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Karnataka High Court Annuls Muslim Girl’s Marriage, Says POCSO Overrides Personal Law

New Age Islam News Bureau

31 October 2022


Karnataka High Court said in case of Muslim girl's marriageable age, POCSO Act will override personal law (Image: print)


• Minors among Riskiest Groups Facing Faith Change in Pakistan, Reports a Canada-Based Think Tank

• Takfiri Terror: Car Bombs at Somalia Market Intersection Killed At Least 100 and Wounded 300, al Shabaab Claims Responsibility

• Mahsa Amini Death Protest: Security Forces Tear Gas Students Defying Iran Protest Ultimatum

• Trudeau Joins Canadian Demonstrators In Support Of Iran Protests



• 25 Muslim Homes Demolished In Delhi; Women Allege Police Brutality

• Hyderabad: An anachronism in the modern world, a deeply fractured society



• 'There Is Internal Threat Due To This Political Turmoil': ISI Unfolds Many Secrets Of Pakistan

• Imran Khan Rewriting Definition of ‘Jihad’: Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman

• 'Yes, It Was Me': Imran Khan Admits To Advising Slain Journalist Arshad Sharif to Flee Pakistan

• Pakistan: Imran Khan halts long march after journalist crushed to death by his container

• I do not talk to 'boot polishers', Imran Khan responds to Pak PM's claim on offer of talks

• IHC stops ECP from holding by-poll on seat vacated after Imran’s disqualification

• By-election in Kurram adds another feather to Imran’s cap

• Jirga refuses to back military operation, form peace force



• Tear Gas Fired As Sudan Pro-Democracy Protests Spread

• US and UN condemn Somalia attacks which killed more than 100

• 15 killed in attack on army vehicle in Burkina Faso

• Algeria summit: Arab League denies ‘media partners’ in covering work of conference



• Rights Defending Association: Takfiris, Serious Threat to Global Peace

• Iranian journalists demand release of colleagues jailed for covering Amini’s death

• Iran shrine attack mourners chant against Mahsa Amini ‘riots’

• West Bank settler violence spreads ahead of Israeli general election

• President: Iran's Oil Exports near Pre-Sanctions Era

• IRGC Commander: US Standing at End of Road

• Tehran Confirms 5 Iranians Killed in Seoul Halloween Stampede

• Iran trial opens for five people facing death penalty over protests


North America

• Biden to attend COP27 climate conference in Egypt: White House

• Elon Musk's Twitter purchase draws flak over abuse-ridden Saudi funding

• FBI probes vandalism at North Dakota Muslim cemetery


Southeast Asia

• Malaysian Authorities Raid LGBT Halloween Party; Detain Attendees for Cross-Dressing

• PAS’ non-Muslim wing asks for 3 parliamentary, 12 state seats

• Stop interfering in Malaysia’s internal affairs, govt official tells UN about Myanmar deportations

• Rejecting PAS Signals Umno’s Return to Moderation, Says Zaid


South Asia

• 15 Months after Takeover, Islamic Emirate Not Recognized by World

• In Bandarban Operation, Bangladesh Targets Muslim Militant-Hill Tribe Rebel Link

• Bangladesh launches crackdown in Rohingya camps after murders

• 7 injured in an explosion in Kabul mosque

• UN Reaches 4.6 Million Afghan People with Aid

• Taliban Injects $12M to Market to Preserve Currency Rate


Arab World

• Fighters in Syria's Daraa Ready for Anti-Islamic State Operations

• Grand Imam of Al Azhar to participate in Bahrain Dialogue Forum

• Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun leaves office amid worsening crisis

• At least eight killed, more than 20 wounded in explosion in Baghdad

• Civilian killed in rocket strike by YPG/PKK terrorists in northwestern Syria

• Turki Al-Sheikh Opens Merwas, Largest Art and Entertainment Factory in the Arab World

• Muslim Council of Elders condemns terrorist attacks in Mogadishu



• New Zealand suspends bilateral human rights dialog with Iran

• EU examines classifying Iran Revolutionary Guards as terrorists: Germany

• Russia suspends role inspecting grain ships in Istanbul: JCC

• Türkiye, Ukraine, UN agree to move 16 vessels under Black Sea grain deal

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Karnataka High Court Annuls Muslim Girl’s Marriage, Says POCSO Overrides Personal Law


Karnataka High Court said in case of Muslim girl's marriageable age, POCSO Act will override personal law (Image: print)


Oct 31, 2022

Marriage of a Muslim minor girl, even if allowed under the religion’s personal law, is invalid as it violates provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, the Karnataka high court has observed in its recent order.

Hearing a bail plea of a man who married a minor Muslim girl, the high court bench of Justice Rajendra Badamikar rejected the argument that a minor Muslim girl’s marriage upon attaining puberty, or 15 years of age, will not contravene The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Live Law reported on Sunday.

The bench further observed that the POCSO Act, being a Special Act, overrides the personal law. As per the POCSO Act, the legal age for any woman to get involved in sexual activities is 18 years, it said.

The case was registered on June 16, when a 17-year-old girl was found to be pregnant during a check-up at a primary health care centre in Bengaluru. Since the girl was a minor, the health official informed the police following which a case under sections 9 (punishment for male adult marrying a child) and 10 (child marriage) of The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 and sections 4 and 6 of the Pocso Act (sexual assault) was registered against the petitioner at the KR Puram police station accusing him of marrying and impregnating a minor Muslim girl.

Seeking bail, the petitioner’s counsel argued before the high court that under Mohammedan Law, puberty is the consideration for marriage and normal puberty age is treated as 15 years hence, in the instant case, since the girl had attained puberty, there was no commission of an offence under sections 9 and 10 of the Act restraining child marriage, Live Law reported.

However, the bench categorically rejected this argument by stressing that POCSO Act overrides personal law.

The court further observed that there was no evidence to show that she raised any objections to her marriage and she was a consenting party. “Admittedly, the petitioner is the husband of the victim and looking to these facts and circumstances, there is no serious dispute regarding the marriage as the petitioner himself has produced the relevant documents before the trial,” the bench noted.

The court granted bail to the accused on his executing a personal bond for a sum of ₹1 lakh.

Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana high court in its order dated September 30 said that Muslim female aged 15 years and above can marry a person of her choice on her own willingness and consent, and such a marriage would not be void in terms of Section 12 of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006. The said order has been challenged in the Supreme Court by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

Source: Hindustan Times

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Minors among Riskiest Groups Facing Faith Change in Pakistan, Reports a Canada-Based Think Tank


Representative image


30 October, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 30 (ANI): Minor boys and girls in Pakistan are among the riskiest groups facing faith change in Pakistan as the rise of atrocities on minors among religious groups goes relatively unnoticed, reported a Canada-based think tank, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).

The ethnic minorities in the South Asian country are suffering the most as they are deprived of their basic rights and boys and girls are among Pakistan’s riskiest groups facing kidnapping and forcible conversion to Islam. Minor girls are also often forced into pre-arranged marriages.

As per the statistics of 2021, around a thousand cases were reported annually. In a recent incident in Sindh, Chanda Mehraj was kidnapped in Hyderabad, when she was returning home, her parents said, IIFFRAS reported.

Separately, a 13-year-old Sikh boy was gang-raped in Jacobabad whose assailants escaped from the police station.

Citing a report published in November 2021 by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Farahnaz Ispahani, a former member of the Pakistan National Assembly said: “Forced conversions are heinous because they coerce young girls from minority communities, who are used as soft targets to inflict pain and violence against the larger communities.”

“Pakistan has faced global opprobrium for its shaky commitments to safeguarding religious minorities, and the unwillingness of the Pakistani government to denounce extremism without equivocation. But that has not slowed the momentum of oppression targeting Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadis, who are among the most marginalized and persecuted groups in the country.

“Forced conversions are now the primary form of inflicting violence and wiping out entire communities in Pakistan. Most cases of forced conversion go unreported, as the status of religious minorities is significantly diminishing. Making matters exceedingly worse, such cases bring layers of trauma to the victims and their families,” she added, reported IIFFRAS.

The misuse of the draconian blasphemy laws against minorities and even members of the Muslim community to settle personal grudges is rampant in Pakistan.

The minorities in Pakistan are constantly being murdered and subjected to inhuman brutalities in the name of blasphemy, conversion to Islam, and other sectarian differences. (ANI)

Source: The Print

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Takfiri Terror: Car Bombs at Somalia Market Intersection Killed At Least 100 and Wounded 300, al Shabaab Claims Responsibility


General view shows the scene of an explosion near the education ministry building along K5 Street in Mogadishu, Somalia October 29, 2022. REUTERS/Feisal Omar


By Abdi Sheikh and Abdiqani Hassani

MOGADISHU, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The two car bombs that exploded at Somalia's education ministry next to a busy market intersection killed at least 100 people and wounded 300, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on Sunday, warning the death toll could rise.

Saturday's attack was the deadliest since a truck bomb exploded at the same intersection in October 2017, killing more than 500 people.

The al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility, saying the ministry was at the centre of a "war on minds" that teaches Somali children using a Christian-based syllabus. Members of the security forces were among the dead and injured, its statement emailed to media said.

Al Shabaab, which is seeking to topple the government and establish its own rule based on an extreme interpretation of Islamic law, frequently stages attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

The first of the explosions hit the education ministry at around 2 p.m. on Saturday. The second hit minutes later as ambulances arrived and people gathered to help the victims.

Mohamed Moalim, who owns a small restaurant near the intersection, said his wife, Fardawsa Mohamed, a mother of six, rushed to the scene after the first explosion to try to help.

President Mohamud said some of the wounded were in a serious condition and the death toll could rise.

"Our people who were massacred ... included mothers with their children in their arms, fathers who had medical conditions, students who were sent to study, businessmen who were struggling with the lives of their families," he said after visiting the scene.

The K5 intersection normally teems with people buying and selling everything from food, clothing and water to foreign currency and khat, a mild narcotic leaf. But it was quiet on Sunday, with emergency workers still cleaning blood from the streets and buildings.

Somalia's international partners condemned the attack and sent condolences to affected families.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement on Sunday the United States "strongly condemns the tragic terrorist attack" and it remains "committed to supporting the Federal Government of Somalia in its fight to prevent such callous terrorist acts."

A spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement that he "strongly condemns these heinous attacks and reiterates that the United Nations stands in solidarity with Somalia against violent extremism."

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted that his organization was ready to provide support to the government to care for the injured.

"These senseless attacks against innocent civilians including women and children only serve to remind us of the group's barbarity towards its own people and reveals the true hypocrisy of its intent," the European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said in a statement.

The chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, urged the international community to "redouble its efforts to ensure robust international support to Somalia's institutions in their struggle to defeat terrorist groups".

With support from the United States and allied local militias, the president has launched an offensive against the group, although results have been limited.

Abdullahi Aden said his friend, Ilyas Mohamed Warsame, was killed while travelling in his three-wheeled "tuk tuk" taxi to see relatives before returning to his home in Britain.

"We recognised the number plate of the tuk tuk, which was now rubble," Aden said.

"Exhausted and desperate, we found his body at midnight last night in hospital," he said. "I can't get the image out of my mind."

Source: Reuters

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 Mahsa Amini Death Protest: Security Forces Tear Gas Students Defying Iran Protest Ultimatum


Police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police", in Tehran, Iran September 19, 2022. WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS


30 October, 2022

Protests in Iran entered a more violent phase on Sunday as students, who defied an ultimatum by the Revolutionary Guards and a warning from the president, were met with tear gas and gunfire from security forces, social media videos showed.

The confrontations at dozens of universities prompted the threat of a tougher crackdown in a seventh week of demonstrations sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the morality police for attire deemed inappropriate.

“Security is the red line of the Islamic Republic, and we will not allow the enemy to implement in any way its plans to undermine this valuable national asset,” hardline President Ebrahim Raisi said, according to state media.

Iranians from all walks of life have taken to the streets since Amini's death in protests that the clerical rulers said were endangering the Islamic Republic's security.

