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Islamic World News ( 1 May 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Mosque Clinics In Hyderabad Are Now Providing Vital Scientific Clues To Researchers

New Age Islam News Bureau

02 May 2022

 

 

• Gift Of Eid To Muslims: Two Hindu Sisters Donated Land For The Expansion Of Idgah

• Saudis Feel Let Down By America At A Time When They Believe The US And Saudi Arabia Should Be Together, says Prince Turki Al-Faisal

• London Election Candidates Urge Engagement With Muslims to Address Growing Wealth Divides Leading Muslim Children Into Poverty

• Shias Hold Protests Demanding UN Intervention In Atrocities Against Them By Pakistan

 

India

• Mumbai: Churches Win Hearts With Multi-Faith Iftar Gatherings

• Mosque Loudspeakers: Onus On Maharashtra Govt, Police Now, Says AIMIM MP On Raj's Aggressive Language

• Bulldozer Has Become A Symbol Of State Terror Against Muslims In India, Says Mehbooba Mufti

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Arab World

• Nineteenth Century Iraq Church Celebrates First Mass Since ISIS Defeat

• Eid Prayers Resume To Full Capacity In Mecca For First Time Since Pandemic

• Muslims Worldwide Mark Eid Al-Fitr With Joy Amid Economic, Security Concerns

• Missile attack on oil refinery in Iraq’s Erbil hit oil tank, fire erupted

• Turkey to normalize Egypt ties after ‘progress’ with Saudi Arabia, UAE: Cavusoglu

• Flights grounded as Iraq hit by increasingly frequent dust storms yet again

• Iraq seizes more than six million Captagon pills in drug bust

• Two rockets target coalition troops in Iraq, no casualties

• Turkish President Erdogan expresses satisfaction with Saudi trip

• Saudi king and crown prince exchange Eid-Al-Fitr greetings with Islamic leaders

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Europe

• Dutch Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr as ‘sugar feast’ loses flavour

• Peace and community in a Malaysian Ramadan for Bosnian refugee

• UK government urged to secure release of geologist facing execution in Iraq

• Former Iranian official jailed in Sweden put in solitary confinement for 30 months: Wife

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Pakistan

• Imran Khan, PTI Leaders Accused Of Blasphemy For Desecrating Al-Masjid an-Nabwi

• Ex-PM Imran, President Alvi To Be Tried For ‘Violating Constitution’

• Pakistani PM, OIC chief discuss Islamophobia

• Cash-strapped Pakistan gets $8 billion in financial support from Saudi Arabia

• Pak's state-run PTV fires 17 officials over failure to cover PM's event due to laptop unavailability

• Fawad moves IHC to term cases against PTI leaders over Madina incident ‘illegal’

• Elements behind KU blast can’t tolerate Pakistan, China’s prosperity: NA speaker

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South Asia

• With Spate Of Attacks, Islamic State Group Begins Bloody New Chapter In Afghanistan

• International Community Should Stop Meddling In Afghan Affairs: Taliban

• Afghan leader Hibatullah Akhundzada hails 'security' in rare appearance to mark Eid

• Afghans celebrate Eid al-Fitr amid tight security arrangements

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North America

• Muslims In US Pray For Inter-Faith Harmony As Ramazan Ends

• US removes Saudi Arabia from intellectual property protection concern list

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Southeast Asia

• Restaurant Serves Iftar At Yokohama Mosque In Japan

• Muslims Celebrate Aidilfitri In Lively Atmosphere This Year

• Indonesian Muslims Fully Celebrate Eid Al-Fitr After Two Years

• Muslim community has weathered pandemic well: President Halimah Yacob

• King, Queen perform Aidilfitri prayers at Federal Territory Mosque

• Mufti's office explains why Singapore Muslims celebrate Hari Raya on Tuesday, unlike others in the region

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Mideast

• Iranian Speaker: US Using ISIL Terrorists to Create Insecurity in Afghanistan

• Palestinian Islamic Jihad Thanks Iran's Leader on Quds Day

• Hamas Slams 70 Years Of Israeli Occupation Of Palestine As ‘Full-Fledged War Crime’

• Intelligence Ministry Warns of Enemies' Attempts to Sow Discord between Iranians, Afghans

• Muslim Brotherhood TV channel leaves Turkey during Ankara-Cairo thaw

• Former Afghanistan President congratulates Eid al-Fitr to Iranian FM

• President Rayeesi: Iran Increases Oil Sales, Trade with Neighbors to Nullify Sanctions

• Deputy Commander: Iranian Army at Highest Defense Levels

• Leader Pardons, Commutes Sentences of over 1500 Prisoners

• Iran Calls for Permanent Ceasefire in Yemen

• Iranian FM: Muslims' Rallies on Quds Day Indicate Survival of Palestinian Cause

• Ramadan ends for Palestinians with more arrests by Israel

• People in Gaza prepare for Eid al-Fitr amid dire conditions

• Turkish police detain dozens in Istanbul during May Day demonstrations

• ‘Israel imposes collective punishment on Palestinians due to lack of intl. accountability’

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Africa

• Eid-el-Kabir: Gov. Ugwuanyi Urges Muslims To Remain Committed To God

• Ramadan: Tinubu distributes rice, sugar to 50, 000 families

• Protesters face tear gas on third anniversary of Sudan sit-in killings

• Morocco’s King pardons 29 jailed for ‘terrorism or extremism’ offenses

• Moroccan prison program aims to de-radicalize ISIS veterans

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mosque-clinics-hyderabad-scientific/d/126920

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Mosque Clinics In Hyderabad Are Now Providing Vital Scientific Clues To Researchers



May 2, 2022

Hyderabad: After helping the poor in the treatment of various diseases, the mosque clinics in Hyderabad are now providing vital scientific clues to researchers. The first-ever research study on patients being treated at various mosque clinics in Hyderabad has revealed that diagnosis based on C-reactive protein (CRP) can be used as a biomarker to distinguish fevers caused by bacteria and viruses.

Mosque clinics in Old City mostly treat cases of acute febrile illness (sudden onset of fever). Researchers from Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, collected blood samples from the patients at a diagnostic laboratory attached to mosque clinics and found that CRP levels are significantly elevated in enteric fever cases (caused by bacteria) when compared to the patients with positive dengue fevers.

“Thus, CRP can be a useful tool along with other blood investigations in differentiating bacterial and viral causes of acute febrile illness,” the researchers said. The research team comprised of Dr Abdul Rahim Rehan and Dr Syed Tauseef Banu from Osmania Medical College and Dr Shameem Humaira from the Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) laboratories. The result of the study was published in the recent issue of the International Journal of Scientific Research.

Blood samples from the patients attending mosque clinics was collected for a period of two months for the analysis. The study revealed that 28% patients were diagnosed as having typhoid, 20% were diagnosed with positive dengue serology and remaining 52% patients were included as having acute undifferentiated fever(AUF) with undetermined aetiology and needs further evaluation.

“CRP levels are significantly elevated in enteric fever cases when compared to the patients with positive dengue serology,” the study said, adding that CRP can be a useful tool along with other blood investigations in differentiating bacterial and viral causes of acute febrile illness.

According to the researchers, every year with the onset of the monsoon, the number of AUFI cases increases significantly and this trend persists through the winter. Acute undifferentiated febrile illness includes fever of less than14 days without any evidence of organ or system specific aetiology.

AUFI includes scrub typhus, dengue, malaria, enteric fever, and leptospirosis. They are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. It is difficult to distinguish these infections clinically, in the initial stages, as early symptoms like high-grade fever, body pains and rashes can be seen in many tropical infectious diseases. Similar clinical presentations with diverse aetiologies, often confounds diagnosis of febrile illness and delays initiation of appropriate treatment, researchers added.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/study-at-mosque-clinics-gives-insight-into-fevers/articleshow/91243874.cms

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Gift Of Eid To Muslims: Two Hindu Sisters Donated Land For The Expansion Of Idgah

 

Saroj Rastogi and Anita Rastogi.

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By Suraj Sewatkar

2 May 2022

These days in all parts of the country, where the news of religious hysteria is snatching the peace of the people of peace. People are coming face to face over small things, while two Hindu sisters have given gifts to Muslim brothers just before Eid.

Expansion

Presenting an example of communal harmony, two Hindu sisters have given the gift of Eid to Muslim brothers. According to the wishes of his late father, he has donated about four Bighas of land for the expansion of Idgah. The family members of both the married sisters have reached Kashipur and given possession of the land to the Idgah Committee.

The committee has also started the boundary work by digging the foundation. The market value of this land has been estimated to be more than Rs 1.5 crore. These days in all parts of the country, where the news of religious hysteria is snatching the peace of the people of peace. People are coming face to face over small things, while two Hindu sisters have set an example in front of the society by giving gifts to Muslim brothers just before Eid.

Lala Brajnandan Prasad Rastogi’s family has agricultural land near Idgah Maidan in Kashipur. On this land, about four bighas of acreage number 827 (1) and (2) is adjacent to the boundary of the Idgah. When this part is included, the shape of the Idgah becomes rectangular. Brajnandan was willing to donate this land for the Idgah, but the acreage was in the name of his two daughters Saroj Rastogi and Anita Rastogi.

Source: Sktodays News

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

https://sktodaysnews.com/02/05/2022/india/torch-of-hope-two-hindu-sisters-gave-such-a-gift-of-eid-to-muslim-brothers-discussion-happening-everywhere-fathers-wish-also-fulfilled/?

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Saudis Feel Let Down By America At A Time When They Believe The US And Saudi Arabia Should Be Together, says Prince Turki Al-Faisal

 


Prince Turki Al-Faisal

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May 01, 2022

JEDDAH: Saudis feel let down at a time when they believe the US and Saudi Arabia should be together facing threats to the stability and security of the Gulf region, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief and former ambassador to both London and Washington D.C., told Arab News.

He identified the threats specifically as Iran’s influence in Yemen and its use of the Houthis as a tool “not only to destabilize Saudi Arabia, but also affect the security and stability of the international sea lanes” along the Red Sea, the Gulf and the Arabian Sea.

“The fact that President Biden delisted the Houthis from the terrorist list has emboldened them and made them even more aggressive in their attacks on Saudi Arabia, as well as on the UAE,” Prince Turki told Katie Jensen, the new host of Arab News’ “Frankly Speaking.” He was alluding to the Feb. 12, 2021, revocation by the new Democratic administration of the Iran-aligned militia’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“Frankly Speaking” features interviews with leading policymakers and business leaders, diving deep into the biggest news-making headlines across the Middle East and around the world. During his appearance on the video show, Prince Turki offered his views on US-Saudi relations, the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the ever-shifting dynamics of Middle Eastern geopolitics at a time of rising oil prices and diplomatic tensions.

“We have always considered our relationship with the US as being strategic,” he said on the question of whether many Saudis feel they have been betrayed by one of their closest allies.

“We’ve had our ups and downs over the years and perhaps, at this time, it’s one of the downs, particularly since the president of the US, in his election campaign, said that he will make Saudi Arabia a pariah. And, of course, he went on to practice what he preached: First of all, by stopping the joint operations that America had with the Kingdom in meeting the challenge of the Houthi-led rebellion in Yemen against the Yemeni people. And, second, among other similar actions, by not meeting with (Saudi Arabia’s crown prince) and publicly declaring that he would not meet with the crown prince, and, at one stage, withdrawing anti-aircraft missile batteries from the Kingdom when we were facing an increase in attacks by the Houthis using Iranian equipment like missiles and drones.”

Pointing out that Saudi Arabia “all the time … has been calling for a peaceful solution to the Yemen conflict,” Prince Turki said: “Unfortunately the Houthis have always either not responded to that call or simply ignored it or opposed it. And, as we see now, there is a supposed ceasefire established by the UN, but the Houthis continue to infringe on that ceasefire and to take advantage of the ceasefire to reposition their forces and replenish them.”

“So, basically this is how the situation has come to this stage,” he said, referring to the current state of US-Saudi relations. “I hope that we’ll get over it like we got over so many previous downturns in the relationship.”

On the face of it, Washington seems to be quite eager to keep its communication channels with Riyadh open with phone calls and visits by officials but, according to Prince Turki, “it’s not just one thing.”

He said: “It’s the general tone of the atmosphere and America, for example, has been declaring, or American officials have been declaring, that they are in support of Saudi Arabia and will help Saudi Arabia defend itself against outside aggression and so on. We are grateful for those statements, but we need to see more in terms of the relationship between the two leaderships.”

He shrugged off the claim that Saudi Arabia has not budged on the issue of the oil problems that the US is facing, countering it with the argument that Washington itself “is the reason for the state that it is in because of its energy policy.”

“President Biden made it a policy of the US government to cut all links to what is called the oil and gas industry. He curtailed oil production and gas production in the US (when) it had been, in the last few years, the biggest producer of these two energy sources,” Prince Turki said.

This curtailment of US energy production, he says, helped lift the price of oil, together with the OPEC+ agreement established after the COVID-19 difficulty, which “was an agreement to bring down production in order to stabilize the prices, for the benefit of everybody and stability of oil prices.”

Prince Turki was emphatic that Saudi Arabia does not want to be “an instrument or a reason for instability in oil prices,” indicating that actions such as the embargo of 1973 were a thing of the past.

“That is why the Kingdom and the other OPEC members and the OPEC+ members are sticking to the production quotas that they have assigned themselves. I have read that the recent decision by OPEC+ to incrementally increase oil production while the agreement is effective, is in response to the difficulties that people have in the energy sector. Another factor that adds to all this is the security issue, the high rates of insurance that have come about as a result of the war in Ukraine, plus the European and US curtailment of, and sanctions on, the Russian oil industry. All of these things have added to the increase in oil prices.”

In this connection, Prince Turki expressed strong displeasure with comments made by Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program in support of a “carrot-and-stick” approach to force Saudi Arabia to increase its share of oil production in order to reduce prices during what she called an “existential crisis.”

Reiterating that he could not speak for all Saudis, Prince Turki said: “We are not schoolchildren to be treated with a carrot and stick. We are a sovereign country, and when we are dealt with fairly and squarely, we respond likewise. It is unfortunate that such statements are made by politicians wherever they may be. I hope that the relationship of the Kingdom and the US will not hinge around or be built upon that principle.”

Likewise, Prince Turki brushed away the charge that Riyadh has chosen to side with Moscow in the Ukraine conflict, noting that “the Kingdom has publicly declared and voted to condemn the aggression against Ukraine that was passed by the UN General Assembly.”

Pointing out that Saudi Arabia offered to mediate between Russia and Ukraine, he said: “As a mediator, it will have to maintain a link and the ability to talk to both sides. We’ve had good relations with both countries over the years. In general, as I mentioned, the Kingdom is against the aggression in Ukraine. But also, most recently, the Kingdom has contributed to the fund that was established by the UN to provide support for the Ukrainian refugees in Europe. So that is where the Kingdom stands.”

He described the Saudi mediation bid as “an offer of a friend to friends — both Ukraine and Russia — (with) whom we have had excellent relations in the recent past.”

Moving on to what he perceives as international hypocrisy exposed by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Prince Turki said this has been proven “by the way refugees from Ukraine have been described in civilizational terms as being one with the West and one with Europe and so on, as if other refugees from the Middle East or from other parts of the world are not equally human as Ukrainians. That’s one discrepancy in the way that Western media particularly has depicted the issue of the refugees.

“Another one of course — part of the hypocrisy — is the UN and the way that sanctions have been placed on Russia for invading Ukraine but no sanctions for example had been placed on Israel when it invaded Arab countries a few years back. Those are the double standards and the injustices that I think have been taking place over the years.”

On the question of whether Israel should therefore be treated at par with Russia when it comes to sanctions, Prince Turki did not pull punches. “Absolutely. I don’t see what the difference is there between the two,” he told “Frankly Speaking.”

He added: “Aggression is aggression, whether it is committed by Russia or by Israel.”

Furthermore, Prince Turki cast doubt on the theory that normalizing relations with Israel — the route taken by a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain — could be a more productive policy. “I have seen no evidence of that,” he said. “The Palestinian people are still occupied, they are still being imprisoned by the Israeli government. Attacks and assassinations of Palestinian individuals take place almost on a daily basis. The stealing of Palestinian land by Israel continues despite the assurances that Israel gave to the signatories of the peace (accord) between the UAE and Israel. So, there is no sign whatsoever that appeasing Israel is going to change their attitude.”

On issues closer to home, Prince Turki views the recent visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for one, as a positive development. “I think the leadership in Turkey has come to realize that their previous animus toward the Kingdom was not serving anybody’s well-being and purpose, especially the Turkish people,” he said, referring to the disputes and disagreements of recent years.

