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Islamic World News ( 5 Dec 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Jammu and Kashmir Schools to Withdraw Textbook Carrying 'Blasphemous' Material against Islam

New Age Islam News Bureau

06 December 2021

 

Representative image of school students. Photo: PTI

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• Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan Expanding After Release of Its Leader Saad Hussain Rizvi: Report

• The Taliban Are Losing the Fight against Islamic State Khorasan, or IS-K

• Muslim Rights Concern Declares Supports for the Lagos Walk Of Peace, Warns Religious Leaders

• Syria Turned into ‘Narco-State’ By Assad’s Associates, Relatives: New York Times Report

 

India

• Madrasa Students Look beyond Life as Clerics

• Uttar Pradesh: Anti-Riot Drill Conducted Ahead Of Dec 6 Mosque Threat in Mathura

• Vax Drive: 2,200 Inoculated In 3 Old City Mosques In Hyderabad

• Is Uttarakhand Govt’s ‘Demographic’ Probe of Property Deals a Play on ‘Land Jihad’ Bogey?

• Babri Masjid Action Committee A Defunct Body, 30 Years after Babri Masjid Demolition

• Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan show we are entering a world of plurilateralism: Jaishankar

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Pakistan

• ‘Progressive’ Jamaat-e-Islami has a Sikh Candidate, Hardeet Singh

• Fawad praises opposition for condemning Sialkot incident

• Sialkot lynching: 7 more prime suspects apprehended, taking total arrests to 131

• Lynched Sri Lankan's Nearly All Bones Broken, 99% Body Burnt: Pakistan Report

• Religious scholars to oversee syllabus taught in educational institutions: Shahbaz Gill

• Pakistan, Saudi Arabia sign deals on workers’ recruitment, skills

• 'Murders happen when emotions are high': Minister says govt shouldn't be blamed for Sialkot lynching

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South Asia

• West condemns reprisal killings in Afghanistan, Taliban rejects allegations

• Taliban reject claims of 'summary killings' of ex-security forces

• Islamic countries to meet on Afghanistan crisis on December 19

• Taliban denied killing former Afghan security forces

• Taliban starts issuance of passports in all but three provinces

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Africa

• Fatwa House: Elections with Flawed Laws Will Lead To New Round of Conflict in Libya

• Sudan’s Burhan says military will exit politics after 2023 elections

• Tunisia’s influential union calls for early elections, says democracy under threat

• Bomb blast in restaurant in Somalia kills at least 5

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Arab World

• Omicron Highlights Urgency of Vaccine Equality, Including In Conflict Zones: Red Cross

• ISIS fighters kill five in attack near northern Iraqi village: Sources

• Imam Hussain holy shrine organized Quranic programs in three province of Iraq

• Arab Coalition destroys 14 vehicles, kills more than 115 Houthis

• Saudi-led coalition destroys 4 rebel drones from Yemen

• Hamas hails Kuwaiti ban of ships with Israel-bound goods

• Turkey ‘neutralizes’ 3 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

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Mideast

• Iran: Agreement in Reach if US Abandons Pressure Policy, Europe Shows Determination

• IRGC Seizes Illegal Weapons Shipment in Northwestern Iran

• Pakistan Sends Naval Fleet of Warships to Iran

• Turkish Cypriot leader condemns arson attempt on mosque in Southern Cyprus

• Iran Tests Defence System above Natanz

• Anti-Houthi coalition intercepts 2 rebel drones from Yemen

• Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in occupied West Bank

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Europe

• Macron Announces A Saudi-French Initiative To Solve Crisis With Lebanon: Asharq TV

• French far-right commentator’s campaign rally ends in violence

• Rights groups urge Macron to refuse protection to Syrian war criminal

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North America

• Ilhan Omar: House Minority Leader McCarthy Is A ‘Coward' For Not Condemning 'Anti-Muslim Bigotry’

• Omar confident Pelosi ‘will take care of’ anti-Muslim lawmaker

• Iran abandoned any compromises in latest nuclear talks: US

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Southeast Asia

• Defending Hannah Yeoh, DAP’s Sheikh Umar Tells Critics to Look Past Differences

• Yeoh a great patriot and even greater friend, says Syed Saddiq

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/jammu-kashmir-textbook-blasphemous/d/125909

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Jammu and Kashmir Schools to Withdraw Textbook Carrying 'Blasphemous' Material against Islam

 

Representative image of school students. Photo: PTI

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December 06, 2021

Srinagar, Dec 5: The Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) directed all the schools in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Sunday to withdraw a textbook published by a Delhi-based publication following reports that it carries blasphemous material against Islam. The publishing house, JAY CEE Publications Private Limited, has regretted the "mistake" in the 2020 edition of its textbook titled "History and Civics" for Class 7.

The publisher was condemned over the depiction of the last messenger of Islam in the textbook. In an order, the director, academics, JKBOSE said all the schools of the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, affiliated with the CBSE, the JKBOSE or any other board, are directed not to use the 2020 edition of the textbook.

"If the textbook is being used in any school, it must be withdrawn immediately, otherwise strict action as warranted under the provisions of law shall be initiated," the order said. Condemning the publication of material that has hurt the sentiments of people, the JKBOSE directed the publisher to withdraw the textbook immediately from all the schools where it has been distributed.

The Srinagar district administration has asked the authorities concerned to take stern action against the publisher as well as the distributor of the textbook. In a letter to the Srinagar senior superintendent of police (SSP), Additional District Magistrate, Srinagar, Syed Haneef Balkhi has said the content in the book is "sensitive" in nature and stern action should be taken.

"JAY CEE Publications (P) Ltd, AIMO House, Jhandewalan Extension, New Delhi has published a social studies book for Class 7 wherein content of sensitive nature has reportedly been published and is in circulation. The said book is being stocked and distributed by Paradise Book Shop, Parraypora, Srinagar," the letter read. Meanwhile, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah condemned the pictorial depictions in the textbook relating to Islam, asserting that such "irresponsible" publication has hurt the sentiments of Muslims and also runs counter to the efforts of forging tolerance.

"Such irresponsible publications are hurtful and least helpful in preserving the values of dialogue and coexistence," he said while condemning the caricatures with regards to Islam. The NC chief said it seems that the government has "thrown caution to the wind" while dealing with such a sensitive subject.

"School books should be a beacon of respect, tolerance and peace that rejects practices and acts which are contrary to coexistence. A thorough inquiry should be ordered into the matter and those behind publishing such caricatures insensitive to Muslims should be dealt with as per the rule of the land," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said. He said a committee should ideally be there to review the content of books meant for kids.

"I demand that the book be withdrawn from circulation forthwith followed by punitive action against the publishing house concerned," the NC chief said.

Source: News18

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

https://www.news18.com/news/india/jk-board-asks-schools-to-withdraw-textbook-carrying-blasphemous-material-against-islam-4523234.html

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Tehreek-E-Labbaik Pakistan expanding after release of its leader Saad Hussain Rizvi: Report

 

Saad Hussain Rizvi

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Dec 5, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Formerly banned organization Tehreek-E-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is on a surge after the release of its leader Saad Hussain Rizvi and revoking of its ban by the Imran Khan government.

According to the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), there was a rather secret deal between TLP and the Imran Khan government reached on October 31 to end the latest round of protests. The deal was not made public and on November 7, Khan's cabinet revoked the declaration of the TLP as a banned group.

The TLP benefitted mainly from the divisions between the PML-Nawaz government and the military establishment deep state', IFFRAS said, adding that Pakistan military establishment's effort to prop up different religious groups to deteriorate the PML-Nawaz government permitted the TLP to increase greater political space.

Earlier, Rizvi was released on the eve of his father, Khadim Hussain Rizvi's death anniversary on November 19 who was the founder of TLP.

Further, the TLP capable of mobilizing thousands of supporters, was born in the year 2015 out of a remonstration movement to the Barelvi movement, according to the International Forum for Rights and Security.

TLP has progressed from a movement into a party after Tehreek Rihai Mumtaz Qadr hanging in 2016.

Source: Times of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/tehreek-e-labbaik-pakistan-expanding-after-release-of-its-leader-saad-hussain-rizvi-report/articleshow/88104297.cms

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The Taliban Are Losing the Fight against Islamic State Khorasan, or IS-K

 

(Photo courtesy: The Stategist)

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6 Dec 2021

Oved Lobel

In what is becoming a monthly phenomenon, Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan (Islamic State Khorasan, or IS-K) has topped all of its global provinces in terms of both quantity of operations as well as casualties inflicted, reclaiming its place as the most powerful Islamic State branch. Despite pollyannaish claims by senior Taliban officials to Western media outlets that IS-K ‘is not a serious threat to the Islamic Emirate’ or that, ‘If we get rid of all our economic and administrative problems, ISIS will disappear in 15 days in all of Afghanistan’, the reality of IS-K’s resilience and expansion is becoming ever more apparent.

Deborah Lyon, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, recently told the UN Security Council, ‘Once limited to a few provinces and the capital, [IS-K] now seems to be present in nearly all provinces, and increasingly active’. Indeed, there’s been a marked increase in attacks across the country since 2020. US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl similarly testified to Congress, ‘We could see [IS-K] generate that capability [for foreign attacks] in somewhere between six or 12 months’, adding that the Taliban’s ability to combat the group ‘is to be determined’. The US recently identified and sanctioned senior officials of IS-K, including its leader.

IS-K has launched daily attacks against the Taliban across Afghanistan, ambushing, bombing and assassinating its operatives, including senior Taliban official Hamdullah Mokhlis, head of Kabul security and commander of the Taliban’s Badri Special Forces unit.

It also continues to conduct mass-casualty attacks, particularly but not exclusively targeting the Hazara Shia minority. These attacks include bombing public transport and suicide bombings at Shiite mosques in Kunduz and Kandahar, the so-called ‘Taliban heartland’. Dozens of Taliban were killed and wounded in a bombing outside the Eidgah mosque, where a funeral ceremony was being held for the mother of Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. A complex attack involving several IS-K operatives on a military hospital in Kabul also resulted in scores of casualties.

In response, the Taliban has been conducting a scorched-earth campaign of indiscriminate violence, detaining and disappearing around 1,500 people in Nangarhar province alone. Recently, the Taliban deployed more than 1,000 additional fighters to Nangarhar province and escalated their brutality. Hundreds of suspected IS-K operatives were murdered and many bodies, some beheaded, were dumped in the streets or strung up in public as a warning.

So brutal is this Taliban war with IS-K that the hospital in Jalalabad, Nangarhar’s provincial capital, treated more casualties in November than it treated during the war between the Taliban, NATO and the Afghan government. Given that many of those being disappeared and murdered are not IS-K operatives, the Taliban’s campaign may only serve to increase IS-K recruitment, and there’s little evidence that it’s having any impact on the group’s operations.

Indeed, IS-K gives as good as it gets, most recently beheading several Taliban fighters in Kandahar, which, together with the mosque bombing in October, indicates that even the Taliban’s stronghold is vulnerable. Taliban intelligence officials in Kabul secretly admit that one area of Nangarhar has become a ‘no-go zone’ for them and is ‘one hundred percent’ controlled by IS-K.

In spite of the Taliban’s backing from Russia, Iran, China and especially Pakistan—with the US likely sharing intelligence amid recurring reports of unidentified drones flying over Afghanistan—all trends suggest there’s fertile ground for IS-K to vastly increase its size and potency. Credible reports have already emerged of the group openly recruiting both Taliban fighters and former members of the Afghan intelligence agencies and special forces in several provinces.

Three months after the Taliban seized power, Afghanistan has experienced total economic collapse and is barrelling towards humanitarian catastrophe and famine. While the Taliban have no funds to even pay their own fighters, IS-K is allegedly offering between US$300 and US$1,000 for recruits, an enticing offer for a starving population. The Taliban’s own brutality towards the Afghan population and complete lack of interest in governing will likely fuel recruitment or at least reduce the ranks of those willing to provide information to the Taliban.

