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Islamic World News ( 19 Sept 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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More Than 10,000 Suicide Bombings in the Islamic World but None in India Show Muslims’ Faith in the Country: SC Told

New Age Islam News Bureau

20 September 2022

 

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• UP Doctor Who Faked ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ Threat Approaches ‘Hate Monger’ Narsinghanand

• Where is Masood Azhar? Will Pak Or Taliban Take Account for ‘Missing’ JeM Chief?

• US Demands Accountability in Death of Iranian Woman after Her Hijab Arrest

• Taliban Conducts Night-time Door-to-Door Search

 

India

• Hijab Ban Case: ‘Just Like Turbans for Sikhs, Hijabs Important For Muslim Women,’ Petitioners’ Lawyer Tells SC

• Muslim Students Being Forced To Sing Hindu Hymns Draws Ire in Kashmir

• Muslim Rashtriya Manch Seeks Probe into Assets Held By Madrasas in Uttar Pradesh

• SC Cites Hindus’ Religious Assets Rights to Counter Waqf Act Critics

• SC seeks Centre’s response to plea seeking to declare ‘Talaq-e-Ahsan’ illegal

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Pakistan

• Pakistan Urges OIC to Push For Appointment of UN Envoy on Fast-Growing Islamophobia

• Senior Pak ministers booked in terror case for spreading religious hatred against Imran Khan

• Pakistan court drops terrorism charges against former PM Imran Khan

• Consulting ‘absconder’ Nawaz over COAS choice a disgrace: Imran

• US, Europe not accepting any more Afghan asylum seekers, NA body told

• Military cooperation ‘important pillar’ of Sino, Pakistan ties: Chinese defence minister tells Gen Bajwa

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North America

• Blinken meets with Yemen’s president, urges extension of UN-mediated truce

• Turkish First Lady, UN Chief Sign Goodwill Document Regarding 'Zero Waste' Project

• Biden hails release of American prisoner held by Taliban for over 2 years

• US adds Iranian cargo planes to export violation list linked to Russia

• Russia says Pelosi's 'loud announcements' on Azerbaijan-Armenia border conflict destabilizing

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South Asia

• Prisoner Swap; Senior Taliban Member Released from Guantanamo

• Taliban free last US hostage in swap for drug lord

• Taliban release American engineer Frerichs in prisoner swap

• Afghanistan provinces of Parwan, Kandahar witness mass evacuation as Taliban raids houses

• Taliban’s Move In Undermining Persian’s Literature Rise In Public Concern

• Taliban say US national freed in exchange for key ally

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Arab World

• UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah Meets Israeli Defence Minister Gantz

• Lebanon-Israel Demarcation Talks ‘In Final Stages': Aoun

• Egypt to cooperate with Maersk on $15 bln clean fuels project for ships: Presidency

• Israeli troops cross into Syria, wounding one of four ‘suspects’

• UN readying US-funded salary support for Lebanese soldiers: Presidency

• Israel to begin production from contested gas field amid Lebanon dispute

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Europe

• UN Special Rapporteur: Islamic Emirate Must Probe Alleged Panjshir Crimes 'Genuinely'

• Nearly 86 Percent of Anti-Muslim Twitter Posts Come From US, UK and India

• Supreme Council of German Muslims drops membership of Brotherhood-linked entities

• British Muslims ‘experience’ Islam in Rumi’s Turkish hometown

• French FM urges Iran to accept latest offer on nuclear deal

• Swiss court sentences ‘Daesh’ knifewoman

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Africa

• 75 Al-Shabaab Terrorists Killed In Central Somalia: Security Official

• 5 Tunisian parties to boycott parliamentary elections

• Ennahda deputy chief slams terror accusations as ‘distraction’

• Tunisia’s anti-terrorism police detain former Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh

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Mideast

• Israel Arrests Director of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

• Palestinian schools in al-Quds protest Israel’s plan to distort textbooks

• Iranian FM: Ball in Court of US Policy-Makers to Finalize Negotiations

• Iran Picks "World War III" for Oscar Film Entry

• Iranian President Flatly Rejects Meeting with US Officials

• Iran’s security forces kill four amid protests over Mahsa Amini’s death: Rights group

• Iranian demonstrators attempt to flip over police car as protests escalate

• Turkish warplanes bombard villages in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, casualties feared

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Southeast Asia

• Don’t Misuse Halal Logo, Noh Omar Tells Traders: Malay Minister

• Fraudsters have software to read OTP and delete SMS sent by banks

• Best to hold polls if PM can’t manage economy, says Muhyiddin

• Indonesian Christians mourn pro-minority Islamic scholar

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:   https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/suicide-bombings-india-muslim-faith/d/127990

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More Than 10,000 Suicide Bombings in the Islamic World but None in India Show Muslims’ Faith in the Country: SC Told

 

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Sep 20, 2022

NEW DELHI: Challenging a Karnataka HC decision upholding hijab ban in educational institutions, the Muslim side on Monday told the Supreme Court that the ban impinged minority community’s faith in India and the right to freedom of conscience guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution to choose and follow any religious practice, including hijab.

During the two hour long inconclusive arguments, petitioner Munisha Bushra Abedi's counsel Dushyant Dave meandered through India’s history, referred to tolerance practiced during Mughal emperor Akbar and the compromise recorded in the Constituent Assembly debates for bestowing certain special rights to minority community in the Constitution and attempted to drive home that ‘tolerance’ and ‘fraternity’ are cardinal principles in the democratic governance of a multi-cultural India.

Abedi's two other co-petitioners are All India Muslim Personal Law Board and Jaleesa Sultana Yaseen.

Repeatedly requesting a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia not to interpret the Constitution in a manner that would impinge upon the faith of minority community in India and the Constitutional guarantees, Dave said a religious practice, like hijab, may not be ‘essential’ but if a person chose to practice it as per his conscience, there is little the courts or authorities can do.

To elaborate on the faith reposed by the Muslim community in India, Dave said, “More than 10,000 suicide bombings have taken place in the Islamic world. Only one in India (has taken place). This means the minority community has faith in India. Every day the newspapers report suicide bombings from Iraq, Syria and other countries, but not in India,” he said. He appeared to convey that tinkering with religious practices could be a major reason for sectarian violence.

Dave said, “Religious practices are individual preferences. How one practices his religion is his or her choice. Whether a person practices a religious custom, be it wearing hijab or putting a ‘Tilak’ on the forehead, is his/her personal choice. Basic structure of the Constitution guarantees the freedom of conscience when it comes to religion and religious practices.”

“Regrettably, the Karnataka HC judges did not understand the constitutional morality, vision and freedoms guaranteed to every citizen and its interplay with the right to freedom of conscience. Religious practices are not confined to a structure commanded by a religion. An individual can choose a religious practice or prescribed by a community,” he said, adding Muslim women in every country have been wearing it for centuries either as a religious belief or personal choice, just like the Sikhs wear turban.

Dave said, “Our PM wears beautiful headgears from different regions every year while hoisting the flag on Independence Day celebrations. Similarly, the Muslim women want to wear hijab, either out of choice or religious belief. No court nor authority can stop it. The teachers and students are not mandated to keep their fundamental rights at the gates of the educational institutions before entering its premises." Arguments would continue on Tuesday.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/no-suicide-bombing-in-india-show-muslims-faith-in-the-country-dave/articleshow/94312592.cms

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UP Doctor Who Faked ‘Sar Tan Se Juda’ Threat Approaches ‘Hate Monger’ Narsinghanand

 

Doctor Arvind Vatsa Akela with Yati Narasinghanand

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19th September 2022

Doctor Arvind Vatsa Akela, who claimed to have received death threats, proven guilty by the state police for faking the messages he received, has now sought refuge with the hate speech accused, chief of the Dasna Devi Temple, Yati Narsinghanand.

In a video, released by Yati on social media, Arvind can be seen standing behind the ‘hate monger’ while the latter holds Muslims responsible if anything happens to the doctor.

He says that it is irrelevant if the person who issued the death threats is an acquaintance of the doctor. “Even if he is an acquaintance or not, a Muslim is a Muslim,” says Yati implying that Muslims are a threat to the lives of Hindus.

He also adds that if the doctor is guilty, a case should be registered against him.

“If something happens to Doctor saab or if he is found dead, then the police alone will be responsible for it. Police have killed many such Hindus. Don’t become the weapons of the unjust,” claims Yati.

“What maximum is going to happen to you, a transfer? That’s it!” Yati mocks the police.

A few days ago, the doctor from Ghaziabad made headlines in mainstream media claiming he received ” sar tan se juda..” threats, from an unknown number for supporting Hindutva groups.

He claimed that the caller said neither Modi, Yogi nor Yati Narasinghanand will be able to save him.

However, on Sunday, police investigations revealed that the doctor was lying throughout his interview. According to a police officer investigating the case, the doctor made internet calls to himself in order to get famous.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/up-doc-who-faked-sar-tan-se-threat-approaches-hate-monger-narsinghanand-2416334/

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Where is Masood Azhar? Will Pak Or Taliban Take Account for ‘Missing’ JeM Chief?

 

Masood Azhar, JeM Chief

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19 Sep 2022

Pakistan, even in the middle of the worst flooding in its recent history, is never short of entertainment. The latest farce started few days ago with a scoop reported by the Pakistani channel Geo News.

According to Geo News, the Pakistani Government has written an official letter to the Taliban Government stating that Masood Azhar is hiding in Afghanistan, living most probably between the provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar. In the letter, apparently, Islamabad is asking the Government of Kabul to arrest the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief and hand him to Pakistan.

Masood Azhar’s Explosive Hideout Claims

Nobody has confirmed or denied the news in the Pakistani Government, but Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari when asked by the press about Masood Azhar, declared, “Our information is that the said individual is in Afghanistan."

The Taliban reacted almost immediately, stating that: “The JeM leader is not here in Afghanistan. This is an organisation which could be in Pakistan. Anyway, he is not in Afghanistan and we have not been asked anything like this. We have heard about it in the news. Our reaction is that this is not true."

It also added, “We also call on all parties to refrain from such allegations lacking any proof and documentation. Such media allegations can adversely affect bilateral relations." And we're still waiting for the next chapter.

Letter or not, let's stick to the facts. Not so long ago, Pakistan had said Azhar was under house arrest in Bahawalpur, then they said they had no idea of his whereabouts.

JeM’s Role in the Rise of Afghan Taliban

Now, it's an open secret that for the past year or so, JeM, through its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) handlers, has maintained close ties with the Afghan Taliban, providing them with a continuous stream of Pakistani recruits from the provinces of South Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA).

According to local sources, the province of Nangahar in Afghanistan has practically been handed over by the Taliban to JeM. On ISI's instructions, JeM cadres have been shifted to Nangahar from Khyber Agency and Parachinar on the Pakistan-Afghan border.

Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar Kashmiri, brother of Masood Azhar, is in charge of the Nangahar camps. Masood has been seen in the country more than a year ago, immediately after the Taliban took charge. Asghar, despite being at a point placed officially under protective custody, has been seen holding multiple meetings with ISI operatives.

Terror Outfits Play Loyal Aides to Taliban

The ISI line of course prevailed, and JeM, along with Lashkar-e-Taiba(LeT), was put on the job of raising funds for the Taliban and to facilitate the movements of Jihadi (including Al Qaida members) from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

The rest is history. Al-Qaida’s chief Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed by a drone in Kabul, almost certainly with some kind of help from Pakistan. Islamabad, a little later got the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) help it so desperately needed. Next goal, for Islamabad, is to get out of the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) grey list which adversely impacts the finances of the country.

Conspiracy Theories Fan the Flame for Global Insurgency

But of course nobody, except maybe Bilawal Bhutto, is so naive to believe that Islamabad would so easily give up one of its main strategic assets. There's no safer place for Azhar than the place where he's been living and thriving until now, in the loving care of ISI.

Unless, as one of the theories circulating in the country says, is that Masood might already be dead and Islamabad is trying to score points from his death trying to stage another brilliant strategic operation. Interestingly enough, China has recently put a hold on a proposal by the US and India at the UNSC to designate Abdul Rauf Azhar as an 'International Terrorist.' Let's wait and watch.

Source: The Quint

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

https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/will-pak-or-taliban-take-account-for-jem-chief-masood-azhars-missing-in-action-islamabad-afghanistan-ties-sco#read-more

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US Demands Accountability in Death of Iranian Woman after Her Hijab Arrest

 

A newspaper with a cover picture of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died after being arrested by the Islamic republic's "morality police" is seen in Tehran, Iran September 18, 2022. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

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19 September, 2022

The US wants accountability for the death of an Iranian woman after she was arrested in Tehran last week for wearing an ‘improper’ hijab, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said on Monday.