Authorities have accused Islamic Iran's arch-enemies the United States and Israel and their local agents of being behind the unrest to destabilize the country.

What began as outrage over Amini's death on Sept. 16 has evolved into one of the toughest challenges to clerical rulers since the 1979 revolution, with some protesters calling for the death of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The top commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards told protesters that Saturday would be their last day of taking to the streets, the harshest warning yet by Iranian authorities.

Nevertheless, videos on social media, unverifiable by Reuters, showed confrontations between students and riot police and Basij forces on Sunday at universities all over Iran.

One video showed a member of Basij forces firing a gun at close range at students protesting at a branch of Azad University in Tehran. Gunshots were also heard in a video shared by rights group HENGAW from protests at the University of Kurdistan in Sanandaj.

Videos from universities in some other cities also showed Basij forces opening fire at students.

Across the country, security forces tried to block students inside university buildings, firing tear gas and beating protesters with sticks. The students, who appeared to be unarmed, pushed back, with some chanting “dishonoured Basij get lost” and “Death to Khamenei”.

History of crackdowns

Social media reported arrests of at least a dozen doctors, journalists and artists since Saturday. The activist HRANA news agency said 283 protesters had been killed in the unrest as of Saturday including 44 minors. Some 34 members of the security forces were also killed.

More than 14,000 people have been arrested, including 253 students, in protests in 132 cities and towns, and 122 universities, it said.

The Guards and its affiliated Basij force have crushed dissent in the past. They said on Sunday, “seditionists” were insulting them at universities and in the streets, and warned they may use more force if the anti-government unrest continued.

“So far, Basijis have shown restraint and they have been patient,” the head of the Revolutionary Guards in the Khorasan Junubi province, Brigadier General Mohammadreza Mahdavi, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

“But it will get out of our control if the situation continues.”

Journalists appeal

More than 300 Iranian journalists demanded the release of two colleagues jailed for their coverage of Amini in a statement published by the Iranian Etemad and other newspapers on Sunday.

Niloofar Hamedi took a photo of Amini's parents hugging each other in a Tehran hospital where their daughter was lying in a coma.

The image, which Hamedi posted on Twitter, was the first signal to the world that all was not well with Amini, who had been detained three days earlier by Iran's morality police for what they deemed inappropriate dress.

Elaheh Mohammadi covered Amini's funeral in her Kurdish hometown Saqez, where the protests began. A joint statement released by Iran’s intelligence ministry and the intelligence organisation of the Revolutionary Guards on Friday had accused Hamedi and Mohammadi of being CIA foreign agents.

Students and women have played a prominent role in the unrest, burning their veils as crowds call for the fall of the Islamic Republic, which came to power in 1979.

An official said on Sunday the establishment had no plan to retreat from compulsory veiling but should be “wise” about enforcement.

“Removing the veil is against our law and this headquarters will not retreat from its position,” Ali Khanmohammadi, the spokesman of Iran’s headquarters for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice told the Khabaronline website.

“However, our actions should be wise to avoid giving enemies a pretext to use it against us.”

In a further apparent effort to defuse the situation, Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said people were right to call for reform and their demands would be met if they distanced themselves from the “criminals” taking to the streets.

“We consider the protests to be not only correct and the cause of progress, but we also believe that these social movements will change policies and decisions, provided that they are separated from violent people, criminals and separatists,” he said, using terms officials typically use for the protesters.


Trudeau Joins Canadian Demonstrators In Support Of Iran Protests

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marches along Alexandra Bridge during a protest in support of women in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Oct. 29, 2022.


30 October, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marched with protesters in the Canadian capital of Ottawa Saturday in support of demonstrations that have swept Iran for more than 40 days.

“The women in Iran, daughters and the grandmothers and the allies... they are not forgotten,” Trudeau said, standing in front of a white banner covered with dozens of red hand prints.

Iran has been gripped by six weeks of protests that erupted when Mahsa Amini, 22, died in custody after her arrest for an alleged breach of Iran’s strict dress rules for women.

“We will stand with you. I’ll march with you, I will hold hands with you. We will continue to stand with this beautiful community,” Trudeau said, before ending his speech by shouting Persian slogans, his fist raised.

The prime minister’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, also joined the protest, saying, “I stand with you because when one woman’s right is being denied, it is a sign of disrespect for all women.”

“And we will leave no sister behind.”

Trudeau highlighted several rounds of sanctions imposed by the Canadian government against senior Iranian officials over the last month, levied due to the regime’s “gross and systematic human rights violations.”

Amini supporters also attended rallies in other Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, where marchers formed human chains.

And thousands also protested Saturday in Paris and throughout France.

Source: Al Arabiya

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25 Muslim homes demolished in Delhi; women allege police brutality

29th October 2022

The Delhi Development Authority along with the Delhi police on October 21 reportedly demolished 25 houses in a Muslim locality.

It is to be noted that the residents had gone to offer Friday prayers at the time of the incident that occurred in the Kharak Riwara Satbari area. On October 27 a few activists visited the area and alleged that the DDA had demolished their homes.

One of the activists gauging the situation stated that a few women faced police brutality during the incident. They added that the police claimed that the land belongs to a private dealer. “No survey has been conducted so far. No process was followed,” an activist, Anupradha was quoted as saying by Maktoob Media.

Source: Siasat Daily

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Hyderabad: An anachronism in the modern world, a deeply fractured society

30th October 2022

New Delhi: Hyderabad, without doubt like Kashmir, was one of the premier states of India. Though perceived to be medieval and backward, it was an anachronism since it had an ambitious economic and industrial policy with a heterogenous population of almost a crore and half.

It was a state which was governed by a succession of British India statesmen since the ruler had the reputation of being a God-fearing recluse who loved to compose couplets in the solitude of his none-too-pompous palace. Considered to be the richest man in the East, and one of the great hoarders of his time, his wealth it was said lay in dust-laden sacks and was unfathomable.

The population of the state was a great mixture of social groups and classes with sharp differences of outlook and behaviour. A curious combination of the new and old world — a parasitic class of indolent nobles and jagirdars, polite in behaviour but feudal in outlook, and a vast multitude of semi-starved people tied to the soil for the benefit of their lords. Then there was a small but compact class of officials and public servants, a sort of new aristocracy superimposed as the rulers and a discontented but ill-organised mass of educated middle class; loitering Arabs with naked swords sauntering in the parks and streets with no definite purpose in life and scattered groups of idlers and hangers-on crowding the tea shops and the cafes to discuss the yarn that one of them had spun around the latest scandal in the city.

This is what Hyderabad looked like at first glance, but a deeper probe revealed a greater sense of conflict, a seething discontent and a mighty struggle brewing from within. It was a communal tinderbox. It went back to the time of Lord Minto’s viceroyalty when the Hindu-Muslim divide was first given shape. It caught on in Hyderabad in the 1920s primarily due to the aggressively militant behaviour of the Muslim communal leadership, which arrogated to itself the right to speak not only on behalf of the Muslims of Hyderabad, but also for the reclusive Nizam himself.

Geographically and linguistically, Hyderabad at the time consisted of three distinct parts that were portions of the three great provinces — Andhra, Maharashtra and Karnataka in the immediate neighbourhood. There were at the time approximately 70 lakh Andhraites, 50 lakh Maharashtrians and 25 lakh Kanarese. Hindus formed about 85 percent of the population and Muslims, the biggest minority community, about 10 percent. It was felt that an invidious distinction had been maintained with regard to the recruitment to services and the Hindus had as a result felt ignored and hurt.

The argument of the government that the Muslims are service-minded and thus drawn towards state services by temperament and historical tradition did not appeal to the Hindus. The education policy of the state, which had enforced Persianised Urdu both as the official language and also the medium of instruction in the secondary stages of education, had also not found favour with the large mass of the population, leading to the growing divide. There was also a sense that a complete suppression of civil liberties due to the various regulations and circulars of the government and the Ecclesiastical Department made it impossible for people to carry on with their normal religious and social activities.

Repeated attempts of both Hindus and Muslims to establish common political and social organisations were almost instantaneously suppressed with characteristic ruthlessness and violence. The Hindu Praja Mandal was the organisation of the Hindus and the counterpart of the Hindu Mahasabha in Hyderabad. After the uprisings of 1938, other religious organisations such as the Arya Samaj, Hindu Civil Liberties Union and Hindu Praja Mandal came into prominence and became the organisations trusted by the Hindus for their definitive political and social programmes. But these organisations at the time were under the influence of the Hindu Mahasabha and opposed to the politics of the Indian National Congress, which was trying to gain a toehold in the state.

In what was a polarised society, Muslim politics was completely dominated by a communal leadership. In the absence of civil liberties and consequently popular political organisations, Muslim communalism thrived greatly on the exaggerated fears and suspicions of the community. Muslim politics of Hyderabad was thus dominated by two streams — the first and more powerful was known as the King Kothi Group, which was represented by an organisation called the Majlis Ithad-ul-Muselmeen, and the other school of thought, for want of a better description, was called the New Aristocracy Group, which had no formal organisation representing it but comprised Nationalist Muslims.

The King Kothi Group represented the aggressively communal and militant section of Hyderabadi Muslims who regarded Hyderabad as a Muslim State with Muslims as the ruling elite and the Nizam as the symbol of their sovereignty. The complete hold of Muslims over the government and administrative machinery was therefore not just a measure of political expediency, but also viewed as an inherent right and privilege of the ruling class. This led to the belief in the run-up to independence that Hyderabad could retain its sovereign status either in alliance with other powerful Indian states such as Travancore, or as an independent member of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Affiliated to the Majlis were several auxiliary bodies such as the Anjuman-i-Tabligh, Anjuman-i-Khaksaran and Muslim Volunteer Corps, which worked under the guidance and supervision of the parent body. The Majlis stood for the supremacy of the ruling race and status quo of the Nizam’s continuing rule. Against the much condemned Constitutional reforms, which weren’t introduced after six years of their announcement, the Majlis took an extremely aggressive position.

Hyderabad, the Majlis argued, needed no change either in the system of government or in its administrative machinery. They rioted on several occasions and even threatened to take up arms if a change was contemplated either in the position of the ruler, or in the proportion of Muslims in the administrative set-up. Towards the Hyderabad State Congress, the Majlis was equally antagonistic. The government was openly threatened that if the ban on the State Congress was lifted, a state of civil war would be unleashed. The Congress remained a non-sequitur. The Nationalist Muslims did not have an organised set-up and though they were progressive, they lacked a cohesive following.

Their view was that Hyderabad needed change, but their quest for security overrode any sincere desire to take the state towards the goal of full responsible government. While the Nizam was supreme, the jagirdars occupied a dominant position in the scheme of things simply because they were loyal to the Nizam. The Muslim middle class and intelligentsia formed the bulk of the official class which constantly played safe. Hyderabad was thus the confluence of reactionary upper class attitudes and the revolutionary nature of the mass movement, which only aggravated the communal situation on the ground for the majority community, in this case the Hindus.

Then there was also the Muslim revivalist movement which received a huge response and, as Sir William Pell Barton, a former British Resident (1925-30), explained, Hyderabad was becoming the cultural centre of Islam in India. The establishment of Usmania (Osmania, named after the Nizam) University and the introduction of personalised Urdu as the official language of the state as also the medium of instruction were naturally a fulfilment of the same desire.

At the very centre of this sphere of influence was the Nizam himself because he took a personal interest in Muslim politics in India. He claimed he was descended from Abu Bakr, the first Caliph of Islam, and his son had married the daughter of the last of the Caliphs. The ex-Sultan of Turkey received a pension of 4,000 pounds sterling.

The Muslim leadership in British India obviously gravitated towards the Nizam and Hyderabad. On any occasion the personal intervention of Jinnah averted serious conflict between Muslim communalists and the government. Especially after the constitutional reforms of 1939, when it was Jinnah who came to Hyderabad on behalf of the Majlis to receive personal assurances from the Nizam regarding the statutory position of Muslims in the state.

Consistent with this attitude, the government ruthlessly suppressed all popular efforts at building up a healthy and progressive public life in the state. The State Congress was crushed but communalism was encouraged subtly. The Firman of April 1909 was probably the first official statement which referred to Hyderabad as an Islamic State.