IS-K has also been playing up the Taliban’s warm and public relationship with China, which is engaged in a genocidal campaign against Uyghur Muslims next door. The group made sure to publicise that the suicide bomber in the Kunduz attack was Uyghur, propaganda that could attract the substantial number of Uyghurs fighting under al-Qaeda and Taliban auspices for the Turkistan Islamic Party. IS-K has emphasised that the Taliban is a proxy of Pakistan and a partner of the US, and, most egregiously for potential recruits, has underlined that the Taliban are protecting the Shia rather than killing them.

Aside from financial, sectarian and ideological factors, the Taliban rank and file are simply bored. The group was founded on martyrdom and jihad, and, on top of financial incentives, many Taliban may simply join IS-K to be able to continue waging jihad indefinitely and have the chance to become ‘martyrs’.

In addition, aside from the strong grassroots support among some urban Tajiks, exacerbated by the fact that the Taliban is essentially a Pashtun movement, IS-K has absorbed cadres that defected from the Taliban and other jihadist entities, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, otherwise known as the Pakistani Taliban. This has allowed the group to expand its operations in Pakistan, as well. So thoroughly infiltrated are the Taliban and TTP by IS-K that the Taliban’s emir, Haibatullah Akhunzada, recently warned the group in a rare address. IS-K nearly killed Akhunzada in Pakistan in 2019, as part of a wide campaign across Afghanistan and Pakistan hunting the Taliban.

On paper, the Taliban have every advantage against IS-K; in practice, there’s no evidence that their take-no-prisoners campaign has affected IS-K to any great extent. While IS-K probably won’t threaten the Taliban’s overall control of Afghanistan in the short term, it will soon likely be able to contest multiple districts, as it reportedly has in Nangarhar. US hopes of a counterterrorism partnership with the Taliban to prevent IS-K attacks were always ill-conceived—the Taliban can’t even protect themselves.

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

Source: The Starategist

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-taliban-are-losing-the-fight-against-islamic-state/

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Muslim Rights Concern Declares Supports for the Lagos Walk Of Peace, Warns Religious Leaders

 

Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, Muslim Rights Concern

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December 6, 2021

By John Owen Nwachukwu

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has declared its supports for the walk of peace proclaimed by the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu.

The group also warned religious leaders in the state against assuming the role of trouble makers.

The rights group described Sanwo-Olu as a hard-working and a performing governor, who does not sit tight in his office sipping tea while the people suffer.

MURIC noted that during the COVID-19 period, the Governor risked his life and showed the real attributes of a servants and now deserves the support of Lagosians.

MURIC made the appeal in a statement signed by its director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, and made available to media houses on Monday.

Recall that Sanwo-Olu had recently invited Lagosians to a peace walk following the report of the EndSARS Panel of Investigation.and the release of the White Paper.

However, angered by the way and manner the governments, Federal and State have handled issues contained in the panel’s report, some Nigerian celebrities have rejected the governor’s call to join in the Peace Walk.

“It is noteworthy that the governor had paid N420 million as compensation for police brutality before announcing the peace initiative. He has stooped to conquer. We should all join the historic march. MURIC will walk for peace with the governor. Lagos must not burn again,” the Islamic group said.

“He completed about 1,200 projects within two years. Of these, 1,000 are schools while some of the projects are renovative and others brand new construction works.

“Today, it is only in Lagos State that primary health delivery centres are active in all the local governments in the state. Lagosians should honour the invitation of such a governor if he invites them.

“MURIC, therefore, implores Lagosians to troop out en masse for Sanwo-Olu’s peace walk.

“Religious leaders should not be found among trouble makers. Neither should they incite the populace against the system. This is where they belong.

We charge Christian leaders and youth to join the governor’s peace walk. Let us join Governor Sanwo-Olu’s peace walk so that he can ‘guide our feet into the way of peace’.”

Source: Daily Post

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

https://dailypost.ng/2021/12/06/lagos-walk-of-peace-well-be-there-islamic-group-declares-warns-religious-leaders/

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Syria Turned into ‘Narco-State’ By Assad’s Associates, Relatives: New York Times Report

  

New York Times/ Photo aa.com

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Esin Eşkinat Sayılgan  

06.12.2021

NEW YORK

Powerful associates and relatives of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad have turned the country into a “new narco-state on the Mediterranean,” according to a report Sunday.

The New York Times said the illegal drug industry they “built on the ashes of 10 years of civil war” has become a multibillion-dollar operation, eclipsing Syria’s legal exports.

According to the report, its main product is captagon, an illegal, addictive amphetamine popular in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

“Its operations stretch across Syria, including workshops that manufacture the pills, packing plants where they are concealed for export, and smuggling networks to spirit them to markets abroad,” it said.

The newspaper said its investigation is based on “information from law enforcement officials in 10 countries and dozens of interviews with international and regional drug experts, Syrians with knowledge of the drug trade and current and former United States officials.”

The Times claimed that according to its investigation, much of the production and distribution is overseen by the Fourth Armored Division of the Syrian Army, an elite unit commanded by Maher al-Assad, who is also the younger brother of Assad.

“Major players also include businessmen with close ties to the government, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and other members of the president’s extended family, whose last name ensures protection for illegal activities,” it said.

“The drug trade emerged in the ruins of a decade of war which shattered Syria’s economy, reduced most of its people to poverty and left members of Syria’s military, political and business elite looking for new ways to earn hard currency and circumvent American economic sanctions,” the newspaper added.

According to the report, “illicit speed is now the country’s most valuable export, far surpassing its legal products.”

Hundreds of millions of pills that were seized in recent years by officials in Greece, Italy, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere mostly originated from one government-controlled port in Syria, according to the report.

Noting that officials in Italy found 84 million pills hidden in rolls of paper and metal gears last year while Malaysians discovered 94 million pills sealed inside rubber trolley wheels in March, the daily reported citing drug experts that these seizures might represent only a fraction of the drugs shipped.

“More than 250 million captagon pills have been seized across the globe so far this year, more than 18 times the amount captured just four years ago,” it noted.

Citing regional security experts, the Times also noted that the main obstacle in fighting the drug trade is that it has the support of "a state that has little reason to help shut it down."

“The idea of going to the Syrian government to ask about cooperation is just absurd,” the newspaper quoted Joel Rayburn, a US special envoy for Syria during former President Donald Trump’s administration, as saying.

“It is literally the Syrian government that is exporting the drugs. It is not like they are looking the other way while drug cartels do their thing. They are the drug cartel.”

Syria has been ravaged by civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/syria-turned-into-narco-state-by-assad-s-associates-relatives-report/2439533

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India

 

Madrasa Students Look beyond Life as Clerics

Dec 5, 2021

Mufti Faiyaz Alam is a Qazi or judge at the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)-run Shariah court at Nagpada. Ever since he completed his religious education at the famous seminary Darul Uloom Deoband (UP) in 2006, Alam has been looking for an opportunity to enroll himself in a graduation course at a government-recognised university.

His search ended last week as Ehtesaab, Samajwadi Party MLA Rais Shaikhled NGO helped him join the BA course at Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU).

Alam is among 50 madrassa products, most of them working as low-paid imams at mosques or teachers at madrassas, who have been enrolled for graduation courses at YCMOU. They are now in the mainstream education system and, post-graduation, their employability in the open job market will get enhanced.

Source: Times of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/madrassa-pupils-look-beyond-life-as-clerics/articleshow/88098215.cms

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Uttar Pradesh: Anti-Riot Drill Conducted Ahead Of Dec 6 Mosque Threat in Mathura

Dec 5, 2021

MATHURA(UP): The city police conducted an anti-riot drill to check its preparedness against the threat by right wing groups to place a Krishna idol in a mosque in Mathura on December 6, an official said on Sunday.

Even though the call was withdrawn last week by the group which planned it, police are not taking any chances.

The drill was conducted on Saturday at Police Lines area, SSP Gaurav Grover said.

He said proper functioning of weapons was also checked in presence of District Magistrate Navneet Singh Chahal.

Police had earlier beefed up security in the city after the announcement by right wing groups to install the deity's idol inside the Shahi Idgah Masjid.

The Aurangzeb-era mosque shares its premises with Keshav Dev Temple here in the city.

Police imposed section 144 in the city banning any public gatherings.

Security checks including frisking began to be conducted at borders from Saturday evening, SP city Martand Prakash Singh said.

The city has been divided into two super zones, four zones, and eight sectors with senior officers in charge of each zone/sector.

Para-military forces were deployed from Sunday morning at different points, officials said.

Traffic restrictions have been imposed till December 7, with complete suspension of any vehicle movement near the temple and mosque area, SP traffic Harendra Kumar said.

Speaking to media last month, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha leader Rajyashree Choudhary had called for installation of the Krishna's idol inside the mosque after conducting a 'jalabhishek'.

Source: Times of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/uttar-pradesh-anti-riot-drill-conducted-ahead-of-dec-6-mosque-threat-in-mathura/articleshow/88106155.cms

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Vax Drive: 2,200 Inoculated In 3 Old City Mosques In Hyderabad

Dec 6, 2021

Hyderabad: Amidst the growing threat of new variant Omicron, about 2,200 people have been vaccinated in three mosques in Old City in the last five days. Local mosque committees have taken up a vaccination drive in parts of old Hyderabad, particularly slum areas, amidst vaccine resistance in minority-dominant areas.The mosque committees have also surveyed about 5,000 households so far and the exercise will continue for the next six months to ensure that everyone in the Old City is vaccinated against Covid-19.

The response has been good. The special drive is funded by Azim Premji Foundation (APF) and executed by Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) in partnership with primary health centres at Rajendranagar, Hasanagar and Jalpally. The large turnout of people at the vaccine camps attached to mosques shows that people are gradually shedding vaccine resistance and hesitancy after local religious leaders and social activists created awareness on the need for vaccination, HHF representatives said.

The three mosques serve a catchment of 30 urban slums. The mosque camp at Jalpally administered 703 doses of Covid-19 vaccine, followed by Rajendranagar at 480 and Hasanagar 398. The camps began on November 29.

“Out of the total doses administered, 75% were first dose cases. In the door-to-door survey, 4,596 households have been covered. Volunteers are checking out for unvaccinated and pending second dose cases. We are bringing them to the vaccine camps,” said HHF managing trustee Mujtaba Hasan Askari.

He said the threat of Omicron coupled with awareness through religious and community leaders, including special mention during Friday sermons in mosques, had resulted in many people turning up voluntarily at these mosque camps.

Vaccination camps are also being held in interior areas through mobile vans and public announcements are being made daily. The vaccination camps at Masjid Mustafa, Rajendranagar, Masjid Adam Alaihis Salam, Hasanagar and Masjid Omer Shifa, Shaheen Nagar, are open daily from 10 am to 3 pm.

Source: Times of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/vax-drive-2200-inoculated-in-3-old-city-mosques/articleshow/88110788.cms

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Is Uttarakhand Govt’s ‘Demographic’ Probe of Property Deals a Play on ‘Land Jihad’ Bogey?

Alishan Jafri

The latest Hindutva assault on the Muslims of India is the accusation of ‘land jihad’ – an allegation that there is a concerted underground conspiracy by Muslims to acquire land across the country, particularly in places strongly associated with Hinduism, as a means to “take over the country”. Among those spreading this allegation are leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), far-right Hindu priests and some sections of the mainstream media.

‘Land jihad’ also appears to have become an issue in BJP-led Uttarakhand, to judge by a September 2021 state government order to the police and administrative officers to track “illegal land deals” based on fears around the changing demography of the state.

A statement issued by the Uttarakhand government on September 24 said: “Due to unprecedented rise in population in certain areas of the state, the demography of those areas has been majorly affected. And due to this demographic change, members of a certain community are forced to migrate from those areas. Also, there are possibilities that the communal harmony in those areas may be disturbed.”

