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Islamic World News ( 5 Jun 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Motivated, Misleading and Mischievous Comments: India Reacts to OIC's Statement amid Prophet Muhammad Controversy

New Age Islam News Bureau

06 June 2022

 

File photo of ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

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• Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and Kuwait Condemn Controversial Remarks of BJP Leaders against Prophet Mohammed

• Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Slams India, Calls Upon UN to Take Measures to Address ‘Practices Targeting Muslims’

• Curb Spread of Reincarnation Concept among Muslims, Says Penang Mufti

• Attack On Catholic Church in Nigeria’s Ondo State during Mass On Sunday Kills 50

 

India

• After Gulf Backlash, BJP Removes Spokespersons, Says It 'Denounces Insult of Religious Personality'

• Muslim Cleric Threatens To 'Chop off Tongues That Insult Prophet Mohammad' In Rajasthan's Bundi Area

• 'Religious Intolerance Only On TV': Sadhguru Says No Major Riots in Past 10 Years In India

• Islamic organisation Raza Academy members protest attacks on Kashmiri Pandits

• After suspension from BJP, Nupur Sharma withdraws statement

• Gyanvapi row: Fresh petition seeks action against mosque committee, Hindu seer files plea to worship Shivling

• In Agra, Shahi Jama Masjid Mosque committee’s chairman booked for threatening lawyer

• Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist arrested in Jammu & Kashmir's Kishtwar

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Arab World

• Saudi Arabia Condemns Indian Officials’ Comments Insulting Prophet Mohammed; Doha Demanded the Indian Government Issue a Public Apology

• YPG/PKK terrorists hide weapons among civilians in Syria's Tal Rifat

• PKK terror group attacks Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq

• 38 Daesh/ISIS terrorists captured in Iraqi raid

• Lebanon warns Israel against any ‘aggression’ in disputed waters

• Egypt rejects ship carrying Indian wheat originally intended for Turkey

• Iraqi security forces intercept microlight aircraft carrying million captagon pills

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Southeast Asia

• 60 Rohingya found abandoned on Thai island: police

• Annuar is bold but part of an Umno minority, say analysts

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Africa

• Owo Massacre: Boko Haram Is In South West, More Churches, Mosques Next Targets – Islamic Group

• Algerian man arrested over insulting Prophet

• Tunisia police block protests against Saied referendum

• Tunisia's Ennahda slams ‘policy of distortion’ against judges

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North America

• Adam Schiff: Biden should not visit Saudi Arabia, meet crown prince

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Pakistan

• Pakistan PM Sharif Condemns Controversial Remarks of BJP Leader against Prophet

• Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan trigger diplomatic row

• Pakistan ruling alliance questions PM Shehbaz Sharif’s decision to empower ISI to conduct verification of civil servants

• Farah Khan involved in ‘Asia’s largest money-laundering scam’: PML-N

• Govt wants NA speaker to accept Imran, Qureshi’s resignations

• Seven terrorists killed by security forces in two separate IBOs

• Pakistan to benefit from Indonesian’s palm oil export: Envoy

• Terror-financing case filed against KU suicide bomber’s husband, others

• Pakistan: Shehbaz govt accuses Imran, wife Bushra, her friend of making billions during PTI tenure

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South Asia

• Taliban Atrocities on Afghan Media Continue As TV Channel Converted To Religious Seminary in Balkh

• Dawlat Waziri, Former Defence Ministry Spokesperson, Returns to Afghanistan

• Zabihullah Mujahid: Religious Rights Are “Protected” in Afghanistan

• Muttaqi: We Have a Balanced Policy and Maintain Good Relations with Our Neighbouring Countries

• Afghan musicians flee Taliban wrath, face Pakistan raids on illegal refugees

• Bangladesh chemical depot fire kills 49, injures 450

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Mideast

• Iran Summons Indian Ambassador Over Sacrilegious Remarks against Prophet Muhammad

• Hamas Warns of Zionists' Forced Entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque for Jewish Shavuot Feast

• Deputy FM: Iraq First Priority of Iran in Enhancement of Trade Ties

• Greece’s ambassador to Turkey summoned over PKK concerns

• Hamas: Unity, resistance only way to fight Israeli occupation, foil its plots

• Aqsa Mosque director: Israeli violations will lead to uncontrollable explosion

• Hamas calls for international action to protect Palestinian children from Israel's crimes

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Europe

• Al Mustafa Intl. University slams Quran burning in Sweden

• UK reopens its embassy in Libya after 8-year hiatus

• Türkiye summons Greek envoy for terror groups' activities in Greece

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/mischievous-oic-prophet-muhammad-controversy/d/127182

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Motivated, Misleading and Mischievous Comments: India Reacts to OIC's Statement amid Prophet Muhammad Controversy

 

File photo of ministry of external affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

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By: ABP News Bureau | Updated at: 06 Jun 2022

New Delhi: India has categorically rejected the statement by the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Monday as 'unwarranted and narrow-minded' comments and reiterated its stance that India accords the highest respect to all religions. In response to the OIC statement, ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “The offensive tweets and comments denigrating a religious personality were made by certain individuals. They do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. Strong action has already been taken against these individuals by relevant bodies.”

The government stated it is regrettable that OIC Secretariat has yet again chosen to make motivated, misleading, and mischievous comments. “This only exposes its divisive agenda being pursued at the behest of vested interests,” it noted.

The government urged the OIC Secretariat to stop pursuing its communal approach and show due respect to all faiths and religions.

The 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) raised concerns against the "systematic harassment of minorities in India" on Sunday. India conveyed to Qatar and Kuwait that it had taken strong action against those who made controversial remarks on Twitter against the minorities.

The controversial remarks have caused anger among Arab nations, including Qatar, Kuwait, and Iran. Saudi Arabia also joined the list of nations by issuing official notes to India amid the controversy.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday suspended Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal from the party’s primary membership. The order in this regard was issued by the BJP Central Disciplinary Committee. Jindal has been terminated from the BJP’s primary membership “for expressing thoughts of communal disharmony on social media”, ANI reported.

The ruling party had already distanced itself from the controversial comments allegedly made by Sharma against Prophet Mohammed. BJP national general secretary Arun Singh in a statement said the party is strongly against any ideology, which insults or demeans any sect or religion.

After the action, Sharma unconditionally withdrew her controversial statement made in the TV debate and claimed that her comments were a reaction to “continuous insult and disrespect towards our Mahadev”‘ (Lord Shiva). Both the leaders said it was never their intention to hurt anyone’s religious feelings.

Jindal who had also posted objectionable tweets, deleted later, has been accused of often posting inciting comments. After BJP's decision, he responded by saying he had tweeted asking a question to those attacking and insulting Hindu deities and it was not aimed at hurting the religious sentiments of any community.

Source: ABP Live

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

https://news.abplive.com/news/india/unwarranted-and-narrow-minded-india-reacts-to-oic-secretariat-statement-amid-prophet-muhammad-controversy-1535784

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Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and Kuwait Condemn Controversial Remarks of BJP Leaders against Prophet Mohammed

 

Women from the Muslim community shout slogans during their protest against BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her alleged remarks on Prophet Mohammad ( Image Source : PTI )

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06.06.22

Saudi Arabia on Monday joined Qatar, Iran and Kuwait to express its condemnation of the controversial remarks of a BJP leader against Prophet Mohammed and called for "respect for beliefs and religions."

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its condemnation and denunciation of the statements made by the BJP spokesperson, saying it insulted Prophet Mohammed.

The ministry reiterated its "permanent rejection of prejudice against the symbols of the Islamic religion."

It also rejected anything that give rise to prejudice against "all religious figures and symbols."

While welcoming the measures taken by the BJP to suspend the spokeswoman, the ministry reaffirmed the "Kingdom's position calling for respect for beliefs and religions".

Qatar, Iran and Kuwait on Sunday summoned India's Ambassadors and the key Gulf nations expressed their strong protest and condemnation of the controversial remarks of a BJP leader against Prophet Mohammed.

Seeking to defuse a diplomatic row, spokespersons of the Indian Embassy in Qatar and Kuwait said on Sunday that the Ambassadors "conveyed that the tweets do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the Government of India. These are the views of fringe elements."

In New Delhi, the BJP on Sunday suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their controversial remarks against the Prophet.

Amid protests by Muslim groups over the remarks, the party also issued a statement aimed at assuaging the concerns of minorities and distancing itself from these members, asserting that it respects all religions and strongly denounces the insult of any religious personality.

The controversial remarks also sparked a Twitter trend in the Arab world calling for a boycott of Indian products.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/saudi-arabia-condemns-controversial-remarks-of-bjp-leader-against-prophet/cid/1868563

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Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Slams India, Calls Upon UN to Take Measures to Address ‘Practices Targeting Muslims’

 

OIC HEADQUARTERS. [PHOTO: TWITTER/ OIC

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Jun 6, 2022

NEW DELHI: The 57-member OIC, which sees itself as the collective voice of the Muslim world, also slammed India for the comments against the Prophet and called upon the UN to take necessary measures to address "the practices targeting Muslims in India".

"These abuses come in the context of the escalation of hatred and abuse of Islam in India and in the context of the systematic practices against Muslims and restrictions on them, especially in light of a series of decisions banning headscarves in educational institutions in a number of Indian states and demolitions of Muslim property, in addition to the increase in violence against them," it said.

The Muslim body was joined by Pakistan, which India has often accused of manipulating OIC's agenda, in condemning the remarks by BJP functionaries. "Have said it repeatedly India under Modi is trampling religious freedoms & persecuting Muslims. World should take note & severely reprimand India," tweeted Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif.

The OIC called upon Indian to resolutely confront these abuses and to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the Muslim community in India and to protect its rights, religious and cultural identity, dignity and places of worship.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/oic-slams-india-calls-upon-un-to-take-measures-to-address-practices-targeting-muslims/articleshow/92025498.cms

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Curb Spread Of Reincarnation Concept Among Muslims, Says Penang Mufti

 

Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor said reincarnation is a false belief and deviates from the true teachings of Islam. (Bernama pic)

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June 5, 2022

GEORGE TOWN: Islamic religious authorities have been urged to take prompt action to curb the spread of the reincarnation concept, namely transmigration of the soul of a dead person to another body, among Muslims in the country.

Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor made this call after the spread of a video of a religious talk delivered by an independent preacher who mentioned about the transfer of the soul (from a dead person) to the body of another person who is still alive.

“The reincarnation concept is utterly absurd (in Islam). Among the religions that believe in reincarnation are Hinduism, Buddhism, several Shia branches in Lebanon and Syria, as well as certain extreme tadauf tarikat (school of Sufism).

“In this regard, I urge the Islamic religious authorities, including the Malaysian Islamic development department (Jakim) and state religious departments, to view this issue seriously and take prompt action to curb it,” he said in a statement today.

Wan Salim was commenting on a 10-minute video of an independent preacher quoting his teacher as saying that Allah created souls which could be transferred (from one to another living body).

Wan Salim said based on the perspective of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah, reincarnation is a false belief and deviates from the true teachings of Islam as it is against the Quran and Sunnah Nabawiyah (prophetic tradition).

In fact, he said that according to Islamic teaching, a human being has only one life and it is not shared by anyone after his death.

He said Islam teaches that after death, the soul will enter Barzakh (a place separating the living from the hereafter) until the Day of Judgement before subsequently ending in heaven or hell.

According to Wan Salim, anyone who tried to spread the deviant belief to Muslims must be given a stern warning. If he was obstinate, legal action must be taken against him, he added.

“In addition, the person must be barred from delivering talks and lectures at mosques or suraus to preserve the faith of Muslims,” he added.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/05/curb-spread-of-reincarnation-concept-among-muslims-says-penang-mufti/

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Attack On Catholic Church in Nigeria’s Ondo State during Mass On Sunday Kills 50

 

Victims of the bomb attack during a Catholic mass at St. Francis Catholic church receive treatment at St. Louis Catholic Hospital, in Owo, Nigeria, June 5, 2022. REUTERS/Stringer

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06.06.22

At least 50 people were killed and others injured after gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Nigeria’s Ondo state during mass on Sunday, a doctor and local media reported.

