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Islamic World News ( 20 Jul 2023, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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“Punish a Muslim”: Cases Of Anti-Muslim Hate in UK ‘Have More Than Doubled’ In A Decade

New Age Islam News Bureau

20 July 20123

 

Related Muslim high school student attacked by peers in Pennsylvania high school

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Europe

• The French disconnection: Riots show influence of growing radical wing of Islam

• 700 get prison terms over riots in France

• Five convicted for murder of Haji Rab Nawaz from Handsworth killed outside mosque

• Harnessing fintech for the next generation of Islamic finance

• BBH Hires Award Winning Creative Directors behind Midnight Ramadan League

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Arab World

• Grand Imam Of Al-Azhar Praises UAE's Commitment To Spreading Values Of Human Fraternity And Coexistence

• Speaker of Shura Council Receives at his residence Members of the Islamic Central Council of Thailand

• UN official praises Saudi Vision 2030 goals

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Mideast

• WAFA: “Islamic-Christian Committee Condemns Desecration Of Mar Elias Church In Haifa By Extremist Jewish Groups”

• Iraq calls on Sweden to prevent attacks on Islam and Quran

• Iran Calls for Establishing a Regional Islamic Court in Collaboration with Iraq, Islamic States

• Kurdish Leaders Congratulate Muslims on Islamic New Year

• Islamic-Christian committee condemns desecration of Mar Elias Church in Haifa by extremist Jewish groups

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India

• AP Chief Minister Jagan, Opposition Leader Naidu Will Not Take Any Decision On UCC That Hurts The Muslim Sentiments

• Samajwadi MLA Abu Azmi's 'Vande Mataram and Allah' remark gets Maharashtra Assembly adjourned

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Southeast Asia

• Places to Pray Increase as More Muslims Visit Mt. Fuji

• Indonesia urged to reposition itself as global halal industry leader

• Azerbaijan to take part in Global Muslim Business Forum in Malaysia

• Motac: Initiative to make Malaysia regional umrah hub can boost Muslim-friendly tourism

• ‘Music lets us be the real versions of ourselves’: Indonesian Muslim metalheads Voice of Baceprot

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South Asia

• Bangladesh Woman, Julie, Dupes, Marries UP Man, Ajay As Per Hindu Customs, Then Sends Bloodied Pic To Mother-In-Law

• US Would Have Invaded Afghanistan Even Without Bin Laden: IEA’s Deputy PM

• Swedish Committee for Afghanistan Suspends Some Activities After Taliban Order

• Afghanistan: Ministry of Defence Repairs over 300 Military Vehicles

• Bangladesh man held with Indian passport at Kochi airport

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Pakistan

• Balochistan Assembly Voices Alarm Over Terrorist Attacks

• Regional Peace Impossible Without Peaceful Resolution Of Kashmir: Pak PM

• PM, MQM discuss setup of caretaker governments

• 2 policemen martyred, 2 injured in late-night attack on Peshawar checkpost

• Pakistan’s nuclear security ranking upgraded

• Ex-servicemen’s body slams anti-army campaign

• Pakistani Passport Ranked Fourth Worst In World

• Tense calm prevails in Balochistan’s Wadh after armed clash

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North America

• Officials File More Charges, But Not Hate Crimes, Against Man Accused Of Attacking Muslim Lawmaker

• Man pleads guilty to 3 charges after Mississauga mosque attack last year

• Group demands attack of Black Muslim woman be probed as hate crime

• ‘The Guardian’ Falls Victim to Amnesia in Piece About Israel Targeting Islamic Jihad Terrorists

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Africa

• Bawumia Campaign denies allegations of Islamic funding by Nigerian group

• Bail Conditions Stall Release Of Bauchi Imam, Abdulaziz

• Buhari canvasses prayers for Nigeria as Muslims mark Islamic New Year

• We’re All Migrants In This World, Ex President Buhari Reminds Muslims On New Year

• Islamic New Year: Don’t relent on fight for your right – AAC

• Brazilian crafts Islamic arts in Paraná

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/punish-muslim-hate-uk/d/130262

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“Punish a Muslim”: Cases Of Anti-Muslim Hate in UK ‘Have More Than Doubled’ In A Decade

 

Related Muslim high school student attacked by peers in Pennsylvania high school

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Aine Fox

20 July 2023Instances of anti-Muslim hate have more than doubled in a decade, according to a monitoring group which said it has produced one of the most detailed studies of such attacks in the UK.

Tell Mama, which monitors and works to tackle anti-Muslim sentiment and abuse, said verified cases of anti-Muslim hate had increased annually from 584 in 2012 to 1,212 cases in 2021.

It said that while this might be partly down to Tell Mama becoming a more recognisable organisation to make reports to and to more people feeling they can report such hate and bigotry, “it may also indicate that greater numbers of cases of anti-Muslim hate are taking place”.

Online hate climbed to a high in 2020, the organisation said, suggesting “the pandemic accelerated” such abuse on the internet.

In the same year there was a “significant rise in neighbour-related disputes that turned anti-Muslim in nature”, with the organisation recording more than a quarter of all street-based (offline) cases as falling into this category.

The organisation said lockdowns “acted as a bottleneck for household and neighbour-related cases”.

In 2020 there were 1,318 online and offline verified cases combined, Tell Mama said.

The group said the highest frequency of verified offline cases took place between the years of 2016, 2017 and 2019, which it noted corresponded to “a cluster of terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom, the Christchurch terrorist attacks in New Zealand and to the Brexit referendum result”.

Tell Mama said the activities of the far right, anti-Muslim attacks globally, political discourse, the Brexit referendum result, the activities of so-called Islamic State and terrorism and extremism, grooming scandals and targeted anti-Muslim campaigns “have all led to spike points in anti-Muslim hate”.

It cited the 2018 “Punish a Muslim” campaign “that raised alarm in parts of British Muslim communities”, and said the Israel-Palestine conflict had “once again spilled over into reports with an increase of anti-Muslim cases” in 2021.

Other spikes came around the time of attacks against asylum seekers and centres supporting them, and when cricketer Azeem Rafiq highlighted racist abuse he suffered, Tell Mama said.

The group’s director, Iman Atta, said: “We have produced one of the most detailed studies in the UK with actual case numbers and classifications of anti-Muslim hate cases covering a decade from 2012-2022. This is a decade worth of data from assisting, supporting and ensuring that British Muslims get access to justice.

“We hope that this data inspires others to focus on this area of work and to bring to the awareness of many that anti-Muslim hate needs to be peacefully challenged, monitored and countered wherever it manifests itself.

“If we are to ensure a society where social cohesion is strengthened, then tackling anti-Muslim hatred is an important area of work that needs our collective effort.”

Source: independent.co.uk

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

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/anti-muslim-hate-increase-uk-palestine-b2378556.html

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Muslim Council Of Elders, UN Environment Programme Invite Participation In COP28 UAE Faith Pavilion

 

Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

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Wed 19-07-2023

ABU DHABI, 19th July, 2023 (WAM) -- The Muslim Council of Elders (MCE) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) invited faith-based and civil society organisations – as well as religious and community figures – to participate in the Faith Pavilion at the upcoming COP28 UAE conference in Dubai, to be held from 30th November to 12th December, 2023.

The MCE will host the Faith Pavilion, a first-of-its-kind space at the UN climate change conference, which will serve as a central hub for faith and interfaith-based engagement towards more effective and ambitious climate action and will provide a platform for partnership and discussions on how to address global challenges including environmental justice.

Upon the opening of invitations to submit EOIs, MCE Secretary-General Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam said, “The Faith Pavilion is a moment for humanity - with participants representing diverse faiths, backgrounds, and generations - to coalesce around a common cause: saving the future of our planet. We look forward to receiving EOIs to join the rich slate of programming at the Pavilion, which will harness the power and wisdom of religions, religious leaders, and faith-based organizations to pursue sustainability.”

“The Faith Pavilion - made possible by the visionary leadership of the UAE, and the dedication and drive of the COP28 UAE Presidency under the leadership of Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology – is especially significant in light of the first ever Global Stocktake (GST) of the Paris Agreement and the inclusion of all voices and peoples in the response to the climate crisis,” Judge Abdelsalam added.

The GST – a key moment to take place during COP28 - will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the progress made over the past five years in limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Those interested in organising a session(s) at the COP28 UAE Faith Pavilion are invited to complete the Expression of Interest form at

https://faithatcop28.com/ before 1st August, 2023.

Proposed sessions should cover the global thematic priorities of COP28 - regional priorities and positions; engagement of youth, women, and indigenous peoples; and the South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

Source: wam.ae

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https://www.wam.ae/en/details/1395303179072

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Swedish Embassy In Baghdad Stormed, Set Alight Over Desecration Of Holy Quran

 

A protester holds up a portrait of Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr as smoke rises from the Swedish embassy building during a protest near the embassy, hours after it was stormed and set on fire ahead of an expected burning of the Holy Quran in Stockholm, in Baghdad on Thursday. — Reuters

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July 20, 2023

Hundreds of protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in central Baghdad in the early hours of Thursday morning, scaling its walls and setting it on fire in protest against the expected burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden.

All Baghdad embassy staff were safe, the Swedish foreign ministry press office said in a statement, condemning the attack and highlighting the need for Iraqi authorities to protect diplomatic missions.

Thursday’s demonstration was called by supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr to protest the second planned burning of the Holy Quran in Sweden in weeks, according to posts in a popular Telegram group linked the influential cleric and other pro-Sadr media.

Sadr, one of Iraq’s most powerful figures, commands hundreds of thousands of followers whom he has at times called to the streets, including last summer when they occupied Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone and engaged in deadly clashes.

Swedish news agency TT reported on Wednesday that Swedish police granted an application for a public meeting outside the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm on Thursday.

The application says the applicant seeks to burn the Holy Quran and the Iraqi flag, TT reported.

A series of videos posted to the Telegram group, One Baghdad, showed people gathering around the embassy around 1am on Thursday (2200 GMT on Wednesday) chanting pro-Sadr slogans and storming the embassy complex around an hour later.

“Yes, yes to the Quran,” protesters chanted.

Videos later showed smoke rising from a building in the embassy complex and protesters standing on its roof. Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

Protests

Iraq’s foreign ministry also condemned the incident and said in a statement the Iraqi government had instructed security forces to carry out a swift investigation, identify perpetrators and hold them to account.

By dawn on Thursday, security forces had deployed inside the embassy and smoke rose from the building as fire-fighters extinguished stubborn embers, according to Reuters witnesses.

Most protesters had withdrawn, with a few dozen milling around outside the embassy.

Late last month, Sadr called for protests against Sweden and the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador after the Holy Quran burning in Stockholm by an Iraqi man.

Swedish police charged the man with agitation against an ethnic or national group. In a newspaper interview, he described himself as an Iraqi refugee seeking to ban the Holy Quran.

Two major protests took place outside of the Swedish embassy in Baghdad in the aftermath of that burning, with protesters breaching the embassy grounds on one occasion.

The governments of several Muslim countries, including Iraq, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Morocco issued protests about the incident, with Iraq seeking the man’s extradition to face trial in the country.

The United States also condemned it, but added that Sweden’s issuing of the permit supported freedom of expression and was not an endorsement of the action.

Similarly, Pakistan had also strongly condemned the “despicable act” of the desecration of the Holy Quran.

The Foreign Office had stated that such intentional incitement to discrimination, hatred, and violence cannot be justified under the pretext of freedom of expression and protest.

“Under international law, states are duty-bound to prohibit any advocacy of religious hatred, leading to the incitement of violence,” it stated.

The FO had urged the international community and the national governments to undertake “credible and concrete measures to prevent the rising incidents of xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred”.

As protests continued in subsequent days, Swedish police approved a permit for a demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, which involved burning holy texts outside the Israeli embassy in Stockholm, sparking condemnation from Israel and Jewish organisations.

Initially, the demonstration was planned to involve burning the Torah and the Bible as a response to the Holy Quran burning protest. The application submitted to the police described it as an expression in support of freedom of speech.

However, a day later, the organiser of the protest announced that he would not proceed with it.

He had explained that his intention was in fact to denounce those who burn sacred books such as the Holy Quran in the Nordic country.

“This is a response to the people who burn the [Holy] Quran. I want to show that freedom of expression has limits that must be taken into account,” the Swedish resident of Syrian origin had said.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1765779/swedish-embassy-in-baghdad-stormed-set-alight-over-desecration-of-holy-quran

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‘A Mosque For Centuries’: Muslims In A Maharashtra Town Push Back Against ‘Temple’ Claims

 

A view of the monument. Credit: Special Arrangement.

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Zafar Aafaq

20 July 2023

On July 14, the Jumma Masjid in Erandol, a town in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district, stayed shut for the Friday prayers. “This is the first time in my life that Friday prayers were not held at the mosque,” said Wasim Asghar Khan, a 32-year-old resident of the town.

Three days ago, the Jalgaon district collector Aman Mittal had issued an order restraining the entry of worshippers in the mosque.

The restrictions came almost two months after a local Hindu group, the Pandavwada Sangharsh Samiti, approached the collector, claiming that the mosque resembles a temple, that it had been under the control of “Jain and Hindu communities since time immemorial” and that the “encroachment by Muslims” on the structure must be removed. If their demands were not met, they threatened to start an agitation.

The mosque is widely believed to date back to the reign of Alauddin Khilji, the 13th-century ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. The mosque trustees claim that they have documents to prove that the place of worship existed in 1861. “The mosque is a Waqf property managed by a local trust and prayers have been held there without interruption for centuries,” said Karim Salar, an activist and educationist in Jalgaon.

A Wakf is an institution or property dedicated for a religious or charitable purpose by a person who professes Islam.

