• Ramadan Is Under Quarantine This Year, But How Are Muslims
• Muslims In Southeast Turkey Sacrifice Lambs, Pray for
• UK Mosques Unanimous in Suspension of Congregational Prayers
• Panic Grips Deoband After Reports Of Kashmir COIVD-19 Deceased's
Visit To Islamic Seminary
• Defying Islamist Protests: Middle East Scholar Speaks at U.S.
Army War College
• Muslim Leaders Of Ghana Blame Coronavirus On ‘Transgender And
• Unlike Other Countries Like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, And Egypt,
Pakistan Has Not Banned
• Khalilzad Lauds Formation of Inclusive Negotiating Team For The
Talks With Taliban
• Popular Preacher Balks at Simultaneous Muslim Special Prayer
• Saudi Arabia failing to find customers for extra oil supply:
• Hariri: Amnesty Should Include Islamist Prisoners
• Saudi Arabia denies contact with Russia over OPEC+ deal
• As world locks down, Qatari construction presses ahead
• UAE's bin Zayed expresses support to Syria in phone call with
• Turkey: Friday Muslim Prayers Led on TV Due to Virus
• Turkey accuses Saudi Arabia of concealing coronavirus cases
• Political Islam jeopardises Turkey’s fight against coronavirus
• Israeli warplanes conduct new attacks on besieged Gaza Strip
• Prophet’s Perfume, Bitter Oil Drops: Iran Warns Against
Quackery, Islamic Medicine To Treat Coronavirus
• Islamic State and Coronavirus: A Joy of Weakening ‘Crusader
• Muslim faith school shut down by Ofsted inspectors
• Keralite Among Afghanistan Gurdwara Attackers, Did It For
‘Muslims In Kashmir’, Says Islamic State
• Malaysian Preacher, 65, Dies In Bihar Mosque
• COVID-19 Lockdown: Hyderabad Muslims Pray At Home After Clerics
• Maharashtra: Worshippers stay away from mosques
• Delhi: Mosques Deserted, Friday Prayers at Home
• Ghaziabad: Religious Leaders Persuade People To Offer Friday
Prayers At Home To Prevent Large Gatherings At Mosques Amid Lockdown
• Coronavirus: No Prayers in Kashmir Mosques on Friday
• Mosques Finally Close Doors in Agra, Muslims Offer Friday Namaz
• Sefrou: Moroccan City of Religious Symbiosis Between Islam And
• Holy days may be impacted by social isolation, but Memphis faith
leaders say it's a time for growth
• How The Muslim Ban Served As A Warning For Trump’s Response To
• US extends Iraq waivers but intensifies Iran sanctions as
COVID-19 breaks records
• US general warns over Pentagon's plan to target Iraq's
anti-terror Kata'ib Hezbollah
• Islamic group reacts as Buhari govt moves to release prisoners
• Coronavirus: Worshippers desert mosques in Lagos, FCT, Katsina,
• Popular APC Chieftain Attacks Imam Of Peace For Mocking Buhari
• Coronavirus: Pray at home – Islamic leaders tell Muslims in Ogun
• Unlike Other Countries Like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, And Egypt,
Pakistan Has Not Banned Congregational Prayers That Pose A Clear Threat To
• Police visit mosques to convince citizens to offer prayers at
• Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan limit prayers in mosques Corona cases
reach 1321 including an MPA
• Afghan forces suffered casualties in Badakhshan province, Mod
• Afghanistan confirms 104 positives cases of coronavirus
• New details emerge regarding the Indian man who attacked the
Afghan Sikhs in Kabul
• COVID-19: Countries ban Friday prayers, Muslims at home
• Australia-based Islamic Cleric Slams President Buhari Over
Failure To Address Nigerians On Coronavirus Outbreak
Compiled by New Age Islam
is under quarantine this year, but how are Muslims prepping?
markets, street decorations, and iftar invitations are essential parts when it
comes to the holy month of Ramadan. Thirty days of fasting, dawn till sunrise,
have since forever brought a mystical feel to this Muslim holiday; the latter
is awaited impatiently by people of the Islamic faith year on year.
as with everything else in life, exceptions occur. With less than a month to go
before Ramadan begins on April 24, apprehension has taken over the usual
excitement reserved for iftar gatherings and family get-togethers. The novel
coronavirus (COVID-19) has thrown its weight on the shoulders of Muslim
families who eagerly count the days with every turn of the calendar before
they're reunited over prayers and mouthwatering feasts.
the world is on lockdown: mosques are closed, holy Islamic sites in Saudi
Arabia are emptier than ever, and flights are suspended.
have now accepted the reality that the core of the holy month will be affected
by an outbreak that shows no signs of subsiding anytime soon. We spoke to a
number of Arab Muslims, asking them about Ramadan preparations under such
unprecedented circumstances, and here's what they told us.
with the reality that group prayers usually held in mosques during Ramadan
won't be possible in Kuwait this year, Ahmed, a lawyer based in the country, is
gearing up by launching an online prayer group.
are a pillar of Islam all year long but in Ramadan they're even more special.
We're also used to joining the taraweeh prayers after dinner during the month
and the beauty of it is that you get to do that with close friends and family
members," Ahmed explained to StepFeed.
in unity is vital since it plays an important role in uplifting the spirits of
worshippers, Ahmed believes, which is why it's important to keep a connection
among those used to praying together — even if it isn't physical.
am launching a prayer group online. So far 14 of my relatives and friends have
joined and we're thinking of opening up to more people. We'll connect via a
video-call platform for one prayer each day of Ramadan. I think every group of
friends and families should do the same," the lawyer added.
and his group have already agreed that even if mosques do open for Ramadan,
they will stick to their plan as they believe the risk of contracting the novel
coronavirus will remain high until then.
everyone else in Saudi Arabia, I am just hoping coronavirus will all be over by
next month but that doesn't mean I am hopeful. Infections are rising around us
[...] people are overwhelmed by the lockdown," Reemas, a Saudi graphic
designer, lamented over the current situation.
Saudi Arabia, a curfew was set - 3 p.m. till 6 a.m. - to minimize the number of
infections. Even though Reemas understands the need for it, she believes this
curfew has already shown drastic changes to the way Saudis would normally
prepare for the holy month.
always felt at peace before Ramadan, this year I am drained. Most of my friends
feel the same too because everything is unstable right now," she added.
fasting all day long, Muslims all around the world gather around an iftar table
to break the fast together. This is also a tradition in Egypt where extended
families meet on a daily basis during Ramadan.
live alone in Cairo so I am mentally prepping for futoor in isolation. To be
honest, it's daunting to think that it has come to this but there's no other
way or else I'd be putting my parents and grandparents at risk," Sarah, a
27-year-old from Egypt, told StepFeed.
would be the first time Sarah - just like millions of Muslims - doesn't feel
the spirit of Ramadan coming along in the weeks leading up to it. People are
busy trying to navigate and live through the COVID-19 outbreak that "it's
definitely changing the way we all plan for Ramadan."
always used to prep for Ramadan for weeks. This year, we don't even want to go
buy Ramadan groceries. A trip to the supermarket is this scary and exhausting
for us because of this illness," Manal, a 29-year-old graphic designer
based in Dubai, told StepFeed. "I went once and could only focus on the
necessities that we need to make it through this lockdown. I couldn't think or
plan any further," she added.
this crisis has reminded me of the true essence of the holy month which is
really all about helping people. Instead of focusing on what to buy and where
to go, I think this year we have a chance to re-experience the meaning behind
Ramadan," the young medic commented.
and many of her colleagues are hoping to use the holy month's spirit to help
them in the fight against the viral illness.
am more focused on those in need this year and I think we all should've been
all along. The fact that Ramadan is approaching during this time is a true
reminder for us all to shift our focus to what really matters," she
a tradition that has been going on for decades, we all meet for iftar and by
all I mean over 50 people that make up our family. This year we've already
agreed we won't be doing that because we need to look out for the well being of
older family members," she said.
26-year-old isn't about to let the virus completely ruin the family tradition
and has already worked out a plan. "Fingers crossed that the internet in
Lebanon won't let me down but the plan is to still have iftars together online.
I made my grannies, aunts and uncles Skype accounts and we have a few weeks to
practice," she explained to us.
jokes aside, Reem believes this is the safest way to feel less isolated while
taking all the precautions needed to protect everyone during a month that would
usually include tens of family gatherings.
in southeast Turkey sacrifice lambs, pray for coronavirus cure
in Turkey’s southeastern Hakkari province have sacrificed 180 lambs as part of
an Islamic ritual to provide food for those in need, with participating
worshippers praying for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, Yeni Şafak reported
helps keep disasters and catastrophes at bay,” Yeni Şafak quoted Hakkı Töre, a
former lawmaker, as saying. “Our country is in the midst of a trial.”
ritual was carried out in seven towns in the majority-Kurdish province, and the
meat was distributed to the needy in nearby villages, Töre told Yeni Şafak.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Friday announced the number of new
coronavirus cases had risen by 2,069, bringing the total number of people
diagnosed to 5,698. The death toll of people with the virus in Turkey rose to
92, after 17 people died on Friday.
in Turkey have resorted to different measures to stem the spread of COVID-19,
from prayers to drone deliveries.
mosques unanimous in suspension of congregational prayers
Mosques across the United Kingdom have closed congregational prayers to protect
worshippers from the viral COVID-19 outbreak.
of hosting Friday sermons in their mosques, clerics in the UK have used
technology to continue praying with Muslims without incurring health risks by
featuring the sermons live on social media platforms.
Ilford Islamic Centre live-streamed its Friday sermon on Facebook. Addressing
his community digitally, the Imam said, "The day of Jummah tul Mubarik is
a day of hope but rather it is a day to turn to Allah SWT and make special duas
and supplications to him."
Imam further mentioned that mosques were closed and congregational prayers were
suspended to protect the health of the worshippers.
the first Friday after PM Boris Johnson announced lockdown of the country and
asked Britons not to come out of their homes unless very essential, no mosques
opened on Friday for the Jumma prayers. Most Imams took to their social media
pages to reach out to the faithful.
than three million Muslims live in the UK who are considered amongst the devout
faith groups who regularly attend mosques but the mosques have unanimously
supported the advice sent out by health professionals and the government.
scholar Allama Ghulam Rabbani told The News that it’s best to stay safe and
stay at home. He said that students from all Ahle Sunnat madrassahs have been
sent home to continue their teaching from home. He said that the affiliate
mosques had stopped congregations even before the PM made the announcement.
funeral prayers of a Pakistani origin British citizen in Luton were conducted
in the graveyard while the mourners observed social distance during the prayers.
The funeral prayers were led by Qazi Abdul Aziz Chisti who told the gathering,
"I will request all of you to follow the law and keep a distance while you
are praying the funeral prayers for the departed.
unanimous press release issued by over a dozen of the biggest Muslim and
Islamic associations in Britain, including The Islamic Cultural Centre &
London Central Mosque, Jamiat-e-Ulema Britain, East London Mosque & London
Muslim Centre, Manchester Central Mosque, Birmingham Central Mosque and Glasgow
Central Mosque, the entire Muslim community agreed to support the government's
ban on congregations.
press release read, "Following the latest rulings (Fatwas) from many
reputable Islamic scholars, Shariah boards as well as the latest UK governmental
guidance and advice from medical organisations, the undersigned mosques have
taken the unprecedented and difficult move to suspend all congregational
services and activities."
joint press release stated that mosques owed a duty of care to the community
and to the worshippers and thus, in these circumstances, congregational prayers
would not be feasible.
also cited a unanimously agreed maxim of Shariah law, "Preservation of
life takes precedence over the public commission of significant acts of worship
as well as the principle, Harm is to be removed".
across the Muslim world have also closed down congregational prayers after the
global cases of coronavirus reached over 550,000 with over 25,000 deaths.
Grips Deoband After Reports Of Kashmir COIVD-19 Deceased's Visit To Islamic
Panic gripped Islamic seminary Deoband in Saharanpur district of western Uttar
Pradesh when it was revealed that the coronavirus positive patient who died in
Kashmir recently had allegedly visited Deoband between March 9 and 11.
per the sources, the deceased, 65, from Hyderapore in Srinagar had visited
Deoband, which is the seat of Asia biggest Islamic seminary, Dar-ul-Uloom. He
had visited Deoband with a group five persons and had stayed in a mosque.
sources claimed that all those five who had visited Deoband with the man had
also been quarantined at a special quarantine facility in Saharanpur.
two cops, who had also offered namaz in the same mosque on March 13, were also
sent on leave for home quarantine.
in another major development, a manhunt has been launched by UP police to track
down a Kerala cadre IAS officer Anupam Mishra, who is a native of Sultanpur in
UP, after he was suspended for violating quarantine norms while in the southern
has been facing strict punitive action by the Kerala government. An FIR has
been lodged against him and his wife for violating the health protocol by
breaking the mandatory isolation after their return from Singapore.
Islamist Protests: Middle East Scholar Speaks at U.S. Army War College
500-acre campus in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Middle East scholar Raymond Ibrahim
was finally allowed to give his speech before a packed, mostly civilian
audience at the U.S. Army War College's Heritage and Education Center. Based on
his book, Sword and Scimitar -- Fourteen Centuries of War Between Islam and the
West, Ibrahim covered the 7th century origins of Islam, its conflict with
Christianity during the hundreds of years that followed, and revisionist
attempts to deny Islam's history of violent warfare and supremacism.
a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow with the Middle East Forum, was on the
receiving end of such an attempt in June 2019, when the Council on
American-Islamic Relations and other Islamists convinced the U.S. Army War
College to disinvite Ibrahim from his original appearance, fallaciously
accusing the son of Egyptian immigrants of being a "bigot" and
Ibrahim wasn't alone. In its press release, CAIR ridiculed the War College as
"an academic institution run on taxpayer funds" which was
"poised to exacerbate longstanding problems such as racism and human
rights violations that exist within the US military."
explained that CAIR is "well aware how important it is to dominate the
historic narrative." He pointed to his reliance on primary source material
and actual quotes from jihadist and Islamists to support his view that there is
"a continuity between past and present; Muslim religious leaders and
jihadists see Christianity as both antithetical to the Islamic world and
inherently ripe for conquest or conversion."
took a letter signed by ten congressmen to Army War College commandant Major
General John S. Kem, as well as a National Association of Scholars letter to
President Trump which included 5,000 signatories, to convince Army leaders to
reinstate Ibrahim's invitation.