A doctor at a hospital in Owo, a town in the state in Nigeria’s southwest, told Reuters that no fewer than 50 bodies had been moved to the FMC (Federal Medical Center) in Owo and to St Louis Catholic Hospital.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack, calling it “heinous”. The identity and motive of the attackers were not immediately clear.

Local media said gunmen had fired at worshippers and detonated explosives at the church. Those killed included women and children.

Funmilayo Ibukun Odunlami, police spokesperson for Ondo state, only said that there had been an incident at the Saint Francis Catholic Church in Owo and the police would issue a further statement soon.

Ondo governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu cut short a trip to capital Abuja and returned to Ondo after the attack. “We shall commit every available resource to hunt down these assailants and make them pay,” he said.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/church-attack-kills-50-in-nigeria/cid/1868538

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India

 After Gulf Backlash, BJP Removes Spokespersons, Says It 'Denounces Insult of Religious Personality'

6th June 2022

New Delhi: After hashtags calling for the boycott of Indian products began trending on Twitter in Arab countries over alleged inflammatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal, the party cracked a whip against them.

While Nupur Sharma has been suspended from the party “with immediate effect”, Jindal’s primary membership of the party has been cancelled.

The Grand Mufti of Oman along with Twitter handles with a large following have called for the boycott. The tweets also included a scathing attack against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Grand Mufti of Oman Sheikh Al-Khalili tweeted:

With the issue snowballing into a major controversy, the BJP has swung into action.

In a statement released on Sunday, June 5, by BJP’s party general secretary Arun Singh, the party asserted that it “is strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion,” adding that it “respects all religions and strongly denounces insult of any religious personality.”

“The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy,” said Arun Singh.

The BJP statement, however, made no direct mention of any incident or comment. It also did not provide any context for the statement, either by referring to Sharma’s comments or about the religion in question.

Sharma’s and Jindal’s remarks have drawn protests from Muslim groups.

Singh said, “During the thousands of years of history of India every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion.”

“India’s constitution gives the right to every citizen to practice any religion of his or her choice and to honour and respect every religion,” he said.

“As India celebrates 75th year of its Independence, we are committed to making India a great country where all are equal and everyone lives with dignity, where all are committed to India’s unity and integrity, where all enjoy the fruits of growth and development,” the BJP leader said.

Under pressure, the BJP acted against Sharma and Jindal. In its suspension letter to Sharma, the Central Disciplinary Committee of the BJP said, “…pending further inquiry, you are suspended from the party and from your responsibilities/assignments if any with immediate effect.”

Soon after she was served with the suspension notice, Sharma took to Twitter and said it was never her intention to hurt anyone’s religious feelings. She said her remarks made on TV were only in response to “continuous insult and disrespect to our Mahadev” and that it was “mockingly being said it is not Shivling but a fountain.” The Shivling referred to the ongoing controversy concerning the Gyanvapi mosque.

The Delhi unit BJP in its letter addressed to Jindal said, “You have expressed your views which instigate communal disharmony. This is against the fundamental principles of the BJP. You have acted against the party’s thoughts and policies.”

The letter was incidentally sent out by Delhi BJP president, Adesh Gupta, who has been criticised by civil society for making communal remarks against Muslim residents of Delhi.

A number of BJP supporters on Twitter lent their support to Sharma and Jindal, and called the BJP high command’s decision “cowardly”.

In the meantime, a video has been circulating online showing militant Hindutva leader Yati Narsinghanand doubling down on the remarks made by Sharma in the TV debate.

Global pressure against Hindu majoritarian politics

Coming against the backdrop of protests occurring both within and outside India against Sharma’s and Jindal’s remarks and an attempt by Hindutva workers to lay claim to Gyanvapi mosque adjacent to the premises of Kashi Vishwanath temple, the BJP is possibly feeling the heat at the international level for what has now become an unabashed pursuit of Hindu majoritarian politics.

Incidentally, the ruling party’s statement in reaction to the social media backlash is in contrast to New Delhi’s indignant tone when it accused the United States of indulging in “votebank politics in international relations” after US secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke of “rising attacks against people and places of worship” in India.

This time around there has been no official statement from the ministry of external affairs or any of the Indian missions in the Gulf.

However, the Indian embassy in Oman did re-post tweets of the BJP’s statement through its official Twitter account.

According to Indian officials familiar with the Gulf region, the Grand Mufti’s statement is not endorsed by the Oman government and can only be seen as his personal views. They also noted that the Grand Mufti had also previously issued statements about incidents against the Muslim community in India. He had tweeted in September last year in the wake of Assam police’s actions which largely targeted Muslims during an eviction drive.

This is not the first time that statements from BJP members had led to a backlash in the Gulf region.

In April 2020, the Tablighi Jamaat was accused of being a “super-spreader” of coronavirus infections, with BJP members even accusing them of being “human bombs”. With the media and members of the ruling party issuing provocative remarks which seemingly targeted all Indian Muslims, Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a general tweet calling for unity and covid-19 not discriminating against any community.

While the Indian embassies highlighted the Indian PM’s tweet, it was not enough to stop the social media momentum with a number of prominent Arab social media personalities focussing on the remarks by several BJP members, actions by authorities which had an alleged anti-Muslim bias, as well as, social media posts of Gulf-based Indians. There were also calls for the boycott of Indian businesses in the Gulf.

The Indian missions in the Gulf countries had to also issue statements asking the Indian diaspora to remain vigilant against religious divisions.

Source: The Wire

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

https://thewire.in/communalism/after-boycott-india-tweets-in-arab-world-bjp-clarifies-on-insulting-remarks-against-islam

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Muslim cleric threatens to 'chop off tongues that insult Prophet Mohammad' in Rajasthan's Bundi area

June 05, 2022

A Muslim cleric was caught on camera issuing open threats to 'cut off the tongues of those who insult Prophet Mohammad'.

The incident took place in Rajasthan's Bundi.

According to a report in Times Now, "The Muslim cleric went on to say that 'people's hands and tongues will be chopped off, eyes will be gouged out' over Prophet Mohammad's insult."

Meanwhile, the police in the video was seen standing silently during the provocative speech.

Earlier, a violent clash broke out between two groups of different communities over a market shutdown in Kanpur on Friday. Violence erupted after groups of people tried to force shopkeepers to close shops over an alleged insult to Prophet Mohammed on a television show.

Source: Firstpost

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

https://www.firstpost.com/india/muslim-cleric-threatens-to-chop-off-tongues-that-insult-prophet-mohammad-in-rajasthans-bundi-area-10761831.html

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'Religious intolerance only on TV': Sadhguru says no major riots in past 10 years in India

Jun 6, 2022

NEW DELHI: Founder of Isha Foundation Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev said that there is a "lot of heat" in television studios, which is being exaggerated to suggest that there is rising religious intolerance in the country while underlining that the last one decade has been free of major communal violence.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, the spiritual leader spoke of his college days, saying that "major riots took place in the country" while contrasting with the past 10 years "when no major communal riots took place in the country".

Sadhguru recently arrived in India after covering a 30,000-km lone motorcycle journey across 27 countries as part of his 'Save Soil' campaign.

"I think we tend to exaggerate things quite a bit. Yes, there are a few issues which have come to debate and there is a lot of heat on television channels. You don't see it anywhere on the street. You walk across Delhi or any village in the country, there is no such intolerance or such violence or anything," Sadhguru said when he was asked about the claims of the rising religious intolerance in the country.

He strongly advocated action against people involved in violence while underlining that there's "exaggeration" about the heat in the tv studios on discussions on issues with religious undertones.

"There are some consensus issues where there are some debates going on. They are all in a court of law. You should allow the law to go its way. But now once you get the momentum, people are excited to go all over the place and in case, there is an election or something in the area, people use that to do these things," he added.

Sadhguru's comments came close on the heels of violent incidents reported from Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Recently, US secretary of state Antony Blinken has claimed that there are rising attacks on people at places of worship in India.

The Isha Foundation founder recalled his graduation days when communal violence incidents were considered "normal".

"But I feel these things (communal violence) have come down significantly in the last 25 years. When we were in university, there was not a single year when there was no major communal riot in the country. Every year, there used to be somewhere, major (riots). I have not heard (of communal violence) in the 5-6 years atleast or maybe 10 years. You have not heard of such things. Some flashpoints have happened, unfortunately. But large communal violence, as we thought as normal for this country to face, you are not hearing that which is a very positive thing," he added.

Sadhguru further stated that there are people who are looking for trouble all the time. "I think that the law should contain these people because, in all the communities, people want to take care of their lives, they want to educate, find jobs, and make a good living. Above all, women in their families want to live well. They don't want their men to be bickering and quarrelling... They don't have time and patience nor do they intend to have in that direction. Such elements are there everywhere," he said.

When asked whether he confronts questions about secularism in India, the spiritual leader stressed that "some people with their own vested interests talk about it but the word India commands much more respect now than ever before".

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/religious-intolerance-only-on-tv-sadhguru-says-no-major-riots-in-past-10-years-in-india/articleshow/92029420.cms

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Islamic organisation Raza Academy members protest attacks on Kashmiri Pandits

Jun 05, 2022

Members of Islamic organisation Raza Academy on Saturday staged a demonstration outside Minara Masjid in Mumbai against the recent killings in Kashmir targeting Kashmiri Pandits and Hindu migrants. Raza Academy president Muhammad Saeed Noori called on the authorities to take action against those doing atrocities on the minorities in the Valley, saying the Muslim community stand by the Kashmiri Pandits.

“Take action against those who are doing these atrocities. We stand by Kashmiri pandits,” ANI quoted the Raza Academy president as saying.

In the photographs of the demonstration shared by the official Twitter handle of Raza Academy, protesters can be seen holding placards in Hindi, English and Urdu that read ‘Stop attacks on Kashmiri Pandits’.

The BJP-led central government is facing criticism from opposition parties over the recent spate of killings which has triggered another round of exits from the Valley. On Thursday, a bank manager, identified as Vijay Kumar Beniwal, was shot dead by terrorists in the Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel slammed the Centre saying the problem persists despite the strategy adopted by the government, and the method to solve it "has been unsuccessful".

"Earlier Kashmiri Pandits were killed and now Hindus(migrants) are getting killed. Whatever strategy you (Centre) have adopted, the problem still exists even after that. The method used to solve the problem has been unsuccessful," he told ANI.

Source: Hindustan Times

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

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/raza-academy-members-protest-against-targeted-killings-in-kashmir-101654394226424.html

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After suspension from BJP, Nupur Sharma withdraws statement

J.P. Yadav 

06.06.22

When a case was registered in Mumbai against her “blasphemous” comments on Prophet Mohammed, then BJP national spokesperson Nupur Sharma had been quick to underline her importance.

She claimed the entire “senior leadership”, starting with the Prime Minister’s Office, had reassured her saying “we are with you”.

On Sunday, after her suspension, she posted an apology but defended herself saying her controversial remarks had been a response to “insults” to Lord Shiva.

Party insiders said the BJP and Sharma had had their hands “forced by circumstance” and that this didn’t mean the end of her political career.

“She will bounce back once the heat settles down,” a BJP leader said, underlining Sharma’s “deep connections” within the party and the Sangh parivar at large.

Sharma, an articulate, English-speaking law graduate from Delhi University with a master’s from the London School of Economics, had always seemed in a hurry to grab the headlines since the BJP appointed her as a national spokesperson in 2020.

And what surer way to attract attention in the current atmosphere than hurling provocative, anti-Islam remarks on TV?

Her comments, made on Times Now during a debate on the Gyanvapi mosque controversy, triggered violence in India and a backlash abroad.

When the FIR was filed, the 37-year-old claimed she had received death threats from “Islamists”.

