New Age Islam
Mon Feb 26 2024, 07:42 PM

Islamic World News ( 2 Nov 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Muslim women can resort to extrajudicial divorce under Islamic law unilaterally: Kerala High Court

New Age Islam News Bureau

02 November 2022

Kerala High Court cited the Holy Quran and said that a Muslim wife has the right to terminate her marriage. (File photo)


• US Islamophobia Bill remains inactive; fails to curb anti-Muslim violence and hatred

• UN chief appeals for Arab unity as antidote to foreign interference and terrorism

• Former Minister of Justice to Visit Europe Discussing Human Rights Violations

• Indonesian extremists are climbing the political ladder

• Imam of Al Azhar, Pope Francis co-chair Muslim Elders Council meeting in Bahrain

• FM: Enemies Seeking to Pave Ground for Terror Attacks in Iran

• US Targets Smugglers Supplying Islamic State in Somalia



• Visakhapatnam: Muslims serve food to Ayyappa devotees

• Uniform Civil Code raked up before polls to hide governance failures, says Muslim body

• Centre To Grant Citizenship To Non-Muslim Minorities Of Pakistan, Afghanistan And Bangladesh Staying In India; Seeks Application

• J&K: 4 terrorists killed in two separate encounters

• Our funds, our curriculum: Darul Uloom sees no need for affiliation with UP madrasa board

• Meet the angels of Morbi bridge tragedy who saved more than 50 lives


North America

• US Marine who entered to blow up Indiana mosque embraces Islam

• Iran plotting imminent attack on Saudi Arabia; puts US-Saudis on elevated alert: Report

• US Treasury imposes sanctions on Somali arms network 

• American Rescue Plan funded writing fellowship for ‘non-binary’ 13-year-olds, Muslim jazz series in NYC

• US concerned about Iranian attacks on Saudi Arabia: White House

• US ‘concerned’ about possible Iran missiles for Russia



• Vladimir Putin’s jihad against the West

• Shortage of mosques in France: The everyday consequences for French Muslims

• Does The Qur’an Support Attacks On Christianity And Judaism?

• UK counter-terrorism police take over migrant center firebombing probe

• Muslim students urged to boycott NUS after Shaima Dallali sacked as President

• Abuse after Muslim hikers' Countryfile appearance

• Russia recruiting US-trained Afghan commandos, vets say

• Ukraine will ask FIFA to ban Iran from Qatar World Cup over “human rights violations”

• French media demand Iran release reporter covering protest

• German chancellor praises Türkiye's efforts to keep Ukraine grain deal in force

• YPG/PKK terror group kidnaps Syrian minor in Aleppo

• Turkish FM reiterates support for Crimean Tatars in meeting with leader

• Türkiye's Maarif Foundation providing critical support to Turkish students in Belgium

• Umrah agents to explore itinerary opportunities at London event

• Putin tells Erdogan he wants ‘real guarantees’ from Kyiv on grain deal: Kremlin


South Asia

• Afghanistan’s mainstream media shaken by Taliban takeover

• Muttaqi Calls on World to Engage with Islamic Emirate

• Bangladesh pledges to boost trade, relations with Türkiye

• Opium Production Rises by 32% in Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan

• Former Afghan VP’s Party Calls for Referendum on Federal System in Afghanistan

• Blast hits bus carrying Taliban admin. employees in Kabul, injures seven

• HRW calls on ICC to investigate all sides in Afghanistan


Southeast Asia

• Ahead of GE15, CIJ launches site monitoring hate speech

• Malaysia’s MAPIM President Urges Bringing Perpetrates of Shiraz Terrorist Attack to Justice 

• Muslim preacher Kazim Elias withdraws hours after named BN hopeful for Larut

• Indonesia seeks UAE, Saudi aid in fighting tuberculosis, meningitis

• Maybank Islamic wins top accolades in The Asset awards 2022

• After Halloween raid in KL, human rights groups call for Suhakam to review joint ops involving religious depts

• In court, Zahid's aide says boss donated RM10m to build mosque for in-laws, over RM38m sponsored for mosque named after his parents

• 3 seats offered to ‘friends of BN’ may have irked MIC, say sources

• Snubbed by BN, Shahidan says will contest Arau but undecided on party

• Malaysia election: Ahmad Zahid says he did not ask UMNO candidates to back him as PM


Arab World

• Qatari UN ambassador demands end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories

• Netherlands to repatriate 40 ISIS-linked women and children from Syrian camps

• Damascus will sooner or later respond to recurrent Israeli aggression, Syrian FM pledges

• US military convoy forced to retreat after civilians block road in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr

• Bahrain's jailed dissidents urge Pope to raise issue of crackdown, repression during visit

• Sharjah museum showcases rare Quran manuscripts, Islamic calligraphy

• Iraq's new premier sacks senior officials

• Egypt invites Brazil’s Lula to COP27

• Egypt’s prominent activist starts ‘full hunger strike’ in prison

• Lebanon raises cost of electricity for first time since 1990s

• Russia ready to boost ties with Arab League to strengthen regional, global security

• Syrian 'crisis' must end: Head of Arab League

• Arab League urges Lebanon to agree on new president



• Iran prepares to send 1,000 weapons including missiles, drones to Russia: Report

• Benjamin Netanyahu poised for comeback in Israeli election, exit polls show

• Tehran Imposes Sanctions on CIA, US National Guard over Interfering in Iran's Affairs

• Minister: Russian Investors Keen to Invest $4.5bln in Iran's Energy Fields

• ‘We are close to big victory,’ Netanyahu says after Israeli election vote

• Iran Urges Iraq to Proceed with Trial of Accomplices in General Soleimani's Assassination

• President Rayeesi: Iran-Armenia Trade Volume Posts 43% Growth

• Envoy Describes UN Meeting on Iran's Unrest as Dangerous Precedence

• Palestinians in West Bank on course for deadliest year on record, UN says

• Israeli election results foreshadow rise in extremism: PA

• Israeli forces clash with Palestinians protesting Nablus' siege

• Rights group: Eight-year-old Yemeni boy killed by sniper with Saudi-led coalition

• Hamas: Israel cannot legitimize occupation of Palestine via elections

• Iranian War Veterans Condemn German Hostile Policy Towards Tehran

• Iran dissident told Dutch police of threats seven times before being killed: Report

• A nuclear deal would help Iran ‘fund proxy groups, repress its people,’ warns Iranian Kurdish leader Mustafa Hijri

• Students on strike as Iranian protests spread



• Benue govt demands arrest of Miyetti Allah leaders over allegation against Ortom

• Jordan air force agrees to buy 10 helicopters from US manufacturer



• PM Shehbaz, Xi agree to strengthen cooperation on CPEC, other areas

• Federal Sharia Court takes notice of five-year-old’s marriage in Balochistan

• Imran wants martial law imposed if army chief of his choice not appointed: Fazl

• Pakistan seeks explanation from Russia over senator's remarks on Ukraine nukes

• Imran Khan accuses political opponents of conspiring for clash between his party and Pakistan army

• PTI chief trained by ‘spy masters’, says Maryam

• Punjab IGP Faisal Shahkar picked by UN for prestigious post

• ‘Stubborn child’ talking about bloodshed for face-saving: Haideri

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



Muslim women can resort to extrajudicial divorce under Islamic law unilaterally: Kerala High Court

NOVEMBER 01, 2022

Kerala High Court cited the Holy Quran and said that a Muslim wife has the right to terminate her marriage. (File photo)


Court says a wife’s resolve so expressed is independent of the will of the husband

Reiterating its declaration that Muslim women have the right to resort to the extra-judicial divorce of ‘khula’ unilaterally, a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has held that the will of the Muslim wife so expressed cannot be related to the will of the husband, who has not expressed his choice to termination of the marriage.

The Bench led by Justice A. Muhamed Mustaque, while dismissing a review petition filed by a man against the declaration, observed that “the nature of khula is in the form of a ‘permissible’ action to the Muslim wife who seeks to exercise the option of terminating her marriage. This reflects the autonomy of choice exercised by the wife.”

The review petitioner contended that though a Muslim woman had the right to demand divorce on her own will, she had no absolute right to pronounce ‘khula’ like the right of her counterpart to pronounce ‘talaq’. It was subject to the acceptance or the will of her husband.

The court observed that it was acknowledged by Islamic law that the Muslim wife had the right to demand termination of the marriage. “The argument that if the husband refuses, she had to move the court stares at us.”

Dismissing the contention of the petitioner, the court also pointed out that Islamic clergy who had no legal training or knowledge in legal sciences could not be relied upon by the court to decide on a point of law involved, relating to the personal law applicable to the Muslim community. The courts were manned by trained legal minds. The court shall not surrender to the opinions of the Islamic clergy who had no legal training on the point of law.

The court said that it was a typical review portraying that Muslim women were subordinate to the will of their male counterparts. “This review does not look innocuous at the instance of the appellant, but rather appears to have been fashioned and supported by clergies and the hegemonic masculinity of the Muslim community who are unable to digest the declaration of the right of Muslim women to resort to the extra-judicial divorce of ‘khula’ unilaterally,” the court added.


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


US Islamophobia Bill remains inactive; fails to curb anti-Muslim violence and hatred

JS Ifthekhar

1st November 2022

US lawmaker Ilhan Omar


Hyderabad: It is more than a year since the US House of Representatives passed a bill to create a special envoy to combat Islamophobia worldwide. But this piece of legislation appears to have had no effect if the growing anti-Muslim violence and discrimination is any indication.

As Islamophobia is global in scope, the US thinks it has to lead the global effort to address it. Interestingly the bill has not generated much of a debate. There is no reaction to it either – positive or otherwise. It is also not clear whether the US has followed up on this bill at all or it has put the whole thing on the back burner.

This important bill was mooted by Democratic Representative, Ilhan Omar, and it was passed by the US House with members voting 219-212 in October 2021. The trigger for the Bill is said to be the racist remark made by the Republican lawmaker, Lauren Boebert, against Omar, the Somalian-born Muslim Congresswoman, by dubbing her a member of the ‘jihad squad’.

The bill is considered an important step toward addressing questions of equity, bias and justice. It seeks to establish an office headed by a special envoy in the State Department to record instances of Islamophobia, including violence against and harassment of Muslims and vandalism of their mosques, schools and cemeteries worldwide. The envoy is also expected to record efforts by foreign governments to address harassment and violence against Muslims and to enact laws to protect religious freedom.

Ever since the bill was passed the anti-Muslim hatred has reached ‘epidemic proportions.’ As per the UN Special Rapporteur on religious freedom, 30 percent of Americans view Muslims in a ‘negative light’ while surveys conducted in Europe during 2018-2019 said four out of ten people held ‘unfavourable views of Muslims’. Since 9/11 more and more American Muslims are experiencing bigotry or discrimination. There are also rising instances of hate, killing and other forms of violence against the Uyghurs in China, the Rohingya in Myanmar and Muslims in India and Sri Lanka.

While the Myanmar military leaders and the Chinese government have defended their actions the Indian and Sri Lankan governments have denied state-sponsored repression of Muslims in their countries.

Statistics show that there is a clear uptick of anti-Muslim sentiments worldwide.

Would this bill have helped curb the growing anti-minority sentiments in India if the US had pursued it vigorously? The answer will be negative going by the zero tolerance shown by India towards interference in its internal affairs. In fact, from different fora the Modi government has strongly condemned and denied harassment of its minorities or curbing of their religious freedom although the facts may speak otherwise.

In the recent past, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has rapped the Government of India for adopting discriminatory policies and fostering bias in independent institutions and the justice system. The government, however, has called these observations as ‘biased and inaccurate’ and strongly denied targeting minority communities. The government was equally vociferous in rebutting criticism from Opposition parties and a group of retired bureaucrats who expressed concern at the ‘politics of hate.’ The government termed the USCIRF observations as ‘biased and inaccurate’ and strongly denied stifling voices of dissent, especially of those belonging to minority communities.

The fact, however, remains that the situation of religious minorities in the country has seen a steady decline over the years.  Muslims in India have been at the receiving end in the last few years in the name of ‘love jihad’, cow slaughter, hijab ban, halal food, azan, bulldozer justice and madrasa survey. Lynching and economic boycotts have now become passé. The Delhi riots following months of protest against the citizenship law saw Muslims being arrested and booked under draconian laws. The Christian community is also under the radar with stringent anti-conversion laws being slapped against it.  Thanks to majoritarian politics more and more horrors appear to be in store in the name of ‘righting historical wrongs’.

As the situation worsens by the day, there is a deafening silence at the top echelons of the government.   When it was passed last year, the US Islamophobia bill raised hopes that it would bring a turnaround in the lives of minorities. But there are no signs of that happening.

Source:Siasat Daily

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


UN chief appeals for Arab unity as antidote to foreign interference and terrorism


November 01, 2022

NEW YORK CITY: The unity of the Arab world is “the raison d’etre of the Arab League” and the organization has “never been more essential” than in this time of ever-widening geopolitical divides, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday.

“Division opens the door to foreign interference, terrorism, manipulation and sectarian strife,” he said.

“But united, your leadership can shape a region that makes the most of its enormous potential. A region centered on solving differences through dialogue, rooted in respect and mutual interest.”

In a world that is facing “great trials and tests,” including ever-greater inequality, he said, cooperation is the only way forward and regional organizations such as the League of Arab States have a vital role to play.

He added that he is pushing the G20 to adopt a stimulus program to boost investment in developing countries and speed up debt relief.

Speaking in Algeria at the opening of the two-day Arab League summit, Guterres began by addressing “the ongoing suffering in Palestine.” He called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and for peace talks to resume.

“Our shared goal remains two states: Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as the capital of both states,” he said.

The UN chief urged leaders to “generously” support the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Describing the agency as a “vital pillar of regional stability,” he lamented the financial crisis that is affecting it and “undermining the rights and well-being of Palestine refugees.”

He stressed the importance of further strengthening “the strong partnership” between the UN and the League, and vowed to continue their collaborative efforts to address challenges, including the crises in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan.

“Conflicts persist and humanitarian needs keep growing,” he said. “Let us keep up our common efforts toward multilateral solutions that meet people’s legitimate aspirations for peace, freedom and justice.”

While injustices persist all around the world, it is the countries of the global South that are suffering the most, said Guterres.

“Across the Arab world, Africa and beyond, (developing nations) are being hit from all sides: Weakened by conflicts, battered by the COVID-19 pandemic and pummeled by the climate crisis,” he said.

The war in Ukraine and the resultant soaring food and energy prices, spiraling inflation and crushing debt burdens have compounded existing crises for governments “in roughly half the world, including across the Arab region and Africa” who, Guterres said, are not receiving the financing they need.

“I am pushing for a (Sustainable Development Goals) stimulus, led by the G20, to boost investment in sustainable development for emerging economies, increase liquidity and speed up debt relief and restructure debt comprehensively, effectively and fairly,” he said.

Just a few days after Russia suspended its participation in the UN-brokered Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal designed to restore exports of grains from Ukrainian ports that had been halted by the war, Guterres said work is continuing “non-stop” in an effort to preserve and extend the agreement and also to remove all remaining obstacles to the export of Russian crops and fertilizers.

“After all, every fraction of a food price increase pushes more people and communities further toward poverty and hunger,” Guterres said.

“We must do all we can to ensure the continued success of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, to provide relief to those in need, including countries in the Middle East and North Africa relying on accessible and affordable food and fertilizers, both from Ukraine and the Russian Federation.”

The UN Climate Change Conference, COP27, which begins on Sunday in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh, offers a further opportunity for restoring trust between developed and developing countries, Guterres said.

“Wealthier countries must lead” by example by reducing their emissions during this decade to help ensure global temperatures do not rise by more than 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels, he said, fully pivot toward renewable energy, and mobilize $100 billion annually to support the efforts of developing countries to build climate resilience.

“Half of climate finance must flow to adaptation,” Guterres said, and “we must urgently address the climate impacts that are beyond countries’ abilities to adapt.”

He added: “Action on loss and damage is a moral imperative that must be front and center of COP27. It is immoral and unreasonable to expect communities that did nothing to cause global heating to pay the price for climate impacts.”

Source: Arab News

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


Former Minister of Justice to Visit Europe Discussing Human Rights Violations

By Saqalain Eqbal

01 Nov 2022

The former government’s Minister of Justice, Fazal Ahmad Manawi, said that he will visit Europe to meet with human rights organizations and discuss genocide, war crimes, and human rights violations.

Manawi made his visit to Europe public on Monday night, October 31, and stated that he will be meeting with human rights organizations as well as other relevant European institutions.

The former official also said that he will discuss his research and documents regarding the war crimes committed by the Taliban government and their genocide-related activities.

He also invited all those who are in possession of documents and other materials which may indicate or detail the Taliban war crimes and human rights violations to send them to him so that he reflects it with the rights organizations.

According to human rights organizations, international human rights advocates have frequently brought up the Taliban as people responsible for war crimes in Afghanistan and other serious human rights violations.

While the Taliban are accused of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions, and other blatant violations of human rights, especially against Afghan women, the group denies the claims maintaining that they are propaganda.

Source: Khaama Press

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


Indonesian extremists are climbing the political ladder

By Siktus Harson

November 01, 2022

People gather for prayers at a memorial for victims killed in the 2002 Bali bombings during the 20th anniversary of the blasts that killed more than 200 people, in Kuta on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on Oct. 12. (Photo: AFP)


Indonesians have just marked twenty years since the Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people, mostly foreign travelers who were on the island for holidays.

The attacks by the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah jihadists became Indonesia’s, even Southeast Asia’s, worst in two decades. It happened on Oct.12, 2002, not long after the world commemorated the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

Although mass terror attacks have decreased significantly in the last several years, it does not mean that terrorism is dead. It remains the biggest threat to the Muslim-majority country. Terrorism is alive and kicking in this country of 270 million people. Extremists are finding ways to penetrate the government system.                                                                         

Some might be asking about the number of Indonesians who are involved or sympathize with terror groups.

It’s hard to tell. But in the last several years, arresting alleged terrorists has become routine for Indonesia's anti-terror police. The latest was the arrest of a woman, believed to be a member of the disbanded Hizb ut-Tahrir group, who pointed a gun at presidential palace guards on Oct.26. Police later found out that her husband has links with the Islamic State group.

Ten days earlier, police arrested a public school teacher in East Java, who, police said, was a member of Jemaah Islamiyah, the group responsible for deadly attacks in the early 2000s, including the Bali bombings.

Extremism remains the biggest threat to the country since its foundation 77 years ago, despite the Muslim-majority nation, adopting a secular ideology, rather than Islamic Sharia.

The decision of the founding fathers under President Sukarno to adopt the secular ideology Pancasila or Five Principles was not without challenges.

Over time, individuals and groups have wanted to establish an Islamic caliphate.

Soekarmadji Maridjan Kartosuwiryo, the founder of Darul Islam in West Java, fought to replace the secular ideology in the 1940s and his influence remains strong among radical movements in the country. During elections, West Java becomes a battlefield for any presidential candidate, considering it’s the biggest province with a 50 million population.

In the 1980s, Abu Bakar Baasyir emerged as the leader of the Indonesian Mujaheddin Council which was responsible for new waves of terror attacks. He was later arrested and jailed for 15 years and freed last year.

Islamic militants live in many parts of the country, particularly in West, Central, and East Java, Sulawesi, Sumatra, and also in Jakarta.

Bombings have decreased drastically in the last several years not only because it’s less effective, but also because terror groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah have shifted strategy. They have moved from using bombs to seeking to influence the government through the democratic process.

Together with members of banned groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir and Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), they want to change the national ideology with Islamic Sharia by participating actively in politics. They realize it is impossible to establish a caliphate without gaining political power first.

That’s the reason why radical groups rally behind a candidate whom they think will support their cause.

In June, they declared support for former Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan to run for president in early 2024. He’s seen as someone who can make their Islamic caliphate aspirations come true.

Early this month, the National Democratic Party (Nasdem) officially nominated Baswedan. The Islamic-based Justice Prosperous Party and Democratic Party founded by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono were expected to join the coalition to support him.

Some observers claimed that radicalism grew significantly during Yudhoyono’s presidency (2009-2014).

What does it mean for Indonesia? It means that nominating Baswedan, who has close ties with radical groups and clerics such as former Islamic Defenders Front leader Muhammad Rizieq Shihab, opens the door for radical groups to potentially influence the highest-ranking and most powerful official in the land.

This would be disastrous. Many fear that if Baswedan, who is in the top three of preferred candidates in national surveys, wins the election, he will be more responsive to radical groups and could easily be dictated to by extremists.

President Joko Widodo recently warned party leaders to be careful when nominating a presidential candidate. He didn’t mean to intervene in their affairs but he knew exactly the implication of nominating the former Jakarta governor and the people behind him.

Widodo’s biggest fear is that if Baswedan becomes president, his hard work to establish peace and harmony would be destroyed. He fears that all the radical groups he banned during his leadership will return.

Hizb ut-Tahrir and the FPI have a combined membership of over 7.2 million. Experts estimate that about 2 million of this number backed the Islamic State group when it started to expand its influence in the country back in 2014.

During the last presidential race, they rallied behind Prabowo Subianto's unsuccessful bid to defeat Widodo, whom they consider anti-Islam.

This time, they are trying their best to jump on Baswedan’s wagon. If he wins, he will likely be lenient towards radical groups and under pressure to pay them back for their support.

Many feared his inability to denounce radicalism will lead to chaos. The worst-case scenario is that it could see Indonesia going in the same direction as Afghanistan which has been in turmoil since the Taliban appeared The Taliban, somehow, have inspired Indonesian jihadists.

Indonesians don’t want such a situation to happen. The only way to keep Indonesia’s secular ideology intact is by voting for someone who would continue what Widodo has started, and who will continue to keep radical groups in check.

Source: UCANews

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


Imam of Al Azhar, Pope Francis co-chair Muslim Elders Council meeting in Bahrain

01 Nov 2022

Imam of Al Azhar, Pope Francis co-chair Muslim Elders Council meeting in Bahrain


Manama, Nov. 1 (BNA): Bahrain hosts on November 4 the 16th meeting of Muslim Council of Elders coinciding with the historical official visit of His Holiness Pope Francis visit to Bahrain at the invitation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The meeting will be chaired by His Eminence Grand Imam Sheikh of Al Azhar Dr. Ahmed Al Tayyib in the presence of His Holiness Pope Francis.

The meeting will review global challenges, including climate changes, lack of food and water, and other humanitarian catastrophes, and the role of religious leaders in addressing them through an Islamic-Christian dialogue.

The Secretary-General of the Council of Muslim Elders and the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity Counselor Mohammed Abdulsalam stressed that the meeting symbolizes the relationship between leaders and followers of different religions by providing practical steps and solutions to these challenges from religious and legal perspectives.


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


FM: Enemies Seeking to Pave Ground for Terror Attacks in Iran


Amir Abdollahian made the reamrks in a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Monday.

Iran's foreign minister stated that some enemies have tried in recent weeks to abuse events in Iran in order to create instability and insecurity in the country.

"The enemies made effort to prepare the ground for the Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) terrorist attack," he added.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has witnessed such conspiracies against the country many times and has always overcome them proudly," he stressed.

For his part, the Turkish foreign minister said Ankara has stood and will stand by Tehran in the fight against terrorism.

He made the remarks after condemning the bloody attack on a holy shrine in the Southern Iranian city of Shiraz which led to the martyrdom and injury of several Iranian people.

"Ankara and Tehran are two brother countries that have supported each other in good and bad days," Çavuşoğlu added.

At least 15 people, including a woman and two children, were martyred and 19 others wounded in the terrorist attack on the famous shrine. Daesh terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on their telegram channel.

Iranian officials have strongly condemned the terror attack on the holy shrine of Shah Cheragh, pledging that Tehran will deliver a decisive and crushing response to the masterminds of the bloodshed.

Source: Fars News Agency
Please click the following URL to read the text of the original story:


US Targets Smugglers Supplying Islamic State in Somalia

November 01, 2022

Jeff Seldin

Harun Maruf


The United States is trying to curb the flow of weapons to the Islamic State terror group’s affiliate in Somalia, taking aim at a smuggling operation that is also helping to arm its al-Qaida-linked rival, al-Shabab, with weapons from Iran.