CAIR learned that Ibrahim was set to return to the Carlisle campus, it
responded by once again suggesting that it suffers from an "internal
problem with white supremacists and white nationalists within its ranks,"
while claiming that Ibrahim's talk would "instigate hatred against
by his Islamist critics, Ibrahim began his presentation by saying that
"since 9/11," it has "become popular" for media and
academia to whitewash the Koran's objectionable passages. "They say
Mohammad may have done bad things, but so did King David and Abraham," he
said. The difference, Ibrahim noted, is that the Torah acknowledges the wayward
path of these leaders and advises against following them, unlike the Koran.
argument's sake, Ibrahim offered to "put aside what the Koran says,"
and "see what Islamists have done." Beginning with the Islamic
conquests of the Middle East and North Africa, Ibrahim argued that Islamists'
consistent goal has been western submission to Islamic supremacy. This region,
which is identified today as Muslim-majority, was home to more Christians than
Europe in the 7th century. What remained after the Arab Muslim invasion became
"the West." Ibrahim quoted historian Franco Cardini, who wrote that,
"Repeated Muslim aggression against Europe in the 7th and 8th centuries
and again in the 14th and 18th centuries was a violent midwife to Europe."
referred to the late historian of Islam Bernard Lewis, who said, "We
forget that for a thousand years since the advent of Islam from the 7th century
to the siege of Vienna in 1683 Christian Europe was under constant threat from
Islam, the double threat of conquest and conversion violently wrested from
Christendom." Ibrahim noted that modern historians often fail to
acknowledge this simple truth.
argued that Mohammad's guidance to spread Islam was the motivation behind the
Islamic conquests. The only way peace could be achieved was through acceptance
of Islam by conversion, enslavement, or paying the jizya -- an enormous annual
tribute which the caliphate levied on non-Muslims.
of these options, a non-believer's only recourse was to fight to the death. He
quoted what Islamist conqueror Khalid bin Walid said to a Byzantine general
before the Battle of Yarmuk in 636 CE: "We Arabs are in the habit of
drinking blood and we are told the Romans are the sweetest of its kind. Where
you love life, we love death."
contemporary historians who identify the various inter-civilizational wars of
this age as ethnic and nationalistic, Ibrahim emphasized that the primary
sources clearly show that these ongoing battles were manifestations of jihad,
inspired by Koranic scripture. He called this tendency "a historic fact
that modern day historians censor."
showed that modern jihadists "belonging to groups such as ISIS are
well-versed in Islamic historic military jurisprudence" and the Koran and
point to historical precedents to justify their violence and brutality.
the fall of Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed II motivated his jihadists with the
same instructions invoked by modern-day ISIS: "Recall the promise of our
Prophet regarding fallen warriors in the Koran; the man who falls in combat
will be transported bodily to Paradise [and] will dine with Mohammed in the
presence of women."
Ibrahim recounted the American experience with the Islamic Barbary pirates in
1785 and 1786 that attacked U.S. merchant ships and enslaved American sailors.
In an effort to ransom the slaves, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams entered
negotiations with Abdul Rahman, Tripoli's ambassador to Britain. The American
diplomats futilely explained that they "had done them no injury" and
"consider all mankind our friends."
answered that "it was founded on the laws of their Prophet, written in the
Koran that all nations not acknowledging their authority were sinners, that it
is their religious right and duty to make slaves of non-believers, and all
Muslims slain in battle were sure to go to paradise." America's conflict
with Islam did not begin on 9/11. Rather, it dates back to the time of
Roosevelt wrote in 1916 that "the Christian religion would be
exterminated" were it not for the growth of European military superiority
over the Muslim world.
underscore this message, Ibrahim cited Theodore Roosevelt's 1916 book, Fear God
and Take Your Part, where the former president pointed out, "If the
peoples of Europe in the 7th and 8th centuries, and on up to and including the
17th century, had not possessed a military equality with, and gradually a
growing superiority over the Mohammedans who invaded Europe, Europe would at
this moment be Mohammedan and the Christian religion would be
great English statesman Winston Churchill also criticized Islam for
institutionalizing slavery. "The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman
is the absolute property -- either as a child, a wife, or a concubine -- must
delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be
a great power among men."
rhetorically asked, if the violent history of Islam is so well-documented,
"so ironclad" then "why don't we know about it?" Older
historians who studied Islam unprejudiced by political correctness reached
conclusions which no longer comport to what the public is told. Conversely,
modern historians get away with academic malpractice by reducing previous
Islamic studies scholarship to outdated myths.
is all part and parcel to what Ibrahim referred to as "propaganda as a
form of jihad," misinformation of which academics and groups such as CAIR
are the most vociferous defenders.
CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the nation's largest terrorism finance
trial and an accused Hamas supporter, engaged in "propaganda jihad
"by working to suppress Ibrahim's historical review, a practice consistent
with Islamist suppression of different religious beliefs.
the end, Ibrahim gave Army service members and the community a coherent and
fact-driven presentation of Islamic history that everyone in America should
hear, one that dispels the many false, politically correct notions about the
nature of Islam. It lays bare the inconvenient truth that Islamic ideology is
what motivates Muslim jihadists to perpetrate acts of terrorism against
non-believers, both domestically and abroad.
Leaders Of Ghana Blame Coronavirus On ‘Transgender And Lesbianism’
in Ghana undertook two days of fasting and praying this week, on Wednesday and
Thursday, at the insistence of Ghana’s president and the chief imam.
this was supposed to be a time to pray for “Allah’s intervention against the
coronavirus”, Ghana’s Muslim Mission couldn’t resist the opportunity to blame
LGBT+ people for the global health crisis.
on Ghanaians to pray for those infected with the coronavirus, and for those in
quarantine or isolation because of the disease, the Muslim Mission of Ghana –
as one of the five messages it broadcast to the nation – said that “abominable”
LGBT+ people are to blame.
is important for us to acknowledge our sins against the world,” the Muslim
Mission said, “especially the most abominable acts such as homosexuality,
lesbianism, transgender, destruction of water bodies and forests.”
for the “sin” of “homosexuality, lesbianism, transgender” will “bring us
Allah’s mercies and intervention in fighting the pandemic in Ghana and the rest
of the world”, the Islamic organisation added.
was Ghana’s chief imam, Sheikh Dr Osamanu Sharubutu, who last week used his
national address about coronavirus to call LGBT+ people “demonic”.
the country via a broadcast from his house after Ghana’s president Akufo-Addo
banned usual meeting at mosques, wedding and other gatherings, Sharubutu called
for hand sanitiser dispensers to be placed outside mosques and also, bizarrely,
for the president to ban meetings of LGBT+ people.
almighty Allah created woman for a man and vice versa. It is against the holy
Quaran to indulge in such unacceptable behaviour. I am urging all not to
indulge in it,” Sharubutu said.
Other Countries Like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, And Egypt, Pakistan Has Not Banned
Congregational Prayers That Pose A Clear Threat To Public Health
has crossed 1,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the actual infected is
likely significantly higher. Yet, unlike other countries like Kuwait, Saudi
Arabia, and Egypt, Pakistan has not banned congregational prayers that pose a
clear threat to public health.
weeks ago, thousands thronged to Raiwind for the annual congregation of the
Tablighi Jamaat, a transnational Islamic piety movement. The Federal Government
requested that the congregation be suspended – but only on the second day.
weeks, congregations in mosques have continued despite dire warnings. Yesterday,
a council of the country's most prominent Islamic ulema met and all but one, a
Shia representative, proclaimed that mosques should remain open and that Friday
congregation prayers should proceed, albeit shortened.
as I write this article, thousands if not hundreds of thousands of men across
Pakistan will have visited their local mosques for Friday prayers despite the
threat to their lives and the lives of their families.
government announced that while mosques would remain open, mosque congregations
should not exceed three to five, a welcome policy, to which a few prominent
Islamic scholars have acceded. But, many others insist that mosques remain open
and congregational prayers continue.
prayers are, of course, a pillar of Islam and understood by many as a mandatory
requirement, but throughout the world, Muslims are adjusting their religious
duties to save lives. This is seen as necessary by the state to protect
citizens and also well within the demands of Islam.
in Pakistan, Islamic authorities are resisting state pressure to close mosques,
and the government refuses to take strident actions against them. Many people
in Pakistan and around the world are asking why Pakistan seems to stand out in
this seemingly suicidal commitment to mosque congregations.
was conceived as a homeland for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. The
country was founded on the two-nation theory that posited that Hindus and
Muslims were fundamentally distinct people with distinct religious and cultural
traditions. Pakistan's founder and father of the nation Muhammad Ali Jinnah did
not conceive of Pakistan as an Islamic state.
famous address, he proclaimed: "You are free; you are free to go to your
temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in
this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed --
that has nothing to do with the business of the State."
Islam was not absent from the understandings of national identity either. In
1949, less than two years after Pakistan's founding, the Constituent Assembly
passed the Objectives Resolution which declared: "Sovereignty belongs to
Allah alone but He has delegated it to the state of Pakistan through its people
for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him as a sacred
then, has always wrestled with an internal tension between, on the one hand,
the idea that Pakistan should be governed according to a divine plan and on the
other that it should be dictated, solely, by the will of the people.
governments have had to strike some balance, and of course, ideally, it was
understood that both the will of the people and the will of God would be one
and the same.
parties like the Jamaat e Islami had long argued that Pakistan must move in the
direction of Islamic ideals and that this required the creation of an Islamic
state. But, their abilities to realise this goal remained limited in the first
decades after independence.
was the military dictatorship of General Zia ul Haq that formalised and
intensified the link between Islam and the state, making Islam the basis for
cataclysmic civil war of 1971 that led to the violent birth of an independent
Bangladesh had rent the myth of a united Muslim identity asunder. Ethnic
nationalists throughout the country were demanding greater recognition and
autonomy for linguistic and ethnic identities and autonomy for provincial
governments from the federal centre, challenging that basic premise of a
single, unified Muslim identity.
Zia assumed power, he claimed it was in defence of both Islam and Pakistan, and
he used Islam as a bulwark against both progressive forces as well as ethnic
"Islamisation" expanded the scope of Islamic law in Pakistan,
establishing the Federal Shariat Courts to ensure that laws are in keeping with
Islam, passed a range of anti-women (Hudood Ordinances) and anti-minority
(Ordinance XX against Ahmadis) legislation, mandated the teaching of Islam in
schools, and generally promoted Islamic institutions.
the period witnessed the dramatic growth of madrassa education funded in part
through the collection of zakat taxes and flow of funding from Saudi Arabia to
support the Afghan jihad.
symbolic importance grew throughout the next few decades. Zia's Islamisation
expanded the political space for religious political parties and also led to
the politicisation of the Islamic ulema who became increasingly involved in
matters of the state. But, it also intensified competition over the mantle of
politics around Islamic authority in Pakistan is an immensely competitive
space, and this competition shapes the refusal of the ulema to implement the
closing of mosques despite the dire threat of Covid-19.
wants to be seen as backing down from the commitment to a foundational
religious practice like congregational prayer. In the competition for being the
authentic and true representatives of Islam, admitting the need to close
mosques is to cede the symbolic value of Islamic faith to others.
ranking ulema in Pakistan can find their authority challenged both by other
ranking ulema but also by lower-tier ulema and mosque imams. There are economic
issues at play, as well.
in Pakistan produce graduates who fill the mosques of Pakistan, and they depend
on mosques for their livelihood. The mosque economy depends on alms and is
therefore tied to the flow of bodies in the mosque. To demand a closing of
mosques can, then, potentially invite the ire of one's constituency.
Pakistani state draws directly on Islamic authority and thus has become
beholden to Islamic actors, particularly to the authority of the ulema.
reluctance of the government of Pakistan to close mosques and ban
congregational prayers despite the obvious and immediate threat posed to
Pakistani citizens by Covid-19 is a clear manifestation of this problem.
ruling Pakistan-Tehreek I Insaf (PTI) government led by Imran Khan has been
notably reluctant to take bold action. This is because the PTI has placed Islam
at the centre of its populist politics.
Minister Imran Khan, a former cricketer and once-notorious playboy has
reinvented himself as a born-again pious Muslim and routinely claims that the
mission of his party is to create a "riyasat-e-medina" or 'state of
vision of an Islamic society is not necessarily in keeping with that of the
ulema, and Imran Khan has faced resistance and a backlash from Islamic groups
and parties. But, to override the collective body of ulema is very difficult
for a government that routinely affirms its Islamic credentials.
government must close mosques and place a ban on congregational prayer
immediately. But, it is true that to do so "unilaterally" could
invite a backlash and could lead religious parties and actors to take their
protests to the streets.
state is generally reluctant to take on religious actors but the threat of
street protests in the context of Covid-19 is, indeed, a disturbing prospect.
the Pakistani state must dig into the Islamic tradition as have the governments
of other countries to find alternative sources of Islamic authority.
lauds formation of inclusive negotiating team for the talks with Taliban
U.S. envoy for Afghan peace Zalmay Khalilzad lauded the formation of an
inclusive team for the talks with the Taliban group.
want to congratulate Afghan government, political & civil society leaders
for coming together. They’ve forged an inclusive negotiating team for talks
with the Taliban,” Khalilzad said in a Twitter post.
further added “The Islamic Republic delegation reflects the true tapestry of
the nation and the instrumental role of women.”
