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Islamic World News ( 18 Apr 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Kerala Temple Organises Iftar Gathering For Muslims Who Could Not Take Part In An Annual Feast Of The Temple’s Consecration Day

New Age Islam News Bureau

19 April 2022

 

A screenshot of the iftar gathering on the temple premises in Kerala.

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• Rector of Islamic seminary Darul Uloom of Deoband: We Are All Custodians Of Peace And Harmony But Retaliate With Optimum Strength Given By Allah

• Anti-Terrorism Court In Pak Sentences 6 People To Death For Lynching Of Sri Lankan National

• Saudi Arabia Ranks First In Scientific Publishing In The Gulf: Scimago Index

• Hamas Calls For Marching En Masse To Protect Ibrahimi Mosque

 

India

• Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind The Supreme Court Moves Against Some State Governments Bulldozing The Properties Of Persons Accused In Criminal Cases

• MP: Muslim man with amputated hands accused of stone pelting, his shop demolished

• Kerala HC Declines To Interfere With Interfaith Relationship Of Christian Woman, Muslim DYFI Leader

• Islamic Outfit PFI 'Puzzled' At Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's 'Silence' On RSS' 'Hate Crimes'

• Pakistan talks of strife in India amid buzz of PM Modi-Shehbaz Sharif meet

• Rubina Khan, SP Leader, Booked For Threatening To Read Quran In Front Of Temples

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Pakistan

• Pashtun Nationalist Leader: Saudi Regime, USA Sponsored Shia Killing In Pakistan

• Pakistan President Alvi excuses himself from administering oaths to new cabinet: Report

• Imran terms reference against Justice Isa ‘govt mistake’

• PM Shehbaz Sharif's 37-member cabinet takes oath

• BNP-M lawmakers boycott NA over security forces’ actions in Chagai

• IHC disposes of petitions of ex-PM’s aides against travel restrictions

• Pakistan values its relations with EU countries: Gen Bajwa

• PM, Qatari Emir vow to expand cooperation in diverse fields

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Arab World

• Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis claim they will stop using child soldiers

• Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque must end: Qatari emir

• Robots To Help Muslim Pilgrims At Holy Sites In Saudi Arabia

• Indicative symbols service activated to receive children visiting the Grand Mosque

• Saudi Princess passes away, neighbouring rulers send condolences

• At least 4 wounded in rocket attack by YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria

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Mideast

• Hamas Calls For Marching En Masse To Protect Ibrahimi Mosque

• Iran says avenging Qassem Soleimani is ‘basic, definite principle’ of its policies

• Iranian President Warns Israel against Slightest Mistake

• Spokesman: Freedom of Iran’s Assets Not Related to Washington

• Iran Blasts Misuse of Freedom of Expression in West

• Iranian Army Unveils Fath Ballistic Missile during Parade

• Haniyeh: Palestinians to Continue Defending Al-Aqsa Mosque against Israel

• First time in 7 months: Israel’s military says Iron Dome shoots down rocket from Gaza

• Israeli prime minister blames Hamas for tensions in region

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South Asia

• Islamic State Khorasan Claims Rocket Attack on Uzbekistan

• Iran’s Ambassador to Afghanistan meets leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin party

• Taliban pledge to protect Iran's diplomatic missions after attacks

• Casualties feared as blasts rock school in Kabul

• Pakistan irked by Afghan Taliban’s inaction against TTP

• Taliban meet French envoy, discuss prevention of poppy cultivation

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Southeast Asia

• Indonesia Police Report Plot By Islamic Militant Group To Overthrow Govt

• Row over 'Christian agenda' heats up in Malaysia

• Thai Rebels Excluded From Talks Take Responsibility For Ramadan Bombings

• Usim develops Malaysia's first sign language Al-Quran application

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Africa

• Jordan Warns Of ‘Provocation’ In Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa, Israel Decries ‘Incitement’

• Libya’s Dbeibah heading to Algeria for visit, GNU says

• Libya’s National Oil Corp says output stopped at major oil ports, fields

• European Council chief, Jordan’s king discuss Jerusalem situation

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North America

• Islamophobia In US: Virginia Mosque Vandalized Again During Ramadan Month

• US firm on nuclear accord as Iran casts blame

• US ambassador blasts ‘terrorist’ Hezbollah on anniversary of Beirut bombing

• US says Turkiye playing 'important role' in holding Russia to account

• Toronto tightens security at mosques, Islamic community centers

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Europe

• UN Security Council To Meet Behind Closed Doors On Jerusalem Unrest

• Italians condemn Israeli attacks on Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque

• Putin holds call with Palestine’s Abbas to discuss Russia-Ukraine talks, Middle East

• British boxer Amir Khan says he was robbed at gunpoint in London

• Turkiye condemns Islamophobic incident in Sweden

• Swedish PM Andersson Condemns Unrest Amid Anti-Muslim Rallies Organized By Danish Far-Right Politician Rasmus Paludan: Report

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kerala-temple-annual-feast-consecration/d/126823

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Kerala Temple Organises Iftar Gathering For Muslims Who Could Not Take Part In An Annual Feast Of The Temple’s Consecration Day

 

A screenshot of the iftar gathering on the temple premises in Kerala.

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K.M. Rakesh  

19.04.22

A Kerala temple has set an example by organising an Iftar gathering for Muslims who could not take part in an annual feast held as part of the temple’s consecration day because they were fasting for Ramazan.

Office-bearers of the Sree Mahavishnu temple in Vaniyannur, near Tirur in Malappuram district, organised the iftar gathering on the temple premises for more than 200 Muslims from the neighbourhood on April 7.

“Our Muslim brothers and sisters have traditionally been part of our temple festival in many ways. We decided to organise iftar for them since they could not participate in the community feast and expressed sadness at missing out on the event where everyone, irrespective of caste and religion, sits together and enjoys a sadya (the traditional Kerala vegetarian meal),” N. Shashi Kumar, member of the temple committee, told The Telegraph on Monday.

The ancient temple in the Muslim-majority area was renovated a few years ago. The community feast was organised for around 2,000 people on the consecration day, April 6. The iftar gathering was held the following day.

Among the guests were imams and Islamic teachers. Local political leaders from rival entities such as the Indian Union Muslim League and the CPM were part of the iftar gathering.

The iftar menu included dates, fruits, traditional snacks, vegetable biryani and lemonade.

“We don’t see anything unusual or special about inviting Muslims or Christians to our feast,” Kumar said, citing local traditions bound by communal harmony.

While places of worship in Kerala are known to have set innumerable examples of communal amity with rituals and traditions involving different communities, the thoughtfulness of the Mahavishnu temple committee that organised iftar for Muslims has drawn appreciation.

Local panchayat member Medammal Muneerunisha of the Left Democratic Front, who was among those who attended the iftar gathering, described it as an example worth emulating. “At a time like this, when communally insensitive acts are becoming common in many parts of the country, the example set by this temple is worth emulating,” he said.

“The gesture of inviting Muslims for iftar at the temple is a noble deed that would go a long way in strengthening communal amity in Kerala and deserves appreciation,” said Muneerunisha, who has participated in the annual feast at the temple for several years.

She said the iftar gathering at the temple and the manner in which Muslims had responded reflected the larger sense of brotherhood in Malappuram. “Unlike the negative propaganda against our district, Malappuram has always been an abode of communal amity where everyone, irrespective of religion, live in peace,” she added.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/kerala-temple-organises-iftar-gathering-for-muslims/cid/1861287

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Rector of Islamic seminary Darul Uloom of Deoband: We Are All Custodians Of Peace And Harmony But Retaliate With Optimum Strength Given By Allah

 

Rector Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani.(HT Photo)

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Apr 19, 2022

The Mohatmim (rector) of Islamic seminary Darul Uloom of Deoband in western Uttar Pradesh has reportedly called upon Muslims to face with “guts and wits” and “retaliate with optimum strength” any attacks on the community.

In a purported video that has gone viral on social media, rector Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani is heard saying that “death is inevitable and offering themselves to others like a coward does not portray you (as) a true follower of Islam”.

The rector reportedly made the remark while addressing a gathering of followers at a Khanqah in Varanasi on Friday. Khanqah is a mosque where the grave of a Pir (spiritual guide) is present.

“We are all custodians of peace and harmony. But retaliate with optimum strength given by Allah, instead of raising slogans on the rooftops, if attacks were made on your life, property and pride. Death is inevitable and offering themselves to others like a coward does not portray you (as) a true follower of Islam,” Nomani is heard saying in the video.

HT could not independently verify the authenticity of the clip.

The rector’s alleged statement comes at a time the country is witnessing an increase in communal clashes and violence across several states.

Nomani also advised members of the minority community “to present a true picture of Islam to the world so that the wrong image of Islam and Muslims imprinted on peoples’ minds could be cleaned”.

He further asked Muslims to “apologise for their sins and adopt Islamic teachings to live a life accordingly”.

While the rector was not available for a comment, Ashraf Usmani, Darul Uloom’s media-in charge, confirmed that the rector made the statement during an interaction with people in a Khanqah in Varanasi on Friday.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/retaliate-with-optimum-strength-to-any-attack-on-muslims-says-up-cleric-101650309312352.html

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Anti-Terrorism Court In Pak Sentences 6 People To Death For Lynching Of Sri Lankan National

 

Priyantha Kumara, a Sri Lankan national was lynched in Sialkot on allegations of blasphemy

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Apr 18, 2022

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan's Punjab province on Monday sentenced six people to death and seven others to life imprisonment for their involvement in the lynching of a Sri Lankan national over alleged blasphemy.

The Anti-Terrorism Court Lahore also handed down two-year sentence each to remaining 67 other suspects.

Judge Natasha Nasim, who held the trial proceedings in-camera inside the high-security Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, on a day-to-day basis, announced the verdict in the presence of the suspects.

The judge, however, did not announce the verdict of nine juvenile suspects, whose trial is yet to be completed.

A mob of over 800 men including supporters of hardline Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) allegedly attacked a garment factory and lynched its general manager Priyantha Kumara, 47, and burned his body over allegations of blasphemy on December 3, in Sialkot district, some 100 kms from Lahore.

The incident saw widespread outrage and condemnation across Pakistan with politicians, scholars and civil society members calling for swift punishment to be meted out to the perpetrators.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/anti-terrorism-court-in-pak-sentences-6-people-to-death-for-lynching-of-sri-lankan-national/articleshow/90918255.cms

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Saudi Arabia Ranks First In Scientific Publishing In The Gulf: Scimago Index

 

A photo dated November 23, 2005 showing Saudi students at King Saud University in Riyadh. (AFP)

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19 April ,2022

Saudi Arabia ranks first in the Arab world and 25th globally in the field of scientific publishing, the official Saudi Press Agency reported citing the Scimago Index on Tuesday.

Saudi universities have reportedly contributed 93 percent of the national output of scientific research.

This translates into a sustainable knowledge-based economy that aligns with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, according to SPA.

As per the latest figures reported by SPA, there is a hike in the rate of scientific research publication in 2021 to 104 percent.

There also seems to be an improvement in the quality of research published in Q1 scientifically classified journals by 247 percent. The ministry’s initiatives are credited with contributing to an increase in the number of active researchers by 75 percent in the same period.

National universities are reporting an increase in the number of published scientific research, bringing their total to more than 57,000.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/04/19/Saudi-Arabia-ranks-first-in-scientific-publishing-in-the-Gulf-Scimago-index

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Hamas Calls For Marching En Masse To Protect Ibrahimi Mosque

 

The Hamas Movement has called on the Palestinian masses to join forces in defense of the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Khalil.

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April 19, 2022

The Hamas Movement has called on the Palestinian masses to join forces in defense of the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Khalil.

The Movement condemned the Israeli occupation army for announcing the closure of Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil City to Muslim worshipers on Monday and Tuesday to allow Jewish settlers to celebrate Passover at the Mosque.

In a statement on Monday, the Movement termed the closure as “a blatant violation of the Mosque’s sanctity and a provocative step against Muslims.”

The Movement hailed the bravery and steadfastness of Palestinians in Al-Khalil while facing the Israeli occupation and its settler groups, urging the Palestinian citizens from across the occupied territories to start marching en masse to protect Al-Ibrahimi Mosque against desecration.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//hamas-calls-for-marching-en-masse-to-protect-ibrahimi-mosque_1249374.html

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 India

 Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind The Supreme Court Moves Against Some State Governments Bulldozing The Properties Of Persons Accused In Criminal Cases

19th April 2022

NEW DELHI:  A Muslim organisation has moved the Supreme Court against some state governments bulldozing the properties of persons accused in criminal cases. The plea assumes significance in the backdrop of Madhya Pradesh government deploying bulldozers to raze down “illegal” properties of alleged rioters in the aftermath of communal clashes during the Ram Navami processions on April 10.

Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has sought a direction to the Centre and state governments that residential accommodations or any commercial property can’t be demolished as a punitive measure. Stating that there has been a rise in the demolition of properties by state governments as a punitive measure, the Jamiat said the action hindered the normal legal process.

“The legal process, including the pre-trial and trial stage, is hindered by these acts of the state, therefore, immediate action is needed to prevent such incidents from repeating. The states wherein such measures are being employed by the administrative authorities have been carrying them out with impunity as they are being supported by the top leadership in the said states. Hence, this court must step in to stop the situation from escalating any further and also prevent such acts from being repeated in other states as well.”