The mosque is also called the Pandavwada Masjid. Altaf Khan, a member of the trust, explained that the name alludes to a local legend that the Pandavas, the central characters of the Mahabharata, had spent some months in Erandol during their exile. A wada refers to large, two-storied traditional residences built around open courtyards in Maharashtra.

On Tuesday, responding to a petition from the mosque’s trust, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court stayed the collector’s order prohibiting prayers at the mosque for two weeks till August 1. It also ordered the collector to hand over the keys of the mosque to the trust.

‘A Jain temple’

On May 18, a group called the Pandavwada Sangharsh Samiti submitted an application to the Jalgaon district collector, claiming that the structure was not a mosque but a temple, and that it was illegally registered as Waqf property.

“We call it a Pandavwada,” claimed Prashad Dandvaty, a member of the Samiti. “It is a Jain temple.” Even archaeological records identify it as a temple He said the group was forced to approach the district administration after the mosque started organising classes on the Quran in the monument.

The group also claimed that an idol of the Jain deity, Lord Parasnath, had been discovered in the structure during the British period.

Based on the group’s application, the district collector on July 11 barred prayers at the mosque.

On July 13, both members of the Jumma Masjid trust and the Hindu group were given a chance to explain their position on the matter to the district collector.

The trust also approached the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court, challenging the July 11 order and arguing that the district collector had exceeded his brief by barring Muslims from entering the mosque.

The history

According to officials of the Jumma Masjid trust, government records dating to October, 1861, show the existence of the mosque.

Khan said that during the hearing before the collector, the trust submitted several city survey maps which show the monument as Jumma Masjid. “All the maps of the spot from the British period to this day label this monument as a masjid,” he said. “Their claims are baseless.”

In 1927, the British authorities and Muslims agreed to set up a trust to look after the mosque, said Salar, the activist from Jalgaon.

The Maharashtra government in 1977 had declared the structure as an ancient and historical monument with the name of “Pandavwada Masjid” and enlisted it as a protected monument under the Maharashtra Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Acts, 1960, said the trust members.

Khan said that the archaeological department has never raised objections on Muslims offering prayers inside the monument.

A 1954 letter by the district collector to the archaeological department in Aurangabad, too, states that the structure has been used as Jumma Masjid by Muslims for many years, according to the trust.

Khan alleged that communal elements in the town have been raking up the issue on and off since the mid-1990s. “They have been trying hard, using different methods, but they have failed every time,” Khan said.

‘An earlier attack’

In 1992-’93, when riots broke out across the country following the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the Jumma Masjid also bore the brunt. According to Muslim residents, some “anti-social elements” attacked the mosque and damaged its front door. The trust officials informed the local authorities, who repaired it.

In 2009, the mosque was registered as Waqf property under the provisions of the Waqf Act 1995.

However, the Pandavwada Sangharsha Samiti, in its application, claimed that the building came under the supervision of the Nashik archaeology department in 1995 – and not a Waqf board. As proof, it cited the fact that the Maharashtra government had set up a police station at the site.

According to Salar, however, a police kiosk was set up outside the monument for its protection after the violence triggered by the Babri Masjid demolition.

Most recently, in 2012, the Erandol municipal council proposed to develop a public garden within the mosque premises. But the trust approached the Waqf tribunal, which passed an injunction, forcing the municipal council to put the plan on hold.

‘Never heard of a puja’

Residents of Erandol, too, appeared to be sceptical about the claims that the mosque was a place of worship for Hindus.

“People come here to visit the monument but I have never seen or heard any non-Muslims doing a puja or any religious act there,” said Dr Suresh Patil, a former municipal councilor and Erandol resident. However, he said that the claims and counter-claims over the mosque had been going on for the last 30 years.

Pratibha Shinde, a civil society activist in Jalgaon, said that incidents targeting Muslims have increased in the district in the last six months. Members of Hindutva groups were responsible for violence during Ram Navami in Jalgaon, she said.

According to Salar, the Jalgaon-based educationist, Muslims are a minority, comprising around 20% of the population of the town. The masjid is located in a predominantly Hindu neighbourhood.

The members of the Samiti, Salar alleged, had been emboldened by the fall of the Uddhav Thackeray government and the return of the Bharatiya Janata Party to power. “They have the backing of Hindutva forces like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the Bajrang Dal and also the support of the ruling party.”

Source: scroll.in

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https://scroll.in/article/1052932/a-mosque-for-centuries-muslims-in-a-maharashtra-town-push-back-against-temple-claims

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Prominent Indian Muslim Leader, Sheikh Abubakr Of Kerala Conferred With Malaysia's Prestigious Religious Honour

 

Country: India

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19-07-2023

Prominent Indian Sunni Muslim leader Sheikh Abubakr Ahmad was honoured on Wednesday with the prestigious Hijra Award, Malaysia's prestigious honour for Influential Muslim Scholars worldwide. Malaysian King Al-Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah presented the award to Ahmad at a grand ceremony held at the Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre, a statement from Ahmad's office said. The event was attended by dignitaries such as Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Minister of Religious Affairs Dr Muhammad Nahim bin Mukhtar, members of the royal family, and civic leaders, it said.

Sheikh Abubakr is popularly known as Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musliyar in his home state Kerala.

The decision to present the award to Sheikh Abubakr was based on his invaluable contributions to promoting the message of love in Islam within India and beyond and his efforts in fostering harmony among different communities, the statement said.

''His profound knowledge of Islamic teachings and leadership in the fields of education, social development, and research were also recognised. The committee acknowledged the exemplary charity activities carried out by the organisation led by Sheikh Abubakr,''it said.

Upon receiving the award, Sheikh Abubakr expressed his delight and stated that the recognition inspires him to expand his work into other fields. He is on a five-day visit to Malaysia at the invitation of the Prime Minister, his office said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Source: devdiscourse.com

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https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/law-order/2529439-prominent-indian-muslim-leader-conferred-with-malaysias-prestigious-religious-honour

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Europe

The French disconnection: Riots show influence of growing radical wing of Islam

July 19, 2023

Imagine the U.S. canceling the Fourth of July holiday due to high crime in our cities, and you get a sense of what has occurred in France. Cities across France canceled Bastille Day observances on July 14 because of rioting that ignited when a police officer shot and killed 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, a French citizen of Algerian and Moroccan descent, during a traffic stop in Paris on June 27.

News reports said churches were burned to the ground, and graffiti was scrawled in red paint on a church in Marseilles declaring: “Mohammed was the last prophet.”

Bank branches were ransacked, and ATMs were opened with chain saws. Some shouted “death to the police,” “death to France,” “death to the Jews” and “Hitler was right.” A Holocaust memorial was defaced. Thousands have been arrested.

Kosher restaurants and shops have been looted and burned.

Ayat Oraby, a former Egyptian TV and Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, has contributed her dose of venom to the French riots: “To where is France heading? To hell, God willing!”

Is France now paying a heavy price for admitting so many radical Islamists into the country? As Sorbonne University professor Bernard Rougier has written: “Since the 1970s, France has welcomed an ever-increasing number of immigrants from the Muslim world. … Only a tiny minority have assimilated into French society. The others live as they lived in their countries of origin.”

Guy Milliere, on his webpage for the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council, recently posted these quotes on the subject: “Radical imams came from the Muslim world and allege that France is guilty of having colonized their countries, that Muslims should continue to live according to the law of Islam and that, in the imams’ view, France should pay for its crimes. Many politicians have told the newcomers that France is racist and had exploited them.”

He also posted this one: “Criminal gangs formed and began ruling these neighborhoods. … French political leaders closed their eyes. Meanwhile, these Muslim neighborhoods have grown, and crime from them increased.”

Some politicians have tried to appease the radicals by sending more money to Muslim neighborhoods after riots by mostly young people who believe they have no future. To no avail. Rioting has now spread to Muslim areas of Belgium and Switzerland.

Again, none of this should come as a surprise. As the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi predicted: “We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe — without swords, without guns, without conquest — will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.”

In 2018, a House of Representatives subcommittee held hearings on the influential Muslim Brotherhood and what it called its “global threat.”

Then-Rep. Ron DeSantis, Florida Republican, said: “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Mohammed Badie, has said that the organization’s goal is to establish a new Islamist caliphate, including the imposition of Shariah law, which is the totalitarian Islamic legal code. We saw what happens when the Brotherhood takes control of a country in Egypt from 2012 to 2013, and the results were chilling, then-President Mohamed Morsi defied the rule of law and granted himself near absolute power. As Egyptian leader Mohamed ElBaredi put it, Morsi usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt’s new pharaoh.”

While it is obligatory to say not all Muslims are terrorists, nor do all share the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood, the rioting in France, Belgium and Switzerland shows the influence of the growing radical wing of Islam. It should be a warning, because the extremists have announced that their ultimate targets are Israel and the U.S.

Source: washingtontimes.com

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https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/jul/19/french-disconnection-riots-show-influence-of-growi/

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700 get prison terms over riots in France

July 20, 2023

PARIS: More than 700 people have been sentenced to prison over riots in France late last month, the country’s justice minister said on Wednesday, lauding the “firm” response of magistrates.

In total, 1,278 verdicts have been handed down, with over 95 per cent of defendants convicted on a range of charges from vandalism to attacking police officers.

Six hundred people have already been jailed.

“It was extremely important to have a response that was firm and systematic,” Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti told RTL radio. “It was essential that we re-establish national order.”

The most intense urban violence in France since 2005 began on June 27 after a police officer shot dead a 17-year-old boy with North African roots during a traffic stop west of Paris, in an incident recorded by a passerby.

The riots were contained after four nights of serious clashes thanks to the deployment of around 45,000 security forces, including elite police special forces and armoured vehicles.

Dupond-Moretti had led calls for courts to hand down harsh sentences as a deterrent, with some staying open over the weekend of the clashes to handle a backlog of cases.

Many suspects faced immediate appearances and some defence lawyers have raised concerns about the fairness of the judicial process and the heavy use of custodial sentences.

The average age of the over 3,700 people arrested was just 17, with the minors appearing in separate children’s courts.

The number of people sentenced to prison exceeds the number in 2005 at the time of the last major riots when around 400 people were sent to jail.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1765735/700-get-prison-terms-over-riots-in-france

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Five convicted for murder of Haji Rab Nawaz from Handsworth killed outside mosque

19th Jul 2023

Five men have been convicted of murder after a father was fatally stabbed following a funeral as an ongoing feud between families erupted into violence.

Haji Choudhary Rab Nawaz had attended a funeral at a mosque - along with his brother - near Durbar Avenue, Coventry, on 2 October last year.

Afterwards they were followed to their nearby parked car by a group - armed with weapons - and they were both stabbed. An attempt was made to drive off but the pair only managed a short distance before seeking help back inside the mosque.

Mr Nawaz, aged 52, who is from Handsworth, sustained serious chest injuries and he died a short time after arriving at hospital. His brother suffered injuries which were not life-threatening.

The group - consisting of Adam Razaaq, Faisal Mohammed, HasnianRazaaq, HashamRazaaq and Jenaid Mahmood - targeted the two men after seeing them at the funeral. The car was smashed up following the stabbings and police then established there was ongoing animosity between two closely-linked families.

Police evidence presented at court was that although Mohammed stabbed Mr Nawaz and Adam Razaaq the other man, all five were jointly involved in the violence which culminated in the death.

After the incident all five quickly fled to different parts of the country but police were able to quickly identify them as suspects and all were arrested within nine days of the killing.

They were convicted following a seven-week trial at Warwick Crown Court.

The following were also convicted of attempted murder and possession of an offensive weapon and will be sentenced at a later date: Adam Razaaq, 21, of Long Lane, Halesowen, Faisal Mohammed, 30, of South Road, Birmingham, HasnianRazaaq, 24, of Long Lane, Halesowen, HashamRazaaq, 23, of Long Lane, Halesowen, and Jenaid Mahmood, 19, of Markby Road, Birmingham

What has West Midlands Police said about the case?

Detective Inspector Nick Barnes, from the homicide unit, said: “This was excessive violence which tragically led to the death of a much-loved father.

“These five men acted together and it seems to have stemmed from an ongoing feud between two families.”

“It is yet another example of the awful consequences of carrying knives in public places. I am grateful to the jury who spent several weeks paying close attention to the evidence, and were clearly unconvinced by the web of lies from those defendants who decided to give evidence.

“Although nothing can sadly ever bring Mr Nawaz back, we hope these convictions will bring some sense of justice for those who knew him.”

Source: birminghamworld.uk

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https://www.birminghamworld.uk/news/five-convicted-for-murder-of-haji-rab-nawaz-from-handsworth-4225223

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Harnessing fintech for the next generation of Islamic finance

Tech is punching down the walls, floor joists and windows of finance all about us. But in the rebuilding how relevant is artificial and business intelligence to Islamic finance in 2023 – and beyond? Can a population of two billion Muslims meaningfully harness this tech for good? How big a deal is it and what are the risks as well as the benefits? The combination of Islamic fintech and data science has made huge strides, attracting millions of new customers.

Whatever their religious background, banking consumers want speed, efficiency and privacy. In other words, a smarter banking experience. The scope of fintech is widening, as is the market for its own services and products. It’s getting competitive, but credible transactions need to be handled with much care.

So how does Shariah compliance work in this space now? Who are the main beneficiaries – and when will they see the benefits for real? World Finance gets startling, innovative responses from company managing director Robert Hazboun in an exclusive interview on the cutting-edge direction and speed of Islamic finance in 2023 and beyond.

Where are the new boundaries as far as digital change goes for Islamic finance in 2023? How hard are they being pushed – and how much progress is being made?