Afghan government announced last week that it has formed a negotiating team led
by former intelligence chief Masoom Stanikzai to hold talks with the Taliban
State Ministry in Peace Affairs said the negotiating team consists of 21
members including Masoom Stanikzai, Nader Naderi, Abdul Mateen Baig, Zerar
Ahmad Muqbil, Fatema Gilani, Fawzia Koofi, Mohammad Rasool Talib, Abdul Hadi
Arghandiwal, Habiba Sarabi, Dr. Ghairat Baheer, Mohammad Hafeez Mansoor, Ghulam
Farooq Majrooh, Mawlavi Enayatullah Baligh, Kalimullah Naqeebi, Mohammad
Nateqi, Batur Dostum, Gern. Ayoub Ansari, Shahla Fareed, Sharifa Zurmati, Dr.
Ameen Ahmadi and Khalid Noor.
preacher balks at simultaneous Muslim special prayer campaigns
JAYA: A popular preacher has hit out at Muslims who organise special prayer
sessions which have been deliberately timed simultaneously, describing such
actions as “foolish” and “logically wrong”.
Musa Menk said getting Muslims to pray at the same time was against the
principle of prayers in Islam, which he said are done throughout the day in
different time zones around the world.
are not going to earn the pleasure of Allah by coming out with a strategy that
is unheard of, unknown,” said Menk, better known as Mufti Menk, a Zimbabwean
preacher who is well known for his motivational talks.
Muslim groups had called for such virtual congregational events in the past,
including mass recitations of the Quran worldwide during a specific hour of the
calls have also made rounds recently as mosques nationwide shut down under
Putrajaya’s movement control order to contain the Covid-19 virus.
media organisations and Islamic groups have also backed similar prayer
sessions, with the involvement of a government leader, calling on Muslims to
join virtual congregations at a specific time so that they can do so
good hygiene and social distancing. Do what’s right in this current climate.
Numbers are rising. Governments are taking drastic measures trying to contain
the spread. Let’s do our best,” he said in a separate Twitter post.
Arabia failing to find customers for extra oil supply: Report
Arabia is having serious problems finding buyers for the extra oil it is going
to pump into the global markets in the coming months as customers cancel or
delay orders mainly because of falling demand for refined products and surging
transportation prices, shows a report.
Reuters news agency said in its report that major oil companies around the
world had already cancelled orders for extra Saudi oil in April and May after
Riyadh disagreed to pay rebates on freight under default contract terms.
means that Saudi Arabia is now struggling to find customers for the millions of
barrels of oil it was planning to pump into the markets each day.
this month, the Saudis decided to supply oil at a major discount in the coming
months after they failed to convince rival producer Russia to agree to new cuts
Reuters’ report said that many of those customers, including Royal Dutch Shell,
Finland’s Neste, US and Polish refiners and Unipec, the trading arm of Asia’s
largest refiner Sinopec in China, were taking less Saudi crude.
Arabia’s state-run Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, has been directed
by the Kingdom to keep supplying crude at an all-time high of 12.3 million
barrels per day (bpd) until the end of May and then add another 10 million bpd
to the production.
orders for extra Saudi oil comes as many refiners face tumbling demands as a
result of the new coronavirus pandemic which has seriously affected the global
Amnesty should include Islamist prisoners
Mar 2020 17:00
Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Friday said that coronavirus is not a door for
discrimination in judicial decisions, stressing the need for the amnesty law to
include the Islamist prisoners.
said on Twitter: "It is a good thing for the amnesty to include those
whose sentence ends in six months, but what is more important is the fate of
hundreds of Islamist prisoners who are paying the price of the slowdown in
trials or have been held under preventive detention for years."
time of coronavirus, these should be pardoned first. We have previously
rejected a proposal for a general amnesty law that unfairly deals with this
case. Today there is an epidemic that has limitless risks on the lives of
citizens, and a general amnesty has become an urgent demand that is more
important than all narrow calculations, and political considerations are no
longer acceptable," he added.
Arabia denies contact with Russia over OPEC+ deal
Saudi Arabia has denied it has had any contact with Russia’s Energy Ministry
over the possibility of a new OPEC+ deal to rebalance global oil markets.
statement from the Saudi Energy Ministry dismissed reports from Moscow that
there had been discussions between Russia and the Kingdom aimed at resurrecting
the OPEC+ alliance, and even bringing in new members.
have been no contacts between Saudi Arabia and Russian energy ministers over
any increase in the number of OPEC+ countries, nor any discussion of a joint
agreement to balance oil markets,” a ministry official said in a statement.
denial followed quoted comments in the Russian and international media by
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), to the
effect that a new arrange- ment was desirable in light of turmoil in global
crude — the Middle East benchmark — traded at $24.41 per barrel on Friday,
compared with a 12-month high of $75 per barrel.
the OPEC+ partnership led by Saudi Arabia and Russia fell apart in Vienna
earlier this month, energy volatility has been exacerbated by the accelerating
coronavirus outbreak and a big drop in global demand for oil and gas.
actions by countries are needed to restore the global economy. They are also
possible in the OPEC+ deal framework,” Dmitriev told Reuters. He declined to
identify which countries he thought should get involved in any new OPEC deal.
Dmitriev, whose RDIF wealth fund is a significant invest- ment partner of Saudi
Arabia, was a member of the team led by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak
that took part in the OPEC+ negotiations.
Russian official who did not want to be named told Arab News that Dmitriev was
speaking with the knowledge of the energy ministry and of Russian President
are in contact with Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries. Based on these
contacts we see that if the number of OPEC+countries will in crease and other
countries will join, there is a possibility of a joint agreement to balance oil
markets,” Dmitriev said.
in global energy markets have changed significantly since Saudi Arabia and
Russia failed to agree bigger cuts to oil supply earlier this month.
Kingdom responded with deep discounts to its oil products for international
customers and a surge in supply to more than 12 million barrels per day from
then, oil demand has fallen faster than at any time in history, with some
experts predicting a decline of around 20 percent from the roughly 100 million
barrels per day consumed in normal economic conditions.
the same time, the oil price has also dropped. On Friday, Brent crude, the
Middle East benchmark, was down by 7.33 percent from the previous day, at
$24.41 a barrel, compared with a 12-month high of $75 per barrel.
oil prices are especially worrying for the American shale industry, which has
much higher production and finance costs than either Saudi Arabia or Russia.
group of American senators has written to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
urging him to ask Saudi Arabia to change its current high-output, low-price
policy. “Our nation’s energy dominance, which President Trump has carefully
nurtured over the past three years, is now under threat,” the lawmakers said.
energy industry did not feature in the “virtual” summit of the G20 group of
nations organized by the Saudi Arabian presidency last Thursday, but before the
meeting Pompeo asked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to “reassure global
energy and financial markets.”
world locks down, Qatari construction presses ahead
The outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) across much of the world has
forced many governments to act, with most ordering restrictions on daily life
and working conditions, and some even ordering complete shutdowns in a bid to contain
where governments have left the choice up to employers, many have taken the
decision to let employees work from home where possible to slow the spread,
with others shutting down work for the foreseeable future to protect lives.
has not been the case in Qatar, though, where many migrant laborers are still
working on crowded, dangerous construction sites as the country gears up to
host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
government has banned “all forms of gatherings … including but not limited to
the Corniche, public parks, beaches and social gatherings.”
despite also putting in place near-total bans on the operating of gyms, malls
and banks, construction sites were notably not part of the ban.
currently has the third-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the
Middle East, at 500.
as Doha struggles to respond to COVID-19, and with the World Cup inching
closer, work on stadiums and other infrastructure projects has continued apace,
despite the majority of its cases being migrants.
at Qatari construction sites reportedly receive very little in the way of
health checks, and commute to work on packed buses from the camps in which they
live, where proximity to others, often with 10 people to a dormitory, is a near
report by The Guardian, laborers said they felt they had no choice but to
continue going to work, facing pressure both from the companies that employ
them and the need to support their families overseas.
worry a lot about getting the virus, but I need the money,” said a Kenyan
laborer, adding that he was not provided with protection beyond gloves and a
mask on his 14-hour shifts.
Nepalese worker told The Guardian: “I use a face mask, which I bought myself.
Those who don’t have a mask cover their mouth with a piece of cloth.”
workers in Qatar face a difficult choice, especially with the outbreak of the
pay large fees to secure sponsorship allowing them to travel, are underpaid for
their labor, and are only allowed to leave or change their jobs with the
permission of their employers — a practice many have likened to slavery and
which, despite promises by Doha to end it, remains widespread.
Lynch, a director at Fair/Square Research and Projects, and an expert on
migrant workers in Qatar, told The Guardian: “It is hard for employees in any
context to refuse to go to work, but in systems like Qatar, where employers
have extreme levels of control over workers, it would be particularly risky.”
added: “New migration to Qatar has been halted as a result of the pandemic, so
the impact of losing your job is now even worse than it would be anyway.”
have been outraged at the government’s response, with social media posts
illustrating the extent of ill-feeling among members of Qatar’s migrant worker
bin Zayed expresses support to Syria in phone call with Pres. Assad
Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has held a phone conversation
with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as the Damascus army inches closer to win
the war against foreign-backed terrorist groups.
post on his Twitter account on Friday, bin Zayed said that he had exchanged
views with Assad on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 and vowed to support the
Arab country during the pandemic.
his part, Assad welcomed the UAE’s initiative and praised the Persian Gulf
country’s humanitarian stance in light of the pandemic that is wreaking havoc
in the region and the world.
has recorded five cases of COVID-19 so far, but there are concerns about a
rapid spread of the respiratory disease in the war-wracked country, where
health system and infrastructure have been decimated by years of conflict.
phone call was reported to be the first publicized contact between an Arab
leader and Assad since Syria plunged into foreign-sponsored militancy in 2011.
however, alliances shift as the war in Syria winds down with the army capturing
most of the territory that was once lost to Takfiri elements.
Syrian military is now engaged in a months-old operation to liberate the last
major terrorist-held area in the country.
Province, home to Turkish-backed elements, is the only large territory in the
hands of terrorists after the Syrian military managed to undo militant gains
and bring back almost all of Syrian soil under government control.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially reopens its embassy in the Syrian capital
of Damascus on Thursday, the Syrian Information Ministry has announced.
Arab League suspended Syria's membership in November 2011, citing alleged
crackdown by Damascus on opposition protests. Syria denounced the move as
"illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”
December 2019, Emirati charge d'affaires Abdul-Hakim Naimi praised Assad for
his “wise leadership," describing relations between the two Arab countries
as "solid and special".
at a ceremony to mark UAE national day, Naimi described ties between Damascus
and Abu Dhabi as "solid, distinct and strong,” saying, he hoped “security
and stability prevails throughout the Syrian Arab Republic under the wise
leadership of President Bashar al-Assad."
Friday Muslim prayers led on TV due to virus
all-important Friday congregational prayers banned in mosques over coronavirus
fears, Turkey’s top religious authority today led the faithful via television
Erbas, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, delivered a sermon on
television to help stem the virus’ spread.
like last week, Friday congregational prayers are prohibited nationwide, with
the exception of Bestepe Mosque in the capital Ankara, said the directorate in
Monday, the directorate announced that congregational prayers had been
suspended as a public safety measure during the pandemic.
has confirmed a total of 75 fatalities from the novel coronavirus, while the
tally of infections was reported as 3,629 late Thursday.
first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the virus has spread to at
least 176 countries and regions, according to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins
543,000 people have tested positive worldwide, with the death toll above 24,000
and over 124,000 recoveries.
accuses Saudi Arabia of concealing coronavirus cases among pilgrims
says its first cases of the new coronavirus were detected among those returning
from Saudi Arabia, accusing Riyadh of concealing the number of patients among
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the first cases of coronavirus were
confirmed in pilgrims who had returned to the country after performing the
Umrah pilgrimage in Mecca,
a lesser pilgrimage compared to the annual Hajj, involves a visit to Saudi
Arabia where Islam's holiest site Kaaba is located.
Arabia did not inform us or the world about any cases," Turkey’s
state-owned Anadolu news agency quoted Soylu as saying.
returned from Umrah [lesser pilgrimage]. The health ministry took measures
right after the first case was observed and put the pilgrims in isolation
centers," he added.
effort to contain the spread of the virus, Turkey quarantined more than 10,000 pilgrims
upon their return from Saudi Arabia.
suspends flights to and from dozens of countries as authorities rise the death
toll from the coronavirus to 21, with some 950 confirmed cases.
Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said the total number of infections had reached
3,629, after 7,286 tests were conducted on Thursday.
has taken a raft of measures aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, from
shutting schools and universities to banning mass prayers.
government has also postponed matches in its main sports leagues indefinitely,
as well suspending flights to many countries. The Turkish Interior Ministry has
also announced that grocery store and supermarket hours will be limited to
between 9 am and 9 pm, with a maximum of one customer for every 10 square
meters of shop space.
authorities have ordered everyone aged 65 and over as well as those with
chronic illnesses to stay at home, while most public spaces have been
Saudi Arabia tightened restrictions on religious gatherings outside two main
mosques in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina on Thursday in an attempt to
prevent the spread of a new wave of coronavirus in the country.
Arabia is to impose a nationwide curfew starting on Monday to fight the deadly
coronavirus that hit more people in the kingdom and across the Middle East.
new coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19, is
believed to have first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei
Province late last year. It has been reportedly contained in China, but is
spreading rapidly around the globe.
than 533,000 people worldwide have so far been infected with the virus and over
24,000 have died, according to a running count by www.worldometers.info.
the rate of transmission of the new coronavirus shows no signs of slowing, many
countries have adopted severe measures to contain the outbreak, including
imposing lockdown measures and closing businesses and borders, as well as
limiting public gatherings.