“Mahsa Amini’s death after injuries sustained while in police custody for wearing an 'improper' hijab is an appalling and egregious affront to human rights,” the official said. “Our thoughts are with Mahsa’s family and loved ones.”

“Women in Iran should have the right to wear what they want, free from violence or harassment. Iran must end its use of violence against women for exercising their fundamental freedoms,” the official said. “There must be accountability for Mahsa’s death.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/19/US-demands-accountability-in-death-of-Iranian-woman-after-her-hijab-arrest

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Taliban Conducts Night-time Door-to-Door Search

 

Photo: Khaama Press

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By Saqalain Eqbal

19 Sep 2022

Local sources in the central and southern Afghan provinces of Parwan and Kandahar, respectively, have said that the Taliban has begun carrying out sweeping door-to-door searches.

In the Kolami area of the Salang district of Parwan province, the Taliban are said to have first arrested men and searched homes while breaking in, according to sources in Parwan.

The Taliban stormed the village of Kolami on Sunday night, the 18th of September, imprisoned men there, and searched the homes, according to domestic media reports, confirming this approach of the Taliban.

The residents of this Kolami village in the Salang district of Parwan are reportedly considering a mass evacuation because they are concerned about the Taliban nighttime searches.

Meanwhile, Kandahar province house-to-house searches have reportedly begun, according to sources in the province of Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan.

The Taliban has acknowledged conducting house searches in this province, and the Kandahar chief of police stated on Monday that the Taliban are not operating alone in their activities; they are joined by neighborhood elders and religious scholars.

People are concerned if the Taliban had other targets in mind, despite the Taliban’s assertion that they perform thorough house searches across Afghanistan to find criminals and track down illegal or state-owned firearms.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/taliban-conducts-nighttime-door-to-door-search-67548/

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India

 

Hijab ban case: ‘Just like turbans for Sikhs, hijabs important for Muslim women,’ petitioners’ lawyer tells SC

September 19, 2022

A Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia continued hearing a batch of petitions challenging the ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka for the seventh day on Monday.

The apex court will resume the hearing at 11 am on Tuesday. According to Live Law, senior advocate Dushyant Dave will be allowed to present his arguments till 1 pm, after which no one else from the petitioners’ side will be allowed.

During the hearing, Live Law reported, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who appeared for one of the petitioners, pointed out: “This is not about uniform. We are not dealing with military schools, we are not dealing with Nazi schools with regimentation. We are dealing with pre-university colleges.”

Continuing his arguments, advocate Dave said: “Just like turban for Sikhs, hijab is important for Muslim women. Nothing wrong with that. It is their faith. Somebody wanting to wear tilak, somebody wanting to wear a cross, everybody has the right. And that is the beauty of social life.”

“This country is built upon a beautiful culture..built on traditions. And in 5000 years, we have adopted many religions… India gave birth to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Islam came here without conquering and we accepted. India is the only place where people who came here settled here without conquest, except the British,” he stated.

Pointing out that the fears of Dr B R Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhai Patel were coming true, Dave said: “How is it unity in diversity if a Hindu has to get permission from Magistrate to marry a Muslim? How can you shackle love? And Magistrate will take his sweet time and all the fringe elements will come in. How is it democracy?”

“Your Lordships are not just custodians of fundamental rights for us, citizens. Your Lordships can alone stand between parliamentary excesses and citizens,” Bar and Bench quoted Advocate Dushyant Dave as stating.

Mentioning that powerful western economies have taken a view and permitted Hijab, Dave further said: “The American Army has allowed turbans. That is the respect they have for religions. Constitution framers didn’t speak of turban, only kirpan.”

“The only religion that matters to this Court is the Constitution of India. As important is Gita for Hindus, Quran for Muslims, Guru Grant Sahib for Sikhs and Bible for Christians, without Constitution, we will be left nowhere,” Live Law quoted Dave as stating.

When advocate Dave referred to debates on Article 25 and said it “is founded upon tolerance”, Justice Dhulia asked if anybody in the Constituent Assembly said why it is important to include “propagate” in Article 25. “Perhaps, the reason is what given by Seervai..in some religions, like Christianity, it is an important part of faith to spread the message,” Live Law quoted Justice Dhulia as saying.

Source: Indian Express

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

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/hijab-ban-case-just-like-turbans-for-sikhs-hijabs-important-for-muslim-women-petitioners-lawyer-tells-sc/

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Muslim Students Being Forced To Sing Hindu Hymns Draws Ire In Kashmir

September 20, 2022

PDP and NC take exception to the Lieutenant Governor’s directive ahead of Gandhi Jayanti

J&K’s main regional parties, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC), on Monday took exception to the Lieutenant Governor’s move to make Muslim students allegedly sing Hindu hymns in government-run educational institutes ahead of Gandhi Jayanti.

“Jailing religious scholars, shutting down Jama Masjid and directing school kids here to sing Hindu hymns exposes the real Hindutva agenda of GOI (Government of India) in Kashmir. Refusing these rabid dictates invites Public Safety Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). It is the cost that we are paying for this so called “Badalta J&K”,” Mehbooba Mufti said.

Her remarks came after students in several schools in the Kashmir valley were seen singing Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram in classes as part of the preparation for the upcoming Gandhi Jayanti. One video from a school in south Kashmir went viral on social media.

The former Chief Minister also posted the video on Twitter. “India is a democracy and every community lives with rights. The Constitution allows all communities to follow their religion. This precisely was the reason that J&K, despite being a Muslim majority, decided to be part of India and not Pakistan in 1947. Our religion too is a target now. Kashmir is being made laboratory of rabid Hindutva agenda,” Ms. Mufti said.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/muslim-students-being-forced-to-sing-hindu-hymns-draws-ire-in-kashmir/article65910773.ece

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Muslim Rashtriya Manch Seeks Probe Into Assets Held By Madrasas In Uttar Pradesh

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

The Muslim Rashtriya Manch has links to the RSS

Along with gathering basic details on madrasas, the Uttar Pradesh Government must also get information on the assets held by the Islamic educational institutions and the visits abroad by their management and staff, a member of the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) has demanded.

The MRM has links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Rao Musharraf Ali, senior leader and convener of the Saharanpur unit of the MRM, told The Hindu, “In the national interest, it is necessary to hold an inquiry into the foreign trips and assets of those who are associated with madrasa management. In Saharanpur or Deoband, whenever students have been arrested for terror activities, the link with madrasas has come out.”

Mr. Ali also alleged that madrasa representatives receive money through Hawala networks and might have links with anti-India elements.

“Why do these people go for foreign trips? They receive money from middle eastern countries through Hawala networks, so when the inquiry across U.P. happens, these things will come out,” Mr. Ali said.

Uttar Pradesh officials have started a survey of madrasas and the report is required to be submitted to the State government by October 25.

Many Muslim organisations and all the major Opposition parties have criticised the State Government, alleging that the ruling dispensation was bent on terrorising the Muslim community with such acts and indulging in a “malicious” move to disparage the madrasa system.

The State Government has maintained that the survey aims to gather information about the details of teachers and students, curriculum, and the links of unrecognised madrasas with any non-government organisation.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslim-rashtriya-manch-seeks-probe-into-assets-held-by-madrasas-in-up/article65910747.ece

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SC Cites Hindus’ Religious Assets Rights to Counter Waqf Act Critics

Sep 20, 2022

NEW DELHI: As BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay challenged various provision of Waqf Act and alleged that why only Muslims be allowed to manage properties when there was no law for other religious community, the Supreme Court on Monday reminded him that there are Hindu Endowments Act framed by many states on as per which only Hindus can manage and administer religious places and their assets.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Upadhyay contending that the Waqf Act was totally against the secularism, Unity and integrity of the nation as the law was made to administer the properties of Muslims but there were no similar laws for followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jain-ism, Sikhism, Judaism, Bahaism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sc-cites-hindus-religious-assets-rights-to-counter-waqf-act-critics/articleshow/94313243.cms

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SC seeks Centre’s response to plea seeking to declare ‘Talaq-e-Ahsan’ illegal

19th September 2022

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from the Centre and others to a plea seeking to declare ‘Talaq-e-Ahsan’ and all other forms of “unilateral extra-judicial” dissolution of marriages under the Muslim Personal Laws as illegal and unconstitutional.

The petition has also sought directions to the Centre and others to frame guidelines for a gender neutral, religion neutral uniform ground and procedure for divorce.

According to the petition filed by a Pune-based woman, as per the customs and procedure, ‘Talaq-e-Ahsan’ requires pronouncement of Talaq once followed by abstinence from conjugal relation for three lunar months or 90 days and thereafter, if the parties to the marriage do not resume their conjugal relationship within 90 days, the marriage stands dissolved.

A bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka agreed to hear the petition and issued notices to the Centre and others, including the National Commission for Women, seeking their responses.

The plea, filed through advocate Nirmal Kumar Ambastha, has said the petitioner, who is an engineer by profession, was divorced by her husband through the ‘Talaq-e-Ahsan’ procedure by sending a letter through speed post after she was driven out of her matrimonial home.

It claimed that the petitioner was assaulted and driven out of her matrimonial home during two years of her marriage on several occasions only for the reason that she was unwilling to meet all the demands for money by her husband and his family.

The plea said the petitioner’s husband sent her a letter of divorce on July 16, 2022 through speed post levelling various baseless and untrue allegations against her.

“The petitioner tried to approach the local police against the atrocities and harassment by her husband and in laws and also against the unilateral dissolution of marriage, but the local police did not register the case on the ground that ‘Talaq-e-Ahsan’ is a recognised process for dissolution of Muslim marriages,” the plea said.

The petition said ‘Talaq-e-Ahsan’ and all other forms of “unilateral extra-judicial” dissolution of marriages contravene Article 21 of the Constitution, offending right to dignity of Muslim Women. Article 21 relates to the right to protection of life and personal liberty.

It has sought court’s direction declaring that section 2 of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 is void and unconstitutional for being violative of Articles 14,15,21 and 25 of the Constitution, in so far as it seeks to validate practices of Talaq-e-Ahsan’ and all other forms of unilateral extra-judicial dissolution of marriages.

While issuing notice on the plea, the apex court tagged it with two separate pending writ petitions which have raised the issue of ‘Talaq-e-Hasan’.

Source: Siasat Daily

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

https://www.siasat.com/sc-seeks-centres-response-to-plea-seeking-to-declare-talaq-e-ahsan-illegal-2416393/

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan urges OIC to push for appointment of UN envoy on fast-growing Islamophobia

September 19, 2022

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Monday urged the OIC to approach the UN Secretary-General to appoint a special envoy – or at least a focal person – on Islamophobia, which, he said, had reached an alarming level worldwide, especially in Europe.

“What is most worrisome is that Islamophobia continues to find strong resonance in political spheres in Europe, ultimately leading to the institutionalization of Islamophobia through new legislations and policies such as discriminatory travel bans and visa restrictions,” the foreign minister told a meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Muslims in Europe held on the sidelines of UN General Assembly’s 77th session.

The UN General Assembly last year adopted the landmark resolution, introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, designating March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.

“The momentum generated by this resolution should be maintained,” FM Bilawal said.

“Today, one of the worst manifestations of such Islamophobia is in Hindutva-inspired India,” he said, adding, “Driven by the ideology of hate against Muslims, the (ruling) BJP-RSS regime is executing its century-old plan to obliterate India’s Islamic legacy and to transform India into an exclusive Hindu state.”

Noting that the rise in hate crimes against the Muslims in Europe are well documented, FM Bilawal said, “The gender aspect of Islamophobia is also gaining prominence, with Muslim girls and women being targeted due to mode of their dress and the general notion that Muslim women are oppressed and thus must be ‘liberated’.”

In this regard, he proposed:

1. OIC needs to further strengthen the OIC observatory to monitor all such incidents of discrimination and hate crimes in Europe and other parts of the world;

2. OIC should call on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe to establish an observatory to monitor acts of religious hatred, hostility and violence against Muslims, and report regularly to the relevant policy organisations;

3. OIC should urge the UN secretary-general to appoint a special envoy or at least a focal person on Islamophobia, and,

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/09/19/pakistan-urges-oic-to-push-for-appointment-of-un-envoy-on-fast-growing-islamophobia/

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Senior Pak ministers booked in terror case for spreading religious hatred against Imran Khan

M ZULQERNAIN

19 September, 2022

Lahore, Sep 19 (PTI) Two senior PML-N ministers and officials of a state-run television channel were booked under terrorism charges by the Punjab government in Pakistan on Monday for endangering ousted prime minister Imran Khan’s life by calling him a “non-Muslim” and inciting religious hatred against him.

