New Age Islam
Sat Mar 02 2024, 07:10 AM

Islamic World News ( 24 May 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Mecca Allows Spa And Personal-Care Services For Both Men And Women, Including Home Services

New Age Islam News Bureau

24 May 2023

 

Owners of businesses providing spa and personal care services can now apply for permits that allow them to operate from residential spaces.

------

Arab World

Saudi Arabia Executes 3 Young Shia Men from Qatif

Saudi orchestra, choir hits high note at Jeddah’s Islamic Arts Biennale

Two Gulf Companies Tap Favourable Islamic Bond Market

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet Session

Kuwait’s emir congratulates King Salman, crown prince on Saudi astronauts’ arrival at space station

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief carries out aid projects in Bangladesh and Sudan

--------

India

UP Imam Booked For Throwing Out Muslim Man In Saffron Kurta From Masjid

Congress MLA U T Khader Unanimously Elected As New Speaker Of Karnataka Assembly

Man Spends Life Savings To Build Temple In Memory Of His Wife, Muslim Artists Perform Carvings

Bareilly police book 2 Muslim organisations after video of harassment of inter-faith couple goes viral

Varanasi court consolidates eight cases on Gyanvapi mosque

--------

Europe

France's 'Authoritarian' Minister Of Interior Warns US Of 'Sunni Islamist Terrorism'

Hajj Packages 'Sold Out' For British Muslims After Introduction Of New Portal

Tributes to 'selfless' shopkeeper and mosque volunteer

Ex-Russian president backs pirating foreign content

UN expresses ‘concern’ over Ukrainian attack on Belgorod

--------

South Asia

Australian Defence Force Chief Angus Campbell Renews Calls To Strip Medals From Afghanistan War Veterans

Old Video From Afghanistan Falsely Shared As NATO Troops in Ukraine

Bangladesh PM confident country able to repay IMF loans

Bangladesh: Several injured as Opposition BNP, police clash in Dhaka

Afghan Culture and Values Should Not be Undermined, Says Afghan Minister

2,400 Afghan Refugees Return Home From Iran

----------

Africa

Niger: France is testing its new military approach in Africa

Haji right choice for spymaster, says Muslim leader

Opposition leader's rape trial resumes despite his absence from court

Nigeria: Group protests outside court over SeunKuti's delayed release

Ceasefire in Sudan appears to bring some respite for citizens

Families of detained opposition leaders in Tunisia head to the African court

--------

Mideast

Israel Trying To Add 'Muslim-Majority African State' To Negev Summit: Report

Islamic Jihad may ease way for Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine

Clash Of The Feminists And Islamists Reflects Larger Lebanese Crisis

Iran's president calls for unity among Muslims as 'US dominance coming to end'

Expanding Iran-Indonesia ties to benefit Islamic world

Islamic Jihad chief: Gaza commanders were killed because they carried Cellphones

Diyanet dismisses imam after asking congregation to 'prepare their weapons' on election night

OIC head vows efforts for Muslim countries' economic recovery will continue

Starzplay Arabia sees 70% viewership growth during Ramadan

--------

Pakistan

Repentant Baloch Separatist Group Founder Gulzar Imam Says 'Armed War' Complicated Province's Problems

Islamist Militants Storm Hungarian-owned Refinery

Ex-BNA chief asks insurgents to shun guns, embrace peace for Balochistan

---------

Southeast Asia

Insisting Malaysia Opposes LGBT, Religious Minister Says JakimFormed Committee To Address Issue Among Muslims

Attorney-General Deems Malaysian Government’s ‘Allah’ Appeal ‘Weak,’ Backs Withdrawal

Malaysia to streamline rules on non-Muslims using the word ‘Allah’: PM Anwar

Lawyer: Govt only needs 24 hours to amend laws on ‘Allah’ usage

--------

North America

CAIR-NY Condemns CUNY Law Censorship of Muslim Student’s Pro-Palestinian Commencement Speech

CAIR Offers Condolences on Passing of Muslim Activist Issa Smith

Children from mixed backgrounds with one Muslim parent have plural identities

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mecca-spa-women-saudi-arabia/d/129844

-------

Mecca Allows Spa And Personal-Care Services For Both Men And Women, Including Home Services

 

Owners of businesses providing spa and personal care services can now apply for permits that allow them to operate from residential spaces.

------

May 23, 2023

Dubai: The Mecca Municipality has announced that it has started issuing permits for spa and personal-care services for men and women, as well as for home spa services.

The move is in accordance with the requirements and conditions established by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing (MOMRA), which oversees these services.

Osama Zaytoni, official spokesperson for the municipality, said that the decision is part of an effort to accommodate professionals who wish to provide these services from home.

“The spa and personal care activity falls within the professions that MOMRA has started to allow in homes under certain conditions,” Zaytoni said.

Owners of businesses providing spa and personal care services can now apply for permits that allow them to operate from residential spaces.

These permits are tied to licenses registered over the facility. “The permits are also linked to a number of other available activities such as men’s barber shops, women’s salons, and sewing shops,” Zaytoni added.

He went on to explain that the move to issue permits for home-based services is part of a wider initiative by the municipality to support the expansion of these service providers and provide increased convenience to citizens.

This allows residents to benefit from the comfort and convenience of services made available in their homes.

Source: gulfnews.com

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

https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/saudi/saudi-arabia-mecca-allows-spa-and-personal-care-services-for-both-men-and-women-including-home-services-1.95952037

--------

Muslims Will Never Come Up If Sub-Standard Education In Madrasas Continues, Says NHRC Chairperson

 

Retired Justice Arun Mishra, Chairperson of, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), at a meeting of the human rights body on Tuesday, said that if sub-standard education for children in madrasas continues, Muslims would “never come up”. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

-----

May 24, 2023

Ishita Mishra

Retired Justice Arun Mishra, Chairperson of, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), at a meeting of the human rights body on Tuesday, said that if sub-standard education for children in madrasas continues, Muslims would “never come up”. He maintained that there is a need to standardise education for children.

The NHRC’s ex-officio members pointed out issues related to reservation to people who had “intruded into India’s borders”. They also spoke of the courts rejecting the commission’s recommendations.

Justice Mishra, who was chairing the ‘Statutory Full Commission’ meeting of the Chairpersons and representatives of the seven National Commissions, also stressed that a policy of reservation to benefit the neediest among the reserved categories should be considered.

Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Chairperson of, the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC), a participant at the meeting, pointed out that some States do not implement national welfare schemes that are necessary to end inequality and discrimination in society. He also said that a dangerous trend was being noticed in the benefits of reservation being given to those who had intruded into India’s borders, thereby usurping the benefits of welfare schemes meant for the citizens of the country which. He stressed that this needed to be checked.

“It’s a matter of concern that, many times, the High Courts reject the recommendations and directions of the NCSC (National Commission for Scheduled Castes) merely on technicalities and not on merits. It needs to be impressed upon the judiciary to give a hearing also to the commission on merits before rejecting its recommendations,” Subhash RamnathPardhi, Member, NCSC said.

Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), who was also present in the meeting, expressed serious concern over human trafficking. She said that the trafficking of women from West Bengal to Srinagar had increased. She also said that forceful conversion in the name of marriage was a serious issue of violation of rights that had to be addressed.

“There is a need to standardise education for children. Vernacular languages are being forgotten. Also, if sub-standard education for children in madrasas continues, Muslims will never come up,” Mr. Mishra said while speaking of the NHRC and other commissions.

NHRC Chairperson maintained that India has an unparalleled institutional mechanism to address the issues of human rights violations. He added that, after participating in various international human rights forums, he realised that India could not be ignored for its overall progress along with its democratic values, which are “the best in the world”.

“No doubt certain improvements may be required but freedom of speech and the kind of debates which happen in India are not heard of anywhere,” he further said.

Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities (NCM), highlighted the issue of non-payment of compensation to several victims of the 1984 riots even after so many years.

PriyankKanoongo, Chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), said that running an orphanage had become a kind of racket to siphon off funds that were received through “massive donations”.

Praveen Prakash Ambashta, Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, said that accessibility in public places continues to remain a concern for persons with disabilities. He said that, over the years, there had been a change in perceptions regarding disabilities but more requires to be done.

Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay suggested that a museum of human rights should be built to showcase human rights in Indian art and culture since the ancient era till date.

D.K. Singh, Secretary General, NHRC, said that the commission had disposed of 1,09,982 cases during 2022-23, and recommended payment of ₹13.69 crore as relief in 279 cases to victims or their next of kin.

Source: thehindu.com

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslims-will-not-be-able-rise-if-sub-standard-education-in-madrasas-continues-says-nhrc-chairperson/article66886341.ece

--------

'The Kerala Story' Won’t Be Shown In UK Blackburn and Burnley Cinemas: REEL Cinemas

 

The film depicts a fictional story of three Indian women from the southern state who join the Islamic State group. (Image: The Kerala Story)

-----

By Shuiab Khan

A Lancashire cinema chain said it won’t be showing a controversial Indian movie.

‘The Kerala Story’ has been criticised for depicting Muslims as terrorists and opened in the UK on Friday 19 May. On a promotional poster among the list of cinemas said to be showing the movie were the REEL Cinemas in Blackburn and Burnley.

However, REEL cinemas confirmed it had no plans to show the movie.

The film has been criticised for being ‘anti-Muslim’ and for propagating stereotypes. It is said to falsely claim that thousands of women from the Indian state of Kerala have been converted to Islam and recruited into ISIS over the past decade. The true figure according to independent human rights groups was said to be around 200.

There have been concerns over the plot and content which has been described as ‘right-wing’ Indian propaganda.

Some parts of India have banned the film whilst others have attempted to promote it. The film has also found support among some Indian politicians but others have said it was not based on true events and could cause communal clashes.

The film depicts a fictional story of three Indian women from the southern state who join the Islamic State group.

The plot revolves around Shalini Unnikrishnan, a woman who converted to Islam. She shares her harrowing journey of aspiring to become a nurse, only to be abducted from her home and coerced by extremist groups. She is eventually manipulated into joining ISIS and ends up imprisoned in Afghanistan.

Earlier this week, a screening of the movie at Cineworld in Birmingham was disrupted by protestors. The cinema chain said the screening resumed following the delay.

In a YouTube video posted by 5Pillaz demonstrators can be heard saying, ‘This movie is an absolute lie.

“This is lies and we will not accept this type of propaganda.”

The screening was not half full and following arguments with some customers the protestors are escorted from the screening by cinema staff.

Last week, more than 100 people were arrested in the Indian state of Maharashtra after one person died and eight others were injured.

The violence was said to be triggered by a social media post on the movie.

Source: lancashiretelegraph.co.uk

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

https://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/23541129.indian-film-the-kerala-story-wont-shown-local-cinemas/

---------

Dutch Delegation To Bangladesh To Investigate Genocide Committed By Pakistan Army In 1971

 

Image: AP

-----

May 23, 2023

Dutch politician and former Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel, along with a European delegation is on a visit to Bangladesh from May 20-26, where the delegation will investigate the genocide committed by Pakistan in 1971.

The mission is an initiative of the European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) and will also consist of genocide scientist AnthonieHolslag (VU), political analyst Chris Blackburn, British EBF chairman Ansar Ahmed Ullah and Dutch EBF chairman Bikash Chowdhury Barua.

The mission's goal is to obtain firsthand information on the genocide committed by the Pakistani army in Bangladesh during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

The delegation tends to meet victims, witnesses, genocide researchers, academics, policymakers and government representatives in Bangladesh. In addition, the team visits a number of killing fields and war museums in and around the capital Dhaka and the second major city Chittagong, according to an official statement.

The mission to Bangladesh takes place at a time when there is worldwide attention for the genocide in Bangladesh.

Recently, two members of the US Congress submitted a resolution to the US House of Representatives calling on the President of the United States, Joe Biden, to recognize the crimes against humanity committed by the Pakistani military at the time.

In the United Kingdom, too, recognition of the 1971 genocide has been discussed in parliament. According to delegation leader Van Bommel, "Dutch recognition of this genocide is relevant because in 1972 the Netherlands was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Bangladesh."

According to the official statement, the fact-finding mission will communicate its findings to the Dutch government and the House of Representatives. The European Bangladesh Forum will also organise a conference on the findings.

Source: hindustantimes.com

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/dutch-delegation-to-bangladesh-to-investigate-genocide-committed-by-pakistan-army-in-1971-101684808125893.html

--------

Turkey Muslim Cleric Uses Hate Speech Against Armenians

 

During a prayer service in a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey,

-----

23.05.2023

During a prayer service in a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, Muslim cleric Murat Gundogdu called on the faithful to be armed on the day of the presidential runoff election this Sunday and, also, used the expression "Armenian progenies," reports Ermenihaber.am.

It is clear from the video recordings made on the smartphone that Gundogdu had said as follows, in particular: "For 80 years, what has this country suffered from you, wheat has it suffered from the Armenian progenies? We have so many martyrs.”

From another video, it becomes clear that a faithful reacted negatively to Gundogdu's call to prepare the weapons and a fight started in the mosque.

The Directorate of Religious Affairs in Turkey announced that it has launched an investigation into Gundogdu's call to prepare the weapons. But there has been no official comment yet on the aforesaid hate speech against Armenians.

Source: news.am

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

https://news.am/eng/news/761376.html

--------

 

India

UP Imam Booked For Throwing Out Muslim Man In Saffron Kurta From Masjid

May 24, 2023

AGRA: A 45-year-old imam of a mosque in Uttar Pradesh's Farrukhabad district has been booked for preventing a local resident in saffron kurta from entering the place of worship and insulting him in front of others, police said on Tuesday.

Asif Ali Khan, 40, who was asked to leave the mosque, had subsequently filed a complaint at Shamshabad police station in the district.

Khan said, "I was humiliated in front of others for wearing 'Bhagva'. I countered the imam saying religion has no colour, but he sternly warned me not to enter the masjid again if I wear saffron."

Staion house officer (SHO) of Shamshabad police station, Manoj Kumar Bhati, told TOI, "The incident took place two days ago. The imam, identified as Mehtaab Hafiz, has been booked under IPC section 506 (criminal intimidation)."

"Further investigation is underway in the matter," the SHO added.

Deputy superintendent of police (DSP) of Kaimganj, Sohrab Alam, said, "We're trying to find out why the imam stopped the man from entering the mosque. Was the saffron kurta the only reason or was there something more to it."

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/agra/up-imam-booked-for-throwing-out-man-in-saffron-kurta-from-masjid/articleshow/100459255.cms

--------

 

Congress MLA U T Khader Unanimously Elected As New Speaker Of Karnataka Assembly

May 24, 2023

Former Minister and five-time Congress MLA U T Khader on Wednesday was unanimously elected as the new Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.

Khader (53) will be the first Muslim leader to serve as Speaker of Karnataka Assembly.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah proposed Khader's name for the post of Speaker and it was seconded by Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar.

As there was no other contender for the post, Protem Speaker R V Deshpande put the proposal made by the Chief Minister to vote, and it was unanimously adopted by the House.

As per convention, the ruling party's nominee is generally elected unanimously as the Speaker.

Khader had served as Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the previous Assembly and also as a minister in the past.