Islam jeopardises Turkey’s fight against coronavirus
its huge budget and staff, the decisions made by Turkey’s Religious Affairs
Directorate (Diyanet) have had a negative effect on the country’s fight against
the deadly coronavirus pandemic, exiled journalist Can Dündar wrote for the
the past two weeks, Turkey has been witnessing a lethal tug of war between
reason and belief — one that shows us again how dangerous politicized religion
can be,” said Dündar, former editor-in-chief of opposition newspaper
officials participated in a meeting on Turkey’s response to the coronavirus,
organised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 18, while the
country’s top medical professional organisation, the Turkish Medical
Association (TTB) was not invited.
top religious body had authorised thousands of Turks to go on pilgrimage to
Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and by March 15 the 21,000 returning pilgrims became the
biggest threat for the spread of the virus in Turkey as most of them were only
checked for fevers at airports, against the advice of the TTB and other medical
the last group of pilgrims, some 6,400 people, were quarantined, after many
defied a non-binding request by the Diyanet to self-isolate for 14 days and not
receive any visitors as is tradition.
it was too late,” Dündar said. “Thousands of people had spread across the
country. Within a week, the number of cases surged from one to more than
also decided to keep the mosques open, including for Friday prayers, “which
draw around 18 million people each week,” Dündar said. The government suspended
Friday prayers on March 16, later than many Islamic countries including Iran
and Kuwait, and after entertainment and cultural venues were already closed.
it was too late again,” Dündar said. “Within one week, Turkey had surpassed all
other countries in the rate of increase of cases.”
the meeting that included Diyanet and excluded the TTB, President Erdoğan
“chose to speak like a cleric,” Dündar said, when he urged the country to “take
precautions and leave judgement to Allah.”
Lord’s help will be on our side,” Dündar quoted Erdoğan as saying on March 25,
as the president responded to concerns raised by experts that the spread of the
virus would accelerate in coming weeks due to the delayed initial reaction.
talk dominated Turkish media rather than scientists, Dündar said. A sociology
professor said the coronavirus was god’s wrath for “adultery and anal sex,”
while an infectious disease expert from the Coronavirus Science Council said on
live television that god created viruses for population control.
pandemic has shown “just how the secular foundations of the education system
have been eroded,” Dündar said, while Turkey’s economy faltered and healthcare
system was “utterly unprepared for the challenge it faces.”
authority has filled the gap the government created with the lack of “a
serious, well-thought-out response,” with measures like mosques broadcasting
prayers every night.
Islam in the country has obstructed science and misallocated vital resources,
Dündar said, posing a direct threat to the nation’s health.
warplanes conduct new attacks on besieged Gaza Strip
warplanes have conducted several airstrikes against the besieged Gaza Strip,
targeting a number of areas in the northern parts of the Palestinian coastal
media outlets reported on Friday night that the strikes targeted positions
belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
have been no immediate reports on the extent of the damage and possible
casualties due to the aerial aggression, which was jointly carried out by Israeli
jets and combat drones.
Israeli military claimed in a tweet that "striking Hamas targets"
were in response to "a rocket" that "was fired from Gaza"
at the occupied Palestinian territories earlier in the night, adding that
"thousands of Israelis" were "currently in bomb
media outlets also reported that the "projectile" from Gaza landed in
an open area in the vicinity of Sha'ar Hanegev in the southern occupied
territories, without causing damage or casualties.
they added that it triggered sirens and the first red alerts in weeks in the
southern city of Sderot and several other communities along the Gaza Strip.
warplanes have carried out several airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, targeting a
number of areas in the north and the northwest of the coastal enclave.
Israeli regime usually claims that airstrikes against the Gaza Strip are
carried out in response to purported rocket attacks from the blockaded enclave.
has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a
decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of
unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
Israeli regime denies about two million people in Gaza their basic rights, such
as freedom of movement, jobs with proper wages as well as adequate healthcare
2008, Israel has waged three wars against Gaza, where two million Palestinians
live under a 12-year Israeli blockade. Thousands of Gazans have been killed in
each of these deadly wars.
Perfume, Bitter Oil Drops: Iran Warns Against Quackery, Islamic Medicine To
Muslim cleric applying what he called the "Prophet's perfume" under
the nose of coronavirus patients lying sick in a hospital in northern Iran has
gone into hiding after a warrant for his arrest was issued.
Kohansal, a proponent of Islamic medicine, was seen in a video on social media
using his finger to dab the potion on patients in a Gilan Province hospital.
wearing any protective gear, Kohansal appeared to suggest the unknown tonic
will cure those suffering from the dreaded COVID-19 disease.
low-level cleric told one patient that he would feel better if he would sneeze.
One of the patients in the video died a few days after the unplanned visit.
Iranian media reported that Kohansal had entered the hospital without
the video received widespread attention, authorities later condemned Kohansal’s
actions and said they were seeking his arrest.
Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur accused Kohansal of interfering in
the treatment of patients and "disturbing public opinion." He said he
hoped the judiciary would take action against Kohansal.
is struggling to contain a deadly outbreak of the coronavirus that has
officially killed more than 2,375 people and infected more than 32,300 as of
March 28. Those numbers are believed by many Iranians and international health
experts to be much lower than the actual numbers.
tens of thousands of people infected and the government enforcing restrictions
within society, misleading medical advice on the prevention and treatment of
COVID-19 has appeared all over social media and is being promoted by
is reported to have said on his Telegram channel that the oil from violet flowers
is effective against the coronavirus, a claim dismissed by health experts,
including Mehdi Yusefi, the head of the Traditional Medicine Department at the
Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.
other so-called doctors have promoted the use of bitter gourd oil -- another
practice without medical approval -- to prevent infection from the coronavirus.
have gone online in an effort to sell other fake remedies that they claim can
either prevent the coronavirus from entering the body or cure an infected
person of the COVID-19 disease, for which there is no known cure.
March 10, Iranian Food and Drug Organization official Mehrnaz Kheyrandish was
quoted by Hamshahrionline.ir as saying that a herbal syrup sold online as a
cure for the coronavirus did not have an official production license and was
warned citizens not to trust too-good-to-be-true claims about untested and
often illegal products that are being sold online as a cure for the
surge in false information and bogus prescriptions for a cure prompted a
warning from Health Minister Saeed Namaki, who earlier this week said some
“illiterate charlatans and demagogues” are trying to deceive people under the
guise of Islamic and traditional medicine.
said doctors and experts in Western and traditional medicine should work
together to protect Iranians from the misleading remedies.
head of Iran’s Union of Apothecaries, Alireza Rezai Ghahravi, also warned
people not to believe those who claim they have made herbal cures for COVID-19.
China, the United States, and powerful European countries have been unable to
produce an effective medicine for the treatment of the coronavirus, how can an
apothecary discover a vaccine against [the virus]?" Rezai Ghahravi was
quoted as saying by domestic media.
from the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, told the official news agency
IRNA that while there is no traditional medicinal cure for the coronavirus,
some natural products can ease breathing difficulties.
Majid, the chief of Iran’s Cyberpolice, warned that those spreading rumors and
misinformation regarding the coronavirus will be prosecuted.
recent weeks, at least 200 Iranians have died -- the Associated Press reported
more than 400 -- and many others have been hospitalized after drinking bootleg
or modified industrial alcohol because of a bogus rumor that consuming it can
make one immune to the coronavirus.
media also reported this week that a 5-year-old child had gone into a coma and
lost his sight after being given tainted alcohol by his family in the belief it
would protect him from the coronavirus.
State and coronavirus: a joy of weakening ‘crusader nations’
(BM) – As it appears, the jihadists, who focus on Iraq and Syria, understand
the corona virus epidemic as an All-weakening of the “crusader nations” that
are now facing “worst nightmares”, such as it is formulated in an editorial in
the al-Naba newsletter, a body that promulgates the IS (“Islamic State”).
more: 24/7 BulgarianMilitary.com – All about coronavirus COVID-19 in the army
and military departments around the World.
commentary was translated into English by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, who
translated several sources from the jihadist camp who commented on the Corona
epidemic into his blog. From the political side, criticism of his connections
to jihadists and Islamists keeps coming up – which not only give him access to
documents, but also enable interviews with insiders – especially since he is
critical and distant of the Syrian government.)
others must fear, not those who adhere to the true faith, that is the
commonality of the text of the IS and the voices from the jihadist camp that
Al-Tamimi presents. The latter includes a representative of al-Qaida, Khalid
al-Siba’i, the well-known supporter of the Syrian jihadist militias, the Saudi
“Sheikh” al-Muhaysini, also with al-Qaida connections, and several
representatives of the Hayat Tahrir militia ash-shame (HTS) and in detail the
Jordanian preacher of jihadist Salafism, Muhammad al-Maqdisi, who is very well
known and influential in the region, who depicts the corona virus as a
“blessing and a gift”.
text, as far as it is transmitted on its Telegram channel, is an enumeration of
benefits that span a broader spectrum, from reorientation towards Allah,
veiling, no more shaking hands with representatives of the idolaters Tagut and
closing bars . Countries such as Italy, France, Great Britain and China would
prove to be the false ideal of the misguided. The dirt is on the other side.
is another notable benefit that is highlighted: the closing of the mosques and
the suspension of Friday prayers given by the Imams, who are determined by the
Taguts, those Imams who are dependent on, or political with, the governments
True beliefs have made misguided compromises.
the named “Sheikh” al-Muhaysini appeals to the “faithful”, meetings in the
mosque are now the order of the day. With “A Thousand No” he opposes the
closings of the mosques. “Come to prayer!” Is now the slogan for the areas
beyond the control of the unbelieving governments.
risk of infection is relativized for him, there are compromise solutions, it is
important to him that here not the materialistic view of the West in view of
the virus is adopted, but the spiritual request of the assembly of the faithful
remains to be seen how the conjuring up of a “counter-public” in the mosques
under the rule of the jihadists will work if covid-19 expands in Idlib and
other Sharia zones. In the provisions that IS expresses in the above-mentioned
al-Naba newsletter commentary, the focus is primarily on the weakening of
opponents – “idolatrous states”, “crusader nations” – as a result of the corona
call is different than what was advertised by the media last week, no
abandonment of jihad in western countries for fear that the warriors could
become infected. Jihad is said to be the most expensive, “most beloved” way of
showing God to followers, it says at the end of an execution that has the
essence that there is no pity for the opponents weakened by fear and financial
the last thing they (the” Crusader Nations “) want now is that this critical
time they’re going through now coincides with preparations by the Caliphate
soldiers for new attacks on them, similar to those in Paris, London, Brussels
and other places have taken place” IS commentary on the Corona epidemic
IS fighters are called on to free the prisoners in camps in northeastern Syria.
One should take advantage of the opportunities that currently arise. The
“crusaders” are now concerned with security in their countries and are exposed
to the pressure on their foreign missions, at a time when the withdrawal of the
troops or their return has long been an issue.
Aaron Y. Zelin, from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank,
states in his situation description, IS has continued to be active in Syria and
Iraq since the defeat in Baghuz, which was celebrated as the end of the
total, it lists well over 1,000 attacks or attacks in both countries. The main
targets were in the Deir e-Zor governorate in Syria and the Dyiala governorate
in Iraq. However, since they are a smaller number than in earlier times, it
cannot be said that ISIS has returned strongly in the two countries. Rather, IS
survive and its fighters would wait for the opportune moment to take advantage
not yet clear whether the corona epidemic will provide such opportunities. But
this complicates international and local actions against the IS militias.
and dishonest' Headteacher and her husband raked in £347,000 by running secret
Muslim faith school shut down by Ofsted inspectors
teacher Mujanet Daniah, 41, set up the Advanced Education Centre in Brent,
northwest London, with her husband Suleyman Folami, 58.
couple ran a legitimate primary school on the ground floor but Ofsted
inspectors discovered a covert secondary school upstairs on December 12, 2018,
Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.
couple were given a warning, but three months later on March 5 inspectors
returned to find the school running exactly as before, the court heard.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot told the 'deceitful and dishonest' pair she was concerned
about the children's welfare and raised concerns about the quality of education
convicted these defendants of conducting an unregistered school, the Advanced
Education Centre. The background was that the Ofsted inspectors were inspecting
the primary school when they discovered this other school upstairs was carrying
left a warning notice and spoke to Ms Daniah and Mr Folami who were on the
premises and made it clear what an unregistered school was.
were told by Ms Daniah that they would split the session so instead of a day
session it would be broken into two.
months alter the first inspection the inspectors arrived and found 57 children
in the morning whilst by 3pm 20 children remained and the register showed a
total of 62 children in all attending.
many children were involved. Not just five or six but 66 children attending on
one day. We're talking a vast amount of children.
school had a very successful second year. They average 122 pupils during the
year. They received £347,000 in school fees.
safeguarding was a concern to me. On the second occasion Mr Folami, when caught
out by Ofsted, tried to push the children out of the school to get them out.
children were confused and one said he had no parents at home. He was taking a
serious risk with this child to hide what was going on at the school.
children are of a vital age. If they can't be taught properly it's a risk to
their whole future, their ability to get jobs, the whole works. It's a very
serious case in my view.
find that they were dishonest and they deceived Ofsted on March 5 and 6. They
were given a warning and they went on to continue with that school knowing
absolutely well they shouldn't be doing so.'
said: 'My parents were very poor. I remember when my dad told me the only thing
they can give me is education because they are very poor. I am an educator, a
teacher. All I've done is to educate children.'
said: 'Being a headteacher I always sought to obey the law and help from those
in authority. I seem to have got it wrong this time and I apologise fully.'
said: 'What I really want to say is financially we were really struggling and
before anything we did liaise with the council and what we did was not really
intentional so if you look at it from that angle...'
judge interjected: 'The trouble is I have found it was intentional. It was made
absolutely clear that you should not be conducting an unregistered school and
yet on March 5 and 6 that is exactly what you were doing.
was deceit and dishonesty involved. That's what makes it really serious. You
can't blame the council or anyone else.'
describes the centre, founded in 2017, as a 'one-form entry faith based
independent school' on its website and says:
curriculum is based on the national curriculum, promoting the intellectual,
spiritual and moral elements needed through a nurturing environment. We strive
for each child to achieve his/her fullest potentials and lead a healthy,
productive life in the wider community.
values of our society is to enable our pupils to understand and develop a sound
understanding of Islamic faith free from extremism. Our strong emphasis on
British Values enables us to focus on discipline and encourage good behaviour
at all times.'