The U.S. Treasury Department Tuesday announced sanctions against eight individuals and one company all involved in the yearslong effort to smuggle millions of dollars of weapons between Yemen and Somalia.

Among those targeted are Abdirahman Fahiye, believed to lead IS-Somalia's day-to-day operations, Mohamed Ahmed Qahiye, who heads IS-Somalia’s intelligence wing, and Isse Mohamoud Yusuf, a former pirate who continues to run weapons on behalf of IS.

The sanctions "take direct aim at the networks funding and supplying both ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabab," Brian Nelson, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement, using another acronym for the IS affiliate.

"The involvement of those designated [Tuesday] in other criminal activity, including piracy and illegal fishing, demonstrates the extent of ISIS-Somalia's integration with illicit networks and other terrorist organizations operating in the region," Nelson added.

Tuesday's move by the Treasury Department follows an earlier round of sanctions, introduced last month, aimed at crippling al-Shabab’s ability to raise money.

The new sanctions, though, focus on smugglers and terror leaders said to be enmeshed in IS-Somalia, despite current or past ties to al-Shabab, links to al-Qaida’s affiliate in Yemen or links to Iran.

"I don't think it's anything ideological," Caleb Weiss, a senior analyst with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Bridgeway Foundation, told VOA via email.

"They're using the same basic smuggling networks and smugglers that are happy to do business with the highest bidder," Weiss said. "I am sure Iran is also looking at this as an angle to make extra cash, as well."

According to U.S. Treasury officials, it has been big business.

Abdirahman Mohamed Omar, an IS-Somalia member and weapons smuggler, is said to have completed more than $2 million in transactions over the past four years, procuring weapons like AK-47 machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, for his own group and for al-Shabab.

Another sanctioned smuggler, Mahad Isse Aden, is alleged to have transferred almost $800,000 to arms suppliers in Yemen between 2015 and 2020.

Even the senior IS-Somalia officials have not been above doing business with Iran.

The Treasury Department said in early 2020, IS-Somalia’s intelligence chief, Qahiye, was part of a senior delegation that got a $10,000 payment from Iranian businessmen.

But there are questions as to where all the weapons and money are going as some recent intelligence estimates have questioned the group's capabilities.

Information gathered by United Nations member states and published in a report this past July, indicated the group has fewer than 300 fighters in Puntland, with "a small footprint that lacks the capacity to undertake major operations as a result of attacks from [al-Qaida linked] al-Shabab."

Even the information issued by the U.S. noted that despite efforts to raise funds and the movement of hundreds of thousands of dollars, IS-Somalia members receive low wages.

Some former counterterrorism officials think that may have to do with IS-Somalia’s focus, which is not on Somalia itself.

IS-Somalia "is much more invested in its ability to support ISIS networks elsewhere," Edmund Fitton-Brown, a former top U.N. official who is now a senior adviser to the New York and Berlin-based Counter Extremism Project (CEP), told VOA.

The notion is supported by intelligence that indicates that despite its small size, IS-Somalia is home to one of the Islamic State’s key regional hubs.

U.N. member state intelligence published earlier this year suggests the so-called al-Karrar office based in Somalia serves as a key financial hub for IS, moving money from Yemen to Afghanistan to help buy weapons and pay the salaries of IS fighters in Somalia, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Source: VOANews

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



Visakhapatnam: Muslims serve food to Ayyappa devotees

Nov 1, 2022

VISAKHAPATNAM: Setting an example of religious harmony, a few Muslims served bhiksha (food) to Ayyappa Swamys at Gajuwaka in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.

Muslim under the Youth Welfare AP organization served food in Ramalayam in Sitaramanagar.

Youth Welfare and Minorities Rights Protection Council state president Sharukh Shibli, members Zaheer and Abu Nasar arranged food for the Ayyappa devotees who are observing Ayyappa Deeksha.
Source: Times Of India

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


Uniform Civil Code raked up before polls to hide governance failures, says Muslim body


1 November, 2022

New Delhi: The Uniform Civil Code was not only unacceptable to Muslims but also to other minorities and diverse groups among the majority community including tribals, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has said in a statement, decrying recent moves by Uttarakhand and poll-bound Gujarat to impose uniformity in personal laws.

In the statement issued Monday, AIMPLB general secretary Khalid Saifullah Rehmani said issues like the UCC come up during elections “to hide the failures of governance”.

He added that fundamental rights embodied the spirit of the Constitution and guaranteed the right to individuals to follow their chosen religion, worship accordingly and also to make efforts for its spread. That is why personal laws are protected in law, he said.

He compared the efforts to implement UCC to prohibition, which, he pointed out, was also a part of the directive principles of state policy but not made into a law in the country.

“Social and family laws define the identity of various groups. If their very identity is called into question that cannot be tolerated. Various groups following their personal laws in this country predates the coming of the English. The English too allowed that situation to continue and after independence for years there was no impediment in that. If people of the country wanted a common civil code then the Special Marriage Act would have been the chosen personal law of the country. But that has not happened. On the other hand, even now, citizens have the right to choose between their own personal laws and the Special Marriage Act,” Rehmani said in his statement.

Rehmani’s remarks come days after the Gujarat government announced that it had formed a committee to look into the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code in the state. The state goes into Assembly elections later this year.

The UCC was also promised earlier in the year, just before Uttarakhand went to polls. Following the elections, a committee was formed to look into it

“UCC was aimed at practices such as polyandry”

Rehmani said that a forceful implementation of UCC would affect the unity and brotherhood of the country. He claimed the inclusion of UCC in the directive principles of state policy was principally aimed at tribal practices that have implications for culture and health. He cited the example of polyandry as one of the practices that UCC aimed to end.

“All India Muslim Personal Law Board has already through people and religious organisations in Uttarakhand, made it known to the government there that UCC is not acceptable and the board along with other minority organisations would oppose it at the national level. We are already in touch with various Sikh, Christian and Buddhist bodies,” he said.

Source: ThePrint

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


Centre To Grant Citizenship To Non-Muslim Minorities Of Pakistan, Afghanistan And Bangladesh Staying In India; Seeks Application

01 NOV 2022

While the Supreme Court yesterday fixed the date of the hearing of petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 on December 6; the centre decided to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan and currently living in two districts of Gujarat under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

The move of the centre is not according to the CAA as the rules for the act have not yet been framed; rather it follows the Citizenship Act of 1955 provision of Citizenship rule, 2009 bears significance.

Notably, the CAA also provides for granting Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

The notification of the Union Home Ministry mentioned that the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians residing in the districts of Anand and Mehsana in Gujarat will be allowed registration as a citizen of India under section 5 or will be granted certificate of naturalisation under section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and in accordance with the provisions of the Citizenship Rules, 2009.

How to proceed to get Indian citizenship?

Such people living in the two districts of Gujarat have to submit their applications online which will then be verified by the collector at the district level. The application for the citizenship and the reports reflecting the observation of the collector will then be made accessible to the central government. 

The collector may make such inquiry as he considers necessary for ascertaining the suitability of the applicant. He may forward the application online to such agencies for verification and comments as may be required for completing such an inquiry, the notification said.

The notification also added that after completing the entire process, the collector, being satisfied with the suitability of the applicant, grants him or her the citizenship of India by registration or naturalisation and issues a certificate of registration or naturalisation.

Proposition of CAA and the ensuing debate

In 2019 Modi government passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act that pledged to give citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians -- from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who had come to India till December 31, 2014.

There were nationwide protests against the amendment and sometimes it led to violent actions killing more than 100 people across the country. The protesters citing the preamble of the Indian constitution claimed that the government was trying to change the secular character of the country by using religion as a tool to provide citizenship.

Government notably couldn’t sufficiently provide reason for choosing the neighbouring countries from where the presumably persecuted people belonging to above mentioned religions could seek the citizenship of India if they had entered before the new cut off. The question of not including Myanmar where the UN recognised refugees Rohingya Muslims have been persecuted now for years further questioned the intention of the government.

Some of the dissenters even categorically showed that in Pakistan, Shias and Ahmedias are regularly persecuted and should be given refuge, if the government is so much intended to lend hands to the affected refugees. The whole debate took a shift to alleged Islamophobia of the current government and resulted into long term sit-in protests by Muslim women across the country.

What are the progresses made in CAA notification?

However, the CAA has not been implemented so far as rules under it are yet to be framed.

According to the Manual on Parliamentary Work, the rules for any legislation should have been framed within six months of presidential assent or seek extension from the Committees on Subordinate Legislation in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

In January 2020, the home ministry notified that the Act would come into force from January 10, 2020, but it later requested the parliamentary committees in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha to give it some more time to implement rules as the country was going through its worst ever health crisis due to the Covid pandemic.

Last fortnight, the Union home ministry had been granted yet another extension by the Parliamentary Committees on Subordinate Legislation in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha to frame the rules of the CAA.


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


J&K: 4 terrorists killed in two separate encounters

Nov 1, 2022

SRINAGAR: Four terrorists, including one Pakistani were killed in two separate encounters in the Kashmir Valley on Tuesday.

An unidentified terrorist was killed in an encounter at Semthan village of Bijbehra in Anantnag district, police said.

A joint team of police, Army and CRPF launched a search operation after receiving information about the presence of terrorists in the area.

Police said that as the joint team of forces intensified searches near the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists opened fire, which was retaliated to, triggering an encounter.

Another encounter broke out in Khandipora village of Awantipora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday evening.

ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar in a tweet said that three terrorists have been killed in Pulwama and their identity is being ascertained.

One of the slain terrorists is believed to be a Pakistani and the other a local, both with links to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The local was identified as Mukhtar Bhat, involved in several terror crimes including killing of an ASI of CRPF and two RPF personnel.

Source: Times Of India

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


Our funds, our curriculum: Darul Uloom sees no need for affiliation with UP madrasa board

by Esha Roy

November 2, 2022

While underlining that the Darul Uloom, Deoband, has faced no issues from the Uttar Pradesh government, the president of the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind (Madani faction), Maulana Arshad Madani, has said that the Islamic seminary does not require affiliation with the state madrasa board.

The fact that the Darul Uloom is not affiliated with the Uttar Pradesh Board of Madrasa Education came up during an ongoing survey of madrasas in the state by the Yogi Adityanath government. The country’s biggest Islamic university, the Deoband institution, which was set up in 1866, has over 4,000 madrasas affiliated to it.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Madani, who is also the spokesperson of the Darul Uloom, said: “The Uloom is registered under the Societies Registration Act and does not need to be affiliated to the madarsa board. An unnecessary controversy is being created. The Uloom is a 150-year-old institution and we have our own regulations and rules.”

On apprehensions regarding affiliation with the board, he said: “We raise funds through the community and don’t need government funding of any sort. It has been our experience that whenever a madrasa gets grants or aid from the government, the government starts interfering, changes the entire syllabus and eventually stops the religious teachings that we impart. This is what happened in madrasas across Assam. Do you think the BJP-led UP government will not do this too?’’

At a recent meeting in Saharanpur of madrasa operators, Madani emphasised the same and said it was unfortunate that madrasas were being linked to terrorism “by certain sections’’.

The UP government has said that the madrasa survey is being conducted for data collection and issues of affiliation were not being looked at. Without accurate data, Minority Welfare Minister Danish Azad Ansari has said, improvement of madrasas vis-a-vis infrastructure is simply not possible.

The government started the survey on September 10 and has been gathering details on 11 points, including sources of funding, infrastructure, the number of students and teachers etc. The respective district magistrates are expected to send in their reports to the government by November 15.

Madani said the Uloom was unambiguously against introduction of modern subjects in madrasas such as the sciences, as it was not their brief, and that they would not be changing the curriculum currently being taught.

“There are other schools where students can learn these subjects. These madrasas were set up by our community, on land belonging to us, to impart our religious thoughts and teachings. Government aid is dangerous because then the government introduces other subjects like engineering or the sciences. This is not what madrasas are meant for. They are meant for religious teachings and nothing else. And no, modern subjects and religious thought cannot go hand in hand and cannot be taught at the same school,’’ Madani says.

Pointing out that many students graduating from madrasas go on to study at universities such as Jamia Millia Islamia and AMU, he adds: “Some students do pursue medicine or engineering after they complete their madrasa education. We do not oppose this or prevent it from happening.”

Madrasa teaching was of vital importance for the Muslim community to preseve its faith and culture, the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind leader says. “There is a need in the community for imams. Where will the imams come from if madrasas suddenly start teaching modern subjects? Doesn’t the Hindu community need pandits too for rituals and important occasions such as marriage or birth or death? India is a big country and there are lakhs of masjids across the country. We need clerics to run the masjids and conduct azaan (call for prayer). There is already a shortage of Muslim clerics in India. Who will meet the needs of our religion?’’he says.

On those who link madrasa education to terrorism, Madani says: “The Uloom is over a 100 years old, and if extremism was being taught here, imagine what the condition of the country would have been. Ignorant people are spreading such misinformation. The madrasas’ doors are open for anyone who wants to visit and see what is being taught there, how they operate. Come and see for yourselves if there is any radicalism.”

Source: IndianExpress

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


Meet the angels of Morbi bridge tragedy who saved more than 50 lives

1st November 2022

On October 30, Vadodara, Gujarat celebrated Chatt puja, when the British-era bridge – Morbi bridge -with 500 men, women, and children collapsed taking down more than 140 lives.

These lives, mostly women and children, who had come to celebrate their loved ones were lost to a devastating tragedy.

In this chaos, a few men and women came as good samaritans and saved more than 50 lives by swimming to and fro each time and bringing people to safety.

These men – Taufeeq Bhai, Naeem Sheikh, and Hussain Pathan – and many others whose names are unknown did not care if the people whose lives they were saving belonged to different religions. All they cared about was they were saving precious lives, human lives.

Naeem Sheikh swam, along with five of his friends to save lives. Speaking to the media, he said that one of his friends lost his life as he had drunk too much water while swimming back and fro to save lives.

“We (his friends) just had one thing in our mind – to save as many as possible,” said Naeem.

As the 150-year-old bridge cables collapsed, Taufeeq Bhai and Hussain Pathan saw many hanging onto the suspension while others were crying for help as they struggled to float.

While Hussain Pathan rescued 35 lives to the hospital, Taufiq, an expert swimmer, swam 50 lives to safety.

According to The Quint, ambulance driver Hussain helped carry several people to the civil hospital, despite his own cousin perishing in the tragedy. Milan Prakashbhai, a local helped carry the injured and dead to the hospital all night. Haseena, a social worker at the civic hospital helped identified bodies by cleaning the blood stains. Ravi and his friends provided food and water to the injured.

Twitter reacts

The Twitter world has not stopped praising the efforts of these brave men and women while questioning those who have always spoken against the Muslim community.

Police on Monday arrested nine persons, including four from the Oreva group that was managing the suspension bridge, and filed a case against firms tasked with the maintenance and operation of the British-era structure.
Source:Siasat Daily

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


North America

US Marine who entered to blow up Indiana mosque embraces Islam

Sakina Fatima

1st November 2022

Richard McKinney, a former US Marine who was raised to hate Islam during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, was enraged on seeing Muslim localities in his hometown, when he returned to Muncie, Indiana.

He was angry that their children would sit next to his daughter in her elementary school, local media reported.

Last mission

Unable to contain his anger toward Muslims, McKinney went to the Muncie Islamic Center in 2009, which he considered his last assignment.

He was on his way to plant a bomb in the mosque in the hope of killing or wounding hundreds of Muslims, but before that, he had made an exploratory visit to choose a location to hide his bomb and to gather intelligence that would validate his assumption that Islam was a “killer ideology”.

He said that day, “I told people that Islam is cancer. I was the surgeon to cure it.”

But when McKinney entered the mosque, he encountered a form of resistance he had not planned, and something happened that day, which he had never expected, that would have changed his course to the opposite.

He wanted to kill them instead they saved his life

McKinney recently spoke to CNN about his unexpected transformation, after he walked out of his house to the mosque, which he thought would end up killing him.

He entered the mosque armed but faced resistance of a different kind that he had never expected.

Instead of the scenario of killing him that he had drawn in his imagination, a number of worshipers came to him and took his weapon away with which he wanted to kill them. Then an Afghan citizen named Muhammad Bahrami, one of the founders of the Islamic Center, came forward and hugged him and burst into tears.

“To this day, it still doesn’t make sense to me!” McKinney says of that moment.

Shifting from one extreme to the other

McKinney met in the Islamic centre in his city and then in the Muslim community a number of people who helped him dispel his anger until he felt guilty for what he intended to do.

One of them was Jomo Williams, an African-American who lived in a McKinney-like state of hostility after the “white occupiers” executed and castrated his great-grandfather and he held hostility towards whites until he converted to Islam.

He then met a woman he called “Mother Teresa”, from the Muslim community in Muncie, the wife of the Afghani Muhammad Bahrami, who greeted McKinney with a hug for the first time.

Mother Teresa also knew the damage war can cause. Her family was displaced in Afghanistan when the Soviet Union invaded it in 1979, she fled her country and lived six years in a refugee camp in Pakistan before she married and made her way to the United States.

McKinney continued to visit Bahrami and others at the Islamic Center, read the Holy Quran and made friends with Muslims through whom he learned about Islam and its teachings.

Eight months after McKinney’s first visit to the mosque, he converted to Islam. After the ceremony, he was greeted with what he called a “big hug pit” from people he once intended to harm.

Eventually, McKinney served as president of the Islamic Center in Muncie for two years and became an advocate of Islam.

Stranger at the gate

Richard McKinney’s story has become the subject of a short documentary, Stranger at the Gate. The film, which won a Special Jury Prize at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, tells how McKinney abandoned his plan and ended up converting to Islam and even taking a surprising role in the mosque.

The film recounts the astonishing behaviour of Muhammad Bahrami, an Afghani and co-founder of the centre, who hugged Richard and then burst into tears.

Source:Siasat Daily

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


Iran plotting imminent attack on Saudi Arabia; puts US-Saudis on elevated alert: Report

Darren Lyn


HOUSTON, United States

US and Saudi Arabian officials are on high alert after learning of an impending attack on the kingdom by Iran, according to intelligence sources.

The Wall Street Journal reported that officials from both countries have shared concerns about Iran's imminent threat, which includes information that Tehran is also looking to strike US troops in Erbil, Iraq as a distraction from protests against Iran's leadership.

“We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis,” the National Security Council said in a statement. “We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region.”

Iran has already carried out a barrage of attacks in northern Iraq, where US troops have been stationed, since late September.

The urgent threat level has put the American military and other allied forces in the Middle East on elevated alert status.

"We will reserve the right to protect and defend ourselves no matter where our forces are serving, whether in Iraq or elsewhere," said Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder on Tuesday.

Tehran has publicly blamed what it calls Iranian Kurdish separatist groups for carrying out attacks and has accused Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US of instigating demonstrations against the Iranian government through news coverage in the region.

Iran has warned Saudi Arabia against covering the protests on Farsi news stations.

"This is our last warning, because you are interfering in our internal affairs through these media," Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami said in remarks reported by Iranian state media. "You are involved in this matter and know that you are vulnerable."

The threat level from Iran comes at a critical time in US-Saudi relations, as there are strained ties between President Joe Biden's administration and Riyadh concerning Saudi Arabia's move to cut oil production last month, despite pleas by the US to hold off on the decision.

The Saudi-led OPEC+ move raised oil prices during a period of high inflation and took place right before the US midterm elections on Nov. 8.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

US Treasury imposes sanctions on Somali arms network 

01 November 2022

The United States has imposed sanctions on a Somali weapons trafficking network saying they are supplying arms to Daesh-Somalia and the al-Shabab militant group after twin bombings killed at least 100 in Mogadishu on Saturday.  

The US Department of Treasury said it blacklisted eight individuals and one company involved in the multi-million dollar arms network, allegedly contributing to the violence by al-Shabab and the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Somalia, AFP reported.

"The individuals and entity designated today are critical nodes for a weapons trafficking network that is closely integrated with ISIS-Somalia," the Treasury said, using its acronym for the terrorist group.

"These networks operate primarily between Yemen and Somalia and have strong ties to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Shabab," it said.

Al Shabab claimed responsibility and said the attack was in response to Somali children being taught from a Christian-led education syllabus. Al-Shabab often targets high-profile locations with large numbers of civilians killed.

The US Treasury said networks are partly centered on Puntland on the eastern tip of Somalia, where it said Abdirahman Mohamed Omar has handled more than $2 million in arms deals over the past four years.

"Omar has been involved in weapons facilitation to ISIS-Somalia and al-Shabab since at least early 2017," working with an AQAP arms facilitator, the Treasury claimed.

The Treasury said Omar and other Puntland arms traders mentioned in the sanctions were also involved in illegal fishing using dynamite and piracy.

At least 100 people were killed in two car bombings outside the education ministry in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, on Saturday.

At least 300 others were wounded, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said on Sunday. The attack was the deadliest since October 2017, when a vehicle bomb at the same market intersection killed more than 500 people.

The attack occurred when the president, prime minister and other senior officials were meeting to discuss combating violent extremism, especially by the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab group that often targets the capital.

Al-Shabab has been fighting Somalia’s central government for more than 15 years in an attempt to establish its own rule in the African country. Recently, the group has launched strikes on the Ethiopian border.

An African Union force pushed the al-Shabab militants out of the capital in 2011, but the group still controls swathes of countryside and frequently carries out gun and bomb attacks against both civilian and military targets. Its targets include busy traffic intersections, hotels, and military bases.

Source: Press TV

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


American Rescue Plan funded writing fellowship for ‘non-binary’ 13-year-olds, Muslim jazz series in NYC

November 1, 2022

Thousands of dollars from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act funded a writing fellowship targeting "non-binary" 13-year-olds and a Muslim jazz music series, among dozens of other humanities projects in New York that are seemingly unrelated to COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

The ARP Act, which Democrats passed in March 2021 without any Republican support, was billed by the Democratic Party as an economic necessity for getting the country through the pandemic. The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which received $135 million from the plan, announced in June 2021 that it had allocated $51.6 million in ARP funding for "state and jurisdictional humanities councils and interim partners to support recovery and reopening of humanities organizations and programs across the country."

Months later, Humanities New York distributed more than $360,000 ARP funds to dozens of organizations, including a $10,000 grant for Urban Word NYC to launch three literary arts fellowships for marginalized youth. One of the taxpayer-funded fellowships, the Black Girl Magic Fellowship, is a series "for NYC/NJ-based girls and non-binary youth ages 13-19 centered on their development as writers, building their self-esteem, and addressing issues that matter most to them," according to Urban Word’s website.

Humanities New York awarded another $10,000 ARP grant to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem to create a five-part music series about the influence of Islam and Muslims in jazz.

"This ongoing series highlights the contributions of Islam and Muslims in the birth and continued growth of jazz," the National Jazz Museum website states. "These discussions and concerts are fundamental to changing conversations and attitudes about ‘belonging’ in the history of jazz for Muslims and for other marginalized groups."

Humanities New York awarded another $10,000 ARP grant for Roots Wounds Words to create a talk series aimed to provide Black, Indigenous, and people of color storytellers "with opportunities to deepen their literary craft across genres such as creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and more."

Humanities New York awarded another $10,000 ARP grant for the Pan Am Museum Foundation to "explore how racial diversity changed the airline industry."

Another nearly $10,000 went toward creating a "cultural sensitivity training" program at the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, and another $9,425 went to Seven Generations of Stewards to host a festival about "Native American culture, history, foods and social issues," to name only a few.

Fox News Digital has extensively reported on the millions in ARP funds that have funded social and climate justice programs all over the country that have virtually nothing to do with pandemic relief.

For example, the NEH awarded the Oral History Association $825,000 in ARP funds for a grant-making project titled, "Diversifying Oral History Practice: A Fellowship Program for Under/Unemployed Oral Historians," which provided 11 year-long fellowships of $60,000 each for oral historians "from communities which have been historically marginalized in the field," such as "Indigenous peoples, people of color, people with disabilities, and working class people."