Source: outlookindia.com

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

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/congress-mla-u-t-khader-unanimously-elected-as-new-speaker-of-karnataka-assembly-news-288974

--------

 

Man Spends Life Savings To Build Temple In Memory Of His Wife, Muslim Artists Perform Carvings

May 24, 2023

Chhatarpur: Setting an example, a retired teacher of Bundelkhand etched his name in history by spending his entire life's savings on the construction of a grand 'Radha Krishna' Temple in memory of his late life in Madhya Pradesh's Chhatarpur.

The day his wife died, BP Chansoria, took the resolution to build a temple in Chhatarpur, fulfilling her lifelong wish.

The construction of the temple, required, carving special art on marble stones and enhancing its beauty. This work was done by several Muslim artists from Rajasthan, who put in their sweat and efforts over a period of three years.

Speaking about the temple, Mr Chansoria told ANI that he got it built as his wife always wanted a 'Radha Krishna' temple in Chitrakoot.

"After the death of my wife in November 2016. I took a resolution that I will get the temple built. It took six years and seven days to get the temple finally built at a cost of ₹ 1.50 crores. Radha Krishna is the symbol of love which people should remember for centuries. Also, along with Radha Krishna, Radha Ji's friends Lalita and Visakha will also be enshrined here," MrChansoria said.

He added, "This temple will be dedicated to the society on May 29. At the same time, I also want to give a message to the youth that love is everything after marriage. So, one should not abandon love or wife on small petty issues".

Pandit Ramesh Chandra Dixit, the local priest in the temple, said that this temple will serve as an example of how love remains intact even after the passing away of one's partner.

"The work went on continuously for six years, it got paused for some time in 2010, but again started. The work was finally completed after seven years. Lord Radha Krishna, who is the symbol of love will be enshrined here. The temple will serve as an example for people, that how someone can have so much love for his partner despite her not being alive. Several programs are going on continuously regarding the establishment."

Mohammad Asif, one of the artists told ANI that this is a 'Taj Mahal' like example in today's generation.

"At one time, Shah Jahan had got a Taj Mahal built for his late wife Mumtaz, and today he (BP Chansoria) has got a temple built for his late wife. The idol Radha Krishna will be enshrined in the temple. The work is almost complete and it is looking very beautiful. The locals are very happy and excited about this," he said.

The temple built at a cost of ₹ 1.50 crores, has come up as an example of both love and communal harmony and has become the centre of attraction in Chhatarpur.

Source: ndtv.com

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

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/man-spends-life-savings-to-build-temple-muslim-artists-perform-carvings-4061165

--------

 

Bareilly police book 2 Muslim organisations after video of harassment of inter-faith couple goes viral

May 24, 2023

The Bareilly police in Uttar Pradesh have booked activists of the Jamat Raza-E-Mustafa and the All India Raza Action Committee, among others, for assaulting and misbehaving with an Indian Railways employee, who was with a Muslim woman in a guest house in the Subhash Nagar locality, on Saturday.

The Bareilly police lodged an FIR at Subhash Nagar police station on Tuesday after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

According to the police, the man and the woman, a college student, are residents of Shahjehanpur. On Saturday afternoon, the police said they reached the guest house and asked for a room, which was given to them after they submitted copies of their IDs. An hour later, the accused reached the guest house and forced them to open the door. While three to four of the accused allegedly assaulted the man, the others asked the woman her name, even as she kept on pleading that they should not record the incident, the police said.

“We have gathered information that the guest house staff members informed activists of the two organisations after they realised from the ID that the woman is a Muslim. We will also take action against the guest house staff member who leaked the information to the two Muslim organisations,” Bareilly Superintendent of Police Rahul Bhati said.

The FIR was lodged by Virendra Singh, a sub-inspector at the Subhash Nagar police station.

“The FIR has been registered under IPC sections 354C (voyeurism), 354D (stalking), 228 A (disclosure of the identity of the victim), 509 (intending to insult the modesty of any woman) and relevant sections of the IT Act. We have named the two organisations in the FIR as we do not know the names of those involved in the incident. Arrests will be made after we complete our investigations and those involved are identified,” Akhilesh Pradhan, the in-charge of Subhash Nagar police station, told The Indian Express on the phone.

The police action followed a complaint sent on Twitter to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Bareilly Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) P C Meena by one Himanshu Patel, an office bearer of the GaurakshaPrakosth.

“We have lodged the FIR and are identifying those involved in the incident through our sources and also the available video footage. Strict action will be taken against all those involved,” said Prabhakar Chaudhary, the Bareilly senior superintendent of police.

In the tweet, Patel wrote, “Aatankmacharakhahai Muslim sanghathon ne. Jin logo ne ladkiaurladkekesathabhadratakihaiaurladkikesaathashlilvyavharkiyahai, unkekhilafjald se jaldkanoonikaryavahikarein (Muslim organisations have created terror. Those who have misbehaved with the man and molested the woman should immediately face legal action).”

In the 2.20-minute video, the activists of the two Muslim organisations purportedly asked the woman why she was in a room with a Hindu. They also asked for their IDs and contacted the family members of the woman. They were allegedly only allowed to leave after they apologised to the activists.

The police said that the accused asked the man to name the organisation with which he was associated and sought to know the “real motive” for taking a Muslim woman to a private room.

“I was not in Bareilly when the incident happened. I am in no position to give a statement in this regard as I am not aware of the details,” said Imran Raza, the secretary of the Raza Committee’s Bareilly unit.

Source: indianexpress.com

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/bareilly-police-muslim-harassment-interfaith-couple-8625888/

--------

 

Varanasi court consolidates eight cases on Gyanvapi mosque

23rd May 2023

By Namita BajpaiIANS

LUCKNOW: The Varanasi District Court allowed the consolidation of eight pending suits in relation to the Gyanvapi mosque dispute, on Tuesday. The eight cases are posted for the next hearing on July 7.

Varanasi district judge Dr AK Vishwesha observed that since the cases were almost similar, they should be tried and consolidated together.

The Court also reiterated its earlier observation that if the cases remained pending in different courts, there was a possibility of contradictory orders being passed in them.

"I am of the opinion that it will be expedient in the interest of the justice that all the suits mentioned here should be tried together and may be consolidated as all these suits and proceedings shall be decided upon the evidence in any such suits and proceedings and Civil Suit (18/2022) Smt Rakhi Singh and others Vs State of UP and Others shall be the leading case and evidence shall be recorded in the leading case," the judge said.

The Varanasi district judge passed the order under the provision of Section 4A of CPC. The counsel for the applicants stated that in Uttar Pradesh, the Uttar Pradesh Civil Laws (Reforms and Amendment) Act, a new order 4A was inserted in the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) for consolidation of suits and proceedings.

Moreover, the district judge also acted in the wake of the Supreme Court's order of November 11, 2022, wherein the apex court had empowered the district court judge to determine whether consolidation of similar suits was warranted if an application was made before him.

One of the pleas to transfer cases concerning the Gyanvapi dispute to the Court of District Judge was moved by some petitioners -- Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas, and Rekha Pathak -- in suit no. 18/2022. They had claimed that since all the suits were of similar nature,  they should be tried together to save time, money and to avoid legal challenges.

Through suit no 18/2022, five Hindu women petitioners had sought year-long access to worship at Maa Shringar Gauri site on the western wall of Gyanvapi mosque premises.

Of the seven suits, six are pending in the court of Varanasi Civil Judge (Senior Division) and one is pending before the fast-track court of civil judge (senior division). The case pending in fast track court pertains to the one filed by Lord Vishweshwar Virajman (Swayambhu) through his next friend Kiran Singh, the international general secretary of Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh. Through the suit, the plaintiff has sought to hand over Gyanvapi premises to Lord AdiVishweshwara Virajman.

Last year, the civil court had ordered a survey of the mosque premises by an advocate commissioner, who then videotaped the premises and submitted the report to the Varanasi Civil Court (Senior Division). The report, among other things, stated that an object similar in appearance to a Shivling was found in the Wuzu Khana of the mosque premises during the survey.

Source: newindianexpress.com

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

The matter was later transferred to the Varanasi District Court on orders passed by the Supreme Court.

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2023/may/23/varanasi-court-consolidates-eight-cases-on-gyanvapi-mosque-2577867.html

--------

 

Europe

 

France's 'authoritarian' minister of interior warns US of 'Sunni Islamist terrorism'

23 May, 2023

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has warned of a "resumption" of the terrorist threat in Europe during a visit to the US last Friday in a bid to prompt the US government to “strengthen Franco-American counterterrorism cooperation” prior to the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Darmanin, who has been described as "authoritarian" in his approach to law and order, said: "We have come to remind them [America] that for Europeans and for France the primary risk is Sunni Islamist terrorism and that anti-terrorist collaboration between intelligence services is absolutely essential."

The French minister met with US law enforcement officials and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

He criticised what he called the US's "national vision" of security threats and its focus on white supremacism and conspiracy theorists, imploring the US to "not forget what appears to us be the primary threat … Sunni terrorism".

Without citing any specific threat, Darmanin highlighted what he called the "exogenous threat" to France and Europe from Islamic terrorism.

Darmanin's remarks are likely to alarm France’s large Muslim population, which is overwhelmingly Sunni.  The government of French President Emmanuel Macron has been accused of deliberately fostering Islamophobia and persecuting Muslims in the name of secularism and counterterrorism.

Darmanin, as interior minister, was a key figure in the passing of the 2021 “anti-separatism” law, which was slammed by activists for targeting the country's Muslim population, restricting their basic liberties and criminalising Islam in the sphere of civil society.

Along with this, Darmanin has led moves to shut down Muslim—oriented charities in the name of "counterterrorism". Macron’s France is widely seen to have drawn close to the UAE in their hardline outlook on “political Islam”, which has targeted charities and other Muslim-NGOs as "terrorist" organisations.

Source: newarab.com

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

https://www.newarab.com/news/frances-darmanin-warns-us-sunni-islamist-terror-threat

--------

 

Hajj packages 'sold out' for British Muslims after introduction of new portal

23 May 2023

By AreebUllah

British Muslims can no longer continue booking the Hajj pilgrimage after the limited number of spaces given to UK pilgrims ran out.

Nusuk, a new portal designed by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to handle Hajj packages for western pilgrims, confirmed on Tuesday that all the slots for UK Muslims had been used up.

"We would like to confirm that our current packages for UK are indeed sold out and the full capacity is reached," Nusuk said on Twitter.

"However, we recommend periodically checking the availability as new packages may be released."

The Council for British Hajjis (CBH), a charity that supports British Muslims hoping to fulfil the Hajj, also confirmed that the quota for 2023 had been filled.

"Nusuk have confirmed that the Hajj quota for the United Kingdom has now been filled," CBH UK said in a statement.

The CBH added that spaces might open if UK pilgrims cancelled their packages and urged British Muslims to keep checking the Nusuk website.

It remains unclear how many places Saudi Arabia allocated to the United Kingdom for the upcoming Hajj, set to start on 28 June and end on 1 July.

Muslims view Hajj as a key pillar of the Islamic faith and are obligated to attend at least once in their lifetime if they are healthy and financially able to do so.

Ten year wait for British Muslims

Last week, Middle East Eye revealed that Saudi Arabia had told British MPs it would drastically cut the number of Muslims allowed to attend the Hajj from the UK from 25,000 to 3,600.

British MPs from the All Parliamentary Group on Hajj and Umrah warned that the reduction in the quota could lead to 10-year waits for British Muslims hoping to complete the Hajj.

The final figure has yet to be announced, with the CBH telling MEE that MPs from the APPG on Hajj and Umrah planned to meet with the Saudi ambassador to Britain this week to push them to increase the number of places given to the UK for the Hajj.

According to the minutes of the APPG meeting, Saudi officials told the MPs that new quotas for the UK and other western countries would align with Muslim-majority countries, which have historically been allocated one place per thousand Muslims in the population.

The quota figure for Muslim-majority countries can vary depending on the arrangements between Saudi Arabia and individual countries.

Whether the Saudi government intends to revise the number yearly or what data it will draw on to calculate how many Muslims would be eligible to go from western countries remains unclear.

Concerns over new system

Concerns around the quota have also come to light after the Ministry of Hajj launched a new booking system known as Nusuk, replacing the decades-old system of allowing local travel agencies to organise Hajj tours for western pilgrims.

British Muslims who used Nusuk told MEE that the portal had taken thousands of dollars from their bank accounts without giving any official confirmation that their packages had been secured.

Last year, Saudi Arabia also ended the use of travel agencies organising the Hajj and introduced a new system where western pilgrims had to book the Hajj via a company called Motawif - similar to Nusuk.

Before the pandemic, around 25,000 Muslims from the UK were allocated to go to Hajj each year.

But after Saudi Arabia announced that the pilgrimage was to be scaled down in 2022 - with numbers cut to one million pilgrims worldwide instead of the pre-pandemic total of 2.5 million - the UK quota was cut to 12,348.

Source: middleeasteye.net

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

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/british-muslims-hajj-packages-sold-out-new-portal

---------

 

Tributes to 'selfless' shopkeeper and mosque volunteer

23rd May

More than a thousand people from across the country turned out to pay their final respects to a shopkeeper and mosque volunteer.

Ahmed Dhorat died aged 90 last Thursday and was buried at Pleasington Cemetery, in one of the largest local Muslim funerals seen in recent years.

Mr Dhorat came to the country in 1966 and later settled in the Audley area of Blackburn. It was here in 1981 he took over a newsagents in Queen’s Park Road.

The shop was managed by Mr Dhorat for the next 40 years and he was well known across the town for his efforts to help others in their time of need.

His grandson, Hafiz Mehboob Daud, said: “He loved to go to work and the shop would open each and every day without fail.

“He was such a hard worker and taught all his family and extended family the importance of working and to helping the community no matter who you were and where you were from.

“We all learnt these ideals from him. He wanted to pass on the hard work ethic to all his extended family to ensure they remained self-sufficient.

“I think that is why he was so well-loved. He was unique and his advice was something we will always remember.

“He was also someone who loved being organised. He never missed paying a bill nor ever wanted to owe anybody anything.”

Mr Dhorat was a father to eight children (two sons and six daughters), and has 49 grandchildren and 70 great grandchildren.

Of those 21 went on to become hafiz, 12 became alims and two muftis.

Mr Dhorat's daughter Sayeeda revealed how her father was never one to complain and had a 'heart of gold'.

She said: "My loving father endured much difficulties in his life but never once compared or complained, he would share stories of his struggles in the early years of his life.

"He was a hard working individual who instilled his values and qualities into my life, he taught me how to respect all young and old.

"My father taught me many lessons and he always used to more so recently as he spent more time with me reflect saying I see you in me and would also say this to my children, he used to say that over and over again.

"I can’t compete any any level with my dearest father who had a heart of gold. He never wanted for himself but only for others.

"My father taught me to work and pray and balance life, never to take what wasn’t mine and never to get into debt, he never directly said how proud he was of me but would indirectly assure me I was doing a great job of myself and my family and how happy he was for me.

"He was a tough father who had tough parenting styles but that was to make me a better and strong person.

"What more could I have asked for, he taught me right from wrong and I am the person I am today due to the qualities my father has instilled in me."

Mr Dhorat would work to establish one of the biggest mosques in Blackburn and also support fundraising efforts to support those less fortunate than him in India.

He was one of the first people to be involved in the established of the Noorul Islam mosque.

Mehboob added: “He was a mountain of a man and quite unique.