Overall I would say that new frontiers and boundaries for digital change in Islamic finance are being pushed very hard, and the pandemic accelerated this trend. Much progress has been made, from blockchain to AI and digital, or neo banks. All of which are being adapted into Shariah-compliance for digital touch points and to extend financial inclusion in the more devout segments of the market.

If Islamic fintech offers consumers and business more control and choice, its popularity may – reasonably – rise, from touch points to scalability. Where are the ‘sticking points’?

There are complexities with Shariah compliance that may slow the full potential of the Islamic fintech experience, even when it clearly offers value and control to consumers and especially with the more subtle regulatory distinctions for each Islamic ideology. This could delay its inclusion in these technologies. Another point is a lack of awareness of its value among customers, especially in non-Muslim countries. Addressing these challenges needs meaningful collaboration between industry players, regulators, scholars and experts in Islamic finance to create an environment that is conducive to the growth and scalability of Islamic fintech solutions. The will is there.

Where do improvements in artificial intelligence (AI) and business intelligence (BI) lie? Are these opportunities – and risks – better understood by clients (banks)?

AI and BI can help Islamic banks to comply with Shariah law, by analysing data, identifying patterns, and highlighting areas of possible improvements to different channels and touch points.

This can help reduce the risk of non-compliance and improve the quality of Islamic banking services and enhance business operations, decision-making processes, as well as customer experiences. However, risks from depending on AI and machine learning in Islamic finance also loom, namely in financing cases that have no precedents in Shariah law.

This can cause confusion, complexity, and prolonged processes to find and interpret the relevant religious texts with regulatory bodies. So it’s complicated. Clients have to prioritise their own continuous learning, collaboration and foster a more data-driven decision-making culture within their own organisations to gain the understanding of the opportunities and risks presented by AI and BI. We’re here to support this.

Given so much AI and BI change, how much ‘future-proofing’ concern is there? How should this be planned and anticipated?

Future-proofing concerns for banking systems with the rise of AI and BI are centred around data security, compliance, customer privacy, bias and fairness. Also talent acquisition and change management. It’s a lot. Continuously future-proofing is an ongoing endeavour, not one undertaking. A flexible mindset is needed. So adaptability is a priority for handling and strategising the ever-changing realm of AI and BI, absolutely. We are always exploring possibilities to adapt machine learning and AI to Shariah-compliance.

Many Muslims in the West are young, especially in the under-30 age group. This brings challenges as well as opportunity. How well realised is this by yourself?

It’s absolutely realised. The younger Muslim population, especially in the west, is drawn to banking services offering Islamic financing through digital channels which fits into their tech-savvy, on-the-go lifestyle. They’re dependent on them to help them manage their lives. To support this ICS BANKS Islamic Banking is our own customer-centric platform. It’s built from the ground up with decades of tech evolution poured into it offering digital banking products and services such as mobile banking apps and Islamic digital financing platforms. The latest AI, blockchain and digital wallet tech are fully integrated. This keeps Islamic banks and financial institutions relevant for this vitally important demographic, no question about it.

How do your own technology solutions help customers with data-driven pressures – your own and theirs?

Our banking solutions offer tools for data-driven pressures, ethical considerations and data privacy with its own scalable architecture including several reporting methods such as Omnichannel KYC, spending analysis and regulatory reports. These support banks, financial institutions and customers by analysing massive amounts of financial data, detecting trends and patterns, mitigating risk, such as identifying fraudulent activities. We believe this helps banks and financial institutions learn more about their own risk profile, their own distinct customer base, resulting in more personalised and bespoke products – that’s important. This in turn helps customers make better financial decisions. Our products are totally central to their better decision-making process.

Is more personalisation and bespoke product planning part of the broader Islamic fintech landscape? Or is growth slower because of more manual processes to anticipate and plan for?

While some growth rates for Islamic fintechs may have been slow, digital innovation is making it easier to adapt Shariah-compliant products faster. But as Islamic finance evolves and expands globally, there might be variations in interpretation and implementation of Shariah principles across different jurisdictions. This creates complexities and manual processes in anticipating and planning personalised products that comply with the specific requirements of each market – we’re very well aware of this.

How much demand from Western banking business for an Islamic ‘window’ is there? Is demand up?

It is and there are several reasons why. One reason is the growing Muslim population in Western countries, which has led to more demand for Shariah-compliant products and services. Non-Muslim customers are also showing interest in Islamic banking due to its ethical nature, especially in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, which eroded trust in conventional banking systems. While the demand for Islamic banking windows from Western banking businesses is not yet at the same level as in Muslim-majority countries, it is growing and very likely to continue to do so in future.

Where does ICS Financial Systems sit between cloud-based solutions versus traditional banking and personal interaction? Is this less of a tension than in the past?

We totally recognise the need for balance between cloud-based solutions and personal interaction.

Both approaches offer distinct advantages and both, we say, must be integrated thoughtfully for a seamless experience. The ideal equilibrium? It depends, as we must take into account the specific needs and preferences of our customer base, as well as the strategic objectives and resources available to the bank. It’s always a bespoke approach, fundamentally.

An interconnected Islamic global finance ecosystem is still some way off – what’s the timeline, in your view?

The timeline for such an ecosystem is challenging to predict accurately depending on the pace of tech, the level of regulatory support, and a willingness of financial institutions to collaborate and standardise operations. Nonetheless, more investment in Islamic banking software suites and other tech solutions play an important role in supporting the growth and development of the Islamic finance industry. Watch this space, I say.

Might hybrid-type digital products be worth pursuing longer term, which join the best of both banking ‘worlds’? Is this realistic?

In the long run, it’s well worthwhile to pursue hybrid-type digital products that blend the advantages of traditional banking and digital banking. These aim to provide a comprehensive banking experience by integrating in-person service with digital convenience, harnessing emerging technologies. Although there are obstacles like investing in technology infrastructure and adapting to new processes, numerous financial institutions are actively exploring hybrid models.

Consequently, we feel it is reasonable to anticipate a higher prevalence of these models in the future. We’re very optimistic about achieving the right balance when it comes to this.

Source: worldfinance.com

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

https://www.worldfinance.com/banking/harnessing-fintech-for-the-next-generation-of-islamic-finance

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BBH Hires Award Winning Creative Directors behind Midnight Ramadan League

Selma Ahmed and Genevieve Gransden, the team behind EA Sports’ ground-breaking Midnight Ramadan League campaign, are joining BBH as creative directors.

Gen & Selma join from adam&eveddb where they worked for seven years and were promoted to creative directors in 2021. In their new roles at BBH, they will focus on leading creative ideas and development across pitches - and running creative on incoming clients for the business.

Among the notable brands Gen & Selma have worked on are booking.com, Lucozade, Peloton, H&M and John Lewis, for whom they created the 2020 Christmas ad ‘Give a Little Love’, which won Gold at the British Arrow’s in the retailer category.

They were also behind the widely acclaimed WeThe15 campaign, for the International Paralympic Committee, which took home silver in Film Craft at Cannes Lions, a D&AD Pencil and was named in Campaign’s top-15 film ads of the year in 2021, among other accolades.

That was the same year Gen & Selma delivered Midnight Ramadan League, for EA Sports’ FIFA 21. As well as winning Channel 4’s £1 million Diversity in Advertising Award, it triumphed in Cannes in 2022, winning Silver in the Entertainment Lions For Sport category. It also took home two Silver and a Bronze at the British Arrows.

Helen Rhodes, ECD, BBH said, “Gen and Selma do the type of work that we talk about all the time at BBH. Great ideas, that are beautifully crafted, and impact culture. But more than that they are super warm and full of energy. They are collaborative, they elevate the work, and they bring people together across departments. They are modern creatives in all the best ways and I’m over the moon they’ve joined our flock.”

Gen & Selma, creative directors at BBH, added, “Everyone knows that BBH has an incredible history, but what made us jump at the opportunity was seeing where the agency is heading. The type of work that BBH is doing more of, and the brands and people that are coming on board. We’re really excited about this new era of BBH, and to be a part of what’s to come.”

They will report into Helen Rhodes, ECD and Alex Grieve, CCO. Gen & Selma first teamed up in 2014 at the creative agency Sunshine, moving to Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s London office two years later and then joining adam&eveddb in 2017.

Source: lbbonline.com

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https://www.lbbonline.com/news/bbh-hires-award-winning-creative-directors-behind-midnight-ramadan-league

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Arab World

 

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar praises UAE's commitment to spreading values of human fraternity and coexistence

Thu 20-07-2023

CAIRO, 19th July, 2023 (WAM) -- His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, met with Mariam Khalifa Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the League of Arab States, and emphasised the depth and strength of relations between the UAE and Al-Azhar.

His Eminence Dr. Al Tayeb reaffirmed Al-Azhar's pride in its relationship with the UAE and its leadership under President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He also commended the UAE’s pioneering role in spreading the values of human fraternity and coexistence.

For her part, Al Kaabi expressed the UAE's appreciation for the contributions of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in strengthening human fraternity and promoting moderation and tolerance.

Source: wam.ae

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

https://www.wam.ae/en/details/1395303179097

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Speaker of Shura Council Receives at his residence Members of the Islamic Central Council of Thailand

19 Jul, 2023

The Speaker of the Shura Council, Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammad bin Ibrahim Al Al-Sheikh, received today the Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars, Sheikh of Islam in Thailand, Aaron Boon Shum, and members of the Islamic Central Council, as part of the official visit of the Shura Council Speaker and the delegation accompanying him to Thailand.

 During the meeting, the Speaker of the Shura Council welcomed the members of the Islamic Central Council in the Kingdom of Thailand, praising the Council's efforts in serving Islam and Muslims in Thailand and its educational efforts.

 For his part, the members of the council praised during the reception the great and noble efforts made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the world level in service of Islam and Muslims and in support of their causes under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

 The members of the council also noted the fruitful results that resulted from the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz to Thailand, stressing that this visit represents great support for the development of relations between the two friendly countries and a source of pride for the Muslims of Thailand.

Source: alriyadhdaily.com

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http://alriyadhdaily.com/article/b4b0a87f1e8844b9811b8ce15116fc71

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UN official praises Saudi Vision 2030 goals

July 19, 2023

RIYADH: Saudi Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Majed recently received UN Resident Coordinator in Saudi Arabia Dr. Rita Columbia and her accompanying delegation at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh.

The two officials discussed aspects of cooperation and future partnerships, as well as the UN’s support for women and their empowerment in society, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

Al-Majed briefed Columbia on the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives of empowering and developing social work.

The UN official praised the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development’s efforts toward developing a national child protection strategy in the Kingdom, saying that the plan will influence practices in other countries, and will contribute to the Kingdom’s participation in UNICEF platforms.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development is boosting international cooperation and promoting strategic partnerships, as well as exchanging knowledge in order to benefit from the experiences of other countries in the field.

Source: arabnews.com

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https://www.arabnews.com/node/2340596/saudi-arabia

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Mideast

 

WAFA: “Islamic-Christian committee condemns desecration of Mar Elias Church in Haifa by extremist Jewish groups”

 JUL 20, 2023

JERUSALEM, Wednesday, July 19, 2023 (WAFA) – The Islamic-Christian Committee in Support of Jerusalem and its Sanctuaries today condemned what it called “the barbaric attack” carried out by Jewish religious groups on the Church and Monastery of Mar Elias in the city of Haifa in northern Israel.

It said in a statement that the storming of the church by Jewish religious groups and holding prayers inside it, claiming that there are graves for Jews in the church, constitutes an unprecedented, serious escalation and violation of the holy places of Palestinian Christians.

The Committee said that the claim that there are graves for Jews in churches is a pretext for seizing and Judaizing them, which is an aggression similar to what is being done in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

It stressed that this new allegation comes in the context of the repeated attacks by Jewish religious groups targeting the Christian presence, desecrating and vandalizing Christian holy places, and attacking and spitting on priests and monks in the streets.

It called on the European countries and the World Council of Churches to assume their responsibilities in defending the Arab Christian presence and to intervene to stop the Israeli plans aimed at obliterating and undermining the Palestinian Christian presence in Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, an Israeli official working at the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem’s Old City today ordered Roman Catholic Abbot Nikodemus Schnabel to remove his cross while accompanying a German minister on a visit to the Western Wall, describing the cross as “provocative” and “inappropriate for this place.”

Nikodemus refused to take off the cross, which he regularly wears over his religious garment, insisting that the cross is part of his faith, saying the demand of the Israeli official is “very harsh,” and accusing her of “not respecting my religion.”

Source: imemc.org

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

https://imemc.org/article/wafa-islamic-christian-committee-condemns-desecration-of-mar-elias-church-in-haifa-by-extremist-jewish-groups/

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Iraq calls on Sweden to prevent attacks on Islam and Quran

 July 19, 2023

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) – The spokesperson of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Al-Sahaf, announced on Wednesday that Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, during a phone call with his Swedish counterpart, stressed the need to prevent the recurrence of acts offensive to Islam and the Holy Quran, the Iraqi News Agency (INA) reported.

Al-Sahaf elaborated that Hussein spoke with the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tobias Billstrom, to discuss the recent threats of the Holy Quran burner to repeat his act.

Hussein stressed the need to have an international stance stemming from international laws and norms, which prevent insulting and attacking religions, holy books, and beliefs because they are not part of freedoms.

The Swedish Foreign Minister expressed his government’s condemnation of this act, emphasizing the Swedish government’s rejection of such anti-Islam acts.

Salwan Momika, a refugee of Iraqi origin in Sweden, had burned a copy of the Quran outside Stockholm’s central mosque.

On June 28, Momika, 37, tore up and burned several pages of a copy of the Holy Book outside Stockholm’s central mosque, after the Swedish police granted him permission to do so according to a judicial decision.