But this theory received greater publicity after the First Round Table Conference, when Sir William enunciated the narrative that the Muslims of Hyderabad, in spite of their numerical unimportance, could not be considered a minority because they were the Ruling Race of Hyderabad. Subsequent British officials popularised this rationale with greater clarity.

Samuel Thomas Hollins, the then Director General of Police, is reported to have announced to the State Congress prisoners: “This is an Islamic State and the Hindus must accept the Muslims as the ruling race. If you are unwilling to do so, you are liberty to leave Hyderabad.” This is just one of the many instances of racial bitterness and communal discord preached and fostered by British officers in the state.

The Nizam added to this chaos through his Firman-i-Mubarak of July 1939 wherein he referred to Hyderabad as the ‘Muslim State’ and his PM, Sir Akbar Hydari, finally restated this position in his Arzdasht of July 15, 1939, which stated, “… the importance of the Muslim community in the State, by virtue of its historical position and its status in the body politic, is so obvious that it cannot be reduced to the status of a minority in the Assembly.”

Source: Siasat Daily

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'There is internal threat due to this political turmoil': ISI unfolds many secrets of Pakistan

Oct 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's spy agency ISI unfolded many secrets for the first time in an explosive interview by ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum along with director general ISPR Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar.

Talking about former prime minister Imran Khan's "Long March", Gen Anjum said there is no external threat to Pakistan, however, there is an internal threat due to this political turmoil.

"When you do politics on the basis of hate and divide, this harms the country and the same was the reason for Pakistan's dismemberment," reported The Nation.

On PTI's long march, he said every political party has the right to organize a march but within peaceful means and if there is any threat to the country then we would intervene.

Regarding their working relationship with Khan, they said both Army and ISI refused to do illegal and unconstitutional acts asked by him, which was why he (Imran) dubbed these state institutions as 'Mir Jaffar' and 'Mir Sadiq' and 'neutrals', reported The Nation.

Addressing a rare and unprecedented joint news conference at the ISPR headquarters in Rawalpindi, Anjum said: "We could commit a mistake, however, we cannot be traitors or conspirator."

"If the commander-in-chief is a traitor then why did you meet him in hiding? Meeting [him] is your right but it cannot be possible that you meet at night and call [him] a traitor in the day," asked the DG ISI.

When asked by many journalists what prompted him to appear before the media, Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum said, "I have decided to appear before the media after the decision of the institution, and the institution was being targeted and maligned and our soldiers who are giving sacrifices for the motherland, baseless accusations against them are not acceptable".

He further disclosed that last March the previous government in order to fail the no-confidence motion, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was offered an unlimited extension, but he turned down the offer, reported The Nation.

DG ISPR said the appointment of the new Army Chief will take place on time in accordance with the constitutional requirements and in the due time frame.

Meanwhile, Lt Gen Babar presented all evidence of Arshad Sharif's departure from Peshawar airport including his tickets and other documents, and made it clear that he left under the pressure of Imran Khan, reported The Nation.

"A threat alert was issued by the KP government against Arshad Sharif, which the federal government or agencies never knew," he said.

"There were reports that he (Arshad Sharif) did not want to leave the country but he kept being reminded that he was facing a threat to his life," he said.

He termed the murder of Arshad Sharif as most unfortunate and said the slain journalist was an "icon of journalism in Pakistan". He noted and eulogized the services of late Arshad Sharif in defence sector reporting and said that members of his family had served in the army, adding that he always felt the pain of martyred officers.

Talking more about the diplomatic cypher, Gen Babar Iftikhar said that Army Chief Gen Bajwa had discussed the matter with the then PM Imran Khan on March 11 and the army chief termed it "not a big thing".

Source: Times Of India

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Imran Khan Rewriting Definition of ‘Jihad’: Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman

Oct 31, 2022

All Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi on Sunday claimed that religion was their red line, adding that the way former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan was using religion and throwing about words such as ‘jihad’, the established definition of these words would have to be rewritten.

He said this while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday.

Ashrafi criticized the former premier and chairman PTI Imran Khan for his anti-establishment statements.

Ashrafi said, ‘Imran’s allegations against Pakistan’s military are pleasing the enemy.“

He added that efforts of the Army for the elimination of terrorism were commendable.

He went on to say that the strength of Pakistan is associated with the strength of its institutions.

While referring to Imran Khan’s statements about military officials, he said, “In recent days, the country’s armed forces and senior officers have been severely criticized.

“The justice system and courts are available in the country. Imran should have knocked on the doors of courts,” Ashrafi added.

Ashrafi continued to say that “Whoever wants to name and shame, can take the stage and do it.” He said,

“You have been exactly what makes India happy.”

Source: Samaa English

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'Yes, it was me': Imran Khan admits to advising slain journalist Arshad Sharif to flee Pakistan

Oct 31, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Responding to ruckus gaining traction over who had asked the hardcore critic, journalist Arshad Sharif to flee the country, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and former prime minister Imran Khan has record-breakingly exclaimed, "Yes, it was me!"

In an exclusive one-on-one conversation with Daily Times, Khan asserted on Wednesday that even though he stands by his claims, no one has dared asked him why he advised Sharif to leave the motherland as early as possible.

"Call me on any forum of your liking and I will bring to light all the details," he continued.

Khan wondered why those taking great interest in the naming game hesitated in finding answers about the life-threatening circumstances braved by a "patriot who never compromised his conscience," reported Daily Times.

The former premier condemned the murder of Pakistani renowned journalist Arshad Sharif saying that he was a patriot and bore the pain of Pakistan as no one ever had.

"Today if the nation does not stand for him, there will be no difference between us and animals," he said.

The PTI chairman said that Arshad Sharif stood for truth and his conscience had no value, reported Daily Times.

"I respected Arshad Sharif the most in journalism, I am very sorry for the martyrdom of Arshad Sharif."

He also maintained that journalists are being harassed all across Pakistan. He added, "Arshad Sharif was target killed and he is the martyr as he didn't get scared of the threat calls nor did he step back."

Arshad Sharif (49), a senior Pakistani journalist was killed in cold blood on October 24 in Kenya when he was driving from Magadi to Nairobi, accompanied by his brother Khurram Ahmed at around 10:00 pm.

Meanwhile, the killing of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya reveals the unholy nexus of the Pakistan army and Kenyan Death Squads.

Arshad Sharif's murder is a lot more than what is being revealed by both the Pakistani and the Kenyan government, analysts are divided over whether the incident is an accident or another victim of Pakistan's deep state operations? reported The Geneva Daily.

Source: Times Of India

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Pakistan: Imran Khan halts long march after journalist crushed to death by his container

Oct 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani journalist attending former prime minister Imran Khan's long march died on Sunday after being crushed under his container, an incident that forced him to halt the march for the day. The deceased was identified as Channel 5 reporter Sadaf Naeem.

After the tragic incident, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman called off activities for the day.

"We are ending today's march due to an accident. We have decided to stop here," Khan said.

Khan also sent his condolences to the family of the deceased and said that he would pray for the departed soul.

The long march would start from Kamoke on its fourth day on Monday. Earlier, it was planned to reach Gujranwala by the end of its third day.

Geo News reported that Sadaf was hit by the container carrying Khan but it was not confirmed.

She was trying to interview Khan for her TV channel, Dunya TV reported.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, while reacting to the death of the journalist, said that he was deeply saddened by the death of the reporter.

He further wrote in his tweet that Sadaf Naeem was a dynamic and hardworking reporter, adding that he prays for the forgiveness of the deceased and patience for the family.

Information Minister Maryyium Aurangzeb expressed shock over Sadaf's death and questioned how the reporter was run over by the container-carrying truck used by Khan.

Source: Times Of India

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I do not talk to 'boot polishers', Imran Khan responds to Pak PM's claim on offer of talks

Oct 30, 2022

MURIDKE: Responding to Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's claim that PTI chairman sought talks on the new army chief's appointment, he said that he does not talk to "boot polishers", local media reported.

"I spoke to those with whom Shehbaz hid in the trunk of the car to speak," said Imran. He also questioned why he would send a message to the premier, he said while addressing the long march participants at Murdike, Geo News reported.

The former prime minister also said that he was not raised in a "military dictator's nursery", Geo News reported.

"I do not call Ayub Khan daddy like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. I am not like Nawaz Sharif who build General Jilani's home and pressed General Ziaul Haq's knees to become a minister," said the PTI leader, Geo News reported.

On the Indian media's coverage of his attack on military officials, the PTI chief told the neighbouring country's media that his party is standing with the army.

"I came to power with the people's power not because of the establishment," claimed Imran Khan, adding that he only seeks rule of law in the country and the protection of the people's rights.

Source: Times Of India

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IHC stops ECP from holding by-poll on seat vacated after Imran’s disqualification

Tahir Naseer

October 31, 2022

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday barred the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) from holding a by-election for NA-95 (Mianwali) which had fallen vacant after PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s disqualification in the Toshakhana reference.

The court issued the directives while hearing Imran’s plea against the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to disqualify him. Days after disqualifying Imran under Article 63(1)(p) of the Constitution, the ECP had on Oct 24 de-notified Imran as MNA from NA-95 with “immediate effect”.

The PTI chief had filed a plea with the IHC, challenging the ECP’s decision to disqualify him over what the electoral watchdog cited as his failure to properly account for monetary proceeds from the sale of Toshakhana gifts while he was the prime minister.

The plea urged the court to declare the ECP’s order “misconceived” and set it aside.

During today’s hearing, Imran’s counsel Barrister Ali Zafar pointed out that his client had been de-notified by the ECP from NA-95 (Mianwali).

Justice Aamer Farooq, who presided over the hearing, asked whether the National Assembly speaker had submitted the reference against Imran. Imran’s counsel replied in the affirmative, adding that the ECP had disqualified the former premier under Article 63(1)(p).

Justice Aamer Farooq questioned whether the National Assembly speaker could disqualify a lawmaker after the latter has been “sentenced”. He also asked if the NA speaker had drafted the reference himself or someone had submitted a request.

He noted that the reference stated that Imran was no longer sadiq and ameen (honest and righteous).

Barrister Zafar said that according to the ECP, the commission could disqualify anyone under the Elections Act.

During the hearing the court also asked whether each lawmaker submitted statements of assets annually.

The PTI counsel replied that each and every lawmaker had to submit their asset statements. He also argued that there was no need to include those assets which had been sold.

“Your assembly membership gets suspended if you do not submit the statements,” Barrister Zafar told the court.

After hearing the arguments, the court issued notices to the respondents and adjourned the hearing till Nov 10. The court also accepted miscellaneous applications filed by Imran seeking to incorporate additional documents to the case record.

Speaking to media after the hearing, Barrister Zafar said the ECP’s decision had been suspended in a way as it could not be implemented.

He insisted that the ECP’s verdict was legally and constitutionally “incorrect”. “The ECP can make a decision after a trial but not without it.”

Imran’s disqualification

The ECP had concluded that the former premier had indeed made “false statement and incorrect declarations” regarding the gifts — a ruling that prompted widespread protests by the PTI.

In his petition, Imran also sought a court declaration stating that the ECP lacked the jurisdiction to decide “any questions of ‘corrupt practices and disqualification’” under the Election Act and Election Rules, 2017.

The Tosha­khana is a department under the administrative control of the Cabinet Division and stores precious gifts given to rulers, parliamentarians, bureaucrats, and officials by heads of other governments and states and foreign dignitaries.

Source: Dawn

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By-election in Kurram adds another feather to Imran’s cap

Jawed Hussain

October 31, 2022

KURRAM: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chair­man and former prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday trounced his Pakistan Dem­o­cratic Movement-backed rival and other candidates to win the by-poll on the Nat­ional Assembly’s constituency NA-45 Kurram-1.

According to unofficial results of all 143 polling stations, Mr Khan rec­e­ived 20,748 votes against 12,718 secured by his close rival Jamil Khan.

The turnout remained around 18.4 per cent as voters mostly stayed away from the polling process.