The Lahore’s Green Town police registered an FIR against Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb and Mian Javed Latif and Pakistan Television (PTV) Managing Director Sohail Khan and controller programmes Rashid Baig on the complaint of a cleric under the anti-terrorism Act 1997.

According to the FIR, Latif declared Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Khan a “non-Muslim in a press conference on September 14 and a facilitator of the minority Ahmadi community.” It said Latif held the press conference in collaboration with information minister Aurangzeb and the PTV managing director and the controller programmes.

“By doing so, these ministers and PTV officials spread hatred against PTI chairman Imran Khan and endangered his life,” it said.

The PTI last week lambasted the PMLN-led coalition for ‘stooping too low’ to campaign against Khan on the state-run PTV.

“State-run Pakistan Television has started to distribute religious certificates by questioning if @ImranKhanPTI is not Muslim. Fascist regime,” senior journalist Mubashir Zaidi had said in a tweet.

“When all has failed, PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) has accused Imran Khan of blasphemy – the last resort of the desperate. Now they’re endangering Khan’s life with their methodical viciousness. The nation is watching every shameless shameful act of PDM,” wrote senior journalist Mehr Tarar.

“One of the craziest acts of PDM government was the terrorism allegation against Imran Khan. Today IHC (Islamabad High Court) invalidated it. Now let’s see when the PML-N leaders will stop their blasphemy drama. Priorities? Focus on the dying economy and millions of flood-affected Pakistanis,” she said.

Punjab government’s Home Minister Muhammad Hashim said Latif accused Khan of attacking the basic principles of Islam by supporting the Ahmadi community.

The government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif last month booked Khan in a terrorism case for ‘threatening’ a female judge and senior police officers in a public rally.

A Pakistani court on Monday ordered that ‘terrorism’ charges against Khan for his remarks against a female judge and senior police officials be dropped.

Khan, 69, was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/senior-pak-ministers-booked-in-terror-case-for-spreading-religious-hatred-against-imran-khan/1134889/

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Pakistan court drops terrorism charges against former PM Imran Khan

September 19, 2022

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan high court on Monday quashed terrorism charges against former Prime Minister Imran Khan, his defense lawyers said, a relief for the former cricket star who has faced a spate of legal woes since being ousted from office.

The court said Khan’s alleged offense didn’t attract terrorism charges, Faisal Chaudhry, one of his lawyers told Reuters.

The charges are related to a speech by Khan in which he allegedly threatened police and judicial officers after one of his close aides was denied bail in a sedition case.

“The case against Imran Khan, however, will remain intact, that will now be tried in an ordinary court, instead an anti-terrorism court,” Chaudhry said.

“This is actually an order to quash the charges,” another of his lawyers, Babar Awan, told Reuters, adding, “It only proves that these are trumped up charges, and just a tool for political victimization.”

Islamabad police brought the charges against Khan in August after his public remarks that he would not spare the police and a judicial officer who had denied bail to his aide.

Khan subsequently explained that his remarks were not meant to be a threat.

The former premier has faced several cases since his ousting in April in a vote of confidence won by opposition parties in an effort led by his successor, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

One of the cases is at a crucial stage in the high court, which is slated to indict Khan on Sept 22 in a contempt of court case for threatening the judicial officer. If convicted, he could face disqualification from politics for at least five years.

Another case involves foreign funding for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party that an election tribunal found unlawful.

Khan, who rode to power in a 2018 election allegedly on the back of support from Pakistan’s military, had fallen out of favor with the powerful generals. Both the military and Khan deny he came to power with the military’s support.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2165376/world

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Consulting ‘absconder’ Nawaz over COAS choice a disgrace: Imran

Hamid Asghar | Ikram Junaidi

September 20, 2022

GUJAR KHAN / ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan on Monday castigated Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for discussing the appointment of the next army chief with his elder brother, while the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf termed it a violation of the Official Secrets Act and a breach of the PM’s oath of office.

“We are seeing pictures [of Prime Minister] Shehbaz Sharif consulting Nawaz Sharif to appoint the next army chief,” the ex-premier said, adding that “what can be a bigger disgrace for our country that thieves are making decisions for us.”

Nawaz Sharif was a convict who had “lied to the nation and fled the country” as he had done during Musharraf’s regime, Mr Khan said, asking if “convicts and absconders” would be allowed to select the new army chief.

Referring to the chief of the military’s media wing, Mr Khan said he had questioned why they did not understand that ‘thieves’ should never select the army chief.

PTI leaders term PM’s meeting with Nawaz a violation of his oath and Officials Secrets Act

He said that he had only suggested that the next army chief be appointed on merit, but the Sharifs and Zardaris did not believe in merit.

If they did, “intellectuals like Aitzaz Ahsan would have been leading the PPP and seasoned politicians such as Chaudhry Nisar would not have parted ways with the PML-N,” he said.

Also on Monday, Fawad Chaudhry and Shireen Mazari chastised the PM for “violating his oath by consulting a convict and absconder” over such an important appointment. Mr Chaudhry said the PML-N ministers had admitted the meeting in London was pertaining to the appointment and that Nawaz Sharif decide who the new COAS would be.

He said that people held the Pakistan Army close to their hearts and allowing a convicted person to choose its head was against its dignity and respect. PTI strongly protests this grave legal violation, he added.

Dr Mazari, in her remarks, said: “Do those who brought crime minister and cabal of crooks to power realise that this lot is a security risk and threat to Pakistan because everything is discussed with convict sitting in London which is a violation of Official Secrets Act, including confidential matters?”

Shehbaz-Putin

While criticising Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the public meeting, Mr Khan showed a video clip of the premier, compiled by American comedian Jimmy Fallon, struggling to put on his earphones during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He said, “Kaampain taang rahi thin” [legs were shaking] when Shehbaz met Putin. “Those who imposed him on us, they did not do it for he would serve the people but would fulfil their orders,” he said.

He asked what PM Shehbaz would achieve by attending the United Nations session. He said if the Sharifs and Zardaris bring back half of the looted money, there would be no need to beg from other powers.

Mr Khan said “he may have many disagreements with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, but he was a respectful leader and was hanged to death by the then Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq by hatching a conspiracy”.

He said that “Bhutto also talked of Azadi (freedom)”.

Mr Khan then criticised the Sharifs for begging money from the world on one hand and looting billions of rupees in the name of their servants on the other. He said three witnesses and an FIA investigator died of cardiac arrest as soon as Mr Sharif came to power.

He said that international community was not helping Pakistan in testing times, because they knew the real face of ‘thieves’. “Nobody gives money to thieves,” he said, recalling that he collected Rs14 billion during three telethons as people knew he did not own any foreign property or keep money abroad.

He also criticised the Sindh government for not building a canal along the Indus River that he said resulted in the flooding of the towns .

He condemned the government action against those TV channels and journalists who were pro-PTI and said graceful journalists like Arshad Sharif and Sabbir Shakir were “forced to leave” the country. He said his aide Shahbaz Gill was tortured in jail, and he was booked for terrorism when he asked for action against those involved in torturing Mr Gill.

Meanwhile, Mr Khan claimed work on the mega Ravi City Project, which would have the world’s largest waterfront, was steadily progressing.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1711055/consulting-absconder-nawaz-over-coas-choice-a-disgrace-imran

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US, Europe not accepting any more Afghan asylum seekers, NA body told

Amir Wasim

September 20, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights was informed on Monday about the grim situation being faced by Pakistan due to the presence of over 1.4 million Afghan refugees, following the refusal by the US and European countries to receive further Afghan asylum seekers. The committee members were also surprised to learn that the government has so far not devised any policy in this regard.

Briefing the members of the committee, which met under its chairperson Dr Mahreen Razzaq Bhutto of the PPP, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Pakistan could not afford the influx of further refugees and, at the same time, they could not forcefully send these refugees back across the border, where there was a threat to their lives.

The committee members were informed that the Afghan nationals, who had arrived in Pakistan after August 2021, were not considered refugees as they were asylum seekers who wanted to move to the US and some European countries.

The official said if these Afghans were not allowed to go to their desired countries, the government would look into how they could be taken care of.

Talking to Dawn, North Waziristan MNA Mohsin Dawar said it was surprising the authorities did not have any guideline or policy to deal with these asylum seekers. He regretted that the committee was not even informed about the number of asylum seekers who were stranded in Pakistan.

“Whatever is their number, the problem wants to do with them,” said Mr Dawar.

The chairperson of the committee directed the Islamabad police to behave better with these Afghan refugees, including women and children, presently camped in parks and open spaces in the capital.

Missing MQM workers

Also on Monday, Kishwar Zehra of MQM-Pakistan raised the issue of the recovery of the bodies of the “missing” party workers from different parts of Sindh.

Ms Zehra protested over the killing of the MQM workers who had gone missing from Karachi several years ago and called for action against those responsible for such a heinous crime.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1711054/us-europe-not-accepting-any-more-afghan-asylum-seekers-na-body-told

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Military cooperation ‘important pillar’ of Sino, Pakistan ties: Chinese defence minister tells Gen Bajwa

September 19, 2022

RAWALPINDI: Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe on Monday told the visiting Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa that Pakistan-China military cooperation an important pillar of bilateral relations.

General Wei Fenghe made these remarks during a meeting with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who is on a two-day official visit to China, an Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) news release said.

Gen Wei Fenghe expressed his country’s willingness to provide technical assistance for supporting flood relief efforts in Pakistan.

The Chinese defence minister said China greatly valued its time-tested relations with Pakistan and its army, and looked forward to further expanding the cooperation.

He also said the development of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was aimed at bringing more benefits and prosperity to the people of both countries.

General Wei Fenghe thanked the COAS for special measures taken for provision of safe and secure environment to CPEC projects in Pakistan and efforts towards regional stability.

He expressed satisfaction over progress on CPEC and hoped for timely completion of the project. He conveyed his grief over the devastation caused by ongoing floods in Pakistan due to climate changes and offered sincere condolence to the families of the victims.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/09/19/army-chief-arrives-in-china-on-state-visist/

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North America

 

Blinken meets with Yemen’s president, urges extension of UN-mediated truce

19 September, 2022

The top US diplomat and Yemen’s president discussed on Monday the need for extending the UN-mediated truce inside the war-torn country, with both calling on the Iran-backed Houthis to help ease the humanitarian crisis.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council (PLC) President Rashad al-Alimi in New York during one of his first meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Blinken affirmed strong US support for the PLC and al-Alimi’s leadership, the State Department said after the meeting.

A UN-mediated ceasefire started in April for 60 days and was renewed twice for the same period. The current truce is set to expire on October 2, and the Houthis have refused to support a six-month deal.

“Secretary Blinken and President al-Alimi discussed the urgency of extending and expanding the UN-mediated truce by October 2,” the State Department said.

Blinken praised the Yemeni government’s leadership on the truce.

Both officials voiced their support for more steps under the truce, which include opening roads in Taiz and other areas, expanding commercial flights from Sana’a airport, and ensuring salary payments to tens of thousands of teachers, nurses, and other civil servants.

“They expressed their hope that the Houthis will also support such important steps to bring relief to Yemenis,” the State Department said.

Washington has long said that the truce was the best way forward and the only way to reach a permanent ceasefire.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/09/19/Blinken-meets-with-Yemen-s-president-urges-extension-of-UN-mediated-truce

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Turkish first lady, UN chief sign goodwill document regarding 'Zero Waste' project

Servet Gunerigok and Burak Bir 

20.09.2022

NEW YORK/ANKARA

Türkiye's first lady Emine Erdogan and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday signed a goodwill document to extend Türkiye's Zero Waste project across the world.

Erdogan and Guterres had a meeting at UN headquarters which tackled environmental issues, including "Zero Waste," a project launched in 2017 by the first lady in Türkiye.

The project aims to contain waste under sustainable development principles and reduce pollution.

Following the meeting, Guterres said that waste is a vital problem for today and the project in this sense is very valuable and impressive.

The UN chief also called on UN countries to expand Türkiye's Zero Waste project globally as part of the environmentalist project, which is among the most important issues the UN is struggling with.

Referring to the goodwill text on the project, Guterres said he would sign this in front of the camera over the importance of the issue.

"The text we will sign with you today reveals our common intention in this sense. I hope that the number of signatures under this declaration, which we will sign the first two, will increase," underlined Erdogan, adding she wished that the project to be spread globally.