“He was always giving his time to local and charitable causes. I think it was important for him to give his time to support people who needed it most.”

Mehboob said the ‘love and respect’ people had for him was evident in the number of people who turned up to his funeral and have continued to pay his tribute to him.

Mehboob said: “People travelled from across the country to be at his funeral.

"He had such a wide-reaching friendship with people and it was heartening to see so many people here in Blackburn.”

His popular shop Dhorat’s, based on the corner of Pringle Street and Queen’s Park Road, was taken over by his daughter in 2021.

Mr Dhorat died on Thursday (May 18) and he had been praying standing up only a day earlier. In many cases people who are frail and elderly tend to sit whilst praying.

Mehboob added: “It was remarkable to see a man of his age still going about his daily business and prayers as if he was a lot younger.

“He had a wealth of advice to people to people but something he would always say is ‘never waste a day’.”

In online tributes posted following his death people remembered how generations were inspired by this humble local shopkeeper.

One wrote: "Top bloke he will be sadly missed. My dad went down to his shop for papers for 30 years. He got dementia but still went down for his paper.

"It must have been a year later that Mr Dhorat he just came in as normal to say 'Hi' and pick up the paper and walk out without paying. He never minded!"

Source: asianimage.co.uk

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

https://www.asianimage.co.uk/news/23540194.a-heart-gold-tributes-much-loved-blackburn-shopkeeper/

--------

 

Ex-Russian president backs pirating foreign content

23 May, 2023

Former President Dmitry Medvedev has no problem with Russians pirating Western intellectual property in the face of sanctions the US and its allies have imposed, he told RT on Tuesday.

In an interview with RT’s Maria Finoshina, Medvedev dodged the question of whether Russia should amend its intellectual property law, which is based on the Berne and Geneva conventions. He admitted, however, that he fully endorses online piracy.

“That I welcome the use of pirated content in an environment where we have been besieged from all sides is absolutely true. The more varied content, the better. And preferably free,” he said.

Major Hollywood studios – including Universal, Sony, Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros. – embargoed their releases in Russia in March 2022, in protest at Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly said it considers the sanctions illegitimate and will work around them.

In January, the Russian legislature proposed a workaround that would allow Western features to be shown without regard to copyright, but it has not yet been approved. Meanwhile, domestic productions have rushed to fill the vacuum, with early 2023 becoming a bumper season for Russian cinema.

Medvedev first called for piracy back in March, urging Russians to “find proper pirates and download everything from them” and inflict “maximum damage” so the Western companies that left would go broke. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov agreed, saying the Western governments had engaged in actual piracy by seizing Russian assets and funds.

A jurist by trade, Medvedev served as Russia’s president from 2008 to 2012, and prime minister until 2020. He is currently the deputy chair of the National Security Council, which is formally chaired by President Vladimir Putin.

His efforts to negotiate with the West at the time were “a waste of time and effort” in hindsight,  Medvedev admitted to RT. The West wants Russia destroyed, or at the very least contained, he added.

“They were not ready for dialogue,” the former president told Finoshina. “They don't want peace, they want war. They don’t want cooperation, they want confrontation.”

Asked if there is any hope for future negotiations, Medvedev was skeptical. “Not yet,” he told RT. “There’s no one to talk with.”

Source: rt.com

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

https://www.rt.com/russia/576788-medvedev-piracy-sanctions-justified/

-------

 

UN expresses ‘concern’ over Ukrainian attack on Belgorod

24 May, 2023

The United Nations has voiced concerns over a recent cross-border attack on Russia’s Belgorod Region, while saying it was unable to confirm who carried out the operation. Russian officials have condemned the incursion as a “terrorist act” organized by Kiev to divert attention from its battlefield failures.

Asked about this week’s border raid during a Tuesday press briefing, a representative for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the agency was aware of the incident, urging all parties to avoid any further escalation.

“We’re obviously following with concern the reports of incident in the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation. We've seen the statements... made by officials both in Ukraine and the Russian Federation,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, adding “As far as the UN is concerned, we’re not in a position to confirm the reports or any information concerning the groups allegedly involved in what we are seeing in the media.”

The Kremlin said the “Kiev regime” had resorted to “terrorist actions against the civilian population” after a major defeat by Russian forces in the city of Artyomovsk, known as Bakhmut in Ukraine. One civilian was killed and 12 injured in the incursion, while around 100 people, including children and the elderly, were evacuated.

The Ukrainian government, however, has denied any involvement in the attack, in keeping with its usual policy, claiming it was staged by the so-called ‘Freedom of Russia Legion’ and the ‘Russian Volunteer Corps’ (RDK) – an armed neo-Nazi group said to be made up of far-right militants.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the incursion was repelled, with at least 70 Ukrainian militants, four armored vehicles and several pickup trucks destroyed in the process. It added that the remnants of the group returned to Ukrainian territory, “where they continued to be hit until they were completely eliminated.”

Photos shared by the ministry showed the wreckage of US-made military vehicles, though Washington has denied any involvement and said it was “skeptical” that American gear might have been used in the attack. The Pentagon also insisted that the US government had only provided the equipment to Kiev, and not to any “paramilitary organizations outside the Ukrainian Armed Forces.”

A similar attack took place in Russia’s Bryansk region last March, leaving two civilians dead, according to officials. The RDK claimed responsibility for the incident at the time, but also stated that Ukrainian authorities had explicitly “signed off” on the operation.

Source: rt.com

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

https://www.rt.com/russia/576805-belgorod-raid-un-concern/

--------

 

Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia Executes 3 Young Shia Men from Qatif

2023-May-23

TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi authorities executed three young men from the Shia-populated Qatif region over charges of involvement in sabotage activities, which critics say are part of a crackdown to silence political dissent.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior alleged in a statement on Monday that the death sentences were carried out against Hassan bin Issa Al Muhanna, Haider bin Hassan Muwais and Muhammad bin Ibrahim Muwais, presstv reported.

The ministry claimed that the Saudi nationals “had joined a foreign-based network in order to carry out acts of terror against the kingdom. They were found guilty of having received training in the use of firearms and making bombs, smuggling men wanted on security charges out of the country, bringing in ammunition and storing them for the purpose of disturbing internal security”.

Back on May 9, Saudi authorities executed Anwar bin Jaafar bin Mahdi Al-Alawi, a Saudi national from the Eastern Province, on charges of “attacking a police station, aiding and harboring a man wanted on security charges and possessing ammunition”.

Alawi was found guilty by a criminal court and a royal order was issued to carry out the death sentence.

Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich and predominantly Shia Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown, with regime forces increasing security measures across the province.

Ever since Mohammad bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has ramped up arrests of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and others perceived as political opponents, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.

As a result, Muslim scholars have been executed and women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured as freedoms of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied.

Source: farsnews.ir

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14020302000232/Sadi-Arabia-Execes-3-Yng-Shia-Men-frm-Qaif

--------

 

Saudi orchestra, choir hits high note at Jeddah’s Islamic Arts Biennale

May 23, 2023

JEDDAH: The Saudi National Orchestra and Choir hit all the right notes with an “exquisite” performance at the Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah.

Seventy musicians and singers on Monday belted out a selection of Islamic chants, instrumental pieces, and traditional Saudi musical numbers in a show titled Beauty and Grace.

Performing under the umbrella of the Saudi Music Commission, the tunes were picked to blend with the artwork on display at the Western Hajj Terminal venue.

Aya Al-Bakree, chief executive officer of Diriyah Biennale Foundation, told Arab News: “The exquisite Saudi Orchestra’s performance is part of Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s Creative Experiences public programming series for audiences of all ages, marking the final days of the incredible Islamic Arts Biennale.

“We are profoundly grateful to the Ministry of Culture’s Music Commission for enabling this meaningful collaboration that celebrates exceptional Saudi Arabian talent and artistic expression on an international platform, which is a central tenet of our work at the foundation,” she said.

By combining music and visual art, event organizers aimed to highlight the importance of music in local and global culture, celebrating national pieces representing the Kingdom’s rich heritage.

DonyaAbdulhadi, senior adviser at the Diriyah Biennale Foundation, said: “Diriyah Biennale Foundation’s Islamic Arts Biennale was not only the first biennale dedicated to the Islamic arts in world history, but has also been recognized among the most impactful cultural initiatives in Saudi Arabia, showcasing homegrown talent on an international stage.

“Working with the Music Commission in hosting the Saudi Orchestra represents the spirit of continued collaboration within the cultural ecosystem nationwide and is symbolic of Saudi Arabia’s contribution to the arts at an international scale.”

Mohammed Ghani, who attended the event with his family, said: “We are proud of Saudi cultural music, and these kinds of platforms create not only music enthusiasm among the young people but also help in shaping the future of the country’s music scene.”

The contemporary arts and culture event hosted by the foundation, which ended on Tuesday, featured artworks by 60 established and emerging artists from Saudi Arabia and around the world, along with more than 60 new commissions and 280 historical artifacts.

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2309016/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Two Gulf Companies Tap Favourable Islamic Bond Market

23 May ,2023

Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) and Banque Saudi Fransi both launched Islamic bonds, or Sukuk, on Tuesday, as investor demand and favourable conditions drive issues from the Gulf region.

Emirati retail conglomerate MAF launched a $500 million 10-year green Sukuk at 140 basis points (bps) over Treasuries, capital markets publication IFR reported, tighter than earlier guidance, after order books hit more than $3 billion.

Dubai-based MAF, a leading family-owned business group with assets of $18 billion at the end of 2022, said on Monday it had mandated banks ahead of a sale.

Saudi lender Banque Saudi Fransi launched a $900 million five-year Sukuk at 105 bps over Treasuries, tightening from guidance of 130 bps over Treasuries, with order books of over $2.5 billion, IFR reported.

The bank announced on Monday that it had mandated banks to arrange investor calls ahead of a possible issue under its $4 billion trust certificate issuance program.

There has been a pick-up in Islamic debt issuance from the Gulf recently as borrowers look to tap a broader investor base and meet demand for an under-supplied asset class.

Source: english.alarabiya.net

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2023/05/23/Two-Gulf-companies-tap-favorable-Islamic-bond-market-

---------

 

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Chairs Cabinet Session

23 May, 2023

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chaired the Cabinet session held today at Al-Salam Palace in Jeddah.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques briefed the Cabinet on the content of the message he received from the King of Bahrain regarding relations between the two countries.

The Cabinet reviewed the results of the 32nd Arab Summit presided over by the Kingdom, which were positive and went over the Jeddah Declaration, which is bound to promote joint action and solidarity to face the challenges and difficulties that the Arab world is going through, and thus contribute to achieving the goals and aspirations for a promising future.

The Cabinet reaffirmed the Kingdom's constant keenness to unite the Arab world and interest in everything that would provide conditions for stability and prosperity in the region, particularly issues related to sustainable development in its various dimensions, including working on a number of initiatives aimed at advancing joint cooperation in the cultural, economic, social and environmental fields during the presidency of the current summit.

After the session, Minister of Media Salman bin Yousef Al-Dosari said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the Cabinet was briefed on the meetings of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince with the leaders of several Arab countries and with the president of Ukraine.

The Cabinet also reviewed the outcome of the fourth session of the Saudi-Algerian Political Consultation Committee and the fourth meeting of the Political, Security and Military Committee of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, commending the steps taken to boost relations and saying that it was looking forward to continuing efforts to boost prospects of cooperation in various areas.

The Cabinet tackled several reports on developments and events in the regional and international arenas, including updates on the situation in Sudan, and welcomed the Kingdom’s contribution to the signing of a short-term ceasefire agreement and the humanitarian arrangements made by the parties to the conflict, expressing hope that talks will bring about a permanent halt of hostilities and activate the political process.

The Cabinet also commended the Kingdom's launch of the scientific mission at the International Space Station (ISS), where two Saudi astronauts are on board, which is bound to contribute to attaining scientific results that serve humanity and help achieve the aspirations of this country and the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 in this area. The Cabinet wished the astronauts success in their mission and a safe return.

The Cabinet applauded the Kingdom's talented students who received awards at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF 2023), which is the result of continuous government efforts to improve the quality of education and bring it in line with the best global practices.

The Cabinet also said that the Kingdom’s improved indicators concerning the number of international tourists and revenues for 2022, as per the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), is a reflection of the country's interest in promoting and developing this sector and raising its contribution to the GDP, in accordance with the Saudi Vision 2030.

First: Authorizing the Minister of Energy – or his deputy – to sign a draft general agreement for the establishment of the Arab common market for electricity.

Second: Approving a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Energy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia regarding cooperation in the energy field.

Third: Approving a cooperation agreement between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the field of combating crime.

Fourth: Approving a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the cultural field between the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO).

Fifth: Authorizing the Minister of Culture – or his deputy – to hold talks with the Indian side regarding a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the cultural field between the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Culture of India.

Sixth: Approving a memorandum of understanding in the field of tourism between the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism of Oman.

Seventh: Authorizing the Minister of Investment – or his deputy – to hold talks with the Chilean side regarding a draft memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Investment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Economy of Chile for cooperation in encouraging the direct investment.

Eighth: Approving a memorandum of understanding in the field of academic, medical, training and research services between Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the General Command of the Bahrain Defence Force of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Ninth: Authorizing the Minister of Transport and Logistics Services - or his deputy - to discuss with the Kuwaiti side a draft agreement between the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the State of Kuwait regarding the railway link project between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Kuwait.

Tenth: Authorizing the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Competition - or his deputy - to discuss with the Omani side a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of promoting competition and combating monopolistic practices between the General Authority for Competition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Competition Protection and Monopoly Prevention Centre in the Sultanate of Oman.

Eleventh: Approving a memorandum of understanding between the General Authority for Competition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Competition Authority of the Arab Republic of Egypt regarding cooperation in the field of promoting competition and combating monopolistic practice.

Twelfth: Authorizing the Minister of Media, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media - or his deputy - to discuss with the Azerbaijani side a draft memorandum of understanding between the General Commission for Audiovisual Media of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Audiovisual Council of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the field of audiovisual media.

Thirteen: Authorizing the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission - or his deputy - to discuss with the GCC General Secretariat (Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States) regarding a draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of training and educational work between the Education and Training Evaluation Commission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia And the GCC General Secretariat (Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States).

Fourteenth: Approving a memorandum of understanding for cooperation and exchange of news between the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the South African Government News Agency of the Republic of South Africa.

Fifteenth: Approving the document of mechanisms and requirements for issuing visit and transit visas.

Sixteen: Amendment of the Cabinet Resolution No. (94) dated 5/2/1442 AH issued regarding the controls for transferring students on scholarships outside the Kingdom to study inside the Kingdom.

Seventeen: Appointing Dr. Saad bin Mohammad Al Hamlan as a member representing the private sector on the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Survey and Geospatial Information.

Eighteen: Renewing the membership of Dr. Awad bin Metrik Al-Juhani, Dr. Mohammad bin YaslamShubraq, and Dr. Mohammad bin Khalid Al-Saadoun in the Board of Directors of the National Center of Wildlife, among the specialists and experts in the field of work of the centre.

Nineteen: Approving the final accounts of the Human Resources Development Fund and Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, for a previous year.

Twentieth: Approving appointments to the posts of (Ambassador) and (Minister Plenipotentiary).