With this victory, Mr Khan has won all the four National Assembly seats in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where by-elections were held for filling seats dec­lared vacant after the resignations of the then incumbent MNAs, belonging to PTI.

This seat had fallen vacant with the resignation of ex-MNA Fakhar Zaman Khan.

With 16 candidates in the run, the Election Commission of Pakistan had set up 143 polling stations out of which 119 were declared as most sensitive and remaining 24 as sensitive.

Police, Levies and paramilitary forces were deployed at the polling stations. No untoward incident was reported from any polling station.

A total of 198,618 voters, including 111,349 male and 87,269 female voters, exercised their right to vote.

Source: Dawn

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Jirga refuses to back military operation, form peace force

Haleem Asad

October 31, 2022

LOWER DIR: A grand jirga of elders and politicians from all parts of Malakand division dec­lared on Sunday that “we shall neither form a peace force” to combat militants nor would “we support any military operation”.

The declaration said the jirga had “reservations” over the acts of terrorism, extortion and lawlessness over the last five months in Malakand division.

The jirga called upon the state to identify the elements involved in terrorist acts and killing of innocent people. “The state should deal with militants with an iron hand.”

The jirga also criticised an “irresponsible” statement by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government spokesman Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, who earlier claimed the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakis­tan was not behind targeted killings and extortion incidents in the province. It said a grand jirga of elders at divisional level would be formed through voting to take measures for durable peace.

Malakand elders ask state to deal with militants with ‘iron hand’

The jirga vowed to condemn with one voice, regardless of political affiliation, any untoward incident in any part of Malakand division.

The jirgas at district level would be encouraged to launch campaigns for peace and to raise political awareness.

According to the declaration, all districts of Malakand division would be given an equal presentation in the “grand Jirga”. It said that the grand Jirga would work for resolving local disputes that tended to disrupt peace in the region.

A meeting of the political parties, civil society and elders from Swat, Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Malakand, Buner and Chitral was organised by the Dir Qaumi Pasoon (DQP), a body of elders, at Chakdara last week.

Political leaders, representatives of civil society and local elders attended the meeting. Malik Jehan Alam, the DQP chief, MPA Haji Bahadar Khan, former provincial minister Muzafar Said, former MNA Sahibzada Yaqub Khan, PML-N divisional president Malik Jehan Zeb Khan, former MPA Malik Behram Khan, ANP senior vice president Hussain Shah Yousafzai, JUI-F district chief Ameer Siraj ud Din and others.

The meeting also decided to form a grand jirga in Malakand division for the establishment of peace and harmony. The speakers said the nation would neither form a peace army nor fight against the militants.

They said that it was the sole responsibility of the state and its institutions to provide protection of the lives and property of the people against the elements that disrupted peace and order. They said that terrorist acts, complaints of extortion and lawlessness in the last five months in Malakand Division had worried the masses.

Source: Dawn

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Tear gas fired as Sudan pro-democracy protests spread

30 October, 2022

Security forces firing tear gas confronted pro-democracy demonstrators across Sudan on Sunday, AFP correspondents and witnesses said.

Hoisting Sudanese flags and posters of activists killed in the past 12 months of protests, demonstrators attempted to march on the presidential palace in central Khartoum as security forces used tear gas to disperse them.

“We are living in a non-state. It has been a year... But we will continue... The whole country is out in the street,” demonstrator Momen Wad Zineb told AFP.

On October 25, 2021, army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan seized power, arresting civilian leaders and derailing a transition to civilian rule that had started with the 2019 ouster of long-time autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

According to pro-democracy medics, 119 people have been killed in the crackdown on near-weekly pro-democracy protests that have been held since.

Mass protests were reignited last week on the first anniversary of the power grab, when thousands marched across Sudan, demanding an end to the political and economic crisis that has gripped the country.

One protester was killed Tuesday when he was crushed by a military vehicle in Omdurman, according to pro-democracy medics.

“We are continuing our movement, holding to our three principles: no negotiation, no partnership, and no legitimacy” for the military, Asma Harzaoui said in Khartoum, echoing the protest movement's rallying cry.

Eyewitnesses said thousands also demonstrated in the cities of Wad Madani and El Obeid, south of Khartoum, and Kassala, Gedaref and Port Sudan in the east.

Tear gas, usually used against marches in the capital, was fired at protesters in Gedaref and Port Sudan as well as in Khartoum, Omdurman and North Khartoum, where protesters tried to cross the bridge leading to the centre of the capital.

Protesters chanted, “soldiers go back to the barracks” and demanded a return to civilian rule as well as justice for protesters killed in the crackdown.

In addition, a broader security breakdown nationwide has left nearly 600 dead and more than 210,000 displaced as a result of ethnic violence this year, according to the United Nations.

The country, already one of the world's poorest, has also been sinking deeper into economic crisis.

Western governments say Sudan must return to civilian rule before crucial aid halted in response to the coup can resume.

Source: Al Arabiya

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US and UN condemn Somalia attacks which killed more than 100

31 October, 2022

The United Nations and US on Sunday separately condemned attacks in Somalia’s capital which killed at least 100 people and injured hundreds more.

In Mogadishu on Saturday, two cars packed with explosives blew up minutes apart near the busy Zobe intersection, followed by gunfire in an attack targeting Somalia’s education ministry.

UN chief Antonio Guterres “extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, which include United Nations staff, as well as the Government and people of Somalia,” the secretary-general’s spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement.

Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying its fighters were targeting the ministry of education.

Guterres “strongly condemns these heinous attacks and reiterates that the United Nations stands in solidarity with Somalia against violent extremism,” his spokesperson said.

The White House on Sunday also condemned the “tragic terrorist attack in Mogadishu... and in particular its heinous targeting of the Somali Ministry of Education and first responders.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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15 killed in attack on army vehicle in Burkina Faso

James Tasamba  


KIGALI, Rwanda

At least 15 people, including 13 soldiers, were killed in an attack on a military vehicle in eastern Burkina Faso, the army announced on Sunday.

The attack attributed to armed terrorists occurred on Saturday in the rural commune of Kikideni, in the Gourma province.

“A unit of the military detachment of Natiaboani and a group of two army auxiliaries were returning from a supply mission in Fada town when it was attacked by a group of terrorists,” an army statement said.

“The ensuing clashes, unfortunately, left 15 combatants dead including 13 soldiers and two Volunteers for the Defense of the Homeland (VDP),” it added.

Four more people, including three soldiers, were injured and 11 others were left missing, according to the statement.

The army said it has deployed reinforcements to conduct search operations in the area.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Algeria summit: Arab League denies ‘media partners’ in covering work of conference


October 30, 2022

CAIRO: The General Secretariat of the League of Arab States has clarified in an official statement that it has no media partner in covering the work of the 31st Arab Summit to be held in Algeria on Nov. 1-2.

The league also confirmed that it has no connection with any media organization making such claims.

The General Secretariat called on all media outlets to exercise great care in attributing the information published on their websites to the Arab League or its institutions.

The league’s statement comes against the background of reservations from the Moroccan delegation over Algerian international channel AL24 News publishing a map of the Arab world on its website that contradicts the map used by the league.

The General Secretariat confirmed that the Arab League does not have an official map on which the borders of the Arab countries are shown, adopting instead a map of the Arab world without showing the borders between countries in order to reinforce the concept of Arab unity, according to the statement.

The league attached a picture of the map it adopted to its statement and this map appears without borders between its member states.

A high-ranking Moroccan diplomatic source, cited by the Moroccan News Agency, confirmed that Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita never left the premises of the preparatory meeting of Arab foreign ministers for the Arab Summit in Algeria, following a dispute with his Algerian counterpart.

The source rejected as baseles claims about the departure of the Moroccan delegation from the meeting room.

The MAP news agency quoted the same source as saying that the delegation remained inside the hall and protested the lack of respect for the map of Morocco, which forced the league to issue a clarification statement, prompting the session’s presidency to offer an apology.

The same source emphasized that it was not within the rules and customs of Moroccan diplomatic work, according to royal directives, for the delegation to leave the meeting room but to defend Morocco’s legitimate rights and its vital interests within these meetings.

Source: Arab News

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Rights Defending Association: Takfiris, Serious Threat to Global Peace


The association released the statement to condemn the recent terrorist attack on Shah Cheragh, a holy shrine in a city in Southern Iran. At least, 13 people were killed after the attack and 30 others were wounded.

Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism have called for finding 'global solution' for fighting Takfiris.

Such a solution should help 'weaken and eliminate these foundations as the intellectual driving force of terrorism', the statement said.

The full text of the statement is as follows:

Terrorism once again killed dozens of innocent men, women and children while they were praying in Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine (PBUH) in Shiraz and saddened hundreds of families in the separation and mourning of their loved ones.

This crime, like hundreds of other crimes committed by terrorists against religious centers and places of worship, shows that terrorism is not related to divine religions, but religions and religious centers, as an agent of solidarity and peace of society, have always been part of the goals of anti-religionists throughout history.

What military and strategic advantage attacking defenseless people can have while they are praying, except that it shows the cruelty and cowardice of terrorists who commit such terrible crimes to continue their disgraceful lives.

Takfiris and anti-religionists are considered a serious threat to global security and peace, especially in our region, which requires a global solution to weaken and eliminate these foundations as the intellectual driving force of terrorism.

Although the condemnation of this type of deplorable acts by states and international bodies is very valuable, the solution is to address the survival factors of this heinous phenomenon in the international arena in order to prevent the increasing number of victims and the infliction of very harmful damages on the developing countries.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iranian journalists demand release of colleagues jailed for covering Amini’s death

30 October, 2022

More than 300 Iranian journalists have demanded the release of two colleagues jailed for their coverage of Mahsa Amini, whose death in custody triggered protests posing one of the biggest challenges to ruling clerics in decades.

Their call came in a statement published by the Iranian Etemad and other newspapers on Sunday.

Niloofar Hamedi took a photo of Amini’s parents hugging each other in a Tehran hospital where their daughter was lying in a coma.

The image, which Hamedi posted on Twitter, was the first signal to the world that all was not well with Amini, who had been detained three days earlier by Iran's morality police for what they deemed inappropriate dress.

Elaheh Mohammadi covered Amini’s funeral in her Kurdish hometown Saqez, where the protests began. A joint statement released by Iran’s intelligence ministry and the intelligence organization of the Revolutionary Guards on Friday had accused Hamedi and Mohammadi of being CIA foreign agents.

The arrests match an official narrative that Iran's arch-enemy the United States, Israel and other Western powers and their local agents are behind the unrest and are determined to destabilize the country.

At least 40 journalists have been detained in the past six weeks, according to rights groups, and the number is growing.

What began as outrage over Amini’s death on September 16 evolved into a popular revolt by people from all layers of society.

Students and women have played a prominent role, burning their veils as crowds call for the death of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the toppling of the Islamic Republic, which has repressed any dissent since the 1979 revolution.

There are no signs that a crackdown will defuse the fury, even after the feared head of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards warned protesters that Saturday would be their last day of taking to the streets, the harshest warning yet.

Analysts say Iran’s leaders will manage to withstand the pressure but that the path to political change in the future could be irreversible.

Clerics expected to survive

The Revolutionary Guards and the volunteer militia Basij have crushed dissent in the past - in 2009 protests lasted six months. No officials have publicly criticized the clerical establishment.

“Basijis are being insulted by the seditionists at universities and in the streets. So far, Basijis have shown restraint and they have been patient,” the head of the Revolutionary Guards in the Khorasan Junubi province, Brigadier General Mohammadreza Mahdavi, was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

“But it will get out of our control if the situation continues.”

Videos on social media, unverifiable by Reuters, showed students clashing with riot police and Basij forces in universities across the country, chanting “dishonored Basij get lost.”

Iran’s Parliament Speaker, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, seemed to strike a conciliatory tone, saying the difference between peaceful and violent protesters should be noted.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Iran shrine attack mourners chant against Mahsa Amini ‘riots’

29 October, 2022

Mourners gathered Saturday in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz to bury the victims of a deadly assault on a shrine, while chanting slogans against nationwide “riots” over Mahsa Amini’s death.