“(Former Maharashtra chief minister) Devendra Fadnavis ji called and said ‘Don’t worry beta, we are with you. We are all here with you’,” she told OpIndia, a media organisation seen as pro-government.

She claimed the “senior leadership” of the BJP was with her. “So, the senior leadership, be it the Prime Minister’s Office, the hon’ble home minister’s office, be it the party president’s office, they are all rallying behind me,” she said.

On Sunday, after the party disowned her remarks and suspended her, she posted a statement on her Twitter page, “unconditionally” withdrawing her comments but also defending herself.

“I have been attending TV debates for the past many days where our Mahadev (Shiva) was being insulted and disrespected continuously. It was mockingly being said that it (an article purportedly found on the Gyanvapi mosque premises) is not Shivling but a fountain,”  she said.

“I could not tolerate this continuous insult and disrespect towards our Mahadev and I said somethings (sic) in response to it. If my words have caused discomfort or hurt religious feelings of anyone whatsoever, I hereby unconditionally withdraw my statement. It was never my intention to hurt anyone's religious feelings.”

Sharma had been an active member of the ABVP as a student at Delhi’s Hindu College.

She won the election for president of the Delhi University students’ union in 2008 as an ABVP candidate at a time the Congress-backed NSUI dominated Delhi University.

Then came her high-profile electoral debut in 2015, when the BJP fielded her against Arvind Kejriwal from the New Delhi Assembly seat. She lost by over 30,000 votes.

Source: Telegraph India

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

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/after-being-suspended-nupur-sharma-withdraws-controversial-statement/cid/1868517

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Gyanvapi row: Fresh petition seeks action against mosque committee, Hindu seer files plea to worship Shivling

Roshan Jaiswal

Varanasi

June 6, 2022

In yet another development in the legal battle over the Gyanvapi Masjid, a Varanasi court will hear a plea on Monday seeking action against the mosque management committee for performing ‘wazu’ over the alleged Shivling found inside the complex.

At today’s hearing, Special Chief Judicial Magistrate Samarthama Nagesh Verma will decide whether the application seeking the registration of a case under 156(3) of the CrPC against the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s joint secretary and hundreds of unknown persons is maintainable or not.

Wazu or Wudu is an act of ritual purification before offering namaz, performed by cleansing parts of the body with water.

The Hindu litigants in the Shringar Gauri-Gyanvapi Mosque case claim that a Shivling was discovered in the mosque’s wazukhana during the court-mandated survey of the premises. The finding has been disputed by the Muslim side, which claims the purported Shivling is actually a fountain.

Meanwhile, the Varanasi district court will take up Swami Avimukteshwaranand’s petition to offer prayers before the Shivling in the Gyanvapi Mosque. As the court is on break for summer vacation, a hearing has been sought from the vacation bench.

The prominent Hindu seer is on a hunger strike since Saturday, after the police stopped him from setting out for the Gyanvapi complex to worship the Shivling allegedly discovered there.

Swami Avimukteshwaranand is a disciple of Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, who is the Shankaracharya of Dwarka Sharada Peetham in Gujarat and the Jyotir Math in Badrinath. He is currently at the Sri Vidya Matt in Varanasi.

The district court is also hearing the matter of the maintainability of a plea by five Hindu women seeking permission for daily worship of the Shringar Gauri Sthal in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex. The next hearing in the case will take place on July 4.

THE GYANVAPI CASE

A petition filed in 1991 in a Varanasi court claimed that the Gyanvapi Mosque was built on the orders of Aurangzeb by demolishing a part of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple during his reign in the 16th century.

The petitioners and local priests sought permission to worship in the Gyanvapi Mosque complex. The Allahabad High Court in 2019 ordered a stay on an ASI survey that was requested by the petitioners.

The current controversy started when five Hindu women sought to routinely worship Shringar Gauri and other idols within the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

Source: India Today

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/gyanvapi-row-petition-case-against-mosque-committee-swami-avimukteshwaranand-plea-worship-shivling-1958853-2022-06-06

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In Agra, Shahi Jama Masjid Mosque committee’s chairman booked for threatening lawyer

JUNE 05, 2022

Mathura-based lawyer alerted ASI and the Centre that the Keshav Dev temple idols were buried under the staircase of Sahiba Begum Masjid in Agra’s Shahi Jama Masjid complex

The Agra police have booked the chairman of Shahi Jama Masjid’s management committee here over a purported audio clip in which he allegedly threatens a lawyer who claimed that expensive idols taken from a temple were buried under the mosque premises.

Mathura-based lawyer Mahendra Pratap Singh had recently sent notices to the Archaeological Survey of India and the Centre claiming that the idols of Keshav Dev temple of the Uttar Pradesh district were buried under the staircase of Sahiba Begum Masjid in Agra’s Shahi Jama Masjid complex by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb when he allegedly destroyed the temple in 1670, and sought their recovery.

Agra Senior Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Singh said, “A case has been registered against the chairman of the Intezamia Committee at Sahi Jama Masjid Jahid alias Pappu at Mantola police station for giving a provoking statement and making it viral on the internet.”

He said Jahid has been booked under Sections 153 (wanton vilification or intent to cause religious riots), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and the Information Technology Act.

“Police are gathering evidence and strict action will be taken in this regard. We will not allow anybody to make provocative statements and post them on social media,” he added.

According to the FIR, Jahid had on Friday made a speech at the Shai Jama Masjid premises during which he allegedly threatened lawyer Singh and the petitioner in the Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi case in Mathura.

He had also allegedly made the audio clip viral on social media.

However, on Saturday, Jahid released a video statement saying he did not make a comment against the government or the country, but it was against individual people who are trying to “provoke” Muslims for their vested interests.

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/in-agra-shahi-jama-masjid-mosque-committees-chairman-booked-for-threatening-lawyer/article65496887.ece

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Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist arrested in Jammu & Kashmir's Kishtwar

Jun 6, 2022

Jammu: A Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist operating as a local recruiter for the past six years was arrested in J&K’s Kishtwar district, an official said on Sunday. Security forces termed Talib Hussain's arrest a "major blow" to the Pakistan-headquartered outfit's plan to step up terror attacks in the district.

A police spokesperson from Kishtwar said that based on a specific input, a joint team of the police, 17 Rashtriya Rifles and CRPF arrested Talib, a resident of Rashgwari in Kishtwar, on June 3. “He had joined Hizbul in 2016 and remained active along with other terrorists of Kishtwar and was instrumental in reviving terrorism by way of recruiting local youth,” he said.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/hizbul-mujahideen-terrorist-arrested-in-jammu-kashmirs-kishtwar/articleshow/92024737.cms

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Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia Condemns Indian Officials’ Comments Insulting Prophet Mohammed; Doha Demanded the Indian Government Issue a Public Apology

05 June, 2022

Saudi Arabia condemns and denounces statements by the spokeswoman of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which constituted an insult to the Prophet Mohammed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its condemnation and denunciation of the statements made by the spokeswoman of the Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), insulting the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and reaffirms its permanent rejection of prejudice against the symbols of the Islamic religion, alongside all religious figures and symbols,” state news agency SPA reported.

India’s ruling party BJP suspended its spokeswoman Nupur Sharma over her comments about Prophet Mohammed.

The Saudi ministry welcomed BJP’s measures and reiterated the Kingdom's position calling for respecting all beliefs and religions.

Gulf states Qatar and Kuwait had summoned their Indian ambassadors. Doha demanded the Indian Government Issue a public apology over Sharma's comments.

Sharma said on Twitter that her comments had been in response to “insults” made against the Hindu god Shiva.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/gulf/2022/06/05/Saudi-Arabia-condemns-Indian-officials-comments-insulting-Prophet-Mohammed

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YPG/PKK terrorists hide weapons among civilians in Syria's Tal Rifat

Mohammad Mistou

06.06.2022

ALEPPO, Syria / ISTANBUL

The YPG, the Syrian branch of PKK terror group, is digging trenches in residential areas to hide weapons in Tal Rifat in northern Syria.

An Anadolu Agency aerial footage showed YPG/PKK terrorists digging tunnels and trenches in the villages around Tal Rifat, including Sheikh Issa, Menagh, Al-Alqamiyeh, Ayn Daqnah, Kashtaar and Tatmarash.

YPG/PKK terrorists were also seen hiding military tanks and other types of weapons inside civilian homes in the area.

Over the past years, the terrorist group managed to dig a network of tunnels in Tal Rifat and surrounding villages, which YPG/PKK terrorists occupied in February 2016 and forced tens of thousands to leave their homes and areas.

The YPG/PKK terror group uses Tal Rifat and surrounding villages to launch attacks against areas cleared from terrorists by Türkiye.

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country is set to clear two areas of northern Syria, near the Turkish border, of terrorist elements in a bid to eliminate the terror threat from the region.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/ypg-pkk-terrorists-hide-weapons-among-civilians-in-syrias-tal-rifat/2606455

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PKK terror group attacks Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq

06.06.2022

DUHOK, Iraq 

The PKK terror group attacked Peshmerga soldiers of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), security sources said late Sunday.

Commenting to Anadolu Agency on the attack, which took place in Kani Masi village in Duhok province, local Peshmerga commander Major General Salar Teymur revealed that the terrorist group used rockets and machine guns.

The terrorists were repelled without causing any casualties among the Peshmerga’s ranks, he noted.

On June 5, 2021, five Peshmerga soldiers were killed in a PKK ambush in Duhok.

According to official data from the KRG government, the PKK had occupied 515 villages on the border of Erbil, Duhok and Sulaymaniyah in 2015. Of these, 304 were in Duhok province, while 177 were in Erbil and 34 in Sulaymaniyah.

Following Turkiye's successful cross-border operations in recent years, the PKK retreated from the Turkish border into Iraq. It occupied 285 more villages in the last seven years.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/pkk-terror-group-attacks-peshmerga-forces-in-northern-iraq/2606450

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38 Daesh/ISIS terrorists captured in Iraqi raid

Ali Makram Ghareeb 

05.06.2022

KIRKUK, Iraq

Iraqi army forces captured 38 militants from the Daesh/ISIS terror group Saturday, according to the military.

A large number of weapons and ammunition were seized during the large-scale raid in Kirkuk, Ali Al-Fariji, head of operations command in Kirkuk told Anadolu Agency.

Security forces also destroyed eight shelters belonging to the terror group, he added.

Attacks blamed on Daesh/ISIS terrorists have escalated in Iraq in recent months, especially in the Salahuddin, Diyala and Kirkuk provinces.

In 2017, Iraq declared victory against Daesh/ISIS by reclaiming all of its territories -- about a third of the country -- invaded by the terror group in 2014.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/38-daesh-isis-terrorists-captured-in-iraqi-raid/2605901

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Lebanon warns Israel against any ‘aggression’ in disputed waters

05 June, 2022

Lebanon warned Israel on Sunday against any “aggressive action” in disputed waters where both states hope to develop offshore energy, after a ship arrived off the coast to produce gas for Israel.

President Michel Aoun said any activity in the disputed area would amount to an act of aggression and a provocation, after the arrival of the natural gas storage and production ship operated by London-based Energean.

Israel says the field in question is within its exclusive economic zone, not in disputed waters.

But in a statement, the Lebanese presidency said Aoun discussed with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati the vessel’s entry “into the disputed maritime area with Israel, and asked the Army Command to provide him with accurate and official data to build upon the matter.”

Aoun said negotiations to delineate the southern maritime border continued and “any action or activity in the disputed area represents a provocation and an aggressive action.”

There was no immediate response from the Israeli government to Aoun’s statement. Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elaharrar welcomed the vessel’s arrival and said she hoped it would be brought online quickly.

“We will continue to work to diversify the energy market and maintain stability and reliability,” she said.

Energean said its floating production storage and offloading vessel arrived on Sunday at the Karish field, about 80 km (50 miles) west of the city of Haifa, in Israel’s exclusive economic zone. The company said it planned to bring it online in the third quarter.

