religious gatherings. Video from Berlin shows dozens of Muslims
gathering at a mosque and chanting "Allahu Akbar" in what was a clear
violation of social distancing measures.
27, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh just made history as New Jersey’s first Muslim woman to
run for Congress
Saturday, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the 27-year-old founder of MuslimGirl.com, made
a big announcement to her nearly 77,000 Instagram followers: She is running for
Congress. In doing so, she has become the first Muslim woman on the ballot for
federal office in New Jersey’s history. She’s also projected to be the youngest
woman to run for Congress in 2020.
announcement was accompanied by a black-and-white photo showing Al-Khatahtbeh’s
hair tucked into a hijab, her barrettes bearing the words “Vote 2020” and a
tagline promising to “make democracy happen.” It was met with thousands of
likes and hundreds of comments from other female media heavyweights and
high-profile activists, including author Amy Cuddy and Rise founder Amanda
Nguyen: “Wish I could vote for you!,” “Yes you are!,” “Amani!!! Thank you.”
is running to unseat 16-term incumbent Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D), chair of the
House Energy and Commerce Committee, in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional
District. But her followers likely know her as the woman behind MuslimGirl.com,
which she started as a blog in 2009 when she was 17. Now, it’s an online
magazine with a large global audience, and its founder is well-recognized, too:
Al-Khatahtbeh founded Muslim Women’s Day and created the hashtag
#MuslimGirlArmy; was featured in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list; and sat on a panel
moderated by former president Bill Clinton.
Syed, an author and photojournalist living in Chicago, has been following
MuslimGirl.com for several years. She says she wasn’t surprised when
Al-Khatahtbeh announced her run for office: “She seems to understand that time
is of an essence and being a woman of color, and a daughter of a Jordanian
immigrant and a Palestinian refugee, she is relatable and will have a lot to
offer as a congresswoman,” Syed wrote in an email.
announcement comes at a critical moment. As the United States is in the midst
of a presidential election year, the coronavirus pandemic is raging across the
country — and New Jersey has the second highest case count after New York.
Political campaigning is moving online and states are postponing their
primaries, and Al-Khatahtbeh is positioning herself as a leader amid the chaos.
“This moment is a stark reminder that we can no longer wait for incremental
change. Our leadership can and must put the health and well-being of working
families and the most vulnerable among us front and center,” she said in a
statement. Al-Khatahtbeh could not be reached Monday for an interview.
the current moment is unprecedented in terms of both campaigning and voting,
Al-Khatahtbeh’s run does feel reminiscent of the recent past. In 2018, as part
of a historic wave of female candidates from diverse backgrounds, Reps. Ilhan
Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) became the first Muslim women
elected to Congress. Al-Khatahtbeh is running on a platform of liberal policies
championed by Omar and Tlaib, too, such as the Green New Deal and
recognized the resonances in a Saturday interview with Katie Couric, who asked
specifically about the influence of congresswomen such as Omar and Tlaib. “I’m
very lucky to have incredible examples in Congress already, with the
representatives that we do have,” Al-Khatahtbeh said. “Us just having elected
the most diverse and the highest number of women in Congress in history that
have really blown the doors wide open of what the possibilities are.”
women remain vastly underrepresented in Congress: They made up only 25 percent
of the Senate and 23.2 percent of the House of Representatives in 2019.
this won’t be an easy challenge for Al-Khatahtbeh, according to Debbie Walsh,
director of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers
University. Al-Khatahtbeh is running in New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District
alongside three other challengers and Pallone; the primary is set for June 2.
The district is where Al-Khatahtbeh, a first-generation American, grew up. It’s
also where she attended college at Rutgers.
New Jersey itself is “well-positioned” to elect a Muslim woman to Congress —
it’s a “very diverse” blue state, Walsh says — running against incumbents,
especially one who’s as well-liked as Pallone, would be difficult for anyone.
(The 6th District is particularly diverse, with higher-than-average percentages
of Asian and Hispanic populations.)
Jersey’s state party also plays a powerful role in the primaries by endorsing
candidates, which brings in resources such as get-out-the-vote efforts, polling
and mailing.Walsh says that Pallone, who has the backing of the state party,
often gets challenged in the district, so he “campaigns hard.” That’s what sets
this race apart from one like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.); unlike
10-term incumbent Joseph Crowley, whom Ocasio-Cortez defeated in the 2018
primary, Pallone “has paid a lot of attention to his district,” says Walsh.
if she loses, Walsh says, it could be a boon if Al-Khatahtbeh “runs this race
well in this moment.” It may spell a promising future for her in politics:
“When women candidates run in these really difficult races, it’s about thinking
what’s the goal. Obviously the goal is to win, but you also think about what
someone can get out of this beyond this one race.”
age-defying elections are continuing to happen across the country. Take Nadia
Mohamed, a 23-year-old Muslim refugee who came to the United States when she
was 10. Mohamed decided to run for City Council in St. Louis Park, Minn., last
year, inspired by women like Omar, who had been successful on the national
stage. Mohamed won — and made history as her city’s first Muslim and first Somali
most important thing young women of color interested in running for office can
do is believing themselves that they’re capable, Mohamed says:
as she began campaigning while she was finishing up college, she had to
convince herself, and others, that she deserved to win.
the votes come in live on election night “was insane,” Mohamed says. “The
little girl who came to America 13 years ago would just be looking at me in
course, the usual tactics that a little-known, young candidate might employ
aren’t available to Al-Khatahtbeh during the pandemic. Walsh, of CAWP, says
that political advisers would usually tell candidates like her to go
door-to-door and get name recognition that way. Experts are “very uncertain”
about what the campaigning landscape will look like. For now, Al-Khatahtbeh’s
campaign said it will launch a digital “Campaign Quaran-Tour” live-stream
large following certainly can’t hurt, either; the outpouring of support from
other Muslim women has been obvious. As Syed, the MuslimGirl.com fan, puts it:
“I’m a sucker for women who chase after their dreams and make it a reality.”
fallout: Fake videos across social media affecting Muslim vendors in Hyderabad
Post the Tablighi incident, several fake videos are being widely circulated on
Whatsapp, Facebook and other social media platforms, claiming that Muslims in
the city are spreading COVID-19 by licking or spitting on fruits, vegetables,
delivery food and utensils.
these videos, many urged people not to buy supplies from Muslim vendors,
prompting discrimination and boycott of those who are already losing out on
45-second video of an employee at a restaurant packing food has been shared
with the claim that a Muslim man is spitting on the food before delivering it
Darak, Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Telangana State spokesperson tweeted
the viral video and called for a boycott of such shops.
is not an isolated incident, there has been a deluge of such false and
malicious posts against Muslims that are going viral with texts such as —
“Refrain from eating things from the market and notice the lowliness of those
who wear a cap.”
to Express, D Hema, who works as a house help and lives in a Muslim-dominated
area near Begumpet, said, “After the Tablighi reports, many such videos are
doing rounds on WhatsApp, due to which we are scared of buying supplies from
we enquired with Muslim meat and vegetable shop vendors in the city, they seem
to be scared and quick to disassociate themselves from Tablighi Muslims.
know that these videos and rumours are going around for the last few days, due
to which our sales have also seen a dip. But, I hope people will not believe in
all those rumours as they have known us for the last many years,” a fruit
vendor at Prakash Nagar lamented.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray warns against spreading fake news, communal
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday warned people against circulating
“inflammatory content” about the coronavirus pandemic and said that the “virus”
of fake news and communal hatred is threatening social harmony.
Coronavirus, there is another virus that is emerging which is threatening
social harmony, the virus of fake news and communal hatred,” Thackeray wrote on
Twitter. “If someone circulates fake news or inflammatory content, my law will
catch up with them. They will not be spared.”
Coronavirus there is another virus that is emerging which is threatening social
harmony, the virus of fake news & communal hatred.
added that his government has located people from the state who attended the
Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi – the source of more than a 1,000
coronavirus cases across 17 states – and placed them under quarantine. “The
names of those who attended the Delhi event are in our records and all the
participants have been traced,” he said. “They have been isolated and
quarantined in government facilities.”
said that unlike Delhi, Maharashtra had assessed the risk of infection and
denied permission for the Tablighi Jamaat event. “We didn’t let what happened
in Delhi happen in Maharashtra,” he said, according to Hindustan Times. “The
event was permitted earlier, but later looking at the situation we denied
more than 500 cases of coronavirus, Maharashtra is the worst-affected state in
the country. Thackeray said that the government may extend the 21-day lockdown
in the state depending on how well people follow orders.
health ministry on Saturday said that the number of coronavirus cases in India
rose to 2,902, with 68 deaths. Of these, 2,650 Covid-19 cases are still active.
It added that more than 1,000 cases are linked to last month’s Tablighi Jamaat
event in Delhi. Around 22,000 Tablighi Jamaat workers and their contacts have
been placed under quarantine.
added that his government has located people from the state who attended the
Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi – the source of more than a 1,000
coronavirus cases across 17 states ¬– and placed them under quarantine. “The
names of those who attended the Delhi event are in our records and all the
participants have been traced,” he said. “They have been isolated and
quarantined in government facilities.”
'terrorising' north-east Delhi neighbourhoods in name of probe
living in north-east Delhi areas that were rocked by sectarian violence earlier
this year have alleged that police were tormenting the community on the pretext
of investigations into the riots with several young men being picked up form
homes and threatened with forced exposure to those with the cononavirus.
have, however, vehemently denied charges of bias and harassment, saying they
were only doing their job and that investigations into the February violence in
the north-east Delhi neighbourhoods would not be called off due to the lockdown
that is in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
Khas, Chandbagh, Mustafabad, Gokulpuri and Shiv Vihar bore the brunt of the
targeted violence in February that left at least 53 dead and several hundred
video has surfaced in which a group of women, purportedly Muslims, is seen
complaining in anger against police high-handedness.
kis baat ka lockdown hai, main mahoday pradhanmantriji se poochna chahti hun… Humare
ghar me ghuske zabardasti humare bacchon ko le jate hain (What kind of a
lockdown is this, I want to ask the respected Prime Minister… They enter our
homes and forcefully take our children),” said a woman in the video, apparently
recorded on the night of April 3.
woman, Imrana, a resident of Mustafabad, said her nephews were picked up by
10-15 policemen in civil dress. She said police were blackmailing families like
hers, first by threatening to “infect” them with the coronavirus by herding
them with infected patients, and then by asking for money, in the range of Rs 1
lakh and Rs 2 lakh, to free them.