The NEH awarded another $499,023 to the University of Montana for multiple programs on racial justice, including a public lecture series on "racial justice, death and Indigenous knowledge."

The Science History Institute in Philadelphia was awarded $359,097 by the NEH to create a "multiplatform project exploring the historical roots and persistent legacies of racism in American science and medicine." The same institute previously received a $1,230,100 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan on April 14, 2020.

Another $200,000 in ARP funds went to the Chicago Humanities Festival to create "six humanities programs on racial justice, gender equality, and building an inclusive society." The group was previously awarded a total of $778,236 from two PPP loans between April 2020 and January 2021.

Many economists have blamed the ARP for overheating the economy and contributing to the current inflation crisis, which hit a whopping 8.2% last month.

The NEH and Humanities New York did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Source: FoxNews

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


US concerned about Iranian attacks on Saudi Arabia: White House

02 November, 2022

The US is concerned about potential Iranian threats to Saudi Arabia, a White House official said Tuesday.

“We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis,” a National Security Council official said in an email to Al Arabiya English.

The official added that the US would not hesitate to defend “our interests and partners in the region.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported news of the Iranian threats.

Citing Saudi and US officials, the WSJ reported that Saudi Ara­bia, the US and other countries in the Middle East had elevated the level of alert for their mil­i­tary forces.

The Associated Press later quoted a US official as saying an attack could take place “soon or within 48 hours."

Al Arabiya English has contacted the Saudi Embassy in Washington for comment.

Last month, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps head, Hossein Salami, threatened Saudi Arabia and said the Kingdom should “be careful.” Salami claimed that Riyadh was provoking the anti-government protests that have rocked Iran and its regime for over a month.

While tensions between Washington and Riyadh have been rocky since the Biden administration took office, current and former US officials have expressed the need to maintain a steady relationship. The military relationship has been a critical part of the strategic alliance between the two countries. An estimated 70,000 US citizens live or work in the Kingdom.

After reports emerged of the Iranian threats on Tuesday, Republican Senator Joni Ernst criticized the Biden administration.

Noting the approximately 3,000 US servicemembers stationed in Saudi Arabia, Ernst accused Democrats of advocating to remove air and missile defense units, “risking the lives of US citizens & our troops alike.”

Ernst went on: “Saudi Arabia is a longstanding Gulf security partner and that has not changed. The Biden admin kneecapped U.S. energy production and has blamed OPEC+ for high gas prices. The American people don’t buy it.”

She was referring to the recent criticism of Biden administration officials who have repeatedly accused Saudi Arabia of siding with Russia in the aftermath of the OPEC+ decision to cut oil output.

Following the OPEC+ move last month, the Biden administration postponed a US-GCC integrated air and missile defense working group meeting.

And US officials have said they would review the relationship with Riyadh because of the decision reached by OPEC+.

Saudi Arabia has rejected accusations of siding with Russia, pointing to UN votes where it condemned the Russian invasion and purported annexation and pledged $400 million in aid for Ukraine.

Saudi officials hit back at US criticism, saying they were asked to delay the OPEC+ decision until after the US’s midterm elections.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


US ‘concerned’ about possible Iran missiles for Russia

01 November, 2022

The White House said Tuesday Iran was willingly taking part in killing Ukrainians by providing drones to Russia for the war, and voiced concern it would also ship missiles to Moscow.

By arming the Russians, the Iranian regime “is involved in killing innocent Ukrainians,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby said.

“At its core, this is a regime in Tehran that is openly and willingly making themselves an accomplice to the murder of innocent Ukrainian people on Ukrainian soil.”

Kirby noted Iran's provision of attack drones to Russia, which have been deployed in recent weeks to damage Ukraine infrastructure.

But he would not confirm reports that Tehran could also send short-range ballistic missiles to Russia.

Source: Al Arabiya

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



Vladimir Putin’s jihad against the West



Russian President Vladimir Putin declared jihad against the West in a recent speech delivered at the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow. In demagoguing his twisted modern-day version of the Atlantic Charter — a “Black Sea Charter,” if you will — Putin laid out his global call for jihad. Its crusade? Simply put, the destruction of “the so-called West,” its cultural and religious values, and what Putin perceives to be Washington’s global unipolar hegemony.

That’s a far cry from where we were in February, when Putin was justifying his “special military operation” in Ukraine. Then, Putin’s primary obsession was Kievan Rus — and the Donbass’ place in it alongside Crimea. The Kremlin, additionally, was also aiming to turn the Black Sea into a Russian lake. Getting battered in Ukraine changed the equation and the excuses.

Jihad, in effect, is Putin’s desperate attempt to change the playing board. He needs to find a new battlefield other than in Ukraine in search of a victory, lest he finds himself falling out a window. Overturning the global world order, in place since the end of World War II, would be one bold way of doing it.

Putin launched his jihad for a new multipolar order during his speech by accusing the West — namely, Washington, London, NATO and the European Union — of playing a “dangerous, bloody and, I would say, dirty [game].” Never mind that it was Russia who invaded Ukraine and it was Kyiv who valiantly fought off a superpower to live and fight another day. Putin’s overarching argument is that “the West made me do it” and that’s why he must continue doing it to save the world.

Yet, in the wake of Russian defeats, first in Kyiv, later in the Donbass and beyond, Putin’s justifications have been ever-changing. Initially, Putin claimed it was solely to rescue the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass. Then, it was to reverse a U.S.-orchestrated coup forcing former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych from power in 2014.

Next, lacking a victory on Victory Day, Putin resorted to claiming the war was about fighting Nazis in Ukraine. That excuse imploded when Putin’s forces were revealed not to be self-proclaimed “Nazi-hunters” but reincarnated Nazis committing war crimes and crimes against humanity at will in Bucha, Kharkiv and even in Azov. Then the excuse was that Ukraine lost the right to sovereignty because, ostensibly, Kyiv fought to defend its sovereignty.

Now it is Satanism.

Pivoting to this latest justification closely ties into Putin’s need to maintain the unwavering support of the Russian Orthodox Church. Not only is its leader, Patriarch Kirill I, providing “spiritual cover” for his war in Ukraine, the church itself is arguably the “core” of Putin’s domestic support.

Satanism is also Putin’s means to an end of simultaneously declaring jihad throughout Christendom and among Islamic extremists.

During his speech, Putin kept hammering on the theme of a decadent, immoral West and pitted it as a collective culture undermining the values of the Muslim world. Indeed, he claimed, it is one that is intent on destroying the Muslim world — and its values — as evidenced by U.S. military actions in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Putin’s pairing of Russian Christendom and extremist Islam in this new jihad against the West is not without precedent. It is rooted in his earliest interactions with Syria and its president, Bashar al-Assad. The Russian Orthodox Church, “a key unifier” in Russia and “central to his grip on power” has fully embraced Putin as “the savior of the Christian world.” Two holy sites significant to the church and Russian history are located in Syria: Maaloula, one of the remaining few cities that still speaks Aramaic — the language of Jesus — and Palmyra.

Palmyra is noteworthy because Catherine the Great idolized Zenobia, the “3rd-century queen of Palmyra,” and Catherine modeled her 18th-century court in St. Petersburg after the Syrian city. Notably, St. Petersburg is still referred to as “the Palmyra of the North.” Czarist history matters to Putin. He uses it to justify wars and land grabs.

Assad helped seal the arranged marriage between the Russian Orthodox Church and fundamentalist Islam, declaring in 2015 that Putin was “the only defender of Christian civilization one could rely on.” The seeds of Putin’s future jihad were planted — and cultivated with the blood of Russian soldiers dying in Syria. Assad’s payoff? Russian intervention on his behalf — and salvation — in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

Putin’s jihad and fight against Satanism is also directly aimed at Iran’s arch-conservative religious regime, as well as Afghanistan where Moscow is actively “recruiting Afghan commandos” to fight in Ukraine. But Putin’s jihad against the West is far broader than just the Middle East.

The Russian dictator is also aiming at Asian and African countries to peel them off from supporting Western sanctions. During his speech, he played all kinds of cards: colonialism, imperialism, racism, religious discrimination; the U.S. nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in WWII. He ignored, of course, Russia’s historical sins and the mortal sins that Putin’s soldiers commit daily in Ukraine.

Strikingly, in a direct threat to U.S. national security, Putin is targeting factions in the West to join in global jihad against Washington. He argues that the West has lost its way and Russia is now the only true standard-bearer for classical liberalism that is being lost to “Western cancel culture.”

Delusional? Yes. But also, revealing. Putin is out of ideas on how to win. First, he weaponized energy and winter. Then he went about weaponizing WMD and nuclear bluffing, including dangerously using the nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia as a “Nuclear Force Z.” Now, with this speech at Valdai, Putin is attempting to weaponize the entire global order as we know it by calling for jihad.

Putin’s “Mother Russia” of all jihads will not work. Chinese President Xi Jinping isn’t interested in a Mussolini-type sideshow. Nor is NATO intimidated. Ukraine is on the offensive — and rarely do countries sign on to a losing cause. Even an attack from Belarus on Kyiv to start the jihad wouldn’t change the ultimate outcome. Putin is likely finished in Ukraine and in Moscow — as is Putinism. Russia just isn’t willing to admit it yet or see it through. Putin’s call for jihad will soon devolve into Putin’s final lament.

Mark Toth is a retired economist, historian and entrepreneur who has worked in banking, insurance, publishing and global commerce. He is a former board member of the World Trade Center, St. Louis, and has lived in U.S. diplomatic and military communities around the world, including London, Tel Aviv, Augsburg and Nagoya. Follow him on Twitter @MCTothSTL.

Source: TheHill

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


Shortage of mosques in France: The everyday consequences for French Muslims


The Great Mosque of Paris or Paris Central Mosque is the most visited mosque in France. Its construction began in 1922, with the aim of thanking Muslim soldiers who fought for France in World War I. Back then, the state financed the building of the edifice. But a century later, the context is quite different. Financing the construction of a mosque in France today can prove a challenge. We take a closer look.

The Great Mosque of Paris is not only the oldest, but also one of the largest mosques in mainland France. The Hispano-Moresque building has a 33-metre-high minaret, prayer rooms with intricate decoration, not to mention spectacular gardens. We look back at how this impressive European project came to fruition.


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


Does The Qur’an Support Attacks On Christianity And Judaism?

November 1, 2022

By Rabbi Allen S. Maller

In no way is the Qur’an anti-Christianity, or anti-Judaism. However, there are people now, and there were people in the past; who have willfully misused verses in the Qur’an for the purpose of vilifying and attacking Christians, Jews and other people of the book.

Just as some Muslims have misused verses in the Qur’an to attack and vilify Suni, Shi’a or Sufi Muslims; some Muslims, as well as some Christians and some Jews, have misused some verses from their own Sacred Scriptures for unholy purposes of disrespect, disparagement and even destruction.

One has only to read about the Inquisition, and the expulsion of Jews, and then Muslims from Spain, to realize how easily the teaching of religious contempt can lead people to violence and persecution. The thirty year was between Catholics and Protestants in Germany killed one third of the German population.

And we can still see examples of the religious misuse of verses of Sacred Scripture to promote hatred and violence in many places in the world today: all done with the excuse of speaking the truth in the name of God.

With the Muslim expansion into Syria and Egypt, Muslims encountered large numbers of Eastern Orthodox priests, many of whom, as they learned about Islam, began to attack it. Most of these attacks were verbal but some were in writings that have survived to the present.

For Example, Saint John of Damascus (c. 676–749 C.E.), who was familiar with Islam and Arabic wrote in the second chapter of his book, The Fount of Wisdom, titled ‘Concerning Heresies’, that “Muslims accuse us of being idolaters, because we venerate the cross, which they abominate. And we answer them: ‘How is it, then, that you rub yourselves against a stone in your Ka’ba and kiss and embrace it?’ Then some of them say that Abraham had relations with Hagar upon it, and others say that he tied the camel to it, when he was going to sacrifice Isaac.

Then we say: ‘Then, just because Abraham had relations with a woman on it, or tied a camel to it, you are not ashamed to kiss it, yet you blame us for venerating the cross of Christ by which the power of the demons and the deceit of the Devil was destroyed.’ This stone that they talk about is a head of that Aphrodite (idol) whom they used to worship and whom they called Khabár. Even to the present day, traces of the carving are visible on it to careful observers.”

Saint John continues later: “In the chapter The Table, Mohammed says that the Christ asked God for a table and that it was given Him. For God, he says, said to Him: ‘I have given to you and yours an incorruptible table.’ And, while he ordered them to eat some things forbidden by the Law, he ordered them to abstain from others. And he absolutely forbade the drinking of wine.

And in the chapter The Heifer, he (Muhammad) says some other stupid and ridiculous things, which, because of their great number, I think must be passed over. He made it a law that they be circumcised, the women too, and ordered them not to keep the Sabbath, and not to be baptized.”

These Christian anti-Islam polemics grew stronger and stronger over the next three and a half centuries until Crusaders in Spain and the Middle East turned them into violence and war. It is not surprising that Muslims answered the polemics with increasingly harsh words; and began to interpret the Qur’an message of religious toleration in a narrow minded, exclusionist manner.

Thus, some people who prefer to hate and vilify their rivals rather than love and respect them, misunderstood verses in their own Sacred Scriptures in order to justify their own hateful feelings and negative thoughts. An excellent example of misguidance by Satan is the frequent misuse of verses from the Qur’an that apply to some Christians and Jews, as if they applied to all Christians and Jews.

For example, defining Christians and Jews in general as “the descendants of apes and pigs” is widespread today in religious, educational and public discourse in the Arab world. In a weekly sermon (April 2002) the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Al-Tantawi, a senior authority in the Sunni Muslim world, described Jews as “the enemies of Allah, sons of pigs and apes.”

In truth, the Qur’an never states all Jews were turned into apes or pigs; but clearly states that only some Jews were: “…They are those whom Allah has cast aside and on whom His wrath has fallen and of whom He has made some as apes and swine…” (5:60); “…You have surely known the end of those from amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath, in consequence of which We condemned them: Be ye like apes, despised” (2:65).

That in every generation there were some Jews who failed to live according to the covenant that God had made with B’nai Israel- the Jewish People is correct; just as in every generation some Muslims within the Muslim Umma have failed to live according to Islamic teachings. In every religious community of human beings there are many individuals who act like apes and pigs, and then fail to repent and amend their behavior. To them the Qur’an states: “When, instead of amending, they became more persistent in the pursuit of that which they were forbidden, We condemned them: Be ye as apes, despised” (7:166).

The Qur’an states specifically: “They are not all alike. Some of the People of the Book are firmly committed to the truth. They recite the Verses of Allah during the hours of night, and remain in the state of [prayer] prostration before their Lord.” (3:113 – Qadri) Again we see the explicit declaration that the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) are not all alike. Some “…are firmly committed to the truth. They recite the Verses of Allah during the hours of night, and remain in the state of [prayer] prostration before their Lord.” and some do not; just as some Muslims pray everyday and are committed to the truth, and some Muslims do not.

This misuse of Sacred Scripture was used against both internal sectarians and external rival religions; and was always done with the excuse of speaking the truth in the name of God. Indeed, there is a Hadith that Prophet Muhammad himself predicted Muslims themselves who sin will be turned into pigs, apes and monkeys.

Narrated Abu ‘Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash’ari: that he heard the Prophet say: “From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful. And there will be some people who will stay near the side of a mountain and in the evening their shepherd will come to them with their sheep and ask them for something (in Payment), but they will say to him, ‘Return to us tomorrow.’ Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Book #69, Hadith #494)

The Qur’an wisely warns us that every messenger’s recitations are subject to Satan’s tampering in order to test those whose hearts are diseased and hardened: “We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [recited], Satan threw in it [misunderstandings]. But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise so He may make what Satan throws in, a trial for those within whose hearts is disease and those hard of heart. Indeed, the wrongdoers are in extreme dissension.” (Qur’an 22:52-3)

Allah does not prevent Satan from throwing in hateful, narrow minded, sectarian understandings of Qur’anic verses as “a trial for those within whose hearts is disease and those hard of heart”. It is up to those who pursue virtue to oppose and defeat extreme wrongdoers whose hearts are hard and diseased.

Anyone who uses the words of Torah, Gospel or Qur’an to vilify and hurt others is causing extreme dissension; and thus his or her words are Satan’s misunderstanding. Anyone who uses the words of Torah, Gospel or Qur’an to advocate or defend terrorism and oppression is an agent of Satan’s misunderstanding.

The Qur’an refers to Prophet Abraham as a community or a nation: “Abraham was a nation-community [Ummah]; dutiful to God, a monotheist [hanif], not one of the polytheists.” (16:120) If Prophet Abraham is an Ummah then fighting between the descendants of Prophets Ishmael and Isaac is a civil war and should always be avoided.

Source: Eurasia Review

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

UK counter-terrorism police take over migrant center firebombing probe

Karim El-Bar  



As counter-terrorism police took over the investigation on Tuesday, the deceased man who firebombed a migrant center in the coastal town of Dover, England was named by police as Andrew Leak.

The attack took place on Sunday, and it was previously reported that two or three firebombs were thrown at the migrant processing center. Leak was later found dead inside his car at a nearby petrol station, suspected to have killed himself.

The 66-year-old was from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, southeastern England. Two people suffered minor injuries as a result of the attack.

Olly Wright, who heads the Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: "What appears clear is that this despicable offense was targeted and likely to be driven by some form of hate-filled grievance, though this may not necessarily meet the threshold of terrorism.

"At this point, the incident itself has not been declared a terrorist incident, but this is being kept under review as the investigation progresses."

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

Muslim students urged to boycott NUS after Shaima Dallali sacked as President

01 November 2022

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies has called on Muslim students to boycott the National Union of Students after it sacked its president, Shaima Dallali, following an investigation into antisemitism allegations against her.

The pro-Israel Jewish Chronicle broke the story earlier today before an official announcement had been made and before Dallali had been informed.

It said an NUS disciplinary panel has concluded that Dallali, who is an outspoken defender of Palestinian rights, should be removed from her post after reviewing the recommendations of KC Rebecca Tuck’s report into the allegations.

FOSIS issued the following statement after Dallali’s sacking:

Meanwhile, Dallali, who is expected to come out with a full statement through her solicitors tomorrow, tweeted:

On the other hand, the Union of Jewish Students said it “respects the decision of the NUS to dismiss their president.”

They added:”Antisemitism in the student movement goes beyond the actions of any one individual and this case is a symptom of wider problem. Jewish students across the country will be asking how an individual deemed unfit for office by NUS was elected in the first place. We await the findings of the substantive inquiry into NUS’s treatment of Jewish students.”

In March this year the National Union of Students elected Shaima Dallali as its new president at its annual conference in Liverpool.

Dallali, who is of Sudanese-Tunisian heritage, was elected for a two-year term.

At the time she said: “I am immensely proud and humbled to have been elected NUS National President. Access to Education is a right that should be available to everyone regardless of who they are and where they’re from.

“Fighting to challenge injustices is central to our vision as students and with the support of grassroots organisations, we have the opportunity to challenge institutional frameworks that seek to limit the accessibility and experience of students and staff in education.”

Source: 5pillarsuk

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


Abuse after Muslim hikers' Countryfile appearance

01 November 2022

The Coventry founder of a Muslim hikers' group says it has been the subject of "shocking" online abuse since appearing on Countryfile.

Haroon Mota took part in an outdoor arts event filmed on Scafell Pike in September for the BBC special which was shown on Sunday.

He recruited more than 200 volunteers to take part.

"If we ever needed any validation for why we exist and why we do what we do, this is why," said Mr Mota.

The Muslim hikers were amongst a group of several hundred who gathered at England's highest mountain for the filming of the Green Space Dark Skies project.

"Unfortunately we have received an overwhelming amount of abuse online, a lot of racism," Mr Mota said. "It's something we have had before in the past and its unfortunate that it's happening again.

"The reason why we set up Muslim hikers was so we can create a community where people feel safe, a community where people can thrive ....and hike confidently.

"It's a shame that we receive abuse occasionally but this type of abuse only gives us the reasoning and the justifications for why we existed in the first place."

Muslim Hikers group, set up by Mr Mota during the pandemic, has attracted a large community of outdoor enthusiasts and has almost 24,000 Instagram followers, he said.

The group, which arranges walks every month, previously received online abuse after posting pictures of a hike online.

Speaking on Countryfile, Mr Mota said: "Twenty years ago, when I started hiking, this seemed so strange that there a lack of people looking like me. People of colour, black people, ethnic minorities, we just didn't see them in the outdoors.

Source: BBC

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


Russia recruiting US-trained Afghan commandos, vets say

Nov 1, 2022

Afghan special forces soldiers who fought alongside American troops and then fled to Iran after the chaotic US withdrawal last year are now being recruited by the Russian military to fight in Ukraine, three former Afghan generals told The Associated Press.

They said the Russians want to attract thousands of the former elite Afghan commandos into a “foreign legion” with offers of steady, $1,500-a-month payments and promises of safe havens for themselves and their families so they can avoid deportation home to what many assume would be death at the hands of the Taliban.

“They don’t want to go fight — but they have no choice,” said one of the generals, Abdul Raof Arghandiwal, adding that the dozen or so commandos in Iran with whom he has texted fear deportation most. “They ask me, ‘Give me a solution. What should we do? If we go back to Afghanistan, the Taliban will kill us.’”

Arghandiwal said the recruiting is led by the Russian mercenary force Wagner Group. Another general, Hibatullah Alizai, the last Afghan army chief before the Taliban took over, said the effort is also being helped by a former Afghan special forces commander who lived in Russia and speaks the language.

The Russian recruitment follows months of warnings from US soldiers who fought with Afghan special forces that the Taliban was intent on killing them and that they might join with US enemies to stay alive or out of anger with their former ally.

A GOP congressional report in August specifically warned of the danger that the Afghan commandos — trained by US Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets — could end up giving up information about US tactics to the Islamic State group, Iran or Russia — or fight for them.

“We didn’t get these individuals out as we promised, and now it’s coming home to roost,” said Michael Mulroy, a retired CIA officer who served in Afghanistan, adding that the Afghan commandos are highly skilled, fierce fighters. “I don’t want to see them in any battlefield, frankly, but certainly not fighting the Ukrainians.”

Mulroy was skeptical, however, that Russians would be able to persuade many Afghan commandos to join because most he knew were driven by the desire to make democracy work in their country rather than being guns for hire.

AP was investigating the Afghan recruiting when details of the effort were first reported by Foreign Policy magazine last week based on unnamed Afghan military and security sources. The recruitment comes as Russian forces reel from Ukrainian military advances and Russian President Vladimir Putin pursues a sputtering mobilization effort, which has prompted nearly 200,000 Russian men to flee the country to escape service.

Russia's defense ministry did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Yevgeny Prigozhin, who recently acknowledged being the founder of the Wagner Group, dismissed the idea of an ongoing effort to recruit former Afghan soldiers as “crazy nonsense.”

The US defense department also didn’t reply to a request for comment, but a senior official suggested the recruiting is not surprising given that Wagner has been trying to sign up soldiers in several other countries.

It’s unclear how many Afghan special forces members who fled to Iran have been courted by the Russians, but one told the AP he is communicating through the WhatsApp chat service with about 400 other commandos who are considering offers.

He said many like him fear deportation and are angry at the US for abandoning them.

“We thought they might create a special program for us, but no one even thought about us,” said the former commando, who requested anonymity because he fears for himself and his family. “They just left us all in the hands of the Taliban.”

The commando said his offer included Russian visas for himself as well as his three children and wife who are still in Afghanistan. Others have been offered extensions of their visas in Iran. He said he is waiting to see what others in the WhatsApp groups decide but thinks many will take the deal.

U.S. veterans who fought with Afghan special forces have described to the AP nearly a dozen cases, none confirmed independently, of the Taliban going house to house looking for commandos still in the country, torturing or killing them, or doing the same to family members if they are nowhere to be found.