Source: New Indian Express

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

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/apr/19/muslim-body-moves-sc-against-state-govts-bulldozing-properties-of-persons-accused-in-criminal-cases-2443645.html

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MP: Muslim man with amputated hands accused of stone pelting, his shop demolished

18th April 2022

Following the riots that broke out in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district during the Ram Navami procession, the houses of those named in the riots were marked and razed to dust, all of whom were Muslims.

The action by the Madhya Pradesh government was reportedly taken based on First Information Reports (FIR) filed by police after witnesses and victims filed complaints.

One of the victims of the state’s rash decisions was Wasim Sheikh whose shop was razed.

Sheikh, whose hands have been amputated after an accident, ran a Gumti (shop), his only source of livelihood, which was reportedly razed by officials on April 11, after he was named on the list of “stone pelters“.

Shaikh’s whose hands were amputated after he sustained injuries from an electric current in 2005, fed his family of five, with the shop as his only source of livelihood.

In another similar case, three Muslim men who have been in jail since March 5 were named on the list of Ram Navami riot-accused persons Khargone. Following the riots that took place on Sunday, the house of one of the men accused of rioting was demolished on 11 April, along with 16 other houses.

The people who are named in the case are Shabaz, Fakru, and Rauf. The three were falsely charged for rioting in Khargone during Ram Navami celebrations on 10 April.

According to a report by the NDTV, the trio has been in jail since their arrest last month but has been accused of setting a motorbike on fire on April 10 in Sendhwa of Barwani district. They have been charged with rioting at the same police station where they were charged with attempted murder.

When asked about the lapse, the police officials at Barwani said that the case was filed based on the statement of the complainant.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/khargone-district-administration-razes-shop-of-handicapped-muslim-man-2311217/

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Kerala HC Declines To Interfere With Interfaith Relationship Of Christian Woman, Muslim DYFI Leader

19 APR 2022

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday declined to interfere with the decision of a Christian woman to marry a Muslim DYFI leader, a decision which stirred up a political storm in the state after her relatives alleged "love jihad", as she categorically told the court that she has not been illegally detained and she was not interested in speaking to her family at present.

A bench of Justices V G Arun and C S Sudha after interacting with the woman, Jyotsna Mary Joseph, said, "She has categorically stated she has decided to marry Shejin (DYFI leader) out of her own free will and not under any compulsion.

"She has also stated that as of now she was not interested in interacting with her parents or family and will do so at a later stage," the court noted in its order.

It also told the woman's family that she has said she intended to visit them after her marriage, for which an application under the Special Marriage Act has been moved and is pending consideration, and not before that.

The bench told the family that while it understands their concerns, their daughter was a 26-year-old woman, who was a nurse in Saudi Arabia, and capable of making her own decisions.

"She has taken a decision and she is not deviating from it. It is her will and pleasure. She is not willing to speak to her parents now, so how can we compel her to do so," it said.

The woman's father, Joseph, had moved a habeas corpus plea alleging that his daughter had been illegally detained and seeking directions to the police to produce her before him.

He had also told news channels that since the day his daughter left her home, she has not spoken to any of them and therefore, he believed that she was being restrained against her will by the DYFI leader.

Joseph had also said that he lacked faith in the Kerala Police to look into the matter and wanted an agency from outside the state, like the CBI or NIA, to investigate what had happened.

The interfaith relationship stirred up a political storm after the woman's relatives alleged "love jihad", with a senior Left party leader supporting the charge, only to retract his statement later.

The CPI(M), thereafter, made it clear that there was nothing unnatural in interfaith marriages and the campaign of 'love jihad' was a creation of RSS and Sangh Parivar.

Source: Outlook India

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

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/kerala-hc-declines-to-interfere-with-interfaith-relationship-of-christian-woman-muslim-dyfi-leader-news-192166

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Islamic outfit PFI 'puzzled' at Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's 'silence' on RSS' 'hate crimes'

April 19, 2022

Days after Jahangirpuri violence in northeast Delhi hogged limelight, an Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), said it is "puzzled: at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's silence" in "addressing and acting against the Sangh-Parivar hate crimes and violence targeting Muslims."

Parwez Ahmed, PFI Delhi President in a statement said, "He (Kejriwal) was proactive in filing FIRs against the innocent members of Tablighi Jamaat, who were wrongly implicated."

PFI "strongly condemned the anti-Muslim violence" in Delhi's Jahangirpuri during the Hanuman Jayanti processions on Saturday, 16 April, 2022.

The statement further read, "The violence in Jahangirpuri should be considered as a continuation of the attack on Muslims during Ram Navami rallies in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Goa and West Bengal."

Parwez Ahmed further claimed that there is a pattern in these incidents of violence and the methodology adopted was same everywhere, "holding rallies in Muslim-dominated areas, using objectionable slogans and songs and inciting people to violence."

Ahmed said though there have been different types of religious events and festivals which are regularly being held peacefully in the country, "there are proof that there are concerted efforts by the Sangh parivar to make religious events violent".

"The violence is highly regrettable as it has been only two years since the Hindutva orchestrated an anti-Muslim program in North-East Delhi and it brings back distressing memories (of) deaths, injuries and loss of livelihood," Ahmed said.

"RSS and BJP leaders like Kapil Mishra and Ragini Tiwari had played a major role in the North East Delhi program of 2020 and their involvement in the conspiracies behind Jahangirpuri violence is highly suspected," the PFI Delhi president further alleged.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday asked Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana to take strict action over Jahangirpuri violence in which police have formed teams for a thorough probe. The matter of the violence is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Source: Firstpost

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

https://www.firstpost.com/india/islamic-outfit-pfi-puzzled-at-delhi-cm-arvind-kejriwals-silence-on-rss-hate-crimes-10571331.html

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Pakistan talks of strife in India amid buzz of PM Modi-Shehbaz Sharif meet

Apr 19, 2022

NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Monday “strongly condemned” what it described as the recent spree of violence and targeted attacks against Muslims in India. The provocation for the statement was the incident in Jahangirpuri where, Islamabad said, a “despicable” attempt was made to hoist a flag at a mosque.

While there was no official response from India, government sources said Pakistan should look at its own record of having persecuted consistently its ethnic and religious minorities. Islamabad’s comments came amid speculation, following PM Narendra Modi’s congratulatory messages to his Pakistan counterpart Shehbaz Sharif and the latter’s response, about a possible meeting between the leaders on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Tashkent in July.

India government sources said though it was too early to talk about a summit-level meeting and that there was no formal proposal for a meeting yet. While both leaders called for constructive engagement, they also underlined the significance of first addressing what they saw as core issues — terrorism for India and J&K for Pakistan.

India and Pakistan haven’t had any substantive bilateral engagement since December 2015 when they launched the comprehensive bilateral dialogue process. This though was nipped in the bud by the Pathankot airbase terror attack that took place weeks later.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-talks-of-strife-in-india-amid-buzz-of-pm-modi-shehbaz-sharif-meet/articleshow/90922329.cms

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Rubina Khan, SP Leader, Booked For Threatening To Read Quran In Front Of Temples

19th April 2022

Aligarh: The loudspeaker controversy over Azaan-Hanuman Chalisa is getting murkier by the day.

Rubina Khan, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader of the women’s wing, has said that if Hindu activists recite Hanuman Chalisa at 21 crossing points in the Aligarh, as announced earlier, Muslim women would read the Quran in front of temples.

A case has been registered against Rubina Khan at the Civil Lines police station for making provocative speeches.

She told reporters that attempts were being deliberately made to target the Muslim community by seeking removal of loudspeakers from mosques. She alleged that the state government was ‘soft’ on right wing outfits like Bajrang Dal.

The Babri plaintiff, Iqbal Ansari, has slammed Rubina Khan for making ‘uncalled for statements’.

“Political leaders should stop trying to derive mileage for sensitive issues. Namaaz should be offered in mosques and not in front of temples,” he said.

Mahant Raju Das of Hanuman Garhi temple also said that leaders should avoid making statements that are designed to provoke people.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/sp-leader-booked-for-threatening-to-read-quran-in-front-of-temples-2311447/

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Pakistan

 

Pashtun Nationalist Leader: Saudi Regime, USA Sponsored Shia Killing In Pakistan

April 19, 2022

The Pashtun Nationalist leader Ali Wazir has revealed the reality behind the Shia Genocide in Pakistan.

The member of the National Assembly of Pakistan said in an interview that we shed Shia blood to please Saudi Arabia and USA.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//ali-wazir-saudi-regime-usa-sponsored-shia-killing-in-pakistan_1249381.html

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Pakistan President Alvi excuses himself from administering oaths to new cabinet: Report

Apr 18, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan President Arif Alvi on Monday excused himself from administering oaths to new cabinet ministers, following which the ceremony has been postponed, a media report said, citing sources.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani is now expected to administer the oath to the members of the federal cabinet at a ceremony which is likely to take place either on Tuesday or Wednesday, Geo News reported, citing sources in the president's house.

Last week, Sanjrani administered the oath of office to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif after President Alvi, a member of ousted premier Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, went on 'sick' leave ahead of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader's inauguration.

The federal cabinet was scheduled to take oath tonight at 8:30pm (local time) on Monday; however, when the prime minister's office contacted the president's office, Alvi refused to administer oaths, the channel said.

His move has further delayed the formation of the new Cabinet, a week after Sharif was sworn-in.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Khurshid Shah said that the PML-N will have the majority in the cabinet with 14 ministries. The PPP will have 11, and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) will be given four ministries. Meanwhile, the rest of the seven positions will be allotted to other allies.

PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb, who is likely to become information minister, had said on Sunday that members of the federal Cabinet "are taking oath tomorrow (Monday)."

Marriyum had said that the PML-N would get 14 ministries followed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 11 ministries.

She said that all allied parties were being accommodated in the Cabinet, including JUI-F and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

On Sunday, Prime Minister Sharif consulted the ruling coalition parties and met delegations of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and the Balochistan National Party (BNP).

On the other hand, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, being the “guarantor” in the ruling alliance, vowed to fulfil his commitments with coalition parties on the distribution of ministries.

Marriyum said a marathon meeting of a joint committee of the alliance on forming the Cabinet took place on Sunday in which grievances of parties over the distribution of portfolios and key positions were resolved.

She said the PML-N would bag the ministries of defence, finance, interior, law and justice, railways, information, energy, planning, communication, etc.

PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said that a joint committee of all allied parties in the government had finalised the formation of the new Cabinet in which almost all parties had been accommodated.

He said that the ministry of foreign affairs will most likely be handed over to the PPP, while the party's chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is deliberating over the decision to head the ministry, Geo News reported.

"I cannot ascertain whether Bilawal Bhutto will become part of Shahbaz Sharif's Cabinet," the news channel quoted him as saying.

Sanaullah further said that the ministry of finance, the ministry of planning and development, the ministry of energy, and the ministry of defence will be led by PML-N.

"The ministry of maritime affairs and the ministry of overseas Pakistanis and human resource development will be given to MQM and PPP, respectively," he said.

A source in the PPP said Prime Minister Sharif had given all-out authority to Zardari to distribute ministries to any party according to its due share.

He said distributing ministries and prized positions among allied parties of the new government was not an easy task as every party was hoping for lucrative and key positions.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-president-alvi-excuses-himself-from-administering-oaths-to-new-cabinet-report/articleshow/90918171.cms

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Imran terms reference against Justice Isa ‘govt mistake’

Nasir Iqbal

April 19, 2022

ISLAMABAD: While terming it a ‘mistake’, former premier Imran Khan on Monday blamed the law ministry in the PTI government responsible for sending the reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa before the Supreme Judicial Council.

However, former law minister Farogh Naseem brushed aside the blame stating that the reference was moved only on ex-PM Khan’s insistence. Interestingly, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry took to the social media to claim that he had objected to the filing of the reference and Barrister Naseem should have admitted that it was his doing.

The admission of ‘mistake’ by the PTI chairman after a two-year hiatus is being seen as his attempt to ‘mend ties’ with the judiciary, as Mr Khan while talking to a group of reporters acknowledged that the filing of the reference was an “attempt to unnecessarily confront the judiciary”.

The observation becomes significant when viewed against the backdrop of what had been written by a member of the 10-judge Supreme Court bench that decided a set of petitions on the filing of the presidential reference against Justice Isa. In his additional note, Justice Faisal Arab wrote that when the integrity of a judge of the superior judiciary was called in question under Article 209 (5) of the Constitution, then not only his credibility but of the entire judicial institution was put at stake. The very commencement of the inquiry proceedings against a judge causes psychological pain and anguish that continues until his name gets finally cleared and the agony may even continue for some time thereafter, Justice Arab stated.

A senior counsel requesting anonymity believed Mr Khan was trying to “win back the support” of Justice Isa at a time when the former could no longer “damage the judge” after being voted out of power. The lawyer said Mr Khan clearly knew Justice Isa was destined to become Chief Justice of Pakistan in September 2023 after the retirement of the incumbent chief justice.