Source: alriyadhdaily.com

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

The Cabinet also reviewed several issues on its agenda and took necessary procedures regarding them.

http://alriyadhdaily.com/article/40f691a9e246466bb6f601f6f4f181b3

--------

 

Kuwait’s emir congratulates King Salman, crown prince on Saudi astronauts’ arrival at space station

May 23, 2023

KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent two cables to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, congratulating them on the arrival of Saudi astronauts RayyanahBarnawi and Ali Al-Qarni  at the International Space Station, Kuwait News Agency reported.

In his cables, Sheikh Nawaf lauded the Kingdom’s scientific achievement and highlighted its significant progress in the fields of science, technology and space. He added that this achievement is a source of pride for the Arab world.

The Kuwaiti ruler also wished for more prosperity for Saudi Arabia and its people under the leadership of King Salman.

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2308861/saudi-arabia

--------

 

Saudi Arabia’s KSrelief carries out aid projects in Bangladesh and Sudan

May 23, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s aid agency carried out aid projects to help unprivileged communities in Sudan and Bangladesh.

In Sudan, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) distributed food aid and shelter supplies to 1,565 displaced families in Wad Madani, the capital of the state of Gezira.

The initiative was part of the Saudi relief airlift, led by KSrelief, aimed at assisting the Sudanese people whose country has been reeling from violence triggered by clashes between the army and paramilitaries.

The aid agency concluded its ‘Noor Saudi Arabia’ voluntary program to combat blindness in Bangladesh, which was held in cooperation with Al-Basar International Foundation, reported Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

During the one-week campaign, the KSrelief’s volunteer medical team examined 4,749 cases, distributed 1,205 glasses, and performed 484 successful cataract operations.

“This comes within the voluntary projects provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by KSrelief, to support the medical sector in many different countries,” read the SPA statement.

Source: arabnews.com

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2308566/saudi-arabia

--------

 

South Asia

 

Australian Defence Force chief Angus Campbell renews calls to strip medals from Afghanistan war veterans

24-05-23

Defence Chief Angus Campbell has launched a fresh attempt to remove awards from some soldiers who held command positions in the Afghanistan war, following the damning findings of the Brereton inquiry.

The ABC can reveal General Campbell in recent days has written to several current and former Australian Defence Force members, informing them their honours for distinguished and conspicuous service on warlike operations could soon be cancelled.

In formal correspondence to a small group of Afghanistan veterans, the Defence Chief declares his "consideration of your command accountability is now closed" and revealed he had referred the termination of their decorations to Defence Minister Richard Marles.

"It is then for the minister to independently determine whether he accepts the assessment in my letter after considering the relevant information including your response," the general writes.

"If he is of the view that your award should be cancelled, the minister will make a recommendation to the governor-general. The governor-general will then make a decision."

When releasing the findings of the Brereton inquiry in November 2020, General Campbell initially announced he had accepted a recommendation to remove the meritorious unit citation from the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) following revelations of alleged war crimes.

Several months later, then-defence minister Peter Dutton announced he would overturn the recommendation, allowing around 3,000 SOTG personnel who served between 2007 and 2013 to keep their citations.

Last month General Campbell indicated "work was continuing" on possible internal disciplinary action related to failures of command accountability during the Afghanistan war when alleged crimes occurred.

Veterans groups are furious

Veterans groups have reacted furiously at the latest attempt to revoke honours awarded from the Afghanistan war, demanding the Albanese government again overrule the defence chief.

"Peter Dutton threw this out straight away in the last government when it was put before him," says Martin Hamilton-Smith, the national president of the Special Air Service Association.

"I think Australians, veterans and their families are now going to wait and see whether the current government is going to stand with the veterans and their families or stand with the general who's looking increasingly isolated."

Mr Hamilton-Smith, a former SAS soldier and South Australian politician, has also suggested General Campbell should consider handing back his Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) as a sign of leadership.

“General Campbell was one of the very commanders in 2011/12 of all of the Australians in Afghanistan — on the back of the fighting effort of the SAS and Commandos he was awarded a DSC but he's not offering that  — he's not offering that onto the table.”

Steve Pilmore from the Commandos Association has also criticised General Campbell’s recent actions, saying no action should be taken until allegations have been dealt with in courts.

"This has dragged on for so long and I'm sure it's causing havoc in the families of some people when they're probably already dealing with some fairly major circumstances that come out of five, six, seven, eight [or] nine trips to Afghanistan."

In a statement, the Defence Department told the ABC the defence chief had considered the command accountability of personnel who held command positions in Afghanistan and presented his findings and recommendations to the minister.

“As it is ongoing, and to protect privacy and support the welfare of our people, Defence will not comment on the circumstances of individuals,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for Defence Minister Richard Marles confirmed he was "considering the recommendations" from the defence chief and "seeking advice as appropriate".

Source: abc.net.au

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

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-24/adf-chief-calls-to-remove-medals-from-afghan-soldiers/102383514

--------

 

Old Video From Afghanistan Falsely Shared As NATO Troops in Ukraine

23 May 2023

An old video from Afghanistan of a large crowd gathered at the airport runway with several helicopters taking off is being shared with the false claim that it shows the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) troops landing in Ukraine. NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between 31 member states from North America and Europe, prominently consisting of the United States, Germany, United Kingdom. Ukraine is not part of the NATO. The video was tweeted by a Twitter user Dane (@UltraDane) with the caption. "In case you missed it, NATO soldiers now in Ukraine."

FACT-CHECK BOOM found that the viral video dates back to August 2021 from Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover of the country and the subsequent United States withdrawal. The video pre-dates the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and is not recent as being claimed. Taking a hint from the replies that the video is from Afghanistan, we ran a reverse image search using Google which search results showed that the video was uploaded on YouTube back in August 2021. The video was uploaded by the channel - "FUNKER530 - Veteran Community & Combat Footage" on August 18, 2021, with the caption, "US Soldier Films Chaos From MRAP Gunner Turret In Kabul". The description of the video reads, "There has been piles of videos coming out of the chaotic effort to evacuate US and partner nation personnel from the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), but this is the first footage we have received that was filmed by an actual service member taking part in the evacuation security operations." It further reads, "The footage is filmed by a turret gunner in a mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle, and it shows the use of AH-64 Apache gunships to clear the runway for C-17 aircraft. It also gives scope of the massive crowd of desperate Afghans that are hoping to hitch a ride out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan."

We also found another video shot during the US evacuation at the InternationAiport where similar helicopters can be seen flying around and the background matches the viral video which indicates that it is the same location.

Additionally, we did not find any credible news reports on NATO intervening in the Russia - Ukraine conflict and sending troops to Ukraine to combat Russia. BOOM could not independently verify the incident in the viral video, however we were able to establish that it is not recent showing NATO troops in Ukraine as being claimed

Source: boomlive.in

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

https://www.boomlive.in/fact-check/world/fake-news-viral-video-afghanistan-nato-troops-in-ukraine-factcheck-22047

--------

 

Bangladesh PM confident country able to repay IMF loans

By Andrew Mills

May 24, 202

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina waves as she arrives for a dinner on the first day of the Paris Peace Forum, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

DUBAI, May 24 (Reuters) - The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina said on Wednesday she was confident that the country would be able to meet its commitments to the International Monetary Fund.

"The IMF only assists countries that can repay the loans they are taking.. Bangladesh is in a position that yes, we took the loan as long as we need it, and yes I am very much sure that definitely we are able to use the loan for our progress and side by side we are able to pay it back," Hasina said at the Qatar Economic Forum, organised by Bloomberg.

In January, the IMF approved loans of $4.7 billion to Bangladesh for immediate disbursement, considered a boost for Sheikh Hasina ahead of a general election early next year.

Amid a worsening economic crisis, Bangladesh has seen a sharp widening of its current account deficit, depreciation of the taka currency and a decline in its foreign exchange reserves.

Sheikh Hasina also said Bangladesh would buy oil from Russia if the price was appealing.

Source: reuters.com

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

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/bangladesh-pm-says-very-much-sure-country-able-repay-imf-loan-2023-05-24/

--------

 

Bangladesh: Several injured as Opposition BNP, police clash in Dhaka

24-05-23

According to police, the BNP workers started throwing brickbats at the police when the procession reached the Science Lab area which had started earlier from Dhanmondi. The BNP activists tried to set a government bus on fire and vandalised several vehicles. Police lobbed tear gas shells and led a baton charge on the protestors to control the situation.

The clashes resulted in injury to at least 10 police personnel,  local police officials told the media. The BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that the police attacked the procession without any provocation in which at least 100 BNP activists were injured.

The BNP programme was part of the protest marches organised across 10 cities including Dhaka for its 10-point demand which includes resignation of the Sheikh Hasina government to have a neutral, caretaker government to conduct the forthcoming general elections scheduled for January next year. Another protest event of the BNP scheduled in Rajshahi was not allowed to take place by the police.

Earlier, on 19th May, the district BNP convenor of Rajshahi Abu Sayeed Chand had said in a public rally that the only demand they have is to send Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ‘graveyard’. His statement went viral on social media. The police have registered a case against him for issuing a death threat against the Prime Minister. The ruling Awami League organised protests at district level against the statement of the BNP leader. Awami League General Secretary ObaidulQuader declared that the ruling party will not hold ‘peace rallies’ but will actively resist the BNP if it tries to disrupt the forthcoming elections.

The US Embassy in Dhaka also issued a statement condemning ‘the use of any inflammatory language, intimation for threats of violence’.

Source: ddnews.gov.in

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

https://ddnews.gov.in/international/bangladesh-several-injured-opposition-bnp-police-clash-dhaka

---------

 

Afghan Culture and Values Should Not be Undermined, Says Afghan Minister

May 24, 2023

Afghanistan’s acting Minister of Higher Education, Neda Mohammad Nadim in a meeting with Pakistan’s Ambassador to Kabul said that foreign countries should not interfere in Afghanistan’s affairs under the pretext of human rights.

On Monday, in a meeting with Pakistan’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani, Minister Nadim discussed various critical issues and emphasized that both countries should respect each other and foster stronger ties.  Regarding the change in the Taliban’s policies, Minister Nadim said, “No one would be allowed to criticize the Afghan culture and lifestyle.”

He further reiterated that the Taliban are fully committed to implementing Islamic Sharia laws, the state news agency Bakhtar reported.

Taliban minister’s sharp criticisms are mainly aimed at the United Nations and Western countries, which have repeatedly demanded that the Taliban should respect human rights, including the right to work and education for Afghan women. However, the Taliban have their own policies and priorities to be implemented.

Nadim described these demands as interfering in the affairs of Afghanistan. Pointing to the so-called repressive policies against women, he said that Afghans live in a traditional society and Taliban’s policies protect the beliefs and cultures of the people.

Irrespective of their differences in views, Russia, China and Western countries have repeatedly called on the Taliban-run administration to revert their policies regarding Afghan women and girls.

Furthermore, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) urged the Taliban regime to allow women to return to education and work. OIC sent a high-level delegation to Kabul a few months ago to discuss this matter with the Taliban authorities.

Taliban’s minister described certain nations and international organizations as wrongful supporters of the previous government and human rights, and has said that they want to “interfere in Afghanistan’s internal affairs under various pretexts of human rights.”

Source: khaama.com

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

https://www.khaama.com/afghan-culture-and-values-should-not-be-undermined-says-afghan-minister/

---------

 

2,400 Afghan Refugees Return Home From Iran

May 23, 2023

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugee and Repatriation Affairs said on Monday about 2,400 Afghan refugees had returned home from Iran.

“A total of 2,348 Afghan refugees returned to their homeland Afghanistan on Sunday after years of living as refugees in Iran, and the process of returning the refugees to their country continues,” the statement said.

The reports indicated over the past few months, more than 54,000 Afghan refugees returned from Iran.

The migrants returned home from Iran via the Islamqala crossing point in the eastern Herat province of Afghanistan.

The ministry reported that more than 2700 Afghan nationals returned home from Iran on Saturday.

Meanwhile, some 547 returnees have been introduced to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to receive humanitarian aid.

In a telephone talk with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Iranian Foreign minister said that Afghan migrants living in Iran exceeded five million in numbers and asked for immediate international support.

The increasing issues in the neighbouring countries, including unemployment, restrictions lack of jobs and earnings, led to the return of thousands of Afghan refugees to the country voluntarily.

Most Afghan nationals immigrate to the neighbouring countries due to the country’s lack of employment, prosecution, security issues and threat.

Source: khaama.com

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

https://www.khaama.com/2400-afghan-refugees-return-home-from-iran/

----------

 

Africa

 

Niger: France is testing its new military approach in Africa

24-05-23

Acting in support and not instead of: the French armies had to learn the lessons of their forced exit from Mali in the summer of 2022 and are today testing a discreet partnership in Niger, tailored to the demands of Niamey.

"In Niger and even globally everywhere in Africa, the philosophical position is different from what was done in Mali. Today our aid starts first from the need of the partner", summarizes the commander of the French Forces in the Sahel ( FFS ), General Bruno Baratz.

A change of paradigm necessary after the departure from Mali of the French soldiers of Operation Barkhane, under the pressure of a hostile junta which appealed to the Russian mercenaries of Wagner, although it denies it.

Neighbouring Burkina Faso, also led by putschist soldiers, in January demanded the withdrawal of French special forces from its territory and is in Wagner's sights.

To lessen the flank of criticism against the military presence in Africa of the former colonial power, President Emmanuel Macron has ordered action strictly adhering to the specific demands of the countries concerned and remaining low noise.

An instruction respected to the letter in Niger, which accepts in return 1,500 French soldiers on its soil to increase its armies, while the Islamic State group in the Sahara (EIS) has regained the hair of the beast on the Malo border -Nigerian.

"Niger serves as a laboratory for the French army for its renewed approach" , sums up Michael Shurkin, an American expert specializing in the tricolor military world. "France was waging its own war in parallel with what the Malian armed forces were doing. Today it wants to do things differently".

Staying on the second line, however, requires a "debarkhanization of minds" , slips a French officer, recalling that an entire generation of soldiers tracked down jihadist groups for a decade in the Sahelian sands, in much more autonomous conditions than today.

Engaged in a rise in power of their armed forces (FAN), which should reach 50,000 men in 2025 then 100,000 in 2030, Niger seems satisfied.

"Today the command is Nigerien, master of the terrain and of the needs. We can only congratulate ourselves on this. The French bring us the military training, equipment, intelligence, and air resources that we lack", underlines to AFP the former Nigerien Minister of Defense (2016-2019), KallaMoutari.

"We must leverage their presence and that of other partners, as the threat is increasingly rooted in central Mali and to the east and spills over into Niger."

While Niger previously served mainly as a transit base for operations in Mali, the French have reinforced their presence there and detached hundreds of men to the south-west of the country, near the Malian border.

The Franco-Nigerian Almahaou operation, in the Tillaberi region, has already produced positive effects, argues Colonel GrégoireServent, commander of the French projected air base (BAP) in Niamey.

"We have gone from 33% of cultivated land in this sector a year ago to 65% today. This area is considered a priority because it is the breadbasket of the country".

Cooperation works all the better because "Niger has a particularly effective counter-insurgency strategy", which aims to "secure populations and allow the return of the State to areas contested by terrorist groups", adds the general. Baratz.

In Mali, despite undeniable French tactical victories against armed groups, the political power has never managed to reestablish its authority in the semi-desert areas raked by Barkhane. And the national army (FAMa) has remained fragile, despite efforts to toughen it up for years.