The statement added: “A list of all such people should be made who have a criminal background and are living in Uttarakhand. A verification of their profession and domicile status should be done to make their records (sic). The DMs (district magistrates) should also monitor the illegal land dealings in their districts and check whether someone is selling his land out of fear or pressure. If it is found so (sic), then they should stop it and take strict action against those responsible for it.”

When Pushkar Dhami, chief minister of Uttarakhand, addressed the press at the time this statement was released, he assured the residents of the state that no community would be selectively targeted and that the probe would be fair.

But leaders of opposition parties worry that the order issued by the government will be discriminatory.

“No one will object if the government takes appropriate population control measures, but it is a serious matter if such efforts are made to target a community and specific areas for political gain through the misuse of state administration,” Congress leader Harish Rawat, a former chief minister of Uttarakhand, said about the government’s order on September 24.

To verify the authenticity of the Uttarakhand government’s claims, The Wire filed a right to information request to learn whether the Uttarakhand government maintains data of land sales and purchases on the basis of the religions of the sellers and purchasers.

“No,” the government replied.

We asked four more questions:

Q. How does the government of Uttarakhand define the term “Land Jihad”?

Answer: Information unavailable.

Q. How many cases of “Land Jihad”, however defined, have been reported in the past 5 years in Uttarakhand?

 Answer: Information unavailable.

Q. Please provide a district wise and year wise data of the cases of “Land Jihad” in the state.

 Answer: Information unavailable.

Q. What legal actions have been taken against those involved in “Land Jihad”?

 Answer: Information unavailable.

Anti-Muslim rants

The Uttarakhand government issued the order to check land dealings after Ajendra Ajay, a BJP MLA, wrote a letter to Pushkar Dhami alleging rampant ‘land jihad’ in the state.

In an interview with the news channel Aaj Tak on September 6, Ajay had said: “This has been a demand of some people for a long time and now the issue is gaining momentum.”

Apart from ‘land jihad’, Ajay alleged in the interview that there had been demographic changes in the state as well as an influx of outsiders.

Ajendra Ajay is a member of a committee set up in September by the Uttarakhand government to investigate land grabbing, demographic change and migration and make suggestions on the state’s new land law.

When The Wire asked Ajay if he has any data of specific instances of ‘land jihad’, he said: “No, but we keep coming across such cases on social media.” Ajay also alleged that there were isolated instances of ‘land jihad’ in some districts, such as Sarna, a claim which The Wire could not independently verify.

When The Wire asked Ajay why this issue had been raised right before the assembly elections, he replied, “It’s not that I have raised such an issue for the first time. I also raised objections against the film Kedarnath featuring Sara Ali Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput since it promoted love jihad. The campaign received massive support from all over India and the Uttarakhand government had to ban the movie in the state.”

Ajendra Ajay is not the first right-wing politician to push for a law against ‘land jihad’ in Uttarakhand. For a long time, prominent Hindutva leaders in the state have been pushing for a ban on the sale of property to Muslims and prohibiting the entry of Muslims in the ‘holy cities’ of Uttarakhand.

“If the entry of non-Hindus is not banned, then Hindu priests will take to the streets,” far-right Hindu priest Swami Anandswaroop had said in a video posted on his Facebook account. “Members of the Muslim community are creating a ruckus here, spreading non-vegetarianism, throwing meat and cow meat in the Ganga to defile it (sic). If we don’t take note, then it will become Kashmir. There should be one state for Hindus at least. If a title suit on the lines of Ayodhya would be fought for Uttarakhand, Hindus will win it.”

This video is unavailable on his account at this time, although it has been archived by The Wire.

In another video posted on his social media at around the same time, Anandswaroop had called on his followers to crush the “external and internal Taliban” and “train youth to behead” enemies.

Swami Anandswaroop had hit the headlines in January 2021 when he addressed a ‘Hindu Panchayat’ in Meerut, explaining the rationale of these campaigns in clear terms.

“My argument is that if you [Muslims] want to remain associated with us, you should first stop reading the Quran and stop offering namaz,” he had said at the event.

Then he had offered a ‘solution’ to Hindus: “You decide that you will not buy anything from a Muslim. If you destroy them socially, politically and economically, they will begin converting to Hinduism from Islam.”

When asked if he agreed with the views of Anandswaroop that non-Hindus should be banned from possessing land in Uttarakhand, Ajendra Ajay replied: “I agree with him to a great extent. There are two reasons. First, it’s a question of national security since we are a border state. Second, Uttarakhand is sacred to Hindus and why can’t we have exclusive holy sites for Hindus?”

In July this year, another prominent Hindutva leader, Swami Darshan Bharti, went on a hunger strike, demanding a law against land jihad. Over the previous year, Bharti had met Trivendra Singh, Tirath Singh Rawat and Pushkar Dhami, the former and current BJP chief ministers of the state, to put forward his demand. On September 19, Bharti invited Tirath Singh Rawat to be the chief guest at a function in Pauri Garhwal to commemorate the foundation day of the Akhil Hindu Vahini. There, the participants, including Tirath Singh Rawat, once the chief minister of Uttarakhand and now a member of the Lok Sabha, took an oath to not sell or rent shops, houses and land in Uttarakhand to “extremists”.

A cursory glance at Bharti’s social media accounts reveals who these “extremists” are. On November 25, Bharti had posted a communal tirade against Muslims who had bought land in a village, alleging the collusion of a Muslim official.

Bharti’s post read: “The Vidharmis (traitors of the religion) bought land in the village of Chamoli district (sic). Friends, three fundamentalists bought a large land (sic) in the village Khannuri Post Bhim Talla Development Block Dasoli Tehsil Police Station Chamoli (sic). When the people of the village came to know about this, the villagers took a pledge not to allow the evil persons to enter the village (sic). People have demanded the District Magistrate (sic) that the registry of the land should be cancelled. Do not give land to any Vidharmi in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand, the birthplace of Hinduism. If you keep sitting with your eyes closed, then Devbhoomi will become Kashmir, Bengal, Kerala.”

In 2019, members of Bharti’s group, the Uttarakhand Raksha Abhiyan, had reportedly circulated 1.5 lakh pamphlets that incited Hindus to stand up against alleged changes in the demography of the state because of Muslims. Bharti was briefly incarcerated after this, having been arrested on charges of instigating communal violence against minorities after instances of looting and arson of shops belonging to the minority community were linked to his Facebook posts.

Last month, Bharti featured in a video with anti-Muslim preacher Narsinghanand Saraswati and former Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi at a function to launch the latter’s controversial book, Muhammad. The Wire had pointed out the anti-Muslim hate speeches at the event. At the same event, Narsinghanand’s patron, Hari Giri Maharaj, general secretary of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad and international patron of the Juna Akhara, had alleged the existence of ‘land jihad’ in Uttarakhand. Hari Giri had even written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October about “the rise of the Muslim population in Haridwar” and urged the prime minister to keep Uttarakhand from becoming the “next Kashmir”.

‘Violation of fundamental rights’

Ganesh Godiyal, president of the state unit of the Congress party, told The Wire that the issue of ‘land jihad’ has been raised just before the assembly elections to polarise the public.

Source: The Wire

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

https://thewire.in/government/uttarakhand-demographic-probe-property-deals-land-jihad

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Babri Masjid Action Committee A Defunct Body, 30 Years after Babri Masjid Demolition

Dec 5, 2021

AYODHYA: Three decades after the Babri mosque demolition, the Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC), which was formed in 1987 at the peak of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement, is now a defunct body with a critically ailing Zafaryab Jilani being the sole member of the once-influential Muslim outfit that spearheaded a public campaign and legal battle to protect the Ayodhya mosque.

Jilani’s son Najam Jilani confirmed to TOI that currently the committee did not have any office-bearers or active members. "With abba (father) ill, there’s nobody left to lead or handle day-to-day activities. All have gone," he said. The committee shot to limelight in the turbulent years leading to the mosque demolition and several members, including former diplomat and politician Syed Shahabuddin, Imam Bukhari, Maulana Ubaidullah Azmi, SP leader Azam Khan and Hyderabad politician Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi projecting themselves as champions of the Muslim cause.

Even after the Babri demolition, BMAC actively participated in organising black days and holding protests for reconstruction of the mosque on December 6, but gradually it lost steam. "BMAC began losing its appeal among Muslims after the 2010 Allahabad high court verdict, which split the disputed land in three parts. BMAC was accused of failing to strongly pursue the case in court and its leaders were forced to issue clarifications to the community. Again, after the special CBI court of Lucknow acquitted all Babri demolition accused, BMAC again drew ire of Muslims," said Maulana Wasif Hasan, mutawalli of Teeley Wali Masjid, Lucknow.

On February 5, 1986, soon after the unlocking of the Babri mosque, the Babri Masjid Movement Coordination Committee was formed under the leadership of former diplomat and Janata Party leader Syed Shahabuddin. In March next year, an overarching organisation was constituted — Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) — with several Muslim leaders, including the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari and Hyderabad politician Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi joining ranks.

Source: Times of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/30-years-after-mosque-demolition-babri-masjid-action-committee-now-a-defunct-body/articleshow/88109621.cms

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Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan show we are entering a world of plurilateralism: Jaishankar

Dec 6, 2021

NEW DELHI: The current global situation has opened up spaces for middle powers and plurilateral arrangements to flourish, said foreign minister S Jaishankar. Addressing an Indian Ocean conference in Abu Dhabi, Jaishankar said, “A world of more decentralised globalisation obviously offers greater opportunities to many more nations. These would be accentuated by a stronger desire to foster localisation and promote regionalism.”

He added, “Whether it is the Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan or the Gulf, we are seeing more players, greater localisation and arrangements of pragmatism. We are now entering a world of greater plurilateralism, one that recognises the shortcomings of multilateralism, the limits of bilateralism and the untenability of unilateralism...”

The Quad, AUKUS, the new West Asia Quad, Indian Oceans Initiative and even the Abraham Accords, he said, have opened the door to greater international cooperation within smaller groupings and within regions.

Source: Times of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/indo-pacific-afghanistan-show-we-are-entering-a-world-of-plurilateralism-jaishankar/articleshow/88111801.cms

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Pakistan

 

‘Progressive’ Jamaat-e-Islami has a Sikh Candidate, Hardeet Singh

Sukriti Vats

5 December, 2021

New Delhi: Pakistan might soon have a Sikh man at the helm of a province that has ‘active’ Taliban presence. Provincial President of Jamaat-e-Islami, Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, on Saturday announced that a Sikh young man named Hardeet Singh will be the party’s candidate for local body election in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa district.

The local government polls in 17 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) are slated to begin on 19 December. According to Senator Mushtaq, there are several other minority candidates fielded by his party in KP province, but he picked Singh because he will be contesting elections in one of the most radicalised regions of Pakistan, which has an active Taliban presence.

“We have a very strong Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minorities’ Wing that works 24 hours and have several minority candidates contesting local elections. The reason I chose to tweet about the young Sikh candidate Hardeet Singh is because he will be fighting elections from Khyber district, which is a traditional Pashtun area with a majority Afridi population. A non-Muslim candidate running election there needs to be highlighted as the region, falling adjacent to Afghan border, is orthodox and susceptible to terrorist activities,” Senator Mushtaq told ThePrint.

Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir who lauded Jamaat-e-Islami’s decision and tweeted about it said that there was a political strategy behind Jamaat-e-Islami’s nominating a non-Muslim candidate, despite being a prominent Islamist/radical party. “There are seats reserved for minority communities in Pakistan’s provincial elections. Several parties field minority candidates for these seats. Even Jamaat-e-Islami would want to win these seats and are thus nominating a Sikh candidate,” he said.