At least 15 people were killed Wednesday in a key Shia Muslim shrine in the city, according to official media, in an attack claimed by ISIS.

The shooting at the Shah Cheragh mausoleum came on the same day that thousands of people across Iran paid tribute to Amini, 40 days after her death in police custody.

Amini, 22, died on September 16, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly breaching the country’s Islamic dress code for women.

Remarks made Thursday by Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi appeared to link the Shiraz attack, one of the country’s deadliest in years, with the protests and “riots” following Amini’s death.

“The intention of the enemy is to disrupt the country’s progress, and then these riots pave the ground for terrorist acts,” he said in televised remarks.

During Saturday’s funeral processions in Iran, the crowd also chanted slogans condemning the United States, Israel and Britain for allegedly being “behind the riots,” according to live footage broadcast on state television.

Brandishing Shia symbols, the crowd marched through central Shiraz following a vehicle carrying the victims’ coffins which were draped in the Iranian flag.

The crowd can be heard chanting “Death to America, to Israel, to England” and “The vigilant revolutionary people hates the rioters.”

During the ceremony, the head of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological arm of Iran’s military, urged “a limited number of youth deceived” by the Islamic Republic’s enemies to put an end to the “riots.”

“Today is when the riots end,” warned Major General Hossein Salami, calling on students “not to become chess pieces for the enemy”.

Source: Al Arabiya

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West Bank settler violence spreads ahead of Israeli general election


October 30, 2022

RAMALLAH: Israeli settlers have reportedly intensified attacks on Palestinian civilians and properties throughout the West Bank in the run-up to Tuesday’s general election in Israel.

Sources said shots had been fired at the homes of Palestinians while others were pepper sprayed in an escalation of violence after an Israeli security officer was killed and three people wounded in a shooting incident on Saturday near to an Israeli army checkpoint in Wadi Al-Gross, close to the settlement of Kiryat Arba.

The Israeli army said that its forces were carrying out a search for the assailants. Israeli sources alleged that Mohammed Kamel Al-Jabari, 35, from the southern West Bank city of Hebron, had opened fire on a group of settlers in Kiryat Arba. He was later killed in an exchange of fire with Israelis.

Following the shooting, the Israeli army closed entrances to Hebron and dozens of settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles and blocked access to Al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron.

On Saturday night, groups of settlers were reported to have shot at Palestinian properties between the Wadi Al-Hussein and Jaber neighbourhoods.

In a recording, activist Manal Dana said: “The settlers are shooting toward the houses, and I am afraid for my children. The settlers are standing under my house.

Palestinian sources in Hebron said armed settlers, protected by the Israeli army, sprayed civilians with pepper gas in the Al-Sahla neighborhood near the Ibrahimi Mosque.

The Fatah movement in the central Hebron region announced a strike on Sunday in mourning for Al-Jabari.

Hisham Sharbati, a human rights activist from Hebron, told Arab News that on Saturday night settlers had closed all intersections of Hebron and that the Israeli army had kept them shut for part of Sunday morning.

In a statement, Fatah said: “Our struggle is continuing, and the convoys of martyrs are advancing the national situation in defense of our land.”

The organization pointed out the need to protect “our honor and our sanctities in response to the fierce and systematic attack led by occupation authorities against our people in all the governorates of the country.

“We ask you to adhere to the strike in honor of all the martyrs, the wounded and the prisoners, and our hero martyr Mohammed Kamel Al-Jabari.”

Several people were said to have been injured on Saturday evening after being attacked by settlers in Al-Sahla.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that its ambulance crew came under fire from Israeli troops and that a paramedic suffered a bullet wound to his shoulder. He was transferred to Al-Ahly Hospital.

Falah Issam Kahla, from Ramon, was hospitalized after being attacked east of Ramallah on Saturday evening, dozens of settlers reportedly gathered on Jericho Road, near Ramallah, and threw stones at Palestinian cars, and vehicles were similarly damaged on the outskirts of Hawara town, south of Nablus.

Source: Arab News

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President: Iran's Oil Exports Near Pre-Sanctions Era


Rayeesi made the remarks in a meeting with deans of universities in Iran on Saturday night.

"The enemy had explicitly announced that it would try to reduce Iran's oil sales to zero. But today, Iran’s oil export has been reaching the statistics prior to the 2018 sanctions," the president declared.

"The foes had tried a lot to stop the country's scientific, industrial, production and service activities in the country and cut Iran's connection with other countries but their plots were doomed to failure," he noted.

"When the enemy’s desperate attempts at hampering Iran’s progress or cutting its ties with other nations were practically frustrated, it began to hatch plots and take obstructive measures against Tehran," Rayeesi continued.

Iran has repeatedly announced it is selling its crude oil despite US sanctions and the revenues are returned to the country.

Back in July, the Iranian Oil Ministry announced the country’s increased crude sales and prices last year helped the government cut the budget deficit and manage fluctuations in the foreign exchange market despite the US sanctions.

“Thanks to years of experience and expertise and also unique logistic potentials, Iran is present in traditional markets and meets the needs of its old customers, and at the same time is capable of being present in any geographic region of the global oil market,” the ministry said.

“Moreover, the increase in oil and condensate sales, along with the price hike in the last few months, has cut the heavy budget deficit of the (Iranian fiscal) year 2022-2023 and has given the government the leverage to manage the fluctuation in the foreign exchange market,” it added.

“Iran’s oil marketing strategy in the recent period has been active marketing. During this period, in addition to maintaining its share in the old markets, Iran has entered (new) markets that were previously unthinkable under the intensified restrictions,” the oil ministry clarified.

Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji has also confirmed in mid-May Tehran was selling crude at a good price, adding that new markets have been found for exports.

Iran has its own customers in the oil market and continues selling oil at a good price, Owji continued, stating new markets have been identified.

Analysts believe US President Joe Biden and his Democratic Party will pay a political price in the midterm congressional election if they fail to remove Anti-Tehran sanctions and do not allow more Iranian crude to enter the international markets.

Source: Fars News Agency

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IRGC Commander: US Standing at End of Road


Speaking in Bandar Abbas on Sunday while addressing commanders and officers of the IRGC Navy, Rear Admiral Tangsiri condemned the recent terrorist attack in Shiraz, stressing that "terror and assassination of the innocent people is a sign of lack of logic".

"Despite all sanctions and obstacles Iran is moving forward day-by-day on the path of becoming stronger and with no doubt revenge on these crimes," the senior commander noted.

At least 15 pilgrims lost their lives and 19 others were wounded after a heavily-armed terrorist opened indiscriminate fire at the religious site on Wednesday. Iranian officials have reaffirmed that the masterminds behind the bloody attack will be punished.

"Now, we are just at the beginning, we successfully completed the first Step of Iran's Islamic Revolution with all enmities and jealousies, and are starting the Second Phase of the Revolution, but the arrogant world of the Westerners and the aggressor US have reached the end line," he added.

"Iran is getting more powerful day by day, and the foes who had launched war against the Iranians think that they can stop the growing movement of Iran's Revolution and the nation, that is why they do such cowardly acts such as terrors that leads to the martyrdom of innocent people and pilgrims to the shrine of Shah Cheragh in Shiraz," the navy commander stated.

Iranian officials say willingness of countries across the world to boosting their relations and cooperation with Tehran indicates failure of the US policy of Isolating Iran.

US officials have admitted failure of Washington's maximum pressure policy against Tehran. Iranian officials say US President Joe Biden's administration still continues former President Donald Trump's failed maximum pressure policy against Tehran despite claims that it wants to strike an agreement with the country.

In quitting the 2015 nuclear deal, Trump restored sanctions on Iran as part of what he called the “maximum pressure” campaign against the country. Those sanctions are being enforced to this day by the Biden administration, even though it has repeatedly acknowledged that the policy has been a mistake and a failure.

Tehran says it will not be able to trust Washington as long as President Biden continues the wrong policy of maximum pressure and sanctions practiced by Trump against Iran.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Tehran Confirms 5 Iranians Killed in Seoul Halloween Stampede


At least 153 people were killed and dozens more injured in an apparent crowd surge at packed Halloween festivities in the South Korean capital on Saturday, local officials say.

Kana'ani offered his condolences to the South Korean government, people and families of victims of stampede in Seoul.

"The embassy of Iran in Seoul has found out after contacts with the South Korean authorities that five Iranian citizens were among the victims of the incident," the spokesperson noted.

Tehran’s embassy in Soul is seriously pursuing efforts to uphold the legal and consular rights of the Iranian victims, he stated.

On Saturday night, tens of thousands of people flooded into the streets of the Itaewon neighborhood in Seoul to celebrate Halloween. But as the night went on, panic erupted as the crowds swelled. What exactly caused the crush still isn’t clear, but witnesses say partygoers had been packed tightly in the district’s narrow streets and it was difficult to move around.

Seoul Metropolitan Police say they have confirmed the identities of nearly all those killed in the tragic incident.

The national mourning period for the victims of the Halloween crush will go from today through November 5.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol stated that the events in Seoul will be investigated and measures put in place to ensure it never happens again.

Source: Fars News Agency

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Iran trial opens for five people facing death penalty over protests

29 October, 2022

The trial of five Iranians charged with offences that can carry capital punishment over protests sparked by Mahsa Amini’s death opened Saturday in Tehran, the judiciary’s news website said.

The Islamic republic has witnessed a wave of protests over the death of 22-year-old Amini on September 16 after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating the country's strict dress code for women.

The street violence, which authorities have dubbed “riots,” has led to dozens of deaths, mostly among demonstrators but also among the security forces.

Hundreds of protesters including women have been arrested.

“The first hearing of a number of defendants from the recent riots opened this morning at Tehran’s revolutionary tribunal,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online website said.

Charges have been filed against more than 1,000 individuals in provinces across Iran in connection to the protests, the judiciary said on Wednesday.

Mizan reported that an individual identified as Mohammad Ghobadlou was charged in Tehran with “corruption on earth,” an offence punishable by death, for “attacking police with a car, which resulted in the death of one officer and the injury of five others.”

Another of the five, Saeed Shirazi, faces the same charge for “inciting people to commit crimes against the country’s security,” Mizan said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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North America


Biden to attend COP27 climate conference in Egypt: White House

Servet Günerigök  



US President Biden will travel to Egypt next month to attend the UN climate change summit, known as COP27, the White House said Friday.

"On November 11th, President Biden will attend the 27th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt," spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

"At COP27, he will build on the significant work the United States has undertaken to advance the global climate fight and help the most vulnerable build resilience to climate impacts, and he will highlight the need for the world to act in this decisive decade," it said.

After the COP27 summit, Biden will head to Phnom Penh, Cambodia from Nov. 12 - 13 to participate in the annual US-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit.

“In Cambodia, he will reaffirm the United States’ enduring commitment to Southeast Asia and ASEAN centrality, building on the success of the historic U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington, DC. He will underscore the importance of U.S.-ASEAN cooperation in ensuring security and prosperity in the region, and the wellbeing of our combined one billion people," said Jean-Pierre.

From Nov. 13 - 16, the president will be in Bali, Indonesia for the G20 Leaders’ Summit where he will commend Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s leadership of the G20 and highlight the US’ commitment to the premier forum for economic cooperation with countries representing more than 80% of the world’s GDP.

"He will work with G20 partners to address key challenges such as climate change, the global impact of Putin’s war on Ukraine, including on energy and food security and affordability, and a range of other priorities important to the global economic recovery," said the statement.

The White House said following Biden's travel to Asia and North Africa, Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Bangkok, Thailand to attend the Nov. 18 - 19 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting.

"The Vice President’s participation will underscore the U.S. commitment to economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region and she will outline U.S. goals for our APEC host year in 2023," said the statement.

Following her talks in Bangkok, Harris will travel to Manila, Philippines to meet government leaders and civil society representatives.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Elon Musk's Twitter purchase draws flak over abuse-ridden Saudi funding

30 October 2022

Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter has come under flak over a sizable funding a Saudi Arabianprince allocated to the American social media platform as the ultra-conservative kingdom grapples with a stark track record of human rights abuse and repression.