Mikati said Israel was “encroaching on Lebanon’s maritime wealth, and imposing a fait accompli in a disputed area,” calling this “extremely dangerous.”

The United States began mediating indirect talks between the sides in 2000 to settle a long-running dispute between old foes that has obstructed energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. Lebanon is home to the heavily armed, Iran-backed Hezbollah group, which has fought numerous wars with Israel.

Hezbollah has previously warned Israel against drilling for oil and gas in the disputed area until the issue is resolved, and said the group would take action if it did so.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/05/Israel-wants-to-impose-fait-accompli-in-disputed-gas-rich-maritime-zone-Lebanon-PM-

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Egypt rejects ship carrying Indian wheat originally intended for Turkey

04 June, 2022

Egypt barred the entry of a ship carrying 55,000 tons of Indian wheat originally intended for Turkey because it did not meet quarantine requirements, Egyptian plant quarantine chief Ahmed al-Attar said on Saturday.

“We rejected the ship before it entered Egypt,” al-Attar told Reuters, adding that Turkish quarantine authorities had already blocked the arrival of the vessel.

Separately, Egypt, typically the world’s biggest importer of wheat, was expecting the arrival of its first Indian wheat shipment later on Saturday, purchased by the Egyptian private sector.

Supply Minister Aly Moselhy said in May that a deal with India to directly purchase 500,000 tons of wheat outside the usual tender system had been agreed but not yet signed.

In April, Egypt’s agriculture ministry announced it had approved India as a source of wheat supplies as the North African country seeks to supplant purchases disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

India’s government confirmed that it would still allow shipments awaiting customs clearance and exports to Egypt.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/04/Egypt-rejects-ship-carrying-Indian-wheat-originally-intended-for-Turkey

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Iraqi security forces intercept microlight aircraft carrying million captagon pills

04 June, 2022

Iraqi security forces have said they forced down a microlight aircraft near the Kuwaiti border headed to the emirate from Iran with one million pills of the amphetamine-type stimulant captagon.

Captagon has been sweeping the Middle East for years, with large seizures reported weekly, particularly in the oil-rich Gulf Arab states.

The Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency said the microlight entered Iraqi airspace from neighboring Iran on Friday.

It said agents were alerted to the flight by a tip-off and opened fire on the aircraft.

“That forced the pilot to land. He fled toward the border of a neighboring country,” the agency said in a statement.

The statement said the million captagon pills recovered in a search of the abandoned aircraft were intended for sale inside Iraq.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/middle-east/2022/06/04/Iraqi-security-forces-intercept-microlight-aircraft-carrying-million-captagon-pills

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Southeast Asia

 

60 Rohingya found abandoned on Thai island: police

Jun 5, 2022

BANGKOK: Fifty-nine Rohingya people have been discovered on a Thai island, saying they were abandoned by traffickers en route to Malaysia, a senior police officer said Sunday.

The group -- among them five children -- were found on Koh Dong island in the southern Satun province on Saturday, said lieutenant general Surachet Hakpan.

Each year, thousands of the mostly Muslim minority Rohingya people, heavily persecuted in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, risk their lives in months-long expensive journeys to reach Malaysia over Thailand's seas.

Police said they had been charged with illegal entry and could face deportation to Myanmar following a court case.

"We are providing humanitarian assistance and will investigate whether they are victims of human trafficking or if they entered illegally," Surachet said.

The group appeared "starving and was likely to have had no food for three to five days", a police statement said.

Group members told officers their boat was among three vessels carrying 178 people that had left Myanmar and Bangladesh, having paid an agent around 5,000 ringgit ($1,300) for the journey.

The first two boats carrying 119 people were stopped and arrested by Malaysian authorities, according to the Thai police statement.

The boat's crew then decided to abandon those onboard on Koh Dong island -- telling them that they had reached Malaysia, the group told officers.

The incident comes after the bodies of 14 Rohingya people, including children, were discovered washed up on a beach last month after they attempted to flee Myanmar.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people fled a military crackdown in the nation in 2017, bringing with them harrowing stories of murder, rape and arson.

Those still in Myanmar are widely seen as interlopers from Bangladesh and are largely denied citizenship, many rights and access to healthcare and education.

Muslim-majority Malaysia is a key destination for Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar or refugee camps in Bangladesh.

In 2019, a Thai boat captain was charged with smuggling 65 Rohingya people from Myanmar after their vessel was shipwrecked on an island off the coast of Satun province.

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/60-rohingya-found-abandoned-on-thai-island-police/articleshow/92021285.cms

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Annuar is bold but part of an Umno minority, say analysts

Nicholas Chung and Reshna Reem Ganesan

June 6, 2022

PETALING JAYA: Two analysts have described Ketereh MP Annuar Musa as a bold Umno member with nothing to lose, after his blatant “disobedience” to party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s call for support to fast-track the general election.

However, the analysts say Annuar was in a minority of Umno members who did not want an early general election (GE15), although he has claimed that many in Barisan Nasional were against it.

Annuar had admitted to staying seated at BN’s convention on Thursday when Zahid urged delegates in support of an early GE15 to stand. He also claimed many others did not stand or were hesitant about doing so.

James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute believed that the majority of Umno members – especially its grassroots supporters – want GE15 to be held as soon as possible.

He told FMT that Umno members believed they have strong momentum in their favour, following the results of the Melaka and Johor state elections.

“The best time (to hold GE15) for them is in July or August, that is the impression I get,” he said.

Chin added that Annuar knew Zahid and Najib Razak’s camp had regarded him as “an enemy” since last year, leaving him with little to lose in speaking out against the two figures.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara believed that there were some factions in Umno that were against a snap GE15 and were also more inclined to its Muafakat Nasional pact with PAS.

Annuar was among this group of Umno members, Azmi said. “He is more inclined to Umno not only contesting under MN but to also working with Bersatu.”

However, he agreed with Chin that these groups were in the minority in the party, adding that Umno’s strength right now would only be weakened by working with PAS and even more so Bersatu.

“Yes, Zahid is not getting 100% support from Umno and even BN. But we have to give credit to Zahid and his team. Since the outcome of GE14, Umno is now the strongest compared to other political parties.”

In his latest push against an early GE15, Annuar said Putrajaya’s memorandum of understanding with Pakatan Harapan had no expiry date.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/06/annuar-is-bold-but-part-of-an-umno-minority-say-analysts/

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Africa

 

Owo massacre: Boko Haram is in South West, more churches, mosques next targets – Islamic group

June 6, 2022

By John Owen Nwachukwu

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has warned that there is the presence of Boko Haram in the South West.

The group believes that the barbaric attack on the St. Francis Catholic Church Owo, that left many worshippers dead, was carried out by Boko Haram and warned strongly that more Churches and mosques may come under such attack

MURIC strongly condemned the terrorist’ attack, calling on the government to act decisively and arrest the attackers.

DAILY POST reported that the attackers killed dozens of worshippers during Sunday service and MURIC said they should be arrested immediately.

MURIC’s statement was signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

It said, “We strongly condemn this act of unprovoked aggression. It is inhuman, heinous, horrific and horrendous.

“We call for immediate arrest and prosecution of the attackers.”

The Muslim rights advocacy group called on the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usban Alkali Baba and the Ondo Police Command to find the killers without delay, insisting that the killers must have a hideout.

The group further appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to, without further delay, order the Nigerian Army to join in the search for these murderers

“This latest attack is indubitable evidence of the existence of Boko Haram in the South West after their penetration into Niger and Kogi States,” the group said.

“Going by Boko Haram modus operandi, we warn that mosques and more churches may be the next targets because this was how they started in the North. We, therefore, ask for protection for all churches and mosques in the region,” it said.

MURIC sympathised with families who have lost their loved ones in the attack and also prayed for the wounded who are receiving treatment in hospitals.

Source: Daily Post Nigeria

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

https://dailypost.ng/2022/06/06/owo-massacre-boko-haram-is-in-south-west-more-churches-mosques-next-targets-islamic-group/

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Algerian man arrested over insulting Prophet

June 6, 2022

Algerian security forces have arrested a man over his alleged insult to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on social media.

Intelligence forces of Constantine Province have arrested a citizen for alleged insults to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Islam on his Facebook account, Alalam reported.

The arrested man who is in his 30s has been handed to judiciary officials.

He had allegedly shared desecrating images and cartoons on Facebook.

Source: ABNA24

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

https://en.abna24.com/news//algerian-man-arrested-over-insulting-prophet_1264351.html

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Tunisia police block protests against Saied referendum

04 June, 2022

Tunisian police scuffled with protesters against President Kais Saied on Saturday as around 100 people demonstrated against a planned July referendum.

The police blocked the protesters as they attempted to reach the headquarters of the electoral board whose chief Saied had replaced last month in a further move to extend his control of state institutions.

Some at the protest in the Tunisian capital, organized by five small political parties, held up placards reading “the president’s commission = fraud commission.”

Saied on July 25 sacked the government and suspended parliament which he later dissolved.

He has laid out plans for a referendum next month on a replacement for a 2014 constitution that had enshrined a mixed parliamentary-presidential system often plagued by deadlock and nepotism.

On April 22, Saied gave himself powers to appoint three of the seven members of the ISIE electoral commission, including the president.

Then last month he appointed former ISIE member Farouk Bouasker to replace Nabil Baffoun, a critic of his July power grab.

Saied’s opponents accuse him of moving toward an autocracy and putting in place a compliant electoral body ahead of the July referendum and parliamentary elections in December.

Source: Al Arabiya

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

https://english.alarabiya.net/News/north-africa/2022/06/04/Tunisia-police-block-protests-against-Saied-referendum

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Tunisia's Ennahda slams ‘policy of distortion’ against judges

04.06.2022

TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisia’s Ennahda movement has strongly condemned the dismissal of dozens of judges by the country’s president, Kais Saied.

Last week, Saied sacked 57 judges, accusing them of corruption and protecting terrorists.

Among those sacked was Youssef Bouzaker, the former head of the Supreme Judicial Council whose members the Tunisian president replaced this year.

Another prominent judge on the list was Bachir Akremi, whom Saied’s supporters accuse of being too close to the Ennahda Party.

Ennahda “strongly condemns the policy of distortion and systematic intimidation of judges and the dismissal of fifty-seven of them outside the law and the constitution," the movement’s Executive Office said in a statement.

It termed the dismissal as a “new step to control the Judiciary, end the independence of the judicial authority and employ it to strike opponents of the coup and restrict freedoms.”

The movement called on all supporters of freedom, democracy and national sovereignty “to unite their efforts to end the coup and limit its dangerous repercussions after it became a major obstacle to a comprehensive national dialogue to get the country out of its complex crisis."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/tunisias-ennahda-slams-policy-of-distortion-against-judges/2605559

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North America

 

Adam Schiff: Biden should not visit Saudi Arabia, meet crown prince

05 June 2022

Congressman Adam Schiff says US President Joe Biden should not visit Saudi Arabia or meet its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who was accused by American intelligence of ordering the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A team of Saudi operatives murdered Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2, 2018.

Biden, who once called for Saudi Arabia to be made a pariah, on Friday acknowledged the possibility he may visit Saudi Arabia soon, according to American media reports.

Asked if Biden should go to the kingdom and meet the crown prince, its de facto ruler, Representative Schiff said: "In my view, no.”

"I wouldn't go. I wouldn't shake his hand. This is someone who butchered an American resident, cut him up into pieces and in the most terrible and premeditated way," said Schiff, who chairs the House of Representatives intelligence committee.

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement by the crown prince in the murder and rejected a US intelligence report that assessed that MBS "approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill" Khashoggi.

"Until Saudi Arabia makes a radical change in terms of (its) human rights, I wouldn't want anything to do with him," Schiff said of the crown prince.

Schiff also dismissed arguments that Biden should visit the kingdom to try to get it to increase oil production and lower American gasoline prices.