Before the signing ceremony, Erdogan presented the portrait of Guterres, created with waste textile materials by the artist Deniz Sagdic, to the secretary-general.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkish-first-lady-un-chief-sign-goodwill-document-regarding-zero-waste-project/2689334

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Biden hails release of American prisoner held by Taliban for over 2 years

Michael Hernandez  

19.09.2022

WASHINGTON

US President Joe Biden hailed on Monday the release of an American prisoner following two-and-a-half years in Taliban captivity, saying Mark Frerichs will "soon be home."

Biden said the Navy veteran's release was the culmination "of years of tireless work by dedicated public servants" after Frerichs' abduction in January 2020 while he was working in Afghanistan as a civil engineer.

"Bringing the negotiations that led to Mark’s freedom to a successful resolution required difficult decisions, which I did not take lightly. Our priority now is to make sure Mark receives a healthy and safe return and is given the space and time he needs to transition back into society," Biden said in a statement.

"My Administration continues to prioritize the safe return of all Americans who are held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, and we will not stop until they are reunited with their families. We have much more work to do in many other cases, but Mark’s release demonstrates our enduring commitment," he added.

Frerichs was released in exchange for Haji Bashar Noorzai, a Taliban ally and drug lord who was sentenced to life in prison on drug charges.

Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi told reporters that Noorzai was held at the infamous US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, but a senior Biden administration official sharply rebutted the suggestion.

The official said Noorzai was "never a detainee at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," and was instead held in prison after being convicted in 2009 of attempting to smuggle heroin in to the US for distribution.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/biden-hails-release-of-american-prisoner-held-by-taliban-for-over-2-years/2688958

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US adds Iranian cargo planes to export violation list linked to Russia

19 September 2022

The administration of US President Joe Biden has added three cargo airplanes operated by Iranian airlines to a list of aircraft which are claimed to have violated US export controls as part of Washington’s sanctions against Moscow over the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

The US Commerce Department said on Monday that three Boeing 747 airplanes operated by Mahan Air, Qeshm Fars Air, and Iran Air were added to the violation list over what it claimed to be “flying and transporting goods” to Russia.

“Using commercially available data, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security identified planes operated by Mahan Air, Qeshm Fars Air, and Iran Air flying and transporting goods, including electronic items, to Russia in apparent violation of the Commerce Department's stringent export controls on Russia,” the department said.

There are now a total of 183 aircraft on the list identified for apparent violations of the export controls, the department added.

Biden has repeatedly dismissed former President Donald Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran as a failure but he has been pursuing and even expanding the same failed policy in practice.

Back in May 2018, Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and initiated the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Tehran despite its full compliance with the pact.

While the Biden administration had voiced willingness to undo Trump’s “failed” policy toward Tehran and rejoin the ailing deal, it has retained the anti-Iran sanctions as leverage since talks began last year in the Austrian capital of Vienna to bring the US back into the deal.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/19/689506/US-Commerce-Department-cargo-airplanes-export-controls-Russian-military-operation-

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Russia says Pelosi's 'loud announcements' on Azerbaijan-Armenia border conflict destabilizing

19 September 2022

The Kremlin says US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “loud announcements” about the latest clashes on the border conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia are unlikely to contribute to settling the tension.

The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that a "quiet and businesslike approach" to the border conflict between the two countries would bear fruit.

“Anything... done in a quiet and businesslike approach can contribute to the normalization of relations, the stabilization of the situation on the border, all this can be welcomed. Can such high-profile actions and statements really contribute to the normalization of the situation? Let's see.”

On the second day of her three-day visit to Armenia on Sunday, Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, blamed Azerbaijan for igniting the latest episode with Armenia. She said Baku launched an “illegal” and “deadly” attack. “We strongly condemn those attacks -- on behalf of Congress -- which threaten (the) prospects of the much-needed peace agreement,” she said at a press conference in the Armenian capital, Yerevan.

Her provocative comments infuriated Baku, prompting the Azeri Foreign Ministry to respond with anger later in the day. “The unsubstantiated and unfair accusations leveled by Pelosi against Azerbaijan are unacceptable," the ministry said. “Pelosi is known as a pro-Armenian politician.”

“This is a serious blow to the efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the ministry added, condemning Pelosi’s remarks as “Armenian propaganda.”

The Azeri Foreign Ministry also accused Pelosi of attempting to cater to Armenian-Americans ahead of midterm elections in the United States.

“It is unacceptable to transfer the domestic political intrigues on the US agenda and lobbying interests to the South Caucasus region through Armenia,” it said. “Such unilateral steps and baseless statements serve not to strengthen the fragile peace in the region, but, on the contrary, to escalate tensions.”

The Armenia-Azerbaijan border was tense once again on the night on September 12 over the control of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Both sides have traded blame for the latest deadly episode, which left scores of troops killed on each side. According to the Azeri side, a ceasefire is currently being observed.

The fighting was the most recent flare-up in tensions between the two neighbors since thousands were killed in a 44-day war over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh that ended in November 2020. The conflict, which claimed over 65,000 lives on both sides, ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire, but friction deepened.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/19/689496/Kremlin-slams-Pelosi-remarks-Azerbaijan-Armenia-conflict-

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South Asia

 

Prisoner Swap; Senior Taliban Member Released from Guantanamo

By Saqalain Eqbal

19 Sep 2022

A prominent Taliban member, Haji Bashir Noorzai, has been released after decades of imprisonment in Guantanamo and arrived in Kabul on Monday, according to a tweet from the Taliban Doha-based spokesman.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s acting foreign minister, later revealed to reporters during a press conference in Kabul on Monday that the group had released American engineer Mark Frerichs in return for the US releasing Haji Bashir.

Noorzai was reportedly jailed by the US on charges of trafficking heroin into the US and Europe worth more than $50 million.

Engineer Frerichs, a veteran of the US Navy from Illinois, US, spent ten years working on development projects in Afghanistan. His kidnapping happened in February 2020.

No official representative of the US government is present in Afghanistan, and US government representatives abroad were not promptly available for comment.

Asadullah Haroon, one of the remaining Taliban prisoners in Guantanamo, was freed on the 24th of June after 15 years in captivity after talks with the US government.

The infamous Guantanamo jail once housed hundreds of suspected militants. During the War on Terrorism, these Taliban suspects were arrested by US soldiers and incarcerated at Guantanamo.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/prisoner-swap-senior-taliban-member-released-from-guantanamo-748753/

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Taliban free last US hostage in swap for drug lord

Sep 20, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Taliban on Monday freed Mark Frerichs, a navy veteran who was the last remaining American hostage in Afghanistan, in exchange for Bashir Noorzai, an Afghan tribal leader detained by the US in 2005 over drug charges.

Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi told reporters that the prisoner swap took place at Kabul airport in the presence of government officials and an American delegation. “Today Mark Frerichs was handed over to the US and Haji Bashir was handed over to us,” Muttaqi said.

Frerichs, 60, was abducted by the Taliban in 2020, a year before the group took control of Afghanistan after toppling the previous US-backed Afghan government.

Frerichs had been working in Kabul as a civil engineer for almost a decade. He was last seen in a video earlier this year, pleading for his release. There was no immediate word from the US government or Frerichs’s family following his release.

Noorzai -- known as Haji Bashir -- was arrested in New York in 2005 and subsequently charged with smuggling millions of dollars worth of heroin into the US. In 2008, he was convicted by a court in New York of conspiring to smuggle into the US heroin valued at more than $50 million.

The Afghan drug lord was considered a close ally and friend of Taliban founder Mullah Omar and had reportedly helped finance the first Taliban government in the 1990s.

“In 2001, after the US began military operations in Afghanistan, Noorzai, at Mullah Omar’s request, provided the Taliban with hundreds of fighters to battle the then-anti-Taliban alliance of Afghan groups,” a US charge-sheet against him read.

On Monday, Noorzai was given a hero’s welcome on his return to Kabul, greeted by Taliban fighters with garlands of flowers. “My release, together with that of an American, will make peace between the countries,” Noorzai told a presser alongside foreign minister Muttaqi and the Taliban acting deputy prime ministers.

Muttaqi said the swap was the outcome of long negotiations between Kabul and Washington. “The development has opened a new chapter in relations between Afghanistan and the US and it would help resolve bilateral problems through negotiations,” he added.

Critics felt, however, that it was too early to conclude whether the exchange would lead to any change in US dealings with the Taliban, noting that the Islamist group had for long denied it was behind Frerichs’ abduction.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/taliban-free-last-us-hostage-in-swap-for-drug-lord/articleshow/94313530.cms

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Taliban release American engineer Frerichs in prisoner swap

Sep 19, 2022

KABUL: Afghanistan's Taliban freed on Monday American engineer Mark Frerichs in exchange for an Afghan tribal leader linked to the Taliban who the United States had held on drugs charges since 2005, the group's acting foreign minister said.

Frerichs was exchanged at the airport in the capital, Kabul, with Bashir Noorzai, acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi told a news conference in the city.

Noorzai was detained by the United States on suspicion of smuggling more than $50 million worth of heroin into the United States and Europe.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is ready to solve problems by negotiation with all including the United States," Muttaqi said, referring to the Taliban.

Frerichs is an engineer and U.S. Navy veteran from Lombard, Illinois, who worked in Afghanistan for a decade on development projects. He was abducted in February 2020.

The United States has no official representation in Afghanistan and U.S. government officials elsewhere were not immediately available for comment.

The United States has been pushing for the release of Frerichs, including after the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, as U.S.-led foreign forces were withdrawing.

U.S. officials have said his case would influence their view on the legitimacy of a Taliban-led government. No foreign government has formally recognised the Taliban, in part due to the group's restriction of most girls from education.

Noorzai briefly addressed the news conference at a Kabul hotel, alongside Muttaqi and the Taliban's acting deputy prime ministers.

"I am proud to be in the capital of my country among my brothers," he said.

The tribal leader had longstanding ties to the Taliban.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/taliban-release-american-engineer-frerichs-in-prisoner-swap/articleshow/94298854.cms

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Afghanistan provinces of Parwan, Kandahar witness mass evacuation as Taliban raids houses

20 September, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], September 20 (ANI): Taliban has begun carrying out door-to-door nighttime raids in the central and southern provinces of Kandahar and Parwan in Afghanistan under the pretext of tracking down illegal arms, triggering fear among locals, leading to mass evacuations.

As door-to-door searches by the Taliban have become regular in Afghanistan, residents of Kolami village in the Salang district of Parwan are considering a mass evacuation because they are petrified by the Taliban’s nighttime searches, according to Khaama Press.

Since US troops returned on August 15 last year and the Taliban took control, house-to-house searches have been conducted by Islamic Emirate forces in various parts of the nation.

Speaking on the raids conducted by the Taliban officials, the Kandahar chief of police said, “The Taliban are not operating alone in their activities; they are joined by neighbourhood elders and religious scholars,” reported Khaama Press.

However, the Taliban officials have claimed that the purpose of these searches is to track down illegal or state-owned firearms.

Earlier in August, the Taliban security forces also conducted house-to-house raids in the city and some districts of the province.

Since the previous government fell, house-to-house searches have been conducted by the Taliban time and again in various parts of the nation.

In August 2021, the US left much of the military equipment and weapons at the disposal of the Afghan forces which eventually fell into the hands of the Taliban.

After capturing Kabul, the Taliban not only took political control of Afghanistan but also gained control of all the US-made weapons and military equipment that were left behind by the fleeing Afghan forces. The US-made arms and military accessories are openly traded in shops by Afghan gun dealers.

The traffickers are collecting the weapons from the abandoned Afghan army bases, and procuring them from the Afghan government soldiers and Taliban fighters. These weapons are then mostly sold in weapons markets or arms bazaars in tribal areas of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is the prime source of opium supply to the world drug markets and Pakistan is the transport hub with drug networks operating from the country using its drug routes to reach international markets.

The Taliban is under UN sanctions over terrorist activities and has established an interim government in Afghanistan led by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, a prominent member of the first Taliban cabinet.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/afghanistan-provinces-of-parwan-kandahar-witness-mass-evacuation-as-taliban-raids-houses/1135397/

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Taliban’s move in undermining Persian’s literature rise in public concern

19 Sep 2022

In recent moves by the Taliban administration in Afghanistan, the signs of the health and educational institutions have been modified to only Pashto which has raised concerns among the Afghan publics.

Pictures of the Balkh University in Mazar-e-Sharif is being circulated on social media where it shows individuals are eliminating the ‘Persian’ version of the sign.

Prior to this, Herat residents had criticized about the elimination of ‘Persian’ sign on the entrance gate of Herat’s regional healthcare center.