Mustafabad me sare aam gundagardi chal rahi hai. Hum lockdown ka palan karna
chahte hain aur yeh log lockdown ki aad me hum logon ko pareshan kar rahe hain
(This is hooliganism in broad daylight in Mustafabad. We want to abide by the
lockdown and these people are harassing us on the pretext of a lockdown),” she
says in the video.
hum ne uthaya aur abhi aapne poochna shuru kar diya (We’ve just started picking
up people and you are already asking us questions)?” Karawal Nagar police SHO
Sajeev Kumar told The Telegraph online on Saturday night.
we’ll pick them up, we’ll take action, we’ll interrogate them on the offence,”
Kumar said, adding that the lockdown would not stop them from doing their work.
has, however, been no let-up in complaints against the police. In Shiv Vihar,
one of the worst affected areas in the violence, police were allegedly picking
up complainants to dissuade them from filing FIRs.
local resident, Hashim Ali, whose house was looted before it was set on fire,
registered an FIR at the local police station, accusing some of his neighbours.
But late night on Saturday, police picked up 54-year-old Ali and accused him of
to the president of a residents’ welfare association in Mustafabad, as many as
14 boys had been picked from his locality.
Chandu Nagar, near Khajoori Khas, local residents said at least 10 had been
picked up by police. According to a news report, Delhi police had picked up
close to 2,000 individuals till March 7 to investigate the riots.
Cops probe ‘ban’ on entry of Muslims in Shastri Nagar Area
DELHI: The Delhi Police has launched a probe after a video that went viral on
social media on Monday showed a group of residents, allegedly from Shastri
Nagar area, discussing and urging for a ban on entry of Muslims in their
neighbourhood in the wake of the Nizamuddin Markaz gathering that has become a
the 1 minute and 52 second-long clip, a person who is not visible in the video,
is heard saying, “These people have created a mess. The disease is spreading.
No Muslim will be allowed to enter here. No one will be permitted to enter or
leave the area without showing Aadhaar card.” In later part of the video,
another person, also not visible, is heard stopping a vegetable vendor and
asking his and his father’s name. “Do you have an identity card? Aadhaar card?
Don’t enter the locality if you don’t carry Aadhaar from tomorrow,” he is
heard, threatening the seller.
Morning Standard couldn’t check the authenticity of the clip independently.
However, a senior police officer on condition of anonymity said, “We are
verifying the video to check whether it is fake or real and whether this is a
recent video or old. After proper probe, we will take appropriate action.” Some
local residents this newspaper spoke to said they favoured barring the entry of
Muslims as they didn’t want to ‘take chance’. “No ‘such’ meeting has taken
place because lockdown is in force.
RWA offices are closed. But a video is circulating in which people are seen
applying saliva on fruits and doing other such things. So, at this time, we all
are being careful. There are many Muslims vendors who sell vegetables outside
the colony,” said Charan Singh, a member of RWA, Shastri Nagar F Block. A
Mukherjee Nagar resident said, “These people are spreading the virus. Even in
lockdown many enter our society and attend the azaan.”
held for attack on Muslims in Jind
Four persons were arrested in Haryana's Jind district on Monday for attacking
their Muslim neighbours who did not honour Prime Minister Narendra Modi's
appeal to switch off lights at 9pm on Sunday.
complainant told the police that he and his brothers were at home in Thathrath
village when their neighbours used objectionable language against them.
"Our neighbour Meenu and his family members asked us why our electricity
was not switched off even when all the neighbours had honoured the PM's advice.
He also repeatedly used objectionable language against us. Like everyone, we
also have freedom to do what we want," the complainant Sadik Khan, 34,
dispute continued and the man's neighbours attacked him and his three brothers
with sharp-edged weapons on Monday morning. "Around one dozen people
attacked us and in retaliation we beat them up after snatching their sticks,"
Khan said, adding that their neighbours had tried to harass them earlier and
had accused them of sheltering people who had attended the Nizamuddin
have been living harmoniously in the village since long time but now our every
moment is being seen with suspicion lens. Like all, we also have freedom to do
what we want," Khan added.
three persons were arrested in Karnal on Monday for hurting sentiments of a
religious community by uploading objectionable videos on a social media platform.
of the accused, identified as Monti and Baljinder, are residents of Randauli
village under Indri in Karnal district. The third, identified as Deepak alias
Bablu, belongs to Jundla village in Karnal district.
remain closed for another week
Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum
Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang
Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented for the temporary closure of
mosques, suraus and religious halls to be extended for another week starting
Subuh or dawn prayer today until Isyak prayer on April 13.
was said by Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri
Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awang Othman
decision was made following a meeting held last Saturday based on the Ministry
of Health’s (MoH) advice as dangers of COVID-19 still persist. It is also in
line with the State Mufti’s Fatwa on the obligation to limit the outbreak.
Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin said the Brunei
Islamic Religious Council analysed three options given by the MoH.
first option is to open places of worship once the nation is wholly free from
the outbreak with no new cases for 28 days.
second option is based on last limited spread involving the last family of Case
131 which falls on April 15.
third option is by fulfilling health requirements. This involves guidelines to
clean mosque, suraus and religious halls continuously, and spacing congregants
as permissible by Syarak Law.
Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin said the
council decided that the mosques, suraus and religious halls will open when
there are no more health risks to congregants and the public.
payment can still be made in mosques
issue of Zakat payment during the month of Ramadhan was raised during the
COVID-19 press conference at the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Al-‘Afiah Hall
of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang
Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman assured that preventative
measures will be implemented at designated mosques, suraus or religious halls
for the people to pay their Zakat Fitrah.
to the minister, the payment of Zakat Fitrah can be carried out physically at
the designated venues to appointed Amils by complying to preventive measures as
advised by the MoH such as social distancing and crowd control.
curfew in Riyadh, Jeddah and other cities
Saudi Arabia placed its capital Riyadh and other major cities under a 24-hour
curfew on Monday.
new curfew applies to the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Dammam, Dhahran, Hofuf, and
the provinces of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Alkhobar, a statement from the
Interior Ministry said.
to or exit from those areas will not be allowed, except for vital workers.
Residents are allowed to leave their homes for medical or food needs inside
their residential area and between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. only.
government agencies are coordinating to facilitate the repatriation of Saudi
citizens from abroad amid the global outbreak of the coronavirus. During the
daily press briefing, Health Ministry spokesman, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly,
said that his ministry was cooperating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
its repatriation operations.
the Kingdom, the total number of confirmed cases is 2,605 with 203 new cases
recorded on Sunday. He said that 551 patients have recovered and 2,016 are
still being treated. The number of deaths in the Kingdom stands at 38.
said that updates about COVID-19 in the Kingdom with details of its
geographical spread can be found at covid19.moh.gov.sa.
Ministry spokesman Anas Al-Sulai said: “The Ministry of Tourism has provided
over 11,000 hotel rooms to accommodate Saudis returning from abroad, as they
will be isolated to ensure their safety,” Al-Sulai said. The operation includes
eight electronic services and the involvement of 15 government bodies that are
working 24 hours to ensure the completion of the operation safely.
spokesman for the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Naif Al-Otaibi, said
that 22,000 environmental sanitation devices and 15,000 cadres are being used
to sanitize and control areas.
to the Saudi Press Agency, the General Directorate of Passports called on all
citizens and residents to activate the feature to receive notifications for its
services available through the “Absher” application for electronic services on
doing so, users will be able to receive information about the status of their
official documents and the dates of their expiry.
employers given green light to cut wages, hours
Saudi private-sector employers whose businesses have been crippled by the
coronavirus pandemic have been told they can cut their employees’ wages and
they may do so only with the employees’ consent, and the reduced wages must
accurately reflect the number of hours worked, the Ministry of Human Resources
and Social Development said.
ministry also moved to allay fears among some private sector staff, both Saudi
and expatriate, that unscrupulous employers could use the coronavirus crisis to
exploit their workers.
can report any violation through the ministry’s website, channels and social
media platforms,” Saad Al-Hammad, director of Human Resources Affairs at the
addition, employers who have benefited from state subsidies, such as the SR9
billion ($2.4 billion) fund created last week to compensate Saudi workers for
the effects of the pandemic, may not terminate employment contracts. Employees,
however, retain the right to do so.
ministry said its aim was to protect employees from dismissal or loss of
contractual benefits during the pandemic. It would continue to regulate the
labor market, mitigate the economic effects of the virus outbreak on the
private sector and protect the interests of both parties in the labor
relationship, it said.
legal counsel Dimah Talal Al-Sharif said amending the contractual relationship
between employer and employee in this way was permissible under the legal
concept known as “force majeure,” which applied to the coronavirus pandemic.
ministerial decision aims to limit any attempt to tamper with people’s rights
as employees, and to define the limits that both parties must agree on first,
while also reflecting the reality,” Al-Sharif told Arab News.
finance body grants $850mn for combating coronavirus in member states
— Societies and economies are being affected by the unprecedented and unpredictable
nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include a major shift in global trade
routes, changes in consumption and extraordinary levels of monetary easing and
stimulus packages at a scale never experienced before. The International
Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) is moving quickly to consolidate
efforts to mitigate the socioeconomic risks that the virus poses to all our
stakeholders in member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
assess how COVID-19 affects the work we do and the impact on member countries,
ITFC is engaging closely with government stakeholders, partners, businesses and
the financial institutions we work with. That dialogue enables us to respond in
a coordinated manner to soften the economic fallout. This is in addition to
practical measures that have already been taken.
has moved quickly to put in place emergency financing measures to ensure that
member countries continue to receive the support needed. Our COVID-19 ‘Rapid
Response Initiative’ (RRI) has made $300 million immediately available.
is also responding to the different requests made by Member Countries to
provide immediate crisis-related technical assistance programs, including
capacity building for medical personnel and capacity enhancement of
laboratories. ITFC is also assisting in sourcing medical equipment and
medicines from its network.
funds are being directly funneled towards eligible OIC member countries in most
need of support — for critical supplies of energy, healthcare, food security
and other life support requirements. ITFC is in continuous consultations with
OIC member countries to ascertain their most pressing needs as the pandemic
additional fund — the ‘Recovery Response Program’ (RRP) — earmarks another $550
million for deployment over the next two years. The RRP is aimed at fixing the
socio-economic damage which is expected to last longer than immediate impact of
is actively engaging international, regional and local partners as a strategic
means of scaling these interim financing measures to contribute to the critical
needs of the member countries and where necessary, on the mobilization of trade
development support services during the pandemic. This includes helping OIC
member countries with strategies for the control and production of healthcare
employees continue to work remotely through virtual platforms and other online
means of communication, to ensure business is running as usual. We remain fully
engaged and responsive to the business and socioeconomic needs of the many
millions of people we serve.
the challenges and impact of COVID 19 continue to evolve, we are certain by
uniting and standing in solidarity with our member countries, we will overcome
the crisis. — SG
to launch virtual tour of Old Cairo mosque complex
of Tourism and Antiquities will launch a virtual tour on Monday through its
official website of the
Mosque-Madrassa is a religious complex located on al-Moez Street established by
Sultan al-Zahir Barquq, the founder of the Mamluk Burji dynasty rule in Egypt.
complex is one of the largest architectural heritage collections in the world,
consisting of an open courtyard and four iwans (rectangular Islamic hall), the
largest of which is the qibla iwan – which includes a marble mihrab, a wooden pulpit,
a Quran chair, and a bench.
top of the entrance facade is a minaret and dome that was renovated in 1310 AH
/ 1892AD, characterized by written inscriptions in naskh script from Quranic
verses which bear the date of its construction and its constructor’s name.
Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced earlier in April that it was
teaming up with scientific and archaeological institutes to offer a series of
virtual and guided video tours of a various museums and archaeological sites
initiative, recently launched under the slogan “Experience Egypt from Home.
Stay Home. Stay Safe”, aims to enable
people worldwide to embark on a journey through the ancient Egyptian
civilization during their home confinement as part of precautionary measures
taken to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
cooperation with the American Research Center in Cairo, the Ministry of Tourism
and Antiquities presented on Friday its first tour of these virtual series
exploring the Menna Tomb in Theban Necropolis.
tours are available on the Ministry’s official website and social media
platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Experience Egypt).
paves the way for genuine innovation in Islamic finance
the coronavirus continuing to ravage the world and close to a fifth of the
world’s population — or 1.5bn people — being asked or ordered outright to stay
home and work remotely as new virus infections soar, the importance of digital
technology for our lives in the current situation has become clear even to the
technically most uninclined.
has been a boom in digital services as that the virus is forcing us to use the
Internet as it was always meant to be used, to connect, share information and
resources and come up with collective new solutions. Applications some of at
least the older generations might not even have heard of such as WhatsApp,
Instagram, Zoom, Skype, Periscope, Spaces or Oculus found their way in
thousands and thousands of households, while schools introduced digital home
learning and companies virtual co-working, while personalised businesses such
as real estate agencies, gym trainers, cosmetic studios, healthcare services,
financial advisers and many others and have turned to virtual reality to stay
connected with customers. Even many religious services are now being held via
online livestreams rather than in person. All this means that a new digital
culture has been established that will likely not go away after the coronavirus
does this mean for Islamic finance? It means that digital innovation will be of
massive importance in the future and now is the best time to start focusing on
it. There is already a growing number of fintech start-ups in Islamic finance,
but most are creating non-core applications such as group lending or equity
crowdfunding schemes, charity ecosystems, merchant platforms or certain digital
the most effective innovation in fintech, and also for Islamic finance, is the
revolutionary blockchain technology because of the multitude of potential
applications, many experts agree. Based
on peer-to-peer topology, blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that
allows data to be stored globally on thousands of computers and makes the
history of any digital asset unalterable, unforgeable and transparent through
the use of cryptographic methods, all of which makes it a perfect application
for the finance industry. Blockchain has indeed already found its way into
Islamic finance, first in a loose relationship through blockchain-based Halal
certification schemes or blockchain-powered zakat systems, but the technology
as of late has also been identified as an excellent method to automate the
execution of Shariah contracts — of which there are plenty in Islamic finance
schemes — and minimise the risk of procedural errors. Other uses have been
found for the issuance of so-called smart Sukuk and for improving traceability
and transparency of zakat and Sadaqah funds in complex humanitarian settings.
success story is the world’s first primary sukuk issuance on public blockchain
through the “SmartSukuk” platform of Indonesia-based fintech startup Blossom
Finance by Indonesian microfinance institution BMT Bina Ummah last October. The
trial micro sukuk used blockchain-based smart contracts, in which all records,
assignments, calculations and payments related to the sukuk are managed,
leaving an indelible audit trail at every stage of the issuance.
experience with issuing this small trial sukuk on Blossom’s platform was very
positive and we are already working on our next smart sukuk issuance which
should be a considerably larger transaction with a longer tenure,” said Ibu Ely
Heni, general manager of BMT Bina Ummah.
examples of blockchain-based Islamic finance services are, among others,
Stellar, a California-founded decentralised payment system that has been
certified as Shariah-compliant, another global payment system called Ripple
(California), which has already been deployed by a number of large Islamic
banks, as well as Waqf Chain, a blockchain-backed crowdfunding system for
investments in development projects for existing waqfs developed by
Malaysia-based fintech Finterra. There are also a couple of Shariah-compliant,
blockchain-based gold trading platforms such as Goldmoney (Canada), OneGram
(GCC), HelloGold (Malaysia) and Emergent (California), while a rising number of
Islamic banks globally are deploying blockchain solutions to improve security
standards in banking, particularly to combat cheque-related fraud. Moreover,
the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, a division
of the Islamic Development Bank, is developing a blockchain-based platform to
facilitate real-time commodity murabaha transactions mainly for trade finance
purposes, while the Switzerland-based International Federation of Red Cross and
Red Crescent Societies are working on a blockchain application that seeks to
improve the traceability and transparency of Islamic social financing.
blockchain innovations still need, however, is better clarity about their
Shariah compliance. Currently, there is no general consensus in the industry on
the Shariah qualities of different types of blockchain-based financial assets,
and it is left to Islamic banks whose Shariah committees may recognise certain
types of blockchain applications as Shariah-compliant or not. Most industry
observers say that this fact will continue to pose challenges to Islamic
regulatory authorities in the foreseeable future.
NBD and Emirates Islamic donate $1.1m to UAE Ministry of Education
NBD and Emirates Islamic have donated AED4 million ($1.1m) to the UAE’s
Ministry of Education in support of its online and distance learning
initiatives launched across all the schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
contribution - comprising AED2m on behalf of Emirates NBD and AED2m from
Emirates Islamic - will help provide laptops to UAE students.
a leading local banking group, Emirates NBD and Emirates Islamic are honoured
to contribute to the Ministry of Education’s distance learning initiatives.
Nothing is more important for us than the health, safety and well-being of our
colleagues, customers and the community and the development of our future
generations," said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, vice chairman and managing
director of Emirates NBD and chairman of Emirates Islamic.
month the UAE’s Ministry of Education announced that distance learning for all
schools and universities will continue until the end of the current academic
decision applies to all public and private schools and higher education
institutions at the state level.
crisis puts 300m livelihoods at risk, says IEA chief
The jobs and livelihoods of some 300m people are at risk in the current crisis
in the global oil business, according to Fatih Birol, executive director of the
International Energy Agency (IEA).
exclusively to Arab News, Birol said the oil industry was going through
“perhaps the worst time in its history, and this could have major implications
for the global economy, financial markets, and even more for employment.
of millions of people are going to lose their jobs. In just one example, we
(IEA) just calculated that, just in the refinery sector and petrol stations
alone, around 50m people are employed, and they are supporting families
totaling 250 million people, and most of them will lose their jobs if it
continues like this,” Birol said.
COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented collapse in demand for oil, with
more than 20m barrels - around 20 percent of normal consumption - lost over the
past few weeks. The oil price has halved.
was involved in the behind-the-scenes talks wth the Saudi Arabian presidency of
the G20 group of leading countries to organize a special meeting of energy
ministers at the end of this week in a bid to address current levels of
raised this idea with the Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman,
because Saudi Arabia has been a stabilizing factor in the market for many
years, and I was hopeful that Saudi would agree with this suggestion, as well
as the other 19 G20 countries,” Birol said.
Khamenei agrees with withdrawal of €1bn from NDFI for battling coronavirus
News Agency (ABNA): In a letter to the Leader of the Islamic Republic on
Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed gratitude for the issued
permit by Ayatollah Khamenei, allowing withdrawal of one billion euros from
National Development Fund Of Iran (NDFI) to combat the lethal coronavirus in
on Monday issued the required instructions for the received financial resources
from NDFI, in a letter to Head of Plan and Budget Organization (PBO) Mohammad
urged Nobakht to spend the financial resources on meeting the needs of the
Health Ministry and supplying medical equipment needs from domestic sources and
Monday, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran has reached
60,500, with a total death toll of 3,739.
Muslim group hails Anadolu Agency's 100th year
Al-jnaidi and Safiye Karabacak
Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan congratulated Anadolu Agency on Monday on its
Agency ranks among the top news agencies in the world with its professionalism,
reliability and accuracy in reporting news," the organization's
information office said in a message.
organization also stressed that the agency has a major impact on illuminating
issues across the Islamic world and Middle East.
flagship news agency is celebrating its 100th anniversary, as it was founded on
April 6, 1920 -- 17 days before the Turkish Grand National Assembly convened
for the first time.
its foundation, Anadolu Agency has worked to disseminate factual news across
the globe with confidence, impartiality, professionalism, and speed.
viewed as one of the world's most prestigious news agencies, currently
producing news in 13 languages and serving 6,000 subscribers in 93 countries
with at least 3,000 employees stationed in 100 countries.
COVID-19 recovery coming at Ramadan's end, coronavirus task force says
is still in the critical weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak but the situation is
not as grim as expected. Indeed, Professor İlhami Çelik says life will likely
return to normal by the end of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting for Muslims
that will start in late April.
to Çelik, a member of the Health Ministry’s Coronavirus Science Board, the
silver lining is the likelihood of a downward trend in infections after it
peaks in the third week of April. Speaking to the Turkish language daily,
Sabah, he said the higher the public compliance with the board’s measures, the
earlier normalization will return to Turkey.
total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged to 27,069 as 3,135 more
people tested positive for the virus, according to data shared by the minister
far, 1,042 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, while
1,381 patients are currently receiving intensive care, the data shows.
positive note, the rate of the increase in coronavirus infections of those
tested has fallen to the lowest level of April, according to official data. The
rate was announced as 25% on March 31, 15.9% on April 1, 15.7% on April 2,
15.4% on April 3, 14.4% on April 4 and 13.1% on April 5, offering a glimmer of
hope for tens of millions of people around the country awaiting positive news
as they stay inside and follow the advice of the Health Ministry and other officials.
says the number of cases and rise in infections are completely normal based on
their projections. “The Coronavirus Science Board’s purpose is to spread out
the pandemic’s peak period and relieve the burden on the health care sector. We
don’t currently see an extra burden on hospitals and the death rate is
relatively low. We don’t see an extreme surge or drop in cases and hospitals
can cope with new infections, even if they dramatically rise. Our hospitals can
handle 20 times more cases."
toll and infections are lower in comparison to Europe, which Turkey has
repeatedly accused of showing a slow response to the outbreak. Çelik says
Turkey would face similar consequences to those in Europe, where thousands have
died so far if it did not take the matter seriously at its start.
first two weeks are critical to minimizing the trend in cases, but Çelik says
there are still a few weeks ahead that will determine the course of the
outbreak. “We have to act carefully in these weeks, to exert maximum effort to
prevent the virus from spreading. It is important to comply with all of our
safety measures. If we don’t, COVID-19 will linger in Turkey and hospitals will
be overwhelmed,” he says.
says people have to comply with government measures in addition to imposing
their own, referring to the Health Minister’s oft-repeated statement about each
citizen needing to create their own quarantine against the pandemic. “If we do
this and if temperatures rise, I believe life will return to normal in time for
Ramadan Bayram. I am hopeful. Turkey and the world overcame worse pandemics. If
humanity defeated other pandemics in the past, there is no reason that it
cannot defeat this one,” he says.
absence of a vaccine for the new coronavirus remains a concern, but Çelik says
the impact of this virus will decrease even if there is no vaccine available
yet. “The more people are subject to a virus, the less its impact will be. The
majority of people will likely be infected, recover and develop immunity.