The price for a gallon has doubled since Biden took office in January last year, but that same gallon costs $4.81 on Saturday morning, according to data from the non-profit American Automobile Association (AAA). The association said the average gallon of gas cost only $2.39 during the first week of Biden’s presidency.

The gasoline prices are a problem for Biden and his fellow Democrats ahead of the November midterm congressional elections.

Schiff said the United States should wean itself off oil "so we don't have despots and murderers calling the shots."

White House postpones Biden trips to Saudi Arabia

Several officials told NBC News on Friday that Biden’s planned visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel later this month have been postponed until July.

Sources added that the White House is now planning a more comprehensive trip to the Middle East next month.

“We are working on a trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia for a GCC+3 Summit,” a senior administration official told NBC News. “We are working to confirm dates. When we have something to announce, we will.”

Since the beginning of Russia's military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing spikes in oil prices, the US president has made great efforts to control fuel prices as well as isolate Russia.

Many analysts believe that Biden's current move to travel to Saudi Arabia is in line with the effort.

The Project on Middle East Democracy said on Twitter that the visit "is a slap in the face to activists, dissidents, women human rights defenders, journalists, & everyday citizens - in Saudi and abroad - who have been imprisoned, disappeared, and murdered.”

US relations with Saudi Arabia have been strained since the assassination of Khashoggi.

Biden, after winning the presidential election and even in the election campaign, had repeatedly said that bin Salman was the main perpetrator of this crime. But to date, no practical action has been taken by the White House in this regard.

Democratic members of the US House of Representatives had introduced two bills to penalize MBS for his personal role in the violent murder of Khashoggi.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said back then that the legislation would freeze the Saudi crown prince’s assets and impose a visa ban on him.

Source: Press TV

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

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/05/683386/Congressman-Biden-should-not-visit-KSA,-meet-the-crown-prince

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan PM Sharif condemns controversial remarks of BJP leader against Prophet

Jun 5, 202

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday condemned the "hurtful" remarks by a ruling party leader in India against the prophet of Islam.

"I condemn in strongest possible words hurtful comments of India's BJP leader about our beloved Prophet (PBUH)," Shehbaz tweeted.

The prime minister also alleged that the current Indian government was trampling religious freedom and especially the rights of Muslims.

"Have said it repeatedly India under Modi is trampling religious freedoms & persecuting Muslims. World should take note & severely reprimand India. Our love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is supreme," he said.

He went on to add: "All Muslims can sacrifice their life for the Love & Respect of their Holy Prophet (PBUH)."

Our love for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is supreme. All Muslims can sacrifice their life for the Love & Respect of their Holy Prophet (PBUH).

— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) 1654440131000

Pakistan's Foreign Office also retweeted the brief statement by the Prime Minister.

In New Delhi, the BJP suspended its national spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal after their controversial remarks against the Prophet, as it sought to defuse a row over the issue.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/pakistan-pm-sharif-condemns-controversial-remarks-of-bjp-leader-against-prophet/articleshow/92023757.cms

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Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan trigger diplomatic row

Jun 6, 2022

KABUL: Pakistan's airstrike within the territory of Afghanistan on April 16 this year has created a diplomatic row between the two countries.

The airstrikes blatantly violated international law.

Hamid Pakteen, writing in Afghan Diaspora Network, said that these airstrikes were supposedly in retaliation to 'violent acts' of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or the Pakistani Taliban.

However, this abrupt use of overwhelming force by Pakistan led to a total of 45 casualties, amongst them were 20 children, including 12 girls and 3 boys in Khost Province, and 3 girls and 2 boys in Kunar Province.

The Taliban regime, Afghanistan's de facto Government, condemned the airstrikes and summoned Pakistan's ambassador in Kabul to hand over him a demarche.

As per international law, the above would be the case even if the 'government' in question came to power through unconstitutional means, till the time there is no rival entity with a constitutional claim.

That is precisely the reason that Naseer Ahmad Faiq, the Charge d'Affaires at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations wrote to the President of the Security Council, that the airstrikes by the Pakistani Air Force inside Afghanistan constitute "aggression against the territorial integrity" of Afghanistan.

Pakistan's actions constitute a clear violation of international law, most flagrantly against the prohibition on the use of force or the threat of use of force as encapsulated in Article 51 of the UN Charter. A basic principle of international law is respect for sovereignty and international borders.

Similarly, a fundamental principle of international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) is that military force cannot be used against civilian targets. Arguably then, the Pakistani actions are not only contrary to customary and treaty law governing the use of force, but also constitute war crimes inasmuch as they are in utter defiance of the Geneva Conventions, said Pakteen.

Further, these strikes pose bigger threats to the troubled region of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. In eastern Afghanistan, many feared that due to the recent airstrikes more violence would take place, perhaps escalating into a full-scale war.

Source: Times Of India

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

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistani-airstrikes-in-afghanistan-trigger-diplomatic-row/articleshow/92030478.cms

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Pakistan ruling alliance questions PM Shehbaz Sharif’s decision to empower ISI to conduct verification of civil servants

JUNE 05, 2022

The Sharif government issued a notification on Friday to give the status of a Special Vetting Agency (SVA) to the ISI.

Pakistan's ruling alliance have questioned Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s decision to empower the spy agency — Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) — to conduct verification of all government officers before their induction, appointments and postings, as well as promotions.

The Sharif government issued a notification on Friday to give the status of a Special Vetting Agency (SVA) to the ISI. The decision angered not just the allies but also his own Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

The ISI is Pakistan's powerful spy agency. In 1950, it was officially given the task of safeguarding Pakistani interests and national security, inside and outside the country.

Some members belonging to allied parties even criticised Prime Minister Sharif for not taking the coalition partners and parliament into confidence, vowing to take the matter to the court, The Express Tribune newspaper has reported.

They quipped that the premier should also consider including politicians in the notification as “most of the traitors” were there.

"This has been done behind the back of coalition partners and parliament," Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) General-Secretary Farhatullah Babar said, asking why the decision was taken as it is not a single-party government.

In a tweet, Mr. Babar said that the decision must be unacceptable to many coalition partners, and they must protest to reverse it, adding that unilateral alteration in civil service rules must be challenged.

Mr. Babar noted that the agency that “failed to detect Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad” has been tasked with reporting on the competence and professionalism of civil servants. He urged everyone to say no to the decision as it was "unacceptable".

PML-N former information minister Pervaiz Rashid also questioned the move in a tweet, saying if the task of investigating civilian officers was included in ISI’s responsibilities, then the spy agency should also be placed under civilian control and be accountable to the parliament.

PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar chided the premier on tasking the intelligence agency to vet government officers by “requesting” that Sharif include all public office holders in the notification at once.

"Why discriminate against politicians?" Khokhar asked, adding that “after all, traitors are more common in our ranks".

Mr. Khokhar was referring to the notification’s part where it used the words verification and screening of all public office holders but then added the words “officers’ category” in brackets.

Similarly, PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani also said that the notification issued by the federal government, declaring the ISI as the SVA, was “surprising”.

“The verification and screening of all civil servants before their induction, appointments, postings and promotions by the SVA amounts to ceding civilian space,” Mr. Rabbani said.

Given the situation on the eastern and western borders, the Afghan situation, Kashmir, internal terrorism and other related issues, he said, the additional task will be overburdening it.

“It also blurs the distinction between the civil and military bureaucracy as well as lack of confidence in the civilian apparatus of the state,” Mr. Rabbani maintained, saying the 1973 Constitution and the Civil Servants Act, 1973, as amended by parliament, is a comprehensive law.

“They do not require such screening of civil servants,” he said. “The courts have in some judgments disregarded intelligence reports in such matters.” Besides, he added, the civil servants were already working under the pressure of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law.

An official of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) said that the decision was surprising for the party too as no discussion had taken place in the party meetings on the issue.

The Express Tribune also reported some bureaucrats as saying that the spy agency with the special status and powers would keep an eye on the moral and financial affairs of the government officers and would submit details to the promotion boards, especially the high-powered board and Central Selection Board (CSB).

Previously, they said, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) was performing the vetting process. Some politicians and government officers, requesting not to be named, said that the government’s move surprised many as several parties in the coalition government used to oppose the interference of the intelligence agencies in the government’s affairs before coming into power.

However, after coming into power, they said, they have done exactly the opposite and, in fact, helped enhance the spy agency’s control over the bureaucracy and governmental affairs.

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb was also asked to share her views, but she did not give a comment.

The opposition also questioned the move, with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Fawad Chaudhry voicing his concerns over the matter.

Fawad said that if "institutions wanted to increase their role in civilian affairs, then they would have to pay for it in the form of public accountability".

Source: The Hindu

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

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistans-ruling-alliance-questions-pm-sharifs-decision-to-empower-isi-to-conduct-verification-of-civil-servants/article65497081.ece

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Farah Khan involved in ‘Asia’s largest money-laundering scam’: PML-N

June 6, 2022

LAHORE: The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has claimed that the former first lady’s friend Farah Khan was involved in perhaps “Asia’s largest money-laundering scandal”.

The party leaders at a presser on Sunday ran an audio clip involving a property tycoon as purported evidence of the “corruption being done by Imran Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi and Farah Khan” when the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was in power.

Dawn was unable to independently verify the content and origin of the audiotape.

Ataullah Tarar, the Punjab government’s spokesperson, and PML-N provincial information secretary Azma Bukhari alleged that Farah Khan “ruled over the entire country from her office in Punjab” and accumulated “assets worth billions of rupees”.

Calling her Farah Gogi, Mr Tarar alleged that she used to “approve transfers and appointments” of government officials in Punjab against hefty payments and the wealth was spent on purchasing diamonds worth billions of rupees. The diamonds were sent to Dubai, where they were sold off.

He alleged that “the matter is not confined to diamond dealings as information about the selling of expensive paintings and watches will come to the fore soon”.

He said proceeds from the sale in Dubai were transferred to Pakistan through hawala and hundi.

He called upon the PTI chairman to ask Farah Gogi to return home and join investigations.

The audio clip allegedly featuring top realtor Malik Riaz and his daughter was played during the presser. The duo was talking about demands made by Farah Khan in return for some “government favours”.

In the audio clip, the daughter tells her father that Farah Khan had phoned her to inform that the first lady had asked her not to accept a three-carat diamond ring. She quoted Farah as asking her to take back the ring as “I don’t like such an ordinary object”.

Then the tycoon asks his daughter to give her what she’s asking for. “I have offered her (Farah) to buy them a five-carat [ring], which would cost Rs10 million. She says as ‘your appointment (with Farah) has been set for Saturday’, the ring should be arranged before it,” the daughter replies.

Malik Riaz asks his daughter to place an order for the ring. She says she had done so and it would be delivered the next day.

The daughter is also heard telling her father that the locks of his site [for developing a residential society] would be opened in the morning.

Without naming Farah, she quotes her as saying that [Imran] Khan Saheb had phoned, guaranteeing that he would get removed the [negative] report which had been submitted [apparently about the housing scheme site] and that [former adviser to PM on accountability] Shehzad Akbar’s letter would also be delivered to them.

According to sources, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had objected to a housing scheme by Malik Riaz in Peshawar because it was “illegal as it had been launched without seeking permission” from the authorities concerned.

Mr Tarar claimed that the government had acquired more audio recordings as “evidence against corruption of Ms Gogi”. “The clips could be sent for a forensic test if required.”

Ms Bukhari, the PML-N leader, said sarcastically the two women — Bushra Bibi and Farah Gogi — had steered Imran Khan out of poverty after running the “financial affairs of Banigala”.

“Imran Khan has hired two front women for his corrupt practices,” she alleged.

Source: Dawn

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

https://www.dawn.com/news/1693378/farah-khan-involved-in-asias-largest-money-laundering-scam-pml-n

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Govt wants NA speaker to accept Imran, Qureshi’s resignations

Syed Irfan Raza

June 6, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The coalition government is considering asking National Assem­bly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to accept the resignations of those PTI MNAs, including party chairman Imran Khan and vice chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who have publicly announced resigning from their seats, Dawn has learnt through sources.