Pakistan’s civic information portal states that the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees the political inclusion of minorities by reserving a quota in Provincial Assemblies. “Article 51(4) of the Constitution reserves ten national assembly seats for minorities. Article 106 also guarantees non-Muslim reserved seats in all Provincial Assemblies. Section 48 of the Act asks for special measures for the enrolment of non-Muslims and bounds institutions to give priority to any activity related to this effort,” according to the website.

Users from Twitter were quick to point out that the KP seat was reserved for minorities, and therefore, the Jamaat-e-Islami’s announcement of a Sikh candidate was “nothing new” and suggested that those rejoicing must “check the poster”.

Mir added that it was still an “extraordinary” decision because it is unexpected coming from a largely Islamic party. “There has been a change in the party’s stance in the last 5-6 years, majorly because of Senator Mushtaq who is more liberal and wants to show the Jamaat-e-Islami as democratic.”

In a 2018 article published in The Express Tribune, Jamaat-e-Islami member Amir Iqbal Khalil said that in the early 2000s their party had hardly any non-Muslim candidates for reserved seats, but now much has changed. “We have more aspirants than seats,” he was quoted as saying.

Controversy over Hardeet Singh’s name

While some Pakistanis celebrated Jamaat-e-Islami’s decision and called it “progressive”, others were sceptical of this decision by party, whose name translates to “Party of Islam” and has a historic reputation of being radical (or conservative party). One user questioned its absurdity, saying it is like a ‘Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu organisation, nominating a Muslim.’

Other users, however, appeared to be elated that a minority Sikh candidate was being given a change and gave them their best wishes, saying that it was their “proud moment as a Pakistani.”

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/go-to-pakistan/jamaat-e-islami-has-a-sikh-candidate-pakistanis-say-its-like-vhp-named-a-muslim/776965/

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Fawad praises opposition for condemning Sialkot incident

Syed Irfan Raza

December 6, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Despite political differences with mainstream opposition parties, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday hailed the reaction of opposition parties to the lynching of Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot and said the nation wanted to tackle extremism.

The minister criticised the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) leader Senator Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry for presenting flowers to Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Saad Hussain Rizvi on his release from jail in November and termed his move “absurd”.

“The way Ahsan Iqbal and Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar responded to Maulana Fazlur Rahman’s statement reflects that the leaderships of all the political parties realise the severity of the situation and want to cope with [extremism],” the minister said in a joint press conference with Sports Minister Fehmida Mirza and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Usman Dar, in which they announced launching of what they called “the country’s biggest sports gala — Kamyab Jawan Sports Drive from Monday (today).

Terms PTI senator’s act of meeting TLP chief ‘absurd’

Maulana Rehman, who is chief of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — a cluster of mainstream opposition parties bent upon toppling the government — had said in his statement on Tweeter that the government was responsible for the Sialkot-like incident. “If the state does not take action against the ones accused of blasphemy then such incidents will happen,” he said.

However, leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) denounced Maulana Rehman’s statement on the lynching.

Fawad Chaudhry said the Sialkot incident had bowed down the whole nation’s head, but he expressed satisfaction that the country which had passed through a long era of dictatorship, had a vibrant leadership in all political parties.

The minister said Pakistan was a progressive country with strong institutions and democratic values. “No country has witnessed restoration of democracy in the way as Pakistan after passing from long eras of dictatorship,” he added.

He said extremism was not the issue of any single party, but the concern of all parties as the political process and democracy could only flourish in the country when there was law and order.

About the mob lynching of the Sri Lankan factory manager, the minister said the way Pakistani nation has shown its reaction over this incident reflect that they were united in their stance against such extremist and heinous act and wanted to cope with it.

He said that was the second such incident after the attack on Army Public School on which the whole nation was grieved, ashamed and showed unity against extremism.

“The reaction of our nation shows that except [for a] few thousands or lakhs of such extremist people, majority of the people among 220 million populations are tolerant citizens and this is the ray of hope for us to move forward,” he said.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan conveyed his grief and pain over this sad incident while talking to the Sri Lankan President and also issued a message after the incident.

The minister said the crowd involved in this incident was between the ages of 15-25 and emphasised on engaging youth in constructive and healthy activities like sports.

The minister congratulated Usman Dar and Fehmida Mirza for the launch of this much needed sports drive.

Sports Minister Fehmida Mirza said she had received telephone calls of many families of overseas Pakistanis who wanted to extend financial assistant to the bereaved family of Priyantha Kumara.

Violent protests

Earlier, Fawad Chaudhry has criticised PTI Senator Ejaz Ahmed Chaudhry’s for presenting flowers to TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi on his release from jail in November and termed the senator’s action absurd.

Speaking at a private TV talk show on Saturday about the lynching of the Sri Lankan factory manager over blasphemy allegations, he said: “I think the manner in which Ejaz Chaudhry Sahib [met] the TLP [leadership] was an absurd act. Why didn’t [he] visit the homes of the policemen who were martyred,” he questioned?

The TLP was linked to the gory Sialkot incident by users on social media, but the group distanced itself from the lynching and condemned it.

Some government leaders had reportedly embraced the TLP despite its violent protests in October leaving a number of policemen martyred in Punjab.

Senator Ejaz had met TLP chief Rizvi last month as a “gesture of goodwill” and to congratulate him on his release from jail. Pictures of Senator Ejaz hugging and presenting a bouquet to Mr Rizvi were widely shared on social media.

The meeting had come after the TLP and the federal government reached an agreement on October 31 after many rounds of talks and two weeks of clashes which left seven policemen and a number of TLP workers dead. The agreement was kept secret, but leaked information suggested consensus on removing the party from the list of banned organisations, Rizvi’s release and setting TLP workers free that were held under various charges, including anti-terrorism.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1662170/fawad-praises-opposition-for-condemning-sialkot-incident

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Sialkot lynching: 7 more prime suspects apprehended, taking total arrests to 131

Imran Sadiq

December 6, 2021

The Punjab police on Monday announced the arrest of seven more of the prime suspects allegedly involved in the lynching of 49-year-old Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara in Sialkot over blasphemy allegations, taking the total number of arrests to 131.

A mob comprising hundreds of protestors, including the employees of the factory Kumara was the manager of, had tortured him to death on Friday and later burnt his body.

A first information report was registered against 900 workers of Rajco Industries on the application of Uggoki Station House Officer (SHO) Armaghan Maqt under sections 302, 297, 201, 427, 431, 157, 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code and 7 and 11WW of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The applicant admitted that the protesters had slapped, kicked, punched and hit Kumara with sticks in his presence, and dragged him out of the factory on Wazirabad Road where he died. They then set the body on fire. The SHO said he was helpless in front of the mob owing to shortage of personnel.

Over the past three days, the police have arrested scores. The suspects included the individual allegedly involved in planning the attack as well as others who waged violence and incited others.

The police added that out of the 131 people arrested, 26 played a "central role" in the brutal killing.

The statement added that Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and the inspector general of police for Punjab were continuously monitoring the investigation and the secretary prosecution was tasked with the prosecution of the case.

"These suspects will be presented in an anti-terrorism court today," the statement said.

A spokesperson for the Punjab police said the process to identify the suspects was ongoing.

On Sunday, the police had identified and arrested six more of the main alleged culprits.

Thirteen of the main suspects were also produced in a criminal court and subsequently remanded in police custody for one day. The suspects were identified as Farhan Idrees, Saboor Butt, Talha, Abdul Rehman, Imran, Taimur, Shoaib, Raheel, Usman, Shahzaib, Nasir, Ehtisham and Junaid.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1662247/sialkot-lynching-7-more-prime-suspects-apprehended-taking-total-arrests-to-131

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Lynched Sri Lankan's nearly all bones broken, 99% body burnt: Pakistan report

Dec 5, 2021

LAHORE: Nearly all bones of Sri Lankan national Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana were broken and his body was 99 per cent burnt in the horrific lynching incident in Pakistan's Punjab province, a media report on Sunday said, citing his post-mortem report.

Angry supporters of the hardline Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) attacked a garment factory on Friday and lynched its general manager Diyawadana, who was in his 40s, before setting his body on fire over allegations of blasphemy.

The post-mortem report of Diyawadana cited skull and jaw fractures as the cause of death, Geo News reported.

All his vital organs, liver, stomach and one of his kidneys, were affected, while torture marks were visible all over his body and his spinal cord was broken at three different points, the report said.

The post-mortem report of the Sri Lankan national revealed that 99 per cent of his body was burned, and with the exception of one foot, all his bones were broken, it said.

According to a Punjab Police spokesperson, following the autopsy, Diyawadana's body was sent to Lahore where it will be handed over to the Sri Lankan consulate.

After all legal formalities, the body will be sent to Sri Lanka via a special flight, the report quoted the official as saying.

Meanwhile, a video footage has emerged showing a man jump in and try to save the Sri Lankan national as the mob thrashed him, the report said, adding that he bore the beating for a while but was unable to continue after a while.

After Diyawadana was killed, another man was seen pleading to the mob to not set it on fire, but he was thrown aside by the mob, the report added.

As pressure mounted on the Pakistani government to bring the guilty to justice, over 800 people have been booked under terrorism charges while 13 prime suspects are among 118 arrested so far in the horrific lynching of the Sri Lankan national in Punjab province.

Diyawadana, a graduate from the University of Peradeniya, is survived by his wife and two children. He left for Pakistan for employment in 2010 and had been working as the manager of the Sialkot factory since 2012.

He was working as the general manager in the Rajko industries (dealing in garments – sportswear) in Sialkot district, some 100 kilometres from Lahore.

Sri Lankan Parliament, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa have condemned the lynching and hoped that Prime Minister Khan will keep his commitment to bring all those involved to justice and ensure the safety of the rest of the island nation's expat workers.

“A mob of over 800 men gathered at the factory at 10 am Friday on reports that Kumara had torn a sticker/poster (inscribed with Islamic verses) and committed blasphemy. They looked out for him and found him (from the rooftop). They dragged him, beat him severely and by 11.28 am he was dead and the body was set on fire by the violent mob,” Inspector General of Police (Punjab) Rao Sardar Ali Khan said.

The mob after burning the body of the Sri Lankan national had blocked the Wazirabad road. Police from different stations reached there to control the situation, he said.

The incident sparked widespread condemnation from all walks of life. Police were also chided for reaching the crime scene after the incident. Only a couple of policemen can be seen in one video asking the people to stay back while the body was burning.

Source: Times of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/lynched-sri-lankans-nearly-all-bones-broken-99-body-burnt-pakistan-report/articleshow/88104948.cms

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Religious scholars to oversee syllabus taught in educational institutions: Shahbaz Gill

December 6, 2021

LAHORE: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Commu­nication Shahbaz Gill has said that syllabus of educational institutions must nurture students’ mindset in line with the Islamic code of life and ethics.

Speaking at the convocation of Minhaj University on Sunday, Mr Gill said that misconceptions about Islam needed to be rectified.

He said that Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Authority had been established and the government was involving Islamic scholars from the world to oversee the syllabus being taught to students in educational institutions.

About the tragic lynching of a Sri Lankan citizen in Sialkot, he said that every Pakistani felt ashamed over the incident and wanted no repeat of such incident in future in the country.

He said that educational institutions should nurture character of students.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1662172/religious-scholars-to-oversee-syllabus-taught-in-educational-institutions-shahbaz-gill

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Pakistan, Saudi Arabia sign deals on workers’ recruitment, skills

Kashif Abbasi

December 6, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have signed two agreements related to workers’ recruitment and skills verification of Pakistani workforce being employed in the kingdom, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Sunday.

It said the signing ceremony of the agreements took place during the visit of Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood to Saudi Arabia.

According to the FO, the agreement on workers’ recruitment will contribute to streamlining the process of export of workforce from Pakistan in diverse professions in the kingdom while safeguarding their due rights and providing comprehensive legal protection to Pakistani nationals employed in Saudi Arabia. The agreement will also help in resolving contractual disputes and taking legal recourse against recruitment offices, companies or agencies for any violation.