Among Afghanistan Gurdwara Attackers, Did It For ‘Muslims In Kashmir’, Says
DELHI: The Islamic State-Khorasan Province has claimed that Thursday’s suicide
attack on a Sikh gurdwara in Kabul, which killed 25 people, was carried out by
one of its Indian recruits, who has now been identified as Muhammad Muhsin from
sources in Indian agencies said, was named in the IS message as Abu Khalid
al-Hindi — which also claimed the bombing as an act of revenge for Kashmiri
Muslims — but his real identity was confirmed based on his photograph released
by Al-Amaq News, a pro-IS media outlet. The picture showed him brandishing a
gun and surrounded by ammunition, with an IS flag for the background.
said the NIA on Friday corroborated Muhsin’s identity by getting in touch with
his family in Kasaragod. More details are expected after further probe. There
was no clarity on whether a case would be filed.
probe showed that Muhsin did not figure in any of the existing cases being
probed by the NIA, relating to those from Kerala who have travelled out of the
country so far to join IS.
said Muhsin’s last known location was the UAE, where he had travelled to from
India in July 2018. “It is not known how and when he travelled further to reach
Afghanistan. A school dropout aged 28-29 years, Muhsin — given the ‘kunya’ name
Abu Khalid al-Hindi — was allegedly one of the three suspected attackers
involved in the Kabul gurdwara bombing. “Neither was Muhsin on the NIA radar
nor had his parents approached the police/NIA to report him as ‘missing’,” an
official told TOI.
State-Khorasan Province, in its message published on March 25, said the Indian
fighter Abu Khalid al-Hindi fired upon “Sikh polytheists” in their temple in
Kabul, and detonated explosive devices on Afghan security forces. The group
said, “This attack comes as revenge for the Muslims in Kashmir, and what is
coming is more devastating and bitter, with permission from Allah the
Preacher, 65, Dies In Bihar Mosque
death of a 65-year-old preacher from Malaysia, who came to Bihar’s Araria along
with nine others, inside a mosque has set alarm bells ringing in the region
even though authorities have not yet confirmed the exact cause of his demise.
preacher, identified as Md Khairani Bin Lookman, had reached Araria on March 21
died on Thursday evening. Lookman had landed in Delhi on March 6.
offered namaz and soon after fell unconscious and died,” a local resident said
adding that he was rushed to Araria district hospital where he was declared
to sources, Araia district administration forced the doctor to perform an
autopsy in the hospital despite several health officials suggesting it should
be done at a bigger centre.
a senior deputy collector, Araria, Shambhu Kumar said, “The rest nine Islamic
preachers have been quarantined in the mosque where they are staying.”
large number of Muslims abstained from performing the obligatory congregational
prayer on Friday at Jama Masjid. However, at some places, they defied the
lockdown and gathered at local mosque to perform collective prayers.
are nine Covid-19 patients in Bihar as the number across the country crossed
the 700 mark on Friday.
lockdown: Hyderabad muslims pray at home after clerics appeal
In a first, Mecca Masjid and several other mosques were closed for devotees for
Friday prayers in the city. The gates of mosques were closed and notices were
hung urging the devotees to maintain social distance and pray at home amid the
the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, late on Thursday, issued a statement saying,
“My appeal to all Muslims is to offer Zuhur prayers tomorrow at home and to not
congregate. The only way we can get ahead in this fight is by practising social
distancing and preventing larger gatherings.”
khatib of Mecca Masjid Hafiz Rizwan Qureshi said, “As it was directed earlier
that Mecca Masjid will not be open for prayers, the same was followed today.
Around 25-30 people were there in the mosques, which included members of the
press and police. I want to appeal to maintain this decorum and offer prayers
on other days from their homes. We will resume prayers in the mosque once the
major mosques too remain closed in the city. They hung notices saying, “The
masjid is closed for general public during jumma as well. Admission only for
imam, muezzin and committee.”
Thursday, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had asked Muslims to offer
zuhur at home in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, while adding the hashtag
Worshippers stay away from mosques
by Srinath Rao
last week’s failure by worshippers to heed calls by religious leaders and
police to offer prayers at home, mosques around Maharashtra remained empty on
Friday amid heavy police presence.
orders issued by the state government on March 24, ordering all places of
worship to shut down immediately, the police had reached to out imams of the
mosques. A senior Mumbai Police officer said that mosques have been making
announcements to worshippers to pray from the safety of their homes. “We have
been using the public announcement systems to remind residents that all
religious institutions will remain closed. Even in temples, only priests are
allowed to enter,” he added.
senior state police officer said there were no reports of worshippers attending
mosques on Friday for afternoon prayers.
asked imams to record audio and video messages and circulated their appeals on
WhatsApp groups and social media,” said the officer. Similar video appeals were
recorded by imams in districts across Maharashtra, the officer added.
Bhandara, a local cleric asked residents not to go to mosques as COVID-19 can
spread easily through close contact with infected individuals. In Beed, SP
Harssh Poddar said that reaching out to local Muslim leaders and placing police
cordons outside mosques ensured that worshippers did not violate the curfew and
maintained a safe distance from each other. “At each mosque, we allowed only
the muezzin to enter on Friday and make appeals to the people to pray in their
homes,” he said. The outreach, Poddar added, began two days ago with a meeting
with imams in the district’s seven major towns and a request for them to ensure
that no more than five persons entered mosques at any given time. “We brought
that figure down to zero today,” he said.
Mosques deserted, Friday prayers at home
DELHI: For the first time in ages, the iconic Jama Masjid and its adjoining
streets were deserted on Friday during the Jumah prayers. All mosques in the
city were almost empty as people stayed back home in the wake of the novel
coronavirus pandemic and lockdown in the country.
decision to stop congregation was announced by All India Muslim Personal Law
Board (AIMPLB) on Twitter. “Due to novel coronavirus pandemic, Muslims are
recommended to offer Zuhur at home instead of praying Jumah at mosques. Don’t
come out for congregational prayers and stay at home to save lives. It is
mandatory upon all to avoid causing harm to fellow citizens,” the tweet said.
imams also asked their local area residents to avoid coming to mosques. Imam
Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, said, “We had earlier announced that we
will keep the gates of the mosque shut. We broadcast on the speakers that since
there are restrictions against mass gathering, people should stay home and
pray. Even in remote areas of the country, hardly any namaaz took place.”
said that mosques can continue to have prayers with a few people. “Don’t leave
mosques abandoned. Four individuals should remain in mosques to establish the
congregational prayers due to the Right of Masjid,” it tweeted.
to the call, only four people prayed in Jamia Millia Islamia’s mosque on
Friday. “Only staff members were present. We made sure that no outsider came,”
said a mosque member.
hashtag, #NoJumahInMasjid, trended on social media in support of the call. Abu
Sufyan, an entrepreneur who resides near Turkman Gate, said, “We spread the
word that people should avoid going out and threatening lives of their family members
and others. Most in Old Delhi complied with it.”
Naeem, a librarian who lives in Pahari Imli in the Walled City, said smaller
mosques were shut too. “We spread the word through WhatsApp and Facebook to
comply with the directions issued by the government and the authorities,” he
added. At Okhla Vihar, Mohammad Waseem, a mechanical engineer, decided not to
go to the mosque which was right in front of his house.
noon, instead of the azaan, the Jama Masjid in C-Block of East of Kailash made
an announcement asking people to stay indoors.
ki taraf se jo ailan hua hai us par poori tarah se amal karein. Apne gharon se
na nikle aur namaaz apne gharon mein padhein kyunki jama hone ki wajah se
bataya jaata hai ki virus zyada phailta hai. (Everyone should follow the
government’s direction to stay indoors. Don’t step out of your homes and offer
prayers at home as there are chances of spreading the virus in a large
gathering),” the announcement stated.
Religious Leaders Persuade People To Offer Friday Prayers At Home To Prevent
Large Gatherings At Mosques Amid Lockdown
prevent people from offering namaz at mosques in the city on Friday, in order
to ensure no large gathering takes place amid the national lockdown in the wake
of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Ghaziabad police and district administration
roped in religious leaders from the Mulsim community and some minority
organizations. Their efforts paid off when most people stayed home to offer
Mehtab Alam Qasmi, imam, Jama Masjid, Sanjay Nagar said last Friday people had
been told at the mosque to stay home and offer prayers. Signboards had also
been put outside the mosque urging people to stay home.
Sanjay Nagar Jama Masjid is one of the biggest mosques in Ghaziabad and around
4,000-5,000 coffer prayers here on Fridays. During the prayers last Friday, we
had told the people about detrimental effects large gatherings could have on
people amid the Covid-19 outbreak after the district administration and police
officers apprised us about the need to contain the disease from spreading,” he
our requests, nobody came to the mosque and a few people that work for the
mosque offered prayers inside it. We also made announcements on loudspeakers about
the benefits of washing hands, using hand sanitisers and maintaining
cleanliness. We have asked people to offer prayers at home till the lockdown is
in place. It is probably for the first time that people have been asked not to
come to the mosque,” he added.
police and administration officials were on toes expecting many to gather at
city mosques on Friday. Police personnel were deployed to ensure that no
gathering takes place and social distancing is maintained.
have several WhatsApp groups and every group has people from 12 or 13
localities. We sent messages on these groups and requested people not to go to
the mosques and offer prayers at home. It seemed unusual for people to stay
away from mosques and many called us as well. We told them about the threat
Covid-19 presents to all of us and also briefed them on how to maintain social
distance and avoid all kinds of gatherings,” said Maulana Mohammad Arshad of
Mehboobi Masjid in Masuri.
efforts paid off as our volunteers had been making announcements in different
areas of Loni for the past several days. People offered prayers at their homes
and there were no gatherings at nay mosques in Loni,” said Faizuddin Aarif,
general secretary, Loni chapter, Jamiat Ulema-i Hind.
police said prayers were offered peacefully in Loni, Muradnagar, Dasna, Masuri
among other areas and no untoward incident was reported.
were a lot of efforts which went in to persuade people to offer prayers at
home. The members of Muslim community and their religious leaders made our
appeal successful. They cooperated fully was to prevent any large gathering. On
our part, we had deployed about seven vehicles especially for making public
announcements on maintaining social distancing,” Neeraj Kumar Jadaun,
superintendent of police (rural), said.
No Prayers In Kashmir Mosques On Friday
Grand Mufti Nasirul Islam on Thursday said that there should be no Friday
prayers in any Mosque or shrine across the valley on Friday in the wake of the
to IANS, the Grand Mufti said on Friday people should not hold congregational
prayers in Mosques and shrines across Kashmir.
situation is very grave," he said. "I appeal to people including
Imams and Khateebs and managing bodies of all Masjids and shrines across
Kashmir not to hold Friday congregational prayers."
said that only three people including the meuzzins of Masjid should offer five
times prayers, rest of the people should say the prayers at home.
DC Srinagar Shahid Choudhary tweeted: "Closure of all religious places in
#Srinagar is under way. With active cooperation of Management committees.
Revered shrines Hazratbal, Naqshband Saheb show the way. #StayAtHome"
Saheb , Gurudwara Saheb Chhati Padshahi and others. Mosques follow. Thankful to
officials on ground and all management committees.
finally close doors in Agra, Muslims offer Friday namaz at home
a Covid-19 positive case surfaced on Thursday in Agra, Friday brought
much-needed relief for the city, when the Muslim community finally agreed to
avoid assembling in mosques for Friday prayers.
the mosques closing their doors from Friday, all religious places including
temples, churches, and gurudwaras, are now closed for prayers in Agra, with the
full support of local residents.
large number of police personnel were deployed on the streets of Agra on Friday
to dissuade Muslims from going to mosques for their weekly prayers and meetings
with Imams of the mosques.
which, announcements were made by mosques for the devout Muslims to stay at
home and offer their prayers from home.
to the efforts of the Inspector General of Police A Satish Ganesh and the Agra
District Magistrate Prabhi N Singh, the courtyard Jama Masjid was completely
empty on Friday and some Muslims who did turn up to offer prayers, were persuaded
to go back home.
IG said that people of Agra have nothing to fear as they only need to break the
chain of this virus and the city will become free of the coronavirus disease.
To ensure that the chain is broken, they just need to stay at home and observe
full precautions, he said.
Magistrate Agra Prabhu N Singh warned grocery stores to desist from black
marketeering saying if any shopkeeper is found to be charging unjustifiable
profits at this time, he shall be punished strictly.
said the effort of the district administration is to ensure there is no paucity
of food and other items of daily needs in the city and every locality of Agra
is currently receiving groceries on their door-steps.
the local administration's efforts, Hindustani Biradari Vice-Chairman Vishal
Sharma said that apart from the administration, there are several social
organisations and individuals that have come out to assist the administration
in supplying food to the needy at this time. The efforts of these organisations
and individuals are worthy of praise and this displays the spirit of
Sulh-e-Kul, which is the foundation of the city of Agra.
the Agra administration has registered a criminal case under sections 188, 269
and 270 of the IPC, against the doctor couple and their Covid-19 positive son
for hiding the information of being infected and possibly spreading it to
hundreds of patients who had visited the nursing home in the past few days.
Moroccan City Of Religious Symbiosis Between Islam And Judaism
Dr. Mohamed Chtatou
of Morocco, not far from the imperial city of Fez, lies the locality of Sefrou
in the lap of the Atlas mountains. It was in the nineteenth and the twentieth
centuries a haven of peace and togetherness where Muslims and Jews lived in
total communion. It forged, then, the image of a place where cultures, creeds,
languages and traditions mixed freely without any bias or sense of of hatred.
In spite of its small size, the city of Sefrou reflected the spirit of a
plural, multiethnic, and tolerant Morocco with Arabic language (Moroccan
Darija) spoken alongside Tamazight/Berber dialects as well as Hebrew and
because of its location at the foot of the central Middle Atlas on the former
trans-Saharan trade route (Trik as-Sultane), Sefrou was, throughout its
history, a transit point, a crossroads of diverse cultures and creeds and a
human receptacle. These factors combined with the diversity of its resources
have given it important opportunities for integration and human fulfillment. As
a result, it has attracted people of various ethnic and tribal origins
(Amazighs, Arabs) and confessional backgrounds (Muslims, Jews and Christians).