As long as Mr Khan remained in power, he pursued the case against Justice Isa vigorously, rather made considered attempt to drag not only the judge but his wife Sarina Isa into the controversy, the counsel said, regretting that the ex-premier was in the habit of shrugging off responsibility of such moves to other shoulders. “This is not one-off,” he regretted, adding that Mirza Shahzad Akbar was asked to head the Asset Recovery Unit though the only credentials he had was his claim that he would collect evidence of corruption against Nawaz Sharif.

Mr Khan had plenty of opportunities to express his regrets, if he had any, when the reference was quashed by the 10-judge bench, when the majority judgment through its June 19, 2020 short order referred the matter to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), which functions directly under the federal government, for further probe into the matter. That was the time when Mr Khan could have stated that the government did not want to keep chasing the judge rather the apex court should appoint a monitoring judge if the SC wanted to pursue it further.

Even when the reference was finally quashed in the second round i.e. the review petition by Justice Isa, the government coined a novel idea by instituting a curative review, which was still pending before the Supreme Court, he said, adding that former Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan finally put a lid on it by openly stating he was not interested in following the matter anymore.

Fawad blames Farogh

The latest admission by Mr Khan took another twist when Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet regretted that Farogh Naseem, being the former law minister, should have accepted the responsibility of sending the reference since it was his doing.

Mr Chaudhry then claimed that being the cabinet minister he had opposed the filing of the reference against judges and asked that bar associations should move it, but it was on the insistence of Mr Naseem that the reference was sent to the SJC.

When contacted, Mr Naseem said it was the ex-premier’s insistence to move the summary/reference considering the material that became available with the ARU that Mr Khan himself had set up and worked directly under him.

He rubbished the idea that the judiciary was against Mr Khan. Summaries like the one pertaining to Justice Isa were “very sensitive”, he noted, adding they could never have been moved and no work thereon could be performed, unless and until they were “cleared in advance by the prime minister and the president”.

He claimed he had never borne any personal grudge against Justice Isa. About Mr Chaudhry’s claim, he said reference never went through cabinet. “Let Fawad Chuadhry show any minutes of the cabinet meeting where he said [opposed the reference] all this,” Mr Naseem said, adding that minutes of cabinet meetings were properly maintained.

In his detailed judgement, the incumbent chief justice had explained President Dr Arif Alvi did not form a considered opinion under Article 209(5) of the Constitution and therefore the presidential reference against Justice Isa suffered with multiple defects. “And since there was no valid authorisation for the investigation, the government illegally accessed the tax records of Justice Isa,” the verdict said.

It was further noted that there was no authorisation for investigating the affairs of Justice Isa by the president and prime minister instead the authorisation of law minister was obtained.

In his dissenting note on the short order, former Justice Maqbool Baqar held that Mr Khan, Mr Naseem, and Mr Akbar were liable under the Income Tax Ordinance (ITO) 2001 as well the Nadra Ordinance for “ordering in haste institution of a reference against Justice Isa”.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1685716/imran-terms-reference-against-justice-isa-govt-mistake

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PM Shehbaz Sharif's 37-member cabinet takes oath

April 19, 2022

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has administered the oath to federal ministers and ministers of state, who will form the cabinet of newly elected Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The oath-taking ceremony began with the recitation of the Holy Quran at the President House.

Thirty-one federal ministers and three ministers of state took the oath.

Federal ministers

Khawaja Muhammad Asif (PML-N)

Ahsan Iqbal (PML-N)

Rana Sanaullah (PML-N)

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq (PML-N)

Rana Tanveer Hussain (PML-N)

Khurram Dastgir Khan (PML-N)

Marriyum Aurangzeb (PML-N)

Khawaja Saad Rafique (PML-N)

Miftah Ismail (PML-N)

Javed Latif (PML-N)

Riaz Hussain Pirzada (PML-N)

Murtaza Javed Abbasi (PML-N)

Azam Nazeer Tarar (PML-N)

Syed Khursheed Shah (PPP)

Syed Naveed Qamar (PPP)

Sherry Rehman (PPP)

Abdul Qadir Patel (PPP)

Shazia Marri (PPP)

Syed Murtaza Mahmud (PPP)

Sajid Hussain Turi (PPP)

Ehsan Ur Rehman Mazari (PPP)

Abid Hussain (PPP)

Asad Mahmood (MMA)

Abdul Wasay (MMA)

Abdul Shakoor (MMA)

Muhammad Talha Mahmood (JUI)

Aminul Haque (MQM-P)

Faisal Sabzwari (MQM-P)

Muhammad Israr Tareen (BAP)

Shahzain Bugti (JWP)

Tariq Bashir Cheema (PML-Q)

Ministers of state

Aisha Ghaus Pasha (PML-N)

Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju (PML-N)

Hina Rabbani Khar (PPP)

Advisers to the PM

Qamar Zaman Kaira (PPP)

Amir Muqam (PML-N)

Awn Chaudhry (PTI's Tareen group)

According to a statement issued by the President House, PML-N's Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Tanveer Hussain, Khurram Dastgir Khan, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Miftah Ismail, Javed Latif, Riaz Hussain Pirzada, Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Azam Nazeer Tarar took the oath as federal ministers.

From the PPP, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, Sherry Rehman, Abdul Qadir Patel, Shazia Marri, Syed Murtaza Mahmud, Sajid Hussain Turi, Ehsan Ur Rehman Mazari and Abid Hussain took the oath as federal ministers.

Asad Mahmood, Abdul Wasay and Abdul Shakoor of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's Aminul Haque and Faisal Sabzwari, Balochistan Awami Party's Muhammad Israr Tareen, Jamhoori Watan Party's Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid's Tariq Bashir Cheema are also among the newly appointed federal ministers.

Meanwhile, PML-N's Aisha Ghaus Pasha and Abdul Rehman Khan Kanju, as well as PPP's Hina Rabbani Khar, were administered the oath as ministers of state.

Moreover, PPP's Qamar Zaman Kaira, PML-N's Amir Muqam and Awn Chaudhry from Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's estranged Jahangir Tareen group have been appointed as advisers to the prime minister.

The ceremony was scheduled to be held on Monday, but it transpired that President Arif Alvi had refused to administer the oath to the lawmakers, compelling the government to postpone the ceremony to Tuesday (today).

Earlier, a Dawn report, citing sources, had said President Arif Alvi was expected to go on leave on Tuesday over reported illness so that Sanjrani could administer the oath. Previously, the president had also excused himself to administer the oath to Sharif on health grounds after which Sanjrani had taken over the responsibility.

Meanwhile, at a media briefing on Monday, PML-N's Marriyum Aurangzeb had said that the list of cabinet members had yet to be finalised, hinting that last-minute changes could be made before the oath-taking ceremony.

"The decision has been taken with consensus from all coalition partners," she had claimed.

Ruling PML-N leader Khawaja Asif, in a private TV show last night, had revealed the names of some of the PML-N leaders who were set to take up ministries in the new cabinet.

According to him, Ahsan Iqbal is likely to get the Ministry of Planning and Development, Azam Nazir Tarar Law, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Energy, while Ayaz Sadiq will get the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Earlier, reports were making rounds that Aurangzeb would be given the portfolio of the information ministry while Rana Sanaullah will be given the reins of the interior ministry despite opposition within the ruling PML-N, and Miftah Ismail was reportedly being considered for finance ministry. However, no official announcement has yet been made in this regard.

Former defence minister Asif had also claimed that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would be given the Foreign Ministry. However, a PPP leader told Dawn that the party chairman was not joining the cabinet in the first phase being announced today and might opt for a ministry after a few days.

On the other hand, some government allies are still said to be “unsatisfied” over the demands they had extended to the government regarding distribution of ministries and other lucrative positions.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1685760/pm-shehbaz-sharifs-37-member-cabinet-takes-oath

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BNP-M lawmakers boycott NA over security forces’ actions in Chagai

Amir Wasim

April 19, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The newly-formed struggling coalition government under Shehbaz Sharif on Monday received a jolt when members of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) boycotted the National Assembly proceedings over the alleged firing by the security forces on protesters in Chagai, saying it would be difficult for the party to be a part of the government if military operations continue in the province.

The issue was raised by Agha Hassan Baloch of the BNP-M after Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf allowed the members to speak on points of order as the house had no business to carry after disposal of the motion of offering thanks to President Dr Arif Alvi for his address to the joint sitting of parliament in September last year.

Perhaps finding themselves in hot waters after forming the government last week, PML-N parliamentary leader Khawaja Asif suggested early elections in the country which, according to him, was the only way to save the country from bloodshed and a possible civil war.

“On April 16, a heart-wrenching incident happened at Chagai when the security forces opened fire on unarmed and oppressed Baloch people in which six persons were martyred and many others injured. As usual, the past attitude has not been abandoned. Today (Monday) again, the peaceful innocent Baloch protesters were fired upon resulting in more killings,” alleged Hassan Baloch while taking the floor as the first speaker of the day.

The BNP-M member regretted that the Baloch people had been the victim of extrajudicial killings since 1947 and this was happening even today.

“The cheapest thing available in the country right now is the blood of the Baloch people,” he said, adding that for the BNP-M, the Baloch people were more important than anything else.

“Why have the security forces been given too much powers? We condemn it and stage a walkout. How can we stay in the government in these conditions?” Mr Baloch said before leaving the house with other party members.

It was after nearly an hour that the speaker sent Ayaz Sadiq and some other MNAs from Balochistan to bring back the BNP-M members, but perhaps by that time, the protesting lawmakers had already left the Parliament House.

The issue of the ongoing operations and missing persons in Balochistan had also been raised by BNP-M chief Akhtar Mengal during his speech in the assembly on Saturday. Mr Mengal had even asked the prime minister to resolve the issue of missing persons before Eidul Fitr, which is just two weeks away.

In the absence of PM Sharif from the house, PML-N’s Khawaja Asif responded to the protesting BNP-M lawmakers, stating that the Balochistan issue had been there since the 1960s. He admitted that excesses had been committed with the people of Balochistan and agreements with them were violated.

“Our Balochistan province is bleeding,” he said, adding that it would not be justified to blame only one institution. Without naming anyone, the PML-N leader said that “institution is fulfilling its duties”.

The PML-N leader said terrorism was still there in Balochistan where army officers and personnel were being attacked and martyred. He said all the institutions needed to work together to resolve the issue.

Mr Asif was of the view that Balochistan was facing the present situation due to the failure of the politicians, particularly those from the province, to solve their problems politically. He said the Balochistan Assembly had not been playing its due role in this regard and the members of the assembly were not proving themselves as the people’s true representatives which was evident from the frequent changes of chief ministers in the province.

He also admitted that it was the mistake of the previous PML-N regime to change the government of Dr Abdul Malik in Balochistan and appoint its own chief minister.

“Shame to have such a government in a province of Pakistan,” he said, adding that if they wanted to see the armed forces and FC going back to the barracks then they would have to play their roles. He said when they abdicated their space for personal and short-term gains then there was no fault of the armed forces. “We owe it to Balochistan to find out a solution.”

The PML-N leader asked the BNP-M to use parliament considering it the last forum to resolve their issues and not to abandon it.

Talking about the prevailing political situation in the country, Khawaja Asif said the new coalition government should think about seeking fresh mandate of the people who should be given an opportunity evaluate the situation emerged in the last four years. He alleged that former prime minister Imran Khan was inciting the people for violence. He said they could also respond to the violence but they did not want to vitiate the atmosphere.

“Controlling price hike is a gigantic task before the new government…. it will be good to seek fresh mandate of the people as early as possible as there is a danger of civil war in the country,” said the PML-N leader. He warned that Pakistan could face a situation like that of Sri Lanka which had gone bankrupt.

“Elections must be held in any case. Even Iran held two elections during war [with Iraq],” he said.

The PML-N leader was of the view that parliament, judiciary, armed forces, media and bureaucrats would have to do something on a common platform for the sake of 220 million people of the country. “There is a need to heal the wounds, otherwise it will be too late and the situation could become irreversible,” he warned.

Rubina Irfan of the Balochistan Awami Party also spoke about the “excesses” being committed with the people of her province where, she said, the youth were jobless. She also expressed concern over the Chagai incident and regretted that the people of Balochistan did not even have roads, electricity and other facilities.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1685720/bnp-m-lawmakers-boycott-na-over-security-forces-actions-in-chagai

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IHC disposes of petitions of ex-PM’s aides against travel restrictions

Malik Asad

April 19, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday disposed of petitions filed by two close aides to former prime minister Imran Khan after the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) gave an undertaking that their names had been removed from the no-fly list and they would not be harassed unnecessarily.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah was hearing the petitions filed by Shahbaz Gill and Mirza Shahzad Akbar after they were placed on the Provisional National Identity List (PINL), a temporary no-fly list.

The court advised the FIA to judiciously exercise its powers to dispel any wrong impression.

Deputy Attorney General Syed Mohammad Tayyab, representing the FIA, told the court that the agency did not harass anyone.

FIA says names removed from no-fly list, petitioners will not be harassed unnecessarily

He said the FIA director general had directed the relevant departments to proceed strictly in accordance with the law.

According to the FIA’s officials, Mr Gill and Mr Akbar had been accused of minting money through corrupt practices.

As per an FIA report, inquiries against them were based on complaints filed by two lawyers, Abdul Khaliq Thind and Farhan Kayani.

Mr Kayani accused Mr Gill of plundering millions of rupees through under the table deals of the Capital Development Authority. He stated that Mr Gill had earned huge amount from private housing societies by settling their matters in the CDA.