The incident sparked a wave of anger in the Arab and Islamic regions.

Following the incident, Iraq called on the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to arrest the Quran burner in Sweden and extradite him to Baghdad.

Source: iraqinews.com

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https://www.iraqinews.com/iraq/iraq-calls-on-sweden-to-prevent-attacks-on-islam-and-quran/

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Iran Calls for Establishing a Regional Islamic Court in Collaboration with Iraq, Islamic States

2023-07-19

Shafaq News/ The Iranian government has called on Iraq to establish a regional court in collaboration with other Islamic nations to arbitrate conflicts among these states independently of international law.

The Assistant to the Iranian President for Legal Affairs, Mohammad Dehghan, presented this proposition during a meeting with a consortium of Iraqi lawyers and university professors in Tehran earlier today.

Dehghan reaffirmed Iran's commitment to pursuing the case of the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

"The Islamic nations must bolster their legal activities on the international stage," Dehghan stated.

The Iranian official criticized the United States and what he termed as the "Arrogance Front", accusing them of misusing international legal systems and regulations as tools to label certain states as terrorist entities.

"They demand human rights while imposing the harshest sanctions on these countries under the pretext of human rights violations. Yet, their hands are stained with the blood of thousands of innocent women and children worldwide," he argued.

Dehghan urged Iraq to facilitate the formation of a regional justice court with the participation of Islamic countries. He insisted that the West lacks the necessary moral authority to mediate disputes among Islamic nations themselves.

The Iranian official expressed satisfaction with the positive measures taken by the Iraqi government in tracking the case of Soleimani's assassination and hoped that this bilateral collaboration would yield beneficial outcomes for both nations.

On their part, Iraqi law professors invited the Assistant to the Iranian President to participate in an international conference commemorating the assassination of Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

They also expressed readiness for extensive legal, technical cooperation and knowledge exchange, Iran's official news agency, IRNA, said.

Source: shafaq.com

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

https://shafaq.com/en/World/Iran-Calls-for-Establishing-a-Regional-Islamic-Court-in-Collaboration-with-Iraq-Islamic-States

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Kurdish Leaders Congratulate Muslims on Islamic New Year

19/07/2023

ERBIL — Kurdistan Region's authorities and party officials on Wednesday extended their warmest wishes to Muslims in the Region and around the world on the occasion of the Islamic New Year.

Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), in a statement on Wednesday sent his "warmest wishes" to Muslims in the Kurdistan Region and throughout the world as they celebrate the Islamic New Year today.

Meanwhile, President of the Kurdistan Region NechirvanBarzani extended his heartfelt wishes to Muslims in Kurdistan, Iraq, and around the world on the occasion of the Islamic New Year.

He hoped that the "New Year brings Kurdistan Region, Iraq and the world success and prosperity, peace and stability."

In his statement, the President of the Region also stressed the "need to preserve and deepen the culture of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect and tolerance among all religious and ethnic communities in Kurdistan." He also pledged to "work together for a better future for our people and country."

Source: basnews.com

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

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/816068

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Islamic-Christian committee condemns desecration of Mar Elias Church in Haifa by extremist Jewish groups

19/July/2023

JERUSALEM, Wednesday, July 19, 2023 (WAFA) - The Islamic-Christian Committee in Support of Jerusalem and its Sanctuaries today condemned what it called “the barbaric attack” carried out by Jewish religious groups on the Church and Monastery of Mar Elias in the city of Haifa in northern Israel.

It said in a statement that the storming of the church by Jewish religious groups and holding prayers inside it, claiming that there are graves for Jews in the church, constitutes an unprecedented serious escalation and violation of the holy places of Palestinian Christians.

The Committee said that the claim that there are graves for Jews in churches is a pretext for seizing and Judaizing them, which is an aggression similar to what is being done in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

It stressed that this new allegation comes in the context of the repeated attacks by Jewish religious groups targeting the Christian presence, desecrating and vandalizing Christian holy places, and attacking and spitting on priests and monks in the streets.

It called on the European countries and the World Council of Churches to assume their responsibilities in defending the Arab Christian presence and to intervene to stop the Israeli plans aimed at obliterating and undermining the Palestinian Christian presence in Jerusalem and the rest of the Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, an Israeli official working at the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem’s Old City today ordered Roman Catholic Abbot Nikodemus Schnabel to remove his cross while accompanying a German minister on a visit to the Western Wall, describing the cross as “provocative” and “inappropriate for this place.”

Nikodemus refused to take off the cross, which he regularly wears over his religious garment, insisting that the cross is part of his faith, saying the demand of the Israeli official is “very harsh,” and accusing her of “not respecting my religion.”

Source: english.wafa.ps

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

https://english.wafa.ps/Pages/Details/136834

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India

 

AP Chief Minister Jagan, Opposition Leader Naidu Will Not Take Any Decision On UCC That Hurts The Muslim Sentiments

By Srinivasa Rao Apparasu

Jul 20, 2023

The ruling YSR Congress Party and the opposition Telugu Desam Party on Wednesday did not give any categorical assurance to the Muslims that they would oppose the Uniform Civil Code bill proposed to be brought in by the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre.

However, YSRC president and chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu said they would not take any decision that would hurt the sentiments of Muslim minorities.

Addressing the representatives of various Muslim groups at his camp office, Jagan said there was no need for them to get unduly worried, as the Centre had not yet prepared the draft bill on the UCC and its contents were yet to be disclosed.

He said his government was committed to working for the interests of the weaker sections and minorities and it would not take any decision that hurt their sentiments. “Tell me what you would do, if you were to be in my place and give your suggestions,” the chief minister said.

Stating that India stood for unity in diversity with various religions, castes and groups following their different traditions and customs, Jagan said different personal law boards were working based on their faiths and religious practices.

“If these practices are to be streamlined, that should be done through the personal law boards since they have a fair idea and understanding about these practices and they can only avoid misinterpretation. If these are to be changed, Supreme Court, Law Commission and the central government should together discuss the issues with various personal law boards and work on the proposed changes,” he said.

At a different meeting held with the Muslims groups in TDP office at Mangalagiri in Guntur, Naidu said his party would not take any decision that would go against the sentiments of the Muslims.

“We shall make a comprehensive study on the suggestions given by the Muslim groups on the UCC and stand by them. The TDP will always give due respect to the religious beliefs of Muslims and strive for their development,” Naidu said.

Representatives of the Muslim groups told the TDP chief that the UCC was against the interests of not only Muslims but also various other minority groups and tribals. Naidu said the TDP would respect the feelings of the Muslims on the UCC and would not go against their wishes.

Source: hindustantimes.com

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https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/jagan-naidu-extend-support-to-muslims-101689794341481.html

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Samajwadi MLA Abu Azmi's 'Vande Mataram and Allah' remark gets Maharashtra Assembly adjourned

Jul 19, 2023

Mustafa Shaikh

By Mustafa Shaikh: There was uproar in the Maharashtra legislative Assembly on Wednesday with several MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) staging a protest over remarks on Vande Mataram by Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Azmi. The House had to be adjourned.

"...We can't bow our heads to Vande Mataram because we believe in one Allah...," Abu Azmi said.

The BJP slammed the Opposition alliance, of which the Samajwadi Party is a member, and asked its leaders to clarify their stand on the Vande Mataram issue.

Abu Azmi brought up the issue of rioting in Sambhajinagar district and expressed his disapproval of chanting "Vande Mataram".

"Some people say that if one has to live in India, Vande Mataram must be chanted. We can not do it. We believe only in one God," he said. "We can't bow down our head on Vande Mataram because we believe in one Allah. We don't bow our head to our mother," he added.

BJP MLAs strongly objected to his statement, leading to a heated exchange in the Assembly.

Speaker Rahul Narwekar intervened, appealing to the legislators to maintain decorum. "Azmi's comments are irrelevant to the issue. He should focus on the issue listed for discussion," Narwekar said.

Despite the Speaker's efforts to restore order, the protest continued unabated, prompting him to adjourn the House for 10 minutes.

Abu Azmi's remark kicked off a massive political storm, forcing the Samajwadi Party MLA to issue a clarification on the matter. Speaking to reporters outside the Maharashtra assembly, he said, "I respect Vande Mantram but I can't read it because my religion says we can't bow down to anyone except Allah".

BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla took to Twitter and slammed Abu Azmi for his remark.

"Samajwadi party is a part of I.N.D.I.A...& its MLA says in the Maharashtra assembly that I will not say Vande Mataram, it is against my religion. They go and bow their heads in front of Aurangzeb but shy away from saying Vande Mataram, those who keep India in their name, why is their work always anti-India?" Poonawalla asked.

As many as 26 opposition parties on Tuesday formed a coalition -- Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) -- to take on the ruling BJP-led NDA with Rahul Gandhi asserting that the fight would be "between INDIA and Prime Minister Narendra Modi".

Poonawalla alleged India was in the name of the opposition alliance but not on their agenda.

"Earlier, SP released terrorists and patronised Yakub (Memon), Afzal (Guru). Congress questioned the surgical strike, Balakot, and 26/11 was blamed on India, not Pakistan. This is their true face," he alleged.

"Will Mamata-di, Kharge ji, Rahul ji tell us their stand?" Poonawalla asked.

Source: indiatoday.in

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/abu-azmi-vande-matram-remark-maharashtra-assembly-bjp-mlas-smajwadi-party-bjp-protest-2408793-2023-07-19

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Southeast Asia

 

Places to Pray Increase as More Muslims Visit Mt. Fuji

The Yomiuri Shimbun

July 17, 2023

KOFU — Places for prayer have been set up in Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture, amid an increase in the number of Muslims visiting Mt. Fuji.

In addition to such places, which include a full-fledged prayer facility, a gourmet guide has been created to help visitors find Muslim-friendly eateries.

In late April, foreign tourists were seen entering a 10-meter-square prefabricated hut located behind local eatery Momoya in order to offer prayers.

According to Kazuko Watanabe, the 76-year-old owner of Momoya, the eatery is visited by tourists from the Muslim-majority countries of Indonesia and Malaysia. The hut was set up in 2019 with funding from donations from Muslims who requested such a place. Previously, some Muslim tourists prayed on the ground, she said.

Muslims wash their faces, hands and feet to purify them before praying. In principle, they perform prayers five times a day from before dawn until night in the direction of Mecca, the holy city in Saudi Arabia, with men and women praying separately.

Some people have left carpets and other prayer items for their fellow Muslim visitors, gradually enhancing the facility as a result. Muhammad Hakim, who was visiting from Malaysia with his family, expressed his gratitude and conducted his prayers there, describing it as small but helpful.

The Kagikake Chaya, another eatery near Momoya, also has a single-person prayer space and receives requests for use almost every day. Fujimori Shoten, a food shop located nearby, offers halal meals that take into consideration the precepts of Islam based on advice from tour guides and others.

According to the Yamanashi prefectural government, the number of visitors from Indonesia and Malaysia who stayed in the prefecture totaled 41,000 and 38,000 respectively in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic. Both were double the figures in 2013.

“When choosing a place to go, whether it has a space for prayers sometimes becomes a deciding factor,” said a tour guide, who took Hakim and his family to the prayer facility.

In November 2020, a full-fledged prayer facility, called Fujikawaguchiko Masjid, was established in the town by the Japan Halal Certification Promotion Organization, an incorporated body that promotes Islamic culture in Japan. The association found it necessary to build a prayer facility near Lake Kawaguchi because of the growing popularity of Mt. Fuji among people in Muslim countries. A total of about 25,000 people have used the facility so far.

“The Muslim population is expected to increase around the world. Demand for places to pray in tourist areas is likely to rise,” an official of the association said.

In May this year, the tourism division of the municipal government updated a local gourmet guide with a category added to show whether eateries offer halal meals. The guide is available at such locations as the town hall.

Source: japannews.yomiuri.co.jp

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

https://japannews.yomiuri.co.jp/society/general-news/20230717-123462/

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Indonesia urged to reposition itself as global halal industry leader

9th May 2023

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Industry Minister AgusGumiwangKartasasmita has stressed the need for Indonesia to reposition itself as a global halal industry leader as the national sharia economy has shown some good improvements.

“On the global scale, currently, the indicators of Indonesia's sharia economy keep getting better, and (the country) managed to secure the fourth position globally. We, as a big nation, need to reposition ourselves as the global leader in halal industry,” he said in a statement received here on Tuesday.

Indonesia is home to 241 million Muslims — as per 2022 records — who make up 87 percent of its total population, he noted.

Spending by Indonesian Muslims on halal products and services is projected to increase by 14.96 percent to US$281.6 billion by 2025, effectively making the country the biggest consumer of halal products globally and accounting for 11.34 percent of the total global halal spending, he elaborated.

The minister opined that the strong growth of the sharia economy and halal industry has been supported by some factors, such as the huge number of Muslims, the increase in awareness of Islamic values on halal products, as well as national strategies and programs aimed at the development of halal products and services, he added.

Bank Indonesia (BI) has projected that the domestic halal value chain priority sectors, comprising agriculture, halal food and drinks, Muslim fashion, and Muslim-friendly tourism, will grow by 4.5 to 5.3 percent in 2023, and could support more than 25 percent of the national economy, he said.

The government has also formulated many strategies to tap into the potential of the halal industry and markets, he added.

He then listed strategies, including making use of the demographic bonus, for providing an opportunity to national halal industry players to improve their productivity and meet overseas demand.

"Moreover, Indonesians are being encouraged to use Indonesian-made halal products," the minister said.

He drew attention to the ministry's commitment to consistently supporting the halal products program, for instance, by making it mandatory for products to obtain halal certification, as outlined in Government Regulation Number 39 of 2021 on halal products guarantee.