This has made it a home of exemplary cohabitation where a secular urban
tradition based on openness, coexistence and tolerance has developed and
thrived for two centuries on end.
name of the city comes from the name of the Amazigh/Berber tribe Ahl Sefrou
(1), who converted to Judaism around the second century AD. It occupied the Wad
Aggay meaning «River of the Cheecks» in Tamazight and the river bore, also, the
name of Wad Lihoudi, the «River of the Jew» past the Mellah, Jewish quarter, of
was born of the regrouping, for security reasons, of inhabitants who settled
along the river in a walled settelment. The mellah, Jewish district, for the
same security reasons, occupied a central position inside the Muslim
neighborhoods of the medina and that shows quite clearly that Muslim population
cared so much about the safety of their Jewish brethern, so they placed them in
the center of the city, for maximum security. Dominating the river, stands the
suburb of al-Qal’a (meaning fortress in Arabic), a detachment from the city, as
to remind visitors of its refractory past and rebelious nature.
is surrounded by high crenelated ramparts pierced by seven gates dating from
the 18th century when it was an important stage of the caravan trade as
evidenced by the many Fondouks (caravanserais) of the city. Its various zaouïas
(religious lodges), mosques, hammams (public baths) and shops relate, in turn,
its great commercial influence in the region. Sefrou has always been a place of
human confluence (from different regions of Morocco and Andalusia) and
confessional brewing (Muslim, Jewish and later on Christian) and ethnic
communion (Arab and Amazigh/Berber).
in 682, a century before the imperial city of Fez, Sefrou is located at 28
kilometers south of this city and culminates at 850 meters above sea level ; It
has always been called the «oasis without a palm tree» or «the garden of the
kingdom,» a garden that all the sovereigns of Morocco have carefully protected
an praised. However, the late King Hassan II, in the 90s of the last century
lamented, in one of his speeches, that the city because of avid and uncontrolled
urban development, lost, alas, its garden specificity and became a jungle of
concrete. He directly blamed elected local government for lack of
ecology-mindedness and, undirectly, for corruption practises.
its ramparts surrounding the city and protecting it from belicose tribes of
bled as-siba (land of dissidence)(2) and its 7 imposing gates, lucky number in
Arab and Amazigh culture, and, also, in Moroccan Jewish cabal tradition. Sefrou
was made famous for its waterfalls of about 10 meters high and the waters of
Wad Aggay which make its land fertile, where many fruit trees grow, of which
the best known is, undoubtedly, the cherry tree: habb lmellouk (the fruit of
city became in the twelfth century a center of thriving commerce where the
producers of the regions of northern Morocco and those of Tafilalet met to
exchange crops, handicrafts and hides. It was, also, the starting point of the
famed subsaharan caravan trade whereby Morocco exchanged salt and hides against
the gold of the black African Ashanti mines, a commerce that is known, today,
as the «unfair trade.» This trade, for centuries, was financed by Jews keeping
small «banking shops» known as Hwanet tale’ in the medina of Sefrou and its
caravans that travelled for 44 days to Timbuktu, in today’s Mali, led by Jewish
guides respected for their leadership, fairness, patience, courage and sense of
leadership. They were known as azettat (because they carried long sticks
bearing the azetta, woven cloth of each Amazigh tribe travesrsed in peace
(aman,)) which in down-to-earth language means pre-paid free passage tithe.
is twelve centuries old. Moulay Idris II stayed there in 806 before the
foundation of the city of Fez. He lived in a place called Habouna (from Arabic
”they loved us ”) which is now a quarter of the city. During his stay in
Sefrou, Moulay Idriss made some trips to Bahlil whose inhabitants he converted
to Islam with much duresss.
to Rawd al-Qirtass (The Garden of Pages) (3) Bahlil did not oppose any resistance
to the conversion, but it seems from oral tradition that the Chqounda tribe
resigned itself only to constraint and forced action of Moulay Idris, because
it was probably still influenced by the ideas of the Second Roman Legion that
dwelt the area during the Roman Empire colonization of Morocco (52 CE-5th
any case, the people of this tribe reserved a very cold welcome to the Idrisid
Sultan and following his failure to convert peacefully the town of Bhalil, he
reportedly returned to Sefrou and on his way he named a nearby mountain Jbel
Binna, and said: “Had jbel binna or binhoum“, which means literally: this is a
border mountain between us and them. Since, then the name of “Binna” referred
to this mountain.
any drinking water in Bhalil, the people were obliged to go to get water supply
from the Wad Aggaï of Sefrou, at the risk of dangers constantly increasing from
animosity towards them shown by the Muslims of Sefrou. Tired of rejection, the
Christian inhabitants of Bhalil submitted to the will of the sultan on the
condition that he insured them access to precious water supply.
Idris, on their conversion, fulfilled their desire by a miracle; he apparently
visited anew their village and made the water spill from the ground after
giving it a sword blow. This water would be since the source of Ain Rta which
lies nowadays in the middle of the village. In admiration of this divine
miracle, the last hostile Bahloulis (inhabitants of the village) rallied
immediately to the will of the sultan, but not without having earned, since,
the nickname of Bahlil originating in the Arabic word “bahloul” meaning “stupid
and ignorant person verging on idiocy,”which was granted to them by their
Sefrou neighbors who laughed at them at having hesitated so long to embrace
however, the inhabitants reject this story and say that the name Bhalil comes
from the Arabic word «baha’ al-lil» which means in Arabic the «beauty of the
night» of this unique troglodyte village. Many centuries later, the inhabitants
of Bhalil would, in return, doubt of the true Islamic identity of the Muslims
of Sefrou because of their proverbial coexistence with the Jews, by referring
to them in Jewish Moroccan Arabic dialect, obviously distinct from Muslim
Arabic dialect : «msalmin di safrou» (Muslims of Sefrou.)
1967, Sefrou this quiet beautiful city situated in the piedmont of the Middle
Atlas was losing its last Jewish inhabitants in the wake of the six-day war in
the Middle East (4). The Jews have lived in Sefrou since their arrival in
Morocco on the year 70 AD, after the destruction of their second temple of
Jerusalem by the Romans and it was for centuries the capital of Moroccan
coexistence and tolerance. It had the highest concentration of Jews by square
meter anywhere in the world, a fact that owned it the sobriquet: «Little
the limits of the small city lived Amazighs, Arabs and Jews in total harmony.
The Amazigh practised agriculture and cattle-raising, the Arabs some
agriculture, menial jobs and petty trade and the Jews banking services and
Saharan caravan trade, whereby the «Sitting Jew» was a banker and shopkeeper
and the «Walking Jew,» itinerant peddler and caravan guide known as «azettat.»
cherry of Sefrou, known throughout the kingdom, is distinguished by its black
color, a very sweet taste and a weight of more than 14g. Attached to this
fruit, the Sefriouis devote to it every year a festival which sees the election
of Miss Cerisette, a girl chosen from the most beautiful maidens of the
kingdom, whatever her creed might be and daily processions and celebrations
that attract people from all over the country.
year, on the early days of the Cherry Festival (moussem hab l-mlouk), from 1920
to 1956, the locals organized a procession to the grotto of Kaf al-Moumen
which, supposedly, houses the tomb of the prophet Daniel and where, also,
according to a local legend, Muslims believe that (sab’atu rijal,) the seven
pious men and their dog have fallen asleep for centuries. Muslims and Jews
organized this procession to ask their respective spirits to grace and bless
with baraka their yearly celebration. Fantasias, dances and songs punctuate
this important agricultural event.
the edge of the city, there is a miraculous source, called Lalla Rqya, near the
tomb of a rare woman saint (marabout) by the same name, reputed to have the
power to cure madness, epilepsy and nervous disorders. During this moussem
(yearly celebration), the blood of sacrificed animals is poured into this
spring, after accomplishing the sacrifice at the shrine of the patron saint
Sidi Ali Bousserghine, overlooking the city from the height of a hill and
protecting it frome evil, for the success of the festival and the benediction
of this well-known religious figure to the city and all its inhabitants.
has, also, been known, for centuries, for its grace, tolerance and harmonious
cohabitation of the three Abrahamic religions, as evidenced by these verses of
thevenerable sufi Sheikh Abdelkader Timouri, in tribute to the oldest Festival
of Morocco, celebrated every mid-June since 1920 :
may be impacted by social isolation, but Memphis faith leaders say it's a time
Abrahamic faiths all have traditions of “isolation before illumination,” said
Imam Hamzah Abdul-Malik, founder of Midtown Mosque.
practitioners of those three faiths — Christianity, Islam and Judaism — are
facing the possibility of observing some of their holiest days in isolation due
to the spread of the new coronavirus.
Easter on April 12 and preceded by Good Friday, Passover beginning on April 8
and Ramadan, which is expected to begin around April 23.
the Memphis area, shelter-in-place orders have banned gatherings of
non-essential personnel and groups larger than 10 people. One directive, from
the Shelby County Health Department, is in place for 30 days but could be
extended by another month.
Haushalter, director of the Shelby County Health Department, has said she
anticipates four to eight weeks of “safer at home” directives before an impact
is made on the spread of COVID-19.
the orders will make for unique and sometimes isolating celebrations, leaders
in the three faith traditions from the Memphis area said they believe this can
be a time for growth.
also said that when people can return to congregational gatherings, it will be
made even sweeter by the time apart.
Passover Seder (holiday meal) already revolves around the home, said Rabbi
Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel, and in many ways, the symbols of Passover
speak to this particular moment in time.
message of redemption and freedom may be appreciated for the first time in
America given the pandemic we’re living through. We’re feeling the need for one
another,” Greenstein said. “This may be the first time in many of our lifetimes
where the ten plagues we tell in the story of Passover, the plague of the
pandemic is real.”
marks the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Greenstein noted
that the Hebrew word for “Egypt” can literally mean going forth from a
physically confining space.
think all the people, the over 4,000 members of our congregation, just like
every Christian, Muslim, Hindu, other is living in a physically confining space
or an emotionally confining space (during the COVID-19 pandemic),” Greenstein
said. “This message of Passover is to appreciate what it means to be redeemed
and to be released and to go free from a narrow space — what year to appreciate
that more than now?”
Israel does normally hold a congregational Seder that brings together about 400
people, Greenstein said, and that will be difficult for people to miss. Many
are likely to have regrets about missing out on social and family reunions.
the same time, the congregation is sharing support tools, conversation
suggestions for the Seder table, recipe suggestions and more to help during
is also a festival of renewal and spring, Greenstein said, and certain parts of
the Haggadah (the text that guides a Passover Seder) speak of moving “from
darkness to light,” from slavery to freedom and from despair to hope.
we arise, arise from this quarantine saner, truly morally, ethically more in
touch with the broader concerns of humanity beyond our own individualistic
concerns, then in many ways the Passover prayer has been answered,” Greenstein
Phoebe Roaf leads the congregation in her first communion as Bishop of the
Diocese of West Tennessee. (Photo: Brandon Dahlberg / For CommercialAppeal.com)
Rt. Rev. Phoebe Roaf, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee, was
planning for her first Good Friday and Easter Sunday in Memphis when the
COVID-19 pandemic began.
she would preach from the cathedral on High Holy Days, so she had been planning
her first message to the Diocese. Her message would have reflected on the past
year and celebrated Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, she said.
now, she’s also considering whether her service will be live streamed from the
cathedral or possibly from her own home.
Episcopalians, it is particularly important to celebrate the Eucharist every
Sunday when they gather together, Roaf said. Having to forego Holy Communion
and gathering together will feel like Lent, she said, the period of fasting
that leads up to Easter.
not be able to have something in a sense will even make it so much more
meaningful and poignant when we finally are able to get together,” Roaf said.
“We may not physically gather on Easter Sunday but whenever that first Sunday
is that we all gather, I think it’s going to feel like Easter Sunday.”
Roaf said she’s seeing people in her faith community come up with ideas of how
to worship at home among their own families. People are reaching out to each
other through technology, reading the Bible at home, helping children dye
Easter eggs, she said.
the midst of all this uncertainty, I have seen so much creativity and real
commitment to actually live and follow Jesus,” she said. “Perhaps now all of us
will have a sense that God really is everywhere. Yes, we have these beautiful
worship spaces, beautiful buildings that have so much history and so much
meaning, yet the whole world is holy because God made it. Perhaps it will give
all of us a little bit of a sense of the sacredness in the everyday things that
we can sometimes take for granted.”
already a quieter, private aspect to Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims,
said Abdul-Malik, the imam at Midtown Mosque.
you’re fasting, you tend to talk less. You become very keen on very basic
things. You become very keen on how you use your energy,” he said. “Having this
at home situation helps us. … It creates an environment where we’re not pulled
by several different distractions.”
congregational worship and prayer is also very important during Ramdan, as is
sharing an Iftar meal together to break the fast. Often, people will gather at
the mosque to hear an inspirational speaker and to do the evening prayers.
very important to the Muslim community because there is this sense of equality,
a sense of sharing, a sense of unity that comes with physically coming to a
place and worshiping together, breaking bread together and reading Quran,
reading revelation together," Abdul-Malik said. “I’m hoping this period of
time will help rekindle that love for the physical proximity we have towards
each other. Now that we have shelter in place, we can’t just take the masjid or
community for granted.”
are also turning online for a sense of community: people are reciting the Quran
via video, reaching entire families who may not have been able to make it to
the mosque in the evening, Abdul-Malik said. The wider Muslim community in
Memphis is doing live programming, and he’s been doing targeted conference
precedent for prayer in isolation in Islam, Abdul-Malik said: The Prophet
Muhammad was in isolation in a cave when he received his first revelation.
is hopeful that this period of social distancing will be over before Eid
al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast that marks the end of the month of
Eid, Muslims from all eight masjids in Memphis normally gather together for the
Eid prayer, dressing up, giving gifts and celebrating.
we can all still do our prayers at home. The prayer is between us and our
Lord,” Abdul-Malik said. “But the festivities will be severely limited
considering we can’t congregate in any place … Even if we’re not able to do it
the way we normally do it, it still emphasizes the principle of appreciating
the blessings that have been provided for you.”
three clergy members agreed that when the COVID-19 pandemic has ended and their
congregations are able to return to physical gatherings, they will likely have
gained something by the time apart, however difficult.
hope and I do believe that when we come back, we will not only be more excited,
all this built up energy of finally coming back together, but inside we’ll all
feel that this matters even more because of what we learned through this
experience,” said Greenstein, the rabbi.
community is an “integral part” of the lives of people of faith, God isn’t
constrained to one particular place, said Roaf, the bishop.
think, perhaps, it would be good to just remind people that wherever we are,
God is,” Roaf said. “When this is over, this particular crisis, are there
lessons that we are learning even in the midst of it that will help our faith
communities be stronger moving forward?”