The decision has been made after the PTI leadership directed party lawmakers not to appear before the speaker, who is set to start verifying the resignations of 131 PTI lawmakers from Monday (today).

Besides, the government has put off a joint sitting of parliament until June 9, apparently to counter President Dr Arif Alvi’s refusal to give his assent to two crucial bills.

All PTI MNAs resigned en masse after their government’s ouster in April. However, the speaker wanted them to appear in person to confirm the “voluntary character and genuineness” of their resignation letters.

A source in the National Assembly Secretariat told Dawn on Sunday the speaker was likely to accept the resignations of Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi, as Mr Khan had publicly and Mr Qureshi on the floor of the National Assembly had confirmed their resignations.

The source said the government did not want to accept all resignations in one go to avoid burdening the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with several by-elections on vacant seats.

Last month, the speaker summoned PTI legislators on June 6. Given that he wanted 30 members to appear before him daily, the exercise is likely to be completed in four to five days.

However, PTI chairman Imran Khan had already announced that no MNA of his party would appear before the speaker in this regard.

The source said more than two dozen PTI MNAs had contacted the speaker, asking him not to accept their resignations.

Those 30 legislators who had been summoned for personnel appearance on June 6 are Dr Haider Ali Khan (NA-2), Saleem Rehamn (NA-3), Murad Saeed (NA-4), Sahibzada Sibghatullah (NA-5), Mehbood Shah (NA-6), Muhammad Bashir Khan (NA-7), Junaid Akbar (NA-8), Sher Akbar Khan (NA-9), Prince Muhammad Nawaz Allai (NA-12), Ali Khan Jadoon (NA-16), Omar Ayub Khan (NA-17), Asad Qaiser (NA-18), Engr Usman Khan Tarakal (NA-19), Mujahid Ali (NA-20), All Muhammad Khan (NA-22), Malik Anwar Taj (NA-23), Fazal Muhammad Khan (NA-24), Pervez Khattak (NA-25), Imran Khattak (NA-26), Arbab Amir Ayub (NA-28), Nasir Khan Musa Zai (NA-29), Sher Ali Arbab (NA-30), Shaukat Ali (NA-31), Shehryar Afridi (NA-32), Shahid Ahmad (NA-34), Ali Amin Khan (NA-38), Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh (NA-39), Gul Dad Khan (NA-40), Gul Zafar Khan (NA-41) and Sajid Khan (NA-42).

All PTI lawmakers, except party dissidents, resigned from the National Assembly en masse on April 11 before the scheduled voting began for electing a new prime minister.

According to the National Assembly spokesperson, letters had been dispatched to the MNAs to inform them that they had to appear separately before the speaker to endorse that they had given resignation according to their will without any pressure.

The source said earlier that the joint sitting of the two houses of the parliament was to be held on June 7, but the government had put it off until June 9 as it was expecting President Alvi’s refusal to assent to the crucial bills regarding the amendments to National Accountability Ordinance and election laws.

“Now the two bills will be passed by the joint sitting and will become law automatically,” the source said, adding that if the bills were once refused by the president but then passed by the joint sitting, they did not need the president’s assent to become law.

In a bid to create another hurdle for the coalition government of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Alvi refused to give his assent on Saturday to the bills recently passed by the two houses of parliament. He returned the two pieces of legislation to the government for “consideration and detailed deliberations” by parliament and its committees.

The president, who belongs to the former ruling party PTI, has returned the two crucial bills using his powers under Article 75(1) of the Constitution, according to an official handout issued by President Office.

Article 75(1) states: “When a bill is presented to the president for assent, the president shall, within [ten] days (a) assent to the bill; or (b) in the case of a bill other than a money bill, return the bill to the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) with a message requesting that the bill or any specified provision thereof, be reconsidered and that any amendment specified in the message be considered.”

Sources said the government would make all-out efforts to get the two bills passed from parliament before presenting the federal budget in the National Assembly on June 10, as it could not bring any legislation during the budget session.

The coalition government managed to get the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022 and National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill 2021 passed from the National Assembly and the Senate on May 26 and May 28, respectively.

Through the election bill, the government aims to reverse controversial changes made by the previous PTI government in the 2017 law to introduce i-voting by overseas Pakistanis and the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next general elections.

The bill seeking amendments to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999 seeks to clip vast powers of the National Accountability Bureau.

In the National Assembly, the government faced no problem in getting the two bills passed but witnessed a strong opposition in the upper house, where PTI senators lodged a noisy protest over the move to pass the bills without referring them to the house committees.

Source: Dawn

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1693383/govt-wants-na-speaker-to-accept-imran-qureshis-resignations

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Seven terrorists killed by security forces in two separate IBOs

June 5, 2022

RAWALPINDI: At least seven terrorists were killed in two separate Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) in Bannu and North Waziristan districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to the ISPR, Security Forces conducted Intelligence Based Operations in Jani Khel, Bannu District and Hassan Khel, North Waziristan District, on reported presence of terrorists on Sunday.

“During intense exchange of fire, 7 terrorists got killed; 5 terrorists in Jani Khel and 2 terrorists got killed in NWD. Weapons and ammunition was also recovered from the killed terrorists,” the statement said.

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/05/7-terrorists-killed-by-security-forces-in-two-separate-ibos/

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Pakistan to benefit from Indonesian’s palm oil export: Envoy

June 5, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan, Adam Mulawarman Tugio on Sunday said that Indonesia lifted the global ban on palm oil export from last week and now palm oil supply in Pakistan would be improved.

Indonesia is the largest supplier of palm oil to Pakistan as the palm oil would now be available in the local markets, Ambassador Adam Mulawarman Tugio told APP here.

In this regard, the Indonesian government is paying a special attention to increase the supply of Palm oil into Pakistani markets.

He acknowledged that due to the ban on exports of palm oil, people and traders of Pakistan  had faced difficulties.

For that matter, the Indonesian embassy in Islamabad will fully cooperate with the local market, said the ambassador.

Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widido lifted the ban on palm oil exports.

The Ambassador said that in early May, 2022, the Indonesian government temporarily banned global exports of palm oil for local market regulation and stabilization.

Moreover, ambassador apprised  that considering the global trade dynamics and the global supply chain, the decision was made on palm oil exports, which would improve price stability in Indonesia’s domestic market.

The Ambassador said, with the arrival of holy month of Ramzan, edible oil consumption in Indonesia also increased and it becomes difficult to provide edible oil to the local Indonesian market of 270 million people with global exports.

Replying to a question, he said that the global consumption of palm oil worldwide was currently 70 MT, of which 33 MT was produced in Indonesia.

Similarly, Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of palm oil, which also impacts the local Indonesian market and has to be adjusted according to its prices, he said.

In response to another question, he said that Pakistan was a big consumer of Indonesian palm oil as  Islamabad was exporting $2.8 billion worth of palm oil annually from Indonesia.

Adam M. Tugio said the policy was designed to meet the demand for palm oil in the local market in Indonesia, both at domestic and industrial level.

Meanwhile, talking to APP, Amir Waheed, former president of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and Palm Oil Exporter from Indonesia, appreciated the resumption of palm oil exports by the Indonesian government.

Amir Waheed said that there would be a stabilization in ghee and edible oil prices in the local market.

He said that the ban on palm oil export from Indonesia has an impact on both industrial and domestic levels in Pakistan.

He said that due to demand and supply, local prices of edible oil had increased.

Senior business leader and former president, ICCI Atif Ikram, said that the Indonesian government has taken a good step by restoring palm oil supply to Pakistan.

According to the data issued here by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the palm oil import surged by 46.74 percent during the first three quarters of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The palm oil import during July-March (2021-22) was recorded at $2,730.668 million against the imports of $1,860.934 million in July-March (2020-21), the data said.

On the other hand, the soybean import also went up by 113.73 percent to $103.283 million as compared to the import of $48.325 million during last fiscal year.

On a year on year basis, the palm oil import witnessed an increase of 5.43 percent during March 2022 as compared to the same month of last year. The palm oil import during March 2022 was recorded at $290.524 million against the import of $275.549 million in March 2021), according to PBS data.

The soybean import during the month under review also increased by 100 percent to $11.750 million as compared to the zero import of the same month of last year.

Meanwhile, on a month to month basis, the palm oil import declined by 6.21 percent in March 2022 as compared to the import of $309.766 million in February 2022.

The import of soybean, however, went up by 27.7 percent in March 2022 as compared to the imports of $16.772 in February 2022.

It is pertinent to mention here that ‘Edible Oil’ prices have gone following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Source: Pakistan Today

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https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/05/pakistan-to-benefit-from-indonesians-palm-oil-export-envoy/

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Terror-financing case filed against KU suicide bomber’s husband, others

June 5, 2022

A terror financing case has been registered against Habitan Bashir and other accused in Karachi University suicide attack.

Police Inspector Sanaullah has been complainant in the case against the accused.

Habitan Bashir and others nominated in the case, have been accused of providing funds for April 26 suicide attack in the university.

Police is searching for suicide bomber Shari Baloch’s husband Habitan Bashir and his accomplices in the case.

Source: Pakistan Today

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

https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2022/06/05/terror-financing-case-filed-against-ku-suicide-bombers-husband-others/

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Pakistan: Shehbaz govt accuses Imran, wife Bushra, her friend of making billions during PTI tenure

6 June, 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 6 (ANI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has claimed that a troika of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, his wife Bushra Bibi and her friend Farah Gogi made “billions” under the tenure of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.

“It started in 2019, when Imran Khan gave a relief worth Pakistani rupees 320 million to Ahsan Jamil Gujjar – Farah’s husband – under an amnesty scheme,” PML-N leader Atta Ullah Tarar said during a press conference.

The Express Tribune quoting Tarar reported that the former Prime Minister gave the relief due to his personal relations and friendship between Bushra and Farah.

Regarding this, he also played an audio tape — purportedly a conversation between a business tycoon and his daughter, revealing how Farah ‘demanded a gift’ for the ex-first lady.

During the conversation, the woman said to her father that Farah Gogi allegedly demanded a precious diamond as a gift for the ex-first lady in return for “removing locks” on a project site and withdrawing a report against her father, The Express Tribune reported.

It was revealed during that discussion that Farah Gogi earlier had rejected a three-carat diamond sent by the daughter of a business tycoon as unworthy and unsuitable for the first lady, who she allegedly said routinely wore such things, and asked for a five-carat diamond.

The lady could be heard telling her father how Farah taunted her for sending “only a five-carat diamond ring”. She also promised that the former premier would overturn measures against the projects of the business tycoon if a “more valuable gift was offered.”

While property tycoon Malik Riaz on Sunday termed an audio clip attributed to him on social media as “fake”. He also threatened to take legal action against those behind the ‘conspiracy”.

“With latest technologies as Deep Fake, fabricating an audio conversation shouldn’t be a surprise,” Riaz said in his statement cited by The Express Tribune.

He said that the audio tape associated to him on social media is a product of Deep Fake. “I don’t wish to [be] involve[d] in political campaigns of any party, but the most appalling fact is that my voice and reference is being misused to settle personal and political scores,” he added.

He said that Farah Gogi left Pakistan as soon as she realised that she was about to get into trouble and Imran Khan helped her in fleeing the country.

Uzma Bukhari, another PML-N leader, said that her party knew about the misconduct of the PTI government, adding that now ‘proofs’ are being surfaced for everyone to see.

“The audio reveals just one case [of bribery] but it is not the entire story… it is only a trailer of a film,” she added.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/pakistan-shehbaz-govt-accuses-imran-wife-bushra-her-friend-of-making-billions-during-pti-tenure/984978/

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South Asia

 

Taliban atrocities on Afghan media continue as TV channel converted to religious Seminary in Balkh

4 June, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 4 (ANI): Media watchdogs have called out the Taliban for another crackdown imposed by the organization as TV channel Metra in Balkh province of Afghanistan has been converted into a religious seminary.