There is also halal industry empowerment as part of the National Industry Policy (KIN), which has been regulated by Presidential Regulation Number 74 of 2022 about the 2020–2024 National Industry Policy, Kartasasmita said.

He said that the strategies for supporting the halal sector in the presidential regulation cover policymaking, infrastructure development, the Halal Product Guarantee System, fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, and international cooperation on securing halal materials.

They also include expediting market access, including through national halal certification through mutual recognition agreements (MRA) with other countries, and hosting awards and festivals on a national scale as a medium of literacy, education, campaign, and promotion to improve the sector through, the minister pointed out.

The ministry is confident that it will have a significant role in the Halal Products Guarantee System in the future given its previous experience as a leader in terms of the national standard (SNI) for industries, he added.

Source: en.antaranews.com

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https://en.antaranews.com/news/281073/indonesia-urged-to-reposition-itself-as-global-halal-industry-leader

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Azerbaijan to take part in Global Muslim Business Forum in Malaysia

JULY 18, 2023

BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 18. Azerbaijan will

take part within the Global Muslim Business Forum (GMBF), which can

be held on November 28-30 this yr in Malaysia, Acting Director of

the Events Department of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry

and Agriculture (ICCIA) Aya Mahrous stated, Trend reviews.

Mahrous made the comment on the thirty fifth assembly of the Board of

Directors of the ICCIA in Baku.

“The discussion board themed ‘Innovation and Transformation within the Islamic

Economy’ will present a chance to discover greatest practices in

numerous fields similar to Islamic finance, inexperienced know-how and

agriculture,” she confused.

The thirty fifth assembly of the Board of Directors of the ICCIA started

its work in Baku on July 17.

About 100 delegations from 20 member international locations are represented

on the assembly. Expanded delegations and entrepreneurs from a

variety of international locations, together with Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Qatar,

Kuwait, Jordan and Egypt, will participate in panels on numerous

matters, shows of the financial potential of the international locations

and conferences within the B2B format in Baku for 2 days, may even

go to a number of giant agricultural enterprises and signal numerous

paperwork on cooperation.

Source: businesslend.com

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https://www.businesslend.com/news/azerbaijan-to-participate-in-global-muslim-business-forum-in-malaysia/

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Motac: Initiative to make Malaysia regional umrah hub can boost Muslim-friendly tourism

July 18, 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) is confident that the initiative in making Malaysia the regional hub for the umrah pilgrimage can drive and boost the country's tourism industry.

Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said with this initiative Malaysia would not be just a transit country for pilgrims from the Southeast Asian region such as Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, South Korea, and Japan who want to perform umrah in the Holy Land.

He said Malaysia could also offer Muslim-friendly tourism packages to the pilgrims which could indirectly increase the country's income and introduce Malaysia as a global Muslim travel destination.

"This initiative is in line with one of the thrusts of the National Tourism Policy 2020-2030 to strengthen the commitment to sustainable tourism," he said in a statement today.

Ting said he had instructed the relevant departments to hold engagement sessions involving umrah and haj travel associations to consider the proposal to make Malaysia the umrah hub.

Ting said the ministry would present the proposal to the Cabinet and identify the relevant acts or regulations in its implementation.

"MOTAC hopes that the industry players and the public will cooperate in carrying out the government's efforts to streamline umrah management which will facilitate a more orderly umrah pilgrimage," he said.

On July 14, Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan chaired the Umrah Regulatory Council (MKSU) meeting to discuss the latest issues and recommendations in umrah management involving ministries, agencies as well as umrah operator's associations.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Foreign Affairs and Transport Ministries, the Department of Waqf, Zakat and Haj and relevant agencies as well as representatives of umrah operators such as the Association of Bumiputera Tourism Operators of Malaysia, the Association of Umrah and Haj Travel Agencies and the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents who supported the proposed implementation of several matters involving the empowerment of umrah management, including the initiative to make Malaysia the umrah hub in the Asian region. – BERNAMA

Source: nst.com.my

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https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2023/07/932365/motac-initiative-make-malaysia-regional-umrah-hub-can-boost-muslim

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‘Music lets us be the real versions of ourselves’: Indonesian Muslim metalheads Voice of Baceprot

Mon 17 Jul 2023

When the members of all-female Indonesian metal trio Voice of Baceprot finished middle school in their teens, they were at a crossroads. Their parents wanted them to fall in line: the pressure was on to enter an arranged marriage and live traditional lives. “It was really hard to just say no to our parents when they told us to get married,” the band’s singer/guitarist Marsya (full name FirdaMarsyaKurnia) remembers today. “But we are happy because of music. It lets us be the real versions of ourselves. Heavy metal gave us the courage to say: ‘No! I will play metal until I can’t any more!’”

Almost a decade later, that’s become the greatest decision of their lives: Voice of Baceprot (pronounced “bah-che-prot”) are one of metal’s biggest buzz bands. Although their debut album Retas doesn’t drop until July, they’ve already accrued viral fame, performances on national TV and slots at major metal festivals since forming as schoolgirls in 2014. Singles like God Allow Me (Please) to Play Music indulge 90s alt-metal nostalgia with their sturdy riffing and obviously Rage Against the Machine-inspired funk bass; Marsya’s lyrics about feminism, sexual assault and climate change give the songs an acute social conscience. Their success has won their parents over, and RATM guitarist Tom Morello is an outspoken fan, as he once told the band on a Zoom call. “He was great!” Marsya beams. “He was very, very humble and we talked like we were friends.”

Today it’s my turn to talk to the band via video call, and it’s easy to believe they’ll stick together for life. Although 23-year-old Marsya is by far the most verbose of the bunch, she, 23-year-old drummer Sitti (EuisSitiAisyah) and 21-year-old bassist WidiRahmawati are clearly best friends. They’re infectiously giggly together and share in-jokes in their native Sundanese. They’re a united front, with Marsya more frequently using “we” than “I”, and the three are now also roommates in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta – a far cry from where they were raised in the remote village of Singajaya, West Java.

“We grew up as farmers’ daughters, with all the cows and sheep,” Marsya laughs. “It’s very far from the city, but we loved the environment there and the fresh air.”

Voice of Baceprot describe their school days as “boring” (the first original song they released, 2018’s School Revolution, is about the failings of the education system). However, things got interesting when Marsya and Rahmawati discovered System of a Down on one of their teacher’s computers. “We fell in love!” Marsya says. “It was an adrenaline rush!”

That teacher, AhbaErza, helped the pair learn guitar and bass, then they enlisted Sitti as their drummer. “She had a bad habit in class of hitting the table,” Marsya explains. Erza is still a guiding light for the band, video-calling them every day.

Indonesia has the most Muslims of any nation in the world, with approximately 209m people (87% of the population) there following Islam as of 2017. Although much of the country is moderate and there’s a fertile metal scene, West Java is a more conservative region. After Voice of Baceprot began playing in public, the power to one of their gigs was cut off, because Sitti’s drums were deemed too loud. Marsya was once attacked, a rock thrown at her head. Attached to it was a note telling her to stop playing “devil’s music”.

“It was truly scary,” she remembers, “but I loved music, so I didn’t care.” The band are still proud Muslims despite the bullying. “It’s not about the religion; it’s about the people around us,” Marsya says, she and her bandmates wearing hijabs during our call.

Erza started uploading the teenagers’ takes on Metallica, System of a Down and Red Hot Chili Peppers songs to YouTube. The covers became viral hits, despite the musicians behind them not having phones or internet access at the time. Today, the band have a thriving TikTok presence and 300,000 YouTube subscribers, with God Allow Me (Please) to Play Music boasting more than four million views. That online fame has translated into the real world: Voice of Baceprot played at Germany’s 75,000-capacity Wacken Open Air festival in 2022 and are about to tour the US.

Source: theguardian.com

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https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/jul/17/indonesian-muslim-women-metalheads-voice-of-baceprot

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South Asia

 

Bangladesh Woman, Julie, Dupes, Marries UP Man, Ajay As Per Hindu Customs, Then Sends Bloodied Pic To Mother-In-Law

Jul 18, 2023

By India Today News Desk: Another Seema Haider-like case with a curious turn to it has come to the fore.

A woman from Bangladesh came to Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad to marry her lover who she had met over Facebook.

The woman, identified as Julie, married Ajay as per Hindu customs. However, later, under the pretext of renewing her visa, Julie took Ajay with her to Bangladesh.

According to Ajay's mother, Sunitha, Julie, along with her 11-year-old daughter Halima, had come to Moradabad and converted to Hinduism to marry Ajay.

Days later, Ajay called up his mother and informed her that he had accidentally crossed the border and ended up in Bangladesh.

However, the situation turned alarming after Ajay's mother, Sunitha, received distressing photos of her son, showing him in blood.

Worried about her son's safety, Sunitha wrote a letter to the SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police) city, pleading for help in bringing her son back from Bangladesh.

"Julie's passport and visa were due to expire, so she asked me to accompany her to the Bangladesh border. She said that she would later renew her passport and visa and return. My son escorted her to the Bangladesh border and soon after, he called me, saying that he had mistakenly crossed the border and would return within the next 10-15 days. Nearly two months have passed since that incident," Sunitha wrote in the letter.

"Now, I receive distressing photos of my son from the same number. I suspect that Julie and her associates might have done something untoward to my son. I appeal for help in bringing my son back to India and providing assistance to him," the letter further read.

Source: indiatoday.in

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/bangladeshi-woman-marries-up-man-moradabad-julie-ajay-mother-receives-photos-of-son-in-blood-2408118-2023-07-18

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US would have invaded Afghanistan even without bin Laden: IEA’s deputy PM

July 20, 2023

The United States would invade Afghanistan even if al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden left the country, Maulavi Abdul Kabir, deputy prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), said on Wednesday.

“It was the zeal of our Amir-ul-Mominin that he didn’t leave something that would taunt us, which would be handing over a Muslim to infidels. But we should understand that even if that Muslim voluntarily left the country, US and NATO would certainly invade Afghanistan,” Abdul Kabir said addressing a gathering of local elders.

He said that the IEA has made great achievements in the past two years and the economy is improving and that the IEA wants good relations with the international community.

“We don’t want Afghanistan to be in confrontation with the world. Our policy is that Afghanistan remains peaceful, that we rebuild our country and strengthen our political system,” Abdul Kabir said.

“But we will never forego our Islamic and national values,” he added.

The official said that the IEA has official representatives in 16 countries.

He said that some major countries will soon expand relations with Afghanistan and export enough oil and gas to significantly reduce prices.

Kabir also said that a certain country which builds aircrafts and tanks has also offered to train Afghan technicians.

Source: ariananews.af

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https://www.ariananews.af/us-would-have-invaded-afghanistan-even-without-bin-laden-ieas-deputy-pm/

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Swedish Committee for Afghanistan Suspends Some Activities After Taliban Order

July 19, 2023

In response to the burning of a Koran in Stockholm last month, the Taliban government declared last week that all Swedish activities in Afghanistan must cease. It was unclear, however, to which institutions the order would apply.

“Some activities of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) have been paused,” according to a statement released by the aid group after seeking discussion with the Taliban administration.

“Last year, SCA received 2.5 million patient visits in our clinics in Wardak and Nuristan. 133,000 children received education in our schools, and more than 20,000 people with disabilities were supported. SCA employs over 8,000 Afghans across 18 provinces,” the statement added.

According to the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, all acts that desecrate the Holy Quran are forbidden.

The decision by the Taliban to ban the Swedish Committee in the country came after an Iraq-born Swedish citizen tore a copy of the Quran and lit it on fire outside the Stockholm Central Mosque.

“We halt all activities of Sweden for now until Sweden apologizes and promises that such actions will not be happening again,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, The Taliban senior spokesperson.

Since the Taliban authorities imposed restrictions on female aid workers in December last year, Afghanistan’s aid sector has already been severely hampered. Reductions in funding for a yearly humanitarian plan suggested by the UN show that donor countries are curtailing their financial aid.

Source: khaama.com

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https://www.khaama.com/swedish-committee-for-afghanistan-suspends-some-activities-after-taliban-order/

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Afghanistan: Ministry of Defense Repairs over 300 Military Vehicles

July 19, 2023

The Department of the Military’s technical and professional engineers received 327 different types of military vehicles for repair; after being fixed, the vehicles were ready for use, the Ministry said in a tweet.

The repaired military vehicles include 204 Rangers, 21 Humvee tanks, 22 multinational cars, 21 Ford Everest, and 11 forklifts.

Earlier in March, the Taliban defence ministry repaired around 300 military vehicles in Afghanistan.

The report said that American forces had damaged these vehicles when they withdrew from the country in August 2021.

According to the US House of Representatives, almost 7 billion dollars worth of military weapons and equipment has been left behind in Afghanistan after the foreign troop’s withdrawal.

Source: khaama.com

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https://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-ministry-of-defense-repairs-over-300-military-vehicles/

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Bangladesh man held with Indian passport at Kochi airport

20th July 2023

KOCHI: Nedumbassery police have launched a probe after a Bangladesh national was intercepted at Kochi airport for attempting to travel abroad with an Indian passport. Officials with the Bureau of Immigration (BoI) on Monday morning intercepted Apurbo Roy, 22, while he was set to board the flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka.  

After interrogating Roy for hours, the officers ascertained that he was a Bangladeshi citizen who managed to obtain fake Indian documents. He stayed at Agartala in Tripura before moving to Karnataka. “BoI officials have found a scanned copy of a Bangladeshi passport issued in Roy’s name from his phone. A copy of his birth certificate has also been recovered from his iPhone. He was also carrying an Aadhaar card, election ID card, two PAN cards and an ATM card of an Indian private bank issued from Karnataka,” a police officer said.