Education minister visits live broadcasting school in Riyadh

The agreement on skills verification will enhance export of skilled and certified Pakistani workforce to the kingdom.

The FO statement said imparting modern skills and ensuring certification of Pakistani workforce to improve their employability abroad were key areas among Prime Minister Imran Khan’s priority sectors. “Certification for our skilled manpower will create opportunities for technical workforce in Pakistan to get internationally recognised trainings and certifications,” it added.

The education ministry said in a press release that the agreements were signed by Shafqat Mahmood and Dr Ahmad Jabbar Al Yamni from Saudi Arabia at a ceremony at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development of the kingdom. It was witnessed by senior officials from both countries.

“This important cooperation between both countries has far-reaching impact for enhancing the employment opportunities for skilled Pakistani workforce by joint certification and testing by Takamol Saudi Arabia and National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Pakistan,” said the statement.

“This step [agreements] will also safeguard the existing Pakistani work force in Saudi Arabia. It is expected that millions of Pakistani skilled workers will get gainful employment opportunities with higher earning as a result of the efforts of the government of Pakistan,” it added.

It said that under this partnership, NAVTTC and Takamol, a subsidiary of the government of Saudi Arabia, were establishing the testing regime under the Skills Verification Programme (SVP) by exchanging the NOS (National Occupational Standards) and facilitating skill verification of candidates through competency-based assessment (theory & practical) at exam centres in Pakistan for candidates desirous of working in Saudi Arabia.

This will enable Pakistani skill workforce to have authentic and internationally recognised joint certification by both Takamol and NAVTTC through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment.

According to the press release, the Saudi ministry has introduced the SVP from July 2021 to regulate its labour market. After the implementation of the SVP, the skill verification has become necessary for the Pakistani workers who intend to get employment in Saudi Arabia.

It is important to note that the largest number of Pakistani expatriate workforce is based in Saudi Arabia, contributing substantially to the country’s economy through foreign remittances. Most of the present Pakistani workforce in the kingdom fall in the category of unskilled or semiskilled labour, which means reduced remunerations and it also impacts remittances negatively, the press release said.

Moreover, it added, in the changing scenario of labour laws and dynamics of the labour market overseas, a large number of Pakistani workforce require skills certification as presently they face non-recognition of their qualifications, skills and certification. This cooperation will help a large number of these workers and also lead to national productivity and development.

Saudi Arabia is home to over two million Pakistani migrants and is the single largest remittance source to the South Asian nation. According to Arab News, Pakistani expatriates in the kingdom sent home $5.7 billion in July-March 2021.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1662159/pakistan-saudi-arabia-sign-deals-on-workers-recruitment-skills

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'Murders happen when emotions are high': Minister says govt shouldn't be blamed for Sialkot lynching

Sirajuddin

December 6, 2021

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak has suggested that the ghastly lynching of a Sri Lankan man at the hands of a mob in Sialkot should not be linked to the government's decision to lift the ban on the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), saying even "murders take place" when young people get emotional.

The minister's remarks come amid countrywide outrage after a mob comprising hundreds of protestors tortured to death Sri Lankan factory manager Priyantha Kumara over blasphemy allegations and then burnt his body on Friday.

The TLP was linked to the gory incident by users on social media, but the group distanced itself from the lynching and condemned it.

At a media talk in Peshawar on Sunday, a reporter said that the Sialkot killing had taken place after the government lifted the ban on the TLP, and asked Khattak whether the government was considering an "effective crackdown" against such groups to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Responding to him, the minister said the two issues shouldn't be linked.

"You know the reasons [behind this incident] too. When children ... grow up, they become spirited and do things out of emotions. This does not mean 'this was the result of that action'," he stressed, saying in Sialkot too some young men had gathered and accused Kumara of disrespecting Islam, which led to the "sudden" lynching.

Khattak said he too could do something wrong in a state of heightened emotions, and added that such incidents did not mean "Pakistan is going towards destruction."

Countering, the reporter asked the minister whether he was attributing the murders of nine policemen allegedly by TLP protesters as well as that of Kumara to "emotions".

Khattak stuck to his argument, saying boys entering adulthood are "ready to do anything" and learn with age how to control their emotions. "So this happens among kids, fights take place and even murders. [Does] this mean it is the government's fault?"

The minister then shifted the blame onto the media, saying it "puts the onus for everything on the government".

"Why don't you change this mindset? Your anchors should come on TV and make the children understand their religion. You only take advertisements and earn money," he added.

The TLP and the federal government had reached an agreement on October 31 after many rounds of talks and two weeks of clashes which left seven policemen and a number of TLP workers dead. The agreement was kept secret, but leaked information suggested consensus on removing the party from the list of banned organisations, release of TLP chief Saad Hussain Rizvi and setting TLP workers free that were held under various charges including anti-terrorism.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1662109/murders-happen-when-emotions-are-high-minister-says-govt-shouldnt-be-blamed-for-sialkot-lynching

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South Asia

 

West condemns reprisal killings in Afghanistan, Taliban rejects allegations

Dec 6, 2021

BERLIN: The United States and a group of Western countries including Germany, France and Britain have expressed concern over reported killings and disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August.

In a joint statement issued over the weekend, the 21 countries plus the European Union referred to reports of such abuses documented by Human Rights Watch and others.

“We underline that the alleged actions constitute serious human rights abuses and contradict the Taliban’s announced amnesty,” said the statement, issued by the German Foreign Ministry.

“Reported cases must be investigated promptly and in a transparent manner, those responsible must be held accountable, and these steps must be clearly publicized as an immediate deterrent to further killings and disappearances,” it said.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sayed Khosti rejected the accusation of reprisal killings, saying no evidence had been presented.

“If there is any evidence, it should be shared with us,” he said in a video statement, pointing to the general amnesty announced by the Taliban government.

“We have had some individual cases of killings of ex-government members but these were due to private enmity and we’ve arrested those involved.”

“This is slander against the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, not justice.”

Human Rights Watch said in a report on November 30 that Taliban forces in Afghanistan have executed or forcibly disappeared more than 100 former police and intelligence officers since taking over the country on August 15, despite the proclaimed amnesty.

The Taliban interior ministry has rejected the Human Rights Watch report but said it would arrest anyone who could be shown to have carried out violent reprisals against members of the former military.

Facing a deep economic crisis following the abrupt withdrawal of foreign aid when Western countries pulled out of Afghanistan, the Taliban have been appealing for international support to stave off a humanitarian disaster, with more than half the population facing hunger over the winter.

Source: Times of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/west-condemns-reprisal-killings-in-afghanistan-taliban-rejects-allegations/articleshow/88112224.cms

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Taliban reject claims of 'summary killings' of ex-security forces

Dec 5, 2021

KABUL: Afghanistan's Taliban government on Sunday rejected condemnation by Western nations over dozens of alleged "summary killings" of former security force personnel documented by rights groups since the Islamists returned to power.

The US, other Western nations and allies on Saturday said they were "deeply concerned" by allegations by Human Rights Watch and others that point to "serious human rights abuses".

Alleged summary killings and enforced disappearances "contradict" an amnesty declared by the Taliban for former security force personnel after the Islamists defeated a Western-backed regime and retook control of the country in mid-August, the State Department said.

The European Union, Australia, Britain, Japan and others also put their names to the statement.

But the Taliban's Interior Ministry on Sunday rejected both the Western rebuke and rights groups' allegations.

"These reports and claims are not based on evidences," spokesman Qari Sayed Khosti said in a video statement released by the Taliban. "We reject such claims."

"We have some cases where some former ANDSF members were killed but they have been killed because of personal rivalries and enmities," he said, referring to the now-defunct Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.

Many ex-regime security personnel "who had martyred hundreds of mujahideen and civilians are living peacefully" in the country on the basis of the general amnesty the Taliban granted, he added.

HRW on November 30 released a report that it says documents the summary execution or enforced disappearance of 47 former members of the ANDSF, other military personnel, police and intelligence agents "who had surrendered to or were apprehended by Taliban forces" from mid-August through October.

The Taliban's return came some 20 years after they were driven out by US forces who toppled a government that earned outrage for its brutal treatment of women, failure to uphold human rights and harsh interpretation of Islam.

Today's Taliban leaders, keen to gain international respectability, have pledged their regime will be different.

But in its report HRW said Taliban leaders have directed surrendering security forces to register with authorities in order to be screened for ties to certain military or special forces units, and to receive a letter guaranteeing their safety.

"The Taliban have used these screenings to detain and summarily execute or forcibly disappear individuals within days of their registration, leaving their bodies for their relatives or communities to find," HRW said.

Calling for an investigation into these incidents, the joint statement released by the State Department said: "We will continue to measure the Taliban by their actions."

"We underline that the alleged actions constitute serious human rights abuses and contradict the Taliban's announced amnesty," the US-led group of nations said, as they called on Afghanistan's new rulers to ensure the amnesty is enforced and "upheld across the country and throughout their ranks."

Source: Times of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/taliban-reject-claims-of-summary-killings-of-ex-security-forces/articleshow/88109248.cms

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Islamic countries to meet on Afghanistan crisis on December 19

Dec 4, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's foreign minister called on Saturday for a fresh effort to stop neighbouring Afghanistan sliding further into crisis as he announced an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) later this month.

The meeting of foreign ministers from Islamic countries will be held in Islamabad on Dec. 19, with delegations from the European Union and the so-called P5 group of the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China also invited.

"To abandon Afghanistan at this stage would be a historic mistake," Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi told a news conference in Islamabad, warning that half the country was facing the risk of starvation that could trigger further chaos.

"Instability could give way to renewed conflict, it could trigger an exodus of refugees," he said.

There have been growing warnings of the humanitarian crisis facing Afghanistan since international aid was abruptly cut following the Taliban takeover on Aug. 15 and fears of disaster if the situation is not brought under control.

However, getting help in has been hindered by sanctions on dealing with the Taliban, the U.S. decision to freeze billions of dollars of central bank reserves held outside Afghanistan and the collapse of much of the country's banking system.

Source: Times of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/islamic-countries-to-meet-on-afghanistan-crisis-on-december-19/articleshow/88092614.cms

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Taliban denied killing former Afghan security forces

05 Dec 2021

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan reacted to the recent joint statement of 20 counties and said that they have not been killing any personnel of the former Afghan government.

20 countries including the US released a joint statement on Sunday, December 5 expressing concern over summary killings and the disappearance of former Afghan military personnel by the Taliban.

The countries reacted after Human Rights Watchdog released the report having interviewed eyewitnesses and family members of the former security forces killed in different provinces.

Spokesperson of Afghanistan’s interior ministry Saeed Khostai in a video clip denied the report and said that they are even ready to investigate the alleged killings if someone has proper documents.

Saeed Khostai said that they are still enforcing their announced general amnesty and all former Afghan security personnel is living in peace both in Kabul and provinces.

“We have witnessed a number of cases of the killings of former Afghan security forces but they were not killed by Taliban fighters but as a result of personal animosity.” Said Khostai.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/taliban-denied-killing-former-afghan-security-forces-346346/

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Taliban starts issuance of passports in all but three provinces

05 Dec 2021

Taliban’s passport directorate in the ministry of interior affairs on Sunday, December 5 said the issuance of Afghan passports resumed in 14 other provinces that bringing the total number of provinces to 31.

With the latest announcement, the Taliban now issue passports in all provinces but the capital Kabul, Helmand, and Sari Pol provinces.

Talking to reporters in Kabul, the head of the directorate Alam Gul Haqqani said that the new provinces include, Farah, Nimroz, Badghis, Paktika, Laghman, Kunar, Takhar, Zabul, Urozgan, Jawzjan, Samngan, Baghlan, Bamyan, and Panjshir.

Issuance of passports stopped in Kabul on November 15 what the officials say is due to technical problems.