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August last year, its atrocities on media houses have continued, private TV channel Metra being the latest that has been transformed into a religious outlet to prioritize Islamic sentiments among the Afghan crowd, TOLOnews reported.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the acting Minister of education, Noorullah Munir, said that the Islamic Emirate prioritizes attention on Islamic education.

“We have 20,000 schools across Afghanistan, but the seminaries registered with the Islamic Emirate are not more than 1,000,” he said.

The Metra TV Channel formerly broadcast several programs and is now a seminary for more than 1,000 students.

“Replacing a media outlet complex with a religious seminary is considered an unfair action for journalists. We call on the Islamic Emirate to help in reopening media outlets that were closed after the fall of the former government,” said Ahmad Yar Mujroh, a member of the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA).

Metra TV broadcast for more than a decade but stopped its operations After the Islamic Emirate came to power in Afghanistan, Metra TV which broadcast for more than a decade in the country stopped its operations for an indefinite period of time.

A recent survey by the Afghanistan Journalists Federation, reviewed by Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), found that before the fall of Kabul, around 4,090 Afghan male journalists and 979 female journalists were active in Afghanistan.

Six months later, an estimated 2,091 male journalists and 243 female journalists are still working in the country. In every respect, Afghanistan’s once-thriving media ecosystem is declining rapidly under Taliban rule.

Source: The Print

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

https://theprint.in/world/taliban-atrocities-on-afghan-media-continue-as-tv-channel-converted-to-religious-seminary-in-balkh/983754/

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Dawlat Waziri, Former Defence Ministry Spokesperson, Returns to Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

05 Jun 2022

Afghanistan National Television, one of the Taliban-controlled television channels, announced that former Defense Ministry spokesman General Dawlat Waziri has returned to Afghanistan.

The efforts of the Taliban’s Return and Communications with Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures Commission, according to National Television, have encouraged Dawlat Waziri to return to the country.

The Taliban’s Commission of Return and Communications with Former Afghan Officials and Political Figures spokesman, Ahmadullah Wasiq, confirmed Dawlat Waziri’s arrival and has expressed satisfaction and delight.

Dawlat Waziri is a former member of the former government’s security sector who was an outspoken opponent of the Taliban and is now glad to be back in Afghanistan, claiming the Taliban’s presence is encouraging and positive.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/dawlat-waziri-former-defense-ministry-spokesperson-returns-to-afghanistan65749/

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Zabihullah Mujahid: Religious Rights Are “Protected” in Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

05 Jun 2022

In response to the US State Department report on religious freedom, which noted that there was a clear violation of religious freedoms in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated that “the religious and civil rights of all minorities in Afghanistan are protected.”

Mujahid tweeted today, June 5th, that the State Department’s report findings on Afghanistan with respect to the religious freedom is “incomplete” and based on “false information”.

“All our Sunnis, Shiites, Sikhs and Hindus practice their religion freely,” he wrote on his official twitter handle.

According to the State Department, this year has seen “gross violation” of religious freedom in China, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, Myanmar, and India.

According to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the group’s basic rights for women and girls were infringed, and the Taliban’s ideological constraints hampered women and girls’ liberties.

He further said that after the Taliban took power, the groundwork was laid for ISIL to operate in Afghanistan, and that religious minorities, particularly the thousands of Afghans, were under threat from the Taliban.

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom previously told the State Department to place Afghanistan at the bottom of religious freedom rankings.

In terms of religious freedom, the committee called the Taliban’s coming to power a “disaster” for Afghanistan.

Source: Khaama Press

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https://www.khaama.com/zabihullah-mujahid-religious-rights-are-protected-in-afghanistan67485/

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Muttaqi: We Have a Balanced Policy and Maintain Good Relations with Our Neighbouring Countries

By Saqalain Eqbal

05 Jun 2022

The Taliban’s acting Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, recently stated that the group had good relations with neighboring countries, despite the fact that at least four neighboring countries have had clashes with the group’s armed forces.

Foreign Minister Muttaqi stated at the Marble Palace (Qasr-e-Marmarin) in Kabul on Saturday, 4th June, that their foreign policy was balanced with neighboring countries and that there is no diplomatic and commercial trade relations problem.

He continued, “The ports of Sher Khan, Hairatan, Turghundi, Islam Qala, Spin Boldak, and Torkham are all open, and we have good relations with everyone.”

However, the US has consistently expressed concern about the growing number of terrorist groups in Afghanistan, warning that the country is likely to convert to a terrorist sanctuary in the near future.

The Taliban’s statements come at a time when, nearly ten months later, no country has recognized the Taliban, and the Taliban still lack international legitimacy in terms of diplomatic cooperation and the international economy.

Source: Khaama Press

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

https://www.khaama.com/muttaqi-we-have-a-balanced-policy-and-maintain-good-relations-with-our-neighboring-countries67593/

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Afghan musicians flee Taliban wrath, face Pakistan raids on illegal refugees

Jun 5, 2022

ISLAMABAD: More than 200 low-profile Afghan musicians have migrated to Pakistan to escape the wrath of the Taliban rule, following in the footsteps of their affluent colleagues who have fled to the US, Europe and Australia after the fall of the American-sponsored regime in Kabul in August 2021. But Pakistan isn’t safe either as authorities were catching and deporting “undocumented” Afghan refugees, including musicians.

Unlike their previous rule from 1996 to 2001 when they outlawed music, the current Taliban government hasn’t issued a ban but individual Taliban fighters were taking matters into their own hands and targeting musicians, halting performances, and breaking and burning instruments because they say music is “haram,” or proscribed by Islamic law.

Out of job and in fear of becoming a Taliban target, more than 200 Afghan singers and musicians have fled to Pakistan. They are living with little food and money in dilapidated neighbourhoods of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the northwest.

In recent days, Pakistani authorities had launched a crackdown on undocumented Afghan refugees and deported them back to Afghanistan. Last week, police arrested four Afghan musicians from Peshawar’s Tehkal area for living illegally in the country without travel documents.

Pakistani musicians and activists protested against the arrests, imploring authorities not to deport them. “The Afghan artistes live in fear and great misery. They have confined themselves to their accommodations as their passports and visas have expired. Many had entered Pakistan without travel documents. They avoid going out, fearing arrest and deportation,” Zaryali, an Afghan singer, said in Peshawar. He said they cannot perform or find any work in this situation.

Dozens of Afghan and Pashtun artistes from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa held a protest outside the provincial assembly building in Peshawar on Thursday, asking authorities to spare the Afghan musicians whose lives are at risk in their country.

“You can’t throw them to the wolves,” read one of the placards. Rashid Ahmad, head of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Pashto literary and cultural organization, urged the authorities to issue special permits to the Afghan artistes so that they can stay on humanitarian grounds. “The artiste community helped them financially and arranged places for them to live,” Ahmed said.

Peshawar’s artistes have planned to march to Islamabad if the arrested Afghan were not released or if any of them was deported. “Our main demand is that they should not be deported to Afghanistan under the current situation as millions of other Afghan refugees are also living here,” said Shahid Malang, a Pakistani singer.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/afghan-musicians-flee-taliban-wrath-face-pakistan-raids-on-illegal-refugees/articleshow/92010774.cms

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Bangladesh chemical depot fire kills 49, injures 450

Jun 6, 2022

DHAKA: A massive fire and a series of explosions at a private chemical container depot in southeastern Bangladesh killed at least 49 people, including nine firefighters, and injured more than 450 others, officials said on Sunday, as authorities were still struggling to extinguish the blaze. According to doctors, the toll could rise further as many of the injured were being treated with severe burns. The firefighters backed by army troops were yet to enter deep down the blast site to douse the fire nearly 23 hours after the fire broke out on Saturday night. The shipping container facility is at Sitakunda, 40 km from the port city of Chittagong. Chemical-filled containers were still exploding on Sunday as firefighters attempted to douse the fire and officials said the army had joined the mission. Drone footage showed thick columns of smoke and rows of burntout containers.

“The deafening explosions turned the sky a blazing orange throughout the night,” a resident in the neighbourhood told aTV channel adding that the explosions threw several people metres away from where they were standing. The residents said the explosions rocked the neighbourhood within a nearly four-kilometre radius. Apungent odour in the air forced rescuers to cover their noses in masks while they also complained of itching eyes apparently due to chemicals. Officials said the depot — a site with 21 acres of land — stored around 4,000 containers, many filled with garments destined for Western retailers. Chittagong civil surgeon Mohammed Elias Hossain said the injured included firefighters and policemen, he said. Hundreds of distraught relatives rushed from one hospital to another in afrantic search for their loved ones, witnesses said. It was not immediately clear what had caused the blaze. Fire service officials said they suspected it may have originated in a container of hydrogen peroxide and spread quickly to other containers. Newton Das, a fire service official, said there were still explosions of containers containing hydrogen peroxide and others containing sulphur.

Source: Times Of India

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https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/bangladesh-chemical-depot-fire-kills-49-injures-450/articleshow/92025888.cms

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Mideast

 

Iran Summons Indian Ambassador Over Sacrilegious Remarks against Prophet Muhammad

05 June 2022

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Indian ambassador to protest a TV debate during which sacrilegious remarks were made against Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), sparking widespread condemnations across the Muslim world.

The director general of the South Asia Department at Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned the Indian envoy to convey the strong protest of the Iranian government and people over the sacrilegious comments against Prophet Muhammad, the Iranian Foreign Ministry website reported.

The Indian envoy, for his part, expressed regret, saying that any sacrilege against the Prophet of Islam is not acceptable at all.

The ambassador also clarified that the comments made by two officials of the ruling party did not reflect the position of the Indian government, which he said reveres all religions.

In recent remarks on a TV news debate, the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)'s spokesperson Nupur Sharma made inflammatory comments against the Prophet of Islam, which led to widespread condemnation in the country and also triggered violent clashes in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur on Friday.

The BJP on Sunday suspended Sharma from the party while distancing itself from her offensive remarks.

The party also expelled Naveen Kumar Jindal, who heads its Delhi media, from the party, after he allegedly posted a tweet about the Prophet but later deleted it. The BJP said Jindal's views on social media undermine communal harmony and are in violation of the party's fundamental beliefs.

In a statement earlier in the day, the BJP said, “During the thousands of years of the history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bhartiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion.”

“The Bhartiya Janata Party is also strongly against any ideology, which insults or demeans any sect or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy,” it added.

Following the development, #الا ـ رسول ـ الله ـ يا ـ مودي (#AnyoneButTheProphetOModi) has taken social media by storm, securing the number one trend on Twitter in Arab states.

In a tweet on Sunday, Sharma apologized for her comments, saying, “I take back my words if they have hurt anyone's religious sentiments.”

Muslim countries, OIC slam sacrilege of Prophet Muhammad

Sharma's comments have stirred outrage in several Muslim countries, including Pakistan, Qatar and Kuwait.

Pakistan said in a statement that it condemns in the "strongest possible terms" the highly derogatory remarks.

"Pakistan once again calls on the international community to take immediate cognizance of the grievously aggravating situation of Islamophobia in India," it said.

The State of Kuwait also summoned the Indian ambassador, saying that it had handed the ambassador a protest note in which Kuwait rejected and denounced the statements made by the BJP official.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry statement also said it welcomed the (BJP) party's decision to suspend the official, but said Qatar was expecting a public apology and immediate condemnation of these remarks by the Indian government.

Indian ambassador in Doha, Deepak Mittal, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on the second day of a high profile visit by India's Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Indian business leaders.

The envoy was handed an official protest letter which said "Qatar is expecting a public apology and immediate condemnation of these remarks from the government of India," according to a foreign ministry statement.