“Historic links bring us together with Turkey not just in terms of geography, but also in terms of human relations and family ties between the two countries. My own grandmother was of Turkish extraction, Circassian.”

Moving forward, the relationship “should be one of the best in terms of benefit for both countries,” Prince Turki said, citing such areas as trade, construction, development projects, and investments by Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

“All of those, I hope, will be restored now that the relationship is hopefully back to normal,” he added.

He expressed similarly cautious optimism about the likelihood of a lasting peace deal in Yemen on the basis of the recently concluded Riyadh agreement and the Ramadan ceasefire.

“I’ve always maintained that ceasefire agreements, as attempted by the UN, particularly concerning Yemen, have lacked one crucial aspect which has not led to their success, and that is a mechanism to enforce the ceasefires,” Prince Turki said.

“We saw, after the Kuwait meeting back in 2016, there was a ceasefire, but it led nowhere. And then there was the Swedish-sponsored ceasefire attempt back in 2018, equally without much success. Saudi Arabia’s own efforts at unilateral ceasefires of recent years have led nowhere because there was no mechanism to implement the ceasefire.”

Nevertheless, Prince Turki expressed hope that with the renewed international impetus to bring the fighting in Yemen to an end, some sort of instrument can be implemented so that any party that does not abide by the ceasefire terms is publicly shamed by the international community.

“That has not happened yet. I have not yet seen the UN saying that the Houthis are not abiding by the ceasefire,” he said, adding: “But I hope that they will have the courage and the moral courage to stand up and say who is at fault here.”

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2074216/saudi-arabia

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London Election Candidates Urge Engagement With Muslims to Address Growing Wealth Divides Leading Muslim Children Into Poverty

 

Candidates in this week’s London elections are urging local councils to engage Muslim communities. (File/AFP)

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May 02, 2022

LONDON: Candidates in this week’s London elections are urging local councils to engage Muslim communities and address growing wealth divides leading Muslim children into poverty faster than any other group.

Londoners will go to the polls on Thursday in the wake of a damning indictment from Human Rights Watch claiming that at 37 percent, the city has the UK’s highest rates of child poverty.

But for Muslim children it has reached 50 percent, a figure that does not surprise Mustafa Field, director of the Faiths Forum for London.

“Poorer communities tend to have weaker infrastructure, which includes access to good-quality food and nutritional meals,” he told Arab News.

“I don’t work on the frontline, but I’ve received direct requests from struggling families for food in the wake of the pandemic, which has been a very alarming development in the level of poverty within London’s Muslim communities.”

Field said candidates can alleviate worsening poverty rates by increasing funding, improving internet access to ensure children are not left behind educationally, and tackling the social stigma around poverty, which he believes inhibits many Muslim families from seeking support.

Sagal Abdi-Wali, a council candidate in Camden, a trustee in the voluntary sector and a former local government officer, said it is not unique that a minority community is faring less well.

Some 14 percent of London’s population identify as Muslim, making them the second-largest religious group after Christians, but they remain underrepresented at government levels. This, Labour’s Abdi-Wali told Arab News, makes it harder to address inequalities.

“Part of the problem underrepresented communities have had for a long time now has been that they’re disproportionately affected by socioeconomic and health inequality,” she said.

“These difficulties were compounded by the pandemic, which we in Camden found led to surging housing, health and employment issues.

“And now with a form of austerity coming and the cost-of-living crisis, it’s likely this will worsen for the foreseeable if action isn’t taken.”

Rabina Khan, the Liberal Democrats’ candidate for mayor in the borough of Tower Hamlets, said there are multiple reasons for the growing disparity among minority groups in London.

“It’s a range of factors that are seeing Muslim children fall into poverty at faster rates than other groups, from the pandemic to the cost of living, to Brexit and the impact this has had on small businesses,” Khan told Arab News.

“All these things are affecting children’s lives, but if we’re to address it, local governments and Whitehall need to listen to local people, local authorities and engage communities.”

Abdi-Wali and Khan agree that no matter the outcome of the elections, the winners must liaise with voluntary groups as they can help identify and support all communities.

Khan said since the pandemic, she had seen the voluntary and faith sectors play a “huge” role in tackling child poverty in the city.

“Even so, the voluntary sector is struggling, so it’s vital that local officials remain engaged,” she added. “They can do this by reaching out to developers and corporations active in the city to create mechanisms for them to give back.”

Field said many charities were so focused on COVID-19 that they did not see the looming cost-of-living crisis, and have resultantly found themselves unable to meet demand.

“There are mosques I’ve engaged with that used to provide free meals, but with rises in the cost of living for everyone, they haven’t been receiving the same level of donations that allowed them to provide daily meals, so they’re limiting their days of operation,” he added.

“For families who depleted their savings during the pandemic, they’re now having to borrow money to meet their basic needs.”

London’s local authorities are responsible for education, and for Khan, this offers a means to address poverty through investment in youth activities, and to provide free school meals, breakfast clubs, afterschool clubs and healthy snacks.

However, Field worries about voter engagement with the elections, noting rising levels of distrust in politicians among marginalized communities and younger voters.

“This increasing lack of trust stems in part from the electorate having had less engagement with their politicians, and if they’re unable to rally the support of these marginalized groups, it may be that they prioritize their voters — middle-class families, for instance,” he said.

“Should things pan out this way, this will be a real challenge to addressing poverty, and a big threat to democracy if the situation doesn’t change. It’s scary.”

Arab News reached out to Conservative candidates, but at the time of going to press had yet to receive a response.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2074446/world

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Shias Hold Protests Demanding UN Intervention In Atrocities Against Them By Pakistan

 

Photo: ANI

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1 May, 2022

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], May 1 (ANI): Demanding UN intervention to investigate crimes and discrimination against the Shia minority in Pakistan, a Shia organization on Friday held protests in Uttar Pradesh’s capital Lucknow.

The protests carried out by the All India Shia Hussaini Fund (AISHF) involved banners and placards condemning discrimination and atrocities against Shias in Pakistan, calling it a “state conspiracy”.

A petition carrying 7000 signatures has also been prepared by the organization to be sent to the United Nations (UN). The petition demands the UN’s intervention in the alleged crimes and discrimination against the Shia minority in Pakistan.

The event was held amidst reports of multiple anti-Shia incidents that occurred in Pakistan, over the last few weeks. A recent bomb blast at a Shia mosque in Peshawar killed over 60 people.

There have been targeted attacks against the Shias at both individual and community levels. Hate crime against Shias is also on an unprecedented rise in the country.

Pakistan is a Sunni dominant country where Shias allege that they are not treated at par with other citizens.

Apart from the Shias, other minority groups including people of other faiths like Hinduism and Christianity, as well as other sects of Islam are regular targets of Sunni fundamentalists.

Shias allege that the discrimination against them happens under the patronage of the authorities. The community members seek international cognizance of the issue in order to initiate and ensure justice for the Shias. (ANI)

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/shias-hold-protests-demanding-un-intervention-in-atrocities-against-them-by-pakistan/937998/

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 India

 Mumbai: Churches win hearts with multi-faith Iftar gatherings

May 1, 2022

MUMBAI: Two city churches, St Peter's, Bandra, and Our Lady of Lourdes, Orlem, Malad, organised a unique multi-faith Iftar outreach for the Muslim community last week.

Namaz was offered in church premises, a collective dua'a made for peace and harmony in the country, and guests read the Preamble to the Constitution before breaking the fast at the appointed time of 7.04pm.

Orlem church is also distributing Eid hampers containing chicken, and ingredients needed to prepare kheer and cake to poor Muslims. Parish priest Fr Michael Pinto said, "The essence of every religion is to spread peace, unity and harmony. We at St Anne's High School arranged a small Iftar party for the Muslim parents of our KG and primary section.They were touched by the gesture and echoed the thought, 'Where there is hate spread love'."

OLL laid out a classic Iftar dastarkhwan of dates, dry fruit, nuts, fresh cut fruits, bhajiyas, biryani, falooda, ice cream and cold drinks. Students at St Anne's were presented one big bar of cake, fresh juices and ice cream.

Guests were pleased by this intermingling of faiths especially given the present atmosphere prevailing in the country.

Amina Sutriwala, a computer teacher at St Anne's, who was invited to the Iftar said, "It was a touching example of communal harmony. It really made us feel we are equal citizens. All parents and teachers eagerly and happily joined the celebration. Fr Michael organises Diwali, Navratra and Christmas, even Maharashtra Day, with equal festivity. Last year he devised a sit-down Iftar for the labourers who were renovating the school."

Head teacher Shaila Dias said it was important to make Muslims feel cared for and included.

Dr Frazer Mascarenhas SJ, parish priest of St Peter’s Church, was pained by the sight of "bulldozers invading shops and dwellings of a minority community." He said, "A recently formed Collective for Multi Faith Dialogue, in partnership with St Peter's Church, Bandra, decided to stand in solidarity with people who have been treated unjustly, through the organising of a multi-faith Iftar on Friday April 29. We invited about 200 Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and even people who only profess belief in humanity, from all over Mumbai and even as far as Kalyan, to reflect on our shared values."

Right before the appointed Iftar time of 7.04pm, the Preamble to the Constitution was read, and the Church bells ushered in the breaking of the fast.

It was a beautiful sight. Participants like Apeksha Vora even offered namaz for the first time alongside Muslim participants in the church's assembly hall. Small 'flags' were placed at the round tables, inviting guests to write the one prayer or petition they wanted to send into the world, be it to God or the Supreme Court or any other entity.

Noorjehan Safia Naaz of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan expressed the essence of monotheism, and how man was created to do God's work on earth.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-churches-win-hearts-with-multi-faith-iftar-gatherings/articleshow/91240741.cms

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Mosque loudspeakers: Onus on Maharashtra govt, police now, says AIMIM MP on Raj's aggressive language

May 1, 2022

AURANGABAD: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen Lok Sabha MP from Aurangabad Imitiaz Jaleel on Sunday said the Maharashtra government and the police must take full cognizance of the aggressive language and tone used by MNS chief Raj Thackeray at his rally here.

Thackeray, who has sought the removal of loudspeakers atop mosques by May 3 and has threatened to play Hanuman Chalisa to drown out azaan, had said during his speech here that the Muslim community would see the "power of Maharashtra" if they did not understand the request on loudspeakers "nicely".

Speaking to reporters, Jaleel, also the AIMIM's Maharashtra unit chief, said he and his party could reply to Thackeray in equal measure but would desist from doing so as "we have to stay in Maharashtra and there will no end to problems then (if the community took an aggressive stand)".

"I won't be responsible for what all happens after the May 3 deadline to remove loudspeakers from mosques," Thackeray had said in his speech.

"We will observe the stand of the Maharashtra government now. The ultimatum given (by Thackeray) is not to the Muslim community but to the Maharashtra government. Let us see how the government handles this, especially the NCP, which has the Home portfolio," Jaleel said.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/mosque-loudspeakers-onus-on-maharashtra-govt-police-now-says-aimim-mp-on-rajs-aggressive-language/articleshow/91241254.cms

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Bulldozer has become a symbol of state terror against Muslims in India, says Mehbooba Mufti

MAY 02, 2022

Former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said the bulldozer has become a the symbol of state terror against Muslims in India.

In her Eid message, Ms. Mufti said Muslims truly lived Ramzan this year in the spirit of the holy month by facing an unprecedented onslaught on the community by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments and its militant political arms across the country with exemplary patience, which is generally associated with the early days of Islam.

“While bulldozer has become the symbol of state terror against the community, the demons of hate unleashed by the government seem to be on a rampage in every form of their choice, depending on the occasion and the BJP’s ‘Hindu rashtra’ roadmap,” Ms. Mufti said.

Ms. Mufti said her party would continue its struggle through all democratic and peaceful means. “We miss on this Eid our young and old prisoners of all ages, who are in jails in and out of Kashmir without any charges. Our heart goes out to the families of those who lost their dear ones in staged encounters and those who were targeted for their political or religious affiliations,” she said.

She said the people of J&K had faced attacks on their existence as a distinguished part of the country with silent dignity and fortitude, and without compromising on their aspirations.

“The cries of family members not demanding justice but only the dead bodies of their loved ones killed in the Hyderpora incident was distressing,” she added.

Ms. Mufti said she was also sad for the lives lost of jawans from all over the country, and brave members of the Jammu & Kashmir Police, who are becoming, she said, “cannon fodder to the failure of our leadership to resolve political problems through diplomacy and dialogue”.

She also paid tributes to young independent journalists like Fahad Shah, Asif Sultan and Sajad Gul, “who, just for carrying out their professional role, are facing the wrath of the rulers”.

Source: The Hindu

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https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bulldozer-has-become-a-symbol-of-state-terror-against-muslims-in-india-says-mehboobamufti/article65373756.ece

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Arab World

 

Nineteenth century Iraq church celebrates first mass since ISIS defeat

30 April ,2022

Dozens of faithful celebrated mass Saturday at a Mosul church in northern Iraq for the first time since it was restored after its ransacking by ISIS.

ISIS swept into Mosul and proclaimed it their “capital” in 2014, in an onslaught that forced hundreds of thousands of Christians in the northern Nineveh province to flee, some to Iraq’s nearby Kurdistan region.

The Iraqi army drove out the extremists three years later after months of grueling street fighting that devastated the city.

The Mar Tuma Syriac Catholic church, which dates back to the 19th century, was used by the extremists as a prison or a court.

Restoration work is ongoing and its marble floor has been dismantled to be completely redone.

In September 2021, a new bell was inaugurated at the church during a ceremony attended by dozens of worshipers.

The 285-kilogram (nearly 630-pound) bell cast in Lebanon rang out on Saturday to cries of joy before the mass got underway, an AFP correspondent said.

The service began with worshipers who packed the church chanting hymns as an organist played.

“This is the most beautiful church in Iraq,” said Father Pios Affas, 82, the delighted parish priest.

Affas also paid tribute to those behind the restoration work which, he said, had “brought the church back to its past glory, like the way it was 160 years ago.”

Inside the church, ochre and grey marble shone in the nave, where the altar and colonnaded arches were restored and new stained glass installed.

Extremists had destroyed all Christian symbols, including the holy cross, and parts of the church were damaged by fire and shelling.

Artisans worked diligently to “clean the scorched marble” and restore it, Fraternity in Iraq, a French NGO that aids religious minorities, which helped fund the restoration work said earlier this year.

Outbuildings and rooms on the first floor, where windows have been broken and ISIS graffiti can be seen, are still due to be repaired.

Mosul and the surrounding plains of Nineveh were once home to one of the region’s oldest Christian communities.

Iraq’s Christian population has shrunk to fewer than 400,000 from around 1.5 million before the US-led invasion of 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Nineveh province was left in ruins after three years of extremist occupation which ended in 2017 when Iraqi forces backed by US-led coalition airstrikes pushed them out.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/04/30/Nineteenth-century-Iraq-church-celebrates-first-mass-since-ISIS-defeat

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Eid prayers resume to full capacity in Mecca for first time since pandemic

02 May ,2022

Eid al-Fitr prayers were performed early Monday in Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque in Mecca, as well as all mosques across the Kingdom, marking the first Eid prayers held at full capacity since the pandemic’s onset.

Mosques started operating at full capacity again in mid-October last year when the Kingdom eased its COVID-19 measures as cases began to drop and most of the Saudi population had already been vaccinated with at least two shots.

The Eid prayers come after the announcement of the Eid al-Fitr holiday which was determined by the sighting of the Shawwal moon.

Every year, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr after a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection during Ramadan which falls on the ninth month of the Islamic Hijri calendar, which consists of 12 months of 345 to 355 days a year.

After Eid prayers, families and friends gather to celebrate and give gifts which include money, toys, and new clothes, often provided to children.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman performed Eid prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/05/02/Eid-prayers-resume-to-full-capacity-in-Mecca-for-first-time-since-pandemic

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Muslims Worldwide Mark Eid Al-Fitr With Joy Amid Economic, Security Concerns

02 May, 2022

For the Islamic holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, the smell of freshly baked orange biscuits and powdered sugar-dusted cookies typically fills the air in Mona Abubakr’s home. But due to higher prices, the Egyptian housewife this year made smaller quantities of the sweet treats, some of which she gives as gifts to relatives and neighbors.

The mother of three has also tweaked another tradition this Eid, which began Monday in Egypt and many Muslim-majority countries and marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. She bought fewer outfits for her sons to wear during the three-day feast.

"I told them we have to compromise on some things in order to be able to afford other things," she said.