From now on, the fields of cooperation extend to the air domain, according to the needs of Niger. "The BAP, at the time of Barkhane, had much less interaction with the Nigeriens. A shift really took place with the withdrawal from Mali", notes the combat partnership assistant, Lieutenant-Colonel Fabien.

French drones and fighter planes take off daily from Niamey to support Nigerien operations on the ground. And a seminar recently brought together French and Nigeriens on the use of their respective drones - American Reaper for the first, Turkish Bayraktar for the others.

"As the Nigerien army increases in power, the objective is to adapt our system downwards", promises the commander of the French forces in the Sahel.

Source: africanews.com

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

https://www.africanews.com/2023/05/23/niger-france-is-testing-its-new-military-approach-in-africa/

--------

 

Haji right choice for spymaster, says Muslim leader

23-05-23

President William Ruto made the right choice in the appointment of DPP Noordin Haji as the next head of the National Intelligence Service, the National Grand Mufti of Kenya Sheikh Omar Buya has said.

Haji was appointed as the Director General of the intelligence agency last week to take over from Philip Kameru. Kameru is serving his final term in office following the renewal of his contract by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2019.

Kameru rose through the ranks in the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to the position of Director of Military Intelligence before he was appointed NIS boss back in 2014.

On Tuesday, Buya said Haji, who had previously served as the NIS Deputy Director of the Counter Organised Crime Unit, has what it takes to lead the agency.

“He [Haji] is a person who understands this office very well. We are confident that he is going to deliver on this new mandate,” Sheikh Buya told journalists in his office in Mombasa.

Parliament will on May 30 vet Haji on his suitability for the position. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master’s degree from the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Additionally, he holds a second Master’s degree in National Security Policy with Merit (MNSPO) from the Australian National University.

“I urge Parliament to vet and approve his nomination so he can proceed to continue serving the nation,” he said.

Sheikh Buya blasted those opposed to Haji’s appointment on allegations that as the DPP, he (Haji) was coerced to drop cases and charges levelled against President Ruto’s close allies.

“As the DPP, I believe that he was guided by the law in his administration and dispensation of justice. His duties as described in the Constitution allowed him to prosecute or withdraw cases depending on the availability of evidence,” he said.

“He did well as the DPP, why are those opposed to his appointment only seeing the cases he withdrew and turning a blind eye to those he prosecuted?”

At the same time, Sheikh Buya lauded President Ruto for his war against graft in the country.

He said Kenya is a country blessed with a lot of resources that can spur development, but corruption continues to drag the country behind.

“As clerics, we welcome the new zeal that the President has demonstrated to end the vice. Corruption continues to be a thorn in the flesh for the government and has stalled development and the improvement of the lives of Kenyans for years,” Buya said.

Last week, Ruto fired the chairman, CEO, board members and top management of Kemsa over a botched Sh3.7 billion mosquito net tender.

Sheikh Buya also urged Kenyans to give the President time to deliver on his promises even as they complain about the harsh economic times.

He urged leaders to support the head of state and stop politicking all the time for the country to realise any meaningful development.

“The problem is that we like politicking a lot, let us focus on how we can work together to develop the country. The President I believe has the best interest of Kenyans at heart, let us give him time to deliver on his promises,” he said.

Source: the-star.co.ke

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

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2023-05-23-haji-right-choice-for-spymaster-says-muslim-leader/

--------

 

Opposition leader's rape trial resumes despite his absence from court

23-05-23

The trial of Senegalese opposition leader OusmaneSonko on rape charges resumed in a court in Dakar on Tuesday despite the fact that he failed for the second time running to attend the proceedings.

There was a strong security presence in the capital amid fears of protests that have flared sporadically since the opposition leader and presidential candidate was first detained in 2021.

Sonko has been charged with rape and making death threats against an employee of a beauty salon in Dakar.

He denies all wrongdoing saying the trial is a political plot aimed at scuttling his bid for the 2024 presidency. The government has rejected the accusation.

On Friday, the opposition party leader said he would attend Tuesday’s hearing if his safety could be guaranteed. His lawyers say he did not receive a summons to appear in court.

"So, that's why today the lawyers intervened to say firstly there was this element, this irregularity. And then there’s also the fact that there were security concerns which meant that Sonko could not come, even if he wanted to," said his lawyer, Massokhna Kane.

In court on Tuesday, Sonko's lawyers requested another adjournment, while the lawyer for former salon owner, NdèyeKhadyNdiaye, who is accused of complicity in the alleged rape, asked for more preparation time.

When the prosecutor dismissed their demands, both parties decided to withdraw from the case.

"All the defendants are free, there is absolutely no urgency to try this case today. So, what happened is, all the lawyers, both those of NdèyeKhadyNdiaye and of OusmaneSonko, decided to withdraw from the room," said Ndiaye’s lawyer, MacodouNdour.

A conviction for Sonko could put an end to his plans to run again for president. He came in third in the 2019 election against incumbent MackySall.

Source: africanews.com

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

https://www.africanews.com/2023/05/23/opposition-leaders-rape-trial-resumes-despite-his-absence-from-court/

--------

 

Nigeria: Group protests outside court over SeunKuti's delayed release

23-05-23

Nigerian protesters held a demonstration on Tuesday to demand the release of Afrobeat star SeunKuti, who was arrested earlier this month after being accused of assaulting a police officer in the commercial hub of Lagos.

Kuti is the son of Nigerian musical icon and political agitator Fela, who himself was serially detained by Nigerian military regimes.

Despite meeting the requirements for his bail, the police have refused to release him.

Originally scheduled for May 23, Kuti's court appearance was delayed as the presiding Magistrate Justice was absent, without an official explanation.

The court clerk confirmed that the case has been adjourned until Wednesday.

Outside the court, a group identifying themselves as members of the "Free SeunKuti campaign" staged a protest, demanding the immediate release of the artist.

Gideon Adeyeni, one of the protesters campaigning for Kuti's release, said the way the government and the police have dealt with him shows that they are "interested in persecuting him."

Kuti was charged by the Lagos State Police Command with assaulting a police officer.

The incident between SeunKuti and the police officer was captured on video by a passer-by and shared on social media, quickly going viral.

The police then issued a warrant for his arrest, and he voluntarily turned himself in to the Lagos police.

During court proceedings, the police prosecutor requested that the defendant be remanded for 21 days until legal advice is received from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

Seun'sdefense team has opposed this motion.

Source: africanews.com

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

https://www.africanews.com/2023/05/23/nigeria-group-protests-outside-court-over-seun-kutis-delayed-release/

--------

 

Ceasefire in Sudan appears to bring some respite for citizens

23-05-23

Sporadic artillery fire was reported in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, early on Tuesday morning, but residents said fighting calmed down later on what was the first full day of the country’s latest ceasefire.

The seven-day cessation of hostilities between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, came into force at 19h45 GMT on Monday.

Although fighting has continued through previous ceasefires, there is some hope that it will hold this time as it is the first to be agreed to formally following negotiations in Jeddah.

The United Nations has urged the warring generals to honour the agreement.

"I call on both to end the fighting and to return to dialogue in the interest of Sudan and its people. In Khartoum, in Darfur, and elsewhere, the warring parties have fought their war with little regard for the laws and norms of war,” said Volker Perthes, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sudan.

Activists have complained to the UN of severe human rights abuses against civilians during the fighting, saying these must be investigated.

Across the country, people could be seen taking advantage of the ceasefire on Tuesday to stock up on food and other essential supplies.

Witnesses in Khartoum reported a welcome respite in the fighting after a rocky start to the humanitarian truce. By around noon on Tuesday, they said a relative calm had taken hold.

"We have not heard shelling in our neighbourhood since last night," a resident of southern Khartoum said.

More than five weeks of war have pitted the army, led by Sudan's de facto leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of his former deputy Mohamed HamdanDaglo.

An estimated 1,000 people have died in the battle and more than a million Sudanese have fled their homes, including some 250,000 who left the country.

The United Nations says more than half the population, 25 million people, are now in need of humanitarian aid.

Source: africanews.com

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

https://www.africanews.com/2023/05/23/ceasefire-in-sudan-appears-to-bring-some-respite-for-citizens/

--------

 

Families of detained opposition leaders in Tunisia head to the African court

24-05-23

Yusra Ghannouchi, who is the daughter of jailed Tunisia’s opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi, has condemned her father’s arrest citing gross human rights violation by the current regime of President Kais Saied.

Alongside other family members of Tunisian opposition figures detained in a government crackdown, she is seeking the immediate release of her loved ones with a case bought to the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.

"Tunisia is bound by the decisions of the African Court of Human and peoples rights. We have also applied for targeted sanctions against Kais Saied, and his justice minister, his interior minister, and his defense minister all his accomplices that are implicated in human rights violations," said Yusra Ghannouch.

Ghannouchi, 81, has been imprisoned since April 17 after claiming that Tunisia would be threatened with a "civil war" if left-wing parties or those of political Islam such as Ennahdha were eliminated.

"There is the will to establish fear and a police state but Tunisians are not accepting that and that's why my father, our fathers, and other political leaders, and members of the civil society are imprisoned because they are not accepting this coup and the return of dictatorship. They are not silent, and we will not be silent," said Yusra Ghannouch.

Since early February, the authorities have arrested more than 20 political opponents and other personalities, an act that has been condemned by the international community and rights groups.

Reports of harassment to the lawyers representing the victims have been echoed by the affected parties with the detainees allegedly tortured.

"Lawyers themselves for the detainees have been threatened and charged. In the case of some of the detainees, there has been very poor treatment up until now. In the case of one, an allegation of torture which will also be raised at the African court," said Rodney Dixon, lawyer to families of Tunisian opposition figures detained taking to his clients.

President Saied has described those arrested as "terrorists", claiming that they were involved in a "conspiracy against state security".

After dismantling the institutional edifice put in place by the semi-parliamentary Constitution of 2014, Saied ushered his country into the era of hyper-presidentialism.

Source: africanews.com

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

https://www.africanews.com/2023/05/24/families-of-detained-opposition-leaders-in-tunisia-head-to-the-african-court/

--------

 

Mideast

 

Israel trying to add 'Muslim-majority African state' to Negev summit: report

23 May, 2023

Israel has attempted to get a "Muslim-majority African country" it has no official ties with to join an Arab-Israeli summit scheduled to take place in Morocco next month.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen had already discussed the issue with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and it came up again during talks between Israeli foreign ministry director-general Ronen Levy and officials in Washington last week, Haaretz reported on Monday.

The African country has not been named but reports earlier this year claimed that channels of communication were open between Israel and Mauritania, something which Nouakchott later denied.

Mauritania ended its ties with Israel in 2009 after an Israeli war on the Gaza Strip which claimed over 1,400 Palestinian lives.

Israel's attempts are part of efforts to expand the Negev Forum, an economic and security summit which includes Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco - the last three normalising relations with Israel in 2020.

Morocco will host the summit on 25 June, initially held in the Negev region of Israel, but the exact location is yet to be revealed.

The summit was previously postponed after Israel’s current far-right government was formed in late 2022. This year has seen Israel launch a wave of deadly attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, killing over 150 Palestinians.

The purpose of the Negev Forum - which began as a summit in March last year - is to expand regional economic and security integration between Israel and Arab states which have normalised ties with it.

Palestinians and some Arab states have strongly condemned the normalisation moves, particularly with the continued occupation of the West Bank and Israel's stranglehold on Gaza.

Egypt established ties with Israel in 1979 and it was followed by Jordan in 1994. But the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, as well as Sudan, all formally established ties with Israel in 2020 in a controversial deal dubbed the Abraham Accords.

The US is also reportedly pushing for Israeli-Saudi normalisation before the year ends, but Riyadh has said it does not intend to take such a move before Palestinian statehood is achieved.

Source: newarab.com

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

https://www.newarab.com/news/israel-trying-add-african-muslim-country-negev-summit

--------

 

Islamic Jihad may ease way for Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine

May 23, 2023

The decapitation of Islamic Jihad’s senior leadership in Gaza should help facilitate negotiations to successfully implement the creation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine and end 100 years of conflict between Jews and Arabs.

The current conflict between Israel and Islamic Jihad was initiated when 100 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel from Gaza by Islamic Jihad following the death of a senior Islamic Jihad figure – Khader Adnan - after an 87 day hunger strike in an Israeli jail.

A targeted counter-response by Israel killed three Islamic Jihad commanders. A further 1000 missiles fired into Israel saw another three Islamic Jihad leaders eliminated by Israel.

A fragile ceasefire now exists.

Hamas stayed out of this current conflict – but threatened to enter the fray if Israelis hold a Flag March through Jerusalem on 19 May to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem following the 1967 Six Day War. It, however, refrained from any action and the flag march took place.

Israel and Islamic Jihad last clashed in August 2022 – when Hamas also did not become involved.

The Saudi-based Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution published on 8 June 2022 – and subsequently amended – provides:

“The proposal for this expanded kingdom includes Jordan with its current borders, the Gaza Strip, and the 'West Bank' (areas inhabited by Palestinians that border Jordan, which means that they are not divided into islands). Hence the Israeli arguments about the need to preserve the Jordan Valley and other areas will become weak since these lands will then be under the control of a Jordanian government that has the credibility of keeping the peace with Israel. And the usual Israeli claim that it has no "peace partner" will also end.

Neither the PLO nor Hamas shall govern the new entity - whose capital will be located in Amman – not Jerusalem, which will become the capital of Israel only.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it very clear that Israel alone will be seeking complete security control over all territory west of the Jordan River in any peace agreement:

“...West of the Jordan River ... Israel and Israel alone controls security. We control the airspace, we control the ground security, underground security in case they want to do tunnels... We’re not going to commit suicide for a favourable op-ed in the New York Times”

Islamic Jihad has demonstrated once again how it and other similar terrorist groups can freely exist in Gaza – smuggling in weapons from Iran through Sudan and Sinai and target Israel without any attempt being made by Hamas to stop them.

The Hashemites could hardly be expected to fare any better.

Jordanian Member of Parliament Imad al-Adwan’s arrest on April 22 - while carrying 12 rifles and 194 pistols in his car - at an Israeli-controlled border crossing - will strengthen Netanyahu’s demand for total security control of all territory west of the Jordan River – including the Arab population of the newly-created Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine living there.

The failure of:

Jordan’s King Abdullah

PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

Hamas Leader Ismael Haniyeh

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and

Benjamin Netanyahu

to reject the Saudi Plan since its publication 11 months ago – could see Israel’s security concerns being agreed to - allowing the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine to become a reality.

Expediting negotiations to implement the Saudi Plan will reduce increasing tension in Gaza and Judea and Samaria ('West Bank') that could trigger a major humanitarian disaster.

Netanyahu’s decision to delay demolishing an illegal Bedouin encampment – Khan al-Ahmar – indicates Israel’s willingness to end – not perpetuate - conflict.

It would be a tragedy if this game-changing Saudi-based solution was consigned to the garbage bin of history before negotiations to successfully implement it have been fully exhausted.

Source: israelnationalnews.com

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

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/371830

--------

 

Clash of the feminists and Islamists reflects larger Lebanese crisis

05/23/2023

Beirut (AsiaNews) - The Lebanese feminist groups have taken up a new battle over swimming costumes on public beaches, further mirroring a struggle within the Muslim world over clothing and costumes ranging from the hijab in Iran to "multi-coloured" clothes in Saudi Arabia.