The $44 billion deal was concluded on Friday after a months-long spat between Musk and the Twitter Company, with the 51-year-old billionaire swiftly dismissing its CEO and other top executives as part of "reforms" he had already promised the internet and social media users, among them the "prioritization of free speech".

The purchase was, however, shrouded in controversy after Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he and his Kingdom Holding Company had rolled over a combined $1.89 billion in existing Twitter shares, making them Twitter’s largest shareholder after Musk.

“The SpaceX founder relied on equity from other investors to carry out the deal. Alwaleed, a Saudi prince, and CEO of the Kingdom Holding company committed $1.89 billion—equating to nearly 35 million shares—in equity to help Musk purchase Twitter,” media reports underlined.

Musk's reliance on Saudi Arabia drew harsh criticism over Riyadh's stifling of free expression and human rights violations at home and aboard.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is accused of ordering the 2018 brutal murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a vocal critic of the Saudi royalty. Khashoggi was dismembered with a bone saw during a visit to the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Some critics raised eyebrows at the purchase and voiced concerns about the possibility of promoting hate speech online, highlighting what they viewed as a dangerous hypocrisy in allowing Saudi royalty so much ownership of Twitter.

"There's not been enough scrutiny of the fact that Elon Musk's Twitter takeover has been propped up with cash from Qatar & Saudi Arabia," tweeted Business Insider's Ryan Gallagher. "Twitter was prev compromised by Saudi spies who used internal data to out dissidents & have them jailed. Surprising any new owner of Twitter - especially one professing to be a free-speech absolutist - would want Saudi influence anywhere near the platform."

"The bird is free! The bird is free!" tweeted MSNBC Host Mehdi Hasan in reference to Musk's celebration of the purchase. Hasan, a critic of Saudi Arabia's authoritarian regime, made the post as he retweeted the news about Alwaleed's stake on Twitter.

Tommy Vietor, a former staffer for ex-US President Barack Obama, tweeted, "The second largest investor in Twitter is...Saudi Arabia. The bone saw-loving kingdom that just sentenced a 72-year-old American man to 16 years in jail for his tweets."

Saudi Arabia has long been under the international community's spotlight over its flagrant violation of human rights and continued crackdown on free expression.

Saudi courts have in recent weeks sentenced several people to jail for tweeting and retweeting posts critical of the ultra-conservative regime in Riyadh. Among them were two Saudi women who have received decades-long sentences, and a US citizen of Saudi origin.

Ever since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman became the de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has arrested hundreds of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and others for their political activism, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnation of the crackdown.

Source: Press TV

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FBI probes vandalism at North Dakota Muslim cemetery

Brooke Anderson

Washington, D.C.

30 October, 2022

The FBI is investigating the severe vandalism of a Muslim cemetery in the US state of North Dakota earlier this month, as the local community tries to repair the damage and understand the cause of the crime.

The vandalism was discovered shortly before a funeral and reportedly occurred around 21 October, according to local news reports. The damage was extensive, with concrete vaults for burials destroyed.

"This wasn't simple vandalism. This was targeted. They knew what those things were. It's one of those things where they wanted to cause harm," Jaylani Hussein, executive director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Minnesota, told The New Arab.

North Dakota's Muslim community is small but historic. The state has the oldest mosque in the US, a small structure that sits on a remote prairie and was established by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants in the 1920s.

These days, a growing number of Muslims in North Dakota come from Somalia.

North Dakota's neighbour to the east, Minnesota, is home to a sizeable Somali community. There, anti-Muslim attacks reached an all-time high this year.

CAIR's Hussein told The New Arab that the cemetery vandalism is not the first such incident to have occurred recently in North Dakota.

"We had an active militia group that targeted a mosque in Moorhead," Hussein said. "That was about a year ago."

There have been no comments from the state's elected officials on the cemetery vandalism incident, he said.

In response to the recent vandalism, the Islamic Society of Fargo Moorhead is hosting an open house "to showcase Islam and its values" it said in a public statement, which will be held on 5 November.

"We invite you to meet your Muslim neighbours, tour the mosque, attend a talk with a special guest speaker and learn more about Islam," the statement read.

Source: The New Arab

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Southeast Asia

Malaysian authorities raid LGBT Halloween party; detain attendees for cross-dressing

By: Sneha Swaminathan

Oct 30, 2022

A large Halloween gathering attended by the LGBT community was disrupted by Islamic religious police in Malaysia, who then detained 20 people for allegedly inciting vice and cross-dressing, activists claimed on Sunday.

The raid in Kuala Lumpur was described as "traumatising and harrowing" by activist Numan Afifi, who was one of those detained at the event.

"About 40 religious officers backed by the police came into the venue with some 1,000 participants, and they stopped the music and dance," he told AFP.

Numan said authorities divided party-goers into two groups -- Muslims and followers of other faiths.

Subsequently, 20 Muslims were taken to the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department where "our identity details were recorded".

"Some were alleged to have committed offences under cross-dressing while others, including me, for encouraging vice," Numan said.

The 20 were all released a short while afterwards, but they are all expected back for questioning the following week.

The Muslim-majority nation's once-proud image for moderation and tolerance has been eroded by conservative sentiments, which have resulted in ongoing discrimination against the LGBT community.

In Malaysia, which has a dual-track judicial system, disputes that involve Muslims, who make up around 60% of the population, are sometimes heard in sharia courts.

Source: WIO News

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PAS’ non-Muslim wing asks for 3 parliamentary, 12 state seats

October 30, 2022

PETALING JAYA: The PAS non-Muslim supporters’ wing has asked for three parliamentary and 12 state seats to contest in next month’s general election (GE15).

The wing’s chief, N Balasubramaniam, said this year’s request was made in line with the spirit of camaraderie within PAS, adding that the wing had been giving the party its unwavering support since GE14.

“Our request is reasonable, given that Johor and Melaka have already held their state elections,” he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.

“It’s up to PAS’ central committee to decide which seats our candidates can be fielded in. We remain confident and believe in the sincerity of PAS leaders, who have been close friends of various races.

“If we are given the opportunity to contest on a PAS ticket, we will also try to win at least one parliamentary constituency and several state seats, based on the support from members and help from PAS itself.”

In GE14, Balasubramaniam contested the Bentong seat on a PAS ticket in a three-way clash with DAP’s Wong Tack and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Liow Tiong Lai, but obtained the lowest number of votes (5,706) and lost his deposit.

Wong won the seat with 25,716 votes after securing a 2,032-vote majority over Liow.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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Stop interfering in Malaysia’s internal affairs, govt official tells UN about Myanmar deportations

Iman Muttaqin Yusof and Nisha David


United Nations organizations and other groups should stop meddling in Malaysia’s internal affairs, the country’s home minister said Thursday when asked about these agencies criticizing the deportations of Myanmar nationals, including asylum seekers.

Kuala Lumpur would take action against any foreigner who violates Malaysian laws, no matter where they were from, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said.

“So, the UNHCR, United Nations or anyone at all, if the people we detain entered the country legally but then violate our laws, we will then send them back. No need for outsiders to interfere,” he told reporters in Kelantan state on Thursday.

Hamzah made the remarks about a week after news broke that Malaysia had deported 150 Myanmar nationals, including defectors from the Burmese military.

The Reuters news agency had reported that the expelled people included six former Myanmar naval officers, who were arrested in September and sent back to Myanmar on Oct. 6. It said at least four of the officers had sought U.N. refugee status in Malaysia and that one officer and his wife were detained upon arrival in Yangon.

They were among more than 2,000 Myanmar nationals deported since April, Human Rights Watch stated in a statement earlier this week.

In defending the government’s action, Hamzah said the deportations were based on international law, adding that Malaysia would not deport any foreigner if their life would be put in jeopardy.

“We will not deport people if they will disappear in their own country or if it would oppress them. We do it based on the international law. So, everyone, every Malaysian must understand this,” he said.

Hamzah was the only Malaysian government official to respond to the U.N. statements.

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, who for months was seen in ASEAN circles as the most outspoken critic of the military regime in post-coup Myanmar and the biggest ally of the National Unity Government, has kept silent on the issue of the deportations.

Saifuddin was the first Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign minister to contact Myanmar’s shadow government, publicly meet with its foreign minister and push for the regional bloc to actively engage with it.

Saifuddin did not attend an emergency meeting of top ASEAN diplomats in Jakarta on Thursday to discuss how to end the Myanmar political crisis and contain widespread violence there.

183,000 refugees

As of September, more than 183,000 refugees and asylum seekers were registered in Malaysia, according to UNHCR data. Of the total, 157,900 were from Myanmar – 105,870 Rohingya followed by 23,190 Chins and 28,840 from other ethnic groups. The other refugees were from 50 countries where they were escaping prosecutions and wars.

Malaysia is not a signatory of the U.N. 1951 Refugee Convention, but the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian country has become the favorite location for people from Myanmar seeking refuge, especially members of its stateless Rohingya Muslim minority.

On Tuesday, UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said her agency was concerned about Malaysia’s continued deportation of Myanmar asylum-seekers, placing lives at risk.

“We have received multiple disturbing reports of these forced returns of Myanmar nationals from Malaysia since April this year, including those seeking international protection. In the last two months alone, hundreds of Myanmar nationals are reported to have been sent back against their will by the authorities.

“UNHCR continues to call on Malaysia to immediately stop the forced returns of Myanmar nationals seeking safety from serious harm. Sending them back to Myanmar exposes them to harm and danger,” she told reporters at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

“UNHCR appeals to the Malaysian authorities to adhere to their international legal commitments and ensure full respect for the rights of people in need of international protection,” she said.


On Wednesday, U.N. Human Rights Chief Volker Türk called for a moratorium on the forced return of Myanmar nationals, adding that with the rising levels of violence and instability and the collapse of its economy and social protection systems, it was not the time to send anyone back to Myanmar.

“This is especially the case for anyone with specific protection concerns, such as political activists or military defectors, who are at grave risk upon return,” he said in the statement.

Under international law, the principle of non-refoulment says that people can’t be sent back to a country where they are likely to be persecuted, tortured, mistreated or have their human rights violated in other ways.

“It is essential that in light of the prevailing situation in Myanmar, now more than ever, that states do not return people to suffering and danger, and provide them with a secure legal status while their country remains in crisis,” Türk said.

Meanwhile, Migrant Care country representative Alex Ong joined other human rights groups and the U.N. in calling for Malaysia to stop deportations of Myanmar nationals.

“It is not about intervention of Malaysia home affairs, but a joint collaboration to save lives from returning to face the life-threatening oppression,” Ong told BenarNews on Thursday. “Group appeal is to prevent the mass massacres of innocent refugees. It is a purely humanitarian appeal.

“Pushing refugees back to the unsafe situation is like sending them back to be slaughtered,” Ong said.

Since its coup on Feb. 1, 2021, the Myanmar junta has been carrying out a widespread campaign of torture, arbitrary arrests and attacks that target civilians, the U.N. and rights groups have said.

Source: Benar News

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Rejecting PAS signals Umno’s return to moderation, says Zaid

October 31, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim has called on Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) to champion the religious moderation that underpinned the country’s unity during post-independence years.

“It is important that the world sees Malaysia for what it has always stood for – a country where all people of every race and creed stand together.

“That was what our founding fathers called ‘muhibbah’, and that is the true spirit that we must re-create,” the former law minister said.

Zaid said the country’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, used to remind Malaysians repeatedly that this country could only thrive and prosper if the people respected each other’s race, religion and customs.

The rakyat must embrace the fact that they are different and see diversity as their strength, he said in an interview with FMT.

“Umno was always about moderation, until it began to be distracted by the focus placed by PAS on Islam,” he said.

He explained that since the 1990s, Umno began to increase its focus on religion to counter the increasing influence of the Islamic party.

“These days, in a bid to secure the Malay vote, even ex-Umno stalwarts like Muhyiddin Yassin have embraced PAS as political allies,” he said.