Alam Gul Haqqani said that enough amount of technical equipment has been procured that will soon be installed in the central directorate of passports in Kabul to fix the problem and resume the process.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/taliban-starts-issuance-of-passports-in-all-but-three-provinces-6856856/

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Africa

 

Fatwa House: Elections with Flawed Laws Will Lead To New Round of Conflict in Libya

December 05, 2021

The Fatwa House has warned that going to the elections with flawed laws would only lead to more division and conflict.

In a statement Saturday, The Sharia Research and Studies Council of the Fatwa House said that accepting elections based on flawed laws, which one of the parties to the conflict singled out, without implementing the principle of (Shura) previously agreed upon between the warring parties will stir up strife and hostilities.

"The consequences of these laws (the elections laws) that allowed people convicted of murder and sentenced to death to run for office is a breach of trust that God has ordained."

The Council stressed that holding the "so-called elections" before the referendum on the constitution puts the fate of the country and its people at risk and a way to empower the oppressors to rule the Muslims, which is forbidden by Sharia, according to the text.

"The outcomes of any elections can not be correct with the existence of fraud in the national identification numbers, and it has been proven beyond any doubt that voter cards have been tampered with or bought and sold."

Source: Libya Observer

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https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/fatwa-house-elections-flawed-laws-will-lead-new-round-conflict

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Sudan’s Burhan says military will exit politics after 2023 elections

05 December ,2021

Sudan’s military will exit politics after elections scheduled for 2023, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told Reuters in an interview on Saturday, adding that the deposed former ruling party would have no role in the transition.

Following a military takeover led by Burhan in late October that upended Sudan’s transition to civilian-led democracy, a deal was struck on Nov. 21 reinstating Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to lead a technocratic Cabinet until elections in July 2023.

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

“When a government is elected, I don’t think the army, the armed forces, or any of the security forces will participate in politics. This is what we agreed on and this is the natural situation,” Burhan said.

The coup, which ended a partnership with civilian political parties after the ouster of Omar al-Bashir, drew international condemnation after the detention of dozens of key officials and crackdowns on protesters.

Neighborhood resistance committees and political parties have called for the military to exit politics immediately and have rejected any compromise including the deal with Hamdok. At least 44 people have died during demonstrations, many from gunshot wounds from security forces, according to medics.

“Investigations regarding the victims of the protests have begun to identify who has done this ... and to punish the criminals,” Burhan said, adding that security forces had only dispersed non-peaceful protests.

Bashir has been jailed since his overthrow on corruption and other charges. Along with several other Sudanese suspects, he is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged war crimes in Darfur.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/05/Sudan-s-Burhan-says-military-will-exit-politics-after-2023-elections

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Tunisia’s influential union calls for early elections, says democracy under threat

04 December ,2021

Tunisia’s powerful UGTT union called for early elections on Saturday, saying it was concerned for the country’s democratic gains because of the president’s reluctance to announce a roadmap for political reforms.

UGTT leader Noureddine Taboubi’s comments, in a speech to thousands of his supporters, put more pressure on President Kais Saied, more than four months after he seized all political powers.

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“We supported July 25 because it was an opportunity to save the country and implement reforms ... but we have become afraid for Tunisians’ democratic gains because of the excessive reluctance to announce a roadmap,” Taboubi said.

He added that the president should call for a dialogue with political parties and national organizations that includes reviewing the electoral law and agreeing on early and transparent elections.

The UGTT union, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 for helping build democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, is a key political player in Tunisia.

Saied suspended parliament and dismissed the government on July 25, installing a new prime minister and announcing he would rule by decree. Critics denounced his move as a coup.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2021/12/04/Tunisia-s-influential-union-calls-for-early-elections-says-democracy-under-threat

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Bomb blast in restaurant in Somalia kills at least 5

Mohammed Dhaysane  

05.12.2021

MOGADISHU, Somalia

At least five people including civilians were killed and more than six others wounded when a bomb blast went off at a busy restaurant in southern Somalia on Sunday, officials said.

The bomb blast took place in the vicinity of Awdhegle, 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the city of Baidoa, the provincial capital of the Bay region, in the South West state.

"The attack was a remotely controlled bomb which was camouflaged and smuggled into the restaurant and killed at least five people, including one soldier," Omar Mahamed, a police officer in Baidoa, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.

Eyewitness told Anadolu Agency that they had seen several wounded civilians, including a woman who was in the vicinity for shopping.

Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group based in the Horn of Africa country, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had targeted soldiers of the South West state and killed at least two.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/bomb-blast-in-restaurant-in-somalia-kills-at-least-5/2439269

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Arab World

 

Omicron highlights urgency of vaccine equality, including in conflict zones: Red Cross

06 December, 2021

The emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant has highlighted a global need for COVID-19 vaccine equality, especially in conflict zones, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned, as countries grapple with the new strain.

Omicron has gained a foothold in Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe and has reached seven of the nine provinces of South Africa, where it was first identified. Many governments have tightened travel rules to keep the variant out.

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.

Much remains unknown about Omicron, which has been detected in more than two dozen countries, but Esperanza Martinez, the head of the COVID-19 Crisis Management Team at the ICRC, said the variant highlights how vulnerable all nations are when large parts of the world aren’t vaccinated.

“Vaccinating the tens of millions of people living in conflict zones and other hard-to-reach areas is an absolute necessity if we are to resolve the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Martinez in a statement.

“Only a small sliver of vaccines has so far reached conflict zones, where families and entire communities often live without access to basic health care services.”

The ICRC estimates that more than 100 million people now live in areas under full or fluid control of non-state armed groups, often leaving communities out of reach of vaccination campaigns run by ministries of health.

“How do we reach them?,” asked Martinez. “How do we ensure they are not left out of vaccine efforts, and thus potentially exposed to new COVID variants? It must be through a global, decisive and collective effort.”

Martinez said the ICRC’s role in this complex task is to support health authorities and Red Cross or Red Crescent National Societies in the implementation of national vaccination plans.

The ICRC also facilitates vaccinations in last-mile areas by helping gain access across frontlines through its neutral, humanitarian work, and by helping with the logistics of transport and cold chains.

“Armed conflicts are unpredictable,” said Martinez. “Infrastructure and health systems are often weakened and in a bad shape. Negotiations with armed groups can be time consuming and sensitive. Vaccinating populations in these areas is difficult and delicate. It is, however, necessary.”

Vaccination rates in countries experiencing conflict are disturbingly low.

In Ethiopia, South Sudan and Yemen around 1.2 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Somalia is at 3.5 percent, while Syria is at 4 percent. That compares to a fully vaccinated rate of 43 percent globally, according to figures from Our World In Data.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/coronavirus/2021/12/06/Omicron-highlights-urgency-of-vaccine-equality-including-in-conflict-zones-ICRC

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ISIS fighters kill five in attack near northern Iraqi village: Sources

06 December ,2021

ISIS militants killed four Peshmerga soldiers and a civilian, and wounded six other people in an attack near Qara Salem village in northern Iraq, security sources said on Sunday.

The Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs said in a statement that the attack caused casualties, but did not confirm the toll.

One Peshmerga colonel said ISIS fighters were using hit-and-run tactics in night attacks on their positions.

“They avoid holding the ground for longer time ... More reinforcement forces were dispatched to the area to prevent further attacks,” the colonel said.

Iraqi security forces units have been mobilized to the area to help the Peshmerga, said an Iraqi military source.

The militant group also took over Luhaiban village in northern Iraq a day after attacking it, security sources told Reuters on Sunday. There was no immediate confirmation from Iraqi authorities.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/06/ISIS-fighters-kill-five-in-attack-near-northern-Iraqi-village-Sources

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Imam Hussain holy shrine organized Quranic programs in three province of Iraq

December 6, 2021

The Dar-ol-Quran Center affiliated to the Astan (custodianship) of Imam Hussain (AS) holy shrine organized three Quranic programs in three province of Iraq.

The Quranic events were held in the provinces of Wasit, Maysan and Babil, the website of the Astan reported.

Amal al-Matouri, an official with the center, said the Quranic circle for women in Wasit on Thursday began with recitation of verses from the Holy Book by female qari Zahra Taqi from the province.

She said it also included recitations by other qaris and speeches about the Quranic culture and ways to follow Hazrat Zahra (SA) as a role model.

The programs held in Maysan were two Quranic seminars one featuring the verses revealed about the status and virtues of Hazrat Zahra (SA) and the other on Tawalla (love for God and for those who follow Him) and Tabarra (disassociation) in the Quran.

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//imam-hussain-holy-shrine-organized-quranic-programs-in-three-province-of-iraq_1205597.html

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Arab Coalition destroys 14 vehicles, kills more than 115 Houthis

05 December ,2021

The Arab Coalition announced it has destroyed four drones launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia targeting the southern region, adding that it had also conducted 19 targeted strikes on Marib and al-Jawf during the past 24 hours.

During the recent operations, 14 military vehicles were also destroyed alongside the killing of more than 115 Houthi militants, pointing out that the launch of the drones coincided with the launch of four ballistic missiles towards Marib.

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

On Sunday, the Houthi militia renewed its attacks on the Yemeni governorate of Marib by firing several missiles. According to Al Arabiya’s correspondent on the ground, the militias fired three missiles in the space of an hour targeting Marib, one of which landed at the airport.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2021/12/05/Arab-Coalition-destroys-14-vehicles-kills-more-than-115-Houthis-during-recent-operat

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Saudi-led coalition destroys 4 rebel drones from Yemen

05.12.2021

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Sunday it had intercepted four drones fired by Houthi rebels towards Saudi Arabia.

The coalition said in a statement cited by Saudi state news agency SPA that the drones were launched towards the kingdom’s southern region.

The statement said Houthi rebels also fired four ballistic missiles towards Marib province in central Yemen.

There were no reports of casualties or damage.

Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, regularly announce rocket and drone attacks on Saudi targets, saying they are a reaction to the Saudi-led coalition’s assault on Yemen.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80% or about 30 million needing humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/saudi-led-coalition-destroys-4-rebel-drones-from-yemen/2439339

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Hamas hails Kuwaiti ban of ships with Israel-bound goods

Ramzy Mahmoud  

05.12.2021

Palestinian resistance group Hamas has welcomed a Kuwaiti decree banning the entry of vessels carrying goods to or from Israel into the country’s territorial waters.

On Saturday, Kuwaiti Public Works Minister Rana Abdullah Al-Fares issued an order banning the entry of commercial vessels loaded with goods to and from Israel into Kuwaiti territorial waters.

This decision “is an application of Kuwait’s policies that seek to support Palestine and its just cause,” Hamas spokesman Hisham Qasim said in a statement.

He said the Kuwaiti decree was “in line with the Arab boycott of the (Israeli) occupation, adopted by the Arab League since the 1950s."

The Hamas spokesman called on other countries to "follow Kuwait’s approach" and restrict trade and maritime traffic with Israel.

Kuwaiti laws ban individuals and companies from concluding agreements with organizations or persons living in Israel or dealing financially or commercially with persons who have an interest in Israel, even if they live outside Israel. It is also illegal to import, exchange, or possess any Israeli goods, commodities or products, whether received directly or indirectly. Products also cannot include any material from Israeli products.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/hamas-hails-kuwaiti-ban-of-ships-with-israel-bound-goods/2439264

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Turkey ‘neutralizes’ 3 PKK terrorists in northern Iraq

Ahmet Gencturk 

05.12.2021

Turkish security forces “neutralized” at least three PKK terrorists in northern Iraq, the National Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

The terrorists targeted were preparing to carry out an attack in Operation Pence-Kaplan area, the ministry said on Twitter.

Turkish authorities use the word “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.

PKK terrorists often hide out in northern Iraq, across Turkey’s southern border, to plan terrorist attacks in Turkey.

The Pence operations are a series of offensives Turkey has carried out since 2019 against terrorist organizations in northern Iraq, particularly the PKK.