“His Bangladeshi passport reveals that he visited India numerous times. He visited Agartala and during the period, managed to obtain the fake documents. The Indian ID cards carried an address of BheemarayanaGudi in the Yadgir district of Karnataka. A detailed probe is required into the incident as the matter has national security implications,” a police officer said.

Police have decided to launch a detailed probe into the incident, including the purpose of Roy’s attempted visit to Colombo. As assistance from the police in other states and national agencies may be required during the probe, the case might be referred to the Crime Branch.

“We will be sending a team to the address given in the Indian passport and ID cards submitted by Roy. The people who helped the accused obtain the fake documents have to be identified and arrested. We suspect the involvement of an organised network behind it,” a police official said.

Apart from the documents, the officials also seized 300$ and around Rs 3,000 from him. Police registered the case against Roy for forgery, submitting fake documents as genuine and for violation of the Foreigners Act and Passport Act. The accused has been remanded to judicial custody.

Source: newindianexpress.com

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https://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2023/jul/20/bangladesh-man-held-with-indian-passport-at-kochi-airport-2596549.html

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Pakistan

 

Balochistan Assembly voices alarm over terrorist attacks

July 18, 2023

QUETTA: The opposition and treasury benches in the Balochistan Assembly have expressed serious concern over terrorist attacks in Zhob, Danasar, Harnai and Sharag, and urged the government and authorities concerned to take strict measures to prevent such incidents in future.

A session of the house, presided over by Speaker Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali, on Monday approved an adjournment motion of PkMAP MPA NasarullahZerey regarding the terrorist attacks in Sharag, Khost and Zardalo of Harnai district, and recent armed attacks at the checkpoints of Levies, police, and FC in Danasar area of Sherani district.

Speaking on the adjournment motion, he expressed serious concern over the armed attacks in different areas of Harnai, Sherani and Zhob. He said that armed men intercepted 21 coal-loaded trucks and set them on fire after firing at them. He said that the armed groups also kidnapped three people after burning those trucks, which were carrying coal to Punjab and other areas from the coal field area of Sharag and Harnai.

ANP parliamentary leader Mohammad Asghar Achakzai said that the terrorist attack in District Harnai is very serious where truck owners and transporters were protesting over these incidents.

He said that many rounds of negotiations were held with the protesting truck owners, but they remained fruitless, and with the passage of time, the situation was becoming more serious.

He also talked about the recent Sherani and Zhob terrorist incidents and said that it is necessary to take immediate steps to prevent such incidents.

Other members also spoke after which the house adopted the adjournment motion for general debate on the law and order situation in parts of northern Balochistan.

Parliamentary leader of the opposition, BNP-Mengal,

Malik Naseer Shahwani, while taking the floor, drew the attention of the house towards the situation in Wadh and termed it as very serious, due to the free movement of armed individuals which has created a law and order situation.

He said that he had informed the house about the Wadh situation in the last assembly session, and since then, no improvement has been witnessed in resolving the issue. He added that he had suggested the chair to form a committee to address the Wadh issue.

He said that a government delegation headed by Home Minister Zia Langove visited Wadh and had a meeting with Sardar Akhtar Mengal.

On the other hand, despite the passage of over a month, nothing has changed, and the law and order situation is deteriorating, he added.

“Armed people are still sitting in the trenches, which is causing the situation to worsen,” Mr Shahwani said, adding that the situation was deliberately worsening by certain elements.

Wadh issue is not a tribal conflict, he said, adding that by creating this situation, they want to punish Sardar Akhtar Mengal for his national struggle.

He said that the government delegation, when visiting Wadh, asked Mr Mengal’s people to vacate the area but did not ask the other side to do the same.

He suggested to the speaker to form an empowered commission to bring peace in Wadh and resolve the issue politically.He also said that past experiments should not be repeated as they will create more difficulties.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1765361/balochistan-assembly-voices-alarm-over-terrorist-attacks

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Regional Peace Impossible Without Peaceful Resolution Of Kashmir: Pak PM

JULY 20, 2023

Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday reiterated that without the just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, South Asia would never be able to attain durable peace and unlock its true development potential. On his Twitter handle, the prime minister said the government and the people of Pakistan expressed their unflinching support and solidarity with the Kashmiris living in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the world on the Day of Accession to Pakistan.

The Day marked the adoption of a resolution by the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference at a convention in Srinagar in 1947 that called for merging Kashmir with Pakistan, he added.

“We strongly condemn the relentless Indian persecution of Kashmiris & grave violation of human rights and call upon the UN and international community to ensure the implementation of the UN resolutions,” he further added in a tweet.

Meanwhile, on the advent of the new Islamic year on Wednesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged countrymen to strive for emulating the noble teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions besides building a society featuring principles of social justice and equality.

“Let us pledge today that we will strive to emulate the noble qualities established by our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions. Let us promote tolerance, understanding and respect for each other regardless of our differences. Let us work towards building a society that upholds the principles of social justice, equality and compassion,” the prime minister said in his message to the nation at the start of Hijri year 1445. Extending greetings to the nation and the whole Muslim Ummah, the prime minister prayed to Allah Almighty that the new Islamic year proved to be a year of peace, progress and prosperity for Pakistan as well as the Muslim world.

He also prayed that the new year also brought ease to the lives of Muslims suffering across the world and people of Kashmir and Palestine got deliverance from oppression and achieve peace, progress and prosperity.

He said the new Islamic year also reminded the moments when the family of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sacrificed their lives under the leadership of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and became immortal in the battle between truth and falsehood. The prime minister said that Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions sacrificed their lives to uphold the principles of truth and justice, and his unwavering belief against oppression and tyranny was an everlasting example of courage and sacrifice.

He said the said events were also a reminder of the values of compassion, justice, and unity which also taught the followers to stand up against injustice and oppression besides working for a society featuring peace, harmony, and co-existence. Shehbaz said that Allah Almighty had reduced the economic difficulties of Pakistan consequent to the government’s hard work and prayed for the country’s permanent riddance from the economic problems. He prayed to Allah Almighty to make Pakistan a cradle of progress and prosperity and that the whole nation got united setting aside their differences.

Source: dailytimes.com.pk

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https://dailytimes.com.pk/1115709/regional-peace-impossible-without-peaceful-resolution-of-kashmir-pm/

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PM, MQM discuss setup of caretaker governments

ISLAMABAD: A delegation of Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) led by the Convenor Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui called on Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif here on Wednesday and discussed in detail the matter of formation of caretaker governments besides overall current political situation in the country.

Federal Minister for Information Technology Syed Amin ul Haque, Governor Sindh Kamran Khan Tessori, Dr Farooq Sattar and Mustafa Kamal were also part of the delegation. Minister for Railways and Aviation Khawaja Saad Rafique and Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq were present in the meeting.

The meeting was held in connection with the prime minister’s consultations with the allies with respect to formation of the caretaker governments. During the meeting matter of recent population census also came under discussion. The delegation paid tributes to the prime minister on personally monitoring the federal government’s ongoing projects in Karachi and ensuring speedy work on these projects on priority basis.

The MQM delegation also praised PM Shehbaz Sharif and his economic team’s efforts for completing the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Shehbaz urges countrymen to promote tolerance, social justice: On the advent of the new Islamic year, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged countrymen to strive for emulating the noble teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions besides building a society featuring principles of social justice and equality.

“Let us pledge today that we will strive to emulate the noble qualities established by our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions. Let us promote tolerance, understanding and respect for each other regardless of our differences. Let us work towards building a society that upholds the principles of social justice, equality and compassion,” the prime minister said in his message to the nation at the start of Hijri year 1445.

Extending greetings to the nation and the whole Muslim Ummah, the prime minister prayed to Allah Almighty that the new Islamic year proved to be a year of peace, progress and prosperity for Pakistan as well as the Muslim world. He also prayed that the new year also brought ease to the lives of Muslims suffering across the world and people of Kashmir and Palestine got deliverance from oppression and achieve peace, progress and prosperity.

He said the new Islamic year also reminded the moments when the family of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sacrificed their lives under the leadership of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and became immortal in the battle between truth and falsehood. The prime minister said that Imam Hussain (RA) and his companions sacrificed their lives to uphold the principles of truth and justice, and his unwavering belief against oppression and tyranny was an everlasting example of courage and sacrifice.

He said the said events were also a reminder of the values of compassion, justice, and unity which also taught the followers to stand up against injustice and oppression besides working for a society featuring peace, harmony, and co-existence. Prime Minister Shehbaz said that Allah Almighty had reduced the economic difficulties of Pakistan consequent to the government’s hard work and prayed for the country’s permanent riddance from the economic problems. He prayed to Allah Almighty to make Pakistan a cradle of progress and prosperity and that the whole nation got united setting aside their differences.

S Asia not to attain peace without just, peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif reiterated that without the just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute, South Asia would never be able to attain durable peace and unlock its true development potential.

On his Twitter handle, the prime minister said the government and the people of Pakistan expressed their unflinching support and solidarity with the Kashmiris living in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the world on the Day of Accession to Pakistan.

The Day marked the adoption of a resolution by the All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference at a convention in Srinagar in 1947 that called for merging Kashmir with Pakistan, he added. “We strongly condemn the relentless Indian persecution of Kashmiris & grave violation of human rights and call upon the UN and international community to ensure the implementation of the UN resolutions,” he further added in a tweet.

Premier directs for swift reforms in loss-making state-owned enterprises: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday directed the relevant authorities to introduce reforms on priority basis in the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) inflicting loss to the national exchequer.

The prime minister, who chaired a meeting to review the reforms in the SOEs, instructed to ensure the transparency in the process of outsourcing the services as well as public-private partnership. He said the government would ensure that the caretaker government carried forward the policies of the national interest to achieve consistent progress.

The prime minister said the government was taking all-out measures to uplift the working of institutions at par with international standards and provide the best facilities to the masses. In the briefing, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was told that the reforms process of the SOEs was going on swiftly.

It was told that government would ensure the inclusion of experts in the boards of the SOEs to establish modern systems and provide better facilities. The prime minister was briefed on the performance indicators of the institutions as well as the corporations and the ongoing reforms process there. Federal ministers Ishaq Dar, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Syed Naveed Qamar, Makhdoom Murtaza Mahmood, Engineer Khurram Dastgir, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Azam Nazeer Tarar, Advisor Ahad Cheema and special assistants to PM Jahanzeb Khan and Tariq Bajwa, and senior officers attended the meeting. Pakistan’s youth always excelled whenever given opportunities: PM

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Muhammad said the country’s youth always proved their mettle at the international level whenever provided the right opportunities.

Source: thefrontierpost.com

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https://thefrontierpost.com/pm-mqm-discuss-setup-of-caretaker-governments/

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2 policemen martyred, 2 injured in late-night attack on Peshawar checkpost

July 20, 2023

Two policemen were martyred while as many were injured in a late-night attack on a police check post in the jurisdiction of the Regi police station of Peshawar, it emerged on Thursday.

According to Regi (Warsak circle) Superintendent of Police Arshad Khan, at around 11:45pm last night, police personnel were switching duties at the entrance of the Regi Model Town when unknown assailants opened fire at the policemen.

He further told Dawn.com that around 30 metres away from where a police van was parked, around 17 shots were fired from across a river there.

An operation was under way after additional checkpoints were set up, SP Khan said.

He added that the police have taken measures while their forces are also alert.

SP Khan said it would be premature to specify the number of gunmen and their method of attack.

A day ago, a police constable was martyred in Dera Ismail Khan’s Kulachi tehsil when unknown gunmen sprayed him with bullets.

On Tuesday, six Fron­tier Corps men were injured when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden car into a vehicle carrying the paramilitary personnel in Peshawar’s Hayatabad.

Uptick in terror activities

Pakistan has seen an uptick in terror activities, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, after the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan ended its ceasefire with the government in November last year.

A report released this month by think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies said the first half of the current year witnessed a steady and alarming rise in terror and suicide attacks, claiming the lives of 389 people across the country.

In a press conference in June, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said that the security forces conducted 13,619 intelligence operations this year in which 1,172 terrorists were killed or arrested.

“On a daily basis, over 77 operations are being carried out by armed forces, police, intelligence agencies, and other law enforcement agencies to rid of the menace of terrorism,” he said.

DG Sharif added that 95 soldiers embraced martyrdom in these operations.

Today’s incident follows two attacks on the military earlier this month in Balochistan. Both attacks took place on the same day and the martyrdom of 12 soldiers in the two incidents was the military’s highest single-day death toll from terrorist attacks reported this year.

One of the attacks was launched at Zhob garrison in which nine soldiers were martyred while security forces killed five terrorists in retaliatory action.

According to Zhob District Commissioner (DC) Azeem Kakar, a civilian woman was also killed in the incident after being caught in the crossfire while five other civilians were left injured.

Prior to that, security forces came under fire from militants in Sui during an operation in the area.

“During the fire exchange, three brave soldiers, having fought gallantly, embraced shahadat (martyrdom) while two terrorists were sent to hell during the operation,” the military’s media affairs wing said.

Two days after the incidents, the army expressed concerns about the “safe havens and liberty of action available to” TTP in Afghanistan.

“It is expected that the interim Afghan government would not allow the use of its soil to perpetrate terror against any country, in the real sense and in line with commitments made in the Doha agreement,” an Inter-Service Public Relations statement said.

“The involvement of Afghan nationals in acts of terrorism in Pakistan is another important concern that needs to be addressed. Such attacks are intolerable and would elicit an effective response from the security forces of Pakistan,” it added.

The army top brass reiterated the assertion again yesterday at the 258th Corps Commanders’ Conference while Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also accused the Afghan Taliban of not honouring their commitments under the Doha accord, i.e. that they would not allow Afghan soil to be used against others.