This year, Muslims around the world are observing Eid Al-Fitr- typically marked with communal prayers, celebratory gatherings around festive meals and new clothes- in the shadow of a surge in global food prices exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

Against that backdrop, many are still determined to enjoy the Eid amid easing of coronavirus restrictions in their countries while, for others, the festivities are dampened by conflict and economic hardship.

At the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, tens of thousands of Muslims attended prayers Monday morning. The Istiqlal Grand Mosque in Indonesia's capital Jakarta was shuttered when Islam’s holiest period coincided with the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and was closed to communal prayers last year.

"Words can’t describe how happy I am today after two years we were separated by pandemic. Today we can do Eid prayer together again," said Epi Tanjung after he and his wife worshipped at another Jakarta mosque. "Hopefully all of this will make us more faithful".

The war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia have disrupted supplies of grain and fertilizer, driving up food prices at a time when inflation was already raging. A number of Muslim-majority countries are heavily reliant on Russia and Ukraine for much of their wheat imports, for instance.

Even before the Russian invasion, an unexpectedly strong global recovery from the 2020 coronavirus recession had created supply chain bottlenecks, causing shipping delays and pushing prices of food and other commodities higher.

In some countries, the fallout from the war in Ukraine is only adding to the woes of those already suffering from turmoil, displacement or poverty.

In Syria’s rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, Ramadan this year was more difficult than Ramadan's past. Abed Yassin said he, his wife and three children now receive half the amounts of products- including chickpeas, lentils, rice and cooking oil- which last year they used to get from an aid group. It has made life more difficult.

Syria’s economy has been hammered by war, Western sanctions, corruption and an economic meltdown in neighboring Lebanon where Syrians have billions of dollars stuck in Lebanese banks.

In the Gaza Strip, though streets and markets are bustling, many say they cannot afford much.

"The situation is difficult," said Um Musab, a mother of five, as she toured a traditional market in Gaza City. "Employees barely make a living but the rest of the people are crushed".

Mahmoud Al-Madhoun, who bought some date paste, flour and oil to make Eid cookies, said financial conditions were going from bad to worse. "However, we are determined to rejoice," he added.

The Palestinian enclave, which relies heavily on imports, was already vulnerable before the Ukraine war as it had been under a tight Israeli-Egyptian blockade meant to isolate Hamas, its militant rulers.

Afghans are celebrating the first Eid since the Taliban takeover amid grim security and economic conditions. Many were cautious but poured into Kabul’s largest mosques for prayers on Sunday, when the holiday started there, amid tight security.

Frequent explosions marred the period leading to Eid. These included fatal bombings, most claimed by the Islamic State affiliate known as IS in Khorasan Province, targeting ethnic Hazaras who are mostly Shia, leaving many of them debating whether it was safe to attend Eid prayers at mosques.

"We want to show our resistance, that they cannot push us away," said community leader Dr. Bakr Saeed before Eid. "We will go forward".

Violence wasn’t the only cause for worry. Since the Taliban takeover in August, Afghanistan’s economy has been in a freefall with food prices and inflation soaring.

At a charity food distribution center in Kabul on Saturday, Din Mohammad, a father of 10, said he expected this Eid to be his worst.

"With poverty, no one can celebrate Eid like in the past," he said. "I wish we had jobs and work so we could buy something for ourselves, not have to wait for people to give us food".

Muslims follow a lunar calendar, and methodologies, including moon sighting, can lead to different countries- or Muslim communities- declaring the start of Eid on different days.

In Iraq, fewer shoppers than usual appeared to have visited the capital’s clothing markets this year. Security issues also plague celebrations, with security forces going on high alert from Sunday to Thursday to avert possible attacks after a suicide bombing in Baghdad last year ahead of another major Islamic holiday killed dozens.

In India, the country’s Muslim minority is reeling from vilification by hardline Hindu nationalists who have long espoused anti-Muslim stances, with some inciting against Muslims. Tensions boiled over into violence at Ramadan, including stone-throwing between Hindu and Muslim groups.

Muslim preachers cautioned the faithful to remain vigilant during Eid.

Indian Muslims "are proactively preparing themselves to deal with the worst," said Ovais Sultan Khan, a rights activist. "Nothing is as it used to be for Muslims in India, including the Eid".

Still, many Muslims elsewhere rejoiced in reviving rituals disrupted by pandemic restrictions.

Millions of Indonesians have crammed into trains, ferries and buses ahead of Eid as they poured out of major cities to celebrate with their families in villages in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country. The return of the tradition of homecoming caused great excitement after two years of subdued festivities due to pandemic restrictions.

"The longing for (the) Eid celebration in a normal way has finally been relieved today although the pandemic has not yet ended," said Hadiyul Umam, a resident of Jakarta.

Many in the capital flocked to shopping centers to buy clothes, shoes and sweets before the holiday despite pandemic warnings and food price surges.

Muslims in Malaysia were also in a celebratory mood after their country’s borders fully reopened and Covid-19 measures were further loosened. Ramadan bazaars and shopping malls have been filled with shoppers ahead of Eid and many travelled to their hometowns.

"It’s a blessing that we can now go back to celebrate," said sales manager Fairuz Mohamad Talib, who works in Kuala Lumpur. His family will celebrate at his wife’s village after two years of being apart due to earlier travel curbs.

Source: The Arab News

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

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/news/muslims-mark-eid-al-fitr-joy-amid-economic-concerns

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Missile attack on oil refinery in Iraq’s Erbil hit oil tank, fire erupted

01 May ,2022

Six missiles targeted the KAR Group oil refinery in Iraq's northern city of Erbil on Sunday, leading to fire erupting in on of the man oil tanks, Iraq’s security forces said.

The fire was brought under control, the security forces added.

Earlier on Sunday, Kurdistan’s anti-terrorism authorities said six missiles landed near the refinery, adding that the missiles caused no casualties or material damages.

Erbil-based TV Rudaw quoted the anti-terrorism authorities as saying the missiles were fired from the Nineveh province.

Three missiles also fell near the refinery on April 6, without causing any casualties.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/01/Six-missiles-fall-near-oil-refinery-in-Iraq-s-Erbil

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Turkey to normalize Egypt ties after ‘progress’ with Saudi Arabia, UAE: Cavusoglu

01 May ,2022

Turkey is working to normalize relations with Egypt after “progress” has been made with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday.

“The process started with Egypt earlier, but it progresses a little slower. For example, it started with the UAE and continued very quickly. Likewise with Bahrain. There was a process that started with Saudi Arabia, we had talks. Ultimately, this is part of our strategy to normalize our relations,” Cavusoglu told Turkish newspaper Sabah.

He said the next step in talks with Egypt can be at the level of deputy minister or minister. “We will increase our contacts. We apply the principle of not being against each other on international platforms,” Cavusoglu added.

‘New era’ of regional ties

The Turkish Foreign Minister’s comments come a few days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Saudi Arabia last week for the first time since 2017.

Erdogan met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been strained after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

The Turkish president said he hoped his visit would usher in a “new era of cooperation” in all fields, including politics, military, economy and culture.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, Erdogan has also been working to mend his ties with countries in the region as he faces domestic challenges at home brought on by an economy grappling with a currency crash and soaring inflation.

Turkey’s ties with Egypt have been strained since Egypt’s army ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Mursi, an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in 2013.

The two countries also clashed over maritime jurisdiction and offshore resources, as well as differences in Libya, where they backed opposing sides in the civil war.

After trading insults and accusations for years, Turkey and Egypt lowered the temperature of their public comments since last year.

As for the UAE, Erdogan visited the Gulf country in February for the first time since 2013. The visit saw countries sign a $5 billion currency swap agreement, which will boost the depleted foreign-exchange reserves of Turkey as it suffers historic economic struggles.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/05/01/Turkey-to-normalize-Egypt-ties-after-progress-with-Saudi-Arabia-UAE-Cavusoglu

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Flights grounded as Iraq hit by increasingly frequent dust storms yet again

01 May ,2022

Iraq on Sunday was yet again covered in a thick sheet of orange as it suffered the latest in a series of dust storms that have become increasingly common.

Flights were grounded due to poor visibility at airports serving the capital Baghdad and the Shiite holy city of Najaf, with the phenomenon expected to continue into Monday, according to the weather service.

“Flights have been interrupted at the airports of Baghdad and Najaf due to the dust storm,” the spokesman for the civil aviation authority, Jihad al-Diwan, told AFP.

Visibility was cited at less than 500 meters (550 yards), with flights expected to resume once weather improves.

Iraq was hammered by a series of such storms in April, grounding flights and leaving dozens hospitalized with respiratory problems.

Amer al-Jabri, of Iraq’s meteorological office, previously told AFP that the weather phenomenon is expected to become increasingly common “due to drought, desertification and declining rainfall.”

Iraq is particularly vulnerable to climate change, having already witnessed record low rainfall and high temperatures in recent years.

Experts have said these factors threaten to bring social and economic disaster in the war-scarred country.

In November, the World Bank warned that Iraq could suffer a 20-percent drop in water resources by 2050 due to climate change.

In early April, environment ministry official Issa al-Fayad had warned that Iraq could face “272 days of dust” a year in coming decades, according to the state news agency INA.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/01/Flights-grounded-as-Iraq-hit-by-increasingly-frequent-dust-storms-yet-again

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Iraq seizes more than six million Captagon pills in drug bust

01 May ,2022

Iraqi security forces said Saturday they had broken up a drug trafficking ring and seized more than six million pills of the amphetamine-type stimulant Captagon, making several arrests.

Iraq’s northwestern neighbor Syria is the Middle East’s main Captagon producer.

Iraqi forces seized “around 6.2 million pills” from a warehouse in the southwest of the capital, the national security agency said in a statement, adding that the drugs were set for distribution “in areas of Baghdad and other provinces.”

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

Three Iraqis and four suspects from other Arab countries were arrested in connection with the trafficking network, it added.

The statement said security forces broke up a second drug ring after an Arab national was arrested “in possession of six kilograms [13 pounds] of hashish,” while two accomplices were also detained.

All 10 accused “admitted to links with international drug trafficking networks,” it said.

Drug trafficking convictions can be punishable by the death penalty in Iraq.

Trade in Captagon in the Middle East grew exponentially in 2021 to top $5 billion, posing an increasing health and security risk to the region, a report said earlier this month.

Captagon was the trade name of a drug initially patented in Germany in the early 1960s that contained an amphetamine-type stimulant called fenethylline used to treat attention deficit and narcolepsy among other conditions.

It was later banned and became an illicit drug almost exclusively produced and consumed in the Middle East.

The sale and use of drugs in Iraq has soared in recent years. Security forces have stepped up operations and make almost daily announcements of seizures or arrests.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/01/Iraq-seizes-more-than-six-million-Captagon-pills-in-drug-bust

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Two rockets target coalition troops in Iraq, no casualties

30 April ,2022

Two rockets targeting a base in western Iraq hosting US-led coalition troops on Saturday crashed near the complex without causing casualties or damage, security sources said.

“Two rockets fell outside the Iraqi base of Ain al-Asad,” a security forces statement said, adding there were no “losses.”

The base, controlled by Iraq, is located in the desert in the western Anbar province and hosts foreign troops from the coalition fighting ISIS.

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

A coalition official told AFP there was “no impact on the installation reported” and “no coalition personnel injuries reported.”

A previously unknown group calling itself “International Resistance” claimed the attack on a pro-Iran channel of messaging app Telegram.

Rockets and drones frequently target the Ain al-Asad base.

On April 8, the coalition said it shot down an armed drone targeting the facility, reporting no casualties or damage.

Dozens of rocket and armed drone attacks have targeted US troops and interests in Iraq in recent months.

Western officials have blamed hardline pro-Iran factions for the attacks, most of which go unclaimed.

The coalition ended its combat mission in Iraq in December, four years after the Baghdad government declared victory over the extremists.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/04/30/Missile-lands-near-Iraq-s-Ain-al-Asad-air-base

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Turkish President Erdogan expresses satisfaction with Saudi trip

02 May ,2022

Turkish President Recep Erdogan expressed his satisfaction with a visit to Saudi Arabia aimed at bolstering economic ties between the two countries, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday.

Erdogan said that he had discussed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a series of steps that can be taken to advance relations.

He reportedly highlighted the “great economic potential between Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” and expressed support for the Saudi bid to host Expo 2030.

The visit on Thursday was the first time the two leaders had met in years.

Ties between the two countries had become strained after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Erdogan met with King Salman in an official ceremony in the al-Salam palace in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Thursday, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Speaking to reporters before departing for Jeddah, Erdogan said Thursday’s visit was “the manifestation of our common will” to improve ties and strengthen political, military, and cultural relations.

He added it would be mutually beneficial to boost cooperation in areas including health, energy, food security, defense industry, and finance.

“With common efforts, I believe we will carry our ties even beyond where they were in the past,” he said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/05/02/Turkish-President-Erdogan-expresses-satisfaction-with-Saudi-trip

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Saudi king and crown prince exchange Eid-Al-Fitr greetings with Islamic leaders

May 01, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday received cables from leaders of Islamic countries, extending greetings on the eve of Eid Al-Fitr.

The king and crown prince sent reply cables to the leaders, thanking them for their well wishes and called for lasting security and stability and more progress and prosperity for the Islamic nation.

Eid Al-Fitr is the small eid marked by Muslims following the end of the fasting holy month of Ramadan.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2074166/saudi-arabia

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Europe

 

Dutch Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr as ‘sugar feast’ loses flavour

May 2, 2022

Muslims in the Netherlands celebrate the end of Ramadan, or the festival of Eid al-Fitr, on Monday, but the Dutch term for the holiday, the Suikerfeest or sugar holiday, is increasingly out of favour, news website Nu.nl reported. Suikerfeest is a literal translation of the Turkish Şeker Bayramı but that in itself may be a misinterpretation of Şükür Bayramı (feast of thankfulness), which once was the name for the celebrations to mark the end of the fasting period in Turkey. Muslims in the Netherlands now want to get back to the real meaning of Eid al-Fitr – the holiday of breaking the fast, Nu.nl said. -ADVERTENTIE- After all, Muslims point out, ‘sugar feast’ implies they are eating sweets all day, but Eid al-Fitr is about far more than that. It is a day for dressing up, giving gifts and money to charity, and greeting each other with the phrase ‘Eid Mubarak‘. Leading Muslim community group CMO never uses the phrase and chairman Muhsin Köktas told Nu.nl suikerfeest is only used in the Netherlands and Turkey. There is, he said, a swing away from term on social media. ‘People would rather the term is not used,’ he said.

Source: Dutch News

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

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2022/05/dutch-muslims-celebrate-eid-al-fitr-as-sugar-feast-looses-flavour/

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Peace and community in a Malaysian Ramadan for Bosnian refugee

Danial Azhar

May 2, 2022

PETALING JAYA: For Bosnian-born Rukija Kulasic, who fled her war-torn country 30 years ago, there’s comfort in the peaceful, community spirit of Ramadan in Malaysia, as well as its celebratory nature.

It’s a contrast to Ramadan in Bosnia, which was a family-centred time, with meals cooked at home rather than sold at bazaars.

“In Malaysia, it’s like another celebration especially with the bazaars. It’s a nice experience with friends after buka puasa as well, deciding which place to go for supper,” she told FMT.

“I just enjoy the relationships I have during this time, the ‘silaturahim’ as Malaysians would say,” she said. “Ramadan brings people closer together and people are more respectful.”

Kulasic said Hari Raya Aidilfitri was a much bigger celebration in Malaysia than in Bosnia, where Hari Raya Haji is more significant.

But her family would not miss out on Aidilfitri celebrations: they have plans to attend open houses for rendang and lemang.

Kulasic, called Rukie by friends, was one of a number of Bosnians who fled to Malaysia as refugees during the ethnic conflicts and wars of independence when Yugoslavia fell apart in the 1990s.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, a nation of Bosnian Muslims, or Bosniaks, suffered a campaign of genocide of “ethnic cleansing” waged largely by Serbs and the army of the former Yugoslavia.

Malaysia, under prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, championed the cause of Bosnian Muslims, with his then deputy Anwar Ibrahim playing an equally prominent role, providing a safe haven to hundreds of Bosnian families.

Reflecting on the conflict and her family’s decision to settle in Southeast Asia, Kulasic said they felt much safer in Malaysia given that it was far from the war and a Muslim-majority country.

“We felt we’d be more accepted here,” she said, adding that her family saw no reason to return to their homeland after the war ended as they had made a life for themselves in Malaysia.

After the Yugoslav wars ended, many Bosnians returned home or moved to other parts of Europe, or to Australia and the United States, but a small number remained in Malaysia.