Dozens of female activists demonstrated on 21 May in Saïda (40 km south of Beirut), a Sunni-majority town, to defend the wearing of swimming costumes on the public beach. The group was attacked by Islamic radicals, both men and women, who flocked to the seafront in large numbers to defend what they consider to be the 'good customs'. The presence of internal security forces and municipal police at the scene prevented the incident from escalating into open confrontation.

The feminist demonstration was a response to the attack on the public beach in Saïda last week against a woman in a swimming costume sitting on the seashore in the company of her husband. The troublemakers hurled water bottles filled with sand at the couple, eventually forcing them to leave the place in a hurry to prevent an escalation.

The incident prompted the president of the municipality, Mohammad Saoudi, to ban a demonstration planned for 20 May in support of the citizens' right to freely - and without constraints - enjoy the sandy beach and a counter-protest by radical groups.

The latter wanted to take to the streets to claim the fight 'in favour of modesty, virtue and against nudity'. However, the tensions and clashes that had been avoided on Saturday were punctually repeated the following day when dozens of people, mostly women, violated the regulations and gathered in front of the beach with placards and slogans 'in defence of freedom'.

The struggle between (Islamic) faith and freedom

these clashes and differing views point to a much broader issue concerning customs and freedoms, in Lebanon as in much of the Muslim world. Signs have been hung at the entrance to the seaside resort demanding 'decency in dress' for access.

At the same time, there are also other directives, such as the prohibition to bring in and consume alcoholic beverages as is traditionally the case on many western beaches where cocktails are sipped to the sound of music.

Nevertheless, returning to the Lebanese issue, how is it possible to identify and define such a vague notion as 'decency' on the beach, in a plural society where scales of values contradict each other?

During a press conference held on the seafront women's rights activist JoséphineZgheib said " a woman simply wanted to exercise her right to go to the beach in the dress that suits her best. But Lebanese women, are victims of 'unjust laws and a patriarchal system that seeks to impose its protection on bodies and lives."

Asked about the affair, Marie-Claude Najem, former Lebanese Minister of Justice and university lecturer, emphasises that it is one of the collateral damages of the 'every man for himself' drift, otherwise known as 'federalism', which at this stage tempts the communities that make up society.

In her opinion, while the municipalities are charged with enforcing public order, it is the task of the central state 'to make individual freedoms prevail, and every effort in terms of conciliation must go in the direction of freedoms'. 'There is a central state that must make itself heard clearly and distinctly'.

Finally, the former minister warns against the phenomenon of 'freedoms in small doses'.

With regard to the prohibition of alcohol on the beach, the issue is more 'nuanced' and could be justified 'not so much on religious grounds, but because of the danger posed by broken glass to bathers'. However, he concludes, the call to 'remain vigilant' remains valid.

For political scientist FadiaKiwan, director general of the Arab Women's Organisation, an institution operating under the aegis of the Arab League, radical Islamic currents do not have the right to impose their rules in the public space of a democratic state.

She herself deplores the issue and the ensuing controversy, seeing it as a threat to freedoms even though she considers Lebanon to be 'on the threshold of a promising season in terms of tourism'. Nevertheless, the expert wants to issue a warning against the formation of 'ghettos' based on community membership. "Without diversity, without the principle of accepting the other, the different, and respect for democratic freedoms, which have always been its strong points, Lebanon,' she adds, 'loses its raison d'être."

Sharia and the Constitution

Another critical voice, that of MP Marc Daou, who was present on the spot when the controversy flared up. 'The Lebanese Constitution,' he emphasises, 'is clear: it protects freedom of faith and expression.These public spaces are subject to the Constitution. We ask everyone to follow personal convictions, without imposing their views on others'.

"You have Jounieh [a famous seaside resort and tourist centre some 20 km north of Beirut], let us preserve Saïda,' some women covered in veils argued loudly during the demonstration. However, for Daou, 'the Lebanese have every right to go to public beaches dressed as they please. Freedom of expression and belief,' he added, 'is a right for everyone, and it is the same along all Lebanese coasts'.

For its part, the League of Local Ulemas denounced 'a suspicious and systematic media campaign targeting Saïda, its customs, its sheikhs and the population', while denying accusations of violence committed by religious leaders and their supporters against bathers.

For Salafist Sheikh Houssam al-Ilani, quoted in the press, the issue has transcended the boundaries of the controversy 'over swimming costumes, going so far as to challenge God'. "We do not accept, the presence of people who defy and provoke the city by drinking alcohol and denuding themselves on our beaches," thus violating the principles of sharia he retorted, closing the door to any mediation or dialogue.

Source: asianews.it

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

https://www.asianews.it/news-en/Clash-of-the-feminists-and-Islamists-reflects-larger-Lebanese-crisis-58439.html

--------

 

Iran's president calls for unity among Muslims as 'US dominance coming to end'

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has called for stronger unity among Muslim countries, saying the era of the United States’ dominance and hegemony has come to an end with the rise of emerging powers.

Raeisi made the remarks in a meeting with a group of Indonesian people at the Islamic Center of the Southeast Asian country’s capital of Jakarta on Tuesday.

Raeisi pointed to Islam's call for unity and described unity and cohesion as two strategies used by the Islamic Ummah against enemies’ divisive policies. “Muslim countries ... should have very close relations with each other."

He said that enemies seek to foment various types of sedition in Muslim countries, adding, “The enemy, once with the creation of Daesh, another time through the media empire, and once by insulting the Holy Prophet, etc. looks to create disunity in the Islamic Ummah.”

The Iranian president said the hegemonic system is after the continuation of its dominance across the world.

“Today, the reason behind opposition to the Islamic Republic [of Iran] is that the Islamic Republic does not want to abide by the hegemonic system," he said.

"With the rise of emerging powers, the era of the US dominance and the hegemonic system has come to an end,” he added.

Raeisi rejected the US and the West's claims about democracy as a lie and said, “If you are looking for democracy, let the Palestinians determine their own fate. Let people in Yemen and Afghanistan decide for themselves, why are you interfering in their affairs?”

The Iranian president added that Western countries, and the US in particular, are not after democracy, "they are looking for hegemony and plundering the wealth of nations.”

Earlier in the day, Raeisi arrived in the Indonesian capital on an official two-day visit aimed at enhancing the Islamic Republic's relations with the Southeast Asian country in political and economic arenas.

Heading a high-ranking political-economic delegation, the Iranian president was officially welcomed by his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo shortly after his arrival.

Raeisi held meetings with the speakers of the House of Representatives and the People's Consultative Assembly of Indonesia. He will also meet with Iranian and Indonesian businessmen, hold talks with Indonesian scholars and thinkers, and meet with Iranians residing in Indonesia.

Source: presstv.ir

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2023/05/23/703963/Iranian-President-Ebrahim-Raeisi-unity-Muslim-countries-Islamic-Ummah-US-dominance-emerging-powers

---------

 

Expanding Iran-Indonesia ties to benefit Islamic world

May 23, 2023

Seyed Ebrahim Raeisi,  who is on a two-day visit to Indonesia, made the remarks in the meeting with Speaker of People's Consultative Assembly of Indonesia BambangSoesatyo on Tuesday.

"The progress of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the fields of science and technology has placed Iran among the countries with advanced sciences such as space and nuclear sciences", Raeisi said.

Referring to Iran's advances in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals, the Iranian president said, "Today, a remote-controlled surgeon robot made by Iranian scientists was unveiled in Indonesia, with the help of which a doctor can operate on a disease in another city."

Elsewhere in his remarks, president Raeisi stated that the period of unilateralism is over and added, "With these changes, new powers will be formed in the world, which is in the interest of developing countries."

"Based on this, we believe that the oppressed people of Palestine, Yemen and Myanmar are very close to reaching their rights," he continued.

BambangSoesatyo, for his part, described the relations between the two countries as historical, and considered the development and deepening of the relations between Tehran and Jakarta to the benefit of the Islamic world.

He also expressed concern over the increase in violence against the oppressed people of Palestine and stressed their right to determine their own destiny.

Source: en.mehrnews.com

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

https://en.mehrnews.com/news/201113/Expanding-Iran-Indonesia-ties-to-benefit-Islamic-world

---------

 

Islamic Jihad chief: Gaza commanders were killed because they carried cellphones

By CANAAN LIDOR

23 May 2023

The top leader of Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad offered rare insight into his terror group’s latest conflict with Israel, saying that senior members killed in the fighting negligently kept their cellphones with them.

ZiadNakhaleh, who is believed to be living in Syria or Lebanon, offered the analysis during an interview with the Haya Washington website published Tuesday.

Nahkaleh was asked whether Islamic Jihad had been infiltrated, with the interviewer noting top commanders were killed despite efforts to conceal their whereabouts.

“This was done with the enemy’s technology and tracking. We committed mistakes that the enemy seized on,” Nahkaleh said, dismissing such a possibility.

The admission of mistakes was unusual for Islamic Jihad, whose messaging typically favors pathos over particulars and claims the ultimate invincibility and righteousness of its cause.

“Despite all the measures that are taken by our fighters and our commanders — who at the minimum shouldn’t use phones — unfortunately the brothers do not adhere to these necessary instructions in this field, so I am certain that there was no infiltration,” he said.

“There is complacency regarding the use of communications. Unfortunately, I say that our brothers were negligent in assessing the situation, and how the enemy monitors these devices,” Nakhaleh added in a rare rebuke.

His interviewer pressed him on the issue, noting “leaders were assassinated while at home,” where they had presumably adhered to a no-cellphone policy.

Nakhaleh offered a twofold explanation. Initially, he asserted the dead commanders “did not leave their homes at all.” But the Israeli military held its fire after the initial rocket launches on May 2, creating “an atmosphere of calm, and it seemed that they [the slain Islamic Jihad leaders] were able to visit their families in a secret way.”

“But unfortunately, it was without taking other security precautions, as the mobile phone is the most dangerous thing because it is a mobile spy whose carrier can be located easily by the enemy,” Nakhaleh reiterated.

Source: timesofisrael.com

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

https://www.timesofisrael.com/islamic-jihad-chief-gaza-commanders-were-killed-because-they-carried-cellphones/

---------

 

Diyanet dismisses imam after asking congregation to 'prepare their weapons' on election night

May 23 2023

Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) temporarily dismissed an imam working in the Cebeci Mosque in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district, Demirören News Agency reported on May 23.

The move came after imam Murat Gündoğdu called the congregation to “prepare their weapons” on the night of the run-off presidential election on May 28.

While delivering the Friday sermon, imam Murat Gündoğdu said to the congregation that “Prepare your weapons. Prepare your weapons on May 28 night. My two guns are fully loaded. What is this we suffer from them (the opposition)? For 80 years, what has this country suffered from them, from Armenian progenies?,” the daily BirGün reported on May 21.

İmam Gündoğdu’s remarks stirred a reaction among the congregation of the mosque, as well as on social media as the footage of the moments spread.

Diyanet on May 21 announced that they launched an investigation into the incident.

Turkey held parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14. In the presidential elections, Erdoğan officially received 49.52% of the votes, whereas Kılıçdaroğlu received 44.88%. This is the first time Turkey will experience a run-off election on May 28.

Source: duvarenglish.com

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

https://www.duvarenglish.com/diyanet-dismisses-imam-after-asking-congregation-to-prepare-their-weapons-on-election-night-news-62455

-------

 

OIC head vows efforts for Muslim countries' economic recovery will continue

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General HisseinBrahim Taha vowed on Tuesday that the bloc's efforts for the economic recovery and development of Muslim countries will continue.

Taha was speaking at the 39th meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the OIC (COMCEC), which kicked off in the Turkish capital Ankara.

The official also conveyed his condolences to the victims of the Feb. 6 twin earthquakes centered in Türkiye's southern Kahramanmaras province.

Stating that COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying measures caused an unprecedented slowdown in economic activities on a global scale, Taha said: "In mid-2022, the world started to take the pandemic under control. However, global economic growth weakened due to the Ukraine-Russia war and the subsequent sanctions."

"The war had effects on both countries and it also had global repercussions, which were felt especially in countries with close economic relations to Ukraine and Russia. The food supply system was disrupted due to the war. The food security of many Islamic Cooperation member countries was severely affected by this," he added.

According to the estimates of the World Bank, the crisis will push 75-95 million extra people to live in extreme poverty, Taha said.

"We are making efforts to support economic recovery and increase economic cooperation among our member countries. We hold many meetings for this. We held a meeting in Qatar on food security and agricultural development. Our second meeting will be held in the 4th quarter of 2023 within the framework of the labor ministers," he added.

The secretary general also said that ministerial-level meetings will be held to support agriculture, food security and employment-creating sectors.

"Member countries are invited to the 18th OIC Trade Fair. The third tourism fair will also be held in Qatar in November 2023. I would also like to thank our institutions for their hard efforts. I call on these institutions to support the projects so that we can support all our countries. Our efforts for economic recovery and development will continue," he said.

On the other hand, Said Albraidi, head of National and Regional Development Department of Qatar's Ministry of Trade and Industry, underlined the need to strengthen cooperation and fight against difficulties together.

Emphasizing that Türkiye has put forth a lot of effort and realized projects at this point, Albraidi said: "Türkiye is taking firm steps forward on the road to 2025."

"When it comes to cooperation, the more we support and intensify it, the better it will be for our trade, until 2025," he added.

"Our relevant secretariats will work day and night to achieve this target."

Albraidi further stated that they have faced serious difficulties in economic terms on a global scale in the last few years, but they will continue their efforts.

Providing the information that they will strengthen the physical traditional trade and e-commerce opportunities between the countries, Albraidi said: "The digitalization process has started for the countries in terms of services and trade. The steps taken in this regard are very important."

"The opportunities that countries will face are also essential for development. Many programs have been laid out," he added.

"It covers very important issues. There is no doubt that we will be successful in these efforts as well, and we will take firm steps towards the future by obtaining concrete, reliable and strong outputs," he concluded.

Türkiye became a candidate to host the OIC 51st Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting, which is planned to be held in 2025. The candidacy was recorded in the Islamabad Declaration.

*Writing by Emre Basaran

Source: aa.com.tr

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/world/oic-head-vows-efforts-for-muslim-countries-economic-recovery-will-continue/2904172

--------

 

Starzplay Arabia sees 70% viewership growth during Ramadan

The Dubai-based streaming platform Starzplay experienced a 70% growth in viewership during Ramadan 2023.

According to a recent viewership analysis by Starzplay, the platform saw a significant increase in viewership across the GCC markets with nearly a 70% increase in unique users compared to Ramadan 2022. UAE witnessed the maximum increase in viewership, a 62% increase in unique users in 2023 from last year, while the rest of the GCC recorded nearly a 60% increase in unique users.

During Ramadan, the streamer also gained a 50% increase in new sign-ups compared to Ramadan 2022. Its drama content was key in driving viewership group. Among the top performing titles were Serou Al Batea, Al Moasses Osman, KashfMestaagel, Bab Al Hara and Harb.