Zaid said this approach has resulted in the country swinging “too far to the right”, resulting in “too much moral policing and excessive religious rules which overreach into public and private life”.

“Right now, we are seeing an uprising of the people of Iran, fighting back against excessive religious encroachment by their government.

“On the other hand, we are seeing Saudi Arabia moving towards moderation to attract investment and establish better ties with the rest of the world,” he said.

In the same way, he said, Malaysia also needs to recover its moderate status.

“For that reason, the rakyat must view Umno’s decision not to tie up with PAS for the general election positively,” he said.

“A strong mandate for Umno/BN from the public will help the next government eliminate overzealous religiosity and moral policing.

“Only a strong Umno/BN representation supported by the moderate forces that exist in Sabah and Sarawak can overcome religious extremism.”

Zaid hoped incidents such as the recent raid by the Federal Territories religious department (Jawi) on a Halloween party last weekend can be minimised.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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South Asia


15 Months After Takeover, Islamic Emirate Not Recognized by World

By Mohammad Farshad Daryosh

October 31, 2022

Since the Islamic Emirate come to power in Afghanistan, nearly fifteen months ago, no country has recognized its government.

However, the Islamic Emirate's deputy spokesperson, Bilal Karimi, said that Kabul has completed all the requirements for recognition and that the international community should recognize it.

"The Islamic Emirate has fulfilled the criteria and norms necessary for recognition in the world,” Karimi said.

Political experts believe that the failure to implement the Doha Agreement, the closing of girls' schools and the lack of an inclusive government are the reasons why the current government has not been recognized so far.

"They should make changes to their system, with inclusiveness that the world needs, with diverse ethnicities and leaders, and those who are professionals should be working in departments," said political analyst Sayed Ishaq Gailani.

"The creation of an inclusive government is a clear demand of the international community. Second, girls' schools should be opened, which was later added, and adherence to international law,” said Sangar Amirzada, international relations expert.

Even though no government has recognized the Islamic Emirate, representatives from India, China, Uzbekistan, the European Union, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates, have a presence in Kabul.

"The nations who raise barriers to the recognition of the Islamic Emirate are mainly seeking political and geopolitical goals,” said Abdul Latif Nazari, deputy of the Ministry of Economy.

"The opening of embassies in Afghanistan does not mean recognition of the Islamic Emirate; these embassies have been opened temporarily, not permanently,” said Mohammad Omar Nuhzat, political analyst.

Source: Tolo News

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In Bandarban operation, Bangladesh targets Muslim militant-hill tribe rebel link

Ahammad Foyez


Bangladeshi security forces have launched a crackdown on a nascent armed tribal group that, officials allege, helped train a budding Muslim extremist group in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, a restive southeastern region near the borders with Myanmar and India.

The joint campaign by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), an elite police unit, and the army has led to the arrests so far of at least 10 suspected members of the groups, since the operation began on Oct. 10 in one of the remotest areas in Bandarban, a district in the Hill Tracts region, authorities said.

The Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF), an armed hill tribe group, made headlines recently as they demanded an autonomous region for the indigenous Kuki people, many of whom now follow Christianity, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). The group’s members posed with weapons for social media posts and YouTube videos.

Officials say they have uncovered a strong link between the national front and what they assert is a newly formed Muslim extremist group, Jama’atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya (JAFHS).

“We have concrete information that the newly formed militant group was being trained by KNF in remote areas of Bandarban district,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told BenarNews.

“Although the areas are very remote, our forces are optimistic about uprooting both groups from the hilly district.”

However, the launch of the anti-militant operation has mystified some human rights activists and experts. One observer expressed skepticism about the alleged link between an armed hill tribe group and Muslim extremists,

“Both the emergence of KNF and its intimacy with a hardline Islamist group are surprising to us,” Nirupa Dewan, a prominent rights activist and a former member of the National Human Rights Commission, told BenarNews.

Rivalries between ethnic armed groups have long beset the Hill Tracts, but none of them was known to have collaborated with any Islamic militant group. The region’s ethnic population, by and large, opposes what they view as encroachment by the Bengali resident population and settlers, who mainly follow Islam.

Known as a moderate Muslim-majority country, Bangladesh witnessed several bouts of violent Islamic extremism, most notably in July 2016, when a group of five extremists with ties to the Islamic State group killed 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, during an overnight siege at a café in Dhaka.

After a successful, if violent, crackdown by the security forces and a downturn in international Muslim extremism, violent militancy in Bangladesh had declined sharply in recent years, officials said, until JAFHS emerged on the scene. But beyond official statements, there’s scarce information available about the alleged new extremist group.


On Wednesday, RAB chief M. Khurshid Hossain told reporters that the agency had launched an investigation following media reports in August that 55 young men had gone missing across the country, mostly from southeastern Cumilla district.

“Our investigation found that the young men embarked on so-called Hijrah. As they could not carry out militant activities in the mainland, they sought a safe haven in the remote hilly areas,” he said.

In Islamic history, “Hijrah” refers to the flight by Prophet Muhammad and his companions to escape persecution in Mecca in 622 A.D. But members of modern Islamic extremist groups are also known to refer to Hijrah as the journey from their country of origin to the territories in their control.

“We soon contacted the military headquarters and conducted joint operations after our drone surveillance located the KNF camps. We arrested some people and recovered 21 firearms,” the RAB chief said, adding that the operations had dismantled camps used for training exercises.

But back in September, The Daily Star newspaper reported that at least one of the missing young men was in RAB’s custody and had been arrested from Dhaka.

The police unit is notorious for arresting people without public announcements, leaving rights groups to cry foul about enforced disappearances. Last December, the U.S. government sanctioned several current and former leaders of RAB for widespread rights abuses.

On Oct. 6, RAB spokesman Khandaker Al Moin publicly revealed that JAFHS was an emerging Muslim extremist group and acknowledged that the battalion had arrested some of its suspected members who had been among the young men missing from Cumilla.

Moin told reporters that the information gleaned from the detained members established the connection between KNF and JAFHS, which spurred the joint operation in the CHT four days later.

He also said that the new extremist group was formed by members of three banned extremist organizations, Ansar Al-Islam, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami – all of which were reportedly involved in violent attacks in the past.

In a separate development, the Dhaka police’s Counter-Terrorism and Transactional Crime (CTTC) unit arrested five alleged members of JAFHS on Wednesday.

KNF controversy

It is unclear when KNF was formed, but the group, also known as the Bawm Party, was accused of killing a man in a remote village in Bandarban in April.

On June 21, the group drew national attention after it claimed responsibility on social media for killing three people.

A prominent rights activist from Bandarban, who requested anonymity to talk freely because he feared for his safety, told BenarNews that KNF had been formed with the knowledge of the local security apparatus in the CHT.

KNF has yet to publicly address the allegations that it collaborated with an Islamic extremist group. But after the crackdown began, the group refuted the characterization that it was a “separatist” group.

On the contrary, the group said on Facebook, “Kuki-Chin communities have never been involved in any anti-government activities that could threaten the territorial integrity of Bangladesh.”

The group also regularly posts statements in support of the Bangladesh army and the majority Bengali population in the CHT — in stark contrast to more prominent ethnic groups that oppose them.

KNF’s arch-enemy appears to be the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), the oldest ethnic political group in the CHT that led an insurgency between the 70s and 90s. PCJSS’ armed members formally surrendered to the government in 1997 following a peace deal, but in the years since, several other ethnic groups were established and that are now locked in violent conflict against each other.

Abdur Rashid, a retired army general and security analyst, suspects political patronage behind the rise of groups such as KNF.

Source: Benar News

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Bangladesh launches crackdown in Rohingya camps after murders

October 31, 2022

Cox´s Bazar, Bangladesh: Elite Bangladeshi police have launched a crackdown against suspected criminals and insurgents after a rise in attacks on Rohingya community leaders in refugee camps, officers said on Sunday.

The Armed Police Battalion, tasked with security in 34 refugees camps which are home to nearly one million Rohingya Muslim refugees, said they have arrested at least 56 Rohingyas since Friday night.

Source: The News Pakistan

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7 injured in an explosion in Kabul mosque

30 October, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], October 30 (ANI): At least seven persons were injured in an explosion that took place at a mosque in Kabul.

The Kabul’s spokesperson of the Taliban police chief office, Khalid Zadran, said that the explosion occurred at around 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, October 28, in the Sheikh Mohammad Rohani Mosque, reported Khaama Press.

The explosion took place in Kabul city’s 5th police district as worshippers gathered at the mosque for Friday prayer, according to Taliban security official, Zadran.

“Explosive materials were placed inside the mosque, and it exploded after the Friday prayer,” Zadran said.

While the Taliban officials stated that the explosion injured 7 people, local sources in Kabul reported that at least 10 people were injured as a result of the detonation of the explosives at the mosque, reported Khaama Press.

This explosion has not yet been attributed to any specific person or organization.

However, the deadliest attacks in Kabul, Kunduz, Balkh, Kandahar, Herat, and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan, have been claimed by the Khorasan branch of ISIS.

The ISIS attacks in Afghanistan have long targeted worshipping places, schools, and other public places where people congregate, reported Khaama Press.

Even though the Taliban has been in power for more than 14 months, despite their officials’ repeated promises to ensure general security, various regions in Afghanistan have been on the scene of fatal attacks.

Earlier in September, the suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s Herat caused the death of twenty persons, which sparked strong reactions from across the globe.

At least 20 people were killed in a blast that rocked a mosque in northwestern Afghanistan during Friday prayers, Afghan media reported.

Guzargah mosque in the city of Herat was bombed at around 12:40 pm (local time), Khamaa Press reported, citing authorities run by the Taliban.

In October, at least four people were killed and 25 others were wounded in a blast in the Kabul mosque.

Source: The Print

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UN Reaches 4.6 Million Afghan People with Aid

By Saqalain Eqbal

30 Oct 2022

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said that so far in 2022, it had provided aid to more than 4.6 million people in Afghanistan.

The UN agency said on Sunday, October 30, that it has provided cash assistance, and household items through community-based programs to help the vulnerable and destitute people of Afghanistan.

A further 1.1 million Afghans in over 150,000 families have reportedly been assessed for humanitarian aid, with the UN noting that the evaluation process is still ongoing nationwide.

About 90% of Afghans do not have enough food to eat at this time, and more than 50% of them need emergency assistance, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Afghanistan (OCHA), as the country’s population grows more and more dependent on humanitarian aid.

The UNHCR has also stated that in order to assist people in need in Afghanistan; it will collaborate with the World Food Program (WFP) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

The UN agency has also highlighted that over the past week, it assisted roughly 1,300 families in Panjshir province in northern Afghanistan who had been driven out of their primary locations because of hostilities in the province.

According to the UN, even though 175,000 people who were internally displaced returned to their homes this year, the number of displaced people has increased as a result of the Taliban’s armed clashes with their rival resistance groups in various districts.

The OCHA voiced concern by producing a report on the funding shortfall for humanitarian aid to help Afghanistan’s disadvantaged people, experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

The UN estimated at the beginning of the year that there are 24.4 million people in Afghanistan who are in need of aid and that 22.1 million of them require assistance totaling $4.1 billion.

However, according to the OCHA report released on October 25, barely 33% of this funding has been supplied thus far, leaving 77% of the budget unfulfilled.

Source: Khaama Press

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Taliban Injects $12M to Market to Preserve Currency Rate

By Saqalain Eqbal

30 Oct 2022

The Central Bank of the Taliban government announced that it will hold an auction to sell approximately $12 million to maintain the value of the Afghani, the currency of Afghanistan.

According to the Central Bank’s newsletter, a foreign currency auction will be held on Sunday, October 30. Banks, money exchange dealers, and other competent parties, including licensed money service businesses, are all invited to participate.

Even though food costs have increased as a result of the Afghani currency’s decline versus other currencies, the Taliban’s Central Bank previously sold another $12 million into the market.

A US dollar is currently worth 88 Afghanis in Kabul. The US dollar was worth less than 80 to the Afghani currency prior to the Taliban taking power.