He pointed out that the former PM’s aide secured a farmhouse in the Intelligence Bureau Employees Cooperative Housing Society and was constructing a palatial building there. He said the known sources of his income did not commensurate with this asset.

The FIA told the court that Mr Akbar had left the country soon after his name was removed from the list.

The other names struck off from the list included that of former special assistant to the prime minister Dr Arslan Khalid, ex-principal secretary to the prime minister Mohammad Azam Khan, director general Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab Gohar Nafees and FIA’s director Dr Rizwan.

The FIA report stated that the complaints against the two former aides were lodged with the agency’s Islamabad Zone on April 8 and their names were placed on the list on April 10.

As per the report, “two separate requests were received from the FIA Islamabad Zone on April 8, 2022, to place the names of petitioners on the list.”

It further stated that at night between April 9 and 10, an extraordinary situation arose in the country which necessitated extra vigilance from all institutions. Certain reports were received from credible sources that the petitioners and some other individuals might flee from the country. In this pretext and in the light of earlier requests/recommendations received from FIA Islamabad Zone, the names of the petitioners and other individuals were placed on the no-fly list.

The FIA accused Mr Gill of “accumulation of wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income through illegal means by misuse of his official position/authority from different housing societies and for settling their matters in CDA.”

Allegations against Mr Akbar were also similar in nature. The FIA is probing them under section 409 (criminal breach of trust) that may lead to life imprisonment, 420 (cheating), seven years imprisonment and section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act for which the convict might get three years’ imprisonment.

Justice Minallah during the course of hearing inquired from the FIA officials under which authority they had placed the petitioners on PNIL.

The FIA replied that PINL was maintained in the light of the judgement of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1685662/ihc-disposes-of-petitions-of-ex-pms-aides-against-travel-restrictions

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Pakistan values its relations with EU countries: Gen Bajwa

April 18, 2022

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa Monday said that Pakistan values its relations with European Union (EU) countries and earnestly looks forward to enhance mutually beneficial multi-domain relations based on common interests.

He expressed these views during a meeting with Ambassador of Romania to Pakistan Mr Nicolae Goia who called him here at GHQ.

During the meeting, matters of mutual interest, regional security situation including latest situation in Afghanistan and enhanced bilateral cooperation with Romania were discussed.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/04/18/pakistan-values-its-relations-with-eu-countries-gen-bajwa/

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PM, Qatari Emir vow to expand cooperation in diverse fields

April 18, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif received a telephone call from the Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani on Monday during with issues of mutual interest came under discussion.

During telephonic conversation, the Amir of Qatar felicitated Shehbaz Sharif for assuming office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan and assured of full support in deepening Qatar’s relations with Pakistan.

The Prime Minister thanked Sheikh Tamim for his gracious gesture. He underlined the importance Pakistan attached to its relationship with Qatar and reaffirmed the strong desire to further expand bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

PM Shehbaz Sharif underscored the resolve to forge deeper economic engagement between Pakistan and Qatar – including in the trade, investment, energy, communications, food security and other key sectors.

He also appreciated the measures taken by Qatar for the well-being of the Pakistani workers in the fields of security, health and infrastructure.

The Prime Minister appreciated the role played by Qatar in the Afghan peace process and expressed the desire that both countries should continue to work together for peace, stability and humanitarian assistance for the people in Afghanistan.

Shehbaz Sharif extended cordial invitation to The Amir to visit Pakistan at an early date.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/04/18/pm-qatari-amir-vow-to-expand-cooperation-in-diverse-fields/

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Arab World

 

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis claim they will stop using child soldiers

19 April ,2022

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia has said it will rid its ranks of child soldiers, who have fought by the thousands during the country’s seven years of civil war, the United Nations said Monday.

The Houthis signed what the UN described as an “action plan” to end and prevent recruiting or using children in armed conflict, killing, or maiming children and attacking schools and hospitals. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the Houthis committed to identifying children in their ranks and releasing them within six months.

One of the Houthis’ top diplomats, Abdul Eluh Hajar, signed the agreement. Representatives from the UN’s children’s agency posed with Houthi officials for the media at a ceremony to mark the agreement in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. The Houthis called it a plan to protect children.

Yemen’s internationally-recognized government, which is operating in exile, made similar commitments in several documents signed since 2014, the UN said.

Virginia Gamba, the UN’s top official looking out for children in war zones, called the Houthis’ move “a positive and encouraging step,” but she noted that “the most difficult part of the journey starts now.”

“The action plan must be fully implemented and lead to tangible actions for the improvement of the protection of children in Yemen,” Gamba, who signed in New York as a witness to the Houthis’ commitment, said in a statement.

The UN says nearly 3,500 children have been verified as recruited and deployed in Yemen’s civil war. However, a senior Houthi military official told The Associated Press in 2018 that the group had inducted 18,000 child soldiers into its army by then, and former child soldiers told the news cooperative that boys as young as 10 were recruited.

At the time, a Houthi military spokesman denied any systematic recruiting of people under 18 and said there were orders to reject children who tried to join up.

More than 10,200 children have been killed or maimed in the war, the UN says. It’s unclear how many may have been combatants.

Yemen’s civil war erupted in 2014 when the Houthis seized Sanaa and forced the government into exile. An Arab Coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, entered the war in early 2015 to try to restore the government to power.

War monitors estimate the conflict has killed over 14,500 civilians and 150,000 people when combatants are included. The fighting also created one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

The warring sides agreed earlier this month to the first nationwide truce in six years. The two-month pact was timed to start during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and raised hopes about building momentum for peace.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/04/19/Yemen-s-Iran-backed-Houthis-claim-they-will-stop-using-child-soldiers

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Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque must end: Qatari emir

19.04.2022

The Emir of Qatar told Jordan’s king Monday that Israel’s raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque have to end along with all its provocations against the Palestinian people, adding his country fully supports Palestine in regaining its legitimate rights.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and King Abdullah II had a phone conversation about the latest incident at Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the rising tensions in the area, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

Al Thani reiterated that his country supports the Palestinian issue and all legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to freely worship and establish their own independent state, the capital of which is East Jerusalem, based on the 1967 borders.

Jordan’s king also spoke by phone Monday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to Jordanian media outlets.

Abdullah evaluated the latest developments in the Palestinian arena and their negative repercussions on regional and world peace and security.

The king -- who warned that Israel's unilateral practices in the Palestinian territories would undermine the chances of achieving a two-state solution and comprehensive peace -- also completely refused to damage the historical and legal status of Jerusalem.

He stressed that all attempts to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque into time and space between Muslims and Jews are condemned and unacceptable.

Noting the importance of protecting worshippers in the mosque, Abdullah drew attention to the fact that no measures have been taken to ensure that worshippers reach the mosque and are prevented from being provoked, especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

He also emphasized the need to intensify international efforts to prevent increased tensions in Jerusalem.

On Sunday, the Jordanian king called on Israel to respect the historical and legal status of Al-Aqsa Mosque and to put an end to its illegal and provocative actions.

Also Monday, Jordan summoned the Israeli ambassador to the Foreign Ministry as a response to the raids and violations at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Tensions have mounted across the Palestinian territories since Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard Friday amid clashes with worshippers, injuring hundreds.

On Sunday, more than 700 Israeli settlers forced their way into the mosque complex under heavy police protection to celebrate the week-long Jewish Passover holiday, which started on Friday.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israeli-raids-on-al-aqsa-mosque-must-end-qatari-emir/2566980

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Robots To Help Muslim Pilgrims At Holy Sites In Saudi Arabia

Adam Lucente

April 18, 2022

The authorities responsible for Islam’s holiest sites have announced a new fleet of robots to assist female worshippers.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque said the “smart guidance” robots will explain prayer rituals and Islamic declarations known as fatwas in the women’s sections of the Great Mosque of Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina in Saudi Arabia. They will also answer questions about the holy sites and allow women to communicate with scholars. The robots offer answers in 11 languages including English, Turkish, Persian and Urdu as well as Arabic. The wheeled robots communicate via touch screens, read a presidential press release yesterday.

Every year, Muslims journey to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage to pray at the Great Mosque or al-Masjid al-Haram, the holiest site in Islam. They typically also travel to the city of Medina to pray at the Prophet’s Mosque, or Al-Masjid an-Nabawi. Islam commands Muslims to perform the hajj at least once in their lifetimes. They also often visit Mecca’s holy sites at other times of the year is what is referred to as umrah. Men and women pray separately at both sites.

Saudi authorities unveiled the robots this month to assist men and women pilgrims making the umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, according to the Saudi news outlet Arab News.

Robots are not new in the holy city of Mecca. Last year, the little machines handed out water to worshippers during the hajj.

Source: Al Monitor

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

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/04/robots-help-muslim-pilgrims-holy-sites-saudi-arabia

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Indicative symbols service activated to receive children visiting the Grand Mosque

April 18, 2022

MAKKAH — The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has launched the Guidance Codes program to receive children of Umrah performers and visitors, and to provide indicative symbols for non-Arabic speakers and bracelets, to avoid them getting lost in crowds.

The Under-Secretary-General for Social and Voluntary Services, Eng. Amjad Bin Ayed Al-Hazmi said the Presidency is keen to provide the best services to the Grand Mosque's visitors to raise the level of social responsibility and introduce visitors to the services and initiatives provided by the Presidency. — SPA

Source: Saudi Gazette

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

https://saudigazette.com.sa/article/619518/SAUDI-ARABIA/Indicative-symbols-service-activated-to-receive-children-visiting-the-Grand-Mosque

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Saudi Princess passes away, neighbouring rulers send condolences

19 April ,2022

Saudi Princess Lolwah bint Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has passed away, the Saudi Royal Court announced on Monday.

A funeral for the daughter of former Saudi King Fahd bin Abdulaziz will be held on Tuesday in Riyadh following afternoon prayers, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

It will be held at Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque.

Leaders of neighboring Gulf Arab countries paid their respects on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Rulers of the United Arab Emirates, crown princes, and deputy rulers sent their condolences to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Wednesday, the WAM news agency reported.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/04/19/Saudi-Princess-passes-away-neighboring-rulers-send-condolences

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At least 4 wounded in rocket attack by YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria

Omer Koparan and Ethem Emre Ozcan  

18.04.2022

JARABULUS, Syria

At least four people, including three members of Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets), were wounded in a rocket attack on Monday carried out by YPG/PKK terrorists in Jarabulus, northern Syria.

The White Helmets’ vehicle, which came to the region for rescue purposes after recent attacks by YPG/PKK terrorists west of the Euphrates River, became the target of the terror group's missile attack.

In September 2016, the Turkish army liberated Jarabulus from ISIS/Daesh terrorists as part of Operation Euphrates Shield. The aim of the operation, which ended in March 2017, was to eradicate terrorists from Syria's border territories with Turkiye.

While the operation was successful, the terrorist YPG/PKK, operating from Syria’s adjacent Tal Rifaat and Manbij regions, still often tries to carry out attacks in Jarabulus, Azaz, Afrin, and al-Bab.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkiye, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/at-least-4-wounded-in-rocket-attack-by-ypg-pkk-terrorists-in-northern-syria/2566832

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Mideast

 

Hamas Calls For Marching En Masse To Protect Ibrahimi Mosque

April 19, 2022

The Hamas Movement has called on the Palestinian masses to join forces in defense of the Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Khalil.

The Movement condemned the Israeli occupation army for announcing the closure of Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil City to Muslim worshipers on Monday and Tuesday to allow Jewish settlers to celebrate Passover at the Mosque.

In a statement on Monday, the Movement termed the closure as “a blatant violation of the Mosque’s sanctity and a provocative step against Muslims.”

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//hamas-calls-for-marching-en-masse-to-protect-ibrahimi-mosque_1249374.html

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Iran says avenging Qassem Soleimani is ‘basic, definite principle’ of its policies

18 April ,2022

Punishing those behind the US killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani is a “basic and definite principle” of Tehran’s foreign policy, Iran’s foreign ministry’s spokesman said on Monday.

“It is a definite principle in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran that (those involved in the killing of Soleimani) must be brought to justice,” Iran’s official IRNA news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying.

“The basic principle in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran was formed after the cowardly assassination of (Soleimani): The action taken by the perpetrators and advisers of this cowardly act will not go unpunished,” Khatibzadeh said.

Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq on January 3, 2020, ordered by then President Donald Trump. Soleimani headed the Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Iran has been routinely threatening revenge against Trump and members of his administration over the killing of Soleimani. The Associated Press reported in March that the US State Department spends more than $2 million a month to provide 24-hour security for former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former Iran envoy Brian Hook, who face “serious and credible” threats.

Under President Joe Biden, the US has for over a year engaged in indirect talks with Iran in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, which Trump abandoned in 2018.

The talks have been paused since last month, reportedly over an Iranian demand to have the IRGC removed from the US Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. The US designated the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization under Trump in 2019.

Trump withdrew Washington from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Tehran, saying the deal failed to address Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional activities and it did not block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon.