Social media users criticize that the Taliban do not consider and respect the diverse culture in Afghanistan, while they are forcefully promoting their own cultural values.

Mohammad Halim Fidai, a former government official believes that the Taliban are raising the cultural issues in order to divert action from the current crisis to a different dirction.

“These conflicts are indeed arisen to further divide Afghan people”. Mohammad Halim Fidai tweeted.

‘Persian’ is one of the most ancient languages spoken in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries. The majority of Afghans living in the north, west, center and capital region of Afghanistan speak ‘Persian’ while most people living in the south and south-east of Afghanistan speak Pashto.

‘Persian’ was the first official language in Afghanistan before 1964, while later due to political changes, Pashto was also named as the second official language in Afghanistan.

Both Pashto and Persian were the official languages of Afghanistan during the presidency of Hamid Karzai and Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.

Historical records indicate that Persian which was later renamed to ‘Dari’ was the first language during kingdoms in Afghanistan.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/talibans-move-in-undermining-persians-literature-rises-public-concern-97889/

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Taliban say US national freed in exchange for key ally

September 19, 2022

An American navy veteran detained in Afghanistan since 2020 was released by the Taliban on Monday in exchange for an ally who spent 17 years in a US jail for heroin smuggling, Afghanistan’s foreign minister said.

Mark Frerichs was working as a civil engineer on construction projects in Afghanistan when he was “taken hostage”, Washington previously said.

“After long negotiations, US citizen Mark Frerichs was handed over to an American delegation and that delegation handed over (Bashar Noorzai) to us today at Kabul airport,” Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said at a press conference.

“We are happy that at Kabul International Airport, in the capital of Afghanistan, we witnessed the wonderful ceremony of one of our compatriots returning home.”

Noorzai was welcomed with a hero’s fanfare by the government of the newly-styled Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA). Photos show he was greeted by masked Taliban soldiers bearing floral garlands.

“If the IEA had not shown its strong determination, I would not have been here today,” Noorzai told reporters at the press conference.

“My release in exchange for an American will be a source of peace between Afghanistan and Americans.”

Noorzai is the second Afghan inmate released by the United States in recent months. In June, Assadullah Haroon was released after 15 years of detention in the United States’ notorious Guantanamo Bay prison.

Haroon was accused of links to Al-Qaeda but languished without charge for years at the US detention centre in Cuba, after his arrest in 2006 whilst working as a honey trader.

He was not released under the terms of a deal with the Taliban.

Afghan security analyst Hekmatullah Hekmat said Noorzai’s release was a “major achievement” for Kabul’s new rulers.

“The Taliban can tell their foot soldiers and Afghans that they are able to bring back their people held by opposition groups,” he told AFP.

Muttaqi said the homecoming of Noorzai marks the beginning of a “new chapter” in relations between Afghanistan and the United States.

‘Non-negotiable’

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan a little over a year ago, as the United States and their NATO allies withdrew from the country after 20 years of military intervention.

Since then, the nation has been further plunged into economic and humanitarian hardship, with billions in Afghan assets abroad frozen by Washington and international aid vastly reduced.

No country has yet recognised the new government, with Washington repeatedly telling the Taliban that they will have to “earn” legitimacy.

The US State Department had previously described navy veteran Frerich’s release as one of the government’s “core, non-negotiable priorities”.

“The Taliban must immediately release Mark before it can expect any consideration of its aspirations for legitimacy. This is not negotiable,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement in January.

Noorzai, a militia commander and Taliban associate, was sentenced to life imprisonment for heroin smuggling and had served 17 years.

He once fought with US-backed mujahideen forces against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and was a close associate of the Taliban’s late founder Mullah Omar.

At the time of his trial, US prosecutors said he ran a “worldwide narcotics network” and supported the Taliban’s first regime between 1996 and 2001.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1710931

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Arab World

 

UAE FM Sheikh Abdullah Meets Israeli Defence Minister Gantz

19 September, 2022

The United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed met with Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz, the official Emirates News Agency reported on Monday.

The meeting coincided with the top UAE diplomat’s official visit to Israel and was attended by several high-level diplomats from both countries.

The pair discussed enhancing bilateral relations and the role of the Abraham Accords agreement to promote stability in the Middle East.

Sheikh Abdullah underscored the importance of supporting the Palestinian Authority to achieve stability and security for their people and emphasized the significance of the Abraham Accords agreement, noting that people in the region are looking forward to a future filled with development and prosperity.

Gantz emphasized the importance of the UAE foreign minister’s visit in strengthening cooperation channels between the two nations across all fronts, especially with the two countries’ success in building a unique model of partnership and cooperation over the past two years.

The meeting was attended by UAE Minister of state Ahmed bin Ali Mohammed al-Sayegh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Cultural and Public Diplomacy Omar Ghobash, and the UAE’s Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Mahmoud al-Khaja.

During his visit to Israel, the foreign minister also met with Israeli politicians including former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Israel’s finance minister Avigdor Lieberman and interior minister Ayelet Shaked, WAM reported on Friday.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/19/UAE-FM-Sheikh-Abdullah-meets-Israeli-defense-minister-Gantz

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Lebanon-Israel demarcation talks ‘in final stages': Aoun

Wassim Seif El Din  

19.09.2022

BEIRUT, Lebanon

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Monday border demarcation talks with Israel over Lebanon's southern borders are in "their final stages.” 

Aoun met with UN Special Coordinator in Lebanon, Joanna Wronecka, in the Baabda Palace in the capital Beirut. 

He said the ongoing talks are about technical details related to the demarcation process "to guarantee Lebanon's rights to explore for gas and oil in the specified fields in the exclusive economic zone," the Lebanese Presidency said in a statement. 

Aoun said communication with US mediator Amos Hochstein is ongoing to address the technical details of the demarcation process. 

He voiced hope that the exploration for oil and fuel "would contribute to the revival of the Lebanese economy", which is witnessing severe deterioration. 

Last week, Israeli public broadcaster KAN said, citing an Israeli official, that Tel Aviv has “especially cautious optimism” that a deal can be reached with Lebanon on their disputed maritime border. 

Lebanon and Israel are locked in a dispute over a maritime area of 860 square kilometers (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both countries to the UN in 2011. 

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/lebanon-israel-demarcation-talks-in-final-stages-aoun/2688847

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Egypt to cooperate with Maersk on $15 bln clean fuels project for ships: Presidency

19 September, 2022

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has directed the government to cooperate with AP Moeller-Maersk to establish a network to produce and distribute green energy and clean fuels for ships, a presidency spokesperson said on Monday.

Maersk Chief Executive Soren Skou discussed with Sisi during their meeting a project to produce clean fuel for ships with investments of $15 billion, the statement added.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/business/aviation-and-transport/2022/09/19/Egypt-to-cooperate-with-Maersk-on-15-bln-clean-fuels-project-for-ships-Presidency

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Israeli troops cross into Syria, wounding one of four ‘suspects’

19 September, 2022

Israeli forces crossed into Syria on Monday and fired at four individuals who had “hurled objects along the border fence,” wounding one of them, the army said.

Israel, which regularly carries out airstrikes inside Syria’s territory, rarely publicly acknowledges cross-border operations.

According to an Israeli army statement, “observation soldiers spotted four suspects” near Haspin in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, without providing any specific information on what they were throwing.

Israel Defense Forces “soldiers were dispatched to the scene, crossed the border and operated... by firing at one of the suspects’ legs,” the statement added.

The wounded suspect, whose condition wasn’t immediately clear, was “evacuated by helicopter to a hospital” in Israel, the army said without mentioning what happened to the other three.

Israel rarely comments on its military actions in Syria, save for operations in direct response to what the army considers immediate threats to Israel’s sovereignty.

But Israel has acknowledged carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, targeting both government positions and Iran-backed forces, since civil war broke out in the country in 2011.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/19/Israeli-troops-cross-into-Syria-wounding-one-of-four-suspects-

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UN readying US-funded salary support for Lebanese soldiers: Presidency

19 September, 2022

The United Nations is finalizing a plan to provide US-funded salary assistance to Lebanese soldiers hard hit by the country’s financial crisis, the UN special coordinator for Lebanon told the country’s president on Monday, the presidency said.

Discontent has been brewing in the security forces as Lebanon’s currency has lost more than 90 percent of its value against the dollar, driving down most soldiers’ wages to less than $100 per month. Many have taken extra jobs, and thousands have quit.

The military has been squeezed so badly by the country’s three-year-old financial meltdown that its canteens stopped offering meat to troops in 2020 and began offering sightseeing tours in its helicopters to raise cash.

UN Special Coordinator Joanna Wronecka told President Michel Aoun that US assistance for the salaries of soldiers “is in its final organizational stages and will be paid to soldiers via a United Nations program.”

Washington is the biggest foreign aid donor to Lebanon.

The US Embassy in Beirut did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Lebanese army spokesperson said they had no information about any such US support.

In January, the US State Department informed Congress of plans to reroute $67 million of military aid for Lebanon to include “livelihood support” for Lebanese soldiers, citing economic turmoil as well as social unrest.

Qatar in June pledged $60 million to support Lebanese soldiers, which a Lebanese Army source told Reuters would allow for payments of $100 per soldier through the end of the year.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said that roughly 5,000 soldiers had left the 80,00-strong army since the beginning of the crisis.

The army command’s decision to allow soldiers to take on second jobs has slowed the pace of desertions, the source said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/19/UN-readying-US-funded-salary-support-for-Lebanese-soldiers-Presidency

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Israel to begin production from contested gas field amid Lebanon dispute

19.09.2022

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that production at the contested Karish gas field will begin soon amid a maritime border dispute with Lebanon.

“Israel believes it is possible to reach an agreement on the maritime border between Lebanon and Israel in a way that will serve the interests of both country’s citizens and strengthen regional stability,” Lapid said in statements.

“The production of gas from the Karish rig is not related to the negotiations, and the rig will start producing gas as soon as is possible,” he added.

Early Monday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said border demarcation talks with Israel over Lebanon's southern borders are in "their final stages.”

Last week, Israeli public broadcaster KAN said, citing an Israeli official, that Tel Aviv has “especially cautious optimism” that a deal can be reached with Lebanon on their disputed maritime border.

Lebanon and Israel are locked in a dispute over a maritime area of 860 square kilometers (332 square miles), according to maps sent by both countries to the UN in 2011.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israel-to-begin-production-from-contested-gas-field-amid-lebanon-dispute/2689144

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Europe

 

UN Special Rapporteur: Islamic Emirate Must Probe Alleged Panjshir Crimes 'Genuinely'

September 20, 2022

Referring to the Islamic Emirate’s decision to investigate the reports of extra judicial killings in Panjshir, the UN special rapporteur for Afghan Human Rights, Richard Bennett said that “investigations an any prosecutions must be conducted genuinely and according to international standards.”

“Noting dfA MoD has opened an investigation into reports of extra-judicial killings in Panjshir, I remind Taliban that they bear responsibility for the actions of their forces,” Bennett said on Twitter.

The local officials in Panshir said that a serious investigation is underway.

“The Ministry of Defense and the provincial governor’s office started a serious investigation into this to find out the time of the videos because the fighting happened in several areas. Sometimes the videos are misused,” said Nasrullah Malikzada, head of the Panjshir department of culture.

Earlier, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement it would investigate footage on social media about the killing of detainees.

The ministry said the perpetrators will be brought to justice if it is proven that the footage is new and that the incident happened in Panjshir.

“Based on our initial investigation, these videos of killing by Taliban are new and are in Panjshir province,” said Zaman Sultani, South Asia Researcher at Amnesty International.

Some military veterans believe that the war parties should consider the law of war during the clashes.

“The demand of the people of Afghanistan to the two involved parties is based on Islamic and international laws of war -- they should stop mistreatment of detainees,” said Asadullah Nadeem, a military veteran.

“Both from the side of Sharia and international convention, shooting and torturing detainees is a crime,” said Mohammad Mateen Mohammad Khail, a military analyst.

Source: Tolo News

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

https://tolonews.com/afghanistan-179921

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Nearly 86 Percent of Anti-Muslim Twitter Posts Come From US, UK and India

19 September 2022

Nearly 86 percent of anti-Muslim posts on social media come from the US, the UK and India, a report by the Australian-based Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) has found.

Over a two-year period, between 28 August 2019 and 27 August 2021, India saw the highest figure, with 871,379 Islamophobic tweets, followed by the US with 289,248, and the UK, with 196,376.