Operations Pence-Kaplan and Pence-Kartal were initiated in June last year, while Pence-Simsek and Pence-Yildirim were launched this April in Iraq’s Metina and Avasin-Basyan regions.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-neutralizes-3-pkk-terrorists-in-northern-iraq/2439185

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Mideast

 

Iran: Agreement in Reach if US Abandons Pressure Policy, Europe Shows Determination

2021-December-5

"It is crystal clear that the US reluctance to fully drop the sanctions is the main challenge for the progress of negotiations," the foreign ministry wrote on its official twitter account.

"We believe that anytime the US administration abandons the maximum pressure campaign, and Europeans demonstrate necessary political determination, the way will be opened for the swift attainment of an agreement," it added.

"They are not willing in the first place to give such concessions which are clearly asserted by the JCPOA, and secondly they are not willing to re-negotiate the matters that were propounded in last drafts," the foreign ministry noted.

Diplomats from Iran the G4+1 countries (Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany) gathered in Vienna on Monday for the seventh time, after a hiatus in the talks because of presidential election in Iran. Five days of intensive talks ended on Friday after the sides returned to the capitals for more consultations.

Iran’s top negotiator Ali Baqeri Kani announced Thursday that Iran has submitted two proposed drafts to the other parties concerning the removal of sanctions and Tehran’s nuclear commitments, and is about to put forward a third draft.

The website of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said on Friday that the Europeans’ lack of initiative in the face of the Iranian team’s “groundbreaking” proposals is dragging down negotiations in Vienna.

Iran's top security body quoted Baqeri Kani as saying, "The first document sums up the Islamic Republic's point of view concerning the removal of sanctions, while the second is about Iran's nuclear actions."

"In the third document to be presented to the other parties, Iran will state its views and proposals with regard to the verification period of removing sanctions," he added.

The top Iranian negotiator also told reporters before his departure that the country's new delegation to this round of talks was comprised of economic, financial and banking experts and officials, which "showed the Islamic Republic's determination to enter the negotiations with the purpose of achieving an agreement."

Speaking to reporters on Friday before leaving the Austrian capital for Tehran, Iran’s lead negotiator said the G4+1 group of countries has been given the chance to consult with their capitals on the Islamic Republic’s two proposed drafts, underlining that Tehran expects a “reasonable, documented and rational” response.

"It was emphasized that the proposals of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the removal of illegal and oppressive sanctions and the nuclear issue are on the table," Baqeri Kani said.

"Since the opposite side needed to consult with their capitals to provide a documented and reasonable response to these proposals, it suggested that the talks be suspended for a few days."

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000914000623/Iran-Agreemen-in-Reach-if-US-Abandns-Pressre-Plicy-Erpe-Shws

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IRGC Seizes Illegal Weapons Shipment in Northwestern Iran

2021-December-5

"Some weapons and two vehicles were seized from arms traffickers at the border areas of Orumiyeh city, the capital of West Azarbaijan," the IRGC said.

"The counter-revolutionary armed groups were trying to deliver these weapons to the elements affiliated with them with the aim of harming security and stirring riots inside the country," it added.

The IRGC statement pointed out that three individuals have been arrested in the operation against the arms traffickers and have been handed over to judicial authorities.

In a relevant development in late November, Iranian Law Enforcement police forces disbanded a terrorist team in Khuzestan province in the Southwestern parts of the country, seizing a cache of weapons and ammunition.

The Law Enforcement police said in a statement said that the members of a terrorist team had attacked a patrol vehicle at a police station in Shadegan City in July.

Following the intelligence activities of the police forces of the Khuzestan province, all three members of the terrorist team were identified in Shadegan city and were arrested during a series of operations in their hideouts, it added.

The statement said that the police forces seized three guns and significant amounts of explosives and ammunition in the terrorists’ hideouts.

In the terrorist attack in Shadegan city in July, one of the police forces was martyred.

Reports said earlier this month that security and intelligence forces in Iran dismantled 78 gangs in the first 6 months of the current Iranian year (started on March 21) which smuggled weapons and ammunition to the country.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000914000215/IRGC-Seizes-Illegal-Weapns-Shipmen-in-Nrhwesern-Iran

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Pakistan Sends Naval Fleet of Warships to Iran

2021-December-5

A Pakistani naval fleet, comprising three warships, cocked in Iran’s Southern port city of Bandar Abbas.

The commander of the Pakistani fleet, which will stay in Bandar Abbas for four days, was welcomed on Sunday morning by the commander of the first naval district of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy.

The docking of the Pakistani ships in the Iranian port city is aimed at strengthening military and diplomatic relations between Tehran and Islamabad.

It is the second visit by a Pakistan naval fleet to Iran this year.

Deputy Commander of the first naval district of the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy Captain Qader Vazifeh said that Iran-Pakistan maritime visits will lead to deep and strategic ties between the two neighboring states, expressing hope for more such interactions.

"These maritime interactions definitely show that the regional countries, especially the friendly, brotherly and Muslim countries, can themselves manage the region,” he added.

“There is no need for the presence of trans-regional units in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman.”

The naval forces of Iran and Pakistan have in recent years promoted cooperation and staged several joint drills in the Indian Ocean and the Sea of Oman.

Back in April, Iranian naval forces and a visiting flotilla of warships from the Pakistan Navy staged joint exercises in the Persian Gulf, which extended to the Strait of Hormuz and the Northern part of the Indian Ocean.

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani and his Pakistani counterpart Admiral Mohammad Amjad Khan in a meeting in Tehran in August reviewed mutual cooperation, and vowed to broaden bilateral defense relations between the two navies.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000914000671/Pakisan-Sends-Naval-Flee-f-Warships-Iran

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Turkish Cypriot leader condemns arson attempt on mosque in Southern Cyprus

Muhammed Ikbal Aslan 

05.12.2021

The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Sunday condemned a recent arson attempt on a mosque on the Greek side of the long-divided island.

In a statement, Ersin Tatar deplored the attempt to burn the Grand Mosque in Larnaca and called on the Greek Cypriot administration to prevent such attacks and arrest those responsible at the earliest.

Earlier in the day, the TRNC Religious Affairs Presidency confirmed in a statement that the attack took place on Dec. 2. No casualty has been reported, with police arresting at least one suspect.

The island of Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/world/turkish-cypriot-leader-condemns-arson-attempt-on-mosque-in-southern-cyprus/2439497

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Iran Tests Defence System above Natanz

2021-December-5

The statement came after reports of a large explosion that was heard in Natanz.

Natanz air defense commander confirmed the report about the test fire of the missiles in the sky above Natanz, where a nuclear site is located, but emphasized that there is nothing to worry about.

The commander added that such exercises are carried out in a completely safe zone in full coordination with the integrated air defense network to assess the systems located in the area.

No damage was reported, according to initial investigations, the commander noted.

Meanwhile, an informed local source said that the blast in the desert area of Natanz city has nothing to do with nuclear facilities and caused no damage.

The unnamed source said the missile was fired in a safe zone 20km from Natanz to test air defense.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Saturday night incident is currently under investigation.

He emphasized that no aerial confrontation had occurred in the region.

Attempts to disrupt Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities have failed thanks to the vigilance of Iran’s security and defense organizations.

An incident was reported at a part of the power network of the Natanz nuclear facility on April 11 morning.

The incident at the power distribution network of Shahid Ahmadi Roshan facility in Natanz has been blamed on Israel. While Tel Aviv officials have made implicit confession of the terrorist attack, the Israeli state and private media have acknowledged Mossad's leading role in the attack.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14000914000176/Iran-Tess-Defense-Sysem-abve-Naanz

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Anti-Houthi coalition intercepts 2 rebel drones from Yemen

Aziz al-Ahmadi  

06.12.2021

SANAA, Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Monday it had destroyed two drones fired by Houthi rebels towards Saudi territories.

A coalition statement cited by Saudi state news agency SPA said seven rebel drones had been intercepted by Saudi air defenses in the past 24 hours.

The statement said the coalition will deal “firmly” with the source of threats, without giving any further details.

The coalition said in another statement that it had bombed three rebel operation centers in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

The Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV reported that coalition warplanes had carried out five airstrikes on the al-Anab residential area in Sanaa.

Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, regularly announce rocket and drone attacks on Saudi targets, saying they are a reaction to the Saudi-led coalition’s assault on Yemen.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80% or about 30 million needing humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/anti-houthi-coalition-intercepts-2-rebel-drones-from-yemen/2439658

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Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in occupied West Bank

Esat Fırat  

06.12.2021

JERUSALEM

A Palestinian man was shot dead early Monday by Israeli security forces over a suspected a car-ramming attack on a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency service claimed in a statement that the man carried out the attack on the Jabara military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

The statement noted that an Israeli security guard was struck by a vehicle and seriously injured, adding security forces at the checkpoint shot and “neutralized” the Palestinian.

The security guard was taken to the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.

The Palestinian Authority has not released a statement so far regarding the alleged attack and the Palestinian’s identity has not been revealed.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israeli-soldiers-kill-palestinian-in-occupied-west-bank/2439543

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Europe

 

Macron announces a Saudi-French initiative to solve crisis with Lebanon: Asharq TV

04 December ,2021

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Saturday a Saudi-French initiative to solve a diplomatic row between several Gulf states and Lebanon, Asharq TV reported.

Saudi Arabia expelled Lebanon’s envoy to the kingdom, recalled its ambassador to Beirut and banned Lebanese imports after comments made by former Lebanese information minister George Kordahi.

Lebanon is facing a diplomatic crisis with Gulf states, spurred by critical comments by Information Minister Kordahi on the war in Yemen in late October that prompted Riyadh, Bahrain and Kuwait to expel Lebanon’s top diplomats and recall their own envoys. The UAE withdrew its envoys.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/04/Macron-announces-a-Saudi-French-initiative-to-solve-crisis-with-Lebanon-Asharq-TV

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French far-right commentator’s campaign rally ends in violence

Shweta Desai  

06.12.2021

PARIS

French far-right commentator Eric Zemmour's first official presidential campaign rally ended in violence Sunday as his supporters clashed with anti-racism activists.

Five activists of the non-governmental organization (NGO) SOS Racisme were injured during the brawl, which began after they stood up to highlight the words “No to Racism” on their T-shirts and chanted anti-racism slogans at the rally held in the Villepinte commune of the Seine-Saint-Denis suburb in northern Paris.

The organization said its activists were present for a peaceful action but were instead met with violence and insults.

A video circulating on social media showed pro-Zemmour supporters and members of his security team violently assaulting the activists, including women, throwing chairs and hurling abuse.

Zemmour himself came under attack as he was walking through the crowd towards the stage to begin his speech when an audience member tried to grab him by his neck. The police arrested the man on charges of “premeditated violence” and another 50 people for disturbing public order, unauthorized assembly and carrying weapons, BFMTV news reported.

Zemmour, who has twice been indicted by French courts for inciting racial hatred, defended that he and his supporters were “obviously not racist.”

“You may have heard that I was a fascist, that I was a racist, that I was a misogynist,” he told the crowd, refuting the charges against him as “ridiculous.” Addressing the audience, he said "all we want is to defend our heritage, we defend our country.”

Zemmour unveiled the name of his campaign movement as “Reconquest,” aimed at “reconquering” France. He asserted that he was “ready to helm the country,” as his observations after months of travelling across France confirmed “two fears that haunt the French: the fear of the great downgrading...and that of the great replacement.”

Known for advocating the far-right theory of the “great replacement” and anti-immigrant views, he claimed that if he comes to power, he will exercise “zero immigration policy.” He also said he would want France to exit from the US-led military alliance of NATO.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/french-far-right-commentator-s-campaign-rally-ends-in-violence/2439540

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Rights groups urge Macron to refuse protection to Syrian war criminal

Shweta Desai  

04.12.2021

PARIS

Human rights groups urged President Emmanuel Macron on Friday to ensure France exercises the principle of “universal jurisdiction” and refuse protection to perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

The request came after a court ruled that it had a lack of jurisdiction to prosecute a Syrian war criminal.