Iran, which insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, responded by expanding its nuclear program, breaching most of the deal’s restrictions.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/04/18/Iran-says-avenging-Qassem-Soleimani-is-basic-definite-principle-of-its-policies

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Iranian President Warns Israel against Slightest Mistake

2022-April-18

“The message to the Zionist regime is that if you seek to normalize relations with the countries of the region, you should know that your slightest move is not hidden from the eyes of our armed forces and our intelligence and security forces,” Rayeesi said on Monday, addressing a parade held in front of the mausoleum of Imam Khomeinei, the founding father of the Islamic Republic, in Southern Tehran to mark the National Army Day. 

“Just know that if the slightest move on your part occurs against our nation, our armed forces will target the center of the Zionist regime, and the power of our armed forces will not leave you at rest,” he added.

Army combat and armored units, airborne helicopters, air force fighters, air defense weapons, defense systems and naval equipment mounted on military trucks marched in front of a stand, from where top government and military officials observed the parade.

President Rayeesi said the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic have many capabilities, the most central of which is their sincere and devout members who are ready to face danger for the sake of the country.

“Today, our military capabilities are well-known not only in the region but also in the world,” the president said, stressing that the most important component of power in Iran is the country’s revolutionary people.

“The Army is in the hearts of the people, and under the command of the Commander-in-Chief, it is ready to carry out missions, and this readiness is a great achievement for our country.”

Rayeesi said the Army took advantage of the most draconian sanctions on Iran to empower itself.

“Today, our military industry is in the best condition, so we must use it in other industries of the country,” he said.

“What the White House spokesman told the world was that they have suffered a disgraceful defeat in their sanctions and maximum pressure on Iran, and that this is the fate of those who want to fall out with the Islamic system,” the president added.

“The message of the prowess, power, strength and endurance of the Iranian armed forces to all the deprived and oppressed of the world is that today our armed forces are their source of hope, because supporting the world’s oppressed is one of the principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy,” Rayeesi said.

Iran makes a show of military force on Iran Army Day with parades every April 18. The country often demonstrates new defense technologies on the day. Army veterans, active servicemen and reservists take part in the annually held parade.

In relevant remarks in February, Iranian Armed Forces Spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi warned Israel that the regime’s slightest strategic mistake will face Iran’s crushing response.

“We do not consider the Zionist regime to be in possession of such capability to cause insecurity for the Islamic Republic,” General Shekarchi said.

“Their (the Zionists) slightest strategic mistake will be met with our harshest response,” the official cautioned.

The official also commented on the regime’s struggles to forge regional alliances by establishing ties with the countries of the region.

General Shekarchi interpreted the “détente” spree as a futile bid on the part of the regime to end its isolation.

He was referring to the US-mediated normalization agreements between Israel and some Arab governments, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

“The Zionist regime is trying to come out of isolation. Therefore, it clutches at everything…,” General Shekarchi said.

“This is while a regime that is hated by all nations will, under no circumstances, become dear and turn into a secure regime and will stay in insecurity forever,” he stated.

The official specified the Israeli regime as “homicidal, oppressive, and ferocious in disposition”.

The Zionist regime’s promoters are “pressuring their lackeys” in many countries such as the US, the UK, and France and elsewhere to provide it with a foothold there in order to prevent its disintegration, the spokesman said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010129000420/Iranian-Presiden-Warns-Israel-agains-Slighes-Misake

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Spokesman: Freedom of Iran’s Assets Not Related to Washington

2022-April-18

"The release of Iranian assets has nothing to do with any third country, and the fact that the US is trying to intervene on any issue related to Iran shows how far it is from US and Biden's claims," Khatibzadeh told reporters in a press conference in Tehran on Monday.

"A delegation (from a country other than the US) came to Iran and an agreement was reached on the release of part of Iran's assets, and this issue is not related to the US," he added.

Asked about the reason for the suspension of the Vienna talks, Khatibzadeh said that the remaining issues between Iran and the US are more than one subject.

All elements and components of the maximum pressure must be removed. The United States is trying to maintain some of the components of maximum pressure. Meanwhile, Iranians should benefit from the deal, he underlined.

When an agreement on the remaining issues is reached, it can be said that the (final) agreement is available, Khatibzadeh said.

The spokesman went on to say that exchange of messages between Tehran and Washington is going on through European Union coordinator Enrique Mora.

At present, the atmosphere in Vienna is not negative because Iran and G4+1 have done their work and are waiting for proper response from the US to remove the concerns, he said, adding that Washington has adopted a policy of delay.

Turning to the issue of the Zionist regime of Israel’s raid against Al-Aqsa Mosque and attack on worshippers, Khatibzadeh criticized the international organizations for their silence.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has taken due measures to follow up the case in the international organizations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the spokesman noted, adding that unfortunately some regional countries’ normalization (of relations with Israel) has made the Zionist regime more impudent.

Former US president Donald Trump unilaterally left the JCPOA in May 2018 and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that the deal had lifted. He also placed additional sanctions on Iran under other pretexts not related to the nuclear case as part of his “maximum pressure” campaign.

In May 2019, following a year of strategic patience, Iran decided to let go of some of the restrictions on its nuclear energy program, resorting to its legal rights under the JCPOA, which grants a party the right to suspend its contractual commitments in case of non-compliance by the other side.

The Biden administration says it is willing to compensate for Trump’s mistake and rejoin the deal, but it has retained the sanctions as leverage.

Last month, the talks in Vienna, aimed at resurrecting the JCPOA, were paused for an undetermined period of time but later reports suggested that they were in final stages.

In relevant remarks earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian criticized Washington for raising excessive demands from Tehran and blocking efforts to reach an agreement in Vienna talks.

"The American side has raised excessive demands in the last two or three weeks. Although much of the text has been agreed upon, the US makes suggestions that contradict some parts of the text. They are sometimes interested in unilaterally raising and imposing new conditions outside the framework of the negotiations that have taken place in the field of lifting sanctions," Amir Abdollahian said.

Iran will not cross its red lines, he said, adding that if Iran's red lines are observed, a good agreement will be reached. "We will continue to pursue a dignified, good, strong and lasting diplomatic path to reach an agreement that lifts sanctions," Amir Abdollahian underlined.

He also said that Iran and Russia agreed that Moscow will not hinder reaching an agreement in Vienna talks.

"West told us that since the start of the Ukraine war, the situation is that even if we reach an agreement [in Vienna], Russia will not go along with the agreement. During the telephone conversation we had with Mr. Lavrov and during my visit to Moscow, we had very clear and transparent talks. Our agreement with the Russian side was that if our red lines were fully observed and we reached an agreement in the Vienna talks on lifting the sanctions at any time, Russia would not be an obstacle in the way of reaching an agreement."

"We certainly want the sanctions to be lifted, but with dignity and stability," Amir Abdollahian said, adding that however, President Rayeesi has always emphasized to all cabinet members in meetings that the focus should not be on Vienna, but that all institutions should act to neutralize sanctions and to promote the sustainable development of the economy and trade in the country.

"It was necessary to pause the negotiations because we came very close to a conclusion with the three European countries on technical issues," the foreign minister said, referring to the Vienna talks.

Also, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called on the Iranian government to continue plans to further increase progress and power in the country regardless of the results of the Vienna talks.

Addressing a meeting with heads of the three branches of government and a number of Iranian officials last Tuesday evening, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the country's diplomacy is moving on a good direction, stressing that Iran has resisted and will continue to resist against excessive demands.

He urged the Iranian officials not to be held back by the negotiations at all and to base their plans on the country’s realities instead in order to tackle the problems.

The results of the negotiations, either positive or negative, should never hinder the country’s affairs, the Leader said.

The Leader said the country's diplomacy is moving on a good direction while the Iranian negotiating team will continue to inform the president, the Supreme National Security Council and other officials on the process of Vienna talks, make relevant decisions, and move forward.

“So far, our negotiating team has been resisting the other side’s excessive demands, and this [trend] will continue, God willing”, Ayatollah Khamenei said.

The Leader said it was the opposite side of the talks in Vienna that failed to remain committed to its obligations.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010129000587/Spkesman-Freedm-f-Iran%E2%80%99s-Asses-N-Relaed-Washingn

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Iran Blasts Misuse of Freedom of Expression in West

2022-April-19

"The freedom of expression has become a tool for fueling extremism and racism in the West," Bahadori Jahromi said.

"Freedom of religion has been replaced by insults against religions and freedom of expression has become a tool for fueling extremism and racism in the West. The shameful insulting against 2 billion Muslims during Ramadan, with Swedish police support, is an absolute hateful act," he wrote on his Twitter account on Monday.

In a relevant development earlier, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Tehran condemns desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden and expects immediate reaction from the Swedish Government.

He added that intentional repetition of anti-Islam blasphemous act in Sweden in the month of Ramadan has hurt the feelings of Muslims both in Sweden and across the world.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010129000847/Iran-Blass-Misse-f-Freedm-f-Expressin-in-Wes

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Iranian Army Unveils Fath Ballistic Missile during Parade

2022-April-18

The military parade was held in the vicinity of the holy shrine of Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, on the occasion of the National Army Day.

Army combat and armored units, airborne helicopters, air force fighters, air defense weapons, defense systems and naval equipment mounted on military trucks marched in front of a stand, from where top government and military officials, including President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri, Army Commander Major General Seyed Abdolrahim Mousavi, Defense Minister  Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani and other Army and IRGC top commanders, observed the parade.

Task units and armored divisions of the Army Ground Force, helicopters of Army Aviation Force, fighter jets of Army Air Force, Air Defense Force’s warcraft and batteries, and marine mobile arms also marched during the parade.

The Army Ground Force demonstrated its new equipment and achievements in the field of ground combat, including artillery, armor, electronic warfare, helicopters and drones.

‘Kaman-22’, a long-range and strategic multi-functional drone of the Army Air Force, was shown to the public for the first time during the Army Day parade. It is the first combat drone of the Army, which is capable of carrying all types of cargo with a flight duration of more than 24 hours. This drone has an operation range of more than three thousand kilometers and is capable of flying up to an altitude of eight thousand meters.

The drone is capable of carrying a variety of ammunition and laser and smart missiles and has the ability to detect, monitor and collect information and shoot at the long-range targets.

During the ceremony, fighter jets of the Iranian Army also flew over the sky in Tehran.

Simultaneously with the ceremony in Tehran, the Navy of the Army of the Islamic Republic held a parade in the Persian Gulf waters.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010129000494/Iranian-Army-Unveils-Fah-Ballisic-Missile-dring-Parade

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Haniyeh: Palestinians to Continue Defending Al-Aqsa Mosque against Israel

2022-April-18

“Our people and resistance are in good shape and we will continue to defend al-Aqsa [Mosque],” Haniyeh said on Sunday.

Iran was a strategic support base for the people of Palestine and the resistance, he added.

Velayati, for his part, lauded the recent achievements of Palestinian resistance groups, emphasizing Iran’s support for the people of Palestine.

“We follow your great victories and achievements and what you do is a cause of honor for the [anti-Israel] resistance [front],” he added.

“You are a role model for the Muslim world.”

The phone call came amid the escalation of Israel's violent attacks against the Palestinian people and holy sites across the occupied territories, especially al-Aqsa Mosque in the East al-Quds.

Since the beginning of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, the occupied West Bank has witnessed an escalation of Israeli violence, with over two dozen Palestinians having been killed and many more injured at the hands of the regime’s troops.

The uptick in the Israeli killing and repression of Palestinians has been green-lit by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who granted full freedom of action to Israeli forces earlier this month to intensify their brutal raids against Palestinians.

In the latest act of provocation against the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds, at least 19 Palestinians were injured in clashes on Sunday as Israeli settlers stormed the sacred site under the protection of Israeli military forces.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010129000293/Haniyeh-Palesinians-Cnine-Defending-Al-Asa-Mse-agains-Israel

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First time in 7 months: Israel’s military says Iron Dome shoots down rocket from Gaza

18 April ,2022

Israel’s military said that a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip was shot down by an Iron Dome interceptor, Israeli public broadcaster Kan radio reported on Monday, adding that the rocket launch was the first in nearly seven months.

Earlier, the IDF sounded sirens in Kissufim and Ein Hashlosha in southern Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Kan radio said there were no casualties, adding that it was the first time in seven months that a rocket was launched towards Israel from the Palestinian territories.

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

The rocket attack comes as Palestinian-Israeli tensions have been heightened due to clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

The violence at Al-Aqsa compound started early Friday and has wounded over 170 people, mostly Palestinians.

The violent clashes come at a sensitive time when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coincides with the Jewish Passover festival.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/04/18/Israel-s-military-says-rocket-fired-from-Gaza-shot-down-by-Iran-Dome-interceptor

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Israeli prime minister blames Hamas for tensions in region

Enes Canlı  

19.04.2022

JERUSALEM

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday blamed the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, for the recent rising tensions in Israel and Palestine.

Referring to the ongoing tensions at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, Bennett in a statement by the Israeli government described what has happened recently in East Jerusalem as "a campaign against Israel led by Hamas.”

Bennett claimed that he did everything he could to ensure that all people of Israel -- Jews, Muslims and Christians -- could spend their sacred days in safety.

Bennett, who called "not to participate in lies and violence against Jews," promised that according to international law, the eastern occupied part of Jerusalem will "remain open to all."

The Israeli army also announced that its Iron Dome missile defense system had destroyed a rocket allegedly fired from Gaza.