Previously too, Islamabad had repeatedly raised concerns over the use of Afghan soil by militants for cross-border terrorism.

In response to the recent concerns raised by the army and government, Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid disputed the statements from the Pakistani side, saying: “We do not allow them (TTP) to live and operate in Afghanistan. We have faced consequences of wars and do not want others to suffer like Afghanistan.”

But in a separate interview with BBC Pashto, Mujahid took a harsher line — ostensibly in a bid to play to the Afghan galleries — advising Pakistan to resolve its internal problems itself, instead of pointing fingers at others.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1765784/2-policemen-martyred-2-injured-in-late-night-attack-on-peshawar-checkpost

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Pakistan’s nuclear security ranking upgraded

July 20, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Nuclear Security Index 2023, which ranks the se­c­­urity of nuclear materials worldwide, has upgraded Pakis-tan’s status.

According to the report, the majo­rity of improvements were in the security of materials and controls.

The forum ranked Pakistan above India, Iran and North Korea in terms of its handling of hazardous material, showing that the country had gained more points since the last assessment and was number 19 on the list of 22 states.

In security of facilities, Pakistan is ranked 32; tied with Russia and Israel, and above India, Iran, Mexico, South Africa, Egypt, North Korea and a few others.

Country ranked above India, Iran, and North Korea in handling of hazardous materials

Pakistan’s score is 61 as it gained four points, whereas India could only score 52 points.

Pakistan achieved a total score of 49, which is higher than its arch-rival India, scoring 40, while its western neighbour Iran scored 29, and North Korea performed poorly with 18 points.

The Nuclear Security Index comprises three dynamic and comprehensive rankings that assess nuclear security conditions across 175 countries and Taiwan.

This ranking assesses the 22 countries with one kilogram or more of weapons-usable nuclear materials (highly enriched uranium or separated plutonium) and the policies, actions, and other factors related to securing those materials against the risk of theft.

This ranking also evaluates the 154 countries and Taiwan with less than one kilogram of or no weapons-usable nuclear materials and the policies, actions, and other factors related to their support for global nuclear security efforts.

According nuclear scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand, the improvement in the nuclear security index shows that Pakistan is a responsible nuclear state. He said that Pakistan had possessed nuclear weapons for over three decades, and despite witnessing testing times, its nuclear programme has remained safe and secured.

According to him, nuclear security was also a prerequisite for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and this aspect was also examined along with other requirements when Pakistan was removed from the grey list.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1765748/pakistans-nuclear-security-ranking-upgraded

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Ex-servicemen’s body slams anti-army campaign

July 20, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The newly elected president of the Pakistan Ex-Ser­vicemen Society (PESS) has slam­m­­ed a “sinister campaign” being run against the military and stressed that all former servicemen, airmen, sailors and youth of the civil armed forces stood behind the army.

Speaking at a press conference along with other PESS office-bearers on Wednesday, Abdul Qayyum said that the veterans’ body had the status of a non-governmental organisation and couldn’t be used as a political entity.

However, Mr Qayyum, a retired lieutenant general, emphasised that PESS members reserved the right to join a political party in their personal capacity and exercise their vote freely.

Answering a question about multiple businesses being run by the military, he said all such organisations were registered and meant for the welfare of retired officers and soldiers. He said these organisations mostly employed retired army officials.

He referred to the problems of army officers who retire at a young age, insisting that they couldn’t make ends meet with meagre pensions. He said the widows of martyrs of the 1965 and 1971 wars also received too little in pension and noted that many economic and social problems arose in the absence of male breadwinners in the house.

Mr Qayyum, elected as PESS president at its 60th state council meeting last week, said these young pensioners in their 40s couldn’t afford to raise and educate their young children on a pension alone. Besides, many veterans had land disputes and litigation issues for which they needed help, he said.

He said there was also no special incentive for ‘Ghazis’ and no special facilities for elderly soldiers.

“Realising this, an ex-servicemen society was established in the 1980s, which was formally registered on Dec 5, 1991. This society has the status of an NGO and cannot be used for any political purpose,” he said.

The Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society got mired in controversy in September when the Ministry of Defence, in an unusual statement, challenged the body’s claim of representing the retired service members, saying it had not been authorised to do so. The ministry’s move had come amid criticism of the army’s previous leadership by retired military officers.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1765742/ex-servicemens-body-slams-anti-army-campaign

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Pakistani passport ranked fourth worst in world

July 20, 2023

KARACHI: For the third consecutive year, the Pakistani passport has been ranked the ‘fourth worst’ by this year’s Henley Passport Index, a ranking of the world’s 199 passports according to the number of destinations their owners can access without a prior visa.

In the latest ranking, Pa­­kistan’s travel docum­ent is only ranked higher than those of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s passport permits visa-free access to 33 states, Syria’s gives access to 30 destinations, Iraq’s allows travel to 29 and Afghanistan’s travel document only affords the bearer access to 29 destinations. The top spot belongs to Singapore, as its passport provides citizens visa-free access to 192 destinations.

Germany, Italy and Spain tied for 2nd place, with each passport allowing access to 190 destinations.

In 2022, the top spot was taken by Japan, which has now moved down to number three. It shares this rank with Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, South Korea and Sweden, all of whose passports provide citizens visa-free access to 189 destinations.

Of the countries in the Top 10, the US has seen the biggest fall in its ranking over the past decade, plummeting from 2nd place to 8th.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1765744/pakistani-passport-ranked-fourth-worst-in-world

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Tense calm prevails in Balochistan’s Wadh after armed clash

July 20, 2023

QUETTA: A heavy exchange of fire took place between two armed groups in the Wadh area of Khuzdar district on Wednesday evening, suspending all kinds of traffic on the highway linking Quetta with Karachi.

Officials said the gun battle started between the armed men of BNP-Mengal President Sardar Akhtar Mengal and Mir Shafiq Mengal at around 6pm during which both sides used heavy weapons.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir ZiaullahLangove, while confirming the armed clash, said gunfire continued for over two hours between the two rival groups. “Rockets and heavy weapons were used in the clash,” he told Dawn, adding that firing stopped after the Khuzdar administration held negotiations with the elders of both groups.

“We have no information about any casualties so far,” the minister said, adding that the Khuzdar administration was holding negotiations with Sardar Akhtar Mengal and elders from the other side. He said security forces were dispatched to Wadh for deployment to avert further clashes.

“The government will not tolerate such a situation,” he said, adding that the situation is now under control.

Meanwhile, the rival groups agreed to a temporary ceasefire till Thursday morning after negotiations with Kalat Division Commissioner Dawood Khilji, Khuzdar Deputy Commissioner retired Captain Jamil Baloch and senior police officials.

“Efforts are under way for a permanent ceasefire between the two armed groups and more talks are being held,” a senior official told Dawn. However, he said armed men were still sitting in the trenches.

Nawab Aslam Raisani, chief of Sarawan tribes, has established contact with Akhtar Mengal, Sharif Mengal and other tribal elders, asking both sides to show restraint. “Both sides should resolve the issue through reconciliation and according to the tribal custom,” he said.

According to reports, markets and other areas in Wadh town were completely closed and people were stuck in their houses. Though firing has stopped, the situation is very tense as armed men from both sides were present in their trenches.

Traffic on Khuzdar-Karachi Highway was suspended and BNP-Mengal workers and supporters blocked roads in Quetta, Kalat, Mastung, Khuzdar, Bela, Hub and other towns as a mark of protest.

Source: dawn.com

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https://www.dawn.com/news/1765739/tense-calm-prevails-in-balochistans-wadh-after-armed-clash

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North America

 

Officials file more charges, but not hate crimes, against man accused of attacking Muslim lawmaker

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A prosecutor added felony charges, including attempted sexual assault, Monday against a man accused of attacking Connecticut’s first Muslim state representative after a prayer service, but did not file hate crime allegations demanded by the lawmaker’s supporters.

The case of Andrey Desmond, 30, went before a judge in Hartford Superior Court, where supporters of state Rep. Maryam Khan, including local imams, also gathered.

“It continues to be a mystery to me why the state isn’t bringing bias crimes in this type of incident,” said Farhan Memon, chairman of the Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Having this charged as a bias crime sends a message out to the rest of the population that this is going to be something that’s dealt with seriously.”

Hartford State’s Attorney Sharmese Walcott did not return messages seeking comment about the case and the demand to file hate crime allegations.

During the hearing, Walcott said the additional charges were the result of a review of all evidence gathered by Hartford police, including video footage and “a clear statement by the defendant … that he intended to force sexual contact,” according to audio of the hearing provided by the court system.

“The statement of sexual intent that Andrey Desmond made was in the presence of three children, all under the age of 16,” Wolcott said, adding the children suffered mental trauma.

Desmond was initially charged with misdemeanors, including third-degree assault and unlawful restraint, after the June 28 attack on Khan outside a Hartford arena where the Muslim prayer service was held. Walcott on Monday added felony charges of attempted third-degree sexual assault, second-degree assault, strangulation and risk of injury to children.

Desmond remains detained on $250,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court Aug. 22. His public defender, Michael Wagner, did not return messages. Wagner did not respond to the allegations during the court hearing, according to the audio. He requested copies of supplemental police reports.

Desmond, who has not entered pleas, was brought to the courthouse lockup, but did not appear in the courtroom for the hearing.

Khan, a Democrat who lives in the Hartford suburb of Windsor, has said she and her family were taking photos outside the arena when a man approached and said he “intended to have sexual relations” with one of them, including Khan’s 15-year-old daughter. Her family was marking Eid al-Adha, the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage by Muslims to Mecca.

Desmond then followed them inside and Khan said he started to pursue her in particular, grabbing at her face and shirt and demanding a kiss. He followed her back outside and tried to grab her face again, she said, but became angry when she “dodged him” and slapped her across the face. She said he later held her in a “chokehold” and held up his hand and mimicked having a gun before slamming her into the ground.

“I knew in that moment my body went numb, and I thought I was going to die,” she said at a news conference earlier this month.

Khan said she was diagnosed with a concussion and injured her right arm and shoulder.

The Associated Press doesn’t generally identify people who report attempted sexual assaults unless they publicly identify themselves, as Khan has done.

Desmond was chased down and held by two bystanders until police arrived and arrested him.

Khan did not return an email message seeking comment. Memon said she attended Monday’s court hearing.

She has accused Hartford police of downplaying the assault and called for a federal investigation of the department’s handling of violent crimes, especially against women.

A police spokesman did not return a message Monday.

Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody has expressed his sympathy for Khan and said the department will review its response to the attack.

__

This story has been corrected to show that Desmond was charged with attempted third-degree sexual assault, not third-degree sexual assault.

Source: religionnews.com

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https://religionnews.com/2023/07/19/officials-file-more-charges-but-not-hate-crimes-against-man-accused-of-attacking-muslim-lawmaker/

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Man pleads guilty to 3 charges after Mississauga mosque attack last year

A man who allegedly attacked worshippers at a Mississauga mosque last year has pleaded guilty to three criminal charges "that also constitute terrorist activity."

On March 19, 2022, Peel Regional Police responded to the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre in the area of McAdam Road and Matheson Boulevard just before 7 a.m., after receiving many emergency calls from members of the mosque.

Officers said a man walked into the mosque and allegedly discharged bear spray towards worshippers, while also wielding a hatchet. The man was subdued by congregants until officers arrived, and police said some of them sustained minor injuries due to the bear spray.

Mohammad Moiz Omar, of Mississauga, was brought into custody and charged with several criminal offences, including assault with a weapon, possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public, and mischief to religious property and uttering a threat to cause death or bodily harm.

Months following the incident, in June, police said the offences Omar has been charged with constitute terrorist activity under the Criminal Code.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) and Attorney General of Canada agreed to terrorism proceedings in the case.

On July 19, the PPSC announced Omar plead guilty to three criminal charges in the Ontario Superior Court, including administering a noxious thing (bear spray) with intent to danger life or cause bodily harm, assault with a weapon (hatchet) and mischief to religious property with the motivation of bias, prejudice, or hate based on religion.

Omar admitted he walked into the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre that day with the intent to kill the worshippers praying inside, PPSC said.

“Mr. Omar was motivated by a hateful ideology, and the attack was aimed at intimidating a segment of the public (Muslim Canadians),” PPSC said in a statement.

After interviewing Omar and searching through his computer, PPSC said he planned the attack for a year, including other ways to carry it out. He apparently tried to obtain a firearm, but PPSC said he was unsuccessful.

“After his arrest, he made statements to the police expressing his hatred for Muslims, and his disappointment at having failed to inflict any real harm on the victims,” PPSC said.

The incident happened less than a year after four members of the Afzaal family were struck and killed by a vehicle in London, Ont. while out for a walk, in an apparently deliberate attack.

“We are a multicultural society where everyone must be free and feel secure in exercising all of their rights, including the right to gather and pray. As with all terrorist activities, an attack on some Canadians is an attack on all Canadians and their sense of security,” George Dolhai, Deputiy Director of Public Prosecutions, said in a statement.

With files from Miriam Katawazi and The Canadian Press

Source: toronto.ctvnews.ca

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https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/man-pleads-guilty-to-3-charges-after-mississauga-mosque-attack-last-year-1.6486272

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Group demands attack of Black Muslim woman be probed as hate crime

Jul 19, 2023

Leading Muslim organizations based in the Canadian provincial capital of Winnipeg are demanding that the city’s police investigate an attack on a young Black Muslim woman as a hate crime.

On the evening of June 8, a man repeatedly stabbed an unidentified 18-year-old woman working inside an Olive Garden. She was taken to the hospital in unstable condition, CBC News reported.