"Allowing such Islamophobic remarks to continue without punishment constitutes a grave danger to the protection of human rights" and "will create a cycle of violence and hate", it added.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation also condemned the sacrilegious remarks, saying they came in a "context of intensifying hatred and abuse towards Islam in India and systematic practices against Muslims."

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/05/683374/Iran-India-ambassador-Prophet-Muhammad-summon-TV-debate-

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Hamas Warns of Zionists' Forced Entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque for Jewish Shavuot Feast

2022-June-5

The office of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Tehran issued a statement, warning that extremist Jewish organizations called "Hekal" organizations have called on the Zionists to storm the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque next Sunday and Monday, coinciding with June 5 and 6, on the occasion of Shavuot.

The Feast of the Revelation of the Torah is one of the three main Jewish feasts that was emphasized in the Torah before the Babylonian captivity and was believed to be celebrated in the temple by the Jews.

On this day, the Jews celebrate the revelation of the Torah to Prophet Moses (pbuh). This year coincides with the 55th anniversary of the occupation of Al-Aqsa Mosque according to the Gregorian calendar, and this has made the extremist Zionist organizations to call for storming into Al-Aqsa Mosque against the Palestinians' will.

Shavuot, also called Festival of the Weeks, is the second of the three Pilgrim Festivals of the Jewish religious calendar.

It was originally an agricultural festival, marking the beginning of the wheat harvest. During the Temple period, the first fruits of the harvest were brought to the Temple, and two loaves of bread made from the new wheat were offered.

After this Feast, there will be no occasion in the Jewish calendar for a long time, because the first important occasion of the future is the anniversary of the so-called demolition of the fake Jewish temple, which started the uprising in 1929, and after that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was set on fire in 1969. This year, the Jews celebrate this occasion on August 7, which according to the Islamic Hijri calendar coincides with the day of Ashura.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010315000148/Hamas-Warns-f-Ziniss'-Frced-Enry-in-Al-Asa-Mse-fr-Jewish-Shav-Feas

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Deputy FM: Iraq First Priority of Iran in Enhancement of Trade Ties

2022-June-5

Safari said that building trade and economic relations with neighboring countries is prioritized in the current administration of President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi.

From among the regional countries, Iraq is the first priority of the Islamic Republic of Iran in enhancing trade and economic relations, he added.

Safari stated that Iran attaches great importance to enhance its trade and economic relations with neighboring Iraq.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Governor-General of Iraqi’s Basra province on Saturday.

During the meeting, the two sides exchanged their views on increasing bilateral trade and economic relations through Shalamcheh Border Terminal, connection of Khorramshahr railway to Basra and also delegating various technical and engineering projects of the province to competent Iranian companies. 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Safari pointed to the high capabilities and potentials of the country in the field of producing medicines based on new technologies, and said that Iranian small-sized pharmaceutical firms are ready to establish pharmaceutical cooperation with Iraqi province of Basra, specially in the field of cancerous medicines.

The issue of road, air, rail and sea transportation is of paramount importance in the fields of trade and exports, he added.

The value of Iran's exports to Iraq exceeded $8 billion in the first 11 months of the current Iranian year (March 21, 2021-February 20, 2022), Chairman of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce Yahya Al-Es'haq announced in November.

"This year, imports from Iraq have reached about $2 billion, while last year the value of our imports from that country was about $140 million to $150 million," the Iranian official said.

Source: Fars News Agency

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https://www.farsnews.ir/en/news/14010315000294/Depy-FM-Ira-Firs-Pririy-f-Iran-in-Enhancemen-f-Trade-Ties

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Hamas: Unity, resistance only way to fight Israeli occupation, foil its plots

05 June 2022

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says only through unity and resilience can the Palestinians fight the Israeli occupation and foil its plots.

Hamas made the comments in a statement released on the 55th anniversary of the ‘Naksa’ (setback), a term Palestinians use to describe the Israeli occupation of East al-Quds, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967.

“Comprehensive resistance is the only way to regain our Palestinian rights and liberate our land and sanctities. Resistance has proven its ability to unite our Palestinian people in all their residences, curb the occupation, and repel the enemy's aggression,” the resistance movement said.

Hamas also stressed the importance of achieving national unity and true partnership in accordance with a resistance program to protect and defend the national rights and the holy sites.

“The occupation’s crimes, its massacres and ongoing aggression against our land, people and holy sites, especially Jerusalem [al-Quds] and the Aqsa Mosque, will not bring it security or alleged sovereignty over an inch of our land or succeed in breaking our people’s will and determination to continue their legitimate struggle for their national rights,” the statement further read.

Hamas noted that the Israeli regime, after seven decades of “its brutal occupation of our historical land”, has begun to see it demise, doubt the future of its existence, and the departure of its settlers from the occupied Palestinian territories, due to its fear of the steadfast Palestinians in al-Quds and the heroism of their youth across the occupied West Bank.

The Gaza-based resistance movement also called on those Arab countries that have already normalized their relations with the Tel Aviv regime to backtrack the so-called “normalization path.”

Hamas said such a path is “in the wrong direction that serves only the agenda of the occupation in escalating its terrorism against our Palestinian people, land, and sanctities.”

It concluded that the “duty to liberate Palestine and end the occupation is not only a Palestinian responsibility”, stressing, however, that it is also the duty of all Muslims around the world.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/05/683379/Palestine-Israel-Hamas-occupation-unity-resistance-

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Aqsa Mosque director: Israeli violations will lead to uncontrollable explosion

05 June 2022

The director of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound says Israel’s unrelenting violations at the holy site will lead to what he has termed uncontrollable explosion.

In a statement released on Sunday, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani said the occupying regime has been desperately attempting to alter the status quo of the holy site by encouraging settler incursions. The cleric censured the regime for allowing Israeli settlers to defile the compound under protection from the regime troops.

Since Saturday, June 4, Israeli forces have had a siege in place on the compound and have been barring the Palestinians under the age of 40 from paying visits to the compound, al-Kiswani said. He urged the leaders of the Arab and Muslim countries to fulfill their responsibility toward the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The compound sits just above the Western Wall plaza. It houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.

Palestinian resistance groups have already threatened they will not allow Israeli “provocations” to go by unanswered.

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/05/683378/Kiswani-Israel-aqsa-

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Hamas calls for international action to protect Palestinian children from Israel's crimes

05 June 2022

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called on the international community to take immediate action to protect Palestinian children from Israeli brutality, saying they are suffering both in Palestine and abroad due to Israel’s occupation of their homeland.

Hamas made the appeal on “the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression” on Saturday, urging the international community to save Palestinian children through criminalizing the Israeli occupation and putting an end to it, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

“The children of Palestine are victims of aggression and brutal occupation,” the movement said in a statement.

“This day has come once again as a reminder of the Palestinian children’s suffering and pain at home, in refugee camps, and abroad and to call upon the world to pay attention to the appalling aggression that is still practiced by the Zionist occupation against our children,” it said.

Hamas also pointed out that more than 88 Palestinian children had been killed by Israeli forces between 2021 and 2022, adding that “over 170 Palestinian children are being held in Israeli jails, where they are subjected to psychological and physical torture.”

It went on to say that in addition to getting killed and detained, Palestinian children are used as human shields and systematically exposed to other crimes, including kidnapping, blockade, home confinement, banishment, and displacement.

The resistance movement further noted that the humanitarian suffering of Palestinian children living in the besieged Gaza Strip is also ongoing, as they are denied access to medicines, treatment, and food in violation of international law.

Hamas stressed that “The existence of the occupation on our land is the root cause of our people’s suffering, and the international failure to criminalize its violations against Palestinian children and take legal action against those who perpetrate them is considered a disgrace to the entire world.”

Hundreds of Palestinian children are regularly held in Israeli jails under a draconian administrative detention policy implemented by the Israeli regime.

According to human rights groups, the Israeli regime prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children from the occupied territories in military courts every year, and most of them are denied a fair trial.

They are interrogated blindfolded, forced to give confessions, and put into solitary confinement, while being deprived of the right to have legal counsel.

14 Palestinian children killed since January

Meanwhile, the non-governmental organization Defense for Children International (DCI-Palestine) has reported that 14 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of 2022.

DCI-Palestine said in a statement that the latest among these victims was a 16-year-old Palestinian who was killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday, the Palestinian Information Center reported.

“The international community’s silence and lack of legal accountability encouraged the Israeli occupation army to continue killing Palestinian children,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the director of the Accountability Program at the DCIP.

He also said the evidence DCI-Palestine has gathered indicates that Israeli forces use lethal force against Palestinian children, “in circumstances that may amount to extrajudicial killings or murder.”

Source: Press TV

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https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2022/06/05/683363/Hamas-calls-for-intl-action-protect-Palestinian-children

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Europe

 

Al Mustafa Intl. University slams Quran burning in Sweden

June 6, 2022

In a statement, Al Mustafa International University has strongly condemned the desecration of the Quran in Sweden.

Here is the full text of the statement:

In the Name of God the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful

“They desire to put out the light of God with their mouths, but God will perfect His light though the faithless should be averse” [The Holy Quran, 61:8]

Insulting the beliefs and values of religions is to be blamed by all free human beings. Insulting the Holy Quran, which hurts the feelings of more than two billion Muslims is an unforgivable crime stemming from blind and extremist terrorism.

Islam is a religion of peace, friendship and respect for the rights of others and highlights the need to protect religious sanctities, however, this heinous act is inconsistent with any interpretation of the freedom of expression and respect for the beliefs and sanctities of others and is at odds with international efforts to combat the promotion of violence and extremism.

Al-Mustafa International University expresses its disgust with such shameful and uncivilized actions and behaviors in insulting the sanctity of the Holy Quran, which is repeated periodically. It considers these acts as violating humanistic principles in respecting divine religions and the peaceful coexistence of the followers of these religions and emphasizes the necessity of legal confrontation with the perpetrators of such actions.

The statement comes as Rasmus Paludan, leader of a far-right Danish political party called Hard Line (Stram Kurs), has burned several copies of the Quran in separate events during the past weeks under the protection of the Swedish police.

Source: ABNA24

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https://en.abna24.com/news//al-mustafa-intl-university-slams-quran-burning-in-sweden_1264343.html

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UK reopens its embassy in Libya after 8-year hiatus

Ebu Bekir Aşkın  

06.06.2022

The UK reopened its embassy in Libya on Sunday after an eight-year hiatus.

“This is a demonstration of the UK’s commitment to the whole of Libya. I am proud our work touches the lives of Libyans across the whole country already,” said Ambassador Caroline Hurndall on Twitter.

UK-Libya relations are deep and historical, she added.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/uk-reopens-its-embassy-in-libya-after-8-year-hiatus/2606448

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Türkiye summons Greek envoy for terror groups' activities in Greece

Burak Bir  

04.06.2022

Türkiye’s Foreign Ministry summoned Greece's ambassador to Ankara on Friday because of the PKK terror group demonstrations near the Turkish Embassy in Athens and his country's turning a blind eye to terror groups.

Christodoulos Lazaris was summoned to the Foreign Ministry building and was informed of Türkiye's views and reactions to the presence and activities of terror groups in Greece, according to diplomatic sources.

The Greek ambassador was also informed that terror organizations easily carry out propaganda, financing and recruitment activities in Greece and Greece's identity as a "safe haven" has increased in circles associated with terrorism.

Additionally, the Lavrio camp was shown to Lazaris as an example that terror groups threatening Türkiye's security benefit from all kinds of logistics and training opportunities.

Lazaris, who was also told that the Lavrion camp has become a hotbed for terrorism comparable to PKK camps in Iraq and Syria, was informed of Türkiye's reaction and views on the subject due to action that started from the camp and turned into an overt PKK demonstration around the Turkish Embassy in Athens.

During the meeting, concerns about the safety of Turkish representatives and citizens in Greece were also expressed, and the expectation of effective cooperation in the fight against terrorism was reiterated.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkiye-summons-greek-envoy-for-terror-groups-activities-in-greece/2605307

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