Genetic and climate conditions are key. I believe the pandemic will not be as
widespread as it is now with the change of climate. Figures show that most
cases in warmer regions are those brought by people not living there. Heading
into summer, the impact of the virus will be lessened for Turkey,” he says.
says Turkey is trying to develop both a vaccine and successful treatment,
pointing to the Turkish Red Crescent’s efforts in taking antibodies from recovered
patients and transferring them to new patients. “We will see whether it will
work,” he says while underlining potential obstacles in fighting the outbreak.
“We see some countries using medicines for other diseases in the fight against
virus and this only hampers the fight. They try anti-viral drugs, like malaria
drugs. We see medicine normally used for treating influenza used for COVID-19
treatment, but we don’t have sufficient data. It is safe to say that these
drugs would cause side effects while trying to treat people,” Çelik noted.
has increased its measures to curb the spread of the virus including a 24-hour
curfew for people under the age of 20. A similar quarantine for people above
the age of 65 had previously been put into effect.
are barred from leaving cities in 31 of the country's 81 provinces. Istanbul,
Ankara and İzmir, the country's most populated provinces, are included in this
measures are added almost daily, while municipalities are taking their own additional
precautions as well
model exploiting virus measures in Istanbul mosques removed by police
Sunday, an Instagram model who set up her own personal photoshoot in an
Istanbul mosque was duly ejected from the building by police.
woman and her sister, who was tasked with snapping the photos, sneaked into a
far corner of the mosque in Istanbul’s Avcılar district, taking advantage of
how deserted the place was due to the onset of Turkey's anti-coronavirus
measures. The girls even brought along a suitcase full of outfits representing
various clothing brands in order to upload the images on Instagram.
officers who were on duty to halt attempts to circumvent a ban on gatherings in
the mosque, ejected the pair, warning them to not make a repeat of the
incident. After the police’s intervention, the girls packed up their suitcase
and moved away from the area.
Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), Turkey's top religious authority,
announced last month a nationwide ban on prayer gatherings, including Friday
prayers, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
speaker calls for lifting of anti-Iran sanctions
News Agency (ABNA): Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Asad Qaiser on
Monday called for removal of US sanctions on Iran.
letter to his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani, Qaiser prayed for the good
health and long life of his Iranian counterpart.
behalf of the National Assembly of Pakistan and my own behalf, I am writing to
convey our joint prayers and best wishes for your good health,” he said.
said: As I seek Almighty Allah’s blessings for the continued progress and
prosperity of entire Muslim Ummah, I also seek His bounties for Your
Excellency’s personal health and long life.
Qaiser noted the ongoing issue of Coronavirus poses a threat to the well-being
of the entire humanity, which is all the more reason the world should come
together to combat the pandemic disease for safety of our people.
is with this wish that Prime Minister Imran Khan is calling for lifting of
sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.
assure you my nation’s complete support in this difficult situation and pray
that the brave people of Islamic Republic of Iran will soon overcome this
problem,” said Qaiser.
Chairman and deputy Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate expressing solidarity with
the people and government of Iran on coronavirus outbreak prayed for early
recovery of Speaker Ali Larijani.
News Department in a statement on Thursday said that Speaker Ali Larijani has
been tested positive for coronavirus and is in quarantine.
certain symptoms emerged, he underwent coronavirus testing and he tested
positive for COVID-19. He is currently in quarantine receiving medical
warn deal with US in Afghanistan near breaking point
News Agency (ABNA): The Taliban has said the deal with the United States aimed
at bringing peace to Afghanistan was nearing a breaking point, accusing
Washington of violations that included drone attacks on civilians, while also
chastising the Afghan government for delaying the release of 5,000 Taliban
prisoners promised in the agreement.
Taliban said it had restricted attacks against Afghan security forces to rural
outposts and had not attacked international forces or Afghan forces in cities
or military installations.
group warned of more violence if the US and the Afghan government continue
alleged violations of the deal, adding that continued violations would
"create an atmosphere of mistrust that will not only damage the
agreements, but also force mujaheddin to a similar response and will increase
the level of fighting".
are seriously asking the Americans to abide by the contents of the agreement
and to alert their allies to fully abide by the agreement," the Taliban
Taliban has accused the Afghan government of using "indefensible
arguments" to explain the repeated delays in releasing a promised 5,000
Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 government personnel.
US military in Afghanistan rejected the Taliban's claim, saying it had upheld
the military terms of the agreement and that Taliban's assertions were
has been clear - we will defend our ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security
Forces) partners if attacked, in compliance with the agreement," US Forces
Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett tweeted.
bans more than 5 people in mosques over virus
has put restrictions on worshippers attending obligatory daily prayers at more
than 250,000 mosques nationwide as the number of novel coronavirus cases has
surged, officials said yesterday.
more than five persons at a time will be allowed to attend the congregations
for the daily prayers,” the Religious Affairs Ministry said in an order.
the imam, muezzin – who summons to prayer five times a day – and other mosque
officials will be allowed to say their prayers inside the mosque, it added.
maximum of 10 people can attend Friday prayers, which usually draw bigger
crowds, the order said, asking people to say their prayers at home instead.
residents have been posting questions on social media as to why Bangladesh,
with a population of more than 160mn and over 90% Muslim, was allowing praying
in large groups when many other Islamic states had banned it due to the novel
after the order was issued, many mosques in Dhaka were heard telling people
through public announcement systems not to turn up at mosques and offer prayers
at home instead.
South Asian country, which put general restrictions on non-essential offices,
public transport and schools on March 26, has reported 123 Covid-19 cases with
them, 35 five cases of infections and three deaths were reported in the last 24
hours ended yesterday morning.
Sunday, thousands of garment workers were ordered home voicing concerns about
loss of income after arriving at work to find factories shut after the
cancellation of Western orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.
official numbers were not available, labour leaders said the majority of the
workers they had spoken to had either been temporarily laid off or sent on
leave. A smaller section of workers complained of being sacked.
which ranks behind only China as a supplier of clothes to Western countries,
relies on the garment industry for more than 80% of its exports, with some
4,000 factories employing about 4mn people, mostly women.
top Western fashion brands manufacture clothing in Bangladesh but cancellations
were increasing daily amid coronavirus-driven lockdowns globally.
workers went to factories in Dhaka hoping to get paid for March and resume work
after a 10-day break enforced by the government to tackle the spread of the
the government later extended the shutdown to April 14, workers said their
owners asked them to return by April 5.
they reached the factories this morning, most of the workers were told that
they were laid off or that the factory would resume after the shutdown,” said
Khadiza Akter, vice president of the union Sommilito Garments Sramik
worker unions are calling on the government, buyers, or factory owners to pay
workers who will struggle to feed themselves and their families with no income.
Ministry of Labour and Employment has asked garment factory owners not to sack
workers and pay them full salaries for March by April 12.
halts negotiations with Afghan government over release of prisoners
Taliban group announced that it has stopped negotiations with the Afghan
government over the release of Taliban prisoners with effect from today.
sent a technical team of the Prisoner’s Commission to Kabul for verification
and identification of our prisoners as release of prisoners was to start as per
the signed agreement and the promise made (to us),” Suhail Shaheen, a
spokesperson for Taliban’s political office said in a Twitter post.
further added “But, unfortunately, their release has been delayed under one
pretext or another till now. Therefore, our technical team will not participate
in fruitless meetings with relevant sides starting from tomorrow.”
director of the Independent Directorate for Local Governance Abdul Mateen Baig
had earlier said the Taliban group is attempting to release those Taliban
commanders who had major role in suicide attacks.
to reporters in Kabul, Mr. Baig said the Taliban group has presented a list of
15 prisoners and demand their release in the first phase of the release of
further added that some of the prisoners have serious cases and were involved
in some major attacks including in the attacks on Intercontinental Hotel and
the NDS Hospital in Kabul.
Taliban delegation arrived in Kabul late last month to negotiate the release of
5,000 prisoners which was included in the peace deal between the United States
militants suffer heavy casualties as Afghan forces repulse attack in Helmand
Afghan Special Forces inflicted heavy casualties on Taliban militants by
repulsing an attack in southern Helmand province.
Special Operations Corps in a statement the Taliban militants were looking to
carry out an attack against the Strike Force of the Special Operations Corps in
statement further added that the Special Forces repulsed the attack and killed
15 militants during the operation.
Special Forces also arrested one of the key commanders of the group during the
raid, the Special Operations Corps said, adding that some weapons and munitions
of the Taliban were also confiscated.
stopped EU “imposing foreign culture of Islam on us”, says Polish minister
following ECJ ruling
Polish justice minister has hit out at the EU after the European Court of
Justice last week ruled that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic had
breached their obligations under European law by refusing to take in refugees.
EU institutions are completely detached from reality,” said Zbigniew Ziobro on
Sunday. “Poland was right not to accept refugees. We defended our sovereignty
against the foreign culture of Islam that they wanted to impose on us.”
speaking to state broadcaster TVP, described the ECJ’s decision as an “absurd
ruling” that has a “political character”. He argued that the European treaties
did not oblige member states to accept the quotas of refugees.
Wednesday’s ECJ ruling related to a programme set up by the EU at the height of
the migration crisis in 2015. The system – agreed on by member states,
including Poland, which was then under a different government – created
mandatory quotas of refugees to be relocated to each country in order to
relieve pressure on Italy and Greece.
the scheme, Poland was allocated 7,082 refugees (all from Syria, Iraq and
Eritrea), the Czech Republic 2,691 and Hungary 1,294. All of the candidates for
relocation were to be vetted by EU officials and then by member states
themselves, who would receive €6,000 for each person they accepted.
the new conservative government elected in Poland in October 2015, and which
remains in power, subsequently refused to accept a single refugee from the
quota. Hungary likewise took in none, while the Czech Republic admitted only
the European Commission launched legal proceedings against the three countries.
These reached their conclusion last week, when the ECJ ruled that the “member
states had failed to fulfil their obligations under European Union law”.
court rejected Poland and Hungary’s argument that they could reject their
quotas on the grounds of safeguarding internal security. Such a justification
could only be legitimately applied by providing “specific evidence that…[a
certain refugee] represents an actual or potential danger”, wrote the ECJ,
rather than simply claiming preemptively that accepting any of the refugees
would be a threat.
response to the ruling, Poland’s government accused the EU of “unequal
treatment” of eastern member states. Spokesman Piotr Müller, speaking to PAP,
noted that “relocation decisions were not fully enforced by most member states,
but the Commission lodged complaints against only three”.