Kulasic said there were around 50 Bosnians currently here, and while the community is scattered throughout the country, they try to hold gatherings as much as possible, especially during Ramadan.

She said her family, consisting of her father, brother and herself, try to maintain as much of their cultural roots as possible by speaking the language and cooking Bosnian food at home.

After 30 years here, she struggles a little with her identity. She has a Bosnian passport and permanent resident status in Malaysia.

“I was born in Bosnia and my family is from there but internally I’m 100% Malaysian. I grew up here, speak the language and have become accustomed to the culture.”

She said they would be enjoying the Aidilfitri festivities with their “extended Malaysian family”.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/05/02/peace-and-community-in-a-malaysian-ramadan-for-bosnian-refugee/

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UK government urged to secure release of geologist facing execution in Iraq

May 01, 2022

LONDON: The UK government is being urged to secure the release of a Briton accused of smuggling artifacts in Iraq.

Jim Fitton, 66, has been detained in Iraq for five weeks and is awaiting sentencing beginning May 8.

Iraqi law carries the death penalty for “whoever exported or intended to export, deliberately, an antiquity.”

Fitton’s family said that the father-of-two, who worked as an oil and gas geologist before retiring to Malaysia, had traveled to Iraq for an archaeological tour.

He visited the ancient site of Eridu as part of an organized tour and, while there, collected stones and shards from the ground.

His daughter Leila and her husband Sam Tasker said that Fitton’s sentencing was due to happen during their wedding celebrations.

They said: “There is never a good time for something like this to happen, but we are one week away from what should be the happiest day of our lives and the culmination of more than two years of planning, and it’s been turned into an absolute living nightmare.

“We have accepted the fact that, without timely intervention from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, Jim will be unable to attend this ceremony, too.”

UK MP Wera Hobhouse raised concerns in the House of Commons over Fitton’s case.

The minister of state for Asia and the Middle East, Amanda Milling, said in response last week: “We understand the urgency of the case, and have already raised our concerns with the Iraqi authorities regarding the possible imposition of the death penalty in Mr. Fitton’s case and the UK’s opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle.”

Fitton’s family lawyer is attempting to shut the case before trial through a draft proposal but said the FCDO must endorse the draft so a meeting with Iraqi judges could go ahead.

The proposal cited Fitton’s “clear lack of criminality” and argued that he was a “victim of poor guidance and circumstance.”

The FCDO said it was in contact with local authorities in Iraq and was providing consular support.

An online petition launched by Fitton’s family demanding his release has amassed almost 100,000 signatures since its launch on April 28.

Leila Fitton described the response as “unbelievable.”

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2074241/world

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Former Iranian official jailed in Sweden put in solitary confinement for 30 months: Wife

02 May 2022

The wife of a former Iranian official illegally arrested and imprisoned in Sweden back in 2019 has complained that her husband was detained with no declared reason or evidence and placed in solitary confinement for over 30 months.

“My husband traveled to Sweden with an invitation and as he was disembarking from the plane he was brutally detained and insulted by several police officers in front of a crowd of Iranians and others and taken into custody,” said the wife of Hamid Nouri, a former Iranian judiciary official.

She further emphasized that Swedish authorities failed to inform Nouri’s family members about his arrest and that they learned from media reports about his detention in Sweden.

She added that eight months after Nouri’s arrest she was informed that she can go to the Swedish embassy to hold a brief telephone conversation with her husband under very restricted conditions.

She further censured the brutality and inhumane behavior of Swedish authorities in issuing an international police citation for Nouri along with his photo, requesting any information or complaints against him.

“What kind of human rights is this? They arrested and jailed my husband without any evidence or documents against him and kept renewing his prison term in efforts to gather evidence against him,” she complained. “Aren’t you supposed to be innocent until proven guilty? In the case of my husband, they detained him without any evidence and then started looking for anything they could find against him for his trial.”

Nouri’s daughter also blasted Swedish authorities for their cruel treatment of his father, “beating him severely on several occasions, placing him in solitary confinement, denying medical care and attorney of his choice.”  

She further stressed that her father was detained and imprisoned based on baseless claims of unidentified individuals that are members of a violent anti-Iran opposition group who appeared in court and shouted slogans and abusive language against my father.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Swedish ambassador to Tehran on Sunday to protest the continued imprisonment of a former Iranian official on trial in Sweden over alleged rights abuses.

Swedish prosecutors have requested the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for Hamid Nouri, accusing the former Iranian judiciary official of prisoner abuse in 1988.

The charges against Nouri stem from accusations leveled against him by members of anti-Iran terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO).

He was arrested upon arrival in Sweden at Stockholm Airport in 2019 and was immediately imprisoned. Nouri, now 61, has been held in solitary confinement for over two years and his family has not been allowed to visit him in prison.

His accusers allege that Nouri was involved in the execution and torture of MKO members in 1988. Nouri vehemently rejects the allegations.

During the 89th session of his trial on Friday, Swedish prosecutors read a summary of Nouri’s indictment in court, a day after submitting a request for life imprisonment for him.

The ministry condemned the continued detention of the former Iranian official as “totally illegal” and driven by “false allegations made by the MKO terrorist organization and the hostile smear campaign against the Islamic Republic.”

It also urged Sweden to end the “political show” of Nouri’s trial and release the Iranian national.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/05/02/681388/Former-Iranian-official-jailed-Sweden-solitary-confinement-30-months-Wife

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Pakistan

 

Imran Khan, PTI Leaders Accused Of Blasphemy For Desecrating Al-Masjid an-Nabwi

By Kamran Chaudhry

May 02, 2022

Church leaders have joined activists in condemning the blasphemy case against Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan and leaders of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party for desecrating Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque) in the holy city of Medina.

Muhammad Naeem, a local of Faisalabad city in Punjab province, registered the case under Section 295-A of the penal code against 150 people including the former cricket star, who was ousted as prime minister in April, and several former cabinet ministers.

On April 28, PTI supporters chanted slogans against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and members of his delegation visiting the mosque.

Police in Medina arrested at least five Pakistani nationals for “abusing and insulting” the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Sharif and his companion as well as violating the sanctity of the second-holiest site in Islam, after the Great Mosque in Mecca.

Both political and religious leaders condemned the chanting of political slogans at the Prophet's Mosque.

Khan has distanced himself from the protesting pilgrims. “I cannot think of asking anyone to do sloganeering at that sacred place. Nobody who loves the prophet (PBUH) can even think of it,” he stated.

"What happened was because of their [new government's] own actions — the way they ousted the [previous] government by becoming a part of a foreign conspiracy. This is the public reaction.”

Punishment under Section 295-A of the blasphemy laws is up to 10 years' imprisonment, or a fine, or both for deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.

Police data shows that at least 585 persons were booked on charges of blasphemy in 2021, with the overwhelming majority from Punjab.

Human rights activists have condemned the latest case, saying that the use of blasphemy allegations to settle political scores is unacceptable.

“The cases registered against senior PTI leaders under S. 295-A must be withdrawn immediately. No government or political party can afford to allow allegations of blasphemy to be weaponized against its rivals,” the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in a statement on May 1.

According to lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir, police cannot register a first information report (FIR) under 295A on citizen's complaint.

“Instead it requires a complaint on the government’s order. So the FIR against Imran Khan is either defective or registered on express government orders. PML-N learned nothing from Faizabad Dharna, playing the same dangerous blasphemy card which it fell a victim to five years ago,” he said in a Facebook post.

“Whenever politicians/state have played the blasphemy card, fear and insecurity creep in society. People are enraged and the atmosphere eventually leads to outpouring of violence. Anyone caring for society will not indulge in such politics.”

Kashif Aslam, program coordinator of the Catholic bishops' National Commission for Justice and Peace, agreed.

“This is totally unacceptable. It is obvious that blasphemy cases are only used to settle personal scores. We reject using religion in political issues,” he told UCA News.

Source: UCA News

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

https://www.ucanews.com/news/pakistans-former-pm-pti-leaders-accused-of-blasphemy/97110

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Ex-PM Imran, President Alvi To Be Tried For ‘Violating Constitution’

May 1, 2022

NEW DELHI: Pakistan has secured $8 billion financial assiatnce from Saudi Arabia following PM Shehbaz Sharif's visit to the country, general elections are possible only around May 2023, Pakistan Election Commission indicates, and other news from the neighbouring country in our weekly Pakistan round-up:

Here's what made headlines in Pakistan over the past week

1

President Alvi, ex-PM Imran to be tried for ‘violating Constitution’

The Pakistan government will file a reference under Article 6 against the previous PTI government leadership for violating the Constitution.

The reference will be filed against President Dr Arif Alvi, former prime minister Imran Khan, deputy speaker Qasim Suri and Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema.

Sources said that the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Ministry of Home Affairs have started preparing the reference.

2

Pakistan gets $8 billion in Saudi aid

Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide Pakistan with a "sizeable package" of around $8 billion to help the cash-starved country bolster dwindling forex reserves and revive its ailing economy, a media report said on Sunday.

Pakistan secured the deal during the visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia. The financial package includes doubling of the oil financing facility, additional money either through deposits or Sukuks and rolling over of the existing $4.2 billion facilities.

3

Pakistani pilgrims arrested for sloganeering at Saudi mosque

Some Pakistani pilgrims who hounded and chanted slogans against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation at the Masjid-i-Nabwi in Madina have been arrested by Saudi authorities.

A Saudi official said that the protesters have been taken into custody for "violating the regulations" and "disrespecting" the sanctity of the holy mosque.

A case has been registered in Pakistan's Faisalabad against Imran Khan and other top figures of the previous government on the complaint of a common citizen.

4

Extreme heatwave grips Pakistan

The minimum temperature in Karachi on Friday did not drop below 29.4 degrees Celsius amid a heatwave that has gripped Sindh and Punjab. The hottest place in the country in the daytime was Jacobabad where 49 degrees Celsius was recorded, followed by Mohenjo Daro at 48 degrees.

In Balochistan, Sibbi and Turbat remained the hottest places with maximum temperature ranging between 47 and 46 degrees Celsius, while in Punjab, Bahawalpur recorded 46 degrees.

The Met office said a westerly wave is likely to enter Balochistan from Monday and under its influence, dust-thunderstorm and rain is expected in some parts on May 2-4.

5

Elections not possible before May 2023, poll body indicates

Census and delimitation must be conducted before the country can go to polls, the Election Commission of Pakistan has said.

In a release, the commission said the work for delimitation of constituencies may ony begin from January 2023, after it receives results of the seventh population and housing census, expected to begin in August this year. This will be followed by a revision of elecotral rolls.

Considering these, holding general elections may not be possible before May 2023, the commission indicated.

6

3 Chinese among 4 killed in Karachi university blast

hree Chinese nationals, including two women, were among four people killed on Tuesday when a powerful blast ripped through a van inside the premises of the University of Karachi.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-round-up-ex-pm-imran-president-alvi-to-be-tried-for-violating-constitution/articleshow/91234552.cms

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Pakistani PM, OIC chief discuss Islamophobia

May 02, 2022

MAKKAH: Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha met Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Makkah.

The prime minister arrived in Saudi Arabia on Thursday on his first foreign trip since taking office. The three-day visit to the Kingdom comes at the invitation of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

At the meeting with the OIC chief, discussions centered on the situation in the Muslim world and issues on the OIC agenda, in particular the situations in Palestine, Afghanistan, Jammu and Kashmir, and the issue of Islamophobia.

The two sides underscored the necessity to enhance cooperation among member states to defend the causes of the Islamic Ummah.

The meeting also discussed cooperation between the OIC and Pakistan in light of Pakistan’s role as the current chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers.

Taha reiterated the readiness of the OIC to support the government of Pakistan in the implementation of the resolutions adopted at the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Islamabad from March 22-23, 2022.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2074306/saudi-arabia

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Cash-strapped Pakistan gets $8 billion in financial support from Saudi Arabia

May 1, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide Pakistan with a "sizeable package" of around $8 billion to help the cash-starved country bolster dwindling forex reserves and revive its ailing economy, a media report said on Sunday.

Pakistan has faced growing economic challenges, with high inflation, sliding forex reserves, a widening current account deficit and a depreciating currency.

Pakistan secured the deal during the visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia. The financial package includes doubling of the oil financing facility, additional money either through deposits or Sukuks and rolling over of the existing $4.2 billion facilities., The News reported.

"However, technical details are being worked out and it will take a couple of weeks to get all documents ready," the report said, citing top official sources privy to the development.

Prime Minister Sharif and his official entourage have left Saudi Arabia but minister for finance Miftah Ismail is still in the Gulf country to finalise the modalities of the financial package.

"Just said goodbye to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other colleagues at Jeddah Airport, who are on their way to Islamabad after a brief stopover in Abu Dhabi to meet Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Zayed. I remain in SA to meet Saudi officials and start technical-level talks," Ismail said in a tweet.

Pakistan had proposed doubling the oil facility from $1.2 billion to $2.4 billion and Saudi Arabia agreed to it. It was also agreed that the existing deposits of $3 billion would be rolled over for an extended period of up to June 2023, according to an official.

"Pakistan and Saudi Arabia discussed an additional package of over $2 billion either through deposits or Sukuk and it is likely that more money will be provided to Islamabad," the report said, adding that the size of the total package will be determined when the additional money is finalised.

Saudi Arabia provided $3 billion deposits to the State Bank of Pakistan in December 2021 while the Saudi oil facility was operationalised from March 2022, providing Pakistan with $100 million to procure oil.

The oil-rich Gulf nation had provided a $7.5 billion package to Pakistan during the last tenure of the PML-N government (2013-18). Under the PTI-led regime headed by ex-prime minister Imran Khan, Saudi Arabia provided a package of $4.2 billion, including $3 billion deposits and a $1.2 billion oil facility for one year and linked it with the IMF programme.

Saudi Arabia has provided an enhanced financial package to Pakistan when its economy is in dire straits and the country is facing a balance of payment crisis. The country's foreign exchange reserves have depleted by $6 billion in the last six to seven weeks and nosedived to $10.5 billion.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/cash-strapped-pakistan-gets-8-billion-in-financial-support-from-saudi-arabia/articleshow/91233023.cms

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Pak's state-run PTV fires 17 officials over failure to cover PM's event due to laptop unavailability

May 1, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's state-run PTV has suspended 17 officials for failing to ensure “proper” coverage of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's Lahore visit due to the non-availability of an advanced laptop.

The newly-elected Prime Minister visited Kot Lakhpat Jail and Ramazan Bazaars in Lahore last week.

However, a Pakistan Television (PTV) team failed to ensure “proper” coverage due to the non-availability of an advanced laptop required to upload the video footage through File Transfer Protocol (FTP), the Dawn newspaper reported.

As per the standard operating procedures, a VVIP team comprising reporters and producers is responsible for the coverage of the prime minister. The team is equipped with the latest gadgets, including laptops for live streaming and timely uploading of the footage of any event, the report said.

The core team is stationed in Islamabad and moves with the Prime Minister across the country and abroad, it said.

When the PTV Lahore centre was informed about the visit, it asked the PTV headquarters to provide an advanced laptop, it said.

Earlier on April 18 also, the Lahore centre wrote a letter to the headquarters saying: “Since we don't have any laptop editing facility at the Lahore centre, we hired a laptop with the editing facility… but as a permanent arrangement we must own the same facility at the centre.”

However, the state-run TV did not pay any attention and suggested hiring one again.

At this, the Lahore centre arranged the personal laptop of an official. After coverage, when the team tried to transmit the footage, it found the battery of the laptop had drained.

Next day, the PTV administration suspended a total of 17 officials, including the VVIP coverage deputy controller Imran Bashir Khan.

In addition, the administration suspended various engineers and cameramen over the alleged neglect.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/paks-state-run-ptv-fires-17-officials-over-failure-to-cover-pms-event-due-to-laptop-unavailability/articleshow/91232674.cms

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Fawad moves IHC to term cases against PTI leaders over Madina incident ‘illegal’

Tahir Naseer

May 2, 2022

PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry on Monday filed a writ petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), calling for cases registered against the party's leadership under the country's blasphemy laws to be termed “illegal”.

These cases were registered after some Pakistani pilgrims chanted slogans at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation during their visit to the Masjid-i-Nabwi last week.

While PTI leaders said the incident was a spontaneous reaction and reflected the public’s anger, the government claims it was planned and orchestrated by the PTI leadership.

The high court's assistant registrar, Asad Khan, confirmed that the petition had been received. PTI's legal team, Advocate Faisal Fareed and Advocate Ali Bukhari, filed the petition on Fawad's behalf.

The Federation of Pakistan through the interior secretary, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, the director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) as well as the police chiefs of Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan have been made respondents in the case.