No statements have been issued so far by the Palestinian armed resistance groups in Gaza regarding the incident.

Meanwhile, Hamas on Sunday also blamed Israel for the ongoing tensions at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

Tensions have mounted across the Palestinian territories since Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard on Friday amid clashes with worshippers, injuring hundreds.

On Sunday, more than 700 Israeli settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa complex under heavy police protection to celebrate the week-long Jewish Passover holiday, which started on Friday.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also condemned the Israeli escalation at the flashpoint site.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the "Temple Mount," saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israeli-prime-minister-blames-hamas-for-tensions-in-region/2566971

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South Asia

 

Islamic State Khorasan Claims Rocket Attack on Uzbekistan

April 18, 2022

A regional affiliate of Islamic State on Monday said it had carried out a rocket attack on Uzbekistan from neighboring Afghanistan, the first strike by the terrorist group against the Central Asian nation.

Islamic State Khorasan Province fired 10 rockets at an Uzbek military base in the border town of Termez, the group said in a statement released Monday, according to Site Intelligence, which tracks terrorist propaganda.

Uzbek authorities did not immediately comment on IS Khorasan's claims.

The launching pad was reportedly in Hairatan, a border town in the northern Afghan province of Balkh. The terror group also released a photo and video of the projectiles to back its claims.

IS Khorasan has increased attacks in and around Afghanistan following the U.S.-led foreign military withdrawal from the country in August after 20 years.

The group has carried out several attacks in neighboring Pakistan, including a deadly suicide bombing of a Shiite mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar last month.

The attack killed more than 60 worshippers from the minority sect and wounded scores of others. Pakistani authorities said the bomber was an Afghan refugee who received training in Afghanistan.

Pakistani Taliban attacks

Meanwhile, the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), designated as a global terrorist group by Washington, has also stepped up attacks in Pakistan from its Afghan bases since the foreign troop withdrawal and the Taliban's return to power.

Authorities in Islamabad say leaders and fighters of the banned anti-Pakistan militant outfit have established bases in Afghanistan after fleeing Pakistani counterterrorism operations and are plotting cross-border attacks against security forces.

Pakistani officials say that since the start of the year, more than 100 Pakistani military officers and soldiers have been killed in TTP-plotted roadside bombings and gun attacks in remote districts on the Afghan border.

On Sunday, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry urged Taliban rulers in Afghanistan to take "stern actions" against militants staging cross-border attacks on security forces in Pakistan.

"Pakistan has repeatedly requested Afghan government in last few months to secure Pak-Afghan border region. Terrorists are using Afghan soil with impunity to carry out activities inside Pakistan," the ministry said in a statement.

The statement came a day after the Taliban accused Pakistan of carrying out deadly airstrikes inside Afghanistan. They summoned Islamabad's ambassador in Kabul to the Foreign Ministry to protest the alleged early Saturday strikes that reportedly killed up to 40 people in the Afghan provinces of Khost and Kunar.

The casualties and the alleged Pakistani airstrikes could not be verified from independent sources.

Islamabad has been pressing the Taliban to rein in TTP activities since the Islamist group seized control of Afghanistan and U.S.-led foreign troops withdrew from the country.

Source: VOA News

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

https://www.voanews.com/a/islamic-state-khorasan-claims-rocket-attack-on-uzbekistan-/6534866.html

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Iran’s Ambassador to Afghanistan meets leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin party

April 19, 2022

Iran’s Ambassador in Kabul Bahador Aminian on Monday met with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin party.

Aminian and Hekmatyar discussed political and social issues, as well as the situation of Afghan refugees in Iran, according to a statement by the party's press office.

Hekmatyar has urged the Taliban to form a coalition with his party a year before the group's takeover of Kabul to end the crisis in Afghanistan.

He had told Taliban that his party shared common interests and values with them and they could establish an Islamic system together.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//iran%e2%80%99s-ambassador-to-afghanistan-meets-leader-of-hezb-e-islami-gulbuddin-party_1249373.html

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Taliban pledge to protect Iran's diplomatic missions after attacks

April 19, 2022

Taliban's acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has assured Tehran of full security of Iranian diplomatic facilities, diplomats and staff in Afghanistan.

Muttaqi gave the assurance during a phone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian late Monday after mobs attacked Iran's Embassy in the capital Kabul and its consulate general in the western Afghan city of Herat.

Expressing deep regret over the incidents, Muttaqi promised that the Taliban would “completely secure the diplomatic facilities, diplomats and staff of the Islamic Republic of Iran in his country”.

Online videos last week showed mobs attacking the Iranian Embassy in Kabul and the consulate general in Herat with stones, which damaged the missions.

The Iranian foreign minister criticized Afghan authorities for failing to take necessary measures to ensure the security of the premises, which is a responsibility of the host country.

No one was hurt in the attacks, which came amid fabricated claims of systemic mistreatment of Afghan refugees in Iran.

Despite sanctions and many other problems, Iran has been hosting millions of Afghans for decades amid wars and harsh living conditions in the Central Asian nation.

According to estimates, some 300,000 more refugees have entered Iran since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in mid-August.

During the phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Muttaqi thanked the government and people of Iran for their hospitality in difficult conditions, stressing Kabul’s determination to expand relationship and cooperation with Tehran.

He assured that Afghanistan will spare no effort to alleviate Tehran’s concerns regarding the security of its diplomatic missions.

Amir-Abdollahian said "millions of Afghan brothers and sisters" living in Iran for the past 40 years have always been provided with necessary services.

The top Iranian diplomat touched on a wave of “malicious, calculated and false propaganda” on some social networks, saying it is spread by the “enemies and opponents of good relations between the two neighboring countries of Iran and Afghanistan."

“The Islamic Republic has a positive and constructive view about Afghanistan,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

Iran's exchange of delegations for cooperation between the two countries, sending humanitarian aid and keeping its missions active in providing services to the people of Afghanistan has been within this framework, he added.

The Taliban, which had previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, took power again on August 15 and subsequently announced the formation of a caretaker government.

The US administration has frozen nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank since the withdrawal of its forces from the country.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have also suspended activities in Afghanistan, withholding aid as well as $340 million in new reserves.

This has dramatically affected the lives of Afghans, triggering a new wave of refugees who mostly head to Iran.

Earlier this month, Iran's permanent ambassador to the United Nations said the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, and the country is currently facing great challenges.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a neighboring country, stands by the people of Afghanistan and has used its capacities and facilities to overcome the challenges it has faced over the last four decades,” Majid Takht-Ravanchi told a virtual UN donor conference co-hosted by Britain, Germany, and Qatar.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//taliban-pledge-to-protect-irans-diplomatic-missions-after-attacks_1249369.html

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Casualties feared as blasts rock school in Kabul

Apr 19, 2022

KABUL: Three blasts rocked a boys' school in a Shiite Hazara neighbourhood of the Afghan capital on Tuesday causing casualties, police said.

Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran said on Twitter the blasts at the Abdul Rahim Shahid high school "caused casualties among our Shiite brothers".

The school is located in the capital's western neighbourhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, an area mainly inhabited by the Hazara community and previously targeted by the jihadist Islamic State group.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/multiple-blasts-near-kabul-school-hurt-at-least-7-children/articleshow/90930390.cms

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Pakistan irked by Afghan Taliban’s inaction against TTP

18 April, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], April 18 (ANI): Amid the growing incidents along the Pak-Afghan border, Pakistan’s foreign office on Sunday issued a strong statement, saying terrorists were operating with impunity from Afghan soil.

This comes after the recent incident at the Pakistan-Afghan border area that left seven Pakistani soldiers dead. This incident has added to the already widening rift between the two neighbours.

In response to this attack which was reportedly carried out from across the border from Afghanistan, Pakistan carried out airstrikes in Kunar and Khost provinces.

“In the last few days, incidents along the Pak-Afghan Border have significantly increased, wherein Pakistani security forces were targeted from across the border,” Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement.

Islamabad stressed that it had repeatedly requested the Afghan government in the last few months to secure the border region since terrorists were using Afghan soil with impunity to carry out activities inside Pakistan.

The Taliban-led government later summoned Pakistan’s Ambassador over the strikes and warned of serious consequences if such attacks did not stop.

The UN mission in Afghanistan expressed deep concern over the reports of civilian casualties as a result of airstrikes in the Khost and Kunar provinces.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/pakistan-irked-by-afghan-talibans-inaction-against-ttp/921094/

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Taliban meet French envoy, discuss prevention of poppy cultivation

April 19, 2022

Taliban member Suhail Shaheen has met with French envoy to Afghanistan Jean Marin Schuh and discussed several issues including the recent decree over the prevention of poppy cultivation and substitutes in Afghanistan.

"Today, in Doha, I met Mr Jean Marin Schuh, French envoy to Afghanistan currently based in Doha. We talked about a range of topics including education, the recent decree by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan about the prevention of poppy cultivation and substitutes, projects for farmers and bilateral relations," Suhail Shaheen said in a Tweet on Monday.

He further said that both Suhail Shaheen and Jean Marin Schuh expressed to remain engaged and continue communication.

On April 3, the Taliban announced a ban on the cultivation of poppy.

According to Tolo News, Taliban's supreme leader Hebatullah Akhundzada in a decree said the cultivation of poppy seeds as well as drug trafficking are banned in the country.

The decree, read by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, said that there is a "strict ban" on the use and trafficking of "all types of illicit drugs" such as alcoholic beverages, heroin, "Tablet K", hashish and others, reported Tolo News.

The decree also puts a ban on the production of illicit drugs.

"If anyone violates the decree and cultivates poppy, their crop will be destroyed and the violator will be punished based on the Sharia law," the decree said.

"The enforcement of this decree is mandatory. Violators will be prosecuted and punished by judiciaries," the decree read.

However, multiple reports indicate that poppy cultivation and drug trafficking provide a big income source for the Taliban, mainly in the southern and northern parts of the country. Most of the drug smuggling goes through Iran and the Taliban makes a big money from it.

Afghanistan has been among the world's top illicit drug-producing countries. There are scores of drug addicts currently on the streets.

Due to the re-rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the country is not only facing a political crisis but also uncertainty in business and unemployment.

Source: Business Standard

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

https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/taliban-meet-french-envoy-discuss-prevention-of-poppy-cultivation-122041900084_1.html

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesia police report plot by Islamic militant group to overthrow govt

2022.04.18

A group known as the Islamic State of Indonesia (NII) was plotting to overthrow the government before the next general election, police claimed Monday, saying they obtained documents related to the alleged conspiracy by interrogating 16 suspects arrested in West Sumatra last month.

Members of the group, founded seven decades ago, had drawn up plans, acquired weapons and undergone training to create chaos and establish a caliphate system of government, officials said, but declined to give more information or say whether the plot was still active.

“The evidence we found shows that NII is trying to overthrow the sovereign government before the 2024 elections,” said Senior Commissioner Aswin Siregar, head of operational support at Densus 88, a police counter-terrorism unit, told reporters.

However, according to a former NII member, the group is not capable of pulling off an attack at that level.

The announcement by police followed the arrest of the suspected NII members at two locations in West Sumatra province in March. Officers found documents outlining the group’s mission to replace the nation’s founding ideology known as Pancasila and the secular government with a caliphate by fomenting chaos, Aswin said.

The suspects admitted that they had been ordered to acquire weapons to prepare for an attack, Aswin said.

When BenarNews contacted him, Aswin declined to provide details about the reported evidence or the suspects’ statements.

Along with West Sumatra, West Java and Bali have been NII hotbeds, according to police. The group has an estimated 1,125 followers in West Sumatra, 400 of whom are active members, Aswin said, but declined to give an estimate for the number of NII members across the country.

Independence fighter and Muslim activist Sekarmaji Marijan Kartosuwiryo, a friend of the country’s founding president, Sukarno, proclaimed the Islamic State of Indonesia in 1949.

The NII, also known in Arabic as Darul Islam, and its armed wing, the Islamic Army of Indonesia (TII), waged an armed rebellion against Jakarta until the Indonesian government suppressed it in the 1960s.

Kartosuwiryo was executed in 1962 after Darul Islam declared a war against the government and tried to assassinate President Sukarno in 1961.

In 2019, Kartosuwiryo’s son, Sarjono, who pledged allegiance to the Indonesian state, said about 2 million NII sympathizers are spread across the country.

Analysts, meanwhile, said the NII movement spawned militant groups in Indonesia, including Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the Southeast Asian affiliate of al-Qaeda that authorities blamed for a series of deadly attacks in the 2000s, including the 2002 Bali bombings.

NII is a conveyor belt to terrorism, said Noor Huda Ismail, founder of the Institute for International Peace Building (IIPB).

“Some NII factions are even more hardline than JI, such as the Serang group in West Java,” Noor Huda told BenarNews.

Islah Bahrawi, executive director of the Indonesian Moderates’ Network, told an online discussion last week that NII plans were motivated by the Taliban’s success in taking over the government in Afghanistan last year.

‘Ideologically fluid’

The group has no qualms about working with JI and Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a domestic militant network affiliated with Islamic State (IS), the international terror organization based in the Middle East, Islah said. Indonesian courts have declared both JI and JAD illegal organizations.

“At the moment, the NII is unique because it is ideologically fluid. They will embrace those that have the same goal, to make Indonesia an Islamic state,” Islah told BenarNews, adding it has been recruiting children.