The report, Islamophobia in the Digital Age, states that in India, the rampant Islamophobia is a result of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) normalisation of hatred against Muslims. In the US, though, Islamophobia has long been a problem, one that “was dramatically exacerbated by the racist, conspiratorial and inflammatory rhetoric employed by Donald Trump”, the report states.

As for the UK, the prevalence of anti-Muslim tweets was attributed to a multitude of factors, including the global reach of Trump’s hatred, the country’s longstanding issues with anti-migrant sentiment, and the casual racism of former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the report wrote.

According to the ICV, there were at least 3,759,180 Islamophobic posts made on Twitter between 28 August 2019 and 27 August 2021. After nearly one year, 85 percent of the hateful tweets were still online; only 14.8 percent were eventually removed, either because they had been hidden through privacy settings, taken down by users, or deleted by moderators.

“We conclude from this that Twitter is drastically failing at removing anti-Muslim content,” the report noted. “This is unsurprising given that they do not automatically screen posts for hate, but rather only act once a report has been filed. In practice, however, even when Islamophobia is brought to their attention, a mere 3 percent of flagged tweets end up being removed.”

The top three common themes that were observed in the anti-Muslim tweets included: the association of Islam with terrorism, the depiction of Muslim men as perpetrators of sexual violence, and the fear that Muslims wish to impose sharia law on others.

Other types of tweets included conspiracy theories that Muslims are being sent as migrants to out-reproduce non-Muslim communities, the targeted harassment of Muslim public figures, and the characterisation of halal slaughter as inhumane.

When there is a terrorist attack in the West, anti-Muslim hate is more likely to be prevalent online than it is following attacks committed elsewhere, the report found. When more than 50 people were beheaded in Mozambique, there were 6,264 recorded anti-Muslim tweets. After the London Bridge stabbing, there were over 10,000.

The report also found that how politicians respond to events connected to Islam can have an impact on Islamophobia. It was found that the third largest spike in anti-Muslim tweets on 25 February 2020, for example, was a result of hateful remarks by the BJP against Muslim opponents of its Citizenship Amendment act.

In August, it was found that hate crimes against Muslim communities across Canada increased by 71 percent in 2021, according to a newly released report by the government agency Statistics Canada.

The study found that the number of recorded attacks against Muslims rose from 84 incidents in 2020 to 144 in 2021. The jump followed a decline from the previous year, when in 2019 there were 182 reported incidents targeting Muslims.

To combat this hatred, the ICV recommends a number of steps, such as introducing penalties for platforms that fail to act to prevent Islamophobia and pressuring the Indian government to end anti-Muslim rhetoric.

ICV suggests that Twitter should end the policy of not screening tweets and should automatically detect and remove hateful content. It also recommends that Twitter establish an independent oversight body to evaluate the effectiveness of its moderation policies.

Source: Middle East Eye

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

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/majority-anti-muslim-twitter-posts-come-us-uk-india

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Supreme Council of German Muslims drops membership of Brotherhood-linked entities

19 Sep 2022

The council also stripped Ibrahim El-Zayat, one of the Brotherhood leaders based in Germany, of all his positions, according to sources.

El-Zayat, who is of Egyptian origin, held several positions in Germany, including the presidency of the Islamic Society in Germany in 2001, according to media reports.

The Council of German Muslims held its elections on Sunday amid major challenges facing Muslims in Germany. Foremost of these is taking advantage of their legitimate platforms that represent them by the Brotherhood group.

Egypt designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in 2013, months after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests. Saudi Arabia and the UAE followed suit in 2020.

Source: Ahram

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

https://english.ahram.org.eg/News/476371.aspx

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British Muslims ‘experience’ Islam in Rumi’s Turkish hometown

SEP 19, 2022

Agroup of British converts to Islam visited Konya, the central Turkish province better known as the place where world-famous Sufi mystic Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi spent most of his life. The visit was part of a project called “Experience Islam in Konya,” jointly organized by Cambridge Central Mosque, the municipality of Konya and Türkiye’s Presidency of Religious Affairs (DIB).

Ten Muslims got acquainted with locals and visited historical and religious sites in the province, which was once the capital of the powerful Anatolian Seljuk state.

The visitors, all from diverse backgrounds, were chosen after interviews back in Britain for the project, which seeks to familiarize them with daily life in a Muslim country. Theology experts also accompanied the group, teaching new converts the basics of Islam while the group also had an opportunity to see the examples of Islamic art in Konya.

Ali Öge, the mufti of Konya, said they organized an eight-day tour for their foreign visitors. “We organize tours for our brothers and sisters who recently converted to Islam in the United States and Europe. They also attend courses here on Islamic arts, history, civilization, hadith and tafsir (interpretation of the holy book Quran). We see our guests are pleased with what they experienced here,” he told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday.

Philip Collins, a 50-year-old convert from Nottingham, was among the guests. He said becoming a Muslim changed “many things” in his life. A real estate manager, Collins said he had everything but felt like something was “missing” in his life. “I met some Muslims in Nottingham and I was curious about their religion. They gave me a Quran. I have always been a skeptic (about religion) but the Quran convinced me. I found the right path,” Collins, who converted to Islam about 18 months ago told AA. Collins said he was impressed with Türkiye, especially seeing how people rushed to the mosques at the times of prayers. “Seeing traces of Islam here in Konya is wonderful. This program taught me a lot about Islam,” he said.

Louisa Isabelle Fenton, a teacher, said she studied Islam for a long time before embracing it. “I was impressed with the kindness and respect of Muslims around me and about two years ago, I converted to Islam. My family never opposed my choice,” she said. Fenton said she was lucky to visit Konya and happy to have a chance to meet the “Muslim ummah (community).” “I am moved by the hospitality we had here,” she said.

Timothy Masters converted to Islam three months ago but he says it was the result “of a process of more than 20 years.”

Source: Daily Sabah

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

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/british-muslims-experience-islam-in-rumis-turkish-hometown/news

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French FM urges Iran to accept latest offer on nuclear deal

20 September, 2022

France’s foreign minister called Monday on Iran to accept a proposal to revive a nuclear deal, warning that it will not get anything better.

At the start of the annual UN General Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna did not rule out that President Emmanuel Macron would meet his counterpart Ebrahim Raisi.

“We’ll see what this week brings,” she told reporters. “The window of opportunity seems ready to close again.”

“We are repeatedly saying... there is no better offer for Iran,” she said. “It’s up to them to make a decision.”

Raisi, in an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” said he was open to a “good” deal but pressed for guarantees from President Joe Biden that the United States will not again leave the accord under a future leader -- a promise that the US administration considers impossible.

Former president Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal under which Iran drastically scaled back nuclear work in return for promises of sanctions relief.

The Biden administration says the deal remains the best way to restrict Iran’s nuclear program but has been increasingly pessimistic that Tehran will agree to a compromise negotiated by European Union mediators.

Separately, Colonna said she met Monday in New York with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

She said she urged him to allow a security zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, whose occupation by Moscow has raised mounting concerns.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/20/French-FM-urges-Iran-to-accept-latest-offer-on-nuclear-deal

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Swiss court sentences ‘Daesh’ knifewoman

September 19, 2022

BELLINZONA: A Swiss woman was given a nine-year jail term on Monday for slashing two people in the name of Daesh but her sentence was suspended so she can undergo psychiatric treatment.

The court found the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, guilty of attempted murder and of terrorism-linked charges.

She had “no respect for human life,” court president Fiorenza Bergomi said as she read out the verdict.

She had “acted in cold blood, had planned her actions and decided what weapon to use, and where to buy it,” Bergomi continued.

The 29-year-old woman’s mental state was at the heart of the trial at Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona, in the southern Italian-speaking Ticino region where the attack occurred.

The attack, which did not result in fatalities, took place on November 24, 2020 in the plush Manor department store in Lugano, near Bellinzona.

The woman had suddenly lunged at two random women shopping at the store, attempting to slit their throats.

One of the two victims suffered a serious neck injury, while the second sustained wounds on one hand and managed, with others, to control the assailant until the police arrived.

During the trial, the court heard that the woman has been in contact with psychologists and psychiatrists since childhood, with two experts testifying that she suffers from a range of psychological disorders.

Her lawyers argue the accused’s psychological disorders mean the attack could not be considered a “terrorist act” because the woman lived in a fantasy world.

When questioned during the trial, the woman showed no remorse, telling the court: “If I could go back, I would do it better.”

On Monday, she was found guilty of “repeated murder attempts” and of violating the Swiss laws against association with Al-Qaeda, Daesh and related Islamist groups.

The accused was ordered to pay the woman who suffered the most serious injuries, and who was a civil party in the case, 41,000 Swiss francs ($42,000) to cover her legal costs and as compensation for the “moral wrong.”

The court president pointed to studies indicating that terror suspects could suffer from stress and psychiatric problems.

“We must not forget that there are... people with psychiatric problems who do not belong to terrorist organizations, but who are considered lone wolves,” she said.

Monday’s verdict was in line with the prosecution’s request, but her sentence was shorter than the 14-year-term it had asked for.

The prosecutors, who had also suggested her sentence be suspended and that she be committed to a closed treatment facility for as long as she was deemed a threat, said Monday that they “took note” of the verdict, but did not indicate whether they would appeal.

The daughter of a Swiss father and a Serbian mother, her adolescence was marked by anorexia and she did not attend secondary school.

Aged 19, she married a man of Afghan origin and converted to Islam. The pair divorced last year.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2165366/world

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Africa

 

75 al-Shabaab terrorists killed in central Somalia: Security official

Mohammed Dhaysane  

19.09.2022

MOGADISHU, Somalia

The Somali military killed 75 al-Shabaab terrorists in a counter-terrorism operation in the central Hiran province, a security official said on Monday.

After a fierce firefight, the army liberated the village of Yasoman and seized weapons from the terrorists, the official told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Meanwhile, a statement by the Information Ministry on Sunday said that the military liberated 30 villages in recent operations in several parts of the country and killed 200 al-Shabaab terrorists.

The Hiran region has seen increased military activities this month as the new government encouraged locals to take part in efforts to liberate villages from the al-Shabaab terror group.

Somalia has been grappling with increasing insecurity for years, with al-Shabaab being one of the main threats in the Horn of Africa country.

Since at least 2007, al-Shabaab has waged a deadly campaign against the Somali government and international forces.

The UN has also warned of growing instability in the country, with its periodic reports on Somalia this year detailing attacks by al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh/ISIS groups.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/75-al-shabaab-terrorists-killed-in-central-somalia-security-official/2689037

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5 Tunisian parties to boycott parliamentary elections

Adel Al-Thabti  

19.09.2022

TUNIS, Tunisia

Five Tunisian parties on Monday announced their boycott of the upcoming parliamentary elections on Dec. 17.

This came in a press conference held by the Republican Party, the Workers' Party, the Qutb Party, the Democratic Current, and the Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties in the capital, Tunis.

“These elections are the last stop in a political agenda that [President Kais] Saied tries to impose after his coup against the constitution and legitimacy,” Issam Chebbi, Secretary-General of the Republican Party, said.

He argued that most Tunisians boycotted a constitutional referendum held in July, which saw a voter turnout of 30.5 percent.

“Tunisia is not in a mood for elections. This coup path can’t be supported,” he added.

Last week, Saied issued a decree calling on voters to cast ballot in the country’s legislative elections on Dec. 17.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that aggravated the country's economic conditions since last year, when Saied ousted the government and dissolved parliament.

While opponents see Saied’s measures as a “coup against the constitution," others view them a "correction of the course of the 2011 revolution," which overthrew then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/5-tunisian-parties-to-boycott-parliamentary-elections/2688887

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Ennahda deputy chief slams terror accusations as ‘distraction’

Adel Al-Thabti  

19.09.2022

TUNIS, Tunisia

Ennahda deputy leader Ali Laarayedh has condemned terrorism accusations against opponents as an attempt to “distract” attention away from economic woes. 

Tunisian judicial authorities summoned Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi and Laarayedh for questioning on Monday into accusations of sending Tunisians to hotspots overseas. 

This “is an attempt to target opponents, including Ennahda leaders and national figures,” Laarayedh told reporters outside the headquarters of the anti-terror unit in the capital Tunis. 

“It’s an attempt to distract attention away from the real issues, including the current economic situation,” he added. 

Last week, the private Radio Mosaique, citing informed sources, said that judicial authorities have given permission to the relevant security body to take necessary measures to investigate the case with "involved politicians, former security officials, lawyers and heads of charity organizations." 

According to local media, arrest warrants were issued against three former security officials, former parliamentarian Reda al-Jawadi, businessman Mohamed Frikha and cleric Bechir ben Hasan. 