Human Rights Watch has said more than 100 former Afghan soldiers, intelligence officers and police were killed or forcibly “disappeared” just three months after the Taliban took over despite promises of amnesty. The United Nations in a report in mid-October documented 160 extrajudicial killings and 178 arrests of former government and military officials.

The brother of an Afghan commando in Iran who has accepted the Russian offer said Taliban threats make it difficult to refuse. He said his brother had to hide for three months after the fall of Kabul, shuttling between relatives’ houses while the Taliban searched his home.

“My brother had no other choice other than accepting the offer,” said the commando’s brother, Murad, who would only give his first name because of fear the Taliban might track him down. “This was not an easy decision for him.”

Former Afghan army chief Alizai said much of the Russian recruiting effort is focused on Tehran and Mashhad, a city near the Afghan border where many have fled. None of the generals who spoke to the AP, including a third, Abdul Jabar Wafa, said their contacts in Iran know how many have taken up the offer.

“You get military training in Russia for two months, and then you go to the battle lines,” read one text message a former Afghan soldier in Iran sent to Arghandiwal. “A number of personnel have gone, but they have lost contact with their families and friends altogether. The exact statistics are unclear.”

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Afghan special forces fought with the Americans during the two-decade war, and only a few hundred senior officers were airlifted out when the US military withdrew from Afghanistan. Since many of the Afghan commandos did not work directly for the US military, they were not eligible for special USvisas.

Source: Times Of India

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


Ukraine will ask FIFA to ban Iran from Qatar World Cup over “human rights violations”

02 November, 2022

Ukraine’s national football association is to submit a request for the international governing body FIFA to ban Iran from participating in the Qatar World Cup 2022.

Citing “systematic human rights violations in Iran,” the executive committee of the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) said it will request the exclusion of the Islamic Republic from the global football event in Doha, which kicks off later this month.

The Ukrainian sporting body said that Iran’s participation “may violate the principles and norms of the FIFA Statutes,” in line with the sanctions on Iran and “the possible involvement of Iran in the military aggression of Russia against Ukraine.”

On Tuesday, CNN reported that Iran is preparing to deliver more weapons to Russia to be used in its war against Ukraine.

It is estimated that Iran will send around 1,000 weapons, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and attack drones.

Iran’s drones have become a key weapon in Russia’s arsenal during its war in Ukraine and have often been used to target crucial energy infrastructure.

Earlier this month Iranian football and sports personalities and human rights group, Open Stadiums, also requested FIFA to ban the Iranian national team, the BBC reported on Monday.

FIFA has not commented on the request.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


French media demand Iran release reporter covering protest

01 November, 2022

French media organizations have called for the release of a reporter on assignment to cover protests in Iran for French-German TV channel Arte which reported his arrest.

Vahid Shamsoddinnezhad, an Iranian national and resident in France, was arrested a month ago in Iranian Kurdistan, Arte said at the weekend.

He travelled there on assignment for the Keyi production company and Arte’s newsroom to cover protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, it said.

Amini died in custody on September 16 after her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of Iran’s strict dress rules for women.

Arte said Shamsoddinnezhad had handed a letter of accreditation issued by Arte and the details of his French press card to the Iranian authorities on September 24.

He then conducted two telephone interviews and a television report for Arte’s news program.

“He is now being held in Tehran and under investigation,” Arte said.

Journalists’ union SNJ called on the French government to obtain the release of the young reporter, who this year graduated from a journalism school in Lille, northern France.

“He was just doing his job,” the union said.

Press freedom organization Reporters Sans Frontieres said it was “fully mobilized” to obtain his release, as well as that of 43 other reporters it said were being held in Iran.

Iranian authorities said earlier Tuesday they had released eight journalists detained during the protests.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


German chancellor praises Türkiye's efforts to keep Ukraine grain deal in force

Erbil Basay  



Germany’s chancellor appreciates Türkiye's efforts to maintain grain exports from Ukraine through the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a government spokesman said Tuesday.

Steffen Hebestreit said Olaf Scholz exchanged views with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war.

He said the two leaders criticized “Russia's nuclear rhetoric” and Scholz flatly rejected Moscow’s accusation that Ukraine is preparing to use a "dirty bomb," saying it was unfounded.

He also noted that Scholz and Erdogan agreed to stay in close contact over the current security situation.

Russia announced Saturday that it would suspend its participation in the UN-brokered Black Sea grain export deal due to Ukrainian attacks on its Black Sea Fleet’s ships.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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


YPG/PKK terror group kidnaps Syrian minor in Aleppo

Esref Musa and Omer Koparan 


The terrorist group YPG/PKK kidnapped a minor in northern Syria to force him to join its militant ranks, according to local sources.

YPG/PKK terrorists abducted S.M.A. age 15, in the Aleppo city center on Oct. 10, Redor Al Ahmet, spokesperson of the Independent Syrian Kurds Association, told Anadolu Agency.

Underlining that PKK/YPG terrorists have intensified child abduction cases in recent months to get more fighters, Al Ahmet said the terror group kidnapped some six children in October.

The YPG/PKK continues to recruit child fighters despite signing an agreement with the UN for their release.

The terrorist group usually takes young people and children it kidnaps or detains to terror camps for armed training, barring them from communicating with their families.

Images and news about child fighters are also featured in the so-called media outlets of the terrorist group.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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


Turkish FM reiterates support for Crimean Tatars in meeting with leader

Gozde Bayar  


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday met the leader of Crimean Tatars Mustafa Abdulcemil Kirimoglu, and reiterated support for the Turkic ethnic group.

"We will continue to support Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity and defend the rights of Crimean Tatar Turks,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter after the meeting in Ankara.

Ukraine has been wracked by conflict since March 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea after an illegal independence vote.

The UN General Assembly voted to proclaim the Russian annexation illegal. Along with many UN countries, the US, EU and Türkiye also do not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

Since the annexation, the region’s Tatar minority has complained of repression, including arbitrary arrests and detentions.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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


Türkiye's Maarif Foundation providing critical support to Turkish students in Belgium

Selen Temizer  



Türkiye's Maarif Foundation is helping Turkish children and their parents overcome the language barrier by studying in Belgium, where three official languages are spoken.

Maarif Foundation, which has been operating for two years in the Flemish-speaking city of Ghent in Belgium, where the Turkish population is densely populated, has also started its operations in the capital Brussels, after the completion of the necessary permit processes.

Many Turkish students studying in Brussels show interest in the foundation's activities.

The foundation provides four main services which are supplementary group lessons and private lessons, language support, extracurricular activities, as well as guidance and psychological counseling, TMF Belgium Representative Zeynep Bilgin Eraslan told Anadolu Agency.

"We create a special, individual program for children in areas where they have difficulties. We focus on it. We are in contact with their teachers," Eraslan said.

"We had a very intelligent student in Ghent. He was directed to a special school for children with mental deficiency because he could not express himself well in the psychological tests in Flemish at school,” she said.

“We intervened and gave the child the necessary education in three months and had transferred him to his old school. This achievement was very important to me. We have supported more than 30 children in similar situations who are in danger of being expelled from school," Eraslan said.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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


Umrah agents to explore itinerary opportunities at London event


November 01, 2022

LONDON: UK travel agents and businesses at an event on Sunday will discuss ways to develop exciting itineraries for the Umrah pilgrimage market and improve the experiences of British pilgrims.

The Umrah+ Connect business to business event in London will be held in association with Nusuk, the first-ever official planning, booking and experience platform to create Umrah itineraries for Makkah, Madinah and beyond.

Travel agents offering Umrah packages and those that aim to sell them in the near future will be educated on how they can incorporate visits to historic Islamic sites related to the life of the Prophet Muhammad into their tours for British pilgrims.

These sites include six mosques, a well and a fort that were recently restored to their former glory in the holy city of Madinah, details of which were announced by Saudi authorities last month.

“This year we have brought extended partners and sponsors in to educate the trade on how they can develop exciting itineraries for the Umrah pilgrimage market, and how it can enhance the experiences of British pilgrims, and that of European pilgrims as well, when they go for Umrah,” CEO of the Council of British Hajjis and event host Rashid Mogradia told Arab News.

Mogradia added that traditional Umrah tour operators in the UK are innovating ways in which they can create itineraries and packages that go beyond booking flights and accommodation for stays in Makkah and Madinah.

He said that tour operators are moving toward providing packages that educate pilgrims by taking them to significant historical sites, helping them to connect these areas to the history and significance behind Umrah rituals, and the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Sunday event will help businesses “create opportunities to innovate and deliver exceptional travel experiences for those embarking on the journey of a lifetime,” Mogradia said.

“The UK travel market has shown great recovery post COVID-19 pandemic, and is a growing market. It’s therefore important, now more than ever, that the industry stays connected and capitalizes on the offerings and developments on Umrah+ itineraries, programs and initiatives being offered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which enrich and enhance the pilgrims’ experiences,” the CEO added.

Sponsors of the event include the Clock Towers, Accor – Holy Destinations, the National Committee for Hajj, Umrah and Visitation Activities, Makarem, Emaar Al Diyafa Hotels, Zam Zam International, Dar Al Taqwa Hotels Madinah and DS Rent.

Partners include the Kingdom’s flag carrier Saudia,, Saudi Company for Visa and Travel Services, Emirates, Zain Telecom, Mawasim, Shaza Makkah, Mysk Touch, Somukh Aviation, Mahatat Al Alam, Safa Soft, Zamazemah Co., Destinations of the World, Aqeeq Hotels Madinah and Al Taif for Umrah Services Co.

Source: Arab News

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


Putin tells Erdogan he wants ‘real guarantees’ from Kyiv on grain deal: Kremlin

November 01, 2022

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin told Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday that he wanted “real guarantees” from Kyiv before it potentially rejoined the grain deal.

Putin told Erdogan in a phone call that Russia sought “real guarantees from Kyiv about the strict observance of the Istanbul agreement, in particular about not using the humanitarian corridor for military purposes,” according to a statement from the Kremlin.

The Turkeye and UN-brokered deal allowed Ukrainian grain exports to resume in August, easing a food crisis caused by the conflict.

On Saturday, Russia accused Ukraine of misusing the safe shipping corridor for an attack on Russian ships in Crimea and suspended its participation in the agreement.

Putin told Erdogan “it is necessary to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the incident” against the Black Sea fleet.

“Only after that will it be possible to consider the question of resuming work” within the deal, the Kremlin statement said, referring to both the investigation and guarantees it is seeking.

For the second time in as many days Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed the deal with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on Tuesday, the Russian defense ministry said.

Ukraine has said Russia’s claim was a “false pretext” to withdraw from the deal.

Source: Arab News

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


South Asia 

Afghanistan’s mainstream media shaken by Taliban takeover

1 November, 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], November 1 (ANI): The mainstream media in Afghanistan that had just started to get on its feet was shaken by the disruptions of 2021 – the takeover of the war-ravaged country by the Taliban.

A survey conducted by Reporters Without Borders and the Afghan Independent Journalist Association in December 2021 reported the closure of more than 200 media outlets; rendering about 6,400 journalists jobless after the regime change, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

The transfer of power from a west-supported government to the Taliban saw many changes in the way institutions were working for the past twenty years.

Not accustomed to working within the framework of the Taliban regime, several media personalities moved to neighbouring or western countries, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

Though it remains to be seen what the future holds for popular media in the country, the upheaval has surely distressed it in the short term.

While most of the media is attempting to adapt to the new environment, the turbulent times have come as an opportunity for Pakistan, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

Drawing flak from all around for fomenting trouble and interfering in the governance of Afghanistan, Islamabad has now resorted to manipulating Afghan media to improve its public image, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

According to some Afghan journalists, the efforts are part of a well-coordinated strategy focused on exploiting the media vacuum in the country to implant favourable coverage of Pakistan.

Though common Afghan journalists working on the ground are not aware of the full plan, they suspect it to be backed by Pakistani agencies. Afghan journalists facing distress are being roped in for positive coverage about Pakistan and its possible role in rebuilding Afghanistan reported Afghan Diaspora Network.

Fully funded training courses are being offered to Afghan media persons with a special focus on female journalists. Some local media houses are said to have been contacted with offers of monetary assistance.

A few of them facing financial duress are vulnerable to this strategy. Pakistani private media companies are also being encouraged to set up their outlets in Kabul to counter any negative perception about the Pakistani government/Army.

Separately, Islamabad is stepping up engagement with local Afghan NGOs/civil society and efforts are being made to rope in some foreign media houses, and western outlets focused on Af-Pak region are being approached for establishing offices in Islamabad for better coordination.

Source: ThePrint

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


Muttaqi Calls on World to Engage with Islamic Emirate

November 1, 2022

The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, called on the international community to engage with the Islamic Emirate.

Speaking at a ceremony held to distribute uniforms to intelligence forces, Muttaqi said undermining the caretaker government of Afghanistan will be harmful for the whole world.

“The world should come forward for positive engagement. Weakening the government of Afghanistan is harming the whole world,” he said.

Muttaqi called on the Afghans abroad to return to their country and to support the current government.

Speaking at the same ceremony, the Second Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi said: “The Mujahideens that are active within the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, and Intelligence, or are working in other organizations, are like a human's various sensory organs.”

Intelligence forces were provided with uniforms by the Islamic Emirate for the first time since the fall of the former government.

The head of the intelligence forces, Abdul Haq Wassiq, said that the uniform is important for the intelligence forces in providing security and stability in the country.


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


Bangladesh pledges to boost trade, relations with Türkiye

Md. Kamruzzaman  


DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh is committed to promoting the already established fraternal ties with Türkiye in the future, a senior cabinet member of Bangladesh said.

Addressing an event on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Türkiye in the capital Dhaka Saturday night, Bangladesh’s Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md. Tajul Islam said: “The two moderate Muslim nations have very good relations with all other countries across the world and both can contribute not only to mutual benefits but to the world’s peace and stability.”

The minister asked Turkish investors to invest in the booming sectors of Bangladesh like the readymade garment industry, information communications technology, and agriculture.

He added that while the world was reeling from the global coronavirus pandemic, the war between Russia and Ukraine further complicated the situation.

“In such a critical situation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan played a good role and tried to mitigate the problem through bilateral and multilateral discussions,” Islam said, praising the Turkish role in the global arena.

Hosted by the Turkish Embassy, the program was also attended by Bangladesh’s State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, and some former ministers.

Envoys from different countries and other top officials were also present at the function which concluded with a colorful cultural performance and traditional Turkish food.

Welcoming the participants at the program, Turkish Ambassador Mustafa Osman Turan said that bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Türkiye is booming while the people-to-people connectivity is also growing.

“The trade between Türkiye and Bangladesh is expected to reach $1.5 billion in the year 2022,” Turan said.

He said Turkish investors had already recognized Bangladesh as a land of opportunities and decided to expand their investments in key sectors of the economy such as energy, consumer goods, and ready-made garments.

Underlining the Turkish historic city of Istanbul as one of the top destinations for Bangladeshi tourists, he added that Turkish Airlines has increased the number of flights to 14 a week.

Hailing the strong cultural bond between the two nations, Turan said: “Turkish TV dramas are being watched by millions of people in Bangladesh.”

Source: Anadolu Agency

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


Opium Production Rises by 32% in Taliban-Ruled Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

01 Nov 2022

Despite the Taliban government’s ban on drugs, opium cultivation increased by 32% in Afghanistan in 2022, according to a report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

According to the UNODC report released on Tuesday, November 1, “the 2022 opium crop in Afghanistan is the most profitable in years,” with cultivation increasing by one-third and prices surging even as the country is encircled by escalating humanitarian and economic crises.

The UNODC said that opium poppy cultivation climbed by 32% in Afghanistan from the previous year to 233,000 hectares, making the 2022 harvest the third-largest cultivated area since monitoring began.

Afghan farmers are “trapped” in the illegal opiate industry, while seizure events around Afghanistan imply that opiate trafficking remains in place, said Ghada Waly, executive director of UNODC.

Nevertheless, opium poppy growing occupied one-fifth of the province of Helmand’s arable land in southern Afghanistan, according to the UNODC report.

Following the announcement of the poppy cultivation ban in April, the report says that opium prices have skyrocketed. Sales of opium increased Afghan farmers’ income from $425 million in 2021 to $1.4 billion in 2022, a more than threefold, jaw-dropping increase.

Source: Khaama Press

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


Former Afghan VP’s Party Calls for Referendum on Federal System in Afghanistan

By Saqalain Eqbal

01 Nov 2022

The newly established Afghanistan Justice and Freedom party, which is led by Sarwar Danesh, the former vice president, called for a referendum on the federal system as a meaningful way for the country to climb out of its current crisis.

According to the newly formed party, attempting to contrast the “modern” federal system with the primitive “kings of the territorial divisions” system is a “funny joke” but in no way constructive or serious.

No time in Afghanistan’s history has the federal system been put up for a public vote, according to a statement made on Tuesday, November 1, by the Afghanistan Justice and Freedom political party.

The statement called for a referendum on adopting a federal system in Afghanistan as a solution for the current crisis, stating that Afghanistan should be “committed to people’s vote.”

It appears that this statement was made in response to recent statements made by Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs who also formed a political party, even though no names have been addressed specifically.

In a media interview, Atmar, the head of the Afghanistan National Movement for Peace and Justice party compared territorial divisions with federalism and said he did not accept any of them.

The Justice and Freedom Party asked everyone, including the “academic, political, and cultural elites and all those who believe in citizen-centered political thinking, national unity, and political consensus,” thoughtfully consider the concept of a federal system free of discrimination based on race and religion.

Source: Khaama Press

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


Blast hits bus carrying Taliban admin. employees in Kabul, injures seven

02 November, 2022

A blast hit a bus carrying Taliban administration employees in the Afghan capital on Wednesday morning, police said, injuring seven people.

“Due to a blast on a mini bus from the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, seven have been injured,” said Khalid Zadran, Kabul’s police spokesperson, adding the explosion was caused by a roadside mine.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast.

Several attacks have taken place in urban areas in recent months. Last month an attack by gunmen on a vehicle in western Afghanistan, which was claimed by ISIS, killed five medical personnel employed by Taliban security forces.

The Taliban say they are focused on securing the war-torn nation since they took over the country in 2021.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


HRW calls on ICC to investigate all sides in Afghanistan

November 01, 2022

LONDON: Human Rights Watch has urged the International Criminal Court in the Hague to assess all sides — including former government forces — in Afghanistan for war crimes and crimes against humanity after the Office of the Prosecutor resumed its investigation on Monday.

Patricia Gossman, HRW’s associate Asia director, said: “The ICC offers a rare opportunity to advance justice in a country where accountability is completely absent.

“This investigation needs to address serious crimes by all sides to the conflict, including US forces, to bring justice even when the most powerful nations are involved.”

The ICC’s initial investigation, stalled in March 2020 at the request of the Afghan government, had been in limbo ever since the takeover of the country by the Taliban in August 2021 — with ICC judges needing to determine who represented the country.

Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor, was permitted to resume his work on Oct. 31 after judges determined that Afghanistan under the Taliban was not carrying out “genuine” investigations into war crimes or crimes against humanity.

His investigation covers events starting in 2003, following the fall of the Taliban to the US-led coalition, and includes the activities of the Taliban and its affiliates, Daesh, the Afghan National Security Forces and forces belonging to ICC member states stationed in the country, including the US, and their activities in relation to Afghanistan overseas — which relate in part to the practices of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

However, HRW stated that in his initial request to resume his investigation in September 2021, Khan “indicated that any investigation would focus on alleged crimes by the Taliban and the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), a (Daesh)-affiliated group, while deprioritizing alleged crimes by Afghan security forces and US personnel.”

HRW said it had found “numerous” examples of violations of international law committed by Afghan and coalition forces in Afghanistan, including torture and summary executions.

It added that the ICC’s investigation “relates to all alleged crimes and actors” and urged Khan to “reconsider his decision to deprioritize these lines of inquiry and reaffirm his mandate to address the most serious abuses by all parties to the conflict.”

However, HRW admitted that the activities of the Taliban and ISKP in the region remained of chief concern, adding that the takeover of the country by the former had raised large concerns not only over bringing historic cases of human rights abuses to justice, but for the rights of future generations.

HRW highlighted how the Taliban had carried out “unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and other serious abuses predominantly targeting former government security forces and officials and journalists, including women” since its takeover last year, as well as “arbitrary detention, torture and … collective punishment” on their opponents.

The rights of women and girls are of particular concern, it said, following the closure of almost all girls’ secondary schools in the country, their removal from numerous lines of work, and restrictions placed on their freedom of movement and expression. Many women and girls, it added, had been beaten, detained and tortured for protesting these limits placed upon them.

ISKP, meanwhile, are responsible for the deaths of over 1,500 innocent civilians, predominantly from among Afghanistan’s Shiite and Hazara communities.

The security situation in Afghanistan, HRW said, had forced many thousands to flee the country, and would continue to hamper any ICC attempts to investigate and seek justice for victims.

Source: Arab News

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


Southeast Asia 

Ahead of GE15, CIJ launches site monitoring hate speech

By Zarrah Morden

02 Nov 2022

PETALING JAYA, Nov 2 — The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) today launched a website to “Say No to Hate Speech” as Malaysia enters election season.

CIJ executive director Wathshlah G. Naidu encouraged Malaysians to report hate speech when they see it to the portal, which exists to educate the public on hate speech while providing general updates on how hate speech occurs and who key actors are.

“Politicians and other key actors often weaponise inflammatory tropes and rhetoric to control narratives and influence public understanding around issues like race, religion, royalty, gender and LGBTIQ, and refugees and migrants.

“They do so to advance narrow political interests that do not serve a democracy,” she said.

She added that hate speech diverts attention from solution-focused thinking while increasing the potential for harm against marginalised communities.

CIJ and its partners expect hate speech and the dissemination of disinformation to intensify on social media during GE15, she said.

She said increases have been observed to take place in past elections and when there is a shake-up of the political landscape that threatens government stability, citing the immediate days after the 'Sheraton Move' of February 2020 and during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

The project aims to monitor the severity of hate speech and to develop collective responses to hate-based narratives leading up to and during GE15, while also enabling the public to respond more effectively to encountering hate speech online.

Ryan Chua from Pusat Komas, who was also at the launch, said that the microsite aims to remind key actors that they are always under public scrutiny.

“We are watching you and as we are watching you, we are documenting it,” he said.

He said that this is because the communities often targeted by hate speech are particularly vulnerable.

The data from the project can also be used to document electoral offences, he added.

Wathshlah also indicated that those who are directly affected by hate speech will be provided certain services, including funding for their legal defence if needed.

The project is divided into two components.

The first monitoring component is a collaboration involving CIJ and three universities — Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and University of Nottingham Malaysia.

The second, a rapid response component, involves a partnership between CIJ and Pusat Komsas, Sisters in Islam, Architects of Diversity, Beyond Borders Malaysia, Asylum Access Malaysia, Sahabat Wanita, Tenaganita, North South Initiative and Justice for Sisters.

“The monitoring component will measure the severity of hate speech around race, religion, royalty, gender and LGBTIQ, and refugees and migrants, that are amplified by political parties, politicians, government agencies, media organisations and key opinion leaders,” said Wathshlah.

The project established four levels of hate speech: level one involves disagreements or non-offensive language, level two is made up of offensive or discriminatory language, level three is dehumanising or hostile language and level four is language that causes incitement or calls for violence.

Source: MalayMail

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


Malaysia’s MAPIM President Urges Bringing Perpetrates of Shiraz Terrorist Attack to Justice 

November 01, 2022

Muhammad Azmi Abdulhamid in a statement called for bringing to justice those behind the heinous attack and expressed condolences to the Iranian officials and people and families of the victims.

He said the West and its cohorts were to blame for such brutal crimes that are aimed at weakening the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The enemies do not want to see a strong, united and independent Iran in the region and seek to destabilize and split up the country, he stated,

Abdulhamid underlined the need for vigilance, resistance, and unity among Iranians in the face of plots hatched by Islam’s enemies.

He also called on the world Muslims to support the Islamic Iran against the conspiracies of the West.

An armed terrorist stormed Shah Cheragh -- a sacred and popular Shia shrine in Shiraz – on Wednesday evening.