In the petition, Fawad said that the newly appointed interior minister had been targeting the PTI leadership and had also "openly threatened" them with dire consequences.

He said that through "reliable sources", he had come to know that the incumbent government had decided to teach him and other PTI leaders "a lesson they must not forget".

Fawad alleged that Sana had ordered to have him and other PTI leader nominated/booked in false criminal cases registered in various parts of the country. The petition noted that one FIR had been registered in Faisalabad while applications had been filed in Burewala and Islamabad.

It noted that when the unfortunate incident occurred at Masjid-i-Nabwi, the PTI was celebrating 27th of Ramazan at an event organised at the house of Chairman Imran Khan which was also shown live across the country.

"The petitioner, like millions of other[s], came to know about the incident through social media. Therefore, in a most unfortunate and clumsy manner, the ruling party (that is hell-bent to sort out the petitioner and his party leadership, including the former prime minister, Imran Khan) in a malafide intention started a vilification campaign against them in an effort to equal the political score [...]."

Fawad claimed that the government was unnerved by the PTI's announcement regarding a long march and, "acting in a hysteric manner", falsely implicated him, former PM Imran, former interior minister Sheikh Rashid, former NA deputy speaker Qasim Suri, PTI leader Shehbaz Gill and others.

The petition urged the court to direct the respondents to "immediately stop the unlawful and illegal harassment of the petitioner and his colleagues [...] in the interest of justice equity and fair play."

It also called for placing all the FIRs registered against the PTI leadership in various parts of the country on record.

Further, it called on the court to inform Fawad of the grounds and reasons for the registration of the criminal cases against the PTI leadership to "ensure his fundamental right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner".

The plea urged the court to strictly implement the judgement laid down by the Supreme Court in the "Sughran Bibi vs the state" case of 2018 where the apex court ruled that there must be one FIR of a crime or incident.

The petition urged the court to hold the action of the FIA and the police as "illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional".

Police obtain 2-day physical remand of Sheikh Rashid Shafiq

Meanwhile, Attock police obtained two-day physical remand of Sheikh Rashid Shafiq, who was arrested in connection with the case on Sunday.

Police had produced the MNA, who is the nephew of Awami Muslim League (AML) chief and former interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, before a duty magistrate and obtained his physical remand.

An FIR against Shafiq and other PTI leaders was filed at the New Airport Police Station on the complaint of Advocate Qazi Tariq.

Subsequently, the lawmaker was arrested at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) as he arrived from Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

Later, he was remanded in the custody of New Airport police for a day on charges of posting a video on social media in which he was seen encouraging people who chanted slogans against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation inside the premises of Masjid-i-Nabwi.

Shafiq was detained by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after he arrived at the IIA on a private airline from Jeddah. He was taken into custody by the FIA at 5:45am and handed over to the police.

Imran, PTI leaders booked

On Sunday, Faisalabad police had registered a case under ‘blasphemy laws’ against the PTI chairman and over 150 others, including some stalwarts of the party, in the wake of the Masjid-i-Nabwi incident.

The FIR was registered under the following sections of the Pakistan Penal Code: 295 (harming or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult a religion), 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 296 (disturbing religious assembly) and 109 (abetment).

Complainant Muhammad Naeem, a resident of Faisalabad, nominated top leaders of the PTI and Imran's close associates, including Chaudhry, Gill, Suri, Sahibzada Jahangir, Aneel Musarrat as well as Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and his nephew Sheikh Rashid Shafiq.

The complainant alleged the Masjid-i-Nabwi episode was a “planned and thought-out conspiracy” and supported his claims by referring to videos and speeches made by certain PTI leaders.

Naeem further said the suspects had violated the Quranic verses by raising political slogans and using abusive language on the holy premises where scores of pilgrims were offering prayers.

He said most of the suspects belonged to a political party (PTI), as was evident from the video statements that appeared on the official Twitter accounts of PTI leaders and workers “before and after” the nasty incident.

Many PTI leaders endorsed or supported the incident even when hundreds of thousands of people from the Muslim community were strongly condemning it worldwide, he claimed.

He particularly mentioned the name of Shafiq who was present in the Masjid at that time and was “confessing to his crime” through his video statement.

The complainant claimed another delegation of the same political party (PTI) from England also reached there. It included Sahibzada Jehangir alias Cheeku, Aneel Musarrat, Nabil Musarrat, Ijaz Haq, Umair Ilyas, Rana Abdul Sattar, Barrister Amir Ilyas, Gohar Jilani etc., he said.

Pilgrims accost, chant slogans against PM Shehbaz, federal ministers

Last week, a group of Pakistani pilgrims had accosted, heckled and chanted slogans at Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his entourage at the Masjid-i-Nabwi in Madina during their three-day visit — their first foreign trip since assuming office — to Saudi Arabia.

According to videos circulating on social media, Pakistani pilgrims at the mosque started chanting slogans of "chor, chor" (thieves, thieves) as soon as they saw the prime minister.

In another video, the pilgrims could be seen heckling and hurling obscenities at federal ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb and Shahzain Bugti, as the pair are escorted by Saudi guards. In another video, a pilgrim could be seen pulling Bugti's hair from behind.

Following the incident, the media director of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad confirmed that some of the pilgrims involved in the incident had been arrested. The official said that the protesters had been taken into custody for "violating the regulations" and "disrespecting" the sanctity of the holy mosque.

Politicians and other religious figures had swiftly condemned the incident, however, some had blamed the PTI. For his part, Imran Khan said he could "not even imagine" asking anyone to carry out sloganeering at the sacred place.

"I have spoken about Islamophobia at every forum," he said in a snippet from an interview that will be aired on the first day of Eidul Fitr.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1687910/fawad-moves-ihc-to-term-cases-against-pti-leaders-over-madina-incident-illegal

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Elements behind KU blast can’t tolerate Pakistan, China’s prosperity: NA speaker

May 2, 2022

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said elements involved in the suicide attack at Karachi University (KU) were threatened by the idea of Pakistan and China achieving economic prosperity.

This was pointed out by National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who visited The Chinese embassy to condole the deaths of Chinese academicians who were killed in the blast.

According to a statement, Mr Ashraf condemned the “cowardly and heinous terrorist attack” in the strongest terms. Both sides should not allow enemies to spoil cordial relations between the two friendly countries, he said, adding that Pakistan and China were close friends and economic partners.

“Pakistan attaches great importance to the safety and security of Chinese nationals, ongoing projects and institutions in Pakistan,” he said.

The Chinese side was assured that the government will make every effort towards punishing those responsible for the attack.

“Our security agencies will not rest until those involved in the incident are punished,” the NA speaker said.

The acting Chinese ambassador, Pang Chunxue, thanked the speaker for his support and sympathy. She also appreciated the role of the government and security agencies for their cooperation and support.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1687760/elements-behind-ku-blast-cant-tolerate-pakistan-chinas-prosperity-na-speaker

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South Asia

 

With spate of attacks, Islamic State group begins bloody new chapter in Afghanistan

May 2, 2022

KABUL (NYTIMES) - The first blast ripped through a school in Kabul, the Afghan capital, killing high school students. Days later, explosions destroyed two mosques and a minibus in the north of the country. The following week, three more explosions targeted Shi'ite and Sufi Muslims.

The attacks of the past two weeks have left at least 100 people dead, figures from hospitals suggest, and stoked fears that Afghanistan is heading into a violent spring, as the Islamic State's affiliate in the country tries to undermine the Taliban government and assert its newfound reach.

The sudden spate of attacks across the country has upended the relative calm that followed the Taliban's seizing of power in August, which ended 20 years of war. And by targeting civilians - the Hazara Shi'ite, an ethnic minority, and Sufis, who practise a mystical form of Islam, in recent weeks - they have stirred dread that the country may not be able to escape a long cycle of violence.

The Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan - known as Islamic State Khorasan - has claimed responsibility for four of the seven recent major attacks, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist organisations. Those that remain unclaimed fit the profile of previous attacks by the group, which considers Shi'ites and Sufis heretics.

With the attacks, the Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate has undercut the Taliban's claim that they had extinguished any threat from the Islamic State in the country. It has also reinforced concerns about a potential resurgence of extremist groups in Afghanistan that could eventually pose an international threat.

Last month the Islamic State claimed it had fired rockets into Uzbekistan from northern Afghanistan - the first such purported attack by the group on a Central Asian nation.

"ISIS-K is resilient; it survived years of airstrikes from Nato forces and ground operations from the Taliban during its insurgency," said Mr Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Programme at the Wilson Centre, a think tank in Washington, using an alternate name for the Islamic State Khorasan.

"Now after the Taliban takeover and the US departure, ISIS-K has emerged even stronger."

The Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate was established in 2015 by disaffected Pakistani Taliban fighters. The group's ideology took hold partly because many villages there are home to Salafi Muslims, the same branch of Sunni Islam as the Islamic State. Salafists are a smaller minority among the Taliban, who mostly follow the Hanafi school.

Since its founding, the Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate has been antagonistic toward the Taliban: At times the two groups have fought for turf, and last year Islamic State leaders denounced the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, saying that the group's version of Islamic rule was insufficiently hard line.

Still, for most of the past six years the Islamic State has been contained to eastern Afghanistan amid US airstrikes and Afghan commando raids that killed many of its leaders. But since the Taliban seized power, the Islamic State has grown in reach and expanded to nearly all 34 provinces, according to the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan.

After the Taliban broke open prisons across the country during their military advance in the summer, the number of Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan doubled to nearly 4,000, the UN found.

The group also ramped up its activity across the country, said Mr Abdul Sayed, a security specialist and researcher who tracks the Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate and other radical groups. In the last four months of 2021, the Islamic State carried out 119 attacks in Afghanistan, up from 39 during the same period a year earlier. They included suicide bombings, assassinations and ambushes on security checkpoints.

Of those, 96 targeted Taliban officials or security forces, compared with only two in the same period in 2020 - a marked shift from earlier last year when the group primarily targeted civilians, including activists and journalists.

In response, the Taliban carried out a brutal campaign last year against suspected Islamic State fighters in the eastern province of Nangarhar. Their approach relied heavily on extrajudicial detentions and killings of those suspected of belonging to the Islamic State, according to local residents, analysts and human rights monitors.

For months this past winter, attacks by the Islamic State dwindled - raising some hope that the Taliban's campaign was proving effective. But the recent spate of high-profile attacks that have claimed many civilian lives suggests that the Islamic State used the winter to regroup for a spring offensive - a pattern perfected by the Taliban when it was an insurgency.

While the Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate does not appear to be trying to seize territory, as the Islamic State did in Iraq and Syria, the attacks have demonstrated the group's ability to sow violent chaos despite the Taliban's heavy-handed tactics, analysts say.

They have also stoked concerns that, sensing perceived weakness in the Taliban government, other extremist groups in the region that already have reason to resent the Taliban may shift alliances to the Islamic State.

"ISIS-K wants to show its breadth and reach beyond Afghanistan, that its jihad is more violent than that of the Taliban, and that it is a purer organisation that doesn't compromise on who is righteous and who isn't," said Dr Asfandyar Mir, a senior expert at the United States Institute of Peace.

The blasts have particularly rattled the country's Hazara Shi'ites, who have long feared that the Taliban - which persecuted Afghan Shi'ites for decades - would allow violence against them to go unchecked. The strife has also caused concern in neighbouring Iran, a Shi'ite theocracy.

Many Afghan Shi'ites have been on edge since suicide bombings by the Islamic State at Shi'ite mosques in one northern and one southern city together killed more than 90 people in October. The recent blasts, which mainly targeted areas dominated by Hazara communities, deepened those fears.

Late last month, Mr Saeed Mohammad Agha Husseini, 21, was standing outside his home in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul, a Hazara-dominated area, when he felt the thud of an explosion. He and his father raced to the school down the street, where throngs of terrified students poured out its gate, the bloodied bodies of some of their classmates sprawled across the pavement.

His father rushed to help the victims, but minutes later Mr Husseini heard another deafening boom. A second explosion hit the school's gate, fatally wounding his father.

A week later, Mr Husseini sat under the shade of a small awning with his relatives to mourn. Outside, their once-bustling street was quiet, the fear of another explosion still ripe. At the school, community leaders had been discussing hiring guards to take security into their own hands.

Source: Straits Times

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

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/with-spate-of-attacks-islamic-state-group-begins-bloody-new-chapter-in-afghanistan

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International community should stop meddling in Afghan affairs: Taliban

May 2, 2022

KABUL (AFGHANISTAN): Criticizing the freezing of Afghanistan's assets by the United States, Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the Islamic Emirate Prime Minister, on Sunday urged the international community to stop interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs.

"We said that we will do no harm to anyone or any country and we do not want to be interfered with by any country. We keep our promises because we are Muslims. We call on foreign countries to not create problems for Muslims, and to keep your promises," said Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund.

He further asked Afghans to return to their country, stressing on country's good security position. However, it still looks like a far cry as the country is grappling with a serious humanitarian crisis according to international assessments.

Afghanistan has now the highest number of people in emergency food insecurity in the world, with more than 23 million in need of assistance, and approximately 95 per cent of the population having insufficient food consumption.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, the acting minister of interior, said in a statement on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr that the amnesty decree was the pledge of the Islamic Emirate's leader, which everyone must follow, and forces who violate it will be brought to justice in the near future.

The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, rolling back women's rights advances and media freedom - the foremost achievements of the post-2001 reconstruction efforts on gender equality and freedom of speech, according to media reports.

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/international-community-should-stop-meddling-in-afghan-affairs-taliban/articleshow/91249665.cms

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Afghan leader Hibatullah Akhundzada hails 'security' in rare appearance to mark Eid

May 1, 2022

KANDAHAR: Afghanistan's supreme leader appeared publicly for only the second time in six years on Sunday, telling worshippers celebrating Eid al-Fitr the Taliban had achieved freedom and security since seizing power last year.

Speaking just days after a bomb ripped through a mosque in Kabul, an atmosphere of heightened security surrounded the man introduced as Hibatullah Akhundzada.

"Congratulations on victory, freedom and success," he told thousands of worshippers at the Eidgah mosque in the southern city of Kandahar, the hardline Islamist group's de facto power centre.

"Congratulations on this security and for the Islamic system."

While the number of bombings across the country has dropped since Kabul fell to the Taliban last August, attacks soared over the final two weeks of the fasting month of Ramadan, which ended Saturday for Afghans.

Dozens of civilians have been killed in the primarily sectarian attacks -- some claimed by the Islamic State group -- targeting members of the Shiite and Sufi Muslim communities. Friday's bombing in the capital killed at least 10.

Akhundzada delivered his brief address from one of the front rows of worshippers in Kandahar without turning to face the crowd, according to social media posts. Taliban officials did not allow journalists to approach him, an AFP correspondent reported.

Two helicopters hovered over the mosque for the whole of the two-hour event.

It was Akhundzada's second known public appearance since taking control of the Taliban in 2016.

In October, he had visited the Darul Uloom Hakimiah mosque in Kandahar, according to an audio recording circulated by Taliban social media accounts.

Akhundzada's low profile has fed speculation about his role in the new Taliban government, formed after the group took control of Kabul on August 15- and even rumours of his death.

His public profile has largely been limited to the release of messages during Islamic holidays, and Akhundzada is believed to spend most of his time in Kandahar.

On Friday, in a message released ahead of Eid al-Fitr, he made no mention of the bloodshed that had rocked Afghanistan over Ramadan, instead praising the Taliban's building of "a strong Islamic and national army" and "strong intelligence organisation".

On Sunday, many Afghans preferred to stay indoors after the recent deadly attacks.

"The situation of our people is very sad, especially after what happened in the mosques," Kabul resident Ahmad Shah Hashemi told AFP.

"Many young and old people have been martyred. The people of Afghanistan have nothing but sorrow."

The deadliest attack during Ramadan was in the northern province of Kunduz, where a bomb ripped through a mosque as a group of Sufis performed rituals.

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/afghan-leader-hibatullah-akhundzada-hails-security-in-rare-appearance-to-mark-eid/articleshow/91231842.cms

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Afghans celebrate Eid al-Fitr amid tight security arrangements

May 2, 2022

War-torn Afghanistan on Sunday celebrated Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Islamic holy fasting month of Ramadan.

"We have offered our Eid al-Fitr prayers in a peaceful environment today," said Fakhrudin, a 35-year-old Kabul resident.

Although no security incident has been reported across the country so far today, the war-weary Afghans celebrated the Eid al-Fitr amid hope and frustration as security personnel have arranged foolproof security measures around all mosques in Kabul and other cities.

Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran assured the public that security arrangements are tight and Eid al-Fitr prayers have been offered a peaceful environment.

"We have experienced war and miseries over the past 40 years. We need peace, happiness and prosperity to forget the past desolation," Fakhrudin told Xinhua outside a mosque where he offered his prayer.

Some Afghan cities, including the capital city Kabul, have experienced deadly terrorist attacks recently, even inside mosques, in the shape of bomb blasts that claimed scores of lives.

On Friday, a blast ripped through a mosque in Kabul, killing at least 10 persons and injuring dozens others.

Following the US-led forces’ withdrawal and the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, the war practically ended in the country, which has been widely welcomed by Afghans.

"Today is a joyful day for all the Muslims, and I congratulate Eid al-Fitr to all Muslims across the globe and also pray for the return of lasting peace and security to our country Afghanistan," Nawedullah Afzali said.

Afzali, 40, who came from the northern Badakhshan province to offer Eid al-Fitr prayer at the historic Shah-e-Doshamshira mosque in Kabul, expressed his hatred towards war.

"This is my wish to see we Afghans get united and stop shedding our blood," Afzali said.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//afghans-celebrate-eid-al-fitr-amid-tight-security-arrangements_1253911.html

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North America

 

Muslims In Us Pray For Inter-Faith Harmony As Ramazan Ends

Anwar Iqbal

May 2, 2022

WASHINGTON: The fasting ended in the US on Sunday night, marking the first post-Covid Ramazan when America’s Muslim community resumed its social engagements.

The Khatm-i-Quran ceremony at Adam’s Islamic Centre, Virginia’s largest, brought 1,000 to 1,500 worshippers and guests. And the center provided Iftar and dinner to all.

The Diyanet Center in Lanham, Maryland, has America’s largest mosque and perhaps the most beautiful too.

Unlike most mosques of the South Asian community, this Turkish-funded mosque has a proper dining room, rather rooms, with dining tables and Turkish sofas. The food is Turkish, complete with desserts and Turkish tea.

Iranian mosques are smaller but impress visitors with their tiles and cleanliness.

African-American Imam led prayers at Iftar hosted by Pakistan Embassy

African-American Muslims also have large mosques and their interactions with the South Asia community have influenced their culinary preferences too. They often serve South Asian foods at their Iftars and dinners.

According to the US Department of State, the largest ethnic groups of American Muslims are those of South Asian, Arab and African-American descent.

So, it was no surprise that an African-American Imam led the prayers at the Interfaith Iftar dinner at the Pakistan Embassy.

“Prayers for peace, harmony, compassion and tolerance from representatives of major faiths at the interfaith Iftar,” noted Hannah Bloch, an editor at National Public Radio. Ms Bloch, who has served in Pakistan as a correspondent for the Time magazine, also enjoyed the traditional Pakistani food the embassy provided.

Masood Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, underlined the need for promoting the spirit of religious freedom and inter-faith harmony. “Ours is a pluralist society and we promote respect for diversity,” he said.

Like previous years, members of the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhist faiths participated in the event and spoke.

State Department officials, National Security Council officers, Congressional staff, members of US think tanks and prominent Pakistani Americans also attended the dinner.

At the entrance, the embassy displayed paintings and pictures of temples, churches and Gurdwara in Pakistan. Pakistani Sikhs, Hindus and Christians also came.

Next to those pictures was one of the oldest portraits of the nation’s founder in a western suit, not in Sherwani, as promoted by the Zia regime.

The keynote speaker, US Ambassador at-large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain noted that fasting, practiced in all religions in one form or the other, promotes sacrifice,

discipline, fortitude and empathy with the poor.

“Ramazan is a great equaliser. Rich and poor, privileged and underprivileged all experience hunger and thirst and together strive for physical and spiritual cleansing,” he said.

Ambassador Hussain lauded Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision for religious freedom, protection of rights of all minorities and a polity based on the tenets of equality and tolerance for all.

The famous anthropologist and a renowned author, Dr Akbar S. Ahmad cited the Prophet’s (PBUH) last letter written to the Monks of Mount Sinai which had affirmed protection of the rights of the minorities especially Christians in a Muslim state.

Father Dan Rooney, Dr Talib M. Shareef, Rabbi Lustig, Bhante Upartana, Ms Lee Bachu, Mr Jasvinder Singh highlighted the themes of peace, religious harmony and respect for human rights.

Interfaith Iftar dinner is a yearly feature at the Pakistan Embassy which is commended by followers of all religions.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1687833/muslims-in-us-pray-for-inter-faith-harmony-as-ramazan-ends

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US removes Saudi Arabia from intellectual property protection concern list

April 30, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been removed from a US watchlist of countries it deems are weak at enforcing Intellectual Property rules.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has taken the Kingdom off its Priority Watch List in its annual Special 301 Report, after Saudi Arabia tightened up its IP enforcement procedures.

These efforts have been led by the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property, which has created specialized IP enforcement courts, conducted strong IP awareness and offered training to IP specialists in 76 different authorities to increase government compliance with the laws.

The authority has also established the permanent National Committee for the Enforcement of Intellectual Property to coordinate IP enforcement, issue reports and case studies and develop IP legislation and regulations.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2073856/business-economy

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Southeast Asia

 

Restaurant serves Iftar at Yokohama Mosque in Japan

May 2, 2022

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, mosques across Japan have resumed community iftar gatherings, allowing people in the country to enjoy the communal aspect that forms a central part of Ramadan for many.

The Yokohama Mosque, the only mosque in the Japanese city, served more than 30 meals on Wednesday to Muslims to break their fast during Ramadan.

At the Yokohama Mosque, the iftar meals were provided by the Lebanese restaurant Al-Ain, which is located in Kanagawa. The meals donated by Al-Ain restaurant consist of a main course including rice, a sandwich, a side such as a piece of chicken and dessert.

Ziad Karam, the owner of Al-Ain restaurant said that he tried to help anyone who needed it at the mosque.

The restaurant has also offered a set iftar menu that is created exclusively for the holy month and charges ¥3,500 ($27) per person. The iftar features a four-course menu that consists of cold and hot mezze platters, main dishes, and desserts to allow guests to indulge in the traditional savory dishes from the Lebanese cuisine.

“Ramadan traditionally has been very busy for us. There are many Japanese people that are interested in the Lebanese cuisine that also join in on the iftar meals,” Karam said.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//restaurant-serves-iftar-at-yokohama-mosque-in-japan_1253910.html

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Muslims celebrate Aidilfitri in lively atmosphere this year

05- 02- 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: The Muslims in the country celebrated Aidilfitri today in a lively atmosphere with mosques and surau filled with congregants who brought along their family members, all decked in bright and colourful Raya clothes, to perform the Aidilfitri prayers after two years of muted celebrations due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Aidilfitri, a joyous occasion for Muslims as it marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan, is celebrated almost as normal as pre-pandemic with many taking the opportunity to visit relatives and enjoy delicious Raya dishes after ‘balik kampung’ (return to hometowns) to celebrate the special day with their loved ones.

This year’s Aidilfitri was celebrated during the transition to the endemic phase period which saw the relaxation of the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

In KUALA LUMPUR, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah performed Aidilfitri prayers at the Federal Territory Mosque here.

Also present with about 7,000 congregants filling the mosque's prayer hall were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Cabinet ministers.

In PUTRAJAYA, a congregation of more than 3,000 performed the Aidilfitri prayers at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque.

In PERLIS, Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail performed the Aidilfitri prayers at Dataran Istiadat, Istana Arau, with residents of Perlis while in KEDAH, Sultan of Kedah Al Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin Almarhum Sultan Badlishah and Sultanah of Kedah Sultanah Maliha Tengku Ariff went to perform the Aidilfitri prayers at the Zahir Mosque.

In PERAK, Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah performed the Aidilfitri prayers with about 1,000 congregants at the Ubudiah Mosque, Bukit Chandan and he spent time greeting the congregants before leaving to visit the royal mausoleum located next to the mosque.

In NEGERI SEMBILAN, Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan, Tuanku Muhriz Almarhum Tuanku Munawir and Tunku Ampuan Besar Tuanku Aishah Rohani Tengku Besar Mahmud joined 1,500 congregants to perform the Aidilfitri prayers at the Tuanku Munawir Royal Mosque, Seri Menanti, Kuala Pilah.

Meanwhile, in KELANTAN, Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V performed the prayers with thousands of congregants at the Al-Ismaili Mosque in Bandar Baru Pasir Pekan, Tumpat, and in TERENGGANU, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin performed the Aidilfitri prayers at the Al-Muktafi Billah Shah Mosque.

In PAHANG, Regent of Pahang, Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah performed the Aiditfitri prayers at the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah Mosque, Temerloh.

In MELAKA, Yang Dipertua Negeri of Melaka Tun Mohd Ali Rustam performed the prayers with thousands of congregants at the Al-Azim Mosque, Bukit Palah while in PENANG, cloudy weather with occasional rain did not stop about 5,000 Muslims from performing the Aidilfitri prayers with Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak at the Penang State Mosque.

In SELANGOR, more than 15,000 Muslims performed the Aidilfitri prayers at the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque, Shah Alam, and some of them came as early as 7 am.

In JOHOR, Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and his wife Datin Sharmin Fazlina Mohd Shukor performed the Aidilfitri prayers with more than 1,000 congregants at the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque.

Meanwhile, traffic is reported to be slow-moving on several stretches of the highways this afternoon as people took the opportunity to ‘balik kampung’ after performing the Aidilfitri prayers.

According to the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) Twitter page, the north-bound traffic is reported to be slow-moving before the Rawang South Toll Plaza; from Bukit Beruntung to Bukit Tafar; from Slim River to Sungkai; and from the Menora Tunnel to Sungai Perak.

Traffic is also slow-moving due to the increase in the number of vehicles plying towards the east coast at the Gombak Toll Plaza and 4.4 kilometres before the Genting Sempah Tunnel and from Gombak to Genting Sempah rest and service (R&R) area.

Source: The Sun Daily

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

https://www.thesundaily.my/home/muslims-celebrate-aidilfitri-in-lively-atmosphere-this-year-XE9152451

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Indonesian Muslims fully celebrate Eid al-Fitr after two years

02 May ,2022

Millions of Muslims in Indonesia returned to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in full swing Monday after two years of subdued festivities due to pandemic restrictions and travel curbs.

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

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Islamic holy month Ramadan, when the faithful fast from dawn to dusk.

The return of the Eid tradition of homecoming has caused great excitement for people in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, as family gatherings and meet-ups with friends were on people’s lists while shoppers flocked shopping centers despite surges in food prices.

In the past week, millions of Indonesians have crammed into trains, ferries, busses and — in greater numbers than ever — motorcycles, as they poured out of major cities to return to their villages to celebrate the holiday with families amid severe traffic congestion starting to occur on major thoroughfares across the country.

Flights were overbooked and anxious relatives weighed down with boxes of gifts formed long lines at bus stations for journeys that can take days.

The annual exodus tradition, known locally as “mudik,” returned this year after President Joko Widodo surprisingly announced last month that the government decided to ease restrictions for the holiday festivities for the first time since it was banned two years ago due to COVID-19.

The country had largely recovered from a third wave of COVID-19 infections as an omicron-driven surge peaked at around 64,700 daily cases in mid-February. New daily infections had fallen to around 200 by May.

About 80 percent of Indonesia’s eligible population of 208.2 million people have been fully vaccinated as of Sunday.

The government estimates around 85 million travelers were expected to crisscross the vast archipelago that spans 17,000 islands for Eid al-Fitr this year, with about 14 million travelers departing from Jakarta’s greater metropolitan area.

This is significantly higher than pre-pandemic, when some 30 million people participated in the annual exodus tradition.

Worshippers wearing masks joined communal prayers shoulder-to-shoulder without physical distancing in the streets of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and in mosques across the city.

In Jakarta’s Istiqlal Grand Mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia, tens of thousands of Muslims attend prayers after authorities shuttered the mosque in 2020, when Islam’s holiest period coincided with the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Istiqlal mosque was totally closed during 2020 and remained closed for congregational prayers in 2021.

“Words can’t describe how happy I am today. After two years we were separated by pandemic, today we can do Eid prayer together again,” said Epi Tanjung, a resident in Jakarta. “Hopefully all of these will make us more faithful,” he said after worshiping with his wife at Jakarta’s Al Azhar mosque where Muslims were seen embracing one another after prayers.

Despite soaring food prices in the past month, popular markets such as Tanah Abang in Jakarta were teeming with shoppers buying clothes, shoes, cookies and sweets before the holiday.

Security personnel were overwhelmed by thousands of shoppers and traders who ignored health protocols.

The Trade Ministry has said that prices of imported staple foods including wheat, sugar, beef, and soybeans had seen the sharpest year-on-year rise in 2022 as a result of rising global commodity prices and supply chain disruptions, particularly following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Prices may go higher as loosened pandemic restrictions coupled with the Eid al-Fitr festivities and the end of the Ramadan fasting month increase domestic food demand.

“Food prices, which are getting higher day by day, certainly affected my life,” said Aneke Karolina, a mother of two in Jakarta.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/world/2022/05/02/Indonesian-Muslims-fully-celebrate-Eid-al-Fitr-after-2-years

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Muslim community has weathered pandemic well: President Halimah Yacob

Linette Lai

SINGAPORE - Singapore's Muslim community has done well in facing the pandemic, through which they have learnt to prepare for uncertainty and disruption, as well as bounce back from setbacks, said President Halimah Yacob on Monday (May 2).

"As we enter the endemic stage and face the future, there will be new challenges but I'm sure that given how far we have come, we are up to any challenge," she added in a video message ahead of Tuesday's Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.

It is the first time in two years that people will be able to go all out with Hari Raya celebrations after a month of fasting, as size limits on social gatherings were completely lifted on April 26.

In her message posted on social media, Madam Halimah said the pandemic has strengthened the community's solidarity and resolve to support the needy.

Individuals pitched in alongside organisations such as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), mosques and other Malay/Muslim groups to help those who needed it, she added.

The President highlighted the efforts of Mr Asanul Fariq Sani and his wife Norhasyimah Awaludin, who were nominated for The Straits Times' Singaporean of the Year award last year for their efforts in helping others despite their own livelihoods being affected by the pandemic.

The couple, who were operating a school canteen stall which had to close during the circuit breaker period, started out by delivering food to a few households in need.

They eventually turned the space outside their Tampines flat into a "kindness corner" for people to help themselves to free groceries.

"Such acts of charity brought us closer to the true meaning of our faith," Madam Halimah said.

Despite the challenges the community faced - such as strict limits on prayers at mosques to prevent the virus' spread - it remained cohesive and strong, she added.

"We responded to the restrictions peacefully and continued to practise our faith with deep conviction," Madam Halimah added. "We also continued to forge strong bonds of understanding and trust with the other religious communities and helped strengthen religious harmony and social cohesion."

Although people were economically affected by job losses or pay cuts, many used the downturn to reskill and upskill in preparation for better jobs in growth sectors, she added.

"We remained nimble and adaptable throughout and never let Covid-19 beat us. Now that we are opening our borders and easing the restrictions, many sectors are recruiting and providing good job opportunities."

Source: Straits Times

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

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/politics/muslim-community-has-weathered-pandemic-well-president-halimah-yacob

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King, Queen perform Aidilfitri prayers at Federal Territory Mosque

05- 02- 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah performed Aidilfitri prayers at the Federal Territory Mosque, here today.

Their Majesties arrived at the mosque at 8.14 am, accompanied by their daughter, Tengku Puteri Afzan Aminah Hafizatullah.

Grand Imam of the Federal Territory Mosque, Muhyidin Aziz @ Saari led the prayers.

Also participating in the Aidilfitri prayers were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who arrived at the mosque at 8.07 am. Members of the Cabinet and deputy ministers along with their spouses as well as members of the public have also joined the congregation.

This is the first time the Yang di-Pertuan Agong performed the Aidilfitri prayers outside the Istana Negara.

Prior to this, Their Majesties performed the Aidilfitri prayers at Istana Negara following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) nationwide in the past two years.

The prayers were conducted in accordance with the new guidelines on the relaxation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in mosques and surau in the Federal Territories effective today following the government's announcement on the relaxation of SOPs in mosques and surau.

Based on the new guidelines, the requirement to scan the MySejahtera QR code to enter mosques and surau, the use of a personal prayer mat and physical distancing between the congregants have been lifted.

In addition, everyone regardless of their vaccination status, except those in the high-risk group or who are under home surveillance order (HSO), are allowed to enter mosques and surau and the wearing of the mask is compulsory in mosques and surau but not mandatory in open areas or outsides of these areas (mosques and surau).