The Muslim Ban Served As A Warning For Trump’s Response To Coronavirus
Muslim women who observe hijab, it’s become hard not to feel wary about going
out in public. This has nothing to do with any increase in white American
xenophobia during the current pandemic, but rather because of the Trump
administration’s latest — and seemingly ongoing— expansion of what’s commonly
known as the Muslim Ban. For visibly
Muslim women, the ban and its widening
scope have become a significant problem, serving as a cover for racism. Since
women in hijab are easily recognized as being Muslim, they have become the
Refinery29 spoke to graduate student Janeen Radwan, who observes hijab, she
told us how the Muslim Ban has had a huge impact on her and other hijabis.
“It’s a manner of singling us out from our respective communities. It is
already difficult living as a hijabi in the U.S. Wearing a headscarf is like
wearing a giant flag around our heads. In a post-9/11 world, a hijab welcomes
ignorant questions, glares, and insults — and these are just the minor
offenses,” Radwan said. “This ban encourages a negative rhetoric that puts
other Americans on their toes around those who are most visually Muslim,
wearing a hijab. It makes us targets and villains to the rest of our American
Durdana Rahman, a mother of three, explains how the implications of the ban
makes her nervous to fly with her children. “I don’t want my children to see
the humiliation that comes with my hijab. Trump’s expansion of this horrible
ban is a manifestation that he is wanting to oust Muslims. By his
implementation and expansion of the ban, that is allowing negativity to
proliferate and this is not an isolated case.”
those who observe hijab, the Muslim Ban can feel like another mechanism for
weaponizing anti-Muslim bigotry for political gain. And this is not just
limited to travel. When discrimination is sanctioned at a federal level with
something like the Muslim Ban, it trickles down into all other parts of
society, in areas ranging from education to employment to healthcare. This
leads to everything from a lack of employment opportunities to lower incomes to
being ignored when sick — something that’s particularly dangerous right now, in
the midst of a pandemic. For those observing hijab, even in the best of times,
the Muslim Ban can heighten anxiety to simply go outside and tend to everyday
matters since they can be easy targets for hate. The impact of the Ban is a
domino effect that effectively collapses all potential opportunities for those
affected, spreading xenophobia further,
and normalizing its legal implementation.
Billoo, Executive Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations of the San
Francisco Bay Area, says, “The Muslim Ban is Islamophobia manifesting as
policy, giving cover to racists in power to target people based on their faith
and as a result also emboldening individuals to commit hate crimes. When our
most powerful leaders are bigoted, it follows that ordinary people would
follow, feeling as though they’ve been given permission. The impact is that
Muslims are unsafe and unable to trust the government to protect them.”
America, though, it can feel like the government only cares to protect one
group of people: white, Christian men. This is, after all, a country where ,
white supremacy is the driving ideology behind most instances of mass gun
violence, yet the administration prefers to target immigrants from what the
President deems “sh*thole” countries for surveillance and deportation. The Ban
exists alongside other policies that are marked by unprecedented cruelty to
children and families, horrific conditions at detention centers, and actions
such as the government’s recent deportation of a person with a valid visa —this
was in spite of a judge’s order. Trump’s immigration-policy architect Steven
Miller’s own emails show he favors and shares white nationalist ideas. Trump
himself has called white supremacists “very fine people.”
year, the Trump administration said a major pillar of its economic strategy was
to expand economic ties with African nations, including those that are
predominantly Muslim. And yet, the administration showed its hypocrisy by first
saying it want to build better ties, then banning nearly a quarter of the
people from the continent, including those from Nigeria, the continent's
largest economy. We cannot view the Muslim Ban and its expansion as an isolated
policy. The implementation of the expansion not only hurts economic ties to the
U.S., but also continues to marginalize immigrants and communities of color.
Despite the administration’s claims of security, this policy is based on
deep-seated racism and the need for an election-year showstopper.
it's also not exactly a surprise. Trump’s promise to enact a Muslim Ban is one
that stretches back for years, to the time when he was still campaigning. The current proposed expansion is about
reminding his base of his delivered promises during an election year, and a
component of his broader campaign targeting non-whites.
across this nation must demand an end to the Muslim Ban and any expansion. That
is why it is imperative for us to be calling on members of Congress to pass the
NO BAN Act, a necessary civil rights bill that would immediately end this
heinous ban and prevent future presidents from enacting similar religious,
racial, and nationality bans ever again.
extends Iraq waivers but intensifies Iran sanctions as COVID-19 breaks records
News Agency (ABNA): The US has once again extended a waiver allowing Iraq to
import Iranian electricity and natural gas, but at the same time intensified
its sanctions against Iran despite the coronavirus pandemic which is infecting
more and more Iranians.
Ortagus, a US State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement on Thursday
that “Iraq is permitted to engage in financial transactions related to the
import of electricity from Iran” under a US-issued sanctions waiver.
purpose of this waiver, which the United States is renewing today, is to meet
the immediate energy needs of the Iraqi people,” she added.
extension is for 30 days, the shortest extension yet for Iraq, and will be the
last extension issued, according to AFP.
US, at the same time, imposed new sanctions against 20 entities based in Iran
and Iraq, which she claimed were funneling money to Iran's Quds Force.
fresh US sanctions were imposed on the same day the novel coronavirus infected
a record-high number of people in Iran.
to Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour, 2,926 new cases of infection
were confirmed in the 24 hours to Friday noon.
spokesman said the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 32,332, out of
whom 11,133 have recovered and been discharged from hospital.
many countries in the world have called on Washington to lift the bans at the
height of the global pandemic, the administration of Donald Trump is
“vengefully” refusing to end its “unlawful and collective punishment”, partly
under the pressure of Israeli lobby groups.
ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that any
sanctions relief for Iran during the COVID-19 pandemic must be linked to a
pledge by Tehran that it would halt its nuclear program.
spoke out in the aftermath of an appeal by Tehran to the UN to help ensure that
the United States eases its crippling sanctions against Iran.
general warns over Pentagon's plan to target Iraq's anti-terror Kata'ib
US general in Iraq has warned over a Pentagon’s secret directive, which called
on US military commanders to prepare a campaign against Iraq's pro-government
anti-terror Kata'ib Hezbollah group.
American officials, who saw the directive or were briefed on it, told The New
York Times on Friday that the Pentagon had last week ordered planners at the US
military's Central Command and in Iraq to draw up a strategy to dismantle
Kata'ib Hezbollah, which is part of the anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units
(PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi.
response, the officials said, US army lieutenant general Robert P. White had
written a memorandum warning about the costs and risks of any such attack,
saying it could be "bloody and counterproductive."
added that General White had also cautioned that a new military action would
require thousands more American troops be deployed to Iraq and divert resources
from existing missions there.
officials further said the memo had pointed out that a possible Iraq campaign
might run afoul of the current agreement with the Baghdad government that
allows American troops to operate in the country.
has blamed Kata'ib Hezbollah for about a dozen rocket attacks against American
troops based in Iraq over the past few months. It claims that the group is
backed by Iran.
US has also conducted a string of deadly airstrikes on Iraqi military bases,
which are denounced by Baghdad as a violation of its sovereign and targeted
aggression against its official armed forces.
officials said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Robert C. O’Brien, the
national security adviser, have been pushing for an aggressive action against
Iraqi resistance groups, while Pentagon chief Mark T. Esper and Gen. Mark A.
Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been wary of a sharp
during an Oval Office meeting on March 19, US President Donald Trump did not
make a decision about whether he might authorize the new campaign in Iraq, but
allowed the planning to continue, they emphasized.
this week, Kata’ib Hezbollah held a military drill, dubbed Hunting the Crow, in
the town of Jurf al-Nasr near Baghdad, to prepare itself for battling occupying
US troops after suspicious American activities.
spokesman Jaafar al-Husseini said sophisticated weapons with live ammunition
were used in the exercises, which simulated a number of engagement patterns,
including confronting airstrikes and land exposure, and fighting in a forest
anti-terror Iraqi resistance group Kata’ib Hezbollah holds a maneuver to
prepare itself for a possible battle against occupying American troops in the
January 5, the Iraqi parliament obliged the government "to work towards
ending the presence of all foreign troops," including some 5,200 American
vote came two days after the US military - acting on Trump’s order - launched a
fatal drone strike on Iran's prominent anti-terror commander Lieutenant General
Qassem Soleimani upon his arrival in the Iraqi capital at the invitation of the
attack also claimed the lives of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the PMU's
second-in-command, along with eight other Iranian and Iraqi people.
group reacts as Buhari govt moves to release prisoners
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has commended the announcement by the President
Muhammadu Buhari government that it would release some set of prisoners.
excluded are inmates serving jail terms for capital offences such as murder,
kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, treason among others.
government’s decision followed coronavirus spread and the health challenges the
Nigeria Correctional Service would face in the event of a major outbreak in
Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Saturday, said the
inmates were human beings and had fundamental human rights.
have the right to live, except those that have been condemned to death.
Therefore the Nigerian government has no moral right to keep them in
correctional centers where they are gravely exposed to coronavirus”, he noted.
all know what is happening around the world today regarding the devastating
power of this virus. It is killing people in their thousands on a daily basis.
We also know the poor state of our correctional centres.
are 54 Nigerian soldiers serving a ten-year sentence. They were ordered to
confront Boko Haram fighters armed to the teeth. But our soldiers had very poor
weapons. Their death sentence was later commuted to ten years in jail. Yet it
was their demand for better weapons which exposed the $2.1 billion armsgate,”
urge governors and chief judges to visit correctional centres and release
inmates in large numbers before the number of infections explode.
call on President Muhammadu Buhari to exercise his prerogative of mercy to free
all Nigerian prisoners except those on death row. Nigeria has 74,927 inmates in
19 prisoners in 10 prisons have tested positive in British jails. We do not
know exactly if the virus is already in our jails. Nigeria must emulate other
countries of the world which have taken proactive measures to combat the spread
of Covid-19 by decongesting their prisons,” he stated.
Worshippers desert mosques in Lagos, FCT, Katsina, others
on Friday deserted mosques in the Federal Capital Territory, as well as in
Lagos, Katsina and other states in the country in compliance with the various
directives by state governments banning social and religious gatherings.
Government and many states had banned large gatherings of people in order to
stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
of our correspondents, who moved round in Lagos between 12:noon and 3 pm,
observed that worshippers stayed away from various worship centres in obedience
to the directive of the state government.
of our correspondents observed that the National Mosque, NASFAT Central Mosque
and Ansaruddeen Central Mosque among others were shut during Jumat.
mosques in Katsina, Katsina State were also shut on Friday in compliance with
the directive of the state government banning large gatherings.
state Governor Aminu Masari had announced the ban on large gatherings,
including Jumat, via his Twitter handle @GovernorMasari on Thursday.
joint patrol of policemen, soldiers and other security agents was also seen
patrolling the streets of Katsina town to ensure compliance with the
government’s directive which prohibits large gatherings.
due to non-compliance with the state government’s directive on restriction on
large gatherings, men of the Ogun State Task Force on Friday stormed the Najomo
Central Mosque at Adatan, Abeokuta and drove away worshippers who gathered for
worshippers were being led in prayer by the 78-year-old chief imam of the
mosque, Moshood Taiwo, when the task force stormed the mosque and dispersed
correspondent gathered that the Wakilu Muslim of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta
states, Sheikh Iskeel Awwal, led the task force to the mosque.
Taiwo, while being arrested, was said to have engaged the commander of the task
force, CSP Toyin Afolaogun, in a heated argument.
insisted that he did not commit any wrong by conducting Jumat prayer, adding
that the worshippers were exercising their rights and praying to God to end coronavirus in the
confronted with the government’s order
banning the gathering of over 20 people, he said he had started the
prayer with only 15 worshippers and he was not aware when the number increased
above the limit.
told some worshippers to wait outside and ensure they didn’t allow more people
to join us. But, when they heard the prayers I was making for the state and
Nigeria, some of them forcefully entered the mosque. I did not violate any rule
of the government. I am part of the government,” he defended.
curb the spread of the COVID-19, the Ogun State chapter of the Christian
Association of Nigeria has asked all churches in the state to stop operation
directive which was given on Friday via a statement by the state Chairman of
CAN, Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya, the order was with immediate effect.
bishop had initially on March 19 directed churches in the state to reduce their
worshippers to what he described as “the nearest minimum.”
statement read in part, “As a follow-up to our press release of March 19 in
respect of the coronavirus pandemic and consequent upon our continued finding
on the disease, the Ogun chapter of CAN hereby directs that all churches be
immediately shut down across the state.”
similar manner, the Gombe State Governor Inuwa Yahaya has directed that all
public gatherings be suspended till further notice.
said, “All social gatherings be suspended till further notice. Interstate
travels by public and private vehicles will be suspended effective from 12 am
on Sunday, March 29, 2020.
from Saturday (today), markets will be closed. We will ensure everyone embraces
the principle of social distancing. We shall only allow those who sell
essential commodities like food and medicine.”
rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may
not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or
in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
APC Chieftain Attacks Imam Of Peace For Mocking Buhari
chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adamu Garba, has attacked
globally renowned Islamic cleric, Mohammad Tawhidi, popularly known as Imam of
Peace, for mocking President Muhammadu Buhari.