Source: IQNA

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


Muslim preacher Kazim Elias withdraws hours after named BN hopeful for Larut

By John Bunyan

02 Nov 2022

IPOH, Nov 2 — Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate for the Larut parliamentary seat Datuk Mohammad Kazim Elias has bowed out of the race, the coalition’s Perak chief Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad announced today.

The popular Muslim preacher will be replaced by Mohd Shafiq Fhadly Mahmud to face incumbent Larut MP Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin from Perikatan Nasional.

“Yesterday, the BN chairman announced the candidate for the Larut seat, but there is a change in the last minute.

“Kazim has withdrawn and he will be replaced by Mohd Shafiq,” Saarani told a news conference at the Hotel Casuarina Meru here.

Saarani also said that he does not know why Datuk Mohammad Kazim decided to change his mind.

“Prior to yesterday’s announcement, he agreed in the evening that he would contest the seat and he was announced as the candidate.

“However, at around 1am today, when I was at the Umno office, I was informed that he had withdrawn. Why did he do that? I think the question should be posed to him,” he said.

Kazim had in 2018 said he was offered to contest in the 14th general election, but said he rejected the offer as he loved his tahfiz school more.

His brothers Datuk Mohd Najmuddin and Ahmad Hasbullah are both leaders in Perak Umno.

His school Tahfiz Darul Barakah in Manjoi was previously embroiled in a sexual abuse case involving its students, but police investigations stalled. The facility is now under new management.

Source: MalayMail

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


Indonesia seeks UAE, Saudi aid in fighting tuberculosis, meningitis


November 01, 2022

JAKARTA: Indonesia is set to receive financial assistance from the UAE and Saudi Arabia to tackle a tuberculosis epidemic and acquire vaccines against meningitis, its health ministry said on Tuesday.

Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin held talks with foreign officials on the sidelines of a Group of 20 ministerial meeting in Bali last week that led to at least eight agreements, including financial assistance for the Indonesian health sector from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“There will be $5 million financial aid from Saudi Arabia for medicines and vaccines against meningitis for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims,” the Indonesian Ministry of Health said in a statement.

“There’s also $10 million from the UAE to tackle TBC (tuberculosis) in Indonesia.”

Indonesia has some of the highest numbers of meningitis cases in southeast Asia, as it has been struggling to secure an adequate supply of vaccines amid limited domestic production.

Vaccination is a requirement for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, and the supply issue has been a problem in recent months for those coming from Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.

Tuberculosis is also a major problem. Indonesia accounted for the second-highest number of cases worldwide, after India, with 969,000 incidences annually, according to a report this year from the World Health Organization.

Indonesian authorities announced plans to launch a mass screening program in March, as the country aims to eliminate the infectious disease by 2030.

Most tuberculosis cases are recorded on Indonesia’s most populous Java island, home to around 150 million people and where the capital Jakarta is located, according to Ministry of Health data.

The financial assistance from the UAE will help Indonesia to close a funding gap it needs to fully finance its national program against tuberculosis, Jakarta-based organization Stop TB Partnership Indonesia said.

“This commitment from the UAE, as a direct result of bilateral diplomacy, is very strategic,” Diah S. Saminarsih, Stop TB Partnership Indonesia’s chair of the board of trustees, told Arab News.

Source: Arab News

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


Maybank Islamic wins top accolades in The Asset awards 2022

01-11- 2022

PETALING JAYA: Maybank Islamic won the top awards at The Asset Triple A Islamic Finance Awards 2022 last week, retaining its position as Islamic Bank of the Year in the Asia-Pacific and Malaysia respectively for the ninth consecutive year.

It also won the best Islamic retail bank in Malaysia award, a title it has held since 2010. In addition, Maybank Islamic gold account (MIGA-i) was named best investment product.

These were among the 22 awards won collectively by Maybank’s Islamic, investment banking and Singapore operations at the award ceremony held on Oct 27.

Maybank Investment Bank clinched its fourth consecutive wins for best Islamic investment bank in the Asia-Pacific and Malaysia and sukuk adviser of the year, Asia-Pacific, and sixth consecutive win for sukuk adviser of the year, Malaysia. The investment bank also collected 11 awards in the best deals by country category.

Group president and CEO Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli said its aspiration goes beyond growing assets – it also aims to be a leader in providing world-class syariah-compliant products and solutions.

“As Malaysia’s largest banking group and with our regional footprint, we are well positioned to continue championing the commonality between Islamic finance and sustainability practices,” he said.

Meanwhile, Maybank’s commitment to mobilising sustainable finance was recognised with awards for best sustainability SRI sukuk, best sustainability-linked term financing, best Asean sustainability sukuk and best green loan.

For the best sustainability SRI sukuk award, Maybank Investment Bank was principal adviser, lead arranger and lead manager while Maybank Islamic was syariah adviser for Bank Pembangunan Malaysia’s RM450 million sustainability SRI Islamic medium term notes. The issuance was upsized from its initial target of RM300 million due to demand and complements Bank Pembangunan’s impact assessment framework.

Maybank Singapore also bagged two best green loan awards for its role as arranger of Royal Group of Companies’ S$250 million Islamic green financing, a world-first in the hospitality sector. Royal Group will embed syariah-compliant and sustainability concepts in building design and operations.

Source: TheSunDaily

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


After Halloween raid in KL, human rights groups call for Suhakam to review joint ops involving religious depts

By Kenneth Tee

01 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Human rights advocate Justice for Sisters (JFS) and 19 other similar groups have called for a complete overhaul of joint raids involving the respective state Islamic Departments after Islamic law enforcers recently raided a Halloween party in the national capital and arrested 20 transgender persons for alleged indecency.

In a statement, the group said it was deeply concerned by the tri-agency joint operation organised by the police, Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) which raised concerns over human rights impact.

“Even in the context where raids are conducted in full compliance with police Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), the involvement of state Islamic Departments in joint raids legitimises moral policing, abuse of power, and victimisation of Muslims under the law.

“Documentation shows high levels of human rights impact, including violation of privacy, equality, and freedom of expression, where Muslim persons are especially victimised by the law and excessive state intervention into people’s private lives is legitimised,” the group said.

The group also condemned the deliberate targeting of LGBT people, further noting the arbitrary arrest and detention; inhumane and degrading treatment and violence with impunity by state authorities during these joint raids against said group through discriminatory and vague Shariah laws.

They also particularly noted the unaddressed LGBT-phobia in the media and social media where rampant usage of derogatory terms are being used, concerns over discrimination and harassment against those who had attended the event on the basis of their gender expression, actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

JIS then urged the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to undertake a comprehensive human rights impact assessment of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act and Enactments to ensure such legislations were in line with the Federal Constitution and international human rights law.

“In the spirit of upholding the rule of law and equality before the law (Article 8 of the Federal Constitution), it is critical for Suhakam and the incoming government to immediately review joint raids involving the state Islamic Departments given their extensive and discriminatory human rights impacts,” it said.

Source: MalayMail

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

In court, Zahid's aide says boss donated RM10m to build mosque for in-laws, over RM38m sponsored for mosque named after his parents

By Ida Lim

01 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had donated to charitable purposes, including the building of mosques, with a donation of RM10 million for a mosque in Melaka named after both his father and mother-in-law, his special officer told the High Court today.

Datuk Mohd Kamal Abdullah said this while testifying as the sixth defence witness for former home minister Zahid in the latter's trial.

Zahid is facing 47 charges, including for the alleged criminal breach of trust of RM31 million belonging to charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi — where he is a trustee and also later its sole signatory for cheques.

Today, Mohd Kamal said he knew that his employer Zahid made a number of donations for charity, noting that Zahid had contributed RM10 million to build a mosque by a lake at Masjid Tanah in Melaka.

Mohd Kamal said Masjid Salmah Khamis was named after Zahid's parents-in-law, and that he had on several occasions followed along Zahid to monitor the construction of the mosque until it was completed in 2017.

Mohd Kamal said this mosque was officiated by both the then Melaka governor Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob and Zahid, who was then the deputy prime minister.

Mohd Kamal also spoke about another mosque over a river in Bagan Datuk, Perak that is still under construction, noting that this floating mosque was named Masjid Tuminah Hamidi, after Zahid's parents.

"It has been long since he told me that he wished to build a mosque that will be named after his mother's and father's names to remember and repay both parents' good deeds and to hope that pahala (divine rewards) to them will always continue," he said.

"The construction of this Masjid Tuminah Hamidi is sponsored fully by Yayasan Akalbudi and Yayasan Al-Falah as the developers," he said, later adding that he had visited this mosque several times.

Mohd Kamal said this mosque should have been completed this month based on the schedule, but said this would be unlikely due to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) freezing of Yayasan Akalbudi's account.

Asked by Zahid's lawyer Hamidi Mohd Noh to give an estimate of how much has been donated for the building of this mosque in Bagan Datuk, Mohd Kamal said: "Over RM38 million."

Mohd Kamal said he knew that Zahid had in 1997 set up his foundation which was named Yayasan Budi, before it was renamed to Yayasan Akalbudi.

"I still remember he told me that he formed this foundation on his father's advice, to give alms, carry out welfare and charity to needy individuals if able to do so," he said, claiming that Zahid had said he would place his own funds in the foundation to be given to those in need.

Mohd Kamal said some of Yayasan Akalbudi's objectives conveyed to him included welfare for the poor, education, studies in several sectors and investment.

Mohd Kamal said Zahid had told him that Yayasan Al-Falah was a foundation set up to institutionalise the properties left behind by his late father to be channelled for good. This foundation is chaired by Zahid's younger brother Datuk Seri Mohamad Nasaee Ahmad Tarmizi.

Mohd Kamal said Zahid had donated towards the building of mosques and suraus, tahfiz centres, the poor, orphans and single mothers, and that such donations by Zahid would either be from his personal funds or from his foundation Yayasan Akalbudi.

He claimed that Zahid had also made donations for the building of mosques abroad such as in China, Thailand, South Africa and Australia.

Mohd Kamal also said that Yayasan Akalbudi had made donations by fully sponsoring the construction of the secondary school Sekolah Menengah Imtiaz Ulu Al-Bab in Melaka that was completed in 2014, and that Zahid had wanted it modeled after the concept used by a secondary school in Kuala Terengganu.

Cash aid and gifts of cows

Earlier, Sabri Zainudin Zainul who had worked as then deputy prime minister Zahid's principal private secretary from October 2017 to May 2018 testified as the fifth defence witness.

While working during that brief period for Zahid in the deputy prime minister's office, Sabri said many individuals went to the office to ask to meet with Zahid to seek for financial aid to continue their studies, and that Zahid would usually agree and give aid in the form of cash.

"It ever happened also when Datuk Seri Zahid did not have cash to give aid at that time, he would call me and ask me to use my cash first if I have, and he will repay it to me after that," he said.

He said Zahid would give a personal donation to help with the costs of the Family Day event each time it was organised by the Home Ministry.

Sabri claimed to have knowledge of Zahid's foundation Yayasan Akalbudi, as several individuals went to the deputy prime minister's office then with the intentions of meeting Zahid and stating that they wish to donate to this foundation that was under Zahid's management.

When asked by Zahid's lawyer Aiman Abdul Rahman, Sabri claimed that Zahid had once channelled RM150,000 as additional funds to enable the sending of 80 members of a sports club and their family members to be sent to Muslim pilgrimage in 2015, which was when the ringgit's value had fallen and the costs for the trip had increased.

Sabri also said that Zahid would give out cows to MPs — including those from the Opposition — for the Hari Raya Korban celebration.

"I have one good friend, each year he receives, MP," he said, before proceeding to name incumbent MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar for Pokok Sena in Kedah.

"Actually, he is opposition MP, Pokok Sena, Mahfuz. Each year he receives four to five heads, I know because he invites me also. He and I are in the same village, we are neighbours, he said he receives each year. The rest I knew during the deputy prime minister's office period, for their good, I don't mention-lah," he said.

In this trial, Zahid who is also Umno president is facing 47 charges, namely 12 counts of criminal breach of trust in relation to over RM31 million of charitable foundation Yayasan Akalbudi’s funds, 27 counts of money-laundering, and eight counts of bribery charges over RM21.25 million in alleged bribes.

Yayasan Akalbudi was founded with the purported objectives of receiving and administering funds for the eradication of poverty, and enhancing the welfare of the poor.

Source: MalayMail

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


3 seats offered to ‘friends of BN’ may have irked MIC, say sources

K. Parkaran

November 1, 2022

PETALING JAYA: MIC’s decision to stay away from the Barisan Nasional (BN) gathering to announce the candidates for the 15th general election (GE15) has raised more than eyebrows as it is considered a direct confrontation with coalition chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

In a surprise move, all 10 candidates from the party who were named by Zahid were not present. The seat next to MCA chief Wee Ka Siong, meant for MIC president SA Vigneswaran, was conspicuously empty.

Party insiders said the party was happy in terms of the number of seats and the seats that were offered. However, the seats offered to the Indian-based parties which were considered as “friends of BN” could have triggered the MIC leaders’ ire.

They are Makkal Sakti, Indian Progressive Front (IPF) and Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma), parties which had applied to join BN but were strongly opposed by MIC as the BN constitution says any admission must be a unanimous decision.

Makkal Sakti president T Thanendran was given the Nibong Tebal seat which Gerakan used to get when it was in BN, while IPF president T Loganathan will stand in Jelutong. Kimma president Syed Ibrahim Kader has been offered the Puchong seat.

“As for the party’s Sungai Buloh seat which has been given to Khairy Jamaluddin now, MIC leaders apparently wanted Puchong and Batu but only got Batu. Other than this, they got most of what they wanted,” one insider said.

Another source said the party had been a steadfast ally of Umno especially after it’s heavy loss in the last general election.

“The first by-election after GE14 was for the Camerons Highland seat which was won by an MIC candidate. But a by-election was called after the election court declared the seat vacant.

“And Vigneswaran magnanimously gave way to Umno to make it’s return. And yet he feels they are not grateful,” he said.

MIC candidates will stand in Sungai Siput (Vigneswaran), Tapah (M Saravanan), Hulu Selangor (T Mohan), Teluk Intan (T Murugiah), Padang Serai (C Sivarraajh), Batu (A Kohilan Pillay), Port Dickson (M Kamalanathan), Kuala Langat (M Mohana), Kota Raja (D Kajendran) and Segamat (MP Ramasamy).

“Let’s see what the party’s emergency central working committee (CWC) decides tomorrow. Besides the two issues, things do not look bad as a couple of seats offered were sought by Umno very strongly but Zahid did not relent,” he said.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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


Snubbed by BN, Shahidan says will contest Arau but undecided on party

By Zurairi A.R.

01 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim has reportedly insisted that he will defend his Arau seat despite not being named as a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate tonight.

Utusan Malaysia reported him saying that he has yet to decide on the ticket under which he will contest the seat.

“I am a candidate who can win, I will contest. I will ask the grassroots about which ticket to contest this seat.

“I will choose a party that moves towards a national unity,” he reportedly said, adding that he has yet to deliberate on this matter.

He also slammed BN chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for naming a candidate who does not hail from Arau for the seat.

“He should quit as president for splitting the ‘ummah’,” he reportedly said, using the term for the Malay-Muslim community.

Source: MalayMail

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


Malaysia election: Ahmad Zahid says he did not ask UMNO candidates to back him as PM

01 Nov 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) president and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has denied asking candidates from the coalition to back him as prime minister in the upcoming 15th general election (GE15).

Malay Mail quoted him as saying on Tuesday (Nov 1) that “it’s a lie”, when asked about a media report claiming that BN candidates were required to sign letters to back him as prime minister.

The report cited sources who said that Ahmad Zahid has been going state by state to give out credential letters to BN candidates to contest GE15, with the condition they sign a pledge of allegiance and give him the mandate to form the government, should the coalition win the federal polls on Nov 19.

The sources added that BN candidates were asked, through the pledge, to support Ahmad Zahid to negotiate with other political parties and appoint Cabinet members from MPs of his choice. 

Ahmad Zahid issued his denial about the report when he met the media at the Kuala Lumpur court complex where he is on trial for 47 charges of corruption, breach of trust and money laundering.

Leading up to the dissolution of parliament on Oct 10, Ahmad Zahid had been very vocal in pushing for snap polls, ostensibly to seek a fresh mandate from the people. This is despite objections from the opposition and Mr Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s members of the Cabinet.

As BN chairman Ahmad Zahid is expected to unveil the coalition’s list of candidates for GE15 at a special event on Tuesday night. 

Malaysian media have quoted sources as saying that some UMNO ministers who have been vocal against Ahmad Zahid are likely to be dropped from the list. 

Among them are caretaker federal territories minister Shahidan Kassim and caretaker communications and multimedia minister Annuar Musa.

Two other ministers likely to be dropped are caretaker technology and innovation minister Dr Adham Baba and caretaker national unity minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique.

Apart from being seen as not supportive of Ahmad Zahid, the ministers are also said to be in close ties with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, which helped form Mr Ismail Sabri’s government.

PN which comprises mostly members of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) is also scheduled to unveil its list of GE15 candidates on Tuesday.

More than 21 million people will cast their ballots in Malaysia’s GE15 to elect 222 new members of the Lower House of parliament.

Source: ChannelNewsAsia

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


Arab World 

Qatari UN ambassador demands end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories

02 November 2022

Qatar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani has called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to bring to an end its occupation of the Palestinian territories, the Syrian Golan Heights and Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms, and creation of a sovereign Palestinian state.

Ali Thani made the remarks during a United Nations Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East on Tuesday.

She stressed the need for an immediate halt to the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement expansion activities across the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds, Palestinian refugees' right to return to the homes from which they were displaced, the restoration of Palestinians' inalienable historical rights, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.

The top Qatari diplomat stressed that the best way to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through negotiation between the two sides, and the international community should take what it can to facilitate the so-called peace process and settle all existing issues.

She further noted that the occupied al-Quds is a central issue, and warned against any damage to the historical and legal status of Islamic and Christian sites in the city.

The Qatari UN ambassador also warned about the Israeli regime’s efforts to further Judaize al-Quds, divide the sacred al-Aqsa Mosque compound in time and place, and restrain the religious freedom of Muslims, and stressed that these efforts are invalid according to international law and UN resolutions.

Israel occupied the West Bank, including the western part of the holy city of al-Quds, in 1967. It later annexed East al-Quds, which Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.

Source: Press TV

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


Netherlands to repatriate 40 ISIS-linked women and children from Syrian camps

01 November, 2022

Twelve women and 28 children will be repatriated to the Netherlands from detention camps in northern Syria, the Dutch government announced on Tuesday, making the country’s largest group yet to be brought back.

They will face charges on their return for joining the ISIS extremist group.

The move comes after a Dutch court in May recommended that the women be returned immediately to the Netherlands, or that a commitment to return then be made within four months.

“The cabinet is transferring twelve Dutch women suspected of terrorist offences and their 28 children to the Netherlands,” two government ministers said.

“The women will be arrested after arrival in the Netherlands and will be tried,” Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra and Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius said in a letter to parliament.

The ministerial letter declined to say from which camp the women and children will be fetched or when, adding only it will be done via a “special operation.”

The children will be taken into the care of the Dutch child protection services, the ministers added.

Western countries have faced a dilemma over how to handle their citizens detained in Syria since the end of military operations against ISIS there in 2019.

Thousands of extremists in Europe decided to join the group as fighters, often taking their wives and children to live in the “caliphate” declared in territory conquered in Iraq and Syria.

Some 300 Dutch citizens travelled to Syria during the height of the civil war, according to Dutch government figures.

About 120 still remain – many in Kurdish-controlled camps and detention centers in northern Syria, or in Iraq and Turkey.

The return of extremist fighters to stand trial in the Netherlands is a politically sensitive subject and the country’s anti-terror agency has warned that returning citizens may have an intention to continue “supporting jihadist activities.”

Dutch courts earlier this year sentenced a woman to three-and-a-half years behind bars for joining the now-defunct ISIS group.

The 28-year-old – identified only as Ilham B. – was repatriated last year from the al-Roj detention camp in northeast Syria after she joined ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra extremist groups with her husband in 2013.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Damascus will sooner or later respond to recurrent Israeli aggression, Syrian FM pledges

01 November 2022

Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Faisal Mekdad has strongly condemned the latest Israeli air strikes that hit targets in the vicinity of the capital Damascus, emphasizing that his country will definitely give a crushing response to such acts of aggression at some point in the future.

“Under the cover of passenger planes, they (Israeli military forces) carry out attacks against their designated targets [inside Syria] either from underneath or above the aircraft,” Mekdad said in an exclusive interview with the online Omani Arabic-language newspaper 'Atheer.

He noted, “Had Syrian air defense units sprung into action and induced a knee-jerk reaction, a civilian plane could have been targeted and everyone would lay the blame on the Damascus government. We decide, therefore, to exercise self-restraint and not to show any reactions in such cases.”

“Our position concerning such attacks is fairly clear. We warn the Tel Aviv regime that an adequate response to such hostilities awaits them and it will be given sooner or later,” the Syrian foreign minister underscored.

The Syrian military said Israeli missiles were fired in the early hours of October 27 at sites near Damascus and that the country’s air defenses had “confronted the missile aggression and downed most of them.” There were no casualties reported.

“At around 00:30 a.m. local time (2130 GMT), the Israeli enemy carried out an aerial aggression from the direction of the occupied Palestinian territories targeting several positions in the vicinity of Damascus,” the Syrian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The attack follows similar air strikes on October 21 and a rare daytime air attack four days earlier which wounded a soldier, according to the Syrian army.

Israel frequently targets military positions inside Syria, especially those of the resistance movement Hezbollah which has played a key role in helping the Syrian army in its fight against the foreign-backed terrorists.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:,-Syrian-FM-pledges


US military convoy forced to retreat after civilians block road in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr

01 November 2022

Residents of a town in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr have reportedly blocked a US military convoy as it was attempting to pass through their community, as public outrage is boiling over the presence of American occupation forces in the energy-rich region of the war-torn Arab nation.

According to a report published by Syria’s official news agency SANA, the convoy of armored vehicles had to turn around and head back in the directions it came from after locals of Jadeed Bakara town intercepted and expelled it from the area on Tuesday.

The development came a week after a US convoy of five US military vehicles was forced to retreat as Syrian army troops deployed at a security checkpoint in al-Damkhiyah village on the outskirts of Qamishli city in the northeastern province of Hasakah, blocked the road and prevented its movement. There were no reports of clashes or injuries.

The US military has for long stationed its forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, maintains that the deployment is meant to plunder the country’s natural resources. Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil wealth.

On September 21, China called on the United States to stop plundering Syria’s national resources and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Arab country.

“We call on the United States to respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, unilaterally lift sanctions, and end the theft of Syria’s national resources,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news briefing.

“This is not the first time that the United States military has stolen oil from Syria and they seem to be becoming more and more uncontrollable,” Wang said.

The Chinese spokesman also said the US government has a duty to investigate robberies committed by intervening military forces and to compensate for the damage caused.

Meanwhile, people have held a demonstration in Jadeed Bakara town in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr to denounce attacks and arbitrary measures by Kurdish-led militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The protesters condemned the SDF militants’ abductions, murders, and looting of Jazira region’s natural resources.

Informed sources, requesting anonymity, said the demonstrators blocked roads by burning tires and rocks and chanted slogans calling for an end to brutal practices against local residents and withdrawal of the militants from the area.

Security conditions have been deteriorating in the SDF-controlled areas in Syria’s northern and northeastern provinces of Raqqah, Hasakah and Dayr al-Zawr.

Local Syrians complain that the SDF’s constant raids have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihood.

Source: Press TV

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


Bahrain's jailed dissidents urge Pope to raise issue of crackdown, repression during visit

01 November 2022

Families of jailed dissidents in Bahrain have appealed to Pope Francis to speak out against human rights abuses perpetrated by the ruling Al-Khalifa regime during his upcoming trip to the tiny Persian Gulf country.

The appeal was made in a letter written by the families of 12 prisoners sitting on death row, and released by the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) on Monday.

"Our family members remain behind bars and at risk of execution despite the clear injustice of their convictions. Many of them were targeted because they took part in pro-democracy protests during the 'Arab Spring'," read the letter.

"During your visit to Bahrain, we hope you can repeat your call to abolish the death penalty and for the sentences of our family members to be commuted."

The call came as the Pope is scheduled to head to the country on Thursday to attend the closing ceremony of "Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence" and to meet members of the Catholic community.

The four-day trip will also see the head of Catholic Church meeting with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah.

According to BIRD, Ali Al-Hajee, a "prisoner of conscience" who is close to completing a 10-year sentence which he said was connected to his participation in a pro-democracy protest, also wrote a letter to the pope.

"I invite you, in the name of humanity, to urge the King of Bahrain to abide by peace and to release me and all Bahraini political prisoners," his letter read.

It comes a week after a group of incarcerated Bahraini Shia Muslim clerics urged Pope Francis to condemn the injustice and repressive policies of the ruling Al Khalifah regime and push for reforms in the Persian Gulf kingdom ahead of his visit early next month.

In a statement, the scholars said in Bahrain "the motto of tolerance and coexistence is raised for everyone except for its own people," reminding Pope Francis that he is visiting a country "where justice and charity are widely prescribed; but injustice and aggression are practiced in reality.”

“The Bahraini nation constitutes people who have either lost their sons or loved ones, grief-stricken mothers as well as injured, imprisoned, persecuted, and exiled political opponents. International human rights organizations have recorded a long list of violations against Bahraini people,” the statement read.

Demonstrations have been held in Bahrain on a regular basis since the popular uprising began in the Arab country in mid-February 2011.

Source: Press TV

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


Sharjah museum showcases rare Quran manuscripts, Islamic calligraphy

01 November, 2022

The Sharjah Museums Authority is showcasing a number of rare Quran manuscripts and Islamic calligraphy from the Hamid Jafar Quran Collection at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.

Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, opened on Monday the “Sacred Words, Timeless Calligraphy: Highlights of Exceptional Calligraphy from the Hamid Jafar Qur’an Collection” exhibition organized by Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA), which features a number of exquisite manuscripts that are being displayed for the first time ever.

Present at the opening were Sheikh Khaled bin Abdullah Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Ports, Customs and Free Zones Authority, Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Advisor to the UAE President, Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, Hamid Jafar, Founder and Chairman of Sharjah-based Crescent Group of Companies, and Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Authority.

The exhibition will be open till March 19 next year at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, and is part of SMA’s efforts aimed at raising more awareness about the history of Arabic calligraphy and its role in enriching the art scene.

“We are delighted to organize this exhibition which reflects the great dedication of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi to making Islamic collections accessible and ensuring they represent the diversity found in Islamic heritage,” said Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Authority.

“Calligraphy is one of the most fundamental elements of Islamic art that has influenced numerous cultures across the globe and with this exhibition we hope to introduce our visitors to rare Islamic manuscripts and to the origins, methods, and schools of calligraphy that were part of their production,” added Ataya.

The exhibition features a selection of more than 50 rare examples of Quran manuscripts including a painting and a rug spanning 14 centuries of Islamic civilization from the Near East to China, South East Asia, to Spain, and the Maghrib and depicting its influence as a unifying force and source of inspiration for different cultures.

Hamid Jafar, Founder and Chairman of Sharjah-based Crescent Group of Companies, began collecting the masterpieces from an early age adding to a small collection inherited from his late father, and continuing to build it over 40 years.

“I am proud and honored to be exhibiting this selection from my collection for the first time ever, doing so in my beloved Sharjah which I have taken as my home for over half a century, and to be sharing with the wider community the beauty of these remarkable works,” Jafar said.

Exhibits include a masterpiece by female scribe Sharifah Wahidah Yaqutah, dated 1844 AD, and a 1.7m high-page of the Baysunqur Quran that dates back to 1400 AD, and a folio from one of the oldest and largest surviving Quran manuscripts from the “Tashkent Quran” which dates back to the 2nd century AH/ 8th century AD.

Other objects that depict the history of calligraphy and reveal new aspects of the visual art of calligraphy include pages from a number of monumental Quran manuscripts that date back to the era between 2nd AH / 8th CE centuries and 4th AH / 10th CE centuries.

The featured items illustrate craftwork and beauty in design, demonstrating successive breakthroughs while reflecting the aesthetics of the location and epoch in which they were produced.

Exhibiting this important collection of rare Quranic manuscripts and calligraphy, was made possible by generous support from the Crescent Group, founded by Jafar, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Iraq's new premier sacks senior officials

02 November, 2022

Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani announced Tuesday the dismissal of several senior officials appointed by his predecessor, days after a confidence vote in his government.

Lawmakers approved al-Sudani's cabinet on Thursday following a year of political stalemate and bitter infighting between Shia Muslim factions following contested elections.

At a cabinet session, al-Sudani repealed several appointments made by former prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi following the October 2021 polls, citing the government's “interim” status.

The officials dismissed were not identified, but a government source told AFP that intelligence chief Raed Jouhi was among them.

“According to the Supreme Court, an interim government does not have the right” to make such senior appointments,” al-Sudani told his first press conference as prime minister.

He also vowed to tackle endemic corruption, calling it “a serious threat to the Iraqi state, more dangerous than all other threats that have weighed on Iraq.”

“The citizens want to feel that there is a sense of responsibility, and that looted money is returned,” he added, without announcing any concrete measures.

Iraq is ranked 157 out of 180 in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Egypt invites Brazil’s Lula to COP27

01 November, 2022

UN climate summit host Egypt has invited incoming Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose victory over climate-sceptic Jair Bolsonaro has raised hopes for the battle against global warming.

Election officials in Brazil on Sunday declared leftist Lula won in a run-off against his far-right rival.

A spokesperson for Lula -- who is not due to formally take office until January 1 -- told AFP that he “is considering going but has not yet made a decision.”

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Monday “I invite him (Lula) to come to Egypt to participate in the global climate summit COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh,” according to his own spokesman, Bassam Rady.

Egypt’s president harbored hopes about the “positive and constructive role” Brazil will play, Rady added.

More than 90 heads of state and government -- including US President Joe Biden -- are set to converge on the Egyptian resort town between November 6 and 18.

Climate scientists and environmentalists have repeatedly noted that the outcome of last week’s Brazilian election would have huge stakes for the planet.

Bolsonaro became a figure of hate for environmentalists over his support of lumber and mining companies blamed for destroying the Amazon.

Lula said after his election victory on Sunday that Brazil was “ready to reclaim its place in the fight against the climate crisis, especially the Amazon.”

He vowed to “fight for zero deforestation.”

The world’s biggest rainforest, which until recently has helped soak up humanity’s soaring carbon emissions, is now strained to the point of starting to release more carbon than it absorbs, research shows.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Egypt’s prominent activist starts ‘full hunger strike’ in prison

01 November 2022

Egypt’s most prominent political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has gone on “full hunger strike” starting from Tuesday in protest at his prolonged imprisonment and plans to stop drinking water as well on the first day of a global climate summit, when the North African country comes under the spotlight, his family said.

In a letter to his family, the activist said he won’t drink any water starting November 6, the first day of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27), which will be hosted in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. His family members are worried that if Alaa is not released during the climate conference, he would die due to dehydration.

“After five days, on Sunday, 6 November, I shall drink my last glass of water. What will follow is unknown,” he said in a letter shared on social media by his relatives.

According to his family, which has been lobbying for his release, the activist has been on a partial hunger strike since April 2, consuming only 100 calories per day.

Mona Seif, his sister, said Alaa believed if authorities determined to keep him in prison forever or until he dies, then at least he will decide the terms of the battle himself.

“I cannot ask him to stop what he is doing,” she said in a video that was posted on social media.

His other sister, Sana’a, saidو “When I last saw Alaa three weeks ago he looked so drained. He was struggling to stand.”

Alaa’s family communicates with him through weekly letters and has the opportunity to see him in rare visits.

In April, the family announced he had obtained British citizenship through his mother, Laila Soueif, a math professor at Cairo University who was born in London. The family said then that they sought a British passport for Alaa as a way out of what they described as an “impossible ordeal.”

His family has appealed to UK authorities to seek consular access to visit him in jail. However, all attempts to free him have so far failed.

Alaa, a blogger, a software engineer and an outspoken dissident, became prominent during the so-called Arab Spring protests, which started to sweep across the Middle East in 2011 and overthrew Egypt’s longtime dictator, Husni Mubarak.

The 40-year old activist spent most of the past decade behind bars, with his detention becoming a symbol of Egypt’s return to autocratic rule.

He was released in March 2019 after serving a five-year sentence for taking part in a peaceful protest against military trials for civilians. According to sources, he was arrested again in September in the same year on charges of spreading false news and inciting people.

Human rights groups and activists have constantly accused Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Sisi of violating public freedoms and suppressing opponents. According to rights groups, an estimated 60,000 political prisoners are being held in Egyptian jails.

The Egyptian president took power in 2014, a year after a military coup spearheaded by him toppled the country’s first ever democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi.

Source: Press TV

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


Lebanon raises cost of electricity for first time since 1990s

01 November, 2022

Lebanon’s state power company Electricite du Liban (EDL) raised the price it charges for electricity for first time since the 1990s on Tuesday, an EDL spokesperson said, in a move officials say will pave the way for an eventual increase in power supply.

Lebanon has not had round-the-clock power since the 1990s and cash transfers to EDL to cover chronic losses have contributed tens of billions of dollars to the country’s huge public debt.

Electricity-sector reform is a key demand of donor nations who have pledged to help Lebanon exit a financial crisis if it undertakes reforms.

Government officials have said that increasing the price of power would allow the state to afford to purchase more fuel to fire power plants, thereby increasing supply from an hour or two per day to up to 10 hours per day.

Analysts say weak governance, corruption and mismanagement are at the root of the sector’s problems and remain largely unaddressed

Power will now be priced at 10 US dollar cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 100 kWh consumed, and 27 cents per kWh for consumption above that, the EDL spokesperson said.

The higher end of the new tariff is roughly half what people pay for subscriptions to private generator services that have filled the power gap for decades.

New power costs would be calculated in Lebanese pounds at the central bank’s Sayrafa platform exchange rate, which sat at around 30,000 pounds per US dollar Tuesday.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Russia ready to boost ties with Arab League to strengthen regional, global security

01 November, 2022

Russia is ready to boost ties with Arab League members to help strengthen regional and global security, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.

In a message addressed to Arab leaders ahead of the League’s summit which will kick off later on Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin voiced the importance of cooperation to confront threats and challenges the world currently faces.

“Undoubtedly, the tasks of improving the international situation and opposing the threats and challenges of our time increase the demand for coordinated collective efforts and significantly raise the importance of representative organizations such as the Arab League,” Putin said.

Putin added he was “confident that efforts to further enhance the partnership between Russia and Arab countries are in line with the common interests of the parties and the need to ensure global peace and stability.”

The Arab League will hold its first annual summit for three years in Algeria after the pandemic forced the meetings’ suspension.

The last summit was held in Tunis in March 2019.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed have both

confirmed they are not coming to Algiers, as has Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Syrian 'crisis' must end: Head of Arab League

Ibrahim El-Khazen 


ALGIERS, Algeria

The League of Arab States Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit called Tuesday for ending the "crisis” in Syria.

"The developments in Syria still require a pioneering Arab effort," Aboul Gheit said during the 31st Arab Summit. "It is necessary to show flexibility from all parties so that the economic collapse and political blockage can be dispelled. Syria must engage in its natural Arab environment.”

Syria's membership in the Arab League was suspended in 2011 because of the regime’s brutal crackdown against a popular revolution.

Aboul Gheit touched on other Arab challenges and ways to solve them, including the crisis in Libya and Yemen, as well as the Palestinian cause.

He said Saudi Arabia will host the Arab-Chinese summit next December and the fifth Arab-African summit in 2023.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

Arab League urges Lebanon to agree on new president

Wassim Seif El-Din


BEIRUT, Lebanon

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Tuesday called on Lebanese politicians to reach a consensus on electing a new president.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun left office on Monday after his six-year term expired, with lawmakers failing to agree on a new president.

Aboul Gheit met Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati in Algeria on the sidelines of the 31st Arab summit.

The meeting took up the latest development in Lebanon, his spokesman Jamal Rushdie said.

The Arab League chief warned that a long presidential vacuum in Lebanon would have negative repercussions on the country, the spokesman added.

The current presidential vacancy in Lebanon is the fourth since the country’s independence from French colonialism in 1943.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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



Iran prepares to send 1,000 weapons including missiles, drones to Russia: Report

01 November, 2022

Iran is preparing to deliver more weapons to Russia to be used in its war against Ukraine, CNN reported on Tuesday citing officials from a western country which closely monitors Iran’s weapons.

It’s estimated that Iran will send around 1,000 weapons that include surface-to-surface short range ballistic missiles and attack drones.

“The shipment is being closely monitored because it would be the first instance of Iran sending advanced precision guided missiles to Russia,” CNN said.

According to the officials cited, Iran’s last shipment of arms to Russia included 450 drones that Moscow used in Ukraine.

While it is not clear when the weapons will be transferred to Russia, officials expect the transaction to occur before year-end.

Kyiv and its Western allies have repeatedly accused Moscow of using Iranian-made drones in attacks on Ukraine in recent weeks.

In September, Ukraine decided to significantly reduce its diplomatic relations with Tehran over alleged arms deliveries to Moscow.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Benjamin Netanyahu poised for comeback in Israeli election, exit polls show

Nov 2, 2022

JERUSALEM: Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu inched towards reclaiming power Wednesday after projected election results showed a majority government was within reach for the veteran right-winger, though the outlook could shift as ballots are counted.

If the exit polls hold, it would mark a dramatic comeback for Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving premier, whose Likud party could be poised to form a coalition with its ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies and a rising extreme-right.

"We are close to a big victory," Netanyahu told supporters at a rally in Jerusalem early Wednesday. "We don't know the final results yet, but if the results are like the exit polls, I will form a national (right-wing) government."

But his main rival, caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid, told his own supporters in Tel Aviv that "nothing is decided", and that his centrist Yesh Atid party "will wait patiently... for the final results".

The margins appeared wafer-thin, as was expected in the bitterly divided nation holding its fifth election in less than four years. Previous elections have shown that slight adjustments during the official count can turn an apparently decisive result into yet another deadlock.

But the early signs were positive for the 73-year-old Netanyahu, who is on trial over corruption charges that he denies.

Projections from three Israeli networks put Netanyahu's Likud on track for a first-place finish, with between 30 and 32 seats.

That number, combined with projected tallies for the extreme-right Religious Zionism alliance and the two ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties, would give the bloc backing Netanyahu between 61 and 62 seats.

An outright victory for the bloc would end the short reign of an alliance of eight parties under Lapid that managed to oust Netanyahu last year before collapsing itself.

Lapid's Yesh Atid was on track for an expected second-place finish, with projections giving it between 22 and 24 seats.

But exit polls put the premier's ideologically-divided alliance of Netanyahu rivals short of a majority.

The head of the Israel Democracy Institute, Yohanan Plesner, warned of past "discrepancies" between exit polls and the actual results.

In a climate of grinding political deadlock, concerns about voter fatigue were widespread, but in the end 71.3 percent of voters turned out, the highest rate since 2015, according to official figures.

Extreme-right leader Itamar Ben-Gvir would be key to helping Netanyahu return to power, with his Religious Zionism bloc on track for an estimated 14 seats, according to exit polls, double its current presence in parliament.

Ben-Gvir, who wants Israel to annex the entire West Bank, said his rise was fuelled by Israelis' security concerns.

"It's time we go back to being masters of our country," he said, reiterating his call for security services to use more force against Palestinians.

Justice Minister Gideon Saar, a former Likud heavyweight who broke with Netanyahu and now leads his own party, warned early Tuesday that Israel risked electing a "coalition of extremists".

Arab-Israeli lawmaker Aida Touma-Suleiman said Netanyahu might be on track to form a government "with fascists by his side".

The vote was held against a backdrop of soaring violence across Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

At least 29 Palestinians and three Israelis were killed across the two territories in October, according to an AFP tally.

While many candidates have cited security as a concern, none have pledged to revive moribund peace talks with the Palestinians.

The Palestinian prime minister, Mohammed Shttayeh, said the projected outcome highlighted "growing extremism and racism in Israeli society".

Lapid was the architect of the last coalition, which for the first time brought an independent Arab party into the fold.

The unlikely alliance was made possible after Mansour Abbas pulled his Raam party from a united slate with other Arab-led parties, paving the way for him to join the coalition.

But Raam's pioneering support for a coalition was not viewed positively across Arab society, which makes up around 20 percent of Israel's population.

Raam was projected to re-enter parliament, according to exit polls, but Abbas charged that Arabs voters being "passive" could deliver a "gift" to Netanyahu, possibly ushering in a government with politicians known for virulent, anti-Arab rhetoric.

A focus of the overnight count was the Arab-led Balad party, which rejects any cooperation with Israeli governance.

The early count put Balad just short of 3.25 percent of the vote needed to secure the minimum four seats in parliament.

Source: Times Of India

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

Tehran Imposes Sanctions on CIA, US National Guard over Interfering in Iran's Affairs


In a statement on Monday, the Iranian foreign ministry announces sanctions on a host of American individuals and entities for committing human rights violations, supporting terrorism and inciting violence against the Iranian nation during the recent unrest

The sanctions were imposed in line with a law titled “Countering America’s Human Rights Violation and Adventurous and Terrorist Actions” passed by the Iranian Parliament in 2017, it added.

The Islamic Republic has imposed sanctions on 10 American individuals and 4 entities for committing human rights violations, interfering in Iran's internal affairs, instigating violence and riots in the country, encouraging acts of terror, countering Tehran's moves and attempts to fight terrorism, and mounting pressure on the Iranian nation amounting to economic terrorism.

The list includes:

Michael Erik Kurilla, the commander of United States Central Command

Gregory M. Guillot, the deputy commander of United States Central Command

Scott Desormeaux, the commander of US airbase in Erbil, Iraq

Juan Zarate, chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Economic and Financial Power (CEFP)

Mark Wallace, the CEO of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)

Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo, the United States deputy secretary of the Treasury

Alexus G. Grynkewich, the commander of Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)

Anne Neuberger, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology

Isaac Johnson, Jr., the commander of the United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command

Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

The Ninth Air Force

National Guard of the United States

Iran's top intelligence bodies has recently issued a joint statement about the recent developments in the country, declaring that foreign intelligence agencies, specifically the CIA, are orchestrating the deadly unrest in Iran.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry and the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) explained different aspects of the recent unrest in Iran in detail on Friday, sheding light on the role played by the “mafia regime” in the US in devising a multi-dimensional plot for instigating riots and directing the wave of violence. (READ MORE)

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

In recent days, Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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


Minister: Russian Investors Keen to Invest $4.5bln in Iran's Energy Fields


“So far, Russian investors and companies have finalized a contract for developing seven oil and gas fields with Iran worth 4.5 billion dollars, and some projects have made 7-35% physical progress,” Owji said on Monday.

He made the remarks in a coordination meeting with the representatives of different working groups of the Iranian side of the Joint Economic Commission of Iran and Russia to review the documents compiled for the purpose of negotiating and signing the final document of Tehran-Moscow cooperation.

“We should all take advantage of this golden opportunity in the fields of energy, transportation, economy, industry, healthcare, banking, etc. Meanwhile, the cooperation between the two countries in the field of banking seems to be the most important,” the minister added.

Referring to possible sanctions on Russia in January by the United States and the European Union, the official noted, “Iran has been facing such sanctions for years, so it is a good opportunity to neutralize the sanctions with the help of two countries.”

Owji underscored that expansion of cooperation between Moscow and Tehran will help make international sanctions imposed on both nations ineffective.

He also underlined that the level of bilateral cooperation will develop especially in the economy.

Russia hosts the 16th joint economic commission from October 30 to November 1. Deputy Chairman of the Russian Government Alexander Novak and Owji are heading both countries’ delegations at the event.

Since Tehran and Moscow enjoy common interests in economic, military, and security affairs as well as friendly relationship pursue common policies on regional and international developments especially when it comes to taking stances in the face of the United States’ unilateral and interventionist strategies.

Iran and Russia have grown exchane of visits by officials to speed up expansion of relations in recent months.

In August, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian visited Moscow and held meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. The diplomat said Moscow-Tehran comprehensive document of relations is in the final stage, and added that the relationship between Iran and Russia is on track to enhance to strategic levels.

Back in June, the Russian foreign minister visited Iran for talks on boosting trade and energy cooperation.

In late May, Iranian and Russian officials in a meeting in Tehran inked 3 important Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to further develop the two countries' energy and banking ties. The MoUs were endorsed in a meeting attended by Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Back in January, Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi visited Moscow and held a meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Rayeesi stated he had presented Putin with draft documents on strategic cooperation that would cement collaboration between the two sides for the next two decades.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:$45bln-in-Iran's-Energy-Fields


‘We are close to big victory,’ Netanyahu says after Israeli election vote

02 November, 2022

Israel’s former premier Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that his right wing, religious camp was on the cusp of a great election win, after exit polls predicted his bloc gaining a slim parliamentary majority that would pave the way for his comeback.

“We have won a huge vote of confidence from the people of Israel,” a smiling Netanyahu told supporters at his election headquarters in Jerusalem. “We are on the brink of a very big victory,” he told the cheering crowd.

Lifted by a strong showing from his far-right allies, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption he denies, was on course for a return to power, according to Israeli television exit polls late on Tuesday, which predicted his bloc of four parties taking 62 of the Knesset’s 120 seats.

A final result is not expected until later in the week.

Netanyahu’s record 12-year consecutive reign ended in June 2021 when centrist Yair Lapid managed to stitch together a fragile alliance of liberals, rightists and an Arab party for the first time and which unravelled a year into its rule.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Iran Urges Iraq to Proceed with Trial of Accomplices in General Soleimani's Assassination


Mohseni Ejei made the remarks while expressing satisfaction over the three rounds of talks held at the joint judicial research committee on the issue.

He pointed out that the results after the talks indicate that Tehran and Baghdad are determined to fight terrorism, bring about justice, preserve peace and security, and extend friendly cooperation, particularly in judicial areas. 

"Such a terrorist act violated the national sovereignty of Iran and Iraq and got out of international principles," the Judicial chief underlined.

He reiterate that although the terrorist act was carried out by former US president Donald Trump and certain officials of some countries, their posts will not prevent their punishment.

Mohseni Ejei voiced Iran's readiness to continue cooperation with the Iraqi judicial council.

Source: Fars News Agency

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


President Rayeesi: Iran-Armenia Trade Volume Posts 43% Growth


President Rayeesi and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended a joint press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

The president described the neighborliness policy as one of the priorities of the his government, and noted that holding bilateral meetings focusing on development of economic, trade, political and security cooperation between Iran and Armenia are on agenda.

"The trade exchanges between Iran and Armenia have witnessed a 43% growth in in the past few months. It is possible to reach the target of raising the value of annual trade exchanges to $3 billion," Rayeesi stated.

Describing the Caucasus region as a main component of Iran’s history, civilization and culture, the president said Tehran is sensitive about the Caucasus and attaches great significance to its security and stability.

"Peace in the Caucasus region is very important to Tehran," the Iranian president added.

"Regional disputes should be resolved by regional actors. Any kind of interference by foreigners in the region creates problems without solving any problem," he emphasized.

The Armenian prime minister, for his part, hailed Tehran's approach toward the Armenian community in Iran, noting that the Islamic Republic acts transparently on peaceful co-existence and cooperation between the two religions.

Appreciating Iran's principled attitude towards stability and security in the Caucasus region, Pashinyan said, "I briefed Mr. Rayeesi about the tripartite meeting in Sochi and I agree with the views of the Iranian president regarding the establishment of lasting peace in the region."

The Iranian and Armenian ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on the extension of electricity and gas swap agreements, he continued, adding that some discussions have been also held for cooperation in the energy industry, agriculture, infrastructures and management of water resources.

Heading a high-ranking politico-economic delegation, Pashinyan arrived in Tehran on Tuesday. During the prime minister’s trip, Iran and Armenia will sign several agreements on strengthening bilateral cooperation.

The visit comes on the heels of a recent trip by Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian to Armenia in late October. During the visit, the top diplomat reiterated Tehran's steadfast opposition to the deployment of foreign troops and geopolitical changes in the region.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underlined Tehran’s opposition to geopolitical changes in the region, and reaffirmed the country is ready to use all its capacities to establish peace and stability in the Caucasus region and its growth and development.

Source: Fars News Agency

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


Envoy Describes UN Meeting on Iran's Unrest as Dangerous Precedence


In a letter to all ambassadors and permanent representatives of the UN member and observer states on Monday, Iravani questioned the United States’ ostensible commitment to defending Iranian women.

He called on UN member states to skip an informal meeting the US plans to hold at the Security Council on the recent nationwide riots in Iran.

“The US has no true and genuine concern about the human rights situation in Iran or elsewhere,” the Iranian diplomat added.

The US claims that it is defending Iranian women, those who have been seriously hurt by decades of inhumane sanctions imposed by Washington, the envoy said.

He called the recent protests in Iran an internal issue, warning that it would be “counterproductive to the promotion of human rights” if the UN Security Council discussed it.

The United States and Albania plan to hold an informal Security Council meeting on Iran on Wednesday, which can be attended by all UN members. The meeting, according to the US mission to the UN, aims to “highlight the ongoing repression of women and girls and members of religious and ethnic minority groups” in Iran.

“The United States lacks the political, moral, and legal qualifications to hold such a meeting, distorting the very basic principles of human rights,” Iravani stressed.

The Iranian ambassador called on UN member states to “explicitly object to such reckless and dangerous practices through which the US attempt to create such a dangerous precedent and politicize human rights issues in order to achieve its political agenda.”

Iravani stated the US has waged a psychological warfare and a deception operation against Iran while claiming that the informal meeting aims to support rights of Iranian women. But, he continued, this is completely originated from Washington’s hypocrisy and is considered an abuse of the valuable concept of human rights.

He also reiterated the Islamic Republic’s commitment to promotion of human rights and implementation of obligations in this regard within the framework of international law contrary to baseless US accusations against Iran.

Iran's envoy warned against the unconstructive consequences of any bid by the UN Security Council to deal with the internal issues of countries, adding it would weaken the existing effective mechanisms in violation of the UN principles and objectives enshrined in the United Nations Charter regarding non-interference in the internal affairs of states.

Intelligence Bodies Reveal CIA Major Role in Iran's Unrest

— Fars News Agency (@EnglishFars) October 29, 2022

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

In recent days, Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:'s-Unres-as-Dangers-Precedence


Palestinians in West Bank on course for deadliest year on record, UN says

November 01, 2022

LONDON: Palestinians in the occupied West Bank will likely suffer their deadliest year since the UN began tracking violence, the organization’s Security Council has been told.

Middle East Peace Process Coordinator Tor Wennesland told the council’s quarterly open debate that increased Israeli military operations were a major factor in the escalation, although attacks by settlers had also increased.

The UN’s latest figures show that at least 101 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have been killed by Israeli security forces this year, which is the highest monthly average since records began in 2005.

“So far, 2022 is on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in in the West Bank since (the UN) began systematically tracking Palestinian fatalities in 2005,” Wennesland said.

“Mounting hopelessness, anger and tension have once again erupted into a deadly cycle of violence that is increasingly difficult to contain.”

The coordinator did point to positive developments, such as October’s Algiers Declaration, in which 14 Palestinian factions agreed to recognize the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and to hold elections for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, Legislative Council and National Council.

Council members and non-members condemned the escalation by Israel.

The Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine Riyad Mansour said the council had allowed its own resolutions to be violated by Israel for decades.

“Your role is to protect it (Palestine), or you would be effectively abandoning the two-state solution altogether,” he said. “If there is anything more you can do, and you know there is much more that can be done, do it. What are you waiting for?”

Israel’s representative Gilad Menashe Erdan said the PA plays victim at the council but praises “terrorists” on the streets of Nablus and Jenin.

He said his country was in the midst of a “terror wave,” and claimed that there had been more than 4,000 Palestinian against Israelis this year. 

Erdan added that the UN was biased against Israel, which he said sends a message that the Palestinians do not have to make a single concession.

Saudi Arabia’s representative Abdulaziz Al-Wasil called on the international community to make every effort to resolve the conflict, and guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people.

Al-Wasil condemned Israeli settlement policies and measures in the occupied territories, including land annexation, settlement construction and expansion, forced displacement and property destruction.

He also urged Israel to engage in serious negotiations to achieve peace based on the two-state solution.

Kuwait’s representative Faisal Al-Enezi urged the council to accept its responsibility, as defined in the UN Charter, to hold Israel accountable for its crimes and illegal actions.

He also praised Australia’s withdrawal of its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and urged other countries to do the same.

Qatari representative Ayla Ahmed Saif Al-Thani said that Australia’s decision strengthens international efforts toward a two-state solution.

Al-Thani said that she hoped the football World Cup, starting in Qatar later this month, would inspire people and have a positive impact on the peace process.

Jordan’s representative Katherine Al-Halique said that Israel was attempting to alter the legal and historical status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. She said that the Jordanian Awqaf was the only entity authorized to manage the holy site’s affairs, and would continue to do so.

UAE representative Amiereh Al-Hefeiti said that 36 percent of Palestinians lived below the poverty line and that the Gaza Strip had one of the world’s highest rates of unemployment.

 “A political solution is the only way to end this conflict and establish an independent, sovereign Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital,” she said.

Bahraini representative Jamal Fares Al-Rowaei said that the international community must meet the Palestinian people’s aspirations for a peaceful, stable and prosperous country with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Observer for the League of Arab States Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz said that the failure of the council to address the Palestinian question would lead to greater reliance on the General Assembly, Human Rights Council, International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court to uphold democracy, human rights and law. 

Source: Arab News

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


Israeli election results foreshadow rise in extremism: PA

02 November 2022

The Palestinian Authority (PA) says the projections coming out of the Israeli regime's earlier general elections only promise a sizeable swing to the right, therefore boding ill for Palestinians.

"The advance of far-right religious parties in Israeli elections... is testimony to the rise of extremism and racism in Israeli society and from which our people have suffered for years," the occupied West Bank-headquartered PA's Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Wednesday.

"We had no illusions that Israeli elections would produce a partner for peace," he added.

The remarks came after exit polls gave former controversy-magnate Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu 61 to 62 seats in the Knesset, the regime's parliament, which packs 120 seats.

Netanyahu's record long drawn-out run as the regime's prime minister, which lasted from 2009 to 2021, was marked with sheer expansion of Tel Aviv's illegal settlement activities, which spelled an end to "peace" talks with the Palestinians.

The twilight years of his career were mired in a massive corruption scandal, which eventually had him indicted on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges.

Netanyahu denies the charges, but the scandal delivered a telling blow to his staying power, and eventually saw him being ousted when the current acting PM Yair Lapid and his coalition partner Naftali Bennett cobbled together an alliance with others.

"We (Palestinians) already experienced Netanyahu's policy, his policy is always the same, it will never change, we know its impact on the Palestinian people. Netanyahu and his party will benefit from all of that, but the Palestinian people will not, they will not benefit whether economically or socially or in terms of peace and security stability," Palestinian resident of al-Khalil (Hebron), Hussam Dofash, told Reuters.

"As a Palestinian, this does not mean anything to me, we tried Netanyahu's policy before as well as Yair Lapid, both are competing in conducting crimes against Palestinians. Their election campaigns are always launched at the expense of the Palestinian blood. They do not benefit us, on the contrary, they hurt us. Our Palestinian blood is a measure of their success," said Abdullah Razem, another Palestinian.

The polls, meanwhile, gave Lapid's camp 54 to 55 seats, making it the second-largest party in the parliament.

Source: Press TV

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


Israeli forces clash with Palestinians protesting Nablus' siege

01 November 2022

Israeli forces have clashed with Palestinians protesting a drawn-out siege imposed by the former on the city of Nablus in the north of the Tel Aviv-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

The clashes took place at the Huwara checkpoint in southern Nablus on Tuesday after the troops attacked a Palestinian march, which had been formed to contest the lockdown, the Palestinian Information Center news agency reported.

The forces hurled teargas canisters at the protesters, which caused a number of them to suffer suffocation.

The occupying regime started imposing the siege around three weeks ago as means of hunting down Palestinian fighters hailing from a West Bank-based resistance group known as Lions' Den.

"...Nablus is living under a complete siege, and the world should pay attention to his siege. All countries and organizations must pay attention to it," Dalal Salameh, a member of the Central Committee of the West Bank-based Palestinian Fatah movement, told AFP.

Muhammad Hamdan, secretary-general of the movement in Nablus, meanwhile said, at times the regime "claims that it has eased the siege" in order to "lure some resistance fighters."

Also on Tuesday, Israeli troops fatally shot a Palestinian and injured three more during an operation elsewhere in Nablus, the West Bank-headquartered Palestinian Authority's health ministry reported.

Alaa Zaghal, 21 "died of a bullet wound to the head fired by the occupation  army in Deir Al-Hatab, east of Nablus,” it added.

Late last month, the United Nations special coordinator for "the Middle East Peace Process," Tor Wennesland, warned that "2022 is on course to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs began systematically tracking Palestinian fatalities in 2005.”

"Near-daily instances of violence, [are] unfolding against a backdrop of unabated Israeli settlement expansion, evictions of Palestinians, and home demolitions,” Wennesland further underlined.

The Israeli regime occupied and annexed the West Bank, including East al-Quds, in a heavily-Western-backed war of aggression in 1967.

Source: Press TV

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


Rights group: Eight-year-old Yemeni boy killed by sniper with Saudi-led coalition

01 November 2022

The Human Rights Office in Yemen’s southwestern province of Taiz has slammed the killing of an 8-year-old boy by a sniper serving the Saudi-led coalition of aggressors in the province’s Mawiya district.

In a statement it issued, the Human Rights Office said the young boy, Ihab Malik Qassem Saeed Qaid, was fatally shot by sniper bullets near his house in the village of Habeel Thaba.

Also, the group condemned the Saudi-led coalition and its mercenaries for committing crimes against civilians in the province, including targeting residential areas with shelling and sniping.

The statement said the perpetrators of the crime must be punished for their action, highlighting the “unacceptable” silence of the international community toward the recurrent crimes.

Earlier in June, another rights group known as the Rasad Coalition said it had documented the killing of some 3,200 children in the various regions of Yemen. More than 250 of the children were killed by live bullets, over 150 lost their lives to landmind explosions, and the rest died in bombardment.

According to UNICEF, some 10,000 Yemeni children have been killed or maimed since the beginning of the US-backed war on Yemen, while a total of 11 million children need humanitarian assistance and some 400,000 suffer severe malnutrition.

Moreover, the organization has reported than more than two million children are out of school and another four million are at the risk of dropping out, while 1.7 million children have been internally displaced because of violence.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched a war on Yemen in collaboration with its Arab allies and with the support of the US and some Western countries, which have been providing the invaders with intelligence, logistics and arms.

The war was aimed at reinstalling the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hani and crushing the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

Source: Press TV

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


Hamas: Israel cannot legitimize occupation of Palestine via elections

01 November 2022

The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement says the apartheid Israeli regime is an occupying force in its entirety, and that it cannot give legitimacy to its occupation of the Palestinian territories by staging eletctions.

In an interview with al-Ahed news, Abdul Latif al-Qanou, a Hamas spokesman, highlighted rift and discord in the Tel Aviv regime’s internal circle, saying the Gaza-based resistance movement does not count on the outcome of the new elections, which are the fifth of their kind in less than four years.

The official said the entire Israeli regime, including its social, political and security components, is considered an occupying entity, and that all parties in Tel Aviv are hostile to the Palestinian nation.

Elections cannot legitimize the Israeli occupation, he said.

The Palestinian people, Qanou added, have “the right of resistance against the Zionist occupation which kills them.”

The elections, which kicked off on Tuesday, are a fifth attempt by Israel in only four years to end a paralyzing political stalemate in Tel Aviv, amid deep political divisions among the regime’s political parties that have prevented them from forming an effective coalition cabinet since 2019.

What are the odds?

Israel’s former scandal-hit prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is bidding for his right-wing Likud Party’s comeback in the race so that he can return to the post, despite all the corruption allegations gripping him.

The final network polls provided by the Israeli regime before the November 1 elections have all predicted that Likud will fall just short of a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.

Surveys aired by Channel 12 and Channel 13 news on Friday, and the Kan public broadcaster on Thursday, gave the parties expected to back Netanyahu for premier 60 seats in the upcoming Knesset — one fewer than needed for a majority.

Meanwhile, incumbent Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid was seen set to win 24-27 seats.

Just like in the previous four elections, Netanyahu himself — and the possibility of a cabinet led by him — is one of the defining issues, especially as his trial continues.

Netanyahu sees a comeback possible due to the alliance that Likud has forged with the far-right Religious Zionism party.

Additionally, some top center-right politicians, who agree with him ideologically, still refuse to work with him for personal or political reasons; therefore, in order to make a comeback, Netanyahu is likely going to depend on the support of extreme right-wing parties to form a coalition, and if successful, he may be forced to give their leaders ministerial positions.

According to Israeli media, Netanyahu in late August called for unity among the ranks of far-right Israeli parties.

Earlier in October, Israel’s Ynet news reported that it obtained a recording of extremist Religious Zionism Party member Itamar Ben-Gvir saying during an event that if he gets elected into the new administration, he will push for legislation to end the corruption trial against Netanyahu.

If no one gets a majority in the election process, another deadlock would dominate the political scene, while Lapid will be tasked with managing the Israeli regime’s affairs as a caretaker PM.

Israel held four inconclusive elections between 2019 and 2021, which were largely referendums about Netanyahu’s ability to rule while on trial for corruption.

Source: Press TV

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


Iranian War Veterans Condemn German Hostile Policy Towards Tehran


The demonstrators, including people and veterans of the 8-year war that Iraq had imposed on Iran, carried placards and chanted slogans against the German government

They lashed out at Berlin over its dark record in violating human rights and supporting former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as well as meddling in their country's domestic affairs.

The US administration and its European allies have over the past weeks introduced restrictive measures against a number of Iranian individuals and entities over what they claim a heavy-handed crackdown on protesters across the country after the death of an Iranian woman in police custody in Tehran.

Germany last week announced it was tightening entry restrictions on Iran beyond an already announced EU sanctions package.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has also stated that Germany and the EU were examining whether to classify the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a “terrorist organization”.

In response, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kana'ani cautioned Germany over its initiative to place the IRGC on the terror list, stressing that banning Islamic Republic’s official military body is completely illegal. (READ MORE)

Protests erupted in several cities across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who fainted at a police station in mid-September and days later was pronounced dead at a hospital. The demonstrations soon turned violent.

An official report by Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization announced that Amini’s controversial death was caused by an illness rather than alleged blows to the head or other vital body organs.

Iranian officials blame Western countries for orchestrating the riots to destabilize the country.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei severely censured the deadly riots, saying they were orchestrated in advance by the United States and the Israeli regime.

“I state it clearly that these developments were planned by America, the Zionist regime and their acolytes. Their main problem is with a strong and independent Iran and the country’s progress. The Iranian nation proved to be fairly strong during recent events and will bravely come onto the scene wherever necessary in the future,” he added.

In recent days, Iranian officials have blamed the United States, the European Unions, and several Western states for meddling in Iran's internal affairs over the death of Mahsa. They advised the US and its allies against "opportunism and instrumentalization of the issue of human rights" by misusing the incident.

Source: Fars News Agency

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


Iran dissident told Dutch police of threats seven times before being killed: Report

01 November, 2022

The leader of an Iranian Arab opposition group who was assassinated in the Netherlands in 2017 had warned Dutch police his life was in danger at least seven times prior to his killing, Dutch newspaper Volkskrant reported on Tuesday.

Ahmad Mola Nissi, a leader in the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz (ASMLA), was shot dead in The Hague in 2017.

The 2017 police report, seen by the Volkskrant, stated that Nissi had repeatedly informed the police of threats made against him, the daily said.

In 2019, the Dutch foreign ministry said Iran was responsible for the killing of Nissi as well as the killing of another dissident on Dutch soil in 2015.

Tehran denied the allegations.

ASMLA, considered a terrorist organization by Iran, seeks a separate state for the indigenous Ahwazi Arab population inside Iran’s oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province, with its capital city of Ahwaz.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


A nuclear deal would help Iran ‘fund proxy groups, repress its people,’ warns Iranian Kurdish leader Mustafa Hijri


November 01, 2022

MISSOURI, USA: Mustafa Hijri, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, is in hiding following multiple assassination attempts and a late-September volley of missiles and suicide drones that destroyed much of the KDPI’s headquarters in Koya in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The attacks killed at least 16 people, including several civilians. It was not the first nor likely the last Iranian strike on Iraqi Kurdistan territory aimed at the KDPI, the oldest and largest Iranian Kurdish opposition party.

In September 2018, a similar Iranian missile strike on the KDPI headquarters killed 17 people and injured another 49, including some of the party leadership. In July 1996, Iran even invaded Iraqi Kurdistan, sending some 3,000 troops to attack KDPI offices in Koya.

Assassinations and car bombs remain the more common Iranian tactic. In 1989 and 1992, Iran assassinated two former KDPI leaders in Vienna and Berlin. Hijri is therefore correct to be concerned about his security, choosing to meet Arab News at a secret safehouse in the Middle East.

Most observers in the region believe the latest strikes constitute an attempt to divert popular attention away from Iran’s domestic troubles.

Unrest over the death of a young Iranian Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, at the hands of Iran’s morality police is still roiling the country. True to their usual script, authorities in Tehran have blamed the trouble on “foreign interference.”

Hijri says the regime in Tehran would indeed like to provoke the KDPI into sending its forces into Iran, as it would help the ayatollahs justify this claim.

“The Iranian regime likes the idea of us sending the Peshmerga, as it gives more justification to the regime to intensify its repression and oppression of the people, and to tell the world that they have returned and fought us. But we have not done this because this does not benefit people,” Hijri said.

The protests in Iran have engulfed the entire country and have even crossed ethnic and sectarian lines — a first in the country since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979.

“It is the policy of Iran, either inside Iran or outside Iran, to pit the nations against each other. They think if neighboring states and regional states, and people inside them, are united, their government will be deposed,” Hijri told Arab News.

“Look at Iraq, in which Iran has an influential role, it has created division within the Shiite house. Now the Shiite parties have disagreements. They held an election one year ago but (only) formed their government (on Oct. 27 this year). In Lebanon, it has created a division between Shiite and Sunni. Everywhere it is working on these divisions.”

The general consensus is that provoking divisions within a very diverse country like Iran has allowed the regime to divide and rule the various groups.

“You know that the nations (inside Iran), except for the ethnic Persians, including Baloch and Azeri and Turks, in reality, are all marginalized in this centralized system. The languages of these nations are prohibited in schools,” he told Arab News.

“A budget is not allocated to their regions and areas. There is a lot of administrative discrimination against them. The Iranian regime looks at them as the enemy. The Iranian regime thinks of them as if they want to divide the country. So the Iranian regime has impoverished them.”

These divisions evidently extend also to religion.

“A large portion of them (minority ethnic groups in Iran) are Sunni Muslims,” Hijri told Arab News. “The Iranian regime is antagonistic toward Sunni Islam. These denials and repression have made the people understand that we all have to be united and cooperative to overthrow the regime and free ourselves.

“In Tabriz and Balochistan, they chant to support Kurdistan. In Zahedan, they chant to support Balochistan. It seems that cooperation has become stronger within them.”

Making people believe that any uprising would lead to a Syrian-style civil war, with warring parties fractured along ethno-sectarian lines, would no doubt help the regime stave off a unified resistance.

If, on the other hand, Iran’s many ethno-sectarian groups (Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Balochs, Arabs, Turkmen, Shiites, Sunnis and others) remain united against the regime and believe they can overthrow the mullahs in a Tunisian-style revolution, the ongoing protests will pose a much greater threat to Iran’s theocracy.

This is one of the reasons Hijri and his KDPI are determined to maintain the nonviolent nature of the uprising.

“We think, as the Hawkary Committee of Coordination (which consists of three parties, the KDPI and the other two Komalas with which it has a coalition) and especially as the KDPI, that these protests should continue peacefully. Its political objectives would be more than that if Peshmerga became involved,” he told Arab News.

“Peaceful protests would be more legitimate for the world and the human casualties would be lower for Kurds if the Peshmerga do not go and get involved and start a war.”

Nevertheless, the young woman whose death at the hands of Iran’s morality police sparked the protests was Kurdish, and the Kurdish provinces of Iran have seen many of the most serious and widespread demonstrations.

“Zhina, a Saqizi girl, was arrested in Tehran on accusation of showing her hair and then killed,” Hijri told Arab News, referring to Mahsa Amini by her Kurdish name.

“From that time, the program began. After her body was buried in Saqiz, the Hawkary Committee asked the Kurdish people the day after to strike and not go to work and come to the streets and chant against the Iranian regime.

“All people accepted the request and came to the streets and chanted against the Iranian regime. This spread across Iran. In reality, I can say that this, if we name it a revolution or an uprising, has continued for more than a month, and originated from Kurdistan in Iran.”

With growing calls among the protesters for regime change, many are now asking what kind of system might replace the theocracy, and what could happen to those parts of Iran where ethnic Persians do not make up the majority.

“What we have believed from the start and what the majority of Kurds and other nations in Iran believe is to create a democratic, decentralized and secular Iran,” Hijri told Arab News. “We believe this government will make Iran a country for all the nations inside it, and nobody would be marginalized.

“Now, in addition to the Hawkary Coordination Committee, we have a coalition of around 13 political parties of other Iranian nations, including Arabs, Balochs and Azeris. We also have a coalition under the name of the Congress of Iranian Federal Nations. We all work on this program.

“There are some Persian personalities that accept these ideas for the future of Iran, but not all of them. This is a problem we have. This is an issue across several countries as they are ruled by one dominant nation.

“For example, in Turkey, Kurds have been denied their rights and have been prohibited to say they are Kurds. Turkey is better because of some democratic infrastructure. But for the Kurds, it is the same as others.”

The question now in many Western capitals is how the international community might support the aims of the protesters. Hijri feels the regime is beyond reform, which means the West needs to stop trying to get along with Iran. Indeed, efforts such as restoring the 2015 nuclear accord merely strengthen what many view as a fundamentally malign regime.

“I announced before and repeat it here that what Iran gains from a Western deal regarding its nuclear weapons will be spent on its terrorist groups and proxy groups in the region,” Hijri told Arab News.

“Iran would have an upper hand in conducting terrorist activities in Europe and the West. Also, the gains the Iran regime receives from this deal would be spent on purchasing military staff to repress the Iranian people.

“The gains would also go to religious institutions and Pasdaran (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) forces. The majority of it goes into the pockets of Iranian government officials. People will not get anything.

“In the former deal before (former US President Donald) Trump withdrew from it, the same happened. So, in my opinion, the Western deal with Iran concerning its nuclear issue is an indirect help to Iran to continue its politics in the region and inside Iran against the people.”

For Hijri, the international community’s response ought to be more sanctions targeting the regime, further help for the Iranian people in bypassing the regime’s internet restrictions, moral support for the protests, and solidarity with opposition groups like his own.

The US government currently has a “no contact” directive in place concerning groups like the KDPI, which Hijri believes comes from the State Department’s fear of upsetting the regime in Tehran during the nuclear talks.

Above all, Hijri wants the world to understand that the Iranian people need and want regime change, and they want to do so themselves without foreign military intervention.

“The slogans that Iranian people chant now are to remove the Iranian Islamic Republic,” Hijri told Arab News.

Source: Arab News

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


Students on strike as Iranian protests spread

November 01, 2022

JEDDAH: University students in Iran staged sit-down strikes on Tuesday as the most widespread anti-regime protests since the 1979 revolution showed no sign of abating.

Young people in Tehran, Isfahan and other major cities defied warn- ings by security forces to take part in the demonstrations, despite a crackdown by authorities in which an estimated 450 protesters have been killed.

The nationwide protests began seven weeks ago after the death in morality police custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, a Kurdish woman who had been detained for wearing her hijab in an “insufficiently modest” manner.

As the demonstrations spread, the regime has tried all means to discourage them — blaming “en- emy agents” for sedition, and accusing the protesters of betraying the memory of Iranians who died in the 1980s war with Iraq.

That tactic backfired on Tuesday when Asieh Bakeri, the daughter of a war veteran, told Iran’s ruling clerics: “Yes, martyrs are looking over us but they are also watching over your theft of public funds, embezzlement, discrimination, oppression, and spilling of innocents’ blood. You shoot at the people with weapons of war.”

Analysts doubt that the protests can bring down the regime but they say the unrest may lead to political change. “These protests are being seen as an opportunity to push for change ... this is a mo- ment they hope to build upon,” said Sanam Vakil of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

The authorities have warned protesters it is time to leave the streets but the demonstrations have shown no sign of abating, taking place in residential areas, major avenues and universities nationwide.

The challenge for the regime is compounded by the custom in Iran to mark 40 days since a person died, turning every “chehelom” 40-day mourning ceremony for the dozens killed in the crackdown into a potential protest flashpoint.

Residents of the Tehran district of Ekbatan late Monday shouted protest movement slogans including “Death to the dictator” with security forces using stun grenades in a bid to stop the action, according to footage posted on the 1500tasvir monitoring site and other outlets.

The Norway-based Hengaw rights organization said the funeral in the mainly Kurdish city of Sanandaj in northwestern Iran on Monday for Sarina Saedi, a 16-year-old girl it said was killed in the crackdown, turned into a protest with anti-regime slogans shouted and women removing headscarves.

1500tasvir also posted a widely shared video on social media showing medical students protesting in the northern city of Tabriz telling the authorities “You are the pervert!” in a message to the morality police.

Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group said that students were on Tuesday staging a sit-in protest at Isfahan University while social media footage indicated a similar action was in progress at the engineering faculty of Amir Kabir university in Tehran.

Amini’s death was according to family members caused by a blow to the head while in custody. The Iranian authorities contest this explanation but have ordered an investigation.

The protests were fueled by anger over the strict Islamic dress code for women in Iran — which the police who arrested Amini were enforcing — but have become a rallying point for popular anger against the regime that has ruled Iran since the fall of the shah in 1979.

While there have been outbursts of protests in Iran over the past two decades the current movement has regularly broken taboos.

Images shared on social media showed murals of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had been daubed with red paint in the holy city of Qom.

The protests have also seen a myriad of different tactics, with observers noting a new trend of young people tipping off the turbans of clerics in the street.

According to IHR, 160 people have been killed in the crackdown on the protests sparked by Amini’s death and another 93 in a distinct protest wave in Zahedan in the southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province.

IHR has warned that these figures are a minimum, with information slow to flow in due to disruptions of the Internet by the authorities.

Hengaw said among those buried was Komar Daruftade, a 16-year-old from Piranshahr in northwestern Iran who it said had been shot by security forces at a distance of three meters (15 feet) and later died in hospital.

Thousands of people have been arrested nationwide in the crackdown on the protests, rights activists say, while Iran’s judiciary has said 1,000 people have already been charged in connection with what it describes as “riots.”

The trial of five men charged with offenses that can carry capital punishment over the protests opened Saturday in Tehran.

One of the men, Mohammad Ghobadlou, was sentenced to death at the first trial session, according to a video from his mother posted by the Washington-based Abdorrahman Boroumand Center. However this has not been confirmed by the judiciary.

The popular Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi has become the latest high profile figure to be arrested, according to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran.

At least 46 journalists have been arrested so far, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Tehran journalist Marzieh Amiri is the latest to be detained, her sister Samira wrote on Instagram.

Meanwhile the prominent freedom of expression campaigner and Wall Street Journal contributor Hossein Ronaghi, who was arrested shortly after the protests began, is on “hunger strike and not well,” his brother Hassan wrote on Twitter after the activist was granted a meeting with his parents.

World powers have sought to tighten the pressure on Iran with Canada announcing Monday fresh sanctions, targeting Iranian police and judicial officials.

Source: Arab News

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


Benue govt demands arrest of Miyetti Allah leaders over allegation against Ortom

November 1, 2022

By Ochogwu Sunday

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has called for the arrest of leaders of the Fulani socio-cultural group known as Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore over allegations that the governor is profiling Fulanis and confiscating their cattle for auction.

The Fulani group had in a statement alleged that Ortom has been profiling their members in Benue State while their cattle were being confiscated.

But Ortom in a statement issued by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Terver Akase it was not the first time that the Miyetti Allah has launched a smear campaign against

The statement alleged that the groups had marked the Governor, not only for victimization and vilification, but also for elimination, stressing that “they don’t hide their evil intentions each time they speak about Governor Ortom”.

The statement reads, “The groups have vowed never to obey the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law and have at various times since 2017 taken responsibility for the attacks on Benue people.

“Their statement that Governor Ortom has been profiling Fulani, a claim which was in corroboration with comments of the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar is not only false but also mischievous.

“Groups such as Miyetti Allah and Fulani Nationality Movement, FUNAM have never hidden or denied their ethnicity when they issue press statements to threaten peace-loving Nigerians. In most cases, their threats come to pass. If anyone is guilty of profiling the Fulanis, Miyetti Allah and the other groups fit that bill.

“Governor Ortom has no personal issues with Fulani. Some of his friends of many years are Fulani, and he also has some appointees of Fulani ethnicity.

“The Governor is only against the attacks on his people by Fulani who come from neighboring countries such as Niger, Chad, Mali among others. He owes no one apology for choosing to stand with his people in resisting those whose only agenda is to take over and occupy Benue lands.

“The Fulani groups consider themselves above the laws of this country. This is why they boldly issue directives, threats and make hostile comments on sensitive national issues believing that the Federal Government or anyone else can do nothing to stop them.

“Now they are calling for the establishment of a Ministry of Nomadic Affairs. Perhaps their next demand will be for the creation of a Nomadic state where only pastoralists will live.

“If the Federal Government is serious about ending banditry in this country, it should order the arrest and prosecution of leaders and members of Miyetti Allah groups. They have questions to answer regarding the armed herdsmen who have taken over the country’s forests and have been attacking innocent Nigerians.

Source: DailyPost Nigeria

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


Jordan air force agrees to buy 10 helicopters from US manufacturer

01 November, 2022

Jordan’s air force has agreed to purchase ten light helicopters from US manufacturer Bell Aircraft, the company announced on Tuesday.

The Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) will use the Bell 505s to train new pilots at its King Hussein Air College in Mafraq, Jordan.

The agreement was announced during the Special Operations Forces Exhibition and Conference (SOFEX) in Aqaba, Jordan on Tuesday afternoon.

“We look forward to adding the Bell 505 aircraft to our fleet and providing our pilots with one of the best possible aircraft for their training,” RJAF Commander Brig. Gen. Mohammad F. Hiyasat said in a statement to Al Arabiya English.

“The addition of 10 new aircraft will enable us to further expand our operations in the country, in turn increasing the capabilities of the Royal Jordanian Air Force.”

As well as the ten Bell 505 helicopters, the contract includes the delivery of the aircraft with a flight training device.

“The Bell 505 will serve alongside the men and women of the Air Force by playing a critical role in ensuring the operational readiness of its cadets,” added Sameer Rehman, Bell’s managing director for Africa and the Middle East.

The Bell 505 is a five-seat helicopter that first went on sale in 2017. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company has since sold more than 500 units.

SOFEX is a major defense exhibition that has been held in Jordan annually since 2001.

Source: Al Arabiya

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



PM Shehbaz, Xi agree to strengthen cooperation on CPEC, other areas

November 2, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Wednesday to strengthen the strategic partnership between Islamabad and Beijing, as well as multilateral cooperation in various areas, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The bilateral consensus between the two leaders was reached as PM Shehbaz called on Xi at the People’s Great Hall of China this morning, hours after landing in Beijing yesterday night for a two-day official visit.

During the meeting, the Chinese president and PM Shehbaz discussed “broad-based cooperation in economy and investment and exchanged views on regional and global developments”.

They expressed the desire to further promote the all-weather strategic cooperation partnership between their countries.

Maiden visit as PM

This is PM Shehbaz’s first official visit to China since he became premier in April. He is heading a high-level delegation, including federal ministers, special assistants as well as the Sindh chief minister.

The premier is among the first world leaders to visit China following the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that re-elected Xi as the party’s general secretary last month.

Prior to his departure to Beijing on Tuesday, PM Shehbaz had explained that the trip was aimed at revitalising the ambitious CPEC, seeking investment in various sectors in Pakistan and increasing bilateral trade.

He had tweeted that during his visit, he would hold discussions with the Chinese leadership on the strengthening of bilateral relations, particularly the revitalisation of the multi-billion-dollar CPEC project. The second phase of the project promised to usher in a new era of socio-economic progress that would uplift the quality of people’s lives, he had added.

“There is a lot to learn from Chinese economic miracle,” the premier had said.

During the trip, the premier will also meet his Chinese counterpart, Premier Li Keqiang, on whose invitation he is in Beijing.

The prime minister is also scheduled to meet Chinese investors and Pakistani businessmen, and the visit is expected to advance the wide-ranging bilateral cooperation agenda with the conclusion of a number of memoranda of understanding in diverse areas and consolidate the momentum of CPEC cooperation in the wake of the 11th meeting of the CPEC Joint Cooperation Committee held on Oct 27.

Source: Dawn

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


Federal Sharia Court takes notice of five-year-old’s marriage in Balochistan


01 NOV 2022

Federal Shariah Court has taken suo-motu notice of the forced underage marriage of five-year-old child in Balochistan, calling it contrary to the teachings of Shariah.

A five-year-old child was married off in a case of forced marriage in Balochistan’s Khuzdar district.

Chief Justice Dr Syed Muhammad Anwer said that marriage of an underage girl is against the Shariah court.

During the hearing, additional advocate general Balochistan informed the court that the minor has been recovered and arrested two suspects.

He further said that that law enforcement agencies are conducting raids to arrest the person who performed Nikaah of the minor.

Source: SamaaEnglish

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

Imran wants martial law imposed if army chief of his choice not appointed: Fazl

Muhammad Irfan Mughal

November 2, 2022

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Pakistan Democratic Movement chairman and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader and former prime minister Imran Khan wanted martial law to be imposed in the country if the federal government didn’t appoint the next army chief of his choice.

He said the government won’t make any compromise on the supremacy of the Constitution and the law.

Addressing a news conference here, the PDM chief said national institutions, be they the army, judiciary or Election Commission of Pakistan, should be apolitical and shouldn’t support their ‘blue-eyed’ politicians.

He said ‘conflicting’ verdicts by courts would create confusion and hurt the people’s confidence.

Mr Fazl said the PTI and its leaders shouldn’t get any face-saving.

“I want to convey it to my [PDM] coalition government and its head, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, that the PTI shouldn’t be offered dialogue at all,” he said.

The PDM leader insisted that the PTI’s ongoing anti-government march on Islamabad had failed as the party failed to ensure participation of even 2,000 people in it.

He said the Imran Khan-led ‘long march’ couldn’t reach Islamabad as scheduled due to a lack of public support.

Mr Fazl claimed that the PTI’s march would vanish into thin air ahead of the federal capital.

He said the Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders had planned to carry arms in the rally for violence as if they were part of a terrorist outfit, which didn’t believe in politics and dialogue.

“They [PTI] want to blackmail the federal government to serve their ends by entering Islamabad,” he said.

The PDM chief said political stability, which led to economic stability, was imperative for a strong democracy.

He said supremacy of the Constitution and law should be ensured.

“For the first time, the chief of a national institution came forward for clarity on key issues as moves by the PTI leadership threatened the state. The PTI is trying to create political and economic instability and chaos in the country,” he said.

Mr Fazl said in the past, the PTI marched on Islamabad when the country was entering a new era of economic stability and the Chinese president was to reach the country on an official visit.

He said the PTI’s anti-government rally was meant to damage the confidence of China in Pakistan and block foreign investment in the country.

“Such attempts will be countered through political wisdom and national solidarity,” he said.

The PDM leader said the 2018 general elections led to the formation of the ‘selected’ (PTI) government, which cancelled all mega projects in the country blocking all international investments.

He added that the policies of PM Imran Khan’s government also halted the country’s development for three and a half years.

Mr Fazl said the PTI government had ‘handed over’ the State Bank of Pakistan to the International Monetary Fund in the name of the SBP’s autonomy, so the bank’s president was no more answerable to the prime minister, cabinet or parliament.

He said the PTI had announced the ‘long march’ on Islamabad a few days before a ministerial level meeting was held between China and Pakistan, which was to decide investment and development projects for the next year.

The PDM chief said the Tehreek-i-Insaf leadership was trying to shake China’s trust in Pakistan’s economic and investment policies and moves.

He said it was pity that the PTI was marching on Islamabad when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was in China to discuss investment options with the Chinese authorities.

Source: Dawn

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


Pakistan seeks explanation from Russia over senator's remarks on Ukraine nukes

Naveed Siddiqui

November 2, 2022

The Foreign Office has sought an explanation from Russia after its Senator Igor Morozov reportedly claimed that Pakistan and Ukraine recently held talks for developing nuclear weapons.

“We are surprised by such an unfounded and baseless statement,” said a statement issued late Tuesday night from the office of FO spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed.

Indian media quoted a Russian state news agency report as saying that "Ukrainian specialists went to Pakistan and received a delegation from there to discuss technologies and know-how for creating nuclear weapons".

Morozov reportedly made the allegations during a press conference that was "part of the Ukrainian dossier special project", the report added.

"He said that it is not a secret that Ukraine can create a ‘dirty bomb’ but questioned who are invested in the project," the report claims.

Source: Dawn

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


Imran Khan accuses political opponents of conspiring for clash between his party and Pakistan army

Nov 1, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's ousted prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday turned his guns at the political opponents, accusing them of conspiring for a clash between his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and the powerful army.

Khan, who has announced that his objective was to gain Haqeeqi Azadi (real freedom) through the march which in his words was possible if free and fair polls are held immediately, also said that he was not against the establishment of the country.

Addressing his supporters in Gujranwala on the start of the fifth day of his protest march, Khan kept up his trademark vitriolic attack against his political opponents - former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

"They are conspiring for a clash between the PTI, which is the biggest political party of the country, and the military," Khan alleged.

"Nawaz Sharif, I challenge you, when you come back, I will beat you in your own constituency," he said.

He warned the former three-time prime minister that when he returns to Pakistan, "we will take you to Adiala jail from the airport".

Khan also targeted former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Zardari, saying he should "get ready" for his arrival in Sindh - the traditional bastion of the Bhutto-Zardari family.

"Zardari listen carefully, I am coming to Sindh,” he added.

Sharif has mocked Khan for his long march turnout, saying the party could not even gather 2,000 people while claiming that it would amass one million protesters.

"The reason for the indifference of the people is the evil lies," Sharif tweeted on Monday night.

He alleged that Khan had consistently lied so much that the spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence chief was "forced to break his silence and tell the truth to the nation".

Sharif said he had informed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to not listen to any of Kha's demands, no matter how many people he brought.

ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum said on Thursday that Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was given a "lucrative offer" in March by the then government led by Khan amidst the political turmoil.

Khan admitted that he offered an extension in the tenure of the Army chief but said he will remain "silent" as he does not want to "damage" the country and its institutions.

Khan, who came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan', apparently lost support of the powerful Army after he refused to endorse the appointment of the ISI chief last year.

Finally, Khan agreed but it soured his ties with the army, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 75 years of existence and has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.

Separately, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the protesters would spend the entire day in Gujranwala.

He said the decision to slow down the trek to Islamabad was made to prevent accidents with "thousands of people walking alongside the caravan".

Chaudhry also announced that the schedule of the march has been changed and it would not be able to reach Islamabad even by Sunday. The original plan was to reach the capital on Friday. According to the new plan, the march would reach Jhelum by Sunday.

He also criticised the government for increased security measures in the national capital and claimed it had deployed at least 30,000 security personnel and released a large sum of funds to deal with the party's march.

Meanwhile,information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has accused Khan of “openly inviting the army to overthrow the government” and to interfere in politics.

She was reacting to Khan's speech on Monday night when he said that he would prefer martial law be imposed in the country than the incumbent government.

The minister said that only "humiliation and disgrace" are written in Khan's fate, calling him a "foreign-funded fitna (disturbance)" and a "coward who is only playing tricks".

Also, PPP leader Shazia Marri said in Karachi that Khan wants to see bloodshed and his statement about martial law shows his frustration. "We condemn the remarks,” she said.

Khan was earlier this month disqualified from membership of the current National Assembly by a five-member panel of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) headed by its chief Sikandar Sultan Raja.

He has been demanding early elections and he is leading the long march towards Islamabad to force his demands. The term of the National Assembly will end in August 2023 and fresh elections should be held within 60 days.

Source: Times Of India

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


PTI chief trained by ‘spy masters’, says Maryam

Atika Rehman 

November 2, 2022

LONDON: Pakistan Mus­lim League-Nawaz vice-president Maryam Nawaz lambasted Imran Khan during a press conference held here on Tuesday, questioning the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman’s democratic credentials and alleging that he was trained by past spy chiefs.

“Today, Nawaz Sharif and his stance [against establishment interference] are vindicated. When the interference stopped, Imran fell flat on his face,” Ms Nawaz told a group of reporters at Stanhope House.

“Imran Khan does not even pretend to be a democrat because his very ABCs of politics are flawed. His teachers were General Pasha and General Zaheerul Islam, no wonder his politics are flawed,” she said, referring to previous heads of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

She also hit out at Mr Khan’s offer, as revealed by the incumbent ISI chief in a presser last week, about the proposed “unlimited extension” in the army chief’s tenure.

“Those who changed his nappies, that group that he is looking for, he will not find them,” Ms Nawaz said.

She said it is “a very good thing” if the establishment says it is neutral. “That is their responsibility; that is their role. It is very welcome if this is the decision and I hope it is permanent.”

She also said that Imran’s controversial statements about the establishment had compelled the head of the premier intelligence agency to speak publicly, though he is known to stay away from the media spotlight.

This was the first press conference Ms Nawaz has had in London since she arrived here early in October. “I was waiting for the reality of the long march to unfold in front of the people before I spoke,” she said, adding that attendance at the PTI’s march has been poor.

Her father, Nawaz Sharif, was in the office during the press conference, but did not participate in the presser or the subsequent Q&A session.

In her remarks, Ms Nawaz accused Imran Khan of trying to pressure institutions through “bullying tactics”, adding that he wanted to pressure the establishment to disrupt the appointment of the new chief in November. “He is hoping for the establishment’s support.”

“The appointment of the army chief is the prerogative of the prime minister, and Shehbaz Sharif will fulfill his responsibility in accordance with the constitution.”

She added that Mr Khan’s claims that he is engaged in talks with members of the establishment were a ploy to fool his supporters into attending the march. “He didn’t even tell the nation about his meeting with the army chief. When the DG ISI revealed it, the truth came out that he meets them behind closed doors at night and grabs them by the collar in the day.”

“His frustration levels are high because the march was his trump card and people haven’t shown up as expected,” she claimed.

On the issue of criticism of the establishment, Ms Nawaz said that all parties had criticised the establishment in the past, but “on the basis of democratic princi[ples”.

“Imran is doing it so he gets the crown back on his head – otherwise he will abuse them.”

Ms Nawaz also questioned Mr Khan on a recent claim where he said that the establishment told him that the Sharifs and Zardari are “thieves”.

“There is no bigger proof of Nawaz Sharif’s innocence. First Shaukat Aziz [Siddiqui] spoke, then the late Arshad Malik revealed the conspiracy to keep Nawaz Sharif out of politics. Now Imran Khan is saying the establishment told him they are thieves…

She asked, “So you [Imran] repeated everything you were told verbatim? What proof did you want to show in court about this alleged corruption? That ‘establishment told me so’?”

She even criticised former chief justice Saqib Nisar, saying he “could not show his face in public” as he was part of the conspiracy to bring down the Sharifs.

Source: Dawn

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


Punjab IGP Faisal Shahkar picked by UN for prestigious post

Asif Chaudhry

November 2, 2022

LAHORE: Punjab Inspector General of Police Faisal Shahkar has been selected as Police Adviser to the United Nations Department of Peace Operations by Secretary General Antonio Guterres, becoming the first officer from Pakistan to have this prestigious position.

The global position had mostly been occupied by senior police officers from Europe or America.

The Department of Peace Operations (DPO) is charged with planning, preparation, management and direction of UN peacekeeping operations. It is dedicated to assist the member states and the UN secretary general in their efforts to maintain international peace and security.

The DPO also provides political and executive direction to the UN peacekeeping operations around the world and maintains contact with the UN Security Council, troops and financial contributors, and parties to the conflict in the implementation of Security Council mandates.

The head of the DPO is selected keeping in view an officer’s past experience at the UN against any key position.

An official say that Faisal Shahkar is the only police officer of IG rank who qualified for the slot from Pakistan. He has been selected from amongst world’s top police officers nominated by the UN member states to contest for the slot, he adds.

He was nominated by the Foreign Office after the UN advertised the high-profile position. The two-year assignment is extendable for another term of the same length, the official says. Shahkar was shortlisted by the UN for the written test from amongst over 100 officers, keeping in view his outstanding profile, including his past experience of serving in the United States (New York). He was among nearly a dozen police officers who cleared the written test and called by the UN for an interview conducted by a panel of senior officials some five months back.

A couple of days back, the official say, the UN approved the name of Shahkar, making him the first Pakistani, as well as Asian, officer posted against the global slot.

He says that besides conducting probes into war crimes world over, the UNDPO had carried out investigations into many high-profile assassinations, including that of Pakistan’s ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The department also sends advice to the UN secretary general on reforms in police units all over the world, he adds.

The UNDPO, created in 1992 after Boutros Boutros-Ghali took over as UN secretary general, is currently housing three main offices – Rule of Law & Security Institutions, Military Affairs and the the Policy, Evaluation and the Training Division.

About Mr Shahkar’s joining of the UNDPO office, the official says the process may take two months or so.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Punjab Police said IGP Faisal Shahkar has a nine-year experience of working at the UN Headquarters and had also performed various field duties under the UN. He said Mr Shahkar had served as Team Leader in the United Nations Standing Police Capacity and in the United Nations Police Division from 2005 to 2008 and from 2011 to 2013, respectively. He also served in Liberia and Bosnia-Herzegovina for more than three years under the UN Mission.

Source: Dawn

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


‘Stubborn child’ talking about bloodshed for face-saving: Haideri

November 1, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Secretary General Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri while referring to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan on Tuesday said “stubborn child” was talking about bloodshed for face-saving.

“The fear of defeat is forcing him to make tall claims of bloodshed,” said Haideri in a statement.

He said the people were well aware about the ulterior motives of PTI chief, and rejected the long march, due to which, the last option for Niazi was bloodshed.

Congratulating the people of Punjab for rejecting the Niazi’s march, he said neither the destination of PTI’s long march was known, nor its objectives were defined.

“Fabricating lies, making accusations, spreading sedition and talking about corruption are the four elements of Niazi’s politics,” he added. Haideri said the government had expressed wisdom and prudence and did not create any obstacle in the long march.

Meanwhile, JUI-F Spokesman Muhammad Aslam Ghauri strongly condemned the physical assault of Punjab Police against journalists in the Imran Niazi’s riot march.

He urged the inspector general of police, Punjab to take full notice of the violence against journalists.

Source: Pakistan Today

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



New Age IslamIslam OnlineIslamic WebsiteAfrican Muslim NewsArab World NewsSouth Asia NewsIndian Muslim NewsWorld Muslim NewsWomen in IslamIslamic FeminismArab WomenWomen In ArabIslamophobia in AmericaMuslim Women in WestIslam Women and Feminism