Tony Saab, senior vice president of content and strategic partnerships, Starzplay added: “Ramadan is a month of family gatherings and celebrations with friends and families and a time where viewers consume a greater amount of entertainment content. Over the last few years STARZPLAY has witnessed a significant increase in streaming during the Holy Month and this year was no different. Our platform recorded nearly a 70% uplift in consumption vis-à-vis last year which is a clear indication of the increase in demand of video streaming consumption across the MENA region. The Ramadan viewership figures evidently indicate the appetite for Arabic language content in the region and therefore an opportunity for streaming services like ours to deliver even more original Arabic content.”

Source: digitaltveurope.com

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

https://www.digitaltveurope.com/2023/05/23/starzplay-arabia-sees-70-viewership-growth-during-ramadan/

--------

 

Pakistan

 

Repentant Baloch separatist group founder Gulzar Imam says 'armed war' complicated province's problems

May 23, 2023

Founder of banned Balo­ch National Army Gulzar Imam alias Shambay, who was arrested by security forces last month, expressed on Monday remorse over taking up arms and said the fight for Balochistan's rights was only possible in a constitutional and political manner.

Imam — whose arrest was described by the military as a major counter-terrorism achievement against separatist insurgency in Balochistan — repented his past actions and urged other insurgents to lay down arms while addressing a press conference in Quetta alongside Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove and Senator Prince Ahmed UmerAhmedzai.

Imam began by introducing himself as the native of a village located in the Panjgur district of Balochistan, saying he had been actively involved in the armed insurgency in the province for the past 15 years.

"I spent a long time being a part of that insurgency, and I have faced all kinds of situations," he said, adding that as a Baloch, "my objective is to protect the rights of my people, national language and area".

Referring to his arrest in April, Imam said he got a chance to think over his past "with a new perspective" while in detention.

"During this time, I closely analysed the ... literature I prepared for armed groups and also met the leaders of peaceful movements in Balochistan.

"After having a discussion with them, I have reached the conclusion that the fight for Balochistan's rights was only possible in a constitutional and political manner," he added.

Imam went on to say that "we started this war without understanding the state" and regretted having lost his loved ones and friends.

"After a painful experience, I realised that the path I chose was the wrong one," he added, explaining that the "armed war" further complicated Balochistan's problems rather than resolving them.

Imam said one of the main reasons behind this was that "some particular forces" wanted to "use the Baloch as a pressure group, and I believe that the Baloch nation is the only party at a loss in all of this".

"So, I am here of my own will and want to say today that Balochistan has regressed to the stone age in terms of development because of this armed war.

"And so, I appeal to my friends, who remain involved in armed campaigns, to retract from this path so that we may resolve Balochistan's issues through, dialogue and rationale," he stressed.

Imam further appealed to Baloch students not to "waste their time in fighting and instead, play their role in the province's development".

Imam held the federal and provincial governments, state institutions and "armed groups" in Balochistan responsible for its problems, but added that state institutions realised what problems the province had been facing.

"I feel that they do listen," he said, adding he hoped that the state would play the role of a mother and "give us a chance to mend [our ways]".

He also asked for forgiveness from the heirs of those whose loved ones were "martyred or injured in this war" and those who suffered financial losses.

Who is Gulzar Imam?

Hailing from Panjgur district in Balochistan, Imam joined student politics in 2002 from the platform of the Baloch Students Organisation (BSO).

Over the years, when several factions of BSO merged and formed the now proscribed BSO-Azad — a BSO faction openly supporting the insurgency — Imam was made president of its Panjgur region around 2006. Allah Nazar Baloch and Bashir Zaib, who are currently leading the other two major separatist groups, the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and the Baloch Liberation Army, respectively, also headed the BSO-Azad during their student lives.

When a crackdown began against BSO-Azad, Imam went underground and joined the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) — a proscribed separatist group led by BrahumdaghBugti. He soon rose to be the group’s operational commander, according to political activists and journalists from Panjgur.

Between 2016 and 2018, three major Baloch separatist groups — the Hyrbyair Marri-led Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the BrahamdaghBugti-led Baloch Republican Army (BRA), and the Mehran Marri-led United Baloch Army (UBA) — started developing internal rifts.

“The fragmentation in these groups began when their field commanders from the lower-middle classes challenged the groups’ heads, who are wealthy traditional Baloch tribal chieftains living in self-exile in Europe,” explains Fahad Nabeel, a security analyst at Geopolitical Insights, an Islamabad-based research firm.

Within the BRA’s ranks, which is again banned by the Government of Pakistan, Imam developed differences with the BRA chief BrahumdaghBugti over several issues, particularly his leadership style. “Switzerland-based Bugti was attempting to exert more control in the overall affairs of the BRA, while Imam, who was managing the group’s operational command, was not happy with it,” says Nabeel, who has conducted extensive research on the Baloch insurgency.

Another reason behind the differences that emerged between Imam and Bugti was the fact that the latter was more inclined toward negotiations with Pakistani authorities, says Nabeel.

In October 2018, the BRA issued a statement, expelling Imam from the group over his alleged involvement in extortion and extrajudicial killings. From that point onwards, the BRA was divided into two factions. Imam reportedly had more control over the group in the Makran region and in some other urban areas of Balochistan, while the faction loyal to BrahumdaghBugti, had strongholds in Dera Bugti and neighbouring districts.

“In BLA too, Aslam Achu and Bashir Zaib revolted against Hyrbyair Marri and formed their own faction of BLA on the ground,” says Nabeel.

Source: dawn.com

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1755259/repentant-baloch-separatist-group-founder-gulzar-imam-says-armed-war-complicated-provinces-problems

--------

 

Islamist Militants Storm Hungarian-owned Refinery

2023.05.23.

Islamist militants stormed a natural gas and oil extraction plant in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing four police officers and two private guards, reported Reuters.

The attack by up to 50 militants took place at a plant run by the MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Company in Hangu district near the Afghan border. No group has claimed responsibility.

Police said the militants targeted two wells with heavy weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades. “The security guards at M-8 repulsed the terrorists’ attack but the casualties took place at M-10″. The militants also damaged a solar power plant at the gas power plant before fleeing to adjoining North Waziristan, where they had come from, he said.

According to media reports, the Taliban or its affiliated groups are suspected to have perpetrated the attacks. No reports have been published about any Hungarian victims, no one has been reported as missing either.

MOL Pakistan is a fully owned subsidiary of MOL Group, operating in the country since 1999 with some 400 employees. Pakistan is a key contributor of the international portfolio in terms of production and exploration. The company is one of the key condensate, crude oil, LPG and gas producers in the country, contributing to Pakistan’s energy supply.

Source: hungarytoday.hu

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

https://hungarytoday.hu/islamist-militants-storm-hungarian-owned-refinery/

--------

 

Ex-BNA chief asks insurgents to shun guns, embrace peace for Balochistan

23-05-23

Former chief of the Baloch National Army (BNA) Gulzar Imam was presented before the media persons on Tuesday and appealed to insurgents to shun guns and embrace peace to bring prosperity to Balochistan.

He appealed from those who are fighting against the state, must give up arms struggle and prioritize dialogue for the betterment of the province.

’I was on the wrong path,“ he declared.

Former insurgents said unemployment, and missing persons issues despite rich resources are one of the main issues of Balochistan.

“I was the former contractor and believed that there is an unfair distribution of resources in the province,” he said.

Read Also: Security forces capture proscribed Baloch National Army’s Chief in IBO

Imam said that he believed that the state has shown seriousness in solving the Balochistan insurgency issue.

Gulzar Imam said, “I belong to Prom area of Panjgur.”

Imam said he started armed operations 15 years ago and arrested some time ago.

“During this time I got an opportunity to examine the past,” he added.

Imam said the struggle for the rights of Balochistan is possible through political struggle instead of armed struggle.

“Started the war without understanding the state,” Gulzar Imam said.

He said Balochistan’s development stopped due to armed struggle and pinned hope that the state will give treat him nicely.

“I will try to fulfill all legal requirements,” Gulzar vowed.

Senator Agha Umar Ali said enemies wanted to disrupt the peace of Balochistan and the country.

Balochistan Interior Minister Zia Langu said the Balochistan government will always be open to talking with the persons.

In April this year, In a high-profile and successful intelligence operation, the lead intelligence agency successfully apprehended a high-value target (HVT) Gulzar Imam alias Shambay, the military’s media wing said on Friday.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release said he has been a hardcore militant as well as the founder and leader of the banned outfit Baloch National Army (BNA) which came into being after the amalgamation of the Baloch Republican Army (BRA) and United Baloch Army (UBA).

“BNA had been responsible for dozens of violent terrorist attacks in Pakistan including attacks on law enforcement agencies (LEAs) installations in Panjgur and Noshki,” the ISPR said.

Who is Gulzar Imam?

The statement mentioned that Gulzar Imam also remained as deputy to BrahamdaghBugti in Baloch Republican Army (BRA) till 2018.

The military’s media wing stated that the apprehended militant was also instrumental in the formation of Baloch RajiAajoiSangar (BRAS) and remained its operational head.

“His visits to Afghanistan and India are also on the record; his linkages with hostile intelligence agencies (HIAs) are being investigated,” it stated.

Source: samaaenglish.tv

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

https://www.samaaenglish.tv/news/40036224/pakistan-bna-chief-gulzar-imam-asks-insurgents-to-shun-guns-embrace-peace-for-balochistan

--------

 

Southeast Asia

 

Insisting Malaysia opposes LGBT, religious minister says Jakim formed committee to address issue among Muslims

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — The government’s Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) has established a special committee to address lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Muslims in Malaysia, said minister Datuk MohdNa’im Mokhtar.

The religious affairs minister said the committee comprises representatives from ministries, departments, agencies and non-governmental organisations — but no LGBT groups — who will coordinate matters such as education, advocacy, evangelism and enforcement.

“The committee had recently met on April 11, 2023,” he said in a Parliamentary written reply dated yesterday.

“Based on reports and observations, throughout the period from January 2021 until April 2023, there were several programmes and enforcement actions that have been implemented by inter-agencies regarding LGBT issues, they cover aspects of education, prevention and advocacy.

The minister insisted that “LGBT practices” are against religion, morality and culture in Malaysia. Despite his assertion, not all religious groups in the country oppose or demonise the LGBT.

“Not only that, but homosexual acts are against the law of the country. Not only Shariah law, but also civil law,” he added.

Section 377A of the Penal Code criminalises anal and oral sex for everyone, including heterosexuals.

“Despite this, the government still does not discriminate against any group, including LGBT, to enjoy their basic rights as stated in the Federal Constitution such as the right to education, the right to practice religion, and the right to work in accordance with Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution,” the minister said.

He was responding to Pokok Sena MP Datuk Ahmad Saad from the Islamist party PAS, who asked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim about the steps taken to prevent the normalisation of “LGBT lifestyle” in the country.

Earlier today, two PerikatanNasional MPs from PAS said the LGBT community should be considered as suffering from mental health illnesses.

Just yesterday, it was reported that the Malaysian authorities had raided the Malaysian stores of Swiss watchmaker Swatch and confiscated items from its “Pride Collection” bearing the rainbow flag associated with the LGBT movement.

Similar controversy emerged over the news of British band Coldplay’s scheduled concert in Malaysia, which parties in PN want to be cancelled due to the group’s support for the LGBT movement.

Source: malaymail.com

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

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2023/05/23/insisting-malaysia-opposes-lgbt-religious-minister-says-jakim-formed-committee-to-address-issue-among-muslims/70596

--------

 

Attorney-General deems Malaysian government’s ‘Allah’ appeal ‘weak,’ backs withdrawal

May 23, 2023

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim today revealed that Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun deemed the government’s initial appeal against the high court’s groundbreaking ruling in 2021, which allowed non-Muslims to utilize the term “Allah,” as “weak.”

Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, he said that when the withdrawal of the appeal was discussed with the attorney-general, Idrus supported it for various reasons, including the belief that the protracted court process would not be advantageous for the government.

“The attorney general’s viewpoint is crucial because the appeal is weak due to regulations previously issued by the Home Ministry,” Anwar explained.

“Additionally, the attorney-general believes that pursuing the appeal would contradict an earlier decision made by the Conference of Rulers, which the Yang di-PertuanAgong had requested the cabinet to uphold for all matters concerning the rulers,” The Vibes quoted him as saying.

The prime minister provided this response to a supplementary question posed by PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan (Kota Baru-PN) regarding the government’s choice not to proceed with the appeal.

Anwar had earlier clarified that the cabinet had agreed, during its meeting on February 7 this year, to adhere to the Agong’s orders.

Highlighting that the Conference of Rulers had decided that the word “Allah” should not be used by non-Muslims in West Malaysia, with conditional usage allowed in East Malaysia, Anwar noted that the attorney-general had been consulted to examine the case “from an administrative perspective.”

“The attorney general’s decision to forgo the appeal aligns with the stance taken by the Conference of Rulers. The predicament we face now is that there is a directive from the Home Ministry issued in 1986 that contradicts the rulers’ stance,” Anwar stated.

As PakatanHarapan chairman, Anwar said that the government plans to amend and revoke laws that are incongruent with the Conference of Rulers’ position as part of its efforts to prevent future legal disputes on this matter.

“The priority of the unity government is currently focused on harmonizing relevant laws to reflect the Conference of Rulers’ position. If we were to pursue the appeal, the case would resurface due to the persistent contradictions,” he said.

“By concluding the appeal process, we can establish clear laws that would prevent any further litigation. If the opposition is willing to be objective, they would recognize that this review of laws is not problematic.”

On May 15, it was disclosed that the Attorney-General’s Chambers had informed the Court of Appeal on April 18 that they do not intend to proceed with the appeal.

This decision has attracted criticism from Muslim rights groups and figures within the opposition party PAS.

Previous news reports on the high court’s March 2021 ruling in favor of Sarawakian Jill Ireland have highlighted the judge’s findings that the Home Ministry’s directive in December 1986, which banned the word “Allah” and three other terms from non-Muslim usage, contradicted a cabinet decision.

The high court judge at that time was Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, who now serves as a Court of Appeal judge. In her 2021 ruling, she concluded that the 1986 directive was unlawful and irrational, further noting that the four words could be used by Christians for educational purposes, as they have been in use for over 400 years.

According to past reports, the cabinet in 1986 left it to the deputy prime minister at the time, the late TunGhafar Baba, to determine which words should be prohibited for Christians. Ghafar apparently decided that four words, namely “Allah,” “Kaabah,” “Baitullah,” and “solat,” were permissible with the condition that “For Christians” be printed on the cover of books or materials.

However, the Home Ministry’s December 1986 circular imposed an outright ban on the usage of these four words.

Source: coconuts.co

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

https://coconuts.co/kl/news/attorney-general-deems-malaysian-governments-allah-appeal-weak-backs-withdrawal/

--------

 

Malaysia to streamline rules on non-Muslims using the word ‘Allah’: PM Anwar

23 May 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said on Tuesday (May 23) that the government will streamline conflicting regulations regarding the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

This is so that the regulations will be in line with the Malay rulers’ earlier decision that “Allah” cannot be used by non-Muslims in the Peninsula while conditional use is permitted for non-Muslims in the Borneo states.

“What needs to be done … is for the government to streamline (the rules) so that there are no regulations that are seen to be in conflict with the decisions of the Malay rulers,” said Mr Anwar in parliament during the Minister's Question Time (MQT).

He added that the government “fully (complies) with the decisions” of the Malay rulers.

He was responding to Mr Idris Ahmad, the Bagan Serai Member of Parliament (MP), who asked for clarification regarding Mr Anwar’s comments that the use of the word “Allah” can be used by non-Muslims in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak.