Aasiyah Khan, acting CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said at a news conference Tuesday that the groups were banding together “in solidarity with one of our own.”

“Make no mistake,” Khan said, CBC reported, “we could have been coming to a funeral today.”

Police allege that Robert Alan Ingram, 27, randomly attacked the victim without cause. He is accused of aggravated assault, possessing a weapon and violating a probation order.

However, Khan said organizations in the Islamic community dispute that the incident was random and demand a further inquiry to see whether it was targeted or motivated by hate.

Khan read a statement from the Somali victim, who recalled that nobody else in the restaurant was a member of a visible minority or wearing a hijab. The perpetrator, she maintained, was gazing at her.

The victim said Ingram kept a close eye on her for about 30 minutes before briefly leaving the restaurant. He returned shortly after and stabbed her in the neck, body and arms, she said. When she was able to fight back, she caused him to stumble and witnesses stepped in to intervene, her statement said, according to CBC.

Police informed the victim they had classified the attack as random while she was still in the hospital and could not provide a complete statement.

“He didn’t go on a random stabbing spree,” she said. “He went straight for me. I know I could have died.”

Khan and others want to know why police made their decisions before hearing the victim’s whole account and why Ingram received an aggravated assault rather than an attempted murder charge.

Police in Winnipeg, the capital of the province of Manitoba, do not believe the victim and alleged assailant knew each other, Chief Danny Smyth shared Tuesday afternoon.

He added that while he supports the Muslim community, no evidence supports the attack being a hate crime. However, it is a severe crime, and the suspect received a serious charge of aggravated assault, he said.

Although police can modify charges if the evidence is there, Smyth said he is confident detectives performed a thorough review and addressed the issues voiced in private, CBC reported.

Abdikheir Ahmed, who has worked with immigrant and refugee communities in Winnipeg in various positions, said he has made tremendous efforts to foster trust between law enforcement and communities of color. Those efforts are put to the test at times like this, he added.

“When someone drives a knife on your neck, aimed at your jugular, [and] punctures your lungs and attacks you as the only person of color in that restaurant … you cannot come down to the possibility of this being a random attack,” Ahmed said, CBC reported. “We need to do better.”

Source: thegrio.com

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https://thegrio.com/2023/07/19/group-demands-attack-black-muslim-woman-probed-hate-crime/

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‘The Guardian’ Falls Victim to Amnesia in Piece About Israel Targeting Islamic Jihad Terrorists

Shortly after prominent Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) figure Khader Adnan starved himself to death in an Israeli prison, a conflagration between PIJ and Israel was sparked when, hours after Adnan’s death on May 2, Islamic Jihad fired more than 100 rockets from Gaza toward population centers in southern Israel. At least one projectile hit its target in the city of Sderot, wounding three foreign nationals.

A week later, the IDF launched its legally-sanctioned defense of Israel in the form of Operation Shield and Arrow, which saw precision strikes take out three senior Islamic Jihad operatives who were responsible for the previous rocket fire and were also planning further terror attacks.

Given these events occurred mere weeks ago, we must assume The Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Bethan McKernan has a very short memory indeed.

In her latest co-bylined piece about Israel’s so-called “targeted killing operations” in Gaza, she appears to be both confused about the timeline of the conflict and unable to recall what necessitated the IDF’s response in the first place.

In the piece, which details how several NGOs are challenging Israel’s supreme court to conduct independent probes into civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, McKernan incorrectly reports that the IDF’s strikes on May 9 comprised a “surprise Israeli airstrike campaign” that shattered a “ceasefire” — apparently ignoring the fact that the opening salvo actually came from Islamic Jihad.

A notable aspect of the article is the emotive emphasis on the deaths of two sisters in the Hamas-ruled enclave, who died during a strike to take out senior Islamic Jihad commander Khalil al-Bahtini in a neighboring property.

While their deaths are undoubtedly tragic, it is conspicuous that there is no mention of why Israel was forced to target Bahtini. If there had been, Guardian readers would know that his terror career stretches back to the 1990s and saw him orchestrate numerous suicide bombings and rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.

In August 2022, Bahtini was awarded his most senior role in Islamic Jihad as head of the designated terror organization’s Northern Gaza Division. At the time of his death, he was planning an imminent campaign of shooting attacks.

Throughout the piece, doubt is repeatedly cast on the IDF’s guarantee that everything possible is done to minimize civilian casualties, including the conspiratorial suggestion that Israeli officials had used different “language” when discussing Operation Shield and Arrow than in previous conflicts:

Of course, what should have been noted in the piece is that nothing material has changed in the IDF’s policy of minimizing harm to civilians while still being able to defend itself from terrorist attacks.

Such measures have included making phone calls and sending text messages to civilians in buildings that will be targeted to warn them to evacuate and so-called “roof-knocking” on buildings that contain terrorist infrastructure, which involves dropping a loud but non-lethal bomb to alert civilians to the fact they are in a building containing weapons.

The death of every civilian is a tragedy. Using their deaths to take aim at the IDF for its legitimate pursuit of murderous terrorists is simply shameless.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias –‘where a version of this article first appeared.

Source: algemeiner.com

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https://www.algemeiner.com/2023/07/19/the-guardian-falls-victim-to-amnesia-in-piece-about-israel-targeting-islamic-jihad-terrorists/

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Africa

 

Bawumia Campaign denies allegations of Islamic funding by Nigerian group

Jul - 19 - 2023

In a press statement released on Wednesday, July 19, the directorate addressed the claims made by Nigerian journalist David Hundeyin and subsequently picked up by certain political actors in Ghana for their own propaganda objectives.

The statement firmly dismissed the allegations as false and fabricated, designed solely to serve the propagandistic purposes of its promoters.

It also emphasized that Dr Bawumia's campaign has no financial ties or affiliations with any Islamic group in Nigeria or elsewhere.

"The attention of the Bawumia Campaign Team has been drawn to a post by one David Hundeyin, a journalist in Nigeria, that the Bawumia Campaign is being funded by some Islamic group in Nigeria called the ACF," the statement read. "We notice that the same narrative has been copied by some persons and groups in Ghana on social media."

The campaign team asserted that such narratives lack veracity and are mere attempts to distract from their focused campaign efforts. They reiterated their unwavering commitment to transparency and integrity, highlighting Dr Bawumia's track record as a diligent and principled individual throughout his academic, banking, and political career.

"The Vice President, Dr. MahamuduBawumia has been very diligent and transparent from his days as a scholar, banker, and politician throughout his life and will not depart from these now and forever," the statement concluded.

Source: graphic.com.gh

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https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/politics/bawumia-campaign-denies-allegations-of-funding-by-nigerian-islamic-group.html

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Bail Conditions Stall Release Of Bauchi Imam, Abdulaziz

Thu, 20 Jul 2023

The court resumed on Wednesday 30 days after remanding the Imam in correctional custody for contempt of court.

The defence counsel, Abubakar Sadiq, submitted that the court lacked powers to continue with the case following a certiorari order by the High Court 7 in Bauchi which directed the Upper Sharia Court to stay proceedings and transmit the records of the case to it.

After debating on issues to release the Imam on bail by both parties, the presiding judge of Upper Sharia Court 1, Malam HussainiTuraki, granted him bail with three sureties: a district head, a Ph.D. holder and a renowned businessman in the Bauchi metropolis.

Daily Trust reported that Abdulaziz was first remanded on 15 May 2023 in correctional custody for alleged public disturbance and inciting public unrest by a chief magistrate’s court in Bauchi after his arraignment by the Bauchi State Police Commissioner, AlhassanAminu.

The cleric spent seven days in correctional custody despite being granted bail in the sum of N1 million and three credible sureties in the like sum which include a district head, a serving permanent secretary with the Bauchi State government, and a renowned Islamic scholar in the state.

The imam was released after a variation of the bail conditions to two businessmen and two renowned Islamic scholars by the state high court.

Source: dailytrust.com

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https://dailytrust.com/bail-conditions-stall-release-of-bauchi-imam-abdulaziz/

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Buhari canvasses prayers for Nigeria as Muslims mark Islamic New Year

July 19, 2023

Immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari has called for prayers for Nigeria as Muslims mark the Islamic New Year.

Buhari’s message was contained in a statement Wednesday by Malam Garba Shehu, a former special assistant to the president.

The statement reads: “On the occasion of the Islamic New Year 1445, former President Muhammadu Buhari has called upon Muslims across the nation and all over the world to follow the noble teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions while stressing the importance of self-retrospection in the full awareness that we are all migrants in this world.

“We called for prayers for the nation and adherence of all citizens to our collective good and avoidance of actions and utterances unbecoming a united nation.”

Source: newsdiaryonline.com

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https://newsdiaryonline.com/buhari-canvasses-prayers-for-nigeria-as-muslims-mark-islamic-new-year/

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We’re All Migrants In This World, Ex President Buhari Reminds Muslims On New Year

July 19, 2023

The immediate past President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has reminded Muslims across the nation and all over the world that we are all migrants in this world.

The former President, on the occasion of the Islamic New Year 1445, stressed the need for Muslims to follow the noble teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions.

A statement today, July 19, by Garba Shehu, his spokesperson when in office, quoted him as stressing the importance of self-retrospection.

“This is in the full awareness that we are all migrants in this world.”

He called for prayers for the nation and adherence of all citizens to our collective good and avoidance of actions and utterances unbecoming a united nation.

Source: greenbreporters.com

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https://www.greenbreporters.com/news/were-all-migrants-in-this-world-ex-president-buhari-reminds-muslim-on-new-year.html

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Islamic New Year: Don’t relent on fight for your right – AAC

The African Action Congress (AAC) has issued a statement congratulating the entire Muslims on event of the new Islamic year 1445 AH.

The message which is issued in Kano on Wednesday and signed by the Vice Presidential candidate of the party, Haruna Garba Magashi also lamented the current high cost of living and rise in the price of petrol.

“Today 19th July 2023 marks the 1st day of the Islamic New Year 1445 AH.

“We rejoice with all our Muslim brothers across the Nation. May God Almighty make this Year to be a Year of blessings and prosperity.

“The AAC as well empathize with Nigerians on the unwarranted hardship meted on us all by this government where the oil marketers have been given the autonomy to induce multiple hardship on the masses, without any regard to humanity.

“The masses have however been on the loose without any hope for a better life.

“It is our call to the masses that human rights are not begged for, but are acquired rightfully without any hindrance from the authorities.

“We pray to Almighty God to make this New Year a prosperous one for the masses” part of the statement reads.

Source: vanguardngr.com

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https://www.vanguardngr.com/2023/07/islamic-new-year-dont-relent-on-fight-for-your-right-aac/

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Brazilian crafts Islamic arts in Paraná

São Paulo – Ever since she was a child, 28-year-old Letícia Gomes (pictured above) pictured herself working with art. But it was only during the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020, she decided to turn her artistic sensibility, and especially her interest in Islamic art, into a business.

“I started posting arts I created in a course, and they were quite successful,” she said. Regarding her sales of bookmarks and pictures, over 60% of the buyers are Arabs living in Brazil. The proximity to the Arab world, according to her, is due to aesthetics. “Even non-Muslim Arabs were interested. It’s their roots. Even if they are not practicing Islam.”

Bookmarks can cost from BRL 80 to BRL 150 (about USD 16.3 to 30.6 at the current rate) depending on the customization and take an average of four hours to complete. The frames, which are sold for around BRL 1,000 (about USD 204.5), depending on the complexity, take weeks to complete. Currently living in Curitiba, Paraná, the artist sells her artpieces in her free time as a secretary and earns around BRL 3,000 (about USD 613.66) a month.

The paintings are the current focus of the artist, who is preparing an exhibition of 10 to 15 works, with an opening scheduled for November. The exhibition is expected to be independent.

In addition to producing the paintings, she collaborates with the Muslim publisher Bismillah, making illustrations for book covers and studies folk dance. All these activities have left Letícia with little time to produce bookmarks. That’s why products of this type have been made solely for close friends and existing customers.

In the future, the São Paulo native intends to expand her teaching side and return to producing bookmarks for more people in addition to selling the paintings on display. “I have a course on Introduction to Islamic Art, which I intend to build up from,” she said.

Origins of the arts

Ever since childhood, the artist imagined herself studying architecture or something related to art, as she was always fond of drawing. In her teens, she even took the entrance exam for Visual Arts but realized that was not the path she wanted to follow.

She found her way after reverting to Islam in 2013 and learning about Islamic arts. In the same year, she married a Muslim Brazilian, who, despite his religion, has no genetic connection with the Arabs.

When she started going to mosques, Letícia became fascinated with the aesthetics in geometry, calligraphy, and arabesques. Early on, the artist realized mosques and religious arts were completely different from anything she was used to and became interested in learning how patterns were made, what was behind them, and began to study self-taught.

She bought a book and started studying English, as the course he most wanted to take was taught by a teacher from abroad. “The difference between Islamic art and Western art is that, in the Islamic world, they have a reverence for beauty. Any spoon, box, or table is beautifully decorated,” said Letícia.

She studied Islamic Arts at the English institution The Prince’s Foundation and took classes with Yemeni artisan Amina Quraishi and English Samira Mian, who taught classes and workshops on Islamic geometry. “The colors that stand out most in this type of art are green, blue, and yellow.”

The São Paulo native decided to use the artistic name Farhah Gomes for greater identification with the Islamic world. The small business to sell the pieces also bears the same name. According to the artist, despite being different, Letícia and Farhah have the same meaning: Joy.

Source: anba.com.br

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

https://anba.com.br/en/brazilian-crafts-islamic-arts-in-parana/

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URL:    https://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/punish-muslim-hate-uk/d/130262


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