Czarnecki, a senior MEP from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, agreed
that the ruling “shows a deep division in the EU”. He also criticised the EU
for focusing on this issue in the midst of a “pandemic situation when thousands
of people are dying every day”, reported TVP Info.
fact, the Commission submitted the case against Poland, Hungary and the Czech
Republic in December 2017. Last week simply marked the final ruling being
issued by the ECJ.
the main evening news on state broadcaster TVP, which is a mouthpiece for the
government and has often stirred fears over refugees, declared in a headline
that the ECJ had decided that “ideology is more important than the safety…of
inhabitants of the community”.
report falsely suggested that the ruling now obliges Poland to accept refugees,
whereas in fact it does not. The relocation scheme ended in 2017, having only
relocated around 20% of the refugees it intended to. Many senior EU figures
have subsequently criticised the scheme, including former European Council
president Donald Tusk.
naive approach of total humanitarianism” has allowed leaders in places such as
Poland and Hungary to “brutally exploit the situation for their own political
purposes”, Tusk said in November. “Leaders’ primary responsibility to citizens
is to give them a sense of security.”
opposition have, however, remained quiet about the latest ECJ ruling. When
questioned by TVP, Dariusz Joński of the centrist Civic Coalition (KO) claimed
that he “hadn’t looked at the ruling” because he was too busy dealing with the
fallout of the coronavirus epidemic.
Platform, the main party within KO, led the government that initially agreed to
the relocation scheme in 2015. It has subsequently struggled to formulate a
coherent response to the public and political backlash against the decision,
often oscillating between different positions.
was recently exemplified by the party’s presidential candidate, Małgorzata
Kidawa-Błońska, who last month called on the government to “secure the borders”
and “stop migrants”. Yet two days earlier she had described migration as a
“non-existent problem” that was “created” by PiS to “spook us”.
closures affect Muslims more than most'
little over two weeks ago, the government announced that schools should close
to all, except for children who are vulnerable and those whose parents are key
workers “critical to the Covid-19 response”. It was the right decision, bearing
in mind the potential for schools to become hotbeds of Covid-19 transmission.
it is also important to consider the disproportionate impact this decision will
have on black and minority ethnic families, and Muslims in particular.
children are more likely to live in extended family structures, with their
grandparents and other elderly relatives. These children are now more likely to
be in sustained close proximity with these elderly relatives, who are at
greatest risk of experiencing fatal symptoms due to Covid-19.
have already seen the heightened risk facing the Muslim community in
particular, with the suggestion that up to a third of Covid-19 deaths so far
have been from within the Muslim community. No doubt, this is in large part
influenced by the tightly knit family structures that tend to dominate in the
BAME groups that predominantly constitute the Muslim community.
has to wonder about the impact of these death rates on the children themselves.
With the month of Ramadan approaching, Muslim families will have been preparing
for a time of greater community spirit, with adults and children gathering in
the evenings in mosques to share food and prayer; enjoying the solidarity of
fasting and eating together. Instead, they will have to contend with greater
isolation at home, and potentially seeing their loved ones dying.
to restrictions on funeral rites, in place to prevent transmission of the
virus, saying goodbye to loved ones will be bereft of the usual closure provided
by the elaborate Islamic burial rituals. I fear that this will be fertile
ground for mental health issues to take root. Given that mental health
awareness is still a work in progress in some BAME communities, this is of
government’s latest lockdown measures are unquestionably the right decision,
given their effectiveness in slowing the spread of the disease. Nonetheless,
they will entail greater disruption for BAME children and families. For many
BAME parents, extracurricular faith and community schools can also provide an
important social, cultural and moral education for their children.
evening and weekend schools closing, although the right move, will increase
burdens on parents and potentially bring more vulnerable elderly relatives into
childcare roles. Not to mention that these schools form an important part of
the routines of many children, giving them the opportunity to build their
confidence and feel a part of community life. Losing this will be a further
blow, again with potential implications for their mental health.
will also play a role in exacerbating these issues. With some exceptions, BAME
children are more likely to be eligible for free school meals. Many of these
children are in effect dependent on their schools to receive adequate
nutrition. A closure of schools will put BAME households under greater pressure
to ensure that their children are well fed. These households are less likely to
own a house or have any savings, and more likely to use food banks. This makes
them extra vulnerable to shocks to their income, or increased pressure on food
banks and other public services that they are reliant on. I was pleased,
therefore, to see education secretary Gavin Williamson’s guarantee that
children eligible for free school meals will continue to be provided for while
their schools are closed – and into the Easter holidays. This will prevent many
children from going hungry in the coming weeks and months.
government has demonstrated a laudable awareness of how measures taken in
response to the Covid-19 threat will impact the most vulnerable. During these
challenging times, we must also ensure that we remain sensitive to the needs of
the most vulnerable children, many of whom come from BAME backgrounds.
is changing how American Muslims hold funerals
at funerals is considered a collective obligation (fard qifayah) that must be
carried out by a sufficient number of people.
faithful are expected to head to mosques to perform funeral prayers (salat-ul
janazah) and to the deceased person's home to offer their condolences ('Azza).
as the coronavirus claims more lives every day, leading Muslim scholars and
imams in the United States have issued new guidance on how to deliver funeral
rites for those who have succumbed to the disease.
the suburbs of northern Virginia, Daoud Nassimi - a volunteer imam who has been
approaching families to better explain how funerals should proceed during the
pandemic - said he saw both "patience and pain" on the faces of a
family who had someone pass away recently, due to the restrictions placed on
when a person passes away, they are washed with water - a ritual called ghusl -
and then a communal prayer is performed before they are buried.
those that have died from the disease, officially known as Covid-19, their
bodies are not allowed to be washed with water out of fear that it will spread
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the body of someone
who has died from the coronavirus should not be touched, due to concerns the
illness could spread.
type of cleaning and interaction with the body has to be done using the proper
personal protective equipment (PPE), the federal agency advised.
some states and areas in the country have stopped performing the ritual bath,
Muslims have turned to another Islamic method, tayammum, which consists of
cleaning the dead body with either sand or dust.
changed our procedures from washing [the body] to tayammum," said Nasir
Saleh, who runs Alfirdaus Janazah Services, a Muslim funeral and burial
service, in Lorton, Virginia.
council has advised the community to follow all routine procedures in burying
the dead, but if they encounter problems due to local government restrictions,
they can perform alternatives.
default [position] is that the deceased should still be given full ghusl if PPE
procedures are followed," said Yasir Qadhi, the Dean of Academic Affairs
at the Al-Maghrib Institute in Texas and a member of the council.
case even this cannot be done and there is a genuine danger or reasonable doubt
regarding harming the health of those around the corpse, tayammum can be done,
in which case the one in charge of the corpse may, even while wearing gloves,
wipe the face and hands of the deceased after touching some sandy
US federal government has also advised that any public gatherings not exceed 10
people, which has forced many Muslim Americans to scale back funeral services.
staff at the cemetery were not even allowing more than four people to be at the
grave while the body was being buried," Nassimi told Middle East Eye.
funerals and janazah processes in non-Muslim countries such as the US, there
were already some limitations - but now there are far more."
has given us quite a bit of flexibility, and understanding that flexibility and
following that flexibility makes it all much easier'
who is also an associate professor of Islam and world religions at Northern
Virginia Community College, said that while the restrictions caused distress
for family members, Islamic law (shariah) is flexibile and has rules governing
situations such as plagues and pandemics.
to the four main schools of Sunni Islam, the funeral prayer, salat-ul janazah,
doesn't require a fixed number of people in attendance and can be performed at
any location. It can even be performed at the burial site.
Fiqh Council of North America has also permitted funerals to be broadcast
online, allowing those who are not able to attend to view it, as well as
allowing for prayers in absentia to be carried out if the deceased is in another
was trying to explain to the people [at a recent funeral] that it's okay if we
pray the janazah while people are not standing next to each other. It's okay if
we do the burial while most people stand at a distance," Nassimi said,
referring to a principle in Islam that Muslims should pray in straight lines
and stand shoulder-to-shoulder.
UK recently issued an amendment to its coronavirus bill which would allowed for
mandatory cremations should death continue to spike from the disease.
all know with our ability to cope with a large influx of deaths, especially for
Muslims with the amount process that are required and the sacredness of the
body, that this is a major area of concern," he said in a video.
CDC in the US has said that individuals who have passed away, including those
from Covid-19, can be either cremated or buried according to the family's
hope that the government also cooperates and makes an exception for religious
communities, like Muslims, to allow them to do it their way," he said.
now, the faith community is adapting to the changes, and while they are causing
difficulties, the key is making sure everyone understands the situation,
has given us quite a bit of flexibility, and understanding that flexibility and
following that flexibility makes it all much easier."
people understand, then they follow. And I don't see any resistance or anyone
having any issues with it."
and Ramadan: How the Muslim month of fasting will differ this year
the spread of Covid-19 impacting millions of people worldwide, the holy month
of Ramadan, which is scheduled to begin on or around Thursday 23 April, may
look very different this year.
Muslims around the world, Ramadan is one of the most revered months of the
year. It is believed that during this ninth month of the Islamic calendar, God
revealed the first verses of the Quran, the holy book, to the Prophet Muhammad.
of the world's estimated 1.6 billion Muslims will fast every day, abstaining from
food and drink from sunrise to sunset as an act of worship. Islam follows the
lunar calendar, which means the dates of Ramadan change every year. Muslims
believe that through fasting, they are able to strengthen their relationship
with God, practise willpower and empathise with the less fortunate.
day of the month, practising Muslims will also try to reconnect with their
faith through acts of worship, such as praying, reading the Quran and
charitable giving, as well as rekindling relationships with friends and family.
breaking of the fast, or iftar, at sunset is usually a communal affair for
Muslims in Ramadan, with people gathering either at home or in large public
spaces to eat together.
hours of fasting depend on sunrise and sunset, which affects its length from
place to place: this year, for example, the fast will last longer in London
than in Sydney. Only those who are physically able are expected to fast,
meaning Muslims who are unwell may be exempt.
observing fasts will often stay up late to maximise hours when eating and
drinking is permitted. It is traditional to wake up for suhoor, a pre-dawn
meal, which serves as an alternative to the breakfast which would otherwise be
believed that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad on one of the last
10 nights of Ramadan, known as the "Night of Power". Some Muslims
choose to live and sleep in a mosque during these final days, to focus entirely
on increasing their religious knowledge.
observing Ramadan use the weeks in the run-up to ensure their kitchens are
stocked with ingredients for traditional meals.
the Middle East and elsewhere it is high season for shopping as stores stock
traditional treats and themed decorations. Streets are laced with festive lanterns
and colourful lights, while residents decorate their homes with ornaments, some
shaped as crescents and stars, to mark the start of the month.
year, curfews and lockdowns imposed in some countries, as well as reduced
opening hours, mean that many Muslims will struggle to prepare as usual for the
month ahead: in Egypt, for example, the government has imposed a curfew from
7pm to 6am.
shops have seen food shortages as shelves have been cleared of essentials. Some
store owners have also rationed the number of products each customer can
purchase, making shopping for larger families difficult.
will also be impacted by the change - many have experienced lowered profits as
a result of orders to self-isolate at home, and some have had to close
indefinitely. New measures to deal with the pandemic include reducing staffing
levels and limiting stock, as businesses struggle to source supplies from
businesses and market sellers are likely to be some of the hardest hit by the
pandemic as Ramadan is typically a key period for bakeries, restaurants and
craft sellers. During the holy month, menus include seasonal treats, while
markets sell produce unique to the month, including nuts and dates.
during Ramadan is obligatory. Exemptions are made for children, women who are
pregnant, menstruating, nursing and people who are ill or travelling. Those who
are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms may not have to fast during Ramadan, if they
are not physically able.