“Our findings show that half of their recruits are teenagers, many under 15 years old,” he said.

A former JI militant, Malaysian Nasir Abbas, said the NII group had recruited children for years through Islamic boarding schools and has instilled in them an ideology that glorifies the Islamic caliphate. The children were taught to reject the government and were not allowed to salute the Indonesian flag or sing the national anthem.

Former NII member Al Chaidar, on the other hand, said police had exaggerated the threat posed by the organization.

“NII doesn’t have that kind of capability. They’re not sophisticated yet. They’re not like JI or JAD,” Chaidar told BenarNews.

He cast doubt on police claims that the group recruited minors and wanted to emulate the Taliban’s success in Afghanistan.

Source: Benar News

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https://www.benarnews.org/english/news/indonesian/plot-discovered-04182022164512.html

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Row over 'Christian agenda' heats up in Malaysia

April 19, 2022

A legal battle between a Muslim university lecturer and a Christian lawmaker over alleged defamation of each other has once again brought to the fore the long-running anti-Christian sentiment in Malaysia.

The Sessions Court in capital Kuala Lumpur dismissed a defamation suit filed by Universiti Utara Malaysia lecturer Kamarul Zaman Yusoff against seven leaders of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) on April 11, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

The leaders included Hannah Yeoh, a Christian MP from Segambut constituency.

Defense lawyer Guok Ngek Seong, who represented MP Lim Lip Eng, said the court had struck out the plea from Yusoff and asked him to pay Eng 5,000 ringgit (US$1,175) for costs. He has also been told to pay the other defendants a total of 3,000 ringgit ($705) for costs.

The court dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal for his failure to submit pre-trial documents and evidence, but it also ruled that Yusoff has the freedom to file a fresh petition over his grievances.

MP Yeoh is a former deputy minister of women, family and community development and a former member of Selangor State Legislative Assembly. Her DAP party is one of the four parties of the Pakatan Harapan coalition that formed a government after the fall of long-ruling Barisan Nasional in the 2018 general election.

Lecturer Yusoff alleged that Yeoh and her party members had defamed him by spreading false allegations. DAP members issued statements to support Yeoh and rebuke Yusoff after he accused the Christian MP of using politics to propagate Christianity in the country, he said.

His complaint came after Yeoh filed a defamation lawsuit against him on March 28 over two Facebook posts he made in 2017.

Yeoh alleged that Yusoff posted on Facebook between May 10 and May 17 in 2017 where he alleged that “Yeoh has a motive to proselytize Christianity through her politics.”

The lecturer pointed out to the recently published biography of Yeoh, Becoming Hannah: A Personal Journey, and alleged that she is driving a “Christian agenda” in Malaysia.

In her 2015 biography, Yeoh wrote that she “intends to convert Malaysia into a Christian country,” Yusoff alleged.

“The plaintiff pleads that the words were offensive, completely untrue and a malicious attempt to seriously defame the plaintiff publicly and to expose her to hatred, contempt and ridicule, with the calculated aim of destroying her reputation as an elected representative,” Yeoh said as reported by FMT.

Yeoh said she seeks “general, aggravated and exemplary damages” from the defendant.

Earlier, on May 15, 2017, Yeoh filed a police complaint against Yusoff alleging that his Facebook posts had “malicious contents.”

Two days later, Yusoff filed a counter complaint against Yeoh accusing that she was involved in proselytization. He also issued a statement to justify his Facebook posts and to dismiss allegations of defamation.

“As a lecturer and a Muslim, I have the duty to inform the people on the book’s contents as I feared they may be influenced by Christianity,” he said, adding that as a political analysist he has the right to comment on political issues in Malaysia.

In May 2021, Yeoh also filed a lawsuit against the former inspector-general Malaysian police, Musa Hassan, who allegedly said she had been trying to turn Malaysia into a Christian country. The case is still pending in court.

Christians make up about 13 percent of more than 32 million citizens in Malaysia, where Muslim hardliners have harbored and spread anti-Christian propaganda for decades.

In March 2021, a court ruled that non-Muslims are legally permitted to use the word “Allah” following a decades-long legal battle. The legal row sparked violent protests and attacks on at least 11 churches.

Earlier that year, Muslim politician Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh caused upset for Christians when he told parliament that the New Testament had been “corrupted by Christians over time” and so they did not reflect the true teachings of Jesus.

In 2016, Muslim cleric and Islamist politician Andul Hadi Awang wrote an article in a right-wing newspaper where he accused Christian missionaries of “preying on poor and uneducated people” in impoverished communities in Malaysian states like Sabah and elsewhere by paying them off to convert to Christianity.

In 2014, an anonymous author published a controversial book, Pendedahan Agenda Kristian (Exposing the Christian Agenda), that labels Christians “the enemies of Islam” who harbor ill intentions and spread lies.

In 2021, a Facebook page called Hud Hud Crew published a four-minute doctored video that claimed Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese insulted Muslims in a speech during his visit to St. Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya in 2014.

Source: UCA News

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https://www.ucanews.com/news/row-over-christian-agenda-heats-up-in-malaysia/96944

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Thai Rebels Excluded From Talks Take Responsibility For Ramadan Bombings

April 16, 2022

BANGKOK: Thai rebels sidelined from peace talks claimed responsibility on Saturday for deadly bombings in the country’s Muslim-majority deep south that broke a Ramadan holiday agreed between the main rebel group and the government.

The two explosions on Friday, which killed a civilian and injured three policemen, were carried out by “G5”, a militant group of the Patani United Liberation Organisation (Pulo), its president, Kasturi Mahkota, told Reuters.

More than 7,300 people have been killed since 2004 in the fighting between the government and shadowy groups seeking independence for the Malay-Muslim provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and parts of Songkhla.

The area was part of the Patani sultanate that Thailand annexed in a 1909 treaty with Britain.

Mahkota said by telephone the blasts in Pattani province represent “business as usual” for Pulo, left out of the talks between the government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), which agreed two weeks ago to stop violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan through May 14.

A spokesman for the Thai security forces in the south, Colonel Kiatisak Neewong, said without naming Pulo that a group not included in the peace talks was likely responsible for bombings aimed at disrupting the Ramadan truce.

The Thai team at the peace talks and the BRN declined to comment.

“The talks are not inclusive enough and it is going too fast,” said Kasturi, whose group objects to the agreement that would exclude the possibility of independence from Buddhist-majority Thailand.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/highlight/2022/04/16/thai-rebels-excluded-from-talks-take-responsibility-for-ramadan-bombings/

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Usim develops Malaysia's first sign language Al-Quran application

19 Apr 2022

NILAI: Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Usim) through its Faculty of Quran and Sunnah Studies has created the country's first Quran application to facilitate hearing-impaired individuals to read and discover the holy book.

Usim vice-chancellor Datuk Dr Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin (pic) said researchers from the faculty’s Ibnu Maktum Research Centre (Ummi) explored new knowledge to promote a balanced life among the disabled people founded on Maqasid Syariah (objectives of Islamic principles) and the Islamic approach.

"The visual strength and IT literacy among the hearing impaired group is the basis of the exploration and studies related to the readiness, usability and methods of teaching and learning the Al-Quran according to their strengths.

"The hearing-impaired communities not only in Malaysia but from all over the world can read the Quran using the Sign Language Quran application that can be downloaded through the Android and iOS platforms for free,” he said at the launching ceremony of the application and the opening of the Faculty of Medicines and Health Sciences at Usim on Tuesday (April 19).

Tunku Ampuan Besar of Negri Sembilan Tuanku Aishah Rohani Tengku Besar Mahmud officiated at the event, which was also attended by Usim pro-chancellor Tunku Besar Seri Menanti, Tunku Ali Redhauddin Tuanku Muhriz and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad.

Mohd Ridza said the application has earned an entry into the Malaysia Book of Records as the First Sign Language Al-Quran Application.

Source: The Star

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https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/04/19/usim-develops-malaysia039s-first-sign-language-al-quran-application

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Africa

 

Jordan warns of ‘provocation’ in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa, Israel decries ‘incitement’

18 April ,2022

Jordan's King Abdullah said on Monday that Israel’s “unilateral provocative acts” against Muslim worshippers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque undermined the prospects of peace, while Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned against “incitement.”

King Abdullah held several phone calls with Arab leaders and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

He discussed the “importance of stopping all illegal and provocative Israeli measures in Jerusalem that violate the historical and legal status quo at Al Aqsa Mosque and push towards further escalation,” state news agency Petra reported.

He added: “Unilateral Israeli measures in the Palestinian Territories could compromise the two-state solution and prospects of comprehensive peace, expressing rejection of attempts to alter the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem.”

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The King’s statements come as Palestinian-Israeli tensions are heightened due to clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

The violence at Al-Aqsa compound started early Friday and has wounded over 170 people, mostly Palestinians.

The violent clashes come at a sensitive time when the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coincides with the Jewish Passover festival.

Al-Aqsa compound is the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site for the Jews who refer to it as the Temple Mount. It has historically been a flashpoint for Palestinian-Israeli clashes.

Jordan’s royal Hashemite family has been the custodian of the holy sites in eastern Jerusalem since 1924.

Israel warns against ‘incitement’

Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh told parliament on Monday he supported Palestinians who threw rocks at Israeli forces during the clashes in Jerusalem.

“I salute every Palestinian… who stands proudly and throws their stones… at all of Zionists who desecrate Al-Aqsa Mosque with the protection of the Israeli occupation government,” Petra cited him as saying.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet decried the statements blaming Israel for the violence and warned against “incitement” following al-Khasawneh’s speech.

“I view with utmost severity the remarks accusing Israel of the violence directed against us, and there are those who are encouraging rock-throwing and the use of violence against the citizens of Israel,” Bennet said in a video statement.

He added: “This is unacceptable to us. This is a reward for the inciters, especially Hamas, which are trying to ignite violence in Jerusalem. We will not allow this to happen.”

Earlier on Monday, Israel’s military reported intercepting a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, adding that the rocket launch was the first in seven months.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/04/19/Jordan-warns-of-provocation-in-Jerusalem-s-Al-Aqsa-Israel-decries-incitement-

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Libya’s Dbeibah heading to Algeria for visit, GNU says

18 April ,2022

The head of Libya’s Government of National Unity Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah and several other top officials in his administration including security chiefs are heading to Algeria for an official visit, the GNU said on Monday.

The visit marks a rare departure from Tripoli for Dbeibah since Libya’s eastern-based parliament appointed a rival prime minister, a move he has rejected amid an armed standoff between rival factions for control over the government.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/04/18/Libya-s-Dbeibah-heading-to-Algeria-for-visit-GNU-says

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Libya’s National Oil Corp says output stopped at major oil ports, fields

18 April ,2022

Libya’s National Oil Corp warned on Monday of a “painful wave of closures” and declared force majeure on some output and exports as forces in the east expanded their blockade of the sector over a political standoff.

The company said it could no longer implement contractual obligations for oil deliveries from Zueitina terminal or from its biggest oil field, Sharara, after saying on Sunday it had halted production at another field, El Feel.

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With global energy markets already restricted due to the Ukraine crisis, more losses from Libya’s recent 1.2 million barrels-per-day average output will put further pressure on prices.

NOC said the closures were caused by “a group of individuals” entering facilities. Groups in eastern Libya protesting at oil plants want the Tripoli-based prime minister to quit in favour of a recently appointed rival.

“Workers of the companies: Zueitina, Mellitah, Sarir and AGOCO on Sunday were forced to completely and gradually shut down production,” NOC said in a statement, referring to its units that export through the Zueitina crude terminal.

It said the closure of facilities would affect electricity output at Zueitina and northern Benghazi power plants and also lead to a shortage of cooking gas supplies in eastern Libya.

“We urge the general Libyan people to form a local public opinion aimed at maintaining the flow of oil to the world markets and taking advantage of the current price boom,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the statement.

Libyan oil output has been subjected to repeated closures during the chaotic decade since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and was shut down entirely for months during fighting in 2020.

The political process has broken down again this year after the collapse of a scheduled election in December and the move by the eastern-based parliament to appoint a new government under Fathi Bashagha.

The existing administration of Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, appointed a year ago through a UN process, has refused to quit and remains entrenched in the capital Tripoli risking a return to fighting or territorial division between rival factions.

Protesters at Zueitina had said in a video statement on Sunday they would halt production until Dbeibah leaves office, and they demanded Sanallah be sacked after NOC transferred oil revenue to the Central Bank of Libya.

Dbeibah’s Finance Ministry said NOC transferred $6 billion of oil revenues to its account in the central bank on Thursday.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/04/18/Libya-s-NOC-declares-force-majeure-at-Zueitina-oil-port

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European Council chief, Jordan’s king discuss Jerusalem situation

Agnes Szucs  

18.04.2022

BRUSSELS

European Council chief Charles Michel held discussions on Monday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II about the deteriorating security situation in the occupied West Bank.

The two spoke about “the importance of preserving (the) status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem,” Michel said on Twitter.

The leaders agreed that the “deteriorating security situation highlights (the) need to restore a political horizon for (a) credible peace process,” he said.

They also voiced full support for “efforts with all partners to reduce tensions and de-escalate,” he added.