The Ennahda party termed the warrants as “random arrests" aimed at defaming the image of the party and its figures. 

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that aggravated the country's economic conditions since last year, when President Kais Saied ousted the government and dissolved parliament. 

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/ennahda-deputy-chief-slams-terror-accusations-as-distraction-/2688829

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Tunisia’s anti-terrorism police detain former prime minister Ali Laarayedh

September 20, 2022

TUNIS: Tunisia’s anti-terrorism police detained for one day Ali Laarayedh, a former prime minister and senior official in the Islamist opposition Ennahda party, after an investigation into suspicions of sending militants to Syria, lawyers said on Tuesday.

In the same case, the police postponed the hearing of Tunisia’s Islamist opposition leader and speaker of the dissolved parliament Rached Ghannouchi to midday on Tuesday, after waiting for about 14 hours.

It is expected that Laarayedh will appear before a judge on Wednesday, lawyer Mokthar Jmayi told Reuters.

Ennahda denies accusations of terrorism, calling it a political attack on a foe of President Kais Saied.

Ghannouchi, 81, has accused Saied of an anti-democratic coup since he seized most powers last summer, shutting down the parliament and moving to rule by decree, powers he has largely formalized with a new constitution ratified in a July referendum.

Last month, several former security officials and two Ennahda members were arrested on charges connected to Tunisians traveling for jihad.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2165936/middle-east

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Mideast

 

Israel arrests director of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

Abdelraouf Arna'out  

19.09.2022

JERUSALEM

Israeli police on Monday detained director of the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, according to eyewitnesses.

Israeli forces raided the home of al-Kiswani in al-Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem and took him into custody, witnesses said.

No reason for provided for his detention.

According to witnesses, Israeli forces confiscated a computer and a number of documents during the raid.

On Saturday, Israeli public broadcaster KAN said Israeli authorities decided to deport a number of Palestinians from Al-Aqsa Mosque in preparation for Jewish holidays.

Al-Kiswani was detained several times before by Israeli police for the intelligence service.

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

Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers into the flashpoint compound almost on a daily basis with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/israel-arrests-director-of-jerusalem-s-al-aqsa-mosque/2688652

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Palestinian schools in al-Quds protest Israel’s plan to distort textbooks

19 September 2022

Teachers and students in al-Quds have held a general strike against plans by the occupying authorities to impose Israeli texts on Palestinian curricula.

All schools across the occupied city remained closed on Monday. Protesters demanded that the Israeli regime stop interfering in the academic affairs of Palestinian students.

The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces (PNIF), a coalition of the Palestinian political factions, had called for the strike.

Earlier this month, Israeli authorities printed new textbooks, which contain distorted Palestinian history, culture and national symbols.

Israeli authorities have revoked the teaching license of several schools in East al-Quds under the pretext of teaching provocative textbooks against the occupying regime.

The controversial steps by the Israeli regime have sparked a wave of protests across the occupied territories over the past few days.

Students in West Bank schools, education minister voice solidarity

Meanwhile, students at schools across the occupied West Bank carried banners and chanted slogan denouncing the Israeli violation of the Palestinian right to education.

Palestinian Minister of Education Marwan Awartani, speaking from New York, where he is attending a summit, called on the international community to act to protect the right to education for the Palestinian students.

“At a time when the world is meeting today at the Education Transformation Summit in New York to lead and coordinate global efforts to develop education and help students recover from the repercussions of the Corona pandemic and the challenges facing education, Palestinian children in al-Quds are living a situation imposed on them by the Israeli occupation that forced their parents to declare a strike and not go to schools to protest the practices of the occupation against their national, historical and educational identity,” said the minister.

“The parents reject all forms of financial blackmail practiced by the so-called Israeli Ministry of Education against the school administrations and the open and implied threats to assert that the right to education and study the national curriculum is an inalienable right of a people under occupation to choose their curriculum taught to their children, in line with the Palestinian narrative, history and national identity as a sovereign issue, and they are now in their homes deprived of their right to education due to the policies of this occupation."

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Education, thousands of Palestinian children, staff and teachers are “attacked” by either Israeli settlers or soldiers each year.

The United Nations says Israeli attacks are “incidents of interference in schools by Israeli forces,” which include “threats of demolition, clashes on the way to school between students and security forces, teachers stopped at checkpoints, and the violent actions of Israeli forces and settlers on some occasions.”

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/19/689503/Palestinians-Quds-West-Bank

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Iranian FM: Ball in Court of US Policy-Makers to Finalize Negotiations

2022-September-19

Amir Abdollahian stated that his country is serious about reaching a nuclear deal with the world powers, adding that Tehran’s “relations with the whole world have improved” since the administration of President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi took office last year.

"Tehran seeks an agreement that guarantees its economic benefits and has been the party that has tabled the largest number of initiatives during the Vienna talks," Iran's foreign minister continued.

"The ball is in the court of the US and it is for Washington to make a political decision to bring the negotiations to fruition and pave the way for an agreement in the near future," the top diplomat stressed.

On relations between Iran and the world countries, Amir Abdollahian noted the current administration has “made a new choice” based on a “correct” understanding of the international order to expand its relations with all countries around the world, while giving priority to the “look to Asia” and “focus on neighborliness”.

The United States and Iran have traded responses via the EU to a proposal put forward by the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell.

Washington claims that Tehran has taken "a step backward" with its latest response to a European Union proposal, calling a near-term agreement "unlikely".

Tehran says its response to Washington's view regarding the EU's proposed draft text was constructive and transparent. Officials stress that receiving guarantees from the Western side is the most important issue in the talks and Iran wants stronger guarantees from the US to clinch an agreement.

Tehran says it will not be able to trust Washington as long as President Joe Biden continues the wrong policy of maximum pressure and sanctions practiced by Donald Trump against Iran. Iranian officials say the Biden administration has yet done nothing but hollow promises to lift sanctions against Tehran. They blast the US addiction to sanctions, and slammed the POTUS for continuing his predecessor's policy on Iran.

Tehran and the five remaining parties to the nuclear deal have held several rounds of negotiations since April last year to restore the agreement, which was unilaterally abandoned by Trump in May 2018.

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

Iranian officials say the ball is in the US' court, and the Biden administration should assure Tehran that it will not repeat Trump's past mistakes.

Diplomats have also criticized Washington for raising excessive demands from Tehran during the nuclear talks, and blocking efforts to reach an agreement on the JCPOA. They emphasized the Tehran's will to reach a good, strong and lasting agreement, and stressed that the US should lift unilateral sanctions, and assure Iran that it will not repeat its past mistakes.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010628000491/Iranian-FM-Ball-in-Cr-f-US-Plicy-Makers-Finalize-Negiains

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Iran Picks "World War III" for Oscar Film Entry

2022-September-19

The film selection committee announced that after deliberations on the five shortlisted films, majority of the board picked "World War III" to compete on behalf of Iran.

The movie won two awards at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in Italy in mid-September.

In the Orizzonti section of the awards at the Venice International Film Festival, which runs parallel to the primary competition, the top honor was given to Iranian filmmaker’s “World War III".  The film also featured a best actor award winner in Mohsen Tanabandeh, who played the protagonist.

The film tells the story of a worker named Shakib, who loses his wife and child in an earthquake, and then meets a deaf girl called Ladan.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010628000726/Iran-Picks-Wrld-War-III-fr-Oscar-Film-Enry

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Iranian President Flatly Rejects Meeting with US Officials

2022-September-19

Presiednt Rayeesi left Tehran for New York on Monday to attend the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He will give an address at the General Assembly and meet other heads of state and other international figures on the sidelines.

Before departing Tehran for New York, the Iranian president said that "no meetings will be held with the US officials" during his five-day visit.

"Presence in the UNGA is an opportunity for expressing the viewpoints of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is a chance that should be grasped to voice out oppression maintained against the great Iranian nation," he told reporters.

"Sanctions and threats cannot stop the Iranian nation," Rayeesi stressed.

About his plans, the Iranian chief executive stated he will hold bilateral talks with heads of the participating states on the sidelines of the assembly at the UN. Meeting with Iranians residing in the United States is also among the plans, Rayeesi continued.

At the end of his remarks, the president expressed hope to represent the Iranian nation well and to bring about significant impacts for the oppressed Muslim nations worldwide.

Iran's president did not attend the high-level summit in the previous year and only delivered a video speech. This year’s debate will be fully in person for the first time since the COVID pandemic began plaguing the world in late 2019.

In an interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes program, Rayeesi said he does not believe that a face-to-face conversation with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York would be of any benefit to his country or could help revive the 2015 nuclear deal. The Iranian president added that he has no plans for either meeting or talking with his US counterpart during his upcoming trip.

"I do not think that such a meeting is going to take place. I don't believe having a meeting or a talk with him will be beneficial," the Iranian chief executive told CBS reporter Lesley Stahl in a 60 Minutes interview.

The Iranian president was also asked whether he could see any differences between the Biden administration and the administration of his predecessor Donald Trump.

"The new administration in the US, they claim that they are different from the Trump administration," Rayeesi said, adding, "They have said it in their messages to us. But we haven't witnessed any changes in reality."

On nuclear deal, he stressed that an agreement without guarantees was meaningless for Iran because of the United States broke its promises.

Iran stresses it has not quit the negotiating table with the world powers, but will not put all its eggs in the negotiation basket and will not wait for the United States to return to its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

"Although the Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to the process of talks on removal of the sanctions, it acts dynamically and vigilantly to achieve its strategic goals and enhance foreign relations; and the country does not wait for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPO) and the US return to the deal," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani stated on Thursday.

Iranian officials have emphasized that Tehran does not tie its economy to the results of the talks with the United States and its European allies.

Back in mid-August, President Rayeesi said that Tehran never left the negotiating table, but his administration will not tie the country’s economy to its fate.

"We will not tie the country's progress and settlement of the problems to the JCPOA (the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). The Iranian negotiating team will not leave the negotiating table, either," Rayeesi stated, stressing that Tehran does not tie ordinary life of people to external factors.

He added Iran’s progress and economy would never be kept back on account of other people’s “smiles and scowls".

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010628000119/Iranian-Presiden-Flaly-Rejecs-Meeing-wih-US-Officials

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Iran’s security forces kill four amid protests over Mahsa Amini’s death: Rights group

19 September, 2022

An Iranian Kurdish rights group said on Monday at least four people were killed, over a dozen injured, and a 10-year-old girl was in critical condition after being shot in the head by security forces during anti-government protests sparked by the death of a young woman in police custody.

Protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini escalated late on Monday, spreading to multiple cities and turning violent in some areas.

Rights group Hengaw said security forces opened fire on protesters in the city of Saqqez, Amini’s hometown, in Kurdistan province, killing two people.

In Divandarreh, also in Kurdistan province, where heavy clashes erupted between protesters and security forces earlier on Monday, “at least two citizens – Fouad Qadimi and Mohsen Mohammadi – died after being taken to Kosar Hospital in Sanandaj and 15 others were injured,” Hengaw said.

The rights group also said that a 10-year-old girl was in critical condition after being shot in the head in Bukan, a city in West Azerbaijan province.

Protesters in multiple cities clashed with security forces late on Monday and shouted slogans against the regime and its highest authority, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, videos shared on Twitter showed.

A video shared by @1500tasvir, an Iranian Twitter account that reports on protests in Iran, showed demonstrators in Tehran attempting to flip over a police vehicle with smashed windows.

Another video from Tehran showed protesters clashing with a water cannon deployed by riot police as it attempted to disperse demonstrators.

“We will fight, we will die, we will take Iran back,” protesters in Tehran chanted in one video shared on Twitter. “Clerics must get lost,” protesters in the capital chanted, in reference to Iran’s theocratic rulers, another video showed.

Protests also broke out in the northeastern city of Mashhad, Khamenei’s birthplace, with demonstrators chanting “death to the Islamic Republic,” footage circulating on Twitter showed.

In the northern city of Rasht, protesters chanted “death to the dictator,” referring to Khamenei, according to a video shared on Twitter.

Another video from Rasht showed security forces running away from protesters.

Al Arabiya English could not independently verify the videos’ authenticity.

Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks reported “a near-total disruption to internet connectivity” in Sanandaj, the provincial capital of Kurdistan province on Friday.

Iranian authorities typically restrict internet access during anti-government protests to stymie demonstrations.

The protests began after Amini was pronounced dead on Friday. Amini fell into a coma shortly after she was detained by the morality police for not complying with the regime's strict hijab rules in Tehran on September 13.