In an open letter titled, “France should not be a land where torturers are not tried in Syria,” 11 organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights League (LDH), European Constitution and Human Rights Center (ECCHR), appealed to Macron to urgently amend the legal Code of Criminal Procedure to prosecute individuals living in France who are accused of war crimes in their country of origin.

It concerns the Nov. 24 ruling in the case of former Syrian intelligence officer Abdulhamid C, who has been imprisoned in France since January on torture and crimes against humanity charges.

Prosecutors said he was part of a state operation in notorious detention facilities where hundreds of prisoners were tortured, starved and left to die.

Horrific images of corpses in the prisons documenting systematic torture by Assad forces, were made public as the Caesar Files Group after being smuggled out by a former Syrian military police employee named “Caesar.”

The criminal chamber of the Court of Cassation said French courts lacked jurisdiction to prosecute Syrians living in France for committing war crimes in Syria because that country has not ratified the Rome Statute and its domestic laws do not sanction crimes against humanity.

The court ruled on the basis of Article 689-11 in the Code of Criminal Procedure, which gives jurisdiction to French courts “over a person habitually residing in France who has committed one of the offenses listed in the Rome Statute, provided that the offense is punishable in the state in which it was committed or in the state of the person's citizenship, if the state is a party to the Rome Statute.”

The letter said France has sent a “disastrous signal to all the executioners on the planet” with the ruling.

It asked Macron to commit to the assurances given by him as a presidential candidate to enforce the “application of universal jurisdiction.”

The French judiciary in 2010 adopted a law which in effect rendered that genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in countries that are not a party to the Rome Statute, the Establishment of the International Criminal Court, cannot be tried in France. Thereby making “the exercise of universal jurisdiction for the most serious crimes is made legally impossible,” said the letter.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/rights-groups-urge-macron-to-refuse-protection-to-syrian-war-criminal/2438241

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North America

 

Ilhan Omar: House Minority Leader McCarthy is a ‘coward' for not condemning 'anti-Muslim bigotry’

December 6, 2021

US Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar says Republicans do not have the ability to condemn Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric because they are “normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry,” in the United States.

Omar, a Somali-born American Muslim, made the remarks in an interview with CNN on Sunday where she blasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for his reaction to Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert's “Islamophobic and racist comments” about Muslims, calling the GOP leader “a liar and a coward.”

“McCarthy is a liar and a coward. He doesn't have the ability to condemn the kind of bigoted Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric that are being trafficked by a member of his conference,” Omar told co-host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked about McCarthy.

Asked why McCarthy does not have the ability to censure such racist remarks, Omar said, “Because this is who they are,” referring to Republicans.

“And we have to be able to stand up to them, and we have to push them to reckon with the fact that their party right now is normalizing anti-Muslim bigotry,” she added.

Boebert in a statement last week apologized for her recent “Islamophobic and racist comments” after Omar and other Democrats called for an “appropriate action” against her for "anti-Muslim bigotry.”

But after a few days, Boebert showed no sign of remorse, posting a video that described her call with Omar and doubled down on her rhetoric against Muslims.

"Make no mistake. I will continue to fearlessly put America first, never sympathizing with terrorists. Unfortunately, Ilhan can't say the same thing and our country is worse off for it," Boebert said.

During an event in her Colorado district last month, Boebert told the audience about an encounter with Omar in the Capitol — which Omar says never happened.

“I was getting into an elevator with one of my staffers,” Boebert told the laughing crowd. “You know, we’re leaving the Capitol and we’re going back to my office and we get an elevator and I see a Capitol police officer running to the elevator. I see fret all over his face, and he’s reaching, and the door’s shutting, like I can’t open it, like what’s happening. I look to my left, and there she is. Ilhan Omar. And I said, ‘Well, she doesn’t have a backpack, we should be fine.’ ”

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//ilhan-omar-house-minority-leader-mccarthy-is-a-%e2%80%98coward-for-not-condemning-anti-muslim-bigotry%e2%80%99_1205599.html

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Omar confident Pelosi ‘will take care of’ anti-Muslim lawmaker

December 6, 2021

WASHINGTON: US representative Ilhan Omar said yesterday that she is confident House speaker Nancy Pelosi will take “decisive action” in coming days against Republican congressman Lauren Boebert, for remarks about Omar that have been decried as Islamophobic.

Boebert described Omar, a Muslim who was born in Somalia, as a member of a “jihad squad” at an event in her home state of Colorado last month and said it was safe to ride with her in a Capitol elevator if she was not wearing a backpack.

A first-term lawmaker who has vowed to defy Washington’s gun laws, Boebert apologised for the comments.

But a phone call between the two women ended in rancour with Boebert showing no sign of remorse.

Democrats later called for the House to strip Boebert of her committee assignments for what they called anti-Muslim bigotry.

“I have had a conversation with the speaker, and I’m very confident that she will take decisive action next week,” Omar told CNN’s “State of the Union” programme.

“When I first got to Congress, I was worried that I wasn’t going to be allowed to be sworn in because there was a ban on the hijab. She promised me that she would take care of it. She fulfilled that promise. She’s made another promise to me that she will take care of this. And I believe her.”

There was no immediate comment from Pelosi or Boebert.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy defended Boebert last week, saying she had apologised publicly and personally to Omar.

Omar did not say what action Pelosi might take.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2021/12/06/omar-confident-pelosi-will-take-care-of-anti-muslim-lawmaker/

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Iran abandoned any compromises in latest nuclear talks: US

05 December ,2021

Iran abandoned any compromises it had made in talks to revive its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, pocketed those made by others, and demanded more during indirect US-Iran talks this week, a senior US State Department official said.

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

Tehran’s stance during the first such talks in more than five months disappointed not just the United States and its European allies but also China and Russia, historically more sympathetic to Iran, the official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said this week.

While stressing that the United States still wanted to revive the deal, under which Iran had limited its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions, the official told reporters time was running short.

The indirect US-Iranian talks on saving the deal broke off on Friday in Vienna as European officials also voiced dismay at sweeping demands by Iran’s hard-line government.

The latest talks were the first with delegates sent by Iran’s anti-Western President Ebrahim Raisi, who was elected in June and whose government had said it needed time to prepare for fresh talks after the six rounds between April and June.

The senior US official said Iran used the time to speed up its nuclear program in “provocative” ways and to stonewall the UN nuclear watchdog charged with monitoring its eroding compliance with the deal.

While seeking to leave the door ajar for talks, the official blamed Iran as “the reason why there is not ... a mutual return to compliance” with the original deal struck with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Tehran, however, has placed the onus on Washington, noting that then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal in 2018 and reimposed US sanctions, prompting Iran to begin violating the nuclear restrictions starting in 2019.

The 2015 agreement imposed strict limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment activities, extending the time it would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon, if it chose to, to at least a year from around two to three months.

Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons, saying it only wants to master nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

While saying it was unclear whether China and Russia might ramp up economic pressure on Iran if talks fail, he suggested their positions may be evolving.

“They also were quite taken aback by the degree to which Iran had walked back its own compromises and then doubled down on the requests that it (made),” he said. “They do share a sense of disappointment, to put it diplomatically.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2021/12/05/Iran-abandoned-any-compromises-in-latest-nuclear-talks-US

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Southeast Asia

 

Defending Hannah Yeoh, DAP’s Sheikh Umar tells critics to look past differences

06 Dec 2021

BY BEN TAN

JOHOR BARU, Dec 6 — A DAP leader today suggested that Malaysians should embrace the country’s diversity and moderation or risk irrelevance, after one party colleague criticised Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh for wearing a hijab.

Johor DAP vice-chief Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said such traits were important as Malaysia was multicultural.

“We not only need to respect the culture, religion and views of others, but we must also realise that times have changed.

“We should adhere to such developments or we ourselves will be left behind,” said Sheikh Umar, responding to fellow Johor DAP member Dr Boo Cheng Hau’s remarks over the weekend against Yeoh for wearing a hijab headscarf to a mosque.

Sheikh Umar, who is also the Johor DAP Youth chief and the Paloh assemblyman, said Yeoh’s decision to put on the hijab was appropriate when visiting a mosque.

He said Islam does not prohibit non-Muslims from entering mosques as supported by the Syafi'e, Hambali and Hanafi schools of thought.

“However, some conditions must be complied with such as obtaining permission from the mosque’s management, dressing decently, including complying with the dress code such as wearing a headscarf, maintaining cleanliness and not doing prohibited activities that conflict with the sanctity of the mosque as a place of worship for Muslims,” he said.

Sheikh Umar, a graduate in Islamic studies majoring in Usuluddin, added that visiting people to assist them, irrespective of their religious or racial backgrounds, was also encouraged and advocated for in Islam.

He noted that a hadith (a collection of traditions containing sayings of Prophet Muhammad) in which the Prophet Muhammad had stood as a sign of respect when the funeral parade of a Jew passed in front of him.

Sheikh Umar said Boo should not have accused Yeoh of wearing a hijab to court Malay support, noting that the group was also part of her constituents.

“The Segambut parliamentary constituency (under Yeoh) consists of a majority of non-Malay voters where the Malays are only around 28 per cent while the Chinese make up 59 per cent.

“If it is true that Yeoh wants to gain the support of the Malay Muslim voters in Segambut, it is commended because it means that she cares for minority groups in her constituency,” he said.

Sheikh Umar explained that he initially did not want to participate in the argument.

“It is healthy in terms of freedom of speech, and yet this cultural political polemic between Dr Boo and Yeoh should not be too extreme to the point of annoying many others,” he said.

Last Saturday, Dr Boo and others criticised Yeoh after she was photographed wearing a hijab when visiting a mosque in Kuala Lumpur last week.

Dr Boo, a former Johor DAP leader, alleged that Yeoh’s decision to don the hijab was a move to appease the Malays.

Source: Malay Mail

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2021/12/06/defending-hannah-yeoh-daps-sheikh-umar-tells-critics-to-look-past-differenc/2026301

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Yeoh a great patriot and even greater friend, says Syed Saddiq

December 5, 2021

PETALING JAYA: Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has thrown his support behind Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh, who faced criticism after being photographed wearing a headscarf when visiting a mosque in Kuala Lumpur recently.

In a Facebook post, Syed Saddiq defended the “great, patriotic Malaysian and even greater friend” from the attacks she had received since her visit.

“The past few days have been tough on Hannah.

“On one hand, she has been labelled an ultra-Christian who wants to convert Muslims. On the other, she is being called a Chinese without a backbone who wants to conform to  Muslim norms.

“In my many, many conversations with Hannah, I have never once felt that she wanted to convert me to Christianity, nor have I felt that she’s a conformist.

Hannah Yeoh wearing a headscarf while visiting a mosque in her constituency last week. (Facebook pic)

“She is Hannah Yeoh. True to herself. Is she a devout Christian? Yes, but does that make her any less of a Malaysian? No.”

He said both Islam and Christianity alike espoused the importance of tolerance and acceptance.

“In Islam, Surah 49 Al-Hujurat verse 13 calls on us to appreciate diversity and value the moral essence of humans.

“Similarly, in Christianity, Matthew 22, verses 36-40, calls for respect and to appreciate diversity. And the call to ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ affirms this.”

He said that the Yeoh he knew was “ridiculously hardworking” and the recent attacks were unfair, given that she had been visiting mosques in her constituency for the last 13 years.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2021/12/05/yeoh-a-great-patriot-and-even-greater-friend-says-syed-saddiq/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=08e0Z6TyEsLtUW.RqcJOEH4F2AiGMsjl2haf2LtRj20-1638775570-0-gaNycGzNDv0

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URL:  https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/jammu-kashmir-textbook-blasphemous/d/125909


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