Over past weeks, tensions have risen across the occupied West Bank and Palestinian territories as Israeli forces have carried out arrests and military raids following a series of attacks in Israel.

On Friday, Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and clashed with worshippers, injuring hundreds of people.

On Sunday, more than 700 Israeli settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex under heavy police protection to celebrate the weeklong Jewish Passover holiday, which started on Friday.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as an occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/european-council-chief-jordan-s-king-discuss-jerusalem-situation/2566532

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North America

 

Islamophobia in US: Virginia Mosque vandalized again during Ramadan month

April 19, 2022

The Henrico County Police Department in Laurel, Virginia state is investigating vandalism that occurred in Glen Allen at the West End Islamic Center — in the middle of Ramadan month.

Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, community and reflection for the Muslim faithful. The West End Islamic Center said, “it is with great sadness that in just six months, the West End Islamic Center has experienced two incidents of vandalism.”

“We feel compelled to speak out against these expressions of hatred,” WEIC said in a Facebook post. “An attack on any house of worship certainly feels like an assault on the community.”

According to police, officers were called to the mosque at around 4:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon. When they arrived, officers spoke to a representative who said they believe a group of people entered the building between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police said the building had graffiti, broken windows, flipped chairs and other items had been broken during the vandalism.

“There is a big gaping hole — we had glass on the carpet back here, all over the floor, ” said board member of the West End Islamic Center, Perwez, describing the damage. “It’s pretty traumatizing, you would think a place of worship is a safe haven, so it was a shock to us, we were not expecting this.”

The building is new, according to police, and has yet to install security cameras on the property. Police said they have no viable suspects or leads at the moment.

“Rights of all people of faith is a founding principle of America. This attack is incredibly hurtful. It’s hard to imagine that someone would want to attack our place of worship,” the Islamic center continued in the Facebook post. “What we do know, is that love is stronger than hate, and the members of our Mosque will stand together. We trust that our neighbors and friends will continue to stand with us and support our community as we worship during this holy month of Ramadan.”

Perwez went on to say, “This the last thing on our mind — we’re coming here, trying to focus on our worship and prayers and it’s been hard on our young people. They want to know why do they hate us, you know, why is this happening to us?”

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//islamophobia-in-us-virginia-mosque-vandalized-again-during-ramadan-month_1249366.html

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US firm on nuclear accord as Iran casts blame

19 April ,2022

The United States on Monday appeared to dismiss a key Iranian demand to salvage a nuclear accord as Tehran blamed Washington for the prolonged impasse.

Iran and the United States have been negotiating indirectly in Vienna for a year to restore the 2015 agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, from which former US President Donald Trump withdrew.

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One key sticking point is Iran’s insistence on removing the US designation made by Trump that the Revolutionary Guards, the clerical regime’s elite military unit with broad reach in the economy, is a terrorist organization.

“If Iran wants sanctions lifting that goes beyond the JCPOA, they’ll need to address concerns of ours that go beyond the JCPOA,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said when asked about the Revolutionary Guards’ blacklisting.

“If they do not want to use these talks to resolve other bilateral issues, then we are confident we can very quickly reach an understanding on the JCPOA and begin to reimplement the deal itself,” Price told reporters.

President Joe Biden’s administration has offered to return to the agreement, under which Iran was promised sanctions relief for curbing its nuclear program, but has voiced frustration at the slow pace of negotiations.

In Tehran, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that more than one issue was pending between Iran and the United States.

“Messages (from Washington) sent through (European Union coordinator Enrique) Mora these past weeks... are far from providing solutions that could lead to an accord,” he told reporters.

“The United States are responsible for these delays, because they are taking their time to give replies” that would be suitable for Iran, he said.

Mora, who coordinates the indirect US-Iran talks, visited Tehran last month for talks with Iranian officials and later went to Washington, saying he hoped to close the gaps in negotiations.

Trump reimposed sweeping sanctions, including demanding other nations not buy Iran’s oil, as he withdrew from the agreement negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Iran, in response, began rolling back on most of its commitments under the accord.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/04/19/US-firm-on-nuclear-accord-as-Iran-casts-blame

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US ambassador blasts ‘terrorist’ Hezbollah on anniversary of Beirut bombing

18 April ,2022

The US is pushing back against terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Washington’s envoy to Beirut said Monday, marking 39 years since the Iran-backed group’s Islamic Jihad Organization carried out a suicide bomb attack on the US Embassy in Lebanon.

“We are pushing back against the negative influences of terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, which continues to seek to drive a wedge between us. But we are not daunted,” US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea said.

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The suicide bombing was carried out on April 18, 1983, and killed at least 52 people. “These attacks were not against the United States alone; victims included Americans, locally employed Lebanese staff, as well as Lebanese Internal Security Forces officials,” Shea said during a ceremony at the US Embassy, which was moved from Beirut to Awkar following the attacks. “For this reason, today we stand united – as we have for every year since 1983 – honoring those who lost their lives, both Americans and Lebanese, and in renewing our commitment to peace and security in Lebanon.”

hea said that the US would continue to promote bonds between Washington and Beirut, “particularly in these difficult times,” as the US tries to help the Lebanese people emerge from the current economic crisis.

Hezbollah-affiliated terrorists attacked US Marines and French army barracks the following year, killing 241 Americans and 58 French nationals. It still stands as one of the deadliest attacks against US troops abroad.

Source: Al Arabiya

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https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/04/18/US-ambassador-blasts-terrorist-Hezbollah-on-anniversary-of-Beirut-bombing

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US says Turkiye playing 'important role' in holding Russia to account

Michael Hernandez  

18.04.2022

WASHINGTON

Turkiye is playing an "important role" in ensuring Russia is held to account for its war against Ukraine, the US said on Monday ahead of a bilateral meeting of top diplomats.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is slated to host Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on May 18 in Washington, and the State Department said the upcoming sit-down would be an "important element" of efforts seeking to hold "Russia to account for its war against the people, the government, the state of Ukraine."

"This is a ways away but I imagine there will be a very full agenda," spokesman Ned Price told reporters. "Together as NATO Allies and important bilateral partners, there are a range of shared interests that we have with our Turkish partners."

The US and Turkey launched on April 4 what the nations call a strategic mechanism to further expand their bilateral cooperation. In announcing the development, the US welcomed Turkiye's efforts "to facilitate a just, negotiated diplomatic solution" to end the war in Ukraine, the countries said in a joint statement.

The two sides also stressed their shared commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-says-turkiye-playing-important-role-in-holding-russia-to-account/2566869

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Toronto tightens security at mosques, Islamic community centers

Seyit Aydogan  

18.04.2022

TORONTO

The Canadian city of Toronto tightened security at Muslim places of worship and community centers Sunday after five people were injured in a mosque shooting the previous day.

Nishan Duraiappah, the police chief of Peel District, where the incident occurred, said in a statement on his social media account that they increased the security protocol at mosques and community centers belonging to Muslims in the region.

Toronto Police Chief James Ramer also said in a statement that the search continues for the attackers, who opened fire from a vehicle on five people who were coming out of tarawih prayers, special prayers performed after the night (Isha) prayer during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Ramer urged anyone with information about the attackers to contact the police.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/toronto-tightens-security-at-mosques-islamic-community-centers/2566088

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Europe

 

UN Security Council to meet behind closed doors on Jerusalem unrest

Michael Gabriel Hernandez  

18.04.2022

WASHINGTON

The UN Security Council will convene this week to discuss simmering tensions in Jerusalem, diplomatic sources said on Monday.

Tuesday's closed-door meeting comes at the request of China, France, Ireland, Norway, the United Arab Emirates and US.

Tensions have been running high across the Palestinian territories since the beginning of April amid repeated Israeli arrest campaigns in the occupied West Bank. On Friday, dozens of Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Daily settler incursions into the flashpoint site to celebrate the week-long Jewish Passover holiday have further inflamed the situation.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world's third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/un-security-council-to-meet-behind-closed-doors-on-jerusalem-unrest/2566702

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Italians condemn Israeli attacks on Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque

April 19, 2022

Italians have slammed Israel’s continued pursuit of repressive, violent practices against Palestinians following the killing of several Muslims, including a teenage boy, by Israeli security forces at the al-Aqsa Mosque, a major holy site in al-Quds, last week.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been running high over the past weeks, with Israeli forces carrying out numerous raids in the West Bank and killing a number of Palestinians.

The latest round of violence by Israel, on Monday, saw its soldiers forcing their way into the al-Aqsa Mosque and removing worshipers from its courtyards in order to allow settlers to exclusively mark the Passover holiday in the compound.

Last year, during Ramadan, similar violence broke out sparking the biggest conflict in years between Palestinian resistance movements and Israel, an 11-day war, which ended only after intervention by international mediators.

The violence against Palestinians at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the occupied old city of al-Quds came at a particularly sensitive time. Ramadan this year coincided with the Christian holy week, which ended on Monday, the second day of Eastertide. Catholic faithful have strongly condemned the latest killing of Palestinians by Israeli security forces.

The last meeting between Italian and Palestinian authorities took place in December, when Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al Maliki met his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio on the sidelines of the seventh edition of the Rome Med Dialogues conference.

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//italians-condemn-israeli-attacks-on-palestinians-at-al-aqsa-mosque_1249361.html

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Putin holds call with Palestine’s Abbas to discuss Russia-Ukraine talks, Middle East

18 April ,2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Monday.

They also talked about “the problems of the Middle East settlement in the context of escalating tensions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” the Kremlin said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/04/18/Putin-holds-call-with-Palestine-s-Abbas-to-discuss-Russia-Ukraine-talks-Middle-East

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British boxer Amir Khan says he was robbed at gunpoint in London

19 April ,2022

British boxer Amir Khan said he had been robbed at gunpoint in London but that both he and his wife were unharmed in the incident.

“Just had my watch taken off me at gun point in East London, Leyton,” Khan wrote on Twitter. “I crossed the road with Faryal (Makhdoom), luckily she was few steps behind me.”

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“2 men ran to me, he asked for my watch whist having a gun pointed in my face. The main thing is we’re both safe,” he added.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/04/19/British-boxer-Amir-Khan-says-he-was-robbed-at-gunpoint-in-London

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Turkiye condemns Islamophobic incident in Sweden

Seda Sevencan 

19.04.2022

Turkiye on Monday strongly condemned an Islamophobic incident in Sweden where a far-right politician burned the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

“In the holy month of Ramadan, we once again condemn in the strongest possible terms the attacks and provocations against Islam, Muslims, the Quran and places of worship in different parts of the world,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The vile attacks on our holy book, the Quran, in Sweden have shown that the lessons of the past have not been learned, that there is still hesitancy to prevent Islamophobic and racist provocative acts, and that hate crimes are openly and overtly tolerated under the guise of freedom of expression,” it added.

It underlined that Turkiye will keep fighting against the threat posed by the Islamophobic and racist mentality.

Ankara calls on all countries and international organizations to take the necessary measures against Islamophobia and racism, it added.

Turkiye's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also slammed the Islamophobic attack in Sweden.

“I condemn the racism that goes so far as to burn the Quran in Sweden and the mentality that feeds it,” Kalin said on Twitter.

On Thursday, Rasmus Paludan, the leader of the far-right Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, burned a copy of the Muslim holy book in southern Linkoping, according to media reports.

Paludan also threatened to burn copies of the Quran during extremist rallies.

Following the provocation, protests have continued in parts of the country, the Swedish daily Expressen reported.

Three people were injured Sunday in Sweden’s eastern city of Norrkoping when police reportedly fired on rioters during protests against the burning of the Holy Quran.

In a statement, the Norrkoping police department claimed that the officers fired in the air to stop the demonstrators from attacking the police and that those injured appeared to have been hit by ricocheting bullets and are now being treated at a hospital.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkiye-condemns-islamophobic-incident-in-sweden/2566933

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Swedish PM Andersson Condemns Unrest Amid Anti-Muslim Rallies Organized By Danish Far-Right Politician Rasmus Paludan: Report

Apr 19, 2022

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson has condemned the unrest that has engulfed several cities across the country following anti-Muslim and anti-immigration rallies organized by Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan, Swedish media reported on Monday.

Last Thursday, Paludan and his anti-immigration political party scheduled a demonstration that included burning a copy of the Muslim holy book in the Swedish city of Linkoping with the permission of local authorities. The police had to intervene as Muslim counter-protesters stepped in, attacking officers and setting police cars ablaze. According to Andersson, in Linkoping and several other cities, where similar clashes occurred, a total of 44 people have been arrested.

"I will make it very clear, those attacking the Swedish police, attack the Swedish democratic society. The perpetrators must be arrested, prosecuted and serve a sentence in prison," Andersson said to Aftonbladet newspaper in a letter.

She claimed being disgusted by Paludan's hateful views, but stressed that it was "unacceptable, irresponsible and illegal" to respond to them with violence.

"Over the last few days, we witnessed terrible sights in many cities of Sweden. The police officers who wished to celebrate Easter with their families in a peaceful atmosphere were forced to protect laws and freedom of speech, while risking their lives," Andersson added.

The police have the evidence to assume that the unrest was organized by criminal groups, she said, adding that the demonstrations were joined by local Muslim communities.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/swedish-pm-andersson-condemns-unrest-amid-anti-muslim-rallies-report-101650325949531.html

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