Ramadan day usually begins in many communities before the break of dawn. In
narrow alleyways across the Middle East during Ramadan, a beating drum can
sometimes be heard during the early hours. This is the musaharati, who wakes up
residents in time for the pre-dawn suhoor and wishes residents a blessed month.
In some close-knit neighbourhoods, the musaharati even call children by their
individual names. This year the sound of the musaharati may be silenced as they
abide by lockdown regulations.
the coronavirus pandemic has forced thousands of schools to shut and millions
of people to work from home. This could bring some relief to some of those who
are fasting: the hours usually spent travelling to and from work can instead be
used to be catch up on sleep lost during the late nights.
- literally translated as "breaking the fast" - is a highly
anticipated meal often shared with extended family, and friends.
spread of Covid-19 will likely stop larger families and groups from gathering,
as governments worldwide urge people to physically distance from one another.
It may also prevent those living in smaller households, who are often invited
to join a larger gathering, from doing so.
charitable organisations or individuals erect large tents where Muslims can
gather and break the fast: these are open to all, allowing the less fortunate
to also share a meal. It is not known what will happen to these.
likely to be affected are the pre-dawn suhoors, which some Middle East
organisations use to replace office socials or press events that would
otherwise take place during the day.
get around the social distancing restrictions, some organisations and mosques
have set up online webinars and video conferences. One such example is the UK's
Ramadan Tent Project, which usually hosts an outdoor open iftar every Ramadan:
this year it will host online webinars to address spiritual questions and
offers advice on how to benefit from the holy month.
evening during Ramadan, extended prayers, called tarawih, take place in mosques
around the world. These communal acts of worship are held in the belief that
there is greater reward for prayers made in congregation.
fill with worshippers during this time: the more popular venues are filled to
overflowing, with the faithful following
prayers from the courtyard and surrounding streets.
this year, many mosques in the Middle East, such as the Masjid An Nabawi in
Saudi Arabia, have already closed their doors to curb the spread of the virus.
the UK, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has issued a statement saying there
should be an immediate suspension of prayer services if the outbreak continues
at the projected rate. In the US, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society said all
five daily congregational prayers would be cancelled at its 10 mosques amid the
threat of the virus.
months before and during Ramadan are some of the busiest for travel to the holy
city of Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, in Saudi Arabia. It
attracts millions of Muslim from around the world, who often save for years to
complete Umrah, an optional pilgrimage, that allows them to reconnect with
their faith, seek forgiveness and pray for their needs.
pilgrims need to provide proof of a meningitis vaccination when entering the
kingdom - but the spread of coronavrius has increased the number of measures.
have been temporarily banned from visiting the holy sites in Mecca and Medina,
where the mosques were seen empty for the first time in centuries (AFP)
February, Saudi Arabia temporarily suspended travel to the country’s holiest
sites amid fears it would encourage spread of the coronavirus, leaving travel
agents to scramble around and rearrange bookings. Many pilgrims have simply
cancelled their trips.
Muslims gather regularly to further knowledge of their faith in a study circle
known as a halaqah. The practice goes back to the time of the Prophet, when a
tradition of shared knowledge allowed Muslims to learn and ask questions.
increase in frequency during Ramadan. Discussions are tailored to fit the
demographic of the attendees. Prayers and supplications also usually take place
in congregation during the meetings.
mosques will offer online alternatives, such as video conference platforms or
live streaming, as a substitute for the centuries-old tradition.
to the month of Ramadan are acts of charity and helping those who are less
fortunate. Muslims believe this is key to their faith and that there are
increased blessings for acts of kindness during the month.
volunteers gather donations to pack Ramadan food bags for the less fortunate.
This year, shortages of essential food items such as rice, pasta and lentils,
as well as restrictions on movement, mean that households with little or no
income will likely suffer. In certain countries hit by economic crises, such as
Egypt, Ramadan is often the only time of year that some families get to eat
meat if, for example, pieces of chicken are mixed in with the rice.
number of viewers can skyrocket, as followers find distraction while waiting to
break their fast. Gripping daily dramas, with big-name casts, are specially produced
for broadcast during the month, anticipating a large global audience.
Ramadan TV has a short lead-in time, with around 70 percent of all TV series
not finished shooting at the time of publication, according to an industry
insider, who said that many series continue to film during the festival itself.
in MENA also host huge iftars, followed by entertainment, while concerts and
festivals are likewise key features of the month. Expect these also to be hit.
congregational prayers, held on the first morning of Eid, bring communities
together to meet, pray and eat during daylight for the first time in a month.
much of the Middle East, Eid is a national holiday, a time for food and
festivities, when children wear new clothes, receive money or presents and eat
sweets. Families typically organise days out, filled with activities for
children and social gatherings for adults.
due to the coronavirus pandemic, Eid is likely to be affected more than Ramadan
this year. While the basic Ramadan traditions can be observed at home,
including congregational prayers via streaming, Eid is typically when Muslims
go out to celebrate, visit family and friends and return to normal daily life.
how religious authorities and governments are likely to ban large gatherings,
in keeping with lockdown measures, expect Eid to be more muted and reflective
car dealership discriminated against the disabled, women, Muslims: suit
employees of a New Jersey car dealership claim their bosses were appallingly
prejudiced — mocking a mentally challenged man, sexually harassing female
workers and taunting a Muslim salesman, according to a lawsuit.
Manager Solomon Faizi of 23 Auto Mall in Butler, N. J. constantly talked about
sex at work, referred to female employees and customers as “whores” and “c—s”
and referred to ex-sales rep Jannelly Peralta’s butt as “fat,” a lawsuit filed
in Passaic County last week alleges.
says in the suit that Faizi was “a perverted and abusive boss,” who constantly
probed her about her sex life and dished to her about his own.
in December, she was on a ladder setting
up a Christmas tree and Faizi allegedly told her customers left the Ford
dealership because her “big ass was a distraction,” the court papers allege.
also allegedly made fun of a mentally disabled man, they knew as Mark, who
frequently came into the dealership just because he liked cars, the suit
and another colleague would ask Mark vulgar and sexully explicit questions
about a sex doll they referred to as that “white b—h,” the court documents
McKeown, the used car manager at 23 Auto Mall, gave Mark money just to get him
to leave the store, the court filings claim.
time, Faizi allegedly told Peralta as she was leaving work that Mark might use
his “retard strength” to “try something” with Peralta, the court papers say.
my wife made the most delicious pork roast last night mmmmmmmmm! I have two
pork sandwiches for lunch today, want one?” the suit alleges McKeown said to
also asked Rimawi to defend Islamic terrorists asking why they “are the only
people on earth who ‘commit terrorism,’” the suit alleges.
complained “on a daily basis about ‘f—ing immigrants’ and African Americans,
knowing full well that Ms. Peralta is a dark-skinned immigrant to the United
States from the Dominican Republic,” the lawsuit alleges.
another female worker also endured sexual harassment when there was a ”vicious”
rumor spreading around the company that she was a stripper on the side. The
President of 23 Auto Mall allegedly offered a $500 bonus to the salesman who
discovered where she danced, the court papers claim.
suit also alleges the company was scamming customers into buying $2,500
pre-owned vehicle certifications for cars that already had the certifications
through Ford. The company also allegedly cheated workers out of their
commissions, according to the lawsuit.
was laid off when her department was closed in February and Rimawi was forced
to quit January 2019 after he was retaliated against for complaining to Human
Resources about his treatment and for blowing the whistle about the alleged
pre-certification and commission scams, the court papers say.
Peralta and Rimawi bring this lawsuit … to assert their individual and
collective right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment, racial
type of conduct alleged in the complaint has no place in a civilized society,”
Peralta and Rimawi’s lawyer Christian McOmber said. “The unlawful and
discriminatory conduct undertaken by Route 23 Auto Mall against our clients
needs to be exposed.”
Army contains attack with high casualties
April 6 (Prensa Latina) Mali's Army contained this Monday the attempt of
unknown attackers of controlling its base on Bamba locality (north) despite
suffering high casualties, hours later an anti-Islamist offensive in Chad lake.
group of men carrying weapons of medium caliber attacked the base while
soldiers were complying with the Muslim prayer of Fajr (Dawn), the first of the
five prayers comprising the Islam's precepts for their believers, according to
unofficial reports spread by media, which have not been denied either.
Mali, several extreme Islamist groups operate, including the Group to Support
Islam and Muslims, a subgroup of Al Qaeda; the Islamic State in the Great Sahara
and the Islamic State of Western Africa (ISWA), both branches of Iraq's Islamic
State and the ISIS, the most popular worldwide.
attack can be a response to the reinforced offensive of Chad's, Nigeria's and
Niger's armies whose command assured hours ago to have unsettle from their
bases in the inlands of Chad lake to members of Nigeria's Islamist group Boko
Haram, loyal to the ISIS since 2015.
Haram is an armed entity, which has its general barracks in the northeast of
Nigeria, whose central government is the main nightmare operating in Cameron,
Niger and Chad.
the islands of Chad lake, there are not members of Boko Haram, I checked it in
during a visit to the Kaiga-Kindjiria zone; I applaud defense and security
forces that cleaned the insular area, stated the president and commander in
chief of the armed forces to local press.
added that occupied areas by Islamists are controlled by security forces and
remnants who managed to escape returned to their bases in Cameron, Niger and
Nigeria, and are still persecuted by the military who pursue the search and
capture in the interior of those countries.
bemoans closure of OPDs for non-corona patients
Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Monday bemoaned the government’s
decision to shut down health facilities for people suffering from ailments
other than Covid-19 by closing out-patient departments (OPDs) in all hospitals
across the country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
suffering from other ailments have been left at the mercy of God,” the chief
justice regretted. “What kind of medical emergency is this where even people suffering
from diabetes or those having a heart condition can go neither to
government-run hospitals nor to private clinics,” Justice Gulzar observed.
made these remarks during the hearing of a petition challenging the exercise of
suo motu powers by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) through its March 20 order to
grant bail to under-trial prisoners (UTPs) in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Advocate General Shan Gul dropped a bombshell before the Supreme Court when he
disclosed that 50 inmates at the Lahore Camp Jail had tested positive for
inmate of the same jail had tested positive earlier. That person came in
contact with 494 other prisoners, who were subjected to the coronavirus test.