The Aidilfitri sermon, titled 'Kemenangan Menuju Keredhaan', among others, called on Muslims in the country to exercise self-control and complete the vaccination including booster doses and vaccinations for children to reduce the risk of more severe Covid-19 infection.

In addition, Muslims are also called upon to work together to enhance the brotherhood.

Before leaving, Al-Sultan Abdullah spent time exchanging greetings with the congregants.

The Prime Minister also spent time with the congregants.

Source: The Sun Daily

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

https://www.thesundaily.my/home/king-queen-perform-aidilfitri-prayers-at-federal-territory-mosque-AD9151561

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Mufti's office explains why Singapore Muslims celebrate Hari Raya on Tuesday, unlike others in the region

MAY 2, 2022

SINGAPORE - Some Muslims in Singapore have been wondering why Hari Raya Puasa here falls on Tuesday (May 3) when neighbouring countries Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei are celebrating the festival on Monday (May 2).

Singapore Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, the Republic's top Islamic leader, announced on Sunday (May 1) night that Muslims here will celebrate Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, on Tuesday.

This is because according to astronomical calculations, the crescent moon for the Islamic month of Syawal, which follows Ramadan, did not appear in the evening after sunset on Sunday.

The crescent moon - which traditionally marks the start of a new month - could not be seen either, the Mufti added.

Nevertheless, questions about the discrepancy continued to be asked on social media, given that the rest of the region is marking the festival a day earlier.

In a statement on Monday morning, the Office of the Mufti explained that in this region, differences in the start of the Hijri, or Islamic calendar, have occurred very frequently in the past - as recently as 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2021 - and may well occur again in future.

Thus, in 2022, not all countries in the world, including Muslim-majority countries, celebrate Ramadan and Aidilfitri on the same dates.

"Indeed, the crescent moon has also not been sighted in a few other countries, and as a consequence, they will be celebrating Aidilfitri on Tuesday, May 3, like Singapore," the statement said.

Bangladesh, India and Pakistan are among the countries celebrating the festival on Tuesday.

Added the statement: "For as long as we hold true to the principles of our faith and the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad, differences in the determination of the Islamic calendar is something which is neither unexpected nor alarming."

The Office of the Mufti explained that Muslims are taught that if the moon is obscured, they are to regard Ramadan as having 30 days.

According to the Islamic calendar, which is lunar, some months can last 29 days and others 30 days.

Scholars have used two primary criteria - calculation based on astronomy, and the sighting of the moon - to determine whether the crescent moon is visible.

However, in Singapore, it is generally extremely difficult for the crescent moon to be visible because of climatic conditions, which are often cloudy.

Singapore therefore uses the commonly agreed upon criteria used by four regional countries in MABIMS, an informal gathering of religious ministers of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, in determining the sighting of the crescent moon.

These criteria have been reviewed and refined by the four countries since 2017, and revised in 2021, based on more than 700 data points of crescent sightings from around the world.

The new criteria consider two parameters during sunset on the 29th day of the month - the elevation of the crescent moon, which must exceed three degrees, and the degree of elongation of the sun and the moon, which must exceed 6.4 degrees.

"Based on these criteria, the crescent moon was not visible in Singapore at sunset on 29 Ramadan," the statement said.

"For confirmation, the Office of the Mufti together with experts in the science of falak (astronomy) attempted to conduct a physical sighting of the crescent moon, which was unsuccessful - that is, the new moon was not visible.

During the sighting, it was also clear that the western horizon was overcast with clouds," it added.

The statement noted that the religious authorities of the other MABIMS countries reported that the crescent moon was visible in their sightings only at certain sites in their own territories.

"Their individual results are valid in their respective contexts," it said.

The statement added that early Muslim chroniclers also acknowledged differences in determining the start or end of Ramadan in different cities, based on differences in sighting the crescent moon.

Source: Straits Times

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

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/muftis-office-explains-why-singapore-muslims-celebrate-hari-raya-on-tuesday-unlike-others-in-the-region

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Mideast

 

Iranian Speaker: US Using ISIL Terrorists to Create Insecurity in Afghanistan

2022-May-1

The US is using the ISIL terrorists to create insecurity in Afghanistan in order to plunge the oppressed people of Afghanistan into an unprecedented crisis by creating ethnic-religious sedition in Afghanistan and to put pressure on the Kabul-based government to yield to its demands, Qalibaf said, addressing an open session of the parliament in Tehran on Sunday.

He added that the governing body in Kabul is responsible for establishment of security and stability in the country which unfortunately has not been able to fulfill its duty so far.

Forming an inclusive government representing all ethnic groups in Afghanistan is a prerequisite for success in achieving sustainable security, Qalibaf stressed.

Several Afghan mosques have come under terrorist attacks over the past few weeks, leaving scores of people dead and many others injured.

The Iranian embassy in Kabul condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan which killed a large number of innocent people in the holy month of Ramadan, and wished success for the ruling body in the war-hit country in fight against terrorism.

The Iranian mission warned in its twitter account on Friday that neither Sunni nor Shiite Muslims are safe in the face of criminal acts committed by extremist groups.

The statement was issued after a terrorist bombing at a Shiite mosque in the Afghan capital that left dozens of people dead.

“This embassy condemns the episode and hopes that the interim Afghan government would succeed in fighting terrorism and extremism and ensuring the security of the Afghan people,” part of the twitter post read.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010211000355/Iranian-Speaker-US-Using-ISIL-Terrriss-Creae-Insecriy-in-Afghanisan

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Thanks Iran's Leader on Quds Day

2022-May-1

He extended thanks to Ayatollah Khamenei for his insightful remarks stated on the occasion of International Day of Quds.

Abu Hamza pointed to the participation of millions of freedom-seekers in the world who responded to the call of Al-Quds, and said that such massive turnout raised glimmers of hopes for the liberation of Palestine and defeat of "the Zionist regime in international arenas".

Freedom-seekers from all over the world staged massive rally on Friday on the occasion of International Day of Quds, which marks the last Friday of holy month of Ramadan, and raised the flag in defense of Al-Quds in the city squares, he pointed out.

The International Quds Day is an annual event opposing Israel's occupation of Beitul-Muqaddas. Anti-Zionist rallies and demonstrations are held on the last Friday of Ramadan in Muslim and Arab countries around the world, specially in Iran, as well as a large number of non-Muslim states.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010211000820/Palesinian-Islamic-Jihad-Thanks-Iran's-Leader-n-Qds-Day

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Hamas slams 70 years of Israeli occupation of Palestine as ‘full-fledged war crime’

01 May 2022

The continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine for over 70 years is “a full-fledged racist war crime,” says the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which also denounced the Tel Aviv regime’s incessant violation of the Palestinian people’s rights, in particular workers.

“All the human suffering experienced by our people, especially the workers who are exposed to different forms of targeting and restrictions on a daily basis and denied their most basic rights, has been caused by the occupation,” Hamas said in a Sunday press release on the occasion of the International Workers’ Day, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

The movement also denounced the attempts to target the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and change or end its real role as the witness to crimes committed by the Israeli regime against the Palestinian people

The Palestinian refugees in all areas of their presence should be allowed to exercise their rights, mainly their right to work, it added.

Hamas further urged the competent UN and international human rights and humanitarian organizations to assume their responsibilities in this regard, emphasizing that they should work on exposing Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian workers, pressuring the regime to lift its siege on the Gaza Strip, which affects workers’ livelihoods, and ensuring that they are given their legitimate rights to work and live with freedom and dignity on their own land.

The statement came after the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said Israel finds it easy to impose “collective punishment” against Palestinians since the regime is hardly ever held to account.

In a statement on Sunday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the Israeli regime practices the worst forms of discrimination and colonial racism against the defenseless Palestinian people on a daily basis and before the eyes of the international community, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

Acts of sabotage and settler violence against the Palestinians and their property are commonplace throughout the occupied territories, particularly in the West Bank. However, Israeli authorities rarely prosecute the settlers and the majority of the files are closed due to deliberate police failure to investigate the crimes properly.

The latest development comes as the Israeli regime has escalated its deadly attacks against Palestinians in the run-up to Ramadan and sustained the violence throughout the holy fasting month, stirring up anti-Tel Aviv sentiments throughout the occupied territories.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/05/01/681345/Hamas-resistance-movement-Palestine-Israel-workers-refugees-racist-war-crime-atrocities-occupation

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Intelligence Ministry Warns of Enemies' Attempts to Sow Discord between Iranians, Afghans

2022-May-1

Common enemies of the Iranian and Afghan nations are making attempts desperately and constantly to create differences between the neighboring countries of the West Asian region, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Referring to the spread of certain rumors against Afghan citizens on social media in Iran in order to create fear and panic towards these citizens in the country and reciprocally the release of similar rumors on social media against Iranian people in Afghanistan, ministry announced that the claims and rumors are not true.

These rumors are part of the desperate and constant efforts of the common enemies of the two nations of "Iran and Afghanistan" to create differences between the neighboring countries of the West Asian region, it said.

These actions are in line with the same actions that are being carried out inside Afghanistan these days with a series of explosions in the Shiite and Sunni mosques and the killing of innocent fasting worshipers, with the intention of creating conflict among Muslims, the statement said.

The ministry also extended condolences over the killing and injuring of a number of Afghan people in recent terrorist incidents in Afghanistan.

Several Afghan mosques have come under terrorist attacks over the past few weeks, leaving scores of people dead and many others injured.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf warned that Washington is using the ISIL terrorist group to create insecurity and rift among the religious and ethnic groups in Afghanistan.

The US is using the ISIL terrorists to create insecurity in Afghanistan in order to plunge the oppressed people of Afghanistan into an unprecedented crisis by creating ethnic-religious sedition in Afghanistan and to put pressure on the Kabul-based government to yield to its demands, Qalibaf said, addressing an open session of the parliament in Tehran on Sunday.

He added that the governing body in Kabul is responsible for establishment of security and stability in the country which unfortunately has not been able to fulfill its duty so far.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010211000700/Inelligence-Minisry-Warns-f-Enemies'-Aemps-Sw-Discrd-beween-Iranians-

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Muslim Brotherhood TV channel leaves Turkey during Ankara-Cairo thaw

Apr 30 2022

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated satellite channel Mekameleen TV is moving all its operations from Turkey amid increased efforts for a thaw a in relations between Ankara and Cairo, Diken news site reported on Saturday.

The channel’s departure from Turkey is part of an effort to continue “the ability to report freely,” it cited the network as saying in a statement released on Friday.

“We take this chance to thank Turkey’s people and their leadership for the hospitality over many years, which goes to show our deep shared roots that transcend any current crisis,” the statement said.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt were fractured after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in a 2013 military coup and launched a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a “terror group” by Cairo in the same year.

Turkish President Erdoğan, who had forged close ties with the ousted Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi, frequently condemned Sisi as a dictator and Turkey became a safe haven for Egyptian exiles opposed to the government in Cairo.

But last year, Egypt and Turkey resumed diplomatic contacts, holding rounds of exploratory talks at deputy foreign minister level in May and September.

Turkey last year ordered Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated television channels based in Istanbul to halt criticism of the north African country, in a concrete step towards a thaw, Saudi news outlet Al Arabiya reported.

Two other Brotherhood-affiliated networks, Watan and El Sharq, also operate from Turkey.

Source: Ahval News

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https://ahvalnews.com/egypt-turkey/muslim-brotherhood-tv-channel-leaves-turkey-during-ankara-cairo-thaw

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Former Afghanistan President congratulates Eid al-Fitr to Iranian FM

May 2, 2022

Former president of Afghanistan on Sunday evening in a phone talk with Iranian foreign minister congratulated the upcoming Eid al-Fitr to him, the Iranian nation and government.

Referring to the recent days' terrorist acts in Afghanistan and condemning blind terrorism, which targets innocent people, Karzai said that shaping up the future of Afghanistan is merely possible in cooperation and contributions of the entire Afghan tribes, ethnic groups and people.

Karzai, meanwhile, appreciated the cooperation and assistance of Afghanistan’s neighbors, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran to help the people of Afghanistan pass through the current tough conditions.

In the phone talk, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian felicitated the blessed Eid al-Fitr to Hamid Karzai and prayed to Almighty Allah for the prestigious life, wellbeing, and happiness of the Afghan nation.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//former-afghanistan-president-congratulates-eid-al-fitr-to-iranian-fm_1253895.html

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President Rayeesi: Iran Increases Oil Sales, Trade with Neighbors to Nullify Sanctions

2022-May-1

The government does not view the removal of the sanctions on Iran as the only solution to the country’s economic woes, Rayeesi said on Sunday, addressing a meeting with political activists in Tehran.

He added that his administration had taken a range of measures to address Iran’s economic issues.

“Efforts to increase the sale of oil, to enhance commercial ties with neighboring countries, and to boost the country’s economic relations in general have been taken to neutralize the sanctions and make their removal easier,” the Iranian president said.

He said his administration had overlooked no approach to the resolving of Iran’s economic hardships and had taken whatever step it believed could help.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said in March that in addition to efforts to remove the illegal sanctions against the country through the Vienna talks, Tehran has focused its attempts on rendering the embargoes ineffective.

“In addition to efforts toward sanctions removal, the country’s major strategy is to focus on creating mechanisms in order to render the sanctions tool ineffective. Fortunately, very good measures have been taken in this regard,” he said.

Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) Alireza Moqaddasi announced last month that the volume of the country's trade exchanges with its neighboring countries has considerably increased.

"Iran has increased its trade exchanges to $52 billion," Moqaddasi said.

“Iran’s policy of convergence with the countries of the region, especially its neighbors in the current administration, has led to the growth of trade with all countries, especially neighbors, in parallel with efforts to increase production in the country,” he added.

Moqaddasi pointed out that 100.131 million tons of goods worth $51.85 billion were exchanged last year between Iran and 15 neighboring countries.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010211000446/Presiden-Rayeesi-Iran-Increases-Oil-Sales-Trade-wih-Neighbrs-Nllify

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Deputy Commander: Iranian Army at Highest Defense Levels

2022-May-1

Today, the Iranian Army is in the highest defensive position, General Sharafi said.

He added that despite the sanctions, the range of the Army's missiles has been improved, noting that today both friends and foes acknowledge that the Iranian Army's artillery is the largest in West Asia.

The Iranian Army in a ceremony last month unveiled a number of its home-made achievements, including heavy vehicles and several medical equipment.

Super heavy trailer trucks, optimized super heavy vehicles capable of carrying 100 tons and 60 tons, various wards of the field hospital, including laboratory, surgery room, radiology, ICU, and armored ambulance capable of carrying 6 injured people were unveiled during the ceremony.

The ceremony was held in the presence of Army Commander Major General Seyed Abdolrahim Moussavi, Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari and other top military officials.

"In recent years, the Army Ground Force upgraded combat capabilities in the field of military missions and civilian aid. The Army and the Armed forces of the country will stand strong against any threat that targets Iran," General Moussavi said, addressing the ceremony.

The Iranian Army had also in April unveiled Fath tactical ballistic missile for the first time during the military parades in Southern Tehran.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010211000801/Depy-Cmmander-Iranian-Army-a-Highes-Defense-Levels

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Leader Pardons, Commutes Sentences of over 1500 Prisoners

2022-May-1

Ayatollah Khamenei agreed with granting clemency to 1,542 convicts of different Iranian courts.

He issued the approval on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

The pardon was made at the request of the country's Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejeyee.

Iran's Constitution grants the Supreme Leader the right to pardon or commute the sentences of convicts upon a recommendation from the head of the judiciary.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010211000397/Leader-Pardns-Cmmes-Senences-f-ver-500-Prisners

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Iran Calls for Permanent Ceasefire in Yemen

2022-May-1

Khaji made the remarks in a meeting with Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Henrik Thune in Tehran on Saturday.

During the meeting, the two officials called for achieving a peaceful resolution to end the Yemen crisis.

The latest developments in Yemen and the ways to reach a peaceful resolution to the Yemen crisis were also discussed in this meeting.

Khaji welcomed implementation of the temporary ceasefire in Yemen, but meantime, stressed the need for a permanent cessation of aggression, as well as the start of the intra-Yemeni political dialogue.

Thune, for his part, said that his country makes efforts to support a political solution to the Yemeni crisis.

In relevant remarks in April, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian had also underlined the necessity for continued ceasefire and stop of the Saudi-led coalition war and siege on Yemen.

Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in a meeting with Yemeni Ambassador to Tehran Ibrahim Mohammad Mohammad al-Deilami.

He stressed the need for complete removal of the blockade against Yemen and establishment of a permanent ceasefire in the country.