NIGERIA reports that Tawhidi, who is a Muslim influencer and reformist, had
accused the Nigerian leader of being complicit in various terrorist attacks in
of Peace also mocked President Buhari for pronouncing Covid-19 as ‘Covik one
nine”, which according to him, shows that Buhari has not been proactive in the
fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
wrote on Twitter: “The President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari still doesn’t know
the name of the virus killing 24,000+ at such a rapid rate. Addressing the
nation about it for the first time, he pronounced the virus as ‘COVIK 1-9’.
in Nigeria are destroying Christian communities. Weak leadership of Buhari.
Failed President. No realistic agenda to tackle Jihadists. All talk.”
Muslim cleric also berated those supporting President Buhari for his inactions
and attitude towards terrorism in the country.
supports Buhari is not only foolish but also responsible for his crimes
regardless of their nationality. I’m not even Nigerian and I am standing up for
say it again: Whoever voted for Buhari, especially for the second time after
seeing his failures to crack down on terrorists, is 100% stupid, foolish and
irresponsible. Victims of terrorism due to Buhari’s incompetence don’t care
about minority or majority votes. Wake up.”
Garba, who is a former presidential aspirant on the platform of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) slammed the popular cleric for attacking Nigerians
and the president.
wrote on Twitter: “A refugee, @Imamofpeace who cannot withstand his home
country’s repression and ran to another man’s country to seek asylum due to
dictatorship of his home country have no right to attack my country and its
President. Whoever hate your President hates your country. Imam hates us.”
however, accused Garba of lies, stating that he didn’t seek asylum in
Australia. He only migrated with a valid visa and a plane ticket.
Pray at home – Islamic leaders tell Muslims in Ogun
leaders in Ogun State have told Muslims in the State to stay and pray at home
as there will be no Friday Jumat services from this moment, until further
is in conformity with the directive of Governor Dapo Abiodun, banning all
gatherings with more than 20 persons to prevent the spread of Coronavirus
pandemic in the state.
to an announcement on Friday by the Wakeel Muslimeen of Yorubaland, Edo and
Delta States, on behalf of the League of Imams and Alfas in Ogun state, Muslims
across the nation are advised to obey government directives by keeping
themselves safe from contracting the disease.
the Ogun State chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS)
have called on the Association of Table Water Producers, in the State to,
within the next 24 hours, reduce the price of sachet water from N20 to the
status quo of N10 or face the wrath of students in the state.
visit mosques to convince citizens to offer prayers at home
: To ensure implementation on directives of the government to make social
distancing and seeking preventive measures against Coronavirus pandemic, police
officials make visits to mosques in different areas of the city here on Friday
to convince people to say Friday prayers at home.
instructions from CPO Rawalpindi DIG Muhammad Ahsan Younis, police officials
including SPs, SHOs and police personnel made visits to the Mosques to convince
Ulemas and clerics as well as public to say Friday prayers at homes.
officials informed Ulemas and public on directives of the government for
preventive measures against Coronavirus pandemic.
officials utilizing loudspeakers of Masajid also appealed to public to stay
inside homes and restrict unnecessary movement out of their homes.
and Mashaykh were also appealed by senior police officials to educate public on
preventive measures of the government for public to stay safe by staying inside
Rawalpindi along with respective SPs and SHOs also paid visit to various
mosques and convince public and religious scholars to stay safe by seeking
preventive measures against Coronavirus pandemic.
employing all available resources to ensure safety of the citizens in
accordance of the directives of the government to control outbreak of
Coronavirus, said CPO Rawalpindi DIG Muhammad Ahsan Younis.
were also appealed by senior police officials to stay inside the homes through
announcements from police mobile vans to ensure their safety against
Sindh, Balochistan limit prayers in mosques Corona cases reach 1321 including
Congregational prayers throughout Pakistan have been limited to a few people
only as the federal and provincial governments ramp up efforts to enforce
social distancing amid the spread of the novel coronavirus that has left nine
dead and more than 1,200 infected. On Friday morning, the Punjab government
followed the Sindh and Balochistan governments in issuing an advisory notifying
mosques that prayers were to be limited to three to five people only, including
the mosque administration. The order also applied to Friday prayers. “People
should pray at home to avoid catching the epidemic. The Punjab government took
the decision in light of the recommendations of the medical experts in this
regard,” the advisory issued by the provincial government proclaimed. It must
be noted that there are 1321 confirmed coronavirus case in Pakistan, according
to the latest report released by the National Command and Control Center on
coronavirus on Friday. Meanwhile, two doctors who were treating Covid-19 patients
in Dera Ghazi Khan quarantine center tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.
According to Punjab Secretary for Primary Healthcare Muhammad Usman, both
doctors were treating patients in the DG Khan Isolation ward. Dr. Usama and Dr.
Saba, detected with Covid-19 have been kept in an isolation ward and are
undergoing treatment, said health secretary. He said that the condition of both
doctors is out of danger. The national dashboard, maintained by the federal
ministry of health, reported that Sindh province has been affected more due to
the virus, where the number of cases stands at 440, Punjab 448, Balochistan
133, KP 180, Gilgit-Baltistan 91, Islamabad 27 and two cases were reported in
Azad Kashmir. With the addition of 57 new cases of the Covid-19, with in short
span of twenty four hours, the tally of those tested positive for Coronavirus
in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa surged to 180 on Friday. The new cases also include a
Member of the KP assembly. Member Provincial Assembly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,
Abdus Salam Afridi was tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. The Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaaf lawmaker has quarantined himself in his home. It has been
learnt that a death from the pandemic was reported in his constituency earlier.
On the other hand, an area in Charsadda’s Tehsil Tangi has been sealed by the
administration after a patient, Feroz Shah, was tested positive for
coronavirus. The houses of Feroz Shah and his thirty neighbours have been
quarantined and the medical data of all individuals has been collected. The
administration will take further action if any other person shows symptoms of
the pandemic. The authorities will also provide food to 12 deserving families
of the area until it is sealed. Twenty-nine new coronavirus cases have been
confirmed in Punjab, taking the provincial tally to 448, according to a
spokesperson for the Punjab health department. Punjab now has the highest
number of Covid-19 cases in the country, overtaking Sindh’s total of 440. Four
people have died from the virus in the province so far, one in Rawalpindi and
three in Lahore. Two coronavirus patients have been discharged from hospital in
Balochistan after making a full recovery, Balochistan government spokesperson
Liaquat Shahwani said. He said the two patients tested negative for the virus
after being treated at Quetta’s Sheikh Zayed Hospital. Another 16 people were
tested positive in GilgitBaltistan as the region’s tally of coronavirus
patients rose to 103 on Friday. “With three patients recovered and Dr Usama
Riaz’s death, the tally now stands as 103,” said Adviser to CM on Information
Shams Mir during a daily briefing at Gilgit Press Club on day five of the
lockdown in the region. The adviser said results of 300 tests were pending at
NIH, Islamabad and other hospitals.
forces suffered casualties in Badakhshan province, Mod confirms
Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed that the Afghan forces sustained casualties
while responding to a Taliban attack in North-eastern Badakhshan province.
to a statement released by MoD, the Taliban militants attacked the security
check posts in Jurm district of Badakhshan on Friday night.
statement further added that the security forces responded to the attack and
managed to repulse the offensive on many outposts, while being in a defensive
the Ministry of Defense said the security forces were forced to retreat from 4
security outposts during which they sustained casualties.
disclosing further information regarding the exact number of casualties, the
Ministry of Defense said, adding that it would publicize the exact casualties
the Ministry of Defense said the security forces also inflicted casualties on
assailant militants during the clashes.
confirms 104 positives cases of coronvirus
Ministry of Public (MoPh) confirmed that the new positive cases of novel
coronavirus (COVID-19) has reached 104 in Afghanistan.
to MoPH officials, the Ministry of Public Health tested 48 suspected COVID-19
cases as of late Friday in western Herat province.
officials further added that the test results returned as negative for 34 cases
while 14 other cases were tested positive for the disease.
Ministry of Public Health recorded 11 positive cases in Herat and 3 positive
cases in western Farah province, out of the new suspected cases.
comes as the Afghan cabinet had earlier approved a plan to impose curfew in
Kabul city in a bid to combat and prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 disease in
has so far reported close to 1,400 positive cases while reports emerging from
India suggest the number of positive cases has exceeded 800.
details emerge regarding the Indian man who attacked the Afghan Sikhs in Kabul
details emerged regarding the Indian man who attacked a Sikh temple in Kabul
city on Wednesday, killing at least 25 people and wounding 8 others.
from Intelligence Bureau confirmed that the real name of the Indian National
who attacked the Sikh temple in Kabul city was Mohammad Muhsin.
hailing from Kerala of India, Muhsin left for Afghanistan in 2018 to join the
offshoot of the Islamic State terror group or the ISIS Khurasan.
mother confirmed that she received a message that her son was killed during the
attack on Sikh temple in Kabul city, according to One India.
ISIS Khurasan had earlier issued a statement, claiming that the attack on Sikh
temple in Kabul was carried out by Abu Khalild al-Hindi.
Amaq News Agency, affiliated with the terror group also released the photo of
the suicide bomber who stormed the Sikh temple in Kabul city on Wednesday.
Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan confirmed that the attack on Sikh temple in
Kabul city left at least 25 people dead and 8 others wounded.
Countries ban Friday prayers, Muslims at home
of Muslims across South East Asia stay at home on Friday following bans and
repeated calls to suspend Friday congregational prayers as part of efforts to
stem the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
cities in Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation with over 270 million
population, have suspended religious gatherings for two weeks as country is
Indonesia Ulema Council said mass Friday prayers remain mandatory for those in
areas with low potential for spread of the virus.
Muslims are not allowed to perform Friday prayers at the mosque in places where
the virus has spread "uncontrollably".
had also banned Friday prayers last week and mosques across the country follow
the direction for the second time today.
Pakistan, people partially followed a ban on Friday prayers across the country,
as people in remote areas did not heed to the call for staying away from
typical Friday congregations.
major cities, including the capital Islamabad, commercial capital Karachi,
Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta, attendance at mosques was much lesser than regular
times, according to local media.
Friday congregational prayers in the Indian-administered Kashmir were also
suspended after the region reported one death and 18 cases, including an
people in the region did not move out of their homes for prayers on Friday
after early announcements from local mosques cautioned people not to come for
region's Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam told Anadolu Agency that after taking
expert opinion from health specialists, scholars and other experts, it has
become imperative to call off the prayers from the mosques and shrines in view
of the pandemic.
can pray at home when our religion allows it, there is no need to go to mosques
till the situation gets normal,” he said.
the government spokesman in the region, Rohit Kansal today tweeted that all
district commissioners and police officers in the region have been strictly
asked to caution religious leaders not to call any gatherings.
is the first time that the Friday congregational prayers have been suspended
across the region and the decision was taken after the region reported its
first death on Thursday.
decision was taken on board with different socio-religious organizations, one of
the members of Jamia Masjid Committee, in the main city of the region, Srinagar
confirmed to Anadolu Agency.
administration on Thursday in the region has also ordered the closure of all
religious institutions, including gurudwaras, shrines and mosques, and appealed
to the management committees of all places of worship and all residents of the
region to cooperate and support.
first case to be reported in the region was on March 18 after which the
religious clergy had suggested that the elderly and sick should remain home and
not come out for the Friday prayers.
now, 14 people have tested positive for the virus in the Kashmir region, while
four have been reported from the Jammu region earlier this month taking the
tally to 18. Over 5,000 patients have been put under observation, while one has
died, another recovered so far.
lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, people in India on Friday
offered prayers at their home. This comes after clerics across the nation had
issued statements on Thursday asking people not to gather in mosques to offer
special Friday prayers.
call of the adhan (Islamic call for prayers) was heard from mosques in India,
but people stayed at their home for prayers.
Muslim cleric Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali said: “In the current situation, it
was necessary for the people to offer Friday namaz [prayer] from their houses.
We should follow the instructions of the government.”
Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Nadwat Ul Ulama in Lucknow has also asked people
not to gather in mosques for Friday prayers.
Muslims in India, it was a hard decision. They have never seen in their life
when they were asked not to offer prayers in mosques.
is something we have never imagined. I have never seen such a situation in my
life,” said Abdul Rauf in Kanpur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
speaking to Anadolu Agency in tears, he said: “We must respect the decision and
should pray for Allah’s mercy.”
Bangladesh, another populated Muslim country with over 165 million people,
Muslims partially follow the call to pray at home.
there was no official ban for Friday prayers in the country, the highest
religious body, the Islamic Foundation, call on people not to attend the
congregational prayers in areas with a high risk of COVID-19.
Baitul Mukarram, the largest mosque in Dhaka, people gathered for Friday
prayers but many areas in the country see less attendance today.
coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to at least
176 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the
outbreak a pandemic.
number of confirmed cases worldwide has now surpassed 549,600, while the death
toll is more than 24,800, and over 127,500 have recovered, according to data
compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Islamic Cleric Slams President Buhari Over Failure To Address Nigerians On
Islamic cleric based in Australia, Mohammad Tawhidi popularly known as 'Imam of
Peace', has slammed Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari, over his failure to
address Nigerians on the Coronavirus pandemic that is spreading rapidly across
the country and wreaking havoc.
also berated Buhari for his poor handling of terrorism in Nigeria especially in
the North-East region where Boko Haram has killed thousands and displaced
President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari still doesn’t know the name of the virus killing 24,000+ at
such a rapid rate. Addressing the nation about it for the first time, he
pronounced the virus as 'CIVIK 1-9'.
Nigeria — It was faith that compelled us to travel to Nigeria last week to see
for ourselves the simmering crisis threatening parts of Africa’s wealthiest and
most populous country.
Buhari and his cult are coming after me instead of going after Boko Haram. This
shows you the real agenda of #PresidentCovik and the Covik cult.
to the development, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Gani-Kayode, said,
"@Imamofpeace has focused his attention on @MBuhari and his goons, made a
fool of them and taken them to the cleaners.
adding his voice to the issue, Reno Omokri, aide to former President, Goodluck
Jonathan, said, "General @MBuhari has turned himself into an international
figure of fun to the extent that one of the world’s most popular Islamic
clerics, @Imamofpeace, described him as the “dumbest person in Nigeria."
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