Fifty of the tests turned out to be positive, he said, adding that now the
Lahore camp jail had been declared a dedicated quarantine centre for prisoners.
But most of the OPDs in Punjab were functioning now, the advocate general said.
federal minister for human rights, Shireen Mazari, came forward to support what
Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan had proposed to the apex court on the
release of UTPs on bail.
is waiting for handouts and distributing rations, but has no idea about any
stocks or inventories at a time when local manufacturing of essential equipment
should have started,” the chief justice regretted
have received a letter from the government asking us to close the dispensary at
the Supreme Court. What is the rationale behind the idea?”
court, however, asked the federal government to take preventive measures on the
border crossing points at Taftan, Chaman and Torkham.
the same time the chief justice asked the AGP to suggest to that the government
use parliament at this crucial juncture and develop consensus on the
public representatives are afraid to turn to parliament at this time when many
countries in the world have not only come out with new laws and rules to cope
with changed circumstances, but also had enforced the same, the chief justice
AGP however highlighted the need for striking a balance, conceding that
essential services like OPDs should not be closed at all. He assured that
hospitals would be opened.
chief justice also pointed to the strange environment being created where
people were trying to instill fear through doomsday-like predictions. “People
will die after hearing such frightening remarks.”
of looking towards other countries, local manufacture of essential items like
ventilators should have started in the country “since no one will come to help
us if the situation deteriorates”, Justice Gulzar said.
the chief justice emphasized the need for local manufacturing of equipment, the
AGP invited the court’s attention to the development of ventilator by NUST.
Advocate General Salman Talibuddin told the court that the Sindh High Court’s
registrar had conveyed directives for the release of 519 prisoners verbally.
chief justice observed that the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on health,
Dr Zafar Mirza, was only projecting himself.
Umar Ata Bandial emphasised the need for “balancing the scales”, saying one
should try to imagine the reaction of victims’ families if their tormentors
court was informed that not a single accused facing allegations of corruption
by NAB had been released as a consequence of the March 20 IHC judgement.
Parliamentary Secretary for Law, Barrister Maleeka Ali Bokhari, in her synopsis
suggested that the prime minister be requested to advise the President to
exercise powers under Article 45 of the Constitution to suspend the sentence of
convicts in a “structured manner”.
directs authorities to improve internet connectivity for students
President Dr Arif Alvi has directed the concerned authorities to take measures
to improve internet connectivity for students while discussing online
university classes held in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
universities are offering online classes, but a large number of students are
facing internet connectivity issues or lack laptop computers and other such
facilities, sources said.
are a number of students in the country who have no computer, laptop or Android
mobile phone, what to talk about internet connectivity issues,” a teacher at
the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) said.
added that universities should have made sure students had the necessary
facilities before they began offering online classes.
have raised concerns regarding the situation on social media, even demanding
the suspension of the ongoing semester.
to a press release issued by the presidency, Dr Alvi chaired a meeting to
discuss bandwidth issues in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic on Monday. He
was briefed on issues facing internet users, particularly students, due to the
pressure on the existing internet infrastructure since people have begun working
from home and students studying online.
statement said that in order to facilitate students and improve internet
accessibility, Dr Alvi has directed the relevant quarters to take necessary
measures to enhance internet connectivity so that the students could continue
their education uninterrupted. He also directed to improve internet coverage in
areas that currently lack internet facilities.
for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood, Special
Assistant to Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus, Information
Technology and Telecommunications Secretary Shoaib Siddiqui, Pakistan
Telecommunication Authority Chairman retired Maj Gen Amir Azeem and Ministry of
Finance Additonal Secretary Ahmed Mujtaba Memon attended the meeting.
Education Commission spokesperson Ayesha Ikram said that the commission has
been providing universities support and guidance on online classes. She said
universities have been asked to address connectivity and accessibility issues.
question, she said that students who do not have facilities such as laptop
computers through which to attend online classes would likely be provided
coursework on flash drives or CDs.
online classes, that too only in those universities which showed willingness,
we are taking steps to mitigate the educational loss of students,” she said,
adding that complaints regarding online classes led the HEC to ask for detailed
information on courses in order to inspect the quality of their content,
delivery and connectivity.
order to avoid system problems from a single ‘big bang launch’, the HEC has
allowed digitally advanced universities to start offering online courses as
soon as they are ready. However, clear instructions have been given that the
quality of education should not suffer at any cost. In case a university needs
time to establish their learning management system, they will have until May 31
to do so.
test suggests deceased Hyderabad patient was wrongly declared Covid-19 positive
The second laboratory test report of a resident of Hussainabad — who died on
April 3 as coronavirus patient — from a known private laboratory turned out to
be negative for the virus. It perhaps points to defective sample technique of
technicians in the hospital or where they are collected.
54-year-old patient was brought to the Liaquat University Hospital (LUH)
emergency ward and then shifted to intensive care unit (ICU). Before being
diagnosed with coronavirus, his sample was collected in the LUH’s general ICU
by a woman doctor from the medicine department.
sources said the man was paralysed and suffering from multiple ailments. He was
shifted to the LUH from a private hospital where he had been under treatment of
a neuro-physician for about one year after paralysis, they added.
his sample — analysed in the diagnostic and research laboratory (DRL) of
Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) — confirmed him to be
infected with coronavirus, he was shifted to LUH’s isolation ward immediately.
female doctor who had examined him almost fainted for fear of being infected.
She was very much depressed and frightened. Other doctors had started thinking
to leave their duties in the ICU forthwith,” said a doctor from the university.
After his shifting to the isolation ward, he died there on April 3 evening.
“But before that another sample of same patient was obtained by the same
technician for a laboratory test that was sent to a famous private laboratory,”
said a hospital source.
the fear prevalent in the hospital, everyone, including paramedics and doctors,
were genuinely worried about their safety while performing their duties in
isolation or other related wards in the absence of personal protective
second test report received the next day turned out to be negative and it was
shared by his traumatised family members on social media and with reporters.
is willing to give an official view about the two different reports — positive
and negative — of the same patient. His family’s grievance was that they were
denied a decent burial for their loved one by the administration and police.
Even the SHO of the Hussainabad police station was suspended by the SSP of
Hyderabad for his failure to control over a dozen people who gathered in the
fact it is great injustice if the patient was not a Covid-19 victim and his
family was denied a decent burial,” said an official. He said the body was
perhaps handed over to police and some lower level administration officials who
managed the funeral.
to victim’s cousin, Irfan Baig, the patient who was hypertensive and diabetic
had indeed developed high fever. “We have not been able to get hard copy of the
two reports but obtained their soft copies through social media. The test
reports of deceased’s wife, a son, three daughters and another relative turned
out to be negative,” he said and added that they would approach the LUH
administration over the two reports and discuss the case in detail. “Only a few
male members were present in the graveyard, but his wife, daughters couldn’t
see him. We are not sure whether he was given ghusl or not,” said Irfan.
hospital Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Mazhar Kalhoro, to a question, only
mentioned that “Yes, there are two different reports of the patient whose
sample was obtained by the same technician.” He said that doctors were indeed
frightened of performing in the LUH isolation ward because everyone knew that
they were “front-line soldiers in the ongoing battle against coronavirus”. He,
however, did not explain reasons as to how two different reports were generated
from two different laboratories if the same collection was not defective.
university and hospital doctors shared their views in a background conversation
on Monday. “The patient had all strong symptoms like high-grade fever,
shortness of breath and cough. His own doctor had recommended him to the LUH as
a highly suspected patient of coronavirus,” said a doctor.
LUMHS official claimed that there was no logic to go for the second test in
less than 24 hours of the first test when the patient with multiple ailments
and strong symptoms of coronavirus was already admitted in the isolation ward.
“Even if the second report was necessary, it should have been done after five
days for a repeat check as per protocol,” he said. “Different studies showed
even if PCR is negative and patient is highly suspected case of Covid-19
disease, it doesn’t exclude the disease,” he added. As per studies, he said, CT
scan was superior than other tests.
laboratory official mentioned that there was strong possibility of obtaining
the sample with a flawed technique. “And this defective sample probably was the
result of fear,” he said and pointed out that a correct sample with swab was to
be obtained from posterior nasopharyngeal wall of the patient through viral
transport medium (VTM). “If this sample is not proper, it means it is collected
from the initial part of the nostrils; it is quite likely that result may
strongly vary,” he added.
to this report, the result of the MS of Kohsar Hospital Latifabad had also
varied as DRL’s report detected the virus while in a private laboratory it
remained undetected. But the test of the same sample of swab was repeated and
both reports remained same — negative.
urged to act against those behind sugar, wheat crises
The opposition has asked the National Accountability Bureau to act against
those members of the ruling elite who created recent sugar and wheat shortage
in the country by exporting these two commodities which led to massive increase
in prices of these commodities. It has also criticised FIA reports which are
silent on critical aspects of the entire racket.
at a press conference here on Monday, PML-N vice president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
questioned as to how and why the export of sugar was allowed when the
production was just around the estimated domestic consumption. He said that the
ministries of national food security and industries and production had opposed
the idea of allowing exports of sugar in 2018, but the permission for export of
one million tonne of sugar was given in October 2018.
said this export permission formed 20 per cent of the domestic requirement of
the commodity in the country. He said that export of another one million tonne
of sugar was allowed in December 2019 at a time when the man-made shortage of
the commodity had already started financially hitting the masses across the
country because of the massive price increase.
said the Punjab government also started giving subsidy of Rs5.5 per kilogramme
and inland freight of Rs1 per kilogramme. He said the two sugar mills owned by
those having the role in policy-making had been given Rs3 billion in the
asks why sugar export was allowed when output was just enough to meet domestic
report is silent on the reason for this,” the PML-N leader said and asked
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar what was he doing.
Abbasi, however, said that the amount paid in the subsidy was only a small
fraction of the fast buck made under the game plan, which came to around Rs100
billion. He said that exports of sugar and wheat had been allowed under a
scheme meant to escalate prices of these commodities in the country so as to
benefit mill owners and the middlemen of the two commodities.
said the calculation based on a mere Rs15 per kilogramme increase meant that
the two groups earned Rs20 and Rs15 billion in excess of the routine profit
through the manipulative change in the government’s policy.