Tehran’s police said Amini “suddenly had a heart problem” while in detention, and state-run outlets published reports claiming she suffered from multiple health conditions prior to her arrest.

But Amini’s parents have said that their daughter did not have any health problems prior to being detained. Activists say she was beaten while in detention, causing serious injuries that led to her death.

Hijab, which was made mandatory for women in Iran shortly after the country’s 1979 revolution, is considered a red line for Iran’s theocratic rulers. Women who break the strict dress code risk being harassed and arrested by Iran’s morality police.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/20/Iran-s-security-forces-kill-four-amid-protests-over-Mahsa-Amini-s-death-Rights-group

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Iranian demonstrators attempt to flip over police car as protests escalate

19 September, 2022

Iranian protesters attempted to flip over a police vehicle in the capital Tehran on Monday, footage shared on social media showed, as demonstrations triggered by the death of a young woman in police custody spread to other parts of the country.

A video shared by @1500tasvir, an Iranian Twitter account that reports on protests in Iran, showed demonstrators in Tehran attempting to flip over a police vehicle with smashed windows.

Another video from Tehran showed protesters clashing with a water cannon as it attempted to disperse demonstrators.

“We will fight, we will die, we will take Iran back,” protesters in Tehran chanted in one video shared on Twitter.

Other videos shared on Twitter showed protests spreading to other parts of Iran, including the northern city of Rasht and the northeastern city of Mashhad.

Al Arabiya English could not independently verify the videos’ authenticity.

Earlier on Monday, heavy clashes erupted between protesters and security forces in Divandarreh, a city in Iran’s Kurdistan province. Security forces opened fire on protesters in Divandarreh, according to unconfirmed reports.

The protests began after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, was pronounced dead on Friday. Amini fell into a coma shortly after she was detained by the morality police over her hijab in Tehran on September 13.

Tehran’s police said Amini “suddenly had a heart problem” while in detention, and state-run outlets ran stories claiming she suffered from multiple health conditions prior to her arrest.

But Amini’s parents have said that their daughter did not have any health problems prior to being detained. Activists say she was beaten while in detention, causing serious injuries that led to her death.

Hijab, which was made mandatory for women in Iran shortly after the country’s 1979 revolution, is considered a red line for Iran’s theocratic rulers. Women who break the strict dress code risk being harassed and arrested by Iran’s morality police.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/09/19/Iranian-demonstrators-attempt-to-flip-over-police-car-as-protests-escalate
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Turkish warplanes bombard villages in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region, casualties feared

19 September 2022

Turkish fighter jets have bombarded several border villages in Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, as Ankara is engaged in an ongoing military operation against purported positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group in the rugged mountainous areas.

A local source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Iraq’s Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency that the Turkish warplanes struck villages located on the slopes of Mount Matin in the Amadiya district of Duhok province on Monday.

The source added that the airstrikes caused serious damage to houses in the targeted areas, noting that the exact number of casualties as a result of the aerial attacks remains unknown.

He went on note that Turkish military aircraft continue to fly overhead after the raids.

The development came a day after Sabereen News, a Telegram news channel associated with Iraqi anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – reported that a Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle had crashed on the outskirts of Qaladze town, situated north of Sulaymaniyah city, in Kurdistan region.

Turkey launched Operation Claw-Lock in April to target the hideouts of PKK terrorists in Iraq’s northern Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan areas.

It was initiated after cross-border Operations Claw-Tiger and Claw-Eagle to root out terrorists hiding in border areas close to Turkey and plotting attacks.

Militants of the PKK — designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union — regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.

In response, the Turkish military has occupied areas in northern Iraq, where it regularly conducts attacks against purported PKK positions without the Arab country's consent. Baghdad has repeatedly condemned Ankara's ongoing military operations in northern Iraq.

Iraqi resistance groups have also time and again warned Turkey of the consequences of its incursions into their country.

Back on July 20, Turkey carried out a strike against the Iraqi hill village of Parakh in the Zakho district of Dohuk province, killing at least nine tourists, including children and women, and wounding more than 20 others.

Authorities in Iraq insist that the attack was carried out by Turkish forces and that they are responsible for the deaths and injuries of Iraqi civilians, while Ankara says the country’s forces did not attack civilians.

In an interview with Iraq's al-Sumaria television network later in the day, Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said, "If there is a problem between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), this problem should not be dragged into the Iraqi territory.”

“Some Iraqi military experts have proved that this attack was carried out by Turkey," he added.

However, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the following day that "according to the information we’ve received from the Turkish Air Force, we have not had any attacks on civilians [in Dohuk, Iraq]."

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/09/19/689490/Turkish-warplanes-bomb-villages-in-Iraq%E2%80%99s-northern-Kurdistan-region,-casualties-feared
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Southeast Asia

 

Don’t Misuse Halal Logo, Noh Omar Tells Traders: Malay Minister

19 Sep 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Traders and the public at large have been reminded not to misuse the halal logo because it is considered as being insensitive to the Muslim community.

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Tan Sri Noh Omar said that such actions indirectly undermine the recognition given by the authority on halal food.

"I hope no party tries to misuse the halal logo, mock the halal logo...this matter is very sensitive because in our country, we have to respect religious freedom," he said after launching the Cashless Halal Food Festival here.

According to him, halal certification can benefit entrepreneurs who are seeking to advance their businesses, especially in the food and beverage sector, as it can attract Muslim customers in addition to non-Muslim patrons.

On the food festival, he said the event is expected to rake in RM1mil in sales.

Noh said the festival is also aimed at promoting cashless business transactions among the public in line with the government’s aspiration to raise financial literacy among members of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family).

Source: The Star

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

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/09/19/dont-misuse-halal-logo-noh-omar-tells-traders

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Fraudsters have software to read OTP and delete SMS sent by banks

Suraya Ali

09- 20- 2022

PETALING JAYA: A cybersecurity expert has warned that scammers have new tools in their arsenal that can get around bank security systems, and the public must not install any mobile apps that have not been verified or are from unknown sources.

Cybersecurity service provider LGMS Berhad chairman Fong Choong Fook told theSun: “New versions of software are now able to read one-time passwords and they can even delete the SMS sent by banks, leading (victims) to believe they were not given any notification before fund transfers.”

He said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) previously issued a mandate calling on all banks to perform an annual assessment, during which they run several tests on their cybersecurity infrastructure and online systems.

He said based on these tests, the IT infrastructure and systems installed by the banking industry to identify cybersecurity threats are considered sound and secure.

“From a cybersecurity perspective, scammers are unable to penetrate or change the online banking system.

“Instead, they find ways to attack (account holders) through mobile apps. The problem is that Malaysians download unverified apps, which often become security threats that steal information stored on mobile phones. This is the root of the problem,” he said.

To address this, Fong said the authorities need to carry out awareness campaigns on online banking financial scams.

“Also, the banking industry should work together to identify and stop the opening of suspicious accounts at the early stage, so we can put a halt to illegal transfers to mule accounts.”

Fong also said scammers are constantly updating and improvising their arsenal of cyber tools and technologies, so the public needs to be aware that one false move such as downloading unverified apps could cause them to become another victim of online scams.

In response to queries from theSun, BNM said it takes all forms of financial scams seriously.

It said over the years, it has issued multiple policy documents and security advisories to financial institutions on the modus operandi of the latest scams and additional countermeasures to be taken.

“The banking and payment channels remain secure and are equipped with the latest security controls and fraud risk management capabilities.”

It said in line with the principles of the Fair Treatment of Financial Consumers document issued by BNM, it requires all licensed financial institutions to ensure proper communication as well as fair redress for customers who have taken the necessary steps to protect themselves and have not acted fraudulently.

BNM has been collaborating with the police, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the financial industry to coordinate efforts in combating financial fraud and scams, it added.

Last week, theSun reported Malaysia Muslim Consumer Association (PPIM) chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan as saying PPIM has received numerous complaints from victims of mule accounts and even bankrupts, where the culprits have never been investigated or faced justice.

theSun also reported its executive director Adam Ong discovered on Aug 31 that his HSBC credit card had been blocked by the bank due to unauthorised transactions.

Nadzim said despite overwhelming evidence that mule account owners were also victims, little or no action was taken against those who illegally used the accounts.

In response, HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad communications manager Mae Leong said unauthorised transactions may have been prompted by those made on non-3D secured platforms, which do not trigger an SMS one-time password.

“If a customer receives unauthorised transactions from a non-secured platform, they are eligible for a full refund.

“We aim to reverse these transactions with a temporary refund to the credit card within 18 business days. There is a window of up to 120 days for the chargeback to be filed. We assure customers that disputed transactions submitted will be processed accordingly.”

She said HSBC has taken stringent countermeasures to protect customers from the risk of fraudulent or unauthorised transactions.

Source: The Sun Daily

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

https://www.thesundaily.my/home/fraudsters-have-software-to-read-otp-and-delete-sms-sent-by-banks-MH9845068

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Best to hold polls if PM can’t manage economy, says Muhyiddin

September 19, 2022

PETALING JAYA: If the prime minister cannot manage the economy and country well, a general election should be held so the people can elect a capable government, says Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin.

The former prime minister noted that the falling ringgit, rising inflation and current economic climate had hit regular Malaysians hard, while the B40 income group had effectively turned into the B60.

As the National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman, he said, he had put forward several recommendations to bolster economic recovery, such as another round of loan moratoriums for small and medium enterprises, and simplifying the loan application process for businesses.

Muhyiddin said many businesses had been forced to downsize or shut down operations because of a labour shortage. He said this was an issue raised at every MPN meeting, though there had yet to be any comprehensive solution.

“The fall of the ringgit is also not taken seriously. The prime minister (Ismail Sabri Yaakob) has not come forward to explain measures being taken to curb this fall. In fact, he said that this isn’t a big problem.

“Apparently, Malaysia is not in a crisis, (it is) as if everything is okay. But I know that not everything is okay out there. It seems that the prime minister does not consider these issues as urgent,” the Perikatan Nasional chairman said in a Facebook post.

Muhyiddin said he had yet to come to the point of urging Ismail to dissolve Parliament, noting that Barisan Nasional had been doing so repeatedly this year.

“However, I do think that if the prime minister fails to manage the economy and country well, it’s best that a general election is held so that a new government that is capable and free of corruption can be elected by the people.”

Last week, Ismail said there was still time for the next general election to be held this year. He said it all depended on Umno’s “top five”, which refers to the party president, the deputy president and the three vice-presidents, one of whom is Ismail.

Umno’s top five leaders will meet on Sept 30 to discuss the coming polls.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/09/19/best-to-hold-polls-if-pm-cant-manage-economy-says-muhyiddin/

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Indonesian Christians mourn pro-minority Islamic scholar

September 19, 2022

Indonesian Christians are mourning the death of an Islamic scholar, who stood for the rights of religious minorities and for the promotion of interfaith dialogue in the Muslim-majority country.

Professor Azyumardi Azra died of a heart attack while away on a speaking assignment in neighboring Malaysia on Sept. 18. He was 67.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, ministers, politicians and religious leaders have expressed condolences on his death.

Ucan Store

Azra was the chairman of the national council of the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, a research and advocacy group for religious freedom. He was also elected as chairman of the Press Council in May.

He was the rector of the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta, during 1998-2006 and director of the campus postgraduate program from 2007 to 2015.

His tireless promotion of interfaith dialogue was honored with the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2010 and The Order of the Rising Sun: Gold and Silver Star from Japan Emperor Akihito in 2017.

Azra often spoke for affirmative policies to help facilitate the construction of places of worship for minority groups, including Christians. He also strongly condemned the attacks on churches by extremist groups.

Father Antonius Benny Susetyo described Azra as an “organic intellectual” who was concerned about the future of diversity in the Indonesian nation.

“He had a serious concern for human rights and religious freedom, which are guaranteed in principle by the constitution," he added.

Father Otto Gusti Madung, the rector of the Ledalero Institute of Philosophy and Creative Technology on the Catholic-majority island of Flores, described him as “a very open person.”

He recalled inviting Azra as a speaker on campus in 2019. “At that time he stayed here with the Divine Word priests and also prayed with them. He also offered to help our campus if we wanted to open a doctoral program,” Father Madung told UCA News.

The priest said public intellectuals like Azra were the pillars of religious tolerance in Indonesia.

Reverend Gomar Gultom, chairman of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, called Azra a “teacher and friend” who always spoke frankly.

“His intellectual endeavors transcended the barriers of nation, ethnicity, religion, etc.,” he said.

Source: UCA News

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

https://www.ucanews.com/news/indonesian-christians-mourn-pro-minority-islamic-scholar/98811

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