The Afghani currency lost value in relation to the US dollar during the first few months of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan, with 120 Afghanis being exchanged for every dollar.

According to research by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), rising inflation rates are having a severe impact on hundreds of thousands of unemployed, impoverished Afghans and their families.

Due to the rise in the price of basic consumables, even basic necessities are now out of reach for the majority of people.

The Central Bank of Afghanistan, also known as Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), has auctioned several million dollars in the open market virtually every week to maintain the stability of the Afghani rate throughout the more than a year that the Taliban have dominated Afghanistan.

Source: Khaama Press

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Arab World


Fighters in Syria's Daraa ready for anti-Islamic State operations

30 October, 2022

Fighters from opposition groups in the southern Syrian city of Daraa Al-Balad are preparing to launch a campaign against Islamic State militants, according to reports.

They have closed main and secondary roads and set up checkpoints across the city in Daraa province in preparation for a combing operation, a local source told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. Tannoys across the city broadcast on Saturday that a new curfew had been imposed until further notice.

The move comes amid increased clashes in the region between former opposition fighters and IS members, and recent attacks include a suicide bombing by IS on Friday that killed four people.

The operation will reportedly extend to the adjacent Tariq Al-Saad neighbourhood, where dozens of IS members are believed to be stationed, as local fighters plan to carry out the mission alone without regime assistance.

Researchers say recent attacks point to the Syrian regime aiding and encouraging IS operations in the Daraa area.

"There is a general conviction in the south, that what is labelled as IS is actually a cover for the regime security services’ activities," Ahmed Abazid, a researcher of Islamist organisations told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Daraa province was one of the main strongholds of the Syrian opposition after the 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime broke out in 2011.

Source: The New Arab

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Grand Imam of Al Azhar to participate in Bahrain Dialogue Forum


ABU DHABI, 30th October 2022(WAM)-- Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, is set to depart to the Kingdom of Bahrain on Thursday following an invitation from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain to participate in the upcoming ‘Bahrain Dialogue Forum: East and West for Human Coexistence’ on 3-4 November.

The forum is set to be hosted under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and will be attended by His Holiness Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church alongside 200 religious leaders and prominent academic and media figures from around the world.

The Grand Imam is also scheduled to hold a number of high-profile meetings on his first day in the Kingdom, namely with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church, along with other religious leaders who will be participating in the Forum.

On the second day of the visit, the Grand Imam alongside His Majesty the King of Bahrain and Pope Francis will jointly plant a palm tree to symbolise joint determination in the face of climate change. This will then be followed by the closing session of the Bahrain Dialogue Forum, which will feature participation from the Grand Imam, King of Bahrain and Pope Francis.

The Grand Imam is also set to chair the 16th meeting of the Muslim Council of Elders which will include a joint meeting with Pope Francis, alongside senior figures from the Holy See.

Source: WAM

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Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun leaves office amid worsening crisis

30 October, 2022

Michel Aoun, the 89-year-old Christian president who presided over Lebanon’s cataclysmic financial meltdown and the deadly Beirut port blast, vacates the presidential palace on Sunday, leaving a void at the top of a failing state.

Parliament has so far been unable to agree on a successor in the role, which has the power to sign bills into law, appoint new prime ministers and green-light government formations before they are voted on by parliament.

Like during more than half of Aoun’s time in office, Lebanon is currently governed by a caretaker cabinet as the premier-designate has been trying for six months to form a government.

Dozens of supporters gathered at Baabda Palace to say farewell to Aoun, wearing the orange associated with his Free Patriotic Movement party and carrying portraits of him as president and from decades ago when he served as army commander.

One 73-year-old man in the army fatigues he wore when serving under Aoun in the civil war told Reuters he wished Aoun could have three more years in office.

Therese Younes, a 16-year-old who had come with other teenagers, said she had backed Aoun since she was eight and was sad to see him go.

“If I was 18 years old, I would have left the country. There’s no Lebanon left after Michel Aoun,” said Younes.

Aoun is a deeply divisive figure, adored by many Christians who viewed him as their defender in Lebanon’s sectarian system but accused by critics of enabling corruption and helping armed group Hezbollah gain influence.

Aoun secured the presidency in 2016, endorsed by both Hezbollah and rival Maronite Christian politician Samir Geagea in a deal that brought then-leading Sunni politician Saad al-Hariri back as prime minister.

The six-year term that followed saw Lebanon’s army fight off extremist groups on the Syrian border in 2017 with Hezbollah’s help, a new electoral law passed in 2018 and top energy companies begin exploratory drilling in offshore blocks in 2020.

In his final week in the palace, he signed onto a US-mediated deal delineating Lebanon’s southern maritime border with Israel.

His fans have hailed those achievements but his critics say those modest successes pale in comparison to the 2019 financial meltdown, which has pushed more than 80 percent of the population into poverty and prompted the widespread anti-government protests.

Aoun’s term was also marked by the massive blast at the Beirut port in 2020 that killed more than 220 people. Aoun later said he had known about the chemicals stored there and referred the file to other authorities to take action. Victims’ families said he should have done more.

He told Reuters in an interview on Saturday that his presidential powers were not wide enough to address the economic crisis.

“He was by far the worst president in Lebanon’s history” said Michel Meouchi, a lawyer and father. “I prefer a void in the presidency to him.”

Aoun’s path to the presidency began in the 1975-1990 civil war, during which he served as commander of Lebanon’s army and the head of one of two rival governments.

He returned to Beirut after 15 years in exile, once Syrian forces withdrew under international pressure following the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.

In 2006, the FPM formed an alliance with Hezbollah, which lent important Christian backing to the armed group.

Source: Al Arabiya

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At least eight killed, more than 20 wounded in explosion in Baghdad

29 October, 2022

At least eight people were killed and more than 20 wounded in an explosion in east Baghdad on Saturday, according to security and medical sources.

The explosion took place near a football stadium and a café, the sources said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Civilian killed in rocket strike by YPG/PKK terrorists in northwestern Syria

Esref Musa and Omer Koparan  


At least one civilian was killed in northwestern Syria on Saturday in a rocket strike carried out by the PKK/YPG terrorist organization, according to reports from the ground.

Another civilian was wounded in the terror attack on displaced Syrians in the town of Afrin. The strike was carried out by the PKK/YPG terrorists in the Tal Rifaat area, which has been under the terror group's occupation for over six years.

The PKK/YPG often mounts attacks on Jarabulus, Afrin, and Azaz from the Manbij and Tal Rifat areas.

Civilians in the area have begun removing debris from two homes that were demolished in the attack.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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Turki Al-Sheikh opens Merwas, largest art and entertainment factory in the Arab world


October 30, 2022

RIYADH: The largest entertainment factory in the Arab world has opened in Riyadh to help and support Saudi talent and put it on the global stage.

Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority Turki Al-Sheikh inaugurated the development on Saturday in the presence of Nada Al-Tuwaijri, co-founder and CEO of Merwas, Rumian Al-Rumayyan, co-founder and chief content officer, and a number of guests including artists, composers and music distributors.

Merwas is located in Boulevard Riyadh City and is one of the 15 entertainment zones in Riyadh Season. It boasts international studios to give visitors the chance to explore the worlds of film and cinematography.

Al-Tuwaijri told Arab News that Merwas is a cultural factory with 22 studios, along with an academy.

She added: “The first goal within five years is to resolve all of the issues that we notice in the market; the second is to incubate the largest number of Saudi talents; the third is to introduce IPs, royalties, copyrights and raise awareness within the community and within artists.

“The last goal is to expand, and not only within the Kingdom: We do want to see Merwas present regionally and globally.”

The factory, which covers 5,000 sq. meters, contributes to helping to change the concept of art and entertainment, along with assisting artists and researchers in a supportive environment.

Al-Tuwaijri said: “I think this is a revolution in the industry, and that whatever you are seeing right now is just the first step.

“We do want to change the game, change the rules, not reinvent the wheel but invent the wheel, in fact.

“We do want to see our talents going from local to global. Our talents are very mature, very well-educated.”

The studios provide the ideal environment for improving creative output, developing talents and protecting artistic property rights through the academy, production network, a radio that broadcasts two Arabic-English channels, an artistic production company and a creative council.

Source: Arab News

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Muslim Council of Elders condemns terrorist attacks in Mogadishu


ABU DHABI, 30th November 2022 (WAM) – The Muslim Council of Elders, under the Chairmanship of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, has strongly condemned the twin blasts in Somalia's capital Mogadishu which resulted in the hundreds of casualties.

In a statement, the Council reiterated its categorical rejection of such terrorist attacks and violence, which contradict the teachings of all religions as well as international laws and norms. It calls for a unified stand in order to eradicate and uproot such vicious acts of terrorism.

Source: WAM

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New Zealand suspends bilateral human rights dialog with Iran

31 October, 2022

The New Zealand government said on Monday it has suspended its official bilateral human rights dialog with Iran, saying bilateral approaches were “no longer tenable” with basic human rights being denied in the country.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in a statement the decision to suspend the dialog sends a strong signal that bilateral approaches on human rights were not tenable with Iran denying basic human rights and violently suppressing protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by the morality police for attire deemed inappropriate.

“Violence against women, girls or any other members of Iranian society to prevent their exercise of universal human rights is unacceptable and must end. This is clearly a difficult time for the people of Iran,” Mahuta said.

New Zealand and Iran had established the dialog in 2018 with the stated hope of advancing human rights issues and concerns. A first round of talks was held in 2021, with the next one scheduled to take place later in 2022.

New Zealand officials last week confirmed that two New Zealanders who had been detained in Iran for a number of months, had been released and were safe.

Source: Al Arabiya

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EU examines classifying Iran Revolutionary Guards as terrorists: Germany

30 October, 2022

Germany and the European Union are examining whether to classify Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Sunday.

“I made it clear last week that we will launch another package of sanctions, that we will examine how we can also list the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization,” Baerbock said in an interview with ARD broadcaster on Sunday.

Her comments come after the head of the Revolutionary Guards warned protesters that Saturday would be their last day of taking to the streets, in a sign that security forces may intensify their already fierce crackdown on widespread unrest.

Germany last week said it was tightening entry restrictions on Iran beyond an already announced EU sanctions package.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Russia suspends role inspecting grain ships in Istanbul: JCC

31 October, 2022

Russia has suspended its participation in the inspection of cargo ships carrying Ukrainian grain, the Joint Coordination Centre, the body overseeing the deal, said late Sunday.

The announcement came a day after Russia suspended its participation in a landmark agreement that allowed vital grain exports to resume.

“The delegation of the Russian Federation informed that... it suspends its participation in the implementation of the activities of the Initiative, including in inspections, for an indefinite time,” said a JCC statement.

Earlier Sunday, Turkey's defense ministry had said that the inspection of shipments of Ukrainian grain would continue Sunday and Monday in Istanbul.

The JCC said 11 shipments had been inspected Sunday before it made its announcement concerning Russia's decision.

Another 112 cargo ships carrying Ukrainian grain are waiting for clearance off Istanbul's coast, said the JCC.

The July deal to unlock grain exports signed between Russia and Ukraine and brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, is critical to easing the global food crisis caused by the conflict.

Source: Al Arabiya

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Türkiye, Ukraine, UN agree to move 16 vessels under Black Sea grain deal

Seda Sevencan, Ahmet Gencturk  


The UN, Türkiye and Ukraine have agreed on a movement plan for 16 vessels that are in Turkish waters after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea grain deal.

In a statement, the Istanbul-based Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) which oversees shipments said the three delegations also agreed to inspect 40 outbound vessels on Monday.

The JCC added that the Russian side was informed of the development.

According to the statement, currently, there are 97 loaded vessels and 15 inbound vessels registered for JCC inspection around Istanbul and an additional 89 that have applied to join the initiative.

Earlier, Türkiye’s National Defense Ministry said National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar continues to negotiate and coordinate with his interlocutors for the resumption of Black Sea grain exports.

On Saturday, Russia announced that it had suspended its participation in the deal to export Ukrainian grain following attacks on its Black Sea Fleet.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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