Amir Abdollahian hailed the resistance of the Yemeni people against the Saudi-led coalition attacks, and expressed concern about the critical situation in Yemen.

He underscored that lifting siege on Yemen and establishing a permanent ceasefire will pave the way for Yemeni-Yemeni talks to determine their own destiny.

The Iranian top diplomat also stated that the Yemeni people will decide their own destiny with vigilance and resistance spirit.

Source: Fars News Agency

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

https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010211000233/Iran-Calls-fr-Permanen-Ceasefire-in-Yemen

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Iranian FM: Muslims' Rallies on Quds Day Indicate Survival of Palestinian Cause

2022-May-1

Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in a phone conversation with his Bruneian counterpart Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof on Saturday.

He referred to the violence used by the Israeli regime against Palestinians throughout the occupied territories, which has taken turn for the worse since the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, condemning the regime's brutality.

The Iranian minister, however, asserted that Muslim nations' monumental demonstrations on the occasion of the International Quds Day on Friday, indicated that the Palestinian cause of freedom from Israeli aggression and occupation as well as resistance for the liberation of the holy city of al-Quds, were still alive.

Amir Abdollahian underscored the significance of boosting cooperation between Iran and Muslim, friendly, and Asian countries, noting that it was among the main priorities of the current Iranian administration's foreign policy.

He expressed gratitude for Brunei's "positive stances" across international bodies, urging the two countries' technical committee to meet.

Iran's top diplomat also emphasized the need for enhancement of bilateral technical, commercial, scientific, and economic relations between Tehran and Bandar Seri Begawan.

He said that the Islamic Republic welcomes further expansion of relations with Brunei.

The Bruneian official, for his part, denounced the Israeli regime's atrocities, saying his country backed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to hold a meeting to discuss the dire situation across the occupied Palestinian territories.

Millions of people from all walks of life took to streets all over the world to mark the International Quds Day on Friday to show their full and everlasting support for the oppressed Palestinian nation against Israeli occupation and aggressions, specially its recent crimes against the Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The ralliers chanted 'death to the US' and 'death to Israel' slogans and showed anger over normalization of relations between certain Arab states and Israel.

The International Quds Day is an annual event opposing Israel's occupation of Beitul-Muqaddas. Anti-Zionist rallies and demonstrations are held on the last Friday of Ramadan in Muslim and Arab countries around the world, specially in Iran, as well as a large number of non-Muslim states.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010211000184/Iranian-FM-Mslims'-Rallies-n-Qds-Day-Indicae-Srvival-f-Palesinian

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Ramadan ends for Palestinians with more arrests by Israel

MOHAMMED NAJIB

May 01, 2022

RAMALLAH: On the last day of Ramadan, the Israeli army escalated its campaign of arrests and raids against Palestinians in several cities and towns in the West Bank.

It detained 12 Palestinians from the villages of Qarawat Bani Hassan, Jalazun refugee camp, Merka, Sanur, Salem town, and the Balata refugee camp in Nablus.

There were clashes between Palestinian youths and the Israeli armed forces, with five youths sustaining bullet injuries.

An Israeli spokesperson said the army and the Shin Bet security service carried out an engineering survey of the house of the perpetrators of Friday's Ariel settlement attack, which resulted in the killing of an Israeli security guard.

On Saturday, the Israeli army announced arresting the perpetrators of the attack in a house in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan near Salfit. The weapons used in the attack were seized.

Medical sources said 18 Palestinians were killed by Israeli bullets during Ramadan.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called on the US to pressure Israel to stop the policy of collective punishment against Palestinians and urged it to fulfill its obligations and avoid double standards.

The ministry said in a statement that the US administration's keenness to make efforts to calm the situation must be accompanied by translating its pledges into practical steps, especially its positions regarding equal rights to freedom, dignity, and prosperity for both sides.

The ministry condemned the attacks of the occupying forces and settler militias on Palestinians in Palestinian towns and villages.

Israel is imposing a security closure on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip crossings, starting from May 3 until the evening of May 6 because of Israel’s Independence Day. The Israeli army spokesperson said the decision to end the closure would depend on the security situation on the ground.

The Israeli army said it would hold military maneuvers next week in the city of Wadi Ara to train its forces to deal with confrontations erupting in mixed towns, similar to what happened in May last year.

Israeli sources said the maneuvers would take place on a large scale, noting they were part of the lessons learned from the “Guardian of the Fences” operation launched against Hamas in May last year.

The maneuvers will simulate several scenarios of moving the battle from the Gaza and Lebanon fronts to the areas of the West Bank and Jerusalem, including mixed cities such as Lod, Ramle, Haifa, Jerusalem, and others, in addition to imposing the closure of several main roads and the handling of any confrontations by the special forces.

In a statement on the occasion of Labor Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said the number of workers in Palestine was around 1.3 million — 630,000 in the West Bank, 259,000 in the Gaza Strip, and 145,000 in Israel and the settlements.

Source: Arab News

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

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2074091/middle-east

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People in Gaza prepare for Eid al-Fitr amid dire conditions

01 May 2022

Ashraf Shannon

People in the Gaza Strip will mark this year’s Eid al-Fitr holiday for the 16th time under the Israeli blockade.

The joyful occasion comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Traditionally, Muslims go to markets several days before Eid to buy gifts, new clothes, and sweets for their loved ones but many can’t afford that because of the high unemployment and poverty rates.

United Nations figures show that eighty percent of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been relying on handouts in recent years in order to survive.

For Gazan families, it has been a very tough task to buy Eid items for their children amid the harsh economic situation in the besieged coastal enclave. People scour the markets for hours to try and find affordable gifts for their families.

For merchants, this Eid season has been one of the worst they had in years. Usually during holidays like Eid al-Fitr sales are high in markets around the world but in Gaza, shop owners complain of a lack of sales.

Despite the harsh circumstances, Palestinians in Gaza are preparing themselves to receive Eid al-Fitr holiday like all Muslims around the world.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/05/01/681352/Gaza-Eil-Fitr-Israel-blockade-Muslims-unemployment-

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Turkish police detain dozens in Istanbul during May Day demonstrations

01 May 2022

Scores of Turkish protesters in the coastal city of Istanbul have been detained by the riot police during May Day demonstrations against the country’s economic hardship caused by galloping inflation.

This year's rallies took place on Sunday against the backdrop of soaring inflation that has destroyed livelihoods and upended the economy.

Protesters were arrested as they were trying to reach Istanbul’s main Taksim Square.

The Istanbul governor's office said 164 people were held after staging "an unauthorized rally" and refusing to disperse despite police warnings. May Day celebrations were authorized in another district by the Istanbul governor’s office, which had banned gatherings in all other locations.

Pictures of scuffles with riot police and handcuffed protesters were shown on television by domestic broadcasters.

Moreover, a report citing Demiroren News Agency, says police also detained 30 people in central Besiktas and 22 others in Sisli districts.

Marches and demonstrations, led by workers and unions, are held on May 1 every year in many countries to mark the International Labor Day.

However, these days the rallies took on new meaning in the midst of economic crises faced by some countries, including Turkey.

Turkey’s annual inflation rate is expected to rise to 68% in April, driven higher by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and rising commodity prices, receding only slightly by the end of the year, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

The rampant inflation and the economic hardship it causes were cited in May Day statements from several groups.

Head of the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Turk-Is), Ergun Atalay, said “our main theme this year had to be cost of living,” demanding that minimum wages be adjusted monthly to reflect rising prices.

“Inflation is announced at the beginning of each month. The inflation rate should be added to wages every month,” he said.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/05/01/681335/Turkish-police-detain-dozens-in-May-Day-demonstrations

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‘Israel imposes collective punishment on Palestinians due to lack of intl. accountability’

01 May 2022

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry says Israel finds it easy to impose “collective punishment” against the Palestinians since the regime is hardly ever held to account.

In a statement on Sunday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates   said the Israeli regime practices the worst forms of discrimination and colonial racism against the defenseless Palestinian people on a daily basis, and before the eyes of the international community, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

The ministry went on to say that the settlers’ attacks against Palestinians occur amid the Israeli authorities’ failure to condemn such raids or investigate them.

“If it was the other way round, the Israeli army and political leaders’ reaction would have been different, and we would have heard a torrent of condemnations and threats against Palestinians,” it said.

Acts of sabotage and settler violence against the Palestinians and their property are commonplace throughout the occupied territories, particularly in the West Bank. However, Israeli authorities rarely prosecute the settlers and the majority of the files are closed due to deliberate police failure to investigate properly.

The latest development comes as the Israeli regime has escalated its deadly attacks against Palestinians in the run-up to Ramadan and sustained the violence throughout the holy fasting month, stirring up anti-Tel Aviv sentiments throughout the occupied territories.

The Israeli regime has also ramped up its violent attacks on Palestinian worshippers in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds in recent weeks.

Last week, thousands of people across the globe took to the streets to deplore Israeli violence against Palestinians at the al-Aqsa Mosque and elsewhere in the occupied territories.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/05/01/681333/Palestine-Israel-collective-punishment-lack-of-accountability-international-law-discrimination-violence-Palestinians-Israeli-forces

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Africa

 

Eid-el-Kabir: Gov. Ugwuanyi urges Muslims to remain committed to God

May 2, 2022

By Emmanuel Uzodinma

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has called on Muslims, and indeed all Nigerians, to continue to pray fervently to God for the peace, security, unity and progress of the country.

Gov. Ugwuanyi, who made the call in his Sallah Message, congratulated Muslims as they celebrate Eid-el-Kabir.

The governor wished the Muslim faithful the blessings and guidance of Allah, urging Nigerians to embrace peace, love, tolerance and sacrifice, which are the exemplary virtues of the Holy Prophet Mohammed.

Source: Daily Post

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

https://dailypost.ng/2022/05/02/eid-el-kabir-gov-ugwuanyi-urges-muslims-to-remain-committed-to-god/

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Ramadan: Tinubu distributes rice, sugar to 50, 000 families

02 May 2022

The national leader of the All Progressives Congress APC) and 2023 presidential aspirant, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has distributed sacks of Rice and Sugar to over 50,000 families across Nigeria.

The distribution of the food items, which began last week, was aimed at putting smiles on the faces of beneficiaries during the month of Ramadan. Many of them expressed their gratitude to Tinubu.

Speaking about Ramadan earlier in April, the former Lagos governor emphasised the need to “contribute to the wellbeing of those around us, give succour to people we find in need and study more how to solve problems instead of creating them.”

He added: “Let us keep in the forefront of our minds that Ramadan also asks of us to show greater compassion, empathy and understanding, and enlightenment in how we treat and relate to one another.”

“Ramadan asks of all of us to embrace acts of kindness, love our neighbours and reach out to the poor, needy and unfortunate among us.”

Source: Guardian Nigeria

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

https://guardian.ng/news/ramadan-tinubu-distributes-rice-sugar-to-50-000-families-1/

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Protesters face tear gas on third anniversary of Sudan sit-in killings

30 April ,2022

Sudanese security forces fired tear gas at crowds who massed in Khartoum on Saturday to rally against military rule and mark the third anniversary of the killing of scores of protesters.

The crowds blocked a major road junction in the capital and laid out food to break their Ramadan fast. But just before sundown, officers began breaking up the rally and chased demonstrators into side streets, a Reuters reporter said.

Postings on social media said people also gathered in the cities of Madani, Kosti and El Obeid, carrying posters with faces of some of the young men killed in 2019.

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

“We will continue on the path the martyrs began,” said one of the protesters in Khartoum on Saturday who declined to be named.

Protests and unrest have continued to rock Sudan since months of massed demonstrations culminated in the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.

On June 3 that year, armed men charged pro-democracy demonstrators who were holding a sit-in outside the military headquarters in the center of the capital, demanding the army hand over rule to civilians after Bashir’s ousting.

Activist doctors said nearly 130 people were killed in that raid and ensuing violence. Official tallies put the death count at 87.

The military later agreed to share power with civilians but took power again in a coup in October 2021.

Sudanese police could not be reached for comment on Saturday, the third anniversary of the sit-in raid according to the Islamic lunar calendar.

Khartoum state’s security committee had on Friday called on protests to remain peaceful and blocked off central Khartoum.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/05/01/Protesters-face-tear-gas-on-third-anniversary-of-Sudan-sit-in-killings

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Morocco’s King pardons 29 jailed for ‘terrorism or extremism’ offenses

02 May ,2022

Morocco’s king pardoned 29 people jailed for “terrorism or extremism” offences in a gesture marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the justice ministry announced.

The 29 prisoners were pardoned “after having officially expressed their attachment to the... sacredness of the nation and to national institutions, revised their ideological orientations and rejected extremism and terrorism,” said a justice ministry statement issued late Sunday.

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

Of those pardoned, 23 will be freed while the remaining six will have their sentences reduced.

The 29 are part of a total of 958 people sentenced by various courts across the country that Morocco’s King Mohammed VI pardoned to mark the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of Ramadan.

In 2017, the North African nation launched a reintegration program called “Moussalaha,” or “Reconciliation,” in its prisons, targeting inmates convicted of “terrorism” who were willing to question their beliefs.

Since 2022, the security services have dismantled more than 2,000 extremist cells and made over 3,500 arrests linked to terrorism, according to official figures.

The country has largely been spared terrorist attacks since 2003, when five suicide attacks killed 33 people and wounded scores more in the economic capital Casablanca.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/05/02/Morocco-s-King-pardons-29-jailed-for-terrorism-or-extremism-offenses

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Moroccan prison program aims to de-radicalize ISIS veterans

01 May ,2022

Morocco’s prison authority has been offering “de-radicalization” training since 2017 to former ISIS fighters and others convicted of terrorism offenses

As a combatant for the ISIS who left his native Morocco to join what he felt was a holy fight in Syria, Mohsin says he saw all the horrors of war. “A terrifying experience,” he says.

Now a prisoner, the 38-year-old claims he is no longer the fanatic he was then, enraged with a murderous hatred for non-Muslims. Captured in Turkey and extradited to Morocco, he is serving a 10-year prison term on terrorism charges.

Now the former fighter has graduated with 14 other prisoners convicted of terror offenses from a Morocco de-radicalization program that might make them more eligible for an early release.

The Associated Press and other media were invited to observe their graduation ceremony Thursday in a prison in Sale near the Moroccan capital, Rabat, and to interview some prisoners under monitored and controlled conditions.

Prison administration officials picked out three men they said were willing to be interviewed. Officials stipulated that the inmates shouldn’t be identified by their full names and that their faces mustn’t be shown, citing privacy reasons.

But prison officials didn’t listen to the interviews or intervene to shut down media lines of questioning or inmates’ answers.

The 15 inmates in crisp shirts and trousers stood solemnly for Morocco’s national anthem and were handed certificates.

Prison officials said the de-radicalization program consisted of three months of classes in prison on religion, law and economics, and that inmates also received training on how to start a business.

These most recent graduates were the ninth batch since the program started in 2017.

Moulay Idriss Agoulmam, the director of social-cultural action and prisoner reintegration at Morocco’s prison administration, said the program is entirely voluntary and works with inmates “to change their behavior and improve their life path.”

“It enables prisoners to form an awareness of the gravity of their mistakes,” he said.

Graduating from the program doesn’t make inmates automatically eligible for early release, but does increase their chances of getting a royal pardon or a reduced sentence.

That’s been the case for just over half of the program’s 222 graduates so far, the prison administration says. Since 2019, the training has also been offered to women convicted under Morocco’s Anti-Terrorism Act. Ten women have graduated so far — all of them since released, including eight with pardons.

Called “Moussalaha,” meaning “reconciliation” in Arabic, the program is offered to prisoners who have demonstrated a readiness to disavow extremism.

Mohsin said he left to fight in Syria in 2012. A school dropout as a teen, he said he “was virtually illiterate and couldn’t discern good from bad.”

He said he was radicalized by people who showed him extremist videos “about the divine obligation to battle those who don’t follow Islamic principles and to murder non-Muslims.”

In Syria, “I saw massacres, rapes, and thefts,” he said. “I concluded after a time that the fight being conducted in the name of Islam had nothing to do with our religion.”

He escaped to Turkey in 2018 and was detained for a year there before being extradited to Morocco.

He says he has now disavowed extremism.

“That period of my life has passed,” he said.

Numerous Moroccans have traveled to Syria, Iraq and elsewhere to join extremist groups. Morocco has also experienced multiple attacks itself. Five suicide attacks in Casablanca in 2003 killed 33 people. In 2011, an explosion destroyed a cafe in Marrakech, killing 17 people, most of them foreign tourists.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/05/01/Moroccan-prison-program-aims-to-de-radicalize-ISIS-veterans

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