PML-N leader said that the approval for permission of export of sugar had been
given by the ECC and the federal cabinet, headed by the finance minister and
the prime minister, respectively.
prime minister himself is the head of the mafia. He will have to accept the
responsibility,” the PML-N leader said, adding that those responsible should be
handed over to NAB for their trial in the court of law.
said that reports on sugar and wheat crisis were meant to save actual thieves
and the commission formed for a probe would also be headed by author of the
Abbasi said the report on sugar had tried to create an impression that Mr Nawaz
Sharif and Mr Shahbaz Sharif were among beneficiaries of the subsidy which was
said that Sharif brothers owned three sugar mills, one of which, the Chaudhry
Sugar Mill, had remained closed for the last three years while the other two
mills, the Ramzan Sugar Mills and Al-Arabia Sugar Mill, had received no subsidy
during the present government’s term.
said the PML-N government had also allowed export of sugar and given subsidy
during its tenure, but under entirely different circumstances. He said the
production of the sugar during the PML-N tenure was 2.1 million tonnes and 1.6
million tonnes of sugar was in excess of the domestic requirement in 2016-17
and 2017-18, respectively.
PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani has said that the Sugar Inquiry Report has exposed
vested interests of the country’s ruling elite.
report has exposed that for economic gains and to further their vested
interests, the ruling elite of the country has the common agenda and the report
has exposed the class-oriented politics in the country,” Mr Rabbani said in a
said that in the light of the report, the government must act against the
cartel and the stranglehold of the vested interests and the ruling elite on the
rights and economy of the country must be broken.
government must ask its ministers concerned and the chief minister involved in
the scam to resign and NAB should start investigations against those members of
the ruling party that benefited from the racket.
wants PPE given to health professionals
With a sharp spike in cases of novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours,
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday directed that personal protective equipment
(PPE) be provided to health professionals as they are frontline soldiers in the
fight against the deadly virus.
also directed the authorities concerned to ensure that the lower class get
benefit of the recently announced major tax relief for the construction sector
which has been given the status of industry.
prime minister issued the directives while presiding over a meeting on the
Covid-19 situation. It was attended by federal ministers Asad Umar, Khusro
Bakhtiar and Hammad Azhar, PM’s special assistants Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Dr
Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Dr Zafar Mirza and Dr Moeed Yusuf and National Disaster
Management Authority (NDMA) chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal.
Mirza and Lt Gen Afzal informed the meeting that there were 3,300 ventilators
in 137 hospitals across the country and a direct link had been established with
hospitals to provide personal protective equipment (PPE). Moreover, 49,500
testing kits were provided to the provinces and more kits would be provided in
the next few days.
meeting was informed that sufficient PPE and masks were available in the
country, but efforts were being made to arrange more ventilators.
another meeting, special assistant Usman Dar informed the prime minister that a
decision had been made to bring live update of the Tiger Force into the
knowledge of the public. The meeting was told that people would be able to
check live update at http://crt.covid.gov.pk and over 739,000 persons had got
themselves registered as members of the force.
speaking at a news conference, Dr Zafar Mirza said that as many as 500,000 N95
masks had been provided to the provinces and claimed that the number was more
than their requirements. “As per our estimates there was requirement of 1,162
PPEs in Balochistan, but we provided 5,600 PPEs to the province. However, we
are still getting complaints that the number of PPEs, provided to the
provinces, is not sufficient. Unfortunately, PPEs are being used by those
persons who don’t need them,” he claimed.
PM’s assistant said a guideline would be announced on April 8 for use of PPE,
adding that only health professionals working in isolation wards should wear
N95 masks, while sanitary staff should wear surgical masks even in isolation
irrational use of PPE continues, we will never be able to have ample stock of
the equipment. Moreover, as new ventilators are being imported and manufactured
in Pakistan, a committee of experts has been constituted to look into the
efficacy of ventilators and diagnostic kits,” he said.
Mirza said that 397 Covid-19 cases were reported in Pakistan during the last 24
hours. However, he said the mortality rate in Pakistan was much lower i.e. 1.53
per cent as compared to the global rate of 5.45pc.
briefing a parliamentary committee, the NDMA chairman said that 500 ventilators
would reach Pakistan on April 9 and arrangements were being made to import
2,000 more ventilators. He said 29,000 testing kits had been provided to the
provinces and 137 hospitals across the country were dedicated for the Covid-19
patients. He said that as many as 35,000 tests had been conducted across the
to reports, 3,662 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Pakistan — 1,816 in
Punjab, 932 in Sindh, 405 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 210 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 202
in Balochistan, 82 in Islamabad and 15 in Azad Kashmir. As many as 52 deaths
have been reported and 257 patients recovered.
to remain under lockdown for another eight days until April 14
The capital administration extended the lockdown of the city for another eight
days as the number of Covid-19 patients rose to 82 on Monday.
more cases surfaced in the city. Besides 22 of the 200 people belonging to
various cities, who arrived from Turkey three days ago, also tested positive.
Commissioner Islamabad Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat confirmed to Dawn that the
number of coronavirus cases had increased to 82.
notification issued by the deputy commissioner said Section 144 imposed on
March 24 on public gathering and social distancing has been extended till April
14 with exemptions given from time to time by the district magistrate.
the new cases, the deputy commissioner said they were reported from E-11, G-10
and Tramri. Samples of the patients’ family members were sent for tests and
their results were awaited, he said, adding that the houses of the patients
were sealed and declared quarantine centres for them as well as their families.
the 22 passengers who tested positive, Mr Shafqaat said they were being kept in
quarantines in different hotels of the city.
other people were allowed to go to their respective areas with the direction to
self-isolate themselves at their homes for two weeks, he added.
the capital administration decided to delay the de-sealing of Bhara Kahu and
Shahzad Town on the advice of the health department.
far screening of 80 to 90pc of the residents living in these areas has been
completed and samples of suspected patients, including seven in Bhara Kahu,
have been sent to laboratory for tests,” Mr Shafqaat said, adding that the
health department has advised not to de-seal these areas until it cleared them.
the other hand, branches and outlets of exchange companies licensed by the
State Bank of Pakistan were allowed to continue their operations.
notification issued by the deputy commissioner said: “I notify that
branches/outlets of exchange companies licensed by State Bank of Pakistan are
allowed to continue their operations keeping in view these are essential
financial service providers.”
branches and outlets of the exchange companies and optical shops would strictly
abide by the precautions issued on March 24. They would also ensure measures
required for maintaining social distance by customers and employees.
relatives of 2 patients contract Covid-19 in Gujar Khan
KHAN/RAWALPINDI: Nineteen more relatives of two coronavirus patients tested
positive in Gujar Khan after their test reports were released on Monday, Chief
Executive Officer Health Rawalpindi Dr Sohail Chaudhry said.
new cases were close relatives of two Pakistanis who had returned from the UK
and France. A woman, who had returned to Ferozaal village from France had
tested positive and is still under treatment at a Rawalpindi hospital.
patient was an 86-year-old man who had returned from UK and died in a hospital
in Rawalpindi. He was buried in his native village Parian Thathi union council
Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi Captain retired Anwarul Haq reached Gujar Khan
after confirmation of new cases and visited a quarantine centre. He also
visited Ferozaal village and issued necessary instructions to the relevant
Rawalpindi, the four members of the Tableeghi Jamaat, who had been quarantined,
were shifted to the hospital after they tested positive for coronavirus, Dr
Sohail Chaudhry told Dawn.
said there were 69 confirmed cases till Sunday and now the total number has
increased to 93 with the addition of 24 cases.
Chaudhry said four patients were discharged from Rawalpindi Institute of
Urology after they recovered. At present, there are 236 patients quarantined in
the chief executive officer health regretted that profiteers were not
hesitating to create an artificial shortage of essential items.
pointed out that sanitisers were being sold at higher rates and some local
manufacturers were supplying substandard mixtures in the markets.
Chaudhry also said medical officers were in the dire need of N-95 masks that
were earlier available in the open market for Rs200 but are now being sold at
an exorbitant price of Rs2,000 to Rs3,000.
to regulate philanthropy in Punjab
The Punjab government on Monday extended lockdown in the province for another
seven days from April 7 to 14 (Tuesday) 5pm believing that the number of
coronavirus cases is rapidly increasing that is alarming and highly dangerous
for the health of the people.
another development, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority has decided
to regulate philanthropic activities so that [social distancing] protocol could
not be breached.
lockdown extension order issued by the Punjab additional chief secretary (home)
says it is mandatory to take all pragmatic and possible measures to contain and
counter the further spread of coronavirus on a war footings.
to the updated data of Covid-19 patients, the Punjab home department has
reported 9,059 suspects, 1,422 positive patients, 13 deaths and 31 people
merits mentioning that the Chinese doctors and specialists, who met Usman
Buzdar on Sunday, had called for completing lockdown in the province for 28
days and later gradually and cautiously start lifting restrictions while taking
into account the prevailing conditions.
Punjab province is currently undergoing a 14-day lockdown till Tuesday (today)
9am as an immediate preventive and speedy remedy to ensure public safety.
Punjab government’s order under Section 144 had called for shutting down public
and private offices, stopping public transport and completely banning movement
of people by public transport to save people from the coronavirus spread threat
that could lead to some kind of catastrophe.
government had also imposed a complete ban on gatherings of all kinds for
social, religious or any other purpose at any place, public or private. Though
the government had not announced closure of mosques in the March 23 order, it
realised later that social distancing was not being observed during prayers
particularly Juma prayers and ordered closure of mosques in consultation with
the ulema belonging to all sects. Ban on pillion riding is still operative.
the end of the last month, the Punjab government had also reviewed its decision
and further squeezed all grocery and general stores’ timings from 9am to 5pm
and allowed only milk and yogurt shops to stay open till 8pm.
medical stores, kiryana outlets, fruit and vegetable markets and bakeries are
also open to meet masses’ day-to-day needs.
the Punjab government was compelled to go for 14-day lockdown as the people had
only restricted movement, where banned, but voluntary social distancing was not
observed, the Punjab government had now learnt the social distancing was not
again observed at places, where ration was being distributed by the
number of cases have been reported that people, in need of food, throng the
places where food items were being distributed and just forget social
distancing protocols. The situation was instrumental in increasing the number
of suspected and positive cases of Covid-19 that may have devastating effects
on human lives. The situation warranted taking all possible measures to contain
further spread of coronavirus.
that widespread philanthropic activity in the province violated and compromised
the public health safety and social distancing protocols, Punjab Relief
Commissioner Babar Hayat Tarar has ordered that “any philanthropic activity by
any individual, organisation or any other entity in the province shall be
routed through the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA). This
authority will organise the ration distributing activities under the standards
and protocols set by the Punjab government”.
relief commissioner has also offered an option to the individuals,
organisations or other entities in the province that intend to undertake
philanthropic activity on their own, to submit an application to the deputy
commissioner concerned, who will determine the mode, mechanism, area and extent
of the philanthropic activity with appropriate checks for conformity with the
Punjab government guidelines regarding Covid-19, under intimation to the
Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism