New Age Islam
Thu Nov 30 2023, 10:00 PM

Islamic World News ( 26 Dec 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

No Text In Sharia Law Disallows Muslims Extending Greetings To Christians, Says Head Of Muslim World League

New Age Islam News Bureau

26 December 2022 

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa speaks during an interview with the "Afaaq" program aired on MBC 1. (Screengrab)


• Banning NGOs From Employing Women Crosses Humanitarian Red Line: Humanitarian-Affiliated Organizations

• Islam In Indonesia Was Spread By Indians, And Not Arabs, Claim Many Islamic Scholars: Indo-Islamic Heritage Centre Report

• Actress Tunisha Sharma Death Case Matter Of Love Jihad, Says BJP Leader; Actor Sheezan Mohammad Khan Arrested

• Christmas: Muslim Sects Occupy Kaduna Church Service, Present Gifts, Awards To Foster Peace


Arab World

• Arab News Publishes A Special Christmas Edition For First Time In Saudi Arabia

• Saudi Shoura Council speaker arrives in Turkiye on official visit

• Egypt government denies plans to cede Nile River ports to a foreign country

• Protesters call for expulsion of US troops, allied militants from Syria

• Syrian Kurds protest against Paris attack

• At least 27 injured in Cairo basketball stadium collapse: Health ministry

• Turkey in talks with Russia about using Syrian airspace in potential operation

• UAE to send generators to heat cold Ukraine homes as war rages on

• Saudi Arabia, Bahrain launch bilateral naval exercise


South Asia

• Implementation of Ban on Women’s University Education Satisfactory: Taliban Minister

• Brother And Sister’s Future Separated After Taliban University Ban


Southeast Asia

• Rohingya Muslim Refugees Land On Indonesia Beach After Weeks At Sea

• Merry Christmas and Hamka’s fatwa



• BJP Spreading Hate Via TV, 24X7 “Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Muslim” Is Aired: Rahul At Red Fort

• Muslims converge at Srinagar church to celebrate Christmas

• Mathura: Shahi Idgah Masjid's Counsel Vows To Challenge Court's Order For Survey Of Mosque Complex

• Huge desperation on Pakistani side to infiltrate terrorists, smuggle war-like stores into Kashmir: Army officer

• UP: 3 cops beat Muslim man for alleged cattle theft; suspended



• Clashes in Sudan’s Darfur kill at least seven: State media

• Eastern Libyan commander announces ‘final opportunity’ to hold elections

• Tunisia rights group slams ‘inhumane’ move to deport migrants



• Govt Pins Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan Rise On PTI Chairman, Imran Khan

• Adherence to Quaid’s ideology can make us defeat all odds: PM

• FIA records statements of suspects Gen Bajwa tax record leak case

• Uplift in KP’s southern districts to resume after PM visit to Dera: Fazl

• 'Will Not Accept A Weak Govt This Time,' Says Imran Khan

• 6 security men martyred in Balochistan terror incidents

• Islamabad blast: martyred cop’s family to get Rs20m, taxi driver’s Rs10m

• Balochistan Terror Attack Kills Four Pakistani Security Forces

• PTI To Approach Pakistan National Assembly For Acceptance Of Lawmakers' Resignations

• Pakistan ‘ill-prepared’ to combat new Covid variants



• Thousands Of Protesters Rally In Haifa Against Incoming Netanyahu-Led Cabinet

• Hamas: Netanyahu’s Cabinet ‘Neo-Fascist’; Palestinians Capable Of Defeating Israel

• Suicide cases soaring at alarming rate among Israeli troops, hit new record

• Iran Supreme Court upholds death sentence of protester

• Houthis abduct famous Sanaa YouTuber following corruption remarks

• Fisherman return to Iran years after Somalia kidnapping

• Aide to Turkish president Erdogan blames Paris unrest after shooting on PKK

• Turkish court releases journalist detained under ‘disinformation’ law

• Iran Supreme Court accepts appeals of two protesters sentenced to death

• Fuel shortage causes largest hospital in Yemen’s Taiz to shut down

• Israel offers to transfer Palestinian prisoners of Jordanian origin to complete sentence in Jordan

• Yemeni armed forces can target depths of aggressors: Defence chief


North America

• US Embassy In Pakistan Warns Of Possible Attack On Islamabad Marriot Hotel

• UN Seeks Clarity From Taliban Over Ban On Women From Working In NGOs

• Kuwaiti foreign minister meets US Congress delegation



• Two-State Solution Used As ‘Smokescreen’ To Fake Concern For Palestinian Rights: EU Lawmaker

• French Protests Once Again Reveal West's Double-Standard Policy Towards Iran Riots

• Everyone Must See ‘True Face’ Of PKK Terror Group, Says Turkish Defence Chief

• Supporters of PKK terror group turn Paris into battlefield, injure 31 police officers

• In stern warning, British MPs say Saudi Arabia might use Christmas as 'cover for mass executions'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



No Text In Sharia Law Disallows Muslims Extending Greetings To Christians, Says Head Of Muslim World League 

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa speaks during an interview with the "Afaaq" program aired on MBC 1. (Screengrab)


December 26, 2022

DUBAI: Islam does not prohibit Muslims from exchanging Christmas greetings with Christians, the head of the Muslim World League has said in an earlier interview.

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa particularly reiterated that there was no text in Sharia law that disallowed Muslims from extending greetings to Christians.

He noted that fatwas regarding the exchange of holiday greetings with non-Muslims were issued by senior scholars in the Islamic world, and it was not permissible to object to any issue related to Sharia jurisprudence.

He added that objection was only on issues with definitive consensus, not presumptive ones.

Al-Issa also said there was no religious text that prohibited such greetings, and when a Muslim greeted another non-Muslim on holidays, this did not mean he was acknowledging another faith.

Al-Issa indicated that congratulating non-Muslims on their holidays “is an apparent interest that serves the reputation of Islam.”

“The purpose of these greetings is to promote coexistence and harmony in a world that is in dire need of that,” he said.

Al-Issa also pointed out that Islam permits eating the food of “The People of the Book” in a reference to Christians and Jews, and did not allow the food of others.

Al-Issa is the head of the Makkah-based nongovernmental organization Muslim World League, which aims to clarify the true message of Islam.

Some Muslim scholars over the years have triggered debates by labeling Christmas greetings as un-Islamic and thus prohibited.

Source: Arab News

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


Banning NGOs From Employing Women Crosses Humanitarian Red Line: Humanitarian-Affiliated Organizations 

Photo: Khaama Press/The leaders of NRC, CARE and Save the Children announced that they cannot effectively reach children, men and women in desperate need in Afghanistan without female staff.


By Nizamuddin Rezahi

December 26, 2022

The leaders of NRC, CARE and Save the Children announced that they cannot effectively reach children, men and women in desperate need in Afghanistan without female staff.

In response to the announcement of a ban on NGOs employing women in Afghanistan, the leaders of renowned international non-government, mostly humanitarian-affiliated organizations on Saturday stated that banning NGOs from employing women crosses a humanitarian red line.

“Beyond the impact on the delivery of lifesaving assistance, this will affect thousands of jobs in the midst of an enormous economic crisis. Whilst we gain clarity on this announcement, we are suspending our programs, demanding that men and women can equally continue our lifesaving assistance in Afghanistan,” the leaders of NCR, CARE, and Save the Children said.

The ban on employing female staff by the national or international NGOs in Afghanistan was put in place following the harsh decree announced by the Minister of Higher Education of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan a couple of days earlier. The latest two decrees prompted condemnations from the international community and sparked protests by female university students in different parts of Afghanistan.

To show solidarity with Afghan women and girls being barred from attending universities and educational institutions, some male students were denied taking university exams, while a number of university lecturers resigned from their positions.

Amid the economic and humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the ruling regime has started exercising extremely harsh practices, discriminating against girls and women from attending university, getting work, or appearing in public spaces.

The immediate ramifications of barring women from being employed at NGOs is ceasing operation as NRC has already announced. More NGOs will follow this until clarifications are provided in this matter.

Source: Khaama Press

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


Islam In Indonesia Was Spread By Indians, And Not Arabs, Claim Many Islamic Scholars: Indo-Islamic Heritage Centre Report 

Representative image (File Image)


23 December, 2022

New Delhi [India], December 23 (ANI): Many historians and Islamic scholars in Indonesia believe that Islam in Indonesia was spread by Indians and not Arabs, according to a report by the Indo-Islamic Heritage Centre (IIHC) based in New Delhi

The IIHC report also says that “this is the reason that Indonesian Islam, like the one followed in India, believes in syncretism, tolerance and co-existence. People pray, fast and travel for Haj as piously as any Muslim should go and yet embrace Indonesian culture shared by Hindus and Buddhists.”

This belief is supported by evidence. Tombs like that of Sultan Malik al-Saleh, in Java and Sumatra, have striking similarities with the ones found in India’s Gujarat. Also, several practices of Gujarati Muslims are similar to those found among Indonesian Muslims, argued a well-known dutch scholar of Islam, Snouck Hurgronje.

The Earliest Muslims to reach Sumatra were from Gujarat and Malabar, believe many medieval travellers. Also, the tombstone used at the grave of Malik al-Saleh, an Acehnese who established the first Muslim state of Samudera Pasai in the year 1267, is from Cambay in Gujarat.

Sufi missionaries from India’s Gujarat and Bengal went to Indonesia and played a significant part in the country. “Unlike Islam in the Middle East and India, Indonesia wasn’t conquered by force. The Sufis came not only as preceptors but as dealers and politicians who entered the courts of autocrats, the diggings of merchandisers, and the townlets of the country,” according to the IIHC report.

In medieval times, merchants from India’s Western coasts also dealt with Java and Sumatra. A large number of merchants, rich nobility and the ruling class converted to Islam under their influence. The process, over the years, expanded the Muslim population in the archipelago.

Recently, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at an event at India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi, said that India and Indonesia are both home to the world’s largest Islamic populations, Indonesia is the world’s largest Islamic country and India is home to the third largest Muslim population in the world.

“Much like in India, Islam in Indonesia was spread by traders from present-day Kerala and Gujarat and Sufis from Bengal and Kashmir. This peaceful spread led to the development of a syncretic culture, where not only pre-Islamic religions flourished side by side, but age-old traditions and local customs greatly influenced religious practices,” the NSA said.

“We may speak different languages, but we share a common desire for peace and harmony. Our dialogue today is a vital medium to help us achieve that objective,” he said. (ANI)

Source: The Print

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


Actress Tunisha Sharma Death Case Matter Of Love Jihad, Says BJP Leader; Actor Sheezan Mohammad Khan Arrested 

A file photo of TV actress Tunisha Sharma, who died by suicide


Dec 26, 2022

In the latest development in the television actress Tunisha Sharma's death, Maharashtra Minister and Bhatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Girish Mahajan claimed that Sharma's death was linked to “love jihad.”

The Maharashtra minister said, “It is a matter of 'love jihad' and police are investigating the case. We are seeing that such cases are increasing day by day and we are mulling bringing a strict law against it.”

His comments on the case came on Sunday, two days after she died by suicide on December 24.


The actress was shooting for her TV show, Ali Baba: Dastaan-E-Kabul when she reportedly died by suicide. Initial reports suggested that she ended her life on the sets, in the make-up room at Naigaon. Tunisha was rushed to hospital, where doctors declared her brought dead.

After the actress’ death, police arrested her co-actor Sheezan Mohammad Khan under section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Tunisha was reportedly in a relationship with Sheejan Khan before she broke up with him, which purportedly prompted her to commit suicide. Sheezan was produced before the Vasai court on December 25 and was sent to 4-day police custody.


The post-mortem of television actress Tunisha Sharma was completed at JJ hospital in Mumbai during the early hours on December 25. A team of 4-5 doctors were present during the post-mortem.

The body is still at JJ Hospital and was to be handed over to the family on December 25. However, it has now been delayed. The cremation will be done today as the mortal remains were handed over later yesterday.

Source: India Today

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


Christmas: Muslim Sects Occupy Kaduna Church Service, Present Gifts, Awards To Foster Peace 

Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai PHOTO: TWITTER/GOVERNOR KADUNA


25 December 2022

A large number of Muslim youths and Islamic scholars attended this year’s Christmas service and shared many gifts to sthrengthen Christian – Muslim relationship in the northern part of the country.


According to the General Overseer of Christ Evangelical and Life Intervention Ministry, Pastor Yohanna Buru, every year, hundreds of Muslims from 19 northern states usually joined them in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at his Church, to promote peace and unity.

Buru said the different sects of Muslim organizations,  including members of Tijjaniya, shiites under Islamic Movement of Nigeria and other Sunni Muslims joined them with the sole purpose of strengthening peaceful coexistence and religious tolerance.

The Muslim groups also presented gifts to the Church as a sign of peace, love and better understanding.

“They came with many gifts and awards which they shared to the Christians to strengthen Christian and Muslims relationship.

The Christian cleric said this year’s Christmas celebration came amids high inflation, insecurity, and rising costs of foodstuff, poverty and unemployment bedevilling peace and stability in the country.

Buru added that last year, more than 1,000 Muslims attended the Christmas service and they came with their different gifts to share with Christian brothers to strengthen interreligious tolerance .

Buru further called on Islamic and Christian clergies to embark on ceaseless prayers towards the conduct of peaceful elections in 2023.

He called on Nigerians to equally pray for the Nigerian Army and para military organisaions to defeat insecurity challenges bedevilling peaceful coexistence.

Reports revealed that Muslim youths, in corporate dresses, visited other Churches including Unguwar Rimi Church.

Responding, one of the Islamic scholars sheik Salisu Abdullahi Giwa, who headed a delegation of buses loaded with Muslims from katsina, Kano, Zamfara, said they were in Kaduna to join their brothers, the Christians, to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Source: Guardian Nigeria

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



Arab World


Arab News publishes a special Christmas edition for first time in Saudi Arabia

December 24, 2022

RIYADH: Arab News, the Riyadh-based regional leading English-language daily, has put out a special Christmas edition, making it the first time ever a Saudi newspaper to ever do so.

“While of course this is not a new tradition in most countries around the world, it is a first in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the ancient proverb does say: better late than never”, wrote Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas.

“In fact, this symbolic edition — as simple of an idea it is — couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the remarkable reforms the kingdom has been living under our leadership which has clearly ushered in a new era of more religious tolerance and coexistence,” he added vowing to make the special supplement an annual tradition.

The special edition also contains a range of features that look into how the Christmas spirit is embodied within the Kingdom’s wide ranging social transformation. The features detail how the occasion was frowned upon and celebrated in secret in the past, and how this festivity has now been tolerated and respected.

“Where to order the best Christmas meal” and “Christmas turkey with an Arab twist brought to you by a Saudi chef” are only a couple of the headlines lined up for the season.

Other features include a look into celebrating Christmas in crises-ridden Lebanon and how Palestinians in Bethlehem are celebrating in caution as they anticipate a new ultra right wing government in Israel.

While Saudi Arabia does not officially celebrate Christmas, cafes have now been offering Christmas dinners and brunches, while hotels are offering private catering to expat households.

The Christmas spirit is felt throughout the kingdom through novelty-themed drinks and products.

Source: Arab News

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


Saudi Shoura Council speaker arrives in Turkiye on official visit

December 25, 2022

RIYADH: The Speaker of the Kingdom’s Shoura Council Sheikh Abdullah Al-Asheikh has arrived in the Turkish capital Ankara on an official visit, the Saudi Press Agency has reported.

Al-Asheikh’s visit is at the invitation of the President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Mustafa Sentop.

The speaker was received by senior officials from Turkiye’s Grand National Assembly on his arrival at Ankara International Airport.

Al-Asheikh lauded the ties of friendship between the Kingdom and Turkiye in a press statement, stressing the significance of holding regular meetings and maintaining open lines of communication between the two councils to advance bilateral cooperation and strengthen parliamentary relations and coordination in matters of shared interest.

Meanwhile, Saudi Assistant Minister of Defense Talal Al-Otaibi paid an official visit to Turkiye on Saturday, where he headed a high-level delegation and met with a number of Turkish officials.

He met Turkish Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar and they discussed the importance of defense cooperation between the two countries, activating agreements signed between them, and strengthening and developing them to serve common interests in supporting security and stability of the region.

Source: Arab News

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


Egypt government denies plans to cede Nile River ports to a foreign country


December 25, 2022

CAIRO: Egypt has dismissed claims that it plans to cede the ports of the Nile River to a foreign country under a law that reorganizes the General Authority for River Transport.

The Egyptian government said that the law only aims to encourage investment.

In an official statement, the nation’s cabinet rejected as untrue information published on some websites and social media platforms.

The cabinet’s media center urged all media outlets and social media users to first verify information before publishing, to prevent public confusion.

The cabinet’s media center said that it had contacted the Ministry of Transport, which denied these reports.

The ministry emphasized that the ports are wholly owned by the state and will remain under its control.

The River Transport Authority, established by presidential decree No. 474 of 1979, is the legal entity meant to oversee the smooth operation of this aspect of the nation’s transport system.

According to the statement, the draft law aims to encourage private sector investment in river transport without selling or ceding ownership of any ports.

The law ensures that there is one entity that issues licenses for transporting passengers, goods, missions, materials of all kinds, and the management and operation of shipping lines and ports.

It emphasized that public utility powers will be granted to investors — whether Egyptian or foreign — for the purpose of establishing, managing, operating, maintaining, and exploiting ports, river anchorages, and navigational routes under a contract system.

Depending on the nature of each project, the law also has conditions and procedures that guarantee the protection of government facilities. These facilities have to be in good condition and free of any fees when contracts expire.

The General Authority for River Transport is the sole authority to issue navigational licenses for mechanized and non-mechanized river units, fixed pontoons, floating hotels and crews working on them, and commitment lines for ferries of all kinds.

Source: Arab News

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


Protesters call for expulsion of US troops, allied militants from Syria

26 December 2022

Syrian people have staged a protest rally in the eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr against US troops stationed in the country and their allied militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Citing local sources, Syria’s official news agency SANA said residents of the villages of Harmushiyah, Hammar al-Ali, al-Kasrah, and Muhaymidah in the western part of Dayr al-Zawr staged an anti-SDF protest rally on Sunday for the fifth day in a row.

According to the report, the demonstrators blocked roads using burning tires and called for the expulsion of SDF militants and the US forces from the al-Jazira region.

They also demanded that Ahmed al-Khabil, the head of the so-called Dayr al-Zawr’s military council, which is affiliated with the SDF, be held accountable for the crimes of rape and murder of two displaced women in the al-Suwar area by a number of his relatives and companions several days ago, as well as the death of a protester by the SDF’s fire.

Security conditions are reportedly deteriorating in the areas controlled by the SDF in Syria’s northern and northeastern provinces of Raqqah, Hasakah, and Dayr al-Zawr amid ongoing raids and arrests of civilians by the US-sponsored militants.

Locals argue that the SDF’s constant raids and arrest campaigns have generated a state of frustration and instability, severely affecting their businesses and livelihoods.

Residents accuse the US-backed militants of stealing crude oil and failing to spend money on service sectors.

Source: Press TV

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


Syrian Kurds protest against Paris attack

25 December ,2022

Hundreds of Syrian Kurds staged a protest in northern Syria on Sunday in response to a deadly attack targeting members of the ethnic community in Paris this week.

A gunman opened fire at a Kurdish cultural center and a hairdressing salon in Paris on Friday, killing three Kurds.

The suspected gunman, a 69-year-old Frenchman, was arrested and later confessed to a “pathological” hatred for foreigners, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said.

The semi-autonomous Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria called for the Sunday protest in Hasakeh, which drew hundreds of people brandishing photos of the three victims and calling for accountability.

“Kurds are fighting against oppression and they are massacred everywhere, even in Paris, the city of love and freedom,” said feminist activist Evin Basho, 33, demanding that the killer be brought to justice.

She was among those who marched through the city chanting “the martyrs of Paris are forever in our hearts” and repeating slogans against “the extermination” of the Kurdish people.

Often described as the world’s largest people without a state, the Kurds are a Muslim ethnic group spread across Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

Protester Azad Suleiman, 55, told AFP he felt Kurds were being targeted in the diaspora and at home.

“This is a war against our people, targeting us in the four parts of Kurdistan and even in Europe,” he said, adding he had high hopes that the French authorities would bring the perpetrator to justice.

“We will not concede to the enemies in Kurdistan and we will not abandon our revolution,” Suleiman said.

Furious Kurdish demonstrators had clashed with French police after the attack, which revived the trauma of three unresolved murders of Kurds almost 10 years ago in the same area of Paris.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


At least 27 injured in Cairo basketball stadium collapse: Health ministry

25 December ,2022

At least 27 people were injured on Saturday when part of a sports stadium south of Cairo collapsed during a basketball match, Egypt’s health ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said “27 people were injured, some with fractures and bleeding,” adding that “most were non-life-threatening injuries.”

The Egyptian basketball federation suspended the match between Alexandria’s Al Ittihad and Cairo’s Al Ahly as first responders rushed to the Hassan Mostafa Sports Hall in the October 6 suburb.

More than 20 ambulances were dispatched to take the injured fans to hospital from the sports venue, the ministry added.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Turkey in talks with Russia about using Syrian airspace in potential operation

24 December ,2022

Turkey is in talks with Russia to use the airspace above northern Syria for a potential cross-border operation against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday.

Turkey has carried out several incursions into northern Syria against the YPG and has been threatening a new incursion for months. It stepped up preparations last month after a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul it blamed on Kurdish militants.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the YPG, have denied involvement in the bombing of the busy pedestrian avenue.

Turkey launched air strikes against YPG targets in November and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled a possible ground offensive.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Akar said Ankara was in talks with Moscow, which supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, about the operation.

“We are in talks and discussing with Russia about all issues including opening the airspace,” he said.

Turkey sees the YPG militia, the leading presence in the SDF, as the Syrian wing of the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


UAE to send generators to heat cold Ukraine homes as war rages on

24 December ,2022

The UAE will send 2,500 electricity generators to power civilian houses affected by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The Emirates News Agency on Saturday reported that 1,200 of the 2,500 units will be transported to Warsaw on Saturday before being delivered to Ukraine. The remaining units should be delivered before January.

Reem bint al-Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, was quoted as saying by WAM that the aid is part of the country’s “continuous efforts to mitigate the humanitarian repercussions of the Ukrainian crisis.”

The generators are reported to have a power output of 3.5 and 8 kilowatts. According to online sources, depending on the type of fuel used, the generators are capable of powering a conservative household for about five to eight hours at a stretch.

This is dependent on the electricity consumption of each appliance. Air conditioners can be powered by these generators, according to the same sources.

The aid is part of a $100 million humanitarian relief package to Ukraine from the UAE.

So far, the Gulf state has flown eight planes carrying 360 tons of food supplies, medical aid and ambulances for Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Moldova and Bulgaria.

Earlier this week, Russia launched kamikaze drones at electrical infrastructure in and around the Ukrainian capital, the latest in a series of strikes that have left millions without power as temperatures drop below freezing.

The attacks, which began in October as Russia suffered a string of battlefield defeats following its February invasion, have destroyed at least 50 percent of the country’s power infrastructure, according to the United Nations.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Saudi Arabia, Bahrain launch bilateral naval exercise

December 26, 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabian and Bahraini naval forces began a bilateral maritime exercise in Bahrain, the Saudi Defense Ministry announced on Sunday.

The “Bridge 23” drill includes forces from the Royal Saudi Navy, represented by the Eastern Fleet, and the Royal Bahraini Navy. It was launched in the presence of Royal Bahraini Navy Cmdr. Rear Adm. Mohammed Al-Assam and military attache at the Saudi Embassy to Bahrain Brig. Gen. Fahad Al-Thunayan, as well as a number of senior officers taking part in the exercise.

The director of the exercise, Col. Ahmed Al-Osaimi, said that “Bridge 23” aims to raise combat readiness, standardize tactical concepts and aid in the implementation of joint operations, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

He added that the exercise will also cover naval battles, command and control, and will raise the efficiency of communication procedures in both navies.

Source: Arab News

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



South Asia


Implementation of Ban on Women’s University Education Satisfactory: Taliban Minister

By Nizamuddin Rezahi

December 25, 2022

Nida Mohammad Nadim, the Acting Minister of Higher Education of Afghanistan’s interim regime expressed his gratitude for the implementation of the decree in the universities.

In a meeting today with the officials of private universities, the Acting Minister of Higher Education expressed his optimism on the exercise of baring female students from universities, saying, “there has been no opposition to the education of girls as per the recent decree of this ministry”

The minister assured the officials of the private universities in solving the many challenges they are faced with. He further added the current administration is not opposing the education of the new generation but believes in developing a comprehensive system in accordance with the Islamic Sharia and the national values of the country.

This happens as the Ministry of Higher Education on Wednesday, December 21, announced a decree banning girls’ university education in public and private universities, accompanied by worldwide condemnations – calling for revoking the act and allowing Afghan women and girls to access education and work.

In order to overcome the problems of the private universities, Mr. Nadim spoke of forming a joint commission between the Ministry of Higher Education and private university professors – reiterating these sectors should prepare in accordance with the legal provisions of the ministry. 

Source: Khaama Press

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


Brother and sister’s future separated after Taliban university ban

December 26, 2022

KABUL: Marwa was just a few months away from becoming the first woman in her Afghan family to go to university — instead, she will watch achingly as her brother goes without her.

Women are now banned from attending university in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, where they have been steadily stripped of their freedoms over the past year.

“Had they ordered women to be beheaded, even that would have been better than this ban,” Marwa said at her family home in Kabul. “If we are to be so unlucky, I wish that we hadn’t been born at all. I’m sorry for my existence in the world.

“We are being treated worse than animals. Animals can go anywhere on their own, but we girls don’t have the right even to step out of our homes.”

The 19-year-old had recently passed an entrance exam to start a nursing degree at a medical university in the Afghan capital from March. She was thrilled to be joining her brother, Hamid, in attending the campus each day. But now their futures have been pulled apart.

“I wanted my sister to achieve her goals along with me — to succeed and move ahead,” said Hamid, 20, a student of business administration at a higher education institute in Kabul.

“Despite several problems, she had studied until the 12th grade, but what can we say now?”

Dreams crushed

The ban by the hardline Islamist government, which seized power in August last year, has sparked global outrage, including from Muslim nations who deemed it against Islam.

Neda Mohammad Nadeem, the Taliban’s minister for higher education, claimed women students had ignored a strict dress code and a requirement they be accompanied by a male relative to campus.

But the reality, according to some Taliban officials, is that the hardline clerics that advise the movement’s supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada remain deeply sceptical of modern education for females.

Girls have also been banned from secondary schools in most of the country.

Women have been slowly squeezed out of public life in recent months, pushed from government jobs or paid a fraction of their former salary to stay at home.

They are also barred from travelling without a male relative and must cover up in public. Women are prohibited from going to parks, fairs, gyms and public baths.

Marwa and Hamid come from an impoverished family but their parents had supported their pursuit of higher education.

With dreams of becoming a midwife, Marwa had planned to visit remote areas of Afghanistan where women remain deprived of health services.

“I wanted to serve women in faraway places so that we never witness the loss of a mother’s life during childbirth,” she said.

Instead she will now stay home to teach her six younger siblings, while her father, the family’s sole breadwinner, earns money as a vegetable vendor.

History repeatingMinister Nadeem insists women students behaved in a way that insulted Islamic principles and Afghan culture.

“They were dressing like they were going to a wedding. Those girls who were coming to universities from home were also not following instructions on the hijab,” he said in an interview on state television. But Hamid strongly rejected the justification for the ban.

“When universities opened under the Taliban, different days were specified for boys and girls,” he said.

“They (girls) were not allowed to enter unless they wore a mask and hijab.

How then can they (the Taliban) say they were without hijabs?” After the Taliban seized power, universities were forced to implement new rules, including gender-segregated classrooms and entrances, while women were only permitted to be taught by professors of the same sex, or old men.

Marwa’s mother, holding her newborn baby in her arms, said she felt history repeating itself. Two decades ago she was forced to quit her studies during the Taliban’s first regime between 1996 and 2001.

Source: Dawn

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



Southeast Asia

Rohingya Muslim refugees land on Indonesia beach after weeks at sea


Dozens of hungry and weak Rohingya Muslims were found on a beach in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh on Sunday after weeks at sea, officials said.

The group of 58 men arrived on Indrapatra beach at Ladong, a fishing village in Aceh Besar district, early Sunday, said local police chief Rolly Yuiza Away. Villagers who saw the group of ethnic Rohingya on a rickety wooden boat helped them to land and then reported their arrival to authorities, he said.

“They look very weak from hunger and dehydration. Some of them are sick after a long and severe voyage at sea,” said Away, adding that the men received food and water from villagers and others as they waited for further instructions from immigration and local officials in Aceh.

At least three of the men were rushed to a health clinic for medical care, and others are also receiving various medical treatments, Away said.

The United Nations and other groups on Friday urged countries in South Asia to rescue as many as 190 people believed to be Rohingya refugees aboard a small boat that has been adrift for several weeks in the Andaman Sea.

“Reports indicate those onboard have now remained at sea for a month in dire conditions with insufficient food or water, without any efforts by States in the region to help save human lives,” the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement. “Many are women and children, with reports of up to 20 people dying on the unseaworthy vessel during the journey.”

Away said it wasn’t clear where the group was traveling from or if they were part of the group of 190 Rohingya refugees that has been adrift in the Andaman Sea. But one of the men who spoke some Malay said they had been at sea for more than a month and had aimed to land in Malaysia to seek a better life and work there.

More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Buddhist-majority Myanmar to refugee camps in Bangladesh since August 2017, when the Myanmar military launched a clearance operation in response to attacks by a rebel group. Myanmar security forces have been accused of mass rapes, killings and the burning of thousands of homes.

Groups of Rohingya have attempted to leave the crowded camps in Bangladesh and travel by sea in hazardous voyages to other Muslim-majority countries in the region.

Muslim-dominated Malaysia has been a common destination for the boats, and traffickers have promised the refugees a better life there. But many Rohingya refugees who land in Malaysia face detention.

Although Indonesia is not a signatory to the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention, the UNHCR said that a 2016 presidential regulation provides a national legal framework governing the treatment of refugees on boats in distress near Indonesia and to help them disembark.

These provisions have been implemented for years, most recently last month when about 219 Rohingya refugees, including 63 women and 40 children, were rescued off the coast of North Aceh district aboard two rickety boats.

“We urge the government of Indonesia to rescue the boats and allow them to safely disembark,” Amnesty International Indonesia’s executive director Usman Hamid said. “We also urge the Indonesian government to lead a regional initiative to resolve the refugee crisis.”

On Thursday, the U.N. special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, urged governments in South and Southeast Asia “to immediately and urgently coordinate search and rescue for this boat and ensure safe disembarkation of those aboard before any further loss of life occurs.”

Source: The Globe And Mail

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


Merry Christmas and Hamka’s fatwa

December 24, 2022

In 2018, then-PAS Youth chief Khalil Abdul Hadi caused controversy when he prohibited Muslims from offering the traditional “Merry Christmas” greeting, equating the festivity with idolatry. Khalil’s view is not an isolated one.

In recent decades, the question of permitting Muslims to wish “Merry Christmas” has become a point of contention among Muslims and non-Muslims.

Salafist preachers, such as the Zimbabwean-born Ismail Menk, American Muslim convert Yusuf Estes and Zakir Naik from India, are known to advocate against offering such Christmas greetings.

Two days ago, Naik’s prohibition against wishing “Merry Christmas” was reposted on his official Facebook page and is making its rounds on social media.

such preachers, offering the greeting is tantamount to agreeing with Christian beliefs on Jesus Christ.

Their views, however, are not uncontested. The Egyptian premier fatwa institution, Dar Al-Ifta, issued a ruling on the permissibility of greeting non-Muslims on Christmas, including visiting Christians and giving gifts.

Notable individuals in Malaysia, such as former Federal Territories mufti Zulkifli Al-Bakri and Indonesian Quranic scholar Quraish Shihab hold a similar view.

Another prominent ulama, KH Said Aqil Siradj, went as far as issuing an official Christmas greeting to Christians during his chairmanship of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organisation.

These examples contradict the opinion of largely Salafist notables, such as Wahhabi preacher Soleh al-Uthaimin and former Saudi Arabian mufti Abdul Aziz Baz.

The emergence of the Salafist prohibition on wishing “Merry Christmas” had generated some confusion among Malay Muslims.

As observed, this controversy is relatively recent. It emerged with the corresponding rise of what an academic, Roel Meijer, termed as “global Salafism”.

Those who advocated for the prohibition, however, were quick to deny its link to the global spread of Salafist ideas.

They would point to a similar view purportedly held by a Nusantara ulama, Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah or Hamka. Hamka is a widely respected Indonesian ulama and whose influence spans both Malaysia and Singapore.

Hamka’s view had been grossly misrepresented.

Hamka and the 1981 MUI fatwa

The popular reference to Hamka’s view emerged after a widely circulated 2012 article titled “Sekali Lagi, Hukum Mengucap ‘Selamat Natal’”.

Published in a hardliner Indonesian magazine, Hidayatullah, reference was made to a 1981 fatwa purportedly issued by the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) — then headed by Hamka — declaring it haram to wish “Merry Christmas”.

The article further claimed that Hamka had resigned from MUI in protest of the Suharto government’s insistence that he withdraw the fatwa.

The fatwa, dated March 7, 1981, however, was grossly misrepresented. It made no mention of the Christmas greeting.

In fact, the fatwa acknowledged that Muslims were encouraged to cooperate and mix with non-Muslims on worldly matters.

What was prohibited is Muslim participation in the religious rituals of Christmas.

The concern of the fatwa, therefore, was on joint religious rituals. MUI’s original fatwa, thus, is hardly controversial at all.

Prior to the fatwa, Hamka had written an article published in 1974 saying that it was acceptable for Muslims to say “Merry Christmas” to Christian neighbours as an expression of religious tolerance, but not to participate in the celebration itself.

He likened this to Christians wishing Muslims “Happy Idul Fitri” but never to participate in the Idul Fitri prayer itself.

Hamka’s objection to joint ritual is reasonable: Muslims disagree fundamentally on Christian doctrines about Jesus, such as his divine sonship and the atonement.

But Hamka himself has no problem with the greeting and, as his son Irfan Hamka testified, Hamka did make such greetings to his neighbours.

But why did Hamka resign from MUI shortly after the fatwa?

This fatwa must be seen within the wider context of Christian-Muslim relations in that period.

The fatwa was originally requested by religious affairs minister Alamsyah Ratu Perwiranegara for internal discussions in a lead-up to a public policy regarding joint religious observances.

Suharto, at that time, was pushing for religious harmony in the midst of inter-religious tensions that had seen occasional violence in various parts of Indonesia.

Copies of the fatwa, however, were leaked and circulated widely in public, leading to Alamsyah’s decision to resign because he felt pushed into a corner by the fatwa and therefore could not work on a viable policy that could appease all sides.

In response, Hamka said, “It is illogical for the minister to resign. I am the one responsible for the circulation of the fatwa, therefore, I will resign.”

On May 5, 1981, however, the national daily Pelita published the fatwa.

But, on the next day, the same newspaper published a decree (dated April 30, 1981) withdrawing the fatwa from circulation and clarifying that a Muslim was only prohibited from participating in ritual practices during Christmas.

The letter was signed by Hamka and MUI general secretary Burhani Tjokrohandoko, in consultation with the religious affairs minister.

Two days after, on May 7, 1981, Hamka reiterated the validity of the fatwa while emphasising that the decree was on the circulation of the fatwa, which the government had every right to do.

The controversy, however, had taken its toll on Hamka, particularly in his relationship with the government.

Therefore, it led to his decision to resign from the chairmanship of MUI on May 19, 1981.

Straightening the legacy of Hamka

Examining the surrounding issues and the fatwa itself, it is clear that the hardliners were misconstruing and misappropriating the 1981 incident to legitimise their particular viewpoint.

Nowhere did the fatwa prohibit the Christmas greeting, nor was Hamka’s resignation in protest against the Indonesian government.

The fatwa itself ought to be located within the context of Christian-Muslim relations in the early years of Suharto’s New Order regime.

The period leading up to 1981 was rife with tensions between the state and Christian/Muslim groups.

Many Muslims felt insecure as they had lost bargaining power with the state under Suharto’s authoritarian measures against Muslim political bases. At the same time, Christian proselytisation and foreign aid through Christian organisations and churches were causing anxiety and unhappiness.

With increasing pressures for Muslims to participate in social activities with their Christian counterparts, MUI’s fatwa must therefore be seen as their attempt to shore up the Muslim faith.

Ultimately, as James Rush, author of Hamka’s intellectual biography, “Hamka’s Great Story” wrote: “Hamka was a fervent believer in religious harmony, and he frequently wrote and spoke about Islam’s history of tolerance.”

As a great ulama of the Nusantara world, Hamka’s vision of religious harmony is about different religions peacefully co-existing as Indonesians, but worshipping in their own ways among fellow believers only.

For him: “Mutual respect was the key. Trying to convert members of other religions violated this respect.”

This has been the essence of interfaith advocacy which has often been accused by hardliners as “diluting Islam”.

Such an accusation reflects the hardliners’ desire for power and control on the narratives of Islam; it is not about how Muslims can display the ethics and values required of a modern, pluralistic society.

Guarding against historical amnesia

Many societies today are facing a rise in inter-religious tensions centred around religious identity politics.

Hardliner groups are fervent in their exclusivist views that divide society into an “us versus them”, particularly along religious lines.

In confronting the permeation of hardliner views in Malay society, we need to be equipped with deep knowledge.

Many had emphasised knowledge of theology to be able to sift from right and wrong Islam. This is not sufficient.

Theology without an understanding of the historical and sociological contexts will lose its ability to correct the abuses of theology that serve ideological battles of the present.

As the incident of the 1981 MUI fatwa by Hamka shows, it is not about theological arguments but how the fatwa has been misconstrued to serve the ideological position of Salafism.

Ultimately, the debate surrounding the prohibition of “Merry Christmas” is not a religious one but a contestation between two social attitudes that continue to shape Christian-Muslim relations from past to present. The first is one of conflict and division; the second is that of affinity and cooperation.

Source: Free Malaysia Today

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





BJP Spreading Hate Via TV, 24X7 “Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Muslim” Is Aired: Rahul At Red Fort

by Sourav Roy Barman , Abhinaya Harigovind

December 25, 2022

With the Red Fort as a backdrop, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who led the Bharat Jodo Yatra into the Capital Saturday, attacked the BJP, accusing it of “relentlessly spreading fear and hatred” across the country to “divert” attention from people being “crippled economically”.

Claiming that TV channels are “controlled by powers who want to spread hatred,” he said “24 ghanta Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Muslim” is aired.

The yatra, the biggest mobilisation exercise by the Congress in decades, hit a nine-day year-end pause as it reached the Red Fort, covering 2800 km through nine states over a span of 108 days, from the coast of Kanyakumari.

It has another 700-odd km to cover through Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing a large gathering outside the historic fort, Rahul said: “Turn around and see, there’s a Jain mandir, a gurdwara, a masjid. This is Hindustan. But this is not a new thing. This has been the country’s truth for centuries. People live with each other in harmony.”

He said he can still make peace with the fact that TV channels “do not show us”.

“But they spread hatred. 24 ghanta Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Muslim. But hear it from me, I am walking from Kanyakaumari. I have met lakhs of people on the road. People of this country love each other, embrace each other. This country is one,” he said.

The BJP, he said, falsely projects itself as the custodian of the Hindu religion. “Where in the Hindu religion is it written that the weak and the marginalised should be crushed and killed? I have read the Gita, Upanishad. Nowhere have I read this. These scriptures talk about embracing each other. They are sowing fear in the minds of youth, women, small traders, farmers,” he said.

“Making a speech in Rajasthan I had said we will open stores of love in your market of hatred. Aapne laakhon dukan khol di hai (you have opened lakhs of stores),” he said to cheers from the crowd.

Rahul said the “Prime Minister and the BJP used thousands of crores to sully my image. But I did not utter a word. The entire media, WhatsApp, Facebook machinery were used to spread rumours against me. But I showed you the truth in a month. This is how truth works. One cannot suppress the truth. It has a tendency of coming out”.

While the jury is out on the final outcome of the yatra, which will culminate with the unfurling of the Tricolour in Srinagar, Rahul suggested he is certain that it has helped correct his image as a leader, making an implicit admission that his “rebranding” was one of its objectives.

The yatra, he said, has helped him “realise” that “hatred” has not really consumed the country.

“When I started walking from Kanyakumari, I thought that hatred had spread to every corner of the country. But that is far from the truth. This is something the television media wants us to believe but that is not the reality,” he said.

“In reality, people live together in harmony, people embrace each other. They are not at each other’s throats as the TV shows us,” he said.

During the day, as the yatra crossed over from Haryana through the Badarpur border, Rahul was joined by his mother Sonia Gandhi, sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, her husband Robert Vadra and their children.

Thousands of Congress workers and supporters marched along as the yatra made its way through the city. At one point, actor Kamal Haasan also joined Rahul. Later, Haasan delivered a short speech at Red Fort, along with Rahul and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge.

Kharge claimed the BJP government is rattled due to the yatra. “They are trying to use Covid as an excuse to halt the yatra. The PM got the Health Minister to publicise that Covid is spreading across the country. The PM wears masks inside Parliament, but was not spotted wearing a mask while attending a wedding recently… Come what may, the yatra will continue,” he said.

Rahul mentioned the border crisis with China to target the government. “China has taken up 2000 sq km of our land. The Prime Minister says no one entered Indian territory. Then why have the two countries held 21 rounds of talks?” he said.

He devoted a large part of his speech to the “relentless streaming of hatred” by TV channels.

“Many press people ask me: Don’t you feel cold? Why don’t they ask this to the farmers, workers, poor children of this country. They say Rahul walked 2800 km, but that is no big deal. The entire country walks. Maybe a farmer walks 10,000 to 20,000 km in his lifetime,” he said.

Source: Indian Express

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


Muslims converge at Srinagar church to celebrate Christmas

25th December 2022

Srinagar: Wearing Santa hats, a group of Muslims on Sunday converged at a church here, distributed sweets and exchanged greetings as Christmas was celebrated in Kashmir with traditional enthusiasm and religious fervour.

The members of the miniscule population of Christians in Kashmir thronged the churches for Mass at many places. The biggest Mass was held at the Holy Family Catholic Church at Maulana Azad Road here, where dozens of Christians, including women and children, assembled to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ and held special prayers.

The church was decorated with colourful buntings, lights and balloons and it wore a festive look.

A group of Muslims also celebrated Christmas at the church to give a message of communal harmony. They wore Santa hats, distributed sweets and exchanged greetings.

The group members said they came to the church to spread the message of communal harmony, brotherhood and peace.

“We did not want to let them (Christians) feel that they were isolated. This is a very small community. So, we came here to celebrate this festival with them,” a group member said.

Safiya, a resident of the city, said she visited a church for the first time.

“I feel good because people from every community are here and are celebrating with each other, which is very good and rare as well,” she said.

Father Brito said Muslims in the valley have always stood by the Christians.

“Christmas is a message of love, joy and happiness. Our Muslim brothers and sisters are always with us. They always help and support us. This is an opportunity for us to share happiness, joy and love with each other,” he said.

Among the believers were tourists from different parts of the country who joined the locals on the auspicious day.

Source: Siasat Daily

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


Mathura: Shahi Idgah Masjid's Counsel Vows To Challenge Court's Order For Survey Of Mosque Complex

26 DEC 2022

The counsel for Shahi Masjid Idgah on Sunday said they will file their objection on January 20 to the district court order on the submission of a survey report of Idgah.

Civil judge senior division (III) Sonika Verma, who is hearing the suit Bal Krishna and others Vs Intezamia committee and others, had earlier directed a revenue department official to submit a survey report of the Shahi Idgah mosque complex on January 20.

Petition seeks removal of mosque

The petitioners had filed the suit seeking shifting of Shahi Masjid Idgah, constructed on a part of the 13.37 acre land of Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust allegedly after the demolition of Katra Keshav Dev temple by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The petitioners claim it is the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

"We will file an objection against the order on January 20," Tanveer Ahmad, secretary and counsel for Shahi Masjid Idgah, said on Sunday.

The hearing in the case could not take place on December 22 as the judge was on leave on that day. The court has now fixed January 20, 2023 as the next date of hearing, when the survey report is to be filed.         

"The learned judge had ordered Amin (a term used to refer to a revenue department official) on December 8 to inform both the parties and submit a survey report on the next hearing," the petitioners' counsel  Shailesh Dubey had said on Saturday.

Source: Outlook India

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


Huge desperation on Pakistani side to infiltrate terrorists, smuggle war-like stores into Kashmir: Army officer

Dec 25, 2022

SRINAGAR: There is huge desperation on the Pakistani side to either infiltrate terrorists or smuggle war-like stores into Kashmir as the number of ultras and arms and ammunition was at an all-time low in the Valley, a senior Army official said on Friday.

He said such manoeuvres were seen when the situation was near normal in Kashmir.

General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Army's 19 Infantry Division Major General Ajay Chandpuria made these remarks while addressing reporters in Baramulla after security forces recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition near the Line of Control (LoC) in the Halanga area of Uri in the north Kashmir district.

“The situation is near normal in Kashmir valley as the number of terrorists and the availability of war-like stores is at an all-time low. So, there is a huge desperation from the other side to either infiltrate terrorists or smuggle war-like stores,” he said.

Security forces keep getting such reports on a regular basis and whether it was an attempt by terrorists or smugglers to get war-like stores cannot be said, the Army officer said, referring to the recovery of the weapons.

“We are still following up the leads and certain details cannot be shared, but a movement close to the launchpads was picked up. Probably, they (terrorists) panicked and left the war-like stores behind and withdrew to that side,” he said.

Maj Gen Chandpuria said there have been attempts on the border not only of infiltration but also of smuggling war-like stores and drugs in the past as well.

“There are some areas like this one where we have houses ahead of the LoC fence, closer to the LoC, and because of the movement of the people right to the LoC, such attempts are reported from time to time,” he said.

He said based on the intelligence inputs received from multiple intelligence agencies over a period of two weeks about infiltration attempts and dumping of war-like stores by terrorists in the Hathlanga area of Rampur Sector, multiple ambushes and search operations were conducted since fortnight along the LoC.

On Friday, a search operation was launched in the general area of Hathlanga Nala which lasted for eight hours and concluded with the recovery of arms, ammunition and other war-like stores, the Army officer added.

He said the recoveries include eight AK-74 rifles, 24 AK-74 rifle magazines, 560 7.62mm AK-74 live ammunition, 12 .30mm Chinese pistol, 24 Chinese pistol magazines, 244 .30mm pistol live ammunition, nine Chinese hand grenades, five Pakistani-origin hand grenades, 81 balloons with “I Love Pakistan” marking on them, and five synthetic gunny nags with Pakistani marking.

Source: Times Of India

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


UP: 3 cops beat Muslim man for alleged cattle theft; suspended

25th December 2022

Budaun: Three policemen were suspended in connection with beating up a man over a case of buffalo theft, a senior police official said here on Sunday.

Additional Superintendent of Police (Rural) Siddhartha Verma said a woman named Gulshan has alleged that sub-inspector Waris Khan and his two colleagues had taken her husband Tanveer to the Daftori police outpost in connection with a case of buffalo theft.

According to the woman, her husband was badly beaten at the outpost following which his condition deteriorated, and he was admitted to a hospital, he said.

She alleged that the sub-inspector also took Rs 60,000 as a bribe to release Tanveer, a charge termed baseless by the police.

Source: Siasat Daily

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





Clashes in Sudan’s Darfur kill at least seven: State media

24 December ,2022

Clashes between Arab and non-Arab groups in Sudan’s restive Darfur region have killed at least seven people, state media reported Saturday.

Violence erupted on Wednesday around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the South Darfur state capital Nyala pitting Arab herders against farmers from the Daju minority and other non-Arab ethnic groups, witnesses said.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the fighting.

“A group of herders riding camels and vehicles attacked the village of Amuri on Friday, leaving the site burnt and four people killed,” the official SUNA news agency said, adding that two people were killed between Wednesday and Thursday.

Another person was killed when the fighting spread to nearby villages, which were “partially burnt” as shops were looted, the news agency added, quoting a government statement.

At least 20 people were treated at Nyala hospital for bullet wounds, a medical source told AFP.

Security forces were dispatched to the area to contain the violence, SUNA said.

Ethnic clashes often break out in Darfur, a vast region the size of France which was ravaged by a bitter civil war that erupted in 2003.

Some 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million displaced, according to the United Nations.

While the conflict has subsided over the years, violence still flares between nomadic herders and settled farmers over access to scarce water and grazing land.

Sudan is still grappling with the crippling aftermath of a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in October last year.

Civilian groups signed a preliminary deal with the military to end the crisis earlier this month but it has been criticized as “opaque.”

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Eastern Libyan commander announces ‘final opportunity’ to hold elections

24 December ,2022

The Libyan National Army (LNA) of eastern commander Khalifa Haftar on Saturday announced “a final opportunity” to draw up a road map for elections, Libyan al-Hadath TV reported, a year to the day after rival factions agreed to hold the polls.

Many Libyans believe their political leaders are unwilling to find a way out of the endless political logjam because elections could push them all from power.

“The General Command (of LNA) announces a final opportunity through which it will draw a road map and hold elections,” Haftar was quoted by the TV channel as saying.

He addressed Libyans in the second largest city of Benghazi, home to his forces, on the 71st anniversary of independence.

After a 2020 ceasefire, the rival eastern and western sides agreed to hold elections on December 24, 2021, and installed a new unity government that was meant to reunify divided national institutions. But the process fell apart.

Libya has had little peace since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that ousted Muammar Gaddafi and led to a 2014 split between the warring eastern and western factions.

Haftar waged war on factions in the west after 2014, including a 14-month offensive to capture Tripoli which was repelled by the internationally recognized government.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Tunisia rights group slams ‘inhumane’ move to deport migrants

December 25, 2022

TUNIS: A Tunisian rights group has condemned a “repressive and inhumane” government decision to deport a group of migrants who had been evacuated from a defunct refugee camp.

The 25 men from Egypt, Niger, Nigeria and Sudan had sought asylum in Tunisia after fleeing violence in Libya in 2011, but their requests were denied, said Romdhane Ben Amor of the Tunisian Forum for Social and Economic Rights.

He said their repatriation would “put their lives at risk.”

The Tunisian Cabinet approved on Friday the expulsion “as soon as possible of a group of migrants residing illegally in Tunisia,” the government said in a statement.

Source: Arab News

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





Govt Pins Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan Rise On PTI Chairman, Imran Khan

Amjad Mahmood

December 26, 2022

LAHORE: Amid an increase in the number of attacks by militants in parts of the country, federal Minister for Economic Affairs Ayaz Sadiq on Sunday blamed former prime minister Imran Khan for the resurgence of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

While referring to rise in terror attacks and the dialogue with the banned outfit initiated by the PTI government last year, the PML-N leader said the nation had seen the result of Imran Khan’s strategy of opening talks with the Taliban.

“Imran Khan (while in power) did not curb terrorism. Rather he allowed negotiations with those who had martyred children at the Army Public School (in Peshawar). And now a new wave of terrorism has begun because of those negotiations.”

The former speaker also urged former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa to reveal his “role” in the 2018 general election in “ensuring” the victory of the PTI. He said the Grand Demo­cratic Alliance (GDA) representatives said they were under pressure in 2018 to join the PTI.

He said the support extended by Mr Bajwa to Imran Khan when he was prime minister had never been given to any other premier in the past. But, the PTI chairman is “ungrateful to his benefactors” as he was now maligning the ex-COAS. He said Mr Khan did the same thing to Aleem Khan and Jahangir Khan Tareen.

He advised Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi to remain “vigilant” while doing favours to Imran Khan since his “characteristics cannot change as I know him since the 1960s”.

Mr Sadiq lambasted the PTI chairman for using the religious card in politics, abusing and victimising rivals, as well as preferring his personal interest over national interest.

“The one who had been talking of the state of Madina committed corruption by taking away gifts from Toshakhana worth Rs6 billion, declaring one of them (in his tax statement) and devouring the rest. The claimants of the Madina state would neither steal nor conceal (one’s wealth).”

He lamented that Imran Khan always foul-mouthed PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, who always addressed the PTI chairman decently. He alleged that Mr Khan got spying cameras installed even in the bathrooms of the jail where Maryam Nawaz Sharif was imprisoned.

The PML-N leader said those who brought Imran Khan to power were responsible for the financial damage caused to the country during the around four-year rule of PTI as the national debt doubled in the PTI regime, which took $44 billion in loans.

In reply to a question, he said while listening to the conversation between Parvez Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi one “gets the impression that the PML-Q got just 20 seats” in return for a promise to dissolve the Punjab Assembly at the directives of Imran Khan.

He, however, cautioned the ‘Q’ leadership that the crutches available during the 2018 polls would be missing in the next general elections and they as well as the PTI would have to stand on their own legs.

Referring to U-turns often taken by the PTI chairman, he said on one hand Imran said that he would fight his political fight on his own, and on the other, he was requesting the establishment to intervene and save him from likely accountability.

In response to a question, the minister said if the PTI chairman intended to dissolve the Punjab and KP assemblies he would have done so at once after the announcement during a Pindi rally in November.

Answering a question, he said if the coalition in Punjab had the backing of the required number of MPAs to remain on his post then why was Mr Elahi trying to delay the trust vote.

Source: Dawn

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


Adherence to Quaid’s ideology can make us defeat all odds: PM

December 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday said that adherence to the Quaid-e-Azam’s ideology could make us defeat all the odds.

On celebrations of the birthday of the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the prime minister on his Twitter handle said that as a nation, they had failed to live up to the Quaid’s ideals.

“Nothing undermines a nation more than lack of unity. Adherence to Quaid’s ideology can make us defeat all the odds. My resolve on this Day is to keep working for the well-being of our people,” he added.

In a related tweet, he said Quaid-e-Azam single-handedly changed the course of history through his sheer will power, clarity of thought & unwavering struggle. “Commitment to constitutionalism marked his leadership. His motto of unity, faith & discipline continues to serve as a clarion call for the nation,” he added.


Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has formally issued a directive for the grant of Shuhada package to martyred police constable of Islamabad Capital Territory Police Syed Adeel Hussain who laid down his life during a suicide attack in Sector 1/10.

The prime minister also directed for handing over a cheque worth Rs10 million as a financial package to the bereaved family of late taxi driver Syed Sajjad Haider Shah, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release on Sunday.

The deputy commissioner Islamabad would hand over this cheque to the bereaved family.

The Prime Minister’s Office issued directives to the ministry of interior for taking necessary steps in this regard.


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved a financial package for the taxi driver who lost his life in an explosion in the I-10/4 sector of Islamabad this week.

He approved the package in light of the investigation of the law enforcement agencies.

He sanctioned a financial package of Rs 10 million for the heirs of driver Syed Sajjad Haider Shah. On the instructions of the prime minister, the cheque of the approved amount was handed over to the heirs of Sajjad Haider.

According to the investigation, Sajjad had no connection with the terrorists or their plan.

Source: Pakistan Today

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


FIA records statements of suspects Gen Bajwa tax record leak case

December 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s Anti-Corruption Circle (ACC) on Sunday recorded the statements of three suspects, arrested in connection with the income tax data leak of former army chief retired Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

According to details, the arrested suspects recorded the statement before a duty magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc).

The three suspects include: Shahzad Niaz, Arshad Ali Qureshi and Mohammad Adeel Ashraf.

Earlier in December, an Islamabad court remanded three suspects in custody of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday in connection with the income tax data leak of former army chief retired Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Shahzad Niaz and Ashraf also deleted tax data, which “they had accessed illegally”. Their mobile phones were sent for forensic analysis to enable the investigators to extract data obtained by the suspects, according to the prosecution.

On November 27, the military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) rubbished nefarious campaign launched against Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his family related to their tax records.

In a statement, the ISPR said that the reports were “totally untrue and based on blatant lies”.

“Misleading data regarding the assets of army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and his family have been shared on social media. These misleading figures are exaggerated and based on assumption,” the ISPR said.

The military’s media wing said that a certain group has “cleverly and dishonestly” attributed the assets of General Bajwa’s daughter-in-law’s father and family to the army chief and his family.

The Federal Board Revenue (FBR) on Saturday included three more income tax officers in the investigation of leaked tax record details of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and his family.

Sources said that FBR will carry out an investigation from the chief commissioner, commissioner and additional commissioner in connection with the leaked tax record details of Gen Bajwa and his family.

Source: Pakistan Today

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


Uplift in KP’s southern districts to resume after PM visit to Dera: Fazl

December 25, 2022

DI KHAN: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday vowed that the development process would be resumed in southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after the expected visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif to Dera Ismail Khan on Monday.

He stated this during a special meeting of District ‘Majlis-e-Amla’ held here in a local hotel to discuss various aspects of the expected visit of the prime minister to DI Khan. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Communications Mufti Asad Mahmood, Senior Deputy Amir Maulana Obaidur Rehman, Engineer Ziaur Rehman and the Party’s Tehsil Nazims and Ameers.

Fazl said Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif would announce mega projects for DI Khan, Tank and Lakki Marwat districts including Yarik to Saggu CPEC project.

He opined that after the visit of the prime minister, the process of development and prosperity in these districts would be resumed which was stopped for the last nine years. The mega projects announced by the premier would be remedy of the deprivations among the people of these areas.

Source: Pakistan Today

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


'Will not accept a weak govt this time,' says Imran Khan

Dec 26, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Sunday took a sharp dig at the ruling coalition regarding the early polls in the country and said that he would instead choose the opposition benches rather than forming a weak government this time, ARY News reported.

In an interview with a private news channel, Imran Khan conceded that forming a weak government was his mistake.

The PTI chief stated that a weak government will not be tolerated this time. He explained that a political party with a clear majority in parliament might modify the legislation.

"Whenever we capture mafias, they got released on bail on the next day. We had failed to implement the rule of law and we know that we appointed the wrong people to key positions," ARY news quoted Imran as saying.

Moreover, Khan also criticised Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for being charged with Rs 16 billion in corruption but being released owing to their powerful position.

In April this year, the PTI announced mass resignations from the National Assembly, a day after party chief Imran Khan's ouster as Prime Minister through a no-confidence vote.

After the submission of their resignations, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri at the time, in the capacity of the house's acting speaker, accepted the resignations of 123 PTI Members of the National Assembly.

Source: Times Of India

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


6 security men martyred in Balochistan terror incidents

Saleem Shahid

December 26, 2022

QUETTA: Six security personnel, including a captain, embraced martyrdom while at least 17 people suffered injuries in different incidents of terrorism across Balochistan on Sunday.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a clearance operation was underway in Kahan after an explosive device targeted security forces.

The military’s media wing said that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off close to the leading party of the security forces. Cap­tain Fahad, Lance Naik Imtiaz and sepoys Asghar, Mehran and Shamoon were martyred in the blast.

The statement further said that the sanitisation operation continued in the area to apprehend the suspects involved in the attack.

In another statement, the ISPR said that an operation against militants in the Sambaza area of Zhob left one security man martyred. One terrorist was killed, while two personnel were injured.

ISPR said the forces had started an operation in Sambaza on the basis of intelligence reports to deny militants the use of suspected routes to move across the “Pakistan-Afghanistan border to sneak into KP along the interprovincial boundary and target citizens and security forces”.

A group of the terrorists was intercepted in the early hours of Sunday, it said, adding, “during the establishing of blocking positions to deny them escape routes, terrorists opened fire on the security forces”.

As a result of a shootout, one terrorist was killed while Sepoy Haq Nawaz embraced martyrdom and two other soldiers got injured.

“The terrorists were supported by their facilitators from across the border as well through firing,” the statement added.

Attacks in Quetta, Hub, Kalat

More than one dozen people, including three policemen, were injured in different attacks in the capital of Balochistan. In a grenade attack on Sabzal Road on the outskirts of Quetta, at least four people, including two teenage girls, were injured.

The wounded were identified as Muhammad Qayyum, 25; Zubair Ahmed, 25; Kaynat Bibi, 17; and Bibi Ewa, 13. They were moved to Civil Hospital.

Police said that the grenade blast took place near Amir Dasti police station. Officials said that unknown people hurled the grenade and escaped. Police added that an improvised explosive device recovered from the area was defused.

In a grenade attack on a police check-post in Satellite Town, at least eight people, including three police officials, received injuries.

“We have received 12 injured [including four injured in the Sabzal Road attack] who had been hurt due to splinters of the hand grenades,” Dr Wasim Baig, spokesman of the Provincial Sandeman Civil Hospital told Dawn.

Another attack in Quetta targeted an FC post on Sariab Road. Police said unknown motorcyclists hurled a grenade that exploded some distance from the check post. “No casualty was reported in the blast,” they added.

Meanwhile, in Hub, an explosion in the evening injured three persons. Police said the bomb went off outside the Saddar police station in Hub.

“We are investigating the blast,” Dostain Dashti, SSP Hub told Dawn. He added the nature of the blast could not be ascertained. The injured were shifted to Jam Ghulam Qadir Memorial Hospital.

In Khuzdar, a police vehicle came under a grenade attack in the heart of the town. The police vehicle was damaged but fortunately, there were no casualties, Fahad Khosa, SSP Khuzdar said.

In Kalat and Turbat, security forces were attacked in separate incidents. However, no loss of life or injuries were reported as a result of these attacks.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo strongly condemned terrorism incidents in the province.

PM Sharif paid tribute to Sepoy Haq Nawaz who was martyred in Zhob. In a statement, he lauded the security forces for their “effective operation against the terrorists”, state-run APP added.

In response to the Quetta attack, the Balochistan CM instructed the Inspector General Police (IGP) to take measures to ensure the protection of the lives and property of common citizens.

He also sought a report after the conclusion of the investigation into these attacks.

Source: Dawn

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


Islamabad blast: martyred cop’s family to get Rs20m, taxi driver’s Rs10m

Ikram Junaidi

December 26, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minis­­ter Shehbaz Sharif has approved a financial package for the families of a policeman and a taxi driver who lost their lives in a suicide bombing in Islamabad on Friday (Dec 23).

Syed Adeel Hussain, a head constable in Islamabad police, and Syed Sajjad Haider Shah, the taxi driver, were martyred and six other people, four policemen among them, injured in the blast at Islamabad’s I-10/4 sector.

Television footage showed the fiery wreckage of a vehicle with several cops at the scene after the explosion. Shortly afterwards, the Islamabad police declared a “red alert” in the city.

The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, which called off a stop-start ceasefire with the government last month, claimed responsibility for the blast in a statement. It was established during investigation the taxi driver had no links with the suicide bomber.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed the district administration of Islamabad on Sunday to hand over a cheque for Rs10 million to the family of Sajjad Haider. The cheque was handed over to his family the same day.

The premier also directed the interior ministry to ensure that the martyred policeman’s family received the Shuhada (martyrs) Assistance Package.

Source: Dawn

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


Balochistan Terror Attack Kills Four Pakistani Security Forces

By Nizamuddin Rezahi

December 25, 2022

Four Pakistani security personnel were killed in a terror attack that took place earlier today in Balochistan, Pakistan, according to media reports.

The security convoy came under attack in the Kech district of Balochistan leaving four army officers dead and eight others injured. The attack has so far not been claimed by any organization or insurgent group. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or Baloch militants are likely behind the fatal assault on the Pakistani forces.

This is the second terrorist attack taking place in Pakistan over the past week. Suicide bombers blew up a vehicle before reaching the final target in the capital Islamabad on Friday, December 23, killing one police officer and injuring many others.

The second attack targeted the Pakistani army convey earlier today causing to the death of four military personnel and injuring more.

These terror attacks come as the Pakistani Taliban called off their year-long ceasefire with the government of Pakistan, and intensified their operations in different parts of the country.

Source: Khaama Press

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


PTI to approach Pakistan National Assembly for acceptance of lawmakers' resignations

Dec 25, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Farrukh Habib on Sunday said that lawmakers from his party will visit the National Assembly on Wednesday for the acceptance of their resignations as members of the lower house of parliament, Dawn reported.

On Sunday, Farrukh Habib said, "We are going to the National Assembly on Wednesday to get our resignations accepted. The PTI lawmakers had tendered their resignations in writing. However, only 11 resignations were accepted based on mala fide (intentions)."

Habib stressed that the matter was also a "test for the Election Commission (EC) of Pakistan," according to Dawn.

"Now accept our resignation. Why are they (EC) being evasive?" Dawn quoted Farrukh Habib as saying.

In April this year, the PTI announced mass resignations from the National Assembly, a day after party chief Imran Khan's ouster as Prime Minister through a no-confidence vote. After the submission of their resignations, National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri at the time, in the capacity of the house's acting speaker, accepted the resignations of 123 PTI Members of the National Assembly.

Incumbent speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf later decided to verify the resignations and accepted the resignations of only 11 lawmakers on July 27, as per the Dawn report. Ashraf stated that he will not approve any resignations until he is satisfied that they are "voluntary and genuine". He even invited the PTI's lawmakers to appear for the verifications of their resignations, as per the Dawn report.

Source: Times Of India

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


Pakistan ‘ill-prepared’ to combat new Covid variants

Ikram Junaidi

December 26, 2022

ISLAMABAD: As new variants of coronavirus spread at a rapid pace in parts of the globe, including India, China, and the United States, health authorities in Pakistan seem to be ill-prepared to stop the arrival of the virus in the country.

Even though the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) claimed that the situation was being closely monitored, there have been no measures at airports, such as rapid testing and screening of inbound travellers, to detect positive cases of Covid-19.

NCOC member Dr Shahzad Ali Khan said the Centre was regularly holding its meetings. He added it was yet to be seen how new variants would behave in Pakistan since “viruses behave differently in different environments”.

“We have been closely observing the situation. It is a fact that a sudden spread [of Covid-19] has been observed in China because there were strict restrictions in place and an abrupt removal of these curbs allowed the virus to spread,” he said.

Dr Khan claimed that the immunity level of the citizens of Pakistan was better due to vaccination.

Experts urge NCOC to issue updated guidelines amid lack of screening at airports

“New variants may disturb those who are not inoculated, so I would urge people to get vaccinated and get booster shots. Although NCOC has not issued any guidelines, I would advise people that they should avoid social gatherings for some days,” he said.

Time for updated SOPs

On the other hand, independent experts believe that NCOC should issue fresh guidelines and give a “position statement”. Since the world has become a global village, the virus can enter the country anytime, they said, adding that people would prefer to travel following the new guidelines.

Microbiologist Prof Javaid Usman said that in China virus started spreading at a fast pace after restrictions were suddenly lifted. He added that currently, the atmosphere due to a lack of rainfall has become polluted, with dust acting as one of the major pollutants.

“Such atmosphere contains Influenza, swine flu (H1N1), non-Covid-19 coronaviruses, para-influenza viruses, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Due to the presence of all these other germs, it becomes difficult to tell if a person is suffering from Covid-19 or some other virus,” he said.

Dr Usman urged people to wear masks and take precautionary measures.

Prof Dr Javed Akram, a renowned general physician, told Dawn said that over the months, the transmissibility of the virus has increased, but so far there was no evidence if vaccines were effective against Covid-19 or not.

“I suggest that NCOC should regularly issue guidelines because it keeps masses and health authorities vigilant,” he said, adding that international organisations watch these steps very closely and people start travelling in the light of advisories.

While replying to a question, Dr Akram said that the immunity level of Pakistanis was high due to the Expanded Program of Immunisation (EPI). “Moreover, we have more experience with viruses because of hygiene and other issues. Although it is not good for our health, but in the case of Covid-19 it is good,” he said.

According to a document from the National Institute of Health, 15 new Covid-19 cases were reported across the country on Sunday. The case positivity ratio was 0.4 per cent and 16 patients were in critical condition.

At least 3,749 Covid tests were conducted: around 406 tests were conducted in Islamabad, 107 in Faisalabad, 920 in Lahore, and 321 in Peshawar.

The coronavirus strain spreading in China is a sub-variant of the highly infectious Omicron variant: BF.7 or BA., CBS News reported.

Following widespread protests, the country of 1.4 billion people this month began dismantling its “zero-Covid” regime of lockdowns and testing that had largely kept the virus away for three years — at great economic and psychological costs.

Source: Dawn

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





Thousands of protesters rally in Haifa against incoming Netanyahu-led cabinet

25 December 2022

Thousands of protesters have staged a demonstration in the port city of Haifa in the Israeli-occupied territories against the regime's incoming right-wing administration led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The protesters and left-wing activists blocked roads near the center of Horev, marched with burning torches, and chanted against the initiatives of Likud political party and its partners.

The main focus of the demonstration was a series of controversial bills that would give the right-wing coalition more power over the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, and police policies.

In addition to the bills, there is a law that would allow for the chairman of the Shas religious political party, Arye Deri, to assume a ministerial position despite a past conviction for tax offenses.

The protesters called on all Israelis to “demonstrate against the dangerous legislations being promoted by the incoming criminal administration.”

The protest was attended by former minister for military affairs Moshe Ya'alon, former Israeli army spokesman Brigadier-General Ron Kitri, and several formerly top-brass military commanders.

The participants said the demonstration was in continuation of the rally staged a week earlier at Habima Square in Tel Aviv.

That demonstration had been attended by thousands of protesters.

It mainly targeted the incoming right-wing coalition administration, and their legislative blitz to pass a slew of controversial laws.

Source: Press TV

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


Hamas: Netanyahu’s cabinet ‘neo-fascist’; Palestinians capable of defeating Israel

25 December 2022

A senior member of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has slammed the “neo-fascist” Israeli coalition cabinet led by Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the Palestinian people are capable of defeating the far-right occupying regime.

Khaled Meshaal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau abroad, made the remarks on Sunday in a mass ceremony held on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the founding of the resistance movement in the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon.

The new Israeli regime is “teeming with the most extreme religious and nationalist right in the history of the entity,” Meshaal said, adding, “Our great Palestinian people are capable of defeating the occupation and its neo-fascist” cabinet.

He said Israel thinks that with its extremist cabinet, it “will end our cause, but our great people, with their originality and unity, can turn this challenge into an opportunity as all settlement projects have been defeated, the latest of which was the deal of the century.”

Netanyahu, as the Likud chairman, is currently engaged in assembling a coalition that will see far-right figures Itamar Ben-Gvir of the Jewish Power party and Bezalel Smotrich of the Religious Zionism party likely exert more power over occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank and with the police.

Thousands of protesters have over the past few days staged demonstrations in various cities across the Israeli-occupied territories against the regime’s incoming right-wing administration.

Elsewhere in his address, the Hamas official pointed to the so-called normalization deals between the Israeli regime and a few Arab countries, saying the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar showed that normalizing ties with Israel is nothing but an “illusion.”

“The Qatar World Cup confirmed the centrality of the Palestinian cause and its active and strong presence, which disturbed the Zionists who felt that Palestine was the 33rd team in this tournament,” Meshaal said, referring to the much-frequent waving of Palestinian flags in Qatari stadiums.

“The normalization has proven to be an illusion, and it is an artificial thing that has no roots among our peoples,” he noted. “We have a position in the international arena and when we stand united, the world will stand with us.”

Back in 2020, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed United States-brokered agreements with Israel to normalize their ties with the regime. Some other regional states, namely Sudan and Morocco, followed suit soon afterward.

The move, however, sparked widespread condemnations from the Palestinians as well as nations and human rights advocates across the globe, especially within the Muslim world. Palestinians denounced the normalization deals as a “stab in the back” and a “betrayal” to their cause.

Source: Press TV

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


Suicide cases soaring at alarming rate among Israeli troops, hit new record

25 December 2022

A recent report has revealed that suicide cases among Israeli army personnel continue to increase at an alarming rate, with the latest figures causing serious concerns among the occupying regime’s top-ranking military and intelligence figures as they have established a new record.

According to a report published by the Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, fourteen Israeli soldiers have taken their lives since the beginning of the current year, and the number marks a dramatic rise within the last five years.

The Israeli military recorded a total of 11 suicides for the whole of last year and nine cases in 2020.

According to the Palestine Today news agency, suicide is still the leading cause of death within the ranks of the Israeli army in non-combat situations, and the number has soared dramatically in recent years.

Official data from the Information and Research Center of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) show that the Tel Aviv regime registers 500 suicides each year, 100 of which are among young people in the 15-24 age bracket.

Last May, the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Israel Hayom reported that a senior Israeli intelligence officer had taken his own life by jumping from a high building. Initial investigations concluded that the unnamed lieutenant decided to end his life due to personal problems.

The newspaper said there existed undeniable links between the lieutenant's suicide and what drove another Israeli intelligence officer to commit suicide inside a military prison last June.

The Israeli officer was found in serious condition in his cell at the newly-opened Neve Tzedek prison on the night of May 16, 2021, and later pronounced dead in what military officials said was a suspected suicide.

Source: Press TV

Please click the following URL to read the full text of the original story:,-hit-new-record


Iran Supreme Court upholds death sentence of protester

24 December ,2022

Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a protester, state media reported on Saturday, after earlier reporting that his appeal had been accepted.

Earlier on Saturday, state media reported that the Supreme Court had accepted the appeals of Mohammad Ghobadlou and Saman Seydi, two protesters who had been sentenced to death.

The Supreme Court later issued an amendment, saying Ghobadlou’s appeal has been rejected and that his death sentence has been upheld, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

The 22-year-old’s life is in “serious danger,” the activist group 1500tasvir tweeted after the news that his death sentence had been upheld.

Iran has already executed two protesters. Mohsen Shekari and Majidreza Rahnavard, both 23, were hanged earlier this month.

“At least 39 protesters are currently at risk of execution or death penalty sentences,” Oslo-based rights group Iran Human Rights (IHR) said last week.

Protests – described by the regime as “riots” – have swept across Iran since September 16 when 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini died after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran.

Since Amini’s death, demonstrators have been calling for the downfall of the regime in a movement that has become one of the boldest challenges to the Islamic Republic since its establishment in 1979.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Houthis abduct famous Sanaa YouTuber following corruption remarks


December 25, 2022

AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni social media activists in Houthi-controlled Sanaa said that the Iran-backed militia has kidnapped a prominent YouTuber off a Sanaa street days after he sharply attacked them on social media.

Ahmed Hajar, a well-known Yemeni comedian, actor and YouTuber was strolling last week along Al-Zubairi street in Sanaa when he was kidnapped by armed men in civilian clothing driving a bus and taken to an unknown destination.

The news of his disappearance spread over the weekend after his relatives reported him missing.

The Houthis did not claim responsibility for the kidnapping, but their leaders and sympathizers on social media condemned Hajar for inciting the populace against the movement.

Hajar’s abduction has prompted considerable sympathy for him and indignation over the militia’s suppression of free speech and dissidents.

Hajar uploaded a 10:22-minute video on YouTube last week in which he criticized the Houthis for excessive taxation, extensive corruption, the destruction of the educational system and the inability to pay public workers.

“Houthi Ansar Allah! Every Yemeni inside and beyond Yemen is protesting about you …People say that you are criminals, fraudsters and losers and that you came to (Sanaa) to steal, plunder and take vengeance,” Hajar remarked in the Sanaani dialect, using a scathing tone.

Hajar, who has 214,000 YouTube subscribers and 68,598 Facebook followers, stated that the public — including bakery owners, taxi drivers, grocery store owners and even wealthy people — urged him to post a video expressing their complaints about fleecing charges and taxes, hunger and the militia’s indifference to the suffering of the people.

“People are hungry and looking for food while also trying to save enough for their children’s private school education. You have ruined education,” he said, warning the Houthis that increasing animosity toward their movement will lead to a revolt. “The people will explode.”

The video has received over 8,000 comments and thousands of likes on YouTube and has been extensively shared on other social media sites. It garnered even greater media and public attention when Hajar’s family reported him missing.

Along with overwhelming support for the victim, the kidnapping has spurred influential people in Sanaa to condemn the movement for abducting Hajar and disregarding public demands that it combat corruption, solve rising inflation and improve public services.

Ahmed Elaw, a Sanaa-based figure with 786,00 YouTube subscribers, demanded that the Houthis acknowledge the spread of corruption and famine and cease their persecution of dissenting voices.

“He is speaking about the country and criticizing its domestic affairs,” Elaw said, referring to Hajar. “He is telling the truth, which you reject.

“People are starving. People cannot afford to purchase yogurt and are eating rubbish. We won’t remain quiet. Put us in prison and shoot us to death.”

Yemenis from all walks of life, including some of the movement’s supporters, decried the YouTuber’s kidnapping and demanded his immediate release.

“This man is equivalent to a thousand men, and we must support him with all our might,” Saddam Ahmed commented on the video.

Mohammed Al-Mahdi, adviser to the Ministry of Culture, said that what Hajar disclosed about the situation in Sanaa and other Houthi-controlled regions is just the tip of the iceberg.

“This video illustrates a portion of the deplorable reality in their regions and demonstrates the disdain people have for them and their practices,” Al-Mahdi tweeted.

As with many other similar arrests of opposition figures, the Houthis did not formally state that Hajar was abducted. Nonetheless, their followers and even authorities on social media viciously attacked the man, accusing him of undermining the sacrifices of their warriors and assisting their adversaries.

Abdulkader Al-Murtada, head of the Houthi prisoner exchange committee, hinted at their involvement in the kidnapping of Hajar by stating the movement would not accept critics against it and its warriors.

Source: Arab News

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


Fisherman return to Iran years after Somalia kidnapping

25 December ,2022

Fourteen Iranian fishermen seized by the al-Shabaab militant group in Somalia, some as long as eight years ago, have returned home, news outlets in the Islamic Republic said Sunday.

The fishermen were abducted in international waters near Somalia and released after “lengthy negotiations with government officials, tribal chiefs and Somali elders,” the ISNA news agency reported.

They were welcomed in a special ceremony at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Saturday night before being transported to their southern hometown of Chabahar, it added.

Their release comes almost a month after Somali police said they discovered 20 foreigners -- 14 Iranians and six Pakistanis -- near territory controlled by the militant group.

At the time, Somali police said some had been kidnapped by al-Shabaab in 2014, while others had been abducted on the southern coast of Harardhere in mid-2019.

It was unclear how they came to be released, and police provided no further details, citing an ongoing inquiry.

Reports suggested they could have been abducted by pirates and handed over to al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda that includes foreign fighters among its ranks.

Al-Shabaab, which controls swathes of rural Somalia, has been trying to overthrow the central government for 15 years, funding its insurgency through criminal activities including kidnapping and ransom.

Somalia has also been plagued by piracy for years, though attacks on maritime vessels off the coast have fallen off sharply in recent years since peaking at 176 in 2011.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Aide to Turkish president Erdogan blames Paris unrest after shooting on PKK

25 December ,2022

A top aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday blamed street unrest that gripped Paris following the killing of three Kurds on outlawed PKK militants.

“This is PKK in France,” Erdogan’s foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin tweeted, posting images of overturned and burning cars in Paris.

“The same terrorist organization you support in Syria,” he wrote in apparent reference to the YPG.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies.

Ankara has been feuding with the US and European powers about their support for Kurdish fighters in the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it portrays as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

The YPG played a central role in the US-led campaign against ISIS in Syria. It is not proscribed as a terrorist organization by either the US or the European Union – an issue of constant tension in their relations with NATO member Turkey.

“The same PKK that has killed thousands of Turks, Kurds and security forces over the last 40 years. Now they are burning the streets of Paris. Will you still remain silent?” Kalin wrote.

The street protest broke out Friday after a 69-year-old white French gunman opened fire at a Kurdish cultural center in Paris, killing three.

A source close to the case told AFP that the gunman admitted to investigators that he was racist.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Turkish court releases journalist detained under ‘disinformation’ law

24 December ,2022

A Turkish court ordered the release of a journalist held on remand under the country’s new disinformation law after his lawyer objected to his detention, he said.

Sinan Aygul became the first person to be jailed pending trial under the law, approved by parliament two months ago, that the government says is aimed at protecting the public, but which critics say could be abused to stifle dissent.

Aygul, a journalist in the Kurdish-majority Bitlis province, wrote on Twitter last week that a 14-year-old girl had allegedly been sexually abused, including by police and soldiers.

He retracted the posts and apologized for writing them without confirming the story with authorities but was later arrested.

Aygul said in a video posted to Twitter late on Friday that he was released after his lawyer filed an objection to the detention order.

“I am free again after 10 days of captivity,” he said in the video. “I hope neither I nor any of my journalist colleagues has to experience such a situation.”

The law carries a jail sentence of up to three years for anyone who spreads false or misleading information.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Iran Supreme Court accepts appeals of two protesters sentenced to death

24 December ,2022

Iran’s Supreme Court has accepted the appeals of two protesters sentenced to death due to flaws in investigating their cases, the country’s judiciary said on Saturday.

“The Supreme Court accepted the appeals of Mohammad Qobadloo and Saman Saidi Yasin, accused of the recent riots,” the judiciary’s Mizan news agency reported.

“Due to research deficiencies, the Supreme Court has referred them to the same courts for re-examination.”

Nationwide unrest erupted in mid-September after the death in custody of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police enforcing the Islamic Republic’s mandatory dress code laws.

Iran hanged two protesters earlier this month. Mohsen Shekari, 23, was accused of blocking a main road in September and wounding a member of the paramilitary Basij force with a knife. Majid Reza Rahnavard, 23, who was accused of stabbing to death two Basij members, was publicly hanged from a construction crane.

Amnesty International has said Iranian authorities are seeking the death penalty for at least 21 people in what it called “sham trials designed to intimidate those participating in the popular uprising that has rocked Iran.”

Qobadloo was charged with killing a police agent and injuring five others during the protests.

Yasin, a Kurd who raps about inequality, oppression and unemployment, was accused of attempting to kill security forces and singing revolutionary songs.

Rights group HRANA said that as of Friday 506 protesters had been killed, including 69 minors. It said 66 members of the security forces had also been killed. As many as 18,516 protesters are believed to have been arrested, it said.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


Fuel shortage causes largest hospital in Yemen’s Taiz to shut down


SANAA, Yemen

A fuel crisis has forced the largest hospital in Yemen’s central Taiz province to stop operations on Sunday, according to the hospital.

In a statement, Al-Thawra General Hospital said fuel shortage has caused all hospital’s sections to shut down.

“The lives of patients at the hospital are at risk,” the hospital warned.

Al-Thawra hospital runs on fuel donations from UN agencies and international organizations, in addition to fuel shipments from the local authorities.

The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels share control of Taiz province amid a protracted civil war in the Arab country.

The Yemeni conflict began in September 2014 when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia entered the war in early 2015 to restore the government to power.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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

Israel offers to transfer Palestinian prisoners of Jordanian origin to complete sentence in Jordan


December 25, 2022

RAMALLAH: In a surprise move, Israel has offered Palestinian inmates with Jordanian citizenship the option of being transferred to prisons in Jordan to continue serving out their sentences there.

The National Committee for Jordanian Prisoners and Missing Persons in Israeli Detention Centers has revealed an agreement presented by the Israeli Prisons Administration to Palestinian prisoners of Jordanian nationality.

Four out of 18 Jordanian prisoners have so far accepted the offer of the prison administration, most of whom had been served with long sentences.

Others, including Abdullah Barghouti, are sentenced to life imprisonment.

Barghouti serves a prison term of 67 life sentences and 5,200 years — the longest in history.

He is entering his 20th year in Israeli prisons.

He was arrested on March 5, 2003, in the city of Al-Bireh in the central West Bank.

Israel accuses him of contributing to the killing of more than 60 Israelis.

Barghouti’s family learned from a released Palestinian prisoner close to him that he agreed to the offer made by the prison administration to transfer him to Jordan to complete his sentence.

Um Usama, Barghouti’s wife, confirmed this to Arab News.

She said that her husband, 50, was being detained in Eshel prison in Israel and that she, her two daughters and her son had only been able to visit him only four times since his arrest 20 years ago due to security obstacles.

His parents have not been able to see him since his arrest, except last summer, when they came from Jordan, despite their illness, for a visit that lasted 30 minutes.

Sources in the Barghouti family told Arab News that they had contacted the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding Jordan’s willingness to receive Barghouti and the other prisoners.

The ministry, however, told them it did not know anything about the matter.

Arab News contacted Mohammed, Barghouti’s brother, who resides in Qatar and who obtained a copy of the agreement, which was extended to Barghouti in mid-2017 and which he agreed to this month.

He said his brother accepted the agreement after Hamas was informed of it and its opinion was taken into consideration.

“If Abdullah can be closer to his parents, that’s better because he has been in jail for more than 20 years. They have only seen him once," he said.

Maj. Gen. Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Prisoners Commission Affairs, told Arab News that he had no confirmation of the matter.

If confirmed, the move will alleviate the suffering of the prisoners’ families, who have not been able to visit them for years.

A senior source in the Fatah movement told Arab News that the latest development indicated that a prisoner exchange between Hamas and Israel was imminent.

Under the agreement, Israel would be able to remove members of Hamas serving long terms within its prisons without appearing as if it made great concessions to the movement by releasing prisoners such as Barghouti.

A senior Palestinian official, who has dealt with security prisoners’ issues and who spoke to Arab News on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Israeli jail authorities summoned a prisoner a week ago and asked him to sign a document that would allow him to be transferred to Jordan to complete the rest of his sentence.

The prisoner asked for advice from Palestinian officials.

Source: Arab News

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


Yemeni armed forces can target depths of aggressors: Defence chief

26 December 2022

The Yemeni defense minister says the country’s armed forces are prepared to target the strategic depths of Saudi Arabia and its allies in retaliation for their devastating military onslaught and all-out blockade against Yemen.

Major General Mohammad al-Atifi said on Sunday that Yemeni soldiers and their allies are fully mobilized and prepared to decisively counter any hostile threat or act of aggression by the Riyadh-led military coalition.

He noted that the aggressors are intensely regrouping and trying to expand their presence in Yemeni provinces, regions and islands, which have been occupied by Takfiri militants either allied to Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

‘New phase of military confrontation will be completely different’

Meanwhile, a senior member of Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement said on Sunday night that “the new phase of military confrontation with Saudi Arabia will be completely different compared to previous bouts, as Yemeni armed forces will employ all tools of power in their possession to exercise power against any threat.”

Mohammad al-Bakhiti told Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Mayadeen television news network that the Saudi-led alliance has failed to put forward any initiatives that would respond to the Yemeni nation’s demands and has not provided a mechanism aimed at resumption of salary payments to all civil servants.

He denounced the Saudi-led coalition over attempts to provoke internal disputes in Yemen by means of paying salaries of a fraction of civil servants and pitting people against each other.

“Our hands will not be tied and we will give an adequate response to the Yemen siege if the legitimate demands of the Sana’a-based National Salvation Government are not taken into consideration,” Bakhiti said.

“Yemeni armed forces enjoy the necessary combat preparedness to strike the depths of aggressor countries,” the senior Ansarullah official asserted.

‘Complete ceasefire established once Yemen siege lifted’

Separately, the head of Yemen’s national negotiating delegation Mohammed Abdul-Salam told Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network on Sunday evening that a nationwide ceasefire would be established once the brutal siege against Yemen is lifted and Saudi-led coalition forces are completely pulled out.

He said the Omani delegation had constructive negotiations with Ansarullah chief Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, head of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council Mahdi al-Mashat, and Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mohammad Abdulkarim al-Ghamari.

“Since the end of the UN-brokered nationwide ceasefire in early October, we have had intensive consultations with other parties, including direct meetings with representatives from Saudi Arabia and the United Nations in Muscat. Our forces have also imposed new military equations in Yemen,” Abdul-Salam said.

“The Saudi-led coalition must realize the fact that we have entered a new phase of confrontation. We are not witnessing any commitment on the part of the Riyadh-led alliance to the ceasefire. Our Omani brethren are making efforts to secure the truce,” he added.

“A permanent ceasefire could be established once the all-out siege against Yemen is lifted, the salaries of civil servants are fully paid, and occupiers are completely withdrawn,” Abdul-Salam said.

Saudi Arabia, in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states, launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015

The objective was to crush Ansarullah, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen, and reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Source: Press TV

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



North America


US embassy in Pakistan warns of possible attack on Islamabad Marriot Hotel

26 December ,2022

The US embassy in Pakistan warned of a possible attack against Americans at the Marriott Hotel in the capital, Islamabad, “sometime during the holidays.”

In a statement on its website, the embassy said all American staff are barred from visiting the hotel.

The statement comes two days after Islamabad had its first suicide bombing in eight years, which killed a policeman and the two attackers.

Source: Al Arabiya

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


UN Seeks Clarity From Taliban Over Ban On Women From Working In NGOs

December 25, 2022

New York: United Nations is seeking to meet with the Taliban leadership to obtain clarity on the reported order barring all female employees of national and international organizations (NGOs) from going to work, according to the UN Humanitarian office, OCHA.

"The UN will seek to meet with the Taliban leadership to obtain clarity on the reported order. Women must be enabled to play a critical role in all aspects of life, including the humanitarian response," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Saturday.

"Their participation must be both respected and safeguarded. This latest decision will only further hurt those most vulnerable, especially women and girls," the statement added.

On Saturday, the Taliban regime ordered all local and foreign NGOs to stop female employees from coming to work in the country. The Taliban-led Ministry of Economy (MOE) ordered all national and international non-government organizations to suspend the jobs of female employees until further announcement, TOLO news reported.

This order came only a few days after the Taliban ordered the closure of universities to female students across the country.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed deep concern about the ban imposed by the Taliban on women from working for national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

"The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the reported order of the de facto Taliban authorities banning women from working for national and international non-governmental organizations," said Secretary-General Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric in a statement.

"This decision will undermine the work of numerous organizations working across the country helping those most vulnerable, especially women and girls," he added.

The United Nations and its partners, including national and international NGOs, are helping more than 28 million Afghans who depend on humanitarian aid to survive. The reported ban on women working with the international community to save lives and livelihoods in Afghanistan will cause further untold hardship for the people of Afghanistan.

Source: ND TV

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

Kuwaiti foreign minister meets US Congress delegation

December 26, 2022

KUWAIT: Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah met on Sunday US representatives from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and House Homeland Security Committee, Kuwait News Agency reported.

During their official visit to Kuwait, the US delegation was led by Congressman David N. Cicilline, chair of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism.

The meeting reviewed the two countries’ bilateral relations and cooperation, which have grown stronger over the past six decades.

Sheikh Salem praised the progress made towards realizing shared aspirations in the economic, cultural, educational and security fields.

The foreign minister said that the two countries collaborated to promote diplomatic coordination and to share their counter-extremism and terrorism experience.

The US representatives reaffirmed the US’s commitment to Kuwait’s safety and security, and expressed gratitude for its hosting of US troops.

They also praised Kuwait’s humanitarian and diplomatic efforts in recent years to restore regional security and stability.

Source: Arab News

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





Two-state solution used as ‘smokescreen’ to fake concern for Palestinian rights: EU lawmaker

25 December 2022

An independent Irish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) says the so-called two-state solution has been used as a “smokescreen” to fake concern for Palestinians’ rights while leaving the illegal entity to press ahead with its acts of genocide.

Mick Wallace, an MEP from Ireland for the South constituency, made the comments in a post on his Twitter account on Sunday, which was accompanied by video footage of his address at a European Parliament’s plenary session held on December 13.

“The 2 State Solution is dead — killed by the apartheid” regime of Israel thanks to the US and the EU, Wallace wrote.

“It has been used as a smokescreen to pretend concern for the rights of Palestinians while leaving Israelis to pursue their genocide,” he added. “Palestinians have to fight for their human rights.”

Addressing the plenary session, the Irish MEP rebuked the Israeli regime and said the international community had turned a blind eye to the illegal entity’s crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Who is going to make them respect the 1967 lines? No one lifted a finger while they evicted Palestinians from their homes and lands, illegally annexed territory and built countless illegal settlements. Why should Palestinians accept the terms of a deal that they know from bitter experience the other side is incapable of honoring?” Wallace said.

“Three decades, we have talked about this proposal as it becomes more of a fantasy, while the Palestinians suffer the brutal grinding reality of apartheid,” he underlined.

“If this is all we have to offer, then the Palestinians are better-off pursuing their right to resist the colonization of their lands, to fight for self-determination, independence and the right of return for all Palestinian refugees, to fight for human rights and freedom.”

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN Security Council resolutions have in the past called for the two-state solution based on the 1967 boundaries, and pronounced settlements in the two areas “a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution.”

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

Palestinians want the resolution of the conflict with Tel Aviv based on the so-called two-state solution along the pre-1967 boundaries. However, Israeli officials insist on maintaining the occupation of Palestinian territories.

Source: Press TV

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


French protests once again reveal West's double-standard policy towards Iran riots

25 December 2022

The latest wave of protests over the killing of three members of a Kurdish community in the French capital of Paris has once again highlighted the doubled-standard policy and the politically-motivated approach of the Western media regarding the recent foreign-backed riots in Iran.

The widespread protests in Paris erupted after gunmen carried out the killings at a Kurdish cultural center and nearby cafe on Friday in a busy part of Paris' 10th district.

Police arrested a 69-year-old suspect who the French authorities said had recently been freed from detention while awaiting trial for a sabre attack on a migrant camp in the capital a year earlier.

In response to the killings, the Kurdish Democratic Council in France (CDK-F) called on its website and social media channels for a gathering from midday on Saturday at Republic square, a traditional venue for demonstrations in the city, which led to several hundred people assembling at the venue.

Brimming with fury, the protesters, holding flags and chanting slogans, became disruptive at one point, broke the street railings and set bins on fire, which led to clashes with police forces after they used tear gas and water cannons to scatter the indignant demonstrators.

Police said cars were overturned, at least one vehicle was burned, shop windows were damaged and small fires set ablaze near Republic Square, adding that there had been 11 arrests and around 30 minor injuries.

Later in the day, hundreds of Kurdish protesters, joined by politicians including the mayor of Paris' 10th district, listened to tributes to the victims of the deadly attack.

"We're angry because we have repeatedly sounded the alarm, the last time was just 20 days ago,” said Agit Polat, the spokesperson for the CDK-F. "We're angry because we have not been heard. We're angry because we are constantly being arrested; we are constantly being repressed by the French authorities."

Local media reports as well as witnesses said the French police spared no effort to quash the protests as they resorted to excessive use of force, in what was literally construed as a “heavy-handed crackdown” on dissent, a phrase that was vindictively and by mischief employed to refer to police containing the violent riots in Iran after the September 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the capital, Tehran.

While turning a blind eye to protests by French Kurds, Western media have over the past 100 days utilized such phrases as “suppression of peaceful protests” and “police quashing of anti-government demonstrations” in Iran in an exaggerative and hyperbolic fashion to alter the international media’s narrative about what is actually transpiring in the country.

Earlier in December, Iran's Interior Ministry said the enemy waged a hybrid war against the Islamic Republic to weaken national solidarity and hinder the country's progress, stressing that some 200 people lost their lives in the riots sparked by separatist and terrorist groups since September.

The ministry said the deceased include security forces, people killed in terrorist acts, innocent people who fell victim to the “false-flag killing project” by foreign-affiliated groups, rioters, and armed counterrevolutionary elements who were members of secessionist groups.

It also noted that the riots have inflicted trillions of rials in damage to state, public and private property.

Mahsa Amini died in hospital three days after she collapsed at a police station. An investigation attributed her death to her medical condition, dismissing allegations that she had been beaten by police forces.

Source: Press TV

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


Everyone Must See ‘True Face’ Of PKK Terror Group, Says Turkish Defence Chief

Sarp Ozer 


The Turkish defense chief on Sunday said that everyone must see the "true face" of the PKK terror group after violent protests by supporters of the group left more than two dozen police officers injured in the French capital.

Evaluating the defense and security issues, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that with their successful operations, the Turkish Armed Forces have shattered the “terror corridor” that was aimed to be established in the south of Türkiye.

"No one should expect us to tolerate the terrorist elements nesting near our border. The Turkish Armed Forces have taken and will take all necessary measures at the appropriate place and time for the security of our country and noble nation," he said during a visit to units near the Syria-Türkiye border.

Regarding the violence perpetrated by supporters of the PKK terror group in which at least 31 French police officers were injured in Paris, Akar said: "They saw how troublesome it is to help and support terrorists."

“The snake fed by the French began to bite themselves,” he added.

Having gathered at the central Place de la Republique at around 2.00 p.m. local time (1300GMT) on Saturday, thousands of supporters of the terror group marched to the Boulevard du Temple chanting pro-PKK slogans and carrying posters of the terror group's so-called leaders.

They then ripped off paving stones and threw them at the police, nearby homes, and shops. The attackers also destroyed bus stops.

The police intervened in the scene in a limited fashion, occasionally using tear gas against the attackers.

On Friday, a 69-year-old gunman in Paris opened fire, killing at least three people and injuring three others, according to local media reports.

Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said on Sunday that the shooter, named as William M. by the local media, has “pathological” hatred for foreigners and that he “wanted to kill foreigners” after a robbery in his home in 2016.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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


Supporters of PKK terror group turn Paris into battlefield, injure 31 police officers

Selen Temizer and Esra Taskin 



At least 31 French police officers were injured in violent acts perpetrated by supporters of the PKK terrorist group in Paris, police chief Laurent Nunez said on Saturday.

Having gathered at the central Place de la Republique at around 2:00 p.m. local time (1300 GMT), thousands of supporters of the terror group then marched to the Boulevard du Temple chanting pro-PKK slogans and carrying posters of the terror group’s so-called leaders.

They then ripped off the paving stones and threw them at the police, nearby houses, and shops. The attackers also turned the scene into a battlefield with fireworks and sparklers, destroying the bus stops.

Speaking to local broadcaster BFM TV, Nunez said at least 31 security personnel were injured along with one protester. There had been 11 arrests, he added.

The intervention by police at the scene was rather limited and they occasionally used tear gas against the attackers.

On Friday, a 69-year-old gunman in Paris opened fire, killing at least three people and injuring three others, according to local media reports.

Suspected racist motivations behind the attack will be investigated, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said.

Following the incident, supporters of the PKK terror organization wounded at least six police officers in Paris on Friday, according to local media.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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


In stern warning, British MPs say Saudi Arabia might use Christmas as 'cover for mass executions'

24 December 2022

The British government has warned of Saudi Arabia's plans to take advantage of the Christmas season buzz internationally to carry out mass executions with a lesser risk of diplomatic backlash.

In a letter to Foreign Secretary James Cleverly seen by the Telegraph, members of the British parliament said that Riyadh would use Christmas as “cover for committing atrocities.”

"We are gravely concerned that Saudi Arabia may carry out a mass execution over the holiday period, when the world’s eyes are elsewhere and Saudi authorities feel they will face less diplomatic blowback," the MPs said in their letter.

They emphasized that Saudi Arabia "has a history of carrying out executions over the festive and New Year period, as it did in 2016 and 2020, when it is harder for the international community to quickly respond."

The British parliamentarians called on the foreign secretary to "make representations ahead of the holidays to communicate that this would be utterly unacceptable, before it’s too late."

The letter was signed by MPs across the party spectrum, including David Davis, Hilary Benn, Sir Peter Bottomley, Alistair Carmichael and Andy Slaughter.

The Telegraph quoted human rights groups as saying that around 60 people are currently known to be on death row in Saudi Arabia, with the real figure likely to be significantly higher.

Death row prisoners are often beheaded with swords, hanged or put in front of firing squads, the daily said.

Britain and a number of Western countries are believed to pursue a softer stance on the death penalty in Saudi Arabia as the oil-rich state is trying to mitigate high energy prices caused by the Russian military offensive in Ukraine.

However, in their letter to Cleverly, the British MPs said Saudi Arabia had executed at least 20 people, including 12 foreigners, over the past two weeks.

"It is no coincidence that Saudi Arabia carried out its recent spate of executions while the world was watching the World Cup," the letter read.

Maya Foa, the director of the legal charity Reprieve, said, "[US President] Joe Biden, [former British prime minister] Boris Johnson and [French President] Emmanuel Macron all met the Crown Prince this year – and all failed to condemn the bloodshed. Haven’t we learned how short-sighted it is to cosy up to dictators, hoping they will change?

"In the case of Saudi Arabia, more executions for childhood crimes, for protest offences and for non-violent drug crimes are the inevitable result."

Back in March, Saudi Arabia executed 81 prisoners in a single day over ‘terror-related offenses,’ in the largest mass execution carried out by the highly-conservative Arab kingdom in recent memory.

Source: Press TV

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