Looking ahead, Mr Anwar also told parliament that the streamlining process, which was presented to and approved by the king, involves amending or removing parts of the old regulations.

A proposal to improve the regulations relating to the use of the word by non-Muslims will be presented at the Conference of Rulers meeting in July, he added.

Mr Anwar also explained: “What was decided by the court (in 2021), whether it is the court in Borneo or the high court here, is based on two conflicting rules which are the Ministry of Home Affairs rules that were made before (in 1986).”

On Mar 10, 2021, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that Christians can use the word 'Allah' and the three other Arabic words - Baitullah (house of God), solat (pray) and Kaabah (the building at the centre of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, which is the direction of prayer for Muslims around the world) - in the publication of their religious material for learning purposes.

The ruling reportedly came after Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, a Christian woman from Sarawak, applied for judicial review on Aug 20, 2008, for the return of eight compact discs (CDs) with titles containing the word "Allah" which were confiscated from her on May 11 of the same year.

She had also applied for a declaration of her constitutional rights to use the word "Allah" in her Christian publications.

According to Bernama, under the Cabinet Directive 1986, Christians are allowed to use the four Arabic words in their religious publication for educational purposes on condition that the words “For Christians” are written on the cover of such books. However, the Administrative Directive issued by the Home Affairs Ministry in December of the same year prohibits the use of the four Arabic words in all Christian publications in Malaysia.

On Mar 12, 2021, the federal government filed an appeal against the ruling but this appeal was withdrawn on May 15 this year, sparking controversy over the decades-long debate.

Following this, questions were raised on whether the Malay rulers and state religious councils had been consulted.

Mr Anwar on Tuesday stated: “The issue of (the Conference of Rulers and state religious councils) not being consulted does not even arise.”

Explaining the government’s decision to withdraw the appeal, Mr Anwar told parliament that it was so that the government could strengthen the regulations so that there is no room for such matters to be brought to the court in the future.

“The AG (attorney-general) thinks that the case is weak because of the regulations made by the Home Affairs Ministry.

“The decision (to withdraw the appeal), in the AG’s view and (after I referred to) the king, is (so that we can) improvise and streamline (the regulations).

“Otherwise, the case will arise again because there is a contradiction (in the regulations). For that reason, we (withdrew the case) to amend all the rules so it is clear that there is no case that can be brought to the courts (in the future),” he said.

Source: channelnewsasia.com

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

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/malaysia-non-muslims-allah-malay-rulers-anwar-christians-sarawak-high-court-3508301

--------

 

Lawyer: Govt only needs 24 hours to amend laws on ‘Allah’ usage

MAY 24, 2023

The government only needs 24 hours to amend laws to ensure the word “Allah” can only be used by Muslims in Peninsular Malaysia and with restrictions for non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak, according to a lawyer.

Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said yesterday that the government cannot afford to delay this following Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s announcement of this intent during the Dewan Rakyat session yesterday morning.

Haniff, in a media statement made through a video uploaded to his Facebook account, contended that it is only right for the government to get this done within 24 hours because the federal and state authorities are hindered from carrying out their duties over the “Allah” usage.

Haniff (above) said the government should not have withdrawn its appeal at the Court of Appeal over a High Court case involving Sarawakian Jill Ireland’s right to use the word “Allah” for religious and educational purposes, as the court process then could have gone all the way up to the apex court.

“Now, without the appeal and without the enactment of new laws, how are the enforcement authorities as well as state religious councils supposed to carry out their responsibilities (in relation to ensuring proper use of the word ‘Allah’).

“Following the prime minister’s announcement on enacting new laws so that it could be the same as the stance of the government then in 1986, then the enactment should not take more than 24 hours.

“It can be done instantly and without further delay. I believe our friends in the Attorney-General’s Chambers have the expertise and experience to ensure the amendments be done as soon as possible,” Haniff said.

The lawyer added that the expediting of the amendments is critical as 10 states in Peninsular Malaysia alone have enactments that forbid the dissemination of non-Islamic faiths to Muslims.

Haniff contended that following the court case, the police and Customs Department as well as state religious authorities are facing problems with related enforcement.

Amendment and revocation

In Parliament yesterday, Anwar said the amendment and revocation of laws - that are in conflict with a Rulers Council's decision over the word “Allah” - was part of his administration's efforts to ensure that the issue may no longer be contested in the courts after the 2021 landmark decision in the Ireland case.

"The decision made, on the advice of the attorney-general, is to streamline (all related regulations). Otherwise, if we (the government) appeal, the case may surface again because of existing conflicts.

"So, because of that, we are putting an end (to it) by amending all regulations to make it clear and no further cases can be brought to court," said Anwar during the Prime Minister's Question Time.

He said this in response to Takiyuddin Hassan (PerikatanNasional-Kota Bharu) who urged the government to justify its decision to withdraw an appeal in the Ireland case.

In raising his additional question, Takiyuddin also cited then deputy prime minister Ghafar Baba's note in 1986 to then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad - which eventually led to a Home Ministry directive prohibiting the use of four specific words including “Allah” by non-Muslims.

He said the note was one of three documents cited in the grounds of judgment in Ireland’s case, the other two being Mahathir’s letter dated May 19, 1986, to then Home Ministry secretary-general and the final Home Ministry circular dated Dec 5, 1986.

Earlier yesterday, Anwar, in response to Idris Ahmad (PN-Bagan Serai), reaffirmed that the Yang di-PertuanAgong had consented to the government's decision to withdraw the appeal and that it was consulted with state Islamic councils.

Further, he said all proposed amendments to the current regulations will be presented to the Malay Rulers Council during its next sitting in July. – Mkini

Source: malaysiakini.com

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

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/666207

--------

 

North America

 

CAIR-NY Condemns CUNY Law Censorship of Muslim Student’s Pro-Palestinian Commencement Speech

May 23, 2023

(NEW YORK, NY, 5/23/2023) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned CUNY Law for reportedly censoring Yemeni-American Fatima Mohammed’s pro-Palestinian commencement speech.  

Mohammed was selected by her peers to give the student commencement speech. In her commencement address, Mohammed discussed the unique nature of CUNY Law and the values it embodies as a public interest law school. Mohammed also explained that many students joined CUNY Law to gain the necessary legal skills to confront the systems of oppression and to apply principles consistently.  

She reminded the audience that “Palestine can no longer be the exception to our pursuit of justice,” and discussed the various human rights violations inflicted by Israel on Palestinians.   

Mohammed gave the commencement speech on May 13, 2023. Like all the commencement speeches for the last nine years, CUNY Law livestreamed the speech. However, in the past week, Mohammed’s commencement speech was taken down. According to reports, CUNY Law removed the video due to false allegations that Mohammed’s speech was antisemitic.    

SEE: Fatima Mohammed’s Commencement Speech   

More than 15 CUNY Law student groups, including the Jewish Law Students Association, condemned CUNY Law’s decision to taken down the video and issued a statement in support of Mohammed.   

SEE: CUNY JLSA’s Statement  

CUNY Law is also being accused of taking down and censoring last year’s student commencement speech by NerdeenKiswani. Both speeches were given by Muslim women and highlight the suffering of Palestinians.   

SEE: Within Our Lifetime Post  

In a statement, CAIR-NY’s Executive Director AfafNasher, Esq. said:   

“We strongly condemn the apparent decision by CUNY Law to remove Fatima Mohammed’s commencement speech, particularly considering its focus on social justice and the plight of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. Academic institutions should embrace robust discussions on international issues, including human rights, without fear of censorship or reprisal.   

“The silencing of voices that seek to shed light on human rights abuses undermines the principles of academic freedom and respectful dialogue that universities should uphold. It is essential that diverse perspectives are not only welcomed but encouraged, even when they challenge prevailing narratives. Anything less is an affront to CUNY Law’s alleged values as a public interest law school and to the Constitution.   

“CAIR-NY stands in solidarity with the student commencement speaker who bravely sought to elevate the plight of Palestinians and the human rights abuses they face. We affirm their right to express their views freely and without interference.   

“CAIR-NY calls on CUNY Law to rectify this situation immediately, issue a public apology, and ensure that such actions are not repeated in the future. It is imperative that CUNY Law takes steps to create a safe, welcoming environment for Muslims and student supporters of Palestinian human rights.   

“CAIR-NY remains committed to supporting all individuals who strive to advocate for justice, equality, and human rights.”    

Nasher also condemned CUNY Law’s removal of NerdeenKiswani’s commencement speech.  

Last year, in an open letter, five former European ministers labeled Israel’s policies against Palestinians as “the crime of apartheid.” Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Presbyterian Church USA have labeled Israel an apartheid state. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing also recognized that Israel is committing apartheid against Palestinians.  

CAIR has previously called on the Biden administration to stand up to the new Israeli government composed of openly racist and genocidal far-right politicians.    

Last year, CAIR welcomed an investigation by a UN commission of inquiry into the Israeli government’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.   

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

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

Become a Fan of CAIR-NY on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/CAIRNewYork  

Subscribe to CAIR-NY’s Email List 

https://www.cair-ny.org/stay-connected  

Subscribe to CAIR-NY’s Twitter Feed 

https://twitter.com/CAIRNewYork  

Subscribe to CAIR-NY’s YouTube Channel 

https://www.youtube.com/user/CAIRNYtv  

Follow CAIR-NY on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/cairnewyork  

Donate to CAIR-NY 

https://www.cair-ny.org/donate  

Do you like reading CAIR-NY’s press releases and taking part in our action alerts? You can help contribute to CAIR-NY’s work of defending civil rights and empowering American Muslims across the country by making a one-time contribution or becoming a monthly donor. Supporters like you make CAIR-NY’s advocacy work possible and defeating Islamophobia an achievable goal. Click here to donate to CAIR-NY.  

END  

Source: cair.com

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

https://www.cair.com/press_releases/breaking-cair-ny-condemns-cuny-law-censorship-of-muslim-students-pro-palestinian-commencement-speech/

---------

 

CAIR Offers Condolences on Passing of Muslim Activist Issa Smith

May 23, 2023

(WASHINGTON D.C., 5/23/23) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today offered its condolences on the passing of Muslim activist Issa Smith. 

Issa advocated for human rights worldwide through leadership and activism in organizations such as the Bosnia Task Force, Americans for Soviet Muslim Rights and the American Muslim Council. He also advocated for Imam Jamil Al Amin, as well as African-American and Native American causes. 

In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:

“To God we belong and to Him we return. Br. Issa was a pioneer of activism in the American Muslim community and will be fondly remembered for his humor, his hard work and his defense of human rights in this nation and worldwide. We ask God to grant his loved ones patience in this difficult time and to admit Br. Issa to the highest level of Paradise.”

Awad noted that his funeral prayer will be offered today (Tuesday, May 23) after Duhur prayer (1:30) at ADAMS Sterling (46903 Sugarland Road Sterling, Virginia 20164).

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

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

Become a Fan of CAIR on Facebook           

http://www.facebook.com/CAIRNational             

Subscribe to CAIR’s Email List           

https://action.cair.com/a/newsletters

Subscribe to CAIR’s Twitter Feed           

http://twitter.com/cairnational            

Subscribe to CAIR’s YouTube Channel           

http://www.youtube.com/cairtv            

Follow CAIR on Instagram           

https://www.instagram.com/cair_national/

Donate to CAIR           

https://action.cair.com/a/donate

Do you like reading CAIR press releases and taking part in our action alerts? You can help contribute to CAIR’s work of defending civil rights and empowering American Muslims across the country by making a one-time contribution or becoming a monthly donor. Supporters like you make CAIR’s advocacy work possible and defeating Islamophobia an achievable goal. Click here to donate to CAIR.

If you would like to join CAIR’s media list, please sign up here: https://action.cair.com/a/newsletters — For more information, email: info@cair.com, CC ihooper@cair.com    

END    

Source: cair.com

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

https://www.cair.com/press_releases/cair-offers-condolences-on-passing-of-muslim-activist-issa-smith/

---------

 

Children from mixed backgrounds with one Muslim parent have plural identities

MAY 23, 2023

How do Quebec-born children in mixed families with one Muslim parent self-identify? How do they combine the different values transmitted by their parents and those of the society in which they grow up?

These are some of the questions that led Josiane Le Gall, an assistant professor of anthropology at Université de Montréal, to conduct a qualitative study with colleagues in religion, social work, anthropology and psychology at UdeM, Université Laval and Morocco's Al Akhawayn University.

The findings were published last August in a special issue of the journal Social Compass on how Muslim / non-Muslim families around the world navigate identity and religious issues in their daily lives and the social constraints they face.

Le Gall's research grew out of a larger study on plural identity in about 100 people of mixed ethnicity in Quebec. She interviewed 23 people aged 18 to 40 with one Muslim immigrant parent. The Muslim parents came from Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Guinea, Egypt, Gambia and Bangladesh. Two-thirds were non-practicing.

Quebecers first and foremost

Le Gall found three different patterns of cultural transmission in the subjects' families: total absence of any cultural transmission, explicit transmission of identity markers (language and/or culture), and exposure to cultural references (the religion was not actively transmitted but cultural and religious practices were present in the home).

Participants were unanimous in saying they identified first and foremost as Quebecers and, to a lesser degree, as Canadian, regardless of whether the non-Muslim parent was born in Quebec or elsewhere.

"They were influenced above all by the place they were born; this is where they feel at home," said Le Gall. "School and the friendships they formed shaped their identities more than anything else."

At the same time, most of them were also attached to the cultural heritage transmitted to them by their immigrant parent.

"They claim a plural identity that combines cultural influences from the immigrant and non-immigrant parent," explained Le Gall. "As the expression goes, they're 100-per-cent mixed."

Limited transmission of language and religion

Growing up in a multi-ethnic home has shaped these individuals in many ways. They have a connection to the cultural and culinary traditions of their Muslim parent's native country, but in many cases little or nothing of the Muslim parent's religion and language was passed down to them.

The majority of the subjects reported speaking French at home, and some spoke English.

"As adults, some regretted that their parent hadn't taught them Arabic or other native language and made an effort to learn it," Le Gall noted. "They would have liked to be able to speak it, especially when visiting relatives in their immigrant parent's country of origin."

Religion was an important dimension of identity for the handful of subjects whose parents were both practicing Muslims. The others said they had been exposed to some Islamic rituals but generally did not practice Islam or any other religion.

"Having been born in Quebec, they exhibited a certain reticence, if not indifference, about religion in general," commented Le Gall.

Plural identity is enriching

It was in early adulthood that many of the subjects felt a stronger desire to claim their Muslim parent's cultural markers. "As teens, they were more likely to reject or minimize the importance of their minority culture, " said Le Gall.

In most cases, their identification with the minority culture was rooted mainly in their daily experiences and practices with their immigrant parent, rather than knowing the language and religion or having the nationality.

"While the identities constructed by the subjects varied widely, they all felt that their mixed cultural identity was enriching, not limiting," said Le Gall. "They reject any rigid, predefined notion of identity and can easily reconcile the different facets of their identity, which they do not see as incompatible in any way."

Source: phys.org

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

https://phys.org/news/2023-05-children-backgrounds-muslim-parent-plural.html

----------

URL:  https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mecca-spa-women-saudi-arabia/d/129844

 

New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